Three Imaginary Girls

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

Dolour at the Crocodile on Dec 29, 2021 with Imaginary Liz DJing.

UPDATE: The Dec 29 show {including our DJ set} at The Crocodile has been CANCELLED!!!

Stay home this week and stay warm and safe!!! The show will happen sometime in the future when things are a whole lot more safe.

Shane of Dolour explains it best:

After much deliberation and with the full support of The Crocodile team, I’m sad to say tomorrow’s show is canceled. Not only have these rising Covid cases been alarming, but this recent snowstorm in Seattle has made it virtually impossible. Ticket holders will be refunded. I was so very much looking forward to this show, and I hate letting anyone down… but this is the best/safest solution for now. xoxo

But in the meantime, enjoy all this talk about Shane and his new albums and awesomeness:

Those who have been part of the Three Imaginary Girl posse for a while likely already have a favorite Shane Tutmarc song (and know that we do too!). For those that are new to Shane’s music, HELLO! We are so excited to be hanging out with you – and are you in for a treat! We’ve got official intros, song picks, an interview with Shane, AND BIG NEWS (a show with DJ Imaginary Liz opening) to share!

We first met Shane a few years back (ok, a couple decades ago? That feels impossible, right?). Shane’s band Dolour was a lauded and prominent band of the 2000’s Seattle music scene, especially during the heyday of Three Imaginary Girls. We were even lucky enough to have Dolour help us celebrate our 5th birthday (back in, cough, 2007). And he helped us ring in our 10th birthday by contributing to our limited edition zine and mix cd (there some copies still available!) AND took to the stage for the big 10th birthday show. Ok, so we’ve had a lot of fun with Shane.

And we’re so excited to have some big fun with him again! December 29 at the NEW Crocodile to be exact!

I, imaginary Liz – Three Imaginary Girls’ founder and such, will be performing a DJ set before Dolour (Shane and his band) take the stage for the headlining spot. My hubs and I post a radio show named Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid to Know About on Space 101fm every Friday night. In keeping with our radio show, my DJ set will feature my favorite obscure pop songs and local (should-be major) hits.

Doors are at 6.30pm and the DJ set will start soon thereafter.

It’ll be so fun to celebrate all the mayhem that December brings with you AND hang out in the NEW Crocodile at it’s NEW location – where El Gaucho’s used to be. Our show will be in the Madame Lous area of the venue at 2505 1st Ave on Wednesday, December 29, 2021 – doors at 6:30pm.

Get your tickets now!

It’s easy to fall in love with Dolour’s songs. The band’s songs are crisp, smart, and clean and fall under the “baroque-pop” sub-genre. Here’s an imaginary favorite of Shane’s Dolour songs, “Menage A Trois”:

Baroque Pop emerged during the mid-’60s, a time when artists like the Beach Boys, producer Phil Spector, and composer/arranger Burt Bacharach began infusing rock & roll with elements of classical music so songs took on a majestic orchestral sound with the infusion of layered harmonies, strings, and horns.

Shane has also recorded under other monikers with varying themes and sounds, including Shane Tutmarc and the Traveling Mercies – which has more of an alt-country sound.

Shane Tutmarc might have picked up and moved to Nashville a few years back, but in our hearts, he’s always going to be a fixture in the Seattle music community. It’s safe to say that Shane has written hundreds of songs under the monikers of Dolour, Shane Tutmarc and the Traveling Mercies, or simply, Shane Tutmarc. The guy can hold a spotlight and captivate an audience with a melodic chorus, a hook and a slight twang.

He has a hearty catalog of releases – and is a pandemic overachiever, having released a trilogy – one albums released in 2020 and two albums released in 2021!

You can hear Shane on the recent episode of my radio show, Pop Songs Your New Boyfriend’s Too Stupid to Know About. He shared one of his favorite obscure pop songs and we played our current favorite track from the trilogy – “Snake Eye.”

You can also hear it from Shane’s bandcamp page.

Let’s have some Coffee With A Rockstar!

As you know, we here at Three Imaginary Girls love to catch up with folks over a beverage! So, to catch up on all of our Shane / Dolour news ahead of the show, we (virtually) sat down with Shane for an old-school “Coffee with a Rockstar” chat!

TIG: First, the question that start most interviews with… what’s your favorite coffee drink?

Shane: I’m pretty good with drip coffee at home, but if I go to a coffee shop I get an Americano with Oat Milk.

TIG: Yum! You recently released a trilogy of albums, which are perfect for listening back to back as one finishes off their pot of coffee: The Royal We (2020), Televangelist (2021), Origin Story (2021)! How did you prepare for such an undertaking?

Shane: There was no masterplan going into it. Each record just sort of fed into the next one. When I made The Royal We (2020), I had no idea if it was gonna be a one-off thing or if there would be more. But as it was right in the first wave of the pandemic with stay-at-home mandates, it gave me something to focus on to help me keep my sanity.

The songs on Televangelist just poured out of me after seeing the good response to The Royal We. And the project of reworking OG Dolour songs on Origin Story was one of those projects that really could only have happened with having free time at home without other commitments to distract me.

