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Moods Baby Moods

by Sonny & The Sunsets

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I was taken away Maybe it was hell It was a grocery store yes a grocery store And all through the aisles They only sold one thing Rows of tubes Tubes of cream Death cream The straight way was lost I knew when I saw her Half made of ooze Stealin the tubes She showed me hole In a plasticine beam That led to her room Where we slept and we dreamed Death cream The telepathic machines They knew we’d stolen the cream So into the room it began to creep Mechanical limbs With the dripping syringe I looked at my girl I looked at my girl The needle was in… Watch out for the cream! Watch out for the cream!
Moods 03:34
Dear on-line advice guru I does my brain do the things that it do? I press confirm inside my head I’m waiting for my new mood to begin I stop to rest beneath the shadow of a tree Why is everything looking at me I’m waiting for my new mood to begin But there’s an error message in my head Moods baby moods
Modern Age 05:18
I received a letter yesterday Faded yellow Page and after page And every page blank Signed with love, the modern age I found a piece of art in the trash I don’t know anything about art A shattered mirror with a broken frame Autographed by the modern age
Miners trapped in a mine And he happened to be close by But he didn’t have a phone And he didn’t have a rope And everyone was worried Everyone was scared So he lowered his shaft Into the shaft And the men held on tight They held on so tight And every man was saved But those who died And the woman cried And the children cheered There was peace for a night There was peace for a night Cause the men held on tight To his strange and useful thing He’s a well but strange hung man… There’s chaos everywhere And chaos in the world And chaos in his brain And chaos in his pants And the riot cops are out, looking for a reason Swingin there little hard billy clubs at anyone And the strange hung man, he’s just trying to get home And they grab him by the hair, and grab him by the pants And his strange abnormal rod falls out into the street And everyone is laughin at the crazy shaped thing They’re laughing so hard, they’re laughing so hard Everyone so hard they can’t even fight And everyone is laughin and feelin alright There’s peace in the streets Just for one night He’s a well but strange hung man
Nightmares 03:08
Every episode is the same Lie awake at night Try to wrestle my brain But it runs away A man with a head for a plug Looking for an outlet When his head is plugged in You can turn him on I’ve always been a two pronged outlet My husband is a three Then we found an adaptor So we could get along fear the night Fear the night
No one wants you No one cares No one buys you No one shares Reject, reject, reject, reject Lonely little rice cooker Sitting in the rain No one wants you now And you can’t complain Reject, reject, reject, reject Reject of the lowest kind Reject won’t you please be mine Reject of the lowest kind Reject won’t you please be mine
Everyone is watching the TV White cop on trial white cop on trial To see what’s never been seen White cop on trial white cop on trial Standing in the courthouse getting pictures taken What will the jury say We have found him not guilty cause we are insane Blah blah blah we are crazy What did he do and why can’t he say? White cop on trial And why can’t we seem to put him away? White cop on trial Standing in the courthouse answering the questions What will the jury say We have found him not guilty cause we are insane Blah blah blah we are crazy.
Check Out 04:10
When I’m standing in the grocery store And there’s no windows and no doors And I forgot what I’m looking for And all my thoughts start to drift And there’s war… on the magazine covers I know it’s time to check out Check out, check out, check out See you / see you later And I’m drivin all alone And there’s rain on the road And I start to spin Driftin… And I feel so stoned Check out See you / see you later
Needs 02:35
You gave me money, I need more You gave me love, I need more Baby baby baby I need more You gave me children I need more You gave me troubles I need more You gave me jewelry I need more You gave me reasons I need more
I have a tale to tell From the here after I can see clearly now What I was always after Love just a little love You may think I’m stupid You may think I’m dumb But ever since my little death I can see what is what Love just a little love
The fisherman brought something in from the sea last night No one knew Just what it was Was it dead or alive Legs of a man Head of a dog With a beak Never before Seen some kind kind of freak What is it? I pushed past The crowd of men That circled the thing Gills on it’s neck And a slime And a fucking stink Eyes open wide They looked right into me Which is the Creature, the man? which is the freak What is it?
I love the hospital grounds at night the sound of a nurse's cigarette the grass is green, the trees are quiet I'm full of love, but i'm also sick I'm full of love/shit I swipe my hand right through reality like tearing right through paper mystical faker , right through paper my ex-wife sent me a note dear sonny, I'm getting married I'm so happy be happy for me I am happy dear, i'm full of love I'm full of love/shit friends that I knew that moved away maybe they got a job, maybe a mate they went away so long farewell so long I'm full of love and shit all the time paths that I thought might lead to the sun but I trip and trip and trip until my head splits -wide open I'm full of love/shit


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."


released May 27, 2016


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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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