Cinerama (band) Harvey Danger Imaginary Scoop Interview John Roderick Okkervil River Old 97s Rhett Miller Sean Nelson Sean Nelson & His Mortal Enemies Tegan and Sara The Long Winters The Wedding Present They Might Be Giants

6 Imaginary Interview Quotes That Make My Heart Burst

Did you hear the news? June 2018 marks Three Imaginary Girls’ 16th birthday! We’re throwing a big New Wave Night party that will be imaginary to the max {performances with a live band, karaoke, a DJ dance party, a photo booth, and more!!!}. Please please please join us! {all the details}

All this celebration {and planning there of} has us waxing nostalgic about our favorite imaginary moments. Some of those moments include having some really funny and interesting conversations with some really talented and brilliant people {LIKE YOU!!!}.

Each imaginary interview has a special place in my heart and still leaves me shaking my head in disbelief that I even slightly held it together enough to form full sentences around those who happen to have written some of the best songs of all time. Here are some of my most memorable interview moments {in chronological order}:

{1} Will Sheff / Okkervil River (December 2003)

It only took one spin of Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See by Okkervil River (thanks to my then-dayjob-officemate / now imaginary staffer Andy Bartlett) for me to fall in love. So in love that I was convinced there was no way that this brilliant band would ever play Seattle (at that time in my life most of my favorite bands lived far away and/or never toured). The day I found out that they’d be at the Crocodile was like I won the lottery. And then when Okkervil River lead-dude, Will Sheff, agreed to meet up for an interview before the show it was like I had won the lottery and… got to interview Will Sheff. He was just as eloquent and disarming as his songs make him out to be and the show made my heart sour as high as I had dreamed. {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]Liz: And so was being a musician and going on tour and not having a fancy computer and all that stuff… is that what you were most frightened of?

Will Sheff: I am actually, scared of doing all this shit! I have had relationships that have come to messy ends because of being a musician. I’ve had to justify myself to a great many people. I’ve had to work really shit jobs so that I can tour. I don’t have money, I don’t have insurance. Health problems are sort of scary. Security is pretty scary. And I guess my number one fear is to do all that stuff and have it all come to nothing and wind up being a 44 year old burnout working at McDonalds. Something like that. But you know what? If it is important enough for me to do this, then that is ok with me and that is what I will do. I just think the most important thing is to believe 100% in what you are doing and be wiling to make those kinds of sacrifices.[/quote]


{2} John Flansburgh / They Might Be Giants (August 2004)

My head still spins when I remember how it all went down. At SIFF 2002 I saw the TMBG documentary Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns and it was one of the highlights of my life. A couple weeks later an email from John Flansburgh arrived in my inbox. I was stunned into not responding for a month. The only excuse I had was that coming up with a worthy response was too much for me to contemplate. I emailed back, a phone chat time was set up, and we ended up having an hour+ long incredible conversation. I transcribed the whole thing because there was not a single JF nugget that could be edited out. {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]Liz: We went with the name because of the Cure song and album, Three Imaginary Boys.

John F: Oh… OK. You could have called it Pornography and you certainly would have gotten more hits. [/quote]


{3} Tegan Quin / Tegan & Sara (October 2004)

We met up with Tegan at Mr. Spot’s Chai House in Ballard (RIP) on the afternoon of their Seattle show. For someone who was only a couple years into her super star career and just about to rocket onto most everyone’s conscious with searing songs like “Walking with a Ghost” *and* becoming a prolific social advocate – she was so open and kind. As with her songs, there’s no room for pretense or ego – we left the interview feeling like we had just chatted with a new BFF. {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]TIG: When was the last fight you and Sara got into?

Tegan: Oh, about an hour ago? {laughter} She’s been in a fucking terrible mood all day. She borrowed a bag of mine and I told her “I want my bag back. Put your shit in that broken rolly suitcase…” Fight ensued because she believed I was giving her attitude and that I’d been patronizing her all day. I told her she’s been in a bad mood all day and she said, “You’re in a bad mood all of the time.” And then I asked her for a shirt or something and she said “If you fucking ask me one more thing, I’m going to fucking punch you in the face,” and I said, “If you touch me, I’ll throw you into traffic and I’ll punch your fucking head in” or something like that. And our manager was like “Ok girls, take some time apart.” And I was like “Yeah, that’s right.” {laughter} [/quote]


{4} Rhett Miller / The Old 97s (October 2004)

The world needs more Rhett Miller. Thankfully he seems to love Seattle as much as we love him. He keeps adding to our record collection with new releases every few years{with the Old 97s or as a solo artist}. And why do we love him?

