Tonight in Seattle:  

Showbox at the Market

Eels: new album Wonderful, Glorious out tomorrow {2/5}

Enviably prolific Mark Oliver Everett, the E in Eels, is at it again with the release of the band's tenth studio album Wonderful, Glorious on February 5. For those of us who aren’t good at waiting (screw those people who say patience is a virtue!) a big “thanks!” to Everett, who was nice enough to pre-release two of the new tracks including “I’m Your Brave Little Soldier” and “New Alphabet”.

Fans will recognize the familiar themes of sadness and profound loss, but this time around they are veiled in a softer shroud. On “I’m Your Brave Little Soldier,” for instance, the melody is happily driven along by sweet banjo and triangle rhythms reminiscent of a folk band at the county fair. But “New Alphabet” delves into the dirty corners of Everett’s range, his slow growl distorted and gritty on the chorus when the words just sound like noise / I need a new alphabet / when the world stops making sense / I make a new alphabet.

Everett always impresses with his unending energy, working on numerous side projects while recording and writing new material. For instance, he wrote his autobiography and produced an award-winning documentary about his quantum physicist father titled Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives, all while completing an album trilogy with Eels. Makes a girl feel lazy in comparison.

Eels will be appearing in Seattle on February 19 at the Showbox (with Nicole Atkins) in support of Wonderful, Glorious. Tickets are $25.00 in advance and are still available here.

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What are YOU doing New Year's Eve? {TONIGHT!}

There's plenty to choose from on Monday night, between all the shows, dance parties, and fancy end-of-year suppers -- but no matter what you think you have planned for New Year's Eve, we strongly suggest that those of you planning to be in the Seattle area alter your agenda to include a stop at The Showbox.

Pickwick, your favorite local alt.freaksoul sextet, will be taking one of our favorite stages in town with Radiation City and Tomten, with doors at 8 and advance tickets at a mere $21.50 (an incredible bargian for a holiday night celebration, if you've been poking around at some other show prices in town).

The night is 21+ and tickets are going fast, so make sure you pop on over here to pick up a pair or two and secure your place at the last best party of the year.

Happy almost-2013!

Photo(s) of the day: Ben Gibbard and Damien Jurado at the Showbox

{Ben Gibbard / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Damien Jurado / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Hopefully you were one of the lucky folks that got to see Ben Gibbard play this weekend in Seattle! There were two shows on his dance card, on Saturday at Washington Hall with Shelby Earl {for an 826 Seattle benefit}, and on Friday at the Showbox with Damien Jurado. We caught the latter (with a few photos by our own Imaginary Victoria to prove it really happened) and were absolutely floored by both sets. It was incredible to see Damien play a powerful solo set after a run of recent full-band shows, and of course, Ben was as talented and as charming as ever. He ran through a ninety-minute selection of deep-catalog Death Cab favorites, Postal Service hits, and tracks off his recent solo release, Former Lives -- including our personal high point of the evening, where he prefaced a launch into "Teardrop Windows" with an emphatic promise to never move out of this city again.

Fingers crossed, Ben! We're glad to have you home.

{Photos by Victoria VanBruinisse. See more from this show and recent goings-on around town in the imaginary flickr pool!}

Celebrate ten years of Light in the Attic with Rodriguez at the Showbox {10/12}

If you haven't gotten tickets already, well. We're sorry to inform you that you're plum out of luck. Rodriguez is playing the Showbox tomorrow night with Michael Chapman and Donnie and Joe Emerson, as part of a pair of shows celebrating the tenth anniversary of Light in the Attic Records. On the odd chance you're not familiar, head on over here to get a taste of the literal gems that the LitAR folks have unearthed and brought back to life. From their site:

In the ten years since its inception, Light In The Attic has launched The Black Angels to the world and released rare treasures from funk-rock maverick Betty Davis, proto-punk band The Monks, folk singers Karen Dalton, Jim Sullivan, and Michael Chapman, larger-than-life troubadours Serge Gainsbourg and Lee Hazlewood, Korean rock hero Shin Joong Hyun, and Memphis soul heavyweights Wendy Rene and Charles “Packy” Axton.

