Tonight in Seattle:  

Crushes

Recommended Show (and longtime Imaginary Crush): Harry and the Potters at The Vera Project {7/31}

It’s probably totally weird that I’ve never read a Harry Potter book, that I find the movies utterly forgettable, and that I just plain don’t get people’s extreme HP fandom—but, you guys. BUT.

I’ve been crushing on brothers Paul and Joe DeGeorge of Harry and the Potters since I saw them play at the UW Bookstore sometime around 2003. They are exceptionally cute, very sweet, and just all around awesome guys who play rock-n-roll about all things Harry Potter.

As if that weren’t enough, these adorable rockers put together the Harry Potter Alliance; an organization that inspires social activism based on HP themes, and the Wizard Rock EP of the Month Club: a club featuring monthly releases from wizard rock bands, with proceeds going to literary-based non-profits. To date, they’ve raised over $50,000.

This year is their 10 Year “Bandiversary”, so the boys are rockin’ their way up the West Coast with a Summer Tour, and lucky for us, they are landing in Seattle on July 31 at The Vera Project with fellow dude of awesomeness Hank Green, and The Potter Puppet Pals. Yay!

You might ask if Harry and the Potters are a kid's band, and if so, you then might ask WHY I like them. All I can say to you is that you need to experience the imaginary goodness that is H&tP yourself to truly understand. Get a taste of some “Wizard Rock” by checking out one of my personal favorites below, “Save Ginny Weasley”—and then get some tix to the Vera show, before it’s sold out!

{Harry and the Potters w/Hank Green | Tuesday, July 31 | The Vera Project | All Ages | $10 | 6pm}

Recommended show: The Young Evils at Barboza

You've heard it here before, and we'll say it again (and undoubtedly, again sometime in the future): we sure do love The Young Evils, and if you're not already on their wagon, you are missing the f*ck out. Their brand of indie-pop went from a blast-of-sunshine sound on 2010's full-length Enchanted Chapel to deeper, darker waters -- with plenty of light still filtering through, mind you -- on Foreign Spells, the band's most recent EP.

You can listen to the albums yourself and see, of course, but we think you should get yourself over to Barboza, that rad new space underneath current-day Neumos, and check them out for yourself. The Young Evils will be celebrating the formal release of Foreign Spells there on Friday, July 13th {yep! That's this Friday!} and for a mere eight bucks, you can get your hooks into what they're cooking up live and in-person. The night opens with The Grizzled Mighty and tunes from none other than DJ Marco Collins, so it's a win-win-win all around.

PS, we've been hearing from a few Barboza frequenters that the shows tend to get started relatively soon after doors open, so make sure to shake a tailfeather and get over to Capitol Hill on time so you don't miss a beat.

{21+ / 7p doors / $8. Advance tickets available here. Photo courtesy of The Young Evils.}

Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "PS, just saw on the internet that the YEs are playing tonight {Tuesday, 7/10} at Easy Street in Queen Anne at 7p -- for free! Let's go!"

Photoessay: Eef Barzelay {Clem Snide} and Chris Otepka {Heligoats}

at Tashiro-Kaplan Artist Lofts

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

By some stroke of fortunate timing, we found ourselves at the Tashiro-Kaplan Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square this past Friday night, for a few beautiful sets of music from Eef Barzelay, Chris Otepka, and Shannon Stephens. It was one of those heard-it-through-the-grapevine "house" shows, with a few dozen folks scattered about on floor cushions, a table full of shared food and booze, and a donation jar for the musicians at the front door. For a few hours, we sat shoeless and took in the pretty vibes of Shannon Stephens + friends {most notably with our pal Andrew Rudd on the brush-and-file-folder percussion}, a quick but engaging set from Heligoats frontman Chris Otepka, and finally, a handful of mostly-new tracks from Eef himself.

Here's a few shots from the night to prove it all happened:

{Chris Otepka / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Chris Otepka and Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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Adventures in vinyl: buying records for the first time in over 20 years

“Do you have Some Girls?” I asked the guy at Bop Street, fingers crossed.

“Yup! Got it right up here. Oh look, we even have the uncensored cover.”

And this is how I bought my first vinyl since the 80s.

My boyfriend and I had recently decided that we definitely needed a turntable—me, after many years of hemming and hawing about getting one, him, swayed by the release of Tomahawk’s Eponymous to Anonymous—and what better day to set out to do it than Record Store Day 2012?

But what vinyl would I buy? What would be my first purchase? I thumbed through the bins at Sonic Boom, stopping on The Cure Entreat, a collection of Morrissey records, and gazing fondly at the GIGANTIC Joy Division and Smiths sets I couldn’t possibly afford—when I found it: The Rolling Stones Some Girls. But wait—this was the reissue, and the reissue didn’t have the pull out cover with the band’s faces and the wigs that I remember so fondly from my youth.

As soon as my hands touched the copy from Bop Street, I was back in my parents' house leafing through my dad’s record collection and carefully sliding the cover back and forth, counting how many different face and wig combos I could make, gazing at Marilyn and Lucy and admiring the rainbow colors.

