Three Imaginary Girls

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

Featuring Kayne West, Izabelle, Augustus Sweetheart, The Vera Project's 'Cut-Out' Fundraiser, Hattie's Hat, Jared Clifton, stellastarr*, and more. {as of September 14, 2005}

Like most of the country, I've been listening to the new Kanye West album and heralding it (and the political musings of the artist) nonstop. I apologize for hipster-izing him or coming off like a fair-weather hip-hop for the masses fan — but his sentence-following uhs, his eloquent use of "digga" — I'm loving my most recent dabbling in hip-hop 101! Viva Kanye!

Surely you've all heard by now about the "George Bush hates black people" refreshingly honest speech he gave at a live Katrina benefit show on NBC {that they subsequently censored before airing the reply on the west coast. I'm not even going to use this fun-loving column to vent about how terrifying that concept is…}

Just in case you haven't seen it, go watch Kayne be awesome.

We are so excited to have finally seen Augustus Sweetheart and Banner Barbados! On Tuesday night, they played on the bill with Boat at the Crocodile, and it was a surprise treat to catch these two up and comers. Augustus Sweetheart filled the stage with three guitars, a bass guitar, keyboard and drums. Although this shouldn't be noteworthy it is — the band boasts the cutest of female drummers that totally held her own amongst the legion of guitar / keyboard wielding boys lining the stage in front of her. They supplied concentrated guitar choruses without letting testosterone get the best of them. The outcome is a batch of songs that are both friendly and feisty.

Glam Garb by Gunlis. Last Saturday night I had the honor of assisting the lovely Miss Anna Banana of Pretty Parlor during the Habitude fashion show. Specifically, we assisted Glam Garb by Gunlis, an amazing line of hand-dyed vintage slips that paired beautifully with vintage wear from Pretty Parlor. Here's what I learned:

  • It's hard to dress other people, especially when they are gorgeous, skinny models who are in a big hurry.
  • Slips make fabulous clothing.
  • I heart Anna Banana.

It might not have been indie-rock, but it wasn't a bad way to spend a Saturday night. Another perk was seeing the recent line by Tes de Luna of Zuzupop, who dazzled the crowd with at least 30-40 gorgeous and original outfits, as well as with stunningly stoic models who strolled the runway to amazing tunes by Interpol and Bjork. What an amazing and talented local artist! You can find Glam Garb and Zuzupop fashions at both Pretty Parlor (in Phinney Ridge) or Velouria (next to Sonic Boom in Ballard).

But enough blathering. Let's talk about up-coming shows!

The thing I've been most looking forward for the past few weeks is the stellastarr* show at Chop Suey on Saturday {September 17, 2005}. I've only heard selected tracks from their new album, Harmonies for the Haunted, but already know that it is a natural follow-up to their 2003 self-titled album. They continue to make music that has goth-undertones yet remains catchy. The Cure-esque song structure, David Byrne style'd vocals and Pixies guitar rifts are still bound by NYC panache.

Live, I promise stellastarr* will not disappoint. The last time they were in town (remember when the Killers opened up for them in April 2004 at the Crocodile?) I was so impressed I roadtripped it to Portland to see them the following night. (What? Me, moved to the point of superfandom and extreme-adulation over a band?) To hear their songs through club PAs, any perceived over-calculation of their songs is replaced with 'back of the cha cha' grit. Their show on Saturday at Chop Suey will surely be a hipsters delight.

Ahh, stellastarr*. Sweet asterisk how I love stellastarr*. In fact, I've found a new-to-me band that sounds a bit like stellastarr* hopped up on no-doz. They're from Denmark, they're called Tiger Tunes. Give their mp3s a listen. Angry kids of the world… UNITE!

Good call Char! I've been singing that "Kirsten is a f***-machine" song in my head since you had me listen to it multiple times in a row last time I was in your car.

Looking for more new music? Or even looking to fill in the cracks of your prize-worthy collection? Get thee to the Mirabeau Room this coming Sunday {September 18, 2005} for "Cut-Out" — a fundraiser for the Vera Project.

Simply put, it is a sale of promo and demo albums pitting all the clubs, papers, djs, radio stations and collectors against each other to see who can raise the most money with the sales of their cd, vinyl & promo item donations. The group with the most popular collection of music (i.e. the most sales) wins the super special 'platinum' trophy!

There will also be drink specials, dj's, projections, and food — it will be a an all day music party. Let your music geek side SHINE!

My recommended show of the week is the Izabelle CD release show at the all-ages Paradox on Saturday {also with Some By Sea, The Broadcast Debut, Hypatia Lake, and Ambulance For Angeles — now that's a lotta bang for your eight bucks!}. While I haven't seen Izabelle live yet, their MySpace recordings have the slightly theatrical vocals of an indie-rock Rufus Wainright, blended with showy Britpop instrumentation flavored like one of those nice UK bands with boy names (James, Travis, Keane). They have a nice edgy grit to their guitars too, to keep things interesting.

If you'd like to see them while inebriated (who could blame you?), they have a show at the High Dive on October 22 with the likewise Brit-poppy local band Mono in VCF.

Velella Velella. Photo by Erinn Hale. Looking for something to do early next week that will give you cocktail conversation fodder for months? On Tuesday {September 20, 2005}, you shou
ld check out the hottest French export since Air. Nouvelle Vague will be headlining the night at Chop Suey and filling the place with lounge-y takes of early eighties classics {from Joy Division to XTC}. More than just a novelty, Nouvelle Vague will leave you feeling smart, cultured and giddy. Also on the bill is Lushy and Velella Velella.

But don't stay up too late, you must save some of yourself for the next night {Wednesday, September 21} for the Death Cab/Harvey Danger Hurricane Katrina Benefit at the Showbox. It's home grown turned international indie pop rock for a good cause. There's no better reason to go into work hung over on a Thursday. Tell your boss you did it for charity.

Oh, and before we sign off — thanks to all those who came out to our guest-bartending shift at Hattie's Hat! It was nice to see some long lost souls in the booths and those folks at Hattie's are so nice!

Radio Nationals. Photo by Christopher Nelson.I learned that bartending is hard, so we ended up spending most of our time on our typical side of the bar than behind it.

It was especially nice to see our pal Jared Clifton from Radio Nationals there. In case you haven't heard, Radio Nationals is about to be no more. So while we're giving shoutouts about future shows, make sure you mark your calendars for their final show ever, on October 21, 2005 at the Tractor Tavern (with I Can Lick Any SOB in the House).

Oh! And before we go, remember how last week I told you that our favorite coffee shop {Top Pot Doughnuts} was going to be opening in the north-end of Seattle {Wedgwood} this week? Well hold onto your creamer, friends — looks like the opening will be delayed by a week. Sorry to get your hopes up for one of those mouth-watering soy lattes {and old fashioned cinnamon sugar doughnuts, OMG}. We'll keep you posted on the date…