All Girl Summer Fun Band ballboy Blur Broadcast Caesars Cat Power Clearlake Crooked Fingers Dandy Warhols Dear John Letters Death Cab for Cutie Downpilot Heather Duby Idlewild Imaginary Scoop Kaito Massive Attack Mogwai Nada Surf New Pornographers Okkervil River Outkast stellastarr* Sushirobo The Divorce The Earaches The Fitness The Lights The Long Winters The Malinks The Postal Service The Primate Five The Shins The Thermals The White Stripes Visqueen Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Best of 2003: Imaginary Staffers Top 10 Lists

Char, Imaginary Girl

  • All Girl Summer Fun Band, “2”
  • Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
  • Massive Attack, “100th Window”
  • Outkast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”
  • Stellastarr*, “Stellastarr*”
  • The Dandy Warhols, “Welcome To The Monkey House”
  • The Fitness, “Call Me for Together”
  • The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  • Various Artists, “Lost in Translation” Soundtrack
  • Visqueen, “King Me”
  • Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Fever To Tell”

Dana, Imaginary Girl

  1. Nada Surf , “Let Go” &
    The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  2. The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  3. The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall” &
    Visqueen, “King Me”
  4. The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow”
  5. The Divorce, “There Will Be Blood Tonight” &
    The Lights, “Beautiful Bird”
  6. Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  7. Mogwai, “Happy Songs for Happy People”
  8. Dear John Letters, “Stories of our Lives”
  9. Heather Duby, “Come Across the River”
  10. The Malinks, “Can’t Shake Last Night” &
    Downpilot, “Leaving Not Arriving”

Liz, Imaginary Girl

  1. The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  2. The Divorce, “There Will Be Blood Tonight” &
    Ballboy, “Guide for the Daylight Hours”
  3. Visqueen, “King Me” &
    The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall” &
    Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  4. Stellastarr*, “Stellastarr*”
  5. Clearlake, “Cedars” &
    Okkervil River, “Down the River of Golden Dreams”
  6. The Decemberists, “Her Majesty, the Decemberists”
  7. The White Stripes, “Elephant”
  8. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  9. The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow”
  10. Caesars, “39 Minutes of Bliss (In an Otherwise Meaningless World)”

Chilly C, Imaginary Boy

  1. The Primate Five, “1234567APE”
  2. The New Pornographers, “Electric Version”
  3. The Earaches, “Fist Fights, Hot Love”
  4. Blur, “Think Tank”
  5. The Divorce, “There Will Be Blood Tonight”
  6. Cat Power, “You Are Free
  7. Belle & Sebastian, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”
  8. !!!, “Me and Giuliani Down by the Schoolyard: True Story” (EP)
  9. Sushirobo, “The Light Fingered Feeling of Sushirobo”
  10. Stellastarr*, “Stellastarr*”

embracey, Imaginary Boy Film~Theatre Critic

  1. Broadcast “Haha Sound”
  2. Various Artists, “Lost in Translation” Soundtrack
  3. Various Artists, “Morvern Callar” Soundtrack
  4. Beth Gibbons & Rustin’ Man “Out of Season”
  5. Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
  6. The Dandy Warhols, “Welcome To The Monkey House”
  7. Gillian Welch, “Soul Journey”
  8. Tipper, “Surrounded”
  9. Cat Power, “You Are Free
  10. Lucinda Williams, “World Without Tears”

Imaginary Chapman Boy

  1. The Strokes, “Room On Fire”
  2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Fever To Tell”
  3. The Libertines, “Up the Bracket”
  4. Outkast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”
  5. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  6. Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
  7. The Rapture, “Echoes”
  8. Junior Senior, “D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat”
  9. The Raveonettes, “Chain Gang of Love”
  10. Broken Social Scene, “You Forgot It In People”

Imaginary Lorenzo

  • Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
  • Junior Senior, “D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat”
  • Menomena, “I Am the Fun Blame Monster!”
  • Rufus Wainwright, “Want One”
  • The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall”
  • The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  • united state of electronica, “demos”
  • Various Artists, “Wig In a Box” Compilation
  • Visqueen, “King Me”

Jake Barnes, Fictional Lost Generation Character

  1. Kaito, “Band-Red”
  2. American Analog Set, “Promise of Love”
  3. Rachel’s, “Systems/Layers”
  4. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  5. Cat Power, “You Are Free
  6. British Sea Power, “Decline of British Sea Power”
  7. Cinerama, “Cinerama Holiday”
  8. Beth Gibbons & Rustin’ Man “Out of Season”
  9. Longwave, “The Strangest Things”
  10. Innocence Mission, “Befriended”

Michael X, Imaginary Boy

  1. Dead Meadow, “Shivering King and Others”
  2. Kinski, “Airs Above Your Station”
  3. A Perfect Circle, “Thirteenth Step”
  4. Massive Attack, “100th Window”
  5. Radiohead, “Hail To The Thief”
  6. Mogwai, “Happy Songs for Happy People”
  7. American Analog Set, “Promise of Love”
  8. Mono, “One Step More and You Die”
  9. The Ruby Doe, “Dream Engine Blue”
  10. Los Halos, “Leaving Va.”

