Do you know the feeling of rediscovering a favorite musician? It can be a profound experience. This recently happened to me with Mark Kozelek. I just forgot how much his music means to me. This piggybacks on recent reflection of this letter to the young NPR music intern Emily who shot off some rockets by stating that she doubts she and her peers “will ever pay for albums. I do think we will pay for convenience.” It was upon reading the gracious response letter by David Lowery on The Trichordist, that I felt both 1.)sadness for musicians and the disconnect between love for the music and love/care/support of the musician behind the music and 2.)a reinvigoration of doing all I can to support musicians.
As I listen to Sun Kil Moon’s latest album, Among The Leaves, I am reminded of Kozelek’s beautifully stripped-down, ever-endearing world weariness and the dry humor he bears it with. In particular, Sunshine In Chicago initiated the rediscovery with its graceful, open-book stream of sense, plain-faced thoughts, everyday events, personal history and timely observations. I laughed a little bit when he sings about his back hurting, because it is amidst this deep, human-longing, sort of greater story going on. According to Caldo Verde, he wrote this song “just before taking the stage at a Chicago venue last year.” Wow. And that is what is so great, because it is a true reflection of life actually as it is happening. But Kozelek always manages to transcend the physical even when he is approaching us at his most minute-by-minute bookkeeping sort of state. It’s almost as if the physical is a metaphor for the spiritual aching that we feel as human beings.
I feel an urgency to support musicians more than ever. Thank you to Emily and David and all involved in this important conversation. Thank you to all musicians.
Album cover from Caldo Verde Records.