Tonight in Seattle:  


Celebrate 25 Years of Scarecrow Video this weekend {12/6-12/8}

My favorite Seattle institution, Scarecrow Video, is celebrating TWENTY-FIVE FREAKING YEARS this weekend with all kinds of specials and things and stuff and stuff and things.

Look, y’all, I can’t say this enough: Scarecrow is awesome. Scarecrow opened its doors on December 9, 1988 and started with an inventory of 600 titles. Now, it has something like 120,000 (blink blink). There is nothing like stepping into a video store and really LOOKING around, discovering new films, re-disovering old favorites, getting suggestions from the people who work there, and striking up conversations with fellow film-lovers. If there was ever a time for you to either go in for the first time, or return there after a long absence, THIS is it. This is the time. Now. 

Anyway. About the stuff and things: 

Friday, December 6 through Sunday, December 8, Scarecrow is going to have a ton of special things happening, including ONE FREE RENTAL per customer, and an ultra-cool amnesty on late fees (got an old late fee and haven't been in for awhile? update your account and rent something, and they will wip the slate clean -- unless you never returned the movie at all -- there are limits, people!), plus:

50% off all used titles
$1 VHS and Laserdiscs
$3 off Criterion titles (this is an ongoing sale)
Markdowns  on select box sets and out of print titles
Packs of 10 pre-paid rentals for only $25 (that's a $15 savings!) 
Raffles & giveaways
Favorite movies screening all weekend 
A scavenger hunt
You can also buy a copy of their amazing limited-edition 25th Anniversary poster by Marc Palm: $25 each (25" x36" - shown above) 


An important message from Tennis Pro about Black Friday

It's been awhile since I've talked about how great Tennis Pro is, and this new video for "Shopping Day" is just one of the meany reasons I think they're awesome. They're not asking you not to shop the day after Thanksgiving; they're just asking you to remember how strong your love is. And love them, we do! How can we not love a band that has a song called "Imaginary Girl?"

Please, don't break Tennis Pro's heart on Black Friday, you guys. That would be tragic. 

{Psst: You can find "Imaginary Girl" on the Imaginary Mix CD of Very Imaginary Songs, which comes with our 10-year Anniversary 'Zine! Just sayin'.}

Ben Lashes sighting on Sunday Morning

Ben Lashes / Grumpy Cat Manaager

I'm guessing that by Sunday morning, most of us were exhausted from all the non-stop Barsuk celebration fun.  That's to be expected; when some of the nicest people amass some of our favorite bands to play *together* in mini-fest style, beauty sleep goes out the door.

So, in case you were one of the people catching up on your zzzzs Sunday and slept through this week's episode of CBS's Sunday Morning, I wanted to share one of the stories premiered this week. Seattle's own* Ben Lashes** is featured in a segment! There are many reasons you'll love watching it (give it up for Grumpy Cat!), but your 2003 heart will burst at the 1:04 mark.

Is it any surprise that he's the force behind many an internet star cat?

*I know full well that Ben has been living in L.A. for years now, but he'll always be a Seattle boy in our imaginary world.

**Yes, Ben Lashes of The Lashes, featured in many a TIG story from 2002-2008.

Imaginary Watch This: The West's "It Was Disco and It's Over"

In the mood for a mini-love story? Wanna yell at the screen as if the two people on it will hear you and f**king make a move already? Awesome. Then this video by Seattle-based band The West is for you!

"It Was Disco and It's Over" is a nice, catchy indie rock tune, but what makes it even better is the fact that the video (directed by Jordan Albertsen) tells the tale of a sweet little love connection, complete with dancing, AND it showcases a bunch of places in Seattle and Bellingham. There's a list of businesses at the end of the video (I spied both Oddfellows and Everyday Music in there!!) and I think that's pretty cool.

If you like what you hear, The West is offering up a digital download of their entire alt-pop-rock-disco album, In Low Light, on Bandcamp for whatever you wanna pay. That's also pretty cool.

