Notes Tagged ‘The War on Drugs’

Mark Kozelek Drops ‘War on Drugs: Suck my Cock’

October 7th, 2014


There’s this line on 2012’s Among the Leaves that has Sun Kil Moon’s Mark Kozelek reducing his once female fan rich-career to an autographer of posters for guys in tennis shoes. The dude knows his dark humor. But if you know Kozelek well, you know his self-deprecative undercurrent is no joke. He is a master of the talk-lyric narrative – a Leonard Cohen-meets-Elliott Smith sidewalk therapist. On February’s Benji he colors his legacy pretty damn black, on 10-minute fingerpick epic, “I Watched the Film the Song Remains the Same:” [LISTEN]

I got a recording contract in 1992

And from there, my name, my band and my audience grew

And since that time, so much has happened to me

But I discovered, I cannot shake melancholy

For 46 years now, I cannot break the spell

I’ll carry it throughout my life and probably carry it down

All of this makes Kozelek’s mystifying feud with the War on Drugs so much more a curious question of whether or not the dis track he dropped last night, “War on Drugs: Suck My Cock,” is simply a joke or not. But the complete backstory, in case you missed the chain of events since some sound bleed at September’s Ottawa Folk Fest pissed off Kozelek so much he started throwing stones:

Kozelek stops his set, asks audience ‘Who the fuck is that?’ bleeding sound, says he hates “that beer commercial lead-guitar shit,” kids his next song is called “The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick.” Kozelek later pens a kind of non-apology reflection on his website, saying “it could have been any band’s music blaring from over the hill, and [he] still would have made jokes,” Twitter back and forth continues, the War on Drugs remain mostly silent and confused, Kozelek doesn’t quit, offers to perform a song called “The War on Drugs: Suck My Cock/Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself” at a War on Drugs show iin San Francisco, silence ensues, Kozelek drops the song on his website last night.

Stereogum’s Michael Nelson wrote an eloquent essay on the psychology of all this from the mind of a torn diehard Kozelek fan, of which there are many, essentially calling Kozelek a cyberbully, citing mostly Kozelek’s one-sided instigation and the fact that he’s monetizing the fiasco with t-shirts, ending on the sentiment that the now 47-year-old artist who has forever been under-appreciated, is basically treating his fans like shit. And that includes the War on Drugs:


The t-shirts? Agreed. Money sullies everything. And while Kozelek’s tenacity with this is a bit bully-ish, and confusing, coming from such a sensitive songwriter, aimed at a band with such a paralleled fan base, it doesn’t stop it from being hilarious the same. Or is this a case of Kozelek’s dark humor, when not aimed at himself, entirely missing the mark?

We were up on stage I heard a classic drum fill
Blasting 100 decibels over the hill
It was getting pretty loud, I asked who it was
A guy in a raincoat shouted back “They’re called War on Drugs”
It sounded like basic John Fogerty rock
I said “This next song is called The War on Drugs can suck my cock.”

Suck my cock, War on Drugs (x8)

We were playing a show down in Chapel Hill
To a bunch of drunk hillbillies, and it smelled like swill
Microphones didn’t work, the staff couldn’t give a fuck
The crowd was getting out of hand and I told them all to shut the fuck up

All you rednecks, shut the fuck up (x8)

Someone got offended and wrote a piece of crap
Some spoiled bitch rich kid blogger brat
She posted some graffiti done by some half wit
Who thought my name was ‘Sun Kil Moon’, what a dumb shit

Sun Kil Moon, go fuck yourself (x8)

I met War on Drugs tonight and they’re pretty nice
But their hair is long and greasy, hope they don’t have lice
I heard them do their soundcheck, next to The Byrds
They’re definitely the whitest band I’ve ever heard

The whitest band I’ve ever heard is War on Drugs (x8)

There’s war!

They’re playing the Fillmore tonight, and it’s sold out
Bridge-and-tunnel people are people too, this is their big night out
They smoke a joint with their buddies on their way in their cars
They’re gonna rock out tonight to some good commercial lead guitar

Bridge-and-tunnel people love them some War on Drugs (x8)

War on Drugs, suck my cock / War on Drugs, beer commercial rock (x2)

War on Drugs loves Fleetwood Mac
War on Drugs loves Mellencamp
War on Drugs, let’s give ’em a cheer
War on Drugs, to make three albums took ’em nine fucking years


War on Drugs suck my cock (x11)
(OK, so it’s gonna just gonna fade out)

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The War on Drugs at Schubas

August 29th, 2011

Miles away from that bitch Irene and the wall of rain she was visiting upon the Eastern seaboard, Philadelphia’s the War on Drugs was stopping by Schubas on Friday night, building a wall of another kind—a classic-rock hybrid warmed with layers of early ’90s indie-fuzz. The blogosphere has dubbed it “Boss-gaze.”

That’s nearly a perfect a tag for what these dudes do. Frontman Adam Granduciel came slinging angst on the surface, shredded at the knees in a pair of jeans, his hair in his eyes. He spun the tired but charming cliché that Chicago’s the “best city in the whole damn country,” mostly just to set his band up for lead-off tune, “Best Night,” off this month’s sophomore album drop, Slave Ambient.

And then it preceded to jam, stringing one double-digit minute medley after another, from the reverb-washed synth chug-a-lugger “Your Love Is Calling My Name” into arena-ready U2-esque anthems like “It’s Your Destiny” and “Come to the City.” Granduciel channeled everyone from Dylan to My Bloody Valentine, complete with a Bono “hoo-hoo” after a lyric about rambling and drifting.

That is where the War on Drugs was most potent. Granduciel laced sparkling riff after riff like some estranged protégé brother of Jeff Tweedy. Drummer Mike Zangh tumbled along flawlessly. The tiny arch of Schubas’ stage had trouble containing all the textures. The band played so cool and confident—it had even recruited a sax player via Twitter blast a few hours before the show.

When you’d think the swell would never end, Granduciel would lead the crew into a rousing cut from the sprawling Americana of their debut, Wagonwheel Blues. As it pulled off a better-than-the-Boss-himself “Arms Like Boulders,” Granduciel ceased to suck air on a harmonica only to pluck his guitar strings with it, and howled to crowd, “Yes and now, now’s the time to wrap your ears around the sound / Of your train coming round.” If this is where the rock train’s a rolling these days, consider ourselves on board.

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