A Gun That Shoots Knives Argo Audio Cars Can Be Blue Man Plus Nicky Click Racetrack Tea Cozies The Hot Toddies The Snakebites The Trucks We Wrote the Book on Connectors

Imaginary Indie Tunes Podcast {November 2006}


Three Imaginary Girls created a series of podcasts between 2005-2010 titled the Imaginary Indie Tunes podcast. Each episode served as a mixtape of our favorite songs for each given month, spotlighting the new releases and upcoming shows. {all currently published podcast episodes}


Here’s a look back on our fourth episode, originally published in September 2006. This episode includes a lot of great artists from Seattle and beyond.

PLEASE NOTE!!! This podcast includes a very naughty set of songs (right there smack in the middle of the episode) so put some naughty-cancelling headphones on the kids and coworkers.


Playlist for November 2006

  • The Hot Toddies
    “Seattle” (self-released EP) {facebook}
  • Racetrack
    “Jumping the Shark” (Demo)
  • Man Plus
    “Sister Says I’ll Love Again” (From the self-released LP We Had No Sex) {bandcamp}
  • Argo
    “All You Say” (Pleasurecraft remix) (Demo) {website}
  • Nicky Click
    “Don’t Call Me Baby” (From the self-released LP You’re Already a Member {website}
  • Voxy
    “Chix with Dictionaries” (self-released)
  • Cars Can Be Blue
    “The Dirty Song” (From the Happy Happy Birthday to Me release All the Stuff We Do {facebook}
  • The Trucks
    “Titties” (from the Click Pop release The Trucks)
  • A Gun That Shoots Knives
    “Every Year” (self-released) {bandcamp}
  • We Wrote the Book on Connectors
    “Gonna Eat Some Cake” (self-released) {bandcamp}
  • The Treatment
    “Invisible Bruise” (debut release on Loveless Records)
  • Fernando
    “Everybody Knows” (From the release Exit to Enter)
  • Tea Cozies
    “Tranciting” (From their debut, self-titled EP) {bandcamp}
  • The Snakebites
    “Everybody Feels It When We Get Together” (From the release Love, Hate, Rage, & Sorrow) {bandcamp}


Produced by Three Imaginary Girls
Engineered by DKB productions

Permission to podcast all music in the Imaginary Podcast has been obtained from the artist and is on file at the imaginary office.

Thanks to the Wedding Present for the wonderful opening riff on each episode.


COSMOS Dinosaur Jr. Erik Blood J. Mascis Jeremy Enigk Lisa Prank Live Show Review Maiah Manser Shabazz Palaces Tea Cozies The Long Winters


It’s finally over! The inaugural Upstream Music Festival took on a monumentally intense roster of 300+ bands, three days of summit, and the task of actually getting audiences down to Pioneer Square to enjoy it. Did you love it? Did you hate it? Did your bag get to attend? Here are our thoughts….

Team Birthday (Jean and I,) had to split up to cover the fest, and we’re undoubtedly never doing THAT again. Sometimes it’s your band’s last show ever though so WE HAD NO CHOICE. Get ready cause this recap is gonna be a weird one.

Got Rain?



DANG DANG DANG. This girl is pure fire. As a mixed race lady I am always fraught with what it means to be a two-culture human and so rarely get to experience another two-culture lady (in her case, Afro-Cuban) fusing her two selves in such a cool way. Her music is the result of two worlds colliding, and unabashedly declaring them as one. THERE WAS SPANISH, THERE WAS RAP, THERE WAS A COOL ASS DANCE PARTY. –Jean


Lisa Prank

As soon as I spotted that recognizable crown bobbing up and down I knew I was in the right place. It was so nice to see Lisa Prank again in a more intimate setting where I could really relish her storytelling. Girl + guitar + heart pouring = perfect. –Jean

Lisa Prank

Tea Cozies

There is seriously nothing better than seeing your dearest friends doing the thing they love most. While I am so sad this was their last show, it was a thrill to see them perform together for the first time. I can tell you guys really <3 each other. Tea Cozies = a dance party. Tea Cozies = the best damn tambourine playing I’ve ever seen. Tea Cozies = love. We’ll miss you, but I know y’all are all gonna do even more awesome things. –Jean

