It's no secret that Okkervil River's Will Sheff has taken part in some of this fledgling decades most brilliant concept albums. His band, after all, has been the main purveyors of concept albums in recent years with Black Sheep Boy, The Stage Names, and The Stand Ins, three records that each show impressive and cinematic narrative skills, being released back to back. Taking this into consideration, it's not exactly unexpected to learn that Sheff is taking part in Brian Beattie's forthcoming musical, Ivy and the Wicker Suitcase, but that doesn't mean it's any less exciting, especially when you consider what a champ cast Beattie has cast Sheff alongside.
Apparently, Ivy and The Wicker Suitcase is an "epic musical audio drama wrapped inside a fully illustrated book", the likes of which would make Anais Mitchell's Hadestown look like child's play. According to the Kickstarter (more about that later!), "The story is based in Austin, Tx., in 1938. The first day of summer vacation. Hidden away down in her favorite creek, 10 year old Ivy Wire sits with her battered guitar singing to the birds and the trees. Suddenly the sky darkens and she follows a mockingbird into a nearby cave. She hears a monstrous roar and sees a tumbling wall of muddy water rushing towards her. 'FLASH FLOOD!!'. She barely escapes by scampering into a hole, but she immediately starts plunging into darkness. Thus begins her descent into the Underworld."
Ivy and The Wicker Suitcase features the legendary Daniel Johnston as the Lord of the Underworld, Bill "Smog" Callahan as a God-like diety, and the love of my life, the aforementioned Sheff, as the "chief admissions officer of the eternal incarceration system".
The more astute amongst you might have noticed that I mentioned the phrase "Kickstarter" up there and you know what that means - Beattie needs your help! The cast of Ivy and The Wicker Suitcase is attempting to raise a hefty ten grand in the next twenty five days. Now, I can't imagine there's any lack of people wanting to toss a few bucks to hear Johnston warble away as Satan while Callahan's seductive croon makes ladies everywhere want to get to know Ivy's Christ-figure just a little bit more personally, but $10,000 is quite the sum to raise. Given the fact that a mere $10 will snag you a sweet poster of some of Ivy's fantastical artwork, it'd be a shame not to give to Beattie and company. Honestly, if you only back one Kickstarter this year, you should probably make it that of Ivy and The Wicker Suitcase if only for the fact that a project as ambitious as this is either going to be a trainwreck they'll be talking about for ages or a epically breathtaking masterpiece. Either way, the results will be noteworthy!
What are you waiting for? Pledge away!