Thousand Pieces of Gold
Through his many guises, William Oldham reigns supreme as the most prolific and consistantly brilliant singer/songwriters of this generation. Oldham's voice is a part strained and part moan of rage, loss and despair; his lyrics insightful, and while wildly contested, concievably based on his own personal experiences(?). Oldham actually maintains that his songwriting is a product of his imagination, and that writing in any other way would be an perversion of life (listening to songs like "A Sucker's Evening," you're inclined to agree with him). And without sounding like a manic depressive Dylan fan - they have book deals - what I think i'm trying to say; in a roundabout way, is that I don't think you find a better example of music that's as ramshackle and heartwarming then Viva Last Blues. There.
He abhors the notion of celebrity, but whether he likes it or not he found hipster infamy in I See Darkness(and rightly so), but it's for Viva Last Blues that he earns my eternal respect. Here, he really shines. Viva Last Blues was released under Palace Music on Drag City (a label which he is had long lasting relationship with) and recorded alongside Liam Hayes (piano & organ), Sebadoh's Jason Loewenstein (drums & additional singing) Ned Oldham (bass, slide guitar & additional singing) and Bryan Rich (lead guitar). Steve Albini actually holds production duties on this album, and while his influence isn't immediately apparent, there are some tracks that hang loose and rock on this album, Neil Young style. "Cat Blues" is probably the best example of this, but tracks The Brute Choir" and "New Partner" are just as dark and plaintive as his Bonnie "Prince" Billy recordings.
Palace - Brute Choir
Palace Records for all your Will Oldham recorded needs.
The Royal Stable Stable - William Oldham archive
Will Oldham Interview - Does exactly what it says on the tin
Steve Albini article - For your leisure