777 Valencia Street San Francisco, CA 94110 - Map
Sonny Smith - Record Release Show

(((folkYEAH!))) Presents

Sonny Smith - Record Release Show

Sun Foot, The Love-Birds

Sat, March 3, 2018

Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm

The Chapel

San Francisco, CA

$18 adv / $20 door

This event is all ages

Sonny Smith
Sonny Smith
For years, Sonny Smith has built his own brand of indie-folk and rock & roll, growing into a cult favorite along the way. To those who know his work, he's an incredibly prolific creator, with a dozen albums to his name and a handful of related projects — including multiple stage plays, a full-length musical and his nationally-recognized art installation, "100 Bands" — under his belt. A longtime fixture of San Francisco's arts scene, he's managed to fly just beneath the mainstream's radar for decades, while still releasing a string of acclaimed records with labels like Fat Possum and Polyvinyl.

On his newest record, Rod For Your Love, he gets back to basics. Produced by Black Keys frontman Dan Auerbach and recorded in Nashville, Rod For Your Love roots itself in old-school, guitar-fueled rock & roll. These are love songs built for the garage and the dance floor, with big-hearted melodies and thick harmonies. It's the stuff you might've heard in the 1960s, back when groups like the Kinks and the Velvet Underground were making left-field pop songs that celebrated the form while still bending the rules. With stacked vocal harmonies that sweep their way throughout the track list, Rod For Your Love nods to the past while still moving forward. It's a classic-sounding album that still belongs to the 21st century.

Released on Auerbach's new label, Easy Eye Sound, Rod For Your Love was recorded at the end of a cross-country tour. Smith and his band were firing on all cylinders, their rough edges sanded down by weeks of nightly shows. Meanwhile, 10 new songs had been written. Smith, who'd fallen in love all over again with his roles as a bandleader and frontman, didn't want to produce the tunes himself in a home studio. He wanted to focus on the music. Having heard that the Arcs, Auerbach's side-project, had covered one of his own songs during their own tour, Smith reached out to the Black Keys singer. Connections were made, studio time was booked, and Smith wound up finishing that countrywide tour in Nashville, where he and his road band tracked the album at Auerbach's studio.

The goal? To shine a light on the songs and the band, without many overdubs or assorted clutter.

"I think a lot of albums are made in reaction to the one that came directly before," says Smith. "My last record, Moods Baby Moods, was very layered and used a lot of drum machines. I was making weird sounds with synths. By the time we got to Nashville and began working with Dan, I was thinking 'Let's just make a fun, guitar-driven record. I don't want to have any extracurricular stuff here. I just want it to be really pure.'"

The lyrics follow suit. A personal album filled with heart-of-sleeve songwriting, Rod For Your Love looks inward. It's autobiographical. Fittingly, it's also Sonny Smith's first solo album in years, following a string of records billed under his band's name, Sonny and the Sunsets. "I'm writing about myself now, and not the people around me," he explains. "It felt right to make it a solo record."

Even so, it's hard not to identify with songs like the title track — a sunny, simple declaration of Smith's affection for a girl — and "Pictures of You," which find him remembering a former flame by sifting through her photographs. On "Burnin' Up," he swaps harmonies with songwriter Angel Olsen, turning the love song into a conversation between partners. This might be Smith's story, but the story is still universal.

Maybe that's why Rod For Your Love feels both fresh and familiar at once. Multiple generations grew up with this kind of music. It's the sound of the FM dial during the golden years of radio, full of Stonesy swagger, Beach Boys beauty and Lou Reed's punky sneer. With songs that spin stories about loving, losing, and living in the modern world, Rod For Your Love finds Sonny Smith hitting another high mark, adding a new milestone to a career that's made him a cult favorite for decades.
Sun Foot
Sun Foot
Portland Los Angeles 3 piece who play low volume tunes through small amps and a drum set that consists of a hand drum, cymbal, pan lids, and electronic drum pad, all three singing, playing random cheap electronic keyboards maybe, and switching of instruments probably. Good to listen to if you are interested in the sun and tired of negativity. Sun Foot (Ron Burns [Smog, Hot Spit Dancers, Swell], Chris Johanson [the painter, The Deep Throats, Tina Age 13], and Brian Mumford [Dragging an Ox through Water, Jackie-O Motherfucker, Thicket, Jewelry Rash]).
The Love-Birds
The Love-Birds
Introducing - for the very first time - The Love-Birds (San Francisco) on Empty Cellar Records!

Man, I don’t ever go out nowadays. I don’t know what to say, I’ve got the blues. Usually though when I am creepy crawling, I’m out to catch The Love-Birds, they being San Francisco’s best new guitar band. I’ve been watching them carve up the dank air of many a fine Mission saloon for about a year now and they always have the edge. They’re Of and Raised in SF and they’re youngish. All of them jam their instruments with technique and style, in accordance with the Old Ways. They have a budget Scott Gorham riff inside a jangly scorcher called “Filled With Hate,” which is about leaving Los Angeles for San Francisco.

You can go pretty far nowadays on the idea of a Band, but The Love-Birds don’t have time for that shit. Whether you wear denim, leather, or tie-dye it’s only worth about an El Rio drink ticket if you don’t know how to write the tunes and The Love-Birds wear a cloak of many colors. The guitars weave together beautifully, leads, hooks and riffs arranged like an American cheese platter. The rhythm section takes the cheese and deftly makes a deli sandwich, playing with smarts and panache. This is the kind of band that you can smoke weed with the drummer outside the bar and talk in-depth about the annexation of Hawaii and then walk inside, look the guitarist straight in the eye and say, “R.E.M is better than Teenage Fanclub” and he’ll still drive your fool ass home. They’ve even got a dude in the band who says funny shit on stage. You can take one look at them and know they learn things from books and write songs with instruments (no, seriously).

These songs have tons of moves and NOBODY puts moves in their songs anymore besides The Cacamen, and that was only one move, once. Moves are great, they’re like skate tricks you can put in your songs. Seems to me, the only move a band will pull nowadays is the downward dog, am I right? The Love-Birds are punk, but in the classical sense, not the ebay sense. They dare to believe that R.E.M is better than Big Star. Just kidding, they’re not there yet. But this is an excellent start. I end in verse:

A bouquet of riffs from The Love-Birds
On a chilly Francisco night
Was thundering through my laptop
I was homeless came morning light

-Herbal Caen
Venue Information:
The Chapel
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
http://www.thechapelsf.com