Mark Kozelek

Mark Kozelek on Tour: The Soundtrack

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When Mark Kozelek's Caldo Verde label released the documentary DVD On Tour in 2011, many fans wished for a standalone soundtrack to the simply yet elegantly shot black-and-white film. They got their wish. Recorded on his European and North American tours in 2010 and 2011, which took place in churches, hotels, clubs, and concert halls, these performances all feature the singer and songwriter accompanied only by a nylon-string guitar. These are the full versions of all the songs in the documentary, plus four bonus tracks that bring the sum total to 33. Beautifully recorded, the material is centered on Kozelek's recordings with Sun Kil Moon. That said, among the bonus cuts are gorgeous versions of "Take Me Out," "Mistress," and "Things Mean a Lot" off the self-titled Red House Painters' debut recording, and "Cruiser" from the band's Old Ramon effort. Other highlights include lovely versions of "Blue Orchids," "Moorestown," and "Lucky Man," all of which originally appeared on 2008's SKM album April; an acoustic cover of Modest Mouse's "Four Fingered Fisherman" (its studio version appeared on Tiny Cities -- an entire SKM album devoted to MM covers), "Carry Me Ohio," and "Heron Blue." While it's reasonable think this is for fans only, On Tour actually provides a very solid introduction to Kozelek as a songwriter. His melancholic view of the world is well and abundantly articulated here, but it is in that view that he finds beauty. In this intimate setting, he imparts it gently and tenderly to the listener.

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