Imaginary Scoop The Arcade Fire

Imaginary Watch This: Who the Hell is Arcade Fire?


Apparently when Arcade Fire won Album of the Year at the Grammys a few weeks ago, Twitter exploded with angry dismissals. I missed that, but luckily Jonathan Mann made a video for me so I could catch up on the madness. In addition to singing tweets verbatim, he very nicely explains who Arcade Fire actually is for those of us who might not know (my limited exposure to them is via the Where the Wild Things Are soundtrack).

ballboy BOAT Bright Eyes Carissa's Wierd Clinic David and the Citizens Desaparecidos Fishboy Galactic Heroes Girl Talk Hefner Her Space Holiday Imaginary Scoop Los Campesinos! Los Halos Math and Physics Club Matt & Kim mclusky Nana Grizol Okkervil River She and Him Starlight Mints The Arcade Fire The Eames Era The Lucksmiths The Mountain Goats The Postal Service The Thermals The White Stripes Tullycraft Visqueen Wilco

imaginary liz’s favorite albums of the last decade

The Thermals by Bobby McHugh

Yesterday I divulged my favorite albums of the year. Today I am ready to let go of my latest obsession: My album recap of how I spent my 00’s.

The below listage rant is my own little time capsule to remind myself why 2000-2009 musically ruled. As with my other list posts, I’m certain I totally forgot to add something really important to my end-all-be-all-recap. It’s up to you to remind me by posting your favs of the 00’s below.

  1. Bright EyesFevers and Mirrors
  2. The ThermalsMore Parts Per Million
  3. TullycraftDisenchanted Hearts Unite
  4. Nana GrizolLove It Love It
  5. Los CampesinosHold On Now, Youngster
  6. Matt & KimGrand
  7. Her Space HolidayThe Young Machines
  8. ballboyClub Anthems
  9. The LucksmithsWhy That Doesn’t Surprise Me
  10. David & the CitizensUntil the Sadness is Gone
  11. Okkervil RiverDon’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See
  12. DesaparecidosRead Music/Speak Spanish
  13. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot
  14. The White StripesWhite Blood Cells
  15. BOATSongs That You Might Not Like
  16. ClinicInternal Wrangler
  17. VisqueenMessage to Garcia
  18. Los HalosLeaving Va.
  19. Math and Physics ClubMath and Physics Club
  20. She and HimVolume 1
  21. The Galactic HeroesEvery Sidewalk
  22. FishboyAlbatross: How We Failed To Save The Lone Star State With The Power Of Rock And Roll
  23. HefnerDead Media
  24. The Mountain GoatsThe Coroner’s Gambit
  25. Carissa’s WierdSongs About Leaving
  26. The Postal ServiceGive Up
  27. Arcade FireFuneral
  28. The Eames EraDouble Dutch
  29. mcluskyMclusky Do Dallas
  30. Starlight MintsThe Dream That Stuff Was Made Of


#31-#50 (in alphabetical order)

  • – Bright EyesI’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • – Bright EyesLifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
  • – The CatchGet Cool
  • – The FratellisCostello Music
  • – The Go! TeamThunder, Lightning, Strike
  • – Girl TalkFeed the Animals
  • – GrandaddyThe Sophtware Slump
  • – The HivesVeni Vidi Vicious
  • – Hot Hot HeatMake Up the Breakdown
  • – The Long WintersWhen I Pretend to Fall
  • – Los Campesinos!We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
  • – Matt & KimMatt & Kim
  • – Stéphane PompougnacHotel Costes (Vol 3)
  • – The Saturday KnightsMingle
  • – The ShinsOh, Inverted World
  • – The StrokesIs This It
  • – Suburban Kids with Biblical Names#3
  • – Tegan & SarahSo Jealous
  • – The ThermalsFuckin A
  • – TullycraftBeat Surf Fun


#51-#75 (in alphabetical order)

