Want List: Sparks – Hippopotamus

Hostess Entertainment Unlimited ‎| JPN | CD | 2017 | HSE-7018

Sparks: Hippopotamus JPN CD [2017]

  1. Probably Nothing
  2. Missionary Position
  3. Edith Piaf (Said It Better Than Me)
  4. Scandinavian Design
  5. Giddy Giddy
  6. What The Hell Is It This Time?
  7. Unaware
  8. Hippopotamus
  9. Bummer
  10. I Wish You Were Fun
  11. So Tell Me Mrs. Lincoln Aside From That How Was The Play?
  12. When You’re A French Director (featuring Leos Carax)
  13. The Amazing Mr. Repeat
  14. A Little Bit Like Fun
  15. Life With The Macbeths
  16. You Earned The Right To Be A Dick

So today we find ourselves with a new Sparks album out in the wilds of suburbia. As a member of the Sparks Maeling List®, I knew about this almost a year in advance as they began teasing the release around last October, if memory serves. I thought to myself, “why get in a lather about it this early? Wake me on September 8th, 2017!” Well, that day is today. And I find myself in a city where I guarantee I will not have the ability to walk into a store of my choice and plunk down the better part of $20 for the privilege. Heck, I still don’t have their last opus [though that comes down to CD copies of the thing – in English – being extremely thin on the ground… and priced accordingly].


Still, “The Seduction Of Ingmar Bergman” dated from 2011. The only Sparks activity since then was their FFS project and the live album from their 2013 “Two Hands, One Mouth” tour. The Ingmar Bergman project, which started out as a radio drama on Swedish radio is becoming a cinematic project under the direction of idiosyncratic Manitoban Guy Maddin. That’s “in development,” as they say. Much more than concrete is their currently shooting film “Annette, ” which the Maels both wrote and scored for French director Leos Carax. In between, the brothers felt like it was time to exercise their three minute pop song muscles. “Hippopotamus” is the result. The album is available on double LP, double picture disc LP… and CD! Phew! I get hives when I think of a world without CDs, but I can feel it coming.

Like a freight train.

Of course, what I would ideally want is the Japanese CD, which, in typical fashion, sports one of those exclusive for Japan bonus tracks, “You Earned The Right To Be A Dick.” A song that only Sparks could have written, obviously. There’s a “world tour” that, sure enough, takes the brothers to all manner of exotic climes, far from our “beloved” Southeast USA. Therefore we will go back into our habit of missing Sparks tours, though we got lucky in 2013, and we’ll never forget that night. So I’m not bitter.

Too much.

Sparks | Hippopotamus World Tour | 2017

Sep 08 | Rough Trade | London, UK
Sep 10 | Ateliér Babylon | Bratislava, Slovakia
Sep 11 | Lucerna Music Bar | Prague, Czech Republic
Sep 12 | Columbia Theater | Berlin, Germany
Sep 14 | Paard van Troje | The Hague, Netherlands
Sep 15 | den Atelier | Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
Sep 16 | Ancienne Belgique | Brussels, Belgium
Sep 18 | Waterfront | Norwich, United Kingdom
Sep 19 | Boiler Shop | Newcastle, United Kingdom
Sep 20 | Queens Hall | Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Sep 22 | O2 Ritz | Manchester, United Kingdom
Sep 23 | Rock City | Nottingham, United Kingdom
Sep 24 | O2 Institute 1 | Digbeth, United Kingdom
Sep 26 | O2 Academy | Bristol, United Kingdom
Sep 27 | O2 Shepherds Bush Empire | London, United Kingdom
Sep 28 | O2 Shepherds Bush Empire | London, United Kingdom
Oct 01 | La Gaîté Lyrique | Paris, France
Oct 10 | (le) poisson rouge | New York, NY
Oct 11 | (le) poisson rouge | New York, NY
Oct 12 | (le) poisson rouge | New York, NY
Oct 14 | El Rey | Los Angeles, CA
Oct 15 | El Rey | Los Angeles, CA
Oct 17 | El Rey | Los Angeles, CA
Oct 20 | The Chapel | San Francisco, CA
Oct 20 | The Chapel | San Francisco, CA

– 30 –

About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | remastering vinyl • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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7 Responses to Want List: Sparks – Hippopotamus

  1. Echorich says:

    I will be enjoying, assuming Orlando International airport will be operational to fly, the Mael Brothers on 27, September at Shepherds Bush Empire.
    I have been loving all of the new album that I have heard so far.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – Report back with your findings, sir! Hopefully, there will still be an operational airport at that time. Enjoy the show and I’ll be wearing my Sparks T-shirt in solidarity that day.


  2. The Swede says:

    I’ve been waiting 43 years to see Sparks and it finally happens in Norwich in 10 days time.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      The Swede – Wow! You waited even longer than I did at merely 32 years! When I saw Russell he had just had his 65th birthday but you wouldn’t know it the way he was physically assaulting the songs. A highly vigorous performer.

      Let’s see… is there any artist I’ve waited that long to see? Uh, nope. The closest I come to that is 40 years of waiting for DEVO.


  3. Jon Chaisson says:

    Streamed it earlier today, and I’m glad to say it’s full of their trademark fun loopiness and immensely enjoyable. Downloading it tonight. :-)


  4. SimonH says:

    I was lucky to be able to walk into a store and buy from the new release shelf…I still love doing that and appreciate it even more now.
    Bristol gig coming up as well.
    Eventually I guess we may find ourselves looking to Japan for CDs – they love their physical product there still thankfully.
    I watched a documentary recently (part of a BBC season themed on Japan) about Japanese architecture, one section was about how people use space in small apartments, in at least 75% of the homes shown, CDs were prominent in significant quantities, one in particular was centred around a huge edifice of CDs piled high on the floor, amazing!


    • postpunkmonk says:

      SimonH – Good for you! One of the things I like about this album is that it’s not available in a cripplingly complex matrix of formats, each with competing content. Apart from the traditional bonus Japanese track, they are all equivalent, thank goodness.


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