Three Imaginary Girls

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

Our monthly imaginary horoscope told in album reviews, for July-August 2005

AstroPOP! is brought to you with musical reviews by igDana, igLiz, stella, jenncassie, and igChar.

You're always on the move Aries one, but this month you are actually going to be experiencing a physical move of some sort. Sure it will be hard and you don't know exactly what to fix, but don't beat yourself up. Sit down with Movie Ending Romance, the new EP by Math and Physics Club on Matinee Recordings. The tempo of this new release is a bit slower than their EP of yester-February (Weekends Away) but the soft vocals and warm melodies will comfort when you are rundown from packing boxes (physical and metaphorical). From the title track to their cover of the Beach Boys classic, "You're So Good To Me," the four-song collection will keep you focused on the task at hand — getting you from point A to points B, C, D, and E without breaking a sweat. (Mark your calendar for Math and Physics Club's 'Movie Ending Romance' EP release show on Thursday, July 28th at Chop Suey with Tullycraft and The Salteens. It is ALL AGES and doors are at 8p.)

This month is all about alchemy, and I know how you hate to blend at times, oh bullish one. I command thee: merge your friends, mix-up your daily routine, hell, blend a new cocktail. I wanna see it all blur. Take lessons from Seattle's Common Heroes. While they are are all about the rock, they combine elements of punk, classic, and grunge (gasp!) to create an annihilation of a debut self-titled album. The song "I'm Just Asking" has a definite Soundgarden influence, while "Phantom Limb" shows they can do more than just rock out, with vocals reminiscent of Thom Yorke. I know you're stubborn Taurus; I know you prefer to keep your peas separate from your carrots, but sometimes amalgamation creates a whole far great than its parts.

Summertime is a great time for nostalgia. Sail On, Sailor!, a trio from Kenmore, Washington, proffer sweet, stripped-down little love songs in the vein of old Hush Harbor or Spinanes; the perfect fit for a summer-sweater-clad crowd. I know how you still yearn for the quaint and lovable, Gemini. You long for authentic experiences, ones unmarred by hype and over-production. This way too short but equally as sweet EP of quiet, lilting pop melodies will keep you moving forward this summer, even when you feel more like wallowing — whether in your past, or in your present sorrows. Stay buoyant!

You won't have a shortage of places to be on your calendar this month. Use the new Alan Astor album (Everything is Possible on Mental Monkey Records) as your "get ready to go out" music. Alan's m.o. might be to be the future of pop music, but the sweat of his songwriting skills dish out danceable beats that ooze from the depths of experimental rock and jazz jam sessions. Stay out of the commotion, listen to "Play the Night Away" (track 7) a couple times and think about all those bad habits you've been amassing recently.

Leo, get your sweet ass in gear! It's time for you to grab your best compadres, load the cooler with ice and goodies, and take a road trip. Despite their frigid name, Michigan's sweet, twee-pop band the Icicles will bring shit-hot good times to your wayward summer days via their latest release One Hundred Patterns {Microindie}. Think of them as the midwest's indie-licious answer to the All Girl Summer Fun Band. And isn't that what you want on a roadtrip — to find something familiar to love in the unlikeliest of places? Face it, Leo — you want to find a bit of yourself in everything. And why not, when you look (and they sound) as good as this?

You have big plans for this month Virgo — but before you Marcia Brady out, take a step back and figure out what EXACTLY what you do and don't have time for. Quit the little league, bowling and curling team so that you can focus on badminton. The music to tone down your obligations to is Boyracer's Insults & Insights EP (Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records). With 8 tracks fitting into this 24-minute release, this trio knows how to pack a punch in a limited timeframe. The songs shine with Thermals punkpop intensity and record store clerk smarts. Take Boyracer's lead and don't waste time with the fluff — focus on getting the most bang for your buck.

This month's slogan is "Safety First". Flying objects may be headed your way so make sure to dodge those airborne items (and the bossy folks throwing them at you). You might need to stay late at work to protect yourself and, possibly, get ahead. Arm yourself with the new White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan (V2). There is nothing like a few tracks of Jack White to make you feel like there is a superhero force field to get you through this month. The evangelical musings, the ironclad guitar rifts and the addictive simplicity of the song structure will empower you and keep any nervous thoughts at bay.

Aren't you just the Romeo / Juliet this month. Watch out, your charms over the next few weeks are going to be invincible. Set your sights on someone / something good this month because you are going to get it. Pop Chunnel Autumnal by Pipas into your music-playing device and watch the cuties line up. We've all been waiting with baited breath for them to reissue their first album… and, thanks to Matinee Recordings, it is available once again — this time with three bonus tracks! The songs, humbly recorded on their laptop by this London pair, are grounded in indiepop, and spiced up with drum/bass, bossa nova and electronica. Their critically acclaimed pop licks and unabashed innocence will make you fall for them, just like the honeys for you.

If I were a music biz mogul I'd focus my eyes (and ears) on Portland, Oregon. At the moment, they have more great local bands than wacky high bridges spanning the Columbia river. If only others could see the prowess that's so clear to you, Sadg. Good news: this might be your month to pitch your great ideas to the sorts of people who can act upon them (read as: rich people). I'd set my sights on Stars of Track and Field. Their latest full length You Came Here for the Sunset Last Year brims with delicious shoe-gazer guitars, melancholic melodies, and towering vocals. Tell the music execs, or at least make some sort of daring move for power this month, Sadj. Regret never truly fades.


Charm me, Cappy. Your wit, your newfound dance moves, your effortless disc
ourse… everything about you pleases me. Which reminds me: have you picked up your copy of The Baskervilles' latest record Midnight yet? Ahh, of course you have. A tastemaker such as you would recognize it as the must-have it is. Chock full of witty story-telling and gracious hooks galore, the wise Baskervilles bring enough darkness to keep things interesting and humane, yet enough levity to sweep your heels, tap your toes, rattle your bones, etcetera and so forth. In a phrase, they move me — much as you have the power to move those around you this month, Capricorn. Just make sure you continue to use your swirly magic for good.

Choose your battles wisely, Virgo. Sure you can pub brawl with that guy who looked at your lady all funny. But what's that aggression gonna get you? We all know you're strong, but now's the time to show your strength, if you know what I'm saying. Play it cool. Tell your estranged lady, "If the phone don't ring (you'll know it was me)," just like Seattle alt-country four-piece the Bourbonites do on their latest release This is Just a Drem. (What's a drem? I don't know, and neither do you. Why you gotta obsess like that, Virgo?) Let go with the male harmonies spiced with a bit of grit and pedal steal, and check them out at the Stanwood Hotel on July 23. You'll know it's them.

I'd like to forecast that soon you'll be cruising around our Sound-side town on hot summer nights, windows down, your retro-chic feathered hair blowing in the wind, jamming to the 1970s throwbacks Baby Teeth (Lujo Records). But it's grey and raining right now, and our summer traditionally begins long after the fireworks end — so that picture may not be entirely accurate. The Baby Teeth Album, with its Elton John meets The Mooney Suzuki rock-soul vibe, perfectly captures that sunny rainbows and rollerskates mood. A keys-drums-bass pop trio from Chicago, they may be kitsch, but they're certainly not all cheese. The sexy "Celebrity Wedding" is the perfect soundtrack to a Tom Collins-fueled backyard shindig, and the lusty ballad "Loving Strokes" will appropriately ooze from your 8-track as you eye that hot number in the passenger seat on the ride home. It's all very apt for a summer that will soon see "Dukes of Hazzard" replay on the big screen, hotpants filling out boutiques (and ample bottoms), and salons just maybe reviving Breck-girl hair.