By Liam Prost
For a well-known grump, Mark Kozelek (Red House Painters, Sun Kil Moon) certainly collaborates a lot. The man is nothing if not prolific, his solo records and under the Sun Kil Moon moniker are often seriously long and verbose, and so it makes sense that he would want to put out some spoken word. Don’t mistake this, Yellow Kitchen, his first collaboration with Parquet Courts’ bassist Sean Yeaton, is not music. Kozelek does “sing” on a few tracks overtop of some light woodwinds, or quietly mixed guitars and drums, but it’s hardly in a conventionally musical manner. The music is somewhat sparse, but experimental, and often goes in several different directions over the course of a single track.
The tracks themselves and extremely honest and gruff, which is roughly on par for Kozelek, but in this context the humour comes out more strongly than in his otherwise beautiful folk songs. On “Somebody’s Favorite Song,” Kozelek describes a totally innocuous and awkward conversation about buying vitamin D at a drug store and having to explain to the clerk why he needs it.
This record is required listening for the Mark Kozelek completionist, but it’s mostly just a strange distraction, a fun thing to smile about on the bus on your way to serve our corporate overlords.Mark Kozelek & Sean Yeaton, Record Review, Yellow Kitchen