Aloe Blacc Elbow Gillian Welch Imaginary Scoop Kaylee Cole Live Show Review Noah and the Whale Sharon van Etten Widowspeak Wye Oak

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

{This is part two of our one-two punch showcasing the best in festival moments and photos from 2011. Start from the beginning here, where you can see picks #10 – #6!}

{Wye Oak at Sasquatch! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #5: Wye Oak :: Standing in the pit at Sasquatch! at the small stage is always a treat — you're right up next to the performers, and unless someone's career has exploded between the time they got booked and the time the festival rolls around, there's not too many people mobbing the area surrounding the stage. Such was the case for Wye Oak, and while they were already a good, established band then with a solid crowd turnout, we were able to get up-close-and-personal for their set to capture this mid-song moment. If you haven't seen one of their many appearances — Sasquatch! 2011, the shows with the National at the Neptune last month, or from the "HOLY SHIT" file: that time they played with Shearwater at the Triple Door in 2010 — get out to see them on mid-sized stages while you can. {more photos from Wye Oak's set at Sasquatch!} {Wye Oak official}

{Del / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Del / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #5: Del :: So, technically, this happened *during* Austin City Limits and not *at* Austin City Limits proper, but we couldn't compile a best-of without mentioning Del.

One morning, while loading up on espresso and bagels while uploading photos pre-fest on a hundred-degree day in Austin, we met Del. And as it turns out, Del is just an artist in a corner at a cafe, akin to those writing furiously in a notebook — only he doesn't blog it, "show" it, exist anywhere on the internet, or have openings in art galleries. This is just what he does, and after getting permission to take his photo and chatting with him for a bit, we learned that this inky artpile is Del's form of art-therapy journal-y processing. While it wasn't a We Are Augustines set or a moment in front of the stage with Elbow, it was nonetheless a highlight of our ACL trip and well-worth preserving here in our 2011 storyline!

{Sharon van Etten / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Sharon van Etten at Sasquatch! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo(s)-and-moment #4: Sharon van Etten

{Aloe Blacc / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Aloe Blacc / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment-and-photo(s) #4: Aloe Blacc

What an amazing, amazing pair of sets these two put on at Sasquatch! this year. Sharon van Etten's sparse, gut-wrenching performance rang out all the way into the darkest corners of our hearts where the best reverb lies, and Aloe Blacc held up to every expectation we had going into the set. The fact that they both looked good doing what they both obviously love {and are so, so well-suited} to do just made capturing it in photo-form all that much easier. {more Sasquatch! 2011 photos} {more about Aloe Blacc} {SVE official}

{Kaylee Cole at Sasquatch! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #3: Kaylee Cole :: This shot is from the start of the first full day of performances {technically day two of the fest} from this year's Sasquatch! up at the Gorge, when a handful of performers performed Radiohead songs with members of the Seattle Rock Orchestra, trading off lead singers every song or two during the set. If memory serves, Kaylee did a ridiculously compelling rendition of "Karma Police" — and we managed to grab this shot as she was tackling a particularly intricate, intimate moment. <3 {photos of Kaylee Cole at Sasquatch! 2011} {KC}

{Elbow / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #3: Elbow :: Jesus Rollerblading Christ, you guys. ELBOW. E-L-B-O-W. It was another hundred-degree day at Austin City Limits, and we shit you not: when Elbow took the stage the skies literally parted, and a smatter of rainshower doused the throngs of people while broken streams of sun shot down through the overcast clouds. Not to overuse one of 2010's most hated phrases, but the set they put on was truly epic, heat and sweat and rainshowers and all. {more photos from Elbow's ACL performance} {Elbow official}

{Noah and the Whale at Sasquatch! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #2: Noah and the Whale :: This one was one of those totally accidenal, right-place-in-the-right-time kinds of moments. Noah and the Whale had just finished up an interview in the press room at Sasquatch!,  and were hiding out back behind one of the press lavatory trailers — due mainly to throngs of screaming fans, ps — when we stopped to pose them for this shot. It's worth nothing that they put on a great set, too, although it doesn't look like they'll be stateside again anytime soon. Keep an eye on their official page for details! {more photos of N&tW} {band site}

{Gillian Welch / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #2: Gillian Welch :: Another insanely brilliant, knife-in-the-gut moment from this year's Austin City Limits festival hands-down had be stumbling onto Gillian Welch's performance, which was at first abandoned by many casual fans — she was running about thirty minutes behind in a tent that was much too hot to consider standing around in. We snuck in about midway through and managed to weave halfway into the crowd just in time for "Miss Ohio", covered in goosebumps and forgetting almost every degree of the oppresive heat. In related news, we still can't stop listening to GW's most recent release The Harrow and the Harvest, which is making year-end lists and keeping ears and hearts sad-happy all across the land. {more photos of Gillian Welch at ACL} {GW official}

{Widowspeak / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite photo #1: Widowspeak :: Last but not least, our favorite photo from all the festivals we attended in 2011 is this one — an impromptu band portrait of Widowspeak on a sidewalk in New York City, just after their performance live on KEXP from the lobby of the Ace Hotel. The Stumptown is bustling them, there's passerby behind us on the street, and we were able to freeze them in the middle of all of it for a beautiful, sparse little moment. After having seen their incredibly compelling set a few minutes before this was taken — and if you were there or have heard their music, you know where we're coming from on this one — the personalities of the band really manage to shine right through in this shot. {more from Widowspeak at CMJ} {Widowspeak's bandcamp page}

{!!! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Favorite moment #1: !!! :: And to wrap up our very favorite festival photos / moments post, our absolute all-time best experience of all the moments put together in 2011 absolutely had to be the entirety of the !!! set at this year's Sasquatch!. The lead singer leapt and landed, danced his ass off, engaged practically every single person in the crowd, demanded the press be allowed to stay in the pit for as long as they wanted, mugged for the camera, and just performed the shit out of the set with every ounce of everything he had to give. Absolutely a non-negotiable, don't-you-dare-miss-it kind of performance next time they come through your neck of the woods! {more !!! photos from Sasquatch!} {!!!}

And that's a wrap on our favorite festival ishes of 2011 — coming up next, our all-time favorite non-fest photos and moments, which we could barely narrow down to twenty, let alone ten! Stay tuned!

{All photos by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Imaginary Scoop Live Show Review Noah and the Whale Old 97s On The Road Stornoway The Young Evils

Photoessay: day four of Sasquatch! at the Gorge

{Noah and the Whale / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{!!! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Our last day out at this year's Sasquatch! music festival went out with an absolute bang. The morning started out with the sweet, big guitar + indie.altpop sounds of the Young Evils on the Yeti stage, followed by a smash-up singalong set by the Old 97's on the main stage (where we promptly got our Rhett-o-sexual on, big time!). On the recommendation of some friends, we took on the only blind set of the weekend — a band we'd heard of but not listened much to, Noah and the Whale — and we were not disappointed. It's worth noting they absolutely took the win for style points out of anyone else we saw all weekend, buttoned up in three-piece suits in what felt like baking summertime sun.

The foreign invasion continued with the gorgeous, orchestral buildup-melodies of Stornoway on the Bigfoot stage, followed by a shift-up into the tie for best set of the weekend, !!!. These guys were an absolute full-force marathon of awesome, tearing into the crowd, hamming it up for the photo pit, and bringing some of the best beats we'd heard over our time at the Gorge. Keep scrolling for more of Monday's photos!

The Young Evils:

{The Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{The Young Evils / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Kevin Cole and Ann Powers:

{Kevin Cole and Ann Powers / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

The Old 97's:

{Old 97's / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Noah and the Whale:

{Noah and the Whale / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Noah and the Whale / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Noah and the Whale / by Victoria VanBruinisse}


{Stornoway / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Stornoway / by Victoria VanBruinisse}


{!!! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{!!! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{!!! / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Part one and part two of our opening day coverage, along with Sunday's shots, are here, here,  and here respectively. Check out photos from our day one road trip, along with days two, three and four in the imaginary flickr pool!

Bright Eyes Death Cab for Cutie Gorge Amphitheater Guided by Voices Imaginary Scoop Matt & Kim Noah and the Whale Old 97s On The Road Rebecca Gates Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings Stornoway Surfer Blood The Decemberists The Drums The Flaming Lips The Head and the Heart The Radio Dept. The Thermals The Young Evils Wilco

The 2011 Sasquatch bill is un-frack-withable

Gorge-ous Backdrop

{Sasquatch photo by asclepius6 from the Imaginary Flickr Photo Pool}

Do you hear that?

It is the sound of folks feverishly tweeting and posting about the amazing #Sasquatch line-up just announced. After weeks (who are we kidding, months!) of mathematically calculating probabilities based on tour schedules and record release dates, we finally have a firm answer of who’s going to be at the Gorge this Memorial Day weekend, as well as explanations as to why certain folks don’t have a Seattle tour date in the next few months.

Not to sound like everyone else every other year, but this year’s line-up has left me speechless. The Sasquatch folks have brought together the best of the best of the best (except Allo Darlin, which I’m guessing will be begged to participate next year) to celebrate their 10th Anniversary.  I mean Wilco, Bright Eyes, Matt & Kim, The Radio Dept., The Thermals, Stornoway, and The Young Evils!?!?!?  You’re killing me!!!

