The Olympia Theatre
Sunday 2nd February 2014
American singer-songwriter Bill Callahan has confirmed a special fully seated performance at Dublin’s Olympia Theatre on Sunday 2nd February. Tickets priced from €27.50 incl. booking fee on sale now from www.ticketmaster.ie and Ticketmaster outlets nationwide.
Approximate times as follows: doors open 7.15pm, support act Cath & Phil Tyler around 8pm, with Bill Callahan due around 9pm. We would expect the show to be over around 10.30pm or so. Please note, times are approximate and subject to change as always.
Under 14's must be accompanied by an adult, Over 18's ID required to gain access to the bars where alcohol is served.
Dream River is Callahan’s 15th studio album, makes impressive use of his powerful, mature voice. Ol’man Eagle is back, floatin’ Apocalyptically on a Whaleheart down the Dream River. Eight gentle percolations fire the pressure-cooker of life, dialing us into the Callahanian mind and soul set. Deep like aqua, soulful like man and animal alike.
Callahan started out as a highly experimental artist. Much of his early output was instrumental, a stark contrast to the lyrical focus of his later work. Apparently, he used lo-fi techniques not primarily because of an aesthetic preference but because he didn’t have any other possibility to make music.
Once he signed a contract with Drag City, he also started to use recording studios and a greater variety of instruments for his records. Smog’s songs are often based on simple, repetitive structures, consisting of a simple chord progression repeated for the duration of the entire song. His singing is strikingly characterized by his baritone voice and a style of delivery without being over-emotional. Melodically and lyrically he tends to eschew the verse-chorus approach favoured by many contemporary songwriters, preferring instead a more free-form approach relying less on melodic and lyrical repetition. Themes in Callahan’s lyrics include relationships, moving, horses, teenagers, bodies of water, and more recently, politics. His generally dispassionate delivery of lyrics and dark irony often obfuscate complex emotional and lyrical twists and turns. Critics have generally characterized his music as depressing and intensely introverted, with one critic describing it as “a peep-show view into an insular world of alienation.” Despite this there is also a broad swathe of joy throughout Callahan’s work and more attentive critics have picked up on Callahan’s tendency to black humour, a tendency often confused with a depressed mental state or a genuine obsession with the morbid, a confusion no doubt caused by his deadpan vocals.