Smog — Forgotten Foundation (1992, 1996, 2005) 

Smog - Forgotten Foundation (1992, 1996, 2005, 2012)

Smog - Forgotten Foundation (back cover)

Smog — Forgotten Foundation
Birth name: William Rahr Callahan
Also known as: Smog
Born: June 3, 1966, Silver Spring, Maryland, United States
Location: U.S.
Album release: May 25, 1992 (CD); January 30, 1996 (LP); 2005 (CD); 23rd Apr 2012 in Resident Music Ltd  (
Record Label: Drag City
Runtime:    46:03
Side one:
01. Burning Kingdom   1:13
02. Filament   1:57
03. High School Freak   2:12
04. Your Dress   2:19
05. Barometric Pressure   2:08
06. Guitar Innovator   1:26
07. Evil Tyrant   2:38
08. Head Of Stone I   1:54
09. Head Of Stone Ii   2:42
10. Long Gray Hair  
11. Kiss Your Lips (Vocals – Lisa Carver)
Side two:
12. Bad Ideas For Country Songs I
13. Bad Ideas For Country Songs II
14. Dead River   3:23
15. Bad Investment   2:36
16. Brown Bag   2:32
17. Let Me Have That Jar Back   1:13
18. This Insane Cop   2:44
19. 97th Street   2:20
20. Do The Bed   2:23
21. I’m Smiling   2:12
22. With a Green Complexion   2:09
© 2012 Drag City
Bill Callahan was Smog.
‘Forgotten Foundation’, the second Smog album, originally released in 1992 on CD, is reissued on vinyl for the first time since 1996.
Many new Smog fans have never heard his early, home-recorded releases, which present an entirely different kind of Smog. This reissue affords a window to the artist as a young(er) man, and a snarling guitar hero.
Early, pre-‘Julius Caesar’ Smog classics such as ‘Your Dress’, ‘High School Freak’, and ‘This Insane Cop’ are among the many highlights of ‘Forgotten Foundation’.
LP | DC13
By Brian Howe; July 4, 2005  |  | Rating: 6.0 
Forgotten Foundation is a reissue of Smog's clangorous second album. For newer listeners, it should be stressed that young Bill Callahan was very different from the mellow miniaturist of Supper and A River Ain't Too Much to Love. This is Smog at his lo-fiest and no-waviest, his most misogynistic and malicious. If you dislike the bookends of Accumulation: None, the distortion-drenched echo chamber "Astronaut" and the toneless no-fi dirge "Hole in the Heart", you should steer clear of Forgotten Foundation. But if you find those songs strangely magnetic for their sheer contrariness, and wonder how the competent, tranquil Smog of today earned his reputation for musical and lyrical malice, you'd do well to begin here.
If you could get the taciturn singer to give a reason for deliberately releasing evil into the world, it's probable that the answer would come as a shrug: Because it is possible to do so. What are we to make of "Evil Tyrant"? "He saw the most beautiful girl on the island/ He knew that raping her was not the best way to impress her," Smog deadpans over a primitive beat and disjointed guitar runs. Or the sneered innuendo of the crashing "97th Street": "Put a little bit of the city right in your mouth." Is this social satire, or is Smog just an unsavory character? Why do we tend to interperet such stuff more favorably when it comes dressed in indie sackcloth instead of pop velour? Does he mean it, or is he investigating possibilities of expression simply because they exist? Even if they aren't confessional, what drives a person to make up such mean-spirited stories without the mitigating factor of moral judgment?
Charitably, one imagines that Smog is bravely magnifying aspects of his psyche that many artists, in their quest to be liked, conceal, and that these are exactly the sort of questions his nastier efforts are intended to raise. Less charitably, he's just mean, and while one wants to group him with Bret Easton Ellis, Michel Houellebecq, and the Frogs, it's quite possible that the distinction between this camp's misanthropy and 50 Cent's is specious. While some of the songs have intrinsic musical interest -- "Guitar Innovator" is a gem, as Smog tape-splices heavily distorted vocal ejaculations into a sort of monstrously thrumming rhythmic engine-- many seek no end but dread, or, at best, an interested repulsion. It's the "why" and "should" of its existence that make Forgotten Foundation compelling, more of a theoretical gambit than a confessional one. We hope.
Discography Smog:
** Sewn to the Sky (1990; LP on Disaster)
** Forgotten Foundation (May 25, 1992; CD on Drag City)
** Julius Caesar (July 5, 1993; LP/CS/CD on Drag City)
** Burning Kingdom (September 19, 1994; 12"EP/CDEP/CassEP on Drag City)
** Wild Love (March 27, 1995; LP/CD on Drag City)
** The Doctor Came at Dawn (September 10, 1996; LP/CD on Drag City)
** Red Apple Falls (May 20, 1997; LP/CD on Drag City)
** Knock Knock (January 12, 1999; LP/CD on Drag City)
** Dongs of Sevotion (April 4, 2000; 2xLP/CD on Drag City)
** Rain on Lens (September 18, 2001; LP/CD on Drag City; released as (Smog))
** Accumulation: None (November 5, 2002; LP/CD on Drag City)
** Supper (March 18, 2003; LP/CD on Drag City; released as (Smog))
** A River Ain't Too Much to Love (May 31, 2005; LP/CD on Drag City)

 Bill Callahan performing at ATP, April 07 / Date: September 23, 2007 / Wiki uploader: Freekorps

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Drag City is a Chicago-based independent record label. It was established with a Royal Trux release in 1990 in Chicago, Illinois by Dan Koretzky and Dan Osborn.

Smog — Forgotten Foundation (1992, 1996, 2005)