All You Ever Think About Is Sparks

Home of the unofficial podcast devoted to the music of Ron and Russell Mael

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Saturday Apr 20, 2024

Record Store Day 2024 special! Monte Mallin is onboard with me again, and joining us is Sparks megafan - and sometimes DJ - Ad Rebirth. Ad joins us from Leeds, UK and arrives armed with thoughtful insights into the two Sparks vinyl re-releases for RSD '24: Number One in Heaven and Noël: Is There More to Life Than Dancing?, both originally released in 1979.
Lots of great Sparks-related fan material to cross-promote on this momentous day! Monte's Sparks: Entertainment and Art, Paul Barrett's MetaSparks, and Larry Graves' Canadian Studmuffin channel all have RSD-themed episodes out this week (Monte and I make appearances on the Larry Graves' one, too).
Drop me a line at

Sunday Mar 24, 2024

John Ashdown and I put a bow on the Telex album Sex. Well, sort of. Most of the world got the single disc version that was released in 1981, but the UK had a double album bestowed upon them when the record finally reached that country in 1982. We just didn't possess the ambition to tackle nearly 20 songs, but we did pay lip service two a couple of choice tracks from the expanded British version.
Check out John's own sparkling grooves with his electronic dance music outfit Christ on a Bike, right here:
You can always drop me a line at:

Sunday Feb 25, 2024

I wasn't sure if I was ever going to really delve into this one, but here you go! This will be another two-parter. Telex was a Belgian technopop group active from 1978 to 1988. They made the acquaintance of Ron and Russell Mael in 1979, through a mutual collaborator, the 18-year-old French pop singer Lio. Ron and Marc Moulin, in particular, struck up a lifelong friendship. But where the 1981 album Sex (hilariously neutered with the title Birds and Bees in the UK one year later) enters the Sparks canon is in that album's lyrics. Telex wanted to crack the Anglophone market with their third album, and enlisted Ron Mael to write the words. Songs like "Brainwashed," "Drama Drama," and "Haven't We Met Somewhere Before," sparkle with crystalline synth lines and disco grooves. And they really could pass for Sparks songs of the era.
I'm joined by John Ashdown, zooming in from London, on this one, and I can't thank him enough for his time and for sharing his insights. John himself produces electronic dance music under the name Christ on a Bike, and I strongly encourage you to check it out here:
You can always drop me a line at:

Wednesday Jan 03, 2024

Thom Chiki is SO DEVO. SO DEVO, that without Thom there would be no DEVOtional convention in Columbus, Ohio. Also a big Sparks fan, personal friend of DEVO and Sparks drummer David Kendrick, and an all-around awesome person. Check out Thom's videos here: Thom CD-ROM - YouTube
You can write to me (as always) at

Wednesday Jan 03, 2024

Wrapping up 2023 (belatedly) with two great interviews from Sparks fans. This one is from Timothy Hall in Cardiff, Wales. He runs Daytrip Records in the UK! Go check it out!
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Monday Dec 11, 2023

At long last! Monte and Christian wrap up their inexhaustible discussion about Sparks' 1982 landmark LP. Plus, a doff of the cap to Los Angeles' KROQ, the radio station that helped introduce a whole new generation of punk and new wave fans to Ron and Russell's 80s incarnation.
I've been cleaning house, in terms of shoring up unused material for this podcast so that it might see the light of day. That means I have a couple of episodes I'm working to get out by year's end. Ready to start 2024 afresh, and really looking forward to delving into Sparks' self-produced era, starting with 1983's Linn-drummy Sparks in Outer Space.
Don't sleep on Monte's Sparks-themed YouTube channel at: Monte Mallin - YouTube 
And Paul Barrett's MetaSparks at: MetaSparks - YouTube

Saturday Oct 14, 2023

More from Monte and Christian about Spark's 1982 party-starter Angst In My Pants! Plus, a short history lesson on the man behind Ron's original "Ronald" synth.
Monte Mallin has a brand-spankin' new YouTube series about Sparks! Check it out! Link below.
Feel free to drop me a line at or Facebook
Links:Ikutaro Kakehashi |
Sparks - Entertainment and Art! Episode One - YouTube
MetaSparks - YouTube
Sparks Talk (
Roland - JUPITER-8 | Software Synthesizer

Sunday Sep 03, 2023

Monte Mallin and I continue our dive into the effervescent waters of Angst In My Pants and the E.T.-induced wonder of 1982. Here, we wrap up side one!
Email me if you want at
...and remember to check out Monte's podcast So Important, as well as his Sparks blog at: So Important: The Interview Podcast! | a podcast by Monte Mallin (
AND:Monte's One Stop Blog!: Revisiting Kimono My House! (Spoiler: It's Still Great) (

Thursday Aug 17, 2023

Angst in my Pants is one of the greatest albums ever made!
Now that that's out of the way, on this, our 35th episode, Christian spends a conspicuous amount of time comparing classic TV comedy Taxi to Sparks and vice versa, by way of Danny DeVito (briefly) sharing a stage with the Mael Bros. and company on a 1982 episode of Saturday Night Live.
After that, Christian and Monte Mallin can barely contain their own angst over Sparks' 1982 release being just. that. good. It's a lot of great chatter, but alas, they only get to the first two songs on side one, after spending the lion's share of their time gushing like smitten schoolgirls, and in Monte's case, sharing some very cool personal Sparks stories.
But have no fear! There's a LOT more convo to share from that session, and it'll hit your eardrums soon enough!
Email me if you want at
and remember to check out Monte's podcast So Important, as well as his Sparks blog at: So Important: The Interview Podcast! | a podcast by Monte Mallin (
SOURCES FOR THIS EPISODE (in addition to the usual):
'Taxi's' Last Stand - The Washington Post
The Life of a Night Driver in the Dover Taxi Fleet -- New York Magazine - Nymag
SNL Transcripts: Danny DeVito: 05/15/82 - SNL Transcripts Tonight (
Sparks | Concerts Wiki | Fandom

Sunday Jun 18, 2023

FOUR - count 'em - FOUR Sparks fans join me for a track-by-track look under the hood of Sparks' latest album The Girl Is Crying In Her Latte.
Monte Mallin returns, along with Paul Barrett, Penny Brown, and Jo Sieger! That's a lot of Sparks galaxy brain for a single sitting. So much, in fact, that we did what we often do: chop it in half and save the rest for later. And later is now!
You won't hear the songs in their entireties here, so if you really want to "play along" at home, GO BUY THE ALBUM!
So Important: The Interview Podcast! | a podcast by Monte Mallin (
Home | One for the ages (
MetaSparks - YouTube

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