Tea Cozies – Pics by Morgen Schuler / Courtesy KEXP

Killer Workout

After meandering in three alleyways looking for a venue, I managed a quick drive-by to see this spunky dance group (formerly The West) jamming with the energy level I imagine exists only inside a disco ball. ENTER THE BALL. –Jean



You know your fandom is real when you brave a venue that had neither bathroom nor booze to see somebody. I jumped high and loud and with the shameless abandon that only comes to most after passing age 17 (or possibly 25 in my case). The only thing that made watching this genre-busting hip-hop group better was seeing Paris Alexa (another alum of MoPOP’s Sound Off!) join them on stage. Confidence and sick beats. Keep doing you, y’all! –Jean



Maiah Manser

While it took awhile to work out sound issues (she can’t catch a break), Maiah delivered a powerful vocal performance FILLED TO THE BRIM with emotion. She gets better every time I see her! Since relocating to L.A. her tunes have already been featured in the Vogue Met Gala Instagram AND she released her debut EP Second Skin. Girl is getting it done. –Jean

Maiah Manser – Pic by Jean Burnet

The Long Winters

While The Long Winters weren’t a big part of my Seattle life, it was a delight to see what happens when a roomful of longtime fans get to see a band that was Important to them. SO MANY HAPPY FACES. I wish I knew all your inside jokes :(. –Jean

The Long Winters – Pic by Jennifer Sangster

Erik Blood

Every Erik Blood show I’ve been to always feels in someway like art. The strangeness of the venue, which looked kind of like a stage setting for an outdoor scene, only added to the performative feel. Moody and magical. –Jean

Erik Blood – Pic by Jessi Reed



Bombay Beach

I headed down to the Piranha Shop to catch Bombay Beach’s set on a whim because of a Facebook post. SOCIAL MEDIA WORKS PEOPLE. The Portland trio’s fuzzed out punk was the best way to kick off my day. Charged up and loud as hell. Plus, I immediately respected that they owned the exact same David Bowie guitar strap as me. –Brady

Bombay Beach

Jeremy Enigk

The very moment Jeremy took the stage it started absolutely PISSING rain, and he muttered “perfect,” into the mic. However, once he reached the mellifluous chorus of “Abigail Anne” backed by Tomo Nakayama and the Passenger String Quartet, all sogginess was long forgotten. His full performance of the orchestral Return of the Frog Queen proved it’s a record worth a re-listen, perhaps on another rainy afternoon. –Brady

Jeremy Enigk

Dinosaur Jr

The waterlogged masses were more than eager to hear Dinosaur Jr’s punky alt-rock jams. J Mascis ripped through solos with his classic stage look of indifference, counterbalanced by bassist Lou Barlow’s spazzy hair flips. With an endless supply of 90’s college radio rock hits, the crowd was in pure bliss. –Brady

Dinosaur Jr

The Velvet Teen

Talk about a blast from the past! The Velvet Teen are indie rockers from California who more than likely boast Jeremy Enigk himself as an influence. Though I haven’t really listened to them since 2004’s Elysium, they completely blew me away and are one of the tightest bands I’ve seen in ages. That drummer is a MANIAC! –Brady

The Velvet Teen


Here’s a hot tip, maybe point the lights at the band instead of the audience? For what it’s worth, the blinding of one sense actually heightened the blistering chaos of METZ’ set. Dissonant chords and clawing vocals ricocheted into the crowd, scrambling everyone’s brains. I DUG IT. –Brady


Shabazz Palaces

As the final night of Upstream drew to a close, Shabazz Palaces were the last to take the mainstage. Their expansive experimental hip-hop fit in perfectly with the gentle rain that continued to fall. As “Forerunner Foray” drifted up into the clouds, I found myself smiling and thankful to live in a city with so many exceptional artists. –Brady

Shabazz Palaces

Though Upstream had its hiccups, it truly accomplished what it set out to do; highlight the incredible breadth of talent in this city in one centralized location. I recognized a band I knew everywhere I walked.

