Manic Productions Presents
Sonny & The Sunsets, Little Wings
The Mendition of The Quay
295 Treadwell St.
Hamden, CT, 06514
This event is 21 and over
Sonny & The Sunsets
The modern age sends love letters on yellowed, empty pages. It’s got telepathic advice gurus in its timeline and
deep sea creatures washing up on its shores. It’s got plugs, buttons, and illusions, and a grocery store whose aisles
correspond to Dante’s infernal circles, plus a nebulous sense of ephemeral weirdness. It’s got Moods Baby Moods and
the existential angst it yields has Sonny Smith in a funk, but he’s turned it into funk.
On previous records, the Sunsets have plundered a wide spectrum of musical appropriation (garage-rock, forgotten
AM radio fodder, Modern Lovers, late-era Clash, Doo-Wop, and the Velvet Underground, to name a few.) Mood
Baby Moods follows suit, and on this outing we find the Sunsets, along with producer Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs,
repurposing early ‘80s funk and new wave with rap beats and collages from both sides of the ocean (be it Niles
Rogers, Jah Wobble, The Gap Band, Orange Juice, Trans-era Neil Young or The Tom Tom Club.) These are songs that
juxtapose the haze of today with a vibrant and colorful explosion of sounds and 180 degree turns.
Sonny’s gift for vivid storytelling is no secret. His last album with the Sunsets, Talent Night at the Ashram, was
peopled by characters he’d created for scripts that never saw the light of day. He greeted 2016 with a solo LP (Sees
All Knows All) that involved no singing at all — a winding tale of one musician’s quest to find himself set to music.
Moods Baby Moods is no less inventive and arguably more musically sophisticated than Smith’s previous records.
“Death Cream Part 2” picks up a comic book tale started on 2009’s Tomorrow Is Alright, tracing that titular tube of
heinous goop back to a grocery store/hell. “Modern Age” transfers from a party to a string quartet, with elements of
dub, while the narrator comes to grips with meaninglessness – ‘modern age/nothing to say.’ “Well but Strangely Hung
Men” bridges a gap between Franz Kafka, Sigmund Freud and Richard Brautigan over a driving post disco beat.
The real life cast supporting Moods Baby Moods is fittingly rife with outsider talent. Garbus’ voice can be heard
throughout. Shayde Sartin’s bass, Edmund Xavier’s drum machine beats and Smith’s guitar form the foundations, and
regular Tahlia Harbour continues her back and forth banter with Smith. Cold Beat’s Hannah Lew brings a Kleenex/
Young Marble Giants flavor to the songs. Shannon Shaw and Jibz Cameron drop by for a skit, and Kaznary Mutoh of
Tokyo’s Boys Age lends guitars and garbles the outro of “Modern Age.”
Lyrically, Smith is playing with the grand themes of today. In his search for purpose in the cruel realities of the
modern age, he’s trying to make sense out of chaos and suffering, and to find a way to live and be real. This is not
an easy task in a time of synthetic feelings (“Moods”), computer created confusion (“Modern Age”), climate change
(“Dead Meat on the Beach”), civil rights abuse (“White Cops on Trial”), and the uneasy feeling of numbness in our
chaotic world (“Check Out”).
But in the final moments of Moods Baby Moods, Sonny delivers a line that not only speaks truth to his philosophy
as played out across his career, but to what it means to be human in any era, regardless of our relationships with
technology, spirituality, authority, or art: “I’m full of love, and shit, all the time.”
Little Wings is a musical project started in 1998 by Kyle Field (born in San Luis Obispo, California), who has been joined by assorted musicians, many from K Records, who have released six Little Wings albums. Kyle has played with The Microphones, and also makes art. He has lived in many places and is currently found next to Ocean Beach in San Francisco, CA.
Prior to being a solo act, Kyle was bassist and singer in the band Rodriguez with M.Ward.
The Mendition of The Quay
The Mendition of the Quay is a four-piece psych-pop group from Connecticut. The two founders, lifelong pals David Elliott (who you may have seen behind the counter at Replay Records in Hamden, CT) and Justin Martell (author of the upcoming definitive biography of pop culture icon Tiny Tim), have spent their lives scouring every record shop they could get to for 60's pop, garage and psychedelic sounds. After devouring everything from Gary Lewis & The Playboys to The Mystic Astrologic Crystal Band, the members of the Quay have crafted an album that plays to their influences while still maintaining a sense of identity and originality.