Le Beat: March 2013

I’ll clear the air right here and now. I wasn’t exactly “around” 15 years ago. That is to say I wasn’t here, in Bellingham, throwing back cold ones at the 3B, smoking inside or whatever it was you were all doing in 1998. I was throwing back cartons of apple juice and watching Magic School Bus. Either way, that still makes this the 15th Anniversary of What’s Up! Magazine. Looking back at old issues this magazine has seen some times, some damn good ones at that. The scene has changed, as you’ll see throughout this part retrospective edition and part present day reporting. This will leave us with many unanswerable questions, has it changed for the better or for the worse? What will the kids care about in 15 more years? Will they even remember the Harlem Shake? These are all questions to ponder for the next while. Glad to get that off my chest. Now I feel that we can really communicate about the NOW in Bellingham. There’s still a whole hell of a lot happening.


Around the Town

I’m going to give a shout out. Make.Shift, people. What are those folks doing over there? Seriously, everything good. In February we got to see Nardwuar for free on a Saturday afternoon, record numbers at the Valentine’s cover show and next month they are putting on many impressive shows including the next big Seattle hip hop thing Shelton Harris on March 15 and a Behead the Prophet No Lord Shall Live reunion show on March 22 for which you should buy your tickets in advance.

Superhero Boy Band. I don’t know that we need to describe further, but there will be a 90-minute musical comedy that involves boy band dancing, puppetry, video, special effects, and stop-motion entertainment at the Bellingham Circus Guild on March 16, 22, 23, 28, 29, and 30. Get your tickets at superheroboyband.com. This is going to be outrageously awesome.

Okay people, listen up. This is important. Footloose is happening all over again. No, not the sequel, which actually did happen recently with no positive consequence. There’s some government business threatening our beloved venues by collecting a “dance tax” which has been on the books (unknowingly) for years, but only recently enforced and in some cases, retroactively to the tune of thousands of dollars ($100,000 and more in the case of a few Seattle clubs). If the Department of Revenue get their way, they’ll be collecting it from every club in the state, putting all live music venues in jeopardy. Currently, there is a bill working its way through committee that would strike down this one provision in the tax laws, but it needs a lot of support not only from venues owners, but music fans as well. Our very own courageous warrior Craig Jewell (co-owner of the Wild Buffalo) is lobbying as the only representative outside of Seattle. Please help spread the word and contact your legislators. We hear press and comments are key so use your social medias to spread the word. We will be running a story on the issue next month, but in the mean time, check out the Buff’s website, www.wildbuffalo.net for more information.


Rumor Has It

There’s some sports appreciation brewing up on campus and not of the Viking sort. I can only give a vague inside scoop at this point but AS Productions Special Events and Pop Music tells me it involves a couple hoop shootin’ heroes and hip-hop music. Stay tuned, it’s going to be big.


In the Studio

Dog Shredder will be heading down to Los Angeles to start recording a new album this month with producer Ross Robinson (Slipknot, Korn, At The Drive-In) after having just played a buzz-worthy string of shows with Red Fang and Federation X.

Speaking of Federation X, they too will be hard at work on their next album, which should be due out early this summer. The boys will be missing all of the 15th birthday festivities as they’ll be in Los Angeles recording with Dale Crover of the Melvins. Yes!


On Record

Learning Team was fully funded (and then some) in their Kickstarter quest this past couple months and have been building anticipation for their upcoming album, Aporia Coda which for the record is a very literary title. The record will be available in April celebrated by a release party at the Wild Buffalo on April 12.

Another highly anticipated and Kickstarter driven album is nearing completion, I Love You Avalanche has been hinting at a release and I think we’re all ever so anxious.

What better day to release a hip-hop album than 4/20? Style points to Bloodshot who will be releasing new material, promised free to fans.

Even though we’ve covered them in this issue or last issue, I do want to remind you all that there are new albums due out this month from The Heligoats, IG88 (who apparently just moved to Seattle), and Full Frontal Assault.


Band News

Black Beast Revival will be embarking on a beastly tour in these upcoming winter weeks, we wish them good luck, drink tickets, and the most rock ‘n’ roll.

It’s no secret that What’s Up! loves Palisades, well it’s no secret that Brent Cole loves Palisades as exhibited when he shouted to them in a soccer dad fashion at the awards show. Well I think they were both inspired, because on March 30 Brent will be a guest DJ hosting a Bellingham music show on KEXP, which will be accompanied by Palisades in studio at 8:30 p.m. Tune in and get stoked on Bellingham.

If you didn’t post a “holy shit Sasquatch line-up” status on your social medias about a month ago, you were alone. The festival sold out in about a week’s time and they’ve got most the big guns on the stage, but most importantly there is some Bellingham representation this year. We all knew it was only a matter of time before Odesza blew up and now they are playing Sasquatch. If you didn’t sell your life’s belongings for a ticket, you can catch them at the Wild Buffalo on March 10 with Emancipator.

