Okkervil River Expands Fall Tour

It looks like 2008 is going to be another banner year for Okkervil River. They first caught my attention with the Black Sheep Boy track “For Real,” which has remained one of my favorites to this day. Then they followed it up with the downright fantastic song “The President’s Dead” early last year before releasing the super-fantastic record Stage Names. This year they’ll be releasing The Stand Ins, the companion to Stage Names, on September 9th. Until then, here’s your fill of tour dates.

MP3: Okkervil River – Plus Ones

Okkervil River Tour Dates
Sep 12: Lawrence, KS @ The Bottleneck
Sep 13: Omaha, NE @ Slowdown
Sep 14: Madison, WI @ Barrymore Theater
Sep 15: Fargo, ND @ Aquarium
Sep 17: Seattle, WA @ The Showbox
Sep 18: Vancouver, BC @ Richards On Richards
Sep 19: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
Sep 21: San Francisco, CA @ Treasure Island Music Festival
Sep 23: Los Angeles, CA @ Henry Fonda Theatre
Sep 24: Solana Beach, CA @ Belly Up Tavern
Sep 26: El Paso, TX @ The Blue Iguana
Sep 26-28: Austin, TX @ Austin City Limits Festival
Sep 30: New Orleans, LA @ The Republic
Oct 1: Birmingham, AL @ Matthew’s Bar & Grill
Oct 2: Athens, GA @ 40 Watt Club
Oct 4: Richmond, VA @ The National
Oct 6: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Oct 7: New York, NY @ Webster Hall
Oct 8: Northampton, MA @ Pearl Street Nightclub
Oct 9: Millvale, PA @ Mr. Small’s Theatre
Oct 10: Buffalo, NY @ Tralf Music Hall
Oct 11: Montreal, QC @ Les Saints
Oct 12: Toronto, ON @ Phoenix

The Gray Kid: “Oh My”

I don’t know if this is common of my generation, but when I’m bored I do a lot of wikipediaing. Today I wound up on the 30 Rock entry and remembered this fantastic track that’s used in the episode “The Source Awards.” The only thing is that it’s jazzed up with a piano backing in that episode. If anyone has a full recording of that version, I’d be thrilled if you’d post a link in the comments. But until then, here’s the prince of hipster hip-hop: The Gray Kid.

MP3: The Gray Kid – Oh My
I didn’t know it, but I’d actually heard The Gray Kid before. He’s the one who did the Timberlake/drug parody “Paxilback” in 2006. But whereas that was a humorous poke at social acceptable drugs, this is song more for hipsters than housewives. The verses are straight 20-something white guy hip hop (can’t get in the club, etc), but the verses lay out some nu-soul music that would make Gnarls Barkley jealous.

The Gray Kid on Myspace

My First Time … with Doveman

Here’s the next installment of My First Time, the interview series that gives a little peek into the musical firsts of some bands I’ve been crushing on as of late. This go-around it’s Doveman, who is gearing up for a big North American tour in support of his record With My Left Hand I Raise the Dead.

MP3: Doveman – Chasing Clouds

My First Time …with Doveman

First record you bought
Martin Hayes’ self titled record. He’s an Irish fiddler, one of the greatest musicians I’ve ever encountered.

First record that changed your life
Dave Matthews Band Live at Red Rocks.

First concert you attended
A gamelan concert when I was four. I crawled onstage and in among the musicians and lay there listening.

First concert that blew you away
Laurie Anderson performing “Stories From The Nerve Bible.”

First time playing live
The first Doveman show was a horrifying fiasco at CB’s Gallery.

First tour (horror stories, unexpectedly great shows, etc)
We drove across the country in the DoveVan with our friend David Thomas Broughton, listening to Mariah Carey all the way.

First memorably bad/good show
We once played the opening of a mall.

First instrument you learned and/or first piece of equipment you loved
My piano, a turn of the century Steinway A, which I’ve had since I was 12.

First band you were a part of
Sam (Doveman banjoist/guitarist) and I were in a contradance band called Popcorn Behavior that we started when we were 12.

First time getting press and/or being interviewed
Noah Adams interviewed me and Sam on All Things Considered when we were 15.

First song you wrote and/or recorded
Struggling to get over what felt like an insurmountable block against putting my own words to music, the first song I ever wrote was a setting of the Wallace Stevens poem “Of Mere Being”:

The palm at the end of the mind,
Beyond the last thought, rises
In the bronze distance.

A gold-feathered bird
Sings in the palm, without human meaning,
Without human feeling, a foreign song.

You know then that it is not the reason
That makes us happy or unhappy.
The bird sings. It’s feathers shine.

The palms stands on the edge of space.
The wind moves slowly through the brances.
The bird’s fire-fangled feathers dangle down.

First reactions from your family when you played them your music

First musical obsession (band, song, singer, genre or otherwise)
As a very small child, my obsessions were Mozart, Tom Lehrer, and David Byrne.

The Cotton Jones Basket Ride @ Al’s Bar 5.28.08

After sending out a lot of texts and emails that said “yes, it’s three of the people from Page France… no it’s not Page France,” I finally got things squared away at Al’s Bar and settled in to enjoy Michael, Whitney and the rest of the Cotton Jones Basket Ride.

MP3: The Cotton Jones Basket Ride – Midnight Monday & A Telescope

You all know that I’m a Page France purist and superfan, so believe me when I say that Cotton Jones is actually quite awesome. Not to slight group’s former band, but it was a lot of fun to hear songs I didn’t know done with fresh energy by some familiar faces. A lot of Cotton’s songs sound inspired by the Doors and other contemporaries of theirs, and it makes for a really fun time.

Noisycrane @ Al’s Bar 5.28.08

Noisycrane soldiered through a fun “solo” set by three of its members. They took turns sharing the mic, swapping around to do Johnny Cash covers, songs they’d done dozens of times and songs that will be on their upcoming record Limestone Walls & Frozen Falls. I really enjoyed their song “E to A,” which I hope to be able to post soon. They’re playing Popfest, so Athens, prepare yourself!

[VIDEO] Choke trailer now online

Chuck Palahniuk’s Choke now has a trailer, complete with tons of Sam Rockwell and music by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Choke is out Sept 26.

Need more slapstick? Check out this Stepbrothers trailer starring John C. Reilly and Will Farrell.

Here’s a ton of information on the upcoming Watchmen movie adaptation.

And if anyone out there is looking for a birthday present for me (because really, who isn’t?), I’m in love with this poster from a set of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly prints.

Tonight in Lex: Cotton Jones at Al’s Bar

Michael Nau (ex-Page France) will be playing under the name the Cotton Jones Basket Ride today in Lexington. The show is happening at Al’s Bar at 6th and Limestone. It’s all ages and $3. Doors are at 8:30. Cody from the band Noisycrane will be opening with a solo performance.

MP3: The Cotton Jones Basket Ride – Midnight Monday & A Telescope