Le beat

Hi everybody! (Hi Dr. Nick!)
I’m not going to blah blah blah much this month about What’s Up! stuff, there’s way too much happening to talk about. I just want to take a paragraph to thank Takes All Kinds, Bear Cove, My Dad Bruce, The Palisades, The Listers and Cutlass Supreme for playing the What’s Up! birthday party, DJ Einstein for organizing and DJing, Evan Cooper/Glow for allowing us to have the party there, and everyone who came out. I had a great time chatting with old friends and new, it was a fun night.
The only other tidbit of What’s Up! news is I’d like to tell you all is that The Palisades f’in’ rule. I mean, seriously, these guys blow me away – they recently put their recordings on disc and I got to listen to it during some good drives. Oh wow. Love everything about this band. My two and a half year old was even singing to one of their songs – totally awesome. They’re recording this month with Andrew Nickerson and will, hopefully, be releasing new music really soon. SWEET.
When I came to Bellingham nearly 20 years ago, I was exceptionally dorky and desperately wanted to meet and hang out with musicians (yeah… so much has changed, right). When I finally started to meet some folks, I felt like an outsider… but a few musicians were very cool to me and Betsy Hansen was one of those people. Frankly, she probably doesn’t even remember me, but I always appreciated her kindness and welcoming attitude (plus she played in awesome bands like Mystery Date, Foxmange and A Frequency). Now living in Seattle, Betsy is VERY sick with cancer and she (plus her husband) need financial help as the medical bills rack up by the thousands. A benefit to raise funds for Betsy and her husband will be held April 22 at The Shakedown, with Skamania, The Elvi’s and Clambake performing. This is an incredibly difficult time; old school Bellingham folks will hopefully come out in droves to support them.
Unfortunately, there is another health-related benefit to write about. Lucas Hicks, who has been loved and adored by Bellingham music fans since his days in Pacer 15 years ago – and currently plays in Rattletrap Ruckus, Gallus Brothers and The Shadies – has been battling cancer for several years. Recently, a new tumor has started growing in his shoulder and it needs urgent attention, so Lucas is flying to New York to have a procedure done by one of the few doctors in the world that specializes in treating this Desmoid Sarcoma cancer. He needs money to help pay for his trip (playing in bands and teaching music isn’t exactly a lucrative gig). A benefit will be held on April 9 at the Green Frog, with performances by Reeb Willms and Caleb Klauder, The Gallus Brothers and Yogoman Burning Band as well as members of the Circus Guild. Please attend this show and support Lucas – he has made Bellingham music a large part of his life, and, frankly, he’s just awesome.
There are times when I am given bad information which I in turn give to you. Regrettably, this occurred last month. I was told by an “insider” that Snug Harbor’s future was up in the air (*cough* Will Glazier), but apparently that wasn’t the case. Will says they are still going strong, just revamping the line up. The three-piece talked about last month is a potential new weird jazz group, NOT Snug Harbor. LET ME REPEAT, SNUG HARBOR IS NOT BREAKING UP!!! (Feel better, Will?)
Ross Bracket, the man, the myth, the legend, has moved out of Bellingham. I thought he would stay here longer than me, but he has decided Austin has a much better climate than here (yep). For all of his efforts with WhAAM, The Winter Commission, GAF and just being a dude around town, we salute him. He had a huge impact early on with the magazine and we appreciate what he’s done for us and this town. Enjoy the sun!
On the flip side, Havilah Rand has moved back to Bellingham for all intents and purposes (from Austin), which is cool. She’s heading back to Austin for a bit this spring, but will be back again in June with a release of her new album in the middle of August. I like it when she lives here – Havilah is a damn good singer/songwriter. Look for a story on her, her travels and her old pin up in What’s Up! this summer.
Ten years ago, Aaron Ball (now in Virgin Islands, previously of Sharpie, Bat Farm and Enders of Ozone) and Dominique Herrin (formerly Everybody’s Debbie) released a documentary on the Bellingham music scene called Get Out There and Play (the movie can be found at Film is Truth). The duo will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary, with a show (or two) in September featuring bands featured in the film. If you were in the film and want to play, contact Aaron or Dom. If you want to know what the music scene was like 10 years ago, check out the film, then check out show(s). If you want to see what I looked like 10 years ago – fresh faced and without gray hair, rent the doc. I shaved.
Last month, we featured an 11 questions with Paul Chandler, one of my favorite interviews yet. Well, this last month has been especially busy for little Pauly Chandler – he toured for two weeks with Orgone, did four dates with Galactic – featuring Corey Henry on trombone from Rebirth Brass Band and Corey Glover from Living Colour, played on stage breaking down to just a drums and trumpet duet with Stanton Moore at the Crystal Ballroom, and is now doing two shows opening for the Greyboy Allstars featuring the one and only Fred Wesley from the J.B.’s on trombone. As he said in his message to me, “I love my job.” Awesome.
