RIP Mark Linkous / Sparklehorse

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CedarSound
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Post by CedarSound » Mon Mar 08, 2010 12:42 pm

I've been sad about this since I found out yesterday...
One of my favorites and a huge influence on me and my own music.

I have read quite a few articles about this today and one paragraph I found to be particularly poignant...

'Whether using squealing grunge guitars (Pig) or sumptuous pedal steel (Heart of Darkness), Linkous, like Daniel Johnston, always came across as a naif. It confirmed a cruel irony: those who see the most beauty in this world are often the least equipped to handle it.'

You can check out the whole article here:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicbl ... arklehorse

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ott0bot
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Post by ott0bot » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:06 pm

NPR's Fresh Air just broadcast a little remembrance:

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =124454384

All Things Considered had a little something too: (audio will be up 7 ET)
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =124464029

It was nice they they paid tribute.

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Post by inverseroom » Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:44 pm

Just terrible--he was a hero of mine. My sympathies especially to Joel..."Wonderful Life" is one of my all-time favorite records. I hope we'll get to hear these new recordings someday.

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Post by joel hamilton » Mon Mar 08, 2010 4:13 pm

inverseroom wrote:Just terrible--he was a hero of mine. My sympathies especially to Joel..."Wonderful Life" is one of my all-time favorite records. I hope we'll get to hear these new recordings someday.
Thanks man. That record will stand as a testament to mark and his amazing creativity in the studio. I am proud to have worked on that record, and hopefully Mark will be remembered for years to come by his amazing recorded legacy.

Mark was a beautiful person, most of all, and it is really a loss.

sad.

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Post by kayagum » Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:56 pm

You know, this "tortured artist who kills himself" thing is getting old. We need a better health care system so that people can get the help they deserve.

Before you all jump on my throat for saying that, I have personally lost several talented friends to the same fate.

RIP Mark!
"Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't." ~ Erica Jong

"No one wants advice ? only corroboration." ~ John Steinbeck

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inverseroom
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Post by inverseroom » Mon Mar 08, 2010 6:44 pm

Not sure about the health care connection, but I agree both on better health care and and end to these suicides. All my favorite songwriters seem to die young.

Not just songwriters either. This is almost as bad as David Foster Wallace last year, another man I hugely admired and who was an overwhelmingly sweet, decent person. Fuck this shit, it's depressing as hell. I will REALLY miss these people, and not just in a perfunctory way. You know, the world had a little tiny niche for weird dreamy songs about horses and ghosts, and Linkous was right there in it, and now there's nobody there at all.

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Post by DryCounty » Mon Mar 08, 2010 7:56 pm

Said so well mr. Lennon. I'm so glad to have been able to spend a tiny bit of time with Mark and to have his music in my life. Words just can't express this shit right now, all of it is still in shock...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqAAC6KKfwo
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inverseroom
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Post by inverseroom » Tue Mar 09, 2010 4:11 am

DryCounty wrote:Said so well mr. Lennon. I'm so glad to have been able to spend a tiny bit of time with Mark and to have his music in my life. Words just can't express this shit right now, all of it is still in shock...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqAAC6KKfwo
Wow, thanks for the vid...I didn't know you knew him! Hope the Drone is doing well...


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Post by DryCounty » Wed Mar 10, 2010 8:35 am

Thanks for that Joel. That record really brought solace to a lot of people, myself included, after 911. I'd forgotten about that until a friend posted something last night.

I have a few other minor things to remember about Mark. These are tiny moments that came out of a single afternoon and are mostly for my benefit, or posterity, or whatever. I'm still trying to grasp that this is real and it's very tough...

---

Back in Asheville when we were recording, a few of us went outside to take a smoke break. Mark comes out to join us and in his drawl goes "hey, y'all smoke cigarettes?" to which Jim Chandler and I laughed and said, "um, yeah Mark, we do..." He paused for what seemed like ten seconds before explaining that he'd just bought a carton of Cherokee's around the corner at the tobacconist for like $15 or something. In writing this down, this does not appear funny but it really was. Later that week we went to the shop he mentioned and purchased a carton of the worst, most goddawful, stalest cigarettes humanity could create. They were terrible, but Mark loved them.

---

Inside, Teresa asks me about the recording and how many songs we were doing. I said that for the week we were there we were going to try and do eleven or so, to which she says "Hey, hey Mark, do you hear that ... their doing ELEVEN SONGS THIS WEEK!" -- in a ribbing, playful way. Mark wasn't super prolific at the time and I think Teresa just loved to see him writing. Of course at the moment I almost felt ashamed when she did that, knowing that writing could be a struggle for him. In retrospect, it's kinda funny though.

---

Outside again, and Mark is standing there with Teresa. She sees something crawling on the doorway and grabs it. It's a tiny little spider, and Mark suddenly goes beserk. "Get it away, get it away!" he yells. Teresa tortures him for a little bit with "aw, c'mon Mark it's just a tiny spider..." but he was creeped out beyond belief and was almost shuddering in terror. This might make Teresa sound mean but the moment was literally so brief and funny and showed the very delicate side of Mark that we all loved...
"I would imagine that the inside of a bottle of cleaning fluid is fucking clean." -Hedberg
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Post by cats&warriors » Wed Mar 10, 2010 10:30 am

Thanks for all the great stories and clips guys. Thay have really helped me feel a little better. As for stories I have a few I think you all might enjoy. Although I never met Mark face to face, which I knew I would have at some point, I had a couple lengthy telephone calls with him starting from when I bought his Mellotron from him in 2005. I bought it off a listing, and then realised it was Mark's. I was a gigantic fan, and really felt guilty I was buying HIS tron and some frames from him. He insisted and after the purchase I ended up duping a bunch of orchestron/optigan discs for him which he enjoyed. There were a bunch of things we talked about, the history channel, Salt Flats, guzzis, silvertone 1483's, hank williams death in a cadillac, a story of a 50's w.va. wrecker driver who scattered dismembered bodies along rt.64, The Mystery Hole, webster model 80 wire recorder repair, Tom Waits, and on and on etc. Here are two favorites I remember.

So we started talking about defunct amusement parks, to which I told him I'd send some pictures I found online. Ill post the links below. Well after I sent him the pictures, he called me up and was very inquisitive about the rollercoaster shots. In that beautiful southern drawl of his says, "Adam, ever since I was a kid I've had this reoccuring dream where I'm sitting in a abandoned rollercoaster, noone around, and out of nowhere a rattlesnake appears and crawls up and bites my heel. As soon as that happens, you know.. I wake up, and wonder what that snake is trying to telling me. Would you happen to know what it means?"

Once I was talking to him and I hear the phone at the Static King ring in the background. Well, I had been talking to him for a while when I heard the phone in the background start ringing, so I'm thinking I better let you go you know.... He says can you hold on a minute Adam? Sure....Then I hear him get on the other line and say to someone hey I'm sorry I got an important call, do you mind if I call you back? Then he gets back on my line, to which I say sorry... No its ok Adam, just somebody I'm trying to schedule some studio time with (for Dreamt for Lightyears). I must have said who was it or something, then and he told me it was Dave Fridmann. LOL. So after a few more minutes says, hey can I call you back, my cigarette is gonna burn my finger off. Great great guy, and even though I never met him felt like he was a great friend, on top of an incredible musician. BUT as Joel said, most importantly he was a great kind human soul that will be sorely missed. Thanks Mark!

http://home.f01.itscom.net/spiral/t_rando/t_rando2.html

http://home.f01.itscom.net/spiral/t_rando/t_rando1.html

http://home.f01.itscom.net/spiral/t_rando/t_rando3.html

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Post by dontfeartheringo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 12:53 pm

I was a huge, HUGE Sparklehorse fan. I once came through check-in for British Airways a couple of hours behind them flying out of London. I had a couple of guitars and a cymbal bag I was muling for our band, all of whom had flown back separately from me. BA frowns deeply upon extra checked bags and carry-ons flying back to the States, in the post 9-11 world.

I hoisted the guitar cases up onto the scale and tried to smile as charmingly as possible. The woman rolled her eyes and said to her colleague "Looks like we've got another one from that BAND that came through earlier."

I was taken by surprise and said "No, no... my band flew back yesterday."

and she said "So, you're not in Sparklehorse, then?"

"Ha ha!" I said. "If only!!"

