American Laundromat Built to Spill Cinerama (band) Elk City Imaginary Scoop Joy Zipper Tanya Donelly The Rest The Smiths The Wedding Present Trespassers William Vivian Girls

The Smiths as covered by members of Built to Spill, Wedding Present, Vivian Girls, and…


(Doug Martsch covering a Smiths song that isn’t “Reel Around The Fountain”)

It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything new from a member of the Smiths, so it’s perfect timing for a new Smiths covers album… especially one with tracks interpreted by the Wedding Present,  Doug Martsch (Built To Spill), The Rest (one of my favorite new Arcade Fire-ish Canadian bands), Katy Goodman (La Sera, Vivian Girls), and Tanya Donelly.  This latest tribute will be released on American Laundromat Records this Fall and they are still adding folks to the track listing… which currently includes:

Cinerama / London
Class Actress / Ask
Dala / Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me
Doug Martsch (Built To Spill) / Reel Around the Fountain (a la “Virginia Reel Around the Fountain” ?)
Elk City / I Know It’s Over
Greg Laswell / Half A Person
Joy Zipper / What Difference Does It Make?
Katy Goodman (Vivian Girls, La Sera) / track to be announced
Kitten / track to be announced
Mike Viola / How Soon Is Now?
Sara Lov / track to be announced
Sixpence None the Richer / I Won’t Share You
Tanya Donelly w/Dylan in the Movies / Shoplifters Of The World Unite
The Leisure Society / That Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore
The Rest / Stop Me If You Think You’ve Heard This One Before
The Wedding Present / Hand In Glove
Trespassers William / There Is A Light That Never Goes Out
William Fitzsimmons / Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want

Additional artists will be announced soon.

Who would you like to see covering what?  What band needs its own covers album?

Imaginary Scoop Vivian Girls

Bumbershoot preview: Vivian Girls

What do you get when you put a blonde, a redhead, and a brunette on a stage with three mics, a drum set, a guitar, and a bass? You get the lo-fi garage rock of Vivian Girls’ Cassie Ramone, Kickball Katy, and Ali Koehler—Duh. No, but seriously, Vivian Girls are way more than a group of cute girls making music in Brooklyn, they are a group of talented young ladies whose surf-punk transcends rockabilly with three part harmonies that make you feel like you’re in the 20’s.

They harness a similar aesthetic as Mika Miko but theirs is coated with more shoe-gaze fuzz allowing them to become more dynamic, bringing their punk up and out of the limited market ability of that genre and making them more of the female equivalent of The Black Lips. I feel like Vivian Girls started to get buzz around the time I left New York and I never got to see them play live, so you can bet I won’t be missing their show during Bumbershoot on Sunday at 6 pm on the Broad Street stage.


Imaginary Scoop Vivian Girls

New Vivian Girls video: Moped Girls

I know this has been on the internet for a couple of weeks now, but I just found it on YouTube, so I decided to post it.

This video to the recently-added-to-Bumbershoot Vivian Girls' song "Moped Girls" was filmed in Seattle when the band was here last month to play at Neumo's (they also kept an interviewer waiting for almost two hours to shoot this video). It is a really cool video to a really cool song. It was recorded by local filmmaker Brady Hall.

Interview Vivian Girls

Imaginary Interview: Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls are a lo-fi punk band from Brooklyn whose debut, self-titled album was a very solid and impressive album. The band has gotten a lot of attention in the blogosphere for the album and for their fun live shows. When I interviewed the band in their green room before their recent show at Neumo’s, they were running considerably late because they were filming a music video while they were in town.

When talking to Cassie Ramone, Ali Koehler and Kickball Katy, I found them very charming and funny – even with my patience wearing thin while waiting for them to get to the club. We talked about touring, the new album and playing the enormous Coachella festival.

I just read that you finished recording your second album. How is it going to differ from your previous, self-titled album?

Cassie: It’s longer than the last one. It’s more diverse. It sounds really cool because it’s all analog. The last record was recorded all digitally and this one is all on tape, so it sounds really cool.

Ali: And I’m on this one. I wasn’t on the last one.

Do you have a release date for it?

Cassie: In September it should be out.

Ali: September 9! Katy’s birthday!

Katy: It’s actually going to come out on the eighth because that’s a Tuesday.

