Bill Callahan & Bonnie “Prince” Billy – “Our Anniversary” (Smog Cover) (Feat. Dead Rider)
A few months ago, the beloved singer and songwriter Bill Callahan released his new album Gold Record. Before the album was out, Callahan released the whole thing, one piece at a time, dropping a new song every week for months. These days, Callahan’s got a new thing going on. Along with his friend and frequent collaborator Will Oldham, professionally known as Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Callahan has been covering a different song every week. He and Oldham have had different collaborators for all of these. They’ve done Cat Stevens with AZITA, Hank Williams Jr. with Matt Sweeney, Dave Rich with Alasdair Roberts, the Other Years with Matt Kinsey, Billie Eilish with Sean O’Hagan, and Steely Dan with Bill MacKay. Today, they’ve covered a song from some weird old indie band called Smog.
Kidding! I’m kidding! Smog is Bill Callahan; it’s the pseudonym that Callahan used until 2007. That means that Callahan is effectively covering himself this week. For their latest collaboration, Callahan and Oldham have dropped a new version of “Our Anniversary,” a song from the 2003 Smog album Supper. For the new version of the song, they’ve teamed up with Dead Rider, the nerve-jangled Chicago rock band led by former US Maple guitarist Todd Rittmann.
The original Smog version of “Our Anniversary” was a meditative, plainspoken song about the terror of domestic life. For the new version, Callahan, Oldham, and Dead Rider have turned it into a howling, expansive, sometimes discordant rocker. Callahan starts out on lead vocals, but Oldham soon takes over, and he really wails that fucker. Listen to the new version and the Smog original below.
The new version of “Our Anniversary” is out now on Drag City, and you can guy it at Bandcamp. Also, Oldham just reunited with his old Superwolf collaborator Matt Sweeney on the new single “Make Worry For Me,” and it kicks ass.