A bit of a rivalry erupted between Sun Kil Moon‘s Mark Kozelek and The War on Drugs recently. It’s a little one-sided, actually: Earlier this month, Mark Kozelek talked some major shit onstage at The Ottawa Folk Festival when sound from The War on Drugs’ set bled into Sun Kil Moon’s. Among the insults spewed from Kozelek’s mouth were “I hate that beer commercial lead-guitar shit” and “This next song is called ‘The War on Drugs Can Suck My Fucking Dick’.” What a fun-lovin’ guy!
Well, there’s a new added aspect to the Mark Kozelek War on Drugs rivalry. After posting what was kind of sort of a non-apology (“I hope to catch your set someday when it’s not drowning out my own”), Kozelek has presented a challenge to The War on Drugs on the Sun Kil Moon site, to perform a “hilarious song” he wrote called “War On Drugs: Suck My Cock/Sun Kil Moon: Go Fuck Yourself” at the Fillmore, October 6th in San Francisco. The caveat? He gets the privilege of performing the “beer-commercial lead guitar”.
Kozelek also says in the note: “War On Drugs. Due to all of the fuss, I checked out your live track on Pitchfork, and I called it right. You sound like Don Henley meets John Cougar meets Dire Straits meets “Born In The USA” era Bruce Springsteen. It’s not a criticism, it’s an observation.”
We still prefer “Bossgaze,” but whatever. We’ll see if The War on Drugs rise to the challenge or brush off Kozelek (and we wouldn’t blame them — his behavior lately has been… erratic, to say the least). But nonetheless, both Sun Kil Moon’s Benji and The War on Drugs’ Lost In the Dream are two of our favorite albums of the year. We hope they work it out.
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.