In today’s mail: an advance copy of Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, the new album by Bill Callahan (the man formerly known as Smog). Callahan’s 2007 release, Woke On A Whaleheart, was understated and quite funny, lyrically, in a Lee Hazlewood kind of way; it really took a few listens for the dryly clever folk/pop songs to seep in. Which is why it’s so puzzling that Callahan’s label, Drag City (now identifying itself as “Drag City Alternative Medicine” on its mailing labels), saw fit to discourage illegal copying and filesharing of the similarly low-key Eagle by marring each track with … sounds of cars honking.
How did it come to this? (Wait, don’t answer that.) At least the honking is of the slightly wheezy, beeping variety. We’re thinking maybe it’s a Model T air-bulb horn run through a tube amp and recorded by Steve Albini.
Still, we can’t be mad at Drag City. They sent us the best Christmas card we’ve ever received.
“Diamond Dancer” from Woke On A Whaleheart: