Opening the iTunes Store.If iTunes doesn’t open, click the iTunes icon in your Dock or on your Windows desktop.Progress Indicator
Opening the iBooks Store.If iBooks doesn't open, click the iBooks app in your Dock.Progress Indicator

iTunes is the world's easiest way to organize and add to your digital media collection.

We are unable to find iTunes on your computer. To preview and buy music from Old Ramon by Red House Painters, download iTunes now.

Do you already have iTunes? Click I Have iTunes to open it now.

I Have iTunes Free Download
iTunes for Mac + PC

Old Ramon

Open iTunes to preview, buy and download music.

Album Review

After years on the shelf due to Mark Kozelek's drawn-out problems with Supreme and Island, the Red House Painters' long-awaited Old Ramon finally sees the light of day, thanks to Sub Pop. As it stands, the label needs Kozelek as much as he needs them — after a few years' worth of disappointing releases from garage rock revivalists, Old Ramon breaks Sub Pop's losing streak. Ironically, the album's long-delayed release only makes its joyous sound that much more refreshing; its inviting mix of gentle and fuzzy guitars and Kozelek's empathetic vocals make it the Painters' most hopeful, accessible work. Though one of Old Ramon's finest songs, "Find Me, Reuben Olivares," ended up on the Shanti Project Collection, the remaining ten songs are first-rate expressions of Kozelek's thoughtful songcraft and guitar work. Beginning with "Wop-A-Din-Din," a chiming, charming tribute to Kozelek's cat, the album signals a lighter, freer approach than one might expect from the often-brooding Painters. Even slow, wistful numbers like "Smokey," "Cruiser," and "Void" — whose title suggests a harrowing, soul-searching song like Down Colorful Hill's "24" — sound downright sunny in comparison to Kozelek's early work. Though Old Ramon keeps the polish of later Red House Painters albums like Songs for a Blue Guitar, the album has an added immediacy and vitality, particularly on surprisingly poppy tracks like "Byrd Joel," a winning blend of folk and fuzz, and "Between Days," which features some of the most luscious-sounding guitars ever heard on a Red House Painters song. Kozelek's impressive, expressive guitar lines also get plenty of breathing room on the otherwise languid, 11-minute epic "River," while his rich, rounded vocals on the hypnotic "Golden" and countrified, slow-building "Michigan" reaffirm his place as one of alternative/indie rock's finest singers. The gently whimsical love song "Kavita" provides a happy ending to an album whose difficult story definitely deserves one. But in spite of the trouble surrounding it, Old Ramon is a surprisingly comfortable sounding album, as if its long delay was intended to let its songs mellow and ripen with time, making the long wait for it all the more worthwhile.


Formed: 1989 in San Francisco, CA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Red House Painters was primarily the vehicle of singer/songwriter Mark Kozelek, an evocative, compelling performer of rare emotional intensity. Like Mark Eitzel of American Music Club, to whose work the Painters were invariably compared and to whom their early success owed a tremendous debt, Kozelek laid his soul bare on record, conjuring harrowingly acute tales of pain, despair, and loss; unlike Eitzel, Nick Drake, and other poets of decay, Kozelek's autobiographical songs walked their tightrope...
Full bio