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.





'World War 3 Illustrated #51: The World We Are Fighting For'

World War 3 Illustrated #51 displays an eclectic range of artists united in their call to save democracy from rising fascism.


Tiphanie Doucet's "You and I" Is an Exercise in Pastoral Poignancy (premiere)

French singer-songwriter Tiphanie Doucet gives a glimpse of her upcoming EP, Painted Blue, via the sublimely sentimental ode, "You and I".


PM Picks Playlist 3: WEIRDO, Psychobuildings, Lili Pistorius

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of WEIRDO, Brooklyn chillwavers Psychobuildings, the clever alt-pop of Lili Pistorius, visceral post-punk from Sapphire Blues, Team Solo's ska-pop confection, and dubby beats from Ink Project.

By the Book

The Story of Life in 10 1/2 Species (excerpt)

If an alien visitor were to collect ten souvenir life forms to represent life on earth, which would they be? This excerpt of Marianne Taylor's The Story of Life in 10 and a Half Species explores in text and photos the tiny but powerful earthling, the virus.

Marianne Taylor

Exploitation Shenanigans 'Test Tube Babies' and 'Guilty Parents' Contend with the Aftermath

As with so many of these movies about daughters who go astray, Test Tube Babies blames the uptight mothers who never told them about S-E-X. Meanwhile, Guilty Parents exploits poor impulse control and chorus girls showing their underwear.


Deftones Pull a Late-Career Rabbit Out of a Hat with 'Ohms'

Twenty years removed from Deftones' debut album, the iconic alt-metal outfit gel more than ever and discover their poise on Ohms.


Arcade Fire's Will Butler Personalizes History on 'Generations'

Arcade Fire's Will Butler creates bouncy, infectious rhythms and covers them with socially responsible, cerebral lyrics about American life past and present on Generations.


Thelonious Monk's Recently Unearthed 'Palo Alto' Is a Stellar Posthumous Live Set

With a backstory as exhilarating as the music itself, a Thelonious Monk concert recorded at a California high school in 1968 is a rare treat for jazz fans.


Jonnine's 'Blue Hills' Is an Intimate Collection of Half-Awake Pop Songs

What sets experimental pop's Jonnine apart on Blue Hills is her attention to detail, her poetic lyricism, and the indelibly personal touch her sound bears.


Renegade Connection's Gary Asquith Indulges in Creative Tension

From Renegade Soundwave to Renegade Connection, electronic legend Gary Asquith talks about how he continues to produce infectiously innovative music.


What 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' Gets Right (and Wrong) About America

Telling the tale of the cyclops through the lens of high and low culture, in O'Brother, Where Art Thou? the Coens hammer home a fatalistic criticism about the ways that commerce, violence, and cosmetic Christianity prevail in American society .


A Certain Ratio Return with a Message of Hope on 'ACR Loco'

Inspired by 2019's career-spanning box set, legendary Manchester post-punkers A Certain Ratio return with their first new album in 12 years, ACR Loco.


Oscar Hijuelos' 'Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love' Dances On

Oscar Hijuelos' dizzyingly ambitious foot-tapping family epic, Mambo Kings Play the Songs of Love, opened the door for Latinx writers to tell their stories in all their richness.


PM Picks Playlist 2: Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES, SOUNDQ

PopMatters Picks Playlist features the electropop of Bamboo Smoke, LIA ICES' stunning dream folk, Polish producer SOUNDQ, the indie pop of Pylon Heights, a timely message from Exit Kid, and Natalie McCool's latest alt-pop banger.


'Lost Girls and Love Hotels' and Finding Comfort in Sadness

William Olsson's Lost Girls and Love Hotels finds optimism in its message that life tears us apart and puts us back together again differently.


Bright Eyes' 'Down in the Weeds' Is a Return to Form and a Statement of Hope

Bright Eyes may not technically be emo, but they are transcendently expressive, beatifically melancholic. Down in the Weeds is just the statement of grounding that we need as a respite from the churning chaos around us.


Audrey Hepburn + Rome = Grace, Class, and Beauty

William Wyler's Roman Holiday crosses the postcard genre with a hardy trope: Old World royalty seeks escape from stuffy, ritual-bound, lives for a fling with the modern world, especially with Americans.


Colombia's Simón Mejía Plugs Into the Natural World on 'Mirla'

Bomba Estéreo founder Simón Mejía electrifies nature for a different kind of jungle music on his debut solo album, Mirla.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

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