Ryan Schierling, Photographer

  1. The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall”
  2. Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  3. The Weakerthans, “Reconstruction Site”
  4. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  5. Visqueen, “King Me”
  6. The Decemberists, “Her Majesty, the Decemberists”
  7. Nada Surf, “Let Go”
  8. The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  9. Dischord (compilation), “20 Years Of Dischord”
  10. An American Starlet, “3 Song EP”

sero(tone)in, Imaginary Boy Events Expert

  1. Crooked Fingers, “Red Devil Dawn”
  2. Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  3. The Decemberists, “Her Majesty, the Decemberists”
  4. Broken Social Scene, “You Forgot It In People”
  5. The Wrens, “The Meadowlands”
  6. The Pernice Brothers, “Yours Mine & Ours”
  7. Kaito, “Band-Red”
  8. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, “Hearts of Oak”
  9. Aereogramme, “Sleep and Release”
  10. Songs: Ohia, “Magnolia Electric Co.”

Trix, Imaginary Correspondent

  1. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, “Hearts of Oak”
  2. The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow”
  3. The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  4. The New Pornographers, “Electric Version”
  5. The Wrens, “The Meadowlands”
  6. The Notwist, “Neon Golden”
  7. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  8. The Decemberists, “Her Majesty, The Decemberists”
  9. Stellastarr*, “Stellastarr*”
  10. Dirtbike Annie, “Show Us Your Demons”

return to the full 2003 recap

Audioslave Belle & Sebastian British Sea Power Broadcast Cat Power Crooked Fingers Dead Meadow Idlewild Imaginary Scoop Kaito Martina Topley-Bird Mogwai Mojave 3 Nada Surf Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Outkast Radiohead Sleepy Jackson Sloan Smog Ted Leo & the Pharmacists The Bad Plus The Dears The Decemberists The Delgados The Divorce The Long Winters The Malinks The Mars Volta The Postal Service The Primate Five The Rapture The Shins The Strokes The White Stripes Wonderful

Best of 2003: Your #1 Album Picks of the Year

Although some folks couldn’t rank their lists {igChar}… which is fine… you know… if you just can’t bear to proclaim to the world, “THIS WAS THE BEST FUCKING ALBUM OF THE YEAR!!!” but some of us could. And albums that have such an exclamation bestowed on them deserve a special note. So here they are… the albums that our voters deemed “THE BEST FUCKING ALBUM OF THE YEAR!”

These albums all received at least one #1 vote:

  • Outkast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” *
  • The Postal Service, “Give Up” *
  • Radiohead, “Hail To The Thief” *
  • The Strokes, “Room On Fire” *
  • The White Stripes, “Elephant” *
  • Wonderful, “God Bless Our Pad” *
  • Audioslave, “Audioslave”
  • The Bad Plus “These are the Vistas”
  • Belle & Sebastian, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”
  • British Sea Power, “Decline of British Sea Power”
  • Broadcast “Haha Sound”
  • Cat Power, “You Are Free
  • Coil, “The Key to Joy is Disobedience (limited box set)”
  • Crooked Fingers, “Red Devil Dawn”
  • Dead Meadow, “Shivering King and Others”
  • The Dears, “No Cities Left”
  • The Decemberists, “Castaways and Cutouts”
  • The Delgados, “Hate”
  • The Divorce, “There Will Be Blood Tonight”
  • The Drive-By Truckers, “Decoration Day”
  • Eddie Izzard, “Circle (live)”
  • The Flaming Lips, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots”
  • Four Tet, “Rounds”
  • Holopaw, “Holopaw”
  • Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  • Kaito, “Band-Red”
  • Led Zeppelin, DVD {This voter explains, “No album release came close to the monumental Zeppelin DVD package”}
  • The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall”
  • The Malinks, “Can’t Shake Last Night”
  • The Mars Volta, “De-Loused in the Comatorium”
  • Martina Topley-Bird, Quixotic”
  • Mogwai, “Happy Songs for Happy People”
  • Mojave 3, “Spoon & Rafter”
  • Nada Surf , “Let Go”
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Nocturama”
  • The Primate Five, “1234567APE”
  • The Rapture, “Echoes”
  • The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow”
  • Sleepy Jackson, “Lovers”
  • Sloan, “Action Pact”
  • Smog, “Supper”
  • Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, “Hearts of Oak”
  • The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  • Triple R, “Friends”
  • Twilight Singers, “Blackberry Belle”
  • Visqueen, “King Me”
  • The Wrens, “The Meadowlands”

* Denotes more than one #1 rating received.

