It’s not a typical news month without the mentioning of any Mark Kozelek antics. No more than two weeks ago, I ventured up to Duluth, Minnesota for a live performance by Kozelek, one where he notably teamed with Low frontman Alan Sparhawk for a revamped edition of “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock” – a rendition which Kozelek referred to as “an extended Joy Division version.”
Remarkably, the face of The War On Drugs, Adam Granduciel, threw aside Kozelek and his’ beef recently when talking to NME, to say:
“I listened to Benji a lot while we were on tour. I thought it was such a beautiful record, weird and cool and great. I haven’t listened to it since this whole thing between us started, but I probably could if I tried really hard. It would be pretty high in my list of albums of the year.”
With an open condolence such as this being paid to Kozelek, one would think (again) this is where the feud would finally close. Wrong.
News of Kozelek’s continued bashing have scudded over after a show done this week in London’s St. John-at-Hackney church. Uncut’s John Mulvey rounded up his thoughts after witnessing Kozelek’s set, recounting much of the same “stand-up comedian strategy” from his Duluth show (as it likely factors into all his other shows of recent memory). Mulvey actually references Kozelek as “the War On Drugs guy,” solely because “Kozelek doesn’t stop mentioning [their ongoing media scuffle] for much of the two and a half hour show.”
What separates Kozelek’s London performance from most others though is a hinting reference Mulvey reports him making during his set. Mulvey writes on Kozelek’s entrance:
He begins, then, with some droll justification; “I’m a nice guy,” repeated several times, talks about a third War On Drugs-related song, tries to find out if anyone can actually pronounce “Granduciel”, refers to him disparagingly by way of a “Stevie Nicks t-shirt”, mentions “two words: Soul Asylum”, and eventually starts apologising to the band, before the caveat tag of “Bob Dylan parody shit”.
Taken from that context, yes, it seems Kozelek is at work on yet another War On Drugs-related track; as if this headline tussle of defamatory songs was a trilogy demanding to be capped off. That means don’t expect this to be the last Kozelek article you read, or headline you scan over before rolling your eyes. Despite Granduciel’s neutrifying efforts, the battle still rages onward.