Bill Callahan at the National Arts Club, 3/30/07

Bill Callahan

The Fader magazine threw a party to celebrate their 45th issue last night at the National Arts Club, a pretty snazzy beaux-arts building on Gramercy Park South. Since I didn’t get a chance to see Lavender Diamond there earlier this month (too jet-lagged from vacation), I thought I’d check this out.

I haven’t seen Bill play in almost four years (since I worked with him), and it was refreshing to see him doing his thing, which he does oh-so-well. The trio of Bill, Joanna Newsom on piano and Jim White on drums was very subtle, but very beautiful, providing a new treatment/interpretation of Bill’s older songs (favorites included “Bathysphere,” “Cold Discovery,” “Leave the Country” and “Rock Bottom Riser,” among others). I was seated up in front, between Jim and Bill, and I gotta say just getting to watch Jim up-close was pretty amazing. Obviously I’ve known of his awesome drumming for years and years, but when you actually get to see him up-close and pay attention to all the thing’s he’s doing, it’s pretty mindblowing.

Other highlights of the evening included free beer, the djing antics of Mr. Joshua Wildman, watching a bartender duct-tape a piece of paper to a Tiffany lamp in the bar, and seeing Lou Reed and Laurie Anderson look sleepy.


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