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The Calm Blue Sea (Video Premiere)

November 5, 2012

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One of the better albums to come out of Austin this year is The Calm Blue Sea’s Arrivals & Departures.  Released in early October via Modern Outsider, the album is an obvious step forward for the band.  It’s always been easy to compare The Calm Blue Sea to one of Austin’s other instrumental acts, Explosions In The Sky, but the band’s new effort is more cinematic than post-rock, and it’s given them a sound that’s now clearly their own.

If you ask me, that’s reason enough to jump on their bandwagon.  However, to help fully convince you to champion The Calm Blue Sea, I present to you the fourth entry in the live music film series that they’ve been shooting around Austin.  The goal is to do a video for each of the eight songs on Arrivals & Departures, and Side One Track One is premiering Pont Des Mouton.

It was recorded live on location, with no audio overdubs or edits, and that’s just awesome.  Take a look.  Enjoy.

Previous Videos

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Stream This

November 2, 2012

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The SOTO inbox is always full of cool stuff that never gets to see the light of day on the actual site, and I’d like to change that.  So, every Friday I’ll be posting the best album streams and videos that were sent my way during the week.  Take a scroll and find something worth remembering.

FULL ALBUM STREAMS

Writer – Brotherface
Indian Handcrafts – Civil Disobedience For Losers
Lindstrom – Smalhans
Parakeet – Shonen Hearts
Dofish – I’d Rather Disappear Than Stay The Same
Menahan Street Band – The Crossing

VIDEOS

Dark Dark Dark released Who Needs Who last month via Supply And Demand Records.

Das Racist put out Relax last year, but this is a new video.

Laetitia Sadler is about to kick off a European tour.  Silencio is out now.

Tamaryn’s Tender New Signs is available now.  She plays Red 7 on November 17.

Clare And The Reasons have an album titled KR-51 that’s out now.

The Antlers sent over an email that simply said “James Case-Leal created this beautiful video for Drift Dive and we want to share it with you.”

Sky Ferreira’s Ghost EP is out now via Capitol Records.

Gangi put out Gesture Is last month.

DZ Deathrays’ debut, Bloodstreams, is available now.

The Calm Blue Sea recently released Arrivals And Departures.  Check out their Sound Samples entry.

Runner is out now via Thrill Jockey.  The Sea And Cake play the Mohawk on November 14.

Titus Andronicus just recently released Local Business.

This track is off of Feist’s Metals.

Ben Gibbard just put out Former Lives via Barsuk.  He’s out on tour now.

Melody’s Echo Chamber have a self titled album that was released back in September.

My Education will release A Drink For All My Friends on November 27.  They play the ND on November 30.

Melt is available now.  Young Magic is currently out on tour with Purity Ring, and they both play the Mohawk on January 22.

Fidlar will release their debut album on January 22nd via Mom+Pop.

Andrew Bird’s Hands of Glory is out now via Mom+Pop.

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The Couch, The Calm Blue Sea (Jennifer)

October 17, 2012

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ACL may be over, but there’s not much time to rest before the next round of great shows begins. On Thursday, October 25 The Couch are celebrating the release of their single, Oh Libby, at Beauty Ballroom. In advance of their upcoming show, the band has released a video teaser featuring the stylish dance moves of Couch drummer, Jud Johnson. Don’t ever doubt that the man who keeps the beat doesn’t know how to get his groove on. Oh Libby is a hint of great things to come with their full length album, which is expected to be released before the end of the year. It’s honest, fun, loud, and sweaty rock n’roll – what more do you need?

Half of The Couch, Kyle Robarge (bass) and Taylor Wilkins (guitar), also do double duty in The Calm Blue Sea.  In conjunction with the release of Arrivals And Departures, the band is presenting a live performance video series, Aberrations And Departures. Each video was filmed and recorded in a different Austin location, including a convenience store (The Whip In) and a dive bar (The Sahara Lounge). These clips are all live takes – no edits or overdubs. Videos for the title track and Samsara have been released and additional ones will be put out soon. The films are simply shot but still very compelling, capturing the mood of the songs, and worth repeated viewings.

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Ditch The Fest Fest 3 (Dan)

October 10, 2012

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Got your tickets for the ACL Festival this weekend? No?! Well, me either. That’s okay. You don’t need to plop down $200 (or however much 3-day passes cost) to see an incredible collection of bands this weekend. In fact, for just $5 a day you can see almost 50 bands spanning all sorts of genres – indie, country, rock, hip-hop, electronica, post-punk … you get the idea. So do yourself a favor and cancel your weekend plans, then head over to the Spiderhouse and 29th Street Ballroom for DITCH THE FEST FEST 3!

Once again the festival is being run by Lucy The Poodle. It’s an annual tradition offering an array of local and national acts without having to battle with 80,000 people or overpaying for food and beer. Last year the fest was held at five different locations but this year it’s more contained and centralized. This will make it easier to bounce between the four stages and see as many bands as you’d like. Yet another advantage over ACL.

