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Talent Night at the Ashram

by Sonny & The Sunsets

/
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1.
I filled out the application to be a human being, she put it on the stack with all the others, i walked out onto the street and I lit my telephone and answered my cigarettes and started to weep cause I heard a joke and I hope my papers go through I hope to hear from you soon.... I filled out the application to be her man I signed my name so hard, I nearly broke my hand and I lit my telephone and answered my cigarettes and started to laugh, cause I saw something sad and I hope my papers go through I hope to hear from you soon... I filled out the application to be released, I won't say it's been a drag, but I'm looking forward (can't you see?) cause I'm sick of answering my cigarettes and eating my telephone and I'm sick of these weird tears, from my ears... and I hope my papers go through I hope to hear from you soon ...please don't write in red ink on my application honey baby....
2.
Tina, I saw you at the grocery store buying something for your hair.... I'm not going anywhere, let me follow your hair going anywhere, i love your hair, I’ll follow you anywhere I’m not going anywhere, let me follow your hair, I love the strange things that you do to your hair, I’ll follow you anywhere... brown and blond, and long and straight, loop and bend and made to blend oh I love your cheap extensions Tina, I am poor and you're a church, please feed me let's get drunk in the basement... just give me one more day that's a nice extension... brown and blonde and long and straight, loop and bend and made to blend, I love your cheap extensions...
3.
to the estate we must go all the women that I've ever known are livin there and I'm scared but I must go though I don't know why three weeks and I still can't get in I been livin in the woods behind the fence in a tent and I can see them smokin by the pool it's so cruel oh I feel just like a fool ... I met a jinn jengu melamine horns and wings and leaves for eyes I shared my beans as we sat in the rain and I told her about the estate 'burn it down burn it down' she said and then she touched my head and I saw colors in my eyes and a light shining through my mind and I walked inside and I said hello
4.
Terry had eyes of electric blue sang 'bird on a wire' but couldn't recall the tune told me he loved me as we pasted up pictures of our guru I meditated on the letter 'OHM' I'm so happy in my new home Dreama left her suitcase on the train she took to Bombay Swami Barunda had sent her away in her suitcase was a poem she wrote about the Northern Lights I meditated on the letter OHM I'm so happy in my new home...
5.
She is leaving, for the mountains and no one knows why and what will she hang onto? and what will she leave behind? I don't know her too well but it's not hard to tell she's a very private girl there is her car, let us look inside taped up boxed and a few unpaid fines I don't know her too well...
6.
Maya cashier she is a bubble blonde always meeting mr. wrong Pam in the office with a pencil mustache always short on cash she is a real dreamer wonders if the world is real William in produce can tell her he knows a thing or two, about everything and what to do it's a natural health food store and you enter through a mystical door Isaiah is a very funny man with beads in his hair he is very clean likes everything Paul in shipping tells jokes wonders if Liz still likes him William in produce can tell him he knows a thing or two about everything and what to do it's a natural health food store and you enter through a mystical door Erin earth girl, knows about the sun and the moon what kind of herb, and what kind of stretch, you need to heel your mood Shannon who outworks everyone, but always messes shit up Why is she so terrible with all the customers? William in produce can tell us, he knows a thing or two... about everything and what to do.... it's a natural health food store and you enter through a mystical door Dialogue scene- curtain rises on man in bar, talking to a woman, or, is it a dog (perhaps?): Man- well there was one scene that I was proud of.... yeah it was, I, the character, me, was looking into his... uh... glass of beer and he sees you in it, swimming. A little miniature you, swimming in his beer. And he says, staring at his beer, "I missed you. I wish we were walking around... I wish we were talking about whatever- things that we used to talk about... I just wish we were doing something right now..." Dog - (barks) Man - really? but I thought, I thought, I never heard from you again... Dog - (barks) Man - then why did you go? Dog - (whines) Man - what? ...what do you? .... well i'm gonna swallow you, Dog - (whines) Man - and then it goes, and then it pans, and it goes into this other scene that felt much more artificial
7.
Henry was walking down the street the sun was shinin the scene was gay then he received a special message and he started screamin in pain Henry had a lovely gal she gave him love everyday then she heard his screams and she ran screamin away
8.
Baby Jokin 02:13
heavy times, heavy feelings I feel so light with you I said I gotta go, I said I need to be alone I was only jokin...
9.
Icelene, she's staring right down the chute and the pins are alive they have red bowties just like an old cartoon now my head is going to burst just watching her hurts and the pressure that she's under gonna make my heart jerk Icelene, she just needs a break or two, to see her through to see her through now there's been alot of talk on the TV and the magazines about Icelene, and her strange family but icelene has stood tall despite it all and the fact that so many people want to see her fall Icelene, she just needs a break or two , to see her through, to see her through...
10.
Secret Plot 03:12
I went down to the meeting to see who I could be when it was my turn to speak I said everything everything the world is doin to me there was a girl she was wearing glasses she was talking about the classes she said we're gonna fuck up all the cops shake the money from the top I liked her yeah, but we didn't really get along oh city infamous and cruel most people wanna love but they can't seem to love is a dog, a freak all alone I went down to the meeting to see who I could be...

about

Bizarre? Scrappy? Deranged? Sonny & the Sunsets’ latest record sees them in perhaps their strangest and most lyrically explorative phase yet.

A big soup of sonic ideas that wouldn’t normally be glued together, the songs on Talent Night at the Ashram make a large collage that mixes cinematic stories of fringe characters.

Initially envisioned as a film project, each song was originally a short film that, when strung together, formed a feature-length movie.

As Sonny Smith was writing the scripts and hiring the actors (even shooting a few of the clips), the scripts began to morph into songs.

Equal parts Fellini and Os Mutantes, Talent Night at the Ashram is cinematic in its storytelling and kaleidoscopic in its mixing and merging of musical genres.

On album opener “The Application,” Smith applies to be a human being to the tune of Beach Boys harmonies, ragtag beats and ‘80s synths.

“Happy Carrot Health Food Store” tells an epic saga of grocery store employees set to a soundtrack that takes listeners on a psychedelic odyssey with elements of jazz and a hallucinogenic sequence including a conversation with a girlfriend swimming in his beer glass, or is that a dog?

‘60s folk, electric sitars, flutes, and myriad other sounds help accentuate tales of professional bowlers in desperate need of a strike (“Icelene’s Loss”), a mansion that houses every woman Smith has ever known (“The Secluded Estate”), and Occupy meetings ending in bad love (“Secret Plot to Destroy the Underground”).

Recording was a communal effort mostly done at Smith’s home on this tape machine with musicians such as Shayde Sartin (The Fresh & Onlys), Garret Goddard (King Tuff), Kelley Stoltz, Rusty Miller, Ian McBrayer, and more.

Pairing uniquely off-the-wall stories with an ambitious musical scope, Talent Night at the Ashram finds Smith once again securing his status as one of today’s most arrestingly inventive songwriters.

credits

released February 17, 2015

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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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