Tonight in Seattle:  

Crushes

Don't miss: Pablo Trucker at the Tractor {tonight!}

{Pablo Trucker}

Are you free tonight? Do you have six dollars? GREAT! Here's what you're doing: hop on a bus or get in your car around, oh, 8:15, and head on down to the Tractor {doors are at 8pm} to catch Pablo Trucker's opening set. They're playing first of three, opening for Invisible Shivers and Garage Voice. While I'm sure those two bands are well worth your time, the ticket price is worth it just to see these guys start the show (and would be true at double the cost).

In case you've missed me emoting about Andrew and Brian here, here, here, here, here and here, you can take a pop on over to their bandcamp page to get a feel for some of their recent work {and listen to releases going back to '09ish}. Pablo Trucker sets basically guarantee ultimate sad bastard moves that will put all the sad bastard moves you've known until now to utter shame.

Generally speaking, openers take the stage around 9pm, so don't be late!

{Photo courtesy of the band.}

Weekday cure: new Charles Bradley video


"Let's get on 95 / and feel the fire."

Charles Bradley isn't just a performer, he's a force. He's an experience. He's a feeling in your guts that all will be right with the world if we just love each other and try hard enough, that we can simultaneously transcend our heartbreak and embrace those sharp corners of our hearts that shape us. And his latest single, "Strictly Reserved For You," manages to embody his one-of-a-kind essence in the most beautiful and complete of ways -- it's a fully legit track, whether for your next mixtape or your next party playlist, and leads me to believe that the new album (Victim of Love, out last month on Daptone) is going to do some serious damage on this year's best-of lists.

With that said, we've got to take a minute to talk about this gem of a video. It seriously creates a near-indescribable level of joy that translates the heartburst-y bliss of Charles as we know and love him, presented with a hip, beautiful, clean-but-not-sterile vision that almost feels like we're following him through a week of his life. We see the streets he walks every day, we see his coffeeshop moments, his dance moves and work days and park days: Charles In His Van, Charles On His Street, Charles In His Jacket, Charles On A Soundstage, Charles In The Grass. (And ugh, can someone please make a .gif out of Charles Being Birthed By A Hydrangea Bush?? SO GOOD.)

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Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "

Love me some Charles Bradley. Still letting this album settle in, but this song is so far my favorite on the album. 

Also, that GIF seems to encapsulate Bradley pretty well for me. Just oozing with passion and sincerity. 

"

Heavy {local} rotation: Pickwick, Heligoats, Sallie Ford, Wimps

You know what? There is a metric shit ton of good new local music out there right now, leading me to believe that in the statistical history of on-off years, 2013 is going to be an ON. Aside from The Orwells (non-locals, but worth mentioning for the sheer amount of times I've listened to their album these past few months), there's plenty to dig into regardless of your preferred genre: for me, it's the experimental indie.soul sounds of Pickwick, infectious Wimps-style punk, the strangely beautiful songwriting style of Heligoats, and Sallie Ford's modern vintage big-guitar vibes.

Pickwick

Well, we've waited what feels like years now for Pickwick to put out a proper full-length, and we've finally got it with Can't Talk Medicine. Pros: it's so great to finally have studio recordings of "Hacienda Motel" and "Windowsill" after hearing / seeing them at so many shows, and the new-to-me material is excellent and engaging. Standout tracks: Richard Swift's "Lady Luck" gently assaults with a buttery blend of Galen Disston and guest singer Sharon van Etten's vocals; "Letterbox" will get stuck in your head for days and days. Cons: none. While the album tends to sound a bit too clean at times, it's likely just a by-product of embedding live recordings in my mental Pickwick go-to file. Diagnosis: you are in need of this album, purchase immediately. {tour dates / purchase}

Wimps

Let's keep this short and sweet, much like the songs themselves: I can not stop listening to this Wimps demo, specifically, "Repeat" (see video above). The shit is good. The thing about Wimps is that there's no buffer, no... shtick, nothing but the sounds and the delivery. It's almost as if they've all dialed in to exactly what they need and want to be doing musically right now, one of those seemingly effortless phases that's actually the result of a lot of hard work. On top of putting out a great recording, Wimps translates live, putting on a just-tight-enough performance that manages to be equal parts fun and kickass. Don't pass up on a chance to see them, they've got a handful of Seattle and Portland dates coming up. {tour dates / download free demo / purchase LP}

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Throwback Thursday: The Wrens c. 2005

{The Wrens / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Okay, it's not THAT far of a throwback, but it's hard to believe that this photo is already seven years old!

Maybe you remember that most excellent two-night stand The Wrens did for KEXP's Yule Benefit at Neumos back in 2005? We sure do! The Wrens played with Okkervil River (both nights!) (!!!!!) and a bevy of other bands including Harvey Danger -- and fresh off of CMJ was none other than our own Imaginary Victoria on one of her first visits to Seattle, years away from being an official imaginary. She grabbed this shot all those years ago, and today seemed like just a good a day as any to fondly remember all those early 00's indie rock shows.

What's your favorite 2005-ish music memory? Were you in Seattle? Or busy watching bands like The National and Pela at tiny east coast clubs? Let us know in the comments!

Latest comment by: davidly: "I saw 16 Seattle shows in 2005, but the memories are Paul Westerberg at the Showbox singing solo with his guitar standing on a drummer stool and Neko Case in a downpour that would not stop at the Zoo. Happy memories!"

