Tonight in Seattle:  

Eef Barzelay

An evening with Eef Barzelay {Friday, May 9th}

{Eef Barzelay}Mark your calendars, sweet imaginary friends, because this is a good one: your pal and ours, the one and only Eef Barzelay {of Clem Snide fame} will be making a stop in Seattle on Friday, May 9th, and you're all invited to the show. Well, not all of you, technically, since it's a house show -- there's only going to be room for a mere forty of us to experience this intimate night together.

Okay, let's rephrase: everyone is invited and everyone is welcome, and we're going to fit as many of our bodies as we can into that house next month. (And that happens to be approximately forty of us.) Everyone who buys a ticket to the show will be entered to win a custom cover song from Eef -- PS, those typically go for $100.00 -- on top of having a gorgeously intimate night floor-side.

In case you're not up to speed on what Eef's been doing lately -- everyone's got their favorite solo-Eef and Clem Snide songs embedded into those go-to mixes, us included -- take a listen to his releases from this past February 14th. Always the master of covers, Eef's done it again with a set of classics and one new (NSFW) track.

This one's clear for streaming wherever you please, though:

Pick up your pass here, and we'll see you at the show next month!

{Photo courtesy of the artist.}

Road trip to Bellingham: Eef Barzelay and The Heligoats {1/11}

It's looking like my first show of 2013 is going to be (a) most excellent and (b) out of town! Our imaginary pal Eef Barzelay, along with The Heligoats, will be at Blue Horse Gallery in Bellingham next Friday, January 11th -- and I personally can't think of a better start to the year than a double-header of smarty, achy-hearted, alt.indie songwriter bliss. 

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that it will likely be the best ten bucks you spend all week, friends. Having never been, it looks like the gallery is a great, intimate space that will be the perfect backdrop for these two. We'll see you up north!

Photoessay: Eef Barzelay {Clem Snide} and Chris Otepka {Heligoats}

at Tashiro-Kaplan Artist Lofts

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

By some stroke of fortunate timing, we found ourselves at the Tashiro-Kaplan Artist Lofts in Pioneer Square this past Friday night, for a few beautiful sets of music from Eef Barzelay, Chris Otepka, and Shannon Stephens. It was one of those heard-it-through-the-grapevine "house" shows, with a few dozen folks scattered about on floor cushions, a table full of shared food and booze, and a donation jar for the musicians at the front door. For a few hours, we sat shoeless and took in the pretty vibes of Shannon Stephens + friends {most notably with our pal Andrew Rudd on the brush-and-file-folder percussion}, a quick but engaging set from Heligoats frontman Chris Otepka, and finally, a handful of mostly-new tracks from Eef himself.

Here's a few shots from the night to prove it all happened:

{Chris Otepka / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Chris Otepka and Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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A Kickstarter worth the kick: Clem Snide's "Songs for Mary"

Well, we were going to tune in this morning amidst the Radiohead photos and oohs-and-ahs from Andrew Bird's performance last night that are clogging our social media streams to tell you that Eef Barzelay needs your help to make a new Clem Snide record. But as it turns out, with twenty-three days left in the fundraising project over on his Kickstarter page, he's already made the $10,000.00 goal needed to get cracking on the recording.

Barzelay is no stranger to the Kickstarter world, funding a few of his recent efforts the same way -- most notably, Clem Snide's Journey, an EP chock-full of the greatest Journey songs you'd ever want to keep on repeat -- but this one has a bit of a twist: he'll be recording an album of the songs he's been commissioned by his fans to make over the years, and has a great take on the gap-bridging that takes place in the process that he explains in the video for the project above.

We might be wrong here (Eef, let us know!) but even though he's made his goal already, folks who continue to pledge amounts between $1.00 and $2000.00+ will still receive the benefits listed. With everything from an advance copy of the album to "Fan for Life" status (where you are guest-listed for every show, forever) to a private show and a weekend with Eef in Nashville on the table, it's practically impossible not to donate to the cause.

