Sad Reminders

An Unofficial Mark Kozelek Site

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#1 03-14-2012 7:17pm

GUY
Member
Registered: 03-14-2012
Posts: 1

Mark Kozelek Rant

I am becoming increasingly annoyed with Mark Kozelek.  Allow me to rant...

Could it be more obvious that Kozelek is just trying to cash in?  Releasing live album after live album, each virtually indistinguishable from the previous.  A Desertshore "full length" on which he lends his voice to a few tracks, and the remainder is a guy noodling around on guitar.  Each SKM release has its own exclusive bonus CD (not available with digital download!!!) containing "alternate versions" which add absolutely nothing.  And behold!  The new addition to the garbage heap this week: a soundtrack from the DVD which actually contains tracks PULLED DIRECTLY FROM THE OTHER LIVE CDS! Are you kidding me!?

I know the cost of living is expensive in San Francisco, but please Mark, spare us all and get a job on the side or something.  Anything would be more respectable.

And it gets worse!!!

The live shows...could this guy be more of a jerk?  I've seen him perform a handful of times over the past few years.  Each time he relentlessly heckles the audience until the whole room is uncomfortable.   The same old line about old dudes with tennis shoes.  Or some comment about how the loser in the front row doesn't have a girlfriend.  What other performer treats his fans this way?  In LA a few years ago, Kozelek forgot the lyrics to Cruiser and asked the audience for help.  An enthusiastic fan spoke up, and Koz promptly responded with "haha, f'ing nerd".  Sound funny?  It wasn't.  It was awkward, and the fan looked genuinely hurt.  My wife left the show and commented that she'd never listen to RHP or SKM again.

And then...to top it off...a new album is on the way!  And this time around, we're given lyrics about how songwriting is a "chore" and a "curse".  I'm not very interested in reading a book by an author who details how he/she despises writing.  Nor would I like to see a film about how film making is unbearable.  The great artists are truly moved to express a thought or feeling.  Kozelek, obviously, does not fall within this category.  He would, however, like for you to put down $15.99 (!!!) for that new CD of his!

This concludes my rant.  Any my interest in Mark Kozelek.

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#2 03-14-2012 8:49pm

coupdetat
Member
From: Boston
Registered: 04-28-2010
Posts: 59

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

I agree and don't agree at the same time. I've been to three shows by Mark (two in Boston and one in Austin) and he didn't insult anyone in the audience. But I think Mark may have a single guy mentality. Meaning, that when you see a really attractive woman with a not so attractive guy, it puzzles you and it kind of pisses you off. That's at least how I am. (I've been single for three years). But you never know if the guy is a friend, a brother, a cousin, or he's gay. You never know but you just assume that they they're together. Maybe Mark, for his music and his talent, secretly wishes for more of a Motley Crue fan fare. Bigger shows, more amped up audience, and better looking girls. Who knows?

And I don't think he's selling out by all the releases. Fugazi made a semi-documentary, then they put out a soundtrack to the documentary. And Fugazi doesn't sell out. I think Mark got positive responses about some of the live performances on the DVD and thought, "What the hell? It'd be cheap to release it." As a hardcore fan, I'd rather have Mark release live cds, bonus cd's, alternative versions, and rarities than have to wait every two and a half years for a new album.

"So the fire is almost out and there's nothing left to burn,  I've run right out of thoughts and I've run right out of words." That was by Robert Smith of The Cure in the song '39' from Bloodflowers (which was supposed to be The Cure's last album). I'm not a writer, musician, or a songwriter, but I'm sure it's hard to come up with new material which you feel proud about and that you're not repeating yourself. I would hate to be a famous, bestselling author (i.e. James Patterson, Stephen King, or any other populist author) trying to come up with new material. I remember hearing something about the director John Carpenter who was notified that the studio that produced "Halloween," that they wanted a sequel. And he never had any idea that this film was going to be a success or that there would ever be a sequel. So he talked about staying up all night, and drinking beer after beer just reaching for any semi-plausible ideas for a sequel.

Either way, I accept your view. I just disagree.

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#3 03-14-2012 9:43pm

roice
Member
From: Australia
Registered: 05-17-2006
Posts: 34
Website

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Live albums are different these days.  People put them out all the time because they are cheap to produce and manufacture.  Years ago it was difficult and expensive. The artists work out that the hardcore fans will probably source a bootleg anyway, so why not flood the market with live recordings and make a little money.  I can't imagine that MK makes much money out of his recordings, even at the height of his fame he didn't sell many.  Still, I'm happy to buy what he puts out, it keeps him writing and that's a good thing in my opinion.

can't comment on the other stuff.

roice

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#4 03-15-2012 2:21am

Saint Dan
Member
From: UK
Registered: 06-10-2004
Posts: 174

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Regardless of your point of view on the whole live show experience, continuous stream of cardboard slipcased live CDs, cover versions, Spanish guitar, why doesn't he rock out anymore arguments, there is one thing to remember.

