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Callahan bill

The Artist Formerly Known As Smog

Perhaps he's been inspired by the way his other half, Joanna Newsom, goes about her work. Perhaps he's up to some clever contract shenanigans. Whatever the real reason, it's pretty easy to read high creative significance into Bill Callahan's decision to drop the Smog brand and release this fine new album, "Woke On A Whaleheart", under his real name.

Wake Up!

Thanks to all your responses over the past few days. A couple of people have asked me to write about the Kings Of Leon and Modest Mouse albums, both of which I have here. But to be honest, I'm not hugely keen on either (save the first track of the Kings album, "Knocked Up", which is the best thing they've done by far). The point of Wild Mercury Sound, I guess, is simply to write about things I care for.

I Want To Take You Higher

There's a great, contentious review in the next issue of Uncut by Peter Shapiro. Addressing the expanded reissues of their first seven albums, Peter asserts, "Sly & the Family Stone were the quintessential artists of the 1960s - the only ones who actually put the rhetoric of ‘60s idealism into practice"

Tex Appeal

Southern gothic via Manchester

Hayden – Elk-Lake Serenade

Three years ago, Skyscraper National Park heralded the arrival of Hayden Desser as heir to the mumbling miserablism of Smog's Bill Callahan. Like the latter, Toronto-born Hayden's nagging melodies and deadpan delivery occupy their own peculiar kingdom. His fourth LP finds him applying sonic bluster to the usual sad-slow creep. "Hollywood Ending", for example, is a raucous tale of being caught up in a blockbuster outside his front door.

EZT – Goodbye Little Doll

Smog/Palace mucker meets (and matches) his mentors

Smog – Supper

Another foray into the troubled mind of Bill Callahan

Shots In The Dark

Clint Eastwood's classic final word on the western genre
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