7th Dec 2018 letter from Mark

Highlight:

"I’m just finishing work on a 6-song full length album featuring artists Petra Haden, Jason Lindner, Kevin Corrigan, Steve Shelley, Donny McCaslin, Ben Boye, and other great talents. My guess is a July release on that one. Moniker/album title/song titles to be announced in February. The album was recorded throughout 2018 at Portland’s Ice Cream Party, Amsterdam’s IJland Studios, and San Francisco’s Hyde Street Studios."

Have a good feeling about this. The Petra Haden must be the duet he was about to write that he mentions on Robin Williams Tunnel.

Lowlight:

"This Is My Dinner was released on November 1. I never knew that these songs written so quickly on airplanes, music written during soundchecks, plus the entire album being recorded in 4 days, would receive so much attention. This, to me, is testament that making impactful and meaningful albums doesn’t mean slaving away at songs for a year and being in a studio for another year under the scrutiny of music industry hangers-on."

This is literally the opposite of the correct take-away from the largely negative reviews. Should read: "This, to me, is testament that making impactful and meaningful albums means slaving away at songs for a year and being in a studio for another year at least. As I once acknowledged in the song Track Number 8, making great art is hard work. There are no short cuts."

http://www.sunkilmoon.com/

Comments

  • JRSJRS
    Posts: 544

    2 x books coming out in 2019 - Nights of passed over 2 and a book of payphone photos. Interesting!

  • "This Is My Dinner was released on November 1. I never knew that these songs written so quickly on airplanes, music written during soundchecks, plus the entire album being recorded in 4 days, would receive so much attention."

    Did it?
    Or does he refer to the negative attention from Pitchfork?

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 22

    He does remind me of Trump in some of his pronouncements.

    So much attention for new record - TOTALLY vindicates my approach! Music industry hangers on are such losers DRAIN THE SWAMP!

  • Posts: 1,157

    I doubt there have been any hangers on since the 90s (when there were the imaginary hot female fans at all the shows).

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 422

    As I understood it in Berlin, he talked about it getting many reviews from different sites/magazines as opposed to say MK with Ben Boye & Jim White nearly got no attention in this way. And I'm sure attention in any way (with it being largely negative for This Is My Dinner but correct me if I'm wrong...) gets more sales. My guess is also that the moniker change for the forthcoming one with Donny McCaslin comes from more or decent sales of This Is My Dinner under the Sun Kil Moon moniker.

    Also this: "...which includes all lyrics I’ve written and released from Admiral fell Promises to the present. This includes not only 14 full length albums during that period, but also singles and songs from various EPs."
    He released 14 full length albums since Admiral? I don't have the time to count at the moment but that's insane if true.^^

  • WDSWDS
    Posts: 67

    @whistlebiter said:
    He does remind me of Trump in some of his pronouncements.

    So much attention for new record - TOTALLY vindicates my approach! Music industry hangers on are such losers DRAIN THE SWAMP!

    Ha ha this is hilarious

  • Posts: 1,157

    LOCK PITCHFORK UP!

  • Posts: 70

    Can't fathom how long Nights of Passed Over 2 is going to be judging by the sheer amount of lyrics in his output from the past several years.

  • Posts: 1,157

    Hey it can go in the Library of Congress and in 200 years people can read about kitty cats and eating ramen while having erectile dysfunction.

  • Posts: 26

    @DonaldDuckKooKim said:
    As I understood it in Berlin, he talked about it getting many reviews from different sites/magazines as opposed to say MK with Ben Boye & Jim White nearly got no attention in this way. And I'm sure attention in any way (with it being largely negative for This Is My Dinner but correct me if I'm wrong...) gets more sales. My guess is also that the moniker change for the forthcoming one with Donny McCaslin comes from more or decent sales of This Is My Dinner under the Sun Kil Moon moniker.

    This is how he described it at the Christmas show with Kevin Corrigan -- This Is My Dinner was a travelogue put to music that he didn't expect much attention from.

    Then with the wildly negative reception (p4k in particular), he got far more press than he anticipated which he views as a positive thing (esp in context of some other recent releases). I forget how he exactly phrased it but he's happy with any attention cause he loves all people, even the haters or whatever he said.

