Mark Kozelek Commits To Playing Israel, Promises New Song “America’s Most Wanted: Mark Kozelek And John Dillinger”

Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek has been the focus of a whole lot of controversy lately; his penchant for being a complete dick onstage has gotten him into some trouble. And he might be courting more of it. During a moment when many other artists are refusing to perform in Israel because of the country’s treatment of Palestine, Kozelek has announced a return to the country. He’s going to spend much of the summer touring Europe, with the former Sonic Youth drummer Steve Shelley and Slowdive frontman Neil Halstead joining him for some of the dates. And during that same tour, he’ll also play a 9/9 show at Tel Aviv’s Barby. It’s billed as Mark Kozelek rather than Sun Kil Moon. And on the tour page, he’s shared a statement about the show. Here’s what he writes:

Mark believes that not all people of Israel are involved in the politics and that they deserve to enjoy live music just like anyone else. Mark has played Tel Aviv 3 times in the last 4 years and has never been let down by the promoters, the fans, or the risotto at La Shuk. Look forward to a beautiful night of music with Mark’s versions of “Natural Light,” “Onward,” and a new song called “America’s Most Wanted: Mark Kozelek and John Dillinger.”

It’s easy to understand what Kozelek is saying about touring plans and politics not necessarily having anything to do with each other. But the “America’s Most Wanted” thing suggests a certain feeling of persecution that feels way over-the-top. When people are calling out Kozelek for being a piece of shit, that doesn’t mean they’re comparing him to a notorious bank robber. Relax, Mark Kozelek. (That song title could be a joke, of course, but Kozelek has a way of seeing these things through.)