Tonight in Seattle:  


Celebrate 15 years of Barsuk! {UPDATED!}

{Barsuk Is The Best}


The lineup has been announced, and it's a doozy! The Long Winters performing When I Pretend to Fall, Nada Surf performing Let Go, Jesse Sykes and The Sweet Hereafter, Menomena -- plus tons of other bands and special guests! The links below have all been updated, and non-VIP wristbands are available to get you in to all four shows for a mere sixty dollars. They're on sale now, so get to clicking!


It's a red-letter day, you guys!!

Last weekBack in June, our friends at Barsuk announced their fifteen year anniversary celebration. After we all get our faces melted off listening to Death Cab for Cutie run Transatlanticism start-to-finish at Bumbershoot, we'll have a mere sixty days until a weekend of incredible shows: from Thursday, November 7th through Sunday, November 10th, Barsuk will be showcasing present and alumni artists at lineups across town; specifically, at the Showbox, the Neptune, the Tractor, and Neumos / Barboza. Holy shit!

Before you start building your fantasy shows off of the roster {like, Ben Gibbard doing a set of All-Time Quarterback songs to open up for John Vanderslice opening up for Nada Surf at the Tractor, maybe?}, get this: today at noon, Barsuk is selling fifty pre-sale wristbands that get you into all four shows, with Uber transportation to and from each one and a complete set of limited edition numbered and signed screenprints {by Jason Munn}. The wristbands are $175.00, which works out to about $43.00 per show for the bands and a ride and a poster. That's not new math or anything, it's just a really fucking good deal. In fact, it saves you money! And PS, all of the net proceeds -- all of them, from these wristbands and all of the single show tickets -- are going to benefit Gilda's Club Seattle.

So: set your timer for 11:55a PST, bust out that credit card, and head on over to the ticketing page to get ready -- these wristbands are going to sell out in a hot minute. As the lineups are announced and single-show tickets go on sale later this month, we'll be sure to post all the details, so check back often for news!

A Long Winters reason to celebrate

Photos: Ryan SchierlingHappy May 10, 2013! 

Ten years ago today, The Long Winters performed three shows in three Sonic Boom Record shops in a single day.  It was a mini-tour to celebrate the release of their brilliant record, When I Pretend To Fall... and it was just as amazingly fun as we dreamed it would be.

Thankfully we can relive the magic because imaginary dana documented the whole day (back in the day).  She definitely earned that limited edition 'tour' t-shirt.

Imaginary. You could call it that.

We all know good things come in threes. It took a band as brilliant as the Long Winters to finally think of playing at all three fabula-riffic Sonic Boom Record stores in one day, to promote the release of their long-awaited sophomore release When I Pretend to Fall. I was determined to follow them all day like the Dead Head I never was, and not just because I wanted to get the limited edition Long Winters Sonic Boom tour t-shirt, either.

I was there because I am a Long Winters superfan. {There, I've said it}. And that is just what superfans do.

{read the whole article... with photos!}

Hat tip to John Roderick's kind tweet linking to this article a couple days ago (which reminded us of this special date). 

Speaking of rad John Roderick-related things... are you a diehard fan of the Roderick On The Line podcast yet?  Add it to your queue; you can thank me later.  And that way you'll be prepared to join in my Roderick On The Line discussion group / email thread / chat line once I get it up and running.  If you are too overwhelmed to start at the beginning, you can test it out by trying episode 24: The Wrong Mustache or episode 17: Antisocially Promoted.

Menomena — Moms

For their fifth full-length album, Moms, Portland’s Menomena underwent a significant lineup change: front man and multi-instrumentalist Brent Knopf left the group in January of 2011 to focus on his own project, Ramona Falls. Thankfully, the remaining members of the band -- bassist and saxophonist Justin Harris and drummer Danny Seim -- are not short on talent in their own right. Friends since high school, the pair simply kept the band together as a two-piece, and the result is an album that proves to be Menomena’s most lyrically intense and earnest work yet, and also one of their best.

