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Bill Callahan

Performing Arts

Image courtesy of the Billions Corporation
Bill Callahan
with Hidden Ritual
Thu, July 7, 2011 8 PM
“The beauty here is rougher, meaner, darker…as emotionally intense as anything he has done.”—Uncut on Apocalypse

Widely admired singer/songwriter Bill Callahan, formerly frontman of Smog, performs his latest songs in this show featuring cuts from Apocalypse, his recent offering on the Drag City label. A signature chorus from that dark meditation exclaims, “One thing about this wild, wild country, it breaks a strong, strong mind.” From his roots as a lo-fi rock icon with an experimental bent to his more carefully wrought later albums, Bill Callahan’s many fans delight in his constant ability to turn lyrical twists with economy and poetic insight in a deadpan vocal style that mixes black humor and inner pathos with welcome glimmers of joy.

You can get a sense of what to expect from Pitchfork’s review of his recent live record, Rough Travel for a Rare Thing. “With his band providing lean and effective accompaniment…Rough Travel flows. Callahan's voice, having grown richer and deeper over the years, is front and center, putting the focus squarely on the words and the way he phrases them.… He knows when to leave space, and he has a way of making hard, clear images stay in your mind.… Rough Travel…affirms the authority of Callahan's songwriting. No wonder writers tend to love him.”

Indie rock quintet Hidden Ritual, also from Austin, open the show.


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