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Sun Kil Moon Saves: Or, What To Do When Having a Car in San Francisco Has Gotten You Down

Posted by Miss Ess, August 16, 2007 02:00pm | Post a Comment
Inevitably, sometimes life kicks us in the ass.

When it does, we all have things we turn to in order to cope.

This week, while spending most of my time at home either in bed with the covers over my head or on the couch, blankly staring at the wall, twiddling my thumbs, I felt an utter loss of inspirado.

twiddling thumbs

I mean, after spending most of last week happily indulging in Bridezillas, where does one go from there? Where CAN one go from there when life shifts irritatingly and becomes a pathetic time of need?

Well, welcome to my schizo mind. As much as something as ridiculous as my aforementioned obsession with The View can cheer me up, I also turn to things that are much more nostalgic and "serious" and I do like to allow myself a good wallow every now and again when circumstances call for it.

The supreme wallowing record, at least for the last year or so, for me has been Sun Kil Moon's Ghosts of the Great Highway. Have you heard it?

sun kil moon ghosts of the great highway cover album mark kozelek

It's by Mark Kozelek, who formed Red House Painters, made a lot of records I never really got into, got sick of the business and that name and released this record as something completely different.
mark kozelek live sun kil moon
It's fantastic for a good wallow. In fact, I find it's actually fantastic any time. It's one of those fabulous and few records that morph somehow with my mood and mean different things whether I am ecstatic or down in the dumps or somewhere in between.

In other words, it's one of the few records where I have no idea what he's talking about lyrically, so the music takes on whatever I happen to project. The sounds are what bring the meaning, and I find the record so sonically moving I have never really bothered much tomark kozelek sun kil moon try to figure out what the heck Mr. Kozelek is actually talking about. That's really rare for me when it comes to music. I realize many people never listen closely to lyrics, but me, I'm a big lyrics person 90% of the time.

Something about Mark's voice on this record is just so aching and sad and maybe even regretful. It's gorgeous. To me, it sounds like someone who left his hometown, lived his life, has gone through the school of hard knocks, and who has returned to this hometown, maybe even to his parents' house after a very long absence.  Now everything is in perspective. Now those things that once seemed silly and confusing are lit with clarity. Things have changed but they've stayed the same. Heartbreaking, isn't it?

That's right, it's the singer songwriter version of "This Used To Be My Playground." There, I said it--  believe it.

madonna this used to be my playground
It's even Madonna's Birthday today!

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Ghosts Of The Great Highway (1), Mark Kozelek (9), Madonna (42), Sun Kil Moon (6)