Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Garage Beat '11: Sonny and the Sunsets

I'm not gonna make it a habit to discuss modern bands here, as I hope to start another blog devoted to new garage and indie rock, but I'm far too impatient and giddy about this band to wait! Now I dunno if it's the water or the earthquakes or the burritos, but my lovely lil hometown of San Francisco has become quite the mecca for new garage music - as documented more eloquently here via Pitchfork.

I've heard the records, I've seen nearly all of these dudes live at least once, but the one group that I think epitomizes the sound the best (regardless of region) is Sonny and the Sunsets! Grimey guitar playing splashed with 60s California pop, male/female harmonies, catchy hooks, sing-a-long choruses... bringing to mind the Standells, Beach Boys, Ronny and the Daytonas. And they're even better live, demonstrating confident stage presence and dynamics. From what I could tell (being front and center at their most recent show, the fangirl that I am!), every single soul in the crowd was either smiling, singing along, or dancing. And to top it all off, they're wonderful, lovely people, too. The ideal package.

Here's a sampling of their latest album, Hit After Hit:

Sonny and the Sunsets - "She Plays YoYo With My Mind"

Sonny and the Sunsets - "Home and Exile"

Sonny and the Sunsets - "Teenage Thugs"

Sonny and the Sunsets - "Don't Act Dumb"

Their tour itinerary:

1 May: Islington Mill - Manchester, United Kingdom
2 May: The Continental Pub - Preston, United Kingdom
3 May: Sound Control - Manchester, United Kingdom
4 May: Shipping Forecast - Liverpool, United Kingdom
5 May: Captains Rest - Glasgow, United Kingdom
6 May: Cockpit - Leeds, United Kingdom
7 May: The Social - Nottingham Nottingham, United Kingdom
8 May: Start The Bus - Bristol, United Kingdom
9 May: The Lexington - London, United Kingdom
11 May: Club dB - Utrecht, Netherlands
12 May: Molotov Oben - Hamburg, Germany
14 May: Henriksbergs Takterass - Gothenburg, Sweden
16 May:Parkeatren - Oslo, Norway
17 May: Debaser Slussen - Stockholm, Sweden
19 May: Privat Club - Berlin, Germany
20 May: 59:1 - Munich, Germany
21 May: Twiggy - Varese, Italy
24 May: Rocket Club - Milan, Italy
26 May: Primavera Sound Festival - Barcelona, Spain
4 Jun: Huichica Festival - Sonoma, CA
24 Jun: Sled Island Festival 2011 - Calgary, AB, Canada
25 Jun: Sled Island Festival 2011 - Calgary, AB, Canada
27 Jun: Waldorf Cabaret - Vancouver, BC, Canada
28 Jun: The Funhouse - Seattle, WA
1 Jul: Great American Music Hall - San Francisco, CA
7 Jul: Soda Bar - San Diego, CA
8 Jul: Echo - Los Angeles, CA
22 Jul: The Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL
23 Jul: Pike Room - Pontiac, MI
24 Jul: Sneaky Dees - Toronto, ON, Canada
26 Jul: Divan Orange - Montreal, QC, Canada
27 Jul: North Star Bar - Philadelphia, PA
28 Jul: DC9 - Washington, DC
29 Jul: Mercury Lounge - New York, NY
30 Jul: Glasslands Gallery - Brooklyn, NY
5 Aug: Pickathon Roots Musicfest - Happy Valley, OR

I encourage you to check out a live show if they happen upon your city. It'll be the most fun you've ever had! Promise.

Support Sonny and the Sunsets and purchase their albums here!

And check out the sweet music video for their song "Reflections on Youth" made by their rad bassist, Ryan Browne -

"Reflections on Youth" by Sonny & the Sunsets from Ryan Browne on Vimeo.


james kern said...

yeah!!!! i saw them at sxsw and am really enjoying the new album. good to know they're playing pickathon. you should come up!

MDS said...

Glad you dig 'em too! I just looked at the rest of the Pickathon lineup. Daaaang! I am so overdue for a visit. It's right before my b-day too. Hmmm...

michael vee said...

ciao Milady,

... great sounds indeed and their Milano gig is just 5 minutes from where I live (!) so no doubt I'll be there...

thanks for the hint

(why don't you join the tour....?)

MDS said...

