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#21 solace

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 04:48 PM

:wave

re: Heron Blue... i wouldn't say it's a favorite, but to me it seems to fill the roll that Duk Koo Kim played on Ghosts

#22 trevor

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:06 PM

Duk Koo Kim>>>>Heron Blue

"Duk Koo Kim" really feels like the centrepiece of Ghosts, and I certainly can't say the same for "Heron Blue." If anything, I'd call "Tonight the Sky" or "...Bilbao" the centrepiece of this one. I think what bugs me the most about "Heron Blue" is that Kozelek seems to be deliberately singing in a really low octave, and it comes off sounding (to me, at least) as unintentionally hilarious. Which really doesn't work considering its lyrical content.

#23 solace

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 05:13 PM

oh i prefer DKK too, don't get me wrong, just saying the songs both have a similar droning vibe and presence when comparing/contrasting the records...

#24 trevor

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:32 PM

hmm. ok, yeah. i guess i can get behind that.

this thread inspired me to put the record on. "Moorestown" is just heartbreaking.

anyway, i'm always kinda surprised by the lack of discussion kozelek gets around these parts. when April first came out, there were a few posts and then things fizzled out not too long after that. i do think it's quite impressive that, considering how long he's been making music for, that he's still creating some of his best material now.

did anyone get his book that came out this year? the limited release with all his lyrics? worth it?

#25 Golden Smoghead

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Posted 17 December 2008 - 07:54 PM

I suspect the reason April didn't get a lot of attention is b/c if you came in atGhosts , it really is something of a letdown. Ghosts had that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot thing going on where you suspect there's more to all these noises and the catches of lyrics you pick up on, everything feels heavy with the Midwest and old tv shows, and by comparison April just seems needlessly overproduced or something.

I'm not smart enough about this kind of thing, but it really seems like something slipped, engineering-wise, on the path from Ghosts --> Tiny Cities --> April. I'll give these both another spin and try to pin it down, but just going from memory I would guess that the vocals are tracked softer on April, and there are more guitars playing on most of the songs on April, both of which would just sort of blandify the sound if you catch my drift. Or maybe the vocals were sung a tad more aggressively back on Ghosts -- something with those vocals though I think.

Also let me just say that his version of "Neverending Math Equation" is absolutely revelatory. I'd listened to the MM song without really picking up on all that depth until I heard Mark sing about being "never, ever, ever even."

#26 solace

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 02:35 AM

a bulk of both records were recorded at the exact same studio in San Fran and Mark produced both himself, so sonically they don't sound very different at all to me. Both have a fair amount of layering going on on a handful of tracks. now i could see if it had oodles of pointless overdubs, tacky faux-strings added on, etc. then i'd definitely agree. nothing I hate worse than when someone adds strings just because they can, or have the budget. and i know production is a totally personal preference, but i MIGHT even prefer the overall sound of April by a small margin... next time i listen to Ghosts i'll have to contrast a bit more closely. both are absolutely stunning sounding records imo, regardless of which anyone prefers sound-wise.

ironically, a common complaint i heard about Ghosts was that many people didn't really like the heavier songs on there (Lily & Parrots, Salvador Sanchez, etc.), and this record, save for Tonight The Sky and the end of Lost Verses, has even less of the heavy bits than Ghosts.

re: the vocal mix on April, you may be right on that, i'd have to do a more visual comparison i guess. i've always felt Mark has his vocals just above the fold, especially with RHP, so maybe that's why.

like i said above, i can understand why some might not love it or be disappointed some. it was a LONG 5 years between proper full lengths, and after finding Tiny Cities intereseting yet overall a fairly dull affair, i honestly was kinda shocked I enjoyed April as much as I do myself. i didn't IMMEDIATELY take to April like I did Ghosts, but by the time it came to double digit listens i was certainly blown away by it. late night listens are a huge reason I love it so much, i won't deny that. but I also tend to spin it a lot towards the end of my work day, tends to let my mind drift away for a good hour + :lol.

i wouldn't assume that anyone who loved Ghosts or even got into him w/ that record are disappointed with the record though, even if there's some examples of that on Via. one quick glance over at Sad Reminders would prove that to be false ;) . critically it's doing about the same as Ghosts: 81 on Metacritic, vs. 83 for Ghosts, but April has 24 reviews factored in compared to Ghosts' 18. it's poised to crack the top 15 the Sound Ops annual EOY poll too from the looks of things.

now i definitely still prefer Ghosts, let me be frank about that... that album is still in my top 5 post '00, whereas April is probably closer to top 25-30. but the two albums to me are like the difference between an A+ and an A- at best.

have you heard the April bonus disc? that has demo/early versions/alt takes of a good chunk of the record that's definitely MUCH more raw than April or Ghosts for that matter. if not, sounds like you might dig it. i will say that Like The River on the record definitely benefits a lot from Will Oldham's presence for me.

