Tonight in Seattle:  

Pearly Gate Music

Recommended mini-festival: Fall Free For All in Tacoma {October 8-9}

{Fall Free For All // Tacoma, Oct. 8-9}

Mark your calendars, friends in Tacoma {and friends in Seattle who are up for a ride!} because the Fall Free For All is coming your way this weekend, and you're not going to want to miss it.

First off? Yep, it's actually free. Free-free, no-strings-attached free, ain't-gonna-cost-you-a-thing FREE. Second, the weekend includes performances from bands like Pearly Gate Music, Drew Grow and the Pastor's Wives, Kelli Schaefer, Laura Gibson, the Local Strangers -- along with plays, movie screenings, and tons of theater exhibitions and family-friendly events. And third? You hardly have to lift a finger to sign up to go: just head on over here to sign up for your free wristband.

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Let's Nic at Nite with Hey Marseilles, Pearly Gate Music, star-tastic silent auctions and more for a good cause

2010.07.29: Hey Marseilles @ The Moore Theatre, Seattle, WA
{Hey Marseilles photo by Jason Tang from the Imaginary Photo Pool}

Huge thanks to the folks that have put together the Nic at Nite party for letting us share a special invitation to their big soiree on Monday, May 23rd at the Fred Wildlife Refuge (128 Belmont Ave E ) in Capitol Hill. The evening is a celebration and fundraiser for Nicole Pieratt, amazing Seattle stylist, lady, etc. Earlier this year, Nicole was diagnosed with stage 1 breast cancer (at the age of 27) and has spent the last few months in treatment. To mark this special milestone, a group of her fans and friends have organized a fancy party complete with performances and silent auction prizes featuring a who's who of Seattle:

Special Live Performances by:
Hey Marseilles
Pearly Gate Music
DJ Erika White

Silent Auction Contributions from:
Mathews Winery, Mark Ryan Winery, Sub Pop, Teatro Zinzanni, Pacific Northwest Ballet, autographed works by Lance Mercer and Charles Peterson, photographic prints by Hayley Young, original artwork by Stacey Rozich, Drew Christie, Daniel Carillo, autographed vinyl from The Cave Singers, Campfire, Ok, and many more

Autographed vinyl! Original artwork and photographic prints! Sub Pop!

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Imaginary Victoria's best of 2010, part one: seventeen new releases that knocked the stripes right off my kneesocks.

{bop street records / by victoria vanbruinisse}

I know, I know. Writing best of 2010 lists is so three-weeks-ago. But with such a good year in music having just passed, it would be remiss of me to not to let the imaginary-sphere know about a few of my favorite close-of-the-oughts things. I've never been a big subscriber to "this is better than that" -- it's not easy to put so much different stuff on one plane and deem some of them better, some of them worse -- so instead of file and rank, I've compiled a few chunks of albums, shows, and random happenings that made it to 'awesome' status for me over the last twelve months, with commentary, in no strict order.

That said, this best-of is meant to be enjoyed. Maybe your life was altered at the same show mine was, or maybe the same album had you trapped in the car for an hour listening tracks on repeat. Whichever is the case, remember one thing above all else: as John Roderick so eloquently stated earlier this week, "If you are too busy to discover new albums for yourself, the last thing you need is a list of more albums to buy. You should take a hot bath instead."

Agreed.

That said, let's start with the releases. I was seriously impressed with the amount of great EPs and LPs that came out this year, and this is coming from someone who's held fast to the belief that there hasn't been a 'great' year for new music since about 2005 or so. (Obviously, with a few onesie exceptions here and there.) Maybe it has to do with where I'm at and what I'm capable of absorbing at any given point, but seriously -- I'm able to look back at what made it into my itunes from January until now, and can state with confidence that some honest-to-goodness talented shit rose to the surface above the onslaught of mediocre that is now deemed 'indie' and/or 'indie rock' these days. (PS: in most cases, there's very little new music that can truly be deemed 'indie rock.' I'm just saying. When the next Wrens album comes out, we'll talk.)

Tied for First Place:
* Lovesick Empire / The Grind EP - I simply can not get enough of this EP. It's a sound that invokes a proper nod to grunge (which is seemingly inherent, rather than purposeful), laden with powerful big-guitar ache and smart lyrics to match. Catch them in the third-of-five spot at Neumos next Friday, January 7th before you head out to Columbia City (see below). {listen / free download}{tickets}
* Damien Jurado / Saint Bartlett - This ambitously-recorded album is a bold departure from Jurado's previous work, with a layered, throwback, one-take sound that begs to be heard on vinyl. Wielding the CD in my car on the way home from the West Seattle Easy Street pre-release show, I found myself pulled over on John Street, listening to "Beacon Hill" about twenty times in a row -- if you didn't pick this up yet, you can grab a copy at his upcoming show on Friday, January 7th at Columbia City Theater. {buy album}{tickets}
* The Head and the Heart / (s/t) - Unless you've lived under a rock since about April or so, you know why this band made my best-ofs. There's hardly enough adjective left that hasn't already been used since this band hit my radar over the summer, and they've gone from the stages of Conor Byrne and Sonic Boom to opening sets for Dave and Tim's most recent run of shows -- and with good cause. If you're lucky enough to have picked up tickets to the January 15th show at Neumos later this month (we're including the link in case any get released between now and then), I'll see you there! {buy album}{tickets}

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Latest comment by: Jflores: "

Nice read!

