Sun Kil Moon Responds To Hopscotch Drama With “All You Fuckin’ Hillbillies Shut The Fuck Up” T-Shirt

I’ve been going to see Mark Kozelek play live since 1995, when he performed at the now-defunct NYC basement venue Fez; it was his first-ever solo show in New York, and it came soon after the release of Red House Painters’ Ocean Beach. (I actually saw him at Fez a couple times after that, including once when I was doing this pretty big 2004 profile on the guy, one of his last in-person interviews.) AND LET ME TELL YOU THIS: Yes, it’s true, he has gotten more crotchety as he has gotten older, but him calling people “hillbillies” and telling them to “shut up”? That shit is not new. The man has been mocking/scolding his crowds for the last two decades. It’s not schtick, I don’t think — I think he is genuinely easily annoyed, and also, I think he enjoys calling people out from the stage. I think maybe his fans enjoy it, too, although their reasons for enjoying it vary by individual, and don’t always reflect well on those individuals — like some of them revel in the sanctimony or something? Like they’re gormless toadies gleefully assisting the school bully? Not all of them, of course, but a few. Anyway, I don’t want to speculate too much on this; my point is: Kozelek clowning on his audience isn’t exactly part of the show, per se, but it’s pretty inevitable, and maybe at this point he’s just embraced it.

And now he’s figured out a way to make a few bucks. In response to the “Fuckin’ Hillbillies” controversy (non-troversy?), Kozelek’s label, Caldo Verde, has made available a T-shirt that immortalizes and advertises the man’s off-the-cuff vitriol; it’s a black shirt with white text, featuring the classic font that has graced his album covers since Down Colorful Hill. It’s actually a pretty nice-looking garment, and I applaud Koz for owning the moment so fully. You can cop the shirt here.

Tags: Sun Kil Moon