Three Imaginary Girls

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

It was with much prodding that I left the house for an art opening on the Hill and a glimpse of Pickwick's set last night. I'm not going to lie one bit: getting out the door was a task in and of itself. The sunlight, while more abundant than in the last few years, has been a bit fleeting as we take in the tail end of fall here in the Northwest; the weeks at the dayjob seem longer of late, and the nights shroud our town in darkness before we've even had a chance to catch the bus home from work. With a fresh Amy's burrito and the second half of PJ20 awaiting me on Netflix, suffice it to say that departing my comfy, Christmas-light lit Ballard home for the cold outdoor world seemed quite the poor choice. But I decided to put on some extra black eyeliner and go for it. The burrito could wait. PJ20 would wait, paused in all it's streaming-online glory.

And man, am I ever glad that I came out. Seriously.

While my other agenda item for the night — a lively, bright, upbeat photography show at Aria that was part of the First Thursday artwalk — ate up a good part of the evening prior to their performance, I managed to arrive at the Neptune with plenty of time to catch Pickwick's set. And from a cushy seat on the balcony {thank you for the killer sightlines, Neptune!!} I watched these guys fill the room up with their infectious vibe, almost as effortlessly as someone would inflate a bike tire — though it's clear that a lot of finely-tuned hard work went into every moment of that performance. It's a refreshing, beautiful thing to watch a band come together and just seemingly be themselves, without pomp or overacting. They're the musical equivalent of people who speak from their heart, and not for effect.

The thing that stunned the most, though, outside of the delivery of the songs I knew, and the sometimes-deafening roar of the crowd, and the way my ass was almost demanding that I get out of my seat and dance, was that I really, really liked listening to the new songs. Really. All too often new songs in a set are something that I find myself waiting out (with the exception of, say, a John Roderick performance) or, if anything, there's only one or two that really glimmer and light up — but with Pickwick, all of the new songs they played were just killer. All Of Them. Between what they've got coming next , and recordings starting and finishing by The Young Evils and Damien Jurado (among others), I think we're in for a hell of a release year in 2012, and I can honestly say I'm looking forward to hearing every single track these guys lay down. Based on the crowd last night, it seems as though the rest of Seattle is too.

Here's some really poorly shot iPhone videos from the balcony, which are gnarly quality-wise but there's some decent Hacienda hands towards the end of the first one. Also, please note the solid minute of screaming after the song is done:

Here's a crowd-shushed "Blackout":

Thanks for a great night, Pickwick! We'll see you next month down in Portland!