! = recommended
* = all-ages
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(Photo by Laura Musselman)
April is trending to be one of the best months ever here at Imaginary Headquarters. Among the reasons we're kinda losing our stuff over here:
APRIL 10 and 17: Early Math & Physics Club shows at the High Dive (6p-8p)
Math and Physics Club will play a couple low key shows at the High Dive on Saturday, April 10 and Saturday, April 17 to test drive some new songs for their upcoming trip to the San Francisco Popfest their album release show at the Crocodile on June 12. Both High Dive shows are going to be early (6p-8p) and have the sweetest of openers: Eux Autres (on April 10) and The Special Places (on April 17).
APRIL 16-18: EMP Pop Conference
I always look forward to EMP's annual Pop Conference because it allows me to sit only feet away from my favorite, most inspiring pop (and non-pop) writers and listen to them casually espouse (and if all goes well, rant) on all things music and popular culture, which confirms my obsession's tangible significance. This year the biggest must see on my whole Pop Conference schedule is Tim Quirk and his look at "The Quiet Revolution: From the Walkman to the iPod, How Portability and Infinite Storage Have Changed the Way We Listen, and What We Listen To" on Friday at 10.45am. Tim is one of my all time favorite wordsmiths, music industry honchos (at Rhapsody), and band frontman (Too Much Joy) ever. When I am not sitting front row at his Pop Conference sessions, I'm hanging on his every tweet. Some studies suggest that I can link Tim/TMJ to who/where I am today.
Remember when, a couple years back, we could call the Wedding Present a local band while frontman David Gedge took up a brief residency in Seattle? Well, let the good Gedge times roll once again as the full band returns to town as part of a small tour across the US to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the release of their seminal album Bizarro. On Wednesday, April 21, The Wedding Present will take the Crocodile stage and play the brilliant Bizarro album in it's entirety from "Brassneck" to "Be Honest" and some (fingers crossed) b-sides.
To unleash my WP geekus maximus in the healthiest of ways, I asked some of my favorite fellow Wedding Present fans (i.e. you, me and a Lucksmith) to let us know your Bizarro story. In an unlimited-part series, I'll spread out the joy starting next week as we countdown to the big show.
Of course, if you have a favorite piece of the Bizarro puzzle, feel free to join in the fun and post it below or me at tig @ threeimaginarygirls . com with the subject line of Bizarro.
It's been four years since the last Radio Dept album (a statistic that no one--especially you, me and the band--are pleased with), but thankfully the band has made sure the wait is worth it. The result is Clinging to a Scheme, an album that has been greeted with a flurry of hipster's jumping up and down like they just got an American Girl doll (I think even Pitchfork squealed with joy) and catapulted the band onto the official Top 5 of Most Blogged About Artists list.
Of course this new album is more important than the hype surrounding it. The album builds on the signature Labrador Records stamp of high quality swirls of vocals and C86 orchestration over the lush backdrop of keyboards, beats and sassy tambourine. Songs like "This Time Around" and "Never Follow Suite" will bring back memories of Saint Etienne, Pet Shop Boys and your dream of what would have happened if the Stone Roses and My Bloody Valentine would have joined forces.
One of the more beguiling things about the album is that one of this year's most important indie pop releases will be available on vinyl in a strictly limited edition batch of 500 copies... and we've got one of those 500 records to give away! There's also a *slight* chance that we'll be able to get it autographed for you (no promises, but all hands in the air if it happens!).
I have the major hots for just about anything with the Labrador Records stamp. Although I can't verbalize it as well as Steve Thornton, imaginary staffer who objectively and positively swooned over the comprehensive Labrador compilation, Labrador 100 - A Complete History Of Popular Music, in 2007, the label's decade plus of solid releases has cemented them as a staple conversation topic in any indie-pop thinkthank... and therefore, recipient of my lustful gazes from across the crowded dance floor.
On April 25th, Labrador Records' The Mary Onettes will be in Seattle at the Sunset Tavern in support of their new album Islands with Hotels and Erik Blood opening. The Mary O's new full length is a dreamy set of modern day anthems fit for any John Hughes soundtrack. The songs are exceptional pieces of beautiful orchestrated indie-pop that flows with pretty angst ("Now I dared to think I'm something that I'm not " from the song "Dare" which you can sing along to in the video below).
In short, if you like your mix tapes chock full of Jesus and Mary Chain, Cure, New Order, and Pains of Being Pure at Heart you'll kick yourself for missing this show.