Back in the summer, I talked about a band called The Dirt Bros. (No, not the old local bluegrass band.) They kind of popped on the radar, then fell off just as quick. HAVE NO FEAR, the band has changed its name to Black Cat and will be playing again in town soon. Half of the band, Phil Parhamovich, usually lives out on Lummi, but this year spent the winter in Wisconsin, then toured the Northeast in March. He’ll be back this summer, so look for press on the band, ‘cuz I love their swampy blues sound (incidentally, the drummer (half of the band) lives in Vermont which makes them that more awesome).
Tim Alexander, former drummer of Primus, is giving drum lessons at 3SIX0 Music. Seriously, do I need to say more?!
The Corner Pocket radio show (which once had its home on KUGS as their weekly local music show) continues to play said local music, only on the internet. It’s still going strong and can be found on Hollowed Earth Radio at www.hollowearthradio.org.
Axes of Evil are reuniting for a one off show at the The Shakedown on April 20. Gotta love it when a band gets back together, even if for one night.
Dog Shredder’s new album, Brass Tactics, is out on April 17 and it RULES (I was able to snag a promo copy). They’ll be having a release party on the 27th with Sandrider and Devilry.
The mighty Bruce Hamilton (BEAF organizer/professor on campus/Supertramp fan) has been busy, busy over the last month, releasing his solo music, as well as albums on his label Spectropol by Vincent Berger Rond, Various Artists (Axe Compilation), City of the Asleep and The Goldenbats. As if that wasn’t enough, Bruce is now putting out the call for weird music/sounds by Whatcom County musicians. He’s working on a release slated for this summer and trying to get music that runs the gamut – backwoods folk, weird stuff, whatever… best songs end up on the comp. If you’d like more information, check out spectropol.com/.
Sugar Sugar Sugar, back from a triumphant SxSW oriented tour, are releasing their latest recording Sugar Sugar Sugar on cassette tape with a release show (and Lupe’s 30 birthday party) on April 5 at The Shakedown. Look for a review in the next issue, but I’ll give you a little sneak peak – I love it. Pure rock ‘n ‘roll.
Speaking of Lupe and releasing new music, one of her other bands, Swayze (which includes members of Mico De Noche) also has new music out. Like Sugs x3, it rules, though for totally different reasons. Check it out on swayzeland666.bandcamp.com/. Get ready to have your mind BLOWN.
Do you like rock ‘n’ roll? I mean, DO YOU LIKE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL?!?!? Then check out Cutlass Supreme’s debut album – it’s full of… well… ya know… ROCK ‘N’ ROLL (I wish you guys could hear the voice in my head as I type this out. Pure rock genius).
While Vantage has members scattered along the West Coast, they’ve still found a way to finish up a second album, produced by Jackson Long. It’s kind of a good bye for the band and one they’re very happy about. No official word on the album’s release, but it’s supposed to be damn good. With those guys, it’d be hard not to be.
OK, so, yeah, I’m listening to Eagle Teeth RIGHT THIS VERY SECOND. It’s pretty awesome, especially the song “Sexy Girl.” The band reminds me of some mid-80s music, though I can’t quite put my finger on who. Either way, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say you’ll be hearing and seeing more and more of the band this year. You’ll see a review of their album next month, at least, so there’s that.
Those who have been around town for awhile might remember MASA Records from the good ol’ days of Bellingham. Matt Fu has started the label up again and is giving away tons of free music – pulling from bands old and new. Check out what he’s up to at www.masarecords.bandcamp.com.
The Mission Orange spent some time in the studio last month with Trevor Spencer and will be releasing it “in the near future,” according to their facebook post. Personally, I’m stoked to hear what they sound like as a four piece and God knows Trevor makes bands sound damn good (he did spend a lot of time on the road doing sound for the Fleet Foxes) – so the new record will likely sound amazing.
Last Band Standing begins in full force this month with shows each Thursday at The Underground. Here is the line up, and there’s something for everyone: April 5 – Daniel Kirkpatrick and the Bayonets, IG88 (check out his pin up this month), Truth Under Attack, Klover Jane, Chris Eger Band (plus special guest performance from LBS Bend 2011 finalist, Cadence, during vote count); April 12 – Sugar Sugar Sugar, The Ames, Hooves, Average Mammal, Kowalski; April 19 – The Palisades, Pawnbroker, Boss Rhino, My Dad Bruce; April 26 – Citizen Escape, Carparza, The Bad Tenants, Black Beast Revival, Calbrea; May 3 – Calico Queen, Woodshed, Salvador Dali Lama, Bear Cove, Juliet and the Dream; May 10 – Box Car Millionaires, Keaton Collective, Red Racing Stripes, Mostafa. Who do you think is going to win?
I think that’s about it for this month. Thanks to everyone who sent well wishes for our 14th birthday last month – much appreciated! And thanks to those who donated to our Grow Northwest kickstarter, we made our fundraising goal and there are quite a few music scene people who helped out. You’re awesome.
Hugs and kisses, Brent Cole