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Mark Linkous

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Mark Linkous (d. March 6th 2010) was an American , and musician, best-known as the leader of Sparklehorse. Whilst he will always be Virginia’s prodigal son, Linkous now lives in the hill-tops of North Carolina and has established the latest edition of the Static King Studio in nearby Hayesville.

Beyond Sparklehorse, he has also worked with such artists as Thom Yorke (on a cover of “Wish You Were Here”), Nina Persson (on her solo project A Camp), Fennesz and Vic Chesnutt. Linkous produced and played on Daniel Johnston’s Fear Yourself (2003); he had earlier covered several of Johnston’s songs.

Linkous cofounded the Dancing Hoods in the 1980’s. They released two largely forgotten records. Following their breakup, Linkous continued writing songs (notably co-writing “Sick of Goodbyes” with David Lowery; the song appeared on Kerosene Hat by Cracker), eventually founding Sparklehorse, who have released four records since 1995.

Linkous claims to have a chemical imbalance in his brain which results in the frequently and nature of his music and lyrics (e.g. “The parasites will love you when you’re dead”).

In 1996, (while touring the United Kingdom with Tindersticks in support of the first Sparklehorse record), Linkous suffered a drug-related catastrophe. After mixing valium with prescription painkillers and alcohol, Linkous passed out in his hotel room and trapped his legs under his body, cutting off his circulation for fourteen hours until he was discovered unconscious. Linkous was technically dead for two minutes whilst being treated in hospital. He was temporarily paralysed, and was wheelchair-bound for six months.

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