Shaky Hands and BOAT | Vera Project | 7 July 2007
The Seattle based web site Three Imaginary Girls is 5 years old, and they threw a couple parties to celebrate the occasion. If you’re wondering what or who the TIG’s are, then you should mosey on over and check them out. It is your one stop shop for all things indie-pop-cool in our fair city. The first party was at the Crocodile on Friday and would have been the one I would have gone to (only because they had beer), but for a nagging summer cold. Turns out, I’m kinda glad I ended up at the all ages bash over at the Vera Project last night. It was the first time I had been to the new Vera space in the Seattle Center, and it was pretty cool in a high school cafeteria all dressed up for a big dance kinda way.
Boat have a new record out in case you hadn’t heard. It’s their second and it’s called Let’s Drag Our Feet. These past few days it’s been pretty hard to escape hearing about the band, what with their Spin band of the day, Pitchfork review (pretty much glowing in case you wondered), their afternoon live at KEXP set on Friday and then these two Imaginary Girls Birthday shows. I’ll either be in Boat withdrawal or have OD’d by Monday morning, I’m not sure. Their set leaned heavily on the new record, which is not a bad thing at all. It’s a bit more restrained/mature(?), than Songs that You Might Not Like, but no less captivating and quirky. The They Might Be Giants comparisons don’t seem to apply anymore, and I was watching them it hit me that they have a lot of similarities to Eggs, especially on The Ferocious Sounds of Lobsters and Snakes. You get the feeling that under the surface they’re really not trying to be funny, but that their songs are heart on the sleeve, earnest and genuine. Live, their timing is tight, with the stops, starts and quick changes all there, just like on the record. They even throw in a few alarm bells, wobbly vocal thingies, and other weird sounds into the mix to keep things interesting.
Most of the kids seemed to be there for local hero’s Boat, but they should have stayed for Portland’s Shakey Hands, because these guys left nothing on the stage. I’ve listen to their record a handful of times and liked it, but it certainly didn’t prepare me for seeing them live. At first glance, you might mistake them for hippies, but their intense set that melded parts Camper Van Beethoven and Elephant Six was nothing short of a pop dream. The songs just popped so much more than their record, I don’t know if it was the additional percussion or having the bass turned up a little more in the mix, but damn if these guys didn’t just amaze! It was one of those shows that made me want to go back and listen to the record again, because obviously I had missed something. Front man, Nick Delffs has a bit of a possessed persona on stage that makes you feel like you could be at a revival meeting, but his slightly warbly voice reminds me a bit of David Lowery, and the band’s ability to incorporate a groove into a pop song made for a lively fun set. I hope we don’t have to wait for the Three Imaginary Girls to turn six until they return to Seattle. H.B. TIG, thanks for the party!