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Yes, Lou. I'm sure! But my audio-obsessed boyfriend is in charge of the playing equipment. I'm just in charge of rebuilding my dad's (and mine) original record collection. :) "

Recommended Show: Jon Auer at The Volterra Drawing Room {7/19}

Calling all Posies fans (Hey, that’s me!)! !!! Mr. Jon Auer is having another one of his fantastic shows at The Volterra Drawing Room on Thursday, July 19.

{Dear} $23 gets you in the door, or if you’re feeling fancy pants, you can pay $100 for the VIP experience: a meet and greet with Jon at 7pm, hosted wine and light apps by Volterra (yum!) and—Jon will play 1 requested song for each VIP! Hooray! There are a limited number of seats (only 65), so buy your tix before this sells out. Because it will.

{Jon Auer | Volterra Drawing Room | $23 GA, $100 VIP | All Ages | Cash bar for 21+ | Doors, 7pm (VIP)/7:30pm – Showtime, 8pm}

Heavy rotation: new Lemolo, new Young Evils, and more

{Lemolo / by Genevieve Peterson}

Let's jump right in: I'm torn between starting this post with "this Lemolo album is seriously haunting me" and "Lemolo could totally beat up your favorite synth-y indie dream-core band" because they're both true. In the case of the former, I find myself humming harmonies absentmindedly at varying points in my days and nights, wondering what the song is -- and then realizing it's a track off of The Kaleidoscope; and the case of the latter, the lyrics are smarter and more gripping than anything I've heard in this genre before, and the emotion-pendulum they swing on is more vast.

Whichever way you slice it, The Kaleidoscope is a keeper. It'll be your new go-to for warming up, coming down, pondering, soundtracking, arriving, leaving, making out, and everything in-between. The album as a whole is intelligent and tight, meandering over to casually shred your face off in one moment and placing it's hands directly on your heartstrings the next. There's such a big-yet-right-in-the-next-room feeling that pervades from start to finish, and it would be easy to make comparisons like 'Beach House with a better edge!' or 'Phantogram with less dance party and more smart-kid!' but we'd be doing Lemolo an injustice by saying so. Instead, I'll fine-tune it a bit and say that this album holds up to the landscape of Washed Out's "Feel It All Around" {one of my favorite dream-jam tracks} and the brilliance of a portion of the Broken Social Scene catalog {"Sweetest Kill" and "Anthems for a Seventeen Year Old Girl come to mind}, while still standing apart with a tone and center all it's own.

Every single song has a piece in it somewhere that punches us square in the gut, in the very best of ways. "On Again, Off Again" is the big single from the album, and of course there's the "Open Air" video... it's great to finally hear tracks from shows put to waxdisc, like those two, "Who Loves" and "Whale Song" -- but "Move Me" is taking the proverbial cake at the moment. "Move Me" wraps the listener around the axle with the line that repeats I don't / want to / be away / from you / too long, and coincidentally enough, that's exactly how we feel about this album (and this band in general, PS).  I'd strongly encourage every single one of you reading this to be sure and catch Lemolo at Columbia City Theater this Friday and Saturday, but both shows are sold out. You'll just have to get yourself over to the Capitol Hill Block Party for a chance at taking in a live set.

{The Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

While the Lemolo release and this next one have nothing to do with each other, they both hit my stratosphere in the same week, and so I've taken them in at the same time -- and as a result, there has definitely had a yin-and-yang effect taking place. When I'm all full-up on Lemolo's smart soundscape-y vibes, I shift my attention to my other favorite thing of the moment, the equally smart yet sonically-opposite Foreign Spells {the new Young Evils EP}. Foriegn Spells is short, to the point, and provides an excellent sampler-pack of songs that show the direction the band is headed in. While we've made no secret here in the imaginary office about how much we loves us some Enchanted Chapel, we're double-down excited about the new tunes that the Young Evils have seen fit to bestow us with, especially now that we've got "Darker Blue Bayou" in the flesh and can add it to the next mix we make. With the last release as evidence to compare and contrast against, the songs seem smarter, darker, fuller, and more concise -- the EP really shows the listener the difference between a bright idea and more of a fully-formed realization of what these stellar musicians are capable of. And while Foreign Spells is totally killer on the stereo, as is the case with many other bands, we think these lady-and-gents do their best work live -- so be sure to get yourself to the formal release party at Barboza next month, on July 13th.

There have been a handful of tracks that are making their way onto mixes of late, and a few doing repeat duty, so I thought it best to mention them as well if we're talking about what's been filling our imaginary ears and iPhones with happiness. Some are new-new, some are new-to-me, and some are just new in that they were buried at the bottom of the stack and recently found their way back up into heavy rotation.

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Latest comment by: Roger: "just gotta love the ladies and music of Lemolo"

Imaginary Watch This: Atomic Bride "Radio Recession"

One of the bands that's been rocking my literal socks off lately is Atomic Bride. I still haven't had time to sit down and fully absorb their full-length CD Dead Air yet, but the second I slipped it into my CD drive, I was dancing to their retro-surf-punk-poppy tunes as hard as I ever did to early The B-52's. (If anyone could hold their own against Kate Pierson, it's lovely raw-throated vocalist Astra Elane). 

