ballboy BOAT Bright Eyes Carissa's Wierd Clinic David and the Citizens Desaparecidos Fishboy Galactic Heroes Girl Talk Hefner Her Space Holiday Imaginary Scoop Los Campesinos! Los Halos Math and Physics Club Matt & Kim mclusky Nana Grizol Okkervil River She and Him Starlight Mints The Arcade Fire The Eames Era The Lucksmiths The Mountain Goats The Postal Service The Thermals The White Stripes Tullycraft Visqueen Wilco

imaginary liz’s favorite albums of the last decade

The Thermals by Bobby McHugh

Yesterday I divulged my favorite albums of the year. Today I am ready to let go of my latest obsession: My album recap of how I spent my 00’s.

The below listage rant is my own little time capsule to remind myself why 2000-2009 musically ruled. As with my other list posts, I’m certain I totally forgot to add something really important to my end-all-be-all-recap. It’s up to you to remind me by posting your favs of the 00’s below.

  1. Bright EyesFevers and Mirrors
  2. The ThermalsMore Parts Per Million
  3. TullycraftDisenchanted Hearts Unite
  4. Nana GrizolLove It Love It
  5. Los CampesinosHold On Now, Youngster
  6. Matt & KimGrand
  7. Her Space HolidayThe Young Machines
  8. ballboyClub Anthems
  9. The LucksmithsWhy That Doesn’t Surprise Me
  10. David & the CitizensUntil the Sadness is Gone
  11. Okkervil RiverDon’t Fall in Love with Everyone You See
  12. DesaparecidosRead Music/Speak Spanish
  13. WilcoYankee Hotel Foxtrot
  14. The White StripesWhite Blood Cells
  15. BOATSongs That You Might Not Like
  16. ClinicInternal Wrangler
  17. VisqueenMessage to Garcia
  18. Los HalosLeaving Va.
  19. Math and Physics ClubMath and Physics Club
  20. She and HimVolume 1
  21. The Galactic HeroesEvery Sidewalk
  22. FishboyAlbatross: How We Failed To Save The Lone Star State With The Power Of Rock And Roll
  23. HefnerDead Media
  24. The Mountain GoatsThe Coroner’s Gambit
  25. Carissa’s WierdSongs About Leaving
  26. The Postal ServiceGive Up
  27. Arcade FireFuneral
  28. The Eames EraDouble Dutch
  29. mcluskyMclusky Do Dallas
  30. Starlight MintsThe Dream That Stuff Was Made Of


#31-#50 (in alphabetical order)

  • – Bright EyesI’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning
  • – Bright EyesLifted or The Story is in the Soil, Keep Your Ear to the Ground
  • – The CatchGet Cool
  • – The FratellisCostello Music
  • – The Go! TeamThunder, Lightning, Strike
  • – Girl TalkFeed the Animals
  • – GrandaddyThe Sophtware Slump
  • – The HivesVeni Vidi Vicious
  • – Hot Hot HeatMake Up the Breakdown
  • – The Long WintersWhen I Pretend to Fall
  • – Los Campesinos!We Are Beautiful, We Are Doomed
  • – Matt & KimMatt & Kim
  • – Stéphane PompougnacHotel Costes (Vol 3)
  • – The Saturday KnightsMingle
  • – The ShinsOh, Inverted World
  • – The StrokesIs This It
  • – Suburban Kids with Biblical Names#3
  • – Tegan & SarahSo Jealous
  • – The ThermalsFuckin A
  • – TullycraftBeat Surf Fun


#51-#75 (in alphabetical order)

