Three Imaginary Girls

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

Featuring Dwight Pelz, Daylight Basement, Bumbershoot, The Decemberists, Aqueduct, Okkervil River, The Brazilian Girls, Tegan and Sara, The Divorce, Tom Brosseau, and more. {as of September 8, 2005}

Did everyone have a great Labor Day weekend? I'd say that my Labor Day fun officially started last Wednesday.

First up, karaoke to support city commissioner candidate Dwight Pelz, who was, in a word, rad. He wanted to sing "Baby Got Back" {hey, that's bonafide local music!} but the KJ (who was Bryan from local band Laszlo, another rad dude to know in town) didn't have it. So instead he sang a rounding rendition of "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch."

As the wise Kurt B. Reighley said, "I am inherently suspicious of politicians who do not like music." I think the willingness to sing South Park karaoke is about the best barometer for a political candidate, so I now proudly boast a Dwight Pelz campaign sign in my front yard.

If that's not a good enough to motivate you to check his box, he lists the following as his top priorities {with a far more detailed breakdown of his ideas available here.}

  • Dwight is a major regional leader on transit and transportation issues.
  • Dwight is a tireless advocate for the environment, and growth management.
  • Dwight has consistently fought for funding for human services throughout King County.
  • Dwight has led efforts to maintain a high quality of life in our neighborhoods.

Mark your calendars, Seattle-folks: the primary elections are September 20. Don't forget to mark and send in your absentee ballots as soon as possible!

After my rousing renditions of "Maggie May" and "Shadows of the Night," I headed up to Chop Suey to watch a real singer wrangle the microphone at the Daylight Basement debut show.

Daylight Basement were seriously incredible. Our imaginary writer Chris Estey called it his "favorite live show of the year" in his review {hint: go read. Chris rocks!}.

What he doesn't mention, though, is that among the hipsters and fans were these folks {see picture}. Look how awesome they are! Now I know who I want to be when I grow up. Check them out, having a blast, right in front of the speakers — and sans earplugs too. Totally rock and roll.

Daylight Basement. Photo by Christopher Nelson. Speaking of Chop Suey, did any of you get caught up in that whole announce@chopsuey email snafu that went on this weekend? I must have had over 200 emails in my inbox. Folks mindlessly hitting "reply-all" to ask why they were getting all these "reply-all" emails.

It soon degenerated into folks emailing complaints about how hot it can get in Chop Suey, swearing mindlessly, and sending out their grocery lists. Then, folks just started "replying-all" just to let every one know that they shouldn't reply-all. It didn't matter how many times people explained the difference between "distribution lists" and "hitting reply-all" to the list, folks kept the freakout responses flying all weekend. Since when is it easier to hit "reply-all" and type out exclamations than to just hit delete? Completely amusing.

What I found most surprising is that not one of those sassy folks mouthed off about those dangerous random levels at the Chop.They are a safety hazard if I've ever seen one. I shudder before I attend every show for fear of tripping {a fear that is personally well-founded}.

I know! I have fallen knees-to-the-floor whilst carrying a full cocktail. But, being a professional, I have yet to spill it. And let's not even talk about the times I've tripped while completely, utterly sober.

If I could get a word in edgewise here, I'd like to talk about a little music festival I attended this weekend called Bumbershoot! I mean, hello!

It was so worth getting there early to see the ever-enchanting Decemberists. Colin Meloy ended the astroturf-carpeted show with "The Mariner's Revenge Song" and begged for audience participation. And not your commonplace, mundane, hand clapping audience participation… no siree. When prompted, he had the audience cry out "as if being swallowed by a whale." I'm not sure what noise I would actually make in that situation, but now I feel properly prepared in case I were to be consumed by a whale. Thanks Colin!

Aqueduct ended their set by doing a cover of Geto Boys' "Damn It Feels Good 2 Be A Gangsta" which had me walking through the crowds the remainder of the festival singing "Ridin' around town in a drop-top benz; Hittin' switches in my black six-fo'" Um, yeah.

For a gentle band, Okkervil River sure are loud. Frontman Will Sheff was unimpressed by his minimal string breakage (he only broke two) so he ripped the rest of them off after the last song. Hey, if you have to change two, you might as well change them all.

I didn't get to catch much of the Brazilian Girls set because it competed with Okkervil River {too. much. good. music.} but embracey (our film god extraordinaire) reported back "The Brazilian Girls were utterly amazing and gave me moments of sheer bliss."