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These are a few of our favorite things: best all-around photos and moments of 2011 {pt. II}

{This is part two of two in our best-of photo series of 2011. Take a peek over at part one here, and don't forget to check out our festival best-ofs part one and two as well!}

{Field trip to Ocean Shores / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #5: Ocean Shores :: In a get-to-know-your-roots {PNW edition} kind of road trip, we hopped in the car one weekend with esteemed sometimes-imaginary photographer and fellow transplant Laura Musselman for a ride out to the water -- Ocean Shores, to be exact -- with jaunts to Aberdeen and Hoquiam on the way. It was all at once melancholy and sun-filled, juxtaposing sad, semi-abandoned mainstreets with a big, bright, full-fledged kite festival once we were beachside. Strange as it was for those two worlds to meet, it was definitely a day trip for the books, yielding a half-dozen photos that easily made our best-ofs for the year (like the one above). {more field trip photos} {Laura Musselman}

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #5: Eef Barzelay {at the Madrona Ale House} :: The night after Eef Barzelay's headlining appearance at our Imaginary Holiday Spectacular, he played a much quieter affair as part of a private party at the Madrona Ale House. Abandoning the PA after three-quarters of a song, he sat down across the table from us, where he proceeded to stay for much of the show. The result? A very front-row seat for one of our favorite performances of the year. You can even hear a moderately decent recording of one of his Journey project tracks from the show over here and relive the moment along with us! {more photos of Eef} {Eef Barzelay / Clem Snide bandcamp}

{Lovesick Empire / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #4: Lovesick Empire at Neumos :: This one happened so early in the year that it almost slipped through the great sort-through! Way back in January, Lovesick Empire played an AMAZING set at Neumos, and even though they're pushing forward with a slightly different lineup than seen here, they are still making some of the most kick-ass music coming out of Seattle today. It's huge-sounding, dirty, full of guitars, and cuts right to the point -- another one to add to your "do not miss under any circumstances" list of live bands to catch so that you don't regret it forever the morning after they've played. {more photos from the Neumos show} {Lovesick Empire FB}

{John Roderick / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #4: John Roderick's pre-City Arts house show :: We were the luckiest of all ducks to not only attend, but actually host a super-intimate house show with John Roderick out in Ballard this past October, where less than two dozen folks pulled together a potluck and a city of tealights for one of our favorite shows of the year. John held court in front of the mantel, singing and storytelling and taking requests for more time than we could keep track of (minutes? hours?) while the room swooned away with delight -- like Eef's Alehouse show, we even managed to sneak in a homemade recording, which you can take a listen to here. Honestly, there's not much we can think of for 2012 that's going to be able to top it. {more photos from the house show} {The Long Winters}

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Photo essay + weekend roundup: a double-dose of Eef

{Eef Barzelay / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

It was a great weekend for the music books, with so many good shows going on around town -- and you can call us biased, but we really do think Friday's Imaginary Holiday Spectacular took the cake as the weekend-starter to top them all. We spent the night flitting between Santa Roderick's lap and the gorgeous theater proper with a hundred and fifty of our closest imaginary friends, with heartmeltingly good sets from some of our favorite bands: Heligoats opened the night up and managed to slay us with the achiest, best kind of hope; Temp Score and Mal de Mer kept the indie-pop party going mid-lineup, and the evening closed out with a solid, gorgeous set from Eef Barzelay. Between the bliss of getting to spend a party-show with such good folks, the full frontal ache of Eef's catalog, and the transition into "Wal-Mart Parking Lot" about midway through the set -- our polka-dotted holiday mixtape hearts were just about done-for.

Heligoats {Chris Otepka}:

{Heligoats / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Temp Score:

{Temp Score / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Temp Score / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

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Countdown to the Imaginary Holiday Spectacular: Eef Barzelay

{Eef Barzelay}

Well, there's just about a day's worth of hours left until the party officially gets started, and it's time to talk about Eef. Eef Barzelay, mainstay of Clem Snide, heartstring-yanker extraordinaire, producer of subtle genius with every touch. On top of killer studio albums, he put out an EP recently of Journey-only covers, a second of fan-request outtakes, and has longstandingly offered to pen you a custom song or record a few live tracks of your choice in an only-yours kind of session.