1) I’ve yet to find someone who doesn’t want to listen to Too Far To Care on repeat.

2) The fella is a class act who writes amazing songs. He exudes a kind charm that makes everyone in the room feel significant and loved. And to meet him in person and chat eye to eye, he’s just as electrifying.

We jumped at the chance to meet him for an interview backstage at the Showbox before a show. We brought Top Pot doughnuts, homemade rum balls, and a lot of fangirl energy. I’m pretty sure he gets that a lot – and yet he knew how to interact with our effusive sugar and fandom highs without an ounce of disdain or exhaustion. He surpassed how wonderful and funny and kind we had expected to be. And when we asked him to pose for a photo to accompany the interview, he did not disappoint. If only every frontman/woman could go to the Rhett Miller School of Rock Stardom, the world would be a better place.

Our interview with Rhett isn’t all that “informative” and reading back through it I think the main thing you should be impressed with is how well we held it together and no one did anything we are embarrassed of now. Who needs deep insights when we were just trying to not scare Rhett with our super fandom?

If you want to hear a really great interview with Rhett (which is why you’ve made it this far in this blog post, right?), go listen to Marc Maron’s WTF interview with Rhett Miller – that’s actually the one you should take note of (that is, after listening to Too Far To Care on repeat). {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]TIG: begin the interview by passing out a box of Top Pot doughnuts and rum balls.}

Rhett: This is the place I went this morning and had the apple fritter!

So does that mean you guys are staying near Top Pot or did you just hear about it last time? (that’s not a weird question, right?)

Rhett: We’re staying at the Ramada. This morning I started to go to some little breakfast place across the street and then looked over and saw that huge window on the front and thought “that looks good”… plus they spell it right, with a ‘gh’-doughnut-and it’s got “pot” in the name![/quote]

That time we had dinner with Sean Nelson and John Roderick at Morton's Steak House. Photo: Brian Teutsch
That time we had dinner with Sean Nelson and John Roderick at Morton’s Steak House.
Photo: Brian Teutsch

{5} Sean Nelson / Harvey Danger • John Roderick / The Long Winters (July 2006)

You have probably heard the story about how the Three Imaginary Girls origin story involves a Long Winters show (it’s a good one!).

Not only that, it’s a safe guess that – in total – Long Winters / Harvey Danger / John Roderick / Sean Nelson mentions make up a sizable amount of TIG’s content. It was only a matter of time before we published an official interview with John Roderick and Sean Nelson and that it would be in the form of us eavesdropping on a conversation between Sean Nelson and John Roderick at Morton’s The Steakhouse. This wouldn’t be our last dinner with Sean Nelson and/or John Roderick – but sadly it’s the only one that made it to print.

The occasion for the dinner convo was that The Long Winters and Harvey Danger had separate releases hitting stores the same day: The Long Winters’ Putting the Days to Bed (Barsuk Records) and Harvey Danger’s Little by Little… (Kill Rock Stars). {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]Sean: You know that when you were talking about Nabil (Ayers) coming into the band, at first I was like “Gee, really? Are you sure?”

John: (imitating) “The nicest guy in Seattle rock? Why would you want him in your band? He’s gonna upset the balance.”[/quote]


{6} Cinerama and The Wedding Present / David Gedge (November 2003 / March 2012)

You can imagine my surprised delight when I found out one of my favorite British musicians moved to Seattle (for a short time back in the aughts). The campaign to set up an interview with him ensued shortly thereafter. When he agreed without much fight, I was even more surprised and delighted. We met at the Elysian (in Cap Hill) and there were moments that felt like I was living in my own Wedding Present song. David Gedge is the fella whose poetry has repeatedly helped me get back on my feet after staggering heartbreak and empowered me to love (and hate) again. The Wedding Present was a favorite of John Peel, so an added bonus is that now I’m a closer degree to John Peel. {read the full interview}

We met again at a Cupcake Royale (in Cap Hill) to chat nine years later in November 2013. This time, the nervousness was gone and we had a lot more fun. It was comforting to know that one of the greatest songwriters of our generation also has some challenges when it comes to impressing his parents. {read the full interview}

My favorite part:

[quote]Liz: Have you been in the audience for any game shows or talk shows?

