Hello all followers, all gentrified persons, all positively fourth streets. Welcome to another edition of Words From The Midwest.
As I’m sitting here writing this, I am pouring sweat. Not because I’ve done anything remotely physical today (although I did go for a long walk) but because it’s fucking hot out. Muggy, humid bullshit weather. It’s days like these I sit and wonder why I always look forward to the summer during winter. I mean, I hate the winter, don’t get me wrong, but my clothes and style and overall temperament is well suited for colder temperatures. Clearly the best season is autumn. Clearly.
I’ve had a pretty excellent few days, if you must know. But last night I drank too much so today has been a complete and utter wash spent sleeping and laying around and generally feeling like garbage. But oh well, you might say. Yes, oh well.
I’m listening to Okkervil River like usual. They are, in my not-so-humble opinion, the greatest band in the world today. I first heard them some seven years ago, right around the time The Stage Names came out. I’ve written before about how when I first listened to it I inexplicably put it back on the shelf for close to a year and when I finally gave it another chance I completely fell in love. Will Sheff is one of the five best lyricists alive and he – along with Conor Oberst and Damien Rice – pretty much taught me how to sing. His voice isn’t fantastic and yet it’s brilliant in its simplicity. He himself has written that when he started out he had problems with pitch. I had the same problem and sometimes still do but what his voice taught me was that your soul escapes through singing and if you put enough of yourself into how you do it you’re bound to impress at least yourself, eventually. And eventually he became a damn fine singer and front man. It doesn’t hurt that he and his band are perfectly organised and their arrangements never disappoint. In fact, they’re usually goddamn perfect.
I got a new hat a few days ago. I’m not sure if I told you that. It’s blue and red and has a block C on the front. I think it’s for Cleveland but it just as well might be for Cincinnati.
I think I’ll stop there as I really just want to keep writing about Okkervil River and really you should stop reading this immediately and go get The Stage Names and The Stand Ins and The Silver Gymnasium. And once you listen to those delve into the rest of their catalogue. It’s brilliant.