Sunday, September 03, 2006

Rock Bottom

A blog that's new to me, The Yellow Stereo, has posted in mp3 a complete Joanna Newsom show from Queen Elizabeth Hall, sometime in 2005. The quality isn't terrific, and given the stripped-down nature of The Milk-Eyed Mender, songs from that album aren't all that different, but it does contain some songs from the upcoming Ys.

Reading The Yellow Stereo's post, I'm reminded that indiefolkforever favorite Bill Callahan, aka Smog, will be contributing to Ys.

Smog's got a sort-of-recent EP out, Rock Bottom Riser, which combines rerecordings of two of the best tracks from last year's A River Ain't Too Much To Love with two new tracks and two videos for the album tracks. The spare reading here of "Rock Bottom Riser" is classic Smog, circa Knock Knock - wherein his unsentimental baritone, so often making pitch-black fun, is 98% sincere, leaving you with a totally comforting 2% of uncertainty. This is music to listen to disoriented in the dark after an afternoon nap in winter.

Smog is hitting the road in what I'm pretty sure is a solo tour, and seeing him solo is the best way to enjoy the tension between the serious and silly sides of Bill Callahan. Tour dates begin tomorrow and are listed at the botom of his Drag City page, which also has videos for "Rock Bottom Riser" and "I Feel Like the Mother of the World".

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