Over the years, we also delved deep in to the history of our home town with vintage Seattle soul via the series Wheedle’s Groove, reissued classics from country stalwarts Kris Kristofferson and the Louvin Brothers, brought rock-n-roll farmers Donnie & Joe Emerson to the public, expanded minds with the deeply vibrant Jamaica to Toronto series, and played a key role in the rediscovery of legendary singer-songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, recently celebrated in the Sony Pictures Classics critical smash film, Searching For Sugar Man. The list is long.

Fitting, then, to host a hell of a party to celebrate. And if you're not heading to the Showbox show, may we suggest this alternate: pop down to Easy Street Records tonight {yep, Thursday, October 11th} to catch Michael Chapman's in-store at 7pm -- and since you're going to be at the record store anyway, it'd behoove you to grab a few albums and get to know the bliss that these fine, fine people make a business of turning the world on to. For instance: Cold Fact {Rodriguez}, U.F.O. {Jim Sullivan} and Histoire de Melody Nelson {Serge Gainsbourg} would be key pieces to add to your record collection, if you don't own them already.

We'll see you there!

Latest comment by: John in Ballard: "

Wow. What are the chances we'll get the full orchestra packed on the Showbox stage tonight? That would be amazing, but I'm not holding out too much hope. Even without them, this show is gonna be great. 

"

Don't miss (seriously): Michael Kiwanuka and Nathaniel Rateliff at the Showbox, 10/5

Undoubtedly, you've heard of Michael Kiwanuka already. He's exploding out of the London scene, is up for a Mercury Prize, and has a sound that swings effortlessly from singer-songwriter to (semi-tortured) soul to jazz and back again. A quick glance at a sampler of his sounds proves this, as he invokes everything from Charles Bradley to Nick Drake, from modern fusion sounds to throwback, shuffly-snare alt.doo-wop tracks.

Adding his 2012 release Home Again to what you're taking in over the course of 2012 is a given, and you'd do yourself well to pick up a pair (or two) of tickets to see him at the Showbox this coming Friday, October 5th. But what I really tuned in to throw a flag up about this morning was the opener for this Friday's show, who is none other than Denver, Colorado's Nathaniel Rateliff. You may have heard me gushing on about him before, or perhaps you caught him at the Triple Door in 2010, or opening up for Jessica Lea Mayfield at the Tractor last year.

But if you haven't taken in the bliss that is Nathaniel as of yet, I have one word for you: Run. Run to pick up 2010's In Memory of Loss, run to get to the Showbox early on Friday night {just after you stop by The Imaginary Poster Show, perhaps?} and get yourself a spot up front for his performance. His primal yawps that erupt mid heartstring-pull during his well-crafted songs will leave you gripping the edge of the stage, full of defeat and hope simultaneous, wishing he'd go on for hours. Not convinced? Stream In Memory... track by track here. Right? I know. Now, go pick up tickets to Friday's show before it sells out.

Go!

{$15.00 adv / all ages / 8p. Foy Vance opens.}

Why seeing Desaparecidos this Saturday {8/25} at the Showbox is more than just recommended...

Desaparecidos photo: Zach Hollowell
photo: Zach Hollowell

It's only in the past few weeks that I've been able to come to grips with the reality that Conor Oberst and his Bright Eyes-side project band, Desaparecidos will take the stage this Saturday at the Showbox (Market).  

It's been over 10 years since I first saw them at the Paradox on February 18, 2002 (in the pre-TIG days).  The show was packed but, as with most Paradox shows, it felt intimate like a underground basement show. The band played through their (only and beloved) album Read Music | Speak Spanish and the Happiest Place On Earth single.  While still only semi-confident in their indie rockstardom, the band bolstered the shy crowd into a ferocious and unrelenting fever with each song they played.

Now it's 10 years later and although so much has changed in their (and our) lives, so much has stayed the same. Their rage against the machine is still justified and connects with every one of us (at least those of us who are reading this post).  Names and workplaces have changed, but the white-hot distaste of injustice and over-consumption still permeate our conversations (and Facebook threads).  

