Apr 3, 2020

Episode 12: Propaganda (1974) part 2

I delve into side two of Propaganda in this one, including B-side Alabamy Right. Propaganda was a deliberate step forward from Kimono My House, in terms of musical ambition. The second and final album produced by Muff Winwood, Ron employs his "Jam-proof your composition" manifesto here to ensure no one does the same thing twice, and to ensure that Adrian Fisher never gets to play a single blues lick. How was Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth misunderstood by Ray Davies? Exactly WHAT the hell is Russell singing on Something for the Girl with Everything? I break it all down here.

Check us out on Facebook, and drop me a line at podcastsparks@gmail.com if you're lonely and want to say hi. I like friends.

--Christian

Mar 25, 2020

Episode 11: Interview with Martin Gordon

(I updated a new version of the file March 25, with the final versions of Martin's songs "Will of the People" and "Idiots.")

What excuse did I have for waiting longer than this for uploading and sharing? None, that's what! While I'm more or less quarantined in my house here in SXSW-less Austin, TX, I've got time on my hands. Thank goodness cabin fever is the only fever in my household at the moment!

Here's that interview with Martin Gordon I promised! He couldn't have been more generous with his time. I've included clips of songs from Martin's long and varied career. Those include: Will of the People, Idiots, Cover Girl, Nervous Wreck, No Russians in Russia, Good Personality, and Modern Major General. Please check out Martin's own website at www.martingordon.de and buy his music!

Stay well and wash everything constantly always! I'll be back soon for part 2 of my exploration of 1974's Propaganda.

Cheers, Christian

Mar 19, 2020

Episode 10: Propaganda (1974) part 1

Sheltered-in-place so long you've got serious cabin fever? Perfect time to listen to Sparks' second hit LP for Island, Propaganda. Propaganda was recorded in just a few weeks, in the wake of the seismic smash of its predecessor. In this episode, I dig deep into the making of the record and explore side one.

As always, drop me a note at podcastsparks@gmail.com or check us out on Facebook. Stay safe, my friends! Wash your hands and eyeballs after reading this!

Much love, Christian 

Feb 23, 2020

Episode 9: Kimono My House (1974) part 2

(NOTE: I uploaded a new version of this episode with different sound levels 2/26)

I explore side 2 of Kimono My House in episode 9, and throw in random tidbits about OPEC-induced vinyl shortages and Japanese musical theatre troupes. Did Doris Day know she had a doppleganger? Is there a gorilla out there doing his best impression of Ron Mael? Do YOU know how to tie a kimono? I expect the answers on my desk by the end of the day.

As promised in my intro, here's the link to Andy Moore's podcast and the episode about Sparks: https://andystreasuretrove.com/podcast/19-sparks-an-homage-to-ron-russell-mael/

Also, drummer Stevie Nistor's Gofundme to help him with chronic Lyme disease treatments: https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-stevie-nistor-beat-chronic-lyme-disease

As always, feel free to drop me a line at podcastsparks@gmail.com or at my FB page.

Hasta Mañana, Monsieur! - Sincerely, Christian Huey

Feb 2, 2020

Episode 8: Kimono My House (1974) part 1 + Monte Mallin

We're back! Happy 2020, Sparks fans. In episode 8, I take an obsessive gander at side one of Sparks' most famous album Kimono My House. Learn how Sparks catapulted from esoteric Los Angeles weirdos to British superstars in 1974 with the monumental "This Town Ain't Big Enough for Both of Us," and its stellar parent album.
After the history lesson, I bend the ear of Monte Mallin again, this time asking him about what made the late Dinky Diamond the highest-regarded of all of Sparks' many drummers over the years.

Check out Monte's frequently-astounding podcast So Important as well his Spotify playlist celebrating Sparks drumming. You can find info about THIS podcast here and here, and you can email me (Christian) at podcastsparks@gmail.com.

Dec 19, 2019

Episode 4 redux: Halfnelson/Sparks listening party + other stuff

(Amended re-release) Richard Martinez rejoins Christian for a Sparks listening party, as we examine the first Halfnelson/Sparks album on Bearsville Records. Christian reads Joseph Fleury's liner notes from a 1975 repackaging of the first two albums, and a rare interview (from another source) with Earle Mankey rounds out the episode. Email me here, and check us out on FB here!

Dec 18, 2019

Episode 7: Putting together the UK band (1973) + Interview with James Lowe

Ron and Russell recruit a new band in England, and sharpen their sound with new songs. Hear how Martin Gordon, Dinky Diamond and Adrian Fisher were discovered, and how Island Records had set Sparks up to be 1974's Next Big Thing. Stick around for an interview with James Lowe, producer of Sparks' previous album A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing, and founding member of the Electric Prunes. Thanks for your support in 2019, dear listeners! Happy Holidays/Christmas/Hannukah/whatever and I'll see you in 2020!

Check us out on FB, send me an email, and join the Indiscreet fan page on FB!

Dec 1, 2019

Episode 6: First European tour (1972-73) + Harley Feinstein interview

In this episode, Sparks jet off to the UK for a three-month mini-tour of England and mainland Europe. Find out how Ron, Russ and company take advantage of the 1972 exchange rate of 10,000 US dollars = infinity pounds sterling. Witness the bittersweet end of Sparks Mark I that following spring, and (briefly) hear what became of Sparks' original players. After that, stick around for a fantastic interview with drummer Harley Feinstein! I can't thank him enough for his generosity. Email us here and visit us on the web here.

Nov 14, 2019

Episode 5: A Woofer In Tweeter’s Clothing (1972)

Christian delves into the making of, the glory of, and the frustration with, Sparks' second album for Bearsville: "A Woofer In Tweeter's Clothing." It should have been a hit... But what a ride it was, and what would come next was legendary.

Oct 30, 2019

Episode 4: Halfnelson/Sparks (1971) track by track

(THIS MEDIA HAS BEEN DISABLED DUE TO A COPYRIGHT COMPLAINT. I WILL UPLOAD A RE-EDITED VERSION SOON.)

Richard Martinez joins Christian again for a Sparks listening party! We're listening to the first Sparks (aka Halfnelson) album and navigating that glorious highway from Insightfultown to Pithyville. Stick around for a special aural treat at the very end: a rare artifact from Ron and Russell's earliest days. Visit on FB here, or email us here!

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