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}

Chop Suey Her Space Holiday Imaginary Scoop

Win tickets to see Her Space Holiday at Chop Suey

Photo: William AnthonyI am a complete sucker for all things Matt Bianchi (aka Her Space Holiday). Since the first time I sat on the floor of the old Paradox and watch him set the stage for Bright Eyes (it was the first time I had heard or seen either heartbroken confessional artist), his blips and bleeps with indie rock bad boy undertones take over my heart in a big bad way. 

I mean, how can you deny a guy like that (see William Anthony photo to the right)?!?!

Her Space Holiday will be at Chop Suey on Saturday, May 30th in support of the newest piece of work XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival which has songs that run the gamut from sweet to haunting with loud percussion and wilting guitar and keyboards.

Want to join us in the front row? Enter to win a pair of tickets by emailing us at tig @ with "XO-HSH-XO" in the subject line sometime prior to Tuesday, May 26 at 9am. The winner will be notified shortly thereafter.

Her Space Holiday Mush Records Record Review

Sleepy Tigers EP

Marc Bianchi, formerly of hardcore bands Indian Summer and Calm, turned the tables on his more aggressive musical background and offers wistful, intimately crafted pop with Her Space Holiday and XOXO, Panda. While previous Her Space Holiday releases were more brusque and had more organic sampling (bringing to mind organic sampling wonders The Books), the Sleepy Tigers EP incorporates Bianchi's trademark poptronica but adds a twist of folk to the mix.

The songs on this EP appropriately match the feel of the cover art: light and child-like, almost approaching juvenile simplicity. Effervescently romantic lyrics like "Oh I like you so very much so much in fact I gotta wake you up, It’s not that I have words to speak, I just wanna see you looking at me" during the opening track, "Sleepy Tigers", are buoyant with effortless charm. "Sleepy Tigers" borrows melody work from the Violent Femmes on this track, but miters the corners into something much more subdued.

Tinkling xylophone and cheery whistling introduce the third track, "This Seat Is Definitely Taken", and the rest of the EP follows suit. The whistling, handclaps and found noise sampling truly are the backbone of this release, laying the path for Bianchi's increasingly adorable and carefree style. Her Space Holiday's Sleepy Tigers EP is the aural representation of a delicately sparkling cascade of stars. It's airy, pleasant and a proper midpoint between twee pop and freak folk, though I wouldn't call it strictly either.

Doug Fir Head Like A Kite Her Space Holiday Imaginary Scoop Lymbyc Systym Mush Records Point Juncture WA The Animals at Night The High Dive

Head Like A Kite to tour with Her Space Holiday

Head Like a Kite by Michael Alan Goldberg

Seattle electro-rock due Head Like a Kite are going on a mini West Coast tour with new Mush Records labelmates Her Space Holiday. Exciting!! You can catch the band in the coming week in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, and Seattle.

Check out the specific dates below, and shine up your best dancing shoes…

WED, April 23 | LOS ANGELES | Troubadour (8PM)
w/ Her Space Holiday and Lymbyc Systym

THURS, April 24 | SAN FRANCISCO | Bottom of the Hill (9PM)
w/ Her Space Holiday and Lymbyc Systym

SAT, April 26 | PORTLAND | Doug Fir (8PM)
w/ Point Juncture, WA and Lymbyc Systym

SUN, April 27 | SEATTLE | High Dive (7PM)
w/ Lymbyc Systym and Animals at Night

To get ready for the dance party, watch this groovy video for "No Ordinary Caveman" from the band's forthcoming release, There Is Loud Laughter Everywhere (Mush Records).

Her Space Holiday Imaginary Scoop Mush Records

Her Space Holiday gets super cute on the new album and I've got the proof

I feel like it's been way too long since the last Her Space Holiday album (even though calendars tell me it's only been a couple years). Word just came in that the new HSH album is going to be released in five months (September 9, 2008), and there's already some tracks floating around to get us all reved up for the release and amped up direction Marc Bianchi is going with the beloved effort.

On the upcoming release, XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revival, our heartbroken hero Marc is still brutally honest, but in the song he's posted on his website, this time he's brutally happy – and I'm all for it.

