February 25, 2011

how do i get there?


My flip-flopped friend out on the sandy beaches of Florida sent me a tune this week from Akron/Family‘s new album, and I put it on repeat for most of the day Wednesday. This is a big, expansive, primal celebration that has more in common with Sleigh Bells and Yeasayer than the communal freak-folk that I associate with some of their past music.

Silly Bears – Akron/Family

DOC045It’s a bright aural assault from their newest album with a Flaming-Lips-worthy title, S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT (out now on Dead Oceans). I find it addictively good. According to the album descriptions, “It was recorded in an abandoned train station in Detroit with the blackest white dude we all know, Chris Koltay (Liars, Women, Deerhunter, Holy Fuck, No Age).” How could it not be rad?

I don’t know the music of Akron/Family very thoroughly, but they’ve got their bright spots in my musical library for sure. I do remember being immensely impressed with I saw them at Coachella in 2008 because they had not one but two drummers. That’s enough to woo me. That new track reminds me of the crazy cacophony of “Ed Is A Portal” from their 2007 album Love Is Simple, of which I wrote one time “I’m pretty sure there are some passing Hare Krishnas involved here.”

Ed Is A Portal – Akron/Family

But sometimes they also put aside the riotous tambourine joy in favor of deeply lovely songs, like the straight-up Strawberry Fields of “Don’t Be Afraid, You’re Already Dead” (love is simple). And Akron/Family also started my 2010 with a gorgeous simple hymn that was my theme for last year in a fantastic way. This year is gonna be ours, indeed.

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  • Really dig this album, definitely their most accessible one for people looking to give them a shot. Highly recommended if you’re into stuff like Animal Collective, Devandra Banhart, etc.

    Caught them last week at the Knitting Factory in Brooklyn, here’s my review for those that might be interested…


    Jeffrey Greenblatt — February 25, 2011 @ 9:43 am

  • That’s funny. I flip-flopped on Akron/Family last week as well. I really like “So It Goes” (available on the Dead Oceans website).

    Adrian — February 27, 2011 @ 4:43 pm

  • I have been playing Sleigh Bells (loudly, natch) in the mornings just to vex a meanspirited coworker in the adjacent room. Does this make me a bad person or am I just serving a steamy helping of breakfast karma?

    Anne V. — March 2, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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