The word “prolific” gets tossed around with relative ease nowadays, but it does apply in certain cases (I’m looking at you, Ty Segall). A few years ago, Sonny Smith (of Sonny & the Sunsets fame and a friend of The Bay Bridged) redefined what it meant to be prolific within the modern day indie rock landscape with his 100 Records Project – a musical and artistic endeavor that was impressive in terms of both quantity as well as artistic ingenuity.
During a residency at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, Smith took on a mindblowing task – he would create 100 fictional bands and write tracks under each moniker. After coming up with band names and song titles, he then recorded singles for each of the 100 fictitious acts and brought in artists to design 100 album covers. The official showing of the 100 Records Project – featuring both the music and the album covers – was on display at Gallery 16 in SoMa in April and May 2010 (the jukebox as the exhibit’s centerpiece was brilliant).
For the last couple years, Smith has been releasing tracks from the 100 Records Project on a series of compilations. On Tuesday, he released 100 Records Vol. 3 on white vinyl (above), as well as all three volumes on cassette (with reworked cover art and rearranged track lists for the two earlier editions) via his current label Polyvinyl Record Co.. The latest installment features fictional bands such as Zig Speck & The Specktones (who grace the album’s cover), Earth Girl Helen Brown, and Little Antoine & The Sparrows, and also exhibits Smith’s prowess across multiple genres, including folk, garage rock, southern rock, surf rock, and even reggae. Listen below via SoundCloud, and pick up your vinyl or tape over on Polyvinyl’s webpage.