July/August 2012

“Sunshine in Chicago”

by Sun Kil Moon

Central Question: How should a person be a jerk?
Author’s birthplace: Massillon, Ohio; Author’s favorite city to perform in, according to an interview with Pitchfork: Asheville, North Carolina; Author’s favorite venue: Great American Music Hall, San Francisco; Origin of Sun Kil Moon moniker: Korean bantamweight boxer Moon Sung-Kil; Other boxers invoked in songs by author: Kim Duk-Koo, Salvador Sánchez, Rubén Olivares, Pancho Villa; Movies in which author has appeared: Almost Famous, Shopgirl, Vanilla Sky; Author’s acting credit in Vanilla Sky: Dude, Fix Your Face Guy

Two decades into a career spent elaborating a redolent, sepia-tinted musical sensibility, Mark Kozelek seems uniquely unqualified to comment on this modern life. And yet here is “Sunshine in Chicago,” a single released this February in advance of the fifth album by his post–Red House Painters project, Sun Kil Moon. It is a just-before-bed-journal-entry of a song, at two and a half minutes noticeably concise (Kozelek seems to make a point of being long-winded): he arrives in Chicago, takes a walk, prepares to play a show, thinks about the passage of time. “And I looked up at the marquee / and hey, it was my name,” he murmurs with a world-weary sort of wonderment as he recalls a stroll down Lincoln Avenue. “Next to Julie Holland, / think that was her name.”

We hope you enjoy this excerpt.

To read the full piece, please visit our store to purchase a copy of the magazine.

—Daniel Levin Becker

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