Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Goodbye Sparklehorse

As I was about to record the very first Petracovich album in 2001 my friend and producer Tad Wagner popped the Sparklehorse album It's a Wonderful Life into the CD player of his Honda as we went to get lunch. First of all, I think I was sold on just hearing the name Sparklehorse. And the music...

It was a still moment, like when you find a dress that's just your color or see a perfect sit-down spot on a hike. The song "Its' Wonderful Life" is so slow, so patient, childlike, with words that make you remember moments from toddlerhood, with a tinge of the sadness of getting older. "I"m full of bees that died at sea," "I'm the dog that ate your birthday cake." I like the world of this song, I wanted to stay on the ride of it, like a nice but strange dream.

His music can be loud and rocking too, but always maintains an intimacy, a still place that it centers from. The poetry is full of animals and underthings, places, and holds the darkness of life right up to the edge of the beauty. Almost like the beauty hurts.

"good morning my child
stay with me a while
and evaporate in the sun
sometimes it can weigh a ton"
(From Gold Day)

Hearing that he (Mark Linkous) left this world on March 6th... I'm sad. Sad for whatever he had to deal with that was hard, I'm sad for the rest of us who don't get to hear more of his creations, I'm sad for his family. But I don't feel surprised. I think I'm still too much in the grief of my son to be surprised at death; maybe I'm more accepting of it now. It just makes me feel like we are lucky for the good moments we have, and we only have so many of them in this life.

I am grateful to have the music we have from Mark Linkous. Thanks for putting it out there, for giving it to us. It's a generous gift.