Tonight in Seattle:  

Northwest Bands

A very imaginary weekend: PopCon, Record Store Day, and more!

So, you're not one of the lucky folks with tickets to Prince? Fret not, dear imaginaries. There are endless options to get your music fix this weekend, between a bounty of shows, PopCon, Record Store Day, and KEXP's Hood-to-Hood Celebration -- and that's barely the beginning of it.

Lace up those sneakers and make yourself a schedule! Here's some of the things we'll be out taking in over the next few days:

FRIDAY

KEXP's Hood-to-Hood Celebration 2013 {U District}

{KEXP Hood-to-Hood 2013}

If you're reading this from your desk at work, it's likely you've already missed Jonathan Russell {The Head and the Heart}, Damien Jurado and Tomo Nakayama {Grand Hallway} opening up a day of live broadcasting and bands at Red Square. It's all happening as part of KEXP's Hood-to-Hood Day Celebration in the U District, going strong until 6pm tonight, with a ton of evening DJ sets and performances in area venues after that (PS, most are free). You can catch Alex, Larry Rose, Quilty 3000, see Pony Time play a live set, or check out a photo showcase as part of the Artwalk! There's also a Cafe Racer memorial benefit with Don Slack and Greg Vandy happening {at Cafe Racer, 8:30p, $5 suggested donation}. Check out the KEXP blog for more details.

White Hawaiian {The Blue Moon}

There's a whole slew of people taking the stage at the Blue Moon tonight, but we're most excited about the show's opener, White Hawaiian. You know Jamie Aaron as the guitarist in Eighteen Individual Eyes and H is for Hellgate, and in this incarnation, she'll be bringing her dreamy, moody, lo-fi multi-track goodness solo style. Pop on over here to check out Jamie's Soundcloud vibes, and get yourself to the bar early as she'll be starting off the night. More info about the show (and the rest of the bands) at the Facebook event page here.

SATURDAY

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Latest comment by: Litsa Dremousis: "^ That should read, "...I hope *you* reveled in..." Argh: late-night typo!"

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.}

Mudhoney TONIGHT {4/1} at Easy Street!

This is not an April Fool's prank, friends: if you weren't able to make it out to Neumos on Saturday night for Mudhoney's record release show, you've still got a shot at seeing them live! They'll be taking the stage at Easy Street Records in West Seattle tonight at 8pm, celebrating the release of Vanishing Point as well as the 25th anniversary of Sub Pop (and Easy Street). All of our favorite things!!

Entry for the in-store starts at 6, and if you're a cafe frequenter, take note that they close today at 3.

We'll see you in West Seattle!

Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

That is one beauuuutiful poster.

"

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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Idaho's Josh Ritter has the beat

Josh Ritter / photo: Laura Wilson{Josh Ritter plays the Neptune Theater Saturday, March 23}

Simple thing: Josh Ritter’s Beast in its Tracks is to today what Paul Simon’s Still Crazy After All These Years was to 1975. Yes, Ritter’s album comes in the wake of a divorce, and Still Crazy came after Simon's divorce, with his biggest hit, “Fifty Ways to Leave Your Lover.” Lest the eyes roll at the mention of Simon, remember: In the last 30 years, he’s proved a durable quantity at least three times: with Graceland, with the Lemonheads’ cover of “Mrs. Robinson,” and with “The Only Living Boy in New York” making a new, melancholic splash on the Garden State soundtrack.

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Solvents — Ghetto Moon

This is Solvents' least stylistically ambitious release -- and that is a very good thing. The band hasn't gone purely minimalistic in working with Karl Blau for one day in his Anacortes studio; the absolutely luscious violin of Emily Madden honey-drips upon her husband Jarrod Bramson's salty sighed-vocals in a way that could never be described as overly restrained. But the duo are sounding gingerly tight and scrupulously aware of their best qualities in the seven songs that make up Ghetto Moon, and every song could be a gentle giant hit. They've left the cut-and-paste scruff of oblique fanzine rock for cafe troubadour waltz, august vocal melodies partnered with bardic elucidation. And yet not without coy humor ("I'm so obscure, and bitter cool, and long to come undone"). 