  • – Lily AllenAlright, Still
  • – Belle & SebastianFold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
  • – Cars Can Be BlueAll the Stuff We Do
  • – CineramaDisco Volante
  • – ClearlakeCedars
  • – The Dandy WarholsThirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
  • – The FeaturesExhibit A
  • – GorillazGorillaz
  • – The GossipStanding in the Way of Control
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack
  • – Jarvis CockerJarvis
  • – The Long WintersThe Worst You Can Do Is Harm
  • – Miniature TigersTell It To The Volcano
  • – Noah and the WhalePeaceful, The World Lays Me Down
  • – The Pains of Being Pure at HeartThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • – The PharmacyChoose Yr Own Adventure
  • – QuasiThe Sword of God
  • – The RaptureOut of the Races & Onto the Tracks
  • – The Scotland Yard Gospel ChoirThe Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
  • – Snow PatrolWhen It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up
  • – TelekinesisTelekinesis!
  • – The ThermalsThe Body The Blood The Machine
  • – The TrucksThe Trucks
  • – The White StripesElephant
  • – VisqueenKing Me
Tomorrow the plan is to list out my favorite locals of the decade… I wonder who will top the list?
{Photo by Bobby McHugh}

Book Review Butterglory Film Review Lambchop Merge Neutral Milk Hotel Spoon Superchunk The Arcade Fire The Magnetic Fields

Our Noise: The Story Of Merge Records to be released September 22nd

Warning: This is an ecstatic early plug for the upcoming fan-dream book, Our Noise: The Story of Merge Records, the Indie Label that Got Big and Stayed Small.

As Magnet magazine is quoted, “[Merge] might be responsible for more indie-rock classics than any other label in the past two decades.” David Byrne considers their survival “kind of amazing these days.” NPR asserts they’re “one of the top independent labels in the world.” In Our Noise author John Cook shows the letter that Glitterhouse sent to Mac McCaughan and Laura Ballance (in Superchunk, of course, and who started the label) originally sent turning down European distribution (it’s hilarious, considering what Merge would achieve); to the later days when Mac feels giddy and weird hanging out near Dr. Dre and Springsteen at Coachella.

All I know is that where stacks of my favorite records have drifted into corners of my apartment, there are piles that specifically look like a shuffled Merge release history. Superchunk, Neutral Milk Hotel, Magnetic Fields, Spoon, and so many others are endlessly downloaded into my iPod, drunkenly grabbed on melancholy work nights, and burned into mix CDs for comrades that I need them close by whenever.

And now there’s a luscious fat trade paperback tribute book from Algonquin that has a ton of art, photos, obscure record covers, scraps of visual history, and a lot of really cool and funny anecdotes and observations of the label throughout its two decade lifetime. Chapters include “Death Chick and The Cave Man: 1987-1989,” “Signals That Sound In The Dark: Neutral Milk Hotel,” “The Book of Love: Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields,” “The Decline of Country and Western Civilization: Lambchop,” all kicked off by an outrageous drool-intro by Ryan Adams.

Label fan books have been declining since print has been “dying,” though Brian J. Barr recently left his position as music editor at the Seattle Weekly to scribe one for Sub Pop (!), though high quality ones have never been ubiquitous in the first place. Cook, who is a reporter with Gawker Media, is a lucky man, who had a truly legendary label to chronicle, and his editing of oral histories from excellent convesationalists involved with or on the label is superb.

Which raises the question, what label would you like to write and/or design an extensive fan book for?

Fleet Foxes Imaginary Scoop Iron and Wine The Arcade Fire The Flaming Lips Wilco

Schmindie News Roundup

Judging by how fast tickets for The Shins' and Iron and Wine's (separate) two-night stands sold out, everyone loves their schmindie. So, as a public service announcement, I'm compiling some schmindie-related news stories in one neat post.

I feel like one of those poor college kids who get an internship at Media Matters and it means they have to watch "Glenn Beck" every night. I'm regularly asked to define schmindie, so, to me, schmindie is boring indie rock that gets the benefit of the doubt because it's "indie". Generally, if it has guys with beards and/or acoustic guitars, you're probably going to need to wake me when it's over.