David: Funnily enough, yes… I took my parents to see The Tonight Show while we were in L.A. and I think they were impressed because one of the guests, Patrick Stump [from Fall Out Boy] specifically came out of the green room to come and say hello to me. He did a cover of a Wedding Present song… “My Favourite Dress” for a video project organised by the Onion Magazine in Chicago… so it was nice to meet him.[/quote]


And these are just the tip of the iceberg of hundreds of “insightful” interviews Imaginary staffers have done over the last 16+ years. We’ve even had the pleasure of our favorite bands interviewing their favorite bands!

As I look back on them I have so many favorites there are too many to list here. But have no fear, you can/should view them all here! (prepare to be stunned)

Imaginary Interviews That Make My Heart Burst - Jason Priestley Jason Schwartzman Kevin Bacon Nikki Monninger of Silversun Pickups


Here’s a completely incomplete quickie list of other TIG interviews that give me warm-fuzzies just thinking about:






Columbia City Theater Imaginary Scoop Okkervil River Will Sheff

Win tickets to the SOLD OUT Okkervil River (solo) celebrates the 10th Anniversary of Black Sheep Boy

We’ve had a crush on Will Sheff since 2003 when Okkervil River’s album, Don’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See, made us question every band before them. Their songs are seductive and heart-wrenching, analytical and honest.  If you haven’t had a chance in the last 12 years to read about our coffee date with Will Sheff at the Crocodile, you should. It will give you a bunch more reasons to fall in love with Will and Okkervil River.

On Monday, December 14, 2015Will Sheff will be in Seattle performing as Okkervil River (solo), celebrating the 10th anniversary of the beautiful and critically acclaimed album, Black Sheep Boy. I’m not sure if that means that the album will be played in order with alternate versions and stories about the recording of the album (PLEASE!) or if he’ll just play “The Latest Toughs” on repeat for two hours as I’ve dreamed (probably not, I’m guessing) – but the show will be a heart-stopper in all the best ways.

And the show is already sold-out!

But don’t fear: We have a couple tickets to give away to the sold-out show!

To enter, email us at tiglovesyou {at} gmail {dot} com with the subject line “Black Sheep Boy” anytime between now and 1pm, Thursday (12/10). We will pick a winner and email them that afternoon.

Side note question to all my fellow Okkervil River superfans: 12 years later and I”m still searching for a copy of Okkervil River’s first ep (Bedroom EP) and/or album (Stars Too Small to Use). Have you heard it? TELL ME ALL ABOUT IT!

Top photo: Will Sheff / Okkervil River. Photo: Laura Duffy

BOAT Bright Eyes Brown Recluse Sings Dangerous Ponies Fishboy Folklore Forbidden Friends Imaginary Scoop Kids On A Crime Spree Matt & Kim Okkervil River Oregon Bike Trails Pains of Being Pure at Heart Telekinesis! The Mountain Goats The Thermals When I Was 12

A mixtape of Imaginary Liz's Best of 2011 {so far)

Imaginary Liz's Best of 2011 pt 1

Rather than thinking of it as 2011 being halfway over, I prefer to see it as we’re all halfway to my birthday {December 24th if it’s not on your calendar already}.  To celebrate, and take stock of this year’s releases thus far, I’ve put together a mix of my favorite songs of 2011 {so far}.

This year has brought some predictably great albums from friends such as Mountain Goats, Okkervil River, BOAT, Matt & Kim, Telekinesis, Bright Eyes.  I feel like I’ve been waiting for a fresh batch of songs from Brown Recluse for years. I love every note they play and having a two hearty releases in one year {Panoptic Mirror Maze and Evening Tapestry} makes me overjoyed.

Other bands, like When I Was 12 and Dangerous Ponies, I am thankful for crossing paths with for the first time this year.

And then there are the folks that have left me wanting more more more (I’m looking at you Oregon Bike Trails and Forbidden Friends)! Huge thanks to You Aint No Picasso for bringing Oregon Bike Trails to my attention. OBT fellow,  singer/songwriter Zach Yudin, from Santa Monica, Ca., is quite the mysterious dude – only having a cassette tape release earlier this year (hand painted, limited to 50!) and a couple other MP3s swirling around the web.

