Mark Linkous - R.I.P.
It’s a strange feeling sitting here listening to Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot by Sparklehorse knowing that the genius behind it, Mark Linkous, is no longer with us. Tragically took he took his own life on 6th March 2010. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.
The first time Sparklehorse entered my radar range was one evening in the mid 90s when he was on the Mark Radcliffe show to perform a session that had previously been cancelled because Linkous had almost died in a hotel room. The music he performed that night was astonishing and, soon after, I picked up the aforementioned, Vivadixie…. The lo-fi and rough feel combined with the beautiful lyrics made it one of the albums of the year and it still sounds as good today as it did back then. The opening song, ‘Homecoming Queen’ just pulls you into Linkous' world and from then on it's one crazy trip.
I was lucky enough to see Sparklehorse on a number of occasions and Linkous never failed to give an astonishing performance. He was very precise about his on stage sound, which given the type of venue he tended to perform in, often meant lengthy delays while he got the sound just right. At most gigs this would have led to catcalls from the audience but with these ones, everyone was just engrossed in the music and were quite happy to wait.
Over the course of the years there have been three further Sparklehorse albums, all excellent of course, and numerous collaborations with like-minded artists such as PJ Harvey, Tom Waits and Thom Yorke, with whom he performed a simply wonderful version of Pink Floyd’s ‘Wish You Were Here’.
It is fitting that his collaboration with Danger Mouse and David Lynch, ‘Dark Night of The Soul’, will soon be receiving a proper release and this hopefully bring the wonderful art of Sparklehorse to the wider audience it so richly deserves.
R.I.P. Mark. You will be sadly missed.