The Port Townsend, WA creator-couple have released, over time, a flurry of diverse-sounding cassettes and CDs and Internet-mixes, and their last planned full-length, the appreciated forgive yr. blood, showed they could be a lo-fi Basement Tapes jukebox of styles. Ghetto Moon is much different: it's all stately-gorgeous, if denuded to Jarrod's mellifluous lead vocals and Emily's complimentary harmonies, truly deeply sung melodies that are going to stick with you as much as her lovely fiddling.

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Latest comment by: Zarni de Wet: "Thanks for sharing! This is just beautiful "

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Thermals

Thermals - Desperate GroundOh Hutch, Kathy, and Westin, how do we love thee! In 2013, you are not only gracing us with so much:

- A brand new album of brand new Thermals songs on the beloved Saddle Creek label {of Bright Eyes / Conor Oberst fame} on April 16 {with a limited edition vinyl version on colored vinyl available for pre-order}

- Sub Pop is reissuing all of three Thermals' Sub Pop-released albums on limited edition, colored vinyl on March 5, 2013

All that HOT HOT Thermals vinyl action makes me SWOOOOOOON! 

The new Thermals album is titled Desperate Ground and has been described as having "all the raw power and unhinged adolescent energy that made their early LP’s so insanely enjoyable" and is "a dark and yet joyous affair." I'm sold!

They don't have any Seattle dates, but I know they can't stay away from us for long.  In the meantime we can listen to the first single from the album on repeat (and download it for free via the box below!).  I get light-headed everytime Hutch sings, "Keep me alliiiive" because it's so More Parts Per Million!!!! I also like the "when you command, I will" part.

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Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

Hoooooray! Thanks Anonymous!

"

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Math & Physics Club

For the last few months the boys of MaPC have been teasing us with photos on their Facebook page of them recording at K Records' Dub Narcotic Studio in Olympia. Just last week, February 11, 2013 to be exact, they posted a photo with the caption "Finished mixing the new album today - woohoo!"  To me that sounds like new MaPC songs are just a couple moons away! 

But, these things sometimes take time so I'm not sure when the record will be done or exactly how many songs will be on it (is the above photo a complete tracklisting?) or what it's going to sound like, but with MaPC, you know it's going to be twee-licious

I was able to pull a couple details from the group about the new record.  It's going to be titled Our Hearts Beat Out Loud and the cover art will be designed by Tae Won Yu, the amazing designer most lovably known for your favorite Built To Spill cover art and super sweet illustrations that you can put in your Buy Olympia shopping cart.

Sidenote: I bet I'm going to love the songs "It Must Be Summer Somewhere" and "Our Own Ending."  Any gut feelings on which songs you'll love the most based on the song title?

In the meantime, we can all meet at the Tractor Tavern on February 24 when Math & Physics Club open up for Ocean Blue.  We can grill them for details then!

Until that time, we can just stare at the above tracklisting and listen to my favorite song from their second album on repeat, "We're So DIY":

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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.}

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Pony Time

Pony TimeThe Seattle duo Pony Time is so cool, I'm nearly too shy to even talk about how cool they are.  They stunned me in late 2011 with their self-titled EP / vinyl that oozed with infectious Pike Street garage rock to the point of making the Motor City blush.

Now, FINALLY, the world gets a full length album titled Go Find Your Own, released on Per Se Records on February 19th (the vinyl release is limited to 500 copies!). 

Their record release party is Friday, February 22nd at Black Lodge with ONONOS, Haunted Horses & Chastity Belt.  You can also hear them from the comfort of your own home or car on Saturday, February 23rd on KEXP's Audioasis.

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