Bauhaus Crystal Castles Depeche Mode Imaginary Scoop Interpol Joy Division Man Plus Nine Inch Nails Schoolyard Heroes She Wants Revenge The Cure

Looking for a great "Hallowindie" Mix

Hello, Imaginary World.

I make a point out of living up Halloween each and every year. My annual tradition is to create a Halloween mix CD- not one of those clichè ones with "The Addams Family Theme" and "Monster Mash", but a really good, unique one.

My past lists include songs by

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Cure
  • Interpol
  • She Wants Revenge
  • Bauhaus
  • Nine Inch Nails
  • Joy Division

This year, however, I'm looking for a better mix, with as much Seattle Indie music as possible. And maybe less depressing Goth.

I'm going to start the mix with "Children of the Night" by Schoolyard Heroes, "Crimewave" by Crystal Castles, and "My Kind of People" by Man Plus. Maybe this will give you an idea of the kind of stuff I'm looking for. Remember, this is going to be played at a party! With costumes and caramel apples and cobwebs galore!

I want to hear your suggestions for more songs! Please, help me make the best Hallowindie Mix 2008?

Key Arena Live Show Review Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails at Key Arena

Going into this Nine Inch Nails show at the Key Arena on Saturday, I must admit, I was a little unsure of how much I would dig it. I knew that I was stoked beyond belief to be photographing this infamous band (or should I say man?), and that the light show was going to be unlike anything I'd ever seen. I also knew that the mosh pit was going to be insane, and I needed to stay away from it. I knew that Trent Reznor is sober, healthy, "happy," and putting on independently-funded shows that no one else in the world can come close to.

As a rabid fan of indie rock for the past ten plus years, it's not often that I go to huge arena rock shows anymore. I equate stadium shows with this image I still have engrained in my head of seeing the Smashing Pumpkins at the Bradley Center in Milwaukee when I was 14, and some the huge Pearl Jam shows I've frequented over the years: Unbelievably large gatherings of people (many sporting t-shirts of the band playing that very evening), strobe lights, and buried vocals in the mix.

My past experiences with the Key Arena to this point had only been seeing Death Cab for Cutie play there after Plans had truly exploded, and the Police reunion show last year. During DCfC, I spent most of the show in shock over the teenagers bouncing the LCD screens of their cell phones along to the beat of "Crooked Teeth," and marvelling in disbelief that this little band I'd seen so many times had suddenly become this huge. Seeing the Police there left me nearly bored to tears and grossed out when I heard their reworked hit songs. My boyfriend and I actually left halfway through the set so we could drive home listening to old Police live albums.

This time was completely different. Trent Reznor is truly a unique artist that has stayed true to his own personal vision of what Nine Inch Nails is, and what a live music experience should be. They are a huge band, with a hugely devoted fan base. The line of people picking up their will-call tickets from the NIN.COM preorder window was seemingly endless. The vast majority of people on the floor of the Key Arena were fan club members — gaining exclusive entrance to the show with personalized (and beautifully printed) tickets. So cool. Perfect for framing. There's nothing I love more than saving ticket stubs, VIP or Photo Pass stickers, little remants of big nights; and I was super jealous when a fellow photographer showed me his ticket with his full name etched into it.

We photographers were told only a few rules: we were only allowed to shoot the second, third and fourth songs, and if the security decided that the crowd was too crazy or that we were in the way, we were done. No questions asked. We were told that the fourth song would be "March of the Pigs," and I had a sneaking suspicion we wouldn't be shooting the whole way through.

I was right. The crowd was so rabid and intense, there were bodies flying out of the undulating mass of people from the moment Trent and company entered the stage. I had adrenaline pumping through my body as I tried to be aware of the photographers surrounding me, the security guys EVERYWHERE, the audience screaming, singing, and gasping for air all around me, and …oh yeah, TRENT REZNOR THREE FEET FROM MY FACE. Jesus.

