Le Beat: April 2014

Welcome welcome welcome… hello, hello. How are you all? I hope life is treating you well and you’re enjoying the spring. As per usual, before we go into the music, we’ll start with the magazine. I wanted to thank everyone who participated in our 2nd annual 15th Birthday Extravaganza, which turned out absolutely awesome. In spite of it being freezing cold outside with snow at night, tons of people were out enjoying local music – I saw some great, great bands, my favorite being Gonzo at The Shakedown. Wowza… I can’t wait until that band releases some music; it’s going to be unreal. I also really dug seeing, only briefly, The Country Hamms at Cap’s… although they, like everyone, played for free, the band played for close to three hours! Unreal! It was a great day and night going from venue to venue, we had a blast and I hope you all did as well! Ya’ll make Bellingham incredibly special, so thank you! Thank you bands, thank you venues, thank you non-venues, thank you PA guys, thank you everyone!!! In April and May, we’ve teamed up with KISM to bring you the Road to Rockstar event. Every Thursday at the Underground, local bands will play and compete (see sidebar for exact calendar) for great prizes that include studio time at Turtle Record Studios. There are lots and lots of great bands playing, so come down and check it out! On April 10, the Wild Buffalo, Summer Meltdown and What’s Up! and have teamed up for a benefit show and silent auction to raise funds for the victims of the OSO slide. The slide has broken our hearts, across the state and beyond, and we want to help. Yogoman Burning Band, Josh Clausen, The Staxx Brothers, Pacific High, Boombox Kid, and Critical Mass Marching Band wil perform. Thanks to our sales representative, Victor Gotelaere, for spearheading this on our end. Funds raised will go directly to the Snohomish County Helicopter Rescue Team and The Disaster Relief Account for Oso Landslide Victims through the Cascade Valley Hospital Health Foundation. Donations at the door. It’s going to be a huge event and, hopefully, we can help raise a lot of funds. Finally, on a social media note, if you would like to “friend” request us on Facebook at whatsupmagbham, please do (approximately 1,470 of you are friends). We also have a FB business page at What’s Up! Magazine, however FB has made it so that business pages reach very few fans (only about five percent of people see our posts), so we don’t use that page much. Now, to the music!

Records & Releases

Douglas Stranger has a new record out and I’m really looking forward to hearing it. People I respect keep telling me to check him out, so I’m stoked. A BUNCH of new music is being released this month including CDs by Candysound, who will be celebrating their release on May 2 at the Mini (house show) and Pacific High who will be releasing their new album the following night at The Fairhaven. Details are still being worked out for the CD release of Manatee Commune’s full length debut, but it will be available on May 1 (and it is FANTASTIC). Ether XO released his debut record to a great crowd in March and will be heading out on a short tour with Sleep from Old Dominion in April. He’s the perfect example of what I love in this town – with every music community, people move away and new, awesome people take their place. Tons of talent, pick up the new goods.

Shows, Shows, Shows

Wowza. Some great DIY fests are happening this spring. The all-ages Yellingham ended and THREE new ones popped up. First up is Signed Fest, going down the last weekend of April, with great bands including Broken Water, Unnatural Helpers, The Rose and the Windows (among others) will be playing at houses across Bellingham… check out FB for more details. Then in early June is Tummy Fest III, an event that started in Missoula and has moved to Bellingham with creator Tyson Ballew. The shows will be on June 6, 7, and 8 with days shows at the Alternative Library and evening shows at Make.Shift. THEN, as if that wasn’t awesome enough, Underbelly Music Fest is happening the following weekend. RIGHT ON, RIGHT ON! So… yeah… Kevin Seconds (of 7 Seconds) will be playing the Shakedown in May. Just a little heads up… ‘cuz, ya know, THAT’S AWESOME! Bellingham Girls Rock Camp needs your help! They’re looking to borrow instruments for their camp in August and pretty much need everything! So, if you want to make a musical impact on girls who will hopefully use this event to spur them on to greater things, please let them borrow your instruments! See www.bgrc.org for more information. N7E, a local punk rock label, will be raising funds via indiegogo beginning in April to put out the local punk/rock comp. The video really captures what the label is about. It started making the rounds a bit, so watch for it.