Besides recording on analog, what else is different from the previous album?

Cassie: We took a week to make it. The last one took three days total. We took a little more time to experiment with sound a little more.

Does it sound different?

Katy: Not entirely or dramatically different, but definitely an evolution.

Cassie: We progressed as musicians since we recorded the first album. We didn’t know much sounds or tones and were kind of winging it but this time we learned a few things along the way and I think it shows on the record.

Katy: We were definitely learning as we went along.

How was it playing Coachella this year?

Cassie: It was fun but really hot and a lot of people were there, so it was kind of scary. It was all so exhausting because it was at 1pm and it was so hot.

Ali: We played on a really good stage with Fucked Up and No Age and X…

Katy: …And Throbbing Gristle, Brian Jonestown Massacre and Murder City Devils.

Was it your biggest show yet?

Everyone: yeah, probably.

Do you prefer playing festivals or smaller clubs?

Katy: Smaller clubs.

Ali: Yeah, but huge festivals are always really good life experiences.

Katy: Yeah, you meet a lot of cool people.

Was there anyone you met that are heroes or people you really wanted to meet?

Cassie: Meeting No Age was cool. We heard a lot of cool things about them, like they’re really nice guys and stuff, and it’s true. They are really nice guys, so that was rad.

Katy: And I met Alia Shawkat from “Arrested Development.”

Ali: I wanted to meet Morrissey but that didn’t happen.

Was there any show that you know of that led to the attention you had gotten since?

Cassie: I remember this one show at SXSW in 2008, when we played there. We played a day show behind a grocery store and only about twenty people were there and one of the guys who was working there said “you guys were great! Next year you’re going to be playing the big stages at SXSW” and we were like “shut up, that’s ridiculous.” And then…

Everyone: (laughs)

Cassie: …And then a year later we were playing the big stages at SXSW.

What kind of music did you grow up with?

Cassie: I got started on the soft rock radio station when I was eight years old and then my friends made fun of me and I started listening to Z100 and then I really got into Sublime and Hole and Nirvana. That was in middle school and then in high school I li was into indie rock and emo and then I got into punk, which brings us today – but now it’s come full circle because I’m into soft rock again.

Ali: I think we all listened to alternative music and old music.

Katy: all sorts of stuff. My parents always liked music and had it on all the time in the house.

What was your favorite show you’ve played? Either recently or overall.

Cassie: My favorite show ever was when we played this crazy house party in Austin. It was at SXSW and people were crowd surfing and shit was off the chain. It was awesome.

Ali: Once we played in a crepe place in Santa Cruz and the food was really good and then the show was really good. People were going nuts and singing along, so it was really cool.

Cassie: I think the best shows are when people just go nuts. I always get psyched. When people are just standing there [we’re wondering] “I hope they like it”.

How much longer is this tour going to last?

Katy: About a month and a half?

Cassie: Yeah, until mid-June. We’ve been on this tour for a month but we had a break for a week where we recorded our album. We’ve been on the road since early March.

I also wanted to ask you about your favorite after-work happy hour spots, but last time that happened you got in trouble for it.

Cassie: Oh yeah, right. Hahaha…

Katy: Wait, what did we get in trouble for?

Ali: That Uncensored interview.

Katy: Oh yeah, that’s right.

Ali: We were just being goofy and goofing around.

Cassie: People thought that we were talking down to them but really, we were just trying to be funny.

Imaginary Scoop In the Red Records Vivian Girls

Tonight's Recommended Show: Vivian Girls at Neumos

Hotter-than-a-red-hot Brooklyn trio, the Vivian Girls, will be gracing our fair Neumos stage tomorrow, Thursday the 30th. There has been a shit ton of press and hype surrounding the Vivian Girls, and it's all true. They will deafen you with fuzzy punk rock and sex you up with their unsuspecting feminine wiles.

They are hard and soft, pop and punk, sweet and sour… let them whirl their feedback and jangle their guitars straight at your eager face!

Cali Tropi-punkers Abe Vigoda and Seattleites The Girls open.

Now here's a little wee taste of the goodness these little girlies bring…

(rad photo by Steve Louie)

Abe Vigoda Imaginary Scoop The Girls Vivian Girls

Win tickets to see the Vivian Girls this Thursday at Neumo's

Vivian Girls - Photo by Steve Louie

Let's admit it: There has been a wave of near-deafening hype behind the Vivian Girls for over a year now. Then admit this: All that love is well deserved. The Vivian Girls have knocked the socks off a lot of really smart people who have good taste in music for a reason… they really are that good.

You should go see the V Girls when they play Neumo's this Thursday, April 30th with Abe Vigoda and The Girls (which makes sense to have them on the bill for so many design and sonic reasons)… and we're happy to say that we could help you get there with some money left in your pocket to pick up a cd or t-shirt at the merch booth.

Enter to win a pair of tickets to see this Thursday's show courtesy of Three Imaginary Girls. Email us at tig @ three imaginary with your name and the subject line "VGirlsGirlsGirls" by Tuesday, April 28th at 9a PST.

(Awesome photo by Steve Louie

Andre Ethier Cause Co-Motion Chico Magnetic Band Demon's Claws Dr. Dog Fennesz Imaginary Scoop Jacuzzi Boys Jay Reatard John Baker Kanye West Natural Snow Buildings Ponytail Porter Wagoner Rodriguez Scott Walker Sexy Kids Spiritualized Tallest Man on Earth The Barbaras The Born Ruffians The Crocodile the Dirtbombs The Dutchess and the Duke The Race Mixers The Shop Assistants The Strange Boys Thee Oh Sees Throw Me the Statue Times New Viking Vivian Girls Wavves Wounded Lion Young Rival

Best of 2008: Best of Lists from Eli Anderson of the Crocodile

When I asked the very intelligent and capable talent buyer Eli Anderson of the soon-to-be-reopened Crocodile Cafe, I was expecting a list of ten records he liked. Instead, he had sent me several well-written lists and deserves countless bonus points because he even showed his work.

Now, I need to find a copy of The Shop Assistants' record immediately.

Here's Eli's best of 2008 lists:


1. Tallest Man on Earth – “Shallow Grave”
The best description I can come up with for this record makes it sound terrible, but here it goes anyway: Swedish, Dylan-esque singer-songwriter. But, seriously, totally amazing record that I couldn’t get enough of this year. A really neat recording too. You can hear birds chirping and cars driving by on some of the tracks.

2. Born Ruffians – “Red, Yellow and Blue”
Super compact, spazzy, Canadian pop. Insanely infectious.

3. Dr. Dog – “Fate”
The most American band making music today. They manage to take everything great about 60’s and 70’s pop and boil it down into something that is simultaneously new and classic sounding. God that was a lame sentence. Sorry.

4. Dutchess & The Duke – “She’s The Dutchess, He’s The Duke”
The runout groove on their latest 7” says “CAMPFIRE PUNK” and that is fairly accurate. Sounds like demos for a Rolling Stones record that should have come out in 1963.

5. Vivian Girls – “Vivian Girls”
According to my iTunes, this was my most listened to album of the year. That probably has something to do with the fact that its 22 minutes long. But it’s fucking good too so there.

6. Kanye West – “808’s & Heartbreak”
Total genius who can’t take no for answer. I love how he 100% flaunts the fact that he can’t sing AT ALL by slathering the vocals in auto tune. And then he has the balls to write 10 of the catchiest songs of the year and they are all about Bright Eyes –level shit like walking around in the snow and crying.

7. Jay Reatard – “Matador Singles ‘08”
Supergrass, high on speed, in a closet, writing commercial jingles. Can’t get enough.

8. Spiritualized – “Songs in A & E”
J. Spaceman has written the same song more times than Marc Bolan. But, unlike Marc Bolan, it’s great every time.

9 . Throw Me The Statue – “Moonbeams”
Fucking, pop music man! Who can get enough of this stuff? This is bury your mind catchy too.

10. Young Rival – “Tour EP”
The best new band of the year for me. I expect big things from these boys in 2009. Especially if I get my way and put out a record by them myself.