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 147

    I've had the feeling for a very long time that Mark's been trying to prove a point -- the less hard he tries and the worse his art becomes as a result, the more money he makes and the more popular he gets. So far, so good.

    The 'loving all people' bit would be suspect to me if the above is true, however. Only a misanthrope would denigrate his art in order to prove a point like that.

    Regarding the Trump comparison, I said that about Mark on this forum quite some time ago. Donnie certainly proves my theory every single day. As of today, his approval rating is at the exact same level as Obama's was at this point in his presidency.

    Koz has certainly become a Man Of Our Times. At least he can buy Caroline more Christmas gifts than before and he will have more hundred dollar bills to pass out to the homeless in his neighborhood. That's a good thing. And I do believe he tries to love all people and is definitely kind to his mother.

    I have to look at it this way -- he gave us 20 mostly magical years. Coulda been worse.

  • WDSWDS
    Posts: 67

    Hey micro 77s - interesting post. Do you think he's making more money now? When I last saw him (in Berlin) the small venue was far from full. In this age of Spotify he can't be making much from music sales. He even mentioned that Ben B makes more than he does, with the wage he's paid

    I also suspect he's a misanthrope, but that's alright with me. All that 'i have love for everybody' stuff is hilarious.

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 147

    @WDS said:
    Hey micro 77s - interesting post. Do you think he's making more money now? When I last saw him (in Berlin) the small venue was far from full.

    Oh yeh, he's making lots of money, mostly because he's practically a one-man operation. That's why he has to fart out so many projects and toot sweet in order to keep the plates spinning.

    Not sure how well he ever did in Germany, but he could improve concert attendance overall if his shows weren't so awful. He can't sing for sh*t now and doesn't even play his guitar. What's there to see except a middle-aged hulk stalking the stage like a wild-eyed reprobate mumbling about tedious events of his day? Nobody wants that. Well, I guess enough people do to keep him working for awhile until he builds up a new fan base of cretinous goons who find the trivial stuff of his personal life entertaining.

    Personally, I'd rather listen to an old man coughing. No wait, that's his next album :neutral:

  • Posts: 1,157

    There already has been a coughing song. I think it’s on Yellow Kitchen.

  • WDSWDS
    Posts: 67

    And don't forget the extended expectorating on Linda Blair

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 147

    Excellent. I'll have to check those out. Might help me gag up the mucus from my next hideous chest cold.

    From transcendent indie folk rock singer to music to help the elderly expectorate. God knows I love him.

  • Posts: 163

    @KozFan said:
    There already has been a coughing song. I think it’s on Yellow Kitchen.

    and it surely can't be beaten?

  • JRSJRS
    Posts: 544

    Coming soon... Mark Kozelek Chocolate flavoured ‘special sauce’.

  • Posts: 946

    I am now vomiting 🤮

  • Posts: 1,157

    Don’t be a hater. The nonexistent hot groupies always tell him he has the best tasting cum.

  • Nights of passed over 2 book of lyrics huh. The vast drop in writing quality will be so starkly obvious to anyone comparing the two volumes that book 2 will just seem like a bad joke.

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 147

    I happened to stumble upon Admiral Fell Promises on an old iPod last night while driving in the country and thought "Why not?" ..... it had been a long time since I'd heard it.

    Big mistake. The music broke my heart into a million pieces almost immediately and I was choking back the tears by the time the title song hit. This is the kind of experience I remember cherishing for so many years every time Mark put out a new album, only this time the tears were as much for the loss of a great artist (or should I say, the loss of my ability to appreciate this great artist) as they were for the overwhelming beauty of the work. I suppose I would have to be Mark himself in order to understand why someone so blessed and so gifted with that kind of astonishing talent on his instrument, his voice and his songwriting would decide to choose a path so divergent from the one that displayed all three in such bold and glorious relief.

    I am certain he would laugh hysterically if he read the above. Perhaps that's one clue to my conundrum.