While the sound of the band occasionally argued and feuded as a three-piece, now that they are down to two, the decision making process has been refined and by all accounts, it appears as though the recording of Moms was very collaborative and productive. The songwriting and singing duties for the ten tracks are now split evenly between the two members; with Harris and Seim taking the lead singing role on five tracks each, even alternating back and forth from track to track.

The most striking development on Moms is the straightforward (and at times downright dark) lyrical moments on the album, which is often seemingly directed at their upbringing and family dynamic. Seim’s mother died when he was young, and Harris was raised by his mother after his Vietnam-veteran father walked out on the family when he was still a teenager. A strong example is this line from the Harris sung “Pique”, where he sings: Now I’m a failure / cursed with male genitalia / a parasitic fuck / with no clue as to what men do / impossible to love. On “Heavy Is As Heavy Does” Harris touches on a multitude of topics including family (Heavy are the branches / hanging from my fucked up family tree), religion (I’m not one for religion / but I can’t seem to shake this imagery) and relationships (Among six billion people / I want the ones who never wanted me).


Ben Gibbard's solo record announced

{Ben Gibbard and Nick Harmer / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Mark your calendars, Ben Gibbard fans: on Tuesday, October 16th, Barsuk records will be releasing Former Lives, the very first full-length solo LP to be put out by the Bremerton, WA native. For as long as Gibbard has been involved in the music scene, fans have come to understand that he is not afraid to leap into new, unexplored spaces with other musicians -- this has led to an astounding catalog of music that is rich and diverse in it's influences and sounds.

Fomer Lives has been explained by Gibbard as a collection of tunes that have not necessarily been the scraps leftover from his previous ventures, but rather songs of equal quality that merely did not fit into the flow and scheme of previously released albums. As he points out in a recent interview with Stereogum: "In the past whenever I've put out any solo recordings it's just been of a function of the time in which I was in. I'm a songwriter and that's my job, and with every record that we've made there would always be a couple of tunes that just didn't seem to fit in with the band."

Fans expecting a finely polished Death Cab for Cutie album might be a little surprised, but anyone with a keen interest in getting a closer, more intimate look into the creative mind of Ben Gibbard should be delighted -- as this is shaping up to be an eclectic gathering of songs that have been years in the making. As Gibbard also stated, "I kind of like that the record is something of a mixed bag. The songs themselves are not all of a particular mode and they're not all about one subject, and they're not from one definitive era of my life."

Read the whole Stereogum interview here, and keep up with announcements at Ben's official site here.

{Photo of Ben Gibbard and Nick Harmer by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Nada Surf — The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy

It appears as though the idea with Stars was essentially to avoid over-thinking: seventh track "Looking Through", for example, was recorded the day after it was written. The result is an album that immediately sounds familiar, not because it's a retread but because Nada Surf have so aptly captured the shimmering, lovely essence of what makes them so enchanting in the first place. Opener "Clear Eye Clouded Mind" bursts with punchy, high energy guitars and (of course) flawless harmonies. I suspect it will be a highlight of live shows on their current tour and beyond. "When I Was Young" is no less than an indie-riffic masterpiece, slowly building into a heart-wrenching instant classic.

Though I didn't really need further convincing, Stars reaffirms Caws' place as perhaps the greatest writer of pop tunes in America (all due respect to Adam Schlesinger!). With Nada Surf, what you see hear is what you get. And in this instance, that's a beautiful thing.


Latest comment by: Kenny: "Nada Surf deserve all the money in the world. They are masters."

Imaginary Watch This: Nada Surf covers Depeche Mode

Craving some cover action? This new video from Nada Surf was filmed during their 2010 European tour in Nuremberg, Munich and Dresden and features their cover of "Enjoy the Silence" from the If I Had a Hi-Fi album. Since I'm kind of a Depeche Mode purist, it took awhile to grow on me - but I now appreciate the re-styling...I'm just wondering how many people in that audience have heard the original. :)

But hey! Speaking of Depeche Mode covers, we'll be on hand at this year's Dancing on the Valentine: Strangelove benefit show on Friday, 2/11 at the Crocodile. Join the Facebook page and stay tuned for updates here on TIG.