I finished my night off on the 18th floor of Smith Tower, giggling frenetically at a dance party with some bbs, my parents, and a guy named Jim who was dancing with his book. It was an absolutely perfect way to end the festival, except for that moment where I was suddenly dancing to Ginuwine’s “Pony” with my parents.

All uncredited photos by Brady Harvey 


Charles Bradley Cumulus Damien Jurado Dinosaur Jr. Imaginary Scoop Rocky Votolato Tea Cozies The Comettes

Timber! lineup announced, tickets on sale Tuesday 2/25

Set a calendar reminder for next Tuesday, friends — tickets for the second annual Timber! Outdoor Music Festival are going on sale at 10am, and you're not going to want to miss it. (We say that a lot here at Three Imaginary Girls, but really, you're going to want to get on this ASAP.)

The first round of artists — with more TBA — include none other than Charles Bradley, J Mascis, Damien Jurado, and a host of local favorites and up-and-comers that are sure to make your festival season a little bit sweeter. From Sasquatch! (the Memorial Day installment, we mean) to Pickathon and straight through to Bumbershoot and beyond, we are quite convinced that this year is going to be a doozy for beautiful, music-dense weekends in the great Northwest.

Learn more about Timber! at the official website here, and bookmark this page for refreshing at 9:58am next Tuesday {February 25th}.

We'll see you out in Carnation!

4AD Anti- Dum Dum Girls Grimes Imaginary Scoop Merge Sean Rowe Sub Pop Tea Cozies The Coup The Magnetic Fields THEESatisfaction Wild Flag

Love's Not Impossible: My Top Ten Songs of 2012

We had to have some good tunes to get us through a year of watching a psychopathic plutocrat trying to pitch us back into the black and white world of fifties-era paranoia and imperialism. That victory against vileness confirmed, going back over the songs that made us swoon for the past few months is very pleasurable, as great music can transcend the tough times it was made to get through.

Below are the most repeated recent songs in my playlist, save for the tracks from bands I did publicity for. (I will say that I only do PR for bands I truly love, which is why the Big Freak roster is so small. I'm a picky and fussy little bear. But this is not the place to hype my own wares.) Also, I will note that I will not have a list of albums this year; I think there are still great full-lengths out there, but not enough for me to make a list of. You can blame that on the limited amount of albums I have access to; but I do buy and acquire enough that that's not quite the case.

It could very well be that there's too many great records coming out to keep track of 'em, and to get anything done in terms of keeping up the format of ten or twelve tracks released by one artist or group is increasingly becoming an arbitrary time-lump of expression. Yeah, it's the obvious technological changes (songs trumping long-players, even with the re-rise of vinyl), but also the fact that much more product and much less discriminating gatekeepers are flash-flooding over the trickle of sweet stuff. It's out there, but we're going to need new ways to hook in. This is making places like KEXP or NPR or WFMU, your extinction-threatened informed record store clerk, what you hear at your favorite DJ night, the journalist with an actual story, the in-touch blogger with deep tastes, even labels who don't sign every band (and publicists who don't take on every client, ahem), and of course beloved community-amping affairs like Three Imaginary Girls, that much more necessary.

Believe it or leave it.

Now to the tuneage, in order of honest amounts of plays (assuming my devices aren't fibbing):

{Dum Dum Girls / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

1.) Dum Dum Girls, "Trees And Flowers"

It may be ludicrous to most big boy and bought off rock crits to say, but Dum Dum Girls is arguably the best rock band going today. Tapping into the sixties, seventies and eighties without being a straight hippie-power pop-new wave Freakbeat homage, and crystallizing a powerful dual voice in vibrant vocals and velvety music, they hypnotize as they freeze-dry your tears. Every song on this End of Daze EP is a too-sweet tease for a Dee Dee 2013. 