Trevor is OTM though... regardless if people were disappointed with April or not, he's still proven he's on the top of his game 20 years later, not many artists can say that.

re: your comments about YHF & Ghosts... not sure what you mean exactly?

edit: jeez, sorry that was so long... can you tell I love Kozelek a bit? my man crush on Koz isn't quite to the level of the one I have on M. Ward, but it's close :blush

#27 MattZ

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 07:36 AM

This thread inspired me to check out Sun Kil Moon. I had never heard them (him?) before. I just listened to Lost Verses and I need to go pick my jaw up off the floor. Holy crap. Thanks VC.

#28 Moss

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 08:02 AM

First time I heard Sun Kil Moon was on my "Son Volt" station on Pandora. Intrigued me enough to check out more. So far Ghosts is preferred.

#29 trevor

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:23 AM

ironically, a common complaint i heard about Ghosts was that many people didn't really like the heavier songs on there (Lily & Parrots, Salvador Sanchez, etc.), and this record, save for Tonight The Sky and the end of Lost Verses, has even less of the heavy bits than Ghosts.


I'm a huge fan of "Salvador Sanchez," but "Lily & Parrots" is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album. It serves its role by anchoring the back half with the obligatory rocker, but still...doesn't do a whole lot for me.

And Solace, I agree, Ghosts is in my top 5 of this decade.

#30 solace

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 11:27 AM

I'm a huge fan of "Salvador Sanchez," but "Lily & Parrots" is probably one of the weaker tracks on the album. It serves its role by anchoring the back half with the obligatory rocker, but still...doesn't do a whole lot for me.

And Solace, I agree, Ghosts is in my top 5 of this decade.


ah... I absolutely adore Lily myself. the guitar riff is awesome and that chorus is SO f'n catchy. plus i just think it's a great batch of lyrics:

you are my love
i hold you above
everything and everyone
yeah everyone
everyone


This thread inspired me to check out Sun Kil Moon. I had never heard them (him?) before. I just listened to Lost Verses and I need to go pick my jaw up off the floor. Holy crap. Thanks VC.

:thumbup

#31 sureshot

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:02 PM

"Ghosts" is kind of my default album to listen to in the early morning during the commute on the train. Carry Me Ohio", Gentle Moon, Pancho Villa, and the 14 minute "Duk Koo Kim" are all masterpieces

I don't care if its all basically the same song rearranged 10 different ways...the album is brilliant

I like April, but it dosent really grab me the same way.

#32 sureshot

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Posted 18 December 2008 - 04:06 PM

This thread inspired me to check out Sun Kil Moon. I had never heard them (him?) before. I just listened to Lost Verses and I need to go pick my jaw up off the floor. Holy crap. Thanks VC.



Mark Kozelek is the driving force behind the band. They used to be known as the Red House Painters before "rebranding" as Sun Kil Moon. Koz also has a pretty extensive solo output as well...oftentimes centered around covering other bands in his signature style. For instance, Whats Next To the Moon is a collection of AC/DC covers done acoustically.
Up To My Neck In You
If You Want Blood

You get the idea.

#33 Golden Smoghead

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:34 PM

Sorry for necro'ing this old thread about this old album.... But almost a year later, April finally clicks for me. Lost Verses is probably the first 9:00+ song that I have ever really, truly, 100%, liked (sorry, Shine On You Crazy Diamond and everything live by the Dead).

Do you guys have any good starting points for Red House Painters albums? I've poked at a couple songs here and there but none of them really grabbed me.

#34 trevor

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:58 PM

Songs for a Blue Guitar is the best place to start, I think. It's the closest to his Sun Kil Moon material, and maybe the most consistent of his RHP releases, although that's highly debatable. anyway, that's where i'd turn to first.

#35 deepseacatfish

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 08:59 PM

Old Ramon is where I first got into them, but it's all good stuff.

#36 cooperissup3r

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 12:08 AM

he was in Red House Painters wasn't he? Have You Forgotten is an excellent song.

Do you guys have any good starting points for Red House Painters albums? I've poked at a couple songs here and there but none of them really grabbed me.


Have You Forgotten

#37 Golden Smoghead

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Posted 26 February 2009 - 09:37 PM

Thanks for the ideas!

#38 Oil Can Boyd

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 10:30 AM

New Mark Kozelek live album coming out on May 12. Details here.

#39 Calexico

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 11:12 AM

Ghosts took me a long time to get into, a really long time. I have no idea why that is but I am glad I stuck with it. Sometimes albums just don't ring bells for me but a lot of the time those are the ones that, if you hang in there, are the most rewarding. As for Damien Jurado....OMG, as the little girls say, he is so bloody great. Not a day goes by here without me playing something from his collection.

#40 Lodestar

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Posted 17 March 2009 - 12:05 PM

As for Damien Jurado....OMG, as the little girls say, he is so bloody great. Not a day goes by here without me playing something from his collection.


I'm a huge Kozelek fan and have been wanting for a while to give Jurado a try... Any suggestions where to start?




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