Are you headed that way? Who are you most excited about (mine bolded below)? Anyone else you think is going to be added to the bill before we pack up our roadtrip munchies and head Quincy, WA way?

Foo Fighters, Death Cab For Cutie, Modest Mouse , Wilco, The Flaming Lips (performing The Soft Bulletin & more), The Decemberists, Bright Eyes, Iron & Wine, Rodrigo Y Gabriela, Bassnectar, Robyn, Flogging Molly, Death From Above 1979, Pink Martini, Cold War Kids, Old 97’s, Ratatat, Wolf Parade, Chromeo, Guided By Voices, Yeasayer, Beach House, Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings, Local Natives, Matt & Kim, Deerhunter, Mstrkrft, Trailer Park Boys, Sleigh Bells, Major Lazer, Flying Lotus, Skrillex, Tokyo Police Club, Fitz & The Tantrums, !!!, Archers of Loaf, Against Me!, The Thermals, Best Coast, CSS, Surfer Blood, Jenny & Johnny, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Head & The Heart, Bonobo (DJ Set), City and Colour, Reggie Watts, K-Os, Gayngs, Tim Minchin, The Drums, The Radio Dept, Young the Giant, The Antlers, Sharon Van Etten, Villagers, Stornoway, Aloe Blacc, Black Mountain, Moondoggies, Noah & The Whale, Sam Roberts Band, Secret Sisters, Twin Shadow, Das Racist, Wye Oak, Tig Notaro, Wheedle’s Groove, Smith Westerns, Rival Schools, Foster the People, Alberta Cross, S. Carey, White Denim, Washed Out, Gold Panda, Dan Mangan, Axis of Awesome, The Globes, Cotton Jones, Jaill, Mad Rad, Basia Bulat, Other Lives, The Bronx, White Arrows, Pepper Rabbit, Talkdemonic, Rebecca Gates and The Consortium, The Young Evils, and more!

4-day all-inclusive passes are on sale now at the Sasquatch website.


Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale The Crocodile

Win tickets to see Noah and the Whale at the Crocodile

{Photo Credit: Band MySpace page}

British indie-pop group / filmmakers extraordinaires Noah and the Whale are making the swim across the pond, touring on their second album The First Days of Spring (stateside release 10/6/09) and will be coming to the Crocodile on October 24th. The film they produced runs the entire length of album, like a well-polished version Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon and the Wizard of Oz. The band’s website explains: “The narrative of the film and the narrative of the album are not the same but they are complimentary. So for those of you expecting a R Kelly style opera you will sadly be disappointed …or perhaps pleasantly surprised.” Preorders of the limited edition CD / DVD combo can be made at

Many changes have taken place for the band both in sound and personnel since the release of their first album. The First Days of Sping does not use female vocalists, has a more cohesive story arc, and has more electric instrumentation.  It was also announced on August 28th that drummer Doug Fink, brother to lead singer Charlie would be leaving the group to attend medical school, making a joke at his final show with the band that he would be back in “5 Years Time.”

You might, beloved reader, be thinking, “That’s nice, but what does it have to do with me?” The answer- if you enter the Three Imaginary Girls ticket giveaway, you and a friend will receive a free pair of tickets to attend the 10/24 show! Simply send us an e-mail at [email protected] with the subject line “firstdaysofspring” by Tuesday, September 29th at 9:00 AM.

For more information about Noah and the Whale check out their website link as indicated above, or their MySpace page.

For your viewing enjoyment, please enjoy the video for “5 Years Time.”


Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale

Noah and the Whale new record and film to prey on our hearts in October

I have to admit that I’ve been a little late to jump on the Noah and the Whale bandwagon – but now that I’ve listened to their 2008 release Peaceful, The World Lays Me Down 500 times this year, I’m a card carrying fan club member of NatW. I still cry as I quote the lyrics to “Five Years Time” to friends (I’ve even managed to forget how much the instrumental refrain was played as a the soundtrack to a Saturn commercial). It was one of my favorite albums of 2008 even though I didn’t know it until 2009.

Now I hear that the band not only have a new album entitled The First Days of Spring coming out in October, but they will also be releasing a coordinating film of the same name which runs the same length as the record. The film marks the directorial debut of Noah-singer Charlie Fink who explains:

The film was shot on a miniscule budget in a tight time-frame and can be seen as a companion piece to the album, as a visual version of it, or as a piece of work in its own right but this decision is one which Noah and the Whale have decided to leave up to the listener and viewer.

