By any measure of a day, today has been pretty appalling. At breakfast time we had the horrific massacre in Norway. Whilst still to be confirmed a lone right-wing fundamentalist dogma laden individual slaughtered over 90 innocent people. At lunch time we had an update on the nigh on 1,000,000 people forced into awful refugee camps in Somalia, crushed by starvation, emaciated infants unable even to wail their pain in a man made hell, and then by evening a once promising songstress dead by her own addictions and the pressure of fame, pawed over by flag waving ‘fans’ and the ever-present carrion press.
The coverage of all these terrible tragedies has been wholly unpleasant in its fawning to the four horsemen on the media. News International may be under the spot light but as a society we get the media we crave (apparently). I tend to think it’s a 50/50 relationship. In some instances we are told that what we are seeing is popular and we go with the flow, in others we react and substantiate an idea that we didn’t hold in the first place.
Our world is increasingly unpleasant and it’s not surprising that some of us chose the emergency exit.
For any number of random connections this brings me back to Mark Linkous or Sparklehorse as he named his musical output. I had such a huge appreciation of the man and his music when he was alive. He was an apparently emotionally frail man with obsessive tendencies and was a long-term drug user. He died by his own hand, shooting himself through the heart in a back alley in Knoxville, Tennessee. A committed act however you look at it.
Here are two films that include conversation with him.
The second is from a BBC Culture Show program
Good quality live recordings of Sparklehorse are as rare as Sparklehorse droppings but the following link will let you find 17 songs, variously outtakes & others. A track listing won’t help. It is what it is, an addition to a limited body of work by a unique musical voice.
Lets all cross our fingers that tomorrow is full of puppies, kittens & pretty flowers. I tend to doubt it.