Tonight in Seattle:  

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart

A mixtape of Imaginary Liz's Best of 2011 {so far)

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2011 pt 1

Rather than thinking of it as 2011 being halfway over, I prefer to see it as we're all halfway to my birthday {December 24th if it's not on your calendar already}. To celebrate, and take stock of this year's releases thus far, I've put together a mix of my favorite songs of 2011 {so far}.

This year has brought some predictably great albums from friends such as Mountain Goats, Okkervil River, BOAT, Matt & Kim, Telekinesis, Bright Eyes. I feel like I've been waiting for a fresh batch of songs from Brown Recluse for years. I love every note they play and having a two hearty releases in one year {Panoptic Mirror Maze and Evening Tapestry} makes me overjoyed.

Other bands, like When I Was 12 and Dangerous Ponies, I am thankful for crossing paths with for the first time this year.

And then there are the folks that have left me wanting more more more (I'm looking at you Oregon Bike Trails and Forbidden Friends)! Huge thanks to You Aint No Picasso for bringing Oregon Bike Trails to my attention. OBT fellow, singer/songwriter Zach Yudin, from Santa Monica, Ca., is quite the mysterious dude - only having a cassette tape release earlier this year (hand painted, limited to 50!) and a couple other MP3s swirling around the web.

Forbidden Friends, a side project by Thermals frontman Hutch Harris (with Michael Lerner of Telekinesis on drums and fellow Thermals Kathy Foster and Westin Glass backing him up), is still in the 7" only phase, and needless to say I'm counting down to a full album of FF stuff.

In short, I can't recommend the below songs and full releases enough. To help convince you of their brilliance, I made a virtual mix cd!

The tracklisting of my {hopefully very convincing} mix cd is:


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "Yeah, me too. I'm hoping to get mine posted sometime next week? Hopefully it will get back up to 80 degrees by then? ;)"

Trying to get a handle on my excitement for the Pains of Being Pure at Heart show {this Friday}


It's been a tough past couple days as I whittle down the countdown clock to Friday night and the big Pains of Being Pure at Heart show at The Crocodile!

The tick tock on the clock started months ago when I first heard whispers from the blazingly pretty new album, Belong {listen to a full stream here}, and began fantasizing about how they are going to tear the stage up {in the nicest way possible} with fuzzy pop the next time they visit town {read Chris Estey's spot on imaginary review}.

An added bonus is that Seattle twee-phenom Seapony will be opening up. Their recent signing to Hardly Art Records only confirms my suspicion that they are poised to take over the indie-pop scene.

The show has recently sold-out {score one point for all the shy guys in the room!}, so I'm extra proud of myself for procuring tickets early.

Are you headed to the show too? What songs do you want them to include in the set?

Have other plans/suggestions for this weekend? Details please!


Latest comment by: Jeremy Jensen: "The only time I regret living in Boise is when I hear of shows like these. TPOBPAH made it through Boise maybe a year and a half ago, and they were astoundingly good. I completely agree that Seapony are poised to take over too. Everything I've heard from their ...

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — Belong

Every indie rock musical generation's tantrum heartbreak purges out a band that people will resist based on the vulnerable obviousness of their name. But at the leaf pile-loving, milk-tea drinking, sunshine pop with grey cloud dimming Three Imaginary Girls HQ, a group calling itself The Pains of Being Pure At Heart is not going to be neglected for their "handle."

And that's to our own own joy. For Belong, the new album from the collective led by Kip Berman and includes keyboardist Peggy Wang, bassist Alex Naidus, and drummer Kurt Feldman, is the kind of subversive sound candy that can pleasure our hungry ears all year long.


Latest comment by: Imaginary Nicky: "

Another great review, Chris!  I'm going to listen to them right now.  It's also worth mentioning they will be playing The Crocodile on the 22nd of April, and you should all come!


Recommended for Friday: The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at the Vera Project

It's been over a year since the sparkly/fuzzy/jangly imaginary favorite Pains of Being Pure at Heart came through town, and we're just as smitten with them as we were the first time we heard "This Love is Fucking Right".

If you jump over to Pitchfork today, you can check out the new POBPAH single "Heart in Your Heartbreak". As with their last amazing single "Say No to Love", they've dropped the fuzzier bits and moved things a bit more into a super clean classic power-pop meets Brat-pack-soundtrack. The new single will be out in a couple of weeks (hopefully they'll have copies at the show!) and rumor has it a new album will be out on Slumberland next March.