  • Fleet Foxes are releasing a 7" single to their song "Mykonos" on Tuesday and have announced a North American tour. The dates (which I'm taking from their MySpace page) for that are:

5/25/09 George, WA Sasquatch Festival – Gorge Amphitheatre
7/29/09 Washington DC 9:30 Club**
7/30/09 Philadelphia, PA Electric Factory**
7/31/09 Jersey City, NJ All Points West – Liberty State Park
8/1/09 Newport, RI Newport Folk Festival – Fort Adams State Park
8/03/09 Montreal, QC Metropolis Theatre**
8/04/09 Toronto, ON Massey Hall**
8/05/09 Royal Oak, MI Royal Oak Theatre **
8/07/09 Chicago, IL Lollapalooza – Grant Park
8/09/09 Minneapolis, MN First Avenue ** (on-sale May 9th)

  • If you missed your chance at getting tickets to see Iron and Wine at The Triple Door for Tuesday night's show, he's playing an acoustic set at the Sonic Boom on Capitol Hill Tuesday night at 6pm.
  • Someone pitched a 33 1/3 book on "Forthcoming 2009 Album" by Wilco (which got exactly as far in the process as my proposal) and now said album has a title. It's (and I really wish I was making this up) Wilco (The Album). The first track is called (and I really, really wish I was making this up) "Wilco (The Song)". Pitchfork has the details.
  • Wayne Coyne of The Flaming Lips has apologized to The Arcade Fire for all that shit he talked about them. Pitchfork reported that he said, "I wish whatever had been said wouldn't have been taken as such a defiant statement from the Flaming Lips, because it wasn't…I really feel bad about it. I like enough of their music. The idea that I'm somehow against them…I'm not!"
  • Tickets are sold out for Sasquatch! on Saturday and Sunday. Only Monday tickets remain. I cannot get you in to any of the days so please stop asking me.

Imaginary Scoop The Arcade Fire The Flaming Lips

Indie-Rock Thunderdome: The Flaming Lips vs. The Arcade Fire

Two bands enter, one band leaves...Wayne Coyne, frontman of big time psych-rockers The Flaming Lips, let loose in a phone interview with Rolling Stone, the site reported yesterday.

Talking candidly, Coyne took the gloves off and went on a tirade about everyone's other favorite indie band, The Arcade Fire, taking them to task for being big jerks. Well, okay, that's not quite how he put it.

Earmuffs, kids…


"I'm a fan of them on one level, but on another level I get really tired of their pompousness … We've played some shows with them and they really treat people like shit. Whenever I've been around them, I've found that they not only treated their crew like shit, they treated the audience like shit. They treated everybody in their vicinity like shit. I thought, 'Who do they think they are?' I don't know why people put up with it. I wouldn't put up with it. I don't care if it's Arcade Fire or Brian Eno. If either of them walked into a room and treated people like shit I'd be like, 'Fuck you, get outta here.'

You kiss your mother with that mouth?

Coyne's never been one to shy away from bold conversation. In the past he's railed against Beck to The Guardian, as well as Arctic Monkeys and Oasis (who hasn't complained about them?) to The Daily Star. It appears Coyne is big on manners. Good on him.

But wait! Win Butler of The Arcade Fire wants to defend himself! In a post on the band's Flash-fueled website, Butler takes the high road while getting a subtle jab in.

So…I am not sure Wayne is the best judge (based on seeing us play at a couple of festivals) if we are righteous, kind and goodhearted people like The Edge and Justin Timberlake (who I am sure he knows intimately as well). I can't imagine a reason why we would have been pompous towards The Flaming Lips, a band we have always loved, on that particular night, all those years ago. Unless I was way more jet-lagged then I remember, I hope I was less of a "Prick" then telling Rollingstone that a bunch of people I don't know at all are really a bunch of assholes.

Interview fights like these are increasingly common in today's hyperactive news cycle, and predictably, the Internet has rushed to the aid of their respective favorite band, unleashing the fury of their Caps Locks key in the comments of various music blogs. Truly, this is what the Internet was made for.

So who wins? I'm not a fan of either band, honestly, though the Lips get points for referencing Pink Robots all those years ago. Butler's response is certainly more measured and not quite as erratic, but let's get real: Not only is this great publicity for both bands, it's so entertaining. I'm crossing my fingers for a Celebrity Boxing match in the near future.