return to the full 2003 recap

American Analog Set Basement Jaxx Belle & Sebastian Black Rebel Motorcycle Club British Sea Power Cat Power Clearlake Cursive Gillian Welch Grandaddy Idlewild Imaginary Scoop Junior Senior Los Halos Massive Attack Mogwai My Morning Jacket Nada Surf Smog Sun Kil Moon Ted Leo & the Pharmacists The Aislers Set The Darkness The Delgados The Hiden Cameras The Jayhawks The Lights The Mars Volta The Rapture The Strokes The Thrills The Twilight Singers The Wrens Visqueen Wonderful

Best of 2003: Top 100 Imaginary Albums of the Year

You voted, and we tabulated. Now you can print and clip the top 100 imaginary albums of the year list for your post-holiday-gift-certificate shopping pleasure…

  1. The Postal Service, “Give Up”
  2. The Shins, “Chutes Too Narrow”
  3. Death Cab for Cutie, “Transatlanticism”
  4. Radiohead, “Hail To The Thief”
  5. Outkast, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below”
  6. The White Stripes, “Elephant”
  7. The Long Winters, “When I Pretend To Fall”
  8. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Fever to Tell”
  9. The New Pornographers, “Electric Version”
  10. The Decemberists, “Her Majesty, the Decemberists”
  11. The Strokes, “Room On Fire”
  12. The Wrens, “The Meadowlands”
  13. The Divorce, “There Will Be Blood Tonight”
  14. Ted Leo and The Pharmacists, “Hearts of Oak”
  15. Nada Surf, “Let Go”
  16. Visqueen, “King Me”
  17. Idlewild, “The Remote Part”
  18. Junior Senior, “D-D-Don’t Don’t Stop the Beat”
  19. Cat Power, “You Are Free
  20. Belle & Sebastian, “Dear Catastrophe Waitress”
  21. The Rapture, “Echoes”
  22. The Darkness, “Permission to Land”
  23. The Thermals, “More Parts Per Million”
  24. The Dandy Warhols, “Welcome To The Monkey House”
  25. The Lights, “Beautiful Bird”
  26. Stellastarr*, “Stellastarr*”
  27. Various Artists, “Lost in Translation” Soundtrack
  28. Massive Attack, “100th Window”
  29. The Mars Volta, “De-Loused in the Comatorium”
  30. Wonderful, “God Bless Our Pad”
  31. British Sea Power, “Decline of British Sea Power”
  32. The Delgados, “Hate”
  33. Jayhawks, “Rainy Day Music”
  34. Los Halos, “Leaving Va.”
  35. Mogwai, “Happy Songs for Happy People”
  36. My Morning Jacket, “It Still Moves”
  37. The Aislers Set, “How I Learned to Write Backwards”
  38. The Thrills, “So Much for the City”
  39. Kaito, “Band-Red”
  40. Basement Jaxx, “Kish Kash”
  41. Gillian Welch, “Soul Journey”
  42. Grandaddy, “Sumday”
  43. The Decemberists, “Castaways and Cutouts”
  44. Twilight Singers, “Blackberry Belle”
  45. Sun Kil Moon, “Ghosts of the Great Highway”
  46. American Analog Set, “Promise of Love”
  47. Damien Jurado, “Where Shall You Take Me?”
  48. The Hidden Cameras,”The Smell Of Their Own”
  49. Cursive, “The Ugly Organ”
  50. Clearlake, “Cedars”
  51. Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Take Them On, On Your Own”
  52. Mojave 3, “Spoon & Rafter”
  53. Rufus Wainwright, “Want One”
  54. Calexico, “Feast of Wire”
  55. Crooked Fingers, “Red Devil Dawn”
  56. Sleepy Jackson, “Lovers”
  57. Fountains Of Wayne, “Welcome Interstate Managers”
  58. Manitoba, “Up in Flames”
  59. Pretty Girls Make Graves, “New Romance”
  60. Andrew Bird, “Weather Systems”
  61. Johnny Cash, “Unearthed”
  62. The Libertines, “Up the Bracket”
  63. The Paybacks, “Knock Loud”
  64. Broadcast “Haha Sound”
  65. Deerhoof, “Apple ‘O”
  66. Menomena, “I Am the Fun Blame Monster!”
  67. Fanny Pack,”So Stylistic”
  68. Jet, “Get Born”
  69. Kinky, “Atlas”
  70. The Notwist, “Neon Golden”
  71. Broken Social Scene, “You Forgot It In People”
  72. Ed Harcourt, “From Every Sphere”
  73. Exploding Hearts, “Guitar Romantic”
  74. The Kills, “Keep On Your Mean Side”
  75. Blur, “Think Tank”
  76. Four Tet, “Rounds”
  77. Kings of Leon, “Youth & Young Manhood”
  78. The Drive-By Truckers, “Decoration Day”
  79. The Minus 5, “Down With Wilco”
  80. The Orb, “Bicycles and Tricycles”
  81. Downpilot, “Leaving Not Arriving”
  82. Longwave, “The Strangest Things”
  83. Okkervil River, “Down the River of Golden Dreams”
  84. The Malinks, “Can’t Shake Last Night”
  85. The Stills, “Logic Will Break Your Heart”
  86. United State of Electronica, “Demo”
  87. Guided By Voices, “Earthquake Glue”
  88. Anna Oxygen, “All Your Faded Things”
  89. Beth Gibbons & Rustin’ Man “Out of Season”
  90. Dead Meadow, “Shivering King and Others”
  91. Martina Topley-Bird, Quixotic”
  92. Rachel’s, “Systems/Layers”
  93. The Fitness,”Call Me for Together”
  94. The Primate Five, “1234567APE”
  95. Triple R, “Friends”
  96. Holopaw, “Holopaw”
  97. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, “Nocturama”
  98. Smog, “Supper”
  99. The Bad Plus, “These are the Vistas”
  100. The Gossip,”Movement”
Graceland Idlewild Live Show Review

