Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan

Bill Callahan showed up on our porch in 1991 saying his name was Smog.
We took him in and he has been with us ever since. We think you will feel the same way about him once you look into his hungry eyes. Over the years he reminisced about "Cold Blooded Old Times" and told us to "Dress Sexy At My Funeral," releasing over twenty records as Smog and then, unfettered, as Bill Callahan. He is a recording studio guru, a tastefully rampant singer-songwriter, a heartthrob, a visual artist, a statesman for the times and an author.
After a couple albums recorded at home in the early 90's, he began recording in studios and teamed up with potent individuals such as musician/arranger Jim O'Rourke. His output has been constant for two decades and his tours have become larger and more impressive. Bill's songs have been featured in films such as High Fidelity, Dead Man's Shoes, and Youth in Revolt, all of which feature Zach Galifinakis (or should). Artists as diverse as Gil Scott-Heron, Flaming Lips and Cat Power have recorded his songs.
In 2007 Bill Callahan dropped the pseudonym and begin releasing his albums under his own name.
2009 saw the orchestrated juggernaut Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle. The album received terrific reviews across the board and then it took off, becoming a fixture on top-10 lists of 2009, including 2nd best album in MOJO (the 2nd best magazine in England!).
A live LP came next, Rough Travel for a Rare Thing, which was a critic's choice review in the NY Times. This must mean he's a force on stage, yes yes?
Summer of 2010, Callahan published his first work of fiction, Letters To Emma Bowlcut. The dapper novelette features sixty-two letters from a nameless protagonist to a woman he saw at a party. The book is cutting, discursive, tender and laced with punch lines. Funny ones.
Callahan has performed readings from the book for audiences in New York, London and Chicago, among other cities.
As we edge ever closer to the fateful year 2012, Bill Callahan jumps the gun with his own personal Apocalypse (04/19/11). This is important work. Brace yourself. Apocalypse is coming.

Nathan Bowles

Nathan Bowles is a multi-instrumentalist musician and teacher living in the mountains of southwestern Virginia. His work, both as an accomplished solo artist and as a sought-after ensemble player, explores the rugged country between the poles of Appalachian old-time traditions and ecstatic, minimalist drone. Although his recent solo recordings prominently feature his virtuosic banjo, Bowles is also widely recognized as a drummer, and he considers himself first and foremost a percussionist, with banjo as a natural extension of his percussive practice.

He and his bandmates in the popular and critically acclaimed old-time group the Black Twig Pickers steep themselves in local traditions of Appalachian folk music and dance, very much a vital part of cultural life in the region. As a member of the long-running improvisational drone outfit Pelt, Bowles focuses on the various sonic possibilities inherent in struck and bowed percussion—metal, wood, skin, or otherwise. When playing by his lonesome under his birth name, he prefers either minimal and hyper-nuanced percussive drone or tranced-out solo clawhammer banjo. Bowles has also recorded, collaborated, and performed with Steve Gunn, Jack Rose, Hiss Golden Messenger, Black Dirt Oak, Scott Verrastro, Pigeons, Spiral Joy Band, and others.

The seven songs on his second solo album Nansemond deploy banjo, percussion, piano, tapes, and—for the first time—his robust voice, moving effortlessly between composed sections, improvised passages, and field recordings. The Nansemond suite demonstrates the elasticity of Appalachian and Piedmont stringband music and the inherent connections, when those forms are distended, dilated, and dissected—as in the “Sleepy Lake” pieces, “Chuckatuck,” or “Golden Floaters/Hog Jank”—to contemporary improvised and post-minimalist avant-garde music. Bowles’ inventive playing on the album somehow finds common ground between tradition-bearing masters like Dock Boggs, Dink Roberts, and Etta Baker and the outré compositional experiments and extended techniques of Paul Metzger, Clive Palmer, and Henry Flynt. But these two strains always feel purposefully and organically integrated, not distinct or hierarchical, and that elegant and novel elision is perhaps the most notable accomplishment of these hypnotic recordings: they respectfully refuse to accept the porous boundaries between Southern vernacular music and modernism.

$32.00 - $36.00

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