March 8, 2010

Sparklehorse//Piano Fire

I always enjoyed listening to Sparklehorse (AKA Mark Linkous) and I often vowed to listen to more. I remember reading an article about Linkous in Rolling Stone (haha) in high school, then downloading some tracks. Later, an ex who really liked his stuff put many songs on many mixes for me. They always stood out as highlights.

His songs could be slow and melancholy or distorted and noise-poppy. Always catchy and interestingly orchestrated with unlikely sounds, Linkous made music that sounded genuine and true to himself.

If you have music nerd friends and have logged into your social network of choice in the last day or so, you probably already know that Linkous committed suicide on Saturday. Sadly, some did not find it surprising. In 1995, he almost ODed on a combo of anti-depressants, valium, alcohol and heroin. The incident stopped his heart for several minutes and left him wheelchair-bound for months. Of course, regardless of the previous incident, this is a terrible loss.

Preceding his sad and premature death, Linkous had completed a new album with Danger Mouse called Dark Night of the Soul. The album, which features members of The Shins, The Flaming Lips, Grandaddy, The Strokes, The Pixies, The Cardigans, Neutral Milk Hotel and more (as well as a bunch of inevitably weird David Lynch photos), may never be released due to a dispute with EMI, but you can stream it here.

This song, one of my all time favorites, is from the Wonderful Life album, which featured Tom Waits, PJ Harvey, and Dave Fridmann, among others. I remember sitting in Angel Hall late one night trying to write a paper and listening to it on repeat, never getting sick of it. RIP ML.

Piano Fire.mp3

How do you feel?
How do you feel?
I can’t seem to breath with a rusted metal heart.
I can’t seem to see through solid marble eyes.

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