Imaginary Girls Gone Idlewild Weekend

For months I had this date ingrained in my head. Friday, March 28th: "Imaginary Girls Gone Idlewild Weekend."

I couldn't have asked for more. Roddy and the boys hit every possible point of this lovely town, making a most perfect Imaginary Girls Gone Idlewild Weekend: an in-studio performance at my favorite radio station {like I need to tell you it's KEXP} in the afternoon, an in-store at my favorite Sonic Boom Record Store {Capitol Hill on 15th Ave.} in the early evening, and then a headlining show at one of my favorite venues {Graceland} at night. Could life have gotten any better? Um, yea… they were scheduled to play in Portland the following day… on a Saturday, at that! Hurray for rock-n-roll-tax-free-style AND no nasty 3a.m.-drive -back -to- Seattle- after- the- show- to- get- back- in- time- for- the- dayjob- the- next- morning.

The Idlewild Gods had truly smiled down upon me.

That said… know that I have taken several handfuls of sedatives to belt out the following paragraphs reviewing the show{s}. In addition, igDana is here to keep an eye on me and make sure I don't overuse exclamation marks, the word "awesome," or drive off in my car to catch the next stop on their US tour. If at any time you think I'm exaggerating the splendor of their performance, then look to the right of this page at the pictures that Mr. Ryan Schierling has provided us from the Seattle performances. *sigh*

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Liz has had a copy of Idlewild's latest album, The Remote Part, since it was released in the UK last July, when she heard them play at the T in the Park festival, and she has made it her personal quest to instill me with a love for this Scottish band ever since. Mind you, it wasn't like it took much — one listen-through to those crashing swirling guitars and I was full-on enamored. But while my heart sings with love for this band, it nowhere near approaches "Liz" on the Idlewild-superfan-dom scale.

Oh…. YOU!! She's right though. I got The Remote Part July 15, 2002, to be exact…


And she's played it for me at least 4,209 times since then — not that I'm complaining — and has become one of those albums I know by heart even though I don't own it.

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.As NME said, The Remote Part is nearly flawless. It's an immaculate, beautifully produced album, with both latent and blatant lyrical and musical hooks. In so many words, it is the album that REM should have released… well, anytime since Document. It *is* nearly flawless… a natural evolution from their last brilliantly sophmoric album, 100 Broken Windows.

Sooo… back to Girls Gone Idlewild. The first stop of the day went well. Their in-studio performance at KEXP sounded great, and I am sure we all learned at least one new interesting Idlewild tidbit from their interview portion.

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Their in-store at Sonic Boom records was tasty, cozy and intimate, an excellent après-workday show to prime us for the evening… (and *yes* I was so there so don't even think for a minute that I missed that show, no sirree).

And by the time we were at the final Imaginary Girls Gone Idlewild Weekend stop of the day, the full imaginary posse had amassed and the excitement level among us reached feverpitch.

Once the two opening acts cleared the stage {the Natural History and the French Kicks} I found my Idlewild spot — one with a clear view of Roddy and a clear shot to the bar.

Whilst I, for purely documentarian purposes, secured a place front… center… in that front part… um, center.


They opened with a great song that I know isn't on "The Remote Part" (having heard it for the 4,210th time the night before the show). I love the line, "There's is no room for voyeurs, there's only room for disaster. There's only room for you and me."

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Why, yes, I'm glad you mentioned that, igDana! That song is from their one of their earliest releases, the Captain mini-album… a song called, "You just have to be who you are". When I heard the opening notes to this, I immediately thanked the Idlewild Gods again. Thank you{!} for giving me a wee taste of what Idlewild sounded like in the early days! My thanks to the IGs {is it a strange coincidence that "Idlewild Gods" and "Imaginary Girls" share the same initials?} didn't end there. The rest of the set was just as worthy of tears.

