Sometimes the community rallies around an individual and the results are undeniable. There is a long and winding back story to the SONNY SMITH’s (SONNY & THE SUNSETS) 100 records project, but all that you really need to know is that Sonny Smith, one of the brightest lights in SF's neu-Garage scene, has recorded an album that is one for the ages. Sonny wrote 200 songs that make up 100 conceptual 7-inch singles for a multimedia art show that traveled around the US this past year. Although Smith penned all the music he attributed his masterful tongue-in-cheek brand of laid-back garagepop tunes to mystical musicians like ZIG SPECK, EARTH GIRL HELEN BROWN and THE LOUD FAST FOOLS derived from Smith’s imaginative prose. Along with producer MARC DANTONA, Sonny assembled a “Wrecking Crew” of players the SF scene got together to record songs in basements and apartments around the city and a whole other team of visual artists contributed artwork for each record cover. Here you have 10 songs from the Sonny Smith’s 100 Records. Recorded on vintage gear, with local heroes such as TIM COHEN (FRESH & ONLYS), KELLEY STOLTZ, TY SEGALL, and members of THE SANDWITCHES and CITAY all contributing, this new music sounds as though it could be from a bygone age, one at once more innocent and more dangerous. While the artwork and the concept are both wonderfully original and compelling, it's the tunes that stand out here. Earth Girl Helen Brown's "I Want To Do It" (featuring HEIDI ALEXANDER from The Sandwitches) sounds a bit like the B-52's singing on some sort of Alex Chilton 'Like Flies on Sherbert' outtake. Zig Speck & the Specktones features Ty Segall sounding looser and surfier than usual, like he's playing with Sonny & the Sunsets. The Loud Fast Fools sound like Modern Lovers but with Tim Cohen of the Fresh and Only's and Sonny Smith trading lyrics. Sonny's songs have a rawness that is hard to come by these days, and his beautiful, fun, and often heart wrenching melodies send the whole record into classic territory.
released December 10, 2014