{THEESatisfaction / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

2.) THEE Satisfaction, "Queens"

"Whatever you do, don't funk with my groove." The apex-high point on possibly the best Seattle album of the year, awE NaturalE, it is a perfect song about sleek and confident boundary setting. Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons are truly among the best in modern art-soul, following up the heat from their dangerous live shows with a contagious meditation on Being and Blissfulness with a little help from mentor Ish (Shabazz Palaces). There are other great songs on the Sub Pop debut full-length, but this is first pick for my own mix-tape. 

3.) Constant Lovers, "Open Toe Heels"

Constant Lovers is a slow drag of a drug-dipped cigarette after feral sex. A stagger home after too many drinks with someone who lights all your fireworks. It's toxic-bad for you, but no mere basement-boy sludge-punk or anything like an AmRep rip off (cough cough). Don't trust the locals who pass on these guys, they're tourists in our town. This is the real Seattle sleaze and squeeze. This pole-dancing clear-heeled 3:31 freak-out is just going to shiv your liver and rot your gut but you won't smell a thing as she plows under. This is a particularly ballsy blast of hot spicy cocktail sauce at the center of their True Romance full-length (get it!!), a hard rock hassle truly good for these times. With Ben Verellen (Helms Alee) now on drums (!!!), maybe the feudal lords with labels will start buying in what's primo and already available in their own hoods and stop exporting cash and stash to GQ-core wanna-bes elsewhere.

4.) Grimes, "Infinite <3 Without Fulfillment"

Well, this is a little embarrassing. Not because of the artist, a wonder-child of post-post-modern pop-art sassiness I certainly can support. The debut album on 4AD it comes from has much longer, more cost-conscious grooves and J/K-Pop meets tinsel-funk gulps. But that this is such a short (less than two minute) collage slice, barely a "real song" at all. But I grew up on punk singles that were just as lean, and got used to playing the hell out of them for their compact charms in a very similar way. Lyrically, she has to dance on her own, but she will either "wait for you" or "whip you … if you want me to." (Okay, maybe I'm projecting a little Depeche Mode D/s into it. Beats me.) A very simple insta-drum machine, clean/crunchy pop confection, all digital-chunk and bass-key burble beneath a rotating vocal melody that draws an intercontinental line between the dimension of spinning bedsit and the Lolly-Goth-dancefloor. It's like Claire Boucher ("G.") turned on a couple of noisemakers and spun around the room, play-singing to a prized pal. The fade out though is a swirling moment straight from another song fade-out, Fiona Apple's "Criminal." Again, I like this opener to Grimes' album a lot because it's fast, anxious, gets to all its hooks in record time, and is punk in that weirdo, Flying Lizards kinda way. As with the best (intelligent) pop music today, the vocals show that even when emotionally pleading human voices can contain mysterious traces of irony without being mean. Yes, I was able to listen to this several times whilst writing this review, as it is that skinny.

{Sean Rowe / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

5. & 6.) Sean Rowe, "Downwind" and "Joe's Cult"

The two strongest, most beatnik-swinging tracks on the recent deeply razzling The Salesman And The Shark, Rowe blends a hard-scrabble past and voice to match with succinct stories about trying to stay out of trouble ("I can't go back to the hole again"), and finding yourself in the middle of it (in some other's father's house where you have to dance for your supper without knowing the cause). This is the really good stuff, nuanced and nimble soul-pop with a twangy, back-alley edge and lyrics like grafitti that just had to be writ. Don't miss this second album of Rowe's from Anti-

7.) Don't Talk To The Cops, "Buy Me Drinks"

Best Pac NW live band. Uber-Grand Royal for the underdog. Show off your dimebag dancing skills and fit-laugh till your entrails pop out of your hernia. Most B-Boy adoration anyplace, and is its own cheerleader and glee club. Should be taking down the nation one drink ticket at a time. High salute to this slamming working class art trash!

8.) Tea Cozies, "Muchos Dracula"

2013 is going to be Seattle's power pop Tea Cozies' biggest year, featuring this tamboline-driven, organ-squealing kicker. The clever and coy harmonies, the Freakbeat menace of a haunted go-go garage, sweetly turning what seems slight into meaty and mighty. They've been working on scores of new tunes, which makes me think this is going to be the four song EP a Spiral Scratch for a new era. Every song I've heard so far is different, dazzling, and slightly disturbing. Beware but be there. 

