Dejection

I dont know what these dudes have to be dejected about. Theyre in the freaking Himalayas!

I don't know what these dudes have to be dejected about. They're in the freaking Himalayas!

Okkervil River – “On Tour With Zykos” from The Stand Ins [2008]

“I go home, take off clothes, smoke a bowl, watch a whole TV movie. I was supposed to be writing the most beautiful poems.”

Those lines do it for me. Here is a song that I actually listen to when I’m feeling down on my luck — and it rarely fails to lift my spirits. As Jordy put it, music (and all art) is all about empathy, and I think this song promotes empathy — not least because it features a male singer singing from a woman’s perspective. I feel the speaker’s sorrow and know that my own isn’t quite so bad. Empathy is a two-way street, to use a hoary old cliche. Plus this song calls forth the exact feeling of arriving home after a bad night at a bar, stinking of smoke, ears ringing, too drunk but somehow not drunk enough.

In fact, all the Okkervil River songs I know are full of feeling and commitment, and I don’t hesitate to recommend the band to all y’all.

Can’t say that you’re feeling all that much at all? Buy Okkervil River

Posted by Glenn

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3 Comments

Filed under 2000s, Rock

3 responses to “Dejection

  1. Jeff Wheeler

    Hey Glenn. I just passed this one over for the library–littler budget this year and we usually only get the big hits from the independent-rock circuit anyhow (your arcade fires, your animal collectives, or your hold steadies), but i’m unfamiliar with “The Riv'” Perchance I’ve made another one of my classic “blunders” (i ordered the bon iver album, though).

    Anyway, the main reason I’m writing is to see if you(or any other SWR-ers)’re thinking of getting the new Hank Williams (speaking of empathy) “unreleased recordings” set. It’s stuff from some morning radio show he did and includes some numbers I don’t have any recordings of him doing a’tall (and I think its all versions no one has put out yet). I think I might either lawfully or unlawfully try to get my hands on it. The 10 CD “Complete Hank Williams” is abso-fucking-lutely essential (the acoustic-only songs like “i told a lie to my heart” “won’t you sometimes think of me” “in my dreams you still belong to me” and especially “it just don’t matter now,” are some of the sweetest, saddest things i’ve ever heard), but I’m wondering how many people are gonna get the morning radio show (and as a result, how likely it is to be on soulseek). Hope you’re doing good Glenn. How’s NC?

  2. Jeff,

    I’ve thought about the new Hank box set ever since I heard something on the radio about it. I’d love to hear those songs in a different context. To be honest, all I have of Hank is 40 Greatest Hits, though I’m going to make an effort to check out those tunes you mention.

    Also, check out the book “Lovesick Blues” by Paul Hemphill. A brief, fastpaced biography of Hank by a great southern writer.

    I’d expect that Paul over at Setting the Woods On Fire might be putting some of those tracks up sometime soon.

    NC is warm enough to ride a bike around. Besides that, things are good–the next issue of the magazine I’m working on is going to come out any day now, and the writing is going good.

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