Becky Stark

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Becky Stark
Becky Stark at NFF.jpg
Background information
Birth name Rebecca Ann Stark
Born 1976
Culver City, California, U.S.
Origin California, U.S.
Genres Indie rock, folk, punk
Instruments Vocals | Drums | Guitar | Tambourine
Years active 2004 - present (Lavender Diamond)
Labels Matador, Rough Trade, Cold Sweat
Associated acts Mystical Unionists
The Living Sisters
The Decemberists
John C. Reilly and Friends

Becky Stark is an artist, singer, songwriter and entertainer from Los Angeles, California. She is the voice of the band Lavender Diamond. In an article about Stark in the New York Times called "North American Songbird," Zoe Wolf wrote "Picture Lucille Ball and Tinkerbell engaged in a duet and you have an apt metaphor for the neo-folk singer Becky Stark, who suggests an impish fairy from a faraway land. "[1]

Early life[edit]

Raised in Maryland where she began performing as a child, at the age of 13, she travelled to the former Soviet Union as part of a U.S. State Department- Sponsored Peace Mission, a travelling musical about peaceful ecology. For four years in junior high school she was the co-host and head reporter for the weekly children's television news magazine KIds' Point of View Television-KPOV'TV - a half hour show broadcast weekly between the WWF and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling. At 18 she starred in the feature film Willa, An American Snow White for PBS. Throughout high school she studied classical singing and learned an extensive repertoire of classical, popular and jazz songs.

She studied Comparative Literature (English and Russian) and Art/Semiotics at Brown University. In Providence she was part of the Fort Thunder art movement and formed a theater troupe with artist and filmmaker Xander Marro. The two created a travelling operetta called Birdsongs of the Bauharoque, a fairytale fable about peace coming to planet Earth. They toured the U.S. and Canada for two months with their punk puppet opera.

After college she became a full-time student at the Merce Cunningham Dance Conservatory in Manhattan where she studied modern dance. Seeking a warmer climate she moved to Los Angeles and became immersed in the music, comedy, film and cabaret scenes. She performed a comical variety of jobs including magician's assistant. She appeared in High School Record- an underground favorite at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. In the film she plays the teacher of students from the LA bands No Age, Mika Miko, Silver Daggers and others. She has created and performed numerous folk story operettas, including an adaptation of the Little Match Girl. She appeared in the original production of acclaimed New Wave opera visionary Ruth Margraff's The Cry Pitch Carols.

Music[edit]

She is considered a luminary of the new folk movement and the LA underground punk/noise scene. She has performed extensively as a solo artist and leader of the Lavender Diamond band. She has shared a bill with Miranda July, Jenny Lewis, David Byrne, John Waters, Dave Eggers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Decemberists, Beck, The New Pornographers, Devendra Banhart and hundreds of others. She has received widespread critical acclaim, appearing in the November 2007 Vanity Fair "Folk Music Heroes" portfolio by Annie Leibovitz on the page between Joni Mitchell and Judy Collins. In addition to her work with Lavender Diamond she sings with The Living Sisters, a folk trio with Eleni Mandell and Inara George from the Bird and the Bee.

The 2007 Lavender Diamond album Imagine Our Love was released on Matador and Rough Trade Records. A film to accompany the album is currently in production in IMAX format with director Maximilla Lukacs and art director Alia Penner. The film is an extravaganza featuring Busby Berkeley- style dance numbers, animation and interplanetary ballet.

Becky Stark appeared with Lavender Diamond performing "You" in the cult 2007 movie "One Day Like Rain". In 2008 she wrote the Songs of the Believers for the film City of Ember starring Bill Murray, directed by Gil Kenan and produced by Tom Hanks. The film is a post-apocalyptic-action-adventure story for children. In the film Becky plays the Songmaster. She also stars in an upcoming short film version of a short story from Miranda July's book "No one Belongs Here More Than You." Based on the story, "Birthmark", the short is called "White Light". Kim Gordon and Liz Goldwyn also star in the film directed by Alia Raza.[2]

Stark in 2009 concert with The Decemberists.

Stark appeared onstage as the musical guest in The Daily Show creator Ben Karlin's new variety show, singing with Zooey Deschanel and accompanied by OK Go. In 2009 she wrote, directed and starred in the web series Califunya!.

She is co-author of the Peace Comics with cartoonist Ron Rege, Jr., the drummer in Lavender Diamond. She and Ron Rege have a band together, The Mystical Unionists.

She appears as a character/vocalist on The Decemberists' 2009 concept album The Hazards of Love.[3] She and the band performed the official live debut of the album at the 2009 South by Southwest Festival.[4] She sings as the character Margaret and sings on the tracks "Won't Want for Love (Margaret in the Taiga)","Isn't It a Lovely Night?", "The Abduction of Margaret", and "The Hazards of Love 4 (The Drowned)."

References[edit]

  1. ^ Wolf, Zoe, North American Songbird The New York Times, June 3, 2007 http://www.nytimes.com/2007/06/03/fashion/03nite.html?ref=fashion
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ Jeff Rosenberg (March 18, 2000). "The Decemberists, The Hazards of Love (Capitol)". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  4. ^ Ann Powers (Mar 19, 2009). "SXSW: The Decemberists play "The Hazards of Love"". Los Angeles Times. 

External links[edit]