Tonight in Seattle:  

Recommended shows

The Imaginary Holiday Spectacular poster is here!

It's all happening! Behold, the super-radtastical poster for this year's Imaginary Holiday Spectacular. Big thanks to our very own Imaginary Liz and Sean for putting it together! 

If you didn't see the news flash earlier this week, pop on over here for our show announcement post. We'll be telling you more about the featured bands over the month of December as we count down to the show -- and we hope to see you all on the 21st!

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!"

Recommended Show: Ya Gotta Believe! at Richard Hugo House {11/16}

We wanted to give some love to the Richard Hugo House this week, because it’s amongst our favorite artistic community venues, and we don’t talk about it enough!

On Friday, November 16, as part of the 2012-2013 Literary Series, the Hugo House is hosting writers Ryan Boudinot (“Blueprints of the Afterlife”), Emily Kendall Frey (“The Grief Performance”), and Claire Dederer (“Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses”), who will lead a discussion of what to believe - and why Ya Gotta Believe!

With new music created by Jason Dodson of The Maldives, this event is going to be something super-extra-special, and super imaginary!

You should definitely snap up some tix online now, before it sells out.

{Ya Gotta Believe! | Richard Hugo House | Friday, 12/16, 7:30pm | $25 general, $20 HH members | All Ages, Bar with ID} 

Digging in to Wintersong: Naomi Wachira and Kevin Long

{Team Up Presents: Wintersong}

As promised, we're coming to you today with a bit more of an in-depth look at some of the artists playing Wintersong, the Team Up for Nonprofits benefit we told you about last week. On the odd chance you're holding off on buying a ticket and putting fifteen of your hard-earned dollars to work for the cause, let's see if we can't get you on board with the lineup:

Naomi Wachira

{Naomi Wachira}

Naomi Wachira is going to be one of the artists starting the evening off at the Crocodile in a few weeks, and are we sure glad that we took the time to listen to what she's been putting out into the ether. Holy heaven in a soundbyte! Rooted in Kenya and now hailing from Seattle, this local artist has got a style all her own, with a sound that "blends elements of African rhythm, American folk, and soul" -- all while dropping vocals like fine-tuned bells: punchy, clear and poignant in their every tone. Take your ears on over to the few tracks she's got up on her ReverbNation page, and be immediately sold. We can't wait to hear more at the show, and we'll be up front early on in the night to make sure we don't miss a minute.

Go-to track: "You Better." If you can get with Nathaniel Rateliff's hits-to-the-gut crosshatched through with African soul-sensibility, you'll love this brand of groove.

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Latest comment by: Anonymous: "Can not wait! "

I love this shit: Husky

As we mentioned this summer, recent Sub Pop signees Husky have taken on the world with their "meticulous, soothing, gentle-assault, looking out the train window movie-soundtrack sound", and so far as we can tell, the masses agree. Since that post, we saw Husky come through town on a bill with Shearwater, and the next time we turned around, they're premiering the very video above on Rolling Stone's website. Bravah, Heathers -- the beautiful, attention-grabbing, slow-chugging train of "Tidal Wave" deserves all the attention it can get.

Husky just played a few dates in the Northwest last weekend -- but if you happen to be out in the rest of the country {Chicago, Boston, New York and the like}, you've still got a chance to catch them live over the next few weeks. Pop on over to their Sub Pop page to take a peek at their upcoming tour dates, and head on out to the shows if you can.

On sale today: Wintersong {a Gigs4Good / Team Up for Nonprofits benefit}

Today, tickets go on sale at 10am for the latest Gigs4Good benefit, "Wintersong," which will be taking place on Wednesday, November 28th at the Crocodile. This go-'round, the money by G4G raised will be going to Team Up for Nonprofits, a radical nonprofit that brings awareness, resources, and funding together to -- you guessed it -- help out other nonprofits in the community. Awesome!

There's a great selection of local artists on the roster for this event, including Ivan and Alyosha, Shelby Earl, Tea Cozies, Tom Eddy, Kevin Long, Ben Fisher, Naoimi Wachira, and more TBA -- and they'll all be performing winter-themed songs. Over the next few weeks, we'll be showcasing more information about these folks, so stay tuned for a few in-depth features about why we think this would be a great way to invest a few (specifically: fifteen) of your budgeted holiday dollars this season.

You can get more information Gigs4Good here, Team Up for Nonprofits here, and learn more about the show via the Facebook page here.

Happy almost-holidays!

Two picks to start this weekend off right!

It's Monday morning and the weekend is still with us -- wasn't yours lovely? Ours too! Well, we're here bright and early to (hopefully) ease the weight of the workweek with a snapshot of a few options you can look forward to this Thursday {11/1} and Friday (11/2}.

