Windowvine and Wither The Tide had a successful dual EP release in Minneapolis at the Fine Line Music Cafe' this last week. Both bands proudly displayed completely new material from "Möbius" and "The Lunar Phase Vol. 1", respectively. As the show progressed into the next morning, the room steadily filled with fans--as well as a roomful of fascination of on-stage antics and a Capella--both bands were at their most comfortable and focused.
At the highlight of the performance, as I looked back at the audience at hand and had the realization of a level of confidence, persistence, and ambition of each band. Traits that are somewhat frequent in musicians, but scarcely ever truly realized. That is why such a dual release is so important to the success of Twin Cities rock music.
Some of the most noted rock releases in the Twin Cities from the last three years have come from one particular recording studio in North St. Paul--bands such as Vaudeville, Tepetricy, Eden, and, of course, Windowvine, and Wither the Tide have recorded entire chunks of their discography at Pacific Underground Recording and Entertainment (P.U.R.E., for simplicity's sake).
Heading P.U.R.E. is Skywynd lead vocalist, and producer Wally Niemec, a man whose past experience with his band--disbanded until just recently--has taken his knowledge of the music industry from beyond the local music scene and bestowed it on many of the musicians of whom he has recorded.
It is with this earnest determination towards his role not only as a producer, but as a mentor that has defined this stage of the recording studio's success. Reminiscent of the Twin Tone label, the label that housed some of the state's most noted efforts, such as The Resplacements, The Jayhawks, and Soul Asylum, this label--with strong initiative and EP releases--shines the potential rock scene to be seen from the little studio that could with the bands that can even do more.