  • – Lily AllenAlright, Still
  • – Belle & SebastianFold Your Hands Child, You Walk Like A Peasant
  • – Cars Can Be BlueAll the Stuff We Do
  • – CineramaDisco Volante
  • – ClearlakeCedars
  • – The Dandy WarholsThirteen Tales From Urban Bohemia
  • – The FeaturesExhibit A
  • – GorillazGorillaz
  • – The GossipStanding in the Way of Control
  • Hedwig and the Angry Inch soundtrack
  • – Jarvis CockerJarvis
  • – The Long WintersThe Worst You Can Do Is Harm
  • – Miniature TigersTell It To The Volcano
  • – Noah and the WhalePeaceful, The World Lays Me Down
  • – The Pains of Being Pure at HeartThe Pains of Being Pure at Heart
  • – The PharmacyChoose Yr Own Adventure
  • – QuasiThe Sword of God
  • – The RaptureOut of the Races & Onto the Tracks
  • – The Scotland Yard Gospel ChoirThe Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
  • – Snow PatrolWhen It’s All Over We Still Have to Clear Up
  • – TelekinesisTelekinesis!
  • – The ThermalsThe Body The Blood The Machine
  • – The TrucksThe Trucks
  • – The White StripesElephant
  • – VisqueenKing Me
Tomorrow the plan is to list out my favorite locals of the decade… I wonder who will top the list?
{Photo by Bobby McHugh}

Barsuk Imaginary Scoop Starlight Mints The Crocodile

Make your Wednesday night {Starlight} Mint-y fresh

This Wednesday (July 29th) Oaklahoma’s Starlight Mints will be at The Crocodile in support of the fresh out of the oven album, Change Remains (released last Tuesday).

I like to think of them as poppier Flaming Lips who spend more time in coffee shops than Radio Shack. Their daydream lyrics are juxtaposed against Gordon Gano-esque vocals, dogged chimes, violins, guitar and cymbal crashes — all pushed to the forefront in the most loving of ways.

And the first Starlight Mints song I ever fell in love with? “Submarine #3” from the brilliant album The Dream That Stuff Was Made Of. Here’s an unofficial, but does the job, video so you can hear what I’m going on and on about:


And feel like something in the “muppet-style” vein? I highly recommend “Popsickle”:


Barsuk Record Review Starlight Mints


Sometimes it can be apparent when a band makes a big step from the Island of Misfit Indie Bands to Grown-up Rockville. These signs of success don't necessarily equate to a new, pro-success agenda — no, the change could very well reflect a band hitting its stride musically. That seems to be the case with the third Starlight Mints album Drowaton, where the Oklahoman band sounds tighter and more cohesive than ever.

Starlight Mints have always had a quirky feel to their music, something like a less nautical Decemberists or more earthly Flaming Lips. Their last album Built on Squares rollicked like a traveling carnival of freaks, driven by songs like "Black Cat" and "Brass Digger." Drowaton is more subdued and refined, with a careful attention to developing melodies, while still maintaining some of their signature Starlight Mints quirk.

The album opens with "Pumpkin," a song that sounds like a refugee from Blur's Parklife, right down to the "tra-la-la-la" of Allan Vest's falsetto vocals mingling in the circus atmosphere. The song fades into "Torts," which fuses a Stephen Malkmus-style lead vocal with the Mints jaunty sound. "Seventeen Devils" would be at home on Built on Squares with its dueling guitars and strings, but added in are handclaps in a Pavement-inspired chorus. "Rhino Stomp" is the most Tim Burton-esque piece of the disc — you half expect to see marching skeletons and ghoulish bats circling over head as the cello lumbers through the melody. A similar circus atmosphere is attained in "The Bee," where the Mints seem to be channeling a traveling band of minstrels from some by-gone era rather than modern day musicians. These songs take Starlight Mints penchant for quirky pop and add some finishing touches that make the songs feel much more complete than their previous outings. Nevertheless, a few of the attempts to refine their sound never seem to gain their footing, such as the title song, which seems a bogged-down Arcade Fire wannabe along with "The Killer." These songs don't capture your attention like you know the Mints can.

Then there are the songs that seem to be the Mints expanding their envelope. "Pearl's (Submarine #2)" is a fast paced, aggressive song that borrows more from Mission of Burma than Tom Waits. One of the standouts on Drowaton is "Eyes of the Devil." It screams "play me on the radio," right down to the sing-song chorus, drifting vocal harmonies and staccato guitar that hammer down the rhythm. It's a terrifically catchy song, without seeming gimmicky or cutesy. The anti-lullaby "Rosemarie" marches in on Marian Love Nunez's thundering keyboard and Andy Nunez's relentless drums, but slides into a gentle but eerie chorus of "Rosemarie/go to sleep." The album closing song, "Sidewalk," takes a page out of the neo-pyschadelia of the Earlies, with rich, full instrumentation that includes — but is not limited to — guitar, bass, strings, horns, drums and whatever else they could cram into the studio. "And if the stars collide/it ain't love until its over," croons Vest over the lavish horn section as the song drifts into the mists."

