Here at LePhilistine, we generously give our time and treasure to expose our friends (“my friends”) to the world of Indie rock in all of its iterations. We buy their records to review them. We buy tickets to their shows. And until the FCC stepped in, we used to spin their wax on Radio Philistine. All we usually ask for in return from the artists that we promote is a picture with a member of our editorial board. Over the years we’ve taken pictures with some of the bigger names in the rock and roll, as well as sports and politics. So we’re starfuckers. Excuuusssse meeeeee! That is why Mark Kozelek’s paranoid refusal to have his picture taken with us was so striking. I couldn’t help leaving his disappointing show thinking, “What a dick!”

First of all, for Kozelek’s entire career he has recorded as either Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon. So should he really have been surprised that hardly anyone showed up to see “Mark Kozelek” on a Tuesday night at a small club. Of course that didn’t stop him from whining about the sparse crowd. However, what was particularly odd was his complaint that there weren’t any black people in the “crowd.” I really have a hard time believing his music has any following among people of color as it barely has a following among the pale and pasty faced.

Still, after he wrapped up his paltry set of somewhere between 7 or 9 songs he menanced the audience who stuck around to finish their drinks. He growled about merchandise sales, and when I approached him for a photo he literally yelled, “I don’t do that!” Huh? Vampire? Native American? Asshole? You bet. I bought a copy of his latest CD “April” even though I already owned one because this version had a bonus CD. When I approached him to autograph it, he pointed at my camera and shouted, “What’s that?” Now granted, my camera comes with a black shroud and a plate of gun powder, but still he should know what photography equipment looks like. Any way, he signed “MK” on the disc and that was it.

Blame it on the youthful drug dependency or the dead girlfriend/muse, whatever the excuse, Mark Kozelek was a dick.

Country music Hall of Famer, Charlie Louvin, however, was as classy a gent as an 81-year old legend can be. Opening for the Old 97s, Charlie and his band rocked the boat. Sometimes credited with being the inspiration for Alt-Country, Charlie played a set of classic Louvin Brother tunes as well as some new ones. Though he was extremely hard of hearing, he didn’t mind posing for snapshots. When I asked him for a picture, he said, “I got a girl here somewhere. She might have a camera.” Excellent! Hard to believe, but in the 50’s Elvis Pressley opened for this guy. Elvis opened for him and he didn’t mind posing for a picture with a fan.

Maybe someday Charlie Louvin can beat the snot out of Mark Kozelek and teach him a lesson on fan appreciation. Is that asking too much?