Mistress ~ Red House Painters (arrO’Riley)

Just wrapped Show #312 of From the Top at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center in Big Sky, Montana.

It was on my 40-mile commute from TippetRise to the gym in RedLodge when my iPod shuffled up Third & Seneca by Sun Kil Moon when I discovered a body of work I hadn’t been so excited by since coming upon Elliot Smith’s work in 2003 (Mark Kozelek, the song-writer for Sun Kil Moon and his original San Francisco band, Red House Painters, even invokes Elliott in his paean to songwriters, Track Number 8).

Mistress is the first of his songs I’ve assayed, mostly because it’s the only piano-based song in his 20-year ouevre.

Mark’s obviously had an interesting love life. His lyrics tend less to the Universal and more the specifically autobiographic:

The light color in the room
The sunshine seeping in
Doesn’t mix with the black of
Death’s angel looming in

I’ve had enough of the
Brutal beatings and name callings
To lose me to this bed
Bruised internally, eternally

Your praise little gifts you spent your money
And stuffed me with
Didn’t amount to anything
The attention I need is much more serious

A kind of weight you couldn’t lift
Even if your cheap career depended on it
I need someone much more mysterious
To be my, to be my miss
To be my mistress

To be my, to be my miss
To be my mistress
To be my, to be my miss
To be my mistress
To be my, to be my miss
To be my mistress

Many thanks to my guides through the whole Mark Kozelek/Red house Painters/Sun Kil Moon catalog, Nikolai Grozni and violinist, Eunice Kim, for whom I’ve arranged Mark’s Bay of Skulls for a Stephen Talasnik-sculpture commemorative private concert this Thursday. Thanks, friends. <3

red house painters 1Kozelekred house painters 2red house painters


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