Mark Kozelek Asserts His Glorious, Terrifying Humanity at Great American Music Hall, 3/1/14

An evening with Mark Kozelek

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Great American Music Hall

Better than: Jesus' Son: The Musical

One of the most heavy-handed Significant Message scenes in the new Robocop is the one where this guy — a vet, presumably — has just been outfitted with new robotic prosthesis-hands and is trying to play classical guitar again for the first time since losing his hands while esteemed robotic prosthesis doctor Gary Oldman looks on dotingly. The prosthesis-hands work great at first, but then the guy is so overwhelmed — with gratitude, presumably — that he starts to fuck up “Concierto de Aranjuez,” so Gary Oldman's lab tech turns down the guy's emotional rawness levels or whatever. But the guy still can't play it right and now he's frustrated in addition to overwhelmed, and Gary Oldman or his lab tech tries to explain that he should just calm down because his emotions are interfering with the function of the prosthesis-hands. And the guy is like — Significant Message alert — “I need emotion to play.”

I bring this up because, well, what do you think goes through Mark Kozelek's head when he sits on stage performing, or sits at home writing, these almost objectively beautiful songs that are almost always about either learning of somebody's death or failing to find love in a sustainably requited or redemptive form? (Also because, come to think of it, Kozelek makes cameos in movies sometimes, and what if the presumable vet in Robocop had been him? (Also, what do you think the odds are that Mark Kozelek's next album will include a song about learning of Paco de Lucía's death? R.I.P., Paco de Lucía.))

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