Forbidden Friends, a side project by Thermals frontman Hutch Harris (with Michael Lerner of Telekinesis on drums and fellow Thermals Kathy Foster and Westin Glass backing him up), is still in the 7″ only phase, and needless to say I’m counting down to a full album of FF stuff.

In short, I can’t recommend the below songs and full releases enough. To help convince you of their brilliance, I made a virtual mix cd!

The tracklisting of my {hopefully very convincing} mix cd is:

1.  When I Was 12 – “Explicit Content” – Dear Eskimo (3:09)
{tig} {listen} {buy}

2.  Oregon Bike Trails – “Swimsuit” (3:33) 

3.  Brown Recluse – “Memory museum” Panoptic Mirror Maze (4:02) 
{mp3} {free EP}

4.  Forbidden Friends – “Tiny Hands” – Tiny Hands 7″ (2:30) 
{mp3} {buy}

5.  Folklore – “The Party” – Home Church Road (3:18) 
{tig} {mp3} {buy}

6.  Matt & Kim – “Block After Block” – Sidewalks (2:56) 
{tig} {watch} {buy}

7.  BOAT – “When Frank Black Says (No. 14 Baby)” – Dress Like Your Idols (2:15)
{tig} {listen} {buy}

8.  Fishboy – “Alyson Revere” – Classic Creeps (2:46) 
{tig} {listen} {buy}

9.  Dangerous Ponies – “You Are Dangerous” – Dangerous Ponies (3:19) 
{tig} {listen} {buy}

10.  Okkervil River – “Rider” – I Am Very Far (4:25) 
{tig} {mp3} {buy}

11.  The Mountain Goats – “Estate Sale Sign” – All Eternals Deck (2:47) 
{tig} {listen} {buy}

12.  Kids On A Crime Spree – “Sweet Tooth” – We Love You So Bad (1:54) 
{mp3} {buy}

13.  Telekinesis – “Car Crash” – 12 Desperate Straight Lines (2:40) 
{mp3} {buy}

14.  Bright Eyes – “Singularity” – Singularity (4:30) 
{tig} {listen} {buy}

15.  Pains of Being Pure At Heart – “Heart In Your Heartbreak” – Belong (3:45)
{tig} {listen} {buy}

{download high rez cover art for this mix cd and / or purchase a mix of these songs on iTunes}

Now that you’ve had a week to process what the first six months delivered, do you have a list of favorites? What’s on your Best of 2011, pt 1 mix?

Imaginary Scoop Live Show Review Neptune Theatre Okkervil River Titus Andronicus

Photoessay: Okkervil River at the Neptune

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

As anticpated, our first show at STG’s new Neptune Theater was nothing short of an absolute success. Between the vibe of the venue and the bands themselves, we just could not get enough — so much so that we stayed on until the very end of the night, cheering our approval for both. Okkervil River saw fit to bring over an hour of some honest-to-goodness indie rock to the stage, with a set full of face-meltingly tight selections from both their current and back catalog; while crowd pleasers Titus Andronicus brought all the noise, sweat, and big guitar.screamalong five people could have possibly mustered.

Julianna Barwick:

{The Neptune / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Julianna Batwick / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Titus Andronicus:

{Titus Andronicus / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Titus Andronicus / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Titus Andronicus / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Okkervil River:

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

{Photos courtesy of Victoria VanBruinisse. Head on over to the imaginary flickr pool for the rest of the night’s shots, and more!}

Imaginary Scoop Neptune Theatre Okkervil River Titus Andronicus

Don't miss: Okkervil River at the Neptune this Saturday!

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

We couldn’t be more excited for our inaugural show at the Neptune this Saturday — because none other than the mighty Okkervil River will be taking the stage, and we’re planning to be there front and center (with bells on).

The combination of one of our favorite bands and the newest, most anticipated room-opening since Columbia City Theater has us chomping at the bit and ticking off the hours until show time, as this will likely be 2011’s biggest and brightest example of two great tastes that taste great together. Emotionally speaking, it’s the chocolate in the peanut butter moment we’ve been waiting for since news of the Neptune’s reduxing process came to the surface earlier this year. And not only will we have a night with OKR on the docket, which could be taking place in a dilapidated flophouse and still be capable of melting our faces off, ps — but we’ll be seeing them perform fresh off the incredibly successful release of I Am Very Far.

