Lonebird, Bath Party, Eagle Teeth: March 28th at The Shakedown

by Andrew Nickerson

The show started early so I missed the majority of Eagle Teeth’s set by the time I walked in, but they seem to be a new Bellingham crowd-pleaser. They informed the audience that all of their songs are about sex which jives with their dance-party tunes, an element that seems to have been missing from town for a while. In fact, they reminded me of Ten Killing Hands with more melodic vocal lines, but lacking the bass-in-your-face attitude (bassist Alan Crowmade up for it with his zebra-print pants). Party bands have been a tradition in Bellingham and it’s nice to see synth leads coming back with bands like Eagle Teeth and Shit Machine.
Portland’s Bath Party kept the four-on-the-floor going with a sound that can probably be best described as The Black Angels covering a dance rendition of Dick Dale’s “Miserlou.” Fast picking guitar and wah-wah’d bar chords made me want to classify this band as “retro-garage pastiche” with the likes of Brian Jonestown Massacre or the more modern (and fellow Portlandians) Orca Team. The drums were often simple with kick and snare keeping time in unison as the almost-nasally vocals lines floated on top. They ended their set with a cover of “House of the Rising Sun.” A lot of people in attendance were into them but for my part I felt like it’s something that’s verging on being over-done.
Lonebird is of course the solo-project of Sugar Sugar Sugar front-dude Andy Piper, and even though he’s been doing this project since, well, forever, this was my first time witnessing it. I’ve had a couple people tell me that “Andy Piper IS Sugar Sugar Sugar” and now that I’ve seen Lonebird I understand (not to slight Lupe Flores or Justin Verlanic). “The Shugs” are an amped of version of Piper’s one-man-band solo act as he plays his bassey guitar, a stripped down drum set, and sings with his signature muffled falsetto. At one point L “Leather Pants” P told me that Piper was covering songs from a previous project that the two (who make-up The Slacks) had played in a previous project, but I couldn’t quite make out what he was saying (because I’m such a great journalist). Piper started Lonebird when he was having trouble meeting people to play with, but now that he’s been in bands it’s neat to see he’s kept the project alive for so long.