Akron/Family have lined up a month-long North American tour in support of Sub Verses
Akron/Family @ The Knitting Factory, February 17
Words: Jeffrey Greenblatt
Images: Jeremy Gordon
Last Thursday night, the sounds permeating the air at the Knitting Factory’s new outpost in Williamsburg were full of long improvised jams, yet you’d be hard pressed to find anyone in the room discussing Trey Anastasio’s impending solo tour or dissecting Umphrey’s McGee’s setlist from the night before. This night belonged to a completely different breed of “jamband,” as the Akron/Family put its brand of Cosmic American music on display, to a sold out crowd, that enthusiastically danced with abandon during the Brooklyn & Portland-based act’s hour and a half-plus tour opening show.
Declaring that they had lost a coin-toss with the universe, the three-piece act, whose music straddles the line between Animal Collective’s knob turning psychedelic weirdness and the Grateful Dead’s early ’60s primordial acid-drenched material, opened the night with an impromptu acapella cover of the chorus of Marvin Gaye & Tami Terrell’s Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing. With the debt paid to the music gods, the band used the majority of the night to showcase material from the highly recommended new studio album S/T II: The Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT.
READ ON for more on the night and a full photo gallery…
With the year rapidly coming to a close, and the holiday season fully upon us, we wanted to get the HT Crew together for one last hang to talk music before we throw the cover on BBQ for the winter. Since ’tis the season to reflect back on what went down over the last 12 months, we thought we’d invite the gang over to HT Headquarters to warm up by the fireplace, throw some large hunks of meat on the grill and crack open a few Anderson Valley Winter Solsticeses for another rousing edition of At The Barbecue.
This time around, we thought we’d continue our year-end housecleaning by discussing our Break Out Acts of the year, which ranged from new discoveries to some acts that just hit it out of the park with a monster 2010.
Without a doubt The Morning Benders stood up and demanded to be noticed this year. Particularly on the heels of their sophomore album Big Echo & their relentless touring, the band has proven to be a force in the studio & on the road. The quartet from Berkeley, CA is led by multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Christopher Chu, whose impressive songwriting is filled with dreamy lyrics and catchy pop sensibilities. Whether on stage or in the studio the band creates a lush but airy sound tucked into a cool, laid-back vibe.
Excuses, their captivating single off Big Echo, was my song of the year after the first listen and has made it “big” being featured on a television commercial. The band is on a seemingly never ending tour, crisscrossing the States and beyond several times this year alone, opening for acts like Broken Bells, hitting festivals and headlining bills as well. Keep an eye out for these guys there’s a good chance they’re playing your town soon.
READ ON for more of our picks of the Break Out Acts of 2010…