As you can probably tell from the title, today I’ll be addressing Mark Kozelek specifically. The troubled and odd creative mind behind the music of Sun Kil Moon has a tendency to be quite abrasive in interviews and on stage. It would seem his filter is usually out to lunch whenever he finds himself in the spotlight.
There is a myriad of examples of Mark flubbing a quote and starting an internet debate. One of the more recent instances involved Mark and Adam Granofsky of the band The War on Drugs. Apparently Mark was annoyed when The War on Drugs was performing at the same time he was at a music festival. Koz thought their performance bled into his and stated that their music was “beer commercial lead-guitar shit.” The grand finale of this debacle was Kozelek releasing a song entitled, “War on Drugs: Suck My C***.” Adam Granofsky called Mark a douche in an interview with Songs For Whoever and, honestly, it seems pretty deserved.
Last year, Mr. Kozelek racked up yet another quotable altercation. A woman named Laura Snapes requested an interview with the Kozelek, who only conducts interviews via email. One of these emails to Ms. Graves read, “You think you’re the only person who wants to get a face-to-face interview with me? Get in line. I’m the best person you never met and one day, if you ever meet me, you’ll probably want to have my baby.” Mark then berated Ms. Snapes at his next show and then started repeating the line, “Laura Snapes totally wants to f*** me / get in line, b**** … Laura Snapes totally wants to have my babies.” The whole story can be found at The Guardian.
To anyone who doesn’t know anything about the 49-year-old musician, he would seem to be a mean-spirited, elitist jerk, and maybe there’s a part of him that is. But from his music, you could gather that he his perhaps quite troubled. He’s also very tired, not physically, but mentally. He’s been making records in some capacity since 1989 and he travels literally all over the world almost annually, yet I’ve never met anyone who knows who he is. I often ponder the idea of devoting most of your life to writing and performing music and still only making a living and having a narrow following.
His fans are diehard fans and I think he uses this as a safety net to say whatever he wants to say, like he has nothing to lose. I don’t agree with how he treated Granofsky and Ms. Snapes, but I can’t deny the results he produces, and neither can the people he targets. Granofsky stated that even with the bout of childish remarks from Koz, Benji, a 2014 release under the Sun Kil Moon name, was still one of his favorite albums of the year.
Last time I recommended an entire album. Today I’m just recommending one song – “Ålesund.” This is one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard and I’m sure anyone who listens will agree. Put in your headphones and get lost in it. It’s a chronicle of Mark’s time in the Norwegian city from which the song gets its title. It appears on the album “Admiral Fell Promises” on which Kozelek showcases his skill on acoustic guitar. The whole album is great, but “Ålesund” is outstanding.