Tonight in Seattle:  

Indie Pop

A double (now triple!) shot of Orange Peels

Boy are we lucky! San Francisco's Orange Peels are gracing our fair city with not one but two shows in Ballard on Friday! You may remember how much we loved them in at San Francisco popfest last year (we really, really did).

Here's a video of "Something Strange Happened to Me Last Night" from last year's set.


After-Lunch Music: El Diablo 10th Anniversary Party Today (5/5)

El Diablo 10th Anniversary CelebrationI stumbled upon news of this free music fest today and am now planning how to fit it in between movie screenings! El Diablo Coffee Co. on Queen Anne is celebrating their 10th Anniversary today from 2-9 with food, drinks and live music from SEVEN bands.

Most of the music is on the mellower, folkier side, which seems perfect for a gray Seattle afternoon (with a HUGE latte, of course). The line-up:

Rory Gannon
Secondhand Sunday
Dustin Darnold
Kendal Sasso
Daniel Kamas
Paul Michael Moye
Thomas Starks

The person catching my ear the most is Kendal Sasso, who has a pretty awesome cover of "Such Great Heights" on her MySpace page - as well as a rockin' video for her now-defunct pop band Quite Corrine. I have a feeling some Imaginaries are also going to fall for Dustin Darnold...

In any case, looks like a fun way to spend Cinco de Mayo! Who's in?


Jonathan Richman at the Tractor tonight

Last night I was fortunate enough to catch indie pop royalty, Mr. Jonathan Richman in the first night of a two night stand at the Tractor. After a seemingly brief hour plus set, he bid the crowd adieu and my plus one and I walked out with pretty much the same thought "Wow, Jonathan Richman is like the pure version of Calvin Johnson."

Yes, we both realize Jonathan pre-dates Calvin quite a bit, but when you see Jonathan's dance moves, you'll realize that you've probably seen it on this side of the coast by one Mr. Johnson. While the two definietly share similar qualities, Jonathan is the pure, almost childlike version to Calvin's instinctual, sometimes sexual roar.

It was such a pleasure to see Jonathan perform, even if it's never the hits or the classics that I want to hear (though he does still do a pretty great "I Was Dancing In A Lesbian Bar" - the ultimate sing along!). Everything he does is the most charming thing ever, never too precious or understated. Catch him tonight at the Tractor and you'll see what I mean. Doors are at 8 and the show starts at 9pm SHARP! There is no opener, so don't miss a second of what will be a magical night.

Here's a little preview of what you might see.

Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "I can't wait to see him tonight! I just checked and tickets are still available to buy online -- and tickets are only $12!!! Total deal."

Kissing Party — The Hate Album

Just in time for our carefree summer soundtracks of 2010, Denver, Colorado band Kissing Party has arrived to infuse our sunny days with coy refrains and enough jingle jangles for a sunset beach dance party. Dissecting an indie-pop library stocked with the likes of Strawberry Whiplash and Black Tambourine, Kissing Party encourage even the wallflowers amongst us to take to the dance floor, or at least give us a reason to drink up.

The band fuse Belle and Sebastian understated acumen with Darling Buds beguiling charms while carving out their own niche with upbeat songs laced with ambition and bittersweet sentimentality. It's an easy task to bestow the Murdoch crown on them. The band themselves tip their hats to the the gods of Lazy Line Painter Jane with the album art design of their latest, The Hate Album.  The title signaling not only their own Pains of Being Pure At Heart leanings, but also the wry humor we love most in our  songsmiths.

Notes from The Primitives swirl in with commanding girl vocals and relentless splashes jangle happiness of  "The Heart Of It All" and "King Graves Rd." From there Kissing Party plunges us into the loneliness of love in "Donna Joy" and "Lets Face These Times," wavering with fuzz and longing backdrops of infectious ohs and ahs.

All is not always fair and kind in the world of the Kissing Party. I'm just thankful that they've used their broken heart lessons to our advantage.



Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Hey Imaginary Liz, Found kissing party video on vimeo check it out!"

Your new favorite band: Walking Sleep

Walking Sleep by Lori Paulson

at The Echo

Why haven't you heard of Walking Sleep? Well, no you have NO excuse because you've forced me to demand that you listen to them. I'd apologize, but this is for your own benefit. Trust me. A little back-story, perhaps? I'm glad you asked. About two and a half years ago some little band named The Flying Tourbillon Orchestra requested my friendship on MySpace. I'm usually pretty picky about which bands I add, but something told me that I should give them a listen. Well, I did and instantly fell in love with this dreamy little indie-pop outfit out of Los Angeles, who describe themselves as "a six-piece band [who] came together as the natural extension of lead singer Hunter Curra’s exploratory songwriting, in which he combined male and female vocal harmonies, classic rhythms, and curiously dark lyrics. Drawing influence across genres and decades, their songs include echoes of the melancholy psychedelic pop of The Zombies, the uptempo stomp of classic Motown, and the moody melodicism of Fleetwood Mac, but placed in a modern context, akin to bands like Belle & Sebastian and The Shins." I obviously accepted the request and started promoting them to anyone and everyone I could find. Get this, not only are they incredibly talented musicians, but they're some of the sweetest people alive. We kept in contact and they even sent me a little love package with a free t-shirt, their Escapements EP and a little post-it note that read "<3 FTO". Okay, how much cuter can you get, right? I know!


