New Bandcamp players up!

Posted: June 14, 2013 in 21st Century, New CD

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Seen below is one of the brand new Bandcamp players (I picked the LARGE size), featuring last year’s Hard Core Apple CD by the legendary Sparkling Apple. This player will of course only play the songs for your audio enjoyment, but if you wish to purchase a CD, by all means please do so by using this link.

In other news:
Stay tuned for a new Sparkling Apple 45 coming soon. Yes, you heard me the first time, a 45 rpm 7-inch vinyl single, complete with centrepiece adaptor for your turntable. Oh, I know not too many people own turntables anymore (CD players either, come to think of it), so this will obviously be an item targeted towards the lucrative collectors’ market. Recently an old fan told me that he still had a vinyl copy of Its Criminal which he purchased from the band at Scottsdale in Delta back in the 1970s. I told him that he was a lucky bastard, because that same single in mint condition is worth upwards of five dollars (as much as $5.50 with the picture sleeve).

They’re flying out the door as we speak:
Due to popular demand, limited quantities of our CD are still available online.  Fans all over the world (in Canada, Sweden, Holland, England, Australia, USA, New Zealand, etc) and throughout the galaxy are rocking to the highly questionable sounds of Sparkling Apple, but stocks are increasingly in short supply. We therefore advise you to buy now to avoid disappointment! The Sparkling Apple CD Hard Core Apple can be purchased here.

Thanks for your support! We now return control of your computer to you. Until next week at the same time, when the control voice will take you to — The Official Sparkling Apple Blog!

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We used this shot for our 1983 promo photos. Captain Maniac is in full rockabilly regalia! Photo by Hans Sipma

Our 1983 promo photos were taken by Hans Sipma, and on Googling his name I discovered that he indeed has a website and is still involved in the photographic industry. I emailed him, wondering if he still had photos from our 1983 photo shoot, and he graciously replied, saying “How very cool to hear from you. Yes I have a box of old band shots, and your file was pretty easy to find. We did this shoot on October 31, 1983.” He sent me the contact sheets, advising me that high-res shots could be obtained from him at a nominal charge. For your enjoyment, here are a few outtakes from that session – thirty year old photos, back when we was lads!

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Photo shoot by Hans Sipma. At this point, delirium sets in! Photo by Hans Sipma

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Outtake of above session. Buzz gets rough! Photo by Hans Sipma

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Outtake from above session. Art looks puzzled! Photo by Hans Sipma

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It’s only fair to warn you: Do NOT mess with these gentlemen under any circumstances. Photo by Hans Sipma

Proudly Canadian

Posted: May 3, 2013 in 21st Century, New CD

This just in… an actual review of Sparkling Apple’s CD Hard Core Apple, available worldwide! Dan Brisebois, who runs the nifty website CanadianBands.com, has written a piece all about our recent CD, and has graciously included it on the opening page of  his site. After his page loads, click on enter, and the first thing you see is shown below.
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Click on review…, and you’ll be taken to the inner sanctum, where Dan’s article awaits (shown below). We can’t thank you enough, Dan!

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At the moment, our Hard Core Apple CD can be seen and heard on the Internet from a staggering variety of sources. You can download it online, or you can buy a physical CD — and an easy way to do that is to purchase a copy from either of these fine locations:

     

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Buzz Constantly in 1978 with a bottle of Royal Reserve, which used to include a sticker that touted the claim, “A Proud Canadian”!

Thank you for your support!

CFUR

Here’s something we don’t see every day: it’s the weekly “Loud” listing for radio station CFUR in Prince George BC. As you can see, our “Hard Core Apple” compilation CD continues to make its presence felt, and by the looks of the above listing, we are in good company! Because of the style of music we present, our CD is lumped in with the heavy metal bands like Iron Maiden and Krokus — this is NOT a bad thing, because we’d rather be in a category with Deep Purple than on a pop chart with a flavour of the month teen idol.