TIG: It seems like The Royal We really lit the fire, that when paired with the pandemic, made for a way to really dig into songwriting. In reading through some info about the releases, I love the idea of you exploring the past and making all your puzzle pieces fit together.

Shane: I went into The Royal We thinking that it might help give me some long-overdue closure with Dolour. When I originally ended Dolour in late 2006, I basically ghosted the project. I moved right on to the Traveling Mercies and never looked back. After about a decade I starting realizing that I hadn’t really processed much of that whole Dolour period. Unfinished songs from that era started popping up in my head, and for the first time I started digging through old demos of the era. I was surprised how many good song ideas had been gathering dust on CD-Rs and cassettes in old boxes. So the idea was merely to give these lost ideas a chance to get out in the world, and an opportunity to maybe find closure with Dolour.

Once I saw the reaction to the album going up for pre-order – it made me realize that maybe there was more I could do with Dolour, and I started writing Televangelist right away. While The Royal We has a more laid back, acoustic, lazy sunny day vibe – Televangelist has an urgency to it, even on the slower songs – that makes it a more immediate listen than The Royal We, at least to me.

With Origin Story I wanted to rework 15 of my favorite songs from the original 4 albums and bring them into the present/future with me. It was a very similar process to how I made The Royal We – except unlike those songs which had languished in demo-form for the last 15-20 years, the Origin Story songs were Dolour’s best-known songs – so there was an awareness that this may totally not work for old fans at all. But the only way I can work on anything is giving myself the freedom to explore. So if a song lyric didn’t feel right – I changed it. If a chord progression could be improved – I changed it. No rules. On paper Origin Story should have been the easiest one to do, being that the songs were already written, but it ended up taking the longest of the bunch, as I was tearing the songs down to their core and rebuilding them all from scratch.

TIG: That sounds beautiful and painful. I’m so glad you worked through it. The trilogy is impressive. Do you already have your next project in mind? Any ideas or sounds you’re digging into? Any hints?

Shane: I’m always writing, but I’m trying not to even think about another album until at least after the new year. I will say I’ve been listening to a lot of music from around 1976-1982, so we’ll see if that era finds its way into the next project. I really like the mix of punk, disco, and new wave during that period. But I always let my songs lead the way, I never really go into any record with a concept. The songs let me know where they wanna go.

TIG: And YAY, we are so excited to have you back in town! Are there any places you look forward to visiting when you’re in town?

Shane: Honestly, I’m probably most excited about seeing this new Crocodile, and the different rooms, and the hotel. Beyond that, I just look forward to seeing my parents and siblings for the first time in 2 years. I’ve never been away from my family or Seattle for this long before, so it will be nice just to be back in the hometown.

TIG: Agreed on all that. For the first time ever, the only place I want to fly to is to go see family and friends and have that feeling of “home” with them. And OMG, the NEW Crocodile! When you asked us to be a part of the line-up we were (1) So honored (2) Couldn’t think of a better way to experience the whole new Crocodile – with a way that brings all the previous Crocodiles into one place to christen this new locale (details on the new Crocodile location is in the intro if any readers skipped right to this question).

Will you be performing solo on December 29 or will there be others on the stage with you (even at times)? Are there any surprises planned?

Shane: It’s gonna be a full band show! And I have great players. Charles Larson (lead guitar) played live with Dolour off and on throughout the whole original era, as well as playing on our original final album The Years in the Wilderness. He’s currently in a band called Legs. Nick Barber is an old friend who’s been involved with most of (co-producer of Suburbiac) Aaron Sprinkle’s projects over the years, as well as playing with Jeremy Enigk and currently with Subways on the Sun. And then I have my former United State of Electronica bandmates Noah Weaver on keys and Jon E Rock on drums. Both of them played on multiple early Dolour albums as well, as we all shared a house for most of that era.

TIG: That’s an all-star line-up and really taking things up a notch!!! And you’re prepping for it remotely! This is going to be great! Now more about your (new) hometown… NASHVILLE, TN! Any recommendations of places that Seattleites should visit when they are in Nashville?

Shane: My wife’s boutique Goodbuy Girls in East Nashville would be top of the list! They have a wide variety of vintage and new clothes and an ever-expanding collection of vintage cowboy boots which they are most celebrated for. Lady Gaga, Lana Del Rey, Kacy Musgraves, Jewel and many others have all found treasures there.

TIG: That place sounds brilliant! I am definitely heading there. As mentioned earlier, I am going to do a DJ set to start the night off. Any requests? 🙂

Shane: I look forward to hearing some new jams I’m not cool enough to know about. But here’s a few that might sound good in the mix – “Good Luck” by Shintaro Sakamoto, “Elstree” by the Buggles, “Jimmy Mack” by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, “Denis” by Blondie, and “Need Your Love” by Curtis Harding. So stoked for you guys to be setting the mood for the night.

TIG: Hot dog! Can’t wait to see you there!

To recap: