Friday, April 22, 2011

Dumb Love and Naked Poets


Hit After Hit

* * * *


Of the countless Bay Area garage-pop bands that have emerged in the last few years, Sonny & the Sunsets are probably the most fun. 38-year-old frontman Sonny Smith (also known for his 100 Records project, in which he created a hundred aliases and made mini-albums for each of them) is not a bitter, cynical philosopher but rather a grown-up stoner with a great sense of humor, and his band sounds more like a really good teenage Portolacore group than a hipster art band (listen to “Reflections of Youth,” one of the best songs I’ve heard by any Bay Area artist all year). If they’re preoccupied with creating high art and pleasing the critics, it doesn’t show--Hit After Hit is nothing but a good time. This a band that delivers lines like “I’m in love with you baby, I’m dumb and so are you” with a chuckle and a grin.



* * 1/2 (video * * * *)

“Stupidass” is essentially the soundtrack to a two-and-a-half-minute clip of rapper/spoken word artist George Watsky getting puked on and subsequently stripping to the bone in public, Erykah Badu-style. The actual video is great, saying much more than its content would suggest. But the song really doesn't do much more than accompany the footage--it features one brief verse that’s unremarkable by Watsky’s standards, but the rest is merely the chorus repeated over and over again. If this is supposed to be the first single to a new album, it doesn't exactly work very well. But as the soundtrack to an awkward, humiliated guy getting naked, it works just fine. Watch with visual aid.

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