Sonny and the Sunsets – “Too Young To Burn”

When we interviewed Sonny and the Sunsets earlier this year, Sonny Smith explained repeatedly that he was a guy who had difficulty getting things done, a claim belied by his prolific musical career, including 2009’s excellent Tomorrow is Alright and another Sunsets album that’s on its way. As the interview was wrapping up, Kelley Stoltz suggested to us that we ask Sonny about the “100 Records” project he was working on. And so, he casually explained, he was in the process of completing a new art project called 100 Records, which involved him coming up with 100 fictitious band names, commissioning 100 artists to design record covers for imaginary 7″s by the bands, and then writing and recording 200 songs that would make up the 7″ records. Yes, clearly Sonny’s something of an underachiever.

Whenever anyone says they are going to do 100 of anything, I am inherently skeptical. Even counting to a hundred takes much longer than I have the patience for. So the idea that Sonny has successfully completed this demonstrably insane undertaking is to be lauded. But knowing Smith’s songwriting talents, I suspect we’re in for aural as well as conceptual satisfaction when Smith premieres the exhibition at Gallery 16, where it will run from April 9th through May 31st. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 9th, from 6-9pm with live music by Sonny and the Sunsets.

For more on the project, check out this Guardian interview with Sonny, and Sonny’s 100 Records blog, which profiles some of the fictional bands.