    'Ya know, Mark said something at one of the last SKM concerts I attended that I have never forgotten. Some of you may have read my lengthy review of this show at the Great American Music Hall maybe 5 or 6 years ago where he had to have an annoying female fan ejected for being intoxicated and upsetting him near the front of the stage. It was clear that he felt bad for having to do so and kept backpedaling his decision with excuses to the audience. Perhaps in spite of himself, he leaked out a very telling remark about "not being like Neil Young who can afford better security" .... I had heard him make other vague references like this about Neil over the years, and it eventually became clear to me that Mark is insanely jealous and envious of Neil's success. This is completely understandable on a number of levels, and I truthfully relate to and sympathize with his feelings, given the kind of musician Mark is and what his commercial and personal goals have probably always been to some extent. Heck, Neil only lives maybe 25 miles from Mark's pad in San Francisco, but the contrast in their lifestyles and success in the music business must be crushing to him personally.

    Could it be that his career trajectory has progressed in the tangential way that it has as a last ditch attempt to grab the brass ring one way or another, once and for all, and with artistic consequences be damned? This idea plays into the point in my post above -- that he simply wants what he always hoped he had coming to him. All he wants is his fair share.

  • edited December 2018 Posts: 946

    @micro77s Thanks for your post as it resonates strongly with my own feelings with regard to Mark & his music
    Funnily enough all of my collection of Mark’s music books posters etc is being stored in a pals house since February of this year when my health took a serious turn for the worst & I had to move at very short notice.so I haven’t been listening to his older stuff in a while.I was a proud completist having seen him play live 13 times in one guise or another and the 13th last year in Dublin was by far the most disappointing of them all. I used to enjoy the beautiful posters he would produce through The Small Stakes and had at least 3 of them framed and I had many many compilations some quite obscure & difficult to get hold of especially here in Ireland 🇮🇪.The more recent merchandise includes the t-shirts telling the hillbillies to shut the fuck up & America’s most wanted just seemed ‘ugly’ to me.The photography used on the album covers had that ethereal 4ad ethos to them wheresas now they are functional but of course a whole lot cheaper as Mark takes them himself.
    For me Benji was a turning point and perhaps the song Dogs was specifically where any semblance of ‘beauty or artistry’ seemed to ebb away.I haven’t purchased the last 3 or 4 releases as I really felt that with Universal Themes, Yellow Kitchen and the releases since then they were chores to listen to even the very 1st times & nothing I’d heard made me believe I’d revisit them in the future so I’ve just stopped buying his music to be honest as money is tight and I just can’t justify it.
    I’ve mentioned it on here before but my brother who lives in Berlin has a very good friend where lives in Sweden and is an ex of Mark’s & has given a bit of an insight into what his behaviour can be like....swinging between generous and arsehole-y
    I know I’m starting to ramble but I listened a few hours ago to a live version of Phoebe Bridgers covering You Missed My Heart and it had pretty much the same effect on me as Admiral Fell Promises did on you
    I guess I’ll finish with the fact that there was a time when Mark would come to play live in Ireland and I would look forward to hearing NEW material as there was almost a guarantee of a certain pretty high standard of what he’d produce.I didn’t need to hear yet another live rendition of Carry Me Ohio (although I never tired of hearing Duk Koo Kim) but could expect a high standard with whatever was coming down the track
    I remember the 1st time hearing You Missed My Heart & Baby In Death Can I Rest Next to your Grave and being so moved by them both but in contrast his treatment of Jimmy LaValle and a chat with Jimmy himself about it when I was lucky enough to catch The Album Leaf play Dublin soon afterwards made me realize that Mark’s actions sometimes made me despair but at least there was the music
    Sadly now there isn’t even that😭

  • @micro77s welcome back and thanks for the nice (not so for Mark^^) writeup. I can totally imagine where Mark is coming from. It's a mixture of so many things that happened/influenced his life and some of the things you mentioned sure play into it. You've mentioned Admiral. I'm pretty sure at some point I read that Mark said he would take that record to the grave with him as he's so proud of that. That was practically his last record with the old writing style and I believe it wasn't as well received critically and commercially as he wanted it to be. And that was what first lead to Among the Leaves (where he just collected the left off songs from Admiral - like Young Love and Black Kite - plus the Sunshine in Chicago new writing style) and then the rest tumbled along with his love for difficult artists that stay true to their strange muses. Neil Young being also one of them, Lou Reed being another. They also made strange strange records and I think he just adopted the role of the obscure artist and tries to push the boundaries of traditional songwriting. I suspect he made the most money in his life with Benji and post-Benji, so in that way he made it, too. He can buy houses in his favorite places and so on.
    Now you can see all that positive, negative sometimes both at the same time or you just care for his old stuff. Maybe his reluctance to play old stuff comes from that, too. You didn't appreciate it at the time, so now you don't get to hear it anymore...I'm not that guy anymore...

