2002 – present (17 years)
Williamsburg, Brooklyn, New York, New York, United States
Akron/Family is a folk-influenced experimental rock band that formed in 2002, and is currently based in New York on the Dead Oceans label.
Though each member of the band — Miles Seaton, Seth Olinsky, Dana Janssen and formerly Ryan Vanderhoof — can be relegated to loosely defined roles (drummer, guitarist, bassist, vocalist), all of them in fact play several instruments and sing, as evidenced by their shows and recorded material. When playing live, the band makes prominent use of improvisation and vocal harmonies. On their self-titled debut record, field recordings of a creaking chair, thunderclaps and the white noise of a television find their way alongside psychedelic and electronic elements, guitars and a glockenspiel.
In addition to their solo debut in 2005, the band played behind Michael Gira on his Angels of Light project as well as splitting a full length CD with Angels of Light.
In 2006, the band released an EP, “Meek Warrior,” a collaboration with master drummer/hero Hamid Drake which contained both more traditional folk music such as the lovely "Gone Beyond" and a pair of throbbing electric guitar monsters in “The Rider (Dolphin Song)” and the epic “Blessing Force,” which ends with an exploration into free jazz.
Sometime between the completion of Love Is Simple and Akron/Family’s 2007 U.S. tour, Vanderhoof left Akron/Family to live in a Buddhist Dharma center in the Midwest.
The band has also released several tour EPs featuring demos and other recordings. In May of 2009, the trio released Set 'em Wild, Set 'em Free. This album serves as a blend of the previous albums with more acoustic-folk songs like "Set 'em Free," to fusion freak-outs like "Gravelly Mountains of the Moon."
In January of 2011 they released their most recent album, "S/T II: The Cosmic Birth And Journey Of Shinju TNT ." In a press release from Dead Oceans, an account of the "arrival of the album" was given; "Opening it revealed a sincere but poorly made diorama of futurist swirling spaces filled with toy astronauts and dinosaurs, four blown out song fragments on a TDK CDR in a ziplock bag, three pictures, a track list written in crayon, and a typewritten note from Akron/Family. A post-it on the bag declared that the band refused to send the full album to anyone but the vinyl pressing plant…"
The band is currently on tour in support of this album.
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