1. Thee Oh Sees “The Master’s Bedroom is Worth Spending a Night In”
2. Ponytail “Ice Cream Spiritual”
3. Andre Ethier “Born on Blue Fog”

The “HEY LOOK, WEIRD/OLD STUFF” Top Ten of 2008 List:

1. John Baker “The John Baker Tapes Vol. 1 & 2”
If you don’t know what “radiophonics” are, this is a great way to discover one of my favorite styles of music/composition. Dude was a serious serious genius. Some nice piano jazz on here as well

2. Rodriguez – “Cold Fact”
Groovy, soul, protest singer stuff with tons of sweeping string and weird burbly keyboards.

3. Natural Snow Buildings – “The Snow Bringer Cult”
BUUUUUUUUUUUUUZZZZZZZZZ OOOOOoooOOooOOOOOooOooooO DDDDDDRRRRRRRRROOOOOOoooooOOOoOoONNNNNNNNE. I swear this “band” put out like, 7 records this year. And they are all super good.

4. Fennesz – “The Black Sea”
Guitar-based electronic compositions from pretty much the only guy from whom I’ll put up with this sort of ponderous garbage. I mean that in a nice way.

5. The Shop Assistants – “Will Anything Happen”
This is that Vivian Girls record but about 15 years earlier.

6. Porter Wagoner – ‘The Cold Hard Facts Of Life/Soul Of A Convict”
Hey look, Eli likes a comically depressing songwriter with and amazingly low voice! SHOCKA!

7. Chico Magnetic Band – “s/t”
A real face-melter this one. French band fronted by some Algerian super freak who ate his metric weight in pills and apparently took a bath on stage while doing his head-scratching Jimi Hendrix vocal impersonation. I don’t pretend to understand this one at all. I just love it.

8. All Those LPs I Bought on Mississippi Records esp. “Fight On Your Time Ain’t Long”
This label can do no wrong.

9. Scott Walker “’’Til The Band Comes In”
The sort of kinda lost piece of the Walker puzzle for me. And it’s good! Lots of standards-style jazz backed right up against the traditional Walker doom n’ gloom.

10. Wavves “Wavves”
This easily could have fit on the indie rock list, but I heard it too late in the year and that list was full, so here it is! Mad noisy pop music with a slightly goth, skater edge and insane, blown out drumming. They (or is it just a he?) already have another record coming out in Feb ’09 so be on the look out for that.

The “BEST FORMAT IS THE 7”” Top Ten of 2008 List:

1. The Barbaras – “Summertime Road” b/w ”Day At The Shrine” & “Flow”
2. Wounded Lion – “Carol Cloud” b/w “Pony People”
3. The Strange Boys – “Woe Is You & Me” b/w “Baby Please Don’t Go”
4. The Race Mixers – “Jackson” b/w “Let The Good Times Roll”
5. Times New Viking “Stay Awake EP”
6. Sexy Kids – “Sisters Are Forever” b/w “Drown Me”
7. Jacuzzi Boys – “Island Ave.” b/w “Dream Lion” & You Should Know”
8. caUSE Co-MOTION – “I Lie Awake” b/w “You Don’t Care” & “Cry For Attention”
9. Demon’s Claws – “Fucked on Ketamine” b/w “Always Be My Friend”
10. Dirtbombs “Sherlock Holmes” b/w “Nothing To Do”

The “REALLY REAL” Top Ten of 2008 List:
1. Girls
2. Beers
3. Records
4. Friends
5. Voting
6. Sleeping
7. Not Sleeping
8. Internet
9. Puppy Cam!
10. Fun

The Crocodile Cafe will be reopening in early 2009 and we will post more details as soon as we learn them here on the TIG blog.

Live Show Review Love Is All Nectar Nodzzz Vivian Girls

A solid night of indie pop with Love Is All, Vivian Girls, and Nodzzz

I set out last Sunday to Nectar with a night full of possibility. My show companion wanted to get there early to check out the opening band, Nodzzz. Neither of us had heard them before, but people who had seen the tour previously had been telling my friend that they might be the best band on the bill. So, we diligently got there early.

Upon walking in, I could tell that this was definitely the show of the night, as I instantly ran into tons of people I hadn’t seen in forever and didn’t expect to see at the show. As soon as Nodzzz started, I could tell I was going to like them. Despite their terrible name, their shambolic crash pop sound with songs usually under two minutes reminiscent of a messier Feelies was right up my alley, and I spent their entire set dancing about.

