Boomkat Product Review:
Bonnie 'Prince' Billy and Smog's Bill Callahan passed the time in quarantine by collaborating with friends and Drag City family - Dave Pajo, Sir Richard Bishop, Meg Baird and Six Organs of Admittance - on a series of cover versions. "Blind Date Party" collects up all 19 of 'em, with tracks from Steely Dan, Billie Eilish, Robert Wyatt, Iggy Pop and more.
Instead of wasting away hours binge watching endless documentaries about serial killers and doomscrolling Twitter, Oldham and Callahan put together a list of their favorite songs, and circulated it around the Drag City network and proposed a series of blind dates - Oldham and Callahan would start, then send the recording over to a collaborator who would add their parts before everything was sent back for finishing touches.
There's a warmth to these versions: John Prine's 'She Is My Everything' sparkles with additional instrumentation from Sir Richard Bishop, Ben Chasny's electrified take on Oldham's own 'Arise, Therefore' is revelatory, Chicago improv don Bill MacKay contributes a jazzy looseness to the duo's low-slung version of Steely Dan's "Aja" classic 'Deacon Blues', and Leonard Cohen's 'The Night of Santiago' is elevated by David Grubbs' soulful twangs.
Lovely stuff, and occasionally brilliant.