1. June is my favorite month.

2. Nineteen is my favorite number.

3. 2013 has been particularly lucky for me so far.

So numerologically-speaking, 6/19/13 was going to be MY DAMN DAY, and guess what? IT WAS, because three super-mega-rad-rad-rad bands (including The Intelligence, rated "Most Rad of The Rad" by Popthomology, aka ME) came together to form a triple bill of perfection at Neumos last Wednesday night, sponsored by The Stranger. Normally, a mid-week gig has a bit different tone (and attendance level) than a weekend gig, but you've never seen a happier, way-into-it, yet chill crowd. Seattle is also really lucky to have these locals producing such cool tunes, and you will be lucky as well to see any or all of them when they visit your village, town, or city on tour.

The show opened up with Pony Time, a duo everyone (including music writer pal Chris Burlingame) had been telling me for awhile "OMG, you need to see them, you will LOVVVE them," and everyone was right!! Fun, dance-y, garage thumpin' rock? Well, I AM IN! I wish I had been able to see all of their brief set but I was being cheap waiting outside for the guest list to arrive at the box office. Lo siento, Pony Time, and I now will purchase your awesome album, "Go Find Your Own," on Per Se Records on vinyl as soon as I finish typing this sentence. (update:  yes, I did!)

Watch Pony Time's funny brand-new vid for "Go Find Your Own" and then look at the photos I took! (As always, click to enlarge photos and go to the Flickr links for more!)

(Pony Time Neumos 6/19/13 Flickr set)

Up next, the all-female surf-sweetness of La Luz, another band highly recommended to me by, well, everyone! Only a year old, La Luz has become a band with buzz (La Buz?) with lightning speed here, and are already national tour vets. They have a super-appealing musical blend: classic early-'60s SoCal surf instrumentals with a kind of San Franciscan-fog lyrical mood. Their performance style is similarly endearing, because it looks like they are just having the best time, which even includes a lil' dance choreography from Shana Cleveland on guitar and Abbey Blackwell on bass. La Luz has an EP called "Damp Face," which you can purchase RIGHT HERE on cassette from Burger Records for only $3.33 (!!!) or digitally on the La Luz's Bandcamp site linked above!

La Luz, "Sure As Spring," Art Zone, 5/7/13

(La Luz Neumos 6/19/13 Flickr set)

Without question, the first half of 2013 has been both lucky and transformative for The Intelligence, which has been for me as a mega-fan and friend particularly exciting to see evolve. In both taking full advantage of opportunities presented and in mindful intent, the band has learned the real secret of "luck," which is that it is not something that happens to you as much as something you create for yourself. Ten or so years down the line since Lars Finberg created The Intelligence, this is a pretty sweet place to land, especially after navigating what was often rocky and disheartening musical and personal terrain.

Fresh off a ridiculously-awesome 40-day European tour (like really fresh -- they flew back to 'Merica on June 16th), the guys appeared happy, relaxed and re-energized. This is not something one usually sees after the end of a long, van-cramped road trip and an international flight from any band, to say the least, especially after cruel thieves in Rome broke into said van and stole all their stuff near the end of the tour. No matter, it's just stuff, they mused, and zen was achieved (and new clothes purchased at H&M).

I had a pretty good idea that the show at Neumos was going to be some hot stuff, after getting a glimpse of the new heft from the band at Chop Suey in April and then checking out some of their Euro-tour live videos that were popping up on YouTube, like this fantastic full set from Le Galion in Lorient, France. Everyone (mon petit ami Larsito on vocals and guitar, Dave Hernandez on guitar, Drew Church on bass, and Pete Capponi on drums) was ON THEIR GAME. So what happened at Neumos? Well, HELLO, even Finberg said later that it was "our best show evz." I had some difficulty settling my ass down to stop dancing to stay still to take the photographs, which is my only complaint with the night: it was TOO MUCH FUN! In addition to hearing so many of my fave tunes like "Telephone Wires" and "Like Like Like Like Like Like Like" and "Dating Cops" and "Males" (OK, so all the songs are my favorites, sue me), we got to hear three NEW songs: "Romans," "We Refuse To Pay The Dues," and another with a great working title that I'm not going to tell you because it's too clever and you might explode. The crowd and I dug 'em just as much as the more familiar songs, which is making me think the next recording by The Intelligence might just be my favorite yet.

Also, there were Tai Chi-like balance and kick moves. It's like frosting on top of frosting on the cake.

(The Intelligence Neumos 6/19/13 Flickr set)

Thank you x ∞ to The Stranger, Neumos, Pony Time, La Luz, and of course, The Intelligence! You are all my good luck!