Archive for September, 2012

I Get Around

Posted: September 27, 2012 in 21st Century, New CD, Rock n Roll

“My buddies and me are getting real well known
Yeah, the bad guys know us and they leave us alone”

Thanks to Brian Wilson & Mike Love for contributing the above lines. (Hey, what’s this about Mike Love kicking Brian Wilson and Al Jardine out of the Beach Boys this week? That’s kind of like Tommy Thayer firing Gene Simmons, isn’t it? Sheesh!)

Anyway, the title of tonight’s blog post refers to the fact that Sparkling Apple’s recent musical output can now be found on yet another website, namely MySpace (shown above). The tracks can’t be downloaded from MySpace, unfortunately, but you can listen to a preview. Go HERE to download some or all of our mp3s, and HERE to order the CD online.

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Shakin’ All Over!

Posted: September 24, 2012 in 21st Century, Gigs, Rock n Roll

These same photos are on Facebook, so if you’re a denizen of that particular social network, chances are that you will have already seen these pics. Nonetheless, if you’re a free-thinking non-conformist and never go NEAR Facebook, then here are some photos “never before seen anywhere at any price”. To see larger versions of the photos, just click on each one.

The occasion was Rosie’s 52nd birthday, so the band converged on Donegal’s Pub in Surrey in order to celebrate in the manner to which we have become accustomed — with several adult beverages! The band that evening was The Shindiggers, featuring Scott Young (our producer and engineer) on drums, and after a while, Art & Kevin got up onstage to perform Roadhouse Blues, minus Captain Maniac (I was in Langley enjoying the Barracuda concert at the Cascades Casino, so I didn’t show up until about 10:30).  It was after they’d finished the song and returned to the thankless task of being bar patrons that yours truly walked in the door of the pub!

Being the generous souls that they are, the Shindiggers asked me to do a tune in the last set, which I naturally & eagerly agreed to. When I got up on the stage to sing (with Scott playing drums), it was determined that the song I wanted to do (Shakin’ All Over) was not one that Carl the bassist was familiar with (or did not wish to play!). However, Scott volunteered to be substitute bass player instead, so I sat down behind the drum kit and was vocalist/drummer!

Thanks to Michelle Yu for some great photos!

It’s not often that we use a guest writer, but tonight is the exception. Ron Handford volunteered to be our Spatial Guest, so here’s a great story he wrote about Sparkling Apple  at UBC in 1973 — yes, before many of you were even born! For more photos of this event, visit the photos section on our website, located HERE.

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“This is a story about the band’s ancient history!  It’s a Sparkling Apple endorsement!  It’s also about boy meets girl!

On this very date, 39 years ago, Friday September 21, 1973, Sparkling Apple  played a gig for the UBC Engineers at the SUB Ballroom.  It was a blow-out bash and perhaps the launching pad to the band’s fame and success!

But to back up a bit, I was entrusted several months earlier with the role of Social Coordinator for the Engineering Undergraduate Society, or then infamous EUS.  Being a great procrastinator, I took off to Australia for the summer and did nothing for the social program to come.  A date had been set for the Engineers’ first dance of the school year on Sept. 21 and the Ballroom reserved.  Upon arrival back in Vancouver in early September my mind started to turn to thoughts of organizing the dance – finding 250 or so young women who would put up with engineers or who at least liked to party, plus advertising, liquor license, ticket sales, food and drinks provisioning etc., and oh yeah, I guess I better see about getting a band.  Then a chilling thought occurred – what kind of lousy act would be available on less than three weeks’ notice? Well, I contacted an agent who gave me a list of nightclubs etc. where I could see some of his bands performing to check them out.  One band caught my eye, and ears, and I decided to plunge in  – so Sparkling Apple  was engaged. I figured at the dance I would either be a hero or a goat.

The dance night arrived, so did Sparkling Apple and a sell-out crowd of about 500 people.  The band delivered straight-up raw undiluted s#&%-kicking rock and roll and the crowd went crazy!

Once I saw that my 499 new best friends were having a good time, I decided to mingle and found another sparking apple, a young and beautiful nurse-to-be, who three years later married me and today we are celebrating the 39th anniversary of our meeting.  Thanks to Sparkling Apple  for setting the stage! And a much-belated thank you for helping us pull off a barn-burner of a dance.

I regret not having any photos (much less YouTube videos) of the dance to share, but maybe you have some in your archives.

