Out of the many adjectives you could apply to Mark Kozelek in recent years, “prolific” is certainly one of them. Ever since he went all-in on his latter-day style of discursive, stream-of-consciousness storytelling, there’s been a ton of Sun Kil Moon music, with most releases comprising sprawling songs that zig and zag through anecdotes that may or may not be connected, jumping from moments of true poignance to moments of thudding banality.
One would imagine this is the kind of stuff that just flows out of you once you get going, and sure enough Kozelek played a new song when I saw him in Utrecht last week, and a different new song called “This Is Not Possible” in Berlin a few nights later (which included the line “And when we arrived in Utrecht/The hotel was delightful,” in case you were doubting the speed of these live-updates on Kozelek’s day-to-day life). Now he’s posted another new one on his site, fittingly entitled “This Is My Dinner (The Song I Wrote Last Night At My Hotel In Oslo, Norway).”
Like “This Is Not Possible,” “This Is My Dinner” is spontaneous even by Kozelek’s standards and has more than a few laugh-out-loud moments for the audience. It’s in that same melancholic Sun Kil Moon meditation mode, with Kozelek reminiscing about all his past experiences in Norway. But he’s quick with the one-liners and amusing vignettes and asides. He tells a story about another time he played that same Oslo venue: “Some guy in the back got up and shouted ‘Mark, I have something to tell you’/I said ‘What is it?’/He said ‘I hate your fucking guts!’/Then he rushed off like a little bitch.” There’s a reference to a red-haired guy staring at Kozelek “really weird” who happened to be the guy from the Norwegian band Kings Of Convenience; there’s a reference to Red House Painters; there’s a story about him leaving a Norwegian venue with a blonde woman and having to flee her house when her boyfriend started banging on the door; a quiet drive from Bergen to Oslo and the “ominous, silver-black, shining mountains off in the distance” gave Kozelek a revelation about why Norway “had the market on death metal.”
The whole thing is, as always with Kozelek these days, a lot. But if you’re amenable to his brand of wandering, blunt prettiness and sardonic humor, it’s worth a listen. Check it out below.