Red House Painters, Old Ramon (SubPop): Five years on, Mark Kozelek brings his Red House Painters back from corporate rock's death row. The utterly regal Old Ramon rises with such graceful fervor as to bring Krazy Koz instant forgiveness for Songs for A Blue Guitar, now the ultimate anachronism, a middling mid-career crisis, not a flaming act of rockist hubris. Across Old Ramon's sprawling 70-minute set, Kozelek is still a master of his sly charade, disguising sprawling webs of complex guitar chords and considered narratives as humble, simple acoustic ditties. Old Ramon has an innate sense of romance; it's a glorious showcase for Kozelek's greatest talent — evoking the spirit of rock 'n' roll, capturing that nostalgic utopia of how it all used to be but probably never really was, and making it live right in the here-and-now. — Anthony Carew

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