9.) The Coup, "Your Parents' Cocaine"

Picked for the most hilarity on the recently released must own Sorry To Bother You, my album of the year (along with Rowe's, above). Wickedly connected satire and personal outrage chopping up eighties dumb-dust with more'n a pinch of up-to-the-moment mockery that moves you. Also, "Violet" on the same album is the best thing to happen to hip-hop in years texturally. (Feedback strings? Hello, Evolution.) 

{Wild Flag / by Victoria VanBruinisse}

9.5.) Wild Flag, "Romance"

This was released in late 2011, but as it still dominated the first couple of months of my past year's listening, I'm putting this on the list. It's also the opener to the album in question, a self-titled first set, which makes it clear bands should not be afraid to put their most kicking vegan Doc Martin forward. "Romance" features Carrie Brownstein (Sleater-Kinney) and Mary Timony (Helium) doing a gal group-stacked choir of declared desire to make you boom around the room ("shake, shimmy, shake!"). It proved to me that love is not impossible to sing about, and that blood is not a bad thing to share. Intimately appealing and yet sounding like a big old party of good friends, a perfect single. 

10.) The Magnetic Fields, "Your Girlfriend's Face"

"So I've taken a contract out on you / I have hired a hitman to do what they do / He will do his best to do his worst / After he's messed up your girlfriend first," is how this song begins, one of the four great ones on the Magnetic Fields' album Love At The Bottom Of The Sea. I'm a sucker for violent one-shots, from "Somebody's Going To Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight" to "Tell That Girl To Shut Up," and whilst this anthem about burying your rival alive on crystal meth doesn't have the staying rock power of those anthems, it makes up for it with synth-pop appeal and uniquely cruel imagery. (The other three from the otherwise disappointing 2012 full-length are "Quick!", "Andrew In Drag," and "I Don't Like Your Tone," which I would also put here if they were nearly as threatening.) 

{Photos of Dum Dum Girls at The Ace Hotel (CMJ 2011), THEE Satisfaction (Bumbershoot 2012), Sean Rowe at the Triple Door, and Wild Flag (Sasquatch 2012) by Victoria VanBruinisse.}

Imaginary Scoop Shelby Earl Tea Cozies The Crocodile

On sale today: Wintersong {a Gigs4Good / Team Up for Nonprofits benefit}

Today, tickets go on sale at 10am for the latest Gigs4Good benefit, "Wintersong," which will be taking place on Wednesday, November 28th at the Crocodile. This go-'round, the money by G4G raised will be going to Team Up for Nonprofits, a radical nonprofit that brings awareness, resources, and funding together to — you guessed it — help out other nonprofits in the community. Awesome!

There's a great selection of local artists on the roster for this event, including Ivan and Alyosha, Shelby Earl, Tea Cozies, Tom Eddy, Kevin Long, Ben Fisher, Naoimi Wachira, and more TBA — and they'll all be performing winter-themed songs. Over the next few weeks, we'll be showcasing more information about these folks, so stay tuned for a few in-depth features about why we think this would be a great way to invest a few (specifically: fifteen) of your budgeted holiday dollars this season.

You can get more information Gigs4Good here, Team Up for Nonprofits here, and learn more about the show via the Facebook page here.

Happy almost-holidays!

Record Review Tea Cozies

Bang Up

Here is some fantastic news to brighten any grey Seattle Fall day — our favorite garage-surf rockers the Tea Cozies are releasing a new EP on October 30! I don’t think I have stopped randomly breaking into “sha lalalala”-style choruses since their last album Hot Probs dropped. Their latest effort, titled Bang Up, is a five-song feel-good funhouse that’s filled with three-chord riffs and dreamy pop vocals.

Bang Up was recorded over the summer and features the Tea Cozies’ distinct brand of 60’s girl group harmonies blended with effervescent surf pop rhythms. Briefly venturing into the darker reaches on “Cosmic Osmo,” you get a taste of their more rough edge capabilities and quirkier sound. But it doesn’t last long: they quickly take you back to dreamland in the closing track “Silhouette in a Suitcase,” which catapaulted me straight to the days of Veruca Salt and Blur.

