Bad Weather California has the first record on Akron/Family's new Family Tree Records

Categories: Music News

1101BWC Sunkissed.jpg
Update (11/10/11): While most press releases generally tend to be fairly rote and often times hyperbolic, the one we received about the forthcoming Bad Weather California record, which has Seth Olinsky rhapsodizing about first meeting and then later working with the band, was insightful, and we thought it merited sharing with you here. Page down to read Olinsky's thoughts on BWC.

Orig item (11/01/11): We've known that Bad Weather California has had a deep relationship with Akron/Family's Seth Olinsky since he helped the band record its new album earlier this year in Detroit. But now, it turns out Olinsky will also be helping Bad Weather California put the record out next year.

Sunkissed is slated to be the first official studio release on Family Tree Records, a label founded and curated by Akron/Family. The record release is still a few months away, but the artwork is in place, and the wheels are already turning, as Bad Weather California will join Akron/Family on the road again in January, with the official release set for February 21.

"Seth decided to help us out to record the studio album," says Bad Weather California's Chris Adolf, "They had Family Tree Records doing Akron/Family live recordings and side projects, but they decided to make it a full label partially for us to get the record out."

The label, which was created earlier this year as a means to distribute limited edition and often hand-painted Akron/Family recordings, has now become a full label in every respect. "There's a staff now, and they plan on getting more records out," Adolf reveals. "After ours, releases from Praythings and Greg Davis are next. We've been talking a lot about the label and what can happen with it."

Unlike most labels, Family Tree Records is already operating more like a co-op, with the members of Bad Weather California having a part in every decision made. Sunkissed and all the records that will follow, have artwork created by Denver-based Alicia Ordal, with design handled by Mike Moran. If the design on the record cover above looks a little familiar, it's because it's modeled after the BYG Actuel Records releases of the '60s and '70s -- popular for free-jazz releases from the likes of Archie Shepp, Gong, Sun Ra and pretty much everyone else in the scene you can think of.

In a press release, Family Tree Records sounds excited about the record, "Full of beached out solar anthems, rock and roll from plastic ono to minutemen, killer songwriting, and forgotten roller rink soundtracks to your first kiss. These guys will be on the road with us in January."

Seth Olinksy on meeting and working with Bad Weather California:

"We met BWC in the Winter of 2009 when we played with them at a sports bar in Vail, Colorado. I actually missed the BWC show that night but hung out after our set, made friends with all the guys in the band, and they gave me a copy of their record Young Punks. We listened to it compulsively driving around Colorado that week in our rental van, entranced by the Studio One-style backing vocals and sun-drenched West African guitars. When we returned to play Denver later that week, we asked them to play with us at the Bluebird Theater. Standing outside in the street in front of the venue Chris filled me in on the groups's history: playing house shows all over through the West; hosting shows at home in his hometown of Grand Junction; serving as backing band for Daniel Johnston, Adrian Orange/Thanksgiving, and Jason Anderson; releasing the first Dirty Projectors record, making the covers by hand (later they considered selling the last of these on Ebay to fund the record. HA!); leading sing-alongs at the DMCA, and (my personal favorite), playing a wedding at James Turre's still-unopened land sculpture. "Roden Crater!"

I stayed in touch with Chris, and when it came time for them to make a new record, he sent me the demo for the song "Stand In My Sunshine." I listened on my phone in the kitchen and, even with only one working speaker, I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. We went to Detroit in Fall 2010 to record with engineer Chris Koltay (Akron/Family, Dirtbombs, Lotus Plaza, Liars, Lower Dens) in his studio, located in a former liquor store down the street from the old Tigers Stadium. I think we tracked 18 or 19 songs while we were there in only 5 days - I can't remember exactly. BWC is incredibly prolific!

The whole album emerged as an unintentional song-cycle revolving around the theme of the Sun, but not the Sun Ra pyra-mystical paradigm, but the sun that shines on you as you're on your way to the beach, or sneaking out of class to smoke with your friends. This is no childish record about running around in the woods and being kids forever, though, this is actually a pretty real record, one that speaks to you as if you were there, or it noticed your light on at 9pm on a Friday night and calls to invite you to walk around the streets together all night looking for something to do. Bad Weather says their music is like 'a soundtrack to a made up movie about the summer you spent skateboarding, discovering drugs, going to the beach, falling in love.'

After the Detroit sessions, the group took the tapes back to Denver and re-imagined it even further. I had been hoping Sunkissed would marry Detroit Low End to Denver High End, and listening to the final masters I see, I imagined it right. The album manages to hit and drift, clear but still magical. Don't take my word for it; call your friends on a landline, pick them up in your car, and take a 32 minute drive to the beach or the local skate spot and hear it for yourself. And then find yourself listening again on the way home."

- Seth Olinsky



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