Music

Tom Freund Goes "East of Lincoln" (premiere)

Photo: Tomas Muscionico / Courtesy of Baby Robot

Tom Freund's new single "East of Lincoln" is a slickly-produced roots rock tune that instantly evokes visions of California skylines.

Throughout Tom Freund's long-spanning career, he's played bass for the Silos and has shared bills or otherwise collaborated with the likes of Matthew Sweet, Guided by Voices, Elvis Costello, and Jackson Browne. Never before, though, has he released an album as personal or as eye-opening as the journeys he chronicles in the forthcoming East of Lincoln. On the album, the Americana artist opens up on the adventure it was to find himself, navigating a sea of self-doubt to reach the enlightenment he had been searching for.

The album's title track is a slickly-produced roots rock tune that instantly evokes visions of California skylines. As Freund himself puts it, "It is an ode (and an adios) to my beloved Venice, CA. Originally the song was asked of me by director Wally Pfister for the show Flaked he was working on. I took that premise and added my own tales of Venice: how deep and great it is, and how, when I go east of Lincoln, my 'heart starts sinking'."

"I'm leaving the bubble of the West Side life. I've always explained Venice as being LA by the ocean. Now in the show as well as in my life, I have witnessed a rapidly changing Venice. And, in reality, now I live 'way East of Lincoln' - and I'm fine, ha!! The hipster, art-oriented bohemian side being taken advantage of by big corporation, and chains moving in, and rents going up dramatically. The takeover happens in a lot of places all over the US like Austin, Brooklyn, or Portland."

Freund continues, "I am also remembering the days of the Stronghold, a Speakeasy venue I played a weekly show at, with a great crowd and a sense of 'tribe' - with wonderful musician friends of mine sitting in like Jackson Browne and Ben Harper. Brett Dennen and Victoria Williams were regulars with me as well. We all knew it was gonna blow up; it was too good (but also heavily disorganized), a flash in the pan, but boy what a time it was!"

Its music video aches with these feelings of nostalgia, too. Utterly wistful in its composition, it features Freund and friends packing up in a car and quite literally going "East of Lincoln". Scenes of Freund performing out on the beach and traveling down that titular avenue evoke a bittersweet feeling of sincere longing, but not without respect for the good times that he did let roll in Venice.

On the video, Freund tells PopMatters, The video director is Peter Harding, who is also a Venice resident. He understood the changing tides of Venice town, the same as me, so he really related to the song. We discussed the meaning of the words and decided we would portray me, as the singer, missing the days of yore back in Venice."

"The nostalgia of fun times with my friends, on the beach and making music. It is our little nest there, and we don't have to cross Lincoln. We can ride our bikes and boards and get where we need without the help of the outside world on 'the other side'. Or we'd hop in the car and run into your neighbors and friends at the local coffee shop or bar; maybe they'd hop in and take a trip over the canals. Also, Peter thought that looming in the video throughout should be me, having packed up the car (a bitchin' 1960s Ranchero) with all my belongings: a surfboard, an upright bass, guitars, a lamp and some suitcases; and I am headed across Lincoln with an aching in my heart."

"We borrowed the car from my friend and co-worker, Swampy Marsh (Creator of Phineas And Ferb) and also Pete The Cat ( which I have been writing music for and performing on). The mighty Ranchero was a three-speed, with a DEEP clutch, So I was fairly exhausted from driving around for five hours, limping after the shoot, but it probably added to the feeling ( and look) of despair heading East, out of my hood. An interesting footnote, the house where I pick up a few of my friends in Venice, is actually the house that Dennis and Chip live in, in Flaked, cause we are good friends with the owner. Also, it was the first time I had used a drone for a video, to get some of those high shots leaving Venice. We had a trusty crew of Peter Harding (director) with cameras by Chance Forman and Leco Moura."

East of Lincoln is out on 7 September via Surf Road.



Music


Books


Film


Television


Recent
Music

The 10 Best Experimental Albums of 2015

Music of all kinds are tending toward a consciously experimental direction. Maybe we’re finally getting through to them.

