Three Imaginary Girls

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

Three Imaginary Girls 20th Anniversary

Happy 20th Anniversary to Three Imaginary Girls!!!

Let’s face it, there’s a lot to be worried and angry about right now. More than ever we need to love and fight for each other – which is kinda how Three Imaginary Girls started (to a slightly more frivolous extent). 

The idea for Three Imaginary Girls was born when Dana and I realized that so many of the Seattle things and bands we adored weren’t getting the love we thought they deserved. In the early 2000’s, we felt like the “Seattle Arts Spotlight” shined brightest on a select few – the cool kids that had all the cool connections (all of which we were – and mostly still are – clueless about). We were going to see shows most nights of the week to see bands we had and hadn’t ever heard about – and finding special sparks with each set. Those sparks ignited a fire in us. We wanted to share news of all these great bands, artists, songs, events, clubs, and characters with our friends, and – if folks would listen – all of Seattle and beyond.

On June 10, 2002 we hit the “buy now” button (or however that worked in 2002) for the URL with very little idea for what we are doing and how we were going to do it (this is still the case). A couple weeks later we virtually opened the doors to our friends. We sent out an email to just about everyone we knew who might have an iota of interest in anything we had to say about the shows we had recently seen or songs we were listening to (sorry for the 2002 spam, dear friends!). {More about that email below. Keep reading!!!}

And, if I can be so presumptuous, I like to think it worked. And, by “worked,” I mean that we discovered that we weren’t alone with this raw enthusiasm for all that is great about the current Seattle film and music scene that wasn’t front and center in the local papers. TIG readers and staffers found a community of besties, willing to meet up at the show and get there in time for the opener. TIG eventually started booking our own shows and events and you all actually showed up! I’m still astonished.

I am so grateful for all that this community has done to make the last 20 years of imaginary life special. Three Imaginary Girls’ 20th anniversary is more of a TIGsgiving celebration. Thank you thank you thank you so many times over. 

I feel like there are highlights still to come – and I hope all of them involve you. And here’s one in particular for us all look forward to…

Mark your calendars: TIG’s 20th Anniversary Celebration – Friday, September 16 at the Tractor Tavern. 

We are honored to partner with Latent Print Records to mark our 20th anniversary of “all things imaginary!”

The line-up features The Divorce & Slender Means with Carly Nicklaus & Friends (The Catch/Bardot/U.S.E.).

The show will also be marking the vinyl release (on Latent Print Records ) of two albums that were on high rotation as we worked on the site over our first decade: The Divorce’s The Gifted Program and Slender Means’ Neon & Ruin.


Over the last few years as dayjobs have morphed and responsibilities have shifted, the TIG website has evolved. Our cheerleading is now more via quick social media posts and shares (follow us on facebook, twitter, and instagram!) than by way of articles posted to the website (except for TIG’s amazing annual SIFF coverage. Amie and Embracey – you are the best!). It’s almost like it’s 2002 and we’re smaller in scope, and, of course, our love for you and all those things we adore is still there. 

Back to that “announcement” email I mentioned a few minutes ago…

Writing all these imaginary thoughts and feelings out has me drowning in jubilant nostalgia – and so I was compelled to rediscover my old hotmail account login (LIZBLUR 4ever!) and read that June 2002 TIG announcement email we sent. It reads like I sent it 20 years ago (I DID!), but it exudes the hope and giddiness that I strive to have today (even though, admittedly, the last decade has worn me down. You too?). 

Ahead of this announcement email in my hotmail inbox were some email threads with these three folks as we prepped the site to launch. Reading through them I’m reminded all over again that they deserve all the thanks and fancy drinks for their help in making our dreams come true:

  • Randy Wood – a local artist who drew our likenesses (of the first set of three gals) in the form of our first logo and the “talking heads” we used to use in our posts (side note: we’ll give a trophy to any developer who can help us fix that functionality on the site and turn off this full justification of text… but I digress). You can see this illustration and “talking heads” artwork on this wayback machine 2003 snapshot of the site (see the upper left corner).
  • Steve Calderon – he lives in PDX now so it’s harder for Seattle-ites to shower him with praise. He was a dev helper-outer as we got started (and over time). We really should have listened to his WordPress recommendation a long time ago. Did you know that TIG was built in mega-DIY HTML, then Drupal (which was a bit much for our skills set), then we figured out WordPress is the platform to be on (although we still haven’t mastered it yet). 
  • Greg Martinez – Greg is the reason any of us are “imaginary.” He was the one who suggested the site name “Three Imaginary Girls.” We were all sitting around a table at Dana’s place in north Cap Hill and trying to find something that embodied this curious website vision we had. We had all kinds of verbose and quippy ideas that were just outside the mark. Greg offhandedly said “How about Three Imaginary Girls!?!” and we knew we found it. Years later John Flansburgh (TMBG) noted there was a different Cure album we could have named the site after: “You could have called it Pornography and you certainly would have gotten more hits.” Touché, John Flansburgh. Touché. PS – Let’s sent all our hugs and thoughts and energy to Mr. JF right now! He really is the bestest.

Oh, and because you read this far (which means you are now a close friend)(Hi Kelly! Hi April!), here’s that email. Maybe some of you even remember seeing it the first time it was on your computer screen.

—–Original Message—–

Sent: Wednesday, June 26, 2002 6:35 PM
Subject: introducing:

dear best friends,

finally – a way for you to be privy to my scattered ramblings on seattle activities on an on-going basis (in other words, you get to read what my officemates have to listen to everyday.)   and not only my insights, the more exciting and insightful missives of my co-conspirators. 

last night, my friends (dana & marlene) and i launched a website to post our opinions of music, concerts, art and miscellaneous goings on in the seattle metro area.  our first “issue” includes a retort to a recent stranger article on the trachtenburg family slideshow players and reviews of recent seattle shows (carissa’s wierd weekend and the white stripes).

yea… that is fine and all… but what makes this really exciting is that it is a site where YOU can post YOUR opinions on the events that we cover (and ones we don’t) in the essay portion as well as enter haiku contests.  as we get fully ramped up, we will have an archive of past concert reviews, an events calendar (with an interface that allows you to post your event to the T.I.G community), a posting of contest submissions, musings on a wider range of topics (cinema, theatre, art exhibits) and a better looking design.

add this to you bookmarks now:

this site will be constantly refreshed (most likely on a weekly or monthly basis) – so check back often for updates. 

as it stands now, i’ve volunteered your address to be on the “i want to be notified when there are updates or special events” list.  if you aren’t ready to make this commitment to the site – that’s cool.  just email me or the email address and we will hold off on sending you any more email about this endeavor.  also, know that if you do remain on the mailing list, all future updates will be e-mailed from the three imaginary girls address address – not this one.  so don’t get scared and auto-delete.

of course, send us your feedback or recommendations so that we can make this site the best it can be.

with three imaginary girl love,