Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

Okkervil River Is Dead. Long Live Okkervil River!

okkervil river
PrintOkkervil River released its eighth full-length album on September 9th. Titled Away, the record comes three years after the band’s seventh album, The Silver GymnasiumAway departs from the 1980s influence so prominent on The Silver Gymnasium, moving into slower, more orchestral territory—a new step for the band.

In a statement about the album published in May 2016, bandleader Will Sheff offered some information on the background of Away. Sheff describes 2013 through 2015 as a strange time, with the loss of connections in the music industry and the death of his grandfather. A retreat to the Catskills provided an opportunity for him to clear his head, and to use Sheff’s own words, “[n]ew songs were coming fast…I realized I was writing a death story for a part of my life that had, buried inside of it, a path I could follow that might let me go somewhere new.”

Related Videos
Comes Indiana Through The Smoke

Opening track “Okkervil River R.I.P.” immediately signals the path Sheff found. The track is slow and heavy with emotion. The track is filled with dark scenes and images (“I see my grandfather, T. Holmes ‘Bud’ Moore, laid up in his hospital clothes. Or I think about Judee Sill, dying in some trailer park on cocaine and codeine, all alone.”), and just as the song hits emotional rock bottom, there is a new light: “But I didn’t open up my mouth just to piss and moan—No way!” Suddenly the air glitters, and the narrator wants to hear music again.

Okkervil River - Okkervil River R.I.P. (Official Video)

“The Industry,” one of Away‘s early singles is one of the album’s more immediately catchy tracks. Written after Sheff received some (unspecified) bad news, the song is a powerful lament about the state of the music industry with myriad accusations. The accusations are non-specific, save one directed at Sheff himself: “And look at us…as we’re trying to bum-rush that VIP up there…but was that ever what we even wanted to be?” The final verse suggests all may not be lost, “Do you remember…when some record was enough to make you raise your fist…Well, I never thought I’d feel like that again.”

Okkervil River - The Industry (Official Video)

Okkervil River’s Away is out now through ATO Records and available on Amazon, ATO Records’ online store, and iTunes.

F1 Saudi Arabian GP live stream: Watch Formula 1 for free
Formula 1 driver exiting turn.

The F1 Championship continues with the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix commencing soon. It's going to be an exciting race with Max Verstappen sure to want to build on his victory in Bahrain earlier this month. If you're keen to see the latest F1 Saudi Arabian live stream, there's a particularly great way to do so and even better -- it won't cost you a cent. Intrigued to know more? Here's all you need to know about how to watch the thrilling race.
Watch the free Saudi Arabian GP live stream
The Saudi Arabian Grand Prix is being aired for free in Austria and Luxembourg. This is great news for those in the countries, but devastating for residents traveling abroad who want to watch the action unfold live in their local language -- especially when it's free-to-watch at home. It's only fitting that an Austrian currently in the United States would want to watch the race in Austrian and not English, right? This is completely safe and legal to do with a VPN like NordVPN. Just install it, choose to the location you wish to connect to, then fire up broadcast. The free streams are ORF in Austria or RTL Zwee in Luxembourg.

Unfortunately, there isn't a free Saudi Arabian GP live stream for residents of other countries. Elsewhere, folks will need to tune in through a local broadcast partner. The race is available on ESPN in the United States, and the best way to tune in is through fuboTV, which offers a one-week free trial to new customers In the United Kingdom, it's available on Sky Sports F1, and over in Canada it's being broadcast in English through TNS and in French through RDS. There are some other options available as well -- below we'll talk you through the different ways you can tune in locally in the United States in more detail.

Read more
Calvin and Hobbes mastermind Bill Watterson is back – but no tigers this time around
Calvin and Hobbes comic Bill Watterson is back with a project nothing like his famed comic strip
man reading

Get ready, comic and graphic novel fans. Calvin and Hobbes comic strips provided daily humor to newspaper readers for more than a decade. Now, its creator, Bill Watterson, is returning with a grown-up tale that’s nothing like his famous comic strip featuring a cute six-year-old boy and his even more adorable stuffed tiger.

The Mysteries, authored by Bill Watterson and illustrated by John Kascht, will of course be picture-perfect. However, the tale will be a dark one. Its description on Amazon calls it a “fable for grown-ups.” Readers will head back in time to a long-ago kingdom experiencing unexplainable challenges during The Mysteries. A king wants to end the madness and sends his knights to figure out why these calamities continue to inflict on the kingdom.

Read more
Side by side: See how a pitcher changed his windup because of new MLB rules
The MLB rule changes are altering the game. Perhaps most noticeably, the new rule book is changing the ways pitchers pitch.
baseball on pitchers mound

If you didn't think the new rules changed the way big leaguers play the game, think again. The newest rule book additions, covering everything from enlarged, pizza box-sized bases to how infielders can line up before a pitch, are being felt by players and viewers alike. For some players, it's out with the old and in with the new, as the old ways are no longer legal.

Perhaps the most obvious comparative look comes from this Reddit thread, which highlighted a post from @pitchingninja. It shows Luis Garcia, pro Venezuelan baller and Houston Astros pitcher, throwing as he might have last season versus this season, when the new rules took effect. It's a dramatic before and after that shows just how significant some of these MLB rule changes may prove to be.

Read more