The show is all ages and starts at 7:30, and supporting are recent Slumberland signees Weekend (not to be confused with Seattle's Weekend who are equally impossible to google).


Brand new Pains of Being Pure at Heart video

I have to admit that I hate most indie pop videos. I'm pretty tired of seeing the formulaic "oh look how cute we are playing outside and playing our songs and running around" that's been in such a large percentage of indie pop videos for the last fifteen years. That being said, this brand new POBPAH video for "Say No to Love" (which features the dudes of the bands practicing while Peggy, their keyboard player, wanders around a mall aimlessly) is THE CUTEST THING I've ever seen. There's also a puppy (and some pretty killer scratch animation). Just like with their songs, they take a concept that can can easily fall to the wrong side of the twee-o-meter and make it shine sincerely.

Update: The video has been posted to youtube! Watch away!



Latest comment by: Chan: "happy face: Did you see the sparks fly off the guitar? and the sea dragon? all other bands could quit today and pains could keep playing that song over and over and I would be happy then"

keenan's favorite albums of 2009

After quite a bit of hmm-ing and hah-ing, I've finally come up with my favorite albums of 2009, listed in sort of numerical order, or at least that's how I feel today, including local favorites BOAT, Visqueen, and indie pop hearthrobs The Pains of Being Pure at Heart!

{photo by hot avocados photography}


The Pains of Being Pure at Heart — Higher Than The Stars EP

Oh, my friend, I am so sorry. I have become one of them too. Ga-ga for the new indie pop blog romance. I know we mocked them, the length of the band name, the way people jumped on the bandwagon. But who could resist "Shit-faced, following a dark place, drinking in the last days" as an opening line to a song as tinkly, moany, sparkly, and swooning as anything The Cure or Echo & The Bunnymen ever released in their (best) eschatological sweep-rock periods? And then: "Mystery looks just like a mumble mumble, bumble-fuck, mumble." I mean, bumble-fuck. He really uses that word in a song poppier than heroin. Yeah.

As if lyrics mattered, but they do. It's a deciding factor, and they can't just be clever lines, there was to be a story. In this case in opener "Higher Than The Stars" it's a Freudian filial wish-fulfillment nightmare ("She was like a brother, until you dropped another / in the back of her mother's car"). That is, the protagonist and his adored seem like creepy kids in a "Flowers in the Attic" scenario, with Gothic, unrequited, imagined-incestuous love at its heart-scraping core. Kip Berman is at the center as Alex Naidus, Kurt Feldman, and Peggy Wang-East musically swirl about him like girls around a maypole. Ashes to ashes, indeed.


Recommended Show: The Pains of Being Pure At Heart tonight at Neumo's

Tonight is the night to get your loud as hell indie pop on with The Pains of Being Pure At Heart. Bring your 1" badges and your cardigans and prepare to dance your ass off. Doors at Neumo's are at 8pm, and they've added an all-ages balcony because everyone deserves to hear the wonderfulness that is The Pains of Being Pure At Heart.

If you still need more convincing, check out this video of POBPAH playing a giant festival in Poland. Watch them command the stage. Watch them on the big screen. Know that if you miss this show, the next time they come back the venue will be twice as big.

See you tonight!

Last chance to win tickets to see The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Neumo's tomorrow!

The Pains of Being Pure at Heart by keenan dowers

Just a reminder, you still have time to enter to win tickets for you and a friend to see our favorite (or at least my favorite) indie pop darlings The Pains of Being Pure at Heart with Cymbals Eat Guitars and The Depreciation Guild at Neumo's tomorrow! Just e-mail us at with the subject line "KurtCobain'sCardigan" (all one word please!) by today at 5pm! Remember to include your full name, especially if your e-mail address is something like "". Good luck, and see you at the show! This one is not to be missed!

Win tickets to see the Pains of Being Pure at Heart at Neumo's

Kip from The Pains of Being Pure at Heart at the CHBP by Dan Muller

I certainly have not been doing a very good job keeping my crush on Brooklyn's The Pains of Being Pure At Heart a secret. I've written love letters about their love letters to perfect 80's jangle pop, and once I flew out to see them in the Midwest. But now, I finally get to see them in my hometown at Neumo's this Tuesday September 15th with Cymbals Eat Guitars and the Depreciation Guild (sadly, I was out of town all summer and had to miss the Capitol Hill Block Party). And now, you can too! E-mail us at for the chance to win tickets for you and a friend to see The Pains of Being Pure At Heart for free! Just put "KurtCobain'sCardigan" in the subject line, and e-mail us by Monday evening at 5pm.