Sunday, March 7, 2010

RIP Mark Linkous

This is pretty close to the top of "things I hoped I'd never write". Just days after announcing that his Dangermouse/David Lynch collaboration Dark Night of the Soul would be physically released this year, Sparklehorse leader Mark Linkous, the man who survived death once, has committed suicide. I'm not into discussing what music means to me, but I didn't put Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain at #16 and It's a Wonderful Life at #19 in my Top 50 Albums of the Decade for shits and giggles. Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot and Good Morning Spider would fare very well in a list of my top 50 albums of the 90s.

Linkous' suicide eerily recalls that of Elliott Smith, similar not only in method, but in its sudden yet definitive nature. He made literally the most life-changing moment a person can make in an almost instantaneous way that can't be taken back. It was apparently set off by a text message Linkous received while his judgment was compromised by alcohol, which just compounds the seemingly random nature of the whole thing. What if he hadn't been drinking? What if he'd talked to his friends about it instead of wandering off alone? What if he'd had his fucking phone switched off? These questions are pointless to ponder, but I have to. Maybe it's my lack of exposure to death; only one friend and one close relative of mine have died. Neither committed suicide and I've only met one person who did. Death is not something I hope I ever get used to.

The mortality of rock musicians never ceases to amaze and sadden me. Sometimes I think I should just give up and listen to pop music, but for a while there even Britney looked as though she might not last.

Sex, War & Robots