5 Reasons to go see: Bill Callahan
- Doug Johnstone
- 14 August 2009
1) For the voice
The 43-year-old American lo-fi singer songwriter is a contemporary of the likes of Will Oldham and Jim O’Rourke, and is in possession of one of the finest, most moving baritone voices in the business.
2) For the schizophrenia
Callahan only recently began releasing albums as himself, previously having delivered a fine body of work as first Smog, then, for no obvious reason, (Smog). Recent live shows have featured plenty tunes from each incarnation.
3) For the black humour
Callahan’s morose delivery often hides a deadpan sense of humour, frequently missed by reviewers. ‘Dress Sexy at My Funeral’ being a case in point, likewise the entire album Dongs of Sevotion.
4) For the poetry
Over a career spanning thirteen albums, Callahan has displayed a beautiful lyricism rarely matched. In classic tune ‘Cold Blooded Old Times’ he conjured up this line – ‘the kind of memories that turn your bones to glass’. Anyone who can write that is a poet in our book.
5) Cos Nick Hornby / John Cusack says you should
The aforementioned ‘Cold Blooded Old Times’ features in both book and film of High Fidelity, for what that’s worth.
Stereo, Glasgow, Sun 23 Aug.