IAVF proves that, like many a fancy substance, this band just keeps getting better with time. All too often bands will follow that incredible release / mediocre release / slump / comeback pattern that leaves you wishing for more of what they used to do “back when they were still good” — thankfully, Will Sheff & Co. have not fallen prey to that cycle. Each album they put forth showcases a new sound, a new direction, and a new version of their creative process that keeps us coming back for more.

Not pumped up enough yet? Well, here’s one of our favorite tracks to get you in the mood for Saturday:

Tickets, by some miracle, are still available! Get ’em while you still can — we’ll see you at the show!

{$20 adv / all ages balcony, 21+ floor / 8p. Photo of Okkervil River at Musicfest NorthWest 2010 by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Imaginary Scoop Okkervil River Seapony

Come and get your Crafternoon on with us! {Sunday, May 15th}


It’s the Spring Cleaning Edition of our almost-once-a-month-ly Crafternoon. And you’re invited!

If you’re not yet familiar, Crafternoons are a chunk of a few hours where we get together, work on crafts, and listen to unreleased / brand new albums while (very politely) taking over a local cafe. This time around we’ll be at Porchlight on Capitol Hill on Sunday, May 15th from 1-3p, listening to two of our favorite May 2011 new releases: the debut album of Seattle’s very own twee-core trio, Seapony (which doesn’t release until May 31st), and the freshly pressed gorgeousness of Okkervil River‘s I Am Very Far, which drops this Tuesday on Jagjaguwar.

Instead of doing a theme or a craft lesson like we’ve done in the past, we’ve decided to make this installment of Crafternooning a Spring Cleaning stylee. Got an unfinished project? If you’re anything like us, you’ve got a whole bucketfull! Bring your knitting needles, a hot glue gun, sewing projects, that macrame plant hanger you never got around to finishing at the holidays — anything and everything counts!

One more time: Rad albums. Renegade crafting. Porchlight Coffee, 1-3p on Saturday, May 15th.

We’ll see you there!

{Seapony photo courtesy of Hardly Art.}

Imaginary Scoop Neptune Theatre Okkervil River

Okkervil River tour dates + news about the Neptune!

{I AM VERY FAR / by Okkervil River}

There’s so much Okkervil River goodness going on about the ‘nets, we almost don’t even know where to start. First off, the band is going on tour. TOUR. Glorious t-o-u-r, with a date at Seattle’s newest old venue, The Neptune (out in the good ol’ U-District). First, though, they’ll be making some stops at SXSW and popping over to Europe right quick — full tour dates are listed after the jump.

Speaking of, there hasn’t been a ton of official word about the Neptune, short of the collective sigh of relief that went up when the city heard that STG would be taking it over. Rather than speculate, we caught up with Amanda Bedell to get the skinny on the show and on what was going on behind those famous doors:

Okkervil River is the first show we’ve announced… [and] additional engagements will announce in the coming weeks, with shows beginning as early as May. Here’s a quote from our executive director, Josh LaBelle that explains more about our strategy and timeline for soft opening and grand launch:

“We want you to be aware that although the doors aren’t open yet, you’ll start seeing announcements for shows and events to be held at The Neptune Theatre. We’re using the spring and summer months to test the venue – tweaking and making minor changes as we go along,” said Josh LaBelle, STG Executive Director. “This soft opening is to set the stage for our Grand Launch, scheduled for Fall 2011.”

Rumor has it that we’ll be getting a sneak peek of the theater’s inner workings prior to the official Fall opening (even though many of you will see some shows there between now and then), so stay tuned for more news! You’ll know more when we do. Promise.

Second-ly, but really still part of the first part, is the new album that the tour is backing up called I Am Very Far. We’ve heard some clips here and there, including catching a video from the stop the band made in January on the Jimmy Fallon show, and so far as we can tell it’s nothing short of an A+. OKR’s sound is evolving and maturing quite nicely, in our humble imaginary opinion(s), but don’t just take our word for it — they’re offering up the newest single as a free download if you’re willing to give up an email address. Just head on over to, click a few clicks, and get that business up into your inbox.

Here’s those tour dates, for our local, country-wide, and overseas readers — depending on where you live, you’ll be catching Okkervil River with Titus Andronicus (*), Future Islands (#), Julianna Barwick (&), and/or NewVillager ($).