One of the highlights of the day? You can go to the special XOXOPanda MySpace page to hear a bunch of tracks from the new album. If you want to download a track for repeated i-pod listens, "Sleepy Tigers" is available for download from the Mush Records website.

And, in kinda related news that might be old to some of you… did you know Marc wrote his first children's book? The recently released book is entitled "the telescope" and the project was a collaboration with Japanese illustrator PCP. The book also comes with a ten-track cd that features a reading of the story. Though the book was a Japanese only release, you can buy it from the HSH website. Make sure to also check out the "the telescope" commemorative wallets!

A bit more info about the album from our pressy friends:

XOXO, Panda… finds Marc exploring creative territory only touched upon in previous Her Space Holiday efforts. The huge string arrangements and glitchy drum programming have been replaced by layers of live guitar and keyboard work over expansive foundations of live drums and percussion. The Her Space Holiday approach to melody writing has been expanded upon, augmenting melodic lines with lush layers of doo-wop and '60s pop inspired vocal harmonies.

In moving away from the computer, Marc has opened up a side of the Her Space Holiday he is extremely proud of, and hopes that listeners will see that what defined the shift from his earlier work in influential hardcore band Indian Summer into Her Space Holiday wasn't the addition of electronics, but instead a more daring approach to songwriting and arranging.

Marc Bianchi will be playing four shows to preview music from XOXO, Panda And The New Kid Revivial. The backing band will be made up of members of Marc's old touring line-up augmented by Mush Records' own Lymbyc Systym – Mike Bell playing drums and Jared Bell playing keyboards and some guitar. The result will be a great capturing of Bianchi's wonderful arrangements from this new album.


Her Space Holiday Interview

Marc Bianchi of Her Space Holiday

If you've been paying attention to this site the past year, you know that Her Space Holiday's The Young Machines has been in heavy rotation in my car… and home… and work. Hearing the album sprouts an automatic curiosity in the lone man behind the music, Marc Bianchi. I had the fortunate opportunity to talk to Marc about touring in Europe, his guilty pleasures, future projects and snow globes. Yes, snow globes.

Now that you are back from touring in support of 2003's Young Machines, are you working on new HSH holiday album or are there other projects in the mix?
I just finished up the new record last week. It's called The Past Presents the Future. It is going to come out in the fall of 2005.

Is that how you are spending your Saturday nights then?
Right now, since I am back in California, I usually spend them alone recording, or writing… I am working on a children's book. So I am just trying to stay busy. Occasionally I will go see some friends.

A children's book? Are you writing it, illustrating it, or both?
I am writing the stories and my friend is doing the illustrations. I guess it is more using children as the characters who are going through everyday adult adventures… if that makes sense?

When you're in the beginning stages of writing a song do you usually sit down at the laptop, keyboard, guitar or with a pad of paper first?
The process varies from record to record. Like with The Young Machines the focus was mainly on the music, so there was a lot of composition work done in the beginning. With this new record, I wanted the vocal melodies and words to be the focus. So I first started with pen and paper and then put the melodies to either a guitar or piano and then just started layering everything in the computer.

Every time you listen to The Young Machines, does it sound better to you or do you only hear things you would have done differently?
The Young Machines is a tough record for me to listen to because it reflects a time in my life when I was completely delusional about my responsibility for things that happen in my life. I just hear all the ugliness in some of the things I talk about on the record.

So is it correct to assume that the majority of your songs are autobiographical? Have you ever had someone in your life falsely accuse you of writing one of your songs about them?
Well, there have been a few instances where complete strangers have come up to me and asked if I knew any of their friends because the songs seemed to be directly written about them and their lives. But I guess in the end it just shows how universally messed up we all can be.

Speaking of taking your songs to the masses, you've performed minimally {relying on your own devices} and in a band setting. Which do you think makes you feel safer? Which invigorates you more?
For The Young Machines I assembled a three-piece band. It made a world of difference, not only for crowd response but for just personal enjoyment as well. It feels a lot more natural to be on stage with your friends. So if something goes horribly wrong you can all just have a laugh about it.

