i'm sitting in a church about to see a guy called mark koyzelev or something. That's what the guy in front of me is writing on some live feed thing on his iPad while I'm sitting in a church waiting to see Mark Kozelek. Who the fuck brings an iPad to a gig? In a church? After checking some useless shit out on his toy he finally puts it away only to immediately pull out an iPhone and start texting. I look around to see if anyone else has noticed this guy, this slick old cunt with multiple touchscreens on his person. This slimy fuck who conducts his affairs by sliding his fingers all over everything. I look around and instead of seeing other furrowed brows I see more iPhones. I'm not joking, the woman he's with has an iPhone, the woman to the left of me has an iPhone, the woman just past the man on my right has an iPhone, and they're all sliding shit about, prodding at the luminous little tablets like apes at a monolith, receiving and disseminating useless information, looking at fuck all for no reason, contacting someone else for no reason. I don't know exactly what each of them was doing, but it doesn't matter, they're doing something when they should be doing nothing. Do you really have to go on the internet right now, can you not just sit for ten minutes and wait for a man to come and play the guitar? The man immediately to my right thankfully doesn't have an iPhone, instead he has a disgusting cough and snort routine worked out, whereby every minute or so he coughs really loudly and follows it up with a big hock of phlegm up the back of the nose there. And the guys behind me are having an incredibly boring conversation about photoshop, incredibly boring even by usual photoshop conversation standards. It is possibly the most jaw clenchingly irritating bit of a crowd I've ever been in.
That said, Mark Kozelek is excellent and the venue is exceptionally complementary to his show. Sat alone on stage with just his guitar, partially candlelit against a backdrop of stained glass, he runs through a choice selection from Admiral Fell Promises, a few April songs and a couple of older ones including a nice variation of Carry Me Ohio. His fingerpicking is deft and delicately done, with the occasional rough strum for emphasis. It's not perfect, he fucks up a pluck here and there, but it's unimportant. No-one in the world could play these songs better. Watching him play The Leaning Tree sends shivers in waves from my fingers up my face and makes me want to cry, the transitions in the end section of Blue Orchids achieve a dreamlike fluidity I didn't think possible in waking life and hearing You Are My Sun live has to be one of the prettiest things I've ever encountered in my life ever ever ever.
Even the banter is brilliant, with some lad shouting out that he wants to get hold of tab or whatever so he can play Kozelek's songs to which he replies "you... concentrate on playin' your own stuff" and after a pause continues "you need to spend less time on the internet, shut down that twitter account, get rid of that facebook page, you'll get good at something" which earned a huge round of applause and left me feeling less guilty about all the mental vitriol I was heaping on the people around me before the gig.
So, despite the fact that the iPad guy in front of me is looking at his iPhone every two minutes and has a head like a semi erect cock, lolling from side to side blocking my view over and over to the point where I want to smash his face into the fucking bench in front of him, it still manages to be gig of the year.
Thanks again Mark Kozelek, and please don't slash your wrists like you said you would at the end of the set. Great, thanks, bye!
NOTE: I have draft reviews of all the gigs between this one and the last one I posted about (metalking?), and I've been slowly trying to catch up to the present, but I'm gonna go ahead and leave a big gap there because I want to post this review now. Maybe I'll come back to the others, maybe I'll leave a gap there forever. Who knows? I don't.