Who's the bigger jerk? Wayne or Win? Drop a comment and let us know. But please, turn the Caps off.

Imaginary Scoop The Arcade Fire

Arcade Fire to score the new movie from the producer of Donnie Darko.

The Canadian indie pop group The Arcade Fire has signed on to score the new movie from the producer of Donnie Darko. The Box is based on the short story "Button, Button" by Richard Matheson and stars Cameron Diaz and is produced by Richard Kelly.

In case you were living without electricity or running water in 2001, Donnie Darko is a strangely awesome movie with a passionate cult following. The soundtrack threw the haunting Gary Jules cover of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" into the pop stratosphere.

However, soundtracks are one thing and scores another. A score is the background music which helps bring forward the desired mood of the viewer during a scene. Surely different than producing a song with a beginning, middle, and end. In producing a track the audio is the central experience; with scores, the music supports and contributes to the visual experience.

What other indie-popsters have scored movies? Have they done it well?

My Google searches came up empty. But I did find this little snippet example of Donnie Darko scoring. (It's a weird scene. The whole movie is like this.)

Arctic Monkeys Band of Horses Black Kids Foals Imaginary Scoop Kaiser Chiefs Kings of Leon MGMT Muse My Chemical Romance Oasis Paramore Radiohead The Arcade Fire The Cribs The Enemy The Foo Fighters The Killers The Klaxons The Last Shadow Puppets The White Stripes The Wombats Vampire Weekend

Vote in the NME USA music awards. Or not.

NME is sponsoring the first-ever NME Awards USA. I just tried going over to their website to read about the nominees, and when voting ends, but apparently you need to be a registered user to see the information. And that's completely lame. So I won't be voting.

If you don't have the same online editorial hangups as I do and would like to cast your ballot, here are some of the nominees. You can see the full listing over at LimeWire.

Best Band
Kings of Leon
The Killers
My Chemical Romance
The White Stripes
Foo Fighters

Best International Band
Arctic Monkeys
Arcade Fire

Best New Band
Band of Horses
Black Kids
Vampire Weekend

Best New International Band
The Enemy
The Wombats
The Last Shadow Puppets

Best Live Band
My Chemical Romance
Kings of Leon
The Killers
Queens of the Stoneage
Foo Fighters

Best International Live Act
Arctic Monkeys
Arcade Fire
The Cribs
Kaiser Chiefs

What do you think? I like how they only have American bands in the "best" area and categorize everyone else as international, instead of allowing Americans to pick a non-US band as the best. And by "like" I mean, don't like. And… Oasis?? C'mon now people. Try to stay with the current century please.

As one of the commentors on Limewire said, "I think they're doing this to demonstrate that Americans have poor taste."

The awards will be broadcast live on NME's MySpace page on April 23rd.



Burial Feist Imaginary Scoop Justice LCD Soundsystem M.I.A. Spoon Stars The Arcade Fire Wilco Working for a Nuclear Free City

Shortlist Nominees … already?

Maybe there are just too many awards now to keep track, but the Shortlist of Music (the U.S. equivalent to the UK's Mercury Prize) announced its 2007 nominees. The award is meant to honor an album that sold less than 500,000 copies. Of course, this year's nominees were picked by a guy from Snow Patrol, a guy from the Killers, a guy from CMJ and a guy from KCRW … and I suppose it reflects that diverse group (note the sarcasm).

And the nominees are …

  • Arcade Fire – Neon Bible
  • Burial – Untrue
  • Feist – The Reminder
  • Justice – (Cross)
  • LCD Soundsystem – Sound of Silver
  • M.I.A. – Kala
  • Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga
  • Stars – In my Bedroom after the War
  • Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
  • Working for a Nuclear Free City – Businessmen & Ghost

Band of Horses Beach House Big Business Blonde Redhead Handsome Furs Imaginary Scoop Lavender Diamond Matthew Dear Peter Bjorn and John Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings Siberian Spoon The Arcade Fire The Future of the Left

Another Best of '07 list: Chop Suey booker Pete Greenberg's favorite albums

I’m a huge nerd when it comes to pouring over annual, best of lists (I’m still biting my nails in anticipation of the Idolator critic’s poll that should be out soon), and I’m always intrigued by what the favorites of people who work in the business of music but aren’t (necessarily) critics or reviewers. So, I asked Chop Suey’s brand new booker Pete Greenberg to submit his list of favorite albums with the promise of posting them here – to which he happily complied.