Thursday: Sea Wolf and Great Wilderness at the Tractor Tavern

Sea Wolf first hit our radar back around 2007ish when KEXP blasted "You're a Wolf" into my heavy rotation, that and "Middle Distance Runner" off of Leaves in the River make up what SW's sound seems to encompass: indie-lite, a little dreamy; achy and pleasing. And after taking a pass at the first single from their new album Old World Romance, it seems as though the vibe is continuing to evolve beautifully -- a little more punctuated, a little more weathered for the better:

The band is currently on the road with everyone's favorite local alt.orch-pop outfit Hey Marseilles, but they won't be playing this Friday's Tractor date -- instead, our PDX pals Great Wilderness will be taking their place, and we highly recommend getting down there in time for their set. {tickets}

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Tea Cozies — Bang Up

Here is some fantastic news to brighten any grey Seattle Fall day -- our favorite garage-surf rockers the Tea Cozies are releasing a new EP on October 30! I don’t think I have stopped randomly breaking into “sha lalalala”-style choruses since their last album Hot Probs dropped. Their latest effort, titled Bang Up, is a five-song feel-good funhouse that’s filled with three-chord riffs and dreamy pop vocals.

Bang Up was recorded over the summer and features the Tea Cozies’ distinct brand of 60’s girl group harmonies blended with effervescent surf pop rhythms. Briefly venturing into the darker reaches on “Cosmic Osmo,” you get a taste of their more rough edge capabilities and quirkier sound. But it doesn’t last long: they quickly take you back to dreamland in the closing track “Silhouette in a Suitcase,” which catapaulted me straight to the days of Veruca Salt and Blur.

The highlight is “Muchos Dracula,” a wonderfully retro-spooky monster ode reminiscent of The Munsters theme song and Creature From the Black Lagoon Not to mention, it’s bloody perfect for Halloween! All in all, the Tea Cozies didn’t stray far from the familiar, but instead work on perfecting what they already know. And that’s okay by me because heck, it had me skipping down the street.

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Recommended Show: Mayer Hawthorne and the County at The Neptune {10/24}

Chances are you might not recognize Mayer Hawthorne but you probably already know his music. His song "Your Easy Lovin’ Ain’t Pleasin’ Nothin’" was featured on an episode of Ugly Betty, and Kanye even used a Hawthorne track in his short film We Were Once a Fairytale. His soulful throwback sound, reminiscent of Motown’s hit makers, has made him a cross-genre favorite and he’s played with everyone from Chromeo to Booker T. Jones.  And he’s about to sing Seattleites right out of their skinny jeans, appearing at the Neptune on Wednesday October 24 with his band The County. This is baby making music for hipsters.

His last album, How Do You Do featured the single "The Walk" and showcased what Hawthorne does so damn well: tongue-in-cheek humor wrapped in a Smokey Robinson-style melody.  And the video ain’t bad either -- a Mr. and Mrs. Smith ass kicking, assassins-getting-even montage. His ladykiller persona is helped along on the seductive "No Strings", a guaranteed panty dropper for even the Ira Glass faithful.

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City Arts Fest: (mostly local) one-a-days

This year's City Arts Fest has an incredible lineup, and like much of what goes on in this city, there's something for everyone. Killer lineups at traditional venues, experimental art-house 'secret' shows, happy hours, late night surprises -- the list goes on and on. You can head on over here to build your schedule and here to pick up some tickets for whatever floats your boat, and if you've got the means and you're primarily interested in listening to some solid music, that $55.00 wristband for all-access to (most of) the shows is absolutely the way to go.

There's tons to pick from, but if you can only do one show per evening, here's what I humbly suggest you make time for:

Wednesday: Jonathan Russell and Kevin Murphy at All Pilgrims Church

{Jonathan Russell / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

This photo was taken from a performance Jonathan Russell did at the Fremont Abbey (performing in the round with Damien Jurado) earlier this year. If it's indicative of what we'll be hearing at Wednesday's All Pilgrims Church show, you'd best get yourself there early, nab a seat up front, and don't plan on moving for the entire set. It's not simply Head and the Heart-lite -- not that a set of HatH tunes would be a bad thing, but from what we've been able to witness, Jonathan takes the time and space in his solo performances to expound on new material and creative covers (hello, "Ain't No Sunshine" by Bill Withers, echoing out into a high-ceilinged, hushed hall) as well as belting out some band selections we know and love. Add the rootsy, engagingly-delivered verbal prowess of Kevin Murphy (The Moondoggies) to the bill, and you've got yourself a no-brainer.

Thursday: Lemolo at the Triple Door

{Lemolo / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Triple Door is going to be a near-perfect backdrop-slash-forum in which Lemolo can bring their particular brand of hyper-intelligent, dream-synth to the stage, with a rapt audience to take in their gorgeous, thought-provoking song-gems. To put it simply: I. Can. Not. Wait. For. This. Set. Their album was released earlier this year to much critical acclaim, they're packing venues left and right, and with every performance that emerges and every video that surfaces, Meagan Grandall and Kendra Cox seem to be fine-tuning into a near-perfect version of this... thing that happens when they are together creating art in the same space. If we get there in time, all that + an order of potstickers before the show = HEAVEN.

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