Tonight in Seattle:  

Nada Surf

Barsuk takeover of Audioasis = basically the best thing ever

If you were near your radio and tuned in to KEXP this past Saturday night, you likely caught a bit of the Barsuk takeover of Audioasis. Label co-founder Josh Rosenfeld and Long Winters frontman John Roderick assaulted the airwaves for three hours with choice tunes, smart banter, and an in-studio performance and interview with The Revolutionary Hydra. (Not kidding!!)

This is all in advance of Barsuk's anniversary celebration shows, starting this week with Nada Surf at the Showbox on Thursday, and continuing through the weekend with performances all over town by The Long Winters, Phantogram, Jesse Sykes & the Sweet Hereafter, Ra Ra Riot and more. Everything is sold out (boo / yay!), full lineups here for you to either lament or get giddy with anticipation over.

Back to the Audioasis show: the archive will be available at KEXP's site for about a week and a half, you can listen to it live by clicking here {that link should work through next weekend}. In the absence of the live feed for Future Imaginaries, or, if you want to go build a killer playlist, here's a cut-and-paste of the playlist:

Death Cab for Cutie - "Company Calls"
Quasi - "It's Hard To Turn Me On"
Telekinesis - "Dirty Thing"
This Busy Monster - "Belated"
Little Champions - "Pillow Ass"
Hutch and Kathy - "In Brilliance"
Pete Krebs & the Gossamer Wings - "Sweet Ona Rose"
Laura Veirs - "Snow Camping"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Barton Sharp",
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Bomb Squad"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Oxygen=Death"
The Revolutionary Hydra (live) - "Queen of the Gravity Urge"
Destroyer - "City of Daughters"
Modest Mouse - "Sleepwalking"
Sunset Valley - "Solid Goldmine"
Harvey Danger - "Loyalty Bldg."
The Halo Benders - "Don't Touch My Bikini"
Andy Fitts - "My Axe"
Leisure World - "All In Preparation"
Fleet Foxes - "In The Hot Hot Rays"

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Latest comment by: EveSalt2: "Yes, it is the best thing to happen for you. Indeed, everybody is really looking forward to that one. - Aaron Kocourek "

Photo essay: Nada Surf and An Horse

at The Neptune

{Nada Surf / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

As expected, it was an incredible week and weekend full of shows, up to the brim with the sounds of the Magnetic Fields, Sharon Van Etten and The War On Drugs, and most notably, Nada Surf's show at the Neptune Theater. We went into Saturday's set with last month's performance {with Say Hi at the Tractor} fresh on our lips and minds, knowing it was going to be a tough night to beat -- but even with triple the crowd and a significantly more cavernous room, the band still managed to bring a good dose of incredible to the table. Matthew Caws & Co. pulled two hours of hits and B-sides from a wide cross-section of their catalog, gracing our ears with everything from tracks like "Blonde on Blonde" and "The Way You Wear Your Head" to "When I Was Young" and "No Snow" from their latest and greatest the stars are indifferent to astronomy, and proving for the umpteenth time that these indie rockers are a full-frontal force to be reckoned with.

Australia's An Horse opened up the night.

An Horse:

{An Horse / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{An Horse / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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Recommended show + free tickets: Nada Surf at the Neptune {3/24}

{Nada Surf / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Remember that time when Nada Surf brought serious amounts of rock to the stage and melted our faces off with Say Hi at the Tractor? Oh, right -- that was just last month. Well, if you're anything like us, the strains from that show have been stuck in your frontal lobe ever since, running side-by-side with the still-in-heavy-rotation the stars are indifferent to astronomy. And whether you saw or missed the show, whether you're listening to the new album  and putting "When I Was Young" on a mix for the first or thirty-fifth time, you (and we, and the rest of Seattle) are in luck: Nada Surf is coming back to town this weekend, after a string of successful shows, South by Southwest performances, and all-around positive response to their latest studio effort.

Tickets are available through STG now for the upcoming show at the Neptune this Saturday, and we strongly recommend picking up a pair (or two) in advance before the show sells out. But if you want to roll the dice on getting in with a +1 for free, you can enter to win a spot on the guest list from us! Just drop an email our way, to tig {at} three imaginary girls {dot} com with the subject line "PicturesInOurPretendWallets" anytime between now and the end of the internet day, say 5pm-ish, on Thursday.

