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Los Angeles-based cosmic country-pop combo Beachwood Sparks were formed in mid-1998 by onetime Strictly Ballroom singer/guitarist Chris Gunst, slide guitarist/keyboardist Dave Scher, ex-Further bassist Brent Rademaker, and Lilys drummer Aaron Sperske. Inspired by the pioneering country-rock efforts of West Coast legends like the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers, and Buffalo Springfield, the group issued acclaimed singles for Bomp! ("Desert Skies") and Sub Pop ("Midsummer Daydream") prior to the spring 2000 release of their superb self-titled debut LP. Their polished sophomore effort, Once We Were Trees, followed in fall 2001. A year later, the band released the EP Make the Cowboy Robots Cry. Around the same time, Beachwood Sparks went on unofficial hiatus, during which time the members pursued various side projects including Rademaker's band the Tyde, which also included Scher and Gunst at times, Scher's All Night Radio, and others. In 2012, Beachwood Sparks reunited for the full-length effort The Tarnished Gold. In 2013, the band's previously unreleased debut album, Desert Skies, from which their initial Bomp! singles were culled, received an official pressing on Alive Naturalsound Records. ~ Jason Ankeny
1998 in Los Angeles, CA