Beachwood Sparks... classic or dud?

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I'm a bit biased because I like the guys alot, but what do you think? Boring and retro, or classic West Coast jangle pop? Do you care? I understand they're well liked in Britain, but they're still under the radar here in California.

Andy, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

It's hard to go so far as to call a group classic after one record, but I think they're pretty damn good at what they do. Nice harmonies. They are unabashedly retro, but they do have a pretty distinctive sound among new bands - not slavishly sixties or predictably "alt- country" either. I really like 'em. That being said, after listening to the record a lot at first I haven't returned to it that much in the past few months.

Can't understand why they're still so "under the radar" - I think a lot of people would really like them.

There are a few "genre" bands these days that I think could appeal to a lot of people outside of their individual scenes if given half a chance: Beachwood Sparks, The Go, The Deadly Snakes, The Detroit Cobras... Have people heard these bands?

fritz, Monday, 2 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

Not wild about them. They have a few songs I like, but the retro-canyon schtick gets on my nerves. I'm sure they'd point out the variety of influences that go beyond GP and Gene Clark, like Spaceman 3 and Scott Walker--and I really like them as DJs, they have great taste--but it's not for me. And the Tyde are OK, a pretty tune here and there, but that album cover is a real turnoff.

I much prefer Eagle, they're part of that scene, how come they never get any of the acclaim? Too fun, I suppose.

Anyone see the Lilys backed by Beachwood Sparks?

Arthur, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

I really, really, really wanted to like them, as they have some BJM/Smallstone link (is there anyone in Southern California who doesn't?) and a lot of my friends in So Cal think they're the Bees Knees.

But then I got the record, and it sounded exactly like the Eagles. Disappointing.

masonic boom, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

they're lovely people - they get their hair cut by the same barber who used to do Arthur Lee's!

And the new LP, which at the risk of sounding like an arse, they had just finished mastering and were playing to us while we were in LA, is about 1,000,000 times better than their debut, a much clearer, more focussed sound, and swathed in really spooky, ethereal harmonies. Even James, who is usually horribly cynical about these things thought it was destined for classic status.

Alasdair, Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink


Makes you want to believe in music again., Tuesday, 3 July 2001 00:00 (sixteen years ago) Permalink

eight years pass...

A big fan of theirs played me some of their stuff the other day - I liked it.

That's all.

dog latin, Thursday, 1 October 2009 08:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

They coulda been contenders. Amazing first record followed up with a shitty grunge record with shitty J Mascis. One pretty good pretty weird e.p. and they're out.

Brio, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

Summer of 98 in LA you couldn't turn around w/o seeing these guys ... Liked 'em then, though they seemed a little overrated. One of the guys used to have a great radio show on KXLU, I think. First album was nice! Never heard the second one. Really liked the one Tyde record I've heard. Is Beechwood Sparks back together? I thought I heard something to that effect. Or that they had never really broken up. Or something.

tylerw, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:23 (eight years ago) Permalink


scott seward, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:30 (eight years ago) Permalink

i love the first album and the EP and the tyde album. i've never heard the "grunge" album. is it really grunge?

scott seward, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

doesn't it have a Sade cover on it? How grunge could it be?

tylerw, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

i like that sade cover. anyone heard the new album by "farmer" dave scher?

mizzell, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

haven't heard it -- Farmer Dave's the guy who had the radio show I mentioned. Heard a lot of great stuff for the first time back in the mid 90s on that show.

tylerw, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

OK OK, it's not really grunge exactly, just a lot sludgier and less fun to my ears than that bright beautiful crystalline California country pop of the first record.

Brio, Thursday, 1 October 2009 16:49 (eight years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

they're back.

the single, forget the song, is somewhat forgettable but nice. verses are lovely and drifty, chorus is a bit weak.

mizzell, Friday, 20 April 2012 14:57 (six years ago) Permalink

"The Tarnished Gold" is the work of the classic Beachwood Sparks lineup: singer/guitarist Chris Gunst, singer/bassist Brent Rademaker, singer/multi-instrumentalist Farmer Dave Scher, and drummer Aaron Sperske, with invaluable support from guitarist and longtime friend Ben Knight (The Tyde). For the sessions, the band expanded to seven pieces, with guitarists Knight and Neal Casal, with Dan Horne on pedal steel in place of Scher, who opted to play organ, key, flying V guitar and electrified melodica. Also lending a hand were Gunst’s wife Jen Cohen, Sparks’ very first drummer Jimi Hey, Brent’s brother Darren (leader of The Tyde) and L.A. indie-rock maestro Ariel Pink. Once We Were Trees producer Thom Monahan returned to his familiar spot behind the console. (Sub Pop)

mizzell, Friday, 20 April 2012 14:59 (six years ago) Permalink

really excited to hear this, probably setting my expectations too high but i really loved these dudes

heated debate over derpy hooves (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:02 (six years ago) Permalink


scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:29 (six years ago) Permalink

no ariel pink!

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:30 (six years ago) Permalink

thom monahan my old CT homeboy! Xdanburyhardcore4everX

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:30 (six years ago) Permalink

man, i love beechwood sparks so much. fuck a wilco.

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:31 (six years ago) Permalink

i didn't know bob fay used to play with the tyde. he told me that on facebook after i mentioned how much i loved that album and especially the Felt tribute on the tyde album.

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:32 (six years ago) Permalink

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:37 (six years ago) Permalink

I loved Scher and Hey's side project

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:38 (six years ago) Permalink

what's that called?

tylerw, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:39 (six years ago) Permalink

like this new song. like these guys. i remember when they came out making snide remarks along the lines of "hey i like the byrds too", but i don't really care about that now. rock on!

tylerw, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:41 (six years ago) Permalink

All Night Radio

L'ennui, cette maladie de tous les (Michael White), Friday, 20 April 2012 15:44 (six years ago) Permalink

Scher is also the man behind Farmer Dave’s Hot Nuts, a habanero-roasted almond snack based on a family recipe.

the jingle for this on dave's website is pretty good.

mizzell, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:48 (six years ago) Permalink

sometimes i'll listen to this EP 35 times in a row at work

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:52 (six years ago) Permalink

they were like a whole band of really talented doug yules.

scott seward, Friday, 20 April 2012 15:54 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

buzza, Sunday, 15 July 2012 22:22 (five years ago) Permalink

three months pass...

I adore the new record. Can't stop playing it.

scott pgwp (pgwp), Friday, 19 October 2012 22:28 (five years ago) Permalink

i want it!

scott seward, Friday, 19 October 2012 22:32 (five years ago) Permalink

no bites on that one^^^

c'mon dudes. okay this is way better, written and sung by Britney Spears' guitarist:

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Thursday, 1 November 2012 04:12 (five years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

RIP John Schwartz

Kibbutzki (Jaap Schip), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 02:54 (nine months ago) Permalink

Josh, of course.

Kibbutzki (Jaap Schip), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:00 (nine months ago) Permalink

RIP... This is one of my all-time favorites, the first song the BS recorded, and maybe Josh's best song:

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:25 (nine months ago) Permalink

Aw man... Further is one of my favorite lo-fi acts ever. That music is very important to me.

Evan, Tuesday, 12 September 2017 03:52 (nine months ago) Permalink

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