| Art |

Bill Callahan's "America" Is Fireworks for Your Face

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Having to work on the Fourth of July is as American as it gets, right? I am not talking about typing for County Grind; I am talking about the other work I do, the kind that is really boring to explain. When my trusty editor, Reed Fischer, pointed this video my way, I had no idea what to expect. I must admit, I'd never heard or heard of Bill Callahan before -- and, really what's the point of pretending that I have? I kind of totally assumed that Bill Callahan was one of the Blue Collar Comedians. I think I was thinking of Bill Engvall.

Instead of hearing the song version of crappy jokes like "Lady, I didn't get up this morning wanting to be a jackass... but you just pushed my jackass button," I got a really good, gritty song by some guy I didn't know had such a rich career. This guy's been making songs on the shoestring since 1990. I'd venture to say everyone has heard him but me. I imagine Pavement, Beck, and Built to Spill were greatly inspired by this guy. So even though it stinks that I had to work today while all of you are buying $1,200 worth of fireworks and eating perros calientes, at least I got to hear this song.

Even better than the song is the video. The video is loaded with beautifully animated Americana: self-propelled cowboy boots stomping across a light-up piano, postcards from across the states and bad ass Americans wielding AKs and crossbows. These imagines propel the driving tune to the apex of the purple mountains majesty. The video is nestled about 7:30 into this episode of Friday Night Somewhere. FNS is a welcome treat on its own. It's literally the best web-based show hosted by trippy robo-puppets.

So, to all of you enjoying your day off and setting off black cats, M80s and snakes: put your artificial fires down for a few minutes, grab a brewski and watch this video. You owe it to yourself and America.

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