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Akron/Family

YouTube Video

Plain and simple, if you go to an Akron/Family concert and do not have fun, you just don't like music.  Akron/Family are this year's "it" band from Young God Records and they've bloody earned it: they have been touring non-stop since April of this year (2005).

The Eye finally caught up with them on their third time through this year and this time was easily their best show ever.  We sat down with Miles and Dana for some quality time talking about their music, working with Michael Gira, and crowd surfing, amongst other things.

Once again a special thanks go out to Stacie of The Critique of Pure Reason who has a knack for picking some of the best shows to produce that ever come to town.

 

The Eye: Video of the Day

The Clientele

YouTube Video


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Review of the Day

battles, "Tras" & "EP C"
Cold Sweat & Monitor (respectively)
For more than a year, Battles have been making a name for themselves for their live shows, by both supporting major players (like Isis, Lightning Bolt, and Fant?as) and headlining tiny sweatholes. The fourseome hasn't had much trouble packing tight audiences in without having a full-length album out nor having hipster critics gush over them. It's easily the buzz from feverish fans as Battles could be considered the newest supergroup to emerge out of a nameless scene that really doesn't exist. Tyondai Braxton is probably the least known of the crew, but his brilliant 2002 album, History That Has No Effect is embarassingly underlooked, David Konopka has played with Lynx, Ian Williams with Don Caballero and Storm and Stress, and John Stanier has drummed for Tomahawk and Helmet. Together, the sound is diverse, forceful, unavoidable, and their first two EPs are short but strong and soon to become legendary.

"Tras" opens the two-song single. At under four minutes, it's a perfect introduction to the band as it's both rhythmically challenging and catchy as all hell. The precise guitar riffs combined with a TV theme-like keyboard ditty are a perfect fit for drums that are aggressive enough for a metal record, but, as the drums come equipped with a super slick sound and an occasional shuffle, are way too cool to be wasted on brainless hair tossing. "Fantasy" is almost a throwback to the sampled staccato sounds of Ty Braxton's album with echoes reverberating in time with the rhythm. It's boldly almost completely absent of melody yet rich in beats, provided by drum machines, punchy samples, and live percussion. At the eight-minute mark when that 808 kick comes in, any speaker in its path is in trouble.

Together with Tras, EP C could easily form a complete album. The repetition on the opener "B + T" is deceptively simple: it's pretty and layered with different motives, occasional breaks and samples, all which keep the song in perpetual motion. After the short drumless "UW" that could make Kraftwerk blush by its atmospheric twittering, the band comes back in full swing with "Hi/Lo," substituting a low end synth where a bass should be. "Hi/Lo" may be slower than some of their other loud numbers but it's no less grand, building in intensity gradually over the nearly eight minutes, from a small pile of rubble to a mountainous beast. Finishing off the disc are the short "IPT-2" and "Tras 2," each incorporating what seems like a bit of digital fuckery at first, with the second one ending with the drummer trailing off on his own. It's hard to not admit that Battles are flirting with traditionally nerdy instrumental alt-rock/post-whatever styles, and, as a number of groups that each member was in before Battles, they are admittedly crafty. The trick to the craft is making something interesting enough for the band to play and attractive enough for the audiences to enjoy it, and with that, mark my words, Battles are something to watch.

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