WATCH: L.A.’s sparkle*jets u.k. Share Retro Video for “Mahnsanto”

New covers album, Best of Friends, comes out tomorrow

sparkle*jets u.k. Best of Friends, Big Stir Records 2023

Acclaimed Los Angeles-based pop group sparkle*jets u.k. has a great new album of covers coming out tomorrow called Best of Friends on Big Stir Records.

And Rock & Roll Globe is honored to premiere the animated video for “Mahnsanto,” one of two songs originally written and recorded by L.A.-based rocker/playwright Stew and his band The Negro Problem. Directed by Bishop J. Rhone, an animator, writer and director who tries to capture the energy of life in his projects and creations, its retro vibe has been enhanced by being converted to VHS and back again for a look that can’t be imitated. 

“[Bishop] is a former student currently studying and working in film & TV,” explains the band’s Michael Simmons, who also teaches music and multimedia at Huntington Beach High School.  “He also works here at the school with me as my assistant. He’s awesome and animation is his thing! He asked my entire film class to make videos for all the songs on Best of Friends and though most of them didn’t, he picked ‘Mahnsanto’ right off the top and said he was doing it himself!  Lucky for us, that’s also the single Big Stir picked and it actually got made. 

sparkle*jets u.k. “Mahnsanto,” Big Stir Records 2023

“I explained that the song was about a long extinct Disneyland attraction called ‘Adventure Through Inner Space’ and he used that as a point of reference. Though most of us who went on that ride think of it as the 50s/60’s jet age attraction it was, he saw it as more of an 80’s thing, so the video has what a 22 year old thinks the 80’s looked like!   Of course, most of us, including Mark ‘Stew’ Stewart who co-wrote the song, would have ridden it in the 80’s. By then it was old and out of favor and we used to love it as it was where we would try to steal a kiss with a girl.  We used to call it the ‘great international makeout ride’!! Bishop’s concept….  ‘it’s a home video / mixed media depicting a longing for a time passed.’ There’s a ‘lost romance’ component to it. That seems to fit.”

Stew himself, meanwhile, offers a ringing endorsement for this SJUK version of his song crafted here by group mainstays Simmons, Susan West and Jamie Knight.

“I’ve always been a fan of Susan’s voice. There’s a clarity to it that makes me feel like I’m standing next to her,” he says of the new recording. “And you guys made me want to start thinking about covers and how a group covers a song, and why. I was stunned that you got the groove on ‘Mahnsanto’ because I used to listen to our version and say, ‘How did we get that to happen?’ You guys nailed it. Hearing this makes me rethink the idea of being faithful to an original.”

Best of Friends, which also includes covers of songs from such pals as Wondermints, The Andersons, Cockeyed Ghost and Big Hello, can be pre-ordered here

Watch this super cool video below!


VIDEO: sparkle*jets u.k. “Mahnsanto”



Ron Hart
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Ron Hart

Ron Hart is the Editor-in-Chief of Rock and Roll Globe. Reach him on Twitter @MisterTribune.

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