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Lord, Kill the Pain: The Mark Kozelek Chronicles

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only got into kozelek last year after listening to Perils but it's been an incredible year of discovery. awesome thread and blurbs. 

looking forward to Rollercoaster since that's my favourite (and Benji  :w

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Yeah and I also like Bubble and a couple of other songs. Just meant people don't usually talk a lot about those albums cause they're considered to be not very good.

And will he also do EP's like the rock and roll singer one? Cause that one has 2 of Marks very best songs imo.

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117781_1_f.jpg

Old Ramon

by Red House Painters

 

In the past year or two I've come around on this LP a lot. great album to just toss on when you're not doing a whole lot in particular.

 

of the RHP oeuvre, it's the most comfortable and least-demanding, which for a while I thought was a weakness. to fall back on the "that's part of the charm!" cliche, well... it's part of the charm. "wop a din din" is about his cat, of course, which ends up being a sort of koan around which the rest of the album revolves. nothing here cuts as deep as some of his most affecting and emotional work, but it's still got a nice weight to it. 

 

some of his most pleasurable melodies are on this thing. the verse to "void" is one of his best in that regard, "michigan" could have been a late 90s alt rock radio classic in an alternate universe, the fuzz bass through "byrd joel" is great.

 

"river" and "smokey" are the anchor here, the former which is one of his very best long-ass guitar jams. the end fuckin rocks. if it were a bowl of hot wings, guy fieri would call it a "bullet train to flavor town." "smokey" almost acts as a comedown from it all but holds its own, with chemtrail guitars swirling all over the place.

 

"kavita" is a knock-out punch as a closer, and weary back porch hymn with one of mark's most gorgeously laconic refrains.

 

good album

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"river" and "smokey" are the anchor here, the former which is one of his very best long-ass guitar jams. the end fuckin rocks. if it were a bowl of hot wings, guy fieri would call it a "bullet train to flavor town."

 

Love this bit :lol:

 

Great thread CI. I've been listening to Koz for around two years at this point but of his SKM work I only know April, AFP, Among the Leaves and Benji, and of his RHP releases I've only listened to Rollercoaster and Songs for a Blue Guitar. Just bought Ocean Beach at Amoeba Records in Hollywood last week actually, scored it for $3 iirc :rock:. Seeing him in July so I'm planning on fully embarking on a Koz binge over the next month and a half. This thread will help be my guide for the stuff I don't know. 

 

Also I'm listening to his cover of Ocean Breathes Salty rn and it's awesome, so much better than the original. just say no to momo :ohsnap:

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Currently listening to the "early demos" predating DCH and including songs of RHPs first 3 albums for the first time.

I already like Evil a lot more than the Bridge version and Medicine Bottle (apparently remixed versions of these demos eventually ended up on DCH) sounds more intimate than the album version. There are some unreleased tracks that have their merits as well.  Maybe an interesting collection for true Koz-stans?

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this because theremin dropped some dumb-ass shit about "lost verses" today....

 

Sun_Kil_Moon_-_April.jpg

 

April

by Sun Kil Moon

 

This is almost certainly the Mark kozelek record that I've listened to the most, and probably the one that I have the deepest relationship with. Was my very favorite of his for a long while, and its grip on the pole position has slipped over time, but it's still top tier.

 

This was very much the one where I got it. In 2008, the year this was released, I'd been into Mark's work for a little while, mostly Ghosts of the Great Highway, Rollercoaster and Ocean Beach, and I'd heard most of his records by that point. I'd spent a lot of time laying on my dorm room bed past midnight, high out of my gourd, listening to Ocean Beach that year. So, while I wasn't the utter stan I am now, I was pretty excited by the prospect of the new Sun Kil Moon LP, the first in several years.

 

I don't think this album leaked, actually. I remember counting down the days, and indeed it was finally available sometime in early April. I'd spent much of that day studying for an anthropolgy final, which was while I listened to this for the first time. It was good. I wasn't utterly blown away, but I did know I liked it a lot. after that final I took acid for the first time (yeah I know whatever), and then about 12 hours later when the sun was coming up and I couldn't sleep, I listened to April again. It wasn't a revelation, necessarily, but it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. I spent very many nights the next two years falling asleep to this, almost every night for a long stretch. the summer between school years, 08-09, I'd been getting completely hammered with my friends nearly every night, and every morning as soon as I felt sober enough to drive the few blocks to my mom's house, I'd dive into bed and throw on April. 

 

***

 

The best interview Mark Kozelek ever gave, he gave to his friend Ben Gibbard. It's one of the greatest musician interviews I've ever seen, really. While it's certainly a beautiful record on its own sonic merits, I think it's important to note that the bulk of this record was written in tribute to his late longtime girlfriend Katy, which he expounds upon a bit in that interview. He didn't write these songs until several years after her death, however, for this reason:

 

Songs that I wrote about her in the past—"Katy Song," "Summer Dress," "San Geronimo"—some really beautiful things… And I think I wanted to continue that, where I want beautiful songs to be written about this person. I think that if I had tried to write this record three or four years ago, it would have just been a horrible mess. But I think that I got to a place where I was able to put it together the way I did. So maybe that's why it has sort of a peaceful, kind of serene feeling.

 

I think April very much reflects this intent. Amid a catalog full of beautiful music, April is the most singularly gorgeous, a patient and slowly unfurling record that takes its time, follows its own logic. "Lost Verses" puts it all out there from the jump, it's lush arrangement building from simple acoustic to something I'm failing to describe, then through its crackling coda. "The Light" is on its face a crazy-horse aping workout, but its rounded tones and gently loping framework transcend that. That triple guitar solo, with each tumbling and falling over the other, is probably my favorite moment on this record.

 

Elsewhere you'll find kozelek's budding obsession with solo / classical guitar beginning to take shape, on takes like "Lucky Man," the brief and stunning "Harper Road," and particularly "Blue Orchids," a heartstopping composition that more or less provides the blueprint for Admiral Fell Promsies. 

 

Lately though it's been "Tonight in Bilbao" that sticks out above the rest. Something about that insistent guitar figure, the hesitant drums, Mark's bleary delivery, really has been doing it for me. 

 

I've nearly finished a pretty high-powered beer in the time it took to draft this post so I think I'll just now quit while I'm ahead.

Klee and tcap like this

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awesome write up. April was one of the later Koz albums i got around to but I remember loving it right away.

 

i'd love to read a blurb on AFP next actually but I feel like I've requested a ton 

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Blue Orchids is way too low. I used to be on the fence about it as well but right now it's probably my favorite April song.

I'd put the same 4 songs + moorestown on the bottom as well though and. Can't say I really like any of those all that much so April will never rank among his best for me.

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need to do another one but for now, a reminder:

 

 

 

saw him at the Hot Dog Fest a few years ago. Some obese woman kept yelling out during one of the quiet numbers, so Mark walks off the stage and starts punching her a few times, then just jumps right back on stage and does 2 Sonny and Cher covers. Then he told the crowd that its his drummer's birthday, and that he flew in his mom, his mom comes out on stage with a present, somehow Mark slipped a "You're Fired" note in it, and tells them both to get off the fucking stage. Then he ate 7 hot dogs and said that he isn't going to pay for any of them, and that they should be free for him.

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