Filed Under:Okkervil River

WATCH // Okkervil River Shares “THE MAKING OF ‘BLACK SHEEP BOY'” Three Part Video


Okkervil River is elated to share a three part mini-documentary that captures a behind-the-scenes look at making Black Sheep Boy. They’d almost forgotten it was filmed, let alone that they’d kept the footage. Filmed (mostly) by Zachary Thomas, a founding member of the band, the video lets us step inside the little tin shack where these songs came to life. The hours of charming home-video recordings have been culled by Will Sheff into three distinct chapters: Part 1 – Learning The Songs, Part 2 – Recording, and Part 3 – Finishing The Album.

From Will Sheff:

On our first day of rehearsing the songs that would go on to become our album Black Sheep Boy, Zachary Thomas showed up to the little tin shack out by the Austin Airport where we were rehearsing (and where I was living) with a little consumer-grade miniDV camcorder in his hand.

Our original bassist and one of the founding members of Okkervil River, Zachary was a new father and had bought the camera to document the arrival of his son Graham into the world, but he figured he’d bring it to a couple of rehearsals and studio sessions. I actually remember being a little annoyed at him pointing the camera at me – I was feeling thin-skinned and was obsessing about making Black Sheep Boy into the album I dreamed it could be, and when I noticed I was being filmed I would often get self-conscious and distracted from making the record. Pretty soon, though, I started enjoying waving the camera around or else I would just kind of forget it was there.

When Jagjaguwar asked me earlier this year if I had any interesting artifacts from the making of Black Sheep Boy – photos or video footage or bonus tracks or anything – I initially told them no, because I had forgotten all about that little miniDV camera. I finally remembered, contacted Zachary in North Carolina, where he now lives with his wife and three children, and sent him on an errand digging through his house for the tapes.

It took some doing but he finally found them and mailed them to me and, once I managed to borrow a miniDV camera and figured out how to get them onto a hard drive (thanks to Nate Fernald and Lisa George-Decker), I discovered several hours of charmingly rough home-video footage covering rehearsal for the album, the recording of several of the songs in producer Brian Beattie’s house and garage studio, and the mastering and sequencing of the record during a torrential rainstorm in Wimberley, TX near the end of the year.

It’s so funny to me now that I was ever irritated or psyched out by that little camera because now I’m so grateful it was there. Watching this stuff again really rocketed me back in time. Thanks Zach!

PRE-ORDER the 10th Anniversary edition of Black Sheep Boy:
Jagjaguwar // iTunes // Amazon // Support your local independent store!

Watch the full documentary and find a complete list of tour dates below.






Okkervil River Tour Dates:
(more info and links here)

Fri. Nov. 20 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat ^ SOLD OUT
Sat. Nov. 21 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^ SOLD OUT
Sun. Nov. 22 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^ SOLD OUT
Mon. Nov. 23 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^
Tues. Nov. 24 – Boston, MA @ Royale ^
Sat. Dec. 12 – Austin, TX @ Cactus Cafe ^
Sun. Dec. 13 – Austin, TX @ Cactus Cafe ^ SOLD OUT
Mon. Dec. 14 – Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater &
Tues. Dec. 15 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge &
Wed. Dec. 16 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall &
Fri. Dec. 18 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall & SOLD OUT
Sat. Dec. 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge & SOLD OUT
Sun. Dec. 20 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge & SOLD OUT

^ = An Evening With Okkervil River
& = Okkervil River (solo)

Support your local independent store!

LISTEN // Okkervil River Share “I’m In Love With Susan Smith,” Announce 10th Anniversary Edition Of ‘Black Sheep Boy’ and Tour Dates


In celebration of the ten-year anniversary of this iconic album, Jagjaguwar is proud to present the Black Sheep Boy 10th Anniversary Edition, a three-LP set combining the classic Black Sheep Boy album and its counterpart the Black Sheep Boy Appendix with an all new unreleased album of covers entitled There Swims A Swan: full-band recordings made six months prior to the release of Black Sheep Boy which illuminate the album’s roots in the traditional American songbook. Featuring beautiful, emotional readings of songs popularized by such artists as Washington Phillips, Lead Belly, The Louvin Brothers, and Roscoe Holcomb, There Swims A Swan takes the listener through the songs that inspired Will Sheff while composing Black Sheep Boy and plays like a run-through of that album’s themes.

Black Sheep Boy is celebrated for its album artwork as well as its music, and the 10th Anniversary Edition collects that artwork in a meticulously reworked packaged, combining every previous element of (longtime Okkervil River illustrator) William Schaff’s imagery – not to mention a large new piece by Schaff depicting an updated Black Sheep Boy. The release also includes lengthy liner notes by Will Sheff walking the listener through the circumstances surrounding the album. Later this year Okkervil River will perform both Black Sheep Boy and Black Sheep Boy Appendix albums at a handful of shows. Not to mention, Will Sheff will have a short run of West Coast solo performances. Full list of dates below.

