Tonight in Seattle:  

Crushes

Heavy rotation: Western Medicine, new Damien Jurado video + more

Damn, Seattle. It doesn't seem like a minute goes by when you aren't blowing our minds with a lineup, a song, or some kind of incredible creative expression, and this week is no exception. We're gearing up to head down to Pickathon this weekend, we're still reeling from Block Party, City Arts just dropped a great lineup on us, and our inboxes have been full-to-the-brim with great releases and good vibrations. And it's not showing a sign of stopping anytime soon, PS -- from what we can see so far, fall tour is gonna be a doozy this year.

So, here's a few things we've been digging on lately that we wanted to share:

Crush #1: Western Medicine's new single, "Belly of the Beast"

Easily the freshest new summer jam to throw on whatever mix or playlist you're currently in the middle of concocting, "Belly of the Beast" is our go-to track from Western Medicine's brand-spanking-new self-titled release. You'll likely recognize more than one member of the lineup: the four-piece stars Adam MacKinnon {of Ambitious Career Woman, and also current Barsuk Records warehouse manager}, Laurel Hoffman, Rudy Gajadhar {Waxwing, Gatsby's American Dream}, and David Audino {Crimewave}. Together, these folks are cultivating a terriffic sound, in our opinion best showcased on this particular track -- and per their bio, "...Gajadhar and Audino lay down a powerful rhythmic foundation, while Hoffman's melodic keys play perfect counterpoint to MacKinnon's low register leads." That takes the words right out of our mouths!

Turn it on, put it on repeat, and then get yourself to the Sunset for their record release show on August 9th. They'll be taking the stage with Hot Panda and Runt, and will likely be the best six dollars you spend all week.

Crush #2: New video for Damien Jurado's "Museum of Flight"

Hello, gorgeous! Seriously.

It's not enough that Damien Jurado put out two stand-the-test-of-time records (so far, at least) in a world of flash-in-the-pan buzz bands, but he continues to evolve, collaborate, and make beautiful soundscapes that wow us every time. We couldn't get enough of the risks and bliss on Saint Bartlett, then our minds were blown with the creative turns of Maraqopa -- and now we look up and our pal Tyler Kalberg makes an insanely beautiful video for one of Maraqopa's standout tracks, "Museum of Flight". Full of scenes from Jurado + band's most recent whirl through Europe, the visuals and seamlessness of this video are at once soothing and staggering. Did we mentioned it premiered on Spin.com a few weeks ago, ps? Killer. Check here for EU and stateside tour dates, we'll see Damien next time around locally at Bumbershoot.

Crush #3: Bowerbirds

{Bowerbirds / by DL Anderson}

Not just the band, per se, but this incredible track "House of Diamonds" that we featured on our Pickathon preview playlist. It's really just seventeen hundred different kinds of perfect, and we're having a hard time shutting up about it. Bowerbirds have a new album out, and will be touring behind it post-Pickathon, first for a batch of dates in Europe and then across the US in the fall. If you're digging it, on top of a stop at Pickathon this weekend they'll be at Neumos and the Doug Fir toward the end of October {full list tour dates here}.

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Recommended Exhibit: Amazing photos of The Rolling Stones in 1972 at the EMP

copyright and courtesy Jim Marshall Photography LLC

Mick Jagger backstage at the Forum, Los Angeles, California 1972 | All images © copyright and courtesy Jim Marshall Photography LLC

Since I know next-to-nothing about photography and famous photographers, I had never heard of Jim Marshall before I stepped into the new The Rolling Stones 1972, Photographs by Jim Marshall exhibit. (Obviously, though, I had heard of the Stones). Luckily, guest curator Michelle Dunn Marsh was on hand to tell me all about Jim, share details of the photos, and just generally amaze me.

EMP’s Curatorial Director Jasen Emmons helped it all come together by providing a history of the band—and to compliment Marshall’s photos with a lovely centerpiece from the museum’s collection: the original artwork for Exile on Main Street, which is unbelievably awesome.

But enough about that; let’s get to the actual PHOTOS.

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Dirty Projectors bring their gorgeous harmonies to the Showbox

at Showbox at the Market

{Dirty Projectors / by Beth Crook}

Monday nights can be a little hit and miss as far as shows go: crowds can often be worn out from the preceding weekend -- in this case, that weekend involved three days of Block Party goodness -- and occasionally reluctant to venture out again for yet another show on Monday. That was certainly not the case with Wye Oak and Dirty Projector’s show at the Showbox this past Monday night.

Wye Oak opened up the evening to an already fairly crowded Showbox. The duo of drummer (and occasional bassist) Andy Stack and guitarist Jenn Wasner made enough noise that you have thought you were listening to a much larger band. Maybe it was the sound capacities of the Showbox on this particular night, but even if not, Wye Oak is much, MUCH louder and heavier live than their recorded version is. Wasner’s guitar playing often created a punishing wall of sound, with her vocals just barely lifting over the top. Their moody and contemplative sound harkened back to some of the shoegaze bands of the early 90s. This was my first time seeing Wye Oak, and I was certainly impressed.

{Wye Oak / by Beth Crook}

{Wye Oak / by Beth Crook}

Dirty Projectors took the stage to an anxiously excited crowd, with lead singer David Longstreth high-fiving audience members in the front row upon entrance. The first twenty-five minutes of their set consisted of songs from their new album, Swing Lo Magellan. That fantastic new material punctuated their setlist, as they played the majority of the twelve songs on the album, with highlights from their 2009 album Bitte Orca interspersed throughout.

One noticeable difference between the current incarnation of Dirty Projectors and previous ones is the adjusted lineup. While most members remain the same, former drummer Brian McOmber left the band on amicable terms and was replaced by Mike Johnson. More noticeable however, is the absence of Angel Deradoorian. The trio of Deredoorian, Haley Dekle, and Amber Coffman made some of the most unique and gorgeous melodies in indie music -- however, Deredoorian left the group earlier this year to pursue other projects and was temporarily replaced by Wye Oak’s Jess Wasner, who has since been replaced by former Chairlift member Olga Bell. Considering some of the harmonies and offbeat timing involved in playing their songs live, Bell did a fantastic job and certainly held her own with the rest of the band. When the three of them harmonized together on songs like “Useful Chamber”, they didn’t just settle for singing their beautiful melodies in perfect harmony, they did so at full volume. Not only were they all perfectly on-key, they absolutely belted those notes as loud as they could, and the audience loved every second of it. I noticed several people around me turn to their friends with that "wow, that sounds fucking amazing!" look on their face.

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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]"