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You Gotta Love a Real Cult Band

Today we have the trailer for the upcoming documentary on Sparks, called The Sparks Brothers. I can't wait to see it, because I love obscure (and semi-obscure) music, and I appreciate a well-told artist's-origin story. This will be a difficult film for me, though – Sparks were my late friend Phil Perdue's favorite band, and I wish he could be here to experience this moment of weird triumph. I would call Phil obsessed with the L.A. provocateurs, but then again he was obsessed with all music: Kinks, Beatles, Chuck Berry, Zombies, as well as pirate records from late '60s Cambodian rock bands and every British Invasion group that never invaded – never even got out of their hometown of Stoat-on-Toast.

Sparks were/are obscure, but they're commercial giants compared to the acts I pursue via incredible labels like Numero and Light in the Attic. These labels – and there are dozens of them; it's easy to become fixated on the labels themselves! – are putting out the music that existed inside, and behind, and beneath, the bricks and mortar that made up popular music during the last half century. And, of course, cult bands are thriving today, in the realm of a no-majority media landscape that encourages us to jump down every rabbit hole.

Phil loved Sparks. He foisted them on me for years. I did the same to him, with favorites like Idaho, Dumptruck, Miracle Legion, Big Star, and many others. Apparently, somebody is making a documentary about Idaho. I doubt that Flea will sit for a testimonial. But they are both from L.A., so maybe.

Do you ever get bored with music? Long for something that "sounds like" – but isn't? Find a cult band. Make them your own. It isn't hard.

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