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Antenna to the Afterworld

by Sonny & The Sunsets

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1.
I come from the planet of dogs Where the day is night and the night is long I tried to get a job But they said I don’t belong Now shoo now get along And I walk on your streets And your streets they walk on me And I see dark corners in your weird world And I can't, I can't wait, I can't wait to find My little place in your weird world Now I give myself to you and I sleep in the park And I give you all my clothes And you help me to start Start a new, start a new And I look into you And you look into me And I see dark corners in your weird world And I cant I cant wait, I can't wait to find My little place in your weird world
2.
mutilator 03:42
She drags herself through glass and all that Swallows swords and all that And when she’s on her spinning wheel She don’t flinch when she see those knives a comin Mutilator, you send shivers down my spine Back at her place, a half eaten steak on a plate And an old melon rind and some torn up drapes And on her bed of nails she makes me lie And a cut up banana in her bedside shrine Mutilator, you send shivers down my spine Mutilator, I see you walkin with another guy And I wonder why I know I’m the only one But you give me such a fright When out of your arm You take a bite
3.
On my hand there’s a scar From the time, oh never mind And my love line is hard to see But it’s still there, underneath And my lifeline is fucked up too covered in scabs and glue Seems like it’s split Split into two One goes there, one stays here One stays here with you palm reader, seems so confused, Tells me of me and you And the rest of it says The end is near But I don’t care, I don’t fear Every year the end is near And we’re still here We’re still here palm reader
4.
My love is back again I don’t know just where it went All I know is it’s back again My love is back again I don’t know just where it went All I know is this loneliness My love ain't dead it’s back again I had a visit from a dead friend She told me not to wallow In this loneliness
5.
In the graveyard of my youth Street of early sorrow I have broken with the truth Strange tales I have borrowed And the grown ups just like brutes Total jokes total cowards And where would we hide Behind the water towers All in the graveyard of my youth In the graveyard of my youth I was a freak, I was a dog And so were all my friends We walked the whole days long It was our mothers and our fathers Full of lies and lies forever We liked to sit in the bushes Drinking wine in purple heather All in the graveyard of my youth Farewell my friends I seek no more The rules are cruel and they hang from the door Now do I want pussy or a cocaine cure? Or natural acts untarnished and pure Well I may be a freak, I may be a dog But my vision is clear, yes my vision is clear I may be frightened or insecure Of natural acts untarnished and pure…
6.
Oh girl on the streets With the silver front teeth Selling flowers Sittin on a sheet Girl on the streets Look so tough and so sweet Girl on the street Don’t know your name But I see you everyday Always talking on the phone Even when it rains Girl on the street Look so tough and so sweet Girl on the street Don’t know how I feel About this girl on the street I’m always standin round starin I’m always standin round starin At this street living girl Like a goddess in a mural I only know her as the girl on the street
7.
death scene 01:16
8.
primitive 02:22
9.
void 02:12
10.
earth girl 02:13
Earth girl seeks a lover Seeks a space freak to satisfy Intergalactic eyes that shine Type 3 androids may apply Pretty soon, pretty soon, it’ll be ok, it’ll be alright Earth girl seeks a friend Antennas bending into the divine Pretty soon, pretty soon it’ll be alright
11.
Well, something happened, I fell in love But it was weird, real weird It was an unknown planet A strange being was standing all alone When I fix my ship would you like to hit the void? Oh is this your ship? This little space toy? Oh a spaceling with humor My favorite kind But when I looked closer, she was sad inside Oh my android she sheds real tears She’s weird, I think I love you dear. Well I don’t have to tell you, Just how great she was So beautiful, so intelligent, all those things But she was married to some cyborg type I tried to steal her away And we were on the run Her cyborg husband followed with his gun He shot her he shot her She bled green blood I cried oh can’t I have a normal love What happened to her? She lived. And we really tried to make it work We tried to make a life But we were so different, such different types That we had to break it off And I’m still messed up Did she go back to her husband? I don’t even know what happened to her But I miss her, y’know? I really miss her. My antennas went deep into the afterworld And I searched for her Where the night is quiet With star gleams And comet trails.

about

Death? Afterworld? Android lovers dying in the streets bleeding green blood? Homeless girls? Dogs stranded here from other planets? What are Sonny & The Sunsets getting at on Antenna to the Afterworld, a fast-moving record of new wave synths and post punk beats?

The murder of a close friend of the band led Smith to think a lot about death and life after death. Shortly after, a visit to a psychic/medium brought Smith into contact with another friend who had died.

This encounter with the afterworld inspired many of the lyrics on Sonny & the Sunsets' new record. And what a strangely entertaining odyssey it turned out to be.

As a writer -- of songs, or plays, or short stories -- Smith has never limited himself to one style or theme. The restless trend of changing gears dramatically continues on Antenna to the Afterworld, which marks a total musical and narrative shift from last year’s Longtime Companion (a country record that chronicled Smith’s break up).

On Antenna to the Afterworld, Smith likens himself to a space being visiting Earth using wry humor, gritty poetry, and a myriad of musical lenses fleshed out by drummer Kelley Stoltz's Joy Division-like beats, Ryan Browne's new wavish basslines, and Tahlia Harbour's deadpan vocals.

"I come from the planet of dogs / ... / And I walk on your streets / ... / and I can't wait to find / My little place in your weird world," Smith sings on opening track "Dark Corners," as the song's use of synthesizers lends the perfect sonic counterpart to the science fiction narrative.

His journey continues on “Mutilator,” where he enchants the listener with a vivid description of the titular woman’s lair: “Back at her place, a half eaten steak on a plate / And an old melon rind and some torn up drapes / And on her bed of nails she makes me lie / … / Mutilator, you send shivers down my spine.”

Later, “Girl on the Streets” proves to be one of the most immediate and infectious songs found on Antenna to the Afterworld, as Smith pairs an upbeat, major key melody with a candid depiction of a homeless girl he observes while walking the streets of his native San Francisco.

And it wouldn’t be a Sonny Smith-penned album without a reworking of a previously released song. Just like “Pretend You Love Me” was transformed from a 50s doo-wop revamp (Hit After Hit) to a Dylan-esque country ballad (Longtime Companion), on Antenna to the Afterworld Smith sheds the ramshackle country rock skin “I See The Void” wore on Longtime Companion and replaces it with a raucous high energy romp through classic Sunsets territory.

Soon after, the record closes with "Green Blood," a quasi-spoken word track that uses male-female call and response vocals to tell the tale of Sonny's affair with a spaceling. Though their love is ultimately doomed by their differences (and her cyborg husband), Sonny can't quite let her go.

"My antennas went deep into the afterworld / And I searched for her / Where the night is quiet / With star gleams / And comet trails," he narrates -- a beautifully composed conclusion to an (inter)stellar tale.

credits

released June 11, 2013

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Sonny & The Sunsets San Francisco, California

Sonny & the Sunsets are a beautiful west coast thing. Birthed from the sand, the surf, and twilight campfires down in Ocean Beach, Sonny & the Sunsets’ busted beach-pop songs spark recollections of doo wop's otherworldly despair, a dose of goofball humor from the Michael Hurley school, and positive possibilities exuded by Jonathan Richman. ... more

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