If you don't like it, don't buy it. If you do, dig deep. The vote you have is the one you carry in your wallet.

All we know is that although we all pine for a RHP reunion tour, we're still buying Live At Billy's Beef Shack for that previously unreleased acoustic cover of Wind Of Change by The Scorpions.

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#5 03-15-2012 10:44am

flytox
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 11-01-2005
Posts: 314

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Alright, "GUY"... So obvious you´re Kozelek himself. Come on...sign off and write some new songs!

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#6 03-15-2012 11:38am

BadSeed
Member
From: Scotland
Registered: 03-18-2007
Posts: 338

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

GUY is clearly Koz himself, but I can't really argue with anything you say, so I agree with you Mark you are an extremely unlikeable bawbag.

Don't think there is ever been another musician in the world that hates his fans as much as Kozelek does. I think he's just really bitter that he no longer has the fabio long hair and he's now a bit fat.

And the Caldo Verde records money making machine is taking the piss.

But don't worry Mark I'll have my pre order in for an album where you probably complain about me.

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#7 03-15-2012 2:11pm

ZoomBackCamera
Member
Registered: 01-10-2012
Posts: 34

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Disagree with the Desertshore comment, agree with a lot of the rest.

If Koz went touring with a full band again, I imagine he would see an increase in ticket sales. Or at least he could justify charging more per ticket (I know I'd pay up). But I doubt this will happen until after he's finished touring in support of Among the Leaves, which will probably receive a tepid response critically and commercially.

I enjoy Koz live and enjoy hearing the live releases, but at this point I have little interest in listening to yet another live version of Third and Seneca, Heron Blue, Like the River, and so on.

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#8 03-15-2012 5:59pm

Cruiser64
Member
Registered: 07-08-2011
Posts: 25

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

I don't think it's a cash grab.  Remember, a lot of the live CDs are free bonus things to reward the fans.  And let's face it, the sales are negligible so even with a lot of releases it's not adding up to that much dough.  I have seen RHP, SKM and Mark solo at least a dozen times, and on many of those occasions he has been in good spirits and has played extended shows.  I think he is a fundamentally shy person and finds performing live awkward, especially without a band, but economics do not always allow touring with a band.  So sometimes there is some teasing banter that flops.  He is obviously sensitive and highly self-critical, but that is what forges such exquisite music.

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#9 03-15-2012 10:44pm

Make Like Paper 420
Member
Registered: 05-16-2011
Posts: 71

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Cruiser64 wrote:

I don't think it's a cash grab.  Remember, a lot of the live CDs are free bonus things to reward the fans.  And let's face it, the sales are negligible so even with a lot of releases it's not adding up to that much dough.  I have seen RHP, SKM and Mark solo at least a dozen times, and on many of those occasions he has been in good spirits and has played extended shows.  I think he is a fundamentally shy person and finds performing live awkward, especially without a band, but economics do not always allow touring with a band.  So sometimes there is some teasing banter that flops.  He is obviously sensitive and highly self-critical, but that is what forges such exquisite music.

agreed!

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#10 03-15-2012 10:48pm

flytox
Member
From: Germany
Registered: 11-01-2005
Posts: 314

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

BadSeed wrote:

the fabio long hair

Priceless...

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#11 03-16-2012 2:42am

BadSeed
Member
From: Scotland
Registered: 03-18-2007
Posts: 338

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

He used to love that hair, now it's all gone wrong with a double chin and a belly lol

From Mark+Kozelek+Kozelek+2.jpg
to
kozelek-live-sommerfesten-2010-e1286835814739.jpg

This is the root of the Koz hostility.

To be fair a lot of the live albums are just bonus things he chucks in with new releases, but compare the output from the RHP early SKM days to the last 3 years. The soundtrack thing is definitely because he wants to buy something new for his house.

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#12 03-16-2012 9:07am

Cire79
Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Posts: 15

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

I for one love it when Mark releases the live albums.  I wish he would release even more than he already does.  Besides, a whole bunch of them have been free with an order from his label...so you saying he's trying to "cash in" makes little sense.  The Soundtrack on CD is great for people like me, who want to listen to the exclusive songs he put on there without having to watch the DVD.  If there's a few previously released songs on it, no big deal.  He's releasing the entire soundtrack.  Not to mention a lot of them on the DVD aren't the full song anyway, and they will be on the CD, so I don't get why you're so upset.  Don't buy it if you don't want it.

I can't speak to the comments where he's a jerk during live performances, as I haven't seen him live before (Since he doesn't seem to like to tour in Florida).  You may have a point there, since I've heard lots of comments over the years that he can say some pretty nasty things to his fans.  He probably is just trying to be funny when he does stuff like that...but I can't fault people who are taking the brunt of his comments from getting insulted or annoyed.

