Wednesday, September 1, 2010

100 Records, 100 Record Covers, and Ed Ruscha, in Brooklyn

Left: Sonny Smith and Chris Leon, Sonny's Cosmoramic Jukejams. Photos: 16 Miles [more]

It took a decade, but someone has finally put together a collection songs that makes Stephin Merritt's 69 Love Songs look a little bit underdeveloped. The man responsible for that feat is Sonny Smith, leader of the group Sunny & the Sunsets. Smith asked 100 musician-friends to craft album covers for a handful of fake bands that he created, and then recorded a song to accompany each cover. Those recordings are playable on a free jukebox at Cinders Gallery through September 5, alongside every one of the covers. The jukebox, loaded with all 100 original songs, is only $14,000, which is a bargain in my book. Truth be told, the presence of a piece by Ed Ruscha (which is not for sale) brought me into the show, but I stayed for the relentlessly inventive covers and the solid-gold jams. My personal jukebox recommendations: D5 (a tale about a man named Mario falling for another man) and C3 (by a band called The Happy Endings). Cinders has posted a complete compendium of all the covers in the show, but you have to visit the gallery to hear the hits.

Ed Ruscha, 1/2 Wayward Youth

Sonny Smith, Petite Lafitte, and Kottie Polloma, Happy Endings

Rebecca Miller, Hazel Shepp, and Grant LaValley, Wayward Youth

Teppei Ando, Earth Girl Helen Brown El Rincon; Eric White, Helen Brown & Versatile Kyle; and Rebecca Miller, Hazel Shepp

Teppei Ando, Earth Girl Helen Brown El Rincon

Sonny Smith, "100 Records"
Cinders Gallery
103 Havemeyer Street, #2
Brooklyn, New York
Through September 5, 2010

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