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Supper

Smog Audio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
Price: 14.40 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Biography

An under-recognized pioneer of the lo-fi revolution, Smog was essentially the alias of one Bill Callahan, an enigmatic singer/songwriter whose odd, fractured music neatly epitomized the tenets and excesses of the home-recording boom. Melancholy, poignant, and self-obsessed, Callahan's four-track output offered a peepshow view into an insular world of alienation and inner turmoil, his ... Read more in Amazon's Smog Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (7 April 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Domino Records
  • ASIN: B00008ACIG
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Feather By Feather
2. Butterflies Drowned In Wine
3. Morality
4. Ambition
5. Vessel In Vain
6. Truth Serum
7. Our Anniversary
8. Driving
9. A Guiding Light

Product Description

Amazon.co.uk

Supper features no twisted narratives about cuckolded husbands or machete-wielding cheerleaders, no mordant songs about what it feels like to lay in a grave or swing from a hangman's noose. In fact, in many ways, Supper sounds little like a Smog album at all--because indie-rock's premiere misery guts Bill Callahan seems to have brightened up his act. That mood of brooding amorality has given way to a beaming take on laid-back Nashville country-rock, a rosy fulsomeness of finger-picked banjos and teased soft-steel guitar. Naturally, however, we're still not quite into "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" territory: "Truth Serum" is a rare love song that concedes that love is dumb, confused and ultimately fallible. "Do you miss me when I go?" questions longtime female foil Sarabeth Tucek. "Honey, I love you," brushes off Callahan in reply, "That's all you need to know." Meanwhile, the excellent "Butterflies Drowned in Wine" is a guitar chugger in the vein of The Velvet Underground's "Rock'n'Roll", Callahan announcing "I'm headed into town / Where up is up / And down is down" with uncharacteristically cheery confidence.

There's no real narrative thread that runs throughout this album, which simply makes it a good record rather than a Smog classic to rank with Knock Knock or The Doctor Came at Dawn. Still, it's further proof that Callahan is one of the most gifted songwriters working in American music today. --Louis Pattison

