Sewn to the Sky

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Sewn to the Sky
Studio album by
Released1990 (LP on Disaster Records)
November 17, 1995 (CD on Drag City)
January 30, 1996 (LP on Drag City)
2001 (CD on Drag City)
GenreExperimental music
LabelDisaster Records, Drag City[1]
Smog chronology
Sewn to the Sky
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[2]
The Encyclopedia of Popular Music3/5 stars[3]
Pitchfork Media8.0/10[4]
The New Rolling Stone Album Guide2/5 stars[5]

Sewn to the Sky is an album by Smog, released in 1990 on Disaster Records.[6][7] Most sources consider it to be Smog's first album, made after the release of several cassette-only recordings.[8][9] It was re-released on Drag City in 1995.[10] The experimental album combined home recording, substandard instruments and repetitive and noisy songwriting structures, and was an early example of the lo-fi genre.

The track "A Jar of Sand" was re-recorded for the 'Neath the Puke Tree EP in 2000.


The album was recorded in Georgia and Maryland.[11] The liner notes state that it was recorded on a "dumpster Portastudio." Spin wrote that the recording "found [Callahan] relishing the process, with little regard for form or the guitar he was still learning to really play."[12]

Critical reception[]

Trouser Press wrote: "Suffused with the vague gray atmospherics suggested by the band’s name, Sewn to the Sky is primitive and promising."[1] The New Yorker wrote that the album is a "discordant, inscrutable, and periodically frustrating collection of mostly instrumental, low-fidelity noise, and contains few hints of the lucid and tender folk music that he would be making almost thirty years later."[13]

Track listing[]

Side one[]

  1. "Souped Up II"
  2. "Kings Tongue"
  3. "Garb"
  4. "Hollow Out Cakes"
  5. "Confederate Bills and Pinball Slugs"
  6. "Coconut Cataract"
  7. "Fruit Bats"
  8. "Peach Pit"
  9. "Disgust"
  10. "Russian Winter"

Side two[]

  1. "Polio Shimmy"
  2. "Smog"
  3. "Lost My Key"
  4. "Fried Piper"
  5. "Fables"
  6. "Puritan Work Ethic"
  7. "A Jar of Sand"
  8. "I Want to Tell You About a Man"
  9. "Olive Drab Spectre"
  10. "The Weightlifter"


  1. ^ Jump up to: a b "Smog". Trouser Press. Retrieved 16 January 2021.
  2. ^ Sewn to the Sky at AllMusic
  3. ^ Larkin, Colin (2006). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music. Volume 7: MUZE. p. 571.CS1 maint: location (link)
  4. ^ "Pitchfork Review". Archived from the original on 2007-03-11. Retrieved 2006-08-14.
  5. ^ The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. 2004. p. 754.
  6. ^ "Smog | Biography & History". AllMusic.
  7. ^ "Bill Callahan - Record Collector Magazine".
  8. ^ "For Singer Bill Callahan, Home Is Where the Art Is". Texas Monthly. December 18, 2019.
  9. ^ Buckley, Peter (January 17, 2003). "The Rough Guide to Rock". Rough Guides – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "Smog - Sewn To The Sky | Drag City".
  11. ^ "Bill Callahan – Album By Album". March 8, 2013.
  12. ^ "Bill Callahan Rolls on Like a River". Spin. September 17, 2013.
  13. ^ Petrusich, Amanda. "Bill Callahan Makes Good Use of Quiet". The New Yorker.
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