Sparks has a big 2014
It's safe to say that 2014 has been a very big year for the Sparks.
It was back in February that the Sparks (Ron and Russell Mael) announced they were working on material with Franz Ferdinand. The veteran synth rockers told NME the two bands had been collaborating since they met in San Francisco in April 2013, and had hoped to finish recording by the time the Sparks began their summer tour.
"You can really hear a mashing together of both bands," Ron told the website. "If there was a train crash between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks, this is what the wreckage would sound like." As if the one album weren't enough, the Sparks were also said to be working on a movie of their 2009 album "The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman," as well as an album with an undisclosed narrative theme.
And then there is the well known fact that 2014 marks the 40th Anniversary of Sparks' ground-breaking classic album, "Kimono My House." To celebrate the event, Sparks will will perform the album in its entirety at the Barbican Centre on December 19th and 20th. The album will be performed with the 35-piece Heritage Orchestra. The show will also have a second half consisting of songs from throughout Sparks' career that have been also newly orchestrated for the show. Sparks fans nabbed tickets in a hurry, as the first night sold out within the first few hours after it went on sale.
Start a band, find a Spark (Created May 22, 2013)
What do you do after you've spent your childhood modeling young men's apparel for mail-order catalogs? If you're Ron and Russell Mael, you start a band, give it a quirky name like Halfnelson and then watch it grow into something else entirely.
The musical ambitions of the brothers Mael, as it turned out, would be rounded into something whole. There came another set of brothers, guitarist Earle Mankey and bassist Jim Mankey, along with drummer Harley Feinstein. And soon after their debut album flopped, they felt like they needed a spark. Or rather, Sparks. And with the new name, a manager who believed in their music and a Hot 100 single (1972's "Wonder Girl"), the band emerged from a cult status to one warmly received by fans and press around the world.
By 1974, Sparks had a new lineup in place with guitarist Adrian Fisher, bassists Martin Gordon, and drummer Norman "Dinky" Diamond. Immediately they recorded the album "Kimono My House," which reached the Top Five of the U.K. album charts and spawned the hits "This Town Ain't Big Enough For Both of Us" and "Amateur Hour."
Lineup changes became a staple to Sparks, which would go on to score hits with songs like "Never Turn Your Back on Mother Earth," "Something for the Girl With Everything," "The Number One Song in Heaven," "Beat the Clock" and "Tryouts for the Human race." By the turn of the century, they produced three albums inside of six years ("Lil' Beethoven" in 2002, "Hello Young Lovers" in 2006 and "Exotic Creatures of the Deep" in 2008). What's more, they were commissioned to compose a piece of radio theater, resulting in a 22nd album, "The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman." It premiered at the Los Angeles Film Festival in 2011.
In October 2012, Ron and Russell performed for the first time ever as a duo, with no band. It led to the Sparks first ever live album, "Two Hands, One Mouth: Live in Europe," which was released March 18, 2013.
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Past 12 Months
date city state venue 1/17/2015 Nancy Meurthe-et-moselle L'Autre Canal 2/14/2015 Los Angeles CA The Theatre at Ace Hotel 2/15/2015 Los Angeles CA The Theatre at Ace Hotel 2/24/2015 Chicago IL Abbey Pub 6/16/2015 Glasgow Glg The Art School Union 6/24/2015 Brussels Bru Ancienne Belgique 6/26/2015 Paris Ile Le Bataclan 6/29/2015 London London Troxy 7/1/2015 Cologne NW Gloria Theater 7/2/2015 Amsterdam ?? Melkweg 7/5/2015 Villeurbanne Rho Transbordeur
date city state venue 8/24/2014 London London Roundhouse 9/13/2014 Cologne NW Bootshaus 12/19/2014 London Gtl Barbican Centre 12/20/2014 London Gtl Barbican Centre
date city state venue 1/8/2013 Shibuya Club Quattro 4/9/2013 San Francisco CA The Chapel 4/10/2013 San Francisco CA The Chapel 4/12/2013 Indio CA Empire Polo Field 4/16/2013 Los Angeles CA Hollywood Forever Cemetery 4/17/2013 Los Angeles CA Hollywood Forever Cemetery 4/19/2013 Indio CA Empire Polo Field 4/21/2013 Portland OR Aladdin Theater 4/22/2013 Seattle WA Neptune Theatre 4/24/2013 Philadelphia PA Trocadero Theatre 4/25/2013 New York NY Highline Ballroom 5/24/2013 Paris Ville De Paris La Maroquinerie 9/24/2013 Cambridge MA The Sinclair 10/18/2013 London London Fabric 10/23/2013 Atlanta GA Variety Playhouse 10/27/2013 Washington DC 9:30 Club 10/28/2013 New York NY Webster Hall 10/30/2013 Boston MA Brighton Music Hall 11/1/2013 Montreal QC Le National 11/2/2013 Toronto ON Lee's Palace 11/4/2013 Pontiac MI Crofoot Ballroom 11/6/2013 Chicago IL Lincoln Hall 11/7/2013 Chicago IL Lincoln Hall 11/8/2013 Austin TX Auditorium Shores 11/11/2013 Los Angeles CA Fonda Theatre 11/22/2013 Bern BE Dampzentrale 11/24/2013 London Lnd Union Chapel 11/25/2013 Glasgow Glg The Arches 11/27/2013 Bristol Bst O2 Academy Bristol 12/1/2013 London Lnd Union Chapel 12/2/2013 London Lnd Union Chapel
date city state venue 10/8/2012 Oslo 03 Parkteateret 10/13/2012 Berlin Posthof 10/19/2012 Ghent Concertzaal Vooruit 10/21/2012 Edinburgh Edh The Picture House 10/22/2012 Manchester Man The Ritz 10/23/2012 Birmingham War The Institute 10/25/2012 Brighton Bnh Brighton Dome 10/26/2012 London Lnd Barbican Hall