Le Beat: June 2014

Hi. Welcome to the June 2014 issue of le Beat. I’m just going to get right to it.

Video

Have you submitted your music video to NW Heat yet? It’s gonna be aaawwweeessssooommmeee… bands and videos will be at The Shakedown on July 17, but you’ve got to get ‘em in earlier than that. Find out more details at http://www.northwestheatfestival.com/.
Speaking of videos… have you checked out Rubix Shoes’ Bellingham Soundcheck video? This month it’s going to be Bright Weapons, which will also rule! Check it out via our Facebook page.

Comings & Goings

Learning Team have called it a day and I’m pretty sure it’s because Emile Panerio moved to New York (that’ll make it hard to have band practice)… the band was gaining fans across the Northwest and their music was developing stronger than ever, so it’s pretty damn crappy they called it a day!
VR Trainers are also no more with John Von Volkli moving to Seattle. The band had a great five year run of awesome music and way too few shows. Check out their bandcamp page for their epic last music release.
John at the Cabin Tavern has bought the Main Street Bar & Grill in Ferndale. Look for more music and more awesome – much like the Cabin!
Watch out Bellingham, here comes Agropelter! Featuring Aaron Kayser, Tyson Ballew, Lauren Miller, Aaron Apple, this four-piece got together to play the Get Up Kids cover band at the Make.Shift Valentine’s Day show. I guess it went pretty well, because they’re a band now!
Fictions is going on indefinite hiatus with Nick Thacker moving to the Bay Area and Eric Wallace now working in Seattle. I dug the band, especially the cool people who were in it, so this is disappointing. Also, Nick is our intern this quarter and he’s been working on scanning old issues of the magazine so we can put them up online. That’s gonna be awesome. Just like Nick.
Jess Bonin (The Daffodils, Lovers without Borders) and Kristin Allen Zito (ex-The Trucks, solo) have joined up to form Just Kidding and have already been in Champion St. Studios recording with Paul Turpin. Two talented people getting together to make music – this has the makings of being something goooooooood.

Records & Releases

Have you heard the new Manatee Commune record? Holy cow… Grant Eadie is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not a huge EDM fan or anything, but he’s blowing my mind…. And a lot of folks outside of Bellingham are blown away as well. It’s gonna be a great year for Grant.
Scream Meridian My Dear are busy writing material for an album they hope to record over the summer. I’m pretty stoked about this band ‘cuz it includes a buddy of mine – Eli Ziebell. I’ve known Eli since he was 12 and have watched him grow up over the last six years into a really badass dude. He’s graduating from high school in early June, and I couldn’t be more proud of him. Now watch for his band!
Moongrass is playing a bunch in June – hitting Seattle, Ferndale, Bellingham (a couple of times), Port Angeles and Port Townsend. You can get all of their dates and other info about the band at moongrasstheband.com.
Odd Ones Out are the busiest high school band in Bellingham. The boys will be recording their new record at Stone/Cloud Productions, and have shows at Boundary Bay on June 17 and July 4 (with the Vonvettas). I’m looking forward to hearing the band. I first heard guitarist and singer Vincent Blackshadow when he was three years old, playing KISS’s “God of Thunder” on the piano. This kid is the real deal and he has fantastic band members as well.

Mostafa has quickly turned into the hardest working guy in Bellingham, touring much of the spring with Landon Wordswell (Gift of Gab). He’s still out right now (sending me a message from Indiana recently) and will be on the road through July 12 when he’s back in town for a show at the Swillery (which will most likely double as a homecoming and record release show). Then it looks like he’s hitting Europe starting Aug. 1. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful.
The Gypsters have released a new album and are headed out on a small tour in June, landing back in Bellingham on June 21 at The Swillery. Hope to see more and more of this band over the summer. You can read about them in the following pages… literally, just turn the page and they’ll be there.
Br’er Rabbit just returned from a big old tour that took ‘em to New York and back. Do you see a theme developing here? Tour tour tour tour tour… I know it’s hard, but if you want your band to grow, heading outside of Bellingham (I think at least) is pretty key. Look at Br’er Rabbit: their music has grown and developed over the years and they’ve turned into a pretty amazing band in our little hamlet!
Blessed Coast and Great Stone Sound are teaming up to present Summer Sessions at the Copper Hog. An all ages reggae party, they’ll be focusing on classic, old school roots reggae and will be kid-friendly. Good times.
Curse of the Black Tongue have released a new video (which can be found on youtube) and are headed to Los Angeles and back in late June. It’s their first tour and they’ll be doing updates online on their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/curseoftheblacktongue.
On June 21, there will be a benefit for the Occupy Bellingham movement at the Maritime Heritage Park. Bands are still being worked out, but it is sponsored by the Bellingham Community Food Co-op and the Swillery, with more to come. The event runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. with most of the proceeds going to Larry Hildes, Attorney at Law, who represented many of the occupiers when they were arrested in the fall of 2012.
Dan Brooks is hosting a cool art show at the Lucia Douglas Gallery in Fairhaven with the opening reception occurring on June 9 at 6 p.m. A painter and sculptor, Daniel’s work for the gallery show includes one of my favorite mediums: drum heads! Critical Mass Marching Band will be there, as well as a bunch of drummers, so check it out!
Last month we wrote (and advertised) that Gunther Frank’s memorial photography show at Make.Shift is on June 5, but it’s on June 6. We apologize for the error – please go, it’s going to be beautiful.

Cool Stuff

Congrats to Aaron Guest, who is now officially endorsed by Breedlove Guitars. Others who are playing Breedloves include David Knopfler, Jim James and Devon Allman. That’s some pretty damn good company. You’ll be able to see Aaron in July at the Downtown Sounds with Polecat.
NE7 Records still has their Indiegogo campaign happening to raise funds for a vinyl compilation. It’s ending soon, so if you have a few dollars in your seat cushion, please send it their way. I really like the idea and hope it comes to fruition.

Thoughts

Ya know, I got to hang out with my buddy Julian MacDonough the other day. For those of you who don’t know him, he’s local and makes a living playing primarily jazz drums. After seeing him, I ran into an old friend at the co-op, David Wight, a glass artist. Two guys who grew up here, live here and make their living being artists – just one of many. What’s my point? You don’t have to leave town if you don’t want to – it is possible to be an artist in Bellingham and make a living. Easy? No… but when has art ever been easy?
On a somber note, in the early morning of Memorial Day, Dragan Skrobonja was killed by a drunk driver while he was walking on Chestnut Street with his friends. I didn’t know Dragan, but judging by what I’ve seen and heard, he was a great guy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family. This is an unspeakable tragedy  and it’s beyond heartbreaking it happened. It just makes me ill, as I know it makes everyone else as well. So, please be smart and safe when you’re out. Please, if you’ve had anything to drink, get a taxi or walk or call a friend… whatever, whoever, just don’t  drive because that mistake could lead to more pain and grief than you can ever imagine. Take care of yourselves, take care of our community.

We’re pretty tight on space this month, so for those who sent in information I didn’t include, I will next month. If you have news to share with us, please submit information to editor@whatsup-magazine.com.
Finally, there is some information we haven’t included in this le beat (and this issue), please understand it’s for a reason.
Hugs and kisses, Brent