There are many bands worth checking out, but I highly recommend seeing The Wolf, Megafauna, The Calm Blue Sea, Bobby Jealousy, Black Books, and Residual Kid. The songs below are just a sample of the range of music you can catch at Ditch the Fest. No matter your musical preferences, there will be bands for you.

:Bobby Jealousy – This Knife:
:Henry And The Invisibles – Take It 2 The Tippy:
:Knifight- Black Daggers:
:Megafauna – Scratch At The Latch:
:The Lonesome Heroes – 287:

SPIDERHOUSE + BALLROOM
$5 / ALL AGES / DOORS AT 5PM
OCTOBER 12TH + 13TH 2012

Friday 10/12

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30 Growl
7:30 Lonely Playground
8:30 Maufrais
9:30 Residual Kid
10:30 The Spastic Shakes
11:30 The Vipers
12:30 Bobby Jealousy

Ballroom Bar Stage
7:00pm COCKER SPANIELS
8:00pm Ghost Wolves
9:00pm Chase Frank (performing originals + PJ Harvey covers)
10:00pm Humanoids
11:00pm Church Shoes
12:00pm Motel Ball Band

Chapel
6:30pm MC Sweet Tea & Her Head Band
7:30pm Superlitebike
8:30pm Videoing
9:30pm TBA
10:30pm Hello Wheels
11:30pm Man Rabbit
12:30pm Henry + The Invisibles

Spiderhouse
6:00pm Shortwave Party
7:00pm Grundel in the Bronx
8:00pm Co-Pilot
9:00pm Alaskan
10:00pm Megafauna

Saturday 10/13

Ballroom Main Stage
6:30pm Burgess Meredith
7:30pm She Sir
8:30pm Grace London
9:30pm Les Rav
10:30pm Black Books
11:30pm Calm Blue Sea
12:30pm JC & Co.

Ballroom Small Stage
6:00pm Watch Out For Rockets
7:00pm The Couch
8:00pm Suspirians
9:00pm Kay Leotard
10:00pm Acorn Bcorn
11:00pm The Rich Hands
12:00pm Quin Galavis

Spiderhouse Chapel
6:30pm The Low Lows
7:30pm Auroravore
8:30pm Silver Ships
9:30pm The Cymatic

Spiderhouse Bar
8:30pm Big Bill
9:30pm Borris Okane
10:30pm KNIFIGHT
11:30pm TBA
12:30pm TBA

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Sound Samples: The Calm Blue Sea

October 2, 2012

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Sound Samples is a SOTO feature meant to provide some insight on what inspired and/or influenced an artist’s latest release. Today’s entry comes from Austin-based instrumental act The Calm Blue Sea. The band is all set to put out their new full length, Arrivals & Departures, on October 9 via Modern Outsider. This Saturday they’re having a record release show at Red 7. Get more information on The Calm Blue Sea here.

We each come at our music from such a drastically different perspective and pull songs in ways that were rarely the intention of the idea’s creator. Sometimes the results are magical and other times there are massive rifts between us when we don’t agree, but despite the difficult creative process, the band and the music we make is better for it in the end. Here’s a taste of what influenced Steve (drums), Kyle (bass), and me (guitar/keys/vocals) when we were writing Arrivals & DeparturesChris

:Ambulance Ltd. – Yoga Means Union:

This song has one of the most awesome builds from beginning to end.  It’s the thing I put on when I need a good kick in the ass – something that motivates me. The bass drives so much of what’s going on under all the guitars and really gives a sense of momentum.  I try to bring this approach to TCBS songs by using the bass as a melodic instrument from time to time – little hooks that peek out from the midst of everything else. I really love how this song keeps building more and more … a little more intense each time, and you think it can’t possibly open up any more … until it does.  And wow, what an explosion when it happens.  The rhythmic unity of the band when things get huge at the end is just incredible.  This is a song you should play loudly.  Kyle

:The Antlers – Wake:

The entire Hospice album could go down on the list for me as the biggest influence on this record. It taught me a lot of things about subtlety, simple (yet effective) piano parts, understated melodies, interesting song structures … the list goes on. But what hit me most was the weight of this record. The sadness and emotion crushes you. I love to listen to and create moody, dramatic music. Happiness feels good, but sadness feels much more real to me in music.  Chris

:Bill Frisell – Shenandoah:

For a reason I can’t remember, during a rehearsal I was trying to explain Bill Frisell interpreting folk melodies and how I liked his use of delay units and such. I couldn’t find the version from his East West record that I was thinking of, but somehow I ended up playing the Paul Robeson version off Youtube through the PA and going to the restroom, during which time I’m sure the guys laughed their asses off at me. Something we were working on brought the melody to mind, whether bringing this up affected anything I’m not certain of, but these are the kind of random contributions I pull out from time to time.  Steve

:Caspian – Loft:

I am a huge fan of this band.  From what I’ve heard, this is the first song they wrote together.  It’s a beautiful piece of melody and power all in one package.  I particularly love how the bass moves within the context of the song, sometimes melodic, other times driving and rhythmic.  The tones of all the instruments really work well together and the textures they create are so massive!  There are moments of quiet, almost reflective in nature, that lead to big confident driving passages that seem to get bigger and bigger.   That whole EP is one of my favorite records.  Kyle

