Tonight in Seattle:  

Twee

Imaginary Keenan's navel-gazing 2013 wrap-up

2013 was one of the most challenging years of my adult life. I tackled a ridiculous amount of life and ALL CAPS FEELINGS all at once but somehow came out alive and mostly unscathed thanks to finally learning how to take care of myself. 2013 found me taking solace in music much more than the few years preceding it, mostly because I needed it. 2013 was the year of obsessive repeats and the return of music as therapy to my life. Here are a few things that really shook me to the core and pulled me through even the darkest days.

Fortunately, this year featured new releases by two of my all-time (and seriously imaginary) favorites, BOAT and Tullycraft. I spent the first quarter of the year listening to both on repeat, generally in succession. I owe my sanity in the first few months at a brutal corporate job I have since (thankfully) left mostly to these two records.

BOAT's Pretend to Be Brave is a beautiful, slow burning record. My husband and I have a joke about BOAT songs - "My favorite BOAT song is the one about overcoming difficulties and becoming a better person" {cue rim shot} and that couldn't have been more true on the latest effort nearly a decade into their career. But like with every BOAT record, the songwriting becomes more focused, more honest and the hooks become even stronger. The secret weapon on this record is the absolutely perfect backing vocal performance provided by Portland's Shelley Short, adding just the right amount of sparkle. My only disappointment was that BOAT didn't play more shows in 2013. Hopefully this is something they'll correct in the new year. Please enjoy the lead single, "Hating the Criminal".

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Latest comment by: Diana Wegener: "Very rocking and dashing as well. I like you guys, I like the way you present your news. Keep us rocking in 2014! In It Pokies "

A happy frenzy of Tullycraft, in video form

Ok, so there's a lot of Tullycraft stuff going on… but would you expect any less than a feverish (but happy) frenzy when one of our favorite imaginary bands releases a new album after six years of silence?

We're pretty sure you've read the imaginary record review of their new album, Lost in Light Rotation (Magic Marker Records / Fortuna Pop) and noticed that Allmusic.com just posted a loving review of the album.  And, you've surely marked your calendar for the Tullycraft vs BOAT DJ gig at Saint John's in Captiol Hill tonight (4/25), right?

But, have you seen their new video for "Dig Up the Graves?" It's a scrapbook of fun, and mayhem, and cute facial expressions. Basically, if you love America and a good time, you'll dig this video.



And while we're here, here's the video for the first single from the album - it's a little more retro.  Yay old-timey radios!

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Tullycraft — Lost in Light Rotation

Tullycraft's first single came out when I was fifteen. Played heavily on WPRB Princeton, "Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend's Too Stupid To Know About" was the start of MY long and damning relationship with indie pop. Yet, like the boy in that 1995 single, Tullycraft has made me worry I was too stupid to know about the bands they were singing about. My love for them has been a combination of sheer adoration and joy coupled with a nervousness that I was missing the joke -- maybe I too, in the words of the album's title track "Lost in Light Rotation," never took the time to learn the slang that we speak or the slogans on the t-shirts. Yet when the message is all wrapped up in harmonies and power chords, I forget my fear for love of bouncing and singing along.

Tullycraft’s vision of twee was something both sweet and cynical, a cuteness belied with dirty jokes, and both obscure references and snide comments about other bands. Don’t you dare try to tell me they’re all about ukuleles and bunny rabbits and cuddly wuddly love songs! The hearts in their songs are often broken, the best times have already past, and computers don’t even exist as a way to keep in touch with friends.

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Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Tullycraft

Tullycraft - Lost in Light Rotation It's no secret I have an inside scoop on what goes on in the Tullycraft camp, so I've actually have heard this whole album. A hundred times. Because I just can't stop listening to it.

I was a fan long before I infiltrated their compound, so it's been extra hard to keep from quoting lines and exclaiming about how much I love it. But now that cover art is finalized and a release date has been set, I CAN!

The new album, Lost in Light Rotation, will strike a chord with newbies and longtime loves alike. This time around, Tullycraft has given us an album that is more concise and concentrated with relentless indie-pop guitar and vocal twists that will make you spin on the dancefloor until you drop. 

The result is a set of songs that have the hutzpah of "Our Days in Kansas," the demureness of "DIY Queen," a touch of the electro-craft of "We know You're Cute You Told Us," lo-fi rockeries of "Josie," and that doesn't even include a descriptor for the recently released single, "Lost in Light Rotation" {on 7" vinyl on Magic Marker (US) / Fortuna Pop (Europe)} which you can highly rotate on soundcloud.  There's a video for this single making the rounds (and posted below) and there's an added bonus: the 7" includes an exclusive b-side - a cover of Yazoo’s "Bad Connection."

