(((folkYEAH!))) + Sonny Smith + Polyvinyl Records Present
"I Need You Bad" Record Release Party!
Chris Cohen, The Memories, Fronds, PLUS surprise sets by Sonny Smith
777 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA, 94110
Doors 7:00 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Chris Cohen is a 37-year-old native of Los Angeles currently residing in the farmlands of Vermont. He is the child of a former music business executive and a former Broadway actress. His résumé of prior musical projects is a long one: as a contributing member of The Curtains, Cryptacize, Deerhoof, and Natural Dreamers, he released 10 full-length albums between 2002 and 2008. Along the way, Cohen was also a touring player with White Magic, Cass McCombs, Haunted Graffiti and Danielson, among others, for stints both short and long. All of this has culminated in his first release under his own name, and his first for Captured Tracks, Overgrown Path.
A singing drummer who writes psychedelic pop music, Cohen also records his own bass, Casio MT65, piano, and guitar. Tracks like "Caller No. 99″ and "Monad" follow idiosyncratic forms, but are still melodic in an unconventional and homegrown way — like the best of Robert Wyatt, Mayo Thompson, Syd Barrett, and Jerry Garcia. Overgrown Path unfolds its delicate and unexpected arrangements around Cohen's relaxed baritone, unhurriedly revealing the detailed world wrapped up in each song.
It's an album of sounds that will stick in your mind — if you happen to hear "Optimist High" wafting through an open window in your neighborhood this summer, you'll think you've rediscovered an old favorite.
The Memories formed in the Belmont/Hawthorne district of Southeast Portland, Oregon in the Summer of 2010 by White Fang bandmates and childhood friends Rikky Gage and Kyle Handley. They recorded their first album in one of the upstairs bedrooms at what was called the 40th house, a big three story home on a busy street that was a hangout for local stoners and artists. Their self-titled debut was released on their own Gnar Tapes label as a cassette. 200 were pressed in the Winter of 2010/2011. The tape soon attracted the ears of labels like Underwater Peoples and Burger Records, the former pressing the album to LP and the latter reissuing it on cassette with the Underwater People's sanctioned art, which was expertly rendered by Lexington, Kentucky based sound and visual artist Robert Beatty. Burger Records soon became their champion, releasing 4 cassettes and LP by 2013. In the Winter of 2014 Chicago based Randy Records pressed the band's first 7", a 6-song EP named "American Summer". This was followed by a handful of cassette releases on Gnar Tapes, including a split release with Rad Records; a label founded and fronted by Kyle Field, whose band Little Wings had long been an inspiration for the band. The band also attracted the ears of like-minded musician Zach Phillips, a former member of the same wildly creative scene in Brattleboro, Vermont that birthed such high-quality bands as King Tuff, Happy Jawbone Family Band, Chris Weisman, and his own band, Blanche Blanche Blanche, among many others. Mr. Phillips issued the 4-song "Crash On My Heart" as a cassingle on his Brooklyn, NY based OSR Tapes label. The Memories third album, an 8-song LP called "Touch By An Angel", was pressed by Lolipop Records, a label based in Los Angeles (the city that had by that point become the adopted home of The Memories). In October 2014 their 4th album "Hot Afternoon" will be released on LP/CD/CS by Burger Records. It is the first album by The Memories recorded with a producer (Sonny Smith of Sonny & The Sunsets) and was tracked in San Rafael, California.
Fronds' sound weds two-part boy/girl harmonies to a foundation of finger-plucked guitars, electro-acoustic drums, bass, claps, and FX slathered toy keys.
Dylan Tidyman-Jones began composing material for the group in 2011, with Greer McGettrick (bass, vocals) soon involved and helping flesh out the arrangements. Adele Bidet (keys) and Mark Clifford (drums) round out the current incarnation.
PLUS surprise sets by Sonny Smith
Sonny Smith began playing Jimmy Yancey covers on piano in little mountain town clubs of Colorado when he was 18. These piano gigs led him to Denver and then into Central America where he busked up and down the Telemanca Coast with a couple friends in a band. At this time he was working on screenplays which ultimately broke apart into long-winded songs with characters, dialogues and plots.
Sonny’s early CDs include This Is My Story, This Is My Song, released in 2002, followed the next year by Sordid Tales of Love and Woe, Sweet Lorraine featuring Jolie Holland on harmonies.
In 2000, he wrote and directed his first short movie “Kid Gus Man.” In 2005, he garnered a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts to write and perform the play The Dangerous Stranger, and received a residency in 2006 from the LAB in San Francisco to produce part two of the saga, “Stranger Danger!”
Sonny also wrote “Steppin’ Out,” a column for the New Mission Newspaper, in addition to publishing stories in various literary magazines.
In 2005, Watchword Literary Magazine commissioned Sonny to produce One Act Plays, a CD that includes Edith Frost, Neko Case, Miranda July, Jolie Holland, Andy Cabic, Virgil Shaw, Mark Eitzel, John Dwyer and Mekons’ Rico Bell, among other talented artists. Following this was the release of Fruitvale, a collaboration with Wilco’s Leroy Bach and other Chicago musicians that features songs Sonny wrote about his then neighborhood in Oakland.
In 2009 he released Tomorrow is Alright (soft abuse/secret seven) with his band Sonny & The Sunsets, a loose collective of musicians including Shayde Sartin & Tim Cohen of The Fresh & Onlys, Tahlia Harbour of Citay and The Dry Spells as well as Sub Pop recording artist Kelley Stoltz. The Sunsets now include Ryan Browne, Tahlia Harbour, and Kelley Stoltz.
In 2009 he acted in a short film by Robert Arnold All Animals.
In March of 2009, he gained another residency through The Headlands Center for the Arts to begin a large project called “100 records” in which 100 artists make 7” record covers of fictional bands that he supplies the music for. The show debuted for a seven week run at Gallery 16 in San Francisco in April 2010. It then travelled to Okay Mnt Gallery in Austin, Texas and will finish in New York at Cinders Gallery. Artists involved were William Wiley, Alika Cooper, Chris Johansen, Alice Shaw, Paul Wackers, Rebecca Miller, and about 90 more…
Tomorrow Is Alright was released on August 31, 2010 via Fat Possum. The album’s single, “Too Young to Burn,” made its way around the blogosphere and caught the attention of many.
After multiple tours and various collaborative/solo releases, Sonny and the Sunsets released their 2nd full-length, Hit After Hit, via Fat Possum on April 12, 2011.
On April 23, 2012, Sonny & The Sunsets signed with Polyvinyl Records for their 3rd album, Longtime Companion (AKA Sonny & The Sunsets’ country album). Longtime Companion was released June 26, 2012. Another Sonny & The Sunsets album will follow in 2013 on Polyvinyl.