Tonight in Seattle:  

Athens Popfest

Standard Fare break our hearts and call it a day

Indie pop fans worldwide are shedding tears onto their cardigans today from the incredibly sad announcement that imaginary favorites Standard Fare are calling it quits.
 

From their Facebook page:

Hi everyone,

We are sad to announce that after nine years of playing together, we are finishing Standard Fare on a high. We part on friendly terms and will all continue to make music in various guises.

It's been amazing to be able to release two albums, several singles, to travel and play in so many places, and to meet so many fantastic people.

We want to express our gratitude to our labels Melodic, Thee SPC, and Bar None, all the promoters who've put us on, anyone who's written nice things about us, Steve Lamacq, Huw Stephens, Tom Robinson, and other radio DJ's who've played us, Alan at 2Fly for recording nearly everything we've released and finally all of you who have listened, come to gigs, said hi! Thank you - we've had a fantastic time.

To say farewell we're doing two final gigs, Sheffield Feb 16th and London Popfest March 2nd so do come and say goodbye! Details to follow.

Lots of love from us, Andy, Dan, and Emma

I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking up airfare for the London Popfest gig right now. I was lucky enough to catch them at Athens Popfest 2010, and I'm a bit saddened that I'll never get to scream along to "Fifteen" again.

And now, in mourning, let us enjoy the video for "051107" from their latest, and sadly last album Out of Sight. Out of Town.

Favorite song alert: Eureka California - "Baby, I'm Your Garbage Man"

Eureka California photo

The folks heading up the Athens Popfest just released the first round of band announcements for this year's fest set to run October 11-15, 2011 in my favorite town east of the Mississippi.

Featured headliners include Olivia Tremor Control, Bob Mould, Throwing Muses, The Dead Milkmen, and Man Or Astroman? (with 65 more bands still to be announced!) and they will surely turn heads, but usually it's the lesser known bands that end up making big splashes in Athens. Need I remind you that we heard both Black Kids and Pains of Being Pure at Heart for the first time when they played opening daytime slots at the 2007 fest?

One of those lesser known bands on this year's PopFest schedule is Eureka California, an Athens, GA hometown band who has piqued my attention with their garage-rock-brit-pop songs.  My particular favorite song today is "Baby, I'm Your Garbage Man," recorded live at Slaglefest earlier this year.

{photo from the Eureka California facebook page}

Latest comment by: Eureka California: "PS we're playing at Bluebird in Seattle 9/9!"

Athens Popfest roundup: 5 days of awesome

biggest fuckin stage

{a rare Popfest sight - an empty 40 Watt, by Rich Guiterrez}

I've said it before and I'll say it again, Athens Popfest is always the best week of the year for indie pop nerds, and this year was no exception. Think five days straight of raging shows, surrounded by so many old and new favorite bands and your "camp buddies" you only see once a year + 100 (or more) degree heat and southern humidity + cheap booze + insane nerdery. All I can really say is that it was epic, for so many reasons. Here are a few highlights.

Top five favorite bands:
1. Go Sailor
There was kind of no way that this wasn't going to be my favorite, as I'm a die hard Go Sailor fan, but their set was amplified by me and about 20 other die hard Go Sailor fans screaming along every word to every song. You just can't buy that kind of camaraderie and sense of community. At that moment, Go Sailor were our Beatles. We spent the whole set singing specific favorite lyrics to each other and jumping up and down and dancing our asses off. I consequently spent the rest of popfest without a voice. It was totally worth it. Their whole set was recorded and is on youtube, but here's my favorite song of the set "A Fine Day For Sailing". (That's us in the background.)

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Latest comment by: Candice - Team Clermont: "I didn't know you guys were in town! I work at the 40 Watt too! Thanks for posting about the club and PopFest! It was super fun."