For Okkervil River the 10th Anniversary Edtion is a loving, comprehensive, richly expanded presentation of a record many consider to be on the of the band’s best. For those new to the band, this might be the best place to start, the first step on a long road, the opening to a forest you can get lost in.

via SCD // iTunes // Amazon // Your local independent store


Okkervil River’s Black Sheep Boy (10th Anniversary Edition) Tracklisting:
Volume I: Black Sheep Boy
1. Black Sheep Boy
2. For Real
3. In A Radio Song
4. Black
5. Get Big
6. A King And A Queen
7. A Stone
8. The Latest Toughs
9. Song Of Our So-Called Friend
10. So Come Back, I Am Waiting
11. A Glow

Volume II: Black Sheep Boy Appendix
1. Missing Children
2. No Key, No Plan
3. A Garden
4. Black Sheep Boy #4
5. The Next Four Months
6. Another Radio Song
7. A Forest
8. Last Love Song For Now

Volume III: There Swims A Swan
1. Goodnight Irene
2. I’m In Love With Susan Smith
3. See See Rider
4. Knoxville Girl
5. Satan is Real
6. Good Liquor Gonna Carry Me Down
7. Willow Tree
8. Moonshiner
9. Oh, The Wind And Rain
10. What are They Doing in Heaven Today
11. Trouble in Mind

Okkervil River Tour Dates:
Fri. Nov. 20 – Washington, DC @ Black Cat ^
Sat. Nov. 21 – New York, NY @ Bowery Ballroom ^
Tues. Nov. 24 – Cambridge, MA @ The Sinclair ^
Mon. Dec. 14 – Seattle, WA @ Columbia City Theater &
Tues. Dec. 15 – Portland, OR @ Doug Fir Lounge &
Fri. Dec. 18 – San Francisco, CA @ Swedish American Hall &
Sat. Dec. 19 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever &

^ = An Evening With Okkervil River
& = Okkervil River (solo)

LISTEN // Will Sheff & Oneida Featured in the Radio Drama ‘Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor’

Here’s your listening activity for the next hour. McSweeney’s presents Wayne Coyne’s Human Head-Shaped Tumor, a radio drama much like that of War of the Worlds. Premiering on KCRW last week, you’ll recognize many of the voices and music featured in the program; Will Sheff and Oneida both partook in the show centered around an imaginary tumor. Listen below!

Okkervil River Announce New Tour Dates, Play Cultivate Music Fest

Okkervil River are set to tour the United States, making stops in the South, Mid-Atlantic and Midwest throughout the month of August. They’ll also co-headline Denver’s Cultivate Music Festival with Best Coast this October. Cultivate is Chipotle’s FREE outdoor festival, created to bring together local farmers, celebrity chefs and great music. For more information on the fest, click HERE. See full list of tour dates below.

Download the second edition of Okkervil River’s Golden Opportunities series, featuring covers of songs by Bill Fay, Jim Sullivan and more. Find it HERE.

Tour Dates:
08/24/12 Baton Rouge, LA- Spanish Moon
08/25/12 Mobile, AL- Alabama Music Box
08/27/12 Charlotte, NC- Visulite Theatre
08/28/12 Charlottesville, VA- Jefferson Theater
08/29/12 Baltimore, MD- Ram’s Head Live
08/30/12 Millvale, PA- Mr. Small’s Theatre
08/31/12 Bloomington, IN- Upland Brewery
10/06/12 Denver, CO- Cultivate Music Festival @ Denver City Park w/ Best Coast

Okkervil River Release Golden Opportunities 2

As a follow-up to their 2007 Golden Opportunities Mixtape, Okkervil River is releasing yet another Free EP for fans! Golden Opportunities 2 is made up of covers from lesser-known musical gems like Motown session-player Ted Lucas and mysterious L.A. singer-songwriter Jim Sullivan.

The complete track listing is:
It is So Nice to Get Stoned (by Ted Lucas)
U.F.O. (by Jim Sullivan)
One Soul Less On Your Fiery List (by David McComb)
Plan D (by Bill Fay)
Dry Bones (American Traditional)

And it’s all available right now for free download on the Okkervil River web site!

Also, if you’ve missed Okkervil River live this year, you can catch Will Sheff solo on December 2nd at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Bird of Youth and Sondre Lerche.


The Motorway by The Besnard Lakes
Golden Lion by The Besnard Lakes
Boys Life by Small Black
No One Wants It To Happen To You by Small Black
Back At Belle's by Small Black
Words by Sharon Van Etten
Druganaut by Black Mountain
Black Mountain (Demo) by Black Mountain
Surrender by Briana Marela
I Don't Want to Let You Down by Sharon Van Etten
Just Like Blood by Sharon Van Etten

Necessary Evil by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

Dani by Briana Marela

Boys Life by Small Black

© 2015 Jagjaguwar. All rights reserved.