Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Akron/Family and Angels of Light

It seems like every time I visit Toronto’s Soundscapes, Akron/Family has released a new cd. What we have with there here cd is 7 songs written and performed by Akron/Family, followed by another 5 songs credited to Angels of Light, which is Michael Gira backed by Akron/Family acting as his band, Angels of Light. And it is yet another wonderful offering of 'freak-rock-avant-folk!

There are alternating songs and moments of free-form sounding raucousness and tuneful, folk-like gems. Lyrics seem less overtly Buddhist, but more arcane, personal and at times obscure, and the jazz elements found on their previous outings are absent.

The ‘surprise’ here is the work with Michael Gira, beginning with a cover of Bob Dylan’s “I Pity The Poor Immigrant.” Gira’s work tends not to generally be so ‘straight’ as the treatment they give Dylan’s old chestnut here.

The rest of Gira’s tunes certainly do not feel out of place on an Akron/Family cd, though his lyrics tend to take a darker tone, even when singing of hope in “One For Hope.”

Gira, and now Akron/Family, are denizens of Brooklyn, not that that necessarily explains anything!

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