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.

Circuit des Yeux

At just 22 years old, Indiana's Haley Fohr has already undergone the sort of transformation that scarcely strikes musicians two or three times her age. The release this year of Portrait, her third solo album as Circuit des Yeux (in addition to two EP releases — all on the long-running Minneapolis art-rock label De Stijl), reveals a singer-songwriter with the incredibly rare power of immediate communication. You can compare her to others who've come before — even names ranging from Abbey Lincoln to Bob Dylan and (the curse of every recent singer who happens to be female) Cat Power's Chan Marshall — but only in that Fohr shares their unmistakeable and arresting ability to connect the personal with the universal. Like a bolt, she makes listeners understand exactly where she's coming from, and where they stand in relation, and what it all means. Clearly, as a musician, Fohr is an artist in full, and as an artist, she is constantly in motion.

We know this in part because the road that led her to this place is hardly uncommon: After studying classical music as a kid, she became drawn to the guitar as a teenager, and studied it on her own even as she took lessons in voice. From there, in quick succession (like everything else for Circuit des Yeux), Fohr was seduced by the two musical movements that bookend America's 20th century: the blues and punk rock. It's testament to her creative growth that she's built Circuit des Yeux's music on the lessons of both, without resembling either. In her songs, Fohr accesses the core of the blues, channeling currents of pain and awareness through punk's transits of honesty and directness with her deep, multihued voice and unwavering expression. It's this emotionally charged, sui generis presence that led Vogue Paris, in the wake of Circuit des Yeux's European tour earlier this year, to declare that Fohr "sings as if she had lived a thousand lives, intense and tender at once."

Remarkably, even as her work as Circuit des Yeux has progressed rapidly, Fohr has moved toward dual degrees at Indiana University, though in light of her music it might not be surprising to learn she'll graduate this year with degrees in Ethnomusicology and Recording Arts. A veteran of international touring as well as the recording studio, and having easily navigated academia — both institutional and that inherited from artists who came before — Circuit des Yeux is prepared to write her next chapter.

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