The Water Cooler
with The Eastern Sea
Infectious energy, thoughtful lyrics, and a haunting melody, are just a few of the attributes that define the Austin based band, The Eastern Sea. These Texas natives took a break from the Florida leg of their tour to pop by the Grooveshark HQ to delight the Sharks with a refreshing dose of fun and undeniably great music.
Though we only managed to receive 5/8ths of the entire band, Matt (vocals/guitar), Kevin (trumpet), Chris (bass), Charley(drums) and Lauryn (keyboard/flute) refused to cut any corners when it came to delivering their music. Trumpets and flutes seemed to materialize throughout their set as the Eastern Sea managed to juggle nearly 8 instruments amongst the existing 5 members. The experience that each musician brought to the performance was evident from the way they seamlessly maintained the life and intent of each and every one of their songs.
Though the maturity of their music is undeniable, the members that comprise The Eastern Sea don’t attempt to take themselves too seriously. While Charley and Matt took a break from the performance by hanging out on the balcony with our artist team, Lauryn and Kevin chose to unwind by body slamming and belly flopping on the bean bags in the office. We all reconvened for dinner where the band teased us with a sample of their upcoming Christmas album, as well as offered up some insight on their recently released and highly praised sophomore album, Plague.
What’s songwriting process like?
The way that i usually describe our song writing process, especially with the Plague, its kind of like planting a seed and once you have a seed you cultivate the seed and I bring the seed (the basis of the song), and everyone else tends to the plant. Just like you tend to a plant by manipulating the leaves and trimming the branches, thats what we all together. But every song kind of starts off, music and lyrics with our writer on keyboard or guitar.
With the band gearing up to gearing up to become a more visible and public entity, what is something you want your audience to know about you guys.
I think that it’s important for people to feel that we are honest above anything. Because if people feel like we are dishonest or disingenuous then our music is not worth anything.
Like right now in Austin there is this big folk thing going around, and its hard to buy into because its not believable. Like a kid pulling up in a BMW dressed all raggedy with a straw hat playing old folk songs just doesn’t seem authentic.
Lauryn: Its the evolution of the hipster. (chuckles)
Does The Eastern Sea tend to surprise people with their music?
Often. Especially because a lot of the time we play with bands that don’t sound like us. I think we have music that tends to shake people and its something they can identify with. When we were making the Plague, we wanted to make something that we could put in peoples hands and it would do the job for us. And I believe we accomplished it with this record.
How’d you like hanging at the office today?
It has been nice getting know the actual people behind a music streaming service like Grooveshark. Music streaming is such a huge part of today’s music listening as well as today’s music selling and funny to think that so many people use music streaming sites and never think that an entire team runs the functions of the website. Thats part of our generations web culture. But I have to say that hanging out with you guys and doing work with y’all has been exciting because I’m meeting really great people in a very specific side of my industry.
So what are some things listeners can expect from The Eastern Sea in the near future? Rumor has it a Christmas album?
We have a Christmas album coming out in early December on our WhiteLabBlackLab label and we are really excited about it. During July we spent some time in the studio putting together 12 songs, some that I had been playing for a while (I’ve been doing home recorded Holiday music every year for the last three years), and some that were brand new, even a few original compositions. I think Plague is a pretty serious endeavor for us and this Christmas album is a great balance of good vibes and silliness that we have been craving as a band, and I imagine our fans wouldn’t mind a break from all of the seriousness either.
The Eastern Sea on Facebook
The Eastern Sea on Twitter
Hop onto Grooveshark and sample The Eastern Sea’s latest album, Plague. Check back with the Grooveshark blog every Tuesday to stay updated on our latest releases and our exclusive interviews with amazing bands like The Eastern Sea.
The Water Cooler
with TV GIRL
While elements of the 60’s are often used to inspire many contemporary bands, it’s rare to find a group of musicians that turn away from the decade’s psychedelic movement to focus on the pop music of the era. The San Diego based indie band, TV Girl, grabs a hold of the 60’s pop sound and transforms it into an indefinable marriage of electronic pop and urban rhythms. Incorporating hip-hop beats, acoustic instruments, and sound machines, these musicians delighted the sharks when they came in and gave us a private performance at the office.
We chatted with these high school friends turned bandmates to find out a little bit more about the individuals behind this unique sound. Trung and Brad hung out at the Grooveshark Water Cooler and shared with us everything from adolescent sexual frustration to their lives of touring around the nation while juggling office work.
GS: Correct me if I am wrong, you guys were working at a marketing firm when the band started. How is it like juggling corporate and concerts?
Trung: Yeah, I still work there part-time. It is super nerdy Internet marketing stuff, not like Mad Men.
GS: What do you tell your boss when you have to disappear for a week when you have to tour?
Trung: Well, we both work from home because it is all based online.
Brad: Yeah it’s kind of cool because that’s the perfect thing to do and tour because you don’t ever have to go into the office. Though the hardest part is to discipline yourself to do your work when you don’t have to go in the office.
Trung: During our last tour I was definitely doing work in the hotel.
GS: Where did the name TV Girl come from?
