With the release of their second full-length recording, Once We Were Trees, in the Fall of 2001, Beachwood Sparks made clear their fondness for that first de_scriptor in the phrase, “cosmic American music.” Once We Were Trees deftly blended ambient psychedelia with the So Cal country-pop of their 2000 self-titled debut. Widely critically acclaimed, the album’s “…space-dusted, high-lonesome atmospherics,” (LA Times) landed Beachwood Sparks on numerous year-end top ten lists. And, they spent the two months surrounding the release of the record crisscrossing the country playing both stadium-sized shows (opening for the Black Crowes; singer Chris Robinson is a big fan), and more familiar clubs with the likes of Love as Laughter and The Glands. In early 2002, the band headed back to Los Angeles and recorded new songs for Make the Cowboy Robots Cry.
This EP, boasting six new tracks, marks the recorded debut of Beachwood Sparks’ new drummer, Jimi Hey. Some folks may be familiar with Jimi from his work with singer/guitarist Chris Gunst's old band Strictly Ballroom. Others might be more familiar with him from his stints in The Rapture or Glass Candy and the Shattered Theater. A tiny few may have even seen him play with Beachwood Sparks (he played drums at their first two shows way back in the day and also played with them at their Noise Pop 2002 show with Modest Mouse).
Recorded in Los Angeles in February of 2002 by Jimmy Tamborello and Scott Hackwith, Make the Cowboy Robots Cry also sees the addition of some artfully placed bleeps and squeaks courtesy of the aforementioned Mr. Tamborello (electronic whiz-kid, also ex-Strictly Ballroom, currently DNTEL/Figurine/The Postal Service). And, Los Angeles singer/songwriter Mia Doi Todd makes a guest appearance on “Ponce de Leon Blues.” Perhaps their most beautiful, wistful songs yet, this record finds the band pulling in more of their disparate influences, synthesizing past and present, sturm and twang. Welcome to a new version of…
Chris Gunst – vocals, guitar, banjo, harmonica
Brent Rademaker – vocals, bass, keyboards
Dave Scher – vocals, pedal steel, organ, acoustic guitar
Jimi Hey – vocals, drums, glockenspiel
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