Le Beat: July 2015

Hey Bellingham! Raleigh Davis here with another rousing edition of Le Beat! School may be out and summer may be here but that doesn’t mean that the Bellingham scene is slowing down any. Let’s dive right in for some of the great things this month has to offer us.


The dynamic duo Vacationeer finally dropped some hot new tracks! The bands new EP Glances features two reverb-soaked tracks that offer lush, dreamy soundscapes… The kind of angelic sounds you’d expect from Vacationeer, but new and improved, with the band sounding the best they have to date. The songs are available through the band’s bandcamp where they also have new 7” vinyls for sale. Great work guys! Everyone who wants some beautiful sounds to go with that perfect summer day look no further!

This must be the season of two-song EPs because Actionesse just released a short and sweet offering as well. Beach Bums/Fight Party is a perfect complement to anyone who was wanting an extra helping of the ‘nesse after the two debut tracks they released back in March. This time around they had Bellingham’s own Brendan Silk at the recording helm, which explain why they sound so damn good. It’s exciting to see how the Actionesse boys sound is progressing and their future looks bright! The tracks are available for free download on their bandcamp.

Can’t talk about exciting new releases without mentioning Bellingham’s indie-rock treasures Candysound. The band recently released a red-hot four track EP, Past Lives. The band is showcasing their strongest and most organic song-writing to date. Brendan Silk has been hard at work lately as this was recorded, mixed and mastered by him as well, making house practice spaces and the Make.Shift sound as good as some studio rooms. The release also features artwork by wunderkind Bradley Lockhart at Lariat Creative making this EP about as Bellingham as it can get. Do yourself a favor, snag yourself a copy and get lost in the masterful sounds.


Painters are hitting the road! The band just recently announced a mini-tour from July 3-11, traveling all around Washington including Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellevue and more. Good luck on the road and stay safe out there. They are throwing a tour kick-off show with an absolutely stacked bill. Featuring themselves, The Crawl, Dogs, and Prom King for only a measly $3 this house show on North Forest on July 3 should be considered a must-go. Wish the Painters crew a safe voyage and hear some quality rawk music.

Due to some crappy legal woes Wild Rabbit will be changing their name again. After changing their name from Br’er Rabbit not too long ago, the band recently divulged that another group from Texas filed a suit against them claiming that their names were similar enough as to confuse “consumers” of their music. Rather than join in on the hubbabaloo the Wild Rabbit crew decided it would be in their best interest to just change the damn name so they can focus on making us the tunes we know and love. So say goodbye to Wild Rabbit and say hello to the new and improved Rabbit Wilde! Everything has a silver-lining though as guitarist and singer Miranda Zickler recently posted some pics of tracking for the next Rabbit Wilde record. So we can expect some new tunes in the near future to go along with the new name. Hope this name is here to stay!


The Karate Church on Maple Street is beginning to put on all-ages shows! Following the Alternative Library’s recent move, the shows that were once taking place on Railroad will now follow. This is a big win for all-ages music in Bellingham with what is sure to be a larger and more accommodating space than their previous lodgings. Their next show is going to be July 2 featuring Sleep Spindles (touring from Cali), Oranges From The President (hailing from Seattle), and Bellingham’s own Rookie Town and Painters, which is sure to make for an amazing evening.

Bellingham heartthrob Andrew Beer (of Girl Guts fame… among many other achievements) is tying the knot with fiancé Rachel Farrel! If you know the Beer Clan at all then you know it’s only fitting that the after party take place at The Shakedown. Come revel in the glories of love and good music, Aug. 2. There will be a free show taking place as well featuring Fallopia and STFU Robot (Brendan’s on a roll this month) who I’m sure have some hilarious antics planned. Make sure to get your buns down to The Shakedown by 9:30 to make sure you don’t miss any of the festivities. Congrats Andrew and Rachel from all of What’s Up!

Speaking of The Shakedown… I’m very happy to be writing that The Racket, a totally new bar and add-on to The Shakedown is now open for business! The new digs features good drinks, amazing food and quite the selection of pinball machines for the enthusiasts out there (they are a self-proclaimed pinball lounge after all!). The bar will be open for food and drink daily from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and how could you go wrong with a bar featuring a jukebox stacked with some of the best local music around? I have no doubt that this place will quickly sky rocket to be one of the go-to spots in town.

As with almost every month, Make.Shift is having an awesome art walk event! This go around the art space partnered with Pickford Film Center and invited artists to create new and original movie posters for some of their favorite sci-fi films. The fun is happening Friday, July 3 6-10 p.m. and features over 20 local artists for the unbeatable price of FREE. If that wasn’t enough to sway you then let me sweeten the deal by telling you that in addition, sci-fi movies classics will be screening all night downstairs. Sounds like an art walk you won’t want to miss.

Music Moves Me, a charity and instrument drive hosted by Thea Hart, took place just this last month. The event featured The Naughty Blokes (last year’s Road To Rockstar winners), Actionesse and Black Beast Revival and aimed to collect instruments to supply the young aspiring musicians in Bellingham Public schools. Over 300 people attended the event, over $3,000 was raised and 60 instruments were donated! Thanks for standing up and helping music education reach our youth in a time where it doesn’t get much focus anymore… Let’s hope to see this event again next year!


It’s July! That means that Downtown Sounds (presented by Levitt AMP Bellingham Music Series) is here again to give us some music to go with our sunshine. The series of events (now in its 11th year!) shuts down Bay Street every Wednesday to bring Bellingham some fresh Pacific Northwest tunes along with a beer garden, food vendors, a kids corner and more! They have five shows planned for us this month: July 1st with Third World and Yogoman Burning Band, the 8th with Acorn Project and McTuff, the 15th with Polecat and The New Triumph, the 22nd with Ayron Jones and The Way and Scott Pemberton Trio, and finally the 29th with Five Alarm Funk and Babycakes! There are plenty of chances to jam downtown but if you can’t make these, they are doing it all over again in August!

Big Business is making their return to The Shakedown on Tuesday, July 7 and this is going to be a great night for loud and sweaty rock music. As if that wasn’t great enough the bill is rounded out perfectly by opening sets by Seattle’s Tacos! and Bellingham’s own Dryland. Doors are at 8 and music is at 9 with tickets being $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Just remember to do your neck stretches beforehand… wouldn’t want anyone to pull a head banging muscle.


Last month, the Bellingham music scene lost another fantastic musician with the passing of Eric Hess. He’d spent time in the metal band Final Hour, as well as Full Frontal Assault and the All Nighters. While he’d primarily played in heavy bands, his own material was beautiful with wonderful hooks and a hue of sadness. Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.

Well my Bellingham friends… that’s all we could squeeze in this time. As always there is a plethora of musical and entertainment offerings going on 24/7 this month and just because we couldn’t fit it in here doesn’t mean it’s not important! So study your mag, get informed and go out there and support the local Bellingham scene. Have a good July!


Published in the July 2015 issue of What’s Up!