:Deep Purple – Fools:

We’ve just lost Jon Lord, so this was on my mind. I’m not ashamed to admit I was listening to the Fireball and In Rock LPs a lot during the writing of this album. Somewhere in a landfill sits a copy of Rockin’ Bass Drum with hand written instructions from my first drum teacher to check out those records. I feel kind of dumb for sleeping on them for so long. I hadn’t owned a proper stereo since pre-Katrina and I put one together around the time we were doing the first sessions for this LP. For some reason most of the gear I bought was from the late 70s-early 80s and buying a bunch of Deep Purple records seemed obligatory. I also made a conscious decision to not play so minimal on this record, so checking out Ian Paice may have put me in touch with some primal rock drummer concept that I had been ignoring for a while.  Steve

:Errors – Magna Encarta:

I went on the road with these guys driving them around the US when they opened the Mogwai tour in 2011. They’d just released Magna Encarta as a single and it was in the set every night.  I love everything about the song but the vocals really stand out to me. Seeing the way that Errors, a mostly instrumental band, incorporated vocals was really inspiring and touched perfectly on the way I saw vocals working for our new material. Steev from Errors showed me the vocal processor he uses on the song and from that moment on TCBS was never the same.  Chris

:Neil Young And Crazy Horse – Winterlong:

Neil Young probably got more air time than anyone else in my house over the last year. When I got married in May of 2011, a good friend gave me a few represses and my wife and I didn’t listen to much else for weeks. Somewhere later in the year this song came on my radar. I hadn’t ever heard the Pixies cover of it, and somehow this version was from a bill that Neil and Crazy Horse shared with Miles Davis during his electric period (which is maybe the most important music to me, ever). Either way, I heard it for the first time and thought “yep. that’s perfect. absolutely perfect. can I have one musical moment in my life like that please?”  Steve

:Other Lives – Black Tables:

It was a tough choice which Other Lives song to put on this list (between Tamer Animals or Black Tables). About 80% of my writing for Arrivals & Departures was on piano (versus 0% of the self-titled) and Other Lives has influenced the way I approach the instrument more than any other. The piano melody and overall sound permeated a lot of the TCBS writing this time around.  Chris

:Pink Floyd – Dogs:

I really love Roger Waters as a bassist, not because he’s technically amazing, but because he always knows when to leave space and when to transition from rhythmic to melodic.  He really holds down the groove well, too. The instrumental arrangement does a really fantastic job of creating compelling textures that keep the song interesting. By the time it comes back in after progressing through a number of movements and a breakdown in the middle, you are dying for that harmonized guitar line – it’s the most satisfying feeling in the world to hear it wash over you!  I love how this song builds anticipation and really sets a deep, unmistakable mood.  Every time I hear the acoustic guitar starting the song, I get really excited for the musical journey I’m about to take.  Kyle

:The Twilight Sad – The Room:

One of my favorite songs by my favorite active band. Everything they do is an influence for me. This song first appeared on their Killed My Parents EP as Untitled #27. Both versions are amazing and I’ve taken bits of inspiration from each in writing for TCBS.  Chris

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Quickdraw: Cymbals Eat Guitars, Rubblebucket, Tony Castles, How To Dress Well, The Calm Blue Sea

September 10, 2012

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Today’s music was found while looking for music.  Enjoy.

:Cymbals Eat Guitars – Hawk Highway:  I’ve said before and I’ll say it again, Cymbals Eat Guitars are one of the best indie rock acts working right now.  They only churn out magic.  This track is part of a web series titled Masters Of Their Day, which follows a band and a producer as they try to record a single in 24 hours.

:Rubblebucket – Oooh Wa:  This band is really growing on me.  Kalmia Traver has a nice voice, and I especially dig how their songs feel like pop music with a purpose.  Their show with Reptar at Beauty Ballroom on September 26 can’t get here soon enough.  The Oversaturated EP is due out tomorrow.

:Tony Castles – One Tone Man:  If you like your pop music to be doused with a good amount of soul, then this slick Tony Castles track is for you.  Don’t leave it on repeat for too long.  The band will release the Sharon Stone EP on October 23, but you stream it now on their Bandcamp page.

:How To Dress Well – And It Was U:  I don’t know what it is about Tom Krell’s work as How To Dress Well, but I really like it.  Maybe I should listen to more R&B?  Seems unlikely.  Anyhow, HTDW will release Total Loss on September 18 via Acephale.

:The Calm Blue Sea – Mary Ann Nichols:  Austin’s list of great instrumental bands will always start with Explosions In The Sky, but don’t think for a second that The Calm Blue Sea aren’t prepared to give them a run for their money.  This absolutely epic track is off of Arrivals And Depatures, which is due out October 9 on Modern Outsider Records.  These guys will also be doing a Sound Samples soon, so keep watch for that.

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