terça-feira, 3 de fevereiro de 2009

lembrete: April 14

Tuba-voiced depressive Bill Callahan used to call himself Smog, but he's been going by his given name ever since 2007's Woke on a Whaleheart. That change in moniker was supposed to signal a transition to happier music (or, at least, to less cripplingly bitter music), but in the time since Whaleheart, he broke up with Joanna Newsom, and now she's going out with fucking Andy Samberg.

So we'll see just how committed to positivity Callahan still is on April 14, when his longtime label Drag City releases Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle, Callahan's second album under his government name. That grammatically convoluted title makes its own kind of sense. Eagles, after all, don't generally have to worry about losing their girlfriends to sketch comics.



Few took notice when Kath Bloom retreated from the New York folk scene in the 1980s. Her disappearance is neither as romantic like Vashti Bunyan's bucolic sojourn nor as storied as Cat Stevens' conversion: On hard times, Bloom moved to rural New England to raise her sons. Two decades later, Australian label Chapter Music has reissued the bulk of her catalogue, including two albums with Loren Connors, Finally in 2005, and the gorgeous Terror in 2008. A tribute album seems like an obvious epilogue to that back-in-print campaign: Loving Takes This Course features testimonial covers by Devendra Banhart, the Concretes, Mark Kozelek, Marianne Dissard, and the Dodos.

The standout track may be Bill Callahan's cover of "The Breeze/My Baby Cries", a devastating medley from her 1982 album with Connors, Sing the Children Over. Bloom sounds so weary on the original-- exhausted by the simple act of living-- and Callahan knows he can't re-create that fragility. Instead, over a simple guitar theme, barely-there percussion, and mood-setting keyboard accompaniment, his self-reflection is more stoic, yet just as emotionally precarious, and his line readings make Bloom's lyrics starkly ominous. There's an entire break-up (mental or romantic, you choose) in the opening lines "I'd like to touch you, but I don't know how," and his insistence that "the breeze will kill me" sounds genuinely haunted and resigned. "The Breeze/My Baby Cries" is that rare find: a cover that adds depth to the original and a tribute album track that sounds absolutely essential.

(aquele início da canção calca-me de uma maneira.)

Arquivo do blogue

«I always contradict myself»

Richard Burton em Bitter Victory, de Nicholas Ray.