Our favorite indie rock Seattle tour guide: John Roderick

John Roderick, Seattle tour guide

We kinda don't know where to begin on this one as it combines so many things we love, our hearts are on the cusp of exploding. A couple more watches and we could be toast (albeit tasty brioche french toast like served at Odd Fellows).

Our dearest man about town and Long Winter, John Roderick, offers a tour of Seattle that exposes his favorite nooks and crannies of our fine city with stops at Odd Fellows, Pretty Parlor, The Crocodile (including a chat with photographer great Charles Peterson), Earthwise Salvage, The Showbox (the night of the Telekinesis show), Shelby Earl recording with Eric Corson, and Le Pichet.

Behold the latest in Rhapsody's Rock Star Guide to the Galaxy -- Destination Seattle - featuring at least four eyewear change ups, three curse word bleeps, a kitty and a Barsuk hoodie (watch it).

What would have been mentioned on your rockstar tour of Seattle?

I like J. Rod's choices, but I'd make sure to show off Remedy Tea, Bimbos (predictable, I know, but you can't deny the power of the no-meato burrito and their happy hour margaritas), Gainsbourg (absinthe cocktails), Molly Moon's Ice Cream, and Judy Fu's Snappy Dragon. Ok, so my tour would basically be a food and drink tour of the city. I'd also include a stop at Velouria and Sonic Boom/Easy Street Records for proper fashion accessories.


Latest comment by: carmen sandiego: "oh, hi gunther and birdy num num! so glad for your bash-y commentary. perhaps you could post the video from a major internet music retailer that features YOUR lovely selves giving a tour, so we can compare? ...oh, that's right. THERE AREN'T ANY. my bad!"

Ben Gibbard + Teen Feed = success!

[Ben Gibbard / by Victoria VanBruinisse]

By now, you're heard the reports on Ben Gibbard's show at the Crocodile on Wednesday night: it was pretty much an epic event. The set list killed. The room was packed. Some people liked the hat, some people didn't. Yes, Zooey Deschanel made an appearance at the end. (And yes, it was basically the most adorable thing ever.) Since you've likely already seen the unauthorized video content -- the first three rows aren't texting in this photo, they're all taping the night for posterity on their iPhones -- and thus heard the details on the new songs (the one about the Smith Tower brought a tear to our respective eye -- we can't wait to see if it shows up on the new album!) as well as the Zooey-duets, we'd like to talk to you a little more about the benefit details, and what an amazing success it was.

If you'll notice there in the background, you'll see the Teen Feed banner -- that's the organization that Ben's performance was a benefit for, and at last count, the ticket and merch sales brought in over ten thousand dollars that went directly to the organization. Ten thousand dollars! To put that into scale, the Noise for the Needy benefits that ran for Teen Feed earlier this year wound up netting them twenty-five thousand dollars -- and with that amount of money, Teen Feed was able to go from feeding youth six nights a week to seven nights a week, meaning they could literally function three hundred and sixty-five nights a year. So, on the scale of operating an organization, while ten thousand dollars might seem like a drop in the bucket, the folks over at Teen Feed are able to take funding in that amount and basically turn it into absolute above-and-beyond amazingness. In fact, we're convinced that Megan Gibbard is made out of magic.


Latest comment by: David Lee: "I loved this show so much. Please give $ to Ben and Zooey: "

Teen Feed: an imaginary interview with Megan Gibbard

[Ben Gibbard / by Victoria VanBruinisse]

Odds are, if you're here at Three Imaginary Girls poking around, you've heard of Ben Gibbard. And if you're in the greater Seattle area, you've definitely heard about the sold-out show coming up this Wednesday at the Crocodile. (And if you're like us, you might be acting half your age and figuring out just how early you have to get to the venue to secure a spot up front.) But what you may not be as familiar with is the beneficiary of the night, Teen Feed -- so, we thought we'd sit right down with their Executive Director and find out all about it for you.

