Sun Kil Moon | War On Drugs: Suck My Cock

October 7, 2014 at 4:09 am Leave a comment

Seems it’s all come to a boil. The ever-surly, audience-bashing Mark Kozelek, of Sun Kil Moon, is streaming his War on Drugs diss track over at Pitchfork — who clearly can’t get enough of this odd one-sided squabble. Okay, let’s backtrack, for anyone who cares. It was reported that Kozelek, while performing at the Ottawa Folk Fest, had some sound issues. At one point the main stage band, War On Drugs, could be heard playing during the band’s problematic start. Kozelek asked what band was playing and the audience told him. He then replied that he hated their style of music and announced his next song is called, ‘The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick.'” A writer for IndyWeek posted two graphs about the incident and embedded the photo you see above, gaining some web momentum. Kozelek was irritated.

Well, there was that and a North Carolina crowd this year that kept talking during one of Kozelek’s shows that inadvertently fueled the creation of a new song.  I guess it shouldn’t be surprising that musically it’s quite good and lyrically there’s some humor there. But the whole fight seems bizarre, if not a complete overreaction on Kozelek’s part. As part of Sun Kil Moon, Kozelek has written one of the better records of his career, “Benji”. Listen to “Pray For Newtown” (sounding like vintage Neil Young), one of my favorite songs of 2014, and you’ll hear the talent and the quality of his songwriting. But it’s news of his song, “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock”, that’s trumping talk of that remarkable album.

The song opens with this initial revisiting: “We were up on stage / I heard a classic drum fill / Blasting a hundred decibels over the hill / It was getting pretty loud / I asked who it was / A guy in a raincoat shouted back, ‘They’re called War On Drugs’ / It sounded like a basic John Fogerty rock / I said this next song is called ‘The War On Drugs Can Suck My Cock.'” The verses are half-sung, half-spoken above dark, nimble acoustic guitar — and Kozelek reiterates about the Chapel Hill ‘Hopscotch’ crowd being a bunch of “rednecks”, smelling of “swill”. He also takes North Carolina festival staff to task in the song. He sings about the IndyWeek writer as “some spoiled-bitch rich-kid blogger brat” — which as pleasurably alliterative as it is — is way over the top considering the circumstances. All the writer did was report what happened, with some opinion that didn’t seem all that pointed or unusual.

Seems Kozelek is getting a lot of mileage out of being thin-skinned. That’s not to say the song isn’t good. The line about the kid that “Posted graffiti done by some half-wit / Who thought my actual name was Sun Kil Moon / What a dumb shit” is worth a laugh. Even Kozelek calling War On Drugs “the whitest band I ever heard” is worth a chuckle. He adds the sound of an audience clapping during his verses mocking the band for making three albums in nine years. Truth is both bands have released pretty good records this year. Let’s get back to that.  — David D. Robbins Jr.

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PHOX | Slow Motion (Sylvan Esso Remix) Chelsea Jade | Visions

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