The Blind Date Party hosted by Bill Callahan and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and featuring AZITA, Matt Sweeney, Alasdair Roberts, Matt Kinsey, Sean O’Hagan, Bill MacKay, George Xylouris, Dead Rider, David Pajo, Mick Turner, Meg Baird, Ty Segall, Emmett Kelly, Cory Hanson, Six Organs of Admittance, David Grubbs, Cassie Berman, Cooper Crain and Sir Richard Bishop happened online in the fall and winter of ’20–’21 — but party planning began in the spring of 2020, when, stuck at home, with no gigs in the foreseeable future, Bill, Bonny and Drag City needed an outreach program to keep themselves busy/sane/solvent. In the absence of everything else, playing songs they loved was a good idea; playing with people they loved, a great desire. And making it fun by pairing someone with someone else with no say in the matter - the essence of the blind date - was the plan. Favorite songs were chosen; players from around the Drag City galaxy messaged. Pretty soon, songs began to fly through the air! And thus, they were entertained throughout the summer of 2020, when so much else in the world seemed so completely wrong.
In the fall, the finished work started to appear online: Bill and Bonny singing a song by someone they loved and admired; each song cut by another artist they loved and admired and sent to Bill and Bonny for finishing touches. The spotlight pointed in every direction each week: toward the singers and writers who’d originally played the songs (Yusuf Islam, Hank Williams Jr., Dave Rich, The Other Years, Billie Eilish, Steely Dan, Lou Reed, Bill Callahan, Jerry Jeff Walker, Robert Wyatt, Judy Mayhan, Johnnie Frierson, Demis Roussos, Will Oldham, Leonard Cohen, David Berman, Iggy Pop and John Prine), the featured collaborators, the artists whose work adorned each digital single and videos made by still more collaborators. Now it was a party!
Suffice to say, making records over the years has required a broad sense of community and an always-surprising mix of unity and independence, inspiration and utility. Some of our best memories have come when as many of our folks as possible were together in one place at one time. In those moments, it was just a great thing just to be there. Like the best of these fortunate moments, this turned out to be everything and more than anyone could have hoped. It became a record!
The Blind Date Party was thrown for everyone who’s here and also in the name of everyone who’s gone but will never go and will always live with us. This album will too. And thus, we are entertained.
You're invited to Bill & Bonnie's Blind Date Party - on 2xLP/2xCD/2xCS on December 10th this year! But that's not all -
As we trumpet the imminence of physical formats collecting Bill & Bonnie’s celebrated versions, they've brought a gift to their own party - a new, all-DC songstellation in the atmostream, triangulating Scout Niblett (who wrote it), Hamerkop (who arranged it) and Callahan & the Prince (who interpolate).
Bill Callahan & Bonnie Prince Billy's "Kidnapped By Neptune" featuring Hamerkop alchemizes transformation with the madness that can only ever be love. Listen to this wild new vision of this great old song on the streaming service of your choice....NOW!