Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended shows

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.


Recommended show: Pinback at Neumo's on Tuesday, November 10th

Basically, Pinback is one of those bands that can do no wrong. At least in my musical world, where they live lodged firmly between bearded, haunted, sad-bastard notebook lyrics and dirty, gritty indie rock. Their bass-laden double front-man performances, both in the studio and on the stage, are really a feast for the ears --  Pinback and Autumn of the Seraphs were two of the albums I picked up as "must-haves that I had somehow missed" this past year and both have been in heavy rotation since.

Their current tour is stopping through town tomorrow night at Neumo's, where you can get a slice of this magic first-hand {$17 adv., $20 dos}. For our PDX friends, it looks like the tour stops in town the following night, with plans for San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego before a cross-country jump to New York on the 22nd.

As the officials put it, they're "infectious," "dreamy," and "not to be missed." I couldn't agree more.

Here's a video for "From Nothing to Nowhere" off of AotS:

And "Fortress" off of Summer in Abbadon (with some really fantastic animation):

Hope to see you at the show!

Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "Victoria, I'll agree with you when you say "pinback and Autumn of the Seraphs are must haves", but for my money, "Summer in Abaddon" is their best album. You really can't go wrong with any Pinback album,but to me that's their best one front to ...

Win tickets to Friday Mile's CD release party on Friday at the Tractor

Our friends from Friday Mile are celebrating the release of their brand new album Good Luck Studio this Friday (November 13, but don't let superstition keep you from checking out a great show) at the Tractor. Earlier in the year, they rocked the hell out of my birthday show at Chop Suey in January and in the spring they unexpectedly happened to be in the same city on their west coast tour as I was for my vacation (San Diego) and made for a great surprise.

Like the good, caring friends they are, the band asked if they could send a TIG reader (and guest) into the show for free. Of course we couldn't say no because the show will likely sell out and you know how the economy is and all that. If you want to be said TIG reader who gets to go to the Friday Mile CD release show for free, please just send an e-mail to before 9am on Thursday, November 12 with "GoodLuck" in the subject line. The show is 21+, so please enter and choose your +1 accordingly. The Dimes, The Banyans and Indian Valley Line round out the solid lineup.

Win tickets to see Darren Hanlon and Rose Melberg in Seattle on Friday, November 13th!

Darren Hanlon {from his presskit}

{photo from Darren's press kit}

It is my pleasure to announce that Australia's unbelievably talented and charming pinball champion/songsmith Darren Hanlon will be joining us in our fair city on Friday, November 13th at the Fremont Abbey! You may have caught Darren when he opened up for the Magnetic Fields on the i tour in 2004 (which happened to be where I fell in love with his songs myself). His songs are beautifullly penned stories, sometimes sad, sometimes silly, and often feature a "punchline", just as you're about to succumb to weeping on the floor. Here's a video of one of my favorites of his, "The Unmade Bed" from 2004's Little Chills.

And, to top it all off, we have a pair of tickets to give away! E-mail by Thursday at 9am with the subject line "WeOnlyTouchedElbows" (all one word please), and please include your full name, especially if your e-mail address is something like See you at the Fremont Abbey!