What does the success mean to artists in the current music landscape, beyond mere survival?
One answer is longevity; another is impact.
On Friday at the Black Cat, Okkervil River demonstrated their achievements in longevity and impact to a sold out crowd. Billed as "An Evening with Okkervil River," the band eased into, exploded through, and even managed to shed new light on their first great album (in what would become a run of three straight), Black Sheep Boy.
Released in 2005, Black Sheep Boy delivered on the promise of earlier efforts. Drawing from a cover of a Tim Hardin song about heroin addiction, the album plunges into themes of devotion, heartbreak, and loss. But that is not to say it is slow or monotonous. Each song has its own specific rhythm and color, with tracks like "For Real" and "Black" eliminating any doubt about whether the band can, or does, rock.