My documentarian count of the set list shows that 43.75% of the set was songs from their latest album… which, if your Texas Instruments® is up and running {point that power strip at the top towards the window}, means that equates to 56.25% in catalog songs. I am sure that someone out there besides me and my Texas Instruments® is interested in knowing the breakdown of how each album was represented: 6.25% {Captain}/ 18.75% {Hope is Important}/ 31.25% {100 broken windows}/ 43.75% {The Remote Part}.

Eww. Math is hard.


Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.You're right… so here is a less mathematical breakdown of the set list… you know, in case you are wondering which songs they played from 100 broken windows, or if you wanted to make a compilation CD using the set list as a track listing, or… er, something:

Nummy Idlewild set list:

"You just have to be who you are"
"i am what i am not"
"little discourage"
"you held the world in your arms"
"i'm a message"
"tell me ten words"
"a modern way of letting go"
"These wooden ideas"
"American English"
"When I argue I see shapes"
"live in a hiding place"
"A film for the future"
"Roseability" {encore}
"Listen to what you've got" "in remote part/ scottish fiction"

I can't even begin to name which was my favorite part… Dana?

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Before the show, I knew the songs from their latest album only… so I can't really quote by song names. But the whole show was brilliant. Their performances positively soared with confidence. They made me feel like I was falling, but gently, without fear of crashing or injury — a sensation like free-falling into billowy pillows of layered guitar and gorgeous melodies and Scottish accents.

I was so moved I bought the last two copies of The Remote Part that they had at their merch table (not to hoard them, but to share them with a friend, silly!). Now I kick myself for not procuring one of every t-shirt design. I should have supported my local poet.

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Yay! I've got my own little Idlewild Superfan Protégé. This helps me feel more secure in my Idlewild merch table spending spree:

* 1 Idlewild "Support Your Local Poet" t-shirt — check!
* 1 Idlewild "The Remote Part" belt — check!
* 2 Idlewild "Support Your Local Poet" bumper stickers — check!
* 2 Idlewild "The Remote Part" cover art bumper stickers — check!

I think the most weak-in-the-knees part of the show was the evening's rendition of "American English" – when the line, "And you came along and found the weak spot, but you’ve always wanted" was ultra-intensified with the harmoniously climaxing instrumentation blaring out from the monitors… or, wait! Was the best moment when they played, "When I argue I see shapes" and guitarist Rod Jones chimed in with a set of ferociously urgent "SHAPES!!" screams…? Who knew they could have pulled that off live?

Oh… and can you believe that they ended the set with "Roseability"!!! I was left sweaty and spent. Regardless of the most heavenly moment, the climatic final song "in remote part/scottish fiction" was the therapeutic cool-down song I needed to prevent cramping. They even used the album's sample of the old guy reading that Scottish Fiction poem as their exit stage right soundtrack. I left completely exhilarated and found myself stumbling to the car {with merch firmly in hand}, head swirling from over-stimulation and randomly singing verses between statements of glee… ok, so I'd had a couple drinks during the course of the evening.

At the end of the show, I raced through the cold night, tearing at the plastic CD wrap in frustration (why must it be so inpenetrable?) in order to crank the CD in the car for the ride home up the Hill. I can't remember the last time a band left me so satiated, yet wanting to hear so much more…

Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.A good night sleep, a three-hour drive, and a Powell's shopping spree later, we {fellow Idlewild connoisseurs Kelly and Davis made the journey with me} found ourselves blissfully in Lola's Room at the Crystal Ballroom in Portland.

The setlist remained the same, as did the spastically-jagged guitar player's moves, the merch selection and the lead singer's intoxicating swagger. As Kelly eloquently described it, "I love the way Roddy looks out into the crowd while he's singing. He has an unafraid stare out into the crowd… like he's trying to connect with each member of the audience. Rather than just staring blankly, it's like he has something to say to *you.*"

With the only noticeable changes being with the venue's chastising-bartenders, the un-cha-cha'd Portland audience and the better mixed sound system… on and don't even get me started on how scary it was that we were surrounded by thousands of frighteningly enthusiastic Super Diamond fans {SD was performing on the Crystal Ballroom's main stage}.

Is it hard to believe our little Idlewild boys are hitting the road with The Pearl Jam on that stadium tour thing this Spring/Summer? A wee bit… a wee bit not. With all that songwriting talent and live unadulterated energy, they deserve every bit of America's attention as they're able to get. But will those shows ever top the Imaginary Girls Gone Idlewild Weekend performances, or their set at T in the Park?

Don't get me started.

Idlewild Live Show Review Sonic Boom Records

Idlewild in-store

What a great gift has been bestowed upon us with the presence of the lovely Sonic Boom Records in our Capitol Hill neighborhood. As if great music and charming sales staff weren't enough, it's because of them that we get such amazing international acts as Idlewild playing within 50 meters of our front doors. Hearing Roddy's crystaline voice resonating, and experiencing those swirling magical guitar sounds at close range… it's these dreamy musical moments that can only be captured in an intimate environment. And for this I will always be grateful.

