Ume, the Calm Blue Sea, the Black & White Years, My Jerusalem

Highlights from first half of Free Week

Jeff Klein of My Jerusalem
Jeff Klein of My Jerusalem (Photo by Shelley Hiam)

Ume, the Calm Blue Sea, the Black & White Years, My Jerusalem

Emo's East, Jan. 4

Two years since its inception, Modern Outsider has corralled an impressively eclectic roster of Austin talent, all on display for the local imprint's Free Week showcase. Emo's bowed to the dark bellows of non-Modern Outsiders My Jerusalem, fronted by Jeff Klein and airing out November's sophomore LP, Preachers, with a powerhouse set honed from touring with X. "Born in the Belly" surged with scathing riffs into the melodic "Mono," as Klein and his quartet controlled the stage with rock star aplomb, riding jagged bursts of "Sweet Chariot" into the crowd for closer "Sleepwalking." The Black & White Years lightened up the mood with jangled, synthesized pop, diving into its catalog on "Up!" and "Power to Change," while debuting a new tune from the locals' upcoming and long-awaited second album. The foursome still proved capable of surprising, with madcap quivers and turns on "To Modern Science" and the whistling "Two Reservoirs." Pummeling percussion into epic proportions, the Calm Blue Sea dislodged its post-rock with tension-tight builds from last year's Arrivals and Departures. The addition of deeply reverbed vocals served to accent their swirling instrumental climaxes without distracting, simultaneously hypnotic and jarring in release. As expected, Ume conquered the night, the trio erupting with a well-honed "The Conductor" as Lauren Larson flailed a vicious vision in white and wrestled her guitar across the stage. The lulling thrash of "Hurricane" and "Captive" crashed into the shredding wall from "Dancing Blind" and "Burst," cementing Ume, and Modern Outsider, at the top of Austin's rock pile.

Check out our Free Week Photo Galleries.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Ume
Texas Platters
Other Nature (Record Review)

Christina Garcia, July 27, 2018

SXSW 2014 Records
Monuments (Record Review)

Doug Freeman, March 14, 2014

More the Calm Blue Sea
Playback: Teatro Negro
Playback: Teatro Negro
Reunions, fundraisers, performance videos – trying to rein in local music as 2012 draws to a close

Kevin Curtin, Nov. 30, 2012

Phases & Stages
The Calm Blue Sea
Arrivals and Departures (Record Review)

Kevin Curtin, Nov. 23, 2012

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Doug Freeman
Robert Earl Keen Takes a Final <I>ACL</I> Bow
Robert Earl Keen Takes a Final ACL Bow
Texas songwriting staple signs off with seventh taping

April 28, 2022

What We're Listening to Right Now
What We're Listening to Right Now
Sir Woman, whookilledkenny, Buffalo Hunt, Aaron McDonnell, Startographers, and more local sounds

April 29, 2022


Ume, the Calm Blue Sea, the Black & White Years, My Jerusalem

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Behind the scenes at The Austin Chronicle

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle