Donita Sparks

Guitarist, songwriter, and singer Donita Sparks first rose to fame as a member of grunge-era all-female rock band L7, and since then has continued to bring forth the good noise as a solo artist. Sparks was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1963, but later moved in California, where L7 started playing local clubs in 1985. After recording for prestigious indie labels Epitaph and Sub Pop, L7 scored a major-label deal in 1992, recording their third album Bricks Are Heavy for the Warner-distributed Slash imprint. The band cut three albums for Slash, toured extensively in the United States and Europe (including a slot on the 1994 Lollapalooza tour), and played an outrageous rock group called "Camel Lips" in John Waters' film Serial Mom. Despite L7's reputation as hard-partying rock & roll animals, they also had a keen sense of political and social activism, and helped found Rock for Choice as well as playing benefits for Greenpeace and Act Up. In 1998, after parting ways with Slash, L7 released a live album through the independent Man's Ruin label and a year later issued a studio set via their own Wax Tadpole Records (distributed by Bong Load), but since then the band has gone on hiatus. Sparks, meanwhile, has established herself as a solo artist, forming a new band that gigs regularly in the Los Angeles area and writing songs for her first solo album, Transmiticate, released in 2008. Sparks has also ventured into new territory by writing the score for the film The Life of Reilly (which documents a autobiographical one-man show by actor, comedian, and gay icon Charles Nelson Reilly). In her spare time, Sparks has also written a weekly column, The Spin I'm In, for the progressive political blog site
Mark Deming, Rovi

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