Okkervil River

Nov 13, 2008 Daytrotter Studio, Rock Island, IL

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  1. Bookery Reading 24:01
Okkervil River

Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Brendan Kiefer

Okkervil River were here a few months over a year now, recording for us. It's a session that featured a number of choice covers and lasted a number of hours. At the tail end of it, Will Sheff sent the rest of the band back to the Holiday Inn a block away and to the casino as he lingered behind to record a Bookery reading. It was the first time that one had ever been recorded in our studio as most are sent in from the various locations of various computers all over the world. He sat in the now quiet live room and read from a copy of White Walls by Russian writer Tatyana Tolstaya. Within the pages contained the short story from which Sheff derived the band's name -- also that of a Russian River. He read it beautifully, like of the stage actors that he lines his descriptive songs with. He'd picked up a copy of the book the night before in Iowa City, at Prairie Lights Book Store, after having me search for it at BookPeople in Austin, where I'd been for the Austin City Limits festival. He didn't have a copy of it with him even though he usually did. He told me that he had one locked up in the back seat of his car in Austin, but I wouldn't be able to get into it without breaking a window. We procured a copy of the book so luck prevailed and the delicate beginnings of the idea of Okkervil River were recited here in Rock Island, Illinois, to tape. -- Sean Moeller

Okkervil River's First Daytrotter Session
Okkervil River Official Site
Jagjaguwar Records

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