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The folk delight that is Lavender Diamond originally came to life in Bird Songs of the Bauharoque, a punk operetta inspired by the work of American painter/architect Paul Laffoley. Vocalist Becky Stark wrote and created the piece with a friend while living in Providence, RI, and starred as Lavender herself, a winsome part bird/part human who wants peace on earth. The indie stage show was such a hit at home that Stark and company went on to tour 56 cities across North America in 2003. Her debut solo effort, the self-produced Artefacts of the Winged album, was made available during this tour, and as Stark continued writing songs, she felt they deserved to be taken more seriously. A move to Los Angeles in 2004 provided Stark with the creative arena she had been searching for; befriending guitarist Jeff Rosenberg (Pink & Brown, Tarentel, the Young People) and forming a country-pop act with him, things started to take shape for Stark. When she wasn't keeping busy with Rosenberg, she was playing classical arias and Tin Pan Alley originals with classical pianist Steve Gregoropoulos (W.A.C.O.), and making psychedelic doo wop material with drummer Ron Rege, Jr., formerly of the Swirlies.
At the end of the day, Stark opted to collect such sounds as one, and gathered her contemporaries for Lavender Diamond in 2004. Matching the airy lightness of Linda Ronstadt and Carole King with Bacharach-like arrangements, Lavender Diamond issued The Cavalry of Light EP in 2005; a second release, a split 7" with Queens of Sheeba for Cold Sweat, also appeared that year. A buzz around the blogosphere and indie mag elite began to take shape by early 2006, and performances at ArthurFest, South by Southwest, and the CMJ New Music Seminar only added fuel to the record label frenzy. In November 2006, while touring with the Decemberists, Lavender Diamond signed to Rough Trade in Europe and Matador in the U.S. The Cavalry of Light was slated for reissue in late January 2007, and the full-length Imagine Our Love followed in May. Stark took some time off from Lavender Diamond, appearing in films including City of Ember, performing with the Decemberists, and appearing on John C. Reilly's installments of the Blue series of singles on Jack White's Third Man Records. In 2011, Stark and the rest of the band reunited to record their second album with OKGO's Damian Kulash, Jr. and Dave Fridmann. The results, Incorruptible Heart, arrived in September 2012.
Lavender Diamond is a Los Angeles-based band fronted by singer Becky Stark.
While living in Providence, Rhode Island, Stark began performing as Lavender Diamond in a play that she and puppeteer Xander Marro wrote, created and toured with called Birdsongs of the Bauharoque inspired by the work of artist Paul Laffoley. A self-produced CD of Stark's songs accompanied the tour in a hand-sewn, silkscreened sleeve. Lavender Diamond became a duo and eventually a four-piece band after Stark relocated to Los Angeles. With the help of local patrons Brian Kaneda and Josh Scuteri, Lavender Diamond self-released a four-song EP and performed at L.A.'s ArthurFest, at South by Southwest in Austin, Texas, and at the CMJ New Music Seminar in New York City. In 2006 Lavender Diamond signed to Rough Trade Records in Europe, and Matador Records in the U.S., and toured and performed with The Decemberists for three weeks.
In 2007 the band released its first full-length album, Imagine Our Love and appeared on the Madonna tribute/charity record, Through the Wilderness. In 2009 they covered "Purple Rain" for SPIN Magazine's tribute to Prince's "Purple Rain", and Becky Stark was featured on The Hazards of Love rock opera album by The Decemberists.
The band parted ways with Matador and went on hiatus for a few years while its members continued to work and play in other projects. In 2011, the original Lavender Diamond lineup reunited for a few concerts in the Los Angeles area, and in 2012 released their second album, Incorruptible Heart.
Becky Stark also performs solo and had a band called The Mystical Unionists with Lavender Diamond's drummer/cartoonist Ron Regé Jr. Rege furnishes Lavender Diamond with all of its artwork and also collaborates on a TV show with Stark called "We Can Do It."
Members Becky Stark — vocalsSteve Gregoropoulos — piano, vocalsRon Regé Jr. — drums, artworkJeffrey Rosenberg — guitar, vocals
Former members Devon Williams — guitar, vocalsJeff Kwong — guitar
Elvis Perkins also played guitar on the band's first single.