Mark Kozelek and I first met around sophomore year of high school, although never in person. Songs for a Blue Guitar was the most depressing music I’d ever heard and played perfectly with my teenage ennui. Then Mark was out of my life for a while until I found a shared love with a great friend named Jon. We sat up late and listened to Ocean Beach and Down Colorful Hill and Mark sang along with our dramas. I’ve been to San Francisco only once, and even before that the Red House Painters colored my vision of the city. The hills and streets and trolleys and bridges all seemed to pour out of Kozelek’s haunting, aching voice. Jon is in San Francisco now, living near the Panhandle. He saw Mark Kozelek perform a few weeks ago. He said he thought of me. I’m listening to Ghosts of the Great Highway now, miserable melodies falling into my ears. I’m thinking of Jon. Of late nights. Of the Bay and Lumbard Street. This is all written for Jon and I, just like Mark’s songs are written for one person at a time. But to be fair, you will probably like Sun Kil Moon if you like Nick Drake, if you like boxing, if you like San Francisco, and if you like to drown in reverb and melancholia.
[Ed. — It would be deceitful to publish this without noting that Ben Kupstas has never successfully used a sentence with over four words in it, and he feels remorse for subjecting readers to his hazy reverie for woebegone eras instead of reviewing a CD we gave him for free. In all fairness, Ben’s writing is typically a glorious broach of entwined and irrefulgent descriptions that border on epic poetry.]
Archived article by Ben Kupstas