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The Eastern Sea

November 17, 2015

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Well look at that, late last week The Eastern Sea did us all a favor and released their long-gestating album, The Witness.  Hooray!  Christmas has been saved!  Although, now I don’t have anything to nag frontman Matt Hines about whenever I see him around town, and that’s kind of a bummer.  We’ll probably have to talk about “normal” stuff or whatever.  Oh well.  Speaking of Mr. Hines, I asked him to tell me which song off of the new LP he liked most as a second single (the first one, Silver Spoon, is in lyric video form down below), and he said Boy In Blue.  So, I have that for you today.  I’m hoping you’ll dig it and then use it as a reason to buy The Witness.  Enjoy.

:The Eastern Sea – Boy In Blue:

You can see Matt Hines perform solo tonight at Geraldine’s.  The full band’s next show is at the Parish on December 5.

Bonus Video:

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Show Of The Week

August 5, 2015

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For this week’s prime show recommendation I’m keeping it local with The Eastern Sea, Little Radar and Scenery at Red 7 this Friday.  When I saw The Eastern Sea last month they played quite a few new songs, and all of them were pretty great.  You should get some of that in your life.  Also, I’m pretty sure there will be plenty of new tunes to be had from both Little Radar and Scenery, and I’m guessing it will do you good to get in on that as well.  All local, all new!  Have fun.

Here are some other shows worth attending this week.

ThursdayCreepoid, Marriages, Ringo Deathstarr at Red 7
FridayCross Record, Rain Collectors, Wicker, Harrison Anderson at the Scoot Inn
Saturday – Man or Astroman?, Turbo Fruits at the Parish
Saturday
Total Control, Radioactivity, Spray Paint at the Mohawk
SaturdayMoving Panoramas, Everything Fades, Grivo at Red 7
SaturdayReservations, Lomelda, Shivery Shakes at Empire Control Room

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Show Of The Week

July 15, 2015

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This week your main concern show-wise should be Good Field on Saturday at the Parish.  The band will be celebrating the release of their new album, Future Me, and they’ll be joined by The Eastern Sea and Taft.  That’s a particularly stellar trio of local acts, and you should most definitely be in attendance.  BY THE WAY, I can help with that.  Shoot me an email or leave a comment to enter to win a pair of guest list spots.  I actually have a few to giveaway, so tell all your friends!  I’ll pick winners on Friday.

If you’re wondering what else out there in Austin might be rad this week, here are a few side recommendations …

1) ThursdayMagna Carda, FlowTribe, Flavor Raid at Holy Mountain
2) ThursdayGrape St., Plantation at Lamberts
3) FridayTanlines, Mas Ysa at Red 7
4) FridayMusic Under The Star with Ben Kweller, East Cameron Folkcore at the Bob Bullock
5) FridaySTRFKR, Shy Boys at the Mohawk

:Taft – 2 Left Feet:

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The Eastern Sea

July 7, 2015

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Well look at that, Austin’s own The Eastern Sea have a new song out! Their last LP was 2012′s Plague, and I was beginning to wonder when or if they would churn out another.  Actually, I still don’t for sure know that info (their lyric video didn’t come with an official album announcement), but I’m guessing that the band will get there soon enough.  For now though, let’s all just take in Silver Spoon, which is a crisp effort anchored by Matt Hines’ sincere voice.  Enjoy.

Be sure to catch The Eastern Sea at Good Field’s album release show on July 18 at The Parish.

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Top 25 Albums Of 2012: Part 3

December 5, 2012

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Because at least two of you asked for it, here’s the third part of my Top 25 Albums of 2012.  As I’ve said, I easily could have listed 50 releases, but I realized that half of those would have been albums that I only listen to when I’m in a particular mood.  In other words, they’re not immediately accessible, and that to me knocks them down a notch.  So, if you’re looking for 25 releases that you can immediately dive into and love, this is the place to be.  Enjoy.

15) Tennis – Young & Old

I didn’t expect to like this album as much as I did.  There are so many great songs on it, and I think that (for me, anyway) it establishes Tennis as one of the best pop acts currently working.

:Tennis – Petition:

14) The White Wires – WWIII

Even if I had wanted to, there was no escaping the garage rock glory of WWIII.  It’s loaded with so many hooks that the White Wires could cut a bunch out, and they’d still be providing an album that’s catchier than any of us deserve.

:The White Wires – Let’s Start Over Again:

13) Twin Shadow – Confess

To be honest, I figured I’d listen to Confess and just repeatedly skip to Five Seconds while ignoring the rest of the songs on the album.  But that didn’t happen.  In fact, the “skip” button never even came into play.

:Twin Shadow – Golden Light:

12) The Eastern Sea – Plague

Austin’s the Eastern Sea have been slowly assembling all the right pieces for years, and Plague is them (finally) putting everything together.  I can’t wait to see where they go from here.

