Le Beat: April 2015

compiled by Raleigh Davis

So it must be time for your monthly helping of Le Beat! Some of us here still have bang-overs (a head banging hangover for the uninitiated) from last month’s big birthday bash but that doesn’t mean that Bellingham is slowing down any. The 201st issue can be just exciting. We have a lot of great stuff for you this month so let’s dive on in!

RECORDING & RELEASES

New Wild Throne! New Wild Throne!!!! The ass-kicking trio just recently premiered the first single off of their debut full-length album, on freaking NPR no less! The song, “War Is A Romance” finds the Throne boys at their best with all of their trademarks: blistering guitar and bass riffs, punishing drum beats, unforgivingly intense vocals that can still find melody without devolving into guttural screaming. But there’s also something a little more… could it be an extra layer of maturity? That would certainly make sense as they just spent months refining their sound recording with the legendary producer Ross Robinson. Their debut album Harvest Of Darkness will be out this summer on major record label Roadrunner Records. I think a huge congratulations is in order, if anyone deserves all this it’s you guys!

Actionesse, the spiritual successor to the now defunct Gypsters, have just released their first bits of music. The boys just dropped a 2-song EP called Wew that showcases their new style, one reminiscent of those ole Gypsters that you used to love but with plenty of new flavor to offer. Combining horn instruments, guitar and keyboard in a truly unique way, Actionesse aims to get your toes tapping and it’s working. Catch some Actionesse tunes April 3 at The Shakedown with Panda, Panda, Panda and Moonhat.

A known guitar instructor in Bellingham is ready to show off how he plays! Bob McDonald, who has been teaching guitar in Bellingham for almost 20 years, has announced that he will be releasing his debut album. Entitled Robert T. McDonald III, You’re Already There, the release will feature 15 original compositions for solo acoustic steel string guitar. The album will be released on his and his wife’s newly started independent label Living Spectrum Recordings. Bob’s style explores contemporary steel string techniques that combine alternate tuning, percussion, tapping, and slap harmonics with old time finger picking, chord melodies, and a polyphony of voices that the guitar has to offer. This album is sure to be a sonic treat for anyone who digs the various facets of guitar playing!

The Illogicians, a band relatively fresh-faced to the scene, recently announced work on recording their debut album. If their current demos on bandcamp are any indication then I think we might be in for a real treat. Featuring a complex, improvisational style, Illogicians have fused together aspects of classic rock, prog rock, and more southern bluegrass styles… and that’s just scratching the surface. Sounding like a mutant love child between Rush, Primus, and Bellingham’s “folkier” flavor this is sure to be a unique release to add to Bellingham’s local music collection.

COMINGS & GOINGS

There is a new band on the horizon looking to bring head-banging, sludgey, metal to the people of Bellingham. A Collection of Cyclops Skulls just announced their birth and with members of Thieves Of Eden, Maszynaz, KVRSE, and The Vaticxnts it’s hard not to get excited about what they have in store for us. The band is still in its infancy so no solid news on shows or recordings yet but keep these guys on your radar and stay tuned for awesome things down the road!

Good Times

Western Washington University is putting on their own Ted Talks! TEDxWWU 2015 is a conference that will be held at the PAC of the university on April 11 with events starting at 10 a.m. There will be 13 speakers in all with topics ranging from design to science. Tickets are $6 at presale for students and $15 for the general public. A complimentary lunch will be provided for those in attendance. Get some knowledge bombs dropped on your brain noggin!

Have you checked out the new Bellingham Soundcheck yet? This one is quite a doozy. The legendary NavigatorCommunicator have burst forth from the dark shadows of elusiveness to put 22 minutes of atmospheric, instrumental, prog-rock beauty down to tape. Recorded at North Wave Electric the performance sounds phenomenal in hands of the very talented Shibusa Sound. And would you believe that there is another one coming down the chute for you this month?! Stay tuned to see who will be featured next.

