Posts Tagged ‘Akron Family’

A veritable plethora of tunes to pick through this week – tunes that, by rights, you should already have been spinning…

1. Lower Dens – To Die In L.A.
2. Isobel Campbell – How Deep Is Your Love (Bee Gees cover)
3. Akron/Family – Everyone Is Guilty
4. Los Angeles Police Department – Insecurity
5. Gal Pals – Here’s To The Gals
6. Rye Pines – Pessimist
7. Seratones – Chokin’ On Your Spit
8. Evans The Death – Enabler
9. Colleen Green – TV
10. Drenge – We Can Do What We Want

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Austin SXSW Day 2

Yesterday was not a great day.

It is the little things sometimes.

Things like when you wake up and realise that despite knowing I was away for 10 days in total, I had only bought clothes for 8 (except t-shirts which bizarrely could last me for 13) and the suncream tube is actually some kind of foaming face wash. Or all the eggs have gone at breakfast meaning as a non-meat eater the sausages and bacon are not great substitutes. And then some crappy news from work, and by the time all is sorted I am rushing for the bus with just enough time to get downtown to see Savages at the Brooklyn Vegan day party except the bus pulls into a stop and then just stops. For five, then ten, then fifteen minutes. And by the time it starts again and enters the slow crawl of traffic heading into the heart of the city there is no chance of getting there on time.

Akron Family

So I head for the Filter day party at the Clive Bar and do get there in time for The Guards who offer an energetic if somewhat formulaic take on muscular big-on-choruses-indie-rock. I manoeuvre my way to the front for the Akron Family who, despite starting late, good naturedly indulge in some of the loudest psych-folk freakout jams I have ever heard. They could have played twelve songs or two, but however many it was I enjoyed it. It is packed now for the party headliners Lord Huron, but they, or rather the sound guys, cannot get things set up properly. They hear one mic but not another, then no drums, then drums but no bass. It goes on and on and even the party going crowd start to get a bit fidgety in the sun. Eventually they start 35 minutes late and offer a tropically breezy set of folk that sounds at times uncomfortably close to Vampire Weekend for these ears. There is an absolutely majestic Time To Run which gets the crowd going, but the rest is a little bit of a disappointment. And of course they have to cut the set short because of the late start.

I head back into the mayhem of Sixth Street and the start of the evening showcases. Compared with my last visit in 2009, it seems twice as busy, twice as packed, twice as intense. My plan had been to aim for one of the two big hitting events, Nick Cave at Stubbs or Japandroids and Iggy Pop at Mohawk. They’re close to each other so it seemed reasonable to see which was easiest to get into. Being late from the Clive Bar meant the Stubbs line stretched at least a block and a half just for the wristband holders so on I went to the Mohawk. I found the back of the line, but that was for badge holders only, a nice SXSW volunteer cheerfully pointed me towards the wristband line…it writhed like a snake for what seemed miles. Pointless queuing.

Lord Huron

Plan B, head for Red 7 and see Blessed Feathers, surely that will be easier. But in complete contrast to my last visit, every single venue I pass en-route has enormous queues. I join the Red 7 queue and half an hour later I am in at the Patio Bar with a beer and waiting for the band. They come on. They are from Wisconsin and probably look like it; Donivan Berube’s garb makes him look wonderfully like the scarecrow from the Wizard of Oz. A partnership duo playing guitar and banjo they charm and delight for 25 minutes against the backdrop of chatter and the band next door with Hey All You Floridians and the wonderful Stinging Nettle, Honeysuckle particular stand outs.

A SXSW photographer tells me the queue is now even longer outside and they are at capacity inside, and it is much the same everywhere else. I abandon plans to try and go and see Murder By Death, Lily Hiatt or Salesman and decide to stay put to see up and coming English buzz band Peace.

I am glad I did. They come on stage, painfully skinny and good looking, a study in affected insouciance, and in attire that looks like a cross between Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’s Child Catcher, Alice In Wonderland and Richmal Compton’s Just William. Then they plug in and play a set of outstanding psychedelic indie rock that completely and utterly wins the crowd over and in California Daze and especially ten minute epic 1998 (Delicious) have songs that are destined to live long in the memory. For Peace the buzz is justified.

Outside it is busier than ever. The queues for the Black Angels at Buffalo Billiards and Phosphorescent at the Hype Hotel are ridiculous. I decide to call it quits and catch the last bus back towards my Interstate hotel and ask the driver to let me know when we get to my stop on Saint Elmo Road. “Sure” he says, so I am surprised a while later to see the bus fly past it without stopping. I ask him, he looks at me blankly and I get off at the next stop and start the walk back.

It is dark and no-one is around. A car stops. A police car. Politely they ask if I am OK, and slightly less politely, to see my ID. I show them my passport and they are satisfied. I explain I missed my stop and am walking back to the hotel. The policeman shakes his head, “bad luck sir” he says.

Here is our regular round up of the best of January’s posts plus a couple of new tracks for your listening pleasure – all beautifully designed to make one perfect mixtape.

Download Wooden Wand – The DNR Waltz mp3

More classic down-tempo folk from greatly underrated MM fave.