Um, igDana… that's all true and everything…. but you didn't make it to the Idlewild in-store.



Idlewild by Ryan Schierling.Of course I did! I wouldn't miss the opportunity to see my favorite Scottish hotties, Idlewild!

Remember how you brought back The Remote Part after you saw them at T in the Park last summer because you couldn't bear to wait until March for the American release? Remember all those nights spent writing TIG whilst listening to "The Modern Way of Letting Go?"

I mean, the show at Graceland later that night was a full-on-sonic-mind-blowing experience. But the in-store — wow. It was at the in-store where I fully could appreciate their grace. Remember when they played "When I Argue I See Shapes," your favorite track from their first full-length album, Hope is Important and you nearly wept, you were so happy?

Hello!? You weren't there!! You had to work late that evening, so you couldn't make it back to the Hill in time for the show. Remember? Hello? Am I ringing any bells here?


Idlewild. Photo by Ryan Schierling.Noooo! I was so there!! How else would I remember how sweetly Roddy thanked us all for standing in a record store and listening, and when he said, "We'll be playing at Graceland tonight, it would be nice if you all could come," hmm?

Remember how we giggled about cute the holes in the elbows of his sweater were, and how his boxer shorts were peaking out the top of his pants? And when they ended their set with an acoustic version of "Rosability" — how beautiful was that?

How would I know all this if I wasn't there? I was there! I tell you, I was there!!!! There's no way I would have missed that Idlewild in-store!!!

Hey igD?






How about you give me back my show notes…?



{slides show notes across table, whimpers defeat…}



Aveo ballboy Bright Eyes Carissa's Wierd Cato Salsa Experience Cinerama (band) Clinic Coldplay Desaparecidos Earlimart Hoggboy Hypatia Lake Idlewild Imaginary Scoop mclusky Mooney Suzuki Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds Okkervil River Peter Parker Pretty Girls Make Graves Robyn Hitchcock Sondre Lerche South Super Furry Animals The Division of Laura Lee The Drop The Hives The Liars The Long Winters The Malinks The Postal Service The Walkmen Tullycraft Ugly Casanova Yeek Yak Airforce

Imaginary '02 Recap!

Hey kids! It’s the end of ’02, so welcome to the first ever Imaginary Recap. Hold onto your seats kids, it’s gonna be a bumpy year-long ride of favorite, in triplicate. Because the best things always happen in threes (ho ho ho…)

{And yes, we have included shameless promotion links to our affliated Insound and Amazon affiliate programs, where you can listen or buy. So sue us. Or buy something, and help us support our excessive web page habits…}

Best Releases:

Ooh ooh! I know! Dana’s favorite three releases of the year are:

Hey! I didn’t say that! How did you know that?


Anyone who has been in your car knows. Hell, anyone who has ever read the site knows.


Oh god, am I *that* predictable? {don’t answer that}. Geesh. She’s right though, of course.

How about you, Liz?

OK. My favorite 2002 local releases are:

And my favorite 2002 Brit releases are:

Ooh yeah, I second the Clinic and South (and further nominate Clinic for the distinguished “Shortest show of the year” award, coming in under 40 minutes at their I-Spy show back in March.) And Doves The Last Broadcast. Mmmm, Doves.

Right. Back to me. My favorite 2002 New Yorker releases are:

…and my favorite 2002 Scandanavian releases are:

…and my favorite 2002 Welsh releases are:

Oh! And my favorite 2002 Nebraskan releases are:

You are out of control…

Most Extraordinary Live Shows:

My favorites…

Hmmm… my favorite live performances… this is so hard… can I break it down to local and non-local? I’ll say it really quickly before igDana has a chance to stop me… first… local:

And my favorite 2002 non-seattle-ite band music moments are:

Most Imaginary Moments:

Imaginary in Tablet!
Opening Tablet newspaper and finding that local artist – no, amazing local artist – Randy Wood had immortalized us, in comic form. I think we collectively took an entire trees worth of newspapers to send home to our Moms.

Imaginary on the Radio:
So I returned from my Spain trip and was spending a week with my folks in Florida, when I got an email from Marlene, telling me she had just heard (the ever-awesome) Sean Nelson talking about Three Imaginary Girls with (the ever-cutie) Drew Victor during his Audioasis. Sigh and pitter patter. What a thrill (and what a great welcome back into the country!)

Death Cab for Snooty
As you might recall, one of our pre-Death Cab for Cutie Bumbershoot performance activities was to approach a couple of guys in the beer garden who we mistook for two members of DCFC. Two months later a co-worker mentioned that he saw my picture on his friend’s website. He sent me the link and low and behold, there we were, with the caption: These girls approached me in the beer garden. They thought–no shit–that I was “Ben” from “Seattle Indie Legends” Death Cab for Cutie. I always suspected I looked like a rock star. See, I told you they were snooty!

