Article: Fujirockers

Fujirockers: The official fansite of the Fuji Rock Festival


The most pleasant surprise at Fuji 2008 was the headlining act at the distant Orange Court on Saturday night. Sparks is a band that anyone over, say, 45 probably recognizes by name but would be hard pressed to identify in terms of album or song titles. Centered on brothers Ron and Russell Mael, the group debuted at the cusp of the 70s in their native L.A. with a bold form of art-pop that is easier to explain by describing what it isn’t. It is not rootsy. It does not trade in romantic introspection or politics or sunny feelings. It has never reflected the pop zeitgeist at a given time (though it did prefigure a few). It is purposely wry and stylistically provocative. Americans didn’t seem interested, and by their third long-player the duo had relocated to London, where Roxy Music and Freddie Mercury were coming up with the same general ideas. Sparks was a hit, and over the next three decades they’ve managed to spin a cult into an ongoing enterprise that has never settled into a rut. Since the 90s they’ve successfully incorporated their first love, film, into their stage show in a way that’s both enjoyable and enlightening. Their albums not only continue to be fulfilling, but also downright hilarious. Characteristic title: “I Can’t Believe That You Would Fall for All the Crap in This Song.”

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Location Tokyo, Japan
Sparks, Ron Mael and Russell Mael fan site.