Cockaboody, Okkervil River

Alright, now I've gotten myself into a corner. If I include Voxtrot, there's a whole shitload of bands now that I'm going to have to include in my Austin run. Which I'm also doing instead of ACL Festival, because I just moved and am a broke motherfucker. And then Monday night's Yo La Tengo show sold out but I settled on watching them hang out for a short while and introduce a couple of films at the Alamo Drafthouse: Cockaboody and Four Flies On Grey Velvet, the latter a ridiculous 70's flick about a drummer in a murder/blackmail plot, but with a great psychedelic/almost disco-ish soundtrack by Ennio Morricone. Cockaboody (youtube) was made by Georgia's (of YLT) parents, John and Faith Hubley, who did animation for Disney and Sesame Street, and features the voices of 3 year-old Georgia and her older sister. Georgia talked about how her parents just held out microphones and told them to improv and how she was later fascinated about how they put it together with the animation.

Anyways - the music. If you want the absolute most current new thing in Austin, well I just happened to stumble on Ringo Deathstarr, but other than that, I'm definitely not a Hot Freak, but I'll try to work my way down into a few lesser-known bands. So while I'm hitting the bigger Austin bands everyone should know, I'd be remiss not to include Okkervil River, representing the folksier side of Austin's alt scene (by way of New Hampshire). Their newest album "The Stage Names" came out last month and has received a ton of good reviews. It's mixed by Jim Eno of Spoon, and like the new Spoon it's Okkervil River's most soulful album, and most rocking as well, or about as hard as alt-folk can rock. This interview with Wireless Bollinger (excerpt below) is an interesting insight into the workings of their songs, like the superb "John Allyn Smith Sails":

The album's final track, 'John Allyn Smith Sails', takes this idea to fruition, ending the album with lyrics from a traditional folk song and poem – most famously used as the center of the Beach Boys' 'Sloop John B' – as a way for Sheff to reckon with his John Berryman connection. "The 'Sloop John B' character and the John Berryman [real name John Allyn Smith] were at the same juncture in their lives. They both kind of wreck," says (Will) Sheff.

Like Spoon, though, I'm kind of liking the bonus disc of acoustic demos that comes with early copies of "The Stage Names" almost a little more, fits the songs well:

Buy "The Stage Names" and other Okkervil River at their label Jagjaguwar and preview "The Stage Names" at their site

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