Books

John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, and Their Fellow Freedom Riders Are Celebrated in 'Breach of Peace'

John Lewis and C.T. Vivian were titans of the Civil Rights struggle, but they are far from alone in fighting for change. Eric Etheridge's masterful then-and-now project, Breach of Peace, tells the stories of many of the Freedom Riders.

Music

Unwed Sailor's Johnathon Ford Discusses Their New Album and 20 Years of Music

Johnathon Ford has overseen Unwed Sailor for more than 20 years. The veteran musician shows no sign of letting up with the latest opus, Look Alive.

Jedd Beaudoin
Music

Jazz Trombonist Nick Finzer Creates a 'Cast of Characters'

Jazz trombonist Nick Finzer shines with his compositions on this mainstream jazz sextet release, Cast of Characters.

Music

Datura4 Travel Blues-Rock Roads on 'West Coast Highway Cosmic'

Australian rockers Datura4 take inspiration from the never-ending coastal landscape of their home country to deliver a well-grounded album between blues, hard rock, and psychedelia.

Books

Murder Is Most Factorial in 'Eighth Detective'

Mathematician Alex Pavesi's debut novel, The Eighth Detective, posits mathematical rules defining 'detective fiction'.

Music

Eyedress Sets Emotions Against Shoegaze Backdrops on 'Let's Skip to the Wedding'

Eyedress' Let's Skip to the Wedding is a jaggedly dreamy assemblage of sounds that's both temporally compact and imaginatively expansive, all wrapped in vintage shoegaze ephemera.

Film

Of Purges and Prescience: On David France's LGBTQ Documentary, 'Welcome to Chechnya'

The ongoing persecution of LGBTQ individuals in Chechnya, or anywhere in the world, should come as no surprise, or "amazement". It's a motif undergirding the history of civil society that certain people will always be identified for extermination.

Television

Padma Lakshmi's 'Taste the Nation' Questions What, Exactly, Is American Food

Can food alone undo centuries of anti-immigrant policies that are ingrained in the fabric of the American nation? Padma Lakshmi's Taste the Nation certainly tries.

Film

Performing Race in James Whale's 'Show Boat'

There's a song performed in James Whale's musical, Show Boat, wherein race is revealed as a set of variegated and contradictory performances, signals to others, a manner of being seen and a manner of remaining hidden, and it isn't "Old Man River".

Music

The Greyboy Allstars Rise Up to Help America Come Together with 'Como De Allstars'

If America could come together as one nation under a groove, Karl Denson & the Greyboy Allstars would be leading candidates of musical unity with their funky new album, Como De Allstars.

Music

The Beatles' 'Help!' Redefined How Personal Popular Music Could Be 55 Years Ago

Help! is the record on which the Beatles really started to investigate just how much they could get away with. The album was released 55 years ago this week, and it's the kick-off to our new "All Things Reconsidered" series.

Music

Porridge Radio's Mercury Prize-Nominated 'Every Bad' Is a Wonderful Epistemological Nightmare

With Every Bad, Porridge Radio seduce us with the vulnerability and existential confusion of Dana Margolin's deathly beautiful lyricism interweaved with alluring pop melodies.

Music

​​Beyoncé's 'Black Is King' Builds Identity From Afrofuturism

Beyoncé's Black Is King's reliance on Afrofuturism recuperates the film from Disney's clutches while reclaiming Black excellence.

Reading Pandemics

Colonial Pandemics and Indigenous Futurism in Louise Erdrich and Gerald Vizenor

From a non-Native perspective, COVID-19 may be experienced as an unexpected and unprecedented catastrophe. Yet from a Native perspective, this current catastrophe links to a longer history that is synonymous with European colonization.

Music

John Fullbright Salutes Leon Russell with "If the Shoe Fits" (premiere + interview)

John Fullbright and other Tulsa musicians decamped to Leon Russell's defunct studio for a four-day session that's a tribute to Dwight Twilley, Hoyt Axton, the Gap Band and more. Hear Fullbright's take on Russell's "If The Shoe Fits".

Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews

Features
Collapse Expand Features
PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.