So glad you guys are staying true to your roots and delivering high-energy rock and roll.  Rock for Ages!”

Ron Handford

Time: Friday September 21, 2012 at 5:59 pm

Art at UBC Engineers’ Dance, Sept 21, 1973

Captain Maniac on drums on this momentous occasion! No animals were harmed in the filming of this episode.

Rocky Rockamoto (real name Gord Higo) at UBC Engineers’ dance in 1973.

Light at the end of the tunnel

Posted: September 17, 2012 in 21st Century
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Kevin Stuart Swain on a sunny late summer day, near Mission BC.

We’re now into Fall 2012, so here’s a shot of Kevin enjoying his new life. Yes, after a particularly tumultuous divorce and all the fun that’s usually involved with such a stressful activity, Kevin has come out of it all unscathed & ready to rock. To celebrate, Kevin is dividing his time between Sparkling Apple events and other musical endeavours, including a full-time stint with local rockers The Remedy (appearing at a bar near you). The bassist position was vacated following the departure of Kenny Faschauner, and since The Remedy is primarily a covers band, Kevin was able to jump right in easily, having played with drummer Rod Senft in numerous projects.

Now the Sparkling Apple/Remedy connection: early this year when Sparkling Apple hunkered down in Alchemy Studios to record Midlife Crisis (whether or not it’s autobiographical is open to debate at this time), we immediately realized that the chorus was beyond Art’s vocal range. Autotune and other studio gimmickry failed to contribute a solution, so we decided to utilize the talents of a female vocalist in this section of the song. After an extensive search of local “chick singers” who were between gigs — and some well-known names who cannot be mentioned were among the short list — we chose local singer Sarah Flanagan to do the “additional vocals” on Midlife Crisis. OK, you may ask, so what’s the Sparkling Apple/Remedy connection? Well, as it turns out, Sarah sings lead vocals in The Remedy, the group that Kevin is now currently gigging with.

Here’s an edited clip of Midlife Crisis. In the chorus, you can hear Sarah’s voice loud and clear!

And now the sales pitch:

Our new CD Hard Core Apple is still available at CD Baby, although we must advise that “copies are flyin’ out the door” as we speak. Get yours now at the following link:

Just to keep you all updated, our new CD “Hard Core Apple” is starting to become universally available — and case in point, here’s a screen grab from our page at CD Universe! Click on it and you’ll be magically transported to their online store. In addition to all the Amazon locations worldwide as well as CD Baby and InAndOut Records (love that name, sounds like The Urge to Merge), we now have CDs on sale at CD Universe for the low low slash-your-wrists liquidation sale price of only $15.99 US. And yes, MP3 downloads of individual Sparkling Apple tracks can also be located at iTunes worldwide, as well as other cool online download sites (recent additions include Zune and Nokia).

I just did a Google search for “Sparkling Apple band”, and the above video was among the hits. What’s interesting is that the site is NME — now correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t NME stand for New Musical Express in England? How this video (recorded at Donegal’s Pub two years ago) found its way to England is beyond me, because I certainly didn’t post it there.

Above is the page from rdio, an ad-free music subscription service available in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Brazil[ (as Oi Rdio), Australia, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and New Zealand. It is available as a website and also has clients for the iPhone, iPod Touch & iPad, Android, BlackBerry and Windows Phone mobile devices, which can play streaming music or cache songs for offline playback. Rdio also offers social networking, allowing users to share playlists and follow others to see what music they listen to.

And for those of you wondering where the tracks on Hard Core Apple originated, here’s a pic of the record label for “It’s Criminal”, released on RadioActive Records in 1980.

As noted earlier, local columnist Tom Harrison promised he’d mention us in his “Garage” column in the paper, and sure enough, here’s a scan of the actual page of the September 4, 2012 issue of the Province (Vancouver, BC). So now, the whole world is watching! Stay tuned for more news about upcoming Sparkling Apple shows.

T-shirts, yes, Sparkling Apple t-shirts:

Here’s a shot of Lisa Freakrock wearing one of our Steel Wheelchairs Rehab Tour 2012 shirts.

And here’s a pic of Kevin wearing one of Lisa Freakrock’s shirts!

Yet another location to purchase Sparkling Apple’s latest CD, “Hard Core Apple” is one of the biggest music retailers on the planet, CD Universe. Click on the link below to check them out!