Tonight in Seattle:  


More photos from our New Wave Karaoke party!

{Sean Nelson / by Nate Watters}

Man, are we lucky! Our friend Nate Watters piled on to the already-bursting set of photos from our Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Party {from the de-lovely Laura Musselman}, giving us oodles more to ogle at. Not only did he contribute to a set of shots over at the City Arts Blog, he also tossed a few pics in our flickr pool -- so go poke around and have a peek at all the awesome! More views of Sean Nelson, Jenny Jiminez, Cristina Bautista, Cody Hurd, Lesli Wood, and so many of our friends and fellow fans are just waiting for your eyeballs. Here's a taste:

{Anna Banana and Jenny Jiminez / by Nate Watters}

Jenny Jiminez and Anna Banana slaying the stage!


Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

WOW!!! I can't pick a favorite! Thanks so much for capturing the magic that night, Nate!!!


Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash: What a way to celebrate the 10th Imagi-versary

{Sean Nelson / by Laura Musselman}

We can't thank you enough for helping us celebrate our 10th Anniversary in Rockstar New Wave Karaoke style last Friday {June 1, 2012} at Chop Suey!!! The evening was so much fun and having you all there really made it all super special.  There were so many amazing moments, some that we can't even believe actually happened!  If we weren't already in love with every one of the performers that took the stage, we are certainly over the moon with them now.

There were so many amazing performances it's impossible to list all the amazing moments here... but here are just a couple off the top of our heads:

Ben Hooker re-writing Duran Duran's "Girls on Film" to "Three Imaginary Girls On-Line."  We still don't know how he did it and really wish it was caught "on film." We are still blushing from the honor of having a Ben Hooker-penned song about us!

Patrick from Your Favorite Book singing "99 Luft Balloons" IN GERMAN!  We're not sure if you noticed, but the words on the karaoke monitor were in English, which means Patrick actually memorized the German version. From seeing YFB shows in the past, we knew he was going to go all the way.  But, blow up red balloons and fill the crowd with them as he broke out into song? While singing in German?

{Jenny Jiminez / by Laura Musselman}

Jenny Jimenez capturing all that is "She Bop" by Cyndi Lauper. The face paint, the outfit, the dance moves, AND a spot on rendition of this classic Cyndi tune.  It was a big undertaking and Jenny nailed it!

Sean Nelson singing "Peace, Love, and Understanding."  Sean not only covered the Elvis Costello song beautifully, he got so into the moment that he left the stage with a hole ripped in the knee of his pants and a bloody knee! We admire his new wave devotion!

{Jenny and Chris of Tullycraft / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Jenny and Chris of Tullycraft's version of "Come On Eileen."  The overalls, the dance moves pulled directly from a Dexy's Midnight Runners video and the over-the-top vocals. Thank goodness it was captured on video (posted below)!


Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: The Young Evils

{Cody Hurd of the Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

We've loved the Young Evils something fierce since those first strains of Enchanted Chapel made their way onto our iPods and into our headphones back in 2010. Since then, the music they make has proven the perfect soundtrack for those beautiful, sunny Seattle days, the mornings covered with grey when we need a little pick-me-up, and everything in-between. We've emphatically featured the YEs on our best-of-2010 playlists, faithfully recommended show after show, leapt into the air with glee when they agreed to come on the bill for our oh-ten holiday party, shimmied stage left when they played a killer set at the 2011 Sasquatch! Music Festival... the list goes on and on.

So, you can imagine how beside ourselves with happy we were when Cody Hurd agreed to come and spend some time at our 10th Anniversary Rockstar Karaoke New Wave Bash this Friday! He'll be taking the stage at Chop Suey with the likes of Sean Nelson, Lesli Wood, Alicia Amiri, Cristina Bautista, and more all-stars than you can shake a stick at. As is the case with the rest of our performers, there's no divulging which song he's going to serenade us with -- but we can tell you that it's going to be completely spectacular and that you won't want to miss it! A duo with Cristina Bautista, perhaps? Or with bandmate and Mal de Mer member Michael Lee? The possibilities are endless!

Tickets are only ten dollars {whoa!} and are going fast, so pick up a few here before the night sells out. Don't forget, the show is 21+ and doors open at 8:30pm!

{Photo of Cody Hurd at Sasquatch! 2011 by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Shane Tutmarc

Shane Tutmarc at the Three Imaginary Girls Karaoke Bash!

