Photo by Lilian Cai
Ottawa and Mark Kozelek just can’t seem to get along. It was just last year at Ottawa Folk Fest that the Sun Kil Moon mastermind began a feud with The War on Drugs which resulted in a pair of diss tracks. Now, Kozelek has taken issue with not just another performer, but an entire festival.
Last week, Kozelek pulled out of his scheduled appearance at the re-dubbed Ottawa CityFolk, an event run by Ottawa Bluesfest promoter Mark Monahan. A post on Sun Kil Moon’s tour site says the cancelation was “due to unorganized promoters,” while Monahan told the Ottawa Sun that the singer took issue with the way they run things. “And because we have multiple people contacting him about transportation and catering and stage management,” Monahan said, “he’s suggesting that we’re disorganized.” Kozelek apparently responded with a “profanity-laced ultimatum” before removing himself from the bill.
Monahan claims that Kozelek actually attempted to rejoin the fest, but the promoter refused. “My response to him was that he cancelled the show and he’s free to make any comment he wants to,” Monahan said. Well, perhaps he should be careful what he wishes for, as Kozelek has delivered a new diss track called “The Ottawa Bluesfest is Run by Inbreds”.
Kozelek was performing in Toronto on Monday evening when he debuted the song. As fan Eric Jette told Stereogum, Kozelek called the song his version of Cheap Trick’s “Dream Police”, but with new lyrics, including some referencing the band’s infamous stage collapse at the 2011 Bluesfest. Most of the time, however, he’s taking shots at Monahan and his team: “‘Cause they’re emailing me about directions to the stage/ 20 times a day, and it’s driving me totally fucking insane/ These inbreds that work for the promoter, man/ A thunderstorm’s coming, but he’s still wearing his Ray-Bans.”
Kozelek also takes aims for The Ottawa Sun (the reporter who handled that Monahan interview is called the paper’s “best little whore”), and the city of Ottawa in general (also “run by inbreds”). Still, there’s praise for many things Canadian, from Toronto and to Seth Rogen to Tim Horton’s. Ottawans, however, probably shouldn’t expect a Sun Kil Moon gig in their town anytime soon.
Take a listen below.