Fiery Pianos And Homecoming Queens: Sparklehorse Remembered

As I explored some dusty corners of my music library last week, I came across a band I haven’t listened to much in recent years.
That band was Sparklehorse.
Although the name may conjure up images of childhood and levity, Sparklehorse sounds nothing like that.
The band’s usually murky sound is almost always paired with foreboding and dream-like lyrics like “my crooked spine becoming more brittle/what once grew straight and tall t’ward the sun/absorbing back down to dirt like a sponge” and “fiery pianos wash up on a foggy coast.”
The song that really pounded at my heart last week was “Maria’s Little Elbows.” I haven’t been able to shake it.
I spent a lot of time with the album “Good Morning Spider” when it was released in 1998, but I had somehow forgotten “Maria’s Little Elbows.”
Here it is:

well I’ll bet my Maria’s got an elbow full of lonely
now here’s a little prayer so that she might get some sleep
don’t let her face be skinned by the sun today
don’t let it in when it comes knocking at your door

oh oh

sometimes you feel you’ve got the emptiest arms in the whole world
try to make sense but it always comes out absurd
sleeping horses keep eating up your flowers
don’t let ’em in when it comes kicking at your door

came kicking at my door

she said ‘I’ve really come to hate my body
and all the things that it requires in this world’
I bet you’re out there getting drunk with all your friends
and it’ll get you in the bathroom of a Texaco

came kicking at my door

Sadly, Mark Linkous, the man who was Sparklehorse, shot himself in the heart March 6, 2010, at the age of 47.
At the time of his death, I listened to a few of my favorite Sparklehorse songs. It wasn’t until going through his albums this week, however, that I really remembered how much I enjoyed his music and what made it so special. It’s really made me mourn the loss of Linkous.
I didn’t know a better way to express my sadness than by sharing his music.

One thought on “Fiery Pianos And Homecoming Queens: Sparklehorse Remembered

  1. When the Rainmakers were in Hartington I had a flash of nostalgia and I did this as well digging up bands like Jason and the Scorchers, Icicle Works, Talk Talk, The Church, Romeo Void, Berlin and Charlie Sexton.

    BTW: The Matthew Sweet band I was trying to remember the other night is The Thorns. It is Sweet, Shawn Mullins and Pete Droge.

    Who we ended up talking about was just his backing band with Richard Lloyd from Television. Robert Quine, Greg Leisz, Lloyd Cole, and Fred Maher were also in that band. Richard Hell was the “other” Richard from Television and did not play with Sweet.

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