Athens Popfest countdown: Apples In Stereo

photo from the popfest websiteIn all this hubub of getting ready to leave for popfest, I keep forgetting that one of my all time favorite bands, The Apples In Stereo, are playing! I've been so focused on learning about all of the bands that I didn't previously know about, just so I wouldn't miss something by accident, that it's hardly registered that Friday night will close out with the wonderful stylings of Elephant 6 legends. When everyone gushes about their undying love of Neutral Milk Hotel and Olivia Tremor Control and all related projects of those bands, all I can think about is how much I love the Apples (OK, I've probably just lost friends for admitting that on the internet).

I'm pretty much a sucker for anything that rips off the Beatles and 60's psych-pop well, and Robert Schneider of the Apples in Stereo does it better than anyone. While his love songs are often about space (and sometimes time travel), it still feels incredibly heartfealt. While the new Apples stuff delves way more into an ELO territory, it's still completely amazing and his pop genius still shines through all the vocoder. I'll have to stretch beforehand to make sure I can dance my ass off all night.

There are too many Apples favorites to pick just one, but this clip of perrenial live favorite "Ruby", which generally features guest vocals by whatever friends are there (in this case, TIG favorites Poison Control Center and Fishboy), completely embodies the true spirit of Athens Popfest (though it was not recorded there): playing music with and for your friends and other like-minded folks. It envariably ends up in a crazy dance party.

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Latest comment by: Aaron Wheeler: "I love these guys as well! Have you listened to their opener, Fol Chen? Great stuff. See you there!"

Athens Popfest countdown: Witches would be right at home in the NW

photo by Mike White/Deadly DesignsUp next in the bands I'm chomping at the bit to see at Athens Popfest are Athens locals Witches, another band I hadn't heard until I saw them on the Popfest lineup. While they have the unfortunate slot of last on Wednesday night (an all day 2pm-2am run at the smaller venue, Little Kings), I know I'll be pounding the widely available vats of iced unsweet tea and pacing myself on the Little Kings drink special ($4 Makers Mark and Blendheim's ginger ale!) to be able to make it to 1am not too worn out and tipsy to properly enjoy Witches.

I've been listening to their myspace page for a few weeks now, but have been struggling with  how to describe them without too much ridiculous (and inaccurate) hyperbole, and the best I've come up with is a touch of mid-tempo late period Sleater-Kinney mixed with Silkworm's interpretations of Neil Young. Their popfest bio just says "Think: WIPERS, NIRVANA, DEAD MOON, THE BREEDERS, NEIL YOUNG, BEYONCE" and honestly, that's pretty accurate.

Check out this video with live audio and scenes from their performance at a Mexican restaurant in Athens.

{photo by Mike White/Deadly Designs from the Athens Popfest website}

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Athens Popfest countdown: My not-so-introverted romance with P.S. Eliot

Last summer, I was on tour for 2 months, and for several weeks, we arrived in town after town (and often, to the same venue) the day after Birmingham, AL's P.S. Eliot, just missing them. I should have known better, that if my peers loved this band so much that I would too, and should have instantly gone out to pick up their record Introverted Romance In Our Troubled Minds, but for some reason, I shelved that thought and spent an unfortunate year not in love with P.S. Eliot.

Finally, when I heard they were playing Athens Popfest, I made a point of listening to their vinyl only album at Jigsaw Records, and was blown away. I must confess, female fronted pop punk is among my absolute favorite genres of music, especially when it's peppered with well-worded heartfealt lyrics about love and life, and P.S. Eliot fits that bill exactly, creating poppy/punky 90's twinged indie rock along the lines of a more Southern but just as angsty The Glass Intact-era Sarge. Here's an acoustic version of the song that's been stuck in my head all day "We'd Never Agree".

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Athens Popfest countdown: Go Sailor is my indie pop Ray of Sunshine

For this next installment of Athens Popfest hysteria, let me geek out about one of my favorite indie pop bands ever, the venerable Go Sailor, who happen to be performing right before the Wedding Present Thursday the 12th at the 40 Watt. BEST SHOW EVER!

Go Sailor probably have one the highest ratio of influence to released materials in indie pop. With just three EPs and a handful of compilation tracks to their name and 13 years of not playing shows, they’ve still managed to be one of the most important bands to multiple generations of indie pop kids. With the sweetest of love songs and the some of the best breakup anthems ever, their songs have provided the soundtrack for falling in and out of love on thousands upon thousands of mix tapes over the years.

