Le Beat: November 2014

Hellllllo Bellingham! I’m Raleigh Davis and I’m back again to share Le Beat with you all. November is shaping up to be an awesome month for all things local as we have a ton of great events in music, film, and more… and did someone say Minor Plains’ debut album out Nov. 11?! (I know I’m excited!) The music scene seems to be transitioning nicely from summer to fall with more and more happening but that just means we are gonna need to pack more people into these shows for warmth as the cruel cold is creeping back faster than ever! Now let’s get le beatin’!


The all-mighty Wild Throne have hit the studio for two months to record a full-length album with legendary producer Ross Robinson (multi-platinum producer for bands such as The Blood Brothers, At The Drive-In and Slipknot). The Wild Throne dudes have been steadily gaining steam and it looks like this album will be just what they need to push them over the edge. It’s awesome to see not only a band from Bellingham getting so much attention but a band playing the caliber of insane and mind-blowing riff-tastic music that Wild Throne does. I can’t imagine the brain-melting stuff that’s going to be on the album and the dudes from Wild Throne are so awesome they more than deserve every ounce of success that they’re getting.

Local hip-hop aficionado Mostafa just returned from a 15-date tour with trumpet player Josh Black and is ready to hit the ground running. The artist just released a new album called Calendar Year Vol. II with producer Deep Lemon. The album features talented artists such as Graves 33, Gift Of Gab, Landon Wordswell, Nick Spencer and Araless and is looking to shape up to be his most ambitious album yet. To put a cherry on the top, the hip-hopper just released a video for a song off the album called “Our Dream” that was shot on a tour break in Bellingham… Looks like this is going to be a great month for Mostafa.

Snug Harbor has been quite the busy group as of late! The band just gave word that they are working on album to come out in the next few months, and to make it even better it looks like they are going be releasing their record on Michal Menert’s label, SuperBest Records. That’s not all the band has going for them though with a big show in Denver with the Michal Menert Big Band coming up and a line-up change! Vocalist Sinclair Hucke has joined the mix and warned that it isn’t going to be the same Snug Harbor that everyone is used to with the band changing focus to be much more vocally driven. Evolution is progress and we are very excited to hear what’s coming down the pipes from the funk masters!



In other Wild news, Br’er Rabbit has announced that after careful deliberation they have made the decision to change their name to Wild Rabbit. The band stated that after playing with so many great musicians and their growth as songwriters, performers, musicians and people that they felt a band rechristening was appropriate. The band also stated that they felt the “Wild” title always felt right to them and feel like it reflects the freedom and energy with which they approach music. Goodbye, Br’er Rabbit! Hello, Wild Rabbit! …No word yet on a Wild Throne/Wild Rabbit split EP.

It’s truly and end of an era as Bellingham must say farewell to beloved house-show venue, The Lil’ Wisconsin. The Wisco has been a staple of the scene for a while now and their passing is sure to leave a Wisconsin sized hole in the house-show side of live music in Bellingham. The venue was supposed to go out with a bang, featuring a weekend of shows, pancakes, and fun but it was unfortunately cut short due to the discovery of the theft of a good chunk of Girl Guts’ gear from the home. Extremely sad to hear something so awesome snuffed out by an act so cowardly, and I think I speak for the rest of What’s Up! when we say we hope Girl Guts get their gear woes figured out soon and keep on trucking! Let this be a lesson, if you want house shows then respect your house show venues! These are people who open their homes to musical hurricanes and don’t deserve to have their kindness taken advantage of.



Make.Shift recently made the exciting announcement that they’ve received an FCC license to build and operate a low-power FM radio station in Bellingham. Low Power FM stations are community-based, non-commercial radio stations and we couldn’t think of a better group to spear-head such a project than the Make.Shift! Make.Shift has always been dedicated to supporting the Bellingham music scene in all facets and are currently outlining the steps the need to move forward with this new project such as fundraising goals for the equipment they will need. They want to hear from the residents of Bellingham on what they would like to see in the new community radio station, talk about how to get involved and brainstorm with others who love radio so head on over and tell them what you think!

Speaking of Make.Shift news, they are currently looking for a new Executive Director! Current ED Cat Sieh has announced her stepping down after helping found the organization in 2008. The Make.Shift has said that the ideal applicant for this position will have skills in management, community organizing, fundraising, and budgeting. Make.Shift has worked hard to build lasting community ties and create a strong organizational foundation for the new Executive Director to build upon. Cat Sieh plans to remain at the Make.Shift through January 2015 to make the transition as smooth as possible for their new director.



Local musician and artist Scot Casey has teamed up with renowned poet and performer Robert Lashley to provide a self proclaimed both “entertaining and unsettling” event Nov. 8 at the Honey Moon. The duo will be premiering a new soundtrack to a forgotten film that has been reinterpreted and restructured to explore the idea of hell on earth. There will be bone and death related cartoons shown before the main feature and food will be available on a first come first serve basis. The event describes the music being “all about the Devil” and the words being “all about the Fire” so understandably this event is not for everyone… but looking at the talent involved it’s sure to be a sight to see, plus there’s no cover!

The Dip, a nine-piece band featuring many Bellingham members just dropped word that they will be playing a show at The Green Frog Nov. 21. The soul-infused funk band just finished recording their first full length album and are fashioning this show as a single-release party. Seeing a nine-piece band perform is always an entertaining sight to see, but the soulful songs crafted by The Dip are of highest quality so this seems like one night that you may not want to miss.



The City of Bellingham has recently announced their launch of Access Bellingham, a one-year pilot project to bring public access television services to our great city. Any one who is interested will be able to make their own television programming and submit it to get the chance to have your project make it onto the airwaves! This is a great opportunity for aspiring film and television enthusiasts to share ideas, views, knowledge and creative spirit with the Bellingham community. More information is available at www.cob.org/accessbellingham.

The Documentary Center has recently announced their newest project, a series of November workshops! These will be 2-hour long stand alone classes held throughout the month aimed at giving a condensed but inclusive education on a wide range of subjects such as documentary planning, filming for interviews, the use of after effects, and many more. The Documentary Center has stated that these classes can be used as a refresher, targeted tuition, but regardless taken as a whole they will provide valuable information on how to plan, film, edit and complete your very own documentary. I’ve only heard great things about the doc center and it’s students seem to be pleased with their education so these workshops would be a great way to test the waters and see if you have a documentary film maker waiting to be released!


Lastly, we’d like to apologize to Claudia Bernal who did the cover for the Breaking the Spell record. In our last issue we had the image credited to Mat Hudson in our CD review section (Hudson usually does our CD illustrations).

That’s it for Le Beat this month! As always we have waaay more going on than we can fit in this short column so read up in this issue, get educated and get out there and support local music! See you later Bellingham!

–Raleigh Davis


(Editor’s Note: Next March will be the magazine’s 200th issue and 17th birthday… and with that, we’re going to be hosting a big free party at the Wild Buffalo with Girl Guts, Wild Rabbit, Minor Plains and other bands to be announced soon. The good times will go down on March 7, so get ready! And with that, I’ve decided to postpone the What’s Up! Awards show one more year. I just couldn’t pass up a party for our 200th issue!)