Allo Darlin Ash ballboy Bears Billy Squire Darren Hanlon Emmy the Great Eux Autres Exohxo Imaginary Scoop Math and Physics Club Nouela Johnston Paul McCartney Princess Superstar Shenandoah Davis Six Cents and Natalie Sunturns The Kinks the Ramones The Shins The Wedding Present Tim Wheeler Wham!

I’d like to make the world a holiday mixtape…

Remember when the “news” made claim that a Christmas song by the Shins had overtaken Mariah Carey’s holiday anthem as the “the most played holiday song?”

Although I love the Shins, their version of a Paul McCartney holiday song, and the idea of it being the #1 holiday song, I’ve always been a tad suspect.

If we are living in a world in which the Shins can have the #1 holiday song, then I’d like to make the world a holiday mixtape… with these amazing holiday songs (in no particular order) in hopes these will make the #1 list someday.

{Here’s our playlist of the songs available on youtube}

Do you have any we should add to this list?

  • Princess Superstar – “Xmas Swagger” (youtube)
  • Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler – “Home For The Holidays” (youtube)
  • Eux Autres – “Another Christmas At Home” (youtube)
  • Darren Hanlon – “Spend Christmas Day With Me” (youtube)
  • Billy Squier – “Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You” (youtube)
  • Old 97’s – Love The Holidays (youtube)
  • The Wedding Present – “Step Into Christmas” (youtube)
  • Math and Physics Club – “It Must Be Christmas” (youtube)
  • Six Cents and Natalie – “Secret Santa (You Could Be The One)” (youtube)
  • The Dandy Warhols – “Little Drummer Boy” (youtube)
  • The Kinks – “Father Christmas” (youtube)
  • The Ramones – “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Want To Fight Tonight)” (youtube)
  • Allo Darlin’ – “Will You Please Spend New Years With Me?” (bandcamp)
  • Sunturns – “The Sun Turns” (bandcamp)
  • Belle & Sebastian – Santa Claus (The Sonics cover) (youtube)
  • The Beths – “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”(bandcamp)
  • Exohxo – “Snoopy’s Christmas (featuring Colin McBride)” (soundcloud)
  • Bright Eyes – Blue Christmas (youtube)
  • ballboy – “Merry Christmas to the Drunks, Merry Christmas to the Lovers” (bandcamp)
  • Bears – “Merry Christmas Have a Happy New Year” (bandcamp)
  • xnerdyspicex – “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” (bandcamp)
  • Wham! – “Last Christmas” (youtube)

Want some more Christmas-song joy? Imaginary Liz has a radio show – here’s the 2020 holiday episode:


Here are some videos to watch on repeat:

This one wins for best video:

A favorite – spot the John Roderick Santa!


I feel like he’s saying “Merry Christmas” right to me!

There should be some sort of trophy for “Best Christmas Song Dance Moves”

And in case you haven’t heard the Shin’s version of “Wonderful Christmastime” – enjoy!

Top photo: Santa John Roderick. Photo credit: Laura Duffy

Imaginary Scoop Neptune Theatre Paul McCartney

Recommended film + free tickets: The Love We Make {12/11}

***UPDATE: The venue for The Love We Make has changed to the Northwest Film Forum. Venue and event details on the NWFF site here.***

Beatles lovers, native east-coasters and general film and music buffs will come together on this one: The Love We Make has us more excited to go to the movies than we've been in a long, long time. The pressy bits say it better than we ever could, so first and foremost, let's get on that:

Directed by Albert Maysles – the man behind the camera for Grey Gardens {ed. note: crazy genius!!}, the Beatles' first U.S. visit in 1964, and the Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter, which captured the infamous Altamont Speedway Free Festival – and Bradley Kaplan, The Love We Make follows Paul McCartney through the streets of New York City in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks as he organizes an all-star benefit concert, The Concert for New York City.

On the morning of September 11, 2001 McCartney was in a plane on the tarmac, about to leave New York, when the attacks occurred. Grounded, he returned to the city and witnessed first-hand the shock and devastation that overtook New York. Directors Maysles and Kaplan capture McCartney rehearsing with his band for the concert, connecting with New Yorkers on the streets, and behind-the-scenes at interviews with Dan Rather, Howard Stern and others. The film features performances from the concert itself, with unparalleled backstage access to McCartney and such luminaries as David Bowie, Steve Buscemi, Eric Clapton, President Bill Clinton, Sheryl Crow, Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Mick Jagger, Jay Z, Billy Joel, Elton John, Stella McCartney, Governor George Pataki, Keith Richards, James Taylor, Pete Townshend, and many more.

The mere mention of Grey Gardens — the documentary about Big Edie and Little Edie, aunt and cousin of Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis — sent us running to the ticket booth, our pace sped only by the idea of a glimpse at Sir McCartney in all his big-screen glory. This movie is sure to be a heart-tugger, due in part to the subject matter as it surrounds the 9/11 attacks, but also in an upbeat sense with the "unparalleled backstage access" that we'll be experiencing at the hands of these directors: as was the case in GG, there's a sense of being in the room as a fly-on-the-wall-observer, simultaneously watching and becoming a part of what's going onMaysles and Kaplan have set the bar high, and we can't wait to see what they've done in a musical setting.

