Le Beat: January 2013

I’m going to skip telling you about my holidays and trust that you can fill in the gaps when I tell you that I discovered what it means to squat at your parents house for the first time since leaving the nest, and the relationship that this creates between showering less, drinking more, and producing nothing of merit. I will also skip over my exhausting list of New Year’s resolutions and trust that without knowing me fully you can also fill in the blanks when I tell you they mostly involve how much cheese should respectably be consumed in any one adult’s diet.

More important than all of this is what’s up with What’s Up! and what you can be looking forward to when you realize none of your resolutions are attainable and all that work you put off in anticipation of the end of the world is still needing to be done.

It’s that time of year again, What’s Up! is hosting its “who has the most friends in Bellingham that are willing to vote for you” Awards! But really, we know how much the gold can means to you and want you all to share this momentous occasion with us for the love of local music. This year’s award show is Saturday, Jan. 26 at the Wild Buffalo featuring My Dad Bruce, Black Beast Revival, The Learning Team, Palisades, The Ames, Shadies, IG88, and the Dirty Birds.


 In the Studio

Federation X announced that they will be recording a new album in February, produced and engineered by Deaf Nephews, who are none other than Dale Crover of Melvins and Toshi Kasai of Big Business fame.

The Ames have been charming the pants off Bellingham for a while now, their follow up to their self-titled EP is rumored to be close to completion.

Branden Clarke has been all over, touring with his hip-hop project Triceracorn, releasing remixes, and not wasting anytime recording the new IG88 full length set to release this March.

When Will Glazier isn’t playing free funk Friday, making movies, or throwing electronic dance parties, he’s been recording with the awesome dudes of Snug Harbor who will have some new material out for us soon.


Records & Releases

Bellingham is a college town whether you like it or not. If you don’t find the aimless wanderings of party pods between North and South campus on Western Wednesday absolutely endearing then you may be interested to know Viking culture brings something else as well, excited transplant musicians. The newest, SoccerMom have been releasing tracks all month long and what they are bringing from Spokane might just make them our new indie-pop darlings.

Santa brought Bellingham a few gifts this year in the form of Christmas albums. Cara Alboucq released an absolutely charming rendition of all the holiday classics in conjunction with Melodysheep productions.
Truly the gift that keeps giving, Jonathan Gipaya of Prime Time Band set out to raise $1,000 for the Bellingham Food Bank with the This Christmas EP and not only passed his goal but created an awesome four track EP featuring tons of Bellingham and Seattle talents.

I haven’t heard a wealth of sad piano pop around Bellingham for a while, but Robert Paulson of Creech has released his solo album Inglenook fitting the bill for the perfect Seasonal Affective Disorder soundtrack of the season.

Bob Paltrow and Burning Clover will celebrate their album Always Here for You release on Feb. 1 at the Blue Horse Gallery during Art Walk and in celebration for Lincoln’s signing of the resolution to abolish slavery! If you haven’t seen the posters where Lincoln is austerely rocking and rolling, you are missing out.

Specters haven’t just been boozin’ and squirting each other with ketchup all winter (see Pin-up), they’ve been hard at work on their freshest release, the Poor Cletus EP.


Band News

Sometimes it seems like Seattle has a big fat crush on Bellingham, I mean why wouldn’t it? One basis for this claim would be the yearly representation from local groups in the all-ages Experience Music Project Sound Off! Competition. This goes way back, hand picking Bellingham’s Idiot Pilot, Mission Orange, Candysound, Pan Pan, Cozy Kitchen, Cat from Hue, and last year, Cassiopeia. Cassiopeia’s own Jake Barrow, aka Vervex and most precious Beatles-inspired The Rockets will be going head to head this year along with a couple others on the Feb. 23 round of the semi-finals.

Congratulations to Odesza for blowing up the past few months and getting picked up by Flower Booking out of Chicago, adding themselves to a roster including Jimmy Eat World, Ratatat, and tons more.

After over 150 shows together as Bellingham’s resident country music cover band, Cherry Blossom Family Delivery played their last show before going on a long/possibly forever hiatus.

With the celebration of the Redlight’s one year and the New Year is birthed the new band NavigatorCommunicator featuring Chris Scherer (Ship to Ship) and Peter Hilleary (Todos Somos Lee).


Around the Town

Nicholas VanDyken (of Heatsink) has been fostering the growth of the Mixatape Tradeatape in Bellingham and is hoping to empower more people to start clubs of their own. The process of this is as simple as it sounds. Step one: get a group of people. Step two: make a mix tape. Step three: meet up, put mixtapes in bag, and each choose a tape. Step four: continue steps one through three until all tapes have been listened to by all members of the group and continue to meet weekly. If you are interested and want inspiration make.shift’s Mixatape Tradeatape library is open for your pleasure. There is nothing that makes me happier than shared music on a tradable medium.

Recently on my late night walks to the Horseshoe I’ve been passing what seems to be the coolest party in town for hip, well dressed 30-something’s in the lovely brick building across from the co-op. What I didn’t know was this was a new bar, Stella’s and I also hear that there will be regular music in this spot. Man does this place look cool, top shelf, upper-classmen status.

Local film company FunKey Productions (Will Glazier of Snug Harbor), put out something pretty incredible called Stay Inside and Play: A Look Into Bellingham Art & Music putting words to what many people find so special about the Bellingham arts scene. This short documentary showcases a few active members of the Bellingham scene, what brought them here and what keeps them here. There are a lot of youtube videos you could waste 30 minutes watching and this is not one of them.

Barkley’s 16-screen theatre is in, Sunset is on its way out, and The Pickford needs our help. 35mm is going away and the PFC has another two months to reach its goal in order to stay our favorite downtown movie house. Consider donating whatever possible, this town wouldn’t be the same without it; their facebook page can fill you in on all the deets. Update: The PFC made their fundraising goal! A huge thank you to anyone who supported them to keep them going! 

I hope to see you all out at the Awards show, I just looked up the population of Bellingham and it looks like there is a hell of a lot of you that I haven’t met yet. If you find me, let’s shake hands and get weird.

Live long and prosper, Megan