"

Tonight's recommended show: Nathaniel Rateliff at the Triple Door

Nathaniel Rateliff is playing tonight at the Triple Door. For ten dollars. As we've said so many times before, do not miss this show. Period. Here's why:

First off, Nathaniel's latest release, In Memory of Loss (I know, right? Brilliant.) is nothing short of stunning. It's packed with huge, ethereal vocals; sprinkled with a pinch of front-porch roots, and is held together with both hands and a haunted, achy undertone. Imagine a Fleet-Fox-gone-solo and injected in the mainline with heartache and tragedy, lungs turned up to eleven.  Or an exhaustively forlorn Jim James with a cross-section of Chris Pureka.

It's sad bastardesque, yes -- but it's not your run-of-the-mill, sad sack with an acoustic guitar kind of sound. Nathaniel Rateliff translates fully and is bursting at the seams with his truth, in a big room, with nothing holding him back. All the way down to his howling breaks and cracked-voice whispers.

Here's a snippet of the recording session, a song called "Early Spring Till" -- one of the standout tracks on the album:

Second, the show is only ten dollars. Ten. (Ten!) And if you need more convincing to spend that hard-earned cash, you can get an earful over here: Nathaniel has a couple of sessions up on Daytrotter that just about ripped the covers off my computer speakers. And (yes, there's more!) that's not all -- reasons number three and four to attend: local all-stars Pearly Gate Music open up the set, with Austin's Battleme up as first of three. Done and done.

We'll see you at the show!

{Tickets available at the Triple Door's website, $10 / all ages / 5:30 doors / 7:30 show}

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Imaginary Mixtape {August 2010}: Lost at the festival, where could they be?

Imaginary Mixtape Podcast

Lost at the festival, where could they be?
At any ole place where the wi-fi is free.

It's true, our favorite part of the summer is the avalanche of festival possibilities. There's little better in the world than dozens of your new favorite bands playing one after the other on a sunny day in an exotic locale. This edition of the Imaginary Mixtape we share tracks from some of the cutest bands playing the Athens Popfest {August 10-14 in Athens, GA} and take a consoling look back at the amazing Indietracks festival line up {takes place each year at the end of July in the UK - fingers crossed next year we can make the trip?}. But, we start off the podcast looking at some awesome August events in Seattle. Get ready to mark up your calendars!

You can listen to a stream or download the MP3 version of the podcast on the imaginary bandcamp page. Bandcamp prohibits tracks longer than 25 minutes {I think it's some regulation against jam bands?}, so the podcast is split into three sections for those that like to listen via the bandcamp stream.

PART 1: Preview of some Seattle shows and events in August

PART 2: Athens Popfest preview

PART 3: Looking back at the UK festival, Indietracks

 

If you are the type that likes to listen to podcasts in itunes, download the .m4a file here {one single file with fancy chapters even!} and then open it in your itunes {Thanks to Jigsaw Records for hosting it!}.

Tracklisting: Imaginary Mixtape - August 2010:

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Heavy rotation, part one: three new local albums you can't live without

[ohai, seattle / victoria vanbruinisse]

It's definitely a time -- in the imaginary world at least -- when one of those 'holy crap, there's so much good music right now!' cycles is in full swing. So, between all the sounds and all the sunshine, we thought we'd take a moment to fill you in on some of our new all-time favorites before we get caught in the tidalwave of awesome and it all becomes a blur.

Ready? Steady, go:

The Head and The Heart - While this heavy rotation list is by all means in no particular order, this local band's new self-titled, self-released album is easily a favorite among new favorites. A perfect blend of total hope and full-force emotional cutting, The Head and The Heart's sweet, poignant lyrics pour out of the speakers in a sea of crafty, unexpected time signature changes with harmonies that just about stop the proverbial car. Singing about the everyday things we all ache over, they give snapshots of sadness and paint landscapes of far-off daydreams, in an indie.alt.americana /slash/ Avett Brothers multi-genre encompassing appeal, all of which translates tenfold in their live performance.

Favorite tracks: "Ghosts," "Lost in my Mind," and "Sounds Like Hallelujah."

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GIVE-ing season arrived this week -- with a 30+ track local artist compilation

Fresh off the presses from our inboxes comes this week's launch of GIVE -- 30 downloadable tracks from a variety of Seattle artists, who are donating their songs to benefit Arts Corps and local area foodbanks. The $7.00 (!) compilation, which was produced, curated, and funded by Caffe Vita, will be available online here. Physical compilations can be picked up at all Caffe Vita locations, Easy Street Records, Sonic Boom Records, University Book Store, The Crocodile, EMP, Neumo's, and Sorrento Hotel. The in-hand compilations will include a physical card with a redemption code for the download, and a prettied-up sleeve to make it a ready-to-give present.

Here's the full track listing -- nearly all of which are exclusive to the compilation:

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Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "Yeah this looks like a pretty good compilation...especially for only $7! I think that Tea Cozies song is "corner store girls", one of my favorites from Hot Probs. I can't remember what the TMTS song is, but I'm sure it's good. "

Tonight's recommended show: J. Tillman & Pearly Gate Music at the Crocodile

Pearly Gate Music opens up for J. Tillman at the Croc tonight, and you need to come get your wow on.

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Latest comment by: HonchoProductions: "Caught the show. Spectac-Ular! Then recorded that noise, super pretty and poop your pants great."