weekend curfew


Flawless

Just less than two weeks ago I was able to catch Sparky’s Flaw at Jammin’ Java, one night following the Danger Radio/Farewell/nevershoutnever show I reviewed in the last post. I’ve followed this band loosely over the past several years at the University of Virginia. They’ve built quite a fanbase in their hometown of Charlottesville, VA and have begun touring since signing with Mercury Records last year.

The band has seen many lineup changes since I first discovered them in 2004, and who knows how many before then. Currently, Sparky’s Flaw is comprised of Will Anderson on vocals/guitar/keys, Johnny Stubblefield on drums, Alex Hargrave on bass, Kit French on sax/keys/synth, and Nate McFarland handling lead guitar. Major label stardom hasn’t hit quite yet, but these guys have their share of devoted fans. The gathered crowd of mostly teen and tweenage girls had no reservations singing the words back to frontman Anderson. The headliners played tracks off their latest release, Sparky’s Flaw EP, which can be streamed from the band’s website and on sale on iTunes.

Despite the fact that I’ve known about them for years, this was the first time I watched them play an entire set. Sparky’s Flaw did not dissapoint. They have a great, radio-friendly sound. Drawing from the bias of my own collection, I’d compare them to a mix of The Rocket Summer with a bit of Dashboard Confessional, all without the whining. Anderson’s voice rings with a unique clarity that melts into the piano/sax/rock sound. Now if only a member of the band had been on the Disney Channel, then Sparky’s Flaw would be selling out arenas across the world.

Even though this was my first full Sparky’s Flaw experience, I’m no stranger to at least some of the band members. I remember seeing the band with six or seven or even more members, complete with various faces and horns. I worked on a film earlier this year featuring music from McFarland’s solo side project, The Nightdrivers. However, I first heard of Nate as a member of the band Deep Space Romance, whose drummer was none other than Sparky’s Flaw tour manager Luke Rabin. The history lesson continues as I’ve seen both Nate and Will in concert, but as members of the University of Virginia a cappella group, the Virginia Gentlemen. This influence can be seen in this video, a personal favorite, featuring a live performance of the unreleased track “Losing Sleep.”

Sparky’s Flaw has released dates for acoustic shows on their myspace, so definitely try and catch them out on the road. For the DC/Northern Virginia area, they’ll be back at Jammin’ Java on November 10. I’ll be there. Won’t you join me?

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