My Life with Dusty Wallets
WTF IS A SPARK1DUH?... GOOD QUESTION. Jason Karr a.k.a. 'Spark1duh?' was born to two young parents, some might refer to as hippies, who had no actual music instrument playing abilities. The love of music was still in the household with my mother singing songs with me as a child, a radio always on the 70's rock station somewhere in the house, and my grandmother playing country music on the acoustic guitar. I later moved into a house next door to my life-long friend Gene Louis, of (Bullets & Octane), whose father was a well known jazz drummer, and older brother was a teenager at the time, and listening to all of the early 80's rock, pop, and rap. My first cassette tape was almost 'Guns 'n' Roses- Appetite for Destruction, but my grandmother advised my mom against it, and instead by a stroke of luck I snuck 'Beastie Boys'- License to Ill, under their radars. Although my love for hip-hop and rock music steadily grew, I quickly found myself immersed in skateboarding and the punk-rock music that dominated the scene at that time. Punk was raw and angry and anti-everything almost, and that's how I felt. Like I had no connection to the world, and I was going to change the rest of the world, to my liking. I've seen so many punk shows, I don't remember half of them. Fugazi, Circle Jerks, Sick of it All, Face to Face... etc. This is when the mosh pits were war, and sometimes full of skinheads, trying to catch any random person unaware of their surroundings with a stray elbow or fist. Before I get all punk-righteous, I need to humble myself by telling you this, if you were wondering, my first concert ever was 'Poison' for the 'Open Up & Say Ahh' Tour. Before you laugh, remember, I was only 9 years old, so think about what you liked when you were nine, then you can judge me. I also was at the infamous G'N'R/ Skid Row riot concert in St. Louis, when I was in the 7th grade. From there I listened to everything from Ice Cube to Megadeth, from 2pac to Primus, Cypress Hill to Nine Inch Nails... etc. Anyways, eventually around 92' or 93', skateboarding was overtaken by the revival of East Coast style hip-hop, that was bringing more of a conscious vibe, with a jazz influence, and was totally speaking to me on a wave-length that the West Coast Rap, and Grunge Rock were not catering to any longer. I bought 'A Tribe Called Quest'- the Low End Theory, and 'Wu-Tang Clan'- Enter the 36 Chambers, and from there, it was Nas, Biggie, Digable Planets, Jay-Z... etc. The list goes on forever. I don't know what it was that drew me to it. I think it's the truthfulness. 'That's the way it is, and it's like that.' It took a while and a few lame attempts at rock/punk bands, before I realized that I was a horrible singer, and couldn't really do that cool Heavy Metal scream either, but I could really rap along to the songs I liked & even spit accapella verses of other rappers songs, rather well. So well, that I started to write some lame poems and raps of my own, and tried to spit them over instrumental beats from some record I had. I think it was 'Capone & Noreaga'- Illegal Life/ Stick You. Sooner or later I was in a Basement, with a few of my friends, and making songs over old beats our friend Ponyboy made on a program called Cakewalk. The group slimmed down to 4 people. Our friend Sin and I were the emcees, and Pony and our other drummer friend Gravy, were the beat makers. We came up with the name 'Redrum', which was totally lame, but we put out a self-titled 18 track CD around 2002, and played a few dozen shows to promote it, but later changed the name to 'the Elements' and dropped a second album around 2003. We played around 40-5o shows over the next 3 years, and garnered a fair ammount of attention, but eventually the chemistry went stale, and I felt smothered by the group dynamic, or possibly the creative juices just stopped flowing when we were in the same room together, but I decided to go solo, and Sin had kids, and settled down, and doesn't really mess with music any longer. DJ Who?, joined the group, and our old friend Ben Jost moved back from Miami after assistant engineering at the world famous, Hit Factory under Scott Storch, and became our new engineer/producer, and Ponyboy moved on to his new math/noise rock band 'Yowie'. I put out a few unofficial, samplers over the years, over 40 some odd songs, and played tons of shows at some of the nicest venues in St. Louis, untill I was offered a chance to go on tour with my friend Gene's rock band 'Bullets & Octane'. I was sceptical at first, but he assured me it would be fun, and well paid, so I said what the hell, and went out on the road for about 2 years on and off. We've played in predominately 500 capacity or smaller venues, in almost every state except Alaska, Hawaii, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, & Rhode Island. I had tons of material written from being on the road in a van for so long, and when I got home, I recorded some of my best songs ever. I also started a side group called 'The 12 to 6 Movement', with fellow emcees, Lesson of '40 til 5', and Time of 'The Treez', then we later added Mustee, another memeber of 'The Treez'. The first '12 to 6' album will be out 12-06-08, and the first official Spark1duh? solo album titled 'My Life with Dusty Wallets' will be out by Christmas. Also as of recent, we've been in talks with some people at an unmentionable, three-letter, abbreviated, television station about licensing the rights to one of my songs, 'Everything's Fine', for one of their series shows. At this point in my music career, I've never been happier. For so long I felt like my music wasn't really satisfying to me, and it's because I wasn't being 100% open, and saying everything I wanted to say. Being on tour for so long, really changed me, and at some point out there, I realized that we only live once, and when I die i'd like to not have too many regrets of passed up chances, and missed opportunities. Carpe Diem. Be yourself, There is no one greater than who you are. Best wishes, & lots of love in your travels & endeavors.