Download Phosphorescent – Are You Ready For The Country? mp3

Riff-heavy, mean-assed cover which brilliantly captures the double-edged viciousness of Neil Young’s original.

Download Akron/Family – So It Goes mp3

A soulful psych-bounce over a groove both surly and sexy.

Download Secret Colours – Follow The Drone mp3

Texas-style psychedelia with a modern veneer.

Download The Veils – Bloom mp3

Nicely taut and hypnotic affair with an almost Wilco-esque bassline – it’s melodic, unpredictable and very, very good!

Download Kurt Vile – Jesus Fever mp3

Excellent appetiser from forthcoming album Smoke Ring For My Halo.

Download Pete & The Pirates – Winter 1 mp3 Removed by a modern day King Canute who doesn’t realise it has been given away free all over the internet. You cannot offer it free in one place and not expect it to turn up in another and what’s the difference? Get it loads of other places via the Hype Machine.

Welcome return from indie stalwarts offering a new direction and an echo of Donna Summer crossed with Can

Download Obits – You Gotta Lose mp3

More wonderfully sleazy, rockabilly rumble.

Download The Builders & The Butchers – Lullaby mp3

Another perfect example of their debauched country/folk stompathons.

Download Hurray For The Riff Raff – Too Much Of A Good Thing mp3

A hymn to channel the raw feelings and chronicle the lives of the fucked-up romantics of Hurray For The Riff Raff’s home by the Mississippi.

Download Howling Owls featuring Maximino – A Wordsmith’s Reverie mp3

An everyday tale of resignation and failed expectations Howling Owls style, this time it has an almost a waltz-time feel.

Josh Schroeder and Meredith Adelaide – So It Goes mp3

Promising mix of catchy folk and indie pop that has that little extra quality that means it insistently burrows its way in past all the flotsam and jetsam in your brain and lodges itself firmly in your head.

Download The Caulfield Sisters – Caterwauling mp3

Gorgeous pop disguised in a layer of sonic distortion.

Download The Mountain Goats – Damn These Vampires mp3

Typically literate horror inflected cowboy tale.

Download The Mind Spiders – Neurotic Gold mp3

Wonderfully uncluttered, joyous form of proto garage-rock that is simple, unaffected and damn catchy.

Download Jeff The Brotherhood – Bummer mp3

Calls to mind the Ramones jamming with the Sonics and having a blast.

Download Duke Garwood – Summer Gold mp3

Sparse, skeletal unsettling folk-blues.

Download The Skull Defekts – Fragrant Nimbus mp3

It’s minimal and powerful, it’s a bit raga, a bit drone, has some tribal chants, lots of repetition, it’s hypnotic, a bit trancey, some pyschedelia and seriously rhythmic!

Download Earth Girl Helen Brown – Hit After Hit mp3

Fictitious, nomadic, psychedelic soul singer, featuring a unique mix of country, girl group, R&B, and ghoulishness.

Download Alexander – Truth mp3

Mellow, sunshine feel good pop that is effortlessly easy on the ear.

Download James Vincent McMorrow – If I Had A Boat mp3

Five-part harmony echoing over the sounds of an organ and folk guitar in the eerie opener to debut album.

Download Duquette Johnston – Broke & Lonely Ones mp3

A fragile, acoustic ballad – Johnston tells stories of those on their way down and those who’ll never bounce back up, bar-room tales of what might have been and what should have been, and songs of hope and redemption.

In what has been the best month of music releases for a long time, we finish with the newly fresh and minted first advance track from indie folk heavyweights Fleet Foxes with the title track from forthcoming new album Helplessness Blues. By contrast we also have fresh-faced newcomers Veelee with their quirky, folkish take on art-rock, all angular repetition, drone pop and lovely harmonies that makes their EP The Future Sight a delight. And lastly we have the new EP from Derby, titled Madeline — an edgier collection of smoky, riff-heavy basement rock that still keeps some roots in their trademark infectious indie-pop as evidenced in the undeniably catchy toe-tapper Don’t Believe In You.

Download Fleet Foxes – Helplessness Blues mp3 (from Helplessness Blues)

Download Veelee – When You Gonna Come Home? mp3 (from The Future Sight EP)

Download Derby – Don’t Believe In You mp3 (from Madeline EP)

Akron/Family’s new release S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT is starting to generate a lot of excitement and buzz…here’s the latest track, Silly Bears, to be released from the album. Compare it to So It Goes which we posted a little while back.

Pre-order the album here.

Download Akron/Family – Silly Bears mp3 (from S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT)

So It Goes is the first single from Akron/Family’s new album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.

It is a soulful psych-bounce over a groove both surly and sexy. The riff is sticky, and the whole boat seems to sway with abandon while Upsetters-style backup singers keep you swaying in agreement…and just then the wind picks up and tosses you into the classic Vonnegut-nodding refrain of “so it goes,” echoing out and carrying you through into a coda that sounds like it could have been copped right off one of their Ak CDR releases – all sweetness and color and dreaminess.

All in all a most welcome return and one that bodes well for the album.

Visit their website here.

Download Akron/Family – So It Goes mp3 (from S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT)