by Andrew Frisicano

DOWNLOAD: The Middle East - Blood (MP3)
DOWNLOAD: The Middle East - The Darkest Side (MP3)

The Middle East

Way back in November, we mentioned that Australian band The Middle East would be making their first US appearance around SXSW 2010. Well, we can announce one of the shows on that trip (if not the first) will be the official BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase with Here We Go Magic, Califone and Serena Maneesh at Club DeVille on Wednesday, March 17th. With those four bands announced, that leaves just two more TBA (stay tuned).

The Middle East will also be at at Coachella in April. And they're on the currently-unannounced lineup for Sasquatch Fest, which is being revealed at a show tonight (2/15) in Seattle with Surfer Blood and Atlas Sound. That festival will be happening in Gorge, Washington, over Memorial Day weekend (5/29-5/31 this year). Pavement will be there. Pictures from last year are here and here. Three day passes for 2010 are on sale.

We also reported back in November that The Middle East would share a few bills with Grizzly Bear while the headliner was touring Down Under, but, as abc.net reported on January 13th, "The Middle East pulled out of their shows with Grizzly Bear after singer and guitarist Rohin Jones broke his collarbone in a bike accident." Ouch.

The two stellar songs above are off the Middle East's debut EP, The Recordings of the Middle East , which came out in the US last October. "Blood" is a slow-build anthem that erupts about 2/3rds through into a joyful group chorus (bolstered by an actual chorus in one of the live videos below). "The Darkest Side" is a more straight-through downtrodden moper - for that reason the hook is all the more sticky.

"Blood" three different times and all tour dates (currently only the festivals) are below...

The Middle East - Blood (live at The Old Museum, Brisbane, June 4 2009)

The Middle East "Blood" - Live @ The Ed Castle, February 28th 2009

The Middle East - Blood official video

The Middle East - 2010 Tour Dates
Mar 17 BrooklynVegan SXSW showcase @ Club DeVille Austin, TX
Apr 18 Coachella Indio, CA
May 29-31 Sasquatch Music Fest George, WA