Lively All Hands Plus Tayla Lynn and the Wheels

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Not even a year ago, Dean was at the Deck the Hall Ball in Key Arena and noticed everyone’s phones up. That was December 4, 2012. Four days later, he made the first whack at putting on paper what Lively would be.

At our all-hands meeting yesterday, he showed us the Word doc where he first drew up the Lively App with some graphics. And we realized that while Dean is our fearless visionary and leader, he was very smart to hire the development team.

Yesterday Lively took a whole day and sat down as a company to look at where we’ve been, and to map out where we are going. It was just what we needed, because as we gathered around the table we noticed we are not a scrappy start up anymore. We are a company, with a whole team of people. People who have amazing and well-developed areas of expertise. As we ate jelly beans and listened to all of the teams present their goals, I could see a vision materialize in the room full of dreamers and doers.

We spent all day getting excited all over again about the Lively story, about each other’s work, and about what we had in front of us. We clapped for each other, told jokes, and at the end of the day, we felt so good about where we were headed that we invited Tayla Lynn Heller, Loretta Lynn’s granddaughter,  to play for us at the Lively Lounge.

The wine flowed, the riffs scorched, and we all came in to work today refreshed, full of inspired energy and maybe a few too many jellybeans.

Tayla Lynn’s set is in the Lively app right now, and all the excitement from our meeting will be coming to you very soon.

The Lively Launch Party

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Did you know Lively hadn’t had a party yet? I know. You were thinking that we partied 24/7; just lived here at our office and raged. We do. But we hadn’t invited anyone else in yet. That changed. Two Saturdays ago, we welcomed about 500 of our closest friends, 4 bands, a DJ, drinks, and a lot of amazing, miniature food.

First up was LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends, led by a songwriter who has written for such legends as Elton John, Gladys Knight, The O’Jays, and The Temptations. Most recently he was on The X-Factor. Actually, most recently he was on our stage, and properly owned it.

The party was punctuated by DJ Niros  who mixed video with tracks that kept people grooving and eating tiny, delicious finger food until local Young Evils, the fantastic L.A-based Hunter Hunted, and our friends Portugal. The Man took the Lively Lounge stage to bring us all home.

Our CEO, Dean, gave a speech, signed guitars were given away, a blue drink nicknamed “The Birddog” was consumed in a vast quantity, and it was a very very good party.

It was a sign of things to come- of friends and family and colleagues dancing in our space, of bands having the freedom to play loud and fast, and for all of us to put our phones down and be in the moment. Because that moment was epic.

Check out the photo album on Facebook, and keep an eye out for more Lively Lounge events that will pop up on the app. We would also be remiss if we didn’t thank everyone who helped us get this party going. And so here is the full list, all of equal importance:

Green Hammer Construction (Eric, Nick, Baby Zach, Jay, Pat, Josh, and Lucy girl for being the best and sweetest dog EVER!). If you’re building anything, contact these guys, they are amazing. eric@pericwaldmann.com

Curt Hare and Point Source Audio

AVL Electric  (lighting and trusses)

Ben Verellen and Mike Erdman with Verellen Amps

Stu Patterson with AMPEG(Bass Amps) and Mackie

Gibson

Northwest Sound and Stage

Pacific Studios

Green Apple Catering

Jim Barbaley(Interior design)

British Motor Coach

Red Bull

Anheuser Busch

Vita Coco

F.A.S.T

Sparkle Donkey Tequila

Angels Envy Whiskey

Dean at the Seattle Interactive Conference: You Got to be a Little Crazy

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There is something extra compelling about a casual conversation that happens in front of an audience. Personalities come out, walls are let down, and ideas bounce around the room unhindered.

Our CEO, Dean Graziano, sat down with Geekwire’s John Cook at the Seattle Interactive Conference this week and had just such an experience. From his former life as a tennis coach to the meaning of failure in achieving success, even all of us at Lively got to know our fearless leader a little better.

John wrote up part of the conversation on Geekwire here, but you can also listen to it.

 

Lively at Life is Beautiful

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Life is Beautiful is a brand new annual festival in Las Vegas that draws bands, speakers, and artists together for a couple days as the summer dwindles into fall. We sent Lively folks to capture some of the speakers in action, and put them up on the app! While there, we got to set up a booth, talk to a few thousand festival-goers, and even see our Lively Lounge friends, Alpine, play a spectacular set.

If you want to hear some of the speakers from Life is Beautiful, check it out for free in the Lively app here!

The Lonely Forest and Lively Pair Up

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And it’s a beautiful pairing.

The Lonely Forest, one of our very favorite Seattle bands, is on tour right now in support of their brand new album Adding Up the Wasted Hours. Veering around heavier guitar lines and barbed hooks that catch effortlessly, their new album is one that shouldn’t be missed. They are recording and releasing every show of this run on Lively, so if they didn’t stop in your town, or they did and you loved it, you can hear it again.

We went up for their first show in Wenatchee, and tried our very best to capture what it is that makes this band so special on and off stage. Check out the preview below, and definitely download one or more of their shows on Lively in your app. You won’t regret it.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gj8ZXaSiXUA&w=420&h=315]

Alpine at the Lively Lounge

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The Lively Lounge, as you will soon discover, is the room in the back in our office that is outfitted with a pristine sound booth, a stage, and great lighting so our video guy, Josh, doesn’t have to fight with the glaring blue lights of most venues. We invite artists here to perform small shows with an enthusiastic crowd, and then release them for everyone to enjoy.

And yesterday was the inaugural day for our little lounge. Not only was our office magically transformed overnight from a dusty construction site into a gorgeous space with a brand new stage in the back, but we got to get that stage all scuffed up with the very first band; Alpine.

All the way from Australia, Alpine plays shimmery pop with a sharp edge buried under all the sparkle. Their live shows are full of dancing, charisma, and a harkening back to the idea that musicians use the stage to embody their music, expanding in the performance. Frontwomen Phoebe and Lou rolled up to the Lively offices, and changed out of van clothes (van clothes = anything you’re fine with napping in on a van bench for several hours that will end up smelling a lot like gas station food). When they emerged, they had changed into glitter eyeshadow, polka dotted tights, a metallic jumpsuit, and then they owned the Lively Lounge like they had built it just to burn it down again.

I got to sit down with Phoebe and Lou after the show and chat a little bit about moustaches, Halloween in Australia (apparently it’s not a thing), gas station food, and losing yourself in live music. We had to let them go so they could get to the Paramount in time to open for Empire of the Sun last night, but we were so thrilled to kick off the Lively Lounge with them.

Check out a bit of our interview above, and download the whole set in audio and video for free on the Lively app!

Lively’s Adam Argyle at HTML 5 Developer Conference

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Adam is one of our main developers here at Lively, which means he makes our app look and feel good, makes our site work, and puts up with a thousand emails from everyone saying, “HOW DOES CLICKING WORK?!”

Today he got to share his work with a lot of other, very smart people at the HTML 5 Developer Conference in San Francisco, where he spoke on a panel about his work with Lively. I wanted to be able to explain all of this, but I know my limits. In lieu of my stumbling explanations, Adam has taken some time to write about his experience with the Lively app, so you can get to know the deeper side of what he does and what we do to bring Lively into the world.

Take it away, Adam!

Adam doin’ his thing.

Here at Lively, we are firm believers in the web, trying our best to provide near native experiences. Keeping things light weight and as “plugin-less” as possible has been a successful model for developing our application. We noticed other projects in the market place that pull in big libraries to do one or two actions. That just wasn’t us.

Like our founder Dean Graziano said, quoted in a recent article on New Music Seminar, “Each live show is such a unique performance and an individual experience for each fan; we just saw the need for a better way to capture the experience. We take care of everything for the concert-goer, so they can just relax and enjoy the show.” Or as I heard at a show the other night, “put the phones down, and your hands up.”

The Lively app uploads custom expert recorded live shows and high quality video is served up to the user’s device with some performances being available directly after the show. With the mission to hosting an app that is snappy and responsive, we utilize the best parts of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript, making sure they are in control of the parts they are good at. The more code to read and store, the longer stuff takes to load, especially on mobile.

We know that this is not what the user wants to experience.

The app itself runs across iOS, Android, and Windows Phone 8.

Our app is a media consumption app, so our native needs are in DRM and media playback, while our web needs are all UI related. Choices in architecture ripple outward from this starting point. We bring in only one native library, Facebook. This lets us ask the native Facebook app for authentication.