And for my own person sheer bliss: Tegan and Sara. Oh how I love me some Tegan and Sara. The stage banter… the harmonies… the Canadian accents. I think this is my 6th or 7th T/S show and I was still jumping up and down when they played my favorite songs. That's a lot of jumping up and down.

The Divorce. Photo by Derek Pearson. As for up-coming shows this week, for me it's all about the Divorce, the Divorce, the Divorce.

How ready am I for the release of The Gifted Program? I feel like I've been waiting years for their second album… and finally, I can talk about it freely with the world.

And not only that, we {me and the world} get to see them perform them live this Friday {September 9, 2005} at the very official album-release party at the Crocodile! A
lso on the bill for the night: Danko Jones, Tourist, and DJ Curtis.

For those of you imaginaries in the Portland area, you should go see Pleasure Club at Musicfest Northwest at Mississippi Studios on Friday nite (Sept 9), not only because they're an incredible live band, but also because they're from New Orleans. James Hall, former lead singer of Pleasure Club, got out of his hometown with his wife and his son, a grocery bag of belongings, and two guitars. They've lost everything else during Hurricane Katrina.

The Seattle show was September 8 so we didn't get to warn you in advance dear readers {sorry!}, but both of the shows will directly benefit James and his family. So hit up that Portland show if you're in the area! Also on the bill are Robert Roth, Pat Macdonald, and Gruesome Galore.

Back in Seattle, another not-to-be-missed-show-for-a-great-cause is the John in the Morning at Night KEXP benefit on Saturday Sept 10, featuring Bobby Bare Jr., 50 Ft Wave, Tom Brosseau, the Pale Pacific, and Ian Knapp at the Crocodile.

Tom Brosseau. Photo by William Anthony.I caught Tom Brosseau at The Triple Door earlier this year, and found him enchanting in this bizarrely honest, old-fashioned sort of way. You know when you meet a guy and he seems too good to be true? Like, no one could possibly be as nice/thoughtful/chivalrous as said dude…? You delight in the first few dates, all the while dreading the fatal flaw/bad breath/split-psycho personality that's bound to emerge. But then one day, after yet another incredibly thoughtful act of goodness, you realize the guy is in earnest. And you realize there really are people out who simply mean it, with no ironic intent.

Tom Brosseau is the musical equivalent of said realization. Tom is a North Dakotan native (I mean seriously, are there really people from North Dakota?) who writes, sings, and strums delicate, twangy melodies that defy contemporary alt-country and harken to simpler times, like a Guthrie reborn. He sings of heartbreak, hard times, and hope with such sincerity that you can't help fall for him. Hell, Loveless Records did, and they're not usually ones for the quiet releases (as anyone who hearts the Ruby Doe and Vendetta Red can confirm).

Mark your calendars for Monday, September 12, 2005! This Monday you can spend the workday looking forward to a couple hours, cozied up to the Hattie's Hat bar with us. OK, that isn't so different from most evenings in Seattle. But this time, we'll be BEHIND the bar, serving drinks and yelling out numbers for fabulous raffle prizes {mix cds, imaginary t-shirts}.

We'll be there "guest-bartending" from 8p – 10p and, besides all the other reasons to head out to Ballard on a school night, there will be an imaginary drink special {The TIG: Absolut Madrin, soda water, lime for only $4} and a burger/fries special!

And before you go thinking that Tuesday night is for laundry… STOP! There's a killer show at the Crocodile this Tuesday, September 13th. We've been counting down to the night that we can see this Banner Barbados band that the imaginaries have been talking about around the water cooler. Also on the bill is Boat {who you might have read a thing or two about on TIG recently} and Augustus Sweetheart. Keep your eye on Augustus Sweetheart; they'll be on tour with one of my newest loves, Cars Can Be Blue in November.

And if you can put off doing laundry one more day {which I recommend — clean laundry is highly overrated}… Wednesday you should go to either The Nevvers, Sameer Shukla and The Parttime Lovers, and The Epochs at the High Dive or see The Elephants at the Baltic Room.

Also — for you north-end folks in Seattle, we have great news! Our favorite coffee/doughnut shop in the world, Top Pot Doughnuts, is coming to your 'hood! The newest store is in the Wedgwood neighborhood, and will open to the public on Friday, September 16. Prepare for your next addiction.

OK, now we'll stop being so bossy. Have fun at the shows!