At the end of last year, Mark Kozelek announced that he had plans to put out at least two albums in 2018, and today the first of those albums is streaming in full. It’s a self-titled one (Mark Kozelek) and features 11 songs that were recorded in hotel rooms around San Francisco, including the previously released “This Is My Town” and “My Love For You.”
One of the songs, “Young Riddick Bowe,” is inspired by the professional boxer, and another one references Ariel Pink (which Pink apparently doesn’t know about yet). That song is called “The Mark Kozelek Museum,” and it includes lines like “Ariel Pink ain’t your run-of-the-mill indie rock/ If it was 1975, he’d be a household name/ And we’d be neck and neck/ He’d be David Bowie famous, and I’d be Neil Young famous” and “He’s a Spotify king/ His biggest song is ‘Another Weekend’/ And I’m on Spotify, too, they tell me/ My biggest song is ‘Chili Lemon Peanuts.'” Those comments echo some things that Julian Casablancas made about Pink in a recent interview.
The album stream is accompanied by a new interview with Phoebe Bridgers, which was conducted earlier this month. Bridgers is a noted Kozelek fan — she appeared with Sun Kil Moon at a Los Angeles concert back in 2016 and has covered “You Missed My Heart.” In the interview, they talk about about autobiographical songwriting, the many references littered throughout Kozelek’s new album, meeting fans, favorite San Francisco eateries, and more.
They also discuss Kozelek’s tendency to put real people, including musicians, into his songs, from “Ben’s My Friend” to Ariel Pink, who is plugged in one of the songs on the album:
I’ve not mentioned it to Ariel but I’m sure he’ll be fine with it. Ben sent me an email about two seconds after the song was released, telling me how pleased he was. It was nice to know that Ben liked it, and satisfying to know I could express something that I knew others felt – not in regards to Ben specifically – but in regards to the opener who eclipsed your career and how that can kinda hurt. Several musicians contacted me and thanked me for expressing something they’d never be able to express. But no I never mention to anyone that they are referenced in a song. I’ve got a lot of respect for both Ben and Ariel.
Mark Kozelek is out 5/11 via Caldo Verde.
UPDATE: Pink speaks.