Those familiar with the Akron/Family album Love Is Simple (TMT Review) may recognize the following lyrics: “I’ve got some friends that you should meet/ All good men, all good women… are their names/ But don’t go see them if you are shy/ ‘Cause they are always in embrace beyond proprietttyyyyy.” Whether the song “I’ve Got Some Friends” is about anything specific at all is pretty ambiguous, but one can be reasonably certain that the above lyrics are not only an accurate representation of the values that the relentlessly eccentric experimental folk group hold dear, but also serve as the basis for the founding and operation of their brand new record label, Family Tree Records. Although the label has already been semi-established since the co-release of <bmbz> (a reconstruction from seven artists of Akron/Family’s latest album) earlier this year, things have become officially official with the announcement that, in 2012, they will issue Sunkissed by the Denver band Bad Weather California.
According to a press release, Family Tree Records is said to be influenced by similar artist-run labels, like Takoma Records (started by John Fahey), Elephant 6, and Young God (the label through which Akron/Family first gained notoriety). The idea is to create a musical environment “driven by a sense of independent thinking, ideas, and values,” and tethered by an ever-growing and evolving group of friends, artists, and collaborators. So, in a sense, it’s like forgoing the random college roommate assignment and instead opting to reside with a close pal with whom you actually have something in common. And we all know that having a friend as a roommate never ends horribly, with endless lawsuits and a mutual destruction of personal property. No, no, in all seriousness, the members of Akron/Family seem way more peaceable.