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

I can't possibly describe the "light show" — I'm using that term loosely to describe something that is unlike anything else. It was so much more than a light show, it was an environment created to match each song. More than that, to match each instrument, or even each variance in tone, pitch, tempo. Check out this YouTube video of "Only," and I think you'll understand. The see-through light screen that NIN's used for years has been reinvented. Especially during this song, it was as though the lights were touch-sensitive, or heat-sensitive.. or something… you couldn't quite place your finger on it. I have no idea how it works, and I don't want to know. I'm sure it was very expensive, and dammit, it makes a $70 ticket worth the price.

You see, Trent Reznor doesn't have his record label footing the bill for these extravagent stage set-ups and fan perks. He IS his record label. He knows how to treat his fans, and he knows how to entertain. This show was a far cry from the indie rock bands I'm used to seeing — a few dudes on a stage within reach with some crappy-to-decent lighting coming from the venue. Of course, I still love those shows with those indie bands I know and love, but now I think I love this kind of indie rock just as much.

(See the whole set of Laura Musselman's Nine Inch Nails photos)

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman

Nine Inch Nails photos by Laura Musselman


Imaginary Scoop Nine Inch Nails

Nine Inch Nails: Ghosts I-IV (available now!)

Nine Inch Nails are the latest band to do what Radiohead did last December and release an album themselves with almost no warning whatsoever. Ghosts I-IV is now available via Here is what Trent Reznor has to say about it on his website:

"I've been considering and wanting to make this kind of record for years, but by its very nature it wouldn't have made sense until this point. This collection of music is the result of working from a very visual perspective — dressing imagined locations and scenarios with sound and texture; a soundtrack for daydreams. I'm very pleased with the result and the ability to present it directly to you without interference. I hope you enjoy the first four volumes of Ghosts."

The new album is available in these formats at the following prices:

Download: $5.00

2xCD: $10.00

Deluxe Edition Package: $75.00

4xLPs: $39.00 (retail version released April 8th, along with a retail version of the 2xCD)

Or you can simply download the first 9 tracks for free if you prefer a sample and think that Trent Reznor has enough money to fund his own endeavors.

This is a pretty good idea as he has managed to fulfill the desires of most digital music fans. There was also a $300.00 Ultra-Deluxe version available that is already sold out. I don't know if this set included vinyl or not, but it is already gone. Damn, who would have guessed?

Amy Winehouse Easy Street Records Eyvand Kang Gorillaz Imaginary Scoop Nine Inch Nails

New releases for the week, from Easy Street Records

Well, it's another week (weak) of re-issues, remixes, and scraps.

Gorillaz is putting out a album of D-Sides. I'm not even sure what a D-Side is!

The NIN remix CD actually looks interesting with remixes of songs from Year Zero by Ladytron, Kronos, and many more.

Amy Winehouse has finally released her debut CD Frank in the US.  All the die hard fans already have it oni mport and know that it just isn't as good as Back To Black.

It seems the gem of the week might be Local Violin Genius Eyvind Kang's The
Yelm Sessions
. I was first introduced to his work when we recorded and played with Laura Veirs during her Triumphs and Travails of Orphan Mae era, which although I love each and every LV release, this record holds up as my very favorite. He also worked with her on Troubled By The Fire. You may also know him from his work with Two Loons For Tea and Bill Frisell, just to name a few. He also has several solo releases and continues to work with a bevy (that's right) of talented musicians that he enlists to bring his lush works to life. Always perfect for grown up dinner parties and background music while reading.

