Le Beat: March 2014

I’ve been lucky to listen to lots of different types of music. – Elvis Costello

Well hello there my friends, I hope you are all doing well. Welcome to the 188th issue of What’s Up! Magazine – we turned 16! To say I can’t believe we’ve made it this far is a MASSIVE understatement, there were months when I wasn’t sure we’d make it another issue. But here we are, one year from our 200th issue, having more fun and running better than ever.
So thank you. Thank you for picking up the magazine, thank you to all the bands for making awesome (and sometimes not so awesome) music, thank you to our advertisers for being in our pages and supporting local music, thank you for saying kind things about the magazine (well, many of you), thank you venues for providing a place for bands to play, thanks to those recording all this in one way or another, thanks for all those involved with art and film and theater. THANK YOU ALL!
Some of you reading this will be gone from Bellingham within six months, or a year or a couple years from now, but hopefully you’ll look back at your time in Bellingham as some of your happiest years where you could enjoy a fantastic music scene and some great people in it. I’ve been able to touch base with some of the bands I fell in love with when I first moved to Bellingham in ’92 and so many of those involved, those I’ve chatted with talk about how incredible their time was while here – a magical time that you can look back in 20 years and say, “holy hell that was fun!”
For 16 years my job has been to write about cool music and art in this town. Seriously, that is my work! How cool is that? So… thank you all for letting me do this job! And my wife, Becca as well! She isn’t front and center with this mag, but she’s a tremendous part of it and we both appreciate every day that THIS is our career (Becca is the face of our other paper, Grow Northwest while I’m in the shadows of that one – which is also AWESOME).
Finally, thanks to all the bands who are playing/have played our 2nd Annual What’s Up! 15th Birthday Extravaganza. As of writing this, we’re a few days away and I’m stokedddddd. 60 bands at 26 venues, all playing for free! And some of those 26 venues aren’t really venues at all! Modsock, Aladdin’s Antiques, Casa Que Pasa, Avalon, Everyday Music, 3Six0 Music, Gypsies and Gingersnaps, Naked Clothing, The Bellingham Food Co-op, Kulshan Brewery, Third Planet, and La Fiamma Pizza will have/have had music on top of the normal round of Bellingham music venues! AGAIN, ALL FOR FREE! If you can’t love a day like this, you might want to check to make sure you have a pulse.
OK, enough about March 1, enough about the magazine… now to the music.

Comings & Goings

Lucas Hicks (The Shadies, Rattletrap Ruckus, Gallus Brothers) is heading to Spain in March where he’ll teach banjo at the Basque Music School! Dude is so awesome, he gets to teach in a different country. Ever think you need to move out of Bellingham to make something happen in your life? You don’t, just be a badass here. Like Lucas.
The Daffodils are back with a new lin-up that includes Peter Woiwood from Go Slowpoke and their friend Scott on bass. The now four-piece will sound less indie folk and more pop punk, which is delightful. I’d like to also thank Jess Bonin (who is in the band) for her help with this month’s cover. Can’t wait for their show on April 4 at The Swillery.
I assume I talked about this last month, but Tubbs is now The Swillery. They’ve shifted gears with owner Bill Lohse now handling the booking. I love their line-up for March, make sure you check ‘em out.
The Fairhaven is back! Under new ownership, Jeremy Hunter (Medicini) is doing booking and they’re looking for bands to play. The south side needs to have a good venue, so I’m glad they’ve reopened the place!

Recordings & Releases

Juniper Stills began recording their album a year ago and have been plugging away since, with a major breakthrough coming a few weeks ago as Chandra Johnson was able to work on her fiddle parts (in case you haven’t been following, Chandra is possibly the busiest person in the music scene). So, the band should be releasing something sooner rather than later!
As you’ll see in this issue, Wild Throne will be releasing their record at the What’s Up! party on March 1 at the Shakedown, followed by a tour to SXSW and back. Is this the year of the Throne? Yes… yes it is. In case you forgot from last issue, this album KILLS.
Also releasing an album on March 1 (this one is digital) is the man, the myth, and the legend, WILLDABEAST! Will Glazier’s new project mixes electronic future soul with original live instrumentation. Can’t wait to hear Will’s new project. He’ll be playing the party at the Buff! SWEET!
Last month Gabe Taylor wrote a great Tales from the Road on his travels as the drummer of Daikaiju… well it looks like it wasn’t a part-time gig as the band is bringing Gabe on permanently. He’ll still live here, but is slated to spend some of his summer on a West Coast trip then hopefully Europe in the fall. Ummm… yeah… that’s pretty damn cool.
Hash Adams is back with a new album he’s dropped. The Hash fell off the radar a while back; it’s good to see him on the hip-hop scene again. Lots of great music happening in Bellingham hip hop. Ether XOXO’s album is out on March 22 with his release show at The Shakedown. Deadly D’s new album is amazing and that’s just scratching the surface. Long live Bellingham hip hop!
ALSO releasing a new album in March is Scumeating. See their release show March 6 at Make.Shift. Look for a story on the band next month. I love ‘em, passionate, terrifying and awesome!
I think the theme of this whole le beat is going to be bands releasing music ‘cuz here’s another one! The Gypsters have been in the studio and will be releasing a new album in either March or April. On March 14 they’ll be at the Alternative Library playing the album in full. Many of the songs will be heard live for the first time. Enjoy.
The Shadytones have… oh the suspense… released a new album! Featuring members of Nowhere Garden (if you remember that name, I hate to break it to you, you’re old) it’s good to see Stones Jones and crew back in the game. Looking forward to hearing the goods, you will as well.
The new Girl Guts record could be out in a month or two! I know that’s vague, but I’ve been waiting and waiting and waiting for months (as have many of you). Same with the much-anticipated Candysound record, it’ll hopefully be out very soon as well! Look for features on both bands in an upcoming issue of What’s Up!
That’s about it for this month. While all this hubaloo has been about the music scene and the magazine turning 16, I would be remise if I didn’t say OH MY GOSH THE HAWKS WON THE SUPER BOWL!! It’s a month later and WOW I’m still buzzing from that one! And wow do I miss football season – let’s hope the Ms get it together and it’s a mildly entertaining season (if you are a sports fan… if yer not… well, you probably wish you hadn’t read this paragraph).
Take care, ya’ll. Stay safe. Have fun.
-Brent Cole
brent@whatsup-magazine.com