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Latest comment by: Steve Robinson: "So jealous that you have such an in to the band. I bought the limited cassette, but can't seem to find the vinyl for sale on Magic Marker's website. Fingers crossed Tullycraft will play a show soon (when I'm not out of town)!"

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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Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Ethan from Math and Physics Club

Ethan Jones of Math and Physics ClubIt's hard to remember imaginary life before Math & Physics Club came along.  We are forever honored to have been one of the first places they sent their demo to back in the summer of 2004.  With their sweet indie-pop blend of The Smiths with The Lucksmiths, and all things Sarah Records with Matinee Records, their beautiful songs (even as demos) immediately made us both jump with glee and fill with pretty heartache.

Besides being hella nice folks who write hella nice songs, we adore them because they have been kind enough to be a part of many of our (even wackiest) show endeavors.  They are brilliant when they play their own songs (as we've written about countless times), but they are also really great at covers! They did a couple magic Magnetic Field covers at our 69 Love Songs cover night and they even perfected a Stone Roses cover at one of our showcases (video of them performing it in CA below).

Ethan Jones from MaPC is going to represent the band on at 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash on Friday, June 1st at Chop Suey {tix}. You might also remember Ethan as a touring member of Eux Autres in addition to his MaPC responsibilities of bass guitar and harmonies.  Besides rumors swirling that MaPC are possibly talking about one day maybe recording something perhaps sometime, Ethan is also currently working on an EP of his own.  And, also of very important indie-pop note, Math and Physics Club donated a very rare and very exclusive song to the 10th anniversary commemorative imaginary zine, which you can be the first of your friends to pick up AT THE SHOW!

He was one of the first folks to send over their requested song, so we can only imagine that he's spent ever single moment working on his new wave poses.

Imaginary Linkage: Stuff We Spied Online This Week {2/4-2/10}

Aw, how romantic. Send some heartwarming messages to your valentine via The Mountain Goats + Movies Tumblr

Portlandia (yay!) nails how imaginary moms would approach the problem of insufficient indie-rock in preschools

Drunk(ish) comic book history: aka John Landis's son, Max, schools us on The Death and Rebirth of Superman (with the help of his celebrity friends)

Say it Ain't So - a Weezer...cruise??!!?!? What the. Who came up with this idea? 

Banksy + Tom Hanks: There's a new grafitti star in town: Hanksy

A lesson in freaking people out: Construct remote-controlled planes that look like flying people and fly them over NYC. 

PhyloPic: More animal clip art than you can shake a giraffe at.

Bonus: Tweet of the week! (omfgpugs)

Anything we missed that belongs on this imaginary list? 

 

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<img alt="" src="http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/files/uploaded-images/mountaingoatsvalentine.jpg" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; width: 500px; height: 300px; " /></p>
<p>
<strong>Aw, how romantic. </strong>Send some heartwarming messages to your valentine via <a href="http://mountaingoatsplusmovies.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">The Mountain Goats + Movies Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Portlandia</strong> (yay!) nails how imaginary moms would approach the problem of <a href="http://youtu.be/ItXUqk_eIE8" target="_blank">insufficient indie-rock in preschools</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Drunk(ish) comic book history:</strong> aka John Landis&#39;s son, Max, schools us on <a href="http://youtu.be/0PlwDbSYicM" target="_blank">The Death and Rebirth of Superman</a> (with the help of his celebrity friends)</p>
<p>
<strong>Say it Ain&#39;t So</strong> - <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2012/feb/06/weezer-cruise" target="_blank">a Weezer...cruise??!!?!?</a> What the. Who came up with this idea?&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Banksy + Tom Hanks:</strong> There&#39;s a new grafitti star in town: <a href="http://kottke.org/12/02/banksy-tom-hanks-hanksy" target="_blank">Hanksy</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<b>A lesson in freaking people out: </b>Construct remote-controlled planes that look like<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcDN409ZBv4" target="_blank">&nbsp;flying<em> </em>people</a>&nbsp;and fly them over NYC.&nbsp;</p>
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&nbsp;</p>
<p class="p1">
<strong>PhyloPic:</strong> More <a href="http://phylopic.org/" target="_blank">animal clip art</a> than you can shake a giraffe at.</p>
<p class="p1">
<strong>Bonus:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/PortlandiaTV/status/167606148525068288" target="_blank">Tweet of the week!</a> (omfgpugs)</p>

 

