Mixtape: Love & Space: An Akron/Family Companion


This mix continues a series that I started at the end of last year, working as an introduction to some of the artists that have meant a great deal to the formation of Raven Sings the Blues. Now, almost twenty years on (ok, only seventeen) it seems like it’s time to pay tribute to the pillars that held the site up back in the Blogspot days. The first installment explored the works of MV & EE, and the second dives into the indelible mark on early aughts psych-folk that was left by Akron/Family. It strikes me that there are at least a few generations who have absolutely no brush with the band, following their quiet dissolution around a decade ago. The band rose out of sweaty hideouts like Monster Island Basement and 285 Kent to be festival standouts and ambassadors of free folk, helping to shore up the newish roster of Dead Oceans at the time.

Before they’d explode towards bigger fonts on the flyer, though, they were one of the most engaging and joyous bands in the psych-folk stable. The band’s early CD-rs gave way to a long run with Michael Gira’s Young God records, which still stand as some of my favorite releases from that time period. Their shows were chaotic, cathartic, and jovial — an example of the power to create secular hymns to the seams of the universe. The band would sand some of their edges, but they’d never lose that feeling of family and community that were at the core of their existence. A few years ago, following the tragic passing of bassist Miles Seaton, there were some explorations of the band and their works, most notably a touching tribute from tour-mate and friend James Jackson Toth, but I thought that the band could use a nice primer for those who don’t want to go scrambling through the limitations of streaming or YouTube rabbit holes.

Like the last, this one is as much for me as it is for all of you. I needed a good reason to go searching through their works, finding the small pockets of euphoria that they tended to in the process. Also, like the MV & EE companion, there’s a case to be made that a live counterpart to this would sorely be needed as well, but we’ll leave that for another day. Right now, let the band act as a portal to a place of warmth and harmony.


Akron/Family – Same Song (from Eskimo)
Akron/Family – Shoes (from S/T)
Akron/Family – The Open Sea (from 2006 Tour CD)
Akron/Family – The Alps & Their Orange Evergreen (from Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free)
Akron/Family – Running, Returning (from S/T)
Akron/Family – Future Myth (from Akron/Family & Angels of Light)
Akron/Family – Ed Is A Portal (from Love Is Simple)
Akron/Family – Bob Dylan Sits and Thinks, Pt. One (from Eskimo)
Akron/Family – Set ‘Em Free, Pt. 1 (from Set ‘Em Wild, Set ‘Em Free)
Akron/Family – Blessing Force (from Meek Warrior)
Akron/Family – Sand Time (from Sub Verses)
Akron/Family – Another Sky (from S/T II: Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT)
Akron/Family – There’s So Many Colors (from Love Is Simple)
Akron/Family – Hesitate (from Akron CD-r)
Akron/Family – Moment (from Akron/Family & Angels of Light)
Akron/Family – So It Goes (from S/T II: Cosmic Birth and Journey of Shinju TNT)
Akron/Family – Raising The Sparks (rom Akron/Family & Angels of Light)
Akron/Family – Love and Space (from Meek Warrior)

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