Three Imaginary Girls: Sound Off, Girl Power, and a Grand Opening!

New Faces – finalists in Sound Off! 2008
photo by Chona Kasinger

Last week in this space my friend and TIG colleague Imaginary Liz wrote about being torn between having to choose between going to see the Mountain Goats or the Hives last Saturday night. From even a brief scan of the show calendar it looks like this weekend is even more crowded with excellent excuses for not staying at home.

EMP Sound Off! Finals at the EMP/SFM on Saturday, March 1 at 8pm,, all ages
Since 2002, this competition has unequivocally found the best bands in the Northwest with all members under 21. Past contestants have included Natalie Portman’s Shaved Head, Dyme Def, Schoolyard Heroes, Mon Frere, Idiot Pilot, the Sutures (then the Neons), and Asahi. This year, like all years past, includes no shortage of great talent.

The finalists this year include Man Down Medic, a five-piece indie rock band from Seattle that employs string instruments (violin, viola, cello) to compliment a traditional (guitar, keys, bass, drums) setup; The Nextdoor Neighbors a female electro-folk duo from Olympia; and New Faces, a powerpop band from Port Townsend.

All three bands show a maturity in their songwriting that goes well beyond their young age and have limitless potential. Regardless of who wins, I’m sure we’ll be hearing quite a bit from those three bands in the coming months and years.

Scream Club, Team Gina, the Trucks and Nicky Click at the Vera Project on Saturday March 1 at 7:30pm, all ages
If you’re a fan of electro-dance pop and lo-fi hip hop, this show must be a dream lineup. Team Gina (recent guests on Audioasis) have the same commitment to danceable beats and catchy rhymes that their predecessors from Scream Club have shown for several years (according to legend and their song “A Tribe Called Rocco”, Ginas Bling and Genius met at a Scream Club show).

Two weeks ago, I recommended the gay/lesbian-friendly dance party featuring Hey Willpower and MEN (Johanna and JD from Le Tigre) at Nectar, this is the show for everyone who wanted to go to that one but just weren’t old enough.

Visqueen and Quadrillion at the King Cobra on Sunday March 2 at 9pm, 21+
The King Cobra is the newest rock club in Seattle (located on Cap Hill next to the Comet Tavern) and this is their grand opening weekend. Judging by the booking thus far, they like their rock and roll with lots of guitars turned to 11. Beginning on Thursday and continuing through Sunday they have booked a solid weekend of rock. If you are going to any of them, please don’t forget your earplugs. Sunday’s show gets our recommendation because it features one of the best rock bands to call Seattle home.

Visqueen has long been a favorite of TIG and for good reason: they make addictive pop-rock songs and have the most charming and funny of lead singers in Rachel Flotard. Expect catchy songs and hilarious between-song banter (where good sport and even better drummer Ben Hooker is sure to be the butt of many of Flotard’s jokes). Visqueen’s shows never disappoint.

Unravel the daylight,
Chris Burlingame and Three Imaginary Girls

High iPod rotation:
Hey Willpower
Black Eyes & Neckties
The Mountain Goats

(Three Imaginary Girls is a Seattle-based website that showcases the great music of the Northwest and beyond to music lovers worldwide. We post a Seattle live show calendar to help you fill your day-planner with loads of great shows, as well as record reviews, live show reviews, and an imagi-blog to entertain you throughout the day.)

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