Song Of The Day 3/28/2014: Sun Kil Moon - "I Love My Dad"


New Music: So the image you see below is a screenshot of an actual recommendation made to me by Spotify, whose suggestions are actually getting better in my experience, but still proffer quirky results in the data department, like this one. (For those who don't get the joke, Mark Kozelek is in Sun Kil Moon.) I've been a fan of Kozelek's haunted cafard for years, going back to his Red House Painters days. "Shadows" and "Have You Forgotten" still tear at me. Sun Kil Moon's new album Benji is the least bleak album Kozelek's ever made, thanks to its very graspable lyrical trick. It's Kozelek essentially setting his autobiography to music. No metaphors, no comparative imagery, no wordplay. It still deals with dark moments and insecurities, but by being direct as he is Kozelek sort of fills out his own prescription, and likely many others'.

For example, take this lyric from "Ben's My Friend," in which Kozelek describes how one night he went and saw the Postal Service, how Ben Gibbard is his friend but getting there was the worst, trying to park and getting up a hill and find a spot amongst the drunk kids staring at their cells:
The other night I went and saw The Postal Service
Ben's my friend but getting there was the worst
Trying to park and getting up the hill
And find a spot amongst the drunk kids staring at their cells
See what he did there?

Benji is the most literal album ever recorded, and given the overall technique it should not work. But realizing how simple the approach is makes you appreciate how great the album turns out to be. It's a refreshing, conversational tone that invokes a lot of personal risk, but Kozelek expresses it so plainly and forgivingly that you can't turn away. You know, now that I think about this album, that Spotify recommendation seems less of an accident.

Here's a song called "I Love My Dad." It comes on the eve of my dad's 80th birthday, but he doesn't celebrate birthdays. Besides we have a special occasional lined up for tomorrow.

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