Sunday, February 12, 2006

Accidental Akron/Family gathering

Play it: Akron/Family Akron/Family

Last night, quite unplanned, I ended up at an Akron/Family show. It was our monthly wine club get-together (wine from the Languedoc region of France for this go 'round,) this time w/o wife and child (wife feeling under the weather, child ready for bedtime.) Following our wine guzzling, our excellent host (Kevin) informed us that the band Akron/Family was playing across the street, the prospect of which made me very happy. Their self-titled debut has been haunting me for the past couple months, and I was eager to see what was behind this Brooklyn quartet's compelling freak folk sound.

The band deftly employs dynamics, which can be a challenge live as there were some talkative attendees who were making it difficult to pick up some of the quieter moments. But outside of that, the intensity and enthusiasm that Akron/Family displayed were contagious, and I found myself swept up in their soundscape (with help, no doubt, from a belly full of good wine.) Much of the performance is improvisational in nature, which is briefly disconcerting, but then out of the blue they'll join lockstep in beautiful 4-part harmony.

At the end of the show, they wandered into the audience w/ acoustic instruments and hand percussion, and by the end, all of us were giddily adding our voices to the harmony of "peace and distance."

A lot of wine, a few tall PBR's and an amazing live performance had this music fan staggering home in the cold with a smile on his face.

Akron/Family also appeared on Michael Gira's Angels of Light album The Angels Of Light Sing "Other People" (Play the album.)

Video from an instore performance in Minneapolis (Schedule Two - thanks to Steven for pointing out)

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