Brighten Mornings & Hollows…

Here’s a little Christmas gift for everyone who is missing Mark today…

It’s a beautiful acoustic version of Morning Hollow recorded for BBC London Radio back in 2001. Most likely unheard since its original broadcast, we thought this was just too special not to share…

Wishing all our readers a very Happy Christmas!

Morning Hollow (Acoustic):

Morning Hollow (Acoustic)

In the silver morning hollow
Trembling and getting old
Smelling burnt oil of heaven
About ten years, too big to hold
She don’t get up when I come into the room
She don’t run through the fields anymore
Built a fire in the kitchen
Made her bed by a stove
Took a walk to the graveyard
But she didn’t want to go
She don’t worry all them murders of crows
Even though they was always out of reach
She don’t get up when I come into the room
She don’t run through the fields anymore

Train Story

Everyone has a train story…here’s Mark’s…

“That train track running behind the house, it goes all the way into Richmond. One day, a couple of summers ago, I jumped it, and rode up in the coal car. I was goin’ into Richmond, but it took a long time, and kept stopping. Then it went through this prison, with guard towers and all and I thought, `Man, they’re gonna see me on this train and think I’m a convict trying to escape. They’ll shoot me!’ I was terrified. I made it through the prison and into Richmond. But the train didn’t stop. It just kept goin’. I had to jump off, and I busted my ass. I was totally black, covered in coal dust. I jumped off in a train yard, and I had to jump between trains to get to the street. I jumped through and I was standing right next to the train-yard guy. It was a strange moment. We looked at each other and nobody said a word. And I just kept goin’. I jumped over one train that had all these amphibious tank vehicles I’d never seen before and have never seen since. I think it was during the Persian Gulf thing. I got out onto the street and walked up to where House Of Freaks practice, to use the telephone. I walked by a car with two people in it. And I sort of averted my eyes, ’cause I thought maybe they were makin’ out. Next day, I found out it was two people shot in the head. And that’s my train story.”

Mark Linkous (Puncture Magazine, 1996)

Many more articles and interviews to explore in our Articles section…

It’s A Wonderful Video…

We shared this extraordinary unofficial video for It’s A Wonderful Life on our Facebook page a few weeks ago but it was just too good not to share here as well!

We would love to know who made this…if anyone out there can help please get in touch…

Someday…

Tonight’s featured video is a great recent live performance of Someday I Will Treat You Good by Rob Williams and his band:

Rob used to front Richmond based Joe Buck Jr who covered the song back in 1996 on their debut album Used To Be Somebody…

“The cover was added at the last minute as Mark Linkous fell ill while on tour in Europe. The plan was for local bands to record versions of his songs to send to him in the hospital to let him know we were thinking of him. I don’t know if the tape was ever made for Mark, but we added our cover to the CD.”

In fact this would be the very first time an artist would release a Sparklehorse cover!

(I’m not counting Cracker’s Sick Of Goodbyes or Susanna Hoff’s Happy Place as both predate Mark’s own versions…)

Of course countless more covers have followed over the years…we have attempted to document all those to receive an official release in our Covers section…

Rob Williams’ latest solo album A Place In The Sun was released earlier in the year. Engineered and produced by John Morand at Sound Of Music; the record also features contributions from two more Sparklehorse alumni: Alan Weatherhead and Miguel Rodriguez-Urbiztondo…

Rob Williams

Wild Chorus

Back in February Anders Parker and Kendall Meade (aka Anders & Kendall) released their debut album as a duo “Wild Chorus” on Nine Mile Records:

Anders & Kendall

Among other musical endeavors Kendall toured extensively with Mark in 2001 as a member of the It’s A Wonderful Life era live Sparklehorse lineup.

Anders is probably best known as the main force behind Varnaline, a band that it just so happens opened twenty three shows for Sparklehorse on their Spring ’99 tour of North America…

If that’s not enough to pique your interest the album was engineered and mixed by Mark’s long time drummer and collaborator Scott Minor at Wild Chorus, Scott’s recently opened Knoxville studio after which the album is named…

Danny & The Nightmares

Daniel Johnston’s latest album Death Of Satan was released earlier this month on the Spanish label Munster Records:

Death Of Satan

Recorded five years ago with Waller friends Jason and Bridget, this is Daniel’s third full-length release as Danny And The Nightmares. Sadly, it will also be the last. Jason, who also produced the album, passed away in 2011 following a sudden illness aged just 36.

Back in 2007 the band contributed a wonderful cover of Most Beautiful Widow In Town to the Sparklehorse tribute album That Horse Yonder. The album which was curated and released by the mysterious Slight Records is long out of print but we are pleased to share Danny’s contribution here for a limited time only…

Danny & The Nightmares – Most Beautiful Widow:

Danny & The Nightmares – Most Beautiful Widow

Here’s a few words from Jason about the track:

“Recorded the song with Danny last night. I think you guys will like it. Danny really delivered a nice vocal track to our surprise. So far it’s vocals, the acoustic guitar, a farfisa organ, and bells. We’re gonna see if the quartet will do some string stuff on it this weekend. We thought it would be funny to take a sparse original and do a lavish cover version. Sort of like what SH do with Danny’s stuff.”

It would also be with The Nightmares that Daniel would share a live stage with Mark for the very first time when the band opened for Sparklehorse in Houston in September 2006.

The Proletariat, Houston, 2006

Watch out for a series of Golden Crows posts coming soon exploring the connections between these two great artists and sharing a few rarities along the way…