The music world suffered a great loss on Saturday when Mark Linkous, who recorded under the name Sparklehorse, ended his life with a bullet to the heart.
Although a new album is reportedly finished, the musician's most celebrated recent achievement was Dark Night of the Soul, his collaboration with David Lynch and Danger Mouse. The album was set to be released last year, but put on indefinite hold due to unspecified legal disputes with EMI. As a workaround, the songs were instead posted on the Internet, and fans were given the opportunity to buy a blank, recordable CD-R bearing the message: "For Legal Reasons, enclosed CD-R contains no music. Use it as you will." A book of Lynch's photographs was also part of the $50 package.
In an example of multiple ironies, Danger Mouse told BBC-6 radio (which lately has been having its own problems) last week that the legalities surrounding Dark Night of the Soul had finally been resolved and that the album would soon see a proper release. Paste Magazine reported that fact in a 9:30 post this morning that mentioned Sparklehorse but failed to note Linkous' death (presumably underscoring the risk in writing blogs in advance and then scheduling them to go live days later).
Perhaps the most salient observation on the Internet came in the form of a comment on the New York Times website, which simply posts the lyrics to a song written by former Captain Beefheart drummer John French.
Now that I am dead
my agent finally said
he wanted to have lunch with me
Now that I'm deceased
my record sales increased
I'm making lots of royalties
I'm a composer decomposing
I'm on the rocker's roll of fame
My songs the critics are praising
Yes, they even learned to spell my name.
Now that I am dead
I'm finally making a living.
In happier news, a new Danger Mouse collaborative album will be released this week featuring James Mercer, frontman for the Shins. Recording as Broken Bells, it looks to be a fine pairing, especially on the catchy and beautiful single “The High Road.”
Scroll down an inch to watch Shin and Mouse go through a series of strangely haunting nighttime encounters with a child, a dancer and, yes, a horse. The effect is kind of like a cross between Cormac McCarthy and “Carnivale.”
The album itself doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but you can already stream it right now, right here.