Hola, dear Michael!
They're excited to visit Italy for the first time, so I'm sure the Milano show will be super extra special! I'm still on a high from seeing them live a week ago. I'd love to follow them on tour, but I just saw that my passport's expired. Oops!
But maybe I will one day tour with my own band. Sigh...

Michael said...

Very rad! I'm still really into their first album, thanks to you! If ya'll are serious about going to Pickathon I just might join you. Roadtrip, MDS? You only turn 21 once!

MDS said...

Ha, I know... which is why I'm relieved to have gotten it outta the way many years ago. A roadtrip sounds lovely, señor, but it'll have to stay within the borders of California so I can save $$$ to get to Mexico. Come here instead and we'll take a roadtrip to... uh, West Oakland!

james kern said...

dude, free neko case and dodo's concert in sf!
let's meet there instead!

MDS said...

Totally, man! Wow, that's the best Stern Grove lineup I've seen in years. OMG Sharon Jones!!! Guess my summer will be spent in the city!

Darren Thomas Brennessel said...

McFadden’s Parachute – Another Chick Induced Dream 1999 Album MP3

McFadden’s Parachute - Living In The 4th Dimension 2010 Album MP3

McFadden’s Parachute – Hammerdown 2006 Album MP3

McFadden’s Parachute - Black Fuzz 2001 Album MP3

The Cykle 1969 MP3

Heather Black 1969 MP3

Darren’s 60’ Psychedelic Garage Collection Volume 1

McFadden’s Parachute - Sweep Out The Brain Fog 2004 Album MP3

Darren’s 60’ Psychedelic Garage Collection Volume 2

Darren Thomas Brennessel said...

Please enjoy my comps and my self recorded produced psych pop albums from me the one man band McFadden's Parachute..(I just posted the links in the previous comment)
Peace and Love

michael vee said...

hey Darren Thomas Stinging Nettle....

I found some very nice (and rare!) gems on your DIY-comps, great listing-fun all the way through, thanks a lot

best greetings!

PS I wonder where the Nightwatchmen hailed from , can't find them anywhere....

MDS said...

Holy mackerel!!! Thanks for stopping by, Darren... bearing gifts even! Your music is amazinn... authentic as they come! I am huge admirer and supporter of diy/one man bands, and this is about as good as it gets. And hell yeah to homemade 60s mixes! Sir Winston & The Commons, "One Last Chance" is a beaut! Thank you!! xx

Michael, I believe the men who watch the night are from Findlay, Ohio. This is the b-side to "Mimic Jester," recorded in 1969.
Have mercy! I just noticed you posted two new comps! Grabbin those right now. I've been far too spoiled today... and it's only 9:30AM!

michael vee said...

ciao Michelle (is that how they call you...?)(same name, one more reason to marry...)

I just saw Sonny & his gang here in Milano, great concert indeed (even though they performed only 30 minutes, less that the Beatles did), good fun all the way, brings to mind Johnathan Richman & Modern Lovers, and also the Feelies)... at a certain point Sonny's amp broke down, so the band continued for nearly 5 minutes and the audicence went with it... I got a chance to talk to Sonny and the drummer, nice guys...

now I'm waiting for you to fix your passport and come over here with your band...I'll serve Lobsters and sparkling Italian wine....


Jeanpop2 said...

Very nice !

And they have good taste, the proof is they don't tour in France (too bad for us).

MDS said...

dear Michael, I'm so glad you got to catch them in Milano and chat up Sonny and a sunset afterwards! Ryan, the bassist, said Italy was their favorite country and by far had the best audiences! It's high on my list of countries to visit... so keep the sparkling wine and vegetables close by!

JP2! Notice they're playing New York at the end of July! Maybe we can catch one of their shows... all dependent on when you Frenchies arrive, and if I can afford to fly out there. Why not come back West and see them play in the middle of the Oregon wilderness? ;)

The Cat Hag said...

I have never heard of this band, but their music rocks! :)

The Cat Hag

MDS said...

Thanks for stopping by, Addie! Glad I could turn you on to some new tunes! I LOVE your blog. You've got such fab style!

TT said...

This sounds like my kinda band. I found you because I noticed you've got me in your blogroll. I'm honoured. (Honestly!) I'll return the favour.

MDS said...

Aww, thanks! You are one rad lady, and your blog pretty much rules!

Darren Thomas Brennessel said...

You are so welcome!

Darren Thomas Brennessel said...

Michael! You are one of the very few who have recognized the meaning of my name!
And thanks for you compliments! I appreciate you digging my sounds!