Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

Your monthly imaginary horoscope told in album reviews!

November 2005 AstroPOP! is brought to you with musical reviews by igDana, igLiz, and imaginary marcel.

Scorpio (October 24 – November 21)
Everyone knows Scorpios are crazy, right? Oh, but I mean crazy in the nicest possible ways: alluring, devilish, sensual… but mad, bad, and dangerous to know. Your chore for this month, Scorpio, is learn how to harness your madness and use your sexy powers for good. Take lessons from The Village Green. This Portland-based band has filled their debut self-titled EP with naughty, grindy guitar-riffs and gravelly vocals to produce a snappy five-song collection that is bound to captivate indie-rock fans in the Northwest and, hopefully, beyond. {Be entranced this Thursday November 3 at the War Room in Seattle, where the Village Green play their CD release show.)

Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21) You feel effervescent, Sadg. While so much good fortune is coming your way in such abundance, why not give back and spread the niceness! Give a co-worker a ride, or help a nice old lady across the street. And make sure you listen to Palomar's 3.5 Demo EP while you're at it. This six-song release jumps out in a bright, noisy, Velocity Girl- sort of way. The music ranges from moody and melancholic to cute indie-pop, with edges of noise and sparks and showers of distortion to keep it more punk than just pop. It's all about joy this month, Sadj. And after the summer you've had, you deserve it.

Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
I don't want to dink with your sense of order, but expect all pent up things to burst this month, Cappy. Just like The Warlocks, who explode into their third album, Surgery, with a guitar-soaked burst of distortion, fuzz, noise, menace, and melody. Coming off like some evil twist between the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and some Blur-touched Britpop band, the Warlocks pour a nice layer of that Phil Spector sound over everything in the mix, with a nice subtle psychedelia that floats through this album. Note how things likewise rise to the surface for you this month, Capricorn. If you take the opportunity to examine and grow from all the emotional upheaval, then by early 2006 it's all gonna be allllllll riiiiiight.

Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
"All good things come in threes, haven't you heard?" belts Susan Hyatt, frontwoman for LA-based Stimulator, which naturally caught this reviewer's attention. That's what it's all about this month for you, Aquarius. You seem to know just the right thing to say to make 'em notice. Stimulator surely has this power too; their new-wave rock stylings not only caught the attention of Seattle-based ROCKRGRL Music Conference, but also earned them a support spot with Duran Duran (!). Think you can use your lucky powers to get that lucky, Aquarius? {Stimulator will be playing the ROCKRGRL Music Festival at the Madison Hotel on Nov. 10th at midnight}.}

Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
Pisces, do you love it when your favorite bands become super-popular? Or do you take it as an affront that the common man has discovered your personal love? I ask you this because I'm thinking about telling you about my favorite (sorta) secret band, The Elephants. Their debut, self-titled release is impossibly good, yet nearly unknown. "Humans Extinct" sounds like a track off Songs to Learn and Sing. "Oh Tina" sounds like an early Shins song. The band is young and diverse; all members are able to switch between instruments at live shows with a single bound. Oh, now I've done it, Pisces. I've revealed my secret. Go fall in love, but protect your sensitive heart, because you might see them become everyone's favorite band when they release their next album later this winter. {See The Elephants on Monday November 7th at Chop Suey with Pleasurecraft and Panda & Angel, and again for igLiz's birthday bash on December 23 at the Crocodile!}

Aries (March 21 – April 19)
Indecisiveness and lethargy. Mars has gone retrograde, and so has your energy levels. Expect a resurgence, but not this month. You might as well zone out and recharge, because you need it. Speaking of which, The Devoted Few — the side project of Australian Ben Fletcher of Bluebottle Kiss — have a release called Billboard Noises {Nonzero}, which is a beautifully moody recording, with Fletcher finding new maturity and strength in both sound and style. Solid and still holding darkness in the background, the emotions come through in the guitars and voice without falling over into the dreaded mold of "emo." His words touch upon poetry, but the music keeps them from ever getting too sappy. The CD ends with a slow and moving, sometimes raging six minute almost epic song, "Your Face Burnt a Hole in my Memory," that brings this journey to a close with a nice kind of Bad Seed meets Crooked Fingers sweet embrace. Revel in the sad sweetness, and realize you're just recharging for what inevitably will be a full — and possibly extremely prosperous — year.

