OK, if I don’t keep writing about these new albums I will not get it done this year. I try not to do the same thing two days straight, you know? Mixed it up! But I think Mark’s today album is totally different to Alex’s yesterday album. I’ve just got to say something about this album now for my Friday post. I’ve not been a big fan of some of Mark’s new stuff this year but I guess he’s got a point to it all, not to sure what that is? If you need to be filled in what I’m talking about? This is Kozelek’s fourth album of 2017, yes this guy released one, two, three and four albums in one year!
One double album under his Sun Kil Moon moniker at the start of the year which mainly recorded in 2016 in New York and San Fran with Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley. The next was the follow up to last years Jesu/Sun Kill Moon collaboration basically done with Justin Broadrick last year too while on that tour so it’s all over the USA and Europe in various studios. Then third album was only a six tracks and back at his home in San Fran with Parquet Courts bassist Sean Yeaton recorded from Dec. 2016 to May 2016. Then this one I’m suppose to be writing about today with Ben and Jim again San Fran from Feb. to June 2017. So that’s a little back story or just what Mark’s been doing the last couple of years, in mid 2016 he also released a cover album too, linked here. Now I did wrote posts about those first two albums earlier this year but since removed those posts because I’ve back flipped my opinion about them. They’re not his greatest work but not as bad as I said then, maybe other reason why I’m now waiting a lot longer to write about new albums than just after a few listens.
On this album Jim plays drums, Ben plays the keyboards and Mark plays both bass and guitars plus sings the lyrics too, off course. Unlike the other three albums this year Kozelek wrote some liner notes inside the sleeves of how this album came together which the three of them played at a Lou Reed tribute gig in New York, I did a post about this year you know? Here’s a link to that. The only pre-written song for this album was Astronomy BTW there is another solo version on a four track EP called Night Talks which is given away for free this year with orders on his own record label. The rest where written while working in the studio so the other nine tracks over these two disc, yeah it’s another double album with five tracks on each discs.
White known for his work in Aussie 90’s band Dirty Three, I’ve written about his earlier 80’s bands on my blog here and there, if you wanna check them out? Since then Jim like a hire gun playing with everyone and anyone. Ben is known for working and was recommend by his mate Will Oldham aka Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy. I’ve not write about Ben before on my blog but I have huge amount of Mark, Sun Kil Moon and even his 90’s band Red House Painters here on my blog if you wanna look?
In short this album is my runner away fave album by Mark out of the four this year. Really to me it’s more a Mark’s words and Jim’s beats kind-of record, both seem to just cutting sick and letting loose here on this album. The keys, guitar and bass are there but the singing and drumming is totally the main thing, maybe even mixed higher too. Mark’s now last few years stream of consciousness style of writing/singing words to me so much better with Jim White’s drum playing style than any other musos he’s worked with in his career. Mark does love Boxing as a sport and I don’t know if this with sound like a negative but I mean it as a positive thing. This album is like a boxing match with both boxers matching hit for hit, punch for punch, the two of them of equal stretch and ending ten rounds flight in a tied on points. It’s up there with his best songs and albums he’s ever done as one of his greatest. It’s the most amazing, even unbelievable, stop what I’m doing in my tracks to just listen too. So it totally makes my cut as one of my fave albums of the year.
Mark Kozelek With Ben Boye And Jim White track listing and times:
CD 1, Track 1: House Cat – 6:48
CD1, Track 2: Topo Gigio – 14:42
CD1, Track 3: Fur Balls – 5:31
CD 1, Track 4: Los Margaritos – 5:08
CD 1, Track 5: Astronomy – 7:32
CD 2, Track 1: Blood Test – 12:01
CD 2, Track 2: Ashes – 4:42
CD 2, Track 3: February Rain – 8:20
CD 2, Track 4: The Black Butterfly – 6:23
CD 2, Track 5: The Robin Williams Tunnel – 16:22
Do you love this album as much as me? Or do you fucking hate it?