3/16 – Austin, TX @ Red 7 (JAGJAGUWAR SXSW showcase)
3/18 – Austin, TX @ Antone’s (Billions SXSW showcase)
3/18 – Austin, TX @ Flamingo Cantina (Under the Radar SXSW party)
3/19 – Austin, TX @ Mohawk (MOG SXSW Showcase)
3/19 – Austin, TX @ Lustre Pearl (Filter/Dickies SXSW party)
4/30 – Dallas, TX @ Gexa Energy Pavilion (w/ Arcade Fire)
5/16 – London, UK @ Heaven
5/18 – Berlin, Germany @ Kesselhaus
5/20 – Stockholm, Sweden @ Gota Kallare
5/21 – Hamburg, Germany @ Uebel & Gefaehrlich
5/22 – Amsterdam, Holland @ Paradiso (Indiestad Festival)
5/23 – Paris, France @ Maroquinerie
5/31 – Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse * #
6/01 – Carrboro, NC @ Cat’s Cradle * #
6/02 – Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club * #
6/03 – Philadelphia, PA @ Trocadero Theatre * #
6/04 – New Haven, CT @ Toad’s Place * #
6/07 – New York, NY @ Terminal 5 #
6/08 – Boston, MA @ Royale * #
6/09 – Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom * #
6/10 – Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre * #
6/11 – Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall * #
6/12 – Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue * #
6/14 – Omaha, NE @ Slowdown *
6/15 – Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater *
6/16 – Salt Lake City, UT @ Urban Lounge *
6/17 – Boise, ID @ Egyptian Theatre *
6/18 – Seattle, WA @ Neptune Theatre *
6/20 – Vancouver, BC @ The Vogue Theatre * &
6/21 – Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom * &
6/22 – San Francisco, CA
@ The Fox Theater * &
6/23 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Wiltern * $
6/24 – San Diego, CA @ The Belly Up Tavern * $
6/25 – Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre * $
6/28 – Lubbock, TX @ Jake’s * $

We’ll see you out at the shows!

Imaginary Scoop Okkervil River Telekinesis!

New material from Okkervil River, Telekinesis {thanks, internet!}

It’s been a busy day for news on the internet — it’s finally legal to talk about the Head and the Heart’s hookup with Sub Pop, we’re due for a three hour mini-snowpocalypse, everyone’s a-buzz about the show at the Fremont Abbey tonight, and John Roderick is organizing a tweetup somewhere in the depths of central Florida.

While we break the rest of it down for you in easily-digestible one-post chunks, here’s two favorites out of our seventeen favorite things that happened today: Okkervil River and Telekinesis both have new material out, which we’re streaming on repeat courtesy of The Internet. Both are about to drop new albums, both (fingers crossed on the former) are gearing up to tour in the near future, and both tracks make us squee! with excitement at what they’re about to dish us next.

Exhibit A: Okkervil River last night on Jimmy Fallon.

{Okkervil River / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

Pictured above at MFNW 2010, Will and Patrick (and the rest of the crew, along with AC Newman and a few members of the Roots) brought the house down last night on Jimmy Fallon, where they played a new song called “Wake and Be Fine” off of I Am Very Far {due out in May on Jagjaguwar}. The song’s indie.waltz backbone marries perfectly Will Sheff’s urgent, melodic vocals for that hopeful, new-era anthematic sound we’ve come to expect from the ladies and gents of OKR. It was downright exciting! (Really. We were clapping at our desks.) Head on over to the Jagjaguwar site to catch “Wake and Be Fine” for yourself and live the joy with us.

Exhibit B: Telekinesis on NPR.

{Telekinesis / 12 Straight Lines}

Okkervil River’s new album won’t be out until May, but we’ve only got about a month to go before Telekinesis gives us their latest effort. It’s called 12 Desperate Straight Lines and by the sounds of today’s track, “You Turn Clear in the Sun,” it’s gonna be good. You can listen to the song over at NPR’s All Songs Considered blog, where Robin Hilton sums our thoughts (and fractured hearts) up beautifully:

My music library isn’t for the faint of heart.  If your will to live isn’t what it used to be, or you’re prone to depressive episodes, then you should probably stay away from most of the admittedly gloomy songs and albums in my collection.

That said, I make a huge exception for the music of Telekinesis.  Michael Benjamin Lerner, the only permanent member of Telekinesis, makes unabashedly joyful pop music.  His songs are full of warmth and beauty and soar into rainbow colored areas I don’t normally tread. […] But even when Lerner sings about heartache and loss and longing, he manages to make it feel like a good ride.