Sure all of us have had our moments in which "there is hope, and there is joy, and there is acceptance" (as illustrated in the Bright Eyes' "Kathy With A K's Song"), but a Desaparecidos reunion show and a couple of new songs is just the spark we need to reignite the fire that for some of us is apt to grow cold now and again when faced with mortgages and career paths.  Desaparecidos songs weren't crafted to make us feel guilty about adulthood, but rather, guide us into an adulthood centered around happiness, selflessness, betterment and compassion.

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Lebowski Fest really ties the city together + free tickets {8/10}

Actually, The Big Lebowski is probably the most divisive of the Coen brothers’ movies. Like Woody Allen or Pauly Shore, you either get it or you don’t. For those who get it, The Dude can be almost a messianic figure, equally imbued with laconic wisdom and White Russians. How many other cult movies have been made the subject of academic studies?

The Dude abides as a cult figure this weekend for Seattle’s fourth official Lebowski Fest. According to Lebowski Fest tradition, the celebration consists of two parts – a screening of the movie, often preceded by musical performances, and on the following day, a bowling party complete with costumes, contests and what-have-you. I don’t really need to try to convince you how cool this is. You either already micturated the rug with excitement or a gang of nihilists couldn’t drag you to this event no matter what I say.

Friday’s 21+ movie screening kicks off at the Showbox at the Market at 8:00 p.m. with unidentified musical guests. Lebowski Fests have featured My Morning Jacket and Eagles cover bands – so you take your chances. The all-ages bowling party on Saturday at 7 p.m. at Roxbury Lanes also promises “special guests.”

You can buy tickets to either or both events online or you can try to win free tickets to Friday’s screening from us. Just shoot us an email at tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject "I can get you a toe" anytime between now and 3pm on Wednesday, August 8th. The editorial “we” will choose a few Achievers, and send you an email letting you know that you +1 are on the list for Friday's show.

{August 10th - Movie Party - Special guests + The Big Lebowski screening @ The Showbox at the Market - Ages 21+ - $15 ADV / $18 DOS; August 11th - Bowling Party - @ Roxbury Lanes - All Ages - $25 ADV / $30 DOS; Tickets and info here.}

Dirty Projectors bring their gorgeous harmonies to the Showbox

at Showbox at the Market

{Dirty Projectors / by Beth Crook}

Monday nights can be a little hit and miss as far as shows go: crowds can often be worn out from the preceding weekend -- in this case, that weekend involved three days of Block Party goodness -- and occasionally reluctant to venture out again for yet another show on Monday. That was certainly not the case with Wye Oak and Dirty Projector’s show at the Showbox this past Monday night.

Wye Oak opened up the evening to an already fairly crowded Showbox. The duo of drummer (and occasional bassist) Andy Stack and guitarist Jenn Wasner made enough noise that you have thought you were listening to a much larger band. Maybe it was the sound capacities of the Showbox on this particular night, but even if not, Wye Oak is much, MUCH louder and heavier live than their recorded version is. Wasner’s guitar playing often created a punishing wall of sound, with her vocals just barely lifting over the top. Their moody and contemplative sound harkened back to some of the shoegaze bands of the early 90s. This was my first time seeing Wye Oak, and I was certainly impressed.

{Wye Oak / by Beth Crook}

{Wye Oak / by Beth Crook}

Dirty Projectors took the stage to an anxiously excited crowd, with lead singer David Longstreth high-fiving audience members in the front row upon entrance. The first twenty-five minutes of their set consisted of songs from their new album, Swing Lo Magellan. That fantastic new material punctuated their setlist, as they played the majority of the twelve songs on the album, with highlights from their 2009 album Bitte Orca interspersed throughout.

