So Smog's Bill Callahan -- who's now recording under his own name -- is playing Blueberry Hill's Duck Room on Friday night with Shearwater's Jonathan Meiburg. Christian Schaeffer had this to say in this week's paper:
With an affectless baritone voice and sheaves of poignant, idiosyncratic songs, Bill Callahan cut a dashing figure as the man behind Smog, one of first and best one-man bands in the early-'90s underground. Callahan began an identity shift as Smog became the parenthetical (Smog), and eventually just chucked the whole dirty business and is now flying under his own name. Whatever the spine of the CD says, Callahan's version of lo-fi, low-end indie rock mutates every few records, from mannered orchestration to dirty, dirge-like blues. Folksy lightness even permeates many of the best tracks on last year's Woke on a Whaleheart, the first record under his Christian name. The circular, hypnotic "Sycamore" sounds like Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love" as played at a Devendra Banhart campfire jamboree. Later on the album, a simple piano figure guides "Night" as Callahan turns reflective.
In honor of tomorrow night's gig, a generous benefactor found a soundboard recording of Smog from October 19, 1995 at Cicero's in St. Louis. No tracklisting, and it's one big MP3. But it's still almost an hour of vintage Callahan -- and Smog. Download and enjoy.