The film was shot on location in London and Surrey with an ensemble cast that includes model Daisy Lowe. Here’s a trailer for the film / album.


With lines like “This is the last song that I write while still in love with you,” which prey on my “Five Years Time” heart, I’m left pretty excited to see / hear the full thing.

Chop Suey Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale

Tonight's recommended show: Noah and the Whale at Chop Suey

I don't want to put too much pressure on it or jinx it in any way, but I think tonight might be the night I fall in love.

I've heard handfulls of songs by Noah and the Whale, but for some reason, I haven't been pushed to the point of buying any Noah cds quite yet. The only reason I can think of is that perhaps it's because I fear I couldn't handle falling in love again? I mean, I *have* been kept pretty busy this year being obsessed with my current significant others which include Nana Grizol, Matt & Kim, iji, Telekinesis and Conor (who always keeps things exciting).

But, I think I'm ready now. Spring has finally tangibly fun, and I'm ready to fall full on in lerv with the coy wit and pure jangle goodness of Noah and the Whale… live and in person!

Noah and the Whale are playing with Ferraby Lionheart and Anni Rossi TONIGHT at Chop Suey. It's all ages and doors are at 8pm.

See you there! It should be just about as sweet as this video ("sweet for my sweet, sugar for my honey"):

Anna Rossi Chop Suey Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale

Ticket giveaway madness pt 3: Noah and the Whale at Chop Suey

Noah and the Whale is a huge mega star, at least in my mind.

Besides releasing some of the catchiest songs of late, their song "5 years time" ("SUN SUN SUN, all over our bodies") is in high rotation on TV as the theme to a recent Saturn commercial. My hope is that it has resulted in a slew of non-KEXP-listeners near and far have now been recruited to our side – the side of Sonic Boomer kids that dig on their infectious horn-laden jangle pop tunes… since *at least* last year.

Noah, et al will be at Chop Suey on Tuesday, April 21st with Ferraby Lionheart and Anna Rossi (all ages!!!) and we've got tickets to giveaway to the show.

Enter to win those blessed tickets by emailing us at tig @ three imaginary with your name and the subject line "SunSunSun" by Thursday, April 16th at noon PST. 

Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale The Blakes

Lollapalooza lineup announced

If you happen to live in Chicago or plan to be there August 1-3, check out the lineup for this year's Lollapalooza festival, which not only includes my favorite new UK crush band Noah and the Whale, but also features local Seattle band the Blakes!

Rage Against the Machine
Nine Inch Nails
Kanye West
The Raconteurs
Louis XIV
Love and Rockets
Gnarls Barkley
Bloc Party
The Black Keys
Broken Social Scene
Lupe Fiasco
Flogging Molly
Mark Ronson
Cat Power
The National
G. Love & Special Sauce
Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings
Explosions in the Sky
Brand New
Gogol Bordello
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Dierks Bentley
Okkervil River
Amadou & Mariam
Blues Traveler
John Butler Trio
Girl Talk
Your Vegas
Eli "Paperboy" Reed & the True Loves
Steel Train
Jamie Lidell
Bang Camaro
Butch Walker
The Blakes
Mates of State
Tally Hall
Spank Rock
White Lies
Brazilian Girls
Magic Wands
Electric Touch
The Kills
The Postelles
Rogue Wave
The Parlor Mob
The Go! Team
Bald Eagle
Mason Jennings
The Gutter Twins
Ha Ha Tonka
Grizzly Bear
We Go To 11
Sofia Talvik
The Weakerthans
Booka Shade
Black Kids
Black Lips
Dr. Dog
Nicole Atkins & the Sea
The Ting Tings
Kid Sister
The Cool Kids
What Made Milwaukee Famous
Does It Offend You, Yeah?
The Whigs
Manchester Orchestra
The Octopus Project
Cadence Weapon
De Novo Dahl
Noah and the Whale
Margot & the Nuclear So and So's
Serena Ryder
Newton Faulkner

Hat tip to Idolator.

Imaginary Scoop Noah and the Whale

My favorite new crush: Noah and the Whale

If Noah and the Whale song "Five Year's Time" doesn't make you beam and dance and clap your hands, then you, dear sir or madam, are a monster.

This is breezy, charming indie-pop at its finest. Ukeleles and handclaps and sing-song male/female vocals abound, and the band manages to chant  "Sun Sun Sun" and "Love Love Love" and not come off as insipid. I am madly in <3<3<3.

According to their MySpace page, Noah and the Whale are touring all over the UK for the better parts of April and May. I see no US dates at this time, but maybe if we clap our hands and wish really hard, they will come stateside and to the West coast.

This song fills me with endless optimism, so I feel hopeful that they will.