Up next were Vivian Girls, who I mistakenly suspected were headlining the show because of their current buzz. I managed to sneak in the back just as they started. I was pleasantly surprised that they sounded much more like Tiger Trap (i.e. – faster, dancier poppy punk) than I had imagined. Their self-titled release that everyone has been talking about is so drenched in thick reverb I’ve had a hard time making it through, and it was nice to see that Vivian Girls were much more energetic and personable live than I had previously imagined. (Side note – while their set did include a Beach Boys cover, they did not play their slowest song “Where Do You Run”, the one that KEXP has been playing constantly that always reminds me of Black Tambourine.)

Following Vivian Girls’ fun set, were Gothenburg’s Love Is All. I’ve previously mentioned how much I adore these Swedes, and they did not disappoint. They opened with my current song du jour “Wishing Well” and continued the on with their rousing keyboard and saxophone soaked dance pop sounding like X-Ray Spex meets the Clean. I especially enjoyed their brand new song about the dangers of waking up too early (like hitting your head on a shelf and slipping in the shower). Maybe it’s just my fascination with Swedish folk, but everything they did was absolutely adorable and I had a smile on my face the entire set.

(photos: Steve Louie)

Nodzzz photo by Steve Louie

Vivian Girls photo by Steve Louie

Vivian Girls photo by Steve Louie

Vivian Girls photo by Steve Louie

Love is All photo by Steve Louie

Love is All photo by Steve Louie

In the Red Records Record Review Vivian Girls

Vivian Girls

Being a band championed by the collective blog world is a blessing and curse. The good news for Vivian Girls is that you didn’t have to wait around until Quentin Tarantino put them in a film before hearing of them (and really, did you actually know anyone that really got excited by the’s?). The curse is that Vivian Girls are all over the blogosphere. Every song from their self-titled album is (or was) available via Hype Machine (but you didn’t hear that from me) and nearly every review I’ve read has been so adulatory that their value for comparing impressions is largely nil.

Vivian Girls have been all over the internet – but fuck all that. They have the right look (Jenny Lewis bangs) and zip code (they call Brooklyn home), true, but if you consider the attention they’ve gotten online so far, this record is difficult – maybe even impossible – to enjoy. That happened to me the first time I spun this album. The drum fills sounded primitive and basic, one song has exactly one word for lyrics repeated over and over again and the production sounds like it was recorded in a firing range.

Checking your (and my) preconceived ideas at the door doesn’t make those things less true but it does lend to a much more enjoyable experience with this record. It is a fast garage rock record that clocks out after just 22 minutes. It cannot be a coincidence that the singer/guitarist takes on the moniker of Cassie Ramone. What Vivian Girls do well is strip rock and roll down to its most basic elements: guitars, drums, bass and vocals. The guitar parts rely heavily on reverb and it is the most obvious sound you’ll hear but if you listen to the harmonies, you’ll notice that Ramone and her bandmates have really good voices (albeit a sense of nervousness comes through) that make for an interesting juxtaposition against the primal rock instrumentation. “Wild Eyes”, “Where Do You Run To?” and the opening track “All the Time” get the most traction from their singer’s voice. Still, though, the instinct is to make noise and push everything through as quickly as possible, breaking guitar strings and hearts along the way.

“Where Do You Run To?” slows things down considerably and takes its time (it’s one of two songs with a running time longer than 3 minutes) sounds romantic and longing. It has enough room to breathe and you notice the multi-layered harmonies and Ramone’s surf-y guitar lines. Then the tempo picks back up with “Damaged” and drums sound like they’re bashing away again (with the guitar and basslines trying to keep up). “No” is a great kiss-off of a song that repeats its one word lyric repeatedly so much that it’s meaning leaves nothing in the way of ambiguity.

Vivian Girls are a band for the moment not because they were embraced by online music writers (including this one) but because their sound is immediate and to the point. When you hear Vivian Girls you grasp the raw energy right away and it sounds like they are having a blast being in a rock band. They don’t try to impress anyone with their musical prowess but instead act like this is their moment to rock out and they are going to have as much fun as they can while they’re in the spotlight. Their sound appears that it will translate as well on record or in a garage as it would live because they don’t spend a moment to dwell on their imperfections or mistakes; nor should reviewers or critics. Maybe that’s where the brilliance of Vivian Girls. Or maybe it is in the immortal words of an immortal rock and roller who said “I know it’s only rock and roll – but I like it.”