out today 4/1...sun kil moon...

Posted by Brad Schelden, April 3, 2008 03:23pm | Post a Comment
Out today is the brilliant new album from Sun Kil Moon. The album is full of the intense heartbreaking songs that we have come to expect from Mark Kozelek. I don't know how he does it, but he creates the most depressing songs imaginable and he keeps you coming back for more. I just can't get enough of his albums over the last 15 years or so. They sometimes almost hurt me when I listen to them. Like the emotions actually become painful. I can sometimes feel the tears just by hearing his name or thinking about his music for even a second. It is sort of Pavlovian. My body had been trained to get emotional just at the thought of Mark Kozelek of the Red House Painters. This might not sound like very much fun, but I completely enjoy listening to Sun Kil Moon albums and I can't barely imagine my life without Mr. Mark Kozelek making music. My journey through his music began a long time ago. I still remember going to Morning Glory Music in Santa Barbara to pick up my fist copy of a Red House Painters album. At this point in my life I was very much obsessed with 4AD Records. I was determined to own everything on the label and had not yet been disappointed. I also based some of my purchases on album covers at that point-- this is how I first got into another 4AD band, This Mortal Coil.

The two self titled Red House Painters albums came out in 1993, a year after Down Colorful Hill came out in 1992.  My first album by them that I bought was the "rollercoaster" cover self titled album. The cover was a brilliant sepia colored photo of an old broken down roller coaster. I absolutely love roller coasters and am a sucker for anything with a sepia filter on it. The album included "Grace Cathedral Park," "Mistress," and "Mother."  The entire album is fantastic, and I guarantee you that this album will make you cry. It is really all about that fantastic voice that belongs to Mark Kozelek. The slow, dreamy, folky music fits in perfectly with his voice. Many of the songs on the six Red House Painters albums remain some of my favorites. I became obsessed with Red House Painters after this first album. I went back on bought the other two albums and patiently waited until 1995 for the release of Ocean Beach. This became one of those albums forever attached to a year in my life. I can't really think about 1995/1996 without thinking about this album. It was my last year in college and this was the perfect album to sort of help soundtrack my life that year. There was lots of Blur, Elastica, Gene, Suede, and Stereolab to get my through the year as well, but Red House Painters have been in my life ever since.

Red House Painters was also emotionally attached to San Francisco for me. This is where the albums were made and I imagined San Francisco to somehow feel like a Red House Painters album. I moved to San Francisco in 1996. This was the year that Songs For A Blue Guitar came out. As you would imagine, I often think of this album when thinking of my first years in San Francisco. I was excited to be in the same town that they lived in. I probably saw them perform live about 15 times over the next couple of years. New albums by Mark Kozelek and Sun Kil Moon have helped me through the rest of my time in San Francisco, but I've been really ready for another album. This new album has not let me down so far. It sounds exactly like I expected it to and makes me feel exactly like I expected it to. It helps to get my emotions to the surface. I guess Mark Kozelek and Red House Painters have sort of been like my therapist over the years. Music is often used as a form of therapy, and the best kind of music is the stuff that makes you feel all your emotions -- whether they are the good kind or the bad kind. I have probably listened to the song  "Medicine Bottle" over 500 times. It is one of the songs that I can not get enough of even though it totally tortures me every time I listen to it. It is on the first album. The new album is called April.  If you are a fan of anything he has done in the past then you will for sure love this new album just as much, but if you have not spent very much time with Mark Kozelek before, I highly recommend exploring the Red House Painters catalog. Down Colorful Hill, the two self titled albums, Ocean Beach, and Songs for a Blue Guitar are all brilliant. I will be spending a lot of time with those old albums over the next couple months. I have neglected listening to them very much over the last year, but the memories attached to them always remain deep inside me forever.

Also out today...

Electronic Projects for Musicians by Apples in Stereo

Attack & Release by The Black Keys

Guilty Guilty by Diamanda Galas

Twenty-Five by George Michael

X by Kylie Minogue

Last Night by Moby

H.A.A.R.P. Tour Live by Muse

Accelerate by R.E.M.

Pop Up by Yelle

Relevant Tags

Mark Kozelek (12), Sun Kil Moon (11), Red House Painters (6), San Francisco (359)