Exactly. And PS, be sure to dig on those great pics of Michael Lerner by Seattle’s very own Kyle Johnson! Nice work all around.

{Okkervil River photo courtesy of Victoria VanBruinisse. Telekinesis graphic courtesy of NPR / Merge Records.}

Damien Jurado David Bazan Hype Imaginary Scoop John Roderick Nathaniel Rateliff Okkervil River Rachel Flotard Shearwater The Head and the Heart Tune-Yards

Imaginary Victoria's best of 2010, part two: shows (and other indoor sports)

{seattle show posters photo shoot / by victoria vanbruinisse}

It’s safe to say here at Three Imaginary Girls that we go to a lot of shows. Sometimes, two (or three) in one night, if there’s more than one must-see happening going on about town. And so it’s no surprise that in 2010 alone, just on my own, I managed to go to shoot at least two shows a week on average, attended another two dozen-ish (or so) sans camera, plus several festivals, house parties and a handful of KEXP in-studios. We’re talking everything from nights at the Sunset and Neumos to four days in Portland for MFNW, out locally for long weekends at Bumbershoot and Sasquatch, and down to SXSW and back again.

On any given night there are plenty of shows taking place, in rooms across Seattle and across the country, where boys and girls and instruments and fans all convene inside four walls to make, appreciate, and experience live music — but not all of them are Shows. When I reference shows in this post, I’m talking about the nights that we collectively See A Show, the nights that remind me us why we live in Seattle in the first place. Seeing A Show has the ability to alter the fabric of our respective existence, to leave us forever changed — full of those everything-I’ve-ever-done-led-to-this-exact-right-now kinds of moments.

With a history timeline at the ready via flickr sets and hastily scrawled notes from stage right, I give you some of my greatest moments of 2010 as an appendix to the ever-popular top albums of the year lists that have been popping up all over our radars.

{neil young marquee / by victoria vanbruinisse}

First place:
Neil Young (solo) at the Paramount

This might be construed as an easy out for a list-topper, but it was by far the most stupidly amazing few hours I spent in a venue all year. Not only was I among the lucky few that got to hang and shoot from the soundboard, but I also had the privilege of being allowed to watch the set after shooting (sans camera gear) from the third-level mezzanine. It may as well have been a live reel of Young in his prime, for how good he sounded — without a doubt one of the top ten shows of my life, probably in the history of Ever.

{david bazan + band / by victoria vanbruinisse}

Tied for Runner Uppers:
Everything I saw David Bazan (+ Band) play, every Head and the Heart performance, and the nights that Nathaniel Rateliff, Shearwater, and John Roderick / the Long Winters had headlining spots at the Triple Door.

See also: times I was practically in tears in front of a stage in 2010. David Bazan put on an amazing solo set at an installment of the City Arts Song Show at the Triple Door, and a Pedro the Lion-worthy performance at the Doug Fir as part of this year’s MFNW weekend down in Portland — but the hands-down winner show was the set at KEXP’s Bumbershoot lounge. As a long-time fan, I spent the entirety of that show squee-ing on the inside like a teenage fangirl, clutching the hand of the friend sitting next to me, so totally full-hearted and thoroughly impressed.

The same goes for The Head and the Heart’s shows at Sonic Boom, the Comet, Columbia City Theater, and in the opening spot for Vampire Weekend at the Paramount — as we’ve said here so many times before, THATH is the most consistently amazing ‘new’ band we’ve seen this year. Every performance was (and is) delivered with all the soul they’ve got to bring to the table at any given moment, and we look forward to absorbing more of what they’ve got in the coming year.

{nathaniel rateliff / by victoria vanbruinisse]

{shearwater / by victoria vanbruinisse}

{john roderick / by victoria vanbruinisse}

Rounding out the runner-uppers are some of the best sets of the year that all just happen to have taken place at the Triple Door, our favorite dinner-and-a-show sit-down venue in the city. From those comfy, spring-y front-row seats came moments we couldn’t have ever imagined for ourselves in our wildest Rock Band dreams: the emotional open-heart surgery of Nathaniel Rateliff, being an arm’s length away from Shearwater on the tour they did with Wye Oak and Hospital Ships, and the first of three planned summertime shows by the Long Winters. Our hearts will truly never be the same.

{damien jurado / by victoria vanbruinisse}

Second Place:
Damien Jurado’s Saint Bartlett pre-release show
at the West Seattle Easy Street.