AYO – Joyful
DAFT PUNK – Alive 2007
DJ VADIM – Soundcatchers Extra
EVYIND KANG – The Yelm Sessions
LIL SISCO – Welcome To The City
NEGATIVELAND – Our Favorite Things
NOFX – They've Actually Gotten Worse Live
PHISH – Vegas 96 (and several other live shows)
RESIDENTS- The Voice of Midnight
U2 – The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition)
VADER – And Blood Was Shed in Warsaw

NIRVANA – Unplugged
WOLFMOTHER – Please Experience Wolfmother Live

Imaginary Scoop Nine Inch Nails Saul Williams

Trent and Saul follow Radiohead through the gate

Now that Radiohead has shown that letting people download an new album gives you piles of good publicity, another music maverick is following suit. NME reports that Trent Reznor's collaboration with rapper/author Saul Williams, The Inevitable Rise And Liberation Of Niggy Tardust, will be available for free download on November 1. I'm personally excited to hear what Saul Williams has to say …

Here is "List of Demands" from Saul Williams most recent release (for those of you who have missed him so far).

Imaginary Scoop Nine Inch Nails

"Steal it!" says Trent Reznor

Trent Reznor of a band called Nine Inch Nails – you might have heard of them – has a fun little youtube clip up where he advocates that you steal his music. He got in trouble a few months back for calling his label on the ridiculously high prices of CDs (especially in Australia – $35 Aussie dollars for Year Zero – yikes!) and after seeing no change in prices after the much publicized criticism, he's decided you are better off just stealing the darn thing. Trent is also known for letting his fans download raw music files of NIN songs from his website so they can remix/play with them all they like. Ah Trent, soon enough you'll be free of Interscope and can give it all away (that is if the RIAA lets him back in the country).

{Hat tip to Slashdot for pointing out the lovely Down Under footage}

Chrisopher Blue Clorox Girls Flying Burrito Brothers Graig Markel Imaginary Scoop Nine Inch Nails Pam Tillis

New releases for the week, from Easy Street Records

Nine Inch Nails, Year ZeroIt’s a pretty light release week, but as usual there is something for everyone!

NINE INCH NAILS puts out a long awaited record entitled Year Zero. This is one of those bands that I never totally got, but people go crazy for Mr. Reznor and his music. I guarantee this will be one of the releases that people line up for at Midnight!

If alt-country is your bag then this is a great week for you! Pam Tillis (daughter of legend Mel Tillis) puts out her first album in years (Rhinestoned). Rumor is that she finally has made a record the way that she wants and has steered away from "Nashville" both in sound and in philosophy. I haven’t been able to get my hands on a copy yet, but boy am I curious!

The music isn’t new, but it’s the kind that never dies. Flying Burrito Brothers The Definitive Collection comes out today and is a must have for anyone who loves FBB or any of the bands that have been influenced by them (too many to list!).

And we have a couple of locals putting out new records this week: Chrisopher Blue, Graig Markel, and the Clorox Girls (who are really boys! Get it?) all put out records today. The Clorox Girls were at Easy Street Queen Anne on Friday for an in-store and they rocked the house, playing new material from their disk J’aime Les Filles. Love it!

Here is the short list:

CLOROX GIRLS – J’aime Les Filles
COWBOY JUNKIES – At The End of the Path Taken
FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS – The Definitive Collection
GRAIG MARKEL – Via Novella
THE NOISETTES – What’s the Time, Mr. Wolf?
MICHAEL PENN – Palms And Ruins, Tarot And Tea: The Michael Penn Collection
MICHAEL PENN – Mr. Hollywood Jr., 1947 with six live tracks added
SOUTHERN CULTURE ON THE SKIDS – Countrypolitan Favorites
PAM TILLIS – Rhinestoned
SONNY SMITH – Fruitvale (Belle Sound)

What new music is everyone out in imaginary-land excited about today?

Audio Beep Repaired Black Horse Blue Checkered Record Player Esoterik Garbage Girth Greyday Productions Hector Stentor Imaginary Scoop Joy Wants Eternity Minmae My Orchard Nine Inch Nails Not Lame Queens of the Stone Age Screamfeeder Sunshine The Frank Boscoes

AstroPOP! for June 2005

Your monthly imaginary horoscope told in album reviews!