They told me that "a band called Sparklehorse" had flown back to the US just hours before me, and they had taken SO MANY extra guitars, but that they had all been "such gentlemen" that they'd decided to let them fly with all of their guitars at no extra charge.

She singled out Mark in particular and said he seemed "a bit shy, but quite sweet."

My brush with greatness, I guess. Also, a clue as to how to act going through life as a guy with guitars that need to be flown places.

And then there's this much sadder note, which I posted on another forum where I post a lot more frequently. I thought I'd share it with you guys as well-

Mark said some really thoughtful and nice things at Vic Chesnutt's funeral. He seemed like a lovely guy, if a little panicked about how sad he was feeling. I definitely got the impression that his emotions were running away with him and he wasn't comfortable being that way in front of a room full of people. It made he seem almost frantic to not be there, but bound by his feeling that he should say something to honor Vic.

rest well, Mark Linkous.
there'll always be money and whores and drunkards
down to the last bomb,
but as God said,
crossing his legs,
I see where I have made plenty of poets
but not so very much
poetry.

--Charles Bukowski

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Post by joel hamilton » Wed Mar 10, 2010 3:34 pm

Picture this:

Me and Scott Minor and Mark at the studio... wanting to record harmonium on "morning hollow" which came out on "light years" I guess... anyway, deciding that there should be some texture or dynamic arc to the performance, so Mark sits down at this electric harmonium, which was really just a pump organ with a vacuum cleaner pump blowing it, and we wrap the motor in moving blankets with a power strip so Scott can play the power switch on the strip and get the harmonium to sag a little bit at the appropriate times. Fun.
How about taping a crazy silvertone mic that Mark had found " At the landfill" so we were calling it the landfill mic... I taped it to the BODY of Bob Rupe's P or J bass (whatever) thinking it would sound all crazy... it sounded amazing and became the basic bass sound on every song I tracked with them for "its a wonderful life." it was like this crazy hofner but with tons of low end sound that we did not expect at ALL.
there was also a DI that was boring and an ampeg portaflex that was whatever...
or how about the fact that I still to this day think the best vocals I have ever recorded were with Mark on a soundelux U95 and a 1073 with a voce VTC-1 compressor to tape. really, the best quality and emotional content being conveyed... clearly it was Mark, but it was one of those times where we knew it was special on that day with that chain and all things considered... we had transferred the DA88's that mark was using t static king on to the 2" 24trk machine we were using, and continued tracking from there... sometimes drums, sometimes the whole band like for "little fat baby", sometimes everything but the 808 like for "apple bed" which we did some crazy stuff with Scott's sherman filterbank along with some vari speed tricks... I have a rough mix of that where that sherman/half time drums thing really comes in like STUPID loud... I like it.
I also played guitar with mark and Nathan Larsen on a song called "hit me with a flower" that I dont thing ever came out. We tracked a cover called "galveston" with Joan wasser (joan as police woman) on organ and strings... and a ton of other crazy instrumentation... celeste... bells... optigan... mellotron... nylon guitars used in weird ways.
Mark was just so creative and fun and also had faith in the rest of us to make something cool happen sonically... no micro managing.. just creative vibes and filterless cigarettes and coffee in the lounge. He actually slept in the lounge a few times overnight while I went home for 4 hours to "sleep" after 700 cups of coffee and 900 cigarettes.. we both smoked (i have been off of the smokes for 2 years now) at the time so it really didnt help that we took so many breaks....
man I could go on forever about those sessions because it feels good to think about those times at this point...

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Post by dontfeartheringo » Wed Mar 10, 2010 9:06 pm

joel hamilton wrote: man I could go on forever about those sessions
Image
there'll always be money and whores and drunkards
down to the last bomb,
but as God said,
crossing his legs,
I see where I have made plenty of poets
but not so very much
poetry.

--Charles Bukowski

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tonewoods
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Post by tonewoods » Thu Mar 11, 2010 9:46 am

joel hamilton wrote: man I could go on forever about those sessions because it feels good to think about those times at this point...
My sincere condolances, Joel... :(

Ya know, it's times and events such as these that point to why we record in the first place...

I guess it really does boil down to this...
At least for me it does.....
A snapshot in time for friends and family to hopefully treasure...

Tried to listen to "Dreamt" yesterday, and couldn't do it...
But someday, we all will...

Back to work...sigh....



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