When: Sun., Nov. 13, 8 p.m. 2016
The self-titled album by Jesu and Sun Kil Moon, released in January by Caldo Verde, is a true collaboration between multi-instrumentalist Justin Broadrick (also well-known for his work in Godflesh) and singer-songwriter Mark Kozelek. Broadrick’s range of contributions as Jesu—from electronic programming to sludgy guitar chugs and billowing drums—electrifies Kozelek’s acoustic stream of consciousness and adds a dynamism that can get lost when the Sun Kil Moon front man struggles to keep pace with his mind in a studio. On “Carondelet” Kozelek wails without irony over Broadrick’s Albini-esque drum booms and primal guitar about the Comedy Central roasts of Bob Saget and Charlie Sheen. It’s a vocal screeching rare for the singer, who generally favors calmly delivered observations on mortality and mundanity that put a pedestrian spin on Lou Reed’s street-rat poetry. The most gutting and beautiful song I’ve heard so far this decade is “Exodus,” featuring lyrics that empathetically meditate on bereaved parents, inspired by Nick Cave, Mike Tyson, and others who’ve lost their children; Kozelek sings over plaintive piano lines and drum-machine rhythms that subtly propel the tides of sadness throughout the nearly ten-minute track. Though the words are masterful, the record wouldn’t be nearly as successful without Broadrick, who had a strong hand in its creation. My hope is that the commitment to the collaboration extends to the stage, pulling Kozelek out of his navel and away from the unhinged rants that have come to dog his reputation. Much of this music is so good it deserves a life of its own.