Like many great artists, Sparklehorse mastermind Mark Linkous led a troubled life. His struggle with drugs and personal demons led him to a near-death overdose experience while on tour with Radiohead in 1996. However, it also drove him to explore deep creative recesses, and saw him collaborate with a plethora of modern music’s finest, including the Flaming Lips, PJ Harvey, Tom Waits, Vic Chesnutt, Danger Mouse, David Lynch, Iggy Pop, and Radiohead themselves.
Over the weekend, however, Linkous lost his inner battles, taking his own life in an alleyway in Knoxville, Tennessee. He was 47. The artist was in the process of relocating to the area, where his frequent collaborator, Scott Minor, is based, and was reportedly putting the finishing touches on a new album, the follow-up to 2006’s Dreamt for Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain
— an album that scored an enviable 8.3 rating from Pitchfork.
Linkous with Dark Night of the Soul collaborators Danger Mouse and David Lynch.
Most recently, Linkous was in the spotlight for his collaboration with Danger Mouse and Lynch, the album and visual-art project Dark Night of the Soul , which features vocals from indie-music stars including Julian Casablancas, Frank Black, and Iggy Pop, but saw its physical release put on hold due to a record-label dispute with EMI. Linkous was involved in other side projects, as well, such as his production of The Late Great Daniel Johnston: Discovered Covered
, a tribute album to the outsider artist he helped bring into the public eye. He also helmed the excellent self-titled debut album by A Camp
, the solo project of the Cardigans’ Nina Persson.
As the tributes pour in, we’ve rounded up a selection of Linkous’ videos, including work by filmmakers Guy Maddin and the Quay Brothers. Listen to his last album in the player below, then view a gallery of images, hear his collaboration with Radiohead on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here,” and check out David Lynch, Danger Mouse, and Sparklehorse’s Dark Night of the Soul in its entirety.
Sparklehorse with the Flaming Lips, “Go” (by Daniel Johnston)
“It’s a Wonderful Life,” directed by Guy Maddin
“Dog Door” featuring Tom Waits; video by the Quay Brothers
“Gold Day” (feat. Nina Persson)
“Little Fat Baby,” directed by Michele Civetta
“Spirit Ditch,” directed by Christina Vantzou