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Sonny and the Sunsets: Show Preview 

Wednesday, Jul 18 2012

Okay, yes, San Francisco's beloved Sonny and the Sunsets made a country album. But don't let the long tears of pedal steel guitar and bouncy two-step bass lines turn you off the excellent Longtime Companion. Singer-songwriter Sonny Smith wrote the album during a breakup with his girlfriend of 10 years, so, for once, his black humor and metaphoric innuendo ("Year of the Cock," ha) are trained firmly on his own life. Smith recounts an affair with a divorcée ("Children of the Beehive"), suffers an existential crisis ("I See the Void"), and implores the object of his affection to at least feign returning it ("Pretend You Love Me"). Backed by both the Sunsets and members of his country band, The Fuckaroos, Smith's country-rock record tips its Stetson to greats like Gene Clark, Gram Parsons, and Johnny Cash. It's less of a shift from his usual vintage rock 'n' roll than you might think, but expect to leave a few tears in your beer when Sonny and the Sunsets celebrate their new album and perform with Wet Illustrated, Pink Films, and Cool Ghouls.

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Ian S. Port

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