Le Beat: May 2015

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

Hello Bellingham! Raleigh Davis here… It’s time for us to spend some quality time together in this month’s heaping helping of Le Beat!

RECORDING & RELEASES

The dapper dudes behind Dogs are releasing some new music. The grunge rocking canine enthusiasts will be releasing their new EP Well Dressed Dogs on tape May 16. It’s awesome to see that they are still working on new music and playing shows even with guitarist/vocalist Nate’s departure to Seattle. Keep up the awesome work guys, and I’m stoked to hear the new tunes. Check out their 4/20 live session on KUGS online!

A new Bellingham Soundcheck is incoming and this one is looking to be the most epic yet. Shibusa Sound locked down the legendary hometown heroes Falling Up Stairs! Expect hardcore jazz odysseys on a theater stage and lots of trees… That’s all we can tease for now on this one, keep your eyes peeled!

 COMINGS & GOINGS

It is with a heavy heart that we must say goodbye to another one of Bellingham’s great bands. The beautiful babes in Chunky Wonder are calling it quits my friends… yes I know, I’m hurting too. Three-quarters of the Chunky boys are moving to Texas to pursue their dreams of becoming professional dude ranchers and leaving us with a little less wonder in our lives. Your groovy, psychedelic brand of toe-tapping, guitar-shredding power-pop will be greatly missed Chunky Wonder! We wish you all the best in your future endeavors! We have one last chance to say goodbye at their last show Friday, May 1 at The Swillery with Panda Panda Panda and The Copacetics. Give your heartfelt goodbyes to them and let’s send ‘em off into the sunset right!

Good Times

Something fantastic is on its way for all you art lovers out there! Starting May 1 (and going through June 13) the Art in the City Pop Up Gallery is making its way to Bellingham. This unique and ambitious event is transforming an empty property at 1214 Cornwall into a temporary pop-up style art gallery featuring paintings, sculptures and functional creations by local artists such as Sarah Derby, Francis X Donovan, Peter Rand and many more! The installation aims to bring energy and diversity to the Cornwall block. Such an awesome and unique idea is more than deserving of support; we wish them the best!

Western Washington University is throwing quite the festival until May 3. Sound Culture: Adventures Festival features a wide array of offerings in the realm of unique music, sound art, intermedia and more. The event aims to explore the weirder side of music with genres such as ambient noise, electroacoustic, modern classic and free improvisation There will be four evenings of concerts, lectures, presentations and gallery pieces and will be featuring some Bellingham favorites such as Falling Up Stairs, Rubix Shoes, illogicians, and many more. Locations vary from the WWU’s PAC to the Spark Museum of Electrical Invention, so search the event online or via facebook to get the exact date and times for each day. Shows are $8 a piece with a $20 festival pass, and tickets are available online!

Wander Brewing is about to celebrate its first anniversary! The brewery quickly became a Bellingham favorite and to show thanks for the community’s support they are throwing a day full of fun festivities May 2. The day will include special releases from their beer cellar, a live bourbon barrel tapping, tours of the Wander Barrel Project and live music from Moongrass at 5 p.m. (their first time playing at the Brew Hall!). The good times roll all day starting at 2 p.m. so head on down for some tasty treats.

The iDiOM Theater announced a six-week long playwriting course with their artistic director Glenn Hergenhahn-Zhao. The course will be taking place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 9 – June 13. The course load will include alternatives to three-act structures, creating characters through dialogue, phenomenological writing, creating a theatrical universe and a hell of a lot more. The class is open to writers of all ages and skill levels. Participants will have an opportunity to get feedback on what they are working on, share writing exercises, read great scripts and further their abilities. Tuition is $200 and you can register online at nwplaywriting.bpt.me.

Are you a lonely single and looking for love? Are you not creepy? If you answered yes to both of those then rest assured that the Honeymoon has your back! The meadery is looking to play matchmaker on Friday, May 8 with The Not-Creepy Gathering for People Who Are Single and Want to Fall In Love! The event is looking to set up people of all kinds with a lavish life of being loved. The event starts at 8:30 and they implore you to show up on time, as it’s a heavily structured event. Don’t forget to bring a notebook ya lovebirds!

Shows

An awesome, awesome house show is in the works… I’m getting excited just typing this! Phoenix House will be hosting a bill filled to the brim with up and coming local talent on Saturday, May 23. Local favorites Painters and Croak will be joined by Prom King (who I am extremely stoked are becoming active again) and newcomers SO to make what is surely to be a brain-meltingly awesome night of the weirder side of Bellingham rock music. It’s all ages and has a $5 suggested donation to support the bands. GO TO THIS!

Make.Shift is having a very out of the box night of rock music Saturday, May 16. They are hosting Seacats Forever: a DIY stage play! Hailing from Kelso, WA, Seacats are no strangers to the Bellingham stage and have rocked us silly on multiple occasions… This time is a little different however as the band is putting together a fully-scripted comedic narrative with their tasty rock jams to make for a very special, one night only event unlike any other. Rounding out the bill will be Elch and Dogs (releasing their aforementioned EP!), which should make for an awesome night of tunes.

In other Make.Shift news they have quite a doozy coming up! Anyone who was alive in the 2000s and loved Harry Potter has heard of Harry and the Potters, an all wizard rock band with songs solely about… YOU GUESSED IT! Harry Potter. They are coming to put a spell on Bellingham Friday, May 8 at an all-ages bonanza. Doors open at 6, and tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for kids under 12. Expecto Patronum!

A Collection Of Cyclops Skulls, the new project from members of Thieves Of Eden (who sadly recently went on hiatus due to the loss of their drummer), is making their debut Saturday, May 2 at The Swillery. Joining them for the evening are bands Vessel and Dead Hookers. If I know anything about the music of the Eden dudes then you can expect a dark, heavy journey through a scary haunted forest of bone-crushing rock! Music starts at 10.

If you haven’t heard the word then know that N7E’s long awaited compilation is about to be released! It certainly wouldn’t be a fitting birth without a party, so of course The Shakedown is there to host the shenanigans on Friday, May 22 with Agonizer, Muppet Fetish, Proud Failures, Chump Change and more. The cover is $5, doors at 8, with no-holds-barred, heavy as hell punk rawk music starting at 9.

The Green Frog has a nice collection of rock music on display May 15. The splendidly superb Medici will play along with Baltic Cousins and out-of-towners The Jamie Nova Band, described as “a blend of Melissa Ethridge, Janis Joplin and Ann Wilson. Fresh, touching, fun, and filled with passionate lyrics and soul.” Tickets are $5 and music starts at 9.

Robert T McDonald III is hosting a CD release party on May 6 at the Green Frog for his debut album You’re Already There, which is also the debut of Livingspectrum Recording. McDonald plays solo steel string acoustic and the album is an unedited live cut where he explores different sounds within his instrument.

The Honeymoon is having an intimate evening of solo songs from musician Rob Stauffer (you may know him from projects such as Go Slowpoke, Bright Weapons, and The Love Lights). He will perform a slew of new songs that will be recorded later this month and is enlisting the help of musicians Jeff Ballew, Jesse Stanton and Marcus Nuckolls. Joe Metzger will also perform. The event takes place May 1 at 8 p.m.

Well that’s all for this month folks! We have a plethora of local festivities going on all around us so study your mag and get out there and support the local scene. See ya next month Bellingham!

–Raleigh Davis

(Editor’s note: Last month we credited David Johnson’s photos to David Samish. Again. David is fantastic and we botched it. Sorry!)

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