Local Festivals: What’s happening this month
By Megan Housekeeper
Worthy Fest is truly a grassroots festival, with its roots planted firmly in live music, local arts and community. Like all promising grassroots movements, it has quickly outgrown itself since beginning in 2009, finding a larger location to support the increasing interest in the festival. With two stages, the Live Stage and Senses stage, which features mostly electronic acts, many performances will include mixed media elements and custom built sets. This year’s Worthy Fest takes place April 19-20, at a location to be announced early in the month. This prelude to the sun-soaked festivals of summer is your chance to break out the lawn chairs and make a whole bunch of new friends.
Full Line-up includes: Antarctica, Arcray, Arkitek, Astronauts in Air Balloons, Beauflexx, Boris Budd feat. Heather Bates, CSC, Cutlass Supreme, Darrius Washington, Dawnchaser, Dead Reckon, Dekka, DJ Hash, DJ HD, Dot Diggler, Down North, Dregz, Fabulous Party Boys, Flave, Galapagos, Gypsters, The Gyrating Hips, Hannah Parks, Hoodrow Trillson, Hot Damn Scandal, Howler Monkeys, Hyperfunk, J-Guyver, Jip Sea Party, Joshua Ray, Kai, Kytami, Violin vs. Vinyl, ManOfest, Old Muff, Owleks, P-Zo, Red Snapper, Rude Voodoo, Skablims, Soroka, Supnasfukk, Still Sideways, Storm & Trooper, Tha Godfather, The Austerman File, The Hidebehind, The Oions, The Sauce, The Staxx Brothers, The Vonvettas, Thegn, Tim Trip, Vice Versa, Walking Stick for the Giant, Yogoman Burning Band
Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground
Having been described as “psychedelic orchestral pop” and “punk-rock Vaudeville,” Kay Kay has been around the northwest scene innovating and creating an ebb-and-flow buzz for the past few years. The band boasts of nearly fifteen members, including former artists of Gatsby’s American Dream and other prolific musicians from all over the Seattle scene. Their sound has always been suggestive of 60s and 70s pop, having been compared to the Zombies and Harry Nilsson. Their newest releases are settling into the soul revival that’s crept into some of the biggest hits of this year, hinting at a sound similar to Mayor Hawthorne. This band is more than a nostalgia trip—they are innovative and you will have an absolute killer time seeing them live.
The True Spokes
Who better to put on a great live show, than a band that curates it’s own hugely successful festival every year? Formerly known as Flowmotion, The True Spokes have been an integral piece of the Summer Meltdown festival, and I guarantee they are a must-see at Worthy Fest this year. They provide warm and familiar songwriting about life and its daily grind, with a rich layering of vocal harmonies, acoustic guitar, lap steel, rock rhythms, and grooving bass lines. Their self-titled release is a departure from their jam-band past with a new found sophistication and sincerity.
Seattle native Johnny Monsoon will headline the Senses stage, and is our pick for what’s next in trance/house. Having opened for the likes of Tiesto in Seattle, the trance tastemaker has also had major success as a podcaster—The Sound of Trance has received overwhelmingly positive reviews on iTunes. There’s no bad time to be had with this DJ and a crowd full of sweaty, stoked, EDM fans.
Hot Damn Scandal
There are a ton of local names sprinkled throughout the Worthy Fest line-up. We highly recommend checking out Hot Damn Scandal’s “tipsy American gypsy blues.” With the gruff vocal stylings of Stinky Pete, his wife Charlie Darling singing and sawing, Andy Ingram on upright bass, and Harper Stone on washboard, this group is the perfect act for those in search of lifted spirits and lofty harmonies. They pair nicely with a few fingers of bourbon and a stogie, if such things are permitted in the festival.
Tickets can be purchased as single day ($40) or two day passes ($60) for the festival, which includes parking and camping, online at worthyfest.com. They are also available at Archives, Black Market Boutique, 3six0 Music, Merch Bot, and The Grow Shop in Ferndale. More details about Worthy Fest can be found at: www.worthyfest.com
By: Zach Wise
Yellingham returns for its fourth year as a three-day, all-ages, DIY music festival in Bellingham. Founded in attempt to revive all-ages music in the community, Yellingham sticks true to its original form: still finding itself in living rooms, parks, and arts spaces around town. This year, the organizers are focused on quality over quantity, with cohesive line-ups meant to represent the core of the Pacific Northwest DIY movement. Exact locations are unknown at this point, but updates can be found at Yellingham.org and the Yellingham Facebook page. Keep your mouths open for the annual pancake feed, and please remember: no booze, no drugs, no jerks. Donate to the bands and be nice to the kids doing all the heavy lifting to make this happen.
Full Line-up includes: Unnatural Helpers, The Exquisites, Wild Moth, Lee Corey Oswald, Your Rival, Shadies, Camp Wisdom, Nick Duncan, Italics, Manatee Commune, IG88, Heatsink, Walter and Perry, Ship to Ship, The Sky Above and Earth Below, Special Explosion, Seacats, Chastity Belt, Grenades, Carrion Spring, Honduran, Earth Control, Wrath, Stephen Steen, Learning Team, June Madrona, Swamp Meat, Cascadia, Weed, Creech, Grizzled Mighty, Shook Ones, So Adult, Cower, Sloths.
Duck. Little brother, Duck!
