Tonight in Seattle:  

igLiz fave

Monday morning check-in: John Roderick and the warmest day of the year

John Roderick sings a Long Winters song with Boat!

Happy Monday morning!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and was able to make the most of what the experts have claimed to be the warmest day of the year.  My weekend was packed with some mundane blah stuff which was thankfully overshadowed by one hellava Saturday night in Columbia City.  After an amazing dinner at my new favorite restaurant (Island Soul, do not leave without trying one of their coconut corn muffins!), my friends and I headed over to the Fishboy / BOAT / Aqueduct show at the Columbia City Theater.

All the bands went above and beyond, but the highlight of the night was a surprise super special guest appearance. Mr. John Roderick joined BOAT on stage to chime in on "Landlocked," and then stayed on stage for a super-rock rendition of the Long Winters classic, "New Girl." {!!!}   To say it was jaw-dropping would be an understatement. It's been a while since I've heard the Long Winters rock-style, and boy oh boy, I hope this is a sign for things to come (next album, more shows). 

My favorite part of the story? The part in which I found out that BOAT and John hadn't actually ever practiced "New Girl" together.  The band just sprung it on John when he arrived to the show that night {sprung = asked really nicely}. This just furthers my claim that BOAT (with J. Rod on lead vocals now and again) would make a great house band for the next late night talk show. Watch out Roots! 

How was your weekend? What were your highlights?

Huge thanks to Button Dave for capturing the magic and posting to youtube:

(videos after the jump)

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Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "

SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

"

This Forbidden Friends video reminds me things can be pretty rad

Sometimes, like this week, things can look fairly bleak; Economy, politics, corruption, confusion, and dayjob deadlines can bring a girl down. But, the video for the Forbidden Friends song "Tiny Hands" reminds me/us all that we just gotta stay cool and persevere. Yes, that's the magic of crayon signs, and flying cats.

For the remainder of today (and likely tomorrow too), I'm going to practice my chair dance moves and imagine daydream backdrops behind me as I sing along to "Tiny Hands." And that makes it all so much better.

Every wind that blows is a summer breeze and I never felt a drop of rain!

What video have you found that picks you up and dusts you off?

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Latest comment by: Maddie: "THIS ONE picks me up and dusts me off!!! [video:http://vimeo.com/15247292]"

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:

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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? ;)"

A video that explains why I love Matt & Kim

It's no secret I heart Matt & Kim... so much so that sometimes it's hard to explain why. I usually end up rambling about how nice and wonderful and lovey they are to everyone (and each other) and how they inspire me to be a kinder and much more fun person.

Their new video for "Block After Block" kinda illustrates why they rule (and makes me want to go run around NYC with a bunch of friends).

As Matt explains on their blog:

Another video where Kim is terrified that she is going to get arrested and I (lie) and tell her there is no way that will happen. One day this is going to bite me in the ass but it hasn’t happened yet. Block After Block is our adventure throughout New York City playing impromptu shows wherever we could.

Matt & Kim are on tour with the Thermals right now... my heart explodes thinking about being front row for that bill (which sadly wont happen anytime soon since both bands played Sasquatch last month).

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Latest comment by: Matt Hart: "Agree. Matt & Kim are one of my favorite live bands, period. It doesn't even matter that they aren't very good at their instruments - they put on such a damn fun show it hardly matters. I want them to be my best friends."

imaginary favorite: Folklore - Home Church Road


Folklore

Folklore is the labor of love of Jimmy Hughes {Elf Power, Athens, GA resident musician}.  This time around, with Jimmy's migration from Athens to Philadelphia, the line-up for this third Folklore album was filled out by a mini-orchestra of Philly folk. This mid-Atlantic region influence helped transform the lost bedroom project to a full-on live band.

Their latest album, Home Church Road, is so varied that it sounds like a indie-film soundtrack.  Each track bravely charges ahead without fear of connecting to a rewind or fast forward button.  The songs live in the present, flowing from chilly meandering experiments to folky melodies to electro-glitch to hook-laden rock anthems. The collection reminds me it takes more than just good intentions to craft cathartic challenges to traditional indie-rock conventions.