Did someone space SPACE MUSICAL?! That’s right folks, Bellingham’s own Idiom Theater will be hosting many nights of a new SPACE MUSICAL! The new performance is locally written, sci-fi driven, and features an all-original soundtrack. The musical entitled Ded Reckoning was written and directed by WWU play-write Kamarie Chapman and longtime Bellingham musician/singer Spencer Willows. Ded Reckoning has been described as “the tale of three sisters and their ship’s engineer, who have been lost in space for six long years, when one day they find out that they are not alone after all…” The show will open with a free performance on Thursday, April 9, and run Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday on April 9-12 and April 16-19. Doors open at 7 p.m. and the show starts at 7:30!

Local film aficionados Film Is Truth 24 Times a Second are thrilled to announce that they have been incorporated by the state of Washington. This is a grand step in the group’s ongoing goal to turn Film Is Truth into a non-profit resource for lovers of all things film in Whatcom County. The new non-profit face of Film Is Truth will be taking over their expansive film collection and making sure that it stays intact and continues to be accessible to the community. The future goals of this new organization are far from maintenance though. Future plans for Film is Truth include classes, workshops and opportunities for interactions between local and regional film lovers. Looking forward to seeing what’s in store guys!

Bellingham’s beloved Trailer Wars is back at the Pickford Film Center! The long running event pits local filmmakers to compete in making fake film trailers with a theme chosen by the previous event’s winner. This month the theme is “Based On A True Story” and is sure to be a fun ride for all involved. The event is taking place on April 1, cover is a measly $2, and the event will be starting at 9 p.m. Make sure you get there at least 20 minutes early if you wanna submit a trailer. Also word on the street is there are only 8 Trailer Wars left in the works, so if you love it come and give it your support!

Logan McQuaig, punk rock guitarist turned artist, has opened up Nova Shop and Studio space at 115 W Chestnut. He’ll be showing different artists work as well as selling cool stuff – Logan custom paints Vans shoes among other things. If you haven’t checked ‘em out, do so because they’re absolutely amazing. Logan is a fantastic artist and has a unique take on where he puts his art, so go down and check it out. The grand opening is Friday, April 3, also the night of Art Walk.

SHOWS

Bellingham Benefest is here! The all-ages festival will be taking place April 8-12 this month at various all-ages spaces around town such as the Make.Shift, Loudhouse, Jacuzzi House, and the Alternative Library. All shows will be $5 and every bit of the proceeds will be going to benefit MS Society and Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services of Bellingham. Bands from Massachusetts, Oregon, Seattle, and Minnesota are coming up to entertain as well as many local groups for your listening pleasure. Check out their facebook page for more details.

Bellingham heartthrobs Black Beast Revival will be gracing us with a performance this month. The group will be opening up for California rockers The Silent Comedy at the Wild Buffalo April 12. The show is 21+, tickets are $8 and doors open at 9:30 p.m.

The Jacuzzi House is putting on an afternoon of low-key acoustic jams this month. The “Jacouzstic Show” on Thursday April 30, will feature acoustic acts such as Mathew’s Comatorium, ECO, Schizophrenogenic Mothers and more.There may even be some room for participants to hop in front of the limelight with their own songs! As always, half the fun of house shows is deciphering the location, so get to sleuthing and support all ages music in Bellingham.

Make.Shift is having a free show the night of Art Walk on Friday, April 3. Enjoy sweet croonings from Baltic Cousins (performing as an acoustic duo), Hooves and Beak (seattle indie hard music), and Reasoner! Music starts a little earlier at 7:15 p.m. so make sure you don’t miss a note!

B-Side Magazine is having another variety show. Who is ready for Volume 3?! The magazine has collected many of Bellingham’s diverse artists under one roof for a night of bands, poetry, live art and more. The show takes place Friday, April 3 at The Majestic and features Crooked Neighbors, Hillary Susz, slam poet Dee Dee Chapman, and many more.

Well that’s all we could squeeze in for this month. As always there is a plethora of musical news and events this month that we couldn’t pack into this little article so grab your mag and get to page turning. This is a good month to love music in Bellingham!

Published in the April 2015 issue of What’s Up! Magazine

Local notes on what’s happening with musicians, events and more. Have something to share? Send your info to editor@whatsup-magazine.com.