Last Thursday, we went to the Black Cat to see Smog play. Smog’s "Be Hit" is perhaps #2 on the list of songs that invariably get stuck in my head at work and yet are wholly inappropriate to sing, even under one’s breath. (Also on the list: Quintaine Americana’s "And They Were Drinking…" and Shellac’s "Prayer to God") That song is off the utterly brilliant Wild Love — the only Smog album I owned — and as Smog doesn’t have a tuba player with them any more, I was doomed to not recognize a single song from their (quite good) set. Singer/songwriter Bill Callahan sure does make funny faces when he sings. After the show, I picked up Red Apple Falls, and I’ve found it disappointing so far — it lacks the manic calliope vibe the best songs off Wild Love had, and it (mostly) lacks the country-fried energy Smog generated live, so it’s just Bill singing minor-key songs about minor-key lives. Maybe it will grow on me; a Pitchfork Media review has me longing to buy Dongs of Sevotion. (I feel compelled to mention Callahan’s ex-girlfriend’s band, the excellent and thematically-somewhat-similar Cat Power; Smog’s Knock Knock is apparently about the decline and fall of their relationship. Happy music is for suckers.) None