Shane Tutmarc might have picked up and moved to Nashville a few years back, but in our hearts, he's always going to be a fixture in the Seattle music community.  It's safe to say that Shane has written hundreds of songs under the monikers of Dolour, Shane Tutmarc and the Traveling Mercenaries, or simply, Shane Tutmarc. The guy can hold a spotlight and captivate an audience with a melodic chorus, a hook and a slight twang.  You could say he's our very own Rhett Miller.  

We can't believe our luck that Shane is going to be in town for a series of shows the week of our big 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash at Chop Suey{tix} this Friday, June 1st!  It's total imaginary kismet if I do say so myself.

We know the new wave karaoke song he's going to do is going to amazing (it's such a great pick too!) and it surely wont be enough Shane for us all. You can also catch him on Saturday night {June 2nd} at the Columbia City Theater when he takes the stage for the Noise for the Needy benefit, with Side Saddle, The Outlaws (a Waylon Jennings tribute band) and Country Lips.

Speaking of an extra dose of Shane Tutmarc, Shane was kind enough to donate an exclusive song to the Imaginary Zine mix cd!  The Imaginary Zine is a printed old school zine recounting our first 10 years in stories and recounted memories from our imaginary friends. As I eluded to, it comes with a cd chock full of rare, live, or exclusive songs by some of our favorite local artists, including The Long Winters, BOAT, Exohxo, The Femurs, Tullycraft and MORE!  It's limited to a hand-numbered print run of only 333, so you should make plans to pick up your copy at the show.


Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Exohxo

Exohxo Jasen Samburg and Danny OlesonIn the venn diagram of talent, kindness, enthusiasm and sincerity, Exohxo's Jasen Samford and Danny Oleson are certainly in the middle of it all.

For years they made Seattle smile with pop-goodness as part of Speaker Speaker, and now, with their current band, Exohxo, they have taken their enchanting chamber pop one step further.  They not only spread joy at the holidays, releasing three holiday Exohxmas albums (mostly) of original songs, but all year long they take the stage to fill the air with brilliant songs like "These Are The Days" and "Beacons."  

In fact, they are so talented that they didn't even flinch when I asked them if they had a song for our Imaginary Zine mix cd.  They jumped to the task recording a brand new song just for us and delivered it in record time.


Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: The Mangles

The ManglesThe Mangles are an illusive group of guys.  We were lucky enough to meet them in TIG's infancy and immediately BFF'd over all things vinyl, indie, and rad.

Even though the group only comes out of their Mangle den a few times a year, it's always to the extreme delight of all at the show.  Whether they  use the moniker of The Mangles or the long-retired Scottish Men of Science or as some of the fellas behind Blue Disguise Records (responsible for the early Visqueen releases, among other things), they treat every show as a covert basement show, bringing everyone into the fold of secret handshakes in the name of an authentic college-rock show, minus the attitude and fake poses. 

Beyond that, they translate their genuine love and respect of everything from Linda Ronstadt to Quasi to Hüsker Dü into an unforgettable performance that reminds you of the giddiness you felt the first time you snuck into an over 21 show.

Their songs gather a most exquisite range of influences, from The Replacements to The Bangles to Gang of Four to the Clash.  They are smart guys, and their writing and performance style reflects that (and I'm not just saying that because they are responsible for writing the best song ever, "Liz Riley").

They've taken the TIG stage in the past, notably at our 2008 Holiday Spectacular, 2004 Shamrock the Vote show (at which they were an all-boy Bangles tribute band) and on the karaoke mic at our Suicide Karaoke show to mark our 2nd anniversary.

We're not sure what song they are going to do this year at our 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash at Chop Suey {tix} on Friday, June 1st, but we know it's not to be missed!

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Tullycraft

Tullycraft / photo: John E Hollingsworth
{photo: John E. Hollingsworth}

There's no denying that every single member of Tullycraft has a firm place in our hearts.  Their songs encompass all things we love.  They spice up indie-pop with aggressive guitar and swoon-worthy campfire sing along harmonies.  Blips and bleeps are sprinkled through out as are record store clerk culture references and nerd-core punchlines.  Beyond that, the folks that make up the band more than make our heart flutter.

Our ties with Tullycraft go all the way back to 2003, when at our 2nd anniversary Rockstar Suicide Karaoke show a very brave Tullycraft-er took the stage to sing Juice Newton's "Queen of Hearts." Since then, we've been able to cajole Tullycraft into performing at many an imaginary event (YAY!).  It's hard to pick a favorite moment, but we still watch video of their performance at the Magnetic Fields 69 Love Songs show over and over (video sample of the night below). And then there was our 2007 holiday show, the 2004 Shamrock the Vote showcase… well, you get the idea. We can't get enough Tullycraft in our lives.


