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Sonny Smith (of The Sunsets) tells us his Top 10 Enlightened Moments of 2016

sonny-sunsets

Sonny & the Sunsets released Moods Baby Moods this year, a unique album in their catalog that was produced by Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs and leaned more toward skronky new wave than their usual folk-rock stylings. What wasn’t different was Sonny Smith’s thoughtful, angsty, sometimes humorous lyrics, and way with a hook. If you haven’t checked out Moods Baby Moods you can stream it below.

It’s been a tough year for a lot of us, and when we asked Sonny for his Top 10 of 2016, he delivered a different kind of list, “My top ten artist/activist types or just enlightened moments of 2016.” Read that below.

Sonny & the Sunsets also have a couple shows lined up for 2017, including a hometown San Francisco show the first week of January. Dates are listed below.

My top ten artist/activist types or just enlightened moments of 2016

1. s– Equipto is a SF rapper who led a hunger strike in front of the San Francisco Police Department to protest and bring light to the murders by the SF police of Alex Nieto and Mario Woods in particular. .

2. Ana Fernandez – SF visual artist painted over a piece of the wall bordering Mexico. She painted it blue the color of sky, to let the wall disappear for a passing moment. Completely heroic art statement, up there on the ladder by herself as border police came on the scene and surrounded her with guns. So courageous and inspiring!

3. Rebecca Solnit – San Francisco writer/activist – wow, where to begin! What a badass, everyday on social media revealing misogeny, bigotry, white entitlement and a host of other human trappings. Every time I read her posts I learn something new.

4. Bernie Sanders and that bird that flew onto the podium – I mean, he’s not exactly an artist, but when a bird flew on his podium in Portland in front of thousands of people gathered to hear about equality and a new possible world, what a poetic moment.
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5. One of our own shows in Indiana – The time a racist showed up at our Indianapolis show and had some kind of temper tantrum outburst because we were singing a song about white cops and making fun of Mike Pence on stage. We told the racist disgrace to shut up and he did, and everyone treated him with human decency (as in no one punched his nose in) in the club before he left. What a moment.

6. Shaun King – this guy exposes racism everyday, under constant death threat. Hero.

7. Standing Rock – I imagine most people reading this are aware of whats going on. What a historic moment.

8. Colin Kaepernick – again, not an artist per say, but I think of his bold and courageous step as pure poetry.

9. Third Eye Blind – I mean, the music is horrible, BUT, they played a show at a Republican convention and asked the crowd “Who here believes in science?” and then spoke out in support of LBGT communities. At a republican convention? That takes balls.

10. Bruce Springsteen and Robert De Niro call out human shit stain – two American institutions that completely called out the orange rat heading to the White House. Successful artists like these guys get plenty of pressure from promoters and labels and producers not to be political for fear of polarizing audiences and losing ticket sales, so De Niro’s rant!!! – I love him!

Sonny & the Sunsets – 2017 Tour Dates
Jan 06 – Great American Music Hall – San Francisco, CA
Apr 13 – The Tote – Band Room – Collingwood, VIC

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