Your Weekend Plans: Casper & the Cookies come to Seattle

OK, so it's Wednesday and I'm already dreaming of the weekend, which is normal. But, this time it's because I've been counting down to this weekend for months! One of my favorite bands, Casper & the Cookies (from Athens, GA) is coming back to Seattle! They haven't been here since the opened for the Apples In Stereo in 2007! Needless to say, I'm stoked for their show at the Comet this Sunday, May 2nd. Do some stretching before so you can properly shake your groove thing.


The Wedding Present presented Bizarro

photos by bobby mchugh

{all photos by bobby mchugh}

I can't remember the last time my face hurt from smiling so much. And I wasn't the only one, Wednesday night's Crocodile show was packed with adoring fans waiting to hear some of their favorite songs played in sucession from the Wedding Present's brilliant 1989 album Bizarro.

The moment the band took the stage, Gedge and co. had the entire audience's undivided attention. And Mr. Gedge took full advantage of this, opening with a b-side and continuing on to play some newer material (most of which was fantastic, except for the mention of iPhone's and texting in one song, which spawned a discussion with my +1 after the show about how pop music should stick to technology not surpassing the '80's - television mentions are fine, but there's something unsettling about cell phones, the internet, and blogs mentioned in song form, no?). The first half-hour plus was dedicated to non-Bizarro songs, including the excellent "Corduroy". Finally, a manipulated John Peel sample popped up, with the influental disc jock introducing the Wedding Present playing Bizarro, and seemingly instantly the opening chords to "Brassneck" started.


Best weekend ever: Record Store Day, PopCon, shows, awesomeness

Math and Physics Club at the High DiveMy mind is being blown as I look at my calendar pages for today and tomorrow. On top of the intoxicating sunshine the weather folk have predicted for the weekend, the indie-gods have bestowed a packed schedule of wonderfulness:

APRIL 16-18: EMP Pop Conference
It's going to be full of great sessions around this year's topic of sounds and the machines that make them. This year I'm most excited about hearing Tim Quirk and his look at "The Quiet Revolution: From the Walkman to the iPod, How Portability and Infinite Storage Have Changed the Way We Listen, and What We Listen To" on Friday at 10.45am. Catching Mike McGonigal moderating "Identity Projects" and Michaelangelo Matos on the "Interrogating the Digital" - both on Sunday - will rock 33 1/3 socks off as well.

APRIL 17: Record Store Day
Empty out your canvas bag and your bus pass, it's time to take Seattle record stores by storm on an all day tour picking up a slew of very special limited edition releases to remind us all how important it is to support out local independent record stores.  I am most looking forward to getting to Jigsaw Records in time to pick up each release in their LTD RSD-only series (only 25 will be pressed!) with floppies by Math and Physics Club and BOAT. (full scoop)

{even more amazing things to do this weekend after the jump!}

And I'm sure I missed something... what else is going on this weekend? All this fun must be a thank you for getting our taxes done on time, right?


Wish I'd Kept A Scrapbook: Tullycraft covers comp

photo by steve louie

{Tullycraft photo by Steve Louie}

Holy indie pop incredibleness! Do you miss Tullycraft as much as I do? It's only been less than a year since their farewell set at San Francisco Popfest (which still gives me chills just thinking about), but just knowing that there may be another chance to sing along to such glorious pop gems makes me happy. Well, this isn't a new Tullycraft record, but the next best thing: all your favorite (well, at least my favorite) indie pop bands together on one comp covering their favorite Tullycraft songs!

The wonderful folks who are putting the comp together put up an experiment of sorts on the site Kickstarter (a great website for getting funding for projects!) to see if they could raise a little scratch to make this cover compilation huge; to spread the love of Tullycraft to the masses! Only if they raise their amount will you be charged. Think of it like a pre-order: by paying in advance, you get tons of awesome benefits!

Full band list after the jump.


Latest comment by: Steve: "I pledged too and I heard Math and Physics club play their song last Saturday. Just bummed I won't be able to get one of their flexi's."

Brand new song from Still Flyin


photo from press release

{photo from press release}

We're pleased to bring you a brand new song from our favoritist hammjamm million piece San Francisco Band, Still Flyin. Imaginary Liz was completely obsessed with their song "The Hott Chord Is Struck" (and the fact it sounds like he's saying "tits") for pretty much the last year straight. This new jam, "Runaway Train II" doesn't quite have the explosive energy the name suggests, but it's got a great 70's groove and contains all the necessary pieces that equate to a damn fine dance party.