Tonight in Seattle:  

Los Campesinos!

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2013 Countdown: Los Campesinos

Los Campesinos by Steve Louie
{Los Campesinos by Steve Louie}

Like Allo Darlin, Los Campesinos are a diligent bunch.  They publish Heat Rash, a seasonal zine complete with a 7" which I am certain keeps their creative wheels moving and their song-writing pens scribbling.  There must be something in the Boddingtons that keeps these two favorite bands pressing new stuff to fill my shelves (for which I can't thank both bands enough). 

Gareth Campesinos ne Paisey recently told NME that the band would be returning to work on the follow-up to Hello Sadness in early 2013, adding: "We try to take as little time between albums as possible. If we're not recording or touring then we'll have to get proper jobs. There's no reason to take a couple of years between albums."

That's as good as saying "Hey, Imaginary Liz, please keep room on your Best of 2013 list for our new album!" to me. I can't wait for my ears to bleed from the Sonic Youth slash Bright Eyes slash Hefner slash Bis slash Yo La Tengo slash Beat Happening magic they create.  Maybe they are feeling nostolgic and will draw from their debut album, like Thermals are doing on their 2013 release?


Los Campesinos' celebrate Valentine's Day with "Songs About Your Girlfriend"

Sure, it was fun to hang with Los Campesinos in a hot tub, but seeing them in a strip club is a much more appropriate way to celebrate this, ahem, holiday.

Today Los Camps released the video for one of my favorite songs from their recent release, Hello Sadness.  "Songs About Your Girlfriend" combines the sharp-knife-turning-in-the-heart jabs of the most classic of David Gedge songs and the boisterous clamors of sonic-youth-inspired guitars.

Get naughty, my dear valentines!

PS - If this isn't enough reason to fall in love lust with them... there's this.

Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "

Yay! I LOVE this.


Let the Los Campesinos Countdown begin {Neptune, 2/4}

It is just a little over a week until the Los Campesinos! show at the Neptune Theater on Saturday, February 4, 2012 and I am beside myself with pre-show excitement. Every single LC! show I've seen has left me gleefully ravaged by the frenetic enthusiasm and beguiling live set.  For them, it's a moral imperative to put on an amazing show. 

Their latest album, Hello Sadness, is a further step down the path towards debilitating heartbreak.  It tempers the deep cuts of longing with a glimmer of hope for what's ahead (I can't wait for them to get a room with Conor Oberst already. Oh how my world would be complete). 

Currently, I've been listening to "Songs About Your Girlfriend" (which I bet is David Gedge's favorite song on the album), "Life Is A Long Time" and "By Your Hand" on repeat.  I love it when it hurts so good.

Next Saturday cannot come fast enough!

If you haven't gotten your tickets yet for this all-ages show, you can pick them up online.

Oh, and did you see them perform "By Your Hand" on Letterman? Can I get a hallelujah for the Beautiful South t-shirt? (see the video after the jump)


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

By the way... I just delved into the world of the opening band, Kithkin.  I'm loving the songs on their bandcamp page... this is going to be a hella night for music cacaphony!  Try ...

Liz's DJ set from Monday's Crocodile Happy Hour

Photo: Victoria VanBruinisse

{photo by the lovely Victoria VanBruinisse}

Thanks again to everyone who stopped by the Crocodile on Monday!

It was *so so awesome* seeing you and boy oh boy did the double helpings of pizza make my tummy happy. I still have a couple of those wooden tokens for rum drink specials left over; I suppose I've kept them to remind me of the rum vanilla-y goodness for weeks to come.

Word from our interoffice email threads since the event confirms that every member of the DJ crew had an amazing time! Chris Estey, Amie Simon, and Victoria VanBruinisse really outdid themselves putting together their sets.

Some folks who couldn't stay the whole time (or perhaps redeemed one too many of those wooden rum drink tokens) asked for a recap of the set... so here's mine:


Imaginary Liz's favorite songs of 2010

Best Songs of 2010 indie-pop style

It usually isn't in my nature to go against the John Roderick grain, but when it comes to end of year lists of favorites, I can't help myself. I have to gather all of my favorite songs into an MP3 scrapbook for my own current and future mental sanity.

Perusing the song stacks of the past year allows me to recall and file the past year before opening up my next year's calendar. Having an MP3 scrapbook gives me a one stop shop when, a year or even 15 days from now, I ask my-list-driven-self "What was 2010?" {because aren't all of our best memories tied to a song?}.