June 2005 AstroPOP! is brought to you with musical reviews by igDana, igLiz, Imaginary Curtis, JimiC, Mad Professor, and Chris B.

Find your muse. Sharpen your pencils. Get ready to go on your long-overdue personal journey to the place where you figure out what you were placed on this funny round planet to accomplish. Perhaps you should go to Sweden. Clearly, Sweden has found its niche: creating dreamy fey pop bands. I think there's a factory in Sweden (possibly in Upsala…) that churns out delectable pop bands. Latest case in point: My Orchard's Silhouettes (Not Lame), which comes off that line ready to delight with their keyboard-tinged guitar driven power pop. Perhaps it will provide just the sunshiny optimism you need to take that first leap forward.

It's time to redecorate! Or perhaps it's time to full-on renovate. Either way, it's time to update your home/wardrobe/CD collection to the latest and greatest. Oh lookie — just in time, here's Trent Reznor's five-yearly effort to shift a few units and at the same time keep everyone convinced that he's both the King of Pain and the Prince of Alternative. Ah well, Nine Inch Nails' latest With Teeth is not bad, a totally enjoyable effort this time around — as much as NIN can be enjoyable. But if you really want to hear NIN with teeth, then I suggest listening to The Downward Spiral or my favorite — Broken — played as loud as you or the neighbors can bear. Perhaps it will drown out the sound of your table saw and power drill.

Good news, Gemini: if you've been struggling between the dayjob work to pay the bills and the creative work to feed your soul, this might be your time to make a go of it, all art-stylee. Step away from your desktop (or cash register, or fry station) and step into your guitar (or paintbrush, or pen). There may be windfall: consider Black Horse. This Northwest guy/girl rock duo features two guitars and a drum machine. Imagine classic Earache sludge-core bands such as Fudge Tunnel and Godflesh backed by Jesus & Mary Chain's original rhythm section with X's male/female vocal trade-off, and you have an idea of their demo. While the recording quality leaves something to be desired, a little extra time in the studio and these guys could be the next Kills. The lesson here? Don't wither away in the office. Make the most of all your creative potential this month. We see big things. Oh, and Happy Birthday!

You can dance if you want to, Cancer. New wave has made a big comeback recently; in fact, it's come so far back, it's already gone again. Don't tell Sunshine, 'cause they're having too much fun. Moonshower and Razorblades manages to hit the right eighties revival notes (albeit a bit more darkly than most), but manages to sound a bit fresher than most of the bandwagon, er, bands. Stop thinking so hard about the origins and reprecussions of the past, both musically and otherwise, Cancer — just experience without judgment. Note how fun it is. And dance.

A very wise fictional character once told me that adversity breeds character. It's certainly working for Garbage. Divorcing her cheating husband has clearly been good artistically to Shirley Manson, who is back to her very best lyrical form of earlier days and the likes of "As Heaven is Wide," "Subhuman," and "Suffocate Me." Bleed Like Me has more energy, passion, and vitriol than anything since their stunningandimpossibletofollow 1995 debut, and is book-ended by two of their best yet — the deliciously raunchy and wicked "Bad Boyfriend" and the gloriously sweeping and cathartic "Happy Home." C'mon Shirley, be our bad girlfriend once more.

Spend some money and make some changes to your physical self this month, Virgo. Ooh, that new tattoo looks nice; it's so very non-Virginal of you. Now how about a new wardrobe? Manic Panic hair? You might want to consider some tight leather pants and extra Aquanet. Why? Seattle band Girth. Damn, their record Living in Truth (Hector Stentor Records) has enough changes to make four Rush records. It's razor-sharp playing, well-recorded instrumental metal. Fans of spaz attack bands like Dillinger Escape Plan or Cave-In and art freaks like John Zorn and Frank Zappa will have a lot to sink their teeth into with this release. Better skip the coffee before this one. But definitely proceed with the body modifications…

This month may bring big changes, and we all know how that unsettles you, oh balanced one. Try to roll with the punches and enjoy Minmae's brooding release I'd Be Scared, Were You Still Burning (Greyday Productions). You might not understand what titles like "Dimorphic Hips Have Chances Still" mean. Just quit trying, and enjoy their Pavement-esque melodies, Smog-like vocals, and oddball song names. Give the unknown a chance, and yourself a rest. Next month will bring balance to those scales, and if we're lucky, will also bring this talented Portland-based band to Seattle (ahem, hint).

