god do you look pollable in the dark: red house painters / sun kil moon / mark kozelek albums poll

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can't find any similar poll in searching, so hopefully this hasn't been done before. interested in what people prefer & why, as i can't actually choose myself. left out eps and live records

Poll Results

Ghosts of the Great Highway 8
Red House Painters (Rollercoaster) 3
Ocean Beach 2
April 1
Down Colorful Hill 0
The Finally LP 0
Tiny Cities 0
What's Next to the Moon 0
Old Ramon 0
Songs for a Blue Guitar 0
Red House Painters (Bridge) 0
Admiral Fell Promises 0

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Monday, 5 March 2012 19:16 (eight years ago) link

This is very, very difficult. I need some time to think.

Mule, Monday, 5 March 2012 19:30 (eight years ago) link

expecting no one to vote for the finally lp but thought i'd include it for accuracy's sake, as the bridge album is here too

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Monday, 5 March 2012 19:34 (eight years ago) link

Would like to see a Mark Kozelek oeuvre poll...

As for this one, I think Old Ramon or Ghost of the Great Highway.

Is Rock'n'Roll Singer an EP?

john. a resident of chicago., Monday, 5 March 2012 20:45 (eight years ago) link

Easy for me - Ghosts. That album just blew me away and still does, and I found it more listenable (i.e. not wrist-slitting) than RHP. Not that it's upbeat or sunny...

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 5 March 2012 20:53 (eight years ago) link

Is Rock'n'Roll Singer an EP?

yep, but maybe i should've included it anyway

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Monday, 5 March 2012 20:57 (eight years ago) link

think old ramon is the dark horse among the rhp records. i have always really loved the electric guitar tones on kozelek's records but on "void" it's exactly right, a kind of invasive and pure stream. first time i really engaged with old ramon i was driving over a snow-covered highway at night. as much as the lyrics concern l.a. and summer, the record really suited that environment—a kind of slow, cold travel.

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Monday, 5 March 2012 21:17 (eight years ago) link

It's a nice record, but it never really opened up to me like the other RHP-albums did. It has a few great tunes, though, Michigan is a standout I think. Plus it hasa lot of that nice, slow burning guitar. I think it foreshadows Sun Kil Moon somewhat, but that's of course easy to say in retrospect.

Mule, Monday, 5 March 2012 21:26 (eight years ago) link

Ocean Beach.

Simon H., Monday, 5 March 2012 21:33 (eight years ago) link

"Ghosts" is his biggest achievement to date I think, in so many ways

Have listened more to Old Ramon in the last few years. The John Denver song alone is so killer.

Ghosts I guess. But Old Ramon is so amazing. Glad to see it get love here.

dell (del), Monday, 5 March 2012 21:42 (eight years ago) link

think old ramon is the dark horse among the rhp records. i have always really loved the electric guitar tones on kozelek's records but on "void" it's exactly right, a kind of invasive and pure stream.

yeah. i love the tone on cruiser. and also that he's obv an amazing guitarist technically, but that song is just these couple of chords drug into the ground. and there are cringeworthy lyrics at a couple of points, but he's just like 'whatever, fuck it'

dell (del), Monday, 5 March 2012 21:47 (eight years ago) link

old ramon is also insanely lugubrious, so maybe don't listen to it if you're a huge second amendment person

dell (del), Monday, 5 March 2012 21:58 (eight years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 11 March 2012 00:01 (eight years ago) link

Voting for Rollercoaster, even though there's at least 2 extended dirges on that record I could do without.

henry s, Sunday, 11 March 2012 01:34 (eight years ago) link


Iago Galdston, Sunday, 11 March 2012 01:53 (eight years ago) link

rollercoaster, incl. every single dirge

You're welcome child. It was just another day being your God (crüt), Sunday, 11 March 2012 03:01 (eight years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Monday, 12 March 2012 00:01 (eight years ago) link

Voting for Rollercoaster, even though there's at least 2 extended dirges on that record I could do without.

"funhouse" is awesome. i never remember what "mother" is like so it is legitimately scary every time

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Monday, 12 March 2012 00:04 (eight years ago) link

songs for a blue guitar was my runner-up

mookieproof, Monday, 12 March 2012 00:34 (eight years ago) link

Mark Kozelek should write a ten-minute lament about how few people voted in this thread! Sheesh, what gives?!

henry s, Monday, 12 March 2012 02:39 (eight years ago) link

didn't see this poll.