Next week (April 15 to be exact), the much-buzzed-about UK avant-pop act Florence and the Machine will be in town to surely please the audience at the Showbox at the Market.
As though it wasn't exciting enough, we have a pair of tickets to giveaway to see Florence, along with a signed copy of her excellent debut album Lungs. If you want win this wonderful prize package, just send an e-mail to email@example.com before 9am on Monday, April 12 with "Florence's Lungs" in the subject line. The show is all ages, so anyone can enter.
This Morning Benders have been getting all kinds of buzz for their brand-new album Big Echo, including being awarded a prestigious "Best New Music" honor from Pitchfork. On Friday night, they'll be bringing those songs to the cozy confines of the Crocodile.
Even better: a) two of our favorite bands around here, Miniature Tigers and BOAT are opening and b) we have a pair of tickets to give to a lucky TIG reader.
If you want to go see The Morning Benders, BOAT and Miniature Tigers (and you surely do), but would prefer spending the money that would have gotten you in the door on drinks and/or t-shirts, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before 9am on Thursday, April 1 with "morningbenders" in the subject line. Oh and be over 21 before Friday.
Adam Green has recently released his sixth solo album, Minor Love, and he's coming to town. Newly signed to Fat Possum Records the new album is at once haunting and playful. The lilt in his sparse vocals, reminiscent of Lou Reed, on the first half of the album is accompanied by finely place organ, guitar and bass, the drums skittering around in the background. The second half of the album takes on more of a Leonard Cohen feel, growing a bit darker and unfolding a seriousness that flatters the singer/songwriters skills while expanding his scope.
I can only imagine how the slight kitsch of a song like “Goblin” and the video game sound clips on the lo-fi “Oh Shucks” will translate to stage. Find out by emailing us for these tickets!
Send an e-mail to email@example.com by Monday, March 26 with "AdamGreenWonder" in the subject line. If you win these tickets, I'll see you there and together we can wonder whether or not Greg Rogove of Megapuss is going to be playing on this leg of Adam Green's tour.
Just a few days ago I got a Facebook message from a friend in Denmark who said "you need to go see the Danish band, Efterklang, at the Triple Door on March 11th. They are amazing!!"
Intrigued, I wanted to learn more and Wikipedia told me:
The name Efterklang comes from the Danish word for "remembrance" or "reverberation." Formed in Copenhagen, its four core members are: Casper Clausen, Mads Brauer, Thomas Husmer, and Rasmus Stolberg. The original lineup also included Rune Mølgaard, but he has taken a more secluded role since 2007. When performing live, the core four-piece band is complemented with the addition of three to four closely-related live band members.
So that doesn't tell us too much more, but trust me, I've come to enjoy the music I've heard from the band (including their song "Mirador" embedded above) and am now looking forward to their show next week at the Triple Door. Even better, we can sneak a few more people in. If you want to see Efterklang, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before 9am on Monday, March 8 and put "Efterklang" in the subject line. Shortly thereafter, we'll draw a name at random and that person will win a pair of tickets to see Efterklang at the Triple Door.
Saturday night is the finals to the EMP's always excellent Sound Off! competition for under 21 Northwest bands. After three narrowing down the competition to four bands over the past four weeks, the winner will be named here, with Candysound, Hooves and Beak, Great Waves and SEACATS viable to take home lots of great prizes (including a guaranteed spot at Bumbershoot). A few days after the first night of Sound Off!, I ran into a local music legend at a book reading and she was raving to me about Candysound, for what that's worth.
On another note, our friends from the EMP asked me if we thought we had readers of TIG who wanted to see the finals for free. So, if you are one such reader who would like to go (and bring a friend), please send an e-mail to email@example.com before 9am on Friday, March 5 with "Soundoff" in the subject line. Of course, this is all-ages with the show starting at 8 (doors 7).
Come and get your gee-haw on this Friday night at Neumo's -- on us!
That's right, we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show of the week, our very own SXSW 2010 Sendoff! You can rage along to Visqueen's big guitars, swoon to the orchestral-pop melodies of Hey Marseilles, get your groove on with Mash Hall, and warm your night up right with Fences -- all under one roof! (And PS -- tickets are only ten dollars in advance. Ten! It's a steal at twice the price!)
Just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line, "Let'sGetReadyToSX!" by this Thursday, March 4th at 10am, and tell us why you and your +1 should be our lucky guests.
Good luck -- we'll see you all at the show!