Sonny And The Sunsets Shares New B-Side, Festival Dates


Sonny Smith’s musical bio sounds a bit like Brian Wilson’s. Smith found his passion for music while a patient in a hospital in Texas. After being released to the care of his brother and wife (who would join the band), he moved to San Francisco, found himself back in psychiatric care, met a girl (Kelley Stoltz) who played drums, asked her to join the band with his brother and wife and voila! Back in 2009, while recording a triple album, a hurricane hit the area they were recording and destroyed most of the tapes. What survives of those tapes was released yesterday, April 12th, as the album Hit After Hit on Fat Possum. Their 7″ featuring the song “I Wanna Do It” comes with the surfy B-Side “Mr. Lucky.”

Sonny and The Sunsets
Hit After Hit
(Fat Possum)
Street Date: April 12, 2011

1. She Plays Yo-Yo With My Mind
2. I Wanna Do It
3. Home and Exile
4. Reflections on Youth
5. Girls Beware
6. The Bad Energy From LA Is Killing Me
7. Teen Age Thugs
8. Heart of Sadness
9. Don’t Act Dumb
10. Acres of Lust
11. Pretend You Love Me

06/04 Sonoma, CA Huichica Festival @ Gundlach
06/22 – 06/25 Calgary, ALB Sled Island Festival
08/05 – 08/07 Happy Valley, OR Pickathon

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“Echotone,” the Movie. The Experience.


When I was a young teenager, I was obsessed with a little documentry called Hype! that was put out about the Seattle Grunge scene. I made everyone who came into my path watch it. And I mean everyone (sorry Grandpa!). I remember it made me feel excited about music and fall fully in love with every single aspect of it. No documentry has ever hit me like that until Friday afternoon when I attended a screening of the upcoming film Echotone. Looking around the room, everyone gave it their full attention as it captivated all of us.

Based on the Austin music scene in the present day, Echotone takes you on a ride with bands such as {{{Sunset}}}, Belaire, Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears, The Octopus Project, The White White Lights and more. Though there are other bands featured, the story is told for a good portion by Bill Baird of {{{Sunset}}}, Black Joe Lewis and Cari Palazzolo of Belaire. All three bring up different struggles in the Austin scene.

Baird, who was formerly in the now disbanded Sound Team, who released one album on Capitol Records, now plays in {{{Sunset}}}, a dreamy musical experience for your ears. He tells the tale of being screwed by the man, and then rebuilding himself as a musician. Lewis, delivers fish in the daytime and plays to packed crowds at night. Palazzolo struggles with not making Belaire a commercial band and trying to hold back at offers. She even makes the band’s cd covers by hand and tee shirts. In the midst of all of this, skyscrapers are being built around some of Austin’s best clubs for music, which to the artists, take away from the musical landscape. Neighbors complain about music from the venues blaring into their house, in which one man even refers to it as a form of “terrorism” (c’mon really??). It’s a struggle for the musicians on a daily basis. When the topic of SXSW is brought up, everyone seems less than thrilled that people are taking over their city for the week. Actually that could be an understatement. For the most part Baird and Palazzolo seem especially outraged by it.

Though the film is set in Austin, you do not have to live there to appreciate the scene. The live footage is specatacular, and the interviews and pieces with the musicians are very heartfelt and personal. You can tell how passionate they are about their music, and how much they want to share it, but still keep it very close to their heart without letting the outside elements exploit it in a fashion they see to be unfit. The music used throught the documentry flows perfectly as the story is told, shaping and molding it into a moving piece. It will make you appreciate music in a way that most people have forgotten.

The tale of Austin is far from over. Quite frankily, as the “Live Music Capital of the World,” it never will be.

Echotone comes out this Fall to the public. It was made by Nathan Christ in conjunction with Reversal Films.

Watch the trailer for the film below:

For more about Echotone visit the official site HERE

Bill Baird of {{{Sunset}}}

Belaire

Black Joe Lewis

The Beauty of the Sound of Dignan

dignan1

I’m an eighteen-year- old music journalist who pretty much sucks at everything I do.  I do nothing with my life but go to shows.  Lord, how I live for shows.  I travel hours and hours to reach certain destinations and cities to go to shows and experience the feeling of live music.

 This past year, I journeyed on to my first year of college.  Going to a private university that I did not even want to attend, I made the best of it by making myself friendly with the music venues.  I love San Antonio, but the music scene up here is horrible.  And I hate even mentioning the word “music” and “scene” within the same sentence, but I’m being completely honest  with the music style  (I dig that word better) that San Antonio has to offer.  Don’t g get me wrong, there are a few local bands from here that have some talent.  But for the most part, I do not fancy it all that much. 

I matured as a human being while listening to Dignan.  Dignan is this beautiful five-piece band from McAllen, Texas.  They play the most harmonic and melodic tunes that anybody will ever hear.  (My father even loves their sound.  Come on now!)  Being in San Antonio separated Dignan and I a good four hours.  However, that didn’t stop me to seeing and hearing them.  I’d travel during the school week to see them and drive four hours in the wee hours of the night to make it to class the next morning.  Dignan is the one band that I’d do anything for.  They have molded me so much that I can’t even begin to explain.

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It’s 2:02 in the morning as I sit in front of this computer and ramble on run-on sentences.  I’m sorry for my lack of correct grammar.  My weekly migraine decided to barge in on me today and keep my mind company.  There I go again- I’m getting off topic.

About an hour ago, I was at Sam’s Burger Joint listening to Dignan.  Right in front of lead singer, Andy Pena, mic as always, I stood there swaying side to side- more than likely looking like an idiot with uncontrollable spasms- and everything in my life felt right.  How many times does every SINGLE thing in a person’s life feel right?  Maybe it’s just me, but I hardly EVER feel that way.  And last night/ this morning, everything felt perfect.

