Kimono My House / Sparks

Kimono My House

Kimono My House

Vocals: Russel Mael; keyboards: Ron Mael;  guitar: Adrian Fisher; bass: Martin Gordon; drums: Dinky Diamond

You like Moles? Well, you’re in the right place, there are hundreds of the buggers hereabouts. Well, two. Kimono My House was recorded in 1973. It’s unearthly beauty remains undimmed with the assistance of wigs and other prosthetic devices. Take a bit of butch guitar, add some helium vocals and one-finger cabaret piano, douse liberally in opinionatedness, light the touch-paper and retire (but not literally). When this proves successful, replace non-compliant components in an effort to stem the tidal hit-wave. When this also proves successful, go back down your burrow for four decades. Emerge fortified with assiduous essayists and masterful mastering technicians and celebrate the 40th birthday of KMH. Credit the other musicians in the UK, but not in Murica where nobody is listening anyway.

You see? It’s so simple really. Essential Mole details are here.

  • This Town Ain’t Big Enough promo video with helpful subtitles:

41 thoughts on “Kimono My House / Sparks

  1. Molly

    “the rancid nationist xenophobe Morrissey”. You don’t let me down. Is there something wrong with liking the land of your fathers? Does it make one rancid?

    Anyway, I am sure you couldn’t get enough of the reviews of the Sparks Brothers. Almost all orgasmic in their delight. A few mentioned that we heard nothing of their private life but, that apart, all said R&R came across as delightful if (said one review) slightly affected. Well, they always were.

    The only jarring note was the review from the your favourite paper, the Grauniad. It *demanded* to know who R&R had been sleeping with all these years and furthermore were most disturbed that no mention was made of the fact they are Jews. The only review in nigh on 50 years to bring that up. God bless their antisemitic socks.

    And you criticise Morrissey. Well, obviously you are not alone, R&R have said some cruel things about him and clearly they and Edgar did not want their biggest fan to appear in the homepage. You have so much in common with your Moriarties, it’s sad.

    Btw, John Hewlett has radically altered his stance since the days when he called them selfish narcissists (Big Beat) and practically accused them of murdering Dinky and Adrian.

    You should have bit the bullet son, your input would have been welcomed by all.

    Where this comment ends up is anyone’s guess.

    Reply
    1. Martin Gordon Post author

      You could argue that the Guardian’s position, far being being antisemitic, is philosemitic, on this evidence. My position on John Hewlett is not printable. As for nationalism – the last resort of the scoundrel (I quote).

      Reply
      1. Molly

        Well, that’s certainly an “altruistic” defence of the Guardian. That is, if they didn’t have plenty of form for this sort of stuff. Remember when they all but canonised Mrs Whitewash…sorry…. DAME Chakrabarti?

        Anyway, long ago and far away, I started this mutually annoying conversation by asking you 4 questions. You were kind enough, not only to reply, but to take your time with your answers. No glib shit.

        So, (don’t you love how we now all start sentences with “so”). The devolution of the species.

        I have 4 more. (Yes, it is about Sparks and I know you moved on eons ago but, damn it, this is the Sparks basement):

        1. Why do you hate “Equator”?
        2. Do you regret pointing Edgar Wright’s team towards your website thus ensuring there would be no reconciliation or part in the documentary/homage?
        3. You have made your views on Morrissey clear. Another thing you have in common with R&R and Edgar. However, do you really think it fair that they “cancelled” him when he was such a vocal supporter in their lean years simply because he does not share their take on the world. (Ron compared him to Wagner)?
        4. The documentary told me one thing I did not know. That is R&R went broke in the early 90’s. (I guess royalties don’t even protect the composers). When the Grim Reaper finally comes for you and assigns you to eternal fire for not liking Equator will you look back and say “I am glad I was part of the Sparks story?

        Reply
        1. Molly

          Meant to add, my comment on John Hewlett was not legally accurate. He did not imply they murdered Dinky and Adrian. Only that they killed them………. with the weapon of rejection. So, manslaughter.

          Hey, words matter.

          Reply
  2. Molly

    01.58 hours and I have a question. Apart from the Mojo review have you kept up with Sparks output over the years?

    On the off chance the answer is yes….what do you think?

    PS “Complaints” about ants is down the hall, turn left and lock yourself in a soundproof cupboard.

    Reply
    1. Martin Gordon Post author

      Oh, everything, always. I think about them constantly. Well, OK, not constantly but very often. Most of the time. OK, not most of the time but often. Very often. At least every day. Or week. OK, probably once a month. All right, that’s an exaggeration. Perhaps once a year. Or maybe decade is more accurate. OK, OK, I give up. No.

      Reply
      1. Molly

        Sorry, I missed your reply hiding as it was in my comments. I will reply to your reply but meanwhile I must go out. Yes, it is an essential trip. Yes, I will be wearing a mask. Yes, I will keep my distance. Yes, I am prepared for folk to grass me up if I flaunt the rules.

        Hey, banks don’t rob themselves.

        Reply
      2. Molly

        I see the docu “The Sparks Brothers” is out in January but only available to Murikan audiences.

        Way to piss off 95% of your mortgage payers Sparks brothers.

