Recliner Notes

From the River to the Ocean

After 15 years of releasing music professionally under the name Smog, Bill Callahan put out an album using his own name: 2007’s Woke on a Whaleheart. The shift in names was an intentional act by Callahan as he told Pitchfork in 2007: “I have narrowed my focus with the name change. There is no name…

Let Me See the Colts

In 2003, Bill Callahan, still releasing music under the band name Smog, put out the album Supper. The fifth track, placed at the heart of the album, is a song titled “Vessel in Vain”: The song opens with the sounds of twin twinkling from the guitar and keyboard as Callahan sings the opening lines: “I…

The Well

In his 1981 essay “On Writing,” the great short story writer Raymond Carver wrote the following: “It’s possible, in a poem or a short story, to write about commonplace things and objects using commonplace but precise language, and to endow those things—a chair, a window curtain, a fork, a stone, a woman’s earring—with immense, even…

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