There was a little treat at the February 23 round of EMP Sound Off in Seattle this month, not only did Vervex strut its stuff, but SoccerMom was called up last minute to do the same when the Rockets were unable to make the competition. Good job to both the groups for bringing it.

Chris Howard played his last show on bass with Totalizer this month at the Cabin with best wishes from the band in his new endeavors.


Babies, Weddings, & Gigs

A few congratulations are in order this month. We’d like to welcome Sloan Dahl Willows to the world! Shutzie and Spencer Willows (Cherry Blossom Family) had the baby on Valentine’s Day and they are loving every second of it. Congrats you three!

Let’s pretend for my own enjoyment that Le Beat is Bellingham’s definitive society pages. In such a case, congrats are in order to Stephen Steen (Specters) who announced his engagement to Io Blair-Freese at a house show this month. Chances are you’ve seen this good-looking couple around town so give them a thumbs up next time you do.

No one wants Nick Duncan to leave town. But alas, the time has come and to no surprise he is already begun to find success landing an internship at Sub Pop Records, giving hope to the rest of us aspiring music professionals.



I’m hoping that there are a handful of you reading this Le Beat pre-anniversary shows. If you, dear reader are reading this pre-March 1 check out what’s bound to be one of the most memorable Art Walks this year at Make.Shift, who will be showing iconic live music photos, articles and comprehensively every What’s Up! magazine cover. A huge thank you to gallery director Jess Flegel and Make.Shift director Cat Sieh for their amazing support and patience. Along with Art Walk that night they will be showing Bellingham music biopic Get Out There and Play. Also, get yourself to the Shakedown that night for the birthday bash featuring Black Eyes & Neck Ties, The Narrows, The Wastelanders, and Sugar Sugar Sugar. There’s no excuse, unless it sells out which is likely.

On March 2, join us and approximately 62 bands in the greater downtown area at 23 venues for a free live music celebration, during the day and late into the night. A HUGE thank you goes out to all the musicians, venues, hand-stampers, sound technicians, and anyone who calls themselves a local music fan for making this possible. You make our dreams come true.

If you are reading this post March 2, thanks for joining us and tipping your bartenders. If you didn’t join us, shame on you. We are still accepting birthday gifts, leave ‘em at Merch Bot and no funny business.

Finally, we’d like to apologize to Sarah Day for making multiple erros with her photos last month. First off, she did the IG88 photo and secondly, she was credited incorrectly in the awards show spread. Sarah is awesome, someone who is always a breeze to work wiith, we’re very sorry hosed ya on not one, but two occassions!

Thank you all for reading this very special edition of What’s Up! and supporting local music. This is a special place to be as a musician and supporter of the arts in any form so let’s cheer to the next good years in our future.



Editor’s Note: 

Well hello! Good to talk to you all again!

Welcome to the What’s Up! 15th birthday issue, I hope you all enjoy it. I can’t believe it’s been 15 years, I mean, seriously, 15 YEARS! That’s insane! I’ve been thinking a lot about the last 15 years – the music, the people, the changes… it’s incredible.

Over the last few years, this month’s issue, has been something I’ve had in my mental periphery – something I’d kind of think about, a goal to get to. For some reason, 10 years was big, but for me, not nearly as big as 15. When we started getting to 12, it was on my radar and an event I couldn’t wait to celebrate. Kind of like my 40th birthday, I wanted to make this fun and special, a time for not only me but everyone who has been or is into the magazine, to celebrate.

And that’s what is going to happen – you are either reading this just before the biggest weekend of local music or soon after – the first weekend in March is going to be one for the ages. An gallery show (thanks to Cat Sieh and Jess Flegel for everything), a birthday show, followed by 62 bands in 23 venues. I hope you all had fun (or will). Thanks to everyone for participating in this weekend! This weekend is special for me, for us at the magazine, and I hope it’s special for ya’ll as well. It might sound corny but I’ve had more fun putting this issue together and putting together the blow out weekend than I’ve had in a lot of years. Talking to all the bands and see everyone’s excitement about playing has been incredibly graitifying and nice reminder of why I got into the job in the first place – because I love the music. After 15 years I can honestly say that local music still blows me away, I can still hear a local band and have them stir something in my stomach and send a chill up my spine. I’m blessed that at 42 years old I still get to feel that!

We’ve been around since 1998, I can’t even begin to thank everyone for what they’ve done to help the magazine, so I’m going to thank you all. Thanks to all of the writers who have taken their time to talk about local music,  the photographers who have volunteered their time for the paper and this community, the artists who have contributed cover artwork, and most importantly, the advertisers who have supported us (without them, we wouldn’t be here). There are many more folks, thank you.

Finally, I’d lke to thank my wife Becca for everything she’s done over the last eight years. Bec doesn’t like to take any credit for this paper, but she does all the page design, copy edits (best she can with time), all while being a wonderful mother to our three young children, an incredible wife, and running Grow Northwest. She helped me realize the possibilities of What’s Up! years ago and always teaches me how to be a better editor and publisher. Thanks, Bec, you are unbelievable.

Thank you everyone! Hugs and kisses, Brent Cole