Intrigued? Terrif! Us too! Why don't you enter to win a pair of tickets to this Sunday's screening at the Neptune? Just send us an email with the subject line "TheLoveYouMake" to tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com. We'll be taking entries through noon on Thursday, so be sure to drop us a line before then! And good luck!

{All ages / $12 adv / $16 DOS. Tickets and more information at the venue's event page here.}

Chris Cornell Imaginary Scoop Marilyn Manson Modest Mouse Paul McCartney Poison Tesla The Police

I think I'm in the Twilight Zone episode where Brett Michaels is God

So this week, when I sat down to peruse the new Billboard Top 200, I was expecting to jot down a few notes, make some wise arse remarks, and call it a day. Oh no, Erik, you don't get off that easy. I have officially decided that the pop charts have jumped the shark and here's why:

I discovered that both POISON and TESLA have albums in the top 100 this week. And to take it one step further, Poison's is not only shockingly called Poison'd but is a covers album with songs like "Suffragette City," "Just What I Needed," and "We're An American Band." Indeed! What is going on here? Was I transported backwards through time? Or maybe this is just summer "rock band on comeback tour" revival season. (It could also explain the excellent placing of the Vans Warped Tour 2007 compilation at #31.)

Anyway, some other fun notes: ghostly Sir Paul checks in at #3, followed closely by Sir Marilyn Manson's new one Eat Me, Drink Me (tasty!) at #8. I know we all love the Police, so you can run out and join the thousands of people who put their newest greatest hits comp, merely called The Police at #11.

Seattle's own Chris Cornell (remember him?) is carrying on with Carry On, coming it at #17. Bravo, former Soundgardener! Speaking of Seattle, Starbucks own record label was able to put their Monterey International Pop Festival album in at #58. And in what might be the last we'll see of Modest Mouse in the top 100, their new album has slipped down to #98… sorry boys, I guess the ship is sinking…

Imaginary Scoop Paul McCartney

Paul McCartney's video released on YouTube

You may recall my post about the new Paul McCartney video for his song "Dance Tonight" featuring Natalie Portman. It's been released on YouTube. And Natalie Portman is a ghost!

Check it out…

Imaginary Scoop Paul McCartney The Beatles

Paul McCartney reissuing post-Beatles albums

Yesterday EMI Music announced that they will be releasing Paul McCartney’s solo catalog online for the first time. His post-Beatle group Wings will also be made available across all digital platforms and in physical formats.

Taken from this article:
“The project will stretch from his first album, "McCartney" (1970) to his most recent studio album, "Chaos and Creation in the Backyard" (2005), which received a Grammy nomination for album of the year. It will include four albums that he recorded for Columbia Records in the early 1980s.”

Hot dog!

Concord Records Imaginary Scoop Paul McCartney

Natalie Portman Stars In Paul McCartney Video

Paul McCartney's video for the single off his new album, Memory Almost Full, stars Natalie Portman (!!!) and Mackenzie Crook and is directed by Michael Gondry (of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind fame).

I have a feeling it's going to be amazing.

Full story here.

Live Show Review Paul McCartney Tacoma Dome

Paul McCartney

When Conor Oberst parlays his stray-puppy cuteness and sensitive charm into gushing reviews and mother-daughter cd-listening bonding sessions, he's following in the footsteps of the original parental-approved 'Cute One,' Paul McCartney. When Kim and Thurston brought matrimonial bad hair and questionable vocal harmonies to NYC's Lower East Side, Paul and Linda had already blazed the trail (with two matching mullets and one turned-down vocal mic) as husband-and-wife stage-sharing pioneers. When twee kids everywhere pick up guitars and write little songs about sheepdogs, raccoons, rams, and Mary Poppins characters, they're carrying a pop torch that Paul's been burning since at least The White Album in 1968.

OK, OK. It may be a little far-fetched to imagine that Paul McCartney is the original indie-pop boy wonder. But any cretin with a radio and an armchair-enthusiast's knack for "Rock-n-Roll Jeopardy" knows something about the Beatles and the vastness of their pop-cultural impact. An impact so vast, in fact, that when one Sir James Paul McCartney kicked off his "Back in the U.S." tour earlier this year offering tickets priced as high as $250, his legions of longtime fans didn't just lap them up. Drawing comparisons to the Beatles' initial 1964 American assault that cheered up a devastated nation in the aftermath of JFK's assassination, ticket buyers and music journalists alike hailed Paul's current U.S. tour as "Paul's Gift To America After 9/11." Not bad for a guy who's written plenty of little songs about sheepdogs, raccoons, and rams.

