Okkervil River offers free download of cover tracks 

Brainy alternative outfit Okkervil River has always boasted some rather arcane influences.

Their name, for instance, was inspired by a short story by obscure Russian author Tatyana Tolstaya. And now they’re proudly announcing their influences via “Golden Opportunities 2,” a free download available at their website, www.okkervilriver.com.

Operative word here: “free.”

It follows an earlier gratis download, the “Golden Opportunities Mixtape,” songs they tracked on the road during their “The Stage Names” tour in 2007.

But “Golden Opportunities 2” is a collection of five conceptually related covers, and — unlike their intricate new “I Am Very Far” album — they were all recorded in their native Austin on two-track, in a one-day session at Premium Recording studio.

The set includes Ted Lucas’ “It Is So Nice To Get Stoned,” “Plan D” by Bill Fay, the American traditional “Dry Bones,” “One Less Soul On Your Fiery List” by the great Australian band The Triffids, and “U.F.O.,” by Jim Sullivan, an artist who recorded one surreal masterpiece then disappeared forever into the New Mexico desert.

Okkervil River — go to the head of the ultracool class!

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Tom Lanham

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