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The Vinefield Agency Launch Party and Artist Showcase

by on Oct.19, 2010, under Concert Reviews, Photos

When I walked in Casselman’s Bar & Venue off Walnut St in LoDo, it was definitely a change from the sticky beer floors, the 1o foot wide stages, and graffiti covered bathroom stalls that I was used to. I’m not saying I was uncomfortable, I’m just saying it was an adjustment. I mean, they had a man in the bathroom to turn the water on for you and smell you to see if you needed cologne. But once I had scoped out my environment and found a group of hipsters to stand near (notice I said “near,” they still haven’t accepted me as their own), I grabbed a Newcastle Brown Ale and prepared myself for Vinefield Agency’s lineup for the night.

To start off the night, the MC (dressed in an all denim suit I might add) introduced I Know Your, Rider, a band he said (and they later confirmed) was loud. They played a solid set, filled with tremolos, head banging, and that rock beat they said they were gonna bring. I took home one of the sharpie’d CD they were giving away because, despite not having any lyrics, these guys new how to rock.

Rachel James Project

The next band reminded me that this was a showcase, which in my mind is the concert equivalent of that sampler you order when you want to please everyone in your party of six, a little bit of hot wings, chicken strips, avocado egg rolls, mozzarella sticks, etc. Sitting behind her piano Rachel James played with passion and sang the pop melodies that make her so appealing. Even with the absence of their usual guitar edge, the Rachel James Project provided the energy to follow a much more rock-sound without missing a beat.

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Album Review: Owl City – Ocean Eyes

by on Aug.28, 2009, under Album Reviews

In 2007, while his parents were away for the weekend, shy, only child Adam Young, of Owatonna, Minnesota, sat down and wrote a few songs. Under the moniker Owl City, Young later released the songs as his debut EP Of June. Two years and over 25 million MySpace plays later, Owl City is now signed with Universal Republic and is selling out their latest tour.

Ocean Eyes, the band’s first major-label release, peaked on iTunes at #2 and on #27 the Billboard 100. That’s a long way from Adam’s parent’s basement. Starting of with an overview of this albums electronic driven sound, “Cave In” introduces you to Young’s subtle vocal effects, wide variety of instrumental voices, and his endearing story telling.

Though it’s heart may be electronic, the human soul of this album escapes through Young’s playful, heartfelt, and imaginative lyrics, such as “With prawns like these well/ Who needs anemones?” (on “The Bird and The Worm”). With an ode to Washington’s largest city (“Hello Seattle”), the album hits a high point only to regain energy with a former iTunes single of the Week (“Fireflies”). In addition to a few backing vocals by Relient K’s Matt Thiessen (on “Cave In,” “The Bird and the Worm,” “Fireflies,” and “Tidal Wave”), Breanne Duren joins Young in a hopeful lover’s duet, “Saltwater Room.”

Given roughly five minutes, the LP’s longest song, “On The Wing,” is my choice for ‘Song to Listen’ on this album. Overall, Ocean Eyes, offers the listener a view through the hopeful, creative mind of Adam Young, at points, he’ll have you laughing, crying, and maybe even dancing.

Watch the video for “Fireflies” here (via Yahoo Music)

Editor’s Note: This is the first article from our newest writer Keith Stevens. Keep an eye out for more of his stuff in the coming days and months.

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