But rather than wax poetic about all the reasons why you need to come and see Eef Barzelay headline our holiday party tomorrow, we're just going to flood this post with gorgeous songs and videos so that you can let the love light shine in your own personal way. You're imaginary, just like us. You know Eef. You love Eef. Just bathe in it, feel all the feelings, and then come and stand in the front row with us tomorrow night and experience it all in person, for the first or fifteenth time.

You won't be disappointed -- we promise. (But you already know that.)

Hear more of Eef here, and for the love of all things good-music-y, get tickets for tomorrow's show already. They're only eleven dollars and you can pick them up with minimal fees over at Brown Paper Tickets.

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Countdown to the Imaginary Holiday Spectacular: five more days!

There's plenty more to talk about this week as we count down to our imaginary holiday party: we've already filled you in about the goodness that is Heligoats {and Chris Otepka's previous incarnation, Troubled Hubble}, and our most recent addition to the line up, Sean Nelson and Kyle O'Quin's Temp Score. We'll have a little more on Mal de Mer for you before Friday, of course, along with some of our favorite John Roderick photos from years past to get your holiday backend ready for his lap -- but this morning, we just needed to gush a little bit about Eef.

Eef Barzelay {and the wide world of Clem Snide} has a rich, multi-layered catalog of studio work, to say nothing of crazy cover projects, various musical sidebars and brave creative endeavors. However, one of our absolute favorite media-marrying results were the contributions Eef made to the score of Rocket Science, a perfectly heartbreaking little indie film that you should absolutely go pick up / queue up this instant / rent on the way home from work today. Here's a little more about Eef's role in the process:

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Ho Ho Ho: The Imaginary Holiday Party with Santa John Roderick, Eef Barzelay, Mal de Mer, Heligoats and YOU!

Imaginary Holiday Party 2011 with Eef Barzelay, Mal de Mer, Heligoats, Santa John Roderick

Whether you're ready or not, the holidays are upon us! Seattle is gearing up to be softly aglow as neighbors light up the block with LEDs and the flavors of peppermint, ginger spice and eggnog infuse themselves everywhere.  But, best of all, it means it's time for the Imaginary Holiday Party!

This year's shin-dig will be Friday, December 16 at the Columbia City Theater and feature all the important elements of a fabulous holly jolly time:

***MUSIC!***
-> Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide) will beautifully croon poignant vignettes against a backdrop of holiday melancholy.

-> Seattle supergroup Mal de Mer will dirty it up with their catchy, no holds barred post-garage-pop. With members of Slender Means, The Divorce, Lila, the Amazombies, and Ms Led / The Redwood Plan, you know it's gonna be good.

-> Heligoats come to us by way of Bellingham and bring a road-trip-worthy stash of exuberantly bittersweet songs.

***SANTA RODERICK!***
As is the imaginary tradition, Santa John Roderick will be on hand to spread holiday cheer with amazing photographer Laura Musselman ready to take your photo on his lap.  Yes, you read that right. You can sit on Indie-Rock Santa's lap and get your photo taken by an amazing photographer like Ms. Musselman.   We do our best to make your holiday wishes come true!
 

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Latest comment by: imaginary victoria: "

If I do lose control, you can bet your tailfeathers it'll be on Santa's lap! Hell yeah!

"

Save the date: our annual holiday show is around the corner! {12/16}

Hear ye, hear ye! The annual imaginary holiday wintertime spectacular is right around the corner, and we want YOU to save the date! Get that sharpie out and put a big ol' star on Friday, December 16th. We'll be swooning the night away at Columbia City Theater and we'd love it if you and your pals came out to join us in the festivities!

This year's show features none other than Clem Snide's Eef Barzelay, along with Mal de Mer and Heligoats. We're especially excited to announce the return of Santa himself, John Roderick, who will be holding photobooth court with the esteemed Laura Musselman in the Bourbon Bar for the earlier part of the evening. That's right -- we'll be taking over the whole venue!

So get that snappy holiday gear out from the back of your closet, shine up your shoes, and get ready to spread some holiday cheer with us.  Tickets are only $11 and are available for purchase over at Brown Paper Tickets. And if you're as excited as we are, you can RSVP over at the Facebook event page too.

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