The highlight is “Muchos Dracula,” a wonderfully retro-spooky monster ode reminiscent of The Munsters theme song and Creature From the Black Lagoon Not to mention, it’s bloody perfect for Halloween! All in all, the Tea Cozies didn’t stray far from the familiar, but instead work on perfecting what they already know. And that’s okay by me because heck, it had me skipping down the street.

Don’t miss their special EP release show this Saturday 10/27 at the Columbia City Theater. It’s the perfect reason to give your Halloween costume a test drive and give our local musicians some love!

{21+/ 9pm / $7 adv, $10 door. With Kithkin, Erik Blood, Charms.}

Columbia City Theater Concours d'Elegance Imaginary Scoop Katie Kate Tea Cozies Viper Creek Club

Recommended show + Ticket giveaway: Viper Creek Club, Tea Cozies & more @Columbia City Theater {Saturday, 1/22}

Another Rainy Saturday show at Columbia City TheaterWe’re pleased as punch that former staffer and all around great guy Chris Burlingame’s new endeavor Another Rainy Saturday is doing so well! So we recommend you put on your dancing shoes and head over to Columbia City Theater this Saturday, January 22 to celebrate both the launch of Chris’s site and his birthday (woot woot).

Who’s playing? Viper Creek Club, Tea Cozies, Concours d’Elegance and Katie Kate. You can buy tix for $8 each here, or HELLO: enter to win one for yourself and a date by shooting an email to us {at} threeimaginarygirls dot com with the subject line: weheartchrisb, and tell us why you want to go. Send it off to us by Friday, 1/21, noon so we can randomly select a winner and get you on the list!


Imaginary Scoop Tea Cozies The High Dive

Tonight's Recommended Show: Tea Cozies' CD release

I've pretty much been listening to Hot Probs, the new record from Tea Cozies, non-stop over the past few days. Even after I finished writing my review of it, where I wrote:

After the first listen of Hot Probs, it sounds familiar. It’s full of pop tricks like handclaps and “oh oh ohs”, it borrows from surf pop (think The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and Frankie and Annette), making for a great record that gets better as the weather gets warmer. It makes sense that the album was produced by Erik Blood, the Turn-Ons guitarist and producer who is a fan of Phil Spector’s production aesthetics and understands pop music as well as anyone in the northwest.

The album opens with “Boys at the Metro”, which has the jerky guitar opening from Imperial Teen’s “Baby” on top of a Gina Shock-like drum beat. It takes over a minute to get to the lyrics, which are “the universe is dead, it’s just a theater, hey fuck you Spielberg.” Even with the four-letter word directed at the famous director, it is one of the catchiest songs on a very catchy record.

“Like Luca Brasi” is arguably my favorite track on the record (track three, often the best track on any given album). It’s a story set in a bad dream about a trip swimming that, well, ends badly. It has my favorite verse on the album, which includes “I should have listened to my instincts, because I can’t swim for shit; tell mom and dad I can’t do the dishes, now I gotta sleep with the fishes.” It reminds me of the Sleater-Kinney song “Wilderness” with the dual-layered guitar parts, the “bad idea gets worse” storyline and the harmonies on “Like Luca Brasi” sound like Carrie Brownstein’s here. The Tea Cozies’ song is much sugary, of course, but the spirit from my absolute favorite band is transcendent.

Tonight is their CD release show at the High Dive. I'll surely be there, and you should too.

What else ya do you have planned? There's another great show at Chop Suey with Sleepy Eyes of Death and Weekend.

