Showing posts with label sun kil moon. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sun kil moon. Show all posts

Friday, March 10, 2017

video review: 'common as light and love are red valleys of blood' by sun kil moon

Well, this was a fun exercise... can't see myself forgetting this record any time soon, fascinating dig.

Next up, though... Temples. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

album review: 'common as light and love are red valleys of blood' by sun kil moon

I have a complicated relationship with Mark Kozelek - and not just because if we ever met in person, we'd probably hate each other with a passion, or at least find the other utterly insufferable.

Of course, this would rely upon Mark Kozelek logging onto the internet or YouTube, and that's never going to happen - his resentment of social media of any kind is near-legendary. But in this hypothetical, should we ever meet, he'd probably brand me as an overly-earnest, frequently annoying hipster poptimist that's still too damn pretentious for his own good. And at the same time, I'd probably brand him as a technophobic rockist curmudgeon who is just as pretentious and whose underlying pathology of bitter nihilism is intolerable and shoddily justified. And the hilarious thing is that while we'd probably end up hating each other buried deep down we'd probably have some grudging acknowledgement of our similarities, of the other's insight and intellect and how our statements about each other probably ring more true than we'd prefer to admit, at least not without a veneer of irony.

And that's the thing: as much as I'd probably hate Kozelek in person, from an artistic standpoint I find him a profoundly fascinating figure, and one where my frustrations are rooted in many of the parallels and flaws I see in my own short stories and novel. Self-aware framing but never quite as deep as it could be to mine deeper insight, poetic and detailed and ultimately deconstructionist in his themes, but never enough to mine it into a cohesive narrative, all against instrumentation and tones that can be as inviting as they are abrasive. Much of my complicated emotions culminated in my controversial review of Benji, his critically-adored 2014 record of which I admired a fair amount of the craft but thematically frustrated me to no end. And while I was planning to cover his tangled and ultimately overlong 2015 album Universal Themes - to which I'd argue hits a few underappreciated and stunning high notes - it ended up getting lost in the shuffle. So in order to make up for that, I decided to cover his newest record Common As Light And Love Are Red Valleys Of Blood - a title that says more about him than any of my rambling for the past few minutes ever will - and its mammoth two hour plus runtime. In other words, I was gearing up for a monster of a double album - how did it go?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

video review: 'benji' by sun kil moon

Yeah, I can only imagine how well this one will go over.

Next up... ugh, Cole Swindell. Get ready, folks, this one won't be pretty.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

album review: 'benji' by sun kil moon

I didn't want to cover this album.

See, I've gone on record a number of times before stating that acts in the 'white guy with acoustic guitar' mold just aren't for me. I find the genre oversaturated with too many acts of limited talent writing meandering songs that go nowhere in the 'Screw Me I'm Sensitive' school of songwriting. Now some of you might find this hard to believe, considering I'm a fan of country music, but most of this comes from country having a stronger attachment to songwriting structure in comparison to many of the would-be singer-songwriters dwelling in the indie folk scene. And sure, I appreciate earnestness and I like good singer-songwriters, but if you're going to go for minimalism in this vein, you only have a few elements to display and you'd better not screw them up.

And I'll admit, I was immediately skeptical when I started hearing the rave reviews for the newest album from Sun Kil Moon titled Benji. Sun Kil Moon is the project of long-time singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek, formerly of the Red House Painters and a long-time staple of the indie scene. And initially when the critical buzz started flying about this act, I started going through the discography - and I stopped. Why? Well, the guitar work was very good and the songwriting was interesting and layered, but for the life of me, I couldn't stand Kozelek's voice. It reminded me of Gary Lightbody's voice stripped of all good vocal technique and between the slurring and constantly going flat, as a singer myself it was distracting and it took away from the lyrics. And midway through Tiny Cities, that album of Modest Mouse covers that completely missed the point, I gave up and said, 'Well, look, I'm not a fan, so just ignore the act altogether and avoid pissing off everybody'.

But the positive reviews kept coming in and it began to look like this album was more than just the Pitchfork hype machine, and in my mind I kept thinking about Dream River, the album from singer-songwriter Bill Callahan that I covered last year and ended up being one of my favourites. And it was either trying again with Sun Kil Moon or tackling Cole Swindell (ugh) and delivering yet another bro-country rant, so I gave Sun Kil Moon another chance and picked up Benji, hoping for the best. How did it go?