Sick Of Goodbyes

Well friends, hearts are heavy and heads are hung low here at the Old Record Club after hearing of the death of Mark Linkous, better known as Sparklehorse and someone whose music has meant a great deal to us both. Seems he shot himself through the heart in the alleyway outside a friend’s house. Ain’t that just the saddest, stupidest waste? He never had the sunniest walk through life but you’d think a guy who already died once and came back might not want to go there again wouldn’t you? I ain’t never been one to condemn suicides myself , that phrase ‘taking the easy way out’ just makes me see red. That’s nobody’s idea of easy. I really hope that he’s found some peace at last.

“There’s  a Heaven, and there’s a star for you”

His music has been on heavy, well constant, rotation ’round here since we got the news and what we might put up here for you to listen to has proved a problem. Once you start to listen again you find yourself singing every word of songs you thought you’d forgot and swooning all over again at the heartbreaking beauty of it. Linkous’s music is kinda like a beat up wooden fence that’s been painted over and over and stood there years, since before you, since time. Beat by wind and rain and frost, scarred and scribbled on, so worn out and sun bleached it’s more work of art than fence.It was made in the way of fences before an since but layers of paint and age have give it a unique face. Linkous was a truly great songwriter in a grand american tradition, folk, country, the blues and rock & roll are all there underlying his songs but it was his fascination with sound itself that makes his records so special. I mean he coulda made some pretty good records out of this just as a singer songwriter type guy strumming an acoustic by hisself but there are layers and layers of odd and beautiful sounds in his music. The lyrics are impressionistic rather than story-telling but filled with suprising and wonderful images and ideas, as well as a heartbreaking sadness all too clear on recent listens. His interest in mood and the texture of sounds makes perfect sense of his collaborations this past year with David Lynch and Fennesz. I’ve gone here for one tune that’s pretty easy on those unfamiliar with his stuff and a bunch of less well known bit and bobs.

Robert Frank

sick of goodbyes from Good Morning Spider

my yoke is heavy from Distorted Ghost EP

gasoline horseys(live) from Distorted Ghost EP

heart of darkness (wiggly) from Chords I’ve Known

maxine from Gold Day EP

grim augury (ft. Vic Chesnutt) from Dark Night Of The Soul

improvisation 11.08.2003  with Fennesz

My Yoke Is Heavy is a cover of  Daniel Johnston, who Linkous produced at one point, Heart Of Darkness is a different version to the one on vivadixie…. Maxine is a beautiful 10 min long instumental similar to the title track on Dreamt for Light Years…. that points a little towards his work with Fennesz, the improvisation i’ve posted is from, I think, their first collaboration not last years in the fishtank. I was gonna write more about Vic’s vocal on Grim Augury but, maybe another time.

deer boy

for a beautiful piece on Vic from Kristin Hersh

~ by stagger lee on March 8, 2010.

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