Friday, July 19, 2013

good morning spider

Sparklehorse came through death and rehabilitation to create the brooding otherworldly brilliance of this experimental emotional rollercoaster.   After recording his debut album  'Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot' with members of Cracker, Mark Linkous went on tour with Radiohead.  Following a gig in London, he passed out in his hotel room after mixing alcohol and antidepressants.  He spent fourteen hours with his legs pinned underneath him, cutting off circulation and causing serious damage.  When the paramedics moved him, he suffered a heart attack and was clinically dead for three minutes until they could resuscitate him.  Linkous spent three months bedridden at St Mary’s Hospital in London and was confined to a wheelchair for another six.  

Linkous would later admit:    "I was being stupid with drugs...For a few hours. When I was scared I was going to die. I was in hospital here in London, praying - if only I could get back to my wife and dogs, I'd be the happiest person in the world. Unfortunately I let that feeling wear off. In some ways I think I kind of blew it by letting it slip away like that ... It took me a long time to be able to make chords again.”

During his extended convalescence, Linkous wrote and recorded the music that would become 'Good Morning Spider' on a sixteen track home studio near Richmond, Virginia using whatever he could find that could evoke a different sound:    “I have a lot of cheap, little keyboards and this octagon thing and this synth module that has a zillion different sounds in it...A lot of the keyboards I got at thrift stores. I have a little Casio Sk-1 that has a built in sampler. My favorite microphone I found at the landfill. It was on a CB base station. I’ve got these wireless intercoms from the ‘50s from an auction from a dentist’s office.”

'Good Morning Spider' features Mark Linkous on vocals, guitar, bass, wurlitzer, piano, optigan, sampler, vibraphone, harmonium, speak and spell, concertina, percussion, and drum machine; Sofia Mitchalitsianos on vocals and cello; Scott Minor on drums and harmonium; Paul Watson on cornet; Melissa Moore on violin; Johnny Hott on drums and piano; Stephen McCarthy on pedal steel; David Lowery on guitar, drum machine, and bass; and Vic Chesnutt on answering voice.  

The album made it to number thirty in the UK; but barely made a blip in the US.  Linkous would reflect:     “I don’t miss not being appreciated or recognized. I just wish things were different where bands like us don’t have to go so far to be appreciated because people are missing out on a lot. … None of our music is that weird at all. It’s not that inaccessible. … A lot of other people, especially in America, think it’s really weird or experimental. But it doesn’t seem weird to me at all."

"Saint Mary"

"Good Morning Spider/ Box of Stars (part one)"


'Good Morning Spider' 

full album:

All tracks written by Mark Linkous, except as noted.

"Pig" – 2:22
"Painbirds" – 3:50
"Saint Mary" – 3:59
"Good Morning Spider" – 1:09 (Linkous, Scott Minor, Sofia Mitchalitsianos)
"Sick of Goodbyes" – 3:32 (Linkous, David Lowery)
"Box of Stars (Part One)" – 0:33
"Sunshine" – 4:59
"Chaos of the Galaxy/Happy Man" – 4:31
"Hey, Joe" – 3:04 (Daniel Dale Johnston)
"Come on In" – 3:43
"Maria's Little Elbows" – 4:16
"Cruel Sun" – 2:25
"All Night Home" – 3:43
"Ghost of His Smile" – 3:11
"Hundreds of Sparrows" – 2:26
"Box of Stars (Part Two)" – 0:49
"Junebug" – 3:24

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