To us younger generation pop fans, seeing Go Sailor perform live seemed like a futile wish until Rose Melberg (the Softies, Tiger Trap, her own solo material), Amy Linton (Henry’s Dress, the Aislers Set), and Paul Curran (Crimpshine) decided to give it a go for the Slumberland  Records 20th Anniversary parties in California this past March, and I’m pleased as punch that they’ll be joining the ranks for Popfest this year.

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Latest comment by: Anonymous: "It is hard to stomach the indier than thou attitude of some of the cool kids that are into this these days. However, that was well worth the awkwardness. I think Rose was genuinely touched by it all, and perhaps a bit freaked out by such an overwhelming ...

Imaginary Mixtape {August 2010}: Lost at the festival, where could they be?

Imaginary Mixtape Podcast

Lost at the festival, where could they be?
At any ole place where the wi-fi is free.

It's true, our favorite part of the summer is the avalanche of festival possibilities. There's little better in the world than dozens of your new favorite bands playing one after the other on a sunny day in an exotic locale. This edition of the Imaginary Mixtape we share tracks from some of the cutest bands playing the Athens Popfest {August 10-14 in Athens, GA} and take a consoling look back at the amazing Indietracks festival line up {takes place each year at the end of July in the UK - fingers crossed next year we can make the trip?}. But, we start off the podcast looking at some awesome August events in Seattle. Get ready to mark up your calendars!

You can listen to a stream or download the MP3 version of the podcast on the imaginary bandcamp page. Bandcamp prohibits tracks longer than 25 minutes {I think it's some regulation against jam bands?}, so the podcast is split into three sections for those that like to listen via the bandcamp stream.

PART 1: Preview of some Seattle shows and events in August

PART 2: Athens Popfest preview

PART 3: Looking back at the UK festival, Indietracks

 

If you are the type that likes to listen to podcasts in itunes, download the .m4a file here {one single file with fancy chapters even!} and then open it in your itunes {Thanks to Jigsaw Records for hosting it!}.

Tracklisting: Imaginary Mixtape - August 2010:

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Athens Popfest countdown: Standard Fare is my new favorite band

photo from the bar/none website

{photographer of adorable photo unknown, but from the Bar/None website}

Holy moly! Athens Popfest is just over a week away! I'm spotlighting a handful of bands that I'm most excited to see. Let's kick off with my most anticipated band, Standard Fare.

From the first moment I heard the drum clicks into a perfect Johnny Marr-esque guitar jangle into the line "You're only 15/what was I thinking?" from the song “Fifteen”, I was hooked on Sheffield indie pop trio Standard Fare. Combining swooning boy/girl vocals and guitar lines ripped from 90's alt-rock bands (in a good way) with heartbreakingly sincere and simple lyrics, Standard Fare's debut album The Noyelle Beat is one of the best debuts I've heard in ages.

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Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Not bad but I wouldn't call that "Johnny Marr-esque" guitar. It's pretty standard fare (haha) indie pop. Marr was much more complex of a player. "

Best news of the day: Theo from Nana Grizol in Seattle June 29th

It's no secret that we here at Three Imaginary Girls LOVE Nana Grizol. The magical twitter birds happened to post this news today:

June 29th at the Mine (5113 Russell Ave NW)

Defiance, OH (Theo NG's other band)

Kimya Dawson

Your Heart Breaks

Theo Grizol (his solo sets are so magical!)

Chin Up, Meriwether

8pm sharp, $6-$10

Though it's a Tuesday, we feel this show needs no explanation. Without the horns and the double drums and exploding energy, what's left in Theo's songs are beautiful, heartwrenching tales of friendships and relationships so honest and true that it's hard not to instantly relate.

I recently came into posession of a Nana Grizol Inspirational Pillow Case with the phrase (from the song "Galaxies") "What you now are seeking hope to realize. Don't give it til the weekend it will takes weeks months years it will take you your whole life". Just think about that one for a while and try not to be inspired.

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