:The Eastern Sea – A Lie:

11) Jack White – Blunderbuss

While Blunderbuss may sound exactly how you’d expect a Jack White solo album to sound, it’s still a pretty great effort.  If we’re lucky, we’ll get a follow-up sooner rather than later.

:Jack White – Missing Pieces:

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Top 50 Songs Of 2012: Part 4

November 29, 2012

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At least if the world ends in a few weeks, you’ll have some good music to go out to.  That’s sort of comforting, yeah?  Anyhow, below you’ll find the fourth part of my Top 50 Songs Of 2012.  In case you’re curious, I chose the songs from the 400+ tracks that I shared around here throughout the last 11 months.  Enjoy.

20)  :MIA – Bad Girls:  This single was supposed to be from a new album, but that has yet to materialize.  Oh well.  For now it simply serves as a nice reminder of how great MIA is when she’s having fun and not taking herself too seriously.

19)  :Action Bronson – A Simple Man:  I had a long list of Action Bronson songs to choose from for this spot, but I went with this one-off single because it’s what originally made me want to champion the guy.  It’s just stellar stuff.

18)  :Sky Ferreira – Everything Is Embarrassing:  I don’t know how many times I listened to this in 2012.  I just couldn’t seem to get it out of the part of my soul that wants to dance in a dark corner somewhere.  From the Ghost EP.

17)  :The Eastern Sea – Wasn’t For Love:  With this song, The Eastern Sea went from just being an Austin favorite of mine to being something much bigger and better.  Glad I hopped on the bandwagon early.  From Plague.

16)  :Dan Friel – Valedictorian:  For those that don’t know, Dan is the former frontman of Parts & Labor.  This song sees him being as noisy and wild as can be, and I’m not sure I’ll ever tire of it.  From Total Folklore (due in 2013).

15)  :Chvrches – The Mother We Share:  I’ve yet to come across anything else from this band, and that’s OK because I’m far from being done with this Purity Ring meets Cults combo of a single.

14)  :Yeasayer – Longevity:  My love for Yeasayer has always been in regards to their live show, so I was a little surprised to find myself so attached to one of their studio tracks.  I greatly dig the off-balance mix here.  From Fragrant World.

13)  :Fiona Apple – Every Single Night:  You have to appreciate that Fiona keeps coming up with ways to stay interesting.  This pop effort pulls no punches.  From The Idler Wheel.

12)  :POS – Fuck Your Stuff:  This is exactly what I always expect POS to deliver – it’s aggressive, playful, and smart.  From We Don’t Even Live Here.

11)  :San Cisco – Awkward:  I love this indie pop tune, but I do have to admit that I’m not so sure a song about stalking should be this enjoyable.  From the Awkward EP.

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Sound Samples: The Eastern Sea

August 6, 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 Matt Hines of The Eastern Sea.  Their new full length is titled Plague, and is currently available.  The band is also set to play KGSR’s Blues On The Green this Wednesday.  If you’re not in Austin, there are some other tour dates lined up, and those can be seen here.

Good pop music should lead, much like a skilled dancer leads, with a gentle force that makes new steps seem familiar. My favorite pop always retains this unique leadership quality, even if it has to divert from the rest of the genre’s typical characteristics in the process. In my role as a practitioner of pop composition, I struggle with questions of responsibility when it comes to leading the listener: Why should the listener trust me? How much force is too much? Is it morally justified to lead anyone toward anything? While I may never truly have an answer to these questions, I often compromise with myself by insisting that The Eastern Sea has become a balance of familiar and foreign, a mixture ease and difficulty.

On our new record, Plague, my focus in writing and arranging was to ease the listener into a headspace in which the songs could function comfortably. In other words, listening to the album in its entirety should feel painless, even despite the frequently changing narrative path, the jarring number of transitions, and the general density of content. In my opinion, since we are also a relatively unknown band, we have no choice but to take a strong lead, giving our partner (the general listening public) a reason to even say yes when we ask them to dance.

Here’s a mix of songs that I believe effectively demonstrates the steps I’ve learned over the past few years.

:Earlimart – The Hidden Track:
:Sufjan Stevens – No Man’s Land:
:Bat For Lashes – Daniel:
:The National – Apartment Story:
:The Appleseed Cast – Fishing The Sky:
:Foals – Total Life Forever:
:Bill Callahan – Eid Ma Clack Shaw:
:Scott Walker – Rosemary:
:White Denim – Tony Fatti:
:Broken Social Scene – Cause Equals Time:
:Doves – Kingdom Of Rust:
:Bee Gees – How Can You Mend A Broken Heart:
:MGMT – Song For Dan Treacy:
:Jens Lekman – A Postcard To Nina:
:Beach House – Used To Be:

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