Here’s what made his list:

1. Spoon – Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga (Merge)

2. Future of The Left – Curses (Too Pure)

3. Handsome Furs – Plague Park (Sub Pop)

4. Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings – 100 Days, 100 Nights (Daptone Records)

5. The Arcade Fire – Neon Bible (Merge)

6. Big Business – Here Come The Waterworks (Hydra Head Records)

7. Beach House – Beach House (Carpark Records)

8. Blonde Redhead – 23 (4AD)

9. Band of Horses – Cease to Begin (Sub Pop)

10. Siberian – With Me (Sonic Boom Recordings)

11. Matthew Dear – Asa Breed (Ghostly International)

12. Lavender Diamond – Imagine Our Love (Matador Records)

13. Peter Bjorn & John – Writer’s Block (Almost Gold)

Battles Blonde Redhead Built to Spill Grizzly Bear Hella Imaginary Scoop Kinski Lightning Bolt Sunn O))) The Arcade Fire These Arms Are Snakes

Best of 2007: elle's favorite shows

Being a regular contributor on here on TIG takes the show going experience from something you do on the weekends to part of your regular routine. I’ll never forget shoving five shows in one week, or running from set to set during Bumbershoot trying to frantically interview all the local bands. Sometimes I still can’t believe I’m here.

Very few shows I regret seeing, the vast majority were really good. But there’s a distinct ten still stuck in my mind, shows I talk about to this day. The bands who made this list are not just comprised of musicians who stood up there and played — these were performers who demonstrated how their band is more than a job or hobby, it’s their lives. In each case they provided a memorable experience where I left feeling I’d just witnessed the most talented artists making music today.

10] These Arms Are Snakes @ the Vera Project February 24
With a line of fans down the block, Steve Snere was also at his finest, climbing on speakers and verbally lashing the crowd.

9] Hella with the Dirty Projectors @ Neumo’s March 5

8] Built to Spill @ Showbox October 6

This show also contained some of the best on-stage jamming of the year.

7] Blonde Redhead @ Showbox April 21

6] The Arcade Fire and Bjork @ Sasquatch!/Gorge May 26th
Perhaps it’s blasphemy when I say the Arcade Fire did a better job, but I stick by my word. They put on the big-stage performance I expected from the Icelandic songstress. If only that damn wind wasn’t a-blowin’.

5] Sunn 0))) @ Neumo’s November 2

By far the strangest show I witnessed all year, that fact alone puts them so far up on this list. This wasn’t just a show, it was an experience.

4] Lightning Bolt @ the Vera Project April 6
I cheated by standing behind the band for this performance. It was necessary, as half the glory was watching the expressions of those in the front as they teetered on the brink of being shoved onto the duo. The two-piece take chaotic noise and turn it into complex sound.

3] Kinski @ the Crocodile October 1st

I can’t say much more than what I did in my review. Definitely my third hardest show to write about.

2] Grizzly Bear @ Neumo’s September 6
These four New Yorkers showed Seattle that their hometown is ruling the music scene currently.

1] Battles with Bronze Fawn @ Neumo’s November 3rd

I’m still at a loss for words on this show. A-maz-ing. Battles yet again proved, like Grizzly Bear, that NY is where it’s at right now. Talk about a math-rock fan’s dream. Standing front row my ears were about to explode, the drummer was sweaty half way through the first song, and the band looked like they were having so much fun, they were all but high five-ing each other. The crowd was radiating high energy as well. Plus, Neumo’s was packed up almost like it was at Block Party! I have personal ties to members in Bronze Fawn, so to see them play at Neumo’s for the first time to a sold out show for one of the best live bands in the nation, I couldn’t be beaming with pride anymore.

Jonathan Zwickel of the Stranger hit the nail on the head with his review of the show. It seems he couldn’t find the right words to say either!