What’s Up: May 2014

Howdy, ya’ll! Welcome to the May 2014 edition of le Beat, where we get to celebrate all that is the Bellingham music scene. ALL OF IT! Well, a bunch of it… there’s really a ton happening around these parts right now. Wowza.
We got a bunch of friend requests on fb and appreciate it – keep ‘em coming! I guess there are some ways to get our business page hitting more folks, but I don’t think it’s ever going to be what it was before – our last posts have only reached 4.5 percent of our fans. It appears whatsupmag bham is better, or you can find us on twitter. Or you can just e-mail me and say hello. Whatever works.
We’re hosting a music video festival in July! Northwest Heat will showcase videos by Bellingham bands – there will be five judges checking out the submissions with a show/party/screening on July 17 at The Shakedown. Bands are TBA, but it’ll be a huge party! If you are interested in submitting a video, go to northwestheatfestival.com and it’ll walk you through what’s up and the process. HUGE thanks goes out to Robert Bojorquez, who came up with the idea, is organizing most of the festival, put together the website and has been a general badass. Check it out!
Bellingham Soundcheck is BACK! Thanks to Matt Curtis, Erik Wallace and crew (Ryan Ohlemeier, Kevin Lowdon and Aaron Noice) for doing such a great job filming Rubix Shoes at Glow – it turned out fantastic! We’ve already started working on the June release, so expect a fairly regular schedule from us (famous last words!). Also, thanks to Rubix Shoes and Glow for making it possible. Check us out on Facebook to see the vid!

Comings & Goings

Have you heard The Power Girls? Maddie and Harmony, two local eight-year-olds, have formed a band and released some music on bandcamp (recorded by Peter from Go Slowpoke) and they rule! Look for a story on them in the next issue. They’ll be playing Tummy Fest in early June. Love it when kids start making music before they’re even 10!
Kevin Lee (Go Slowpoke, ex-The Lumpkins) has joined The Comettes on bass and vocals, making them now a four piece of all Bellingham residents. We’ve seen wave after wave after wave of local bands move out of town, so it’s awesome seeing a successful band move BACK to Bellingham. Just before we go to press, they’ll be playing on KEXP, so watch for a video sometime in May.
STFU Robot (featuring Charlie Walentiny and Brendan Silk from Fire Organ) has played ONE show and apparently it was a doozey as I heard from several different folks how awesome they were. Watch. Out. For. This. Band. AWESOME.

On the Road

Ethan Ehr (Ethan XOXO) has been out on the road with Sleep from Old Dominion (among others) and, according to his FB posts, the tour has been amazing. His new disc killed it and now he’s hitting the road.
Black Beast Revival is on a “beastly” tour (you see what I did there?), heading down to San Diego and back in May. After switching guitars the band sort of lost some momentum, so it’s great seeing them in full throttle mode and ready to take over the world again.

New Music

James Tuttle is finishing up his latest solo release, Tuttle Vision (under the moniker James Tuttle Dream Catcher) and I can’t wait to hear the goods.
David Dees from Eagle Teeth has released an epic solo album. We’ll be reviewing it (along with a ton of other stuff) in the next issue, so keep your eyes peeled for the love!

Records & Releases

The Ames are taking a bit of break to record a new full-length album  so don’t look for them much this summer, which is a huge bummer. But, if the end result is a new album, I guess we’ve gotta just deal with it! I’m looking forward to hearing how the new album sounds without Birdman – gonna be interesting and awesome!
VR Trainers posted on FB that they are very close to releasing their first full length in years. So awesome – their music varies from album to album, so I’m stoked to hear the new stuff!

Shows, Shows, Show

Have you checked out Flannel yet? They’re a mid-90s cover band that pretty much kills it each show. To celebrate Weezer’s 20th anniversary of the Blue Album, they’ll be playing it in its entirety on May 10 at The Shakedown. Ya know you want to hear the sweater song. YOU KNOW IT.
Former Bellingham Gods, Bali Girls, are hosting a CD release at the Shakedown on May 30. I could go on and on about how much I love and respect these guys. Brian and Randall’s old band, LOAF, helped show me how incredible the Bellingham music scene was (back in ’92). It’s been 10 years since they released a new album, so I’m just a tich giddy.
The Urban Music Festival is back for the 10th year and it’s looking sexier than ever. Acorn Project perform both May 30 and May 31st with other bands including Elliot Lipp, Ayron Jones and the Way, The Quick & Easy Boys, Snug Harbor, Manatee Commune, Brothers Gow, Galactic Cirque Troupe, Cover Your Tracks performing Led Zeppelin, High Up, Hot Cotton with more being added. I’ve never been shy about my love for the Acorn boys. They are some of the hardest working musicians I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They aren’t screwing around and a perfect example of what you can accomplish if you work yer ass off (like playing theaters around the country). Now if I could’ve just bought Sam’s van, this love affair would be complete (sorry for the inside joke, it had to be done).
Road to Rockstars is in their second month of action. Lots of great bands are advancing (the schedule is still being sorted, so we don’t have a definitive line up for ya), but just head to the Underground each Thursday in May for the action, Jackson!

Extra, Extra

Have you checked out Venomous Koala Orgy yet? It’s a web series from the GENIUS mind of Chris Patton and features Gillian Myers, Noel Abbot and Sean Meyer in the band Venomous Koala Orgy and their life as a band. It’s clever and funny, you should check it out!
Dark Darkness, a web series, is premiering their second episode in late April (which doesn’t do ya’ll much good), but it will then be widely available in May. I was lucky enough to be on set for part of the shoot – it’s huge, extravagant, really weird and unbelievably awesome. Check out darkdarkness.com for more info and watch for an article in June.
You can find the Tempo podcast on iTunes. Matt Woodruff and Marshall Powell do a weekly segment interviewing Bellingham bands (recent shows included Manatee Commune, Rubix Shoes and Noise Toys) as well as reviews of national bands. I’m glad to see someone putting all their energy into and doing it on a consistent basis. Check it out!
Blue Collar Skateboard have teamed up with Strummerville, Joe Strummer’s non-profit (RIP) for an art contest in May. Be the winner of the designed deck and get $150, schwag and have your design shown all over the US and potentially into the world. Contact Blake at bluecollarskate@gmail.com.
We’d like to congratulate Jordan Rain and his girlfriend Jacqueline Rae on the birthday of their son, Buck Rain. Little man made his debut on April 20 and, I assume, will be playing trumpet in the family band by Christmas. Congrats you two!
Guess that’s about it for now – hugs and kisses.