Somehow in nine years of living in Seattle I’d never been to Chop Suey. What caused me to break that unintentional snubbin’ streak? Why, the prospect of seeing 9 local bands covering Liz Phair’s Exile in Guyville, in order.

It was a party thrown by Three Imaginary Girls, in honor of the album’s 15-year anniversary and the Girls’ own 6-year anniversary of publishing about the local scene. Each band performed two consecutive tracks, and the bands were well matched with their songs – each band seemed able to show its strengths.

Of course, some were stronger than others. A couple of bands sounded like they’d just completed their second semester at U-JIG (aka the University of Jamming In the Garage). Even so, it was SUCH a treat to hear these songs live!

I went with two friends; sadly theCultFigure couldn’t join us because he was playing tennis. Details after the jump.

Lucy Bland: got things going with 6’1″ and Help Me Mary. They were pretty good, but not quite up to the task. The band didn’t sound very tight (was the drum beat a little quick? was someone else a little slow? was it just me?) and the singer had the sweet side of Liz Phair down but not the growly side. U-JIG. Too bad, because these are excellent tracks. 

Star Anna: Wow! Glory and Dance of the Seven Veils sounded terrific being half-sung half-moaned accompanied by a single guitar. I’m already planning to see her at Bumbershoot, assuming we suck it up and brave the crowds <grumble>

Tennis Pro: two enthusiastic dudes in dresses and makeup having a blast with Never Said and Soap Star Joe. They rocked it out. Not bad.

M. Bison: waaaaay over-earnest, humorless versions of Explain it to Me and Canary. It’s too bad, I wanted to like it more because I especially dig Canary and it was interesting to hear a guy singing it. One of my friends wanted to punch the tall guy in the band, just on principle. U-JIG. Moving on…

Rachel Flotard: what an ass-kicker. I love her. She jokingly called her band “Lizqueen” for the night (normally, Visqueen). She belted out really strong renditions of  Mesmerizing and Fuck and Run and really got the show back on track in a big way.

Lesli Wood: kept things awesome with a sly and captivating Girls! Girls! Girls! and great tweaks to Divorce Song, incorporating some backing vocals from Team Gina. It felt like the first really creative twist anyone gave to their tracks.

Team Gina: the streak continued with the electro-hip hop duo Team Gina covering Shatter and Flower, which was more awesome than I’d thought possible, because they accompanied it with bored expressions while making raunchy gestures. Genius. Team Gina for the win!

Tea Cozies: I don’t remember much about their version of Johnny Sunshine, but their version of Gunshy was impressively original: faster, more rocking, longer, not easily recognizable. On the whole I dug it.

Throw Me the Statue: a fantastic end to the night, covering Stratford-on-Guy and Strange Loop. They sounded really tight, really energetic. The songs sounded fresh.

 

I love TIG parties. In 2006 they threw a Valentine’s Day party with local bands covering various of Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs, which was where I first fell in love with Transmissionary Six, Daylight Basement, and Rachel Flotard. This time, I fell in love with Star Anna, Team Gina, and Throw Me the Statue, and re-fell in love with Rachel Flotard and Lesli Wood. For $8, what more could you want!

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