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Rough Travel For A Rare Thing - A Live Album
"Finally! The Smog live album everyone always wanted for years and years has finally reached the public just in time to be a Bill Callahan record instead. Doesn't make a bit of difference -- Smog classics ride alongside Callahan hits with the same unforgettable gait. Rough Travel For A Rare Thing was recorded in Melbourne, Australia on November 8, 2007, at a club called The Toff. Which I think is a slang term for snob. Like, 'that bleedin' toff is a poofta.' In fact, the club was called The Poofta in the '80s. Australia's been good to Bill. They like him and he likes the ocean that surrounds them. Oh, and he likes them too, of course. And of course, they like the ocean, too. They are water people and he's a water person. It makes for good touring and killer live show recordings, as you will soon see. The show sold out in a matter of hours, which Bill's minders delightedly reported to their star, in order to get his spirits up for the show. They needn't have bothered -- Bill loves playing live, whether in front of sold-out houses or almost sold-out houses. In any case, it was a moment to remember when the band walked into the venue for the first time. Bill was like, 'Cool! There's a bar in my dressing room. Which way to the stage?' Then he found out he was standing on the stage. The place was small, I tell ya. Small. When Bill makes his records, he has a certain sound in his head which we hope can be extracted by the time the budget is maxed. The same thing happens on tour but we pay a lot less money for it to happen. For the sold-out tour all across Australia that this recording was taken from, the line-up was: three fiddle players who also sang back up, a drummer without cymbals and a bass player who also played harmonica. The idea was to have a strong, simple foundation with a lot of space left on top to be filled by the mystical strings and voice. And that's what came to pass. Rough Travel For A Rare Thing features Kate Connor, Lara Goodridge, Pria Schwall, Tim Rogers and Lawrence Pike and an audience of probably a hundred. But they were packed in there. And there were lots more out on the sidewalk in front -- honest!"