Le Beat: December 2014

Hello again Bellingham! Raleigh Davis here for my third month of Le Beat! We are officially in our final month of 2014 and Bellingham is looking to end the year with a bang. As always we have a smorgasbord of shows and events looking to offer you the time of your life. The brutal winter cold may be solidifying its freezing grasp on Bellingham but rest assured that on any given day Bellingham has at least one place to offer you respite from the elements (usually with a drink or two to help the warming up process!). Without further ado let’s dive into this month’s news!

RECORDING & RELEASES

The dynamic duo of STFU Robot have a musical baby on the way too! The bass and drum team are releasing a 5-song EP entitled Hostile Twerk Enviroment that is sure to be as entertaining as its name entails. They have a single “Lamaze Class” that will be dropping shortly and you can expect both a digital and physical release on Dec. 4. This band is a little like if Flight Of The Conchords and Death From Above 1979 had a baby that was really into novelty sunglasses and Slow Rider covers… so the EP is sure to bring some laughs while still having the potential to rock your face clean off.

Bellingham music legends Mono Men have just made an exciting announcement. The band will be releasing their 1992 unrelenting powerhouse of a record, Wrecker, on France’s Dangerhouse Records. The sonic assault that is Wrecker features one of the bands most recognized songs, “Watch Outside,” and is going to showcase a new reworked cover by local art master Art Chantry. It’s great to see some of the people who shaped the earlier Bellingham music scene getting some modern love, and in Europe no less! Bellingham’s going abroad!

 

COMINGS AND GOINGS

Remember that super awesome mega band featuring Brad Lockhart of the Baltic Cousins and Hollie Huthman of The Shakedown fame we mentioned a few Le Beats back? Well they are the real deal now and making moves! The band is called Dryland and they are looking to bring their brand of heaviness to your ears! Described as very heavy, stoner rock with yelling handled by Mr. Lockhart himself, the band is recording their magic to a 3-song demo that should be done sometime this month. The band is playing their second show on Dec. 13 at The Shakedown for one of the most consistently awesome shows of the year, Hollie’s annual birthday show! They are without a doubt a band to keep on your radar because with the talent involved there is no way that their set isn’t going to be brain melting!

Girl Guts is hitting the road! The punk rock power trio is taking some time off from the Bellingham scene until March to focus their energy into bringing their tunes to out of town places like the bay area, Portland, and possibly Missoula. The band is planning sets of mini weekend tours throughout the coming months to spread the word that Girl Guts rocks and you should listen to them. Their first weekend mini-tour kicks off Dec. 4 with a free show at The Shakedown featuring STFU Robot (who are releasing their aforementioned EP that day), and Foxhole Norman. The show will also feature a special beer masterminded by frontman Andrew Beer himself at Menace Brewing. From there the band is heading to Portland on Friday and Seattle on Saturday. Good luck spreading the gospel of the Guts, dudes!

 

GOOD TIMES
Good times and great news for Make.Shift this month, they’ve found their new executive director! The organization just announced that Jessica Harbert will be taking over the position from Founding Director Cat Sieh in mid-January 2015. Harbert has been a Make.Shift board member for a year which leaves her with a good understanding of the group’s finances, strategy, and big-picture goals. She is also on the board of the Downtown Bellingham Partnership, and has a great understanding of the Bellingham arts and music community.

“I am excited to build on the solid infrastructure Cat has worked hard to establish. I also intend to explore new programming, including our new community radio station and increased youth outreach,” Harbert said via a press release. “The organization is at a great place right now and I look forward to continuing that momentum.”

In other Make.Shift news (man these people are always working on something!) they have announced their fourth year of the Holiday Make.Sale, a one-day event that gives people a chance to purchase local homemade goods just in time for the holiday season. This year’s sale is on Dec. 13 and brings together more than 20 local artists and crafters. Local offerings include the works of Schwarzenncrahft stihlworks, NOMAD, Red Boots Design, Fringe & Feather, Normiehead and many more. There will be hot soups offered, hot cider, adult holiday beverages and the sweet soothing sound of acapella holiday singers! Best of all, entry is free.

Honey Moon is beginning to expand the scope of their entertainment offerings. The venue and meadery has always been known to host some awesome acoustic acts but now they are broadening their horizons with two literary offerings this month. On Dec. 11 they will be unveiling their first “Write Riot” poetry slam, a new monthly event hosted by Jessica Lohafer. On the 13th they are trying out a new experiment with an “Epic Community Reading of Beowulf.” The event, which is free and open to all-ages, involves a marathon reading of the literary epic where participants will take turn reading in 5-15 minute increments until the whole story has been slain. Sounds like a fun and unique event and I can’t think of a better place than a mead hall to tackle the ancient epic of Beowulf.

 

SHOWS

All-ages music fans don’t feel left out, because Make.Shift has you covered this month! …But don’t they always? On Friday, Dec. 12 they have put together a perfect bill featuring local heavy-weights Baltic Cousins, and the Gypsters! Newcomers Panda Panda Panda (featuring the Swillery owner Bill Lohse) and Portland based Fools Rush will be rounding out for an awesome night of sweaty rock music! Music starts at 8:15 and there will be a $5 cover.

Metal fans, your place to be this month will be at The Swillery on Saturday, Dec. 13. Local band Maszynaz (featuring members of instrumental rockers Thieves Of Eden) have put together an awesome showcase of metal bands from all around the area that is sure to get some heads banging. The self-imbued “Wolves Killing Wolves Show” features Eroder from Seattle, Darkmysticwoods from Woodinville and Downers Grove hailing from Mt. Vernon. The Maszynaz dudes always know how to put together an awesome bill (and they put on an amazing performance themselves) so make sure to put this one at the top of your weekend to-do list.

Well that’s all folks! As always there are many, many more shows, music news, and local info to be had within the pages of this issue so get perusing and find your fun for the month! What’s Up! Magazine wishes everyone happy and safe holidays, we’ll see you in 2015! Thanks for reading and supporting our monthly mag. (We’re getting closer and closer to that next birthday party!)

–Raleigh Davis

 

(Editor’s Note: Just after going to press last month, we learned of the passing of former Up and Up owner Ian Relay. While many of you may not be familiar with Ian (he sold the bar in 2007), he was a huge figure in Bellingham for many, many years and was instrumental in the Bellingham music scene. He and his wife Patty allowed Henry Szankiewicz in 1987 to bring in local bands playing original music three nights a week, something that wasn’t happening anywhere else, at least not to that extent. It was, essentially, the beginning of the music scene as we know it and without this starting point, who knows when things would’ve gotten going. I’ve written a feature on Ian, along with stories from friends, on page 14, please take 10 minutes and give it a read. He was an important and wonderful man, loved by his friends and family.)