One noticeable difference between the current incarnation of Dirty Projectors and previous ones is the adjusted lineup. While most members remain the same, former drummer Brian McOmber left the band on amicable terms and was replaced by Mike Johnson. More noticeable however, is the absence of Angel Deradoorian. The trio of Deredoorian, Haley Dekle, and Amber Coffman made some of the most unique and gorgeous melodies in indie music -- however, Deredoorian left the group earlier this year to pursue other projects and was temporarily replaced by Wye Oak’s Jess Wasner, who has since been replaced by former Chairlift member Olga Bell. Considering some of the harmonies and offbeat timing involved in playing their songs live, Bell did a fantastic job and certainly held her own with the rest of the band. When the three of them harmonized together on songs like “Useful Chamber”, they didn’t just settle for singing their beautiful melodies in perfect harmony, they did so at full volume. Not only were they all perfectly on-key, they absolutely belted those notes as loud as they could, and the audience loved every second of it. I noticed several people around me turn to their friends with that "wow, that sounds fucking amazing!" look on their face.

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Recommended show: Dirty Projectors at Showbox at the Market

{Dirty Projectors}

Through the course of their ten year history, Dirty Projectors have been a band of constant change and progression. From their sound and album concepts to their ever-evolving lineup, Dirty Projectors has grown from the solo project of front man and guitarist David Longstreth into it’s current six member strong incarnation. The mastermind and creative force behind Dirty Projectors remains Longstreth, who manages to find a way to expand the band’s sound with every release. As Longstreth recently told Pitchfork: “One of the things that's been consistent about Dirty Projectors is that the band reinvents itself, and that we're not one of these bands that does one thing sublimely well over and over and over again, until people don't need it anymore. It's about taking risks and with all the glory and hideous failure that that entails.”

Their sixth album Swing Lo Magellan (which came out on the 10th) is no exception; it contains the same captivating interplay between Longstreth’s intricate guitar play and the soaring, angelic vocals of his female counterparts Amber Coffman and Haley Dekle that made their 2009 release Bitte Orca so fantastically beautiful. For proof, check out some of the goose bump-inducing high notes hit in their 2009 single “Stillness is the Move”:

And if that’s not enough to persuade you, you can listen to the fantastic Swing Lo Magellan in it’s entirety over at the New York Times (dot com).

Convinced? We figured as much. You can catch all of this amazing firsthand later this month, when Dirty Projectors bring their live show to the Showbox at the Market on Monday, July 23rd. Opening the show is Baltimore duo Wye Oak. Tickets are available, along with more show details, at the Showbox page here.

{8p doors / all ages / $22.50 adv / $28 DOS. Photo courtesy of the band's Facebook page.}

Recommended show + free tickets: Jonathan Coulton at the Showbox {6/22}

And now, straight from his iPhone the road, a few words from Seattle's own John Roderick as to why your attendance at Friday night's Jonathan Coulton show at the Showbox would be a good idea:

"People make the mistake of thinking Jonathan is a novelty songwriter, because his tunes are set after the zombie apocalypse, or they're sung from the perspective of a deranged scientist, or they sometimes feature monkeys. But Jonathan's songs are not novelties, they stack up against any pop songs written by anyone. Monkeys aside, Jonathan's songs are ultimately about losing what you crave most, or loving too hard, or feeling lost, or whatever any great songs are about. Plus, he's hilarious and smart, and his fans are devoted to him but totally inclusive. There are plenty of people who prize their own cynicism over ever discovering something new, or laughing unexpectedly, or finding a new way to express an ancient feeling. It's foolish trying to convince cynics of anything. For everyone else, Jonathan Coulton is one of the best practitioners of smart pop music working today. Go see him. (Plus, I'm opening, and all that stuff I said about Jonathan is totally true about me too, except for the monkeys)."

We couldn't have said it any better ourselves. Tickets are still available, but we want to give you a chance to see the show for free. Send an email to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject line "Let'sBeNemeses" sometime between now and 5pm on Thursday, June 21st. Tell us why we should pick you to go to the show, and if you're our lucky winner, you'll be on the guest list for Friday night. Good luck!

{21+ / 8p doors / $28.50 adv / $30.00 DOS. Tickets available for advance purchase here.}