Beachwood Sparks, Sunset Junction, August 24, 2008
Beachwood Sparks never exactly broke up, but they haven’t played much since about 2002. Once dancey groups like the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Peaches started stealing all the magazine covers, Beachwood Sparks packed their dusty ol’ spurs away and moseyed off in a bunch of different directions, bringing life to groups as diverse as Indian Jewelry and Xu Xu Fang. But their brand of lysergic country rock has been sorely missed as of late, so it was a hoot and a holler to see them up on the Bates Stage at Sunset Junction playing a set that included most (if not all) of the songs from their self-titled debut.
I never got to see them back in the day, so I didn’t know how well they came off live! Some of the songs that I’d assumed were purely studio concoctions were played and sung note-perfect, with every psychedelic bell and whistle gyrating on and off, just like the record. And the harmonies rivaled anything on K-Tel’s Sounds of the Seventies. It was exactly what the Junction needed. I even overheard one punk rocker, who’d stayed after the Germs’ set on the same stage, exclaim, “This band fucking rules.”