It was Trey Perez, the drummer, last night to perform with Dignan.  He is pursuing his education and attend college in Austin.  Maybe that’s what did it.  The whole this-is-the-last-time-I’ll-hear-Trey-live momentum.  I swear for a second, I wanted to cry when they played their last song.  I thought to myself, “This can’t be his last performance.  Trey IS Dignan.  He belongs with Dignan.  Dignan can’t be Dignan without him”.  And then I realized, I felt the exact same way with Dignan’s former drummer too.  Except, I didn’t see Dignan live when the other drummer was there.  I started seeing them when Trey was there.  And I felt as if Trey grew with me; as my mind and soul grew with him being there.  That was taken away from me tonight. 

I’m not too sure where I’m getting with this.  I mainly wanted to state that tonight’s show was beyond amazing.  It was beautiful.  As always, their energy and passion took over the crowd.  My Lord, I love Dignan so much.  I don’t think I’ll ever be able to explain to a person how much I love them and how much they have changed me. 

I’m a college student who has a lot on my mind.  From my future to lack of future to ex lovers and  everything in between, it consumes my life.  I drown in my thoughts.  But, seeing and hearing Dignan live…that takes it all away.  I swear, it does.  During their set, not a single unhappy thought races through my mind.  My future has vanished.  My misery of being single and lonely has vanished.  It all vanishes.  Dignan is the unconditional love that is sent from some sort of high heaven to guide me.  I know I cannot possibly be the only person who feels this way about them.  And if I am, then hell, I sure am sounding like some crazy fangirl.  Really, though, if you haven’t already-PLEASE give Dignan a listen.  There music is something so beautiful that every person must hear before they die.

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I want every person who reads this to give them a listen.  If you aren’t willing to cough up some bucks, I will personally e-mail you some of their tracks so you can experience the true joy that Dignan has to offer.  It’s an offer you can’t refuse.

They are currently about to start their tour with O’brother (in which is another band you will be reading an article from sometime soon).  Definitely check out the dates and locations.  If you are by the area, go out and support them.  Both bands put on mind blowing performances. 

Dignan & O’brother tour dates:

Aug 27 – New Bern, NC @ Broad Street Music
Aug 28 – Raleigh, NC @ The Brewery
Aug 29 – Charlotte, NC @ Tremont Hall
Aug 30 – Greenville, SC @ The Channel
Aug 31 – Greenwood, SC @ Homemade Genius
Sept 01 – Columbia, SC @ New Brookland Tavern
Sept 02 – Atlanta, GA @ The Wonderroot
Sept 03 – Milledgeville, GA @ Buffington’s
Sept 04 – Macon, GA @ Cafe 567
Sept 05 – Columbus, GA @ Gallery 13
Sept 06 – Orlando, FL @ Will’s Pub
Sept 07 – Tallahassee, FL @ TBA
Sept 08 – Fort Walton, FL @ TBA
Sept 09 – Mobile, AL @ Alabama Music Box
Sept 10 – Pensacola, FL @ Sluggos
Sept 11 – Hanceville, AL @ Space Camp Festival
Sept 12 – Hattiesburg, MS @ 1126 House
Sept 13 – Louisiana @ TBA
Sept 14 – Louisiana @ TBA
Sept 15 – Shreveport, LA @ TBA
Sept 16 – Austin, TX @ Emo’s
Sept 17 – Waco, TX @ Common Grounds
Sept 18 – Dallas, TX @ Mokah
Sept 19 – San Antonio, TX @ The Ten Eleven

 Check out Dignan on MYSPACE

and TWITTER

By Krista

Quiet Company “Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon”

 Meet another one of our talented new writers, Krista De La Rosa!

Never before have I ever listened to a 15-album track and felt a rush of emotion within each track.  From the classic chills running through the body to the unconscious clapping of the hands to the beat, Quiet Company has accomplished one of the most beautiful, harmonic sounds that have ever graced Texas.  Quiet Company lives to their title and has various “company” singing throughout their entire album.  From friends to the leader singer’s wife, their melodic voices make this album a refreshing indie sensation.  Their sound is much like The New Frontiers meeting Ben Gibbard at the local cafe, but what is so special about QC is how they have their own unique sound that will swoon all listeners within their first track.  You can hear the passion QC has to offer within each track and that is the most beautiful part about listening and writing about their music.  Instruments ranging from the organ to the glockenspiel to the harmonica, QC embedded every instrument every so smoothly into this album.  The one thing I loved most about this album was the title of each track.  Track #2, “It’s Better to Spend Money Like There’s No Tomorrow Than Spend Tonight Like There’s No Money,” is the one-track title I love the most.  Such a long title with a catchy meaning gets even better:  The actual song, itself, is as great as the combination of the two.  This Austin, Texas band is one to remember, for they only have a great career ahead of themselves with such a talented and passionate sound. 

I am not one to graciously give an album review 100%, but this album really got the best of me the second I pushed play on my iTunes.  This album is going down as one of my most favorable albums.  Do your ears a favor and buy ‘Everyone You Love Will Be Happy Soon’ album on their personal web page . You will not regret it, I promise.  I rarely ever make promises, so trust me on this. 

Also, if you are in the neighborhoods of Texas, be sure to catch Quiet Company live at the following places:

 07/31- Austin, TX @ Antones
08/14- San Antonio, TX
09/04- Dallas, TX @ City Tavern
09/11- San Marcos, TX @ Bar 141

 CHECK OUT QUIET COMPANY ON THEIR OFFICAL WEBSITE HERE OR THEIR MYSPACE