Distorted Ghost

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The vague poetry of Sparklehorse mastermind Mark Linkous is gracefully complex. David Lowery digs him and he is pals with Vic Chesnutt, but he probably won't join the ranks of Leonard Cohen or Woody Guthrie. Having bounced back from a traumatic overdose on Valium and prescription antidepressants which left him clinically dead for three minutes in 1996, Sparklehorse is Linkous' glimmering crystal of artistic emotion. 1999's Good Morning Spider brought him critical acclaim, but commercial whispers weren't enough. Linkous is trying to be a happy man; his folk-rock appeal is sultry and he sings his pain to no one who listens. The six-song EP Distorted Ghost is a collection of live tracks and B-sides encompassing Linkous' music career that began in the early '90s. Highlights include "Waiting for Nothing," which plucks with acoustic beauty and Linkous' sad yet sweet demeanor. "Gasoline Horseys," (from 1995's Vivadixiesubmarinetransmissionplot) is a moving live cut recorded in Bristol, England. In essence, Distorted Ghost allows Linkous to fully expose his heartbreaking frustration; Sparklehorse is his therapy.

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