Three Imaginary Girls say farewell to a Northwest band we miss already

Rich Britton

Rich Britton

I had gotten a message through Facebook earlier in the week saying that ROCKRGRL magazine’s ten year history is going to be archived at Harvard University’s library. It is quite an accomplishment, and especially satisfying because it was the first publication to publish my music writings (I was a writer there during its final two and a half years). When I was moving to a different apartment last Thanksgiving weekend I found several back issues and cringed to see how rough and unpolished my writing was. Reading about the honor bestowed on the magazine, though, reminded me of the memories I had interviewing some of my favorite artists like Janet Weiss (of Sleater-Kinney, my absolute favorite band ever) and the Norwegian pop star Annie (whose album Anniemal was the subject of my pitch for a book in the 33 1/3 series at the end of 2008).

I remember the first review I ever wrote for ROCKRGRL appeared in the summer of 2003 and it was a short album review of Ms. Led‘s Afternoon in Central Park. Prior to that and every day since I wrote that review, Ms. Led has been one of my favorite Northwest bands and they released two fantastic records after that: Shake Yourself Awake and These Things We Say.

I mention all of this because this band has been a very important part of my experience in Northwest music. They were the band first band I wrote about, the band I had seen more than any other and the final band I saw at the Crocodile Café (as we knew it in 2007 and earlier). And now they are playing their final show this Friday night at the High Dive and I cannot recommend it enough.

Ms. Led is a post-riot grrrl band led by Lesli Wood, who sings and plays guitar. The guitar parts she and Peg Wood (no relation) play complement each other perfectly and the band’s overall sound is both urgent and accessible, political but with enough pop hooks to grab you right away, bringing to mind The Clash and Sleater-Kinney.

I’ve been to dozens and dozens of Ms. Led shows over the past seven or eight years and I’ve never seen a bad one. Friday, January 23 (also, incidentally, the first day of my thirties) is the final show for this great and important band. I expect it to be a huge affair, pulling songs from their deep and impressive catalogue. At least half of the band will continue with other projects; Lesli Wood and bassist Matt Menovcik’s project Saeta is putting out their fantastic album Else Another Light Might Go Out on Tuesday and celebrating its release at the Mars Bar the following Friday, on January 30 – yes, I have and it and you should.

You’re going to want to get to the High Dive shortly after the doors open for the opportunity to say goodbye to this great band that will be missed immediately after the wrap up this show.

Here’s their video to the single “New Agenda” from the 2007 album Shake Yourself Awake:

No, no, you’re right,

Chris Burlingame
*Three Imaginary Girls*

In high iPod rotation:

Hey Marseilles
Sleepy Eyes of Death

(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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  1. Posted January 27, 2009 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Chris – you never had any reason to cringe – you were (and are) a very talented writer. And I’m always so proud to see your name in print.

    Belated happy birthday, by the way.


  2. Posted January 29, 2009 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    Thank you very much, Carla. That was very sweet of you to say. I am really happy and proud to have been a part of what you created – and thank you again for that wonderful opportunity. Writing for you was a labour of love, and I really wanted to convey that. I have just learned so much more over the past five+ years that my thinking and writing style has evolved over that time.

    Congratulations again! Harvard! How exciting!!!

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