Now, thrifty boy that I am, it's hard to justify getting myself a gift that costs me $250, but I had to see Paul McCartney! Maybe it was George's death last year. Maybe it was the fact that "Beatlemania" was the first concert I ever went to. Maybe it was because Judy Hessling, my 6th-grade crush, told me "Hey Jude" was about her. Whatever the reason, I found myself plunking down the paper and driving to the Tacoma Dome. My imaginary girlfriend (and obsessive Paul junkie) Shannon also bought a ticket. This was our imaginary dream date! Just Shannon, me, Paul, and 20,000 grayed baby boomers and their kids!

Shannon and I were 15th row, center stage, main floor. Sitting next to me, she said she hoped Paul would sweat on her. She wasn't dreaming; we really were that close. We wondered which songs he would play. We held out hope for personal faves (hers: "Coming Up," mine: "Maybe I'm Amazed") as we carefully tucked away the coupon that read 'order Paul's two-CD live album before it comes out!' that had been printed and placed on every seat in the arena.

After a painful Cirque du Soleil-inspired, ecology-themed opening act of stilt-walkers, acrobats, and mimes, Paul took the stage, starting with "Hello Goodbye." Only Paul could turn a song ostensibly about miscommunication into a welcoming invitation (although anything would have been a welcoming invitation after the mimes). The song's final "Helloo-oo-oooooo," delivered with a wink to the crowd, got the boomers screaming like it was 1964 all over again. Shannon and I, too young to have been around the first time, were hooked immediately anyway.

Shannon spent most the night on her cell, calling various friends and family and holding up the phone during their favorite songs. I marveled at the fact that so many great songs — songs so imbedded in our musical psyche that it's easy to forget that they didn't always exist — were written by this one person. He introduced Beatles faves by with a mock-modest "here's one I wrote in the 60's" before turning out "We Can Work It Out" or "Getting Better" (which he'd never played live before this tour). His Wings material, derided in the 70s in comparison to his Beatles classics, held up more than admirably. In fact, his built-for-arenas Wings hits like "Band On The Run" and "Live and Let Die" (featuring explosions and fire!) seemed much more at home on the bigger-than-life stage at the Tacoma Dome than earlier numbers like "All My Loving."

Paul's backing band was aces, especially thunderous drummer Abe Laboreal Jr. The band replicated every familiar harmony line, guitar lick, drum roll, and bass fill with precision, passion, and enthusiasm. Sure, the band stuck close to the original recorded arrangements for maximum sing-along effect, but considering Paul's obsession with studio arrangements (which caused now-legendary dissent during the waning days of the Beatles), the faithfulness made sense. It preserved the sense of durability that has kept the songs so popular for over 30 years.

Shan and I were both impressed that at age 60, Paul had the energy to play and sing for three full hours without becoming visibly tired. Sure, he took sneaky breaks by sitting down at the piano bench and telling stories-about a post-show massage in Tokyo in which the massage therapist warbled an off-key version of "Yesterday" to relax him, or about how as a teenager, Paul pretended to be French while hanging out with John's friends at the Liverpool Art College (a prank that ultimately gave the world "Michelle," which I never knew).

Paul had energy to spare. He sang, he jumped around the stage, he played bass, he switched to guitar ("Let Me Roll It" shredded!), then to piano, then to organ, then back to bass. He just seemed so happy, even when he introduced his many 'songs to the departed' tributes to John (a wistful acoustic song called "Here Today"), George (a sweet, solo ukulele rendition of "Something"), Linda (the syrupy "My Love"), and the victims of 9/11 (last year's "Freedom," which is lovely as a gesture but mediocre as an actual song). He sang to the living too: encore "I Saw Her Standing There" was for "everybody in the house who wants to keep on rockin'" and "Your Loving Flame," was an earnest ballad written for Paul's new wife Heather.

At times, the show gleamed with a little too much polish. A few jokes were delivered a beat too early — as if on a timer, not off-the-cuff. And Paul's 'Cute' persona started to wear thin after three hours. Name another rock legend who thanks his audience by curling his arms in a heart shape above his head. Even crazy Brian Wilson doesn't do that!

But in the end, Shannon got her "Coming Up" and I got my "Maybe I'm Amazed," we went home happy. Because Paul has always been — and still is — a crowd pleaser, even when the crowd is 20,000 strong.


1) Hello Goodbye
2) Jet
3) All My Loving
4) Getting Better
5) Coming Up
6) Let Me Roll It
7) Lonely Road
8) Driving Rain
9) Your Loving Flame
10) Blackbird
11) Every Night
12) We Can Work It Out
13) You Never Give Me Your Money/ Carry That Weight
14) Fool The Hill
15) Here Today (Song For John)
16) Something (on the ukulele)
17) Eleanor Rigby
18) Michelle
19) Here There and Everywhere
20) Band On The Run
21) Back In The USSR
22) Maybe I'm Amazed
23) Let 'Em In
24) My Love
25) She's Leaving Home
26) Can't Buy Me Love
27) Freedom
28) Live and Let Die
29) Let It Be
30) Hey Jude
1st Encore:
31) The Long and Winding Road
32) Lady Madonna
33) I Saw Her Standing There
2nd Encore:
34) Yesterday
35) Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band / The End (medley)