Monday, August 15, 2005
I'll admit this up front: I'm a lapsed Smog fan. Sometime after 1995's 'Wild Love', I sort of lost track of Bill Callahan. It certainly wasn't the album's fault, I did love that record... but I suppose there were just too many other bands occupying my ears at the time.
Even though I reconnected with 2003's 'Supper', and quite like the more recent 'A River Ain't Too Much To Love', it's the debut, 1994's 'Julius Caesar', and the solo shows he used to play back then, that define him for me. I'm sort of stuck there, so it's an slightly unfair way to come at a 2005 full-band live performance. It also didn't help that I was fairly exhausted from the weird work week and our own live set that opened up the night... along with the fact that I had to endure a performance from Feathers, but more on that later.
So while I dug a few songs from the Smog set (especially the beautiful 'Our Anniversary'), on the whole it sort of blended together, and was a far cry from the haunting solo performances I so vividly recall. And though I can't fault Mr. Callahan for ignoring his first three albums (the oldest songs were a couple from 1997's 'Red Apple Falls'), those are the ones I'm closest to. It says a lot about my mood that night that I actually enjoy this recording more than I thought I did ...
SMOGFor some stellar photos from the night, you must check out Sid's Too Much Rock site. Not just great shots of all three bands, but also a video clip of Smog's 'Our Anniversary'. Very, very nice.
Now, regular readers know that I shy away from saying outright negative things about bands here on the 'Nac. Having played in a bunch myself, and knowing that everyone eventually reads everything on the web, I'll either be overly-diplomatic or completely ignore artists that don't float my musical boat. If someone has sent me a promo, but hasn't read anything here, there's a very good reason. It's not laziness, I do listen to everything I get, but rather it's the whole "if you don't have anything nice to say..." thing. Because there are people, and for all I know very nice people, behind every dreadful album I get sent or live show I'm subjected to.
So it's with much restraint that I won't cut loose on Feathers. I'll just say that sometimes the harmonies were ace, and watching them onstage with Smog during the set-closer of 'Cold Blooded Old Times' was kinda fun. Otherwise, my tongue's starting to hurt from all the biting.
Live mp3s will be up for a few weeks. Again, if the artist or label has an issue with the sharing of 'em, just say the word. Email in the left hand column.
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011
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