Don't miss: Rhett Miller tonight at the Triple Door {with Shelby Earl!}

Longstanding imaginary favorite Rhett Miller is nothing if not consistent, and if you want to spend your night listening to sharply crafted, well-delivered odes about girls, cars, and the ensuing heartache between, you'd best get yourself to the Triple Door tonight. The Old 97's frontman will be headlining Seattle's best dine-while-you-swoon venue, and while his show is well worth the entirety of the ticket price, local songstress Shelby Earl will be opening up the show.

Shelby's been keeping busy with her own shows, opening for Ben Gibbard, and putting the finishing touches on a new album {read our imaginary interview here for more on that}, and if you haven't heard her compelling, storyteller croon yet, you're truly missing out. Give a listen at her Facebook page, or spin this track from her last album, Burn The Boats:

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Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Los Campesinos

Los Campesinos by Steve Louie
{Los Campesinos by Steve Louie}

Like Allo Darlin, Los Campesinos are a diligent bunch.  They publish Heat Rash, a seasonal zine complete with a 7" which I am certain keeps their creative wheels moving and their song-writing pens scribbling.  There must be something in the Boddingtons that keeps these two favorite bands pressing new stuff to fill my shelves (for which I can't thank both bands enough). 

Gareth Campesinos ne Paisey recently told NME that the band would be returning to work on the follow-up to Hello Sadness in early 2013, adding: "We try to take as little time between albums as possible. If we're not recording or touring then we'll have to get proper jobs. There's no reason to take a couple of years between albums."

That's as good as saying "Hey, Imaginary Liz, please keep room on your Best of 2013 list for our new album!" to me. I can't wait for my ears to bleed from the Sonic Youth slash Bright Eyes slash Hefner slash Bis slash Yo La Tengo slash Beat Happening magic they create.  Maybe they are feeling nostolgic and will draw from their debut album, like Thermals are doing on their 2013 release?

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Don't miss: The Orwells, Wimps at the Crocodile {2/16}

If you've been within shouting distance of me anytime in the last two weeks, you've undoubtedly heard me talking about The Orwells, specifically their 2012 release, Remember When. I first heard these kids on Greg Vandy's Best-Of-The-Year Roadhouse show on KEXP at the end of December, and now that I've got the album in-hand, I can't listen to anything else. It's gritty, sloppy-tight Chicago post-garage, mostly about girls and death. Take a listen to "In My Bed" (below).

This band makes me want to bust out of a high school classroom and blow off my classes to take pills, hang out with my friends, and pretend to be disinterested in girls -- all in some kind of lo-fi frame-skipping movie sequence. Get the whole album direct and leave it on repeat until Saturday, when they come to town to play The Crocodile with Wimps (!!!!!).

While you're picking up that Orwells album, PS, click above and go get the Wimps demo FOR FREE. These will be the best two moves you make today, I promise.

{All ages / $12 adv / Wimps and Grim Smiley open. Tickets available here. Orwells photo courtesy of the band.}

Hey Marseilles — Lines We Trace

Lines We Trace opens up suddenly, with all kinds of ache laced through the echoes of a well-worn Andrew Bird album, cut beautifully with strains of Matt Bishop's unmistakable vocals. It's a powerful track ("Tides"), the line I would trade ten thousand days / for one more hour with you immediately vaulting the listener into a pile of Polaroids, to sift through the sweet nostalgia of every relationship they ever had that didn't quite work out. As sudden as the physical start of this album is the realization that Hey Marseilles has matured, with a new depth to their composition, yet with that familiar I'm-telling-this-story-right-to-your-soul songwriting that we've come to know and love.

For those who have gotten by these last few years on live shows, the occasional single release, and 2008's To Travels and Trunks; Lines We Trace is the equivalent of a new apartment in a town you love: you know the roads around it like the back of your hand, but you've never seen the sunlight through the windowpanes quite like this. Everything that's wonderful and familiar about Hey Marseilles is present -- a profound earnestness, those unmistakable chord progressions, the orchestral swells and pitches -- but delivered with new perspective, more wisdom, and perhaps the sight of a first laugh line in the bathroom mirror.

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Latest comment by: Kim: "I cannot wait to hear this entire album. "

The best of last winter: More Than Shapes

Remember last winter, when John Roderick played at a house show in Ballard, and how it was pretty much the best thing ever?

Yep.

In case you missed all those great videos the first time, here's a recap:

and the rest are on the Dorsia Films site here.

Happy Friday!

Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

It *WAS* the best thing ever!!!

"

Crushing on the internet this week with Slang, Telekinesis

One of my hands-down favorite things of 2012 that I completely forgot to mention in my year-end list (I knew there'd be something) was / is Slang. The fact that Slang exists / is happening, seeing Slang open up for Lemolo at the Triple Door during City Arts Fest, learning about Slang -- all of it. (YOU GUYS. SLANG. QUADRUPLE UNDERLINE.) It was the one set all year that totally took me by surprise, that had me squee-ing in my seat the entire time and tweeting in all-caps for hours afterward.

If you haven't caught 'em yet: simply put, they're the best fucking cover band that ever was. Technically, Slang is Drew Grow (of DG & The Pastors Wives fame) and Janet Weiss (Sleater-Kinney, Quasi, Wild Flag) shredding away, singing their hearts out with this imperfectly perfect vibe. They've got a glorious habit of completely destroying choice selections you know and love, breaking your heart with pure delight as each line goes by. And they put out this sweet ditty of a video this week (above) that makes my insides skip a beat remembering just how rad the live shows are.

Slang for President. Slang At Every God Damn Festival in 2013. (Seriously!) Friend them on Facebook (how do they not have 19,000 friends?) and then make sure you get to the next show you catch wind of. Looks like there's one coming up, an opening set on the 15th of this month at Valentines. Portland friends, get there!

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