Tag: Bill Callahan

  • Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film: For Fans Only

    If you’re not already a fan of indie country crooner Bill Callahan, watching Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film will be like attending an hour-long set of a capable musician you’ll probably forget about by the next day. Directed by Callahan’s partner, Hanly Banks, the misleadingly titled Apocalypse — actually the name of the singer’s […]

  • SMOG CHECK

    As one of indie rock and alt-country’s most enigmatic and downright recalcitrant figures, Bill Callahan has always left his fans wanting more. Whether working under the moniker (Smog) (with or without parentheses) or his given name, he has always recorded songs that, through characters, seemed to give glimpses of who he is. A recent documentary, […]

  • Cass McCombs

    This currently L.A.-based alt-folk enigma just released a new album called Wit’s End that, come Pazz & Jop time, will almost certainly do battle with Bill Callahan’s Apocalypse as 2011’s most acclaimed interrogation of the sensitive singer/songwriter tradition. Check out McCombs’s show tonight to see how well he maintains that poker face onstage. With Jana […]

  • LESS IS MORE

    After nearly 20 years as Smog, lo-fi hero Bill Callahan has cleared the air. (Yes, this is what you come to Voice Choices for: The searing, unrivaled mastery of bold puns.) The folk-pop stalwart, who released some 12 boldly spare records under his solo pseudonym (notably, 1993’s stately Julius Caesar), is now happy to use […]

  • NORTH BY NORTHSIDE

    All the borough’s a stage at Northside Festival, Williamsburg and Greenpoint’s plucky answer to the mass indie bedlam of the CMJ Marathon. The new event, hosted by the L Magazine, flings open the Pabst-stained doors of nearly every music venue in the two nabes for four days of up-and-strutting rock, electro, hip-hop, and more. The […]

  • Kath Bloom

    Only if your ears were particularly attuned would you recall the name Kath Bloom. She sang alongside Loren Mazzacane Connors back in the ’80s and, a decade later, had her song “Come Here” soundtrack Ethan Hawke and Juliette Binoche’s love affair in Before Sunrise. She’s always had musicians in her corner though and, come April, […]

  • Everyone’s Gone to the Dentist

    This summer, people my age—mid-twenties, that is—wore white jeans, khakis, topsiders, deck shoes, loafers, pastel shorts, and suntans. It arrived under the guise of the season, this Vineyard wear—a nod to an adult lifestyle nowhere near our grasp. There was a sense that something important was about to emerge: a way to skip those striver […]

  • Deadpan Bard Takes His Own Name, Not in Vain

    The fact that Bill Callahan’s most recent LP sheds his well-worn Smog alias should be of little consequence—over the course of a dozen Drag City releases, his deadpan baritone and evocative, rewarding talents as a songwriter have become as familiar to snap-button indies as his given name. And yet the fact that Woke on a […]

  • Bleak Songster Canters South, Worries About Paws, Shouts ‘Fuck All Y’all’

    Bill Callahan has been camouflaging himself in Smog—w/ or w/out ( )s—and clandestinely cutting foggy lo-fi bleariness for nigh on 20 years. River keeps getting called his “rebirth” record, but that’d make it his 13th. Twelve albums and summers ago, this Chicagoan decreed “I am Star Wars today!”; embarrassed now by such sentiment, the beaten […]

  • Music

    Saving All My Rage for You The last time I saw Bill Callahan, a/k/a Smog, was many years ago, when he opened for Will Oldham, a/k/a Palace (yes, that many years ago). The after-show debate had been: Would you rather be stuck in a room alone with Callahan or Oldham? We settled on Callahan over […]