Down Colorful Hill not getting a vote is a damn shame, but I would have thrown mine to Rollercoaster or Ocean Beach.

<3 SKM & he has had a consistent career, but this is a man who peaked early imo.

ho don't kno I'm bout that skrillex (Pillbox), Monday, 12 March 2012 03:20 (eight years ago) link

xp: ten-minute laments

Fozzy Osbourne (contenderizer), Monday, 12 March 2012 03:21 (eight years ago) link

duration of poll poll was too short

Ocean Beach

If Assholes Could Fly This Place Would Be An Airport, Monday, 12 March 2012 07:58 (eight years ago) link

If I'd known no one would have voted for it, I would have cast a protest vote for Old Ramon. Great album, just not as great as great as Ghosts...

john. a resident of chicago., Monday, 12 March 2012 15:08 (eight years ago) link

never heard of the album that won. is it good? i thought rollercoaster would win this in a walk.

keythhtyek, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 02:44 (eight years ago) link

glad to see people actually recognizing Ghosts of the Great Highway as his masterwork. it's one of my top 5 all time fave albums and every song is stunning but part of what's so great about it is hearing him stretch his legs on stuff like Si Paloma, I think.

caulk the wagon and float it, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:22 (eight years ago) link

ghosts of the great highway is an awesome record that is very different from rollercoaster

hard for me to explain exactly how, but kozelek's sense for melody evolved a lot over the red house painters discography, and i think ghosts may be its zenith

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:23 (eight years ago) link

huh, totally missed this poll. might've voted old ramon -- it's not as INTENSE as the earlier RHP stuff, but now that I am well into my 30s it's the one I like hearing the most these days.

tylerw, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:40 (eight years ago) link

i think i was the person who voted for april. can't remember if i voted in my own poll.

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:51 (eight years ago) link

missed this. would have voted ocean beach, probably, or rollercoaster. ghosts is great but those albums meant more to me when they came out. but I do think that duk koo kim is one of his greatest songs.

akm, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 03:56 (eight years ago) link

I missed this. Would have been stuck between Ghosts and Bridge, and voted the latter to make sure it didn't get a goose egg. Ivo did a great job making a mixtape with Retrospective too.

da croupier, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 04:31 (eight years ago) link

...and somehow resisting the urge to call it "Redrospective"!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 13 March 2012 05:58 (eight years ago) link

the original title was red perspective iirc but changed due to lameness

some crap (electricsound), Tuesday, 13 March 2012 06:03 (eight years ago) link

Mark Kozelek should write a ten-minute lament about how few people voted in this thread! Sheesh, what gives?!

i often weigh in on poll threads that are of interest of me, but then completely forget to vote. pretty sure this was one of those instances.

anyways, surprised that ppl like ocean beach so much. i think it's arguably his weakest?

april is underrated prolly. good record, that imo

dell (del), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 04:22 (eight years ago) link

april seems like a refinement of what he was going for on old ramon. just long enveloping, repeating things. would've voted for either record, but i think i prefer april. both are tangled up in times of not-great-life

Whiney vs. (BradNelson), Wednesday, 14 March 2012 05:43 (eight years ago) link

The new Desertshore album is pretty much a Red House Painters joint.

henry s, Wednesday, 14 March 2012 10:47 (eight years ago) link

two years pass...

Trying out the Desertshore/Koz album again, as it exists in a weird netherpoint between Benji and what came before. Pretty similar hit:miss ratio, though "Livingstone Bramble" might be the only song he's ever written that's actually kind of funny. The band pushes him a bit, to a creepy crawl on "You Are Not Of My Blood" and a pleasantly skippy pace on "Katowice or Cologne" and "Don't Ask About My Husband." "Brothers" is a really gorgeous closer that actually supports the confessional style nicely. The rest is a mess, sometimes in the same song - I don't care for "Sometimes I Can't Stop," but the way he climbs into his falsetto after mourning Jason Molina is very effective. I'm more bothered by his recent reticence to really use his voice than anything in his lyrics - the guy can still sing when he makes an effort.