Best Live Cover Song:

Goddamnit I love it when bands throw in a good live cover! I am sure that now, while I’m trying to recall my favorite, I am inadvertently overlooking some really, really good ones. But this is what I remember at this point, in no particular order…

  • Saeta covering the Magnetic Fields’ “Grand Canyon”
  • The Malinks covering Bell Biv Divoe’s “Poison”
  • Loveless covering Dramarama’s “Anything, Anything”
  • Robyn Hitchcock covering the Psychdelic Furs’ “The Ghost in You”
  • Beck covering the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize?”
  • Carissa’s Wierd covering Morrissey’s “Suedehead”
  • Sleater Kinney covering The Doors “Hello I Love You”

OK, so I had a hard time sticking with the limit of three…

OK I choose…

  • Earlimart covering Wire’s “Strange”
  • Ryan Adams covering Bryan Adams’ “Summer of ’69” {hee hee} – sidenote: that Ryan Adams is out of control. First he’s picking a fight with Rhett Miller, now with Jack White (White Stripes). I don’t like this Noel/Liam Gallagher thing he’s doing one bit.
  • M. Ward covering David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance”

Best to watch for in 03

OK, so at the risk of sounding incredibly predictable (again), can I just insert my vote again for:

And thanks to a special imaginary friend, I have a an advance copy of this amazing up-coming on Sub Pop release called Postal Service. It’s Dntel (aka Jimmy Tamborello) and Death Cab cutie Ben Hibbard on vocals. electronica CD (due out on Sub Pop this spring). It’s dreeaamy good. As our representative of the indie-elektro community, Imaginary Boy Jason explained, “Jimmy and Ben worked on a track on Dntel’s last album (“Life is full of Possibilites“) and it appears they got along well enough to write an album together.”

There, that’s three (and then some). Liz, the rest is on you.


I second those, and wish to add:

  • Terror Sheets (first full length due out on Sad Robot, coming soon!)
  • Also, I know they’re already signed and released, but I’m looking forward to hearing more from Okkervil River. Their 2002 release was on my top 10 list (but I was only able to list three here… the horror)
  • And another signed and released group, LA’s Earlimart (who just rocked my little world opening for Rhett Miller this month).

Best Already Released International Album To Be Released in the US (and Immediately Purchased) in 03:

Ahh, this is easy…

Right. What she said. As I always say, never take an Imaginary Liz recommendation lightly…

2002 Sensations that We Don’t Get

You know how sometimes there can be a band and everyone just loves it and you listen and are just like… um. Hmm. Now the Girls don’t usually like to complain… but I have just two words to say. Coldplay. Yes, Coldplay. I don’t get it. I didn’t like “Yellow” and I haven’t really liked anything since. I don’t hate them… I just don’t get it. I must be missing an essential chromosome on my Britpop gene helix. Oh well.


This might earn me a whole buncha indie-wrath… but I’m going to have to fess up to Ugly Casanova. Don’t like ’em. I know, I know. Next thing you know I will confess my dislike for Sleater-Kinney and then it will all be over.


Best Three New Things Around Seattle We Wouldn’t Want to Enter ’03 Without

How many ways do we love this great city? But a few noteworthy mentionables…

  • Wireless internet access at the newly reopened Green Cat Cafe and Top Pot donuts.
  • Chop Suey, for great shows in our hood (read as: no need to park downtown)
  • Randy Wood sponsored One Night Only.
  • For awesome arty original clothes, Damsel Collective and Dumb Clothing
  • Karaoke at the Comet and Twilight Exit with Steve
  • Half price after 11pm Wasabi Bistro sushi.

And of course and most importantly, all of the readers, supporters, and contributors to Three Imaginary Girls. Ya’ll better stick around for 03; it’s gonna be the year to be imaginary…

Badly Drawn Boy Biffy Clyro Black Rebel Motorcycle Club Dandy Warhols Green Day Groove Armada Ian Brown Idlewild Kain Live Show Review Mull Historical Society Oasis Primal Scream The Hives The Music The Soundtrack of Our Lives

T in the Park 2002

When April (our San Francisco Imaginary Girl correspondent) and I bought our T in the Park tickets back in February, we had no idea who was going to be on the bill. It was like crap shoot — except what did we really have to lose? Even if the line-up was full of crappy bands, we would at least be in Scotland listening to crappy bands — which is still 400 times better than any week on a beach in Hawaii.

