New Free Okkervil River EP

So what are you giving your friends this Christmas? Likely trumping that pair of socks, Will Sheff & Co. are passing along the Golden Opportunities Mixtape, a nine-song collection of eight covers and one live original (the holiday appropriate “Listening To Otis Redding At Home During Christmas”) for free download at their (currently crashed) website. The covers includes stabs at John Cale, Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell, among others. You get more than just the sounds with the download, though: The ever-wordy Okkervil provide descriptive liner notes and the extremely Christmas-y cover art pictured below. In the liners, Will proclaims his love for Randy Newman (as if we didn’t already know!), gives anecdotes about traveling to NYC and reading Ed Sanders (this in reference to a cover of the Fugs, of course), and discusses how he ended up translating and covering Serge Gainsbourg (Hey, maybe he can help with that new Lily Allen commercial). In fact, he gives so much info for each track, it’s like he’s trying to tell us something … maybe? Camp Okkervil mentions thematic ties between the cover choices and The Stage Names. Care to probe deeper? Ask Will yourself by dropping a line to mixtape at okkervil river dot com. Answers will be posted on 12/14 (yes, that’s this Friday). Get listening and scribbling.