One thing I find encouraging on listening back to other SKM albums is that he tends to change it up significantly from release to release, so I'll be surprised (and disappointed) if the next one is Benji, mk ii.

Anyway it's been too long removed for me to rank the RHP albums but as far as the SKM/collab stuff goes:
Great Highway > April > Admiral Fell Promises > Perils From the Sea > Benji = Desertshore > Among the Leaves.

Never bothered with Tiny Cities or any of the eleventeen live LPs or Finally or (lol) the Christmas album.

Simon H., Thursday, 29 January 2015 08:02 (five years ago) link

three weeks pass...

and this is the tracklist for the new one, out in june

01 The Possum
02 Birds of Flims
03 With a Sort of Grace I Walked to the Bathroom to Cry
04 Garden of Lavender
05 Cry Me a River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues
06 Ali/Spinks 2
07 Little Rascals
08 This Is My First Day and I'm Indian and I Work at a Gas Station

Can't imagine the critical resurgence will keep up if "The Possum" is any indication.

Simon H., Thursday, 19 February 2015 03:54 (five years ago) link

08 This Is My First Day and I'm Indian and I Work at a Gas Station


emo canon in twee major (BradNelson), Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:44 (five years ago) link

I hope to hell that's an instrumental. (Incidentally, releasing a multitracked instrumental guitar album is probably the best thing Koz could do right now.)

Simon H., Thursday, 19 February 2015 04:50 (five years ago) link

Cry Me a River Williamsburg Sleeve Tattoo Blues

I'm sure there's gonna be some trenchant cultural commentary in that one...

walid foster dulles (man alive), Thursday, 19 February 2015 06:08 (five years ago) link

Fingers crossed for another cringeworthy account of his sex life.

Dinsdale, Thursday, 19 February 2015 06:17 (five years ago) link

"Garden of Lavender" obviously

Simon H., Thursday, 19 February 2015 06:31 (five years ago) link

song titles suggest more of that whole "stream-of-consciousness narrative" thing, but we shall see.

charlie h, Thursday, 19 February 2015 07:59 (five years ago) link

four years pass...

Visiting San Francisco earlier this week sent me back to the pre-stream-of-conciousness Kozelek albums. Such a shame there's so many people who haven't heard these album and won't even give them a chance. There's some deeply beautiful tunes on them.

Anyway, had the Mark Kozelek & Desertshore album been included here, I'd expect it'd have done well. And "Randy Quaid", on the first Desertshore album, really hooked me today. Lovely vocal over all that jangly swirl.

Oh, Ocean Beach wasn't as good as I remembered it, but Tiny Cities is still great.

j.o.h.n. in evanston (john. a resident of chicago.), Monday, 4 November 2019 01:10 (nine months ago) link

I revisited Benji recently and enjoyed it much more than I thought I would, though one replay was enough to tide me over for a while. I think it’s the kind of album I should revisit maybe once a year.

o. nate, Monday, 4 November 2019 15:32 (nine months ago) link

April is my favorite if i'm being honest with myself. ghosts and perils from the sea are close runners up though

ciderpress, Monday, 4 November 2019 15:39 (nine months ago) link

Been revisiting Mark's work and am now a convert to the brilliance of "Perils". As others have said, other albums are very nice but the emotional state required to listen thankfully doesn't come around very often.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 4 November 2019 16:50 (nine months ago) link

Admiral Fell Promises all the way, though Ghosts scratches a different itch and becomes my favorite half of the time.

Been revisiting The Finally LP cover album most recently and it's really beautiful as well.

Evan, Monday, 4 November 2019 17:24 (nine months ago) link

Album poll is a bit unsatisfying. I like a lot of the Red House Painters'stuff, but think he peaked with the early Sun Kil Moon stuff - April, Ghosts, and Admiral Fell Promises are three of his my favourites, and Tiny Cities is very enjoyable.

Is Kozelek ever going to get the full ILM tracks and albums poll treatment?

aphoristical, Monday, 4 November 2019 22:59 (nine months ago) link

I probably totally overlooked this thread in 2012.

Would have been helpful if he retired the Sun Kil Moon moniker around 2013-14 and launched his unhinged blog raps project under a new name. It's exhausting to add a disclaimer every time I need to identify his music as some of my favorites.

Evan, Tuesday, 5 November 2019 16:41 (nine months ago) link

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