Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended shows

Best news of the day: Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar to play in Seattle at the Showbox at the Market

ben gibbard by hot avocados photography

Just as we thought this Monday would never end, a piece of news so exciting popped into our inbox to help count down the minutes til quittin' time: Ben Gibbard and Jay Farrar will play at the Showbox at the Market on January 24th! Our own imaginary victoria flew down to San Francisco a few weeks ago and spilled the deets on how awesome the show was (and based on her review, we can only hope they'll add Mr. John Roderick as the opener!), and for those of you (myself included) seething with jealously and wishing you were there, now we'll all get our chance. Tickets go on sale December 5th at 10am, and the show is all ages/bar w/ ID.

Thanks, Jason Tang, for the hot tip!


Simian Mobile Disco return to Neumos tonight - and release a new video

It's only a few hours away, but I'm getting excited for Simian Mobile Disco's show at Neumos tonight. This'll be the third time I've seen the duo of James Ford and Jas Shaw and they've always put on an exciting, multimedia live show that showcases their intricate dance beats (usually working within the 4/4 beat but never making it feel like a constraint). The show will be a sweaty mess and crowded with people searching for every available inch on the floor to dance but I couldn't think of a better way to spend a Monday night.


Cut FOOTLAOS! for Laos this Tuesday, December 1st in Capitol Hill


In November, 2008, our dear Visqueen-er, Rachel Flotard joined her friend Justin on a trip to southern Laos to visit his family. While there, among other adventures, she visited local schools, taking all craft supplies, toothbrushes and the like she could stuff in her luggage. The visit had a huge impact on her and she chronicled the stunning details on her blog.

While at the local elementary school, she asked repeatedly what they would like more than anything for their school (besides a soccer ball), they hesitated, and said, “a floor”. During the rainy season, 340 pairs of these tiny, eager feet get wet while *inside* their classrooms.

To quote Rachel, "This outrages our inner Kevin Bacon."



Imaginary Interview: Japandroids


If you are looking for a band that embodies the essence of every completely generic moment in high school that felt momentous because of a song (and i know you are), but you're too old to believe in the importance of inconsequential instants (which i hope you're not), then the Vancouver based duo Japandroids are for you. Dave Prowse and Brian King blend together noisy yet melodic guitar and pulsing drums to match the boiling blood of teenagers in grown-up lives. Their shared screaming duties deliver angst to even their most thoughtful lyrics, layering meaning in that way in which everything meant too much when you were younger. Go ahead, read this interview and give your Tuesday a heavy injection of the way things used to feel when Japandroids play Chop Suey on the 1st of December.


Tonight's recommended show: Raphael Saadiq at the Showbox

Photo by Jason Tang

In the days and weeks after Bumbershoot, the question of "who was the best act you saw [during the three day festival over Labor Day weekend]?" came up often and my answer was always Raphael Saadiq. The soul singer's two sets I saw (one being in the KEXP music lounge) were incredible to watch. He was backed by a tight (and sharply dressed) band playing some of the most irresistable funk and soul you're likely to here. He sounded sincere both when singing in lust like during "Let's Take a Walk" and paying tribute to victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.


Erin McKeown at the Tractor tonight

Photo by Michael Weintrob

Erin McKeown, the folk singer-songwriter who plays tonight at the Tractor with fellow traveller Jill Sobule, has a song on her newest album called "(Put the Fun Back in) Funeral", which isn't quite as fun as it might sound, but that is one of many reasons why I like Erin McKeown and recommend her show tonight. My favorite song, actually from her album, Hundreds of Lions (released on Ani DiFranco's Righteous Babe label) is the one that precedes "Funeral", the upbeat "The Foxes", which is a catchy little song complimented by McKeown's voice, which here is neither soft and delicate nor rough and abrasive, somewhere just in the middle.

Hundreds of Lions can boast of being a number one album, if you look at the charts in a certain way. It was the number one album on Amazon's mp3 charts briefly a few days after its release (although Amazon's digital sales make up a small fraction of the digital sales that are computed into Billboard's charts - the bulk still comes from iTunes). Still, how many people can boast of playing songs from their "number one album" truthfully? McKeown will be doing just that tonight at the Tractor. Well, I don't know if she'll boast about it (it is sort of a technicality), but she could.


Five reasons for ladies to go see Fuck Buttons

Every noise/drone/math rock show I've gone to has been a sausage fest. Nothing wrong with that -- dudes are fine -- it would just be nice to go to a loud, noisy show that didn't remind me of my 1980's computer science classes.  Because I know there will already be lots of guys at the Fuck Buttons show on Sunday at Chop Suey, this preview is written especially for the girls.


Latest comment by: Andrew, Andrew Hung: ""Sausage fest"? "

Anjulie: a songwriter ready for her close-up

Photo by Sarah Fletcher

{Anjulie plays at Showbox Sodo on Monday, November 16 with Raphael Saadiq and Melanie Fiona.}

Fans of pop music know this: the first time you hear a great and catchy song, one that has a big hook, it will grab you immediately and stick and you’ll want to hear it again and again. When you hear a song like that, you’ll be thanking whoever invented the repeat buttons on CD players or iPods. Such was the case the first time I heard a song called “Boom”.


They Might Be Giants playing Flood all the way through at Showbox Sodo

They Might Be Giants may be the most imaginary of bands. Imaginary Liz is a super-fan who even got to interview one of the two Johns, John Flansburgh in one of my favorite TIG interviews ever.

What I love about TMBG is the randomness that comes with every one of their live shows. I've seen them in bigger venues (The Paramount) and smaller places (EMP's Sky Church) and on Tuesday night they are continuing "Play your most influential album(s) week" in Seattle* with their first (and I think only) platinum album, Flood. While I'll miss the unpredictability of their sets (they have almost thirty years of songs to pull from a hat to play), Flood is a really great album with a lot of favorites, like "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)" and "Particle Man". Their shows are plenty wild - they turned that packed Paramount crowd into the largest conga line I've ever seen.


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "Aweee - thanks for the kind words regarding the interview. That exchange with John F remains one of the best moments of my imaginary life. He's so rad. This show is going to be awesome... who's headed there tonight? Have any out of towners seen stops from ...

Win tickets to see F**k Buttons at Chop Suey

Photo from MySpace

One of the last times the Pitchfork-approved, London-based noise-experimentalists Fuck Buttons came through town, I thoroughly enjoyed their set (which was opening for Mogwai) and wrote:

For a little over 40 minutes, Fuck Buttons held the rapt attention of the audience, who seemed mesmerized by the two men up front; that could be, though that it was too loud to have much of a conversation. They used laptops, synths, a drum machine (and a drum pad) and a vocoder with their microphone. When Benjamin John Power or Andrew Hung would sing, their vocals were drowned out by the sounds around them; rather than pay attention to the lyrics Fuck Buttons force you to respond to the sounds they are creating.

Now they're coming back with a highly-regarded new album called Tarot Sport and playing at Chop Suey on Sunday night (November 15). If you want to go but aren't into the whole "paying to get in" sort of thing, send an e-mail to before 9am on Thursday (November 12) with "TarotSport" in the subject line and one lucky person and guest will be able to say to their friends "I'm going to see Fuck Buttons for free". The show is 21+, so you and your guest will need to have that taken care of before Sunday.