Tonight in Seattle:  

Northwest News

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!"

Imaginary Watch This: The Glamour & The Squalor

The trailer for The Glamour & The Squalor has finally been released! (And there was much rejoicing) Warning: I got a little choked up around the 1:43 mark. I’m super excited for this documentary about the amazing Marco Collins to hurry up and come out—although I know we have kind of a long road ahead of us. From the Facebook page:

The Glamour and the Squalor is a feature-length documentary film project about the rise, fall and reemergence of Hall of Fame radio personality Marco Collins, the creation of Seattle’s 107.7 The End, and how together they shaped the future of music – launching the careers of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beck, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighters, Garbage and others. The film will also explore Marco’s current battle to stay clean after a decade of drug abuse, his return to breaking contemporary music, as well as his role in the heated and historic marriage equality vote in Washington state.

Oh man I CANNOT WAIT. Coincidentally, I found a 107.77 The End sticker that I had saved from my community college days while spring cleaning yesterday. I loved listening to Marco on the radio during his heyday and I’m so, so, so pleased he’s still around and doing his thing on Jet City Stream, and that I’ll be able to see him sharing his story (and his struggles) on the big screen soon.

Who else is excited for this?!?!?!

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.

"

Photo essay: DOTV 8 at Neumos = success!

We were elbow-to-elbow with all our best pals in the front row at Neumos Saturday night, in the name of love, fundraising, and the one and only Jenny George. Yep, this past weekend was the 8th annual Dancing on the Valentine fundraiser, and it was jam-packed with great local bands belting out our favorite Cure tracks. The money's still being tallied, but judging by the crowd, we're sure that the night went a long way toward the annual Leukemia and Lymphoma Society donation -- take a peek at the photos below and relive all the fun! We were particularly enamored with Lesli Wood (as usual), Adra Boo, NighTrain, Panama Gold, and those fellows in Fox and the Law:

{Dancing on the Valentine / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Lesli Wood with Jupe Jupe / by Victoria VanBruinisse}
Lesli Wood with Jupe Jupe

{Atticus and Dana! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Dancing on the Valentine / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Agreed. Simply gorg, V! And seeing all the amazing photo-ness makes me feel a little less sad that I couldn't be there. xoxoxo"

The Sasquatch! 2013 lineup is here! (!)

In case you haven't seen it yet, here's this year's Sasquatch! poster -- and it's chock-ful-o' bands we can't wait to witness first-hand this year at the Gorge!! From top to bottom, we're the most over-the-moon about The Postal Service, The XX, Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, Built to Spill, Bloc Party, Andrew Bird, Tame Impala, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Father John Misty, The Tallest Man On Earth, Michael Kiwanuka, Shovels and Rope, The Barr Brothers, Menomena, Telekinesis, Elliott Brood, and Sean Nelson (natch). And while those mainstage acts are always killer, we really do love the smaller-font side of the party the most -- some of the best bands in years past have been on the two smaller stages at the top of the hill, and it looks like this year will be no exception.

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Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "ooh BRMC! I missed that one! I have to say, it was REALLY REALLY SATISFYING to type "The Postal Service" into the tags!! "

Photos of you + Santa Roderick have arrived!

{Santa Roderick / by John E. Hollingsworth}

It's a Christmas miracle! A mere few days after all the fun was had at our Imaginary Holiday Spectacular, photos of you and Santa are ready for your viewing pleasure.

Just click on over here to check them out! Huge piles of gratitude to John E. Hollingsworth for capturing all the fun.

Happy Holidays, everyone!

Save the date: the Imaginary Holiday Spectacular is coming! {12/21}

{John Roderick and Eric Elbogen / by John E. Hollingsworth}

Yep, you guessed it -- with the passing of Thanksgiving, the holiday season is now officially in full swing, and with that, we're super excited this morning to announce the 2012 lineup for the Imaginary Holiday Spectacular!

Get your calendars out and mark the date: this year's show will be taking place on Friday, December 21st, and we'll be returning back to the Hill {Chop Suey, to be specific} for a 21-and-up night of music, good vibes, and Santa-lap hilarity. This year's theme is Open Mic Night, and will be featuring some stripped-down sets from Pablo Trucker, Lesli Wood (of The Redwood Plan), Cristina Bautista, Leif Anders (of The Orca Team), Chris Otepka (of The Heligoats), and Brite Lines. Of course, we've got the inimitable John Roderick playing Indie Rock Santa for the evening, with John E. Hollingsworth bringing his photo-tastic skills to capture your special holiday moment. Hooray!

Tickets are on sale now, and if we do say so ourselves, ten dollars (!) is a mighty fair price to pay for an evening of all this fun! But if you still need convincing, stay tuned: we'll be posting features in the upcoming weeks about all the artists taking part in this year's show. And PS, be sure to head on over to the Facebook page for the event to stay in the loop.

Happy almost-holidays!

{Photo of John Roderick and Eric Elbogen from 2011's Imaginary Holiday Spectacular by John Hollingsworth.}

Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Thank you! I dug out all of my pearls and my Santa hat. Can't wait!"

Countdown to Wintersong: an imaginary interview with Shelby Earl

So, we'll jump right in. I follow you on Instagram, and I remember a series of posts not too long ago from the Bani Love (Columbia City Theater's recording studio, run by Gary Mula). How's the new album coming? When's the release date? What can we (as your fans) expect so far as the sound goes -- a continuation of your existing trajectory? A totally new direction? Fill me in!

