Thursday, March 11, 2010

'may your shade be sweet...'

yes, i'm very bummed about the passing of mark linkous. to whit- unless you don't want to scroll yourself. i stand by my gushing sentiments about 'it's a wonderful life.' i did take the opportunity to revisit 'dreamt for light years in the belly of the beast' and (i'm sure this will be a huge surprise) found that it was a beautiful, overlooked gem. i do also really love 'good morning spider,' i just think that 'it's a wonderful life' is sparklehorse's (and mark linkous') crowning jewel. my friend james has asked me to submit a sparklehorse cover for a tribute he wants to release. stefanie is really not into the idea of tributes, but as i was walking around the morning after i'd heard about mr. linkous and listening to 'dreamt for light years...' i thought to myself, 'maybe we should do a sparklehorse cover in light of these events.' plus, i was kind of in awe of how great the songs on 'dreamt for light years...' were. it's basically a very valiant attempt at writing sunnier, poppier songs. in a way i think that the quality of the songs was so consistent that when you listened to the whole thing nothing really jumped out at you and it made you think that the album is flat, but there are some gorgeous sun-drenched songs on there. i do love 'don't take my sunshine away' and 'knives of summertime' and have loved 'shade and honey' to death since i first heard it in 'laurel canyon.' when it came out of the speakers i was delighted to hear that it was on the album. beautiful song. when we saw them at the double door it had always been my feeling that they weren't as great as a live act as they were on record and i also suspected that we caught them on an off-night. he did say that they were all sick with the flu. that said, the parts of the night that worked worked really well. i remember being thrilled to hear 'spirit ditch' (the song that made me fall in love with sparklehorse back in 1998), loving the live takes on the new songs (particularly the two previously mentioned songs) and also thinking they did a great live rendition of 'pig' to wrap up the set. i've never liked 'pig' that much, but when they did it live it made a lot of sense. they also played 'eyepennies,' which wasn't expected at all. there's also an amazing live clip posted on pitchfork of them doing 'it's a wonderful life' which was pretty amazing to me. it kind of highlights the fucked-up weirdo old analog keyboard aspect of the band, something which i don't think anyone else will ever do as well. listen to 'babies on the sun.' how the fuck did he do that?
while listening to 'good morning spider' i kept hearing a keyboard sound that took me back to when i was four years old because my grandmother had the same keyboard. can't remember which kind it was, of course, but i do wonder what ended up happening to that keyboard and how or why i didn't end up with it. fuck! i want to say it was an optigan, but i don't think that's right...
regardless the loss of mr. linkous is very sad to me. i'm hoping whatever he was working on at the time of his death ends up getting a release and i'm looking forward to the physical release of his collaboration with danger mouse because i haven't heard any of it as of yet.
i'm thinking 'spirit ditch,' 'shade and honey' or 'knives of summertime.'
we'll see...

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