Imaginary Victoria: So, let's have a little background on the who-what-and-where...

Megan Gibbard: Of course.  Teen Feed is a 7-night-a-week meal program for homeless youth ages 13 – 25.  Every single night, from 7-8pm, we serve up to 70 youth a healthy and safe meal – it very well may be the first time that day they’ve been safe.  Teen Feed is more than just this meal, however. Present at every Teen Feed meal are our Case Managers (we call them Support Coordinators) to build relationships with youth, share a meal, and help with resources and encouragement.  Our Street Talk Outreach Program (STOP) meets youth directly on the streets, in their environment, before they're even ready to ask for help.

Teen Feed works with the community to offer basic needs, build strong relationships, and ally with homeless youth as they met their future off the streets. We achieve our mission through three main initiatives: meals, outreach, and case management. It is difficult to go to school when you’re hungry. It is difficult to succeed at work when you aren’t sure where your next meal will come from. So, the food always comes first at Teen Feed – then, we get down to the business of working alongside youth as they find that path from the streets.

I recently spoke with a woman who was homeless on the Ave in the early 1990’s at the age of 13.  She said that she had a moment, a watershed, when she realized that she needed to get off the streets and start pursuing college.  Teen Feed was right there to help her when she needed it.  Teen Feed is important because all people need to be fed – and every youth on the streets needs safe adults right there with they’re ready to ask for help.

This same woman spoke in front of 150 Teen Feed volunteers recently and said:

“I look at my husband, and he’s a lot like his parents.  I look at my children, and they’re a lot like him and I. I look at myself, and I’m a lot like all of you.”


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "I'm all teary now! It's beautiful to know that there's a Teen Feed for youth in Seattle, and wonderful to know that team music community is stepping up to help. Sign me up!"

Thursday's recommended show: John Roderick at the Triple Door {9/30}

{John Roderick / by Laura Musselman}

It goes without saying, but we're going to say it anyway:

Choosing to be anywhere other than John Roderick's show on Thursday night would be absolutely ridiculous of you.

John will be taking the stage with fellow Long Winter Eric Corson for an intimate night of songs, storytelling, and commentary on the joie de vivre as only he can describe it. We've been clamoring for a repeat performance ever since the first of this series of shows back in July, moreso still since last month's show got cancelled due to an unfortunate plumbing mishap at the venue.

Seems as though the rest of Seattle's on their tiptoes about it too -- and if you don't believe us, take a mosey on over to the Triple Door site and see for yourself. Word on the 'nets is that it's just about sold out. As it should be.

While we're 'saying it anyway', there's another nosh of goodness to hit our collective ears lately -- last week, Mt. Fuji records relased a limited edition split single of John Roderick / the Long Winters' latest release "Connections in Nashville," and Spiral Stairs cut "Dreams They Guide Us." The first pressing was only 500 deep, and rumor has it that this imaginary's very own personal copy is en route as we speak type. (Full photoessay to follow upon arrival.) Spiral Stairs put on a killer performance opening up for Pavement at the Paramount earlier this month, and the bliss of a new LW track -- well, yeah. It's gonna be good.

It kind of goes without saying.

We'll keep an eye out for the mailman, and you can click on over to get your tickets for Thursday's show. In the meantime, here's the pre-rewrite, mega-rad con-video version of "Not Moving To Portland" to tide you over.

We'll see you at the show!

{Mega-gorgeous photo courtesy of our friend and magic photogress Laura Musselman.}


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "I am looking forward to this show. It's been a rough week at the dayjob and some Dr. J-Rod is exactly what I need to make it to the weekend!"