<p>
<img alt="" src="http://www.threeimaginarygirls.com/files/uploaded-images/mountaingoatsvalentine.jpg" style="border-top-width: 0px; border-right-width: 0px; border-bottom-width: 0px; border-left-width: 0px; border-top-style: solid; border-right-style: solid; border-bottom-style: solid; border-left-style: solid; margin-left: 4px; margin-right: 4px; margin-top: 4px; margin-bottom: 4px; width: 500px; height: 300px; " /></p>
<p>
<strong>Aw, how romantic. </strong>Send some heartwarming messages to your valentine via <a href="http://mountaingoatsplusmovies.tumblr.com/" target="_blank">The Mountain Goats + Movies Tumblr</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Portlandia</strong> (yay!) nails how imaginary moms would approach the problem of <a href="http://youtu.be/ItXUqk_eIE8" target="_blank">insufficient indie-rock in preschools</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Drunk(ish) comic book history:</strong> aka John Landis&#39;s son, Max, schools us on <a href="http://youtu.be/0PlwDbSYicM" target="_blank">The Death and Rebirth of Superman</a> (with the help of his celebrity friends)</p>
<p>
<strong>Say it Ain&#39;t So</strong> - <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2012/feb/06/weezer-cruise" target="_blank">a Weezer...cruise??!!?!?</a> What the. Who came up with this idea?&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<strong>Banksy + Tom Hanks:</strong> There&#39;s a new grafitti star in town: <a href="http://kottke.org/12/02/banksy-tom-hanks-hanksy" target="_blank">Hanksy</a>.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
<b>A lesson in freaking people out: </b>Construct remote-controlled planes that look like<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dcDN409ZBv4" target="_blank">&nbsp;flying<em> </em>people</a>&nbsp;and fly them over NYC.&nbsp;</p>
<p>
&nbsp;</p>
<p class="p1">
<strong>PhyloPic:</strong> More <a href="http://phylopic.org/" target="_blank">animal clip art</a> than you can shake a giraffe at.</p>
<p class="p1">
<strong>Bonus:</strong> <a href="https://twitter.com/#!/PortlandiaTV/status/167606148525068288" target="_blank">Tweet of the week!</a> (omfgpugs)</p>

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Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "

and! http://fuckyournoguchicoffeetable.tumblr.com!!

"

Imaginary Watch This: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On Two

I can't really explain why I think Marcel the Shell with Shoes On is so damn funny, but it just is. In this second installment, I really love the "oh god, I can smell his face" part - and the explanation of where he sleeps when in a hotel. (part 1 here)

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Seattle's very own one-night popfest: The Smittens, Math & Physics Club, The Special Places, Monnone Alone {ex-Lucksmiths}

A mini popfest in Seattle

The best thing about the San Francisco PopFest, besides the fabulous line-up gathered in one city over five consecutive days for the massive delight of p-fest attendees, is fact that all of those PopFest bands sometimes spread their west coast wings and, in the most wonderful of cases, travel north to visit us in Seattle.

On Friday, June 3 at the Rendezvous we have just such a migration from SF as two Seattle (and imaginary favorite) bands share a bill with two indie-popolicious artists from far away to make my one-night-mini-popfest dreams come true.

Opening the night is Monnone Alone, a band consisting of the most charming Lucksmiths' bassist of all time, Mark Monnone {and, sometimes, a couple very talented friends}. There has been a hole in our heart since the Lucksmiths called it quits (or how we like to remember it, put a hiccup in our happiness by hitting the 'pause' button), and here comes Monnone Alone to the rescue.

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Latest comment by: Mark: "And there's a replay the next night (4th) in Olympia."

Brave Irene brings on the fuzzy gal pop, Slumberland-style

Brave Irene
If the two teaser tracks posted on the internet are representative of the new Brave Irene album, I think I've found my favorite fuzzy pop album of the year... and it's not just because I'm already a huge fan of one of the band's members. The all-lady group from Vancouver, Canada features imaginary favorite Rose Melberg, the gal behind all things Tiger Trap, The Softies, Gaze, and Go Sailor.

On the group's debut self-titled album, Ms. Melberg has stepped away from the demure and subtle, filling Brave Irene's songs with boisterous glee and velvety shoegazer swells a la The Primatives and The Flatmates. The eight-song release hits the shelves (on cd, MP3 download, or limited edition creamy white 12" vinyl) on March 15, 2011, on Slumberland Records (it's a perfect companion to the latest Pains of Being Pure at Heart, donchaknow). I can't wait to hear all 18 minutes of it!

Here's the two songs I've heard so far... what do you think?:

Brave Irene - Longest Day

Brave Irene - No Fun

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