Mark Kozelek Targets “Bitch” Journalist Who “Wants To Fuck” Him

Mark Kozelek has cultivated a reputation for throwing withering nastiness into his stage banter, but he took it to a new level last night in London. Playing the Barbican on the same night as his spotty new album Universal Themes hit the internet, the Sun Kil Moon leader mostly told self-deprecating jokes for much of the show, offering some slight joshing to the British press members who, he’d decided, didn’t show up to take the front-row seats that had been reserved for them. But when Kozelek came back with his band to play an encore near the end of the show, things were different. Critic John Mulvey, a writer who has been a big Kozelek supporter over the years, was at the show, and here’s what he writes about it for Uncut:

Two hours into the show, however, as Kozelek lurches back onstage for the encore, the theme takes a substantially nastier turn. First he names a British journalist who has, for reasons that are not entirely clear, annoyed him (full disclosure: that journalist is a friend and fellow Uncut writer. I would hope that my disgust at what Kozelek says is not materially affected by this, though he will doubtless beg to differ). Then he begins a spontaneous song about the writer – a woman – about how she “totally wants to fuck me” and how she should “get in line, bitch.”

So this, for me, is the tipping point: the exact moment when borderline dubious ragging becomes straight-up offensive misogyny. Kozelek would inevitably excuse it as his much-vaunted “great sense of humour” and indeed once he’s finished the next songs – “I Can’t Live Without My Mother’s Love” and “Caroline,” about probably the two most important women in his life, ironically enough – he returns to the subject. He calls the writer “nice,” “sweet,” “cute,” as if that would make things better, and claims he was “just kidding.” He then sings the song again.

I know that being a piece of shit is part of Kozelek’s gimmick and all, but seriously, enough with this.