New Music from Bill Callahan

Long have I followed the career of Smog, or Bill Callahan, as we know him now, so when he became one of the many musicians to move to Austin, I was hopping with joy, hoping we’d get to see more of him around town.  We have been so lucky, as he popped up on numerous occasions, not to mention random talks, such as his upcoming appearance at Book People on April 10th.  But, more important is his music, and P4k premiered a new song yesterday from the gent in preparation for his new record, Apocalypse, which comes out April 19th on Drag City.  If we’re going off this track, it’s going to be your usual fair, with trickling guitar work and Bill’s soft and smoky voice.  Yeah, that’s right, it’s going to be goo.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/03/Bill-Callahan-Babys-Breath.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Baby’s Breath [MP3]

Show Preview: Bill Callahan @ Mohawk (1/13)

Date 1/13/11
Location Mohawk
Doors 9pm
Tickets $5 @ Door

Austin’s very own Bill Callahan has another show planned on the inside stage at Mohawk on Thursday night.  This show is a special one as proceeds will benefit Safeplace and Front Steps in Austin.  Joining Mr. Callahan on stage are fellow locals Hidden Ritual.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bill-callahan-eid-ma-clack-shaw.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw [MP3]

FT5: Things to Do While Listening to Music

If you find yourself here, odds are that you’re probably a huge music fan, which means that music is going to play a predominant role in your life.  I surveyed many friends, and mostly talked to myself, trying to figure out what the majority of people are doing when they decide to jam out.  Of course, seeing as I’m the writer, I had to put my own personal touch on this, and thus the ranking of said practices while listening to music.

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Bill Callahan @ St. David’s Church (12/20)

122009_stdavids_billcallahan

Date 12/20/09
Location St. David’s Church
Doors 4pm
Tickets $12 from Frontgate

Here’s another chance for you to catch the always incredible Bill Callahan in Austin.  This time he’s playing at the very intimate St. David’s Church downtown.  Callahan will be joined by opener Lights.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bill-callahan-eid-ma-clack-shaw.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw [MP3]

Top 10 Austin Albums Of 2009

1204top5coverWe thought about this long and hard, thinking over our favorite releases from bands located in Austin over the last year.  Blood was spilled, jabs were thrown, but overall, we feel like we got our hands around the best releases that we feel epitomized the Austin scene in 2009.  Don’t forget, we’re particular to our tastes, so while you may disagree, we reserve the right to stand by these ten acts and their albums from 09′.  Follow the jump for full list.
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Bill Callahan @ The Parish (7/5)

billThe great Bill Callahan is making a return to The Parish on Sunday night and we’re hoping you’ll make it out if you missed him when he played at Waterloo in May.  Opening support for this one will be provided by Follow that Bird who start things off around 9pm.  Tickets are on sale now for $12.

[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bill-callahan-eid-ma-clack-shaw.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw [MP3]

Bill Callahan – Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle

billRating: ★★★★☆

Austin resident Bill Callahan is more widely known for his releases under the Smog moniker, but the release of his second “solo” album will surely have heads turning in the direction of his future; his most recent ventures seem to be the most focused of any of his releases, which definitely prove beneficial to the listener.

Of course, there is really only one instrument on this album that is truly worthy of discussion, and that has to be the ragged baritone vocals of Callahan himself.  His voice is easily identifiable, but it also serves as the predominant element that courses through the entirety of the album.  Everything else seems to play second-fiddle to the vocals, and one can presume that that is precisely where Callahan would like to leave us.

Take, for instance, “Eid Ma Clack Shaw,” the album’s first released single.  The song is comprised mostly of two elements: one being the voice of Callahan, the other being tinkering piano that bounces gleefully in step with the vocals. “The Wind and the Dove” follows just after, and you’re caught on the brief moments when the pitch and delivery seem to change just the slightest bit, creating a sense of reserve.  Both songs emphasize the voice rather than the music, although this isn’t saying that the music is altogether uninteresting. One merely needs to listen to the gentleness in the production, even when other elements are added to the textural mix of the song, such as the female vocals that filter in and out of “Rococo Zephyr.”

This entire outing seems to come out of a place of reserve, as if Callahan is taking his time to think things through, watching the world around slowly go by each day.  Lyrically, the songs approach various levels of observation and commentary on fairly mundane things, but developed in the way only Bill can do.  Even the song titles seem to illustrate the idea of thought, and other such processes, which is apparently where a lot of the album stems from, as Bill admits to being a bit restless during the recording of the majority of the album.

At the end of the journey, you’ll find one of the longest songs in the Bill Callahan/Smog repertoire, which isn’t entirely a bad thing.  It’s the perfect bookend to the album, as the narrator here admits that it’s time to put some things away, such as God.  With the album coming to a close, it’s time to put it away, as Bill has clearly made his point.  He’s crafted a set of mellow semi-folk tunes using his voice as the instrument and his lyrics as your guide through his world and his thoughts.  It’s a good run through from start to finish.

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/03-the-wind-and-the-dove.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – The Wind and the Dove [MP3]

New Tunes from Bill Callahan

billWe know this is a few days late, but seeing as we were busy enjoying SXSW, we didn’t have time to throw this up right away, which is a shame because we love our fellow Austinite, Bill Callahan.  This track is off his forthcoming record Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle, which hits stores April 14th on Drag City. 

[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/03/bill-callahan-eid-ma-clack-shaw.mp3]

Download: Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw [MP3]

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