Englert Theatre — Monday, Sept. 22 at 8 p.m.
Tonight at the Englert Theatre, indie legend Mark Kozelek will be playing a rare solo set. Kozelek has been getting some attention for his somewhat ornery stage presence (he recently called an audience in Raleigh a bunch of “fucking hillbillies“), so who knows, maybe tonight’s audience will be able to walk out with a really good story about the time Kozelek yelled at them.
Kozelek is the driving force of Sun Kil Moon — the dark, confessional, folk project behind Benji, one of the best albums released so far this year. Having named his band after a lightweight boxer from Korea, Kozelek’s music is similarly direct and powerful, with his intense baritone voice, and slow, simple acoustic guitar work often feeling like a punch to the gut.
As a solo artist, his releases have leaned toward the slightly goofy, reinterpreting classic rock and modern pop songs as morose folk ballads. Indeed, his next release is entitled Mark Kozelek: Sings Christmas Carols, and will almost certainly be the most depressing Christmas album since Bright Eyes’ A Christmas Album.
The founder of the legendary ’90s slowcore group Red House Painters, Kozelek has been writing heart-wrenching songs for 25 years, remaining a vital fixture in the indie world. Between Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon, Kozelek has written at least a half-dozen masterpiece albums — Red House Painter’s Songs for a Blue Guitar and Old Ramon and Sun Kil Moon’s Ghost of the Great Highway and April are much-loved records that still receive critical acclaim.
This solo set will be a rare chance to see a musical legend in a raw, intimate setting. The show begins at 8 p.m with a ticket price of $22.