Jesse Jarnow

“small shape” & “they will appear, behold” – akron/family

“Small Shape” – Akron/Family (download)
recorded live at Tonic, NYC, 15 July 2005
from Yeti #5

“They Will Appear, Behold” – Akron/Family (download)
recorded live at KVRX, Austin, TX, 12 March 2008

Two new Akron/Family tracks. The first, “Small Shape,” comes from a live set at Tonic in July 2005, and was recently included on the disc accompanying Yeti #5. From the bottomless catalogue of the band’s two-guitar era, it begins with a lush double-strum, a xylophone doubling the bassline as Seth Olinsky’s vocal begins. The structure is slow, if such a thing could be said of a structure, its movement beginning when the xylophone changes allegiance and begins to double a vibrating guitar as harmonies pile up and, eventually, Dana Janssen begins a marital beat. (Can’t wait ’til the issue gets to the top of the reading queue. It looks amazing, and the rest of the disc definitely is: Sublime Frequencies outtakes, excerpts from Jeff Mangum’s record collection, deep cuts from editor Mike McGonigal, etc.)

The second, “They Will Appear, Behold,” is more recent, from a South by Southwest radio session by (I’m pretty sure) just the core trio. With Afro-pop inspired guitar, and an equally slow-structured pulse, it even sounds a little like The Slip at first. Though the lyrics are a bit, shall we say, crunchy (even before they tap Sioux holy man Black Elk for the title refrain), they are hardly didactic, and unfurl over a patient, potent melody/chant.

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