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My Morning Download: “Make It Together” by Beachwood Sparks

Photo by Autumn de Wilde
Photo by Autumn de Wilde
Alt-country rockers Beachwood Sparks are releasing a Desert Skies on November 20th. The “new” collection is the previously unreleased debut album by the Los Angeles band. Bassist, singer and one of the founding members Brent Rademaker wrote on the band’s website that the album was “recorded in late 1997 and early 1998 at the Space Shed in Sierra Madre, CA.” Rademaker continues:

Originally the recordings were being made to be released on xmAs records (the Christmas records offshoot that released the Further records) but after the group made a few singles, played a bunch of shows and fielded a few offers from a few major labels we found ourselves at a cross roads and eventually signed with Sub Pop, regrouped and made the Beachwood Sparks debut you all know… But was there another debut?

The answer, of course, is yes.

The Beachwood Sparks debut we all know came out in 2000 and was notable for its nod to the Southern California Laurel Canyon sounds of the Seventies, filled with Byrds-like jangly guitars, pedal steel, psychedelic acoustics and the spiritual guidance of Gram Parsons. Below, listen to “Make It Together,” showcasing the more rocking power-pop side of the band.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company
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My Morning Download: “Forget The Song” by Beachwood Sparks (playing Johnny Brenda’s in September)

Photo by Jim Goodrich

Beachwood Sparks release their first new album in eleven years on June 26th called The Tarnished Gold on Sub Pop Records. The album was recorded with the band’s original lineup including singer/guitarist Chris Gunst, singer/bassist Rademaker, singer/multi-instrumentalist Farmer Dave Scher, and drummer Aaron Sperske with support from guitarists Ben Knight and Neal Casal and an appearance from Ariel Pink. Beachwood Sparks released their self-titled debut in 2000 and were immediately praised for their traditionalist classic sounds that recalled the Byrds and The Beach Boys. The band called it quits in 2003. In the band’s biography, Farmer Dave Scher explains what happened:

“I didn’t feel an urge to jump back into that scene,” Scher says of his initial ambivalence about picking things up again with Beachwood Sparks. “By 2003, I felt like we’d played our hand. We’d done anything that was in front of us a few times over. When you start out in a band like that, you really are a clubhouse and you’re a synchronized unit in terms of what you do with your time. But there’s a natural point when you outgrow all that. Some bands just play through it and figure it out, but in our case it went into hibernation.”

Beachwood Sparks are peforming at Johnny Brenda’s on Tuesday, September 11th. Below, download a new song, “Forget The Song.” from the band’s forthcoming album.

Support for My Morning Download, from Flying Fish Brewing Company