Trung: The name TV Girl comes from a Beat Happening song of the same name. I really just liked how the named looked on paper and loved how it looked on my iTunes playlist.
GS: Who were you guys in high school, and what album defined your high school experience?
Trung: I used to be really into skateboarding, so I guess that’s how people knew me. If you search for it on YouTube you’ll find some funny old skate footage. I listened to The Beatles obsessively in high school. My friend Wes was pretty into them and he gave me their entire discography. So it was sort of by default that I listened to them because they took up the majority of my iTunes. Of all the albums, I probably listened to Please Please Me the most.
Brad: The Violent Femmes self-titled album probably defined my high school sexual frustration. Honorable mentions go to The Velvet Underground and Nico, The Thermals’s More Parts Per Million, and The Dead Milkmen’s Big Lizard in my Backyard.
GS: That’s funny that you mentioned sexual frustration in response to your high school experience.
Brad: Girls; they’re all you really think about in high school and they are all I really thought about and that Violent Femmes’ record was all about that. It really spoke to me at that time. I still really like it but its one of those records that I cant really relate to the feelings I once had about it.
GS: While we are on this topic, if you could have a date with one of your music influences who would you be with, where would you guys eat, and what song would be playing in the background?
Trung: I’d grab a slice of pizza with an early 60s Ellie Greenwich and “Maybe Tonight” by The Shirelles would be playing in the background. I think shes such great songwriter and she was an icon of the music I am in to.
Brad: I want to see Leonard Cohen’s seduction techniques in his prime so I’d probably dress up as hot girl and take notes and bring that back to my future and use it. We’d be listening to his song “Don’t Go Home With Your Hard On.”
GS: Where did the inspiration come to sample different artists like Tracy Chapman and Bob Dylan in your music?
Brad: It stems from me starting to work with hip-hop beats. I’ve always composed and wrote songs using a guitar and it was cool to have a new avenue to explore songwriting. Sampling is sort of the bread and butter of hip-hop and it is very freeing because you can have any instrument at your disposal; like you could have parts that you could never play yourself or drumming that you could never get yourself no matter how hard you try. I think its a good tool to have if you are a songwriter. Nothing more than good old-fashioned hours of cruising youtube looking for tasty samples
GS: How was performing at SXSW 2011?
Trung: It was just a complete disaster. First of all, we drove out in a Corolla and it was four people in a car, with all of our gear driving out to Austin from San Diego. It was 22 hours of driving only to find out that we didn’t really have a place to stay. The whole situation was kind of last minute and during the day to day we’d have to lug all of our gear across the area because we performed in different areas everyday.
Brad: It was fun but it was a pain.
Trung: I think we know how to do it better if we were to go next year but it was still sort of cool just to being able to play with some of our favorite artists at the time, like Wise Blood.
GS: What are some of the future plans for TV Girl?
Brad: Well we are working on a record now and we just plan on continuing to play shows and figure out better ways to make our set interesting
Hop on to Grooveshark and check out the band’s recommendations, “I Wonder Who She’s Kissing Now” and “Benny and the Jetts.”
Happy Monday, Grooveworld! We’re happy to announce the official release of our first full Grooveshark Session. Live from Austin, Texas, here’s Grooveshark Sessions: SXSW 2011!
As some of you know, we rolled into South by Southwest this year in a giant shrink-wrapped bus ready to make some mobile musical magic with a few of our favorite up-and-coming artists. We coordinated with our good friends at Medusa Records, Taylor Guitars, and Digital Shakedown to hook us up with slick guitars, recording equipment, A/V gear, mad skills, and a sharp-eyed editor to make the Sessions a reality. Thank y’all so much, we couldn’t have put it together without you.
Our gorgeous Grooveshark Sessions theme includes live performances from Sondre Lerche, Surfer Blood, Apex Manor, Dion Roy, Eddie Spaghetti, Johnny Stimson, Ha Ha Tonka, Maritime, and so many more! Awesome, right? Here’s a tasty little preview of Sondre Lerche performing Private Caller.
How do you like the Sessions? Holler at us on Twitter and Facebook and let us know what you think and who you’d like us to record! We’re hoping to bring the awesome to a ton of music festivals this year.
Grooveshark and some awesome partners are bringing it this SXSW. We’ve got shows, parties, and tons more—be sure to come find us.
March 14th: Grooveshark and Thrillist take over SXSW with a show at Antone’s. We’re featuring The Hood Internet, The Royal Bangs, and Hugo! Show starts at 10.
March 16th: Grooveshark and Pepsi present Eclectic Method, Pharoh Monch, Skyzoo, Hank & Cupcakes, and Deluka at the Whitley Warehouse!
March 18th: Grooveshark and Red Eye Distribution present Boats, Say Hi, The Death Set, The Damnwells, & More at Antone’s! Be at Dirty Dogs at 12p.
March 19th: Grooveshark and Steve Madden present Funeral Party, The Raveonettes, Matt Nathanson, Nicole Atkins, and Eliza Doolittle @ Cedar Street Courtyard. Show starts at 8—be sure to RSVP for this one, and come out and hang with the sharks!