Sonny and the Sunsets: August 16, 2012 Mercury Lounge – FLAC / MP3 / Streaming

September 4, 2012

[Photos courtesy of Bleary Eyed Brooklyn]

Sonny & the Sunsets don’t make it entirely clear whether they want you to take them seriously. In the “yes” column you’ve got frontman Sonny Smith’s lifelong musicanhood and decade-long history of releasing records, many of which are of estimable quality. Smith’s latest, the aptly-titled Longtime Companion, arrives on 180-gram yellow vinyl and sounds like a well-worn LP you’ve had in your collection for years. An instant old friend, of sorts.

But then, you have to take into account a freewheeling show like their recent visit to Mercury Lounge, where a Smith, calling himself “El Borracho” (“the drunkard”), played a loose, at-times shambling set that offered up antics and anecdotes aplenty. Sonny comes off like a damaged Dylan, married to equal parts Robert Earl Keen and Todd Snider.  Country-rootsy on acid and Jameson, Sonny seemed thrilled to spend a significant chunk of the playing in the crowd, looking at his bemused band members onstage. Smith covered material from the three Sunsets albums, including the standouts “Dried Blood”, “My Mind Messed Up” and “Too Young To Burn”. Smith plays with the fearlessness of someone whose musical career hasn’t always gone easy; much like his music itself, he is raw and compelling. After about an hour of the band’s regular set, Sonny decided to take things into stranger territory, including a lengthy beat-esque piece about aliens. The set closed out with “Love Among Social Animals” and “Planet of Women”. Sonny may have his tongue planted firmly in cheek at times, but that’s ultimately part of his charm. As with his much-talked-about art piece “100 Records” where Sonny made, yes, 100 45s paired with various images, he is willing to take risks, and more often than not, they succeed.

I recorded this set with Schoeps MK41 microphones and a flawless soundboard feed from Kevin, the club’s head engineer.  The sound is excellent, though you will notice the emphasis on the soundboard increasing toward the end as the crowd gets chattier (read: more drunk).  Enjoy!

Stream “Dried Blood”
[audio: Dried Blood.mp3]

Stream “Too Young to Burn”
[audio: Too Young to Burn.mp3]

Direct download of MP3 files [HERE] | Direct Download of the FLAC files [HERE]

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Sonny & the Sunsets
Mercury Lounge
New York, NY USA

Exclusive download hosted at
Recorded and produced by acidjack

Schoeps MK41>KC5>CMC6>Aerco MP-2 + Soundboard>>Edirol R-44 [OCM]>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition CS 5.5 (mixdown, parallel compression)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify, additional EQ, balance, downsample)>FLAC ( level 8 )

Tracks [Total Time 1:18:05]
01 [Intro banter]
02 I See the Void
03 [banter1]
04 Bad Vibes and Evil Thoughts
05 [unknown1 “Shivers Down My Spine”]
06 Death Cream
07 [banter2]
08 Reflections On Youth
09 [banter3]
10 Sea of Darkness
11 [banter4]
12 Dried Blood *
13 [banter5]
14 My Mind Messed Up
15 [banter6]
16 Teenage Thugs (Cabezas Cortades)
17 [banter7]
18 [unknown2]
19 Heart of Sadness
20 Too Young to Burn *
21 [banter8]
22 [Martian Poem]
23 Love Among Social Animals
24 [banter9]
25 Planet of Women

If you enjoyed this recording, please support Sonny and the Sunsets, visit their website, and purchase Longtime Companion and their other releases directly from Polyvinyl [HERE]

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3 Responses to Sonny and the Sunsets: August 16, 2012 Mercury Lounge – FLAC / MP3 / Streaming

  1. Smintjes
    September 6, 2012 at 9:15 am

    My favourite album of 2012 so far, thanks for this!

  2. sherb
    September 6, 2012 at 9:54 am

    is this the whole set? They played for at least 2 hours if I remember correctly. Reason I ask is because there was a song that they played that hasn’t been released. It’s the only song I liked and I went through all the tracks, both in the set you posted and online, and couldn’t find it. Thanks!

  3. acidjack
    September 6, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Nope, this is the full set.

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