Post No. 300 / Sparta

I realize that celebrating this, my 300th post, is rather arbitrary and probably trivial. But, hey, you’ll just have to indulge me. It’s a nice round number.

And it gives me a good reason to talk about Sparta, one of those bands that I absolutely love but sometimes gets buried in my cycles of listening.

Quick history lesson: Sparta originally formed as an off-shoot of El Paso’s At the Drive-In. Singer/guitarist Jim Ward, drummer Tony Hajjar and guitarist Paul Hinojos formed Sparta; Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez became the Mars Volta. Hinojos has left Sparta, and Keeley Davis has joined.

OK, now that we’re caught up … In lieu of any new mp3s, Sparta is teasing to the release of its third LP on Sept. 26 with three-minute video podcasts. The podcasts, all artful and grainy, show clips of the band recording with cryptic sort of overtones. The first episode flashes the message: “Hide who you are” and “The service and loyalty I owe … there if I grow” near the end. If anything, it’s an intriguing piece of marketing.

Links to the podcasts (via iTunes):
Episode I
Episode II
Episode III

Check out Sparta on MySpace. And I swear I saw Sparta on the original Austin City Limits Festival lineup, but now they’re gone. What’s up with that?

Until we hear some new stuff, here’s a B-side to a 7″ for Mye, which was on Sparta’s debut, Wiretap Scars.

Sparta | Vacant Skies

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