When you and your bandmates toured of Europe, which city did you get the best audience response from?
I would say hands down Spain was our favorite place to play. The country is just amazing and the people are gracious. I can't wait to get back there.

Now for the not-so-related to your music revealing questions — do you remember the first time you heard yourself on the radio?
I actually just heard myself on the radio for the first time three weeks ago when I was in Austin, Texas for a visit. When my friend picked me up from the airport, "My Girlfriends Boyfriend" started playing on the college station there. I had to turn the radio off. It made me uncomfortable.

What was your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was on my right bicep. It is a pair of cowboy boots with the name "duster" written underneath it. It was an homage to an old friend of mine.

What album is in your collection that shocks everyone when they see it?
I have a really large new age record collection by this label called "Windham Hill." My friend's mom gave them to me. I think people always laugh when they get to that section of my records. They have titles like "Winter Solstice" and "Piano Twilight".

What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
Cold medicine. It helps me sleep. But I haven't had a cold in a while.

Have you ever had your fortune told/palm read? If so, what did they say?
I haven't had my palm read and I don't think I will. I'd rather discover what is going to happen seconds before it goes down.

Do you feel like everything happens for a reason, or do you think that it is all chaotic and things happen by chance?
Right now my life is like a snow globe that has been taped to a power sander, so I am trying to keep faith that everything is happening for a reason, even if that is a pipe dream.

What was the last thing you heard that gave you chills?
A friend of mine just got into a car accident and broke his neck. That was a very hard thing to hear about. He is an amazing man and the thought of any harm coming to him is heartbreaking.

And finally, do you regret things you've done in the past or things you haven't done?
I am starting to see that all things in life are valuable. All the decisions you make even if they destroy the thing you love most had to happen. It's like we are so filled up with poison the only way to eliminate it from your system is to extract it and most of the time there are heavy consequences to that. I wish I had the insight to avoid certain decisions I have made that hurt the people around me… but they still needed to happen.

Chop Suey Her Space Holiday Live Show Review

Her Space Holiday

Marc Bianchi, the man behind {and in front of} Her Space Holiday is a walking, talking, barely-singing dichotomy; It's apparent in his music, stage presence and demeanor. I even felt conflicted even while I was watching him. Was I watching fictional character sketch or a man on the verge of a breakdown?

As imaginarily documented before, I've had a longstanding relationship with HSH's recent release "The Young Machines." The lyrics of each track feel so autobiographical that there is an automatic curiosity for the man behind the pen… and the guitar… and the synthesizer… and the microphone. It takes a lot of self-confidence to go down the path of creating an album so laden with self-disclosure… and yet the man behind the project has permanently branded "UGLY" across his knuckles.

Her Space Holiday. Photo: William AnthonyThe devastating lyrics are surrounded by aural-rich layers of backbeats and stringed instruments. The beats are danceable and if you didn't understand English, you might think that he was singing about benign activities like grocery shopping or going out partying on a Saturday night, not about his ex-girlfriend marrying his best friend or the death of his grandmother. In true HSH form, even his lyrics contradict themselves. During "The Luxury of Loneliness" Marc chanted "I'm forcing her to leave. And she's the better half of me But it's all right. Now I'm scared of this world. And falling for another girl. But it's all right." The soft spoken vocals are unassuming, and for the most part, feel untrained. Together they create a gorgeous weapon to pull me apart.

Live, Marc Bianchi proved to be just as interesting to watch as he is to listen to. A thin, weathered soul with a body masked in tattoos. He shielded his eyes with black rimmed glasses and barely interacted with the audience. It is strange that a man who exposes his personal diary on an album seems to take such great care in putting a barrier between him and his audience.

Although Marc was not alone on stage (he was accompanied by a drummer and bass player), he remained the main focus. His singing was breathy and confessional, almost as if he's unknowingly talking in his sleep. Although I was surrounded by a crowd of fellow-showgoers, I felt guilty for listening, like I was overhearing something personal not for my ears. Some artists appeal to the masses because they make the listener feel they are singing the song directly to them. Marc makes the listener feel as if he wrote these songs for himself as a method of working some internal things out.