As time passed, more and more bands were added to the bill and our excitement level steadily grew. By the time we left the states for the show (which is just about the time we got our butts in gear to organize the minor details like, um, lodging), the bill was full of 10-hour flight-worthy bands. Here is a wee recap of the bands we saw over the course of the two-day festival:

The Top 3 Overall Performances:

  • Idlewild: Why will this Idlewild performance go down in my personal history book? Again, I will speak in triplicate: 1) They began their performance with the Scottish National Anthem. 2) The setlist (their new album rocks! their old stuff rocks! they rock!). 3) The crowd (its been a while since getting bruises all over my arms from complete strangers has been so fun).
  • The Hives: Three Imaginary Girl fans might question my objectivity in placing The Hives on this list after reading my review of their Seattle performance. But April, who had yet to see them live or spend time with any of their albums, substantiated this accolade. Once again, they proved themselves to be the rock icons they bluntly state they are and whipped the crowd of slightly less than 50,000 into a frenzy, in 5 minutes time. Is it the ties, the on-stage banter, the magnetic lead singer, the sultry guitarist, the… well, you know what I am getting at…
  • Green Day: Never would I have thought that April and I would have spent 5 minutes at the T in the Park Green Day performance, let alone add them to this list. Sure they played their perfect-pop-punk with proficiency and power (and other things alliterative). But, more notable was that they solidified our suspicions that they are actually nice guys in addition to being catchy-song-writing-masters. So get this: they picked three random superfans from the audience of thousands and taught them the guitar, bass and drum parts so that they played (very well might I add — someone find that drummer kid an agent!) while Billie Joe sang along. Then Billie Joe made everyone's heart leap with pure joy when he gave the ill-equipped nervous teen-age girl who played the guitar part that very guitar to keep, right then and there! Sure I've seen a couple other bands do this — the bring up an audience member to play along thing — but never the way the Green Day boys patiently and tenderly taught their pupils their part and never offering a guitar keepsake. For that they will forever remain in my good graces. 


The 3 Performances that Inspired Me to Join The Fanclub: 

  • Mull Historical Society: This guy's (the songs and band are basically the vision and labor of one guy: Colin MacIntyre) energy, performance and comfortably-filling song repertoire made me get over the fact that I was shit on twice by the only bird in the sky (literally, there were no birds in the sky) during the show. April put it best: "This guy is like Justin Timberlake if Justin Timberlake was talented." He also earned big bonus points for wearing a Heavy Soul t-shirt.
  • Kain: There we were, minding our own business, wandering through what most would consider "the tent least-likely to be rocked out in" — the T-Break Stage. Low and behold we find Kain, a Scottish band who played a solid 30 minutes of gut-bursting, retro-styled, ice-melting rock that married the Beach Boys and the Ramones with fluffy Strokes icing (boy do I feel self-conscious describing someone as being Stroke-influenced). One note to the band: Skip that song with the trumpet.
  • Groove Armada: If it were not for April's urging, I would never have made my way over to the Slam Tent to catch Groove Armada. Thank goodness my instincts were wrong on this one. Our time in this tent gave us priceless moments of raver-girl glory. The pinnacle of the GA set came with their universal dance anthem, "Superstylin," when the tent just exploded in Scottish grooving rapture, exclaiming "IBEETHA!!! IBEETHA !!! (gaelic for "Ibiza," another story)…


The 3 No-Brainer Music Staples — I had to see them:


  • Primal Scream: Bobby Gillespie. No way could I have missed a moment of this. Stellar as expected.
  • Black Rebel Motorcycle Club: It was a bit odd to see them in the middle of the day with it being light out and all. I didn't get too freaked out because I wasn't able to get totally immersed in the show. It was hot in the tent; there were so many people there that we were miles away from their dry-ice and minimally lit stage and the sound sucked. But I was glad we stopped by.
  • Badly Drawn Boy: It was great to see him in all his glory without the "I am an extremely British guy playing in America" thing looming overhead. The About A Boy tracks sounded great live.

The 3 Bands I Wish I Saw More Of:


  • Ian Brown: This was on the must-see list as rumor had it that he would play one of my Stone Roses favorites (aren't they all?): "Fool's Gold." April and I made it to the door and were able to stand in the jam packed tent for approximately 5 minutes before our self-preservation instinct kicked in and we had to evacuate. I still don't know if he played "Fool's Gold."
  • Soundtrack Of Our Lives: We saw the last three or four songs of the set — and by the end were able to finally latch on to the grandiose hippy feel to it.
  • Dandy Warhols: Seeing the "best Britpop band from Portland" perform never disappoints. Good thing we are able to comfort ourselves with the realistic hope of seeing them the next time they play in the hood. Thank goodness at least we caught "Minnesoter."

The 3 Bands I Am Thankful that I Didn't See More Of:


  • Oasis: Even though they are probably the world's best Beatles cover band, the fact remains that they are annoyingly arrogant, unimaginative and obnoxious. I challenged myself to sit through three songs and made it through one and a half. It was that darned self-preservation instinct again.
  • Biffy Clyro: Thank goodness someone finally made a mix tape comprised only of Bush and Tool songs. Oh wait, that's Biffy Clyro.
  • The Music: I bought one of their EPs on a whim after reading a kind review on some "e-tail" website. After 7 listens it still wasn't worth 3 minutes of my time. I really hoped that seeing them live would spark some level of enjoyment in their music. Alas, none. Just goes to show that you just can't trust music reviews you read on the web.