Drowaton offers a much more sophisticated sound from Starlight Mints. Their obsession with thick, luxuriant arrangements and infectious melodies is still there; however, they strip away some of the pretense and gimmickry that left earlier Starlight Mints discs somewhat inaccessible to the casual observer. Whether Drowaton draws in the well-deserved fanbase that the Mints deserve is anybody's guess, but it's the sort of album that feels like a good payoff for those of us who have stuck with the band through their first two albums.

Aloha Aqueduct Art Brut Band of Horses Billy Bragg Brakes Criteria Derby Detachment Kit Disco Ensemble Dressy Bessy Figurines Headphones Isobel Campbell Jose Gonzalez Live Show Review Loney Dear Maritime Nada Surf Neko Case Okkervil River Rocky Votolato Serena Maneesh Sign Smoosh Starlight Mints Stars of Track and Field Tapes 'n Tapes The Ark The Bats The Catch The Divorce The Hidden Cameras The Lashes The Long Winters The Owls The Ponys Tullycraft Velella Velella Voxtrot

SXSW 2006 Preview

The Three Imaginary Girls posse is heading south and partaking all that is South by Southwest. For years, we've heard recounts of the good times and once in a lifetime showcases. Folks, we are beyond excited to experience it for ourselves.

My head has been reeling with each 10 page highlighted print out igLiz hands me. There is so much amazingly fun stuff to do and see and I don't want to miss a minute of anything. Obviously my overachiever self will need to take a Texas-sized (veggie) chill pill in order to focus on the matter at hand: musica, musica, musica!!!

Yeah, I had a hard time figuring out what would make the list and what to prioritize. I created an indie-rock logarithm that, among other factors, weighed out the probability that a band would come to Seattle + the historical nature of their performance + the likelihood that I'll be able to get into the venue before it reaches maximum capacity (nothing like being denied and long bathroom lines to marsh the mellow). Given these factors, I found those Nordic bands rose top!

And for you non-Seattle-ites, we are proud to have a slew of our highly recommendable local bands representing there. If you aren't coming to SXSW from the Pacific Northwest, make sure to check out those fine Seattle / Portland folks! And if you really want to go where the cool kids are, make sure to stop by any one of the KEXP events taking place at the festival.

Break out the SXSW venue map, the show schedule and the cowboy hats 'cause here's our list of must sees:

Bourbon Rocks
8:00 p.m. The Carrots {Austin TX}

Buffalo Billiards
12:00 a.m. Derby {Portland OR}

Dirty Dog Bar
1:00 a.m. The Ark {Malmo SWEDEN}

Emo's Jr.
11:00 p.m. Aloha {Cleveland OH}

Emo's Main Room
9:00 p.m. Voxtrot {Austin TX}
11:00 p.m. Serena Maneesh {Oslo NORWAY}

9:30 p.m. Jose Gonzalez {Gothenburg SWEDEN}

Flamingo Cantina
12:00 a.m. The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster {Brighton UK}

Lava Lounge Patio
12:45 a.m. Maritime {Milwaukee WI}

The Parish
8:00 p.m. Envelopes {Stockholm SWEDEN}
12:00 a.m. The Ponys {Chicago IL}
1:00 a.m. Art Brut {London UK}


Austin Music Hall
8:00 p.m. the Zutons {Liverpool UK}
9:45 p.m. Morrissey {Manchester UK}

The Drink
Nordic Night
8:00 p.m. Astrid Swan {Helsinki FINLAND}
9:00 p.m. Loney Dear {Stockholm SWEDEN}
10:00 p.m. The Latebirds {Helsinki FINLAND}
11:00 p.m. The Royal Highness {Copenhagen DENMARK}
12:00 a.m. Disco Ensemble {Helsinki FINLAND}
1:00 a.m. Sign {Hafnarfjord ICELAND}