So anyway! Let's just say I'm INTO it. And I think you will be too. Check out their video for the ultra-catchy "Radio Recession" above, and then go see them live at The Comet on 7/14 (with The Valley).

Latest comment by: Avtar: "Here's the new one: [video:https://vimeo.com/45325422]"

Recommended show + free tickets: Jonathan Coulton at the Showbox {6/22}

And now, straight from his iPhone the road, a few words from Seattle's own John Roderick as to why your attendance at Friday night's Jonathan Coulton show at the Showbox would be a good idea:

"People make the mistake of thinking Jonathan is a novelty songwriter, because his tunes are set after the zombie apocalypse, or they're sung from the perspective of a deranged scientist, or they sometimes feature monkeys. But Jonathan's songs are not novelties, they stack up against any pop songs written by anyone. Monkeys aside, Jonathan's songs are ultimately about losing what you crave most, or loving too hard, or feeling lost, or whatever any great songs are about. Plus, he's hilarious and smart, and his fans are devoted to him but totally inclusive. There are plenty of people who prize their own cynicism over ever discovering something new, or laughing unexpectedly, or finding a new way to express an ancient feeling. It's foolish trying to convince cynics of anything. For everyone else, Jonathan Coulton is one of the best practitioners of smart pop music working today. Go see him. (Plus, I'm opening, and all that stuff I said about Jonathan is totally true about me too, except for the monkeys)."

We couldn't have said it any better ourselves. Tickets are still available, but we want to give you a chance to see the show for free. Send an email to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject line "Let'sBeNemeses" sometime between now and 5pm on Thursday, June 21st. Tell us why we should pick you to go to the show, and if you're our lucky winner, you'll be on the guest list for Friday night. Good luck!

{21+ / 8p doors / $28.50 adv / $30.00 DOS. Tickets available for advance purchase here.}

Breaking news: Dancing on the Valentine 7 {and Ben Haley} just won the internet

Remember that killer time you had at this year's Dancing on the Valentine celebration at the Croc? Of course you do. It was wall-to-wall with killer performances from John Roderick, Katie Kate, Lesli Wood, Daniel G. Harmann and the Trouble Starts, Noddy, Hotels, NighTrain, Princess, Exhoxo and Fly Moon Royalty (just to name a few), raised close to $8,000.00 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and was basically the best thing to happen to your February!

Ringing any bells? We thought so. Well, on top of the actual show and all the do-goodness that it does every year, one of our favorite parts of the Dancing on the Valentine celebrations {besides Jenny George herself, of course!} has got to be Ben Haley's photobooth -- and this year, he's truly outdone himself. On top of generating a ton of incredible photos, he's stitched them all together for a fully titled, freeze-frame style video for "The Reflex" that very well may be our favorite thing ever to exist on the internet.

Go check it out and relive all the fun! And get excited for DOTV8 {in 2013} while you're at it!!

Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "PS, has anyone sent this to Simon LeBon yet??"

Recommended show + free tickets: Rhett Miller at the Crocodile {6/22}

{Rhett Miller / by Victoria VanBruinisse}Whether he's taking the stage alone or with the rest of his band, the Old 97's, one thing is for certain: Rhett Miller knows how to put on a show. We had an incredible time when he last came through town and stopped at the Triple Door, sharing the night with Dan Mangan and plowing through his opening songs in a way we'll never forget: some sound issues cropped up about a verse into his first song, "This Is What I Do," leaving him to belt out the whole song (and the one following) acapella while soundfolks furiously scrambled to fix his connections during the performance. I'm gonna sing this song forever about a girl that I once knew / And how she is always leaving, this is what I do / This is what I do for a living, this is what I do he howled, never missing a beat -- in the face of what might have been a nightmarish start to his set, he instead generated an energy that was positively un-fuck-with-able. SWOON. We can still hear the cheers and thunderous applause! And before that, of course, there was the show where a good portion of the imaginary staff turned Rhett-O-Sexual, spending a night down at the Showbox with all of the Old 97's that included a private soundcheck, a sweaty, serial-lady-killer set of excellent music (with an extra button undone, 'natch), and more fun than we'd ever dreamed we could have had out together at a show.

So, suffice it to say, we loves us some Rhett Miller! And hopefuly you've already sold on all the do that Rhett does, but just in case you're not, we want you to come and see what all the fuss is about firsthand -- on us! Yep, we've got a pair of tickets to give away to Rhett Miller's solo show at the Crocodile this Friday. Just send an email to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject line "ThisIsWhatIDo" sometime between now and 10a on Thursday, June 21st. We'll choose a winner on Thursday morning and notify you by email that you're on the guest list for Friday night's show. Simple as that! Good luck!

{8p / 21+ / The Spring Standards open. Tickets are $18 adv. and can be purchased here. Photo of Rhett Miller at the Triple Door by Victoria VanBruinisse.}