The answer to that question is below in the form of the playlist of my Imaginary Liz's Favorites Songs of 2010 mix:

1. Stornoway - Zorbing / Beachcomber's Windowsill
This is a solid album that is a soothing blend of a bashful Mumford & Sons, randy Features with a pinch of John Denver. This is the most rocking song on the album and the best Stornoway gateway drug, although I nearly featured "Long Distance Lullaby" on this record because I'm a sucker for love letters about late night phone calls. If I was the kind of girl that would have two songs by the same band on a single mixtape, "Long Distance Lullaby" would be a great way to end this year's wrap up.

2. Drums - Let's Go Surfing / The Drums
I'm a sucker for their Spector-esque take on the new wave of the retro reverb. I also love that igDana suggested that the chorus is actually, "Obama, I want to go shopping!"

3. Allo Darlin' - Kiss Your Lips / Allo Darlin'
It is far from hyperbolic to say this is my album of the year if not the decade. I can't recommend it highly enough. It's got the sweet coy of Heavenly, the foresight of Weezer (name checked in this song), and the jangle guitar of the Wedding Present. I've got several candles lit in hopes Allo Darlin returns to Seattle this year {they are set to play the San Francisco PopFest over Memorial Day weekend - which is just a hopskipjump away!}. They are getting a lot of attention from critics and record store fans far and wide, so I can only hope that Allo Darlin' is the future of sweetheart pop {and that sweetheart pop is the future of twee}.


Latest comment by: ig viva: "yay! I heart that the head and the heart made it onto your best-of horizon!"

Best of 2010 {half year check in}: Imaginary Liz's mixtape of favorites

Best Songs of 2010 / ig Liz

In celebration of all the great things released so far this year, I couldn't help but make my own mix to listen on repeat. I even got so nerdy as to create cd-sized cover art with a tracklisting for my Favorites of the First Half of 2010 (download the 5MB printable PDF). 

Fav Albums (in no particular order):
Allo Darlin
- Allo Darlin
Antarctica Takes It!Constellations
The DrumsThe Drums
Los Campesinos! - Romance Is Boring
Math & Physics Club - I Shouldn't Look As Good As I Do
Nana GrizolRuth
People Eating PeoplePeople Eating People
QuasiAmerican Gong
Standard FareThe Noyelle Beat

Fav Retrospective:
Carissa's WierdThey'll Only Miss You When You Leave: Songs 1996-2003

Fav 7":
Gold-Bears - “Tally”

Fav Cover Song:
Cats On Fire - “Your Woman” from the album Dealing In Antiques
(cover of a White Town song)

I am sure I forgot something... what songs and/or albums are your favorites of the year so far? Anything in particular you're looking forward hearing that's set for release later this year? {Thermals, Thermals, Thermals}


Latest comment by: Chris Estey: "

I second Cats On Fire's "Your Woman"! I really like "Romance Is Boring." Before the weather changed, I was constantly playing The National's album "High Violet" (especially for "Little Faith," one of my ...

Photo essay: Los Campesinos show their appreciation for Seattle at the Showbox

at Showbox at the Market

Los Campesinos @ the Showbox

The all ages show kicked off with with boisterous applause and exclamations of "I love you Gareth!" and " I Love You Harriet!" as the eight-person band gathered on stage. Within the first few bars of their set, the comfortably filled floor was insanely shaking with Campesinos fans singing along to every word and joyfully bouncing with the ebb and flow dancing as the band moved through the first part of their set with numbers like "Romance is Boring" and "A Heat Rash in the Shape of the Show Me State or, Letters from Me to Charlotte".

About halfway through the set, lead-singer / glock-maestro Gareth explained a bit about the Seattle / LC! mutual love affair and took a moment to profusely (and deservedly) thank the lovely and talented John Goodmanson and Eric Corson for all their help in and out of the studio. The imaginary highlight was when he followed with a shout out of appreciation to The Stranger, KEXP, and Three Imaginary Girls--a moment from which we are still blushing.


Los Campesinos at the Showbox on May 4: I'm so excited I want to jump in a vat of glitter

los campesinos!

(Photo by Laura Musselman from the Three Imaginary Girls Flickr Photo Pool)

Our dear Los Campesinos! friends from Cardiff have overcome a lot to join us this Tuesday (May 4th) at the Showbox the Market. For days (felt like weeks!) the band was unable to leave the UK, trapped at the airport and a nearby airport hotel because of a wacky volcanic-ash-related supernatural event. The whole affair, which they playfully documented on their blog with some fine video work, made up a bit for all that worrying.

They ended up having to cancel the first few dates of their US tour, but (thankfully) they are back on track and will be in Seattle for an all-ages show on Tuesday, May 4 at the Showbox at the Market (!!!!!). Just think how amazing their rambunctious clashing of indie-pop exuberance and sophisticated post-fi will sound with all those pretty chandeliers and tiered, ample dancing room! It's going to be pretty rad indeed. As rad as a hottub full of Campesinos.

