After nearly 20 years as Smog, lo-fi hero Bill Callahan has cleared the air. (Yes, this is what you come to Voice Choices for: The searing, unrivaled mastery of bold puns.) The folk-pop stalwart, who released some 12 boldly spare records under his solo pseudonym (notably, 1993's stately Julius Caesar), is now happy to use his God-given handle for his more polished late offerings. His first EPs scrubbed up in darn near Wall of Sound-rich production, which somewhat alienated his cult followers; his recent full-length, Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, nudges closer to the core of his outsider appeal with deadpan couplets, gently tempered strings, and, of course, the most fathomless baritone this side of Leonard Cohen. And with it, his charming, forgotten foundation was restored. With Lights.
Sat., June 13, 7:30 p.m., 2009