On Tour

Mostafa is out on tour with Landon Wordswell and C-LeGz Metz (who recently moved to Bellingham), currently hitting the West Coast. They’ll be coming back through Bellingham on April 11 with Gift of Gab who will be joining the tour the last few weeks. Tour will wrap up on April 20 (they’ve been out since early March). Ya’ll know how much I love it when local music tours, and Mostafa and C-LeGz are TOURING! HARDCORE! Look for a story on Mostafa in the near future. (See Landon Wordswell on page 26 this month.) Br’er Rabbit, whose new album is FANTASTIC, is hitting the road for most of the next two months, going alllllll over the country. Touring, in my mind, makes a band and you can see a difference between the bands that tour and those that don’t (generally). Br’er Rabbit tours, it shows, and they are awesome.

Comings & Goings

Did ya’ll realize The Comettes are a Bellingham band now with Zach Van Houten on guitar? Not sure that means they’ll be playing in town any more or anything, but it’s still cool they’re here! Yogoman Burning Band is going through some major, major changes! Mars Lindgren, Amanda Rhine and Nelson Bell have all left the band with some locals subbing in. In the future, though, Yogoman will be doing a cultural exchange with Alpha Boys School out of Jamaica, where some amazing musicians will be joining the band. Also joining the band is Jacqueline Rae (a local, one time opera singer and the mother of Jordan’s future little one) and Miles Harris (the boyfriend of Jacqueline’s adult daughter). It’ll be a family band with some amazing Jamaican musicians… that’s gonna be fun. Waterbear is now called Chris Sugar’s Band of Thieves. This is not to be confused with Crow Magnet, which also features Bruce Shaw and Chris Nunn. There ya have it! Misty Flowers, who released a CD last summer (and reviewed this month), has called it a day with hosting the open mic at the Green Frog on Sunday nights. Two years is a helluva run and she did a fantastic job. She’s going to be focusing on music with, hopefully, a tour coming up! Taking her place will be Matney Cook (of The Mudflat Walkers and solo), so go check it out! Drxgs are cranking things up again after falling apart for a while. Looking for shows by them very, very soon! On June 6, five years since the passing of Gunther Frank (who, along with his friend Sean “Donnkie” Mansfield died in a boating accident), Make.Shift will host a gallery show of his photography. For those unfamiliar with Gunther, his work was… well… stunning. He was such an incredible photographer, we were always lucky when we could connect and get his photos in the magazine. The funny thing about Gunther was he took thousands and thousands of photos and never seemed overly concerned with them being published in any medium. He was also one of the nicest, quirkiest guys, and with his anniversary coming up… I’ve realized how much I miss him being around. To raise funds for the photography, Nora Hughes (who is spearheading the event with Cat Sieh and Jess Flegel) has organized two fundraisers in April that I hope you attend. The first will be on April 5 at Make.Shift with Debbie Neighbor, Thimble vs. Needle (Nora is now drumming for the band), and Sarah Goodin (solo). Then, a week later, The Shakedown will be home for another benefit, this time with Incanus (AWESOME stoner metal), Ourdeadfathers (Chris Meyer from Enders of Ozone/Virgin Islands and his brother Sean of Super Creep and the Scary Monsters), Navigator/Communicator, and Kurly Something. Printing and framing photos costs quite a bit, so even if you can’t make it to the shows, please donate.


A couple baby boys were welcomed into the world in March! Ben N. Fletcher and his wife welcomed Brady Lucille on March 8. Erik and Laura Moore (Boogie Universal) welcomed their son on the 28th! (As of press time, we haven’t learned his name.) MORE BABIES! I LOVE BABIES! Congratulations to the families, and welcome little guys! Finally, we’d like to express our condolences to the friends and family of Layne Southcott who passed away on March 13. It was stunning how many people talked about his passing and reminisced about his wonderful personality. It made me wish I’d gotten to know him; he seemed like an amazing man. RIP, Layne. Welp, that’s about it for now. I hope ya’ll have a happy and safe April. –Brent editor@whatsup-magazine.com