Okkervil River perform live in The Current's studios

  1. Listen Okkervil River perform live in The Current's studio

    Nov 1, 2013

On the way to their show tonight at First Avenue, Okkervil River stopped by The Current's studios to talk about and to play some songs off their new album, The Silver Gymnasium.

It's fitting Will Sheff of Okkervil River begins by telling Mac Wilson some memories of St. Paul, Minn.; Sheff — who graduated from Macalester College in 1998 — is a sentimental guy. He's really fascinated with memories, particularly those memories that are jogged when we visit a place we haven't been in a while.

And memories are what inspired Okkervil River's latest album, The Silver Gymnasium. Sheff says he wrote the album as a reflection on childhood, particularly the personal symbols and details, so he revisited Meriden, N.H., the town where he grew up. Even if the memories only matter to him, Sheff believes listeners will find the music relatable as they begin to consider the value of their own nostalgia.

Over the course of their conversation, Wilson and Sheff also discuss early synth instruments, Macalester College's Hüsker Dü-related urban myths, and how tape recorders and radios gave each of them their first forays into what it feels like to be a DJ.

This thoughtful and insightful interview concludes with some reflections on Lou Reed, followed by Okkervil River's cover of Lou Reed's song, "Cremation."

Songs Performed

"Black Nemo" off The Silver Gynmasium
"Down, Down the Deep River" off The Silver Gynmasium
"Cremation" (cover) from Lou Reed's 1992 album, Magic and Loss released on Sire Records

Okkervil River's album The Silver Gymnasium is out now on ATO Records.

Hosted by Mac Wilson
Produced by Lindsay Kimball
Engineered by Mike DeMark

Guests

  • Okkervil River

Resources

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2 Photos

  • Okkervil River perform in The Current's studios.
    Okkervil River perform in The Current's studios. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
  • Will Sheff of Okkervil River performs in The Current's studios.
    Will Sheff of Okkervil River performs in The Current's studios. (MPR photo/Nate Ryan)
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