Concert Preview: Mark Kozelek at The State Room

Let’s address the elephant in the room. Mark Kozelek is kind of, um, difficult.

The reclusive singer-songwriter, formerly of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, has… well—we’ll call it, for the sake of kindness—a spotty record with his implementation of the golden rule (as demonstrated in stories here, here and here. Fun fact: all of these were pulled from the first page of Google results when searching his name.)

But on the other hand, there’s this—and I can’t help but think that a lesser performer might have just called that whole show off.

So, the fact of the matter is, I have no idea if Mark Kozelek will be in a good mood or just plain in a mood when he shows up for his show on Thursday at The State Room.


But, I do know his hauntingly beautiful baritone will be on full display. I know that the prolific songwriter will pull from his extensive catalog for an acoustic setlist, with heart-on-sleeves lyrics and raw emotions on display—with the clear influence of his Midwestern upbringing. It’s charming, even in it’s crankiness.

And, if you don’t even know even one of his songs, I have great news for you: his last album is Kozelek singing his favorite songs. So, whether your jam is “Send in the Clowns” or “Float on,” he’s got you covered (see what I did there?).

But wait! There’s more! In 2014 he released an entire album of Christmas songs—so maybe if you catch him in the right mood on Thursday night, you might even get a sing-a-long. Why would you miss that? After all, even the Grinch’s heart grows three sizes this time of year.

Mark Kozelek plays The State Room on Thursday. Tickets are still available here.




Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy
Christie Marcy is a former managing editor at Salt Lake magazine. Though she writes about everything, she has a particular interest in arts and culture in Utah. In the summer months, you will find her at any given outdoor concert on any given night. In the winter, you will find her wishing for summer. Follow her on social media at @whynotboth.

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