Tonight in Seattle:  

Harvey Danger

Saturday's recommended show: Love Hotel at Barboza

Love Hotel (photo by Angela Dawn)
(photo: Angela Dawn)

We are all kinds of nostalgic here at imaginary headquarters as we mark our 10th anniversary and look back on all the amazing bands that have held firm spots in our hearts (and on mix tapes) over the last 10 years.

One band that supplied many nights of fun in our early days (specifically between 2001-2006) is Love Hotel.  Their song, "Ahoy Supercool" was played on a repeat loop for some time and their shows were always a lot of fun.  How could they not be? Love Hotel is made up of four of Seattle's finest who have also flexed their muscles as members of Harvey Danger, The Typing Explosion, Voyager One, and Severna Park.  Members Sarah Paul Ocampo, Aaron Huffman, Mark Dibeh, and Bo Gilliland are so comfortable on stage, playing their sexy-smart pop songs that blend Rilo Kiley with early Liz Phair {and you can listen and download Love Hotel on bandcamp for free!}.

(side note: Can we start a petition to bring Typing Explosion back?!?!?)

And we feel like the luckiest imaginaries in the world, because Love Hotel have decided to get back together, for just one night, at Barboza this Saturday, June 23, 2012!  Also on the bill is a set of equally illustrious openers: Sean Nelson & Shenandoah Davis, and Tomo Nakayama (Grand Hallway).

More than just a night of looking back, this show will remind us all why the Seattle music community is second to none, as a room filled with friendly folks gets to be a part of the fun as buddies take the stage to share their superb pop songs in a cozy room.  Also reminding us, it doesn't have to be a big show to be grand and special nights like this should not be missed.

Rockstar New Wave Karaoke Countdown: Sean Nelson

Sean Nelson photo: Victoria VanBruinisse
{photo: Victoria VanBruinisse}

Even though Sean Nelson has been a fixture at many of our imaginary events, we still jumped up and down with excited glee and surprise when he agreed to be part of our Rockstar New Wave Karaoke night on Friday, June 1 at Chop Suey.

It shouldn't be a surprise that he can fearlessly take the karaoke mic and grace us with a favorite new wave hit.  He pretty much aces each theatrical and musical endeavor he takes on.  You've seen him on stage and screen showing off his acting and directing skills, read his quotable works in print, and marveled at his talents in Harvey Danger and the Long Winters (just to name a few of his many musical projects). He's so rock and roll that his new band Sounds Major is playing Barboza the night before (with Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground on May 31st), and yet he still agreed to help us out and take the stage to celebrate our 10th anniversary.

We can't tell you *which* song he's going to do, but we can predict that it will knock your socks off.  Because, well, it's Sean Nelson... singing a new wave hit... celebrating our 10th anniversary.  And that is rad.

Here's a sample of Sean Nelson awesomeness, when he covered the Magnetic Fields at our 69 Love Songs cover night back in 2006:

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Have a very merry holiday weekend!

Here's wishing you a good holiday weekend, if you're doing the holiday weekend kind of thing. Looking for a place to spend Christmas alone, together? Check out the Stranger's movie listings: here's what's playing Saturday, and Sunday too. We're particularly excited about the original black-and-white version of It's a Wonderful Life, which is playing through December 29th at the Grand Illusion {and where you may very well find us at the 8:30p showing tomorrow}.

We'll see you next week with some end-of-year highlights and more best-ofs than you can shake a stick at! And don't forget -- tune in to KEXP on Sunday morning for a holiday version of Preachin' the Blues, DJ El Toro's daytime holiday set, and pop on over to Greg Vandy's site for info on how to stream his very vintage Roadhouse holiday show anytime.

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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.

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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!"

listmania continues: keenan's top 20 favorite albums of the decade

photo by trickshot photography

{Long Winters photo by Trickshot Photography}

Because I'm some kind of masochist and a total nerd, I've been slaving over this list, keeping it brief (harder than you'd think!) at my favorite 20 albums of the decade without duplicating a band (even harder). Side note: I've probably forgotten something I really, really love, so let's just call this how I feel right this minute. These are the albums I know every note and breath of by heart and I love as complete albums with all of my soul. These are albums that in my humble opinion have no skipable track and are works of beauty in their entirety. I'd also like to point out that these are my favorite albums, as I tend to shy away from calling them "the best", as really, it's just my opinion, and who am I to tell you that you're wrong for not liking these records? (Though, if you catch me in a potentially altered state, I may completely negate that and call any number of these THE GREATEST of all time and call you wrong to your face if you disagree.) I digress. Here they are!

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Latest comment by: imaginary lori: "I love your list. I'd forgotten my love of Figure 8 until I heard it on the KEXP countdown."

Photo of the day: In light of the recent Harvey Danger news...

Thanks to Hot Avocados Photography (imaginary victoria!) for this sweet Sean Nelson moment she recently caught. It's kinda a tear jerker in light of the recent news that Harvey Danger is calling it quits. But, on the sweeter side of things, Sean celebrated is birthday just last Friday (happiest of b-days to you sir!).

Want to see more of what's going on around town? Head over to our Sparkly Indie Pop Flickr Photo Pool!

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Latest comment by: ig victoria: ""victoria likes this.""

Harvey Danger breaking up

I really hate being the one who mentions band breakups here, but alas I must post another one. This is for a band that is near and dear to my heart for more than decade: Harvey Danger.

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Latest comment by: Anika: "Sadness! The Harvey Danger NYE shows have been highlights for me, not just as concert-going experiences but as living in Seattle and realizing a dream after hearing "Flagpole Sitta" in grade school. I ducked out of my sister's rehearsal dinner the night before her ...

Kurt Cobain memorial show

Personally, I'd love to see something like a mini Nirvana museum or something similar installed in the sleepy former lumber town that Cobain used to call home -- something to draw a bit of business to the place. Or a fancy Cobain statue erected on the streets, ala the Hendrix one on Cap Hill.

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Latest comment by: Gebular: "I would like to see more Big Bands like Harvey Danger play the area, And would love to see some more things in town aboot Kurt. He is a huge influence in our music. "

Mika could be anything you like, as long as it's glampop

(c) 2008 Chris Monsos / Hunk du Jour

at Showbox Sodo

And so began the latest wave of super-hyped British glam pop-rock, with glowsticks imprinted with MIKA! flashing throughout the dancing audience.

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What Christmas songs are you enjoying right now?

If you're not already sick of Christmas music (and who could blame you if you were?), are there any songs this holiday that you are especially enjoying?

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Latest comment by: Al: "About the only one I can stand is the Sarge cover of Last Christmas. If you've never heard it feel free to enjoy it over on my myspace page. http://www.myspace.com/alhong Merry Xmas!!!"