Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Akron/Family € Love Is Simple (YG34)

Download Phenomena.mp3

• Now roaming all over a wide, open space where antique folk balladry,
primal drone and explosive
improvisation meet and melt in a woodland psychedelia that answers an
age-old musical question: What if Pink Floy gave birth to Ummagumma in the
Band¹s basement at Big Pink?² ­ Rolling Stone Magazine

• With casual magnetism and a wide-eyed sense of wonder, the bearded
brotherhood known as Akron/Family are the antithesis of the typical New York
stereotype--these four cosmic Americans seem to make a habit of breaking
through the barriers of scenes,genres and, as they would have you think,
even the realms of our physical world.² ­ The Seattle Stranger

• The most beautiful thing about the Akron/Family, this collective quartet of
New York musicians, is that they are virtually unclassifiable. Is it rock?
Post-rock? Acid folk? Freak folk? Free improvisation? Ultimately, who cares
what it is, that it is is what matters most--. In any case, Akron/Family are
up to what they do best: shatter expectations, turn their own music inside
out along with the heads of everybody listening--² ­ All Music Guide

Akron/Family € Love Is Simple (YG34)

Release: Sept 18 / 07

CD / 2 x LP / mp3

For those of you who have seen my simpering, slavishly devotional blurbs and
press releases in the past re Akron/Family, wherein I make ridiculous claims
about them (which I happen to believe!), it should come as no surprise to
you now when I reiterate they are one of the best bands on the planet. I
don¹t recall seeing such fantastic live shows ever, except maybe Pere Ubu at
the Whisky in LA circa 1978 or Pink Floyd circa Umma Gumma era 1968/9. Take
those unrelated reference points and mix in The Beatles, Chicago Art
Ensemble, Credence Clearwater Revival, The Grateful Dead, The Hollies, The
Butthole Surfers, Led Zeppelin, and you might get a notion - probably not.
Best thing is to see them live and listen to their recordings, and I¹ll shut
up. Anyway, this record comes the closest to bridging the gap between the
chaos, rock action, tribal bongo-banging and sentimental sing-alongs of
their live shows and the necessarily more cerebral, or at least worked-over
and layered process of recording in the studio (where they excel by the way,
being patient and obsessive techno nerds as well as rampaging apes on
demand). So, there¹s some beautiful songs and harmonies on this album, and
also some wild and weird jams, all in the service of their chosen Deity, or
Nothingness, or LOVE, or whatever it is they¹re on about. I enjoy the music,
and I hope you do too-- The album was recorded and produced by Andrew Weiss
and mixed variously at Trout Recording by Bryce Goggin, at Excello Studios
by Ethan Donaldson and by Andrew Weiss at Zion House Of Flesh. - Michael
Gira/Young God Records

Akron/Family Says: Notes on Recording Love is Simple: Recording is not--
so simple-- Almost a year has passed now-- And before that almost a year since
we had been together in a room and not on the road. All of us scattered as
quickly as possible to new homes after returning from a tour and another
tour that bled together and never stopped. We didn't really talk much, or
hang out and sit on the stoop together any more. We had lovingly hugged each
other goodbye and tried to forget the van with no heat and the bronchitis
and everyone's combined smells for a while to clear our heads and fall in
love with other things for a summer. So when it came time to sit down and
play for the first time in front of only ourselves, each of us had our own
little bout with stage fright. But at last with glee we let loose. We
remembered how sweet the other's laughs could be, how great guitar solo's
were,and how 4 voices in a room could feel like a happening. We had FUN!
And so from songs inside our heads, and words on papers in accordian
folders, and playing in Seth's parent's garage and getting yelled at by
neighbors, we took these songs to Canada and then settled down with them in
the woods of New Jersey to record with Andrew Weiss-- We met Andrew at a
bowling alley in Asbury Park, those same Springsteen stomping grounds. All
long hair and glasses and sandals and cigaretted he invited us to his house
to record. After finding out he had made all the Ween records (except for
the country one) and then comparing us to the Boredoms, we were sold. And so
somewhere in the woods of New Jersey, where the lands are filled with
Midwestern ceramic sculptures, mirrored lawn ball pulpits, pine tree grapes,
and voodoo iconography, we settled in for two weeks to record our second
fourth record-- Andrew challenged us in ways unforeseen. He fed us copious
amounts of stovetop espresso 3 hours past bedtime, he told us how Neil Young
had always eaten a huge bowl of pasta right before a show, he reminded us
that the records we loved and grew up on all lived in "no place", that Hall
and Oates didn't get it right until their 10th try, and finally, he made us
try again, and again, and again-- The completion of our first cycle, this
record is both a love letter to the past and a launching pad into the
future. And in a way not before captured, this record has the unmistakable
field holler of friendship and brotherhood-- Hues from all our records emerge
and then dematerialize back into the portaled journey from beginnings to new
ends. On the way we see the friendly sounds we love so much only to have
them eventually submerge back into the watered universal womb to prepare for
what is TRULY next, what new lunged Hendrixian wonder world lays ahead for
humanity and sound-- Suoni per il Popolo, the future: we will fuck shit up!
-Love, Akron/Family

1. Love, Love, Love (everyone)(1:46) 2. Ed is a Portal (7:30) 3. Don¹t be
afraid, you're already dead (4:36) 4. I've Got Some Friends (3:08) 5. Lake
Song/New Ceremonial Music for Moms (7:24) 6. There's So Many Colors (8:11)
7. Crickets (3:58) 8. Phenomena (3:44) 9. Pony's O.G. (5:20) 10. Of All The
Things (7:41) 11. Love, Love, Love 2(Reprise) (3:07)

1 comment:

Dan said...

i deleted the post at your request.

but just so you know, i've purchased every akron/family release available, and i've paid to see them live three times. when september 10 comes around, you can bet i'll buy love is simple, and try see them again on their next tour.

know this, too: many of my friends borrowed my akron/family cds (they didn't even pay me, or you!), loved them, and saw them live with me (they did pay for that). they never purchased an album, but that isn't to say that you or the band didn't gain anything.