le beat: October 2014

Hello Bellingham! We interrupt your normal Brent Cole programming for something a little different this month! He’s taking some R&R from the column and has left it in my (hopefully) capable hands. My name’s Raleigh Davis. You may know me from various articles in the magazine or casting guitar spells with Minor Plains. I’ve gotten to know the scene pretty well through playing music but I am really looking forward to diving in, scoping it out, and learning all of your deepest, darkest secrets writing Le Beat!

 

RECORDING & RELEASES

A little birdie named Andrew Beer (local Bellingham heart throb) gave me some info on Girl Guts’ next undertaking, and boy is it ambitious! The Guts guys have written and recorded a 3-song instrumental EP, but before you grab your torches and pitchforks over the idea of them going prog-rock à la Minor Plains (I promise I had nothing to do with this) you must know that their plans are much more awesome. The band has shopped the EP around to several local singers and vocalists from all different genre backgrounds. They will each write their own lyrics and record their own parts which should shape up to be quite the diverse record. I’m stoked to hear how it turns out!

Bellingham’s fledgling math-rockers Prom King have recently released a 2-song demo and boy is it a doozy! These guys are looking to carry the torch for hard rocking music in Bellingham with spazzy guitar licks anchored by powerful hardcore punk vocals and a laid back, yet almost simultaneously aggressive sound. The bands offering is definitely something more people around here should know about. If they are already sounding this good then I’m excited for what’s next! Definitely hoping to spot them on some more bills in the near future.

PlagueDoctor have announced they are putting finishing touches on their very first album, titled Hooded Headed Medics. They have only released a tidbit or two of it for the public to hear but their sound’s blend of creepy ambience paired with deftly crafted rhymes should prove to be quite a unique rap record to add to Bellingham’s collection. The group has mentioned that they will have a video to drop to accompany the release as well as some “very exciting news” that they can’t quite announce yet. Keep yourself posted because the madness will be dropping very shortly!

 

COMINGS & GOINGS

Sad news came recently from our local City Hall (the band). The group just announced that guitar angst superhero and singer Luke Hogfoss (formerly of Palisades) has made the decision to move to Portland… and thus understandably, won’t be able to put as much time into the band as he (and the rest of Bellingham) may want. Though his departure is a major bummer for the scene the band has stressed that this is by no means the death of City Hall. While they stated that they may not be able to take as many shows as they might like to they will continue to write music and play show whenever they can. City Hall is one of my favorite and most promising new bands in Bellingham so I am really hoping that they prosper despite the distance!

A new band is on coming on to the scene by the name of Dogs, featuring Nick Emard and Mathew Melrose of Rubix Shoes. The group just released an EP entitled “gods dogs” that sounds like a tribute to 90’s grunge with a fun little spin on it. They look like they are set to start playing more and more shows around the area, so go and see ‘em! They seem like the kind of band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously and know how to have a real fun time, and that usually translates to an awesome live show.

Word on the street… mainly by The Swillery, is that a new band is brewing! Bill Lohse (the owner of The Swillery) has teamed up with Collen Ames (of Gypsters fame) and Swillery karaoke host Addison Franks to create some tunes that will without a doubt be something to tap your toes to (if not thrash uncontrollably). For lack of a better explanation the band will be called Panda, Panda, Panda… They’ve been advertising it as three of those panda internet smileys… so you know we must be in a for silly fun music and hopefully a damn good time. Their first show is on Oct. 17 at The Swillery with Cat Bomb.

Some real bad news came to light recently as a venue that has been a mainstay in the scene just announced that it will be closing its doors. Graham’s Restaurant in Glacier revealed that they are shutting down. The well known venue has been putting on shows supporting Bellingham bands for years (through two different owners too!). Any venue shutting down is a bummer but it hurts more when it’s been a constant in an often shifting music scene… Here’s hoping that Graham’s has an honorable send off and that someone may pop up to carry the torch of bringing awesome music to Glacier!

The Local and StrEAT Food are teaming up to offer a special brunch on Sunday, Oct. 5 to raise money for the Washington State Multiple Sclerosis Society. A special anti-inflammatory menu that focuses on vegan, gluten free and Omega 3 options will be served (this type of diet may help ease the symptoms of MS, according to StrEAT Food owner James Pitzer), starting at 9 a.m. at The Local on 1427 Railroad Ave.

GOOD TIMES

Great news coming from Manatee Commune this month. Grant Eadie (the Manatee himself) has just announced that his project has been signed onto Autonomous Music, a booking agency that books for acts such as Emancipator, Little People and Sun Glitter. Manatee Commune seems to have a lot of support from the community (well deserved I might add!) and has been playing monster shows (such as Capitol Hill Block  Party!) even before this, so one can only imagine the bills he’ll be snaggin’ with a little bit of backing. Next stop the top!

A cool little CD is coming out that looks to shed light on the awesome music of the late 80s and 90s that didn’t happen to come out of Seattle. Called No Seattle: Forgotten Sounds of The Northwest Grunge Era, this CD gives the low-down on all the best bands you’ve never heard of including many Bellingham alumni! The extensive 44-page booklet for the cd has a ton of awesome quotes from artists reflecting on their time in that era and is a must read/listen for people looking to up their musical knowledge. Get educated!

The Make.Shift is throwing themselves an awesome art show Friday, Oct. 3 that should be one for the books! Entitled “Bellingham Is Burning,” the show will feature the works of Bellingham alumni Art Chantry. Chantry got his start creating show posters for legendary Bellingham venues like the 3B Tavern and The Factory before going on to create countless works for world-famous acts such as Pearl Jam, Mudhoney, The Sonics and Reverend Horton Heat. Chantry will display countless live music posters created for Bellingham bands and venues, and music will be provided by The DT’s. Check it out or you may be sorry that you missed it!

And speaking of Make.Shift, did you see the news about their radio station? Awesome!

 

SHOWS

After a while of careful planning Fierce Fest is finally coming our way! The all ages queer and feminist festival will take place from October 3rd to the 5th at The Old Foundry with the goal of providing a platform for queer and female artists while also strengthening Bellingham’s creative communities. It looks like it’s going to be a hit with over 60 artists performing including local darlings Bright Weapons, Fischkopf Sinfoniker and The Vaticxnts, with PNW favorites Kithkin thrown into the mix as well! I won’t be surprised if this one becomes a yearly celebration.

Fans of the heavies rejoice! Black Eyes and Neck Ties have announced a one-off return to form this Halloween at The Shakedown. The group is celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album “Stiletto” as well as it being 5 years since their last Halloween show! The bill looks to be absolutely stacked with Girl Guts and The Vaticxnts joining in the on the fun (it will be the last Vaticxnts show). I don’t think Black Eyes could put on a bad Halloween show even if they wanted to, so this is definitely one to put on your radar.

The Gypsters aren’t going to be left out of the Halloween craziness! Word has come down that the group is planning an “absolutely enormous costume party” down at The Swillery. The bands are still TBA at this time but knowing the Gypsters it should be a crazy night of whiskey, costumes and debauchery. The Gypsters aren’t known for playing shows that don’t get people all sorts of riled up, so expect to dance and expect to get sweaty!

That’s it for this month’s Le Beat. I had a blast writing it, and if you all don’t revolt demanding my head then I’ll be seeing you next month! As always if you have any music scoops you want to be shared with our fair city then don’t hesitate to contact us. See you next month Bellingham and make sure you get out there and support live and local music!

-Raleigh Davis