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December 6, 2015

Mark Kozelek on 2015

It's been a wonderful year of playing music. Highlights include playing with Einsturzende Neubauten in Croatia (the best live band I saw all year), joining Chuck Prophet and The Mission Express at San Francisco's Civic Center to sing 'Richard Ramirez', singing 'The Ottawa Bluesest Is Run By Inbreds" with 500 enthusiastic Canadians in Toronto, and dueting with Yasmine Hamdan on 'I Got You Babe' at Primavera, Portugal.

Singing 'Moon River" and 'Send In The Clowns' was always magical thanks to my great band. It's been great to share the stage with friends and amazing talents this year such as Justin Broadrick, Steve Shelley, Neil Halstead, Rachel Goswell, Chris Connolly, Mike Stevens, Rainn Wilson, Ben Gibbard, Thurston Moore, Vasco!, Anar Badalov, and countless others.

I also got to spend a little time with many musicians I admire along the way - Jello Biafra (his Jello Biafra & The New Orleans Raunch and Soul All-Stars album is amazing), Ariel Pink, Isaac Brock, EL-P, and Killer Mike. EL-P and I have been discussing collaborating on a track and I hope it happens.

On a very sad note, the passing of Nick Cave's son weighed on me, as I met Nick a few years earlier and watched him show his son how to use the swiper key at the hotel where we both were staying. This tragic incident inspired a song about bereaved parents called 'Exodus' named after Mike Tyson's deceased daughter. The news of the terrorism in Paris also hurt. I have friends there and have played Paris many times over the years. I promise a spoken word piece about this horrible incident at the Jesu/Sun Kil Moon concert in Paris next February in dedication to all of the victims and their loved ones.

To all my fans - it's been fun stealing your phones, hats, cigarettes and thick rimmed glasses from the front row all year. Thank you for making it out, traveling as far as you may have to see the concerts, paying the ticket, and for the many souvenirs.

A special thanks to everyone who has supported and continues to support "Dreams Of Childhood" (A Spoken Word Album) - a fund raiser to help homeless kids in Argentina take music lessons and art classes.

On a more personal note, my favorite memories are of an early Thanksgiving with my girlfriend (watching The Godfather) just before a trip to Hong Kong, spending Halloween in New Orleans where we saw Modest Mouse perform, being in attendance at the Mayweather/ Pacquiao fight in Las Vegas, and waking up to Detroit's first snowfall of the year.

I encourage everyone to come see Justin Broadrick and I next year as Jesu/Sun Kil Moon. I look forward to releasing this collection of songs that we co-wrote, on January 22 (Caldo Verde/Rough Trade). Jesu/Sun Kil Moon can be streamed at www.sunkilmoon.com January 15. Our live band will include Steve Shelley on drums and Nick Zubeck on guitar/bass.

Other things to look out for next year: Mike Patton and I singing "I'm Not In Love" by 10CC on an all piano/vocal 'Mark Kozelek' solo album that is in the works, plus an Elliot Smith Tribute album (Laundromat Records) that includes Jesu/Sun Kil Moon's version of "Condor Ave." I'm also excited for the Sun Kil Moon Royal Festival Hall show in July.

Lastly, thank you to promoters Yael, Marin and Pierre, Johnny Beach, Michael McRaney, Eli Merdock, Dawn Holiday, Ilana, Rosa Madriz, Fabio, for all of their support over the years, and to Mitch and Ed (I know i'm forgetting tons of others but thank you).

Thank you also to Glenn and Lori at Redeye, to Ruth and Geoff at Rough Trade, and to Robert Vickers and Brian Azer.

Best song I heard all year: "Life Like This" by Kurt Vile
Best book I read: 'A Song Of Shadows' by John Connolly
Best movies I watched on airplanes: '20,000 Days On Earth' and 'The End Of The Tour'
Best meal: Risotto at La Shuk in Tel Aviv
Best album: Advance Base - Nephew In The Wild

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to all!

—Mark Kozelek
December 6, 2015

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