There’s only one word for this: Killer. The only reason this set is in second place and not tied for first runner-up with the rest of the performances above is simply because it technically wasn’t a ‘show’ per se, but it was hands-down one of the greatest sets of music I  had the privilege of witnessing all year. If you haven’t picked up a shiny-fresh copy of Saint Bartlett yet — you’re missing out. (Go vinyl if you have the means, ps.)

Honorable Mention:
The Old 97s soundcheck at the Showbox.

Not to say that the show itself wasn’t a slice of 97s-stylee magic, because it was — but to (a) respond to an ask for requests by calling out your namesake song at a soundcheck and (b) to have it played back immediately, enthusiastically, and in-front-of-you-and-twelve-people-y is enough to make anyone’s inner teenager swoon.

{sasquatch / by victoria vanbruinisse}

{tuneyards / by victoria vanbruinisse}

The Festival Circuit: Sasquatch!

Sasquatch was the win of the year, hands-down. The weather (mostly) held out, we had three straight days of Seattle concert photographer bootcamp out in one of the most gorgeous venue settings in the state, and the lineup was tremendous: specifically, sets from Tune-Yards, The Middle East, and the Long Winters kicked our respective asses. Not that Pavement didn’t do the trick or anything, and believe me, watching tens of thousands of people dance to LCD Soundsystem was no slouch of an experience — but getting to see the Long Winters do an absolutely fucking flawless cover of “Touch of Grey” by the Grateful Dead may have been one of The Greatest Set Moments Of The Year. No joke.

{okkervil river / by victoria vanbruinisse}

Coming in at a close second was a long weekend in Portland for Music Fest NorthWest, as the lot of us ran all over the city to catch performances by everyone from the Head and the Heart to the Decemberists to Okkervil River and back again. Merge that with KEXP’s killer sessions at the Doug Fir, David Bazan’s aforementioned show, and rad hangs with fellow imaginary Bobby McHugh — and you’ve got a recipe for awesome.

Everything else that’s fit to print type:

*I made the greatest breakup mix ever. (Seriously.)
*Pavement. Paramount. Photo pit. There are no words.
*Seattle Show Posters got together with the likes of Rachel Flotard, John Roderick, the Head and the Heart, and Imaginary Liz and I (amongst other seriously talented folk) and did a sweet-ass photo shoot to promote their presence at this year’s Flatstock at Bumbershoot. It was postively swoonworthy.
*The EMP put on some spectacular exhibits, including Taking Aim with Graham Nash and an entire massive plot of floorspace dedicated to the Supremes’ wardrobe collection.
*I got turned on to Daytrotter. Holy heaven in a batch of downloads!
*American Standard Time (Greg Vandy’s blog) was birthed.
*Columbia City Theater was revamped, reopened, and became one of our hands-down favorite places to see shows in the city. Overnight.
*Imaginary photogress extraordinaire Laura Musselman exposed me to the website where you can have Eef Barzelay (of Clem Snide fame) record any three of his songs that you want for a mere twenty dollars. (Yes, really.)
*“Cancer: The Musical” happened. And brought the house down, quite literally.

And last, but certainly not least: people rode the lightrail…

{lighrail ride / by victoria vanbruinisse}

without pants.

{All photos by Victoria VanBruinisse. From the top: Seattle Show Posters promotional shoot at KEXP with Brent Amaker, Rachel Flotard, John Roderick, the Head and the Heart, and others; Neil Young marquee (courtesy of City Arts); David Bazan at KEXP’s Bumbershoot lounge; Nathaniel Rateliff at the Triple Door; Shearwater at the Triple Door; John Roderick (the Long Winters) at the Triple Door; Damien Jurado at Easy Street Records (West Seattle); Sasquatch / the Gorge (courtesy of City Arts); Tune-Yards at Sasquatch (courtesy of City Arts); Patrick Pesto of Okkervil River at MFNW; pants-free Lightrail Ride (courtesy of City Arts).}

Thanks for a stellar 2010, and here’s looking ahead to an exciting, swoonworthy, teenage-feelin’ appropriately-pantsless 2011! We can’t hardly wait to see what’s in store.

Live Show Review Marymoor Park Okkervil River The National

The National and Okkervil River at Marymoor Park

On a typical overcast Friday night, The National and Okkervil River melted the faces off of the crowd at Marymoor Park. We’ve got the photos to prove it!

See them bigger here!