Gil Scott-Heron covered Smog's "I'm New Here" for what turned out to be his final album, giving that release the same title, and you can tell what the late genius must have heard and been moved by in singer Bill Callahan's warm, oaken croak. With a poetic sing-speak worthy of Kermit the Frog, Callahan is wry and poignant but cool, minimalist in the way underground types were in the '90s. He's grown into his own style of understated chamber folk-pop, and his new album on Drag City, Apocalypse, is typically beautiful, though he keeps the guitar distortion and loopy experimentation of old on stand-by.
Fri., July 1, 7 p.m., 2011
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