The beautiful gut-wrenching churning and distortion of "The Party" {listen} is reminiscent of early Neutral Milk Hotel's "Everything Is" while tracks like "Mother River" tastefully pull from the vaults of Pavement and Unrest. "A Few Years Forward" mixes cacophony of horns, guitar distortion, and reverb vocals into a beautiful opening track that makes me weep with fuzzy Elephant Six tears. "Empty Houses" {listen} is part sweet sing along, part Tractor Tavern twang with a backdrop of barnyard quirk.

 

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Favorite band alert: Dangerous Ponies {at the Comet this Wens 4/27}

dangerous ponies in SeattleIn this era of sponsored hype nonsense and corporate grassroots initiatives, it's time to get back to the core of why we get dirty fingernails flipping through record bins and sacrifice respectable sleep patterns and clean laundry to recharge the batteries of our hand-stamped hearts.

Enter the Dangerous Ponies from Philadelphia. A seven-piece who describe themselves as a "queer and allied band, slathered in gold and rainbows." But, they are more than that. Dangerous Ponies are a reminder that great things happen when calculated postures are replaced with giddy enthusiasm.

Combining the DIY-or-Die mantra of the Pharmacy and the elegant cleverness of the Starlight Mints, the songs on the Dangerous Ponies self-released, debut full-length album, would be equally comfortable at a beach dance party, house party sing along, or played from the decks of a Linda's happy hour DJ set between Modest Mouse and Heavenly.

The opening track "We" is a fitting introduction to the band as an indie-dance party carousel ride - weaving between splashes of Tilly and the Wall and Queenish 60's glamrock. From there they dive deep into sweeping theatric mid-song breakdowns and churning indie-rock Built to Spill guitar rifts that lay the groundwork for comparisons to Los Campesinos!, Quasi and Stereolab. (listen to the album for free on bandcamp).

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Latest comment by: ig viva: "BEST OPENING LINE EVER."

Imaginary Favorite: When I Was 12 {cute ~ indie-pop ~ delicious}



I feel like a big heel that it's taken me this long to find out about Philadelphia's When I Was 12 (hello know-it-all popfed legions, where have you been!). Both iTunes and cdbaby claim that their debut album, Dear Eskimo, was released in March, 2009, which makes me sad to think I've lost two whole years of enjoying them. But, hoorays, I recently procured their cd (purchasable here) and am happy to be making up for lost time.

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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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Allo Darlin announce North American tour {first stop: Seattle on 5/24!!!}

Today will go down in history as the day my head exploded from late-May calendar excitement. First the amazing Sasquatch line-up was announced, and now, one my favorite bands ever of all everness just announced a North American tour with a Seattle date as their first stop!

I'm sure you, just like me, think about the first time we saw Allo Darlin visit Seattle back in October, 2010 on a weekly basis.  Wasn't that show amazing? One of the best of the year? Aren't your friends {the ones who didn't buy tickets before it sold out} still sad they didn't get to see them?  Yes, yes and YES!

Once tickets are available (I don't think they are for sale yet, plz correct me if I'm wrong), we all need to go get our tickets asap for the all-ages Allo Darlin show at the Vera Project on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. No word yet on who else will be on the bill, but you can be assured that it's going to be FANTASTIC!

For those that might be contemplating taking a couple weeks off in an effort to see as many shows as possible, here's their tour route:

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Nicky: "

This is amazing news!  I was just looking at their website yesterday and hoping they would come over, and now I feel happiness just bursting, it's ridiculous!

"

Imaginary Watch This: New Allo Darlin' songs

The mega-cool folks at Scared To Dance have not only recently published a fantastic installment of their wonderful zine {authentically photocopied and everything} flush with interviews {with Edwin Collins, Ballboy, and more}, but they recently posted two videos recorded at a recent Allo Darlin' show in Oslo, letting us hear a couple new songs {"Darren" was played in October when they were in Seattle and is about Hefner cool dude Darren Hayman} and a jumptastic live version of "My Heart is a Drummer."

Yes, it's Monday. But what a better way to kick off the week with some ukelele and songs by one of our most favorite bands ever of all time?

I cannot wait to hear Allo Darlin's second/next album. The new songs they've taunted us with in their lives sets are brilliant and seem ready to record. Fingers are crossed it'll be released soon… or at least some teaser EPs or something will be available for purchase when they play the San Francisco PopFest in May... or dare I dream for a Seattle show before or after their SF Popfest stop?

Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "I really do adore that I've found a fellow Allo D fan. I didn't see Seapony is playing there too! That's awesome!!!"