Two CD releases with the Colorado connection |

Two CD releases with the Colorado connection

Daily Staff ReportVail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Finally IndependentBreckenridge-based artist Jeremy Dion clearly has a grasp on what makes a song good. He takes a very basic approach to writing, telling a personal story through his lyrics then layering harmonizing strings and simple percussion over the top. Keeping it accessible to listeners of all kinds, Dion injects enough pop pleasure into his work to make it sound both familiar and new no small feat these days. The end result is a beautiful collection of country-folk tunes that gets right to the heart of what it means to be human. Dion wrote each of the 11 tracks on his debut CD Finally, and theres no doubt its the final-product of a labor of love. Finally is clearly influenced by classic artists such as John Denver and James Taylor, but in a good way. And you sleepwalk through your days and you dream away your nights/ Theres no longer any difference between our lovemaking and our fights, Dion sings on Good Enough. The great irony of the album is that the lyrics it showcases were obviously written during some of Dions more personal low points in life, but youd never know it by the upbeat nature of the music. Finally is one mans life poured out in guitar chords and engaging poetry, and every bit worth the listen. Jeremy Dion will play Thursday for his CD release party at the Silverthorne Pavilion in Silverthorne. For more information, call 970-376-3213. Charlie Owen, High Life writer

That Ill Note IndependentTyler Unland has created a dance-tastic new album in That Ill Note. This Jamiroquai, Sound Tribe Sector 9 hybrid was designed to make you groove, no matter what mood youre in. The sound on That Ill Note shifts from funky techno beats to space-jazz seamlessly and at a moments notice, without confusing the listener. It moves along with a kind of restless energy, too. Once you pop it in the CD player and begin jamming, youll wonder what happened when the music suddenly stops. Clocking in at just under an hour, That Ill Note is an effortless and fun listen.Though he lives in Vail, Unland moved to Woodstock, NY to record That Ill Note. He worked with the likes of John Medeski of Medeski, Martin and Wood and Danny Lewis of Govt Mule on the project; tapping into the musical resource pool of the surrounding town to help him add some new juice to the album.While Unland doesnt re-create the genre on That Ill Note, he definitely brings a sweet new vibe to it that is anything but standard.The Passage Project will perform Tuesday night at the Sandbar in Vail during their CD release party for That Ill Note. For more information, call 970-476-4314 or visit Charlie Owen, High Life writer

Stay Positive Vagrant RecordsAt some point, bar rock is just bar rock. Its boozy, its slurred, its occasionally vulgar.But then there are the other bar bands, the good ones, like The Hold Steady. These are the bands that bring the narrative back to hyper-American arena anthems, the bands that draw out all the frustrations and complications that bring people to the bar in the first place. Their music is universally appealing, because in the end, all we want is for things to be simple.As a follow-up to its so-loved-it-almost-hurt break-through, Boys and Girls in America, The Hold Steadys Stay Positive carries the same unsteady swagger of what came before. The thing about it is, Stay Positive is more personal, more character-driven than Boys and Girls was. And somehow, that makes it feel less genuine.These are songs that operate under the idea that if we look back at our teenage years which, according to The Hold Steady, were almost certainly messed up well find out who we are now. The way Stay Positive approaches those stories is darker, and more on the side of gloomy punk than it is on the side of battered, past-the-point-of-caring rockers. The sobriety in these songs contradicts what they were originally about, and that cant really be rectified with unison backing vocals and overlying organ. Margaret Hair, Steamboat Pilot & Today

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