{Shelby Earl at KEXP / by Victoria VanBruinisse}The process for making this new record has been quite different from Burn the Boats. Last time there were numerous sessions (and upwards of fifteen different players involved) over a year’s time. We tracked and re-tracked and layered and removed layers -- over and over until we got exactly what we wanted. It all happened very honestly and I love the finished product, but it was a long process of trial and error. This time around, Damien Jurado produced and he had a very definite plan about how he wanted to do things going into it. I’ll go into more depth about “the big plan” when the record comes out, but the short version is that he wanted me LIVE (on vocals and guitar), in a big room, with very few “do-overs” -- which is exactly what we did. We did track at Columbia City Theater with Gary engineering and recorded everything in a week. Most of it consists of live, first takes with my band, and then we added keyboards, cello, backing vocals and various other overdubs later (all done in a week though!). The resulting sound is quite different from my last record and I think some people will be shocked. It feels and sounds a lot more dangerous and raw, but there is just so much life in it. It’s astounding. Damien nailed his vision perfectly and we really did capture a “moment in time.”

No definite release plans yet. We’re just finishing up mixing and then I’ll be shopping it to labels for a bit before I decide how and with whom to release it. Stay tuned!

How was Damien to work with? I appreciate him as a recording / multi-faceted artist, and I'm curious as to what he was like in that role.

Working with Damien was spectacular. We didn’t know each other well at the start, and I respect him immensely as an artist too, so I was pretty nervous going in. But he was incredibly supportive and encouraging and such a strong leader in the studio. He put me at ease right away. He’s opinionated, but at the same time so respectful of my artistry that I never felt clobbered. He only suggested changing song feel or arrangements when he really felt strongly about it. And I can tell you this: he was right in every instance. He has a wonderful gut sense about things so it was easy to follow his advice. I trust that dude a lot now -- both personally and artistically -- and I think he has an awesome future in producing ahead of him. I’m so excited for people to hear what we made together.

{Shelby Earl, John Roderick and Cristina Bautista / by Victoria VanBruinisse}How did the experience differ from the previous process -- didn't you work with John Roderick on that album?

Yes! Roderick produced Burn the Boats. We, too, had a fabulous working relationship and Roderick’s imagination was wide open in the studio. It was exciting! I was about six months into making BtB when he came on board and he really helped to bring the whole project into focus and to completion. Eric Corson engineered that one and the thre of us made a great team (lots of experimentation and lots of silliness in those sessions). John helped to add so much of the character of the album, which is what I think ultimately set it apart from other songwriter records. I am so proud of BtB and will be forever indebted to J-Rod for investing in me at that stage of my career.

On a related note, a lot of people have asked me “why work with another songwriter instead of a more seasoned producer?” I’m sure I’ll get the same question this time around with Jurado. But here’s what I can say about that; other artists understand what it’s like to stand behind the microphone themselves, and these two dudes in particular have walked ten miles in my shoes as singer-songwriters. They know the ropes, they know the fears, they understand the vulnerability required to put your heart on tape, and BOTH of them know how to do it right. Jurado summed it up perfectly when he said to me “It took me ten records to figure out how to do this right, let me save you some time.”

Tell me about how you hooked up with the Team Up for Nonprofits / Gigs4Good folks. How did that collaboration come to life? What's the driving force in working with them / what strikes you about their organization?

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Coffee for the Kids! {11/5 - 11/9}

You're going to get coffee anyway, right? So you might as well caffienate with a purpose: Coffee for the Kids is taking place this week, from Monday, November 5th through Friday, November 9th. And the concept is simple -- just like A Drink for the Kids, you consume, and a portion of the proceeds go straight to our friends at the Vera Project. Easy!

By pairing up with Caffe Vita's Capitol Hill location, the Vera will get to make good use of your habit. And it's not just coffee drinks, either -- ten percent of all sales, all week, count. Were you thinking about picking up some mugs for your buddy that moved away for a Christmas present? Need to stock up on beans for the folks you're hosting over Thanksgiving? Now is the time! The money you spend can do good work, without so much as a penny's hit to your wallet.

On top of the sales donations, Vita will be hosting an arts show of Vera show posters, and on top of that, the Vera Project will be hosting benefit shows, doing bake sales, blogging interviews with Vera alumni, and tons more. The goal over this campaign is to raise $40,000.00 over the month of November, and you can help the cause and keep an eye out on all things VP-related by stopping by their website here.

Here's to caffiene-buzzing with a purpose!

Local goodness (and more!) at 2012's City Arts Fest

Now that this year's City Arts Fest is over, I can take a step back and realize that I have been blown away by four solid days of an amazing array of (mostly) local bands, all giving Seattle some truly amazing sets. Each night showcased what the Pacific Northwest had to offer, and it was difficult to decide what venues to hit and who to see. Packing in as much as I could, I witnessed an incredible display of music spanning from pop to country to rock, and of course, took tons of photos.

The David Byrne / St. Vincent show was housed in the most perfect venue, that being the 5th Avenue Theater. The performance was brilliantly theatrical, with a choreographed horn section and Byrne and Clark's synchronized dancing (!!!) it really was entertainment of the highest caliber. It was almost overwhelmingly unreal. Love This Giant is one of my favorite albums that's come out this year and live, and I'm happy to report that the songs are even more over the top than they are on the record. What became clear about St. Vincent's songs -- especially those like "Cheerleader", "Cruel", and "Marrow" -- was how downright grand they became with the addition of an array of brass instuments. The crowd was pretty packed with David Byrne/Talking Heads fans or at least my section was; and yes, "Burnin' Down the House" was played in amazing fashion.

St. Vincent & David Byrne

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