  • Y La Bamba/PWRFL Power/Cap Lori/Spencer Moody, Cairo*
  • Big Sur/Countrycide/The Lucky Suns, Jules Maes
  • Tommy Simmons/Sunderlyn/Code Beebe, Nectar
  • Viva La Villains/Berkeley Heights, High Dive {6pm}
  • Basemint/Tea Cozies {album release}/Katharine Hepburn's Voice, High Dive {late}
  • Mind Candy/The Plankton Beat/The Hickmans/Adarna, Funhouse
  • Corky Siegel, Kirkland Performance Center*
  • Kinski/Lozen/The Heavy Hearts, Sunset Tavern !
  • Igor & Red Elvises, Tractor
  • Orange Tulip Conspiracy/Sly Lothario/Squeak & Destroy/Master Musicians Of Bukkake, Comet
  • Rev Theory/Divide The Day, El Corazon*
  • Nichole Halleen & The Projects/Nearly Naked/Kissing Girls/Julia Massey & The Five Finger Discount, Showbox SoDo
  • Berkeley Heights, High Dive {6pm}
  • x12k/Mighty Tiger/The Beats Man/Hair Envelope, Cafe Racer
  • Ghost/Six Organs Of Admittance, Crocodile
  • Trolls Cottage/Diano Garcia, Neumo's
  • Sleepy Eyes Of Death/Weekend/Constant Lovers, Chop Suey !

Record Review Self-released Tea Cozies

Hot Probs

Hot Probs is the newest album from Tea Cozies, and it is a pure pop record – and a damn good one at that.

Tea Cozies are a three-fourths female pop band that has crafted some very fun and catchy songs on this very good album. The setup is fairly traditional: two guitars, bass and drums. Although I’ve only seen them play live one time – and they were not playing their own songs, but Liz Phair’s (at TIG’s Exile in {Imaginary} Girlville night last summer) – it was obvious from their take on Phair’s “Gunshy” (where they increased the tempo but lost none of the emotional impact of that song), that they could be a really enjoyable band to listen to; Hot Probs confirms it.

After the first listen of Hot Probs, it sounds familiar. It’s full of pop tricks like handclaps and “oh oh ohs”, it borrows from surf pop (think The Beach Boys, Jan and Dean and Frankie and Annette), making for a great record that gets better as the weather gets warmer. It makes sense that the album was produced by Erik Blood, the Turn-Ons guitarist and producer who is a fan of Phil Spector’s production aesthetics and understands pop music as well as anyone in the northwest.

The album opens with “Boys at the Metro”, which has the jerky guitar opening from Imperial Teen’s “Baby” on top of a Gina Schock-like drum beat. It takes over a minute to get to the lyrics, which are “the universe is dead, it’s just a theater, hey fuck you Spielberg.” Even with the four-letter word directed at the famous director, it is one of the catchiest songs on a very catchy record.

“Like Luca Brasi” is arguably my favorite track on the record (track three, often the best track on any given album). It’s a story set in a bad dream about a trip swimming that, well, ends badly. It has my favorite verse on the album, which includes “I should have listened to my instincts, because I can’t swim for shit; tell mom and dad I can’t do the dishes, now I gotta sleep with the fishes.” It reminds me of the Sleater-Kinney song “Wilderness” with the dual-layered guitar parts, the “bad idea gets worse” storyline and the harmonies on “Like Luca Brasi” sound like Carrie Brownstein’s here. The Tea Cozies’ song is much sugary, of course, but the spirit from my absolute favorite band is transcendent.

“Tri-Part-Ite” is another highlight, with its fun swagger and Dick Dale-esque surf guitar parts, sounds like a hit song from the 1950s or early 60s. If you had a convertible, this would be a song you want blasting with the top down, in ninety degree weather while you cruise around while wearing sunglasses.

If there is a misstep here (and be aware that that is a term I am hesitant to use), it would be “Huffy Walrus”. The song isn’t bad per se, in fact far from it. The song is well-constructed and still pretty catchy but it is more of a garage rock song rather that a sugary pop number and the guitar parts are more Jack White (see The White Stripes’ song “Girl You Have No Faith in Medicine”) and less Dick Dale. That’s fine and all (and saying “that song doesn’t sound like the others” is probably a pretty dickish thing to complain about anyway), but I also felt like it interrupted the continuity as there was a power pop track in the middle of a sunshine pop album. Still, though, that’s a minor quibble overall.

