Bill Callahan stopped at Paul's CDs last night as part of his in-store tour in support of his new record, "Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle."
I got an insider tip from a friend that Bill Callahan would be performing under the clock, though nearly anywhere in the small space would have been a good vantage point. He was simply sitting in chair with his guitar, between two amps, surrounded by CDs. There was a modest but respectable crowd filling the aisles on both sides of the store and crowded near the entrance.
During the short set, there were some technical problems with an amp during "Jim Cain," as can be seen (or heard) in this video from the show. Afterwards, Callahan remarked, "It's times like these I turn to my mug of wine." An ambulance was called for a woman who passed out mid-song and was dragged outside by a very devoted companion. After she quickly regained consciousness and was deemed okay, Callahan was told he could continue performing. His apprehension and joking that he knew his songs weren't that good gave the crowd a strange laugh of relief. After all of this, the most memorable song towards the end of the 40 minute set was "Faith/Void," with the repetition of the lyrics, "It's time to put God away - I put God away." Callahan performed the straightforward folk from "Sometimes I Wish We Were an Eagle" in his bold and earnest voice that sounds just as brilliant live as it does recorded. For anyone who thought an in-store at Paul's would be a little weird, well, it was, but will hopefully give way to more intimate performances in the future.