Latest comment by: Mark: "I thought Special Places were supposed to be releasing an EP last year? After the mini popfest (SP, MAPC, Allo Darlin') in 2010, they seem to have gone silent. :-("

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Ben Hooker from Visqueen

Rachel and Ben of Visqueen / photo: Jason Tang
{Total sweetness: Rachel and Ben after the last Visqueen show / photo: Jason Tang}

We haven't been the same since Visqueen rode into the sunset last November, when they played their last show at the Neptune. It was a glorious affair.  Every song rocked like it was the first time we heard it.  Genuine love and appreciation (on both the part of the band and the audience) filled the air and as the final notes of the last song we're strummed, we all broke down into tears.  Sure we were sad that we'd never get to see another Visqueen show or pick up another new Visqueen album, but mostly the tears were grateful ones, that we were there and they were there and we were all together sharing this amazing moment of rad songs, rad people, and BFFs forever (video proof below).

BUT, come Friday, June 1st at our 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash at Chop Suey {tix}, dry those tears and wildly spray your Aussie Scrunch hairspray, because Ben Hooker (and possibly a member or two of his entourage) will take the stage to sing a favorite new wave hit.  

You might remember Ben's karaoke skillz as illustrated in his spot on performance of Iron Maiden's "Aces High" (with Cory Murchy of Minus the Bear) at our 2003 Rockstar Buttrock Karaoke Party, a performance which earned him the award for "Best Falsetto."  This time will be even better, because we will be celebrating a wonderful 10 years of imaginary togetherness (a love affair detailed in the 10th anniversary imaginary zine, which you can be the first to pick up AT THE SHOW!).

How can Ben possibly top "Aces High?"  We will see… oh we will see!!!

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Ethan from Math and Physics Club

Ethan Jones of Math and Physics ClubIt's hard to remember imaginary life before Math & Physics Club came along.  We are forever honored to have been one of the first places they sent their demo to back in the summer of 2004.  With their sweet indie-pop blend of The Smiths with The Lucksmiths, and all things Sarah Records with Matinee Records, their beautiful songs (even as demos) immediately made us both jump with glee and fill with pretty heartache.

Besides being hella nice folks who write hella nice songs, we adore them because they have been kind enough to be a part of many of our (even wackiest) show endeavors.  They are brilliant when they play their own songs (as we've written about countless times), but they are also really great at covers! They did a couple magic Magnetic Field covers at our 69 Love Songs cover night and they even perfected a Stone Roses cover at one of our showcases (video of them performing it in CA below).

Ethan Jones from MaPC is going to represent the band on at 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash on Friday, June 1st at Chop Suey {tix}. You might also remember Ethan as a touring member of Eux Autres in addition to his MaPC responsibilities of bass guitar and harmonies.  Besides rumors swirling that MaPC are possibly talking about one day maybe recording something perhaps sometime, Ethan is also currently working on an EP of his own.  And, also of very important indie-pop note, Math and Physics Club donated a very rare and very exclusive song to the 10th anniversary commemorative imaginary zine, which you can be the first of your friends to pick up AT THE SHOW!

He was one of the first folks to send over their requested song, so we can only imagine that he's spent ever single moment working on his new wave poses.

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Alicia Amiri

Alicia Amiri photo by Victoria VanBruinisse
{photo by Victoria VanBuinisse}

Alicia Amiri is quite the lady-about-town, especially within the Seattle music community. During the day (and some evenings), she's the local booker and marketing assistant at the world famous Crocodile.  If you haven't crossed paths with her there, perhaps you know her from her days at Neumo's

Or perhaps you recognize her from one of the many music-making (rather than music-booking or promoting) endeavors in bands Lovesick Empire, Nightmare Fortress or as a solo artist.  Her songs have a confident bravado, with vocals that seep with sharp recollections of love and regret.

With all that going on, it's a wonder she has time to help us out at our 10th Anniversary Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Bash on Friday, June 1st at Chop Suey {tix}.  But, we are so grateful she will take the stage to belt her heart out in the key of new wave for the big celebration!

For more Alicia-time, be sure to catch her set at Folklife on Saturday, May 26 and Nightmare Fortress (video below) is playing Barboza with The Tempers on Thursday June 7.