Get planning those post work-day beer parties. These days you're a social superstar on the job, and should have no trouble interacting with even the most persnickity of co-workers. No one understands this better than Josh Homme. On Lullabies to Paralyze, the latest from Queens of the Stone Age, absent are long-time bassist Nick Oliveri and occasional drummer/Foo Fighter Dave Grohl. Instead, you can indulge in the cameos from rock's best sex symbols: Shirley Manson and Brody Dalle, and the same accessible kick-ass rock that somehow consistently makes QOTSA the favorite metal band of musicians and metal-haters alike. Bring it to your next kegger.

Sometimes romance is hard. Does your partner take out all the woes of this sad world on your unsuspecting self? Soured romance can make you write a lot of songs. There are many examples of songs on Take You Apart by Screamfeeder. These songs are only examples, and are not recommended for repeated use. If you like these songs, you will like songs by the Jam much, much more. To that end, if you like romance, we predict you will like the romance of another partner much, much more. So buck up, little Sadgie. It doesn't have to be as hard as it's been.

Cappy, it's time to get caught up on your inbox. What do you mean you still haven't returned that email to your estranged Republican sister? The more you hold on to grudges, the longer they take to resolve. Perhaps that's just the way you like it, you old goat, you. Better go play The Frank Boscoes then. Frank Boscoe brings his signature vocals from iconic underground indie pop bands Wimp Factor 14 and Veh
icle Flips. With his crystal clear, hypernasal voice and pointed lyrics, he navigates through an overtly idiosyncratic world, one in which we can imagine it's okay to let go of the ironic, but not of those grudges. In this world, it's okay for a 30-something hipster to drink Margarita wine coolers. Why not chug a four-pack and tell that strange sib exactly how you feel about the Bush…?

Ancestral issues weigh heavily on you this month. Is it conflict with an older relative? Or are you shouldering the weight of those who came before you? Speaking of forefathers, ever heard of Godspeed, you Black Emperor? Joy Wants Eternity have, and I mean that in the best possible way. Must You Smash Your Ears Before You Learn to Listen with Your Eyes (Beep Repaired) covers similar territory with consistently superior results. Epic, cinematic, dynamic and a bunch of other -ics, but never icky. Highly recommended. See? Just because something looms in your past doesn't mean it's a bad thing. Use it as a source of inspiration.

One Pisces dear to this imaginary astrologer's heart recently proclaimed Sonny Votolato as his guitar hero. And with just cause — Votolato has graced tons of Seattle bands with his Rickenbacker skills, including Bugs in Amber, Fields of Mars, and currently, the dazzling Slender Means. Now Sonny has a solo project in the works under the moniker Blue Checkered Record Player. This three-song demo displays Sonny with acoustic guitar and atmospheric orchestral layers — it's earnest, intimate, and lovely. I'd tell you how he evokes the dazzling gentleness of Elliot Smith, except that every tenor singer with an acoustic guitar gets compared to Elliot Smith; the comparison will not sufficiently describe the delicacy and ingeniousness that breathes through these songs. On the track "Reality" he croons, "But there's music it's more than in my dreams. Don't wake me now, I just want to sleep." Pisces, your dreams come true later this summer, when the full BCRP record will release on Esoterick Musik Records. That other dream you've been pining for will follow shortly thereafter. {Aside to Seattle folks: catch BCRP at the High Dive on 6/15 and the Crocodile on 6/22.}