        Reply
        1. Martin Gordon Post author

          Well, I do not feel terribly singled out for mistreatment in this area, being rather more focussed on the 21st century, but I certainly feel your pain. However you do understand that this is, to coin a phrase, nothing to do with me? I mean, I’m not even in it. It’s probably replete with xenophobic Scots mimers, as far as I know.

          Reply
          1. Molly

            To be fair, we are in the Kimono cupboard down in the dusty Sparks basement room. No 21st century here, no siree. Here it is 1974. It is always 1974.

            Reply
          2. Molly

            That is twice Scottish bands have helped out Sparks. Three times if you count Jimmy Somerville.

            No, you’re right….twice.

            Reply
          3. Molly

            In Scotland? Not anymore.

            Fatcha etc….oh and they took the generous redundancy payments but kept shtum ‘cos solidarity innit.

            Reply
          4. Molly

            I have a favour to ask. I post on a site you would probably disapprove of but their music taste is sound. All the articles are by posters and I am drafting one on Sparks (I have only ever done two before, one on Augustus Caesar and one on “Twats that post on internet forums”).

            I am naming you (whether you like it or not) but I would love if you added a paragraph.

            I will, of course, send you the draft first……oh…..anyway…

            Reply
          5. Molly

            No, they are doing whatever anyone posts as an article. Nothing much turned down……which gives me hope.

            Thank you muchly, it could take a while. I keep typing stuff then think…..bollocks….that is crap.

            Btw, Yo ho ho and a very good new year to you and yours.

            Reply
          6. Molly

            PS If the Sparks thing doesn’t work out I will cover the 20th century. You can, of course, add a paragraph to that too.

            Reply
          7. Molly

            Sparks essay a dud Could not square the circle. I am sure Edgar had better luck.

            Now, the 20th century….jk….I fear we may agree too much.

            Anyway, hope you are well and haven’t died or anything

            Reply
    2. Molly

      Why don’t you write the essay and me add the fan paragraph? Glad you are still alive. I quite like you as a person, as a contributor to KMH I fucking love you.

      Reply
      1. Martin Gordon Post author

        I should write a fan letter to Sparks? I’m not one, though. Or perhaps I have not grasped the full subtlelty of your suggestion… I must say in all honesty that the duo are not central to my daily routines, or even peripheral.

        Reply
        1. Molly

          I know they are not on your radar. Just thought it would be interesting for you to document your memories of that time
          I read a gushing interview by Edgar Wright. Of all the folk he mentioned interviewing for documentary I recognised about two names. Almost all Murikans and even with Google I was none the wiser who they were.
          Obviously you are not in it plus their “biggest fan” Morrissey is also absent, I guess since his views became unacceptable.
          Doesn’t,t sound like anything I would bother watching.
          Anyway, it was only a suggestion….and you know how good my suggestions are!!!!!!

          Reply
          1. Martin Gordon Post author

            Well, I will have to coordinate it with my hairdresser. Meanwhile it’s curious to be residing in the same ballpark as the rancid nationist xenophobe Morrissey.

            Reply
          1. Molly

            You clearly stated this was the place for complaints about ants. Now you say it is a different department.

            That’s the trouble with you ant people. Shiftless.

            Reply
            1. Martin Gordon Post author

              Ooh, I never did! I was always perfectly clear that while ant issues can of course be raised here, complaints about ants must be submitted at the appropriate page. Otherwise it would be chaos, to be frank, and I’m sure you would not like me to be otherwise.

              Reply
          2. Molly

            This is some of the worst customer service I have ever seen…….. and that is up against some pretty stiff competition.

            Having perused your website it appears you are an expert on moles not ants.

            I have a good mind to report you to the Royal Ant Society.

            Reply
          3. Molly

            Anyway, this week I was having a nostalgia trip. Dug out the old scratched vinyl. When I was 14 The Man Who Sold the World, Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust saved my life. Almost literally. It was an awakening, somebody else felt like me.

            Then there was Sparks, KMH was the ultimate in clever rock pop, David Bowie without the angst. Roxy Music but quirkier and with more talent. Suddenly the glam world was taught a lesson. You didn’t need eye liner, glitter and silver knee high boots. You just needed talent (Oh, and to be the most beautiful man on planet earth).

            Then came Propaganda. If “Don’t Leave Me Alone with Her” had been the single things may have been different. Yet, despite 50% of Jook giving it their best (and they were very competent musicians) the Spark died when Ron and Russell decided they could do without Martin Gordon and Adrian Fisher. The power behind the throne was no more. Despite a very clever album (Indiscreet) the hoi polloi voted with their wage packets. It seems they kind of liked Martin and Adrian.

            Then there was punk. Joe Strummer said everything I felt I should say. He seemed like a guru at the time, looking back on YouTube clips……not so much. Nevertheless, London Calling is one of my all time favourite albums. “Spanish Bombs” coincided with “Beat The Clock”….suddenly life was not so simple. I was astonished. A band that produced “Moon Over Kentucky” was now full on disco. It pleased some people but to go from Fletcher Honorama to this seemed beyond the pale. (honourable exception to “My Other Voice”. Or as we now call it, Air “moon Safari”

            Then there was Unknown Pleasures in 1979. The same year as No. 1 In Heaven. How could it have come to this???
            To be continued……

            Reply

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