Tonight in Seattle:  

Northwest Bands

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}


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.


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:]"

More photos from our New Wave Karaoke party!

{Sean Nelson / by Nate Watters}

Man, are we lucky! Our friend Nate Watters piled on to the already-bursting set of photos from our Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Party {from the de-lovely Laura Musselman}, giving us oodles more to ogle at. Not only did he contribute to a set of shots over at the City Arts Blog, he also tossed a few pics in our flickr pool -- so go poke around and have a peek at all the awesome! More views of Sean Nelson, Jenny Jiminez, Cristina Bautista, Cody Hurd, Lesli Wood, and so many of our friends and fellow fans are just waiting for your eyeballs. Here's a taste:

{Anna Banana and Jenny Jiminez / by Nate Watters}

Jenny Jiminez and Anna Banana slaying the stage!


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

WOW!!! I can't pick a favorite! Thanks so much for capturing the magic that night, Nate!!!


Japandroids turn Neumos into an awesomely loud sweatbox

at Neumos

{Japandroids / by John Gleason}

I went into Japandroids show Monday night fully expecting it to be a loud, liquor-fueled, sweaty mess -- and even with my expectations set so high, their show somehow managed to be even louder, sweatier, and more liquor fueled than I had expected.

Cadence Weapon got the crowd all warmed up with his electro/techno backed brand of hip-hop. The project of Edmonton native Rollie Pemberton, Cadence Weapon's delivery is sharp and witty, full of pop culture references and clever word play. His rhymes land somewhere along the lines of Das Racist, but with a bit more energy and bite. His beats are heavily influenced by electronic and techno music, with Pemberton himself citing Basement Jaxx, Aphex Twin, and Daft Punk as heavy influences. He even cleverly sampled fellow Canadian indie-electro artist Grimes' track "Eight" for his song "88."


Latest comment by: John (In Ballard) : "Anyone who missed out on this show in June get's a shot at redemption- Japandroids are coming back to Neumos on November 15th. And yes, I already have a ticket. "

TOMTEN — Wednesday's Children

The first time I heard Tomten’s single, “Ta Ta Dana,” I was in the middle of an “anywhere but here” kind of day. The song opened up with a swelling organ that dropped me right into the 1960s - not the patchouli and weed ‘60s of my imaginary memory, or the psychedelic 60s of Austin Powers. Tomten dropped me into the fabulous '60s of Breakfast at Tiffany’s, where all drinks come in stemware and broken hearts are worn on trés chic sleeves. But instead of kissing in the rain, Tomten’s hero drives away, all alone in his little grey sports car.

Well, life got in the way and I didn’t get around to telling you guys about the Ta Ta Dana EP, so I’m super happy that Tomten turned around and put out a full-length album, Wednesday’s Children, right on its heels - and damn if it isn’t just as good as the EP.


Latest comment by: nellie: "i like tomten. i like the album art. i will probably like the album too."

Don't miss: The Young Evils at the Crocodile {this Friday, 6/8}

{The Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Seriously, people. How can you not love the Young Evils? On top of playing great shows and just generally being awesome, they've been building up some great press lately -- even moreso than usual -- like the recent recommendation in Paste magazine as an upcoming Seattle band to watch, for example. The band is making good on that bet with the release of their newest track, "Darker Blue Bayou," which is off of their forthcoming EP Foreign Spells -- and while we haven't gotten our hands on the whole EP yet, we're pretty damn sure that we're in for something good. Perhaps even a contender for our best-of lists for 2012.

Even way back in November, the new material was sounding brilliant -- and to prove it, here's a snippet we typed up after the show they played that blew us away at the Rendezvous, (coincidentally enough, with a nod to the newly released track):

While we're still in hearts for everything we know and love off of Enchanted Chapel, we've got to say -- this performance, and particularly the newer songs we heard in the set, made us giddy with joy to hear what's next so far as studio efforts go from the Young Evils camp. With a solid lineup finally in place, we're able to really hear the beginning stages of the evolution of this band, as they go from playing together to playing as a cohesive unit. Perhaps they've felt solid for a long time, as they well should -- but whatever's going on with this next crop of songs we're hearing is really starting to translate off the stage and out into the crowd for a tangible, can't-deny kind of shift. We're particularly swooning over -- if the set list was in order -- a ditty called "Darker Blue Bayou," a track that was so good that the people behind us in the crowd were trying to discern what mega-band wrote it and how great the Young Evils were for choosing to cover it.

You don't have to take our word for it -- you can catch that heady new-music buzz for yourself, and do some good while you're doin' it: The Young Evils will be playing at the Crocodile this Friday {tomorrow!} with The Redwood Plan, and Land of Pines {holy lineup, Batman!} as part of the 2012 series of Noise for the Needy shows. These fundraiser shows have been going on around town since June 1st, and on top of the Young Evils show, there's still plenty left to catch. The NFTN gigs are going on through this Sunday, and you can catch up on what's left of the calendar the official site here.


Destroyer and Nurses at the Showbox

at Showbox at the Market

{Destroyer / by John Gleason}I have to admit a small part of me was just a bit worried about how this show would turn out. You see, despite having a name befitting a metal band, Destroyer can tend to veer towards the light, jazzy, lounge-act end of the musical spectrum. My apprehension was that there was a chance this show would be too mellow and laid back. Would music that casual still be interesting in a live setting? Luckily, any small hesitations I had were put to rest as soon as Destroyer took the stage Sunday night. 

Front man Dan Bejar lead the eight piece band through a rather engaging and at times upbeat set, highlighted by the numerous fantastic tracks that make up their 2011 album Kaputt. An early standout of the night was "European Oils," which comes off of their 2006 album Destroyer's Rubies. The song started off light and smooth like a lot of other Destroyer songs, but as it progressed the guitar and piano picked up until it was absolutely rocking, and the band did it total justice by playing it LOUD

Bejar himself came across as an almost-timid front man. He would often sing with his eyes closed, occasionally playing the tambourine with his back to the audience. His vocal style is a bit improvisational -- at times closer to talking than singing -- and he kept the songs spontaneous and interesting by changing the cadence and rhythm of the words from their recorded versions. He would often kneel down during the instrumental parts of the songs, almost seeming like he was trying to take a back seat for a moment and let the band step up and do their thing. The band certainly held up their end of the bargain, as they sounded absolutely tight and locked in throughout the night.