According to this list, the only two artists receiving more airplay than us are Deep Purple and Vulture Kult from Saskatoon (love the title of their CD). At the tail end of the CFUR survey are iconic metal acts like Krokus, Iron Maiden, Michael Schenker, Budgie and Saxon. So, if you’re in Prince George (and I’m not going to add “for whatever reason”, because PG rocks), phone up CFUR and request “Midlife Crisis by Sparkling Apple”. Our lawyers and bartenders will thank you.

At the moment, our Hard Core Apple CD can be seen and heard on the Internet from a staggering variety of sources. You can download it online, or you can buy a physical CD — and an easy way to do that is to purchase a copy from either of these fine locations:

     

Thank you for your support!

1974 Poster

Time for our monthly blog, and although there really hasn’t been much happening on the Apple front these days, we still thought you might dig one of our old posters from 1974.

A lot of folks have been asking me, “When did you first start using the name Captain Maniac?” With that in mind, here’s evidence to support the claim that we all started using assumed names around 1974. I think the main idea was that we didn’t wouldn’t want our *real* names to be known, particularly in slow times when we were collecting Unemployment Enjoyment or Warfare. We also thought it would be kind of cool to utilize stage names to set ourselves apart from the rest of the local bands! Therefore, we became known from then on as Rocky Rockamoto, the Hip Nip, on bass guitar; Captain Maniac on drums; and Art the Fart the Heavy Metal Kid on lead guitar.

Artwork on the above poster was done by yours truly, Colin Hartridge, in a blatant attempt to emulate (or rather, rip off!) the gatefold artwork in Pink Fairies’ then-current album, “What A Bunch of Sweeties”. Now you know! Hey, if Led Zeppelin could pass off an old blues tune by Willie Dixon as one of their own, then I could certainly “borrow” some inspiration from The Pink Fairies! Paul Rudolph would most likely approve.

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I have no idea what “Aquarius” is supposed to mean at the bottom left of our poster, but Elvis Bizowski referred to one of our cast of onstage characters. I would be announced as “the world’s only Ukrainian rockstar, Elvis Bizowski,” all greased up in leather and sunglasses. I’d sing a few old rock n roll standards like Great Balls of Fire, and then proceed to smash the bejesus out of a cheap guitar (usually purchased for around twenty bucks at Wayne Fryer’s Music in Newton).

And in all my haste to finish the blog entry, I didn’t actually mention *how* I got the name of Captain Maniac! So here’s an effort to set the record straight: I’ve always been a Monty Python fan, so when I saw the old skit about Interesting People featuring Keith Maniac, I thought, “I’m using that name!”…

“Compère: Yes, great, well now for the first lime on television ‘Interesting People’ brings you a man who claims he can send bricks to sleep by hypnosis. Mr Keith Maniac from Guatemala. Keith, you claim you can send bricks to sleep.
Maniac: Yes, that is correct, I can…
Compère: Well, we have a brick here, Keith. (indicates brick on desk) Perhaps you can send it to sleep for us…
Maniac: Oh … Ah, well, I am afraid that is already asleep.
Compère: How do you know?
Maniac: Well, it’s not moving”

And the Captain part comes from 60s-early 70s parlance where famous people were Captain Something-or-Other, like Captain Midnight, Captain Canada etc.

Yes, it’s time for a commercial break, so why not go out to the kitchen and get a tall glass of something special, or… a zesty pizza! And while we’re at it, now’s a good time to mercilessly flog… er, I mean, PROMOTE our recent CD, “Hard Core Apple”, available where discerning audiophiles obtain their silver platters. Heck, we’ll even give you a head start:

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Sparkling Apple music is featured on yet another music-streaming service, this time Raditaz, which started up earlier this year. For the moment, the music is only available in the geographical USA.

