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Sun Kil Moon

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So I have been glancing at everyone's fav's for this past year and I haven't seen that many mentions for April by Sun Kil Moon. It barely makes my list of favorites for 08, which was a tad disappointing considering how much I loved Ghosts of The Great Highway and Sun Kil Moon's Modest Mouse Covers Album (can't think of the title). I know the Modest Mouse covers didn't get a lot of love but it single handidly made me like Modest Mouse (that is cool). Anyway, I thought April was a little tired sounding (which isn't a Mark Koselek joke). Any thoughts?

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My daughter and I were just discussing April yesterday. Ghosts or April? She sided with Ghosts. I lean toward April. I think the songwriting has more depth on April. The music is not as immediate as Ghosts, but it grows.

Tiny Cities - merely nice.

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Hey while we are talking about sad depressing stuff, anyone heard Damien Jurado's Caught In The Trees? Just when I think I don't need any more sad stuff I'll here Damien Jurado's voice and it grabs me and pulls me in. Listen to "I Am Still Here" from Now That I'm In Your Shadow and you'll know what I mean

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i love ghosts but april put me to sleep. i've tried other stuff of mark's & had the same reaction as listening to april.

 

 

I kind of agree. Ghosts had great musical hooks to keep you interested, Tiny Cities was short and sweet, while April meanders. I'm not saying it isn't pleasant and that Lost Versus and Moorestown aren't beautiful, but as a whole it become overwhelming in the sleepy way. I also had this reaction to most of his Red House Painters albums.

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April was my #3 on the year... it's amazing

not quite as great as Ghosts, but for me, insanely close... (i'd say Ghosts was a 9.4, April is a 9.0)

 

one of the best late night records in years. i'd argue with those who were disappointed by it to give it a bunch more chances, namely late at night... then again i love RHP too...

 

i'd also be curious what songs exactly are people getting hung up on April... i agree it's a daunting and long listen, no question, but to me it feels very much like a sequel to Ghosts thematically & sonically.

 

Tiny Cities however... was mad dull... a few covers worked (maybe 3-4), but overall the record was all the same tempo and tone making it a very homogeneous listen

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:/

 

i can see not liking it as much, but a THING? the album has 4-5 songs as good as anything on Ghosts for me... (Lost Verses, Moorestown, Tonight The Sky, Like The River (Oldham sounds amazing on this), & Tonight In Bilbao)

 

Lost Verses might be the best song he's written under the Sun Kil Moon moniker (previously i'd say it was Carry Me Ohio). that breakdown when the electric guitar & drums drops in KILLS me

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nah, it's cool if people don't like it. just surprised somewhat i guess. i'll fully admit i'm a Kozelek fanboy, as grumpy and dry as he can be, the guy writes some of the most gorgeous compositions in popular music for me. like... i'd probably put him ahead of Sigur Ros just in terms of the shear beauty of his music.

 

would be curious to know if most of the folks who don't like April love Red House Painters or got into Mark via Ghosts, maybe that's part of it. although I think April certainly sounds much more like Ghosts than RHP.

 

as for Lost Verses, considering the heavy part doesn't come until after the 8 minute mark, it's not a song for the impatient listener, not gonna deny that, but the slow (but gorgeous) build-up is totally worth it for the swirling Neil Young-esque guitars that close out the song.

 

with a username of Zuma, i'd imagine you at least enjoy the Crazy Horse-esque 'Tonight The Sky'? :brow

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It is always going be a complete mystery of why people hear what they hear. I can't tell you how my mind was blown the first time I heard a Mark Koselek song. I was in my car listening to the college radio station here in Columbia MO, and they played "Glenn Tipton". It was one of those moments where you almost pull the car over and say "what the hell is that, did Neil Young just write one of his best songs in the last 30 years?" Anyway, so that is how I first got into anything by Mark K. April just didn't do that, but i'll admit that "Lost Versus" is a real rewarding listen. I just listened to Tiny Cities on vinyl last night and I love it and always have loved that record. Who knows?

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My biggest hang up with April is over half the songs clock in at nearly six minutes or greater. I love the music, but at about 5 mins I am like get on with it, already.

 

Other then that Sun Kil Moon is fantastic, and April is great. prolly 8 in my top 10 of 2008.

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nah, it's cool if people don't like it. just surprised somewhat i guess. i'll fully admit i'm a Kozelek fanboy, as grumpy and dry as he can be, the guy writes some of the most gorgeous compositions in popular music for me. like... i'd probably put him ahead of Sigur Ros just in terms of the shear beauty of his music.

 

would be curious to know if most of the folks who don't like April love Red House Painters or got into Mark via Ghosts, maybe that's part of it. although I think April certainly sounds much more like Ghosts than RHP.

 

as for Lost Verses, considering the heavy part doesn't come until after the 8 minute mark, it's not a song for the impatient listener, not gonna deny that, but the slow (but gorgeous) build-up is totally worth it for the swirling Neil Young-esque guitars that close out the song.

 

with a username of Zuma, i'd imagine you at least enjoy the Crazy Horse-esque 'Tonight The Sky'? :brow

 

For some reason, "Tonight the Sky" didn't do it for me. The "Ohio" resemblance just fell flat.

 

But, maybe I need to listen to the whole album again.

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My biggest hang up with April is over half the songs clock in at nearly six minutes or greater. I love the music, but at about 5 mins I am like get on with it, already.

 

gotcha... as a huge Built To Spill/Crazy Horse fan... i can't get enough of the 6-10 minute epics myself :music

 

i'll admit the album as a whole might have fared better if it was paired down to 60 minutes or so, but i have no complaints personally as it stands.

 

April feels so sleepy to me. I listen to it when I nap sometimes.

 

kinda like Sigur Ros - ( ) and BSS - Feel Good Lost, those are my sleeping records, absolutely love 'em

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I haven't heard April, except for a song what was playing on the radio when I drove in just now. Strangely I like Tiny Cities...

 

LouieB

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ok, i'll play here. outside of the obvious favourites--namely "Lost Verses," "Moorestown," and "Tonight the Sky"--I found this to be pretty disappointing when I first head it last March. It was a real struggle for me to make it through the album without my attention waning, and I kinda shelved it for a bit, mainly because it's not exactly a summer disc. But I came back to Kozelek hard starting in late September/early October and this just seemed so much more...full. It was as if the record needed a gestation period for it to properly come to life, or maybe I just needed time to shift my expectations as to what this record was going to be, because Ghosts of the Great Highway it is not. After eight months or so, the songs that I've come to like a lot are the shorter ones like "Unlit Hallways" and "Harper Road." Songs that aren't doing it? "Heron Blue" and the last track, which I can't even remember the name of and is an extremely weak closing song. Despite all that, when I wrote my best of 08 list last night, this ended up in the #4 slot. So, there you go. "Lost Verses" is without a doubt in my top 5 songs of the year. Those Ben Gibbard backing vocals in the chorus and then that outro...damn. Get me every time.

 

My introduction to Kozelek's material came thru Ghosts, and my fave RHP disc is probably Songs for a Blue Guitar, although Rollercoaster is fantastic as well.

 

From Tiny Cities, there's about four or five pretty good covers. "Neverending Math Question," "Space Travel is Boring," "Trucker's Atlas" and "Ocean Breathes Salty." The rest are pretty much completely disposable.

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: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

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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.

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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...

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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?

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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."

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