“Spastic” and “earnest” aren’t words that one often sees together in the description of a band, but Portland’s Duck. Little Brother, Duck! aren’t your average band. They play kinetic, versatile math-rock that keeps you guessing, but underneath it all there’s a raw, melodic core deeply indebted to fuzzy 90s emo and pop-punk. If the names Kidcrash, Algernon Caldwaller, or even Fugazi mean anything to you, you should probably be at DLBD’s Yellingham appearance on Saturday the 13th at 3 p.m. Seattle’s Walter & Perry, and Bellingham’s own Ship to Ship will be joining the party, which may have a few other surprise guests.
One of The Stranger‘s Local Bands to Look Out For in 2012, Kithkin has put on increasingly entertaining shows every time they play Bellingham. Their raucous and rhythmic indie rock anthems get the kids moving, but they aren’t afraid to be weird and in your face. Their volatile, drum-circle style of performance evokes the jam bands of yore, but their fans are a lot less smelly. The sheer array of percussion this band employs at any given time is reason enough to see them, but in case you aren’t convinced: they’ll also be playing with Seacats, whose upcoming full-length of dirty, 90s-style indie pop is already creating waves, as well as Seattle’s Special Explosion. It all goes down at 7 p.m. at Make.Shift on Saturday April 13.
Tacoma’s finest heavy band returns to Bellingham to crack some heads. Back in 2010, Owen Hart released their fantastic debut LP, Earth Control, and received national attention, a glowing review in Decibel magazine, and were able to fund a major U.S. tour. But the actual Owen Hart Foundation were not amused by their use of the dead wrestler’s name to endorse songs titled “My Grandma’s Fucking a Tranny From Alaska,” and under threat of legal action, Owen Hart was no more. But the band is alive and well after changing its name to Earth Control. Hibernating and gestating new and even more visceral material, they have re-emerged, eager to bring the mosh on the cusp of their new 7” release. Playing a Yellingham basement show on Saturday the 13th with Seattle dreamboats Grenades, Portland’s Honduran, and more, Earth Control’s aggressive, breakneck blend of metal and hardcore will kick you in the teeth and leave you begging for more. Posers have been warned.
Once upon a time, there was a band called Shook Ones. They formed in Bellingham, played some shows, and were generally well received. And then they kind of disappeared. The last show they played in town was back when WhAAM was part of the Old Foundry. Now, after a lengthy hiatus, the melodic hardcore legends return home to put a good dent in Bellingham’s collective face. A personal favorite of the festival organizers (as well as this writer), Shook Ones are playing the big finale show at 7 p.m. on Sunday the 14th with Seattle two-piece garage-rock powerhouse The Grizzled Mighty and local heroes So Adult, as well as Portland-based heavy bruisers Cower and Sloths. This is not a show to miss.
No tickets required, but use your better judgment and come with cash to donate at the shows. Stay up on the details at http://yellingham.org/ or check out Yellingham on facebook.
Bellingham Electronic Arts Festival
By: What’s Up Magazine
Now celebrating its tenth year, the Bellingham Electronic Arts Feastival (BEAF) features a compelling roster of international, national, and regional artists presenting and performing a wide variety of electronic music, visual art, and installation art. Electroacoustic composition, electro-pop, sound art, electro-jazz, experimental hip-hop, noise, electronic dance, and ambient music are presented both in separate showcases and side by side. Taking place in downtown Bellingham and on the campus of Western Washington University April 25-28, BEAF also includes lectures, workshops, and panel discussions with leading artists and scholars. The shows at BEAF 2013 will focus on local and regional artists as well as artists from NYC.
Full Line-up Includes: JL Adams, Hamilton & Haws, Christopher Bailey with Shiau-uen Ding, The West, Eagle Teeth, VR Trainers, IG88, WWEAMS, Jiminy Glitch, Soffos, Sensebellum, Jaderade, Sunshine, Heatsink, Sea Frailty
Denise Fillion & Chris Graham
This dynamic piano/percussion duo from New York recently made waves out east with their performance of Stockhausen’s electroacoustic classic, “Kontakte.” Now they bring it to Bellingham, along with music by the celebrated Alaskan composer John Luther Adams, and brand new works by WWU faculty Bruce Hamilton and Seattle-based composer Adam Haws. You can catch their sets Thursday, April 25 at 8 p.m. at WWU’s PA16.
Wayne Horvitz & Friends
Legendary composer/keyboardist/improviser Wayne Horvitz will have a new piece for string trio and electronics premiered by Trio Pardolate. Horvitz will also improvise with stellar players Ivan Arteaga (alto sax), and Dylan Vanderschyff (drums). Folks unfamiliar with Horvitz’s music or pedigree might do well to Google him; he is one of the musical gems of the Pacific Northwest. This show also features Chris Bailey of NYC, with a premiere of his “Composition for S#!++\/ Piano” by acclaimed pianist Shiau-uen Ding and other works. This concert of hybrids and surprises is on April 26 at 7 p.m. at the WWU Concert Hall.
Rafael Anton Irisarri
Seattle-based Rafael Anton Irisarri has solidified an international reputation as a top artist in the experimental ambient scene. With several releases on established labels (e.g. Ghostly, Touch), and performances at major festivals like MUTEK, Unsound and Sónar (among others), Irisarri, who sometimes performs as The Sight Below, headlines this late afternoon show dedicated to sound exploration. IG88 will dig deep into his bag of ear candy opening up the show with the latest sonic goodness from Western’s Electroacoustic Music Studio (WWEAMS) on Saturday, April 27 in PA 116.
For more information on ticketing, line-ups and locations check out http://www.bellinghamelectronicartsfestival.com/.