Frameworks like Intel’s XDK and PhoneGap end up bring extra KB’s that we don’t need. The XDK and PhoneGap also don’t help with media DRM either, nor should they. So it’s not that we don’t like web wrapper helper frameworks, we just wanted to use the right tool for the job. You don’t need a machine gun to kill mosquitoes.

From the user experience side, our code tries to compliment this lightweight approach. In our web views, we’re just presenting images, video, and lists of shows. We have code to tear down and create views, where CSS handles the transitions for pages.

We want fewer libraries and frameworks in our app so that we can control the environment; we’re serving as few files as we need. Audio and video is handed off to the native media player instead of trying to be played in the Web View. The process is much simpler this way, and performs better.

Our tooling for building the app is an IDE of our personal choice, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Androids, and iPhones. We like to test right on device, it’s the only way to get an accurate reading of the painting and performance. We also have few tools in between the browser and our IDE’s, like Jade, Stylus, and SCSS. Then the whole environment of our app, is controlled by a Vagrant instance, so my local machine can emulate the production server exactly.

Then, while all of these tools are rocking and rolling, we use the Chrome Dev Tools heavily, as well as mobile browser debuggers. We watch the charts from the dev tools, and monitor the health of our app that way. If something new is introduced, and paint or render times go way up, we don’t have to go back through our code to find it, we know it was our most recent Git pull or recent change we made ourselves. This is powerful, and in our opinion, the best way to go about building an app for mobile, with 60 fps as a goal.

We’re trying to help everyone who is interested and crazy about live performances. We do that with our successful and simple approach to hosting a light weight application.

Lively is Nominated for a 2013 Meffy!

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Lively is so excited to announce that we have been nominated for a Meffy!

What’s a Meffy, you ask? I’m glad your sense of curiosity and wonder is alive and well!

The Meffys have been celebrating  the top creators in mobile for 10 years, and help shape the start up industry with their recognition. We are ecstatic to have been included in the list of nominees this year. Here is a full description of how the Meffys work, and when the winners will be revealed.

“Judged by an international panel of over 40 journalists, academics, analysts and VCs, the awards are acknowledged as the global benchmark for measuring success and rewarding innovation in mobile content and commerce. 

The winners will be announced at a Gala Dinner on 14th November at the Intercontinental Hotel San Francisco, supported by Kaspersky Lab, Real Networks and Vserv.mobi. The awards will be hosted by Emmy nominated and award winning author and broadcaster and Google’s Head of Media Outreach, Partnerships Lead and official spokesperson Daniel Sieberg.”

Portugal. The Man at Terminal 5

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Lively had the distinct privilege of recording Portugal. The Man‘s show at Terminal 5 in New York City on September 27. Not only are they a Portland band in our Pacific Northwest community, but their live show is a gorgeous display of color and sound that even those of us who weren’t at the show should be able to see and hear. Our time in New York City was a whirlwind of capturing the band in their element- back and on stage. As they start their tour to support their fantastic and diverse new album, Evil Friends, the show that kicked it off was a loud, vibrant, electric premonition of things to come.

The initial mix of the show is available now through the Lively app, with video and audio. We are excited to also announce that frontman John Gourley will be providing us with an exclusive mix of the show very soon, which will be released and will automatically update from the initial mix.

Take a look at the teaser below, and then join us at Lively in reliving the show in its entirety.

Seattle 3.0: Fly Moon Royalty, Karl Marx Reyes, and Lively

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The Seattle Chamber Annual Event: Seattle 3.0 brought together major leaders in Seattle this year to discuss the myriad ways in which the Northwest can transform various fields to bring Seattle forward, and the world forward with sustainable business practices. Here at Lively, we were so honored to be invited to speak with three other amazing contributors to Seattle’s future. The panel discussion featured; Hanson Hosein, Director of UW Community Leadership; Kevin Klock, CEO of Talking Rain; Ron Rochon, Managing partner of Miller Hull; and our very own CEO, Dean Graziano.

The panel wasn’t the only way Lively was involved today- Fly Moon Royalty, the incredible Seattle electro-soul duo, and Karl Marx Reyes, a support cast member of the Seattle Opera, performed at the event, and Lively was right there to capture it.

The track is now available in both audio and video for free via the Lively app, and we couldn’t have been more honored to have captured the show and to be a part of this progressive and innovative Seattle community.

Ready to rock? Download the app