The Flashcubes featuring The Spongetones
BIG STIR RECORDS and THE FLASHCUBES announce the next in a series of collaborative singles bringing the Syracuse power pop titans together with equally legendary peers for new versions of the songs the band (and their fans) love like their own. This time it's North Carolina heroes THE SPONGETONES on board as both Power Pop Hall Of Fame-enshrined
BIG STIR RECORDS and THE FLASHCUBES announce the next in a series of collaborative singles bringing the Syracuse power pop titans together with equally legendary peers for new versions of the songs the band (and their fans) love like their own. This time it's North Carolina heroes THE SPONGETONES on board as both Power Pop Hall Of Fame-enshrined bands tear through a new version of The Spongetones' “Have You Ever Been Torn Apart?” with glorious results. It's out and streaming everywhere on Friday, May 27 and up for pre-order at www.bigstirrecords.bandcamp.com now.
The current run of singles from THE FLASHCUBES – still going strong in their 1977 vintage lineup of guitarists Paul Armstrong and Arty Lenin, bassist Gary Frenay and drummer Tommy Allen – has been a power pop fan's dream. Having already covered Dwight Twilley, Pezband (with the group's Mimi Betinis on board) and Shoes (featuring the band's entire classic lineup), bringing The Spongetones into the fold for a run at their 1984 classic was a natural. Flashcubes drummer Tommy Allen explains:
“We've been fans of The Spongetones forever. In fact, when I was the entertainment booker at the China Club in NYC, one of the first things i did was book them! Our friend Pat Pierson memorialized the evening by taking a photo of all four of us in The Flashcubes staring at the stage while The Spongetones blew us all away! Years later at a gig in LA, we had learned 'Have You Ever Been Torn Apart' for our set, but as the night was running late our slot was shortened and we never got to it! Needless to say the song and the band have been near and dear to us for decades! When I began to record our version of this Beatles-inspired song, I asked my friend Frank Agnello (of The Fab Faux) to help out with the authentic Merseybeat sound, and Randy Klawon (from The Choir) helped to get the whole thing started. In the process of recording, I reached out to The Spongetones' Jamie Hoover and asked if he'd like to join us on it, and suggested to him that we'd like the band's Steve Stoeckel and Pat Walters as well, and much to our delight, they all said yes!”
Stoeckel – just off a new release from his project Pop Co-Op and working on a solo album for Big Stir at this very moment – picks up the story: “When Tommy called and asked us to be a part of this, we of course jumped at the chance. Having shared the stage with these guys and then sharing a song? Well, of course! We were honored, pleased, chuffed even! When you hear all of us on this, you'll be able to tell: It. Was. Fun.” The Spongetones, who celebrated their 40th Anniversary onstage at The McGlohon Theatre in Charlotte NC last year, would also like to dedicate their participation to their longtime drummer Chris Garges, who passed away earlier this year after a battle with cancer.
The music goes on, for The Spongetones and their members, and most assuredly for The Flashcubes as their extraordinarily popular series of singles continues on Big Stir Records. Far more than covers or tributes, these new versions of the classics are a window into the too-often-overlooked power pop renaissance that gave birth the The Flashcubes, The Spongetones, and all the bands who've been included, with more yet to come. Look through that window and you'll find not only proof that these songs stand the test of time, you'll see a veritable party: The Flashcubes have invited their friends over to play, and with friends like these, the music is guaranteed to be phenomenal. Enjoy “Torn Apart”, and stand by for much, much more!
The Flashcubes are: Tommy Allen: drums/percussion/vocals Paul Armstrong: guitars Gary Frenay: bass/vocals Arty Lenin: guitars/vocals
The Spongetones are: Jamie Hoover: guitar/vocals Steve Stoeckel: vocals Pat Walters: vocals
Additional guitars: Randy Klawon Frank Agnello