Sunday, March 14, 2010

Song of The Week: Wish You Were (still) Here

With the suicide of Sparklehorse's Mark Linkous weighing heavily on my mind the last few days, it's been a sad week. I've never experienced such heartache over the death of a person I did not know and the experience has been rather alienating. I did, however, receive several emails from strangers who read the piece I wrote on Wednesday, expressing their condolences and sharing with me their own struggles to deal with the death of Linkous. I have to wonder, if those of us who were fans could have reached out somehow and let him know how much he meant to us, would that had made a difference? Should I go down the list of my iTunes drafting 'Please Don't Kill Yourself' letters to all of my musical heroes? Ridiculous, I know, but these have been my thoughts this week.

For the Song of the Week, I wanted to pick the first song I ever heard by Sparklehorse, a song I heard in high school that led to a life-long musical co-dependence. It was in the days of Napster (wow, Napster) and I was searching through Radiohead songs when I came across one that was a collaboration between Radiohead and some band with a funny name I'd never heard of, Sparklehorse. The song ended up being an eerie, atmospheric, slow as molasses cover of Pink Floyd's "Wish You Were Here." For the longest time I thought Thom Yorke was singing the warbling vocals that I found so haunting, but maybe a year later I read an interview with Yorke where he talked about the collaboration and how Linkous had sung the words. That led me to buy Sparklehorse's first album, the awesomely titled Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot, and eventually, purchasing everything I could get my hands on that Linkous had touched (from the Daniel Johnston tribute album he produced to his latest, a collaboration with Danger Mouse and director David Lynch, Dark Night of the Soul.) I don't expect to be over this incredibly sad loss anytime soon but the songs I have will always be there and might just mean even more to me over time.

Here now, the first song I ever heard by Sparklehorse, and no, that's not Thom Yorke singing.


  1. Pink Floyd originally wrote this song for Syd Barrett but I've never heard a more appropriate song for a man that will be missed and ironically enough.. sung by his own voice. With all due respect, I wonder what was on that text message?

  2. I am so freaking curious about the text.

  3. Anonymous27/3/10 07:03

    I can't quit thinking about the guilt the person that sent that text must be feeling.