Product Description

Supper features no twisted narratives about cuckolded husbands or machete-wielding cheerleaders, no mordant songs about what it feels like to lay in a grave or swing from a hangman's noose. In fact, in many ways, Supper sounds little like a Smog album at all--because indie-rock's premiere misery guts Bill Callahan seems to have brightened up his act. That mood of brooding amorality has given way to a beaming take on laid-back Nashville country-rock, a rosy fulsomeness of finger-picked banjos and teased soft-steel guitar. Naturally, however, we're still not quite into "The Sun Has Got His Hat On" territory: "Truth Serum" is a rare love song that concedes that love is dumb, confused and ultimately fallible. "Do you miss me when I go?" questions longtime female foil Sarabeth Tucek. "Honey, I love you," brushes off Callahan in reply, "That's all you need to know." Meanwhile, the excellent "Butterflies Drowned in Wine" is a guitar chugger in the vein of The Velvet Underground's "Rock'n'Roll", Callahan announcing "I'm headed into town / Where up is up / And down is down" with uncharacteristically cheery confidence.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bucolic Beauty 8 April 2003
Format:Audio CD
Following on from 2001's sporadically inspirational, yet largely disappointing, 'Rain on Lens' (if you don't count Accumulation: None that is, which you should) Supper marks a rustic, emotionally affecting return to form for Smog's Bill Callahan. Many songs unravel and follow their own country-tinged logic. Opener 'Feather to Feather' is worth the price of the CD alone - a wonderfully fragile, sprawling song whose majesty and grace builds and locks you in. The unknown Sarabeth Tucek duets here as she does on 'Truth Serum' to beautiful effect, and it's songs like these that highlight the true frailty and absurdity of love - a theme which is at the core of this album. Elsewhere Callahan's unpredictable vocal intonation allows momentous fragments of jubilitation to build on the banjo scattered 'Vessel in Vain' and also, as on 'Our Anniversary', a sustained tension. The Velvet Underground chug Callahan's been consolidating on the last few albums has not been forgotten and on 'Butterflies Drowned in Wine' and 'Morality' it largely works - although these songs seem somehow disjointed alongside some of the more affecting tracks. People often forget that Callahan is also a brilliantly funny lyricist - with great lines saturating much of this album. Take the classic 'when they make the movie of your life they're going to have to ask you to do your own stunts' on 'Feather by Feather'. There is much to love on 'Supper' as Callhan builds on his already strong body of work. Alright, for Smog purists (is there such a thing?), this might not be a 'classic' in the same way 'Wild Love' or 'Knock Knock' are, but it offers an expansive and consistently rich introduction to the world of Bill Callahan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Wondrous Supper with Bill Callahan 11 April 2004
Format:Audio CD
Smog, which is to say Callahan plus guests, has probably recorded his most accessible and bright album to date. Now, "accessible" or "bright" are terms that must be qualified, when it comes to Smog. The wise irony of his lyrics and stark melodies, which have been staples of Callahan's songwriting are very much present here too, yet these songs seem to reveal a new phase of his personal and artistic development. As he said in one of his early songs, "I'm gathering splinters / to make a raft someday," and so he has and he's, it is my intuition, more interested in reaching you, than ever before. This is particularly poignant in "Truth Serum," "Anniversary," and, my personal favorite, the quirkily countryish "Feather By Feather," songs that combine the precision and irony of his best lyrics, with unassumingly simple yet enthralling melodies. This album should rank with "Knock Knock" or "Red Apple Falls," although its mood is definitely lighter by Smog standards, as a work of high consistency and weight. As Callahan says himself, in "Feather By Feather," this is music for people "who when they do the movie of your life / they gonna have to ask you to do your own stunts."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to his best 1 April 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Bill Callaghan was responsible for two of the best LPs of the 90's in 'Red Apple Falls' and 'Knock Knock' and thankfully he has just released his third classic LP, after the disapointing 'Rain on Lens'.
'Supper' is a return to the mixture of catchy tunes ('Butterflies drowned in wine') and more laid back ventures ('Our Anniversary', and the closing 'A Guilding Light')rather than the harsh, unpolished feel of it's predecessor.
Lyrically, Callaghan is up there with the best (When they make the movie of your life/ They're gonna have to ask you to do your own stunts), and his voice is complimented by female Sarabeth Tucek's fine vocals.
If you like your alt.country a little less predictable than the norm then here is a very good place to start. Along with Bonnie 'Prince' Billy's 'Master and Everyone', 'Supper' is the warmest and most beautiful record of 2003 so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Have patience with this one! 3 Sep 2010
By klaher
Format:Audio CD
After the somewhat disappointing Rain On Lens album, Bill Callahan went back to basics and `headed back to the country' for this 2003 album, which has a definite country feel.

The steel guitar is prominent from the first track, Feather By Feather, which would have fit in well on Red Apple Falls. The track has a relaxed, unhurried feel about it, reinforced by Sarabeth Tucek's backing vocals. The pace picks up with Butterflies Drowned In Wine, which takes the VU inspired chug of the previous album and marries it to the aforementioned steel guitar, by way of numerous changes in tempo and a vocal that sounds more like Lou Reed than ever. It should sound like a complete mess but weirdly, it doesn't. Maybe it's Tucek's backing vocals? It beats the hell out of most of the Rain On Lens material, that's for sure. If it appeared on a Lou Reed album it would probably be the best track.

Morality is another uptempo track, though less successful. Things improve with the understated, wary Ambition, which floats in on some eerie organ, accompanied by nicely picked guitars. Vessel in Vain is a more stripped down, rootsy track. It's a relatively simple melody which climaxes in an almost sing-along chorus, as he sings "my ideals have got me on the run".

Later, Truth Serum is another fairly unrushed, lazy melody which has the feel of a vintage Van Morrison track about it. The playing on this is wonderfully light, though it has to be said that this and most of the other tracks take a few listens to grab you. At its core this one is an unashamed romantic duet, and though it lasts seven and a half minutes, you don't want it to end. Which actually makes it better than some of the overlong tracks on Van Morrison's Astral Weeks.
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