    I still continue to observe his weird journey through the music landscape and occasionally find a glimpse or a longer look at the beauty he was able to convey in the way of his old albums (I can heartily recommend the self-titled one from this year, but I suspect you might just get enough from him hearing sing diarrhea as a mantra, so just listen to 666 Post maybe and maybe you can see he developed artistically even over all the mediocre albums that he put out over past several years and it's not just looking at how much he can get away with).

  • I am just going to give a quick 2 cents here. simply as I get older i find i cant do the things i used to be able to do all the time. especially with arthritis in my hands. all the music playing and painting have made things hard for me to do. I do think that Mark doesn't play guitar for the same reason, it might hurt. Maybe here and there but maybe he cant do it for the whole tour every other night, it just might be too much. So hes pouring everything into these crazy lyrics. Along with some of the other reasons stated above.

  • Posts: 26

    @MrHanky said:
    I remember the 1st time hearing You Missed My Heart & Baby In Death Can I Rest Next to your Grave and being so moved by them both but in contrast his treatment of Jimmy LaValle and a chat with Jimmy himself about it when I was lucky enough to catch The Album Leaf play Dublin soon afterwards made me realize that Mark’s actions sometimes made me despair but at least there was the music
    Sadly now there isn’t even that😭

    Any details you can share about your convo with Jimmy?

  • Posts: 26

    @dani9374 said:
    I am just going to give a quick 2 cents here. simply as I get older i find i cant do the things i used to be able to do all the time. especially with arthritis in my hands. all the music playing and painting have made things hard for me to do. I do think that Mark doesn't play guitar for the same reason, it might hurt. Maybe here and there but maybe he cant do it for the whole tour every other night, it just might be too much. So hes pouring everything into these crazy lyrics. Along with some of the other reasons stated above.

    He mentioned this sentiment at the Christmas show — after three hours of playing shows supporting Admiral he would go back to the hotel with painful cramps in his hands, his back — “I played guitar for a long long time.”

    Now as he joked “I can afford to pay people to play guitar for me”

  • Posts: 1,157

    But then on that tour he would brag about what a great guitarist he is because he doesn’t waste time on the internet and practices instead and that we could all be good at something too if we were disciplined like only he is.

  • @micro77s said:
    Could it be that his career trajectory has progressed in the tangential way that it has as a last ditch attempt to grab the brass ring one way or another, once and for all, and with artistic consequences be damned? This idea plays into the point in my post above -- that he simply wants what he always hoped he had coming to him. All he wants is his fair share.

    I very much doubt this. What gives you the idea that he doesn't care about his art anymore? I you follow his career trajectory over the years you'll find that change has always been an integral aspect. Who would have expected an album with AC/DC covers when he was still with RHP? Wasn't it a surprise move when he came up with the SKM moniker? It's not like Mark played just one kind of music for 20 years and then flushed it all down the loo. Just think of how he went from alt-folkrock to classical guitar music with the sequence of "April" and "Admiral Fell Promises".

    I think Mark simply gets bored easily. Once he has mastered a certain form, his instinct is to leave it behind. Even with his output of the last two years, if you listen carefully you'll notice how each album is musically distinct. The songs from "Yellow Kitchen" wouldn't sit well on the second SKM/Jesu collab (which in itself is already a departure from their first album), and the jazzy Beatnik feel of the JW/BB collab totally differs from the electric guitar sounds of his self-titled album earlier this year.

  • @bromberg71 I think he still cares very much about his art, too. His live performance of 666 Post in Berlin was a concert highlight for me as you could tell he was totally in the moment and putting it all into singing the song (he didn't even use a lyric sheet^^).

    And after all don't forget that he's just a weirdo, too. A culmination of many very diverse musical interests.

Sign In or Register to comment.