Her Space Holiday. Photo: William AnthonyThis public reading of private diary entries to a crowd was reminiscent of a shared 25-cent peep show to an audience that didn't know what to do with themselves. Should we betray all instincts and clap, admitting we were watching the intimate display of emotions? Do we find a dark corner to hide and watch?

The public confessions (the setlist) brought together both new and old parts of the catalogue, yet it was easy to distinguish between the two. Each point in the HSH timelines is marked by a different and unique sound. If his songwriting is a personal biography of his life, The Young Machines is a bookmark for a dark tragic sequence in Marc's life; Darker than the darkest chocolate, it's so delectable and distinct that you get cravings for it, though it isn't something you should indulge in too often.

The show was a mass of bittersweet decadence. More than merely delightful, it was a memorable night of tragic yet cathartic indulgence that gave me a renewed appreciation for the album.

Want a free show? Check out this super rad video {click on >LAUNCH PROJECT} to one of Her Space Holiday's songs. It's like an iPod commercial, but prettier.

Dirty Loop Her Space Holiday Record Review

The Young Machines

I'm breaking the rules for Her Space Holiday because I adore this album. I'm crossing over into the forbidden land of album reviews just to let you all know to stop searching for your favorite new CD. I did all the work for you and here it is: The Young Machines. This isn't some honeymoon period I'm having with this album, either. We've been together almost all of 2004 and I appreciate it on an entirely different level now that we've had more time to get to know each other. It is true that when I first heard the album, I couldn't keep my hands off of it. It's also true that when it first touched my eardrum, I told myself I had to spend everyday with this album. But I did what any seasoned music listener does; I told myself I was caught up in the newness and excitement and I forced myself to distance myself from it so as not to over-listen. As much as I tried to hide it from my friends, I heard myself saying {yes, out loud} "No seriously, this album is different. We really have a special connection. Wait until you two meet and you'll understand." I even went so far as to bring my headphones and CD player to a bar on a Friday night and made my drinking companion listen to the first three tracks before I would attempt to have a normal conversation with her. She now owns the album.

The title track and introduction to the album is sexy in its innocence. It's lyric-less smoothness slides into your ears like hot motor oil and blackens your brain. It begins with a simple xylophone melodious rhythm that slowly thickens with electronic accompaniment and when it ends with the same bare innocent xylophone lullaby, you realize you've stopped breathing.

Track two introduces lyrics into the electronic atmosphere laid out by the intro track. As much as I loved the first track, I was slightly relieved to hear words. That's when I realized Marc Bianchi {who single-handedly creates the glow that is Her Space Holiday} is my new object of green hatred. Not only can he get the full attention of his listeners with a 4:24 minute wordless intro, but he can also write original lyrics worth reading in the liner notes such as, "suck on my fingertips until you kill all my prints, so your boyfriend has no clue of how much I've been touching you." Zow!

You're hooked by the third track. You might as well admit it right now: you're in love. There's no turning back. This Postal Service-esque band with Elliott Smith style double-tracked vocals has stolen your heart {though note that Her Space Holiday has been around longer than the Postal Service}. This single man that borderline talks rather than sings has taken you away from all the other albums you used to love and requires your full attention. Even when you try to go back to your other albums, you find yourself thinking of HSH.

I'm going to warn you right now: "Sleepy California" may require some hankies. I don't recommend listening to this track if you're just dropped your mother or grandmother off at the airport unless you're prepared to drive through a cloudy welling of your own tears.

"My Girlfriends Boyfriend" is my current favorite track on the album, with its electronic backbeats overlaid with classical stringed instruments. With a temporary breakdown of distorted chaotic madness interjected into the song, Her Space Holiday keep things unpredictable. Because we all know predictability can make a relationship stale.

My only regret: I wish the album had a better ending. I feel as if the last track didn't bookend the album as strongly as I would have liked. But then again, it's rare for the strongest passions to end well.

If you're hesitant to buy this latest Her Space Holiday release because feel you were burned the last time, buy it anyway. That's a direct order. The Young Machines is Her Space Holidays strongest and most moving album to date… or to marry. It's still too early in our relationship to tell.