Sun Kil Moon
San Francisco singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek has put out three solo albums under his own name, but that's still not enough for the seemingly insatiable musician. When he's not working in the latest Cameron Crowe or Steve Martin movie, he ducks back into the studio to create even more music. In the 1990s, he helmed the dream pop band Red House Painters, but more recently he has been pulling the strings for Sun Kil Moon, a project that began in 2002. Their first release was 2003's Ghosts of the Great Highway, a somber yet affectionate take on pop culture. This disc not only highlighted Kozelek's more obvious talents -- his haunted and austere vocals and sparse acoustic guitar playing -- but also revealed a more lighthearted side to him. It seems membership in this oddly-titled outfit has unleashed a frivolity never before witnessed in the musician. In 2005, SKM released Tiny Cities, which paid tribute to 12 of Kozelek's favorite artists, from the heavy rock of AC/DC and Kiss to the endearingly sloppy indie of Modest Mouse. After that, the band appeared on Take Me Home: A Tribute to John Denver, a double disc that Kozelek produced. By covering these unlikely musicians and songwriters, the formerly dour musician achieved a new level of abandon and accomplishment; along with his eccentric vocal style and idiosyncratic tempo shifts, he makes what is not his own completely original.