{The West's next show in Seattle is on October 19 at the High Dive with Ever-So-Android, or you can catch 'em in Portland on September 7 at Slabtown}

Tune in: new videos from Pickwick, Sean Nelson

About a month or so ago, an email came in to the imaginary inbox with a link to Pickwick's latest video effort, an outstanding feat of mini-moviemaking for one of the best tracks on Can't Talk Medicine, "Lady Luck". (In the event you missed earlier praise, it's a Richard Swift cover featuring Sharon Van Etten that slays with sultry, buttery vocals; more here.) The band has a habit of working with killer directors, so it's no surprise that the visual presentation of the song is seamless: the framing is gorgeous, the cues are on point, and the whole thing is just teeming with that rare blend understated powerfulness. And really, did anyone expect that a bunch of straight beardy dudes would do such an excellent job portraying a day in the life of a crossdresser? Welp, not only did these dudes do it, they did it really, really well.

It's an incredibly concise, fly-on-the-wall visual of our friend's process: out with old, in with the new; with subtle cues from the lyrics (I look around and I don't feel like myself ; it's just the beginning, though the end is near) layered in with first-take bad-assery to really knock the finished product out of the park. It's daring and brilliant, and executed near-perfectly. Bravah, Heathers! {buy the album / get tour dates}

The other homerun that hit our queue at about the same time as the Pickwick video was the title single off of Sean Nelson's upcoming release, Make Good Choices. It's an incredibly catchy rendering of a specific relationship lifecycle, a timeline of pain and clarity stitched together with some of the most concise post-'Fuck off, ex!' storytelling ever.


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 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!


Don't miss: Lady at Neumos {TONIGHT}


New girl crush alert! I am seriously digging on the ladies of Lady. Their sweet beats and soulful harmonies are completely irresistible with a feminine sass that just dares you not to like them. And you can bet your ass I’m gonna be there when they play Neumos tonight.

These girls have some serious chops: both already have had successful solo careers, peaking in the last decade. Nicole Wray, who hails from Atlanta, was brought up through the business by none other than Miss Superfreak herself, Missy Elliot.  Nicole’s single, “Make It Hot”, went gold way back in 1998.  Rounding out the other half of lady is UK darling Terri Walker, her debut album was nominated for the Mercury Prize. When the two met in 2009 they decided to team up to make a record based on their shared passion for hip-hop, R&B, and classic soul. Well, they did just that, and guess what? Their self-titled debut album kicks ass!


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?!?!?!

Weekday cure: new Charles Bradley video

"Let's get on 95 / and feel the fire."

Charles Bradley isn't just a performer, he's a force. He's an experience. He's a feeling in your guts that all will be right with the world if we just love each other and try hard enough, that we can simultaneously transcend our heartbreak and embrace those sharp corners of our hearts that shape us. And his latest single, "Strictly Reserved For You," manages to embody his one-of-a-kind essence in the most beautiful and complete of ways -- it's a fully legit track, whether for your next mixtape or your next party playlist, and leads me to believe that the new album (Victim of Love, out last month on Daptone) is going to do some serious damage on this year's best-of lists.

With that said, we've got to take a minute to talk about this gem of a video. It seriously creates a near-indescribable level of joy that translates the heartburst-y bliss of Charles as we know and love him, presented with a hip, beautiful, clean-but-not-sterile vision that almost feels like we're following him through a week of his life. We see the streets he walks every day, we see his coffeeshop moments, his dance moves and work days and park days: Charles In His Van, Charles On His Street, Charles In His Jacket, Charles On A Soundstage, Charles In The Grass. (And ugh, can someone please make a .gif out of Charles Being Birthed By A Hydrangea Bush?? SO GOOD.)


Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "

Love me some Charles Bradley. Still letting this album settle in, but this song is so far my favorite on the album. 

Also, that GIF seems to encapsulate Bradley pretty well for me. Just oozing with passion and sincerity. 


Don't miss: Cayucas at the Neptune {2/8}

Hello, sunshine.

It seems fitting that right in the middle of our winter doldrums that a band like Cayucas comes to pay us a visit. They've got a so-warm-you-can-almost-feel-it blend of laid back synth-beat and a perfect stretch of California coastline embedded in their sound, and judging by the forecast, you're going to want to catch a burst while you can.

Lucky for you, Cayucas are opening up for Barsuk's Ra Ra Riot, who have a new album out this month and are touring in support. Tickets are available right on over here, both bands will be at the Neptune next Friday, February 8th for an all-ages show.

We'll see you there!