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Latest comment by: Andres Recinos: "Awesome. I'll be checking this out"

Photoessay: Nada Surf at the Tractor

at Tractor Tavern

{Nada Surf / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The working subtitle for this photoessay was almost Fuck Everything Else, Indie Rock Wins Forever. Because there's no other way to say it: Nada Surf puts on one hell of a pulsing, swoonworthy, face-shredding rock show. And not just any kind of rock, mind you -- this is fully legit indie rock, a term that gets tossed around way too loosely these days. You just have to know it when you see it: in this case, Nada Surf delivers their particular take, with the kind of big-guitar storytelling madness that keeps the crowd moving for the duration of the set, while blowing out eardrums in the most beautiful of ways. Without hesitation, I'll even go so far as to say that Nada Surf comes damn close to giving bands like the Wrens a run for their money -- and those of you who know my personal dedication to all things Wrens know the {musical} gravity with which I speak when I make that kind of a statement.

To wit: the setlist was flawless, and opener Eric Elbogen {nee Say Hi} did a tremendous job warming up the crowd with his batch of attention-grabbing, carefully delivered songs. I only wish more people would have stopped their yammering to pay more mind to his set, but with a sold-out venue that's on their tip-toes readying to rock the fuck out, there's only so much you can expect past the first five or six rows.

Say Hi:

{Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse} {Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse} {Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Say Hi / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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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.

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

Recommended show + free tickets: Nada Surf at the Tractor {2/2}

Just when we thought the new track from Nada Surf, "When I Was Young" {off the stars are indifferent to astronomy, which is officially out tomorrow on Barsuk} couldn't get any better, we stumbled across this gem of a video. While it's definitely a stripped-down version that doesn't have the same big, building, wall-of-sound vibe that the full band delivery brings, the intimacy and DIY element make this rendition a treasure of a whole other caliber -- and, of course, seeing and hearing this has gotten us that much more excited for the currently-sold-out show at the Tractor next Thursday.

Yep. Believe it or not, Nada Surf is playing at the Tractor. What's that? You didn't get tickets in time? Well, you're in luck: we're giving away a pair to one lucky winner, and you've got a whole week to enter to win! Just send us an email to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject line "PicturesInOurPretendWallets" sometime between now and 5pm on Friday, January 27th. We'll pick a winner over the weekend, and notify you on Monday morning that you're headed to Thursday's show.

Good luck!

{21+ / 8p doors / SOLD OUT / Say Hi opens. Hat tip to Laura Musselman for sending the video our way!}

Latest comment by: Anonymous: "YES. This is amazing!! "

Heavy rotation: Nada Surf, Tennis

{Nada Surf}

In a land where we are inundated by new music on a weekly, if not sometimes daily basis -- few things feel better than starting a nice, fresh playlist of tracks that have made the cut (in both the new-release new and new-to-me new ways). I like to organize mine by month, so at a moment's glance, I can see what's new when a friend is looking for something to woo her ear, or what to pull from for a DJ night. That first playlist in the first folder of the year holds special appeal for us over-organizing audiophiles, and while it's already starting to flesh out with some new-to-my-rotation tunes -- "For The One" / WATERS, "Goodness Gracious" / Heligoats, "The Dreamer" / Tallest Man On Earth -- one of the first outright new tracks of 2012 that's become stuck in my proverbial craw is Nada Surf's "When I Was Young".

Slated for release later this month, and undoubtedly one of the many songs the crowd will be set to swoon for when they take the stage at the Tractor on February 2nd, this song has the same kind of intimate-cum-cinematic appeal of Band of Horses' "Funeral" -- the kind of track you turn up because the opening strains start to pull at your heartstrings, and before you know it, you're thrown into this building, accelerating wall of indie-rock, while those signature vocals hold steady and soothing. If the rest of the album is anything like this, The Stars Are Indifferent To Astronomy will absolutely have a firm place in your top-ten list of 2012, local or otherwise. {band official} {preorder at Barsuk}

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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.

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Nada Surf vinyl re-issue, in triplicate

As a long-standing fan of both the "warm crackle" and one of our fave honorary locals, I'm happy to share the following imaginary goodness... the best things come in groups of three.

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Latest comment by: lg: "warm crackle indeed! i just replaced my record player and have been listening to vinyl for days... it sounds so good. a million times better than mp3s."

Best of 2008: Top 10 Albums from Becca Minkoff of the Triple Door

I had asked some music-related friends to send me their best of 2008 lists with the promise that I'd post them here. The first to send their list in is Becca Minkoff, the lovely and brilliant assistant marketing director and 3D webmaster for The Triple Door.

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Latest comment by: Laurie: "This is cool!"