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#13 03-16-2012 9:11am

Cire79
Member
Registered: 08-18-2011
Posts: 15

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

BadSeed wrote:

To be fair a lot of the live albums are just bonus things he chucks in with new releases, but compare the output from the RHP early SKM days to the last 3 years. The soundtrack thing is definitely because he wants to buy something new for his house.

That's not really a fair statement.  Before when he was in the RHP, he was at the mercy of a record label.  The record label chooses what to release, so I'm sure he didn't even have the option to put out tons of live albums unless the label agreed.  Now that Mark owns his own label, he has the freedom to release what he wants when he wants.  I think it's terrific that he's able to do that now, as it gives the fans a lot more music of his to listen to. 

The only minor complaint I have with what he releases, is that he hasn't gone back and released any older live shows.  I think it would be great if he could release some live performances when he went on tour as Sun Kil Moon with a string section.

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#14 03-16-2012 9:42am

C0rtisol
Member
From: Montreal
Registered: 11-22-2010
Posts: 6
Website

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

Well, if it is Mark that "Guy"... I would say please come back to Montreal. I hope there is a booker willing to take a chance. I remember the last time and it seemed to me that the room was full. I guess I can understand some of the frustration with touring, but seeing it from my position as an aspiring musician ( for 10+ years now) and full time warehouse manager I guess I could think of worse ways to make a living. Last time I saw him live it was at the Ottawa Bluesfest where he was scheduled outside, at the same time as some very bass heavy band, and next to the door of a theater ( where he SHOULD have played) and the ticket scanners kept beeping all through the show. He was very uneasy and apologetic. I can imagine that would have put him right off.

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#15 03-16-2012 12:51pm

Earinfections
Member
From: North Carolina
Registered: 11-07-2005
Posts: 20

Re: Mark Kozelek Rant

I always thought Kozelek fans were completists so they would want a copy of every release, every show, every side project ever produced.  To say that he is selling out by releasing and re-releasing shows is kind of a shock to hear someone say though it's certainly valid.  I personally love the abundance of live releases and extra discs, and the strange sort of blind devotion to the CD format.  (Am I wrong about this?  It seems like if anything is released at all, it will come out on CD if on nothing else.  But I'm 29 so what do I know). However I understand very well how overwhelming it is when a band you love puts out three copies of the same single in four different countries with one different song on each version and having that feeling of knowing it's stupid to want to get all of them but you want it and etc. etc.  But if these releases help to support Caldo Verde and it's awesome roster then I'm more than all for it and I'll support it as much as I can.

As far as him being a jerk, I think it's great however he's acting.  Presumably we're all tremendous fans here, so we've probably narrowed our focus so finely on Kozelek the artist that we've created this image of Kozelek the person that's agreeable to us personally, reality be damned.  We want him to want to talk about chord structures or his favorite albums or tell a funny story from being on the road, but ultimately we want him to like us because we like him and his work so much.  And to me this is ridiculous and unreasonable and yet we all feel this way or have in the past about someone or a band or whoever.  That doesn't mean though that it's not still silly, so I don't know why we expect him, or any artist for that matter, to be gracious or accommodating or inoffensive only because you've gone to their show, or bought their work.  The price you paid for attendance or for movies or music doesn't obligate them to behave any way other than how they chose to behave.  If he's being a jerk, no matter how justified your reasoning may or may not be, and it's disagreeable to you then just stop going.  Stop listening.  Or don't. 

I know that @GUY is just airing grievances and is only really pointing this behavior out as evidence of his frustration, but I keep reading more and more how people are reacting to these kinds of situations and it's disappointing to see everyone take it so seriously.  I'm of the opinion that he's kind of being a dick sometimes and acting this way because it's funny to him, that he doesn't care what anyone thinks, and that he might actually kind of be a dick.  I also think he genuinely hates his audience.  On some level he has disdain for us, and maybe it's not all-consuming hate, but I think it's there.  That's fine.  It certainly doesn't change how much I love blasting Ghosts... in the middle of June on my back porch, or how much I love getting drunk to April, or how awesome Old Ramon is.  I wish I could have a carload of hot young coeds to bring to shows for him if that's what he wanted, but that's not the point and he would probably hate them anyway.  I think we take him too serious, partly because we're such big fans and partly because maybe we're all sensitive people?  His music plays right into those sorts of personalities right?  And yet he doesn't really act like a guy who wrote "Katy Song"?  I don't know.  I don't know and I don't care.  Until he starts no-showing at gigs, I'm still going to go to every one I can. 

(I've got to say this is best forum thread this site has had in a while.  Thanks GUY!)

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