In February of 2007, I drove to Dallas to see Mark Linkous(aka Sparklehorse) live at the Gypsy Tea Room. He didn't tour much and his battles with depression were well documented, so it was in the back of my mind that this may be his last full tour and my last chance to see him live. And it was. Mark Linkous committed suicide yesterday at the age of 47, according to his family.
During that concert, I noticed a teenage girl in gothic attire at the bar, drawing furiously on cocktail napkins with a marker. She would walk up to complete strangers and hand them her art and then walk off without saying a word. She may not have been Van Gogh, but the spontaneity and desire to hand you her work made it every bit as engaging. I was struck by the contrast between this girl who had to show you her art and the man on stage who had no other choice but to show you his.
While many people may see defeat in Linkous' suicide, even he admitted that he would have lost his mind a long time ago had it not been for music, and that, in the end, is Mark Linkous' triumph.