We all have our favorite LC! songs we want to hear next Tuesday. Their back catalog alone makes me weak in the knees when I think of the set list possibilities. But as far as choices from the new album, I'm counting down to seeing "A Heat Rash In The Shape Of The Show Me State; Or, Letters From Me To Charlotte" and the new album's title track (Romance is Boring) performed live. Actually, with a track-listing like this to choose from, they can't go wrong when putting together the evening's mix:

1. In Medias Res
2. There Are Listed Buildings
3. Romance Is Boring
4. We've Got Your Back
5. Plan A
6. 200 - 102
7. Straight In At 101
8. Who Fell Asleep
9. I Warned You: Do Not Make An Enemy Of Me
10. Heart Swells / 100-1
11. I Just Sighed. I Just Sighed, Just So You Know
12. A Heat Rash In The Shape Of The Show Me State; Or, Letters From Me To Charlotte
13. The Sea Is A Good Place To Think Of The Future
14. This Is A Flag. There Is No Wind
15. Coda: A Burn Scar In The Shape of the Sooner State

All this excitement makes me want to dip my lips in glue and jump into glitter. That'd be going too far, right?


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "Thanks Ian! I like the look of that. That setlist has all my favorites! "

Bon Voyage to our friends head to Austin to SXSW it up in the most imaginary of ways


It's that time of year again... SXSW is upon us! I wasn't able to gather the necessary resources to head down there myself, so I'm looking forward to spending the next four days living vicariously through all of you headed Austin-ways.  I know that your hands (and days) will likely be full of free stuff (beer) and running into your band heros, but keep the twitters and flickr feeds full with your adventures!

I must admit, to protect myself from getting too depressed about missing this year's fest, I haven't kept extremely close tabs on who is playing where and when and what gift bags will be circulating. But, I have found two things that I'm particularly sad to miss this year.  If anyone hits these events, definitely report back (heck, whatever you see, feel free to report in!):

  • 1. The world premiere screening of the film Strange Powers – Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields
  • 2. The undeniable indie-pop fest going on at Waterloo Bicycles (so many bands I've wanted to see in one place!)
  • 3. The special guest duets that sneak up on you... one in particular I've heard a rumor about is the teaming up of a Fratelli and Colin of Mull Historial Society. Billy Bragg is there this year and I *know* he's going to join someone on stage. I just know it!

May the YouTube powers be with everyone down there!

Needless to say, you SXSW-ers are going to have a great time. I guess I'll make up for all that I'll miss by looking back and trying to relive some of my favorite adventures of SXSWs past:

  • 1. Matt & Kim interview, with legos and a dorky interviewer
  • 2. Los Campesinos! interview, in a hot tub with an interviewer who shouldn't have worn a hoodie
  • 3. Chasing down Running into Owen Wilson
  • 4. The time Dana chased down ran into Amy Winehouse
  • 5. Everything else I've seen / done at SXSW, especially the hootenanny

What are your favorite SXSW memories?

We're all at SXSW in our hearts!


Latest comment by: keenan dowers: "OK, now not only am I sad I'm missing lots of awesome shows, but I want waffles. Preferably shaped into US states. Viva - have tons of fun! I can't wait to see your photos!"

Best news of the day: NEW Magnetic Fields and Los Campesinos! records hit the shelves

Los Campesinos and Magnetic Fields

It's a big big day my friends. It's so big that as far back as a month ago I had friends emailing me asking if my head was going to explode on this very day. It's not that absurd of a question considering two of my very favoritest bands ever are both releasing brand new full on albums today:

Los Campesinos! - Romance is Boring
(in town at the Showbox / Market on May 4)

Magnetic Fields - Realism
(in town at Town Hall on Feb 23 and 24)


One saving grace preventing new album overload is that Los Campesinos loaded their entire new effort onto their MySpace page last week (it's their third masterpiece) so that I could listen to it wherever I could find an internet connection (however rickety). It's given me a chance to ease into all the new stuff all demanding priority in my iTunes. Once I get my copy of it on vinyl, the circle will be complete.

The Magnetic Fields tracks have proven a little more elusive. It's all fine though, a mountain of anticipation can be a good thing for a girl.

What new release are you looking forward to?



Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "Oh yeah, thanks Liz! I think I must have read that and forgot or something, or maybe it got jumbled in with all the other spring shows this year (Beach House, Yeasayer) but I'll definitely be at that show. I see they've graduated to a bigger venue too. ...