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Sparks is an American rock and pop band formed in Los Angeles in 1968 by brothers Ron (keyboards) and Russell Mael (vocals), initially under the name Halfnelson. Best known for their quirky approach to songwriting, Sparks' music is often accompanied by intelligent, sophisticated, and acerbic lyrics, and an idiosyncratic, theatrical stage presence, typified in the contrast between Russell's wide-eyed hyperactive frontman antics and Ron's sedentary scowling. Starting with their masterwork, "Lil' Beethoven" in 2001, the band began performing their albums in their entirety. 2008 saw the band perform all 21 of their albums in successive nights at the Islington Academy and Shepherd's Bush Empire in London.