“Raditaz is a free internet radio streaming music service for the web, iOS, and Android users can find stations not just based on artistssongs, andgenres, but also based on metadata tags, such as @work, @gym, #happy or @driving. Raditaz has a location layer that enables users to listen to and share stations that are trending throughout the US. The explore feature lets a user discover the latest music trends by location. Users can also share songs or stations by emailFacebookTwitter or Pinterest. Raditaz has more than 22 million songs and uses The Echo Nest music intelligence platform for creating stations. When a user inputs the name of a specific band, artist or song, Raditaz will create a station based on that musician along with similar artists.”

View With Layar

Posted: January 17, 2013 in 21st Century, New CD

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We now proudly announce that this poster is interactive, using augmented reality technology! What that means to you, the viewer, is that if you have a smartphone, like an iPhone or an Android, you can launch Layar (available HERE) and scan the poster for further information.

When you scan the image with Layar, you’ll see red rectangles onscreen on your phone – each of these can be clicked on to go to another site with more updates. For example, at the top of the scan is a link to Bandcamp; in the middle of the scan is a picture which links you to a video of Sparkling Apple onstage; clicking on the picture of the CD cover will link you to the CD Baby site, where you can actually buy this item; and at the bottom of the scan is a link to our website. Cool, huh?

Try it, you’ll like it! Oh yes, this is a gimmick, pure and simple, but it allows your iPhone to be a fun toy, and we all need more toys, don’t we?

Final week for free goodies

Posted: January 12, 2013 in New CD, Rock n Roll
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1980 newspaper ad for “It’s Criminal”.

Last call for alcohol! Attention, Internet shoppers! This is your final week to be the lucky recipient of a FREE (as in no cost to anyone at any time) Sparkling Apple download of one of the tracks from our Hard Core Apple CD, “It’s Criminal”, our 1980 single on RadioActive Records. Believe it or not, some guy is still trying to sell the original 45 on eBay for the crazy-ass price of $29.50 — but you, loyal fans, can obtain this song online for a limited time for FREE.

We are extending our Christmas Special for one more week, so if you don’t have your free mp3 of “It’s Criminal” on your iPod, this is your last chance. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, and you’re pretty much left to your own devices (devices — get it?)! Yes, we’re discounting everything here at the Official Sparkling Apple Blog, so be the first on your block to download the highly questionable 45, “It’s Criminal” (now digitally remastered for your listening pleasure). People have been asking me, “OK, on some sites, this song is listed as ‘Explicit’. What’s the deal, Captain Maniac?”

Well, I’m glad you asked. Fact is, a line in the song, namely “…she’s autographing underwear” was considered somewhat inappropriate by The Powers That Be. So, being the polite and conciliatory band that we are (yeah, right), we had to label some of the Hard Core Apple tracks as explicit, mainly so that impressionable young minds wouldn’t be irrevocably altered. As the Chips said in Rubber Biscuit, “What do you want for nothing?”.

To obtain your free download, CLICK HERE to go to our page at the highly-regarded Reverbnation website.

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OK, a history lesson of sorts, for those of you who are confused about what a 45 is (and no, we’re not referring to a pistol here)…

“The most common form of the vinyl single is the 45 or 7 inch, the names are derived from its play speed, 45 rpm and the standard diameter 7″ (18 cm).

The 7″ 45 rpm record was introduced in 1949 by RCA as a smaller, more durable and higher-fidelity replacement for the 78 rpm shellac discs. The first 45 rpm records were monaural, with recordings on both sides of the disc. As stereo recordings became popular in the 1960s, almost all 45 rpm records were produced in stereo by the early 1970s.”

2012 in review

Posted: December 30, 2012 in Uncategorized

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 4,700 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 8 years to get that many views.

Click here to see the complete report.

An actual review of “Hard Core Apple” in our morning newspaper, The Province. The original article appeared there on December 11, 2012, and can now be seen on the Internet HERE. This review was written by Tom Harrison, who wrote about us in the same paper back in 1979. Looks like we STILL can’t be taken seriously, but then we’ve always been serious about not being taken seriously!

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Screen capture of Province blog, featuring a review of “Hard Core Apple”!

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