Emo's Jr.
10:00 p.m. Headphones {Seattle WA}

Karma Lounge
1:00 a.m. Figurines {Copenhagen DENMARK}

Molotov Lounge
12:00 a.m. The Hidden Cameras {Toronto ON}

The Parish
8:00 p.m. smoosh {Seattle WA}
Barsuk/Saddle Creek
9:00 p.m. John Vanderslice {San Francisco CA}
10:00 p.m. The Starlight Mints {Norman OK}
11:00 p.m. Two Gallants {San Francisco CA}
12:00 a.m. Mates of State {East Haven CT}
1:00 a.m. Nada Surf {New York NY}

The Parish II
Barsuk/Saddle Creek
8:30 p.m. Detachment Kit {Brooklyn NY}
9:30 p.m. Rocky Votolato {Seattle WA}
10:30 p.m. The Long Winters {Seattle WA}
11:30 p.m. Criteria {Omaha NE}
12:30 a.m. Aqueduct {Seattle WA}

Sidecho/Made In Mexico Showcase
8:00 p.m. The Catch {Seattle WA}
9:00 p.m. Some By Sea {Seattle WA}
10:00 p.m. The Divorce {Seattle WA}
12:00 a.m. Stars of Track and Field {Portland OR}
1:00 a.m. Damien Jurado {Seattle WA}

The Velvet Spade
8:00 p.m. Velella Velella {Seattle WA}


1:00 a.m. Neko Case {Tacoma WA}

Blender Balcony at the Ritz
11:30 p.m. volcano! {Chicago IL}

Blender Bar at the Ritz
8:00 p.m. Brakes {Brighton UK}

Cedar Street Courtyard
9:30 p.m. Billy Bragg {London UK}

Dirty Dog Bar
9:00 p.m. Isobel Campbell {Glasgow UK}
10:00 p.m. The Lashes {Seattle WA}
11:00 p.m. OK GO {Chicago IL}

The Drink
Nordic Night
8:00 p.m. Ane Brun {Stockholm SWEDEN}
9:00 p.m. Real Ones {Bergen NORWAY}
10:00 p.m. Sarah Hepburn {Copenhagen DENMARK}
11:00 p.m. Animal Alpha {Oslo NORWAY}
12:00 a.m. Veto {DENMARK}
1:00 a.m. Quit Your Dayjob {Malmo SWEDEN}

Latitude 30
9:00 p.m. Tilly and the Wall {Omaha NE}
10:00 p.m. Sukpatch {Minneapolis MN}
1:00 a.m. Tapes 'N Tapes {Minneapolis MN}

La Zona Rosa
12:00 a.m. Arctic Monkeys {Sheffield UK}

Molotov Lounge
11:00 p.m. The High Violets {Portland OR}

Red Eyed Fly
8:00 p.m. The Brunettes {Auckland NEW ZEALAND}
11:00 p.m. Band of Horses {Seattle WA}

10:00 p.m. The Subways {Welwyn Garden City UK}


11:00 p.m. Superchunk {Chapel Hill NC}
1:00 a.m Robert Pollard . {Dayton OH}

The Drink
1:00 a.m. The Village Green {Portland OR}

Emo's Annex
Secretly Canadian/Jagjaguwar
9:15 p.m. Richard Swift {Los Angeles CA}
10:15 p.m.Pink Mountaintops {Vancouver BC}
11:15 p.m. I Love You But I've Chosen Darkness {Austin TX}
12:15 a.m. Okkervil River {Austin TX}
1:15 a.m. Magnolia Electric Company {Chicago IL}

Emo's Jr.
11:45 p.m. Ester Drang {Seattle WA}
12:45 a.m. David Bazan {Seattle WA}

Habana Calle 6 Patio
7:30 p.m. Dressy Bessy Denver CO
8:30 p.m. Bedroom Walls {Highland Park CA}
Magic Marker Records
9:30 p.m. The Galactic Heroes {Portland OR}
10:30 p.m. The Owls {Minneapolis MN}
11:30 p.m. Tullycraft {Seattle WA}
12:45 a.m. The Bats {Christchurch NEW ZEALAND}

The Hideout
10:00 p.m. Instruments {Athens GA}
11:00 p.m. Gerbils {Athens GA}

The Jackalope
1:00 a.m. The Spits {Seattle WA}

Maggie Mae's
10:00 p.m. The Joggers {Portland OR}
1:00 a.m. Plan B {London UK}