Hot Probs is a very solid record from a promising band that recalls the upbeat, fun, summertime pop I grew up on. I’m suspecting that band members Jessi Reed, Brady Harvey, Kelly Viergutz and Jeff Anderson grew up loving the same Beach Boys music that I did. On the band’s bio, they list artists like Talking Heads, Can, Pixies and Stereolab as influences and their one-sheet bio features a quote comparing them to The Breeders and PJ Harvey. All fine artists and ones I’d want to be compared to, sure, but really, Tea Cozies have a lot more fun. And so do their listeners.

Chop Suey Live Show Review Lucy Bland M. Bison Ms. Led Star Anna Tea Cozies Team Gina Tennis Pro Throw Me the Statue Visqueen

Celebrating six years of TIG at Exile in {Imaginary} Girlville

Last night Three Imaginary Girls celebrated two momentous occasions — our sixth birthday, and the re-release of one of our favorite albums of all times, Liz Phair's seminal debut Exile in Guyville — with the best tribute to the fine record we could think of: nine of our favorite Northwest bands, covering the record from start to finish. We're still reeling from the sheer giddiness of the night. Chop Suey was packed with over 300 amazing people, reveling in the joy of finally getting to hear the album performed live by such amazing musicians.

The bands were stellar. Srsly. I had extremely high expectatation for the night, and they were all exceeded.

Thanks so much to all the amazing bands who played; thanks a zillion to Easy Street Records, KEXP, Seattle Sound Magazine for co-sponsoring the night and especially to David Schmader of the Stranger for co-emceeing it; and most of all, thanks to all of YOU, our readers for an insanely wonderful six years of Three Imaginary Girls.

Without further ado, here's the setlist as well as some fabu-photos from the night. We expect loads more pictures coming in the next few days; in fact, if you have some yourself, please post them to our TIG Sparkly Indie Pop Flickr group.

Lucy Bland "6'1""
Lucy Bland "Help Me Mary"
Star Anna "Glory"
Star Anna "Dance Of The Seven Veils"
Tennis Pro "Never Said"
Tennis Pro "Soap Star Joe"
M. Bison "Explain It To Me"
M. Bison "Canary"
Visqueen "Mesmerizing"
Rachel Flotard "Fuck And Run"
Lesli Wood "Girls! Girls! Girls!"
Lesli Wood "Divorce Song"
Team Gina "Shatter"
Team Gina "Flower"
Tea Cozies "Johnny Sunshine"
Tea Cozies "Gunshy"
Throw Me The Statue "Stratford-On-Guy"
Throw Me The Statue "Strange Loop"

Lucy Bland
Lucy Bland, standing six-feet-one instead of five-feet-two. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Lucy Bland
Who knew "Help Me Mary" needed a glockenspiel? Lucy Bland, that's who. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Star Anna
Star Anna bowled us over with her throaty, sparse interpretations of her songs. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Tennis Pro
Tennis Pro rocked "Never Said" in drag (and messy lipstick). Photo by Laura Musselman.

M. Bison
M. Bison killed "Canary." Photo by Laura Musselman.

M. Bison
M. Bison: They come when called. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Rachel Flotard of Visqueen
Rachel Flotard of Visqueen was Mesmerrizing. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Rachel Flotard of Visqueen
Letters and sodas and Visqueen. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Lesli Wood
Lesli Wood gets away with what the girls call murder. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Backup vocals by Cristina Bautista and the Team Ginas
Lesli is backed up by Cristina Bautista and the Team Ginas. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Anna Lange dances
Anna Banana backup dances. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Team Gina
Gina Genius. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Team Gina
Gina Bling: Wants to be your blowjob queen? Photo by Jeanine Anderson.

Lucy Bland
Tea Cozies are "Gunshy." Photo by Laura Musselman.

Throw me the statue
Throw Me the Statue like to pretend they're in a Galaxie 500 video. Photo by Jeanine Anderson.

Throw Me the Statue
Throw Me the Statue. Photo by Jeanine Anderson.

David Schmader
Co-emcee David Schmader. Photo by Laura Musselman.

Exile in Imaginary Girlville
Photo by Laura Musselman.