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Duality and paradoxes, Taurus. That roving little planet Mercury, he's having his way with you this month, and you're finding yourself facing impossible contradictions that will alternately infuriate, confuse, and delight you. The Operators have learn to meld opposite forces with their release The Light and the Dark {Unstoppable Records}. These Massachusetts kids recorded a 13 song CD that's split almost in half by the band as having a "light side" and a "dark side." The light side grooves on a nice Rainer Maria type flow, with singer Emily Arkin soaring over the rolling drums and roaming guitars. But the moodier, darker songs show a much stronger side of the band. Jen Godfrey’s bass holding the songs steady and deeply rocking against the vocals (and all four members have their time with the microphone, which generally works well), Steph Melikian letting the drums kick against the rhythms, and the guitars just doing what they do. What do you like to do, oh bullish one, and are you going to go over to the Dark Side this winter?

Gemini (May 21 – June 21)
Halloween might be over, Gemini, but your duplicitous tendencies have gotten you into some situations that are downright spooky. Therefore, I have no other choice but to tell you the following: 1) Stop toying with the girls. Whether friends or lovers, your half-truths are going to come back to haunt you if you don't shape up. 2) Yes, you should dye your hair that color. Darker is better. 3) Go get a copy of Eerie Von's Bad Dream No. 13 {Ghastly}. Eerie Von is all about the goth and the rock, and it was written, recorded and produced by a founding member of Danzig and Samhain. There's lots of death and blood and sinning, with elements of influence from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Colour Me Psycho, and Fool’s Crow… slightly obscure, but not bad at all. "The sinner sang, the sinner wept, for sin was all he had left…" Alrighty, then, Gemini. Get to that atoning (and dyeing).

Cancer (June 22 – July 22)
Oh Cancer, I'm so excited for you! According to your planetary alignment, you have made some long overdue changes, ones that will utlimately bring positive growth to you and those around you. Congratulations, and might we say your new life makes you simply glow, dahling? Seattle's own Central Services understand that quiet feeling of peace that comes from making difficult, heart-felt decisions. On their We're All Smarter Now debut EP, the band meanders with airy confidence through five tracks that will impart to you graceful advice and good intent during your period of transition. These fellows will rock your new world in the softest of ways. Expect good things, make out a lot, and take heed: overturned soil requires mindful attention to ensure your new seedings emerge.

Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Leo, aren't you disgusted with the current political sitch in this country? Conservative-Christian this, family values that, and fuck knows who's going to end up on our Supreme Court. Frightful times call for silly music, and there's no better companion for you at this moment than Cars Can Be Blue, an on-again-off-again couple who create lo-fi precious pop gems with the filthiest lyrics ever. Cheer along while Nate and Becky sing about fucking superheroes, "deep dicking" post-breakup, and abortion ("It's been six weeks since I bled from my hole…. All because my boyfriend wouldn't pull out his pole." Seriously), all the while sounding like Mates of State in like, opposite land. Sing along in your car, and you'll flip off those dicktards with the W stickers while you're at it. It'll bring you comfort in these trying times. {And see Cars Can Be Blue when they come to Seattle to play a TIG showcase at the Crocodile, also with Boat and The Withholders on November 16!}

Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
This month, Virgo, it is time to stand up and be counted for all of the hard work you do. While others seek the limelight bragging over by the water cooler, you like to sit at your desk and finish your projects without much fanfare. Stop it! Let the world (or at least your office) know about all the cool stuff you do while they search google aimlessly. You're a lot like the new album by Michigan's New Grenada. Parting Shots is both gutsy and catchy. The stand-out track, "Just Inside A Week" pairs smart, insightful lyrics with guitar rifts and indie rock construction that would make Doug Martsch proud. The rest of the album blends Pavement and The Minutemen. The end product is edgy lo-fi worthy of inclusion on many a year end top ten list. And the fun doesn't stop there. They went above and beyond the call of duty when constructing the cover art. DIY screenprinted with hand cut out black and white copies meticulously rubber glued on the back. Even the press materials were handmade with attention to detail. Virgo, get the New Grenada (it is limited edition — only 1,000 copies were made!) and scream your accolateds from atop the nearest board room table.

Libra (September 23 – October 23)
Everyone loves a self-made success, Libra. Sure, it's harder to go it alone, but once you succeed, aren't the rewards so much sweeter? Seattle band The Purrs would likely tell you hell yea, they are! With the self-release of their debut full-length The Dreams Our Stuff Is Made Of, the band has soared from relative obscurity to getting high rotation on KEXP, playing gigs with luminaries like Okkervil River, The Wrens, and Pretty Girls Make Graves (at the KEXP Yule Benefit on December 16th), and having lavish praise piled upon them, including comparisons to Suede, The Verve, and Galaxie 500. Holy dream come true, Batman! It's been an incredible year for The Purrs, and it's staggering to think what 2006 holds for them. I'm expecting you to have a similar situation, Libra, if you can finally make a cohesive decision and set your mind to do what your heart's been yearning for. {Also catch The Purrs at Hells Kitchen in Tacoma on November 19 with Voyager One, Wallpaper, and The Divorce. All-ages!}