Three Imaginary Girls recommend joining in the Inauguration Day fun, imaginary style



A band I became friendly with over the past several years, The Catch, has a chorus to one of their songs that goes “This would all make sense if it was all about me”. So, with that lyric in mind, I’m recommending one show this week: the first (and probably only) show I booked. I’ve always tried to find the best and most interesting shows each week for the past year or so I’ve been writing this column and tried to be honest and disclose any potential conflicts of interest. Having said that, even if the Chop Suey calendar did not list this as a celebration of my birthday (and President Obama’s inauguration) and my involvement was nil, I would recommend this show without reservation.

With my thirtieth birthday coming up next week, I used that as an opportunity to live out one of my rock and roll fantasies of putting on a show. It was the most indulgent and masturbatory idea I’ve come up with, I’m sure, and was far more stressful than I had imagined — but I couldn’t have been happier or more honored with the lineup.

The show is TIG’s Inauguration Day Party at Chop Suey on January 20 with H is for Hellgate, Friday Mile, Ed Wang and Benjamin Bear.

Benjamin Bear found its way onto my radar last fall by offering to get me (or another writer at TIG) drunk for coming to their show. While I probably shouldn’t be making any decisions that involve alcohol on Monday mornings at work, I checked the band out and went home very impressed. Singer/keyboardist Mychal Cohen has an earnest, sincere vocal delivery and songwriting style that worked well against the tension David Stern provides and drives on the drums.

I’ve known singer/guitarist Aaron Brown of Ed Wang (and also of The Broadcast Debut) for several years but also really admire his band. They make catchy, upbeat powerpop in the tradition of Fountains of Wayne or Superchunk — catchy, guitar-driven rock songs with infectious choruses and witty verses.

Friday Mile the goal of any band is to write a great song, some it’s much easier than others, but Friday Mile has one song (called “Distance=Danger”) that is not merely great, but perfect. Jace Krause has one of the softest and most delicate harmonies in the northwest, bringing to mind The Posies. Put that on top of a fantastic melody with a beautiful commingling of the keyboard and guitar parts and a steady drum beat, it makes for a most delicious song. That song was from their 2007 Love & Gasoline EP but I’m told that their forthcoming LP (due out sometime in 2009, I believe) is even better. Each of their live shows display a band in top form with brilliant pop instincts and a knack for gorgeous songwriting. Here’s a video of “Distance=Danger” from earlier in the year:



H is for Hellgate has fast become a favorite band of mine. Frontwoman Jamie Hellgate and her band just released their fantastic album Come for the Peaks, Stay for the Valleys and it is a smart and accessible record that simply rocks. It is a consistent, personal record that gets better after each listen. Here’s a video of their ode to the star of 30 Rock (“Tina Fey”) from what turned out to be the last show I would go to at the legendary Crocodile Café in December of 2007 (at least the way we knew the Croc and, of course, prior to its forthcoming reopening):



See you out and about,
Chris Burlingame
*Three Imaginary Girls*

In high i-pod rotation:
Conrad Ford
William F. Gibbs

(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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