Just like Sho Kosugi in Nine Deaths of the Ninja, Bill Callahan… He Change Color!… Like the Chameleon!

Heelys, paintball, "Dance Dance Revolution," thongs, Texas Hold'Em, "Takeshi's Castle," su|do|ku, fat laces, "Do the Bartman" ("shake your body turn it out if you're bad man"... wha?), all-conquering SUVs, freedom fries, Atkins, pocket bikes, Beanie Babies, knitting, American Idol, "Crazy Frog," pogs, Vanilla Coke, Crystal Pepsi, frosted tips, Yu-gi-oh!, The Da Vinci Code, sprawling lower-back tattoos, Von Dutch, reggaeton, "wassssssssuuuuuuuuuup!," fanny packs, Furby, emo asses (and their asinine signature haircuts), Napoleon Dynamite, text slang, Red Bull, "All your base are belong to us," the Reebok Pump, "The Macarena," flash mobs, '80s retro nonsense, "Kidz Bop," self-important reality show restaurateurs/realtors/rrrwhatevers, Napster, crocs, Snakes on a Plane, PBR, the cha-cha slide, "the Rachel," mojitos, bling-bling, Big Mouth Billy Bass, gangsta, Girl Power, pocket swearing machines, fruit boots (a.k.a. roller blades), Segways, Koosh balls, ad infinitum.

For the better part of the past two decades, Bill Callahan should really have been as welcome in this fad-driven, catchphrase-rotten "modern world" as a drum kit would have been in Anne Frank's Amsterdam Achterhuis. Thankfully, there has always been room for artists to cast suspicious, wry eyes toward our sick, disposable society. No more so than now. Ace songwriter and psychiatrist's wet dream Bill "The Thrill" Callahan will be releasing a new single called "Diamond Dancer" (b/w "Taken") on March 20 and a new album entitled Woke On a Whaleheart on April 17. The album, Callahan's 73rd (maybe), features contributions from Neil Michael Hagerty, Pete Denton, Elizabeth Warren, and Deani Pugh-Flemmings of the Olivet Baptist Church and will be released by long-standing label Drag City. However, this time 'round he has ditched the staid, vanilla Smog imprint. Ladies and gentlemen, are you ready for the high-octane, high-voltage, high-priest of song..."Bill Callahan"? It has taken years, but Callahan has emerged out of his well-protected shell and finally opted to record under his given name. This, along with playing recent shows billed simply as "Bill Callahan," means the Smog moniker has effectively been put to rest, at least for the time being. Oh well, life is too short to wax nostalgic on the triviality of recording and touring names. And who really cares... he could go by "Bigg Mouth Billy Bawlz 2 tha Cha-Cha Cally" and we would probably still buy his albums. Sorry, we would definitely buy his albums!

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