le Beat: November 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 for another edition of Le Beat! November is upon us and winter looms ominously in the distance. It’s crazy to think that we are already almost done with this year! 2016 is right around the corner but Bellingham isn’t done with 2015 quite yet. Let’s dive right into some of the amazing events happening around us this month.


We spoke of Bernie Worrell, who now lives in Whatcom County! WOW!!! The legendary keys player moved over from the East Coast in September and set up shop in our humble little county. If you aren’t familiar with Bernie (those under 30 might not be), he played keys in Parliament Funkadelic, The Talking Heads, Praxis (with Buckethead), The Golden Palaminos and has played with more bands than you can imagine – MR. WORRELL IS IN THE ROCK N’ ROLL HALL OF FAME! He is, literally, one of the most brilliant keyboard players on the planet… and he lives here. Awesome. Look for a big ol’ story on him in the next issue.

There is a new garage rock group in town featuring many established members of the Bellingham music scene! The band is called Machine Animal and features the legendary Dave Crider (The Mono Men, Watts, The DT’s) and Zach Van Houten (Black Beast Revival, The Comettes) on guitar, Bill Anker (Black Beast Revival) on drums, and Vincent Blackshadow (Sweet Invicta) on bass. The group has been hard at work on their set and plans to be show ready by December! Awesome.

After blowing everyone’s hearts and minds on Halloween it looks like Polecat has a busy month ahead of them! The folk-stompers are hitting the road with various dates in Montana, Oregon, and Washington throughout November. Glad to see them spreading the joy of Americana! There have also been rumblings about a new Polecat album in the works… maybe seeing the light of day March 2016???

In Manatee Commune news, the band is hitting the road! Aptly dubbed The Seven Seas Tour, the producing wunderkind Grant Eadie will be hitting the road with big name acts Emancipator (the tour is named after their latest release) and Blockhead. The tour goes through November and is hitting places like BC, California and Oregon. Lucky for us the tour kicks off right here at the Wild Buffalo on Nov. 10. Tickets are $22 in advance.

Dad Jazz are calling it a day with band members moving onto different projects. They’ll be playing one last show at Make.Shift on Nov. 14 with Ex-Breathers (Tallahassee, FL), Gnarwhal (Nashville, TN), and Rural Discipline (Clear Lake, WA) as well as new-coming grind-core band Gnash. All that music for only $6 is a pretty unbeatable deal.

By the time you read this, KVWV will be on the air on 94.9 FM. For more information about the station, check out kvwv.org.

Speaking of community radio, KMRE, one of the area’s established community radio stations at 102.3 FM, is hosting a fundraiser at Spark Museum on Nov. 14 with Petunia and the Vipers. Obviously, we love community radio here at What’s Up! and LOVE the fact we’ve got a couple stations rocking and rolling with only the aid of the public. Support local radio!

The Shows are going to be woodshedding it for awhile – working on their music and progressing their sound while staying away from shows. Judging by their facebook pics, the studio they’ve set up looks pretty sweet. Looking forward to what the band sounds like when they’re ready.


Khu.eex recently finished recording their debut album with Randall Dunn producing at Avast Studio in Seattle! The band features some major freaking talent such as the one and only Bernie Worrell, Skerik, Stanton Moore, Captain Raab, and Preston Singletary. Khu.eex is planning on putting the album out on a double vinyl and say they hope to have it officially released by February. The group isn’t wasting any time either as they’ve said they are already working on finishing up a second album in the next couple months… Looks like we won’t have to wait too long for that follow-up!

Word has come that Defenestrator has begun tracking their debut album! The black metal band are some of the gnarliest blast beaters around Bellingham and recently released a super solid two-song demo back in August. Last we heard the band had completed drum tracking on about three songs so it sounds like they are well on their way. We are glad to have you guys around melting faces and definitely excited to hear the final product!

More big news for Manatee Commune this month. The electronic mastermind announced he’s signed with a record label, teaming up with Brooklyn indie label Bastard Jazz. This means more new music coming our way and while we patiently wait for the follow up to the fantastic Brush we are going to get a little appetizer Nov. 6 when Manatee’s new single “Clay” (featuring Marina Price) drops. Happy to hear the news!


The Green Frog turns 10 on Nov. 18 and owner James Hardesty is planning a big ol’ celebration. Details are still being firmed up, but it looks to be a HUGE, HUGE night. Check out www.acoustictavern.com for more info.

On Thursday, Nov. 5 the Wild Buffalo will be hosting the Stash Bash, Bellingham’s beard and mustache competition. Is there any better way to celebrate no shave November?! Tickets are on sale for $5 and there will be a silent auction. All proceeds will go towards the Movember Foundation for prostate cancer research. The winner of the competition will receive a cash prize and the event will be hosted by DJ Shortwave and Emcee E. Bearded fun for a good cause sounds like a win-win to me.

The Mount Baker Theatre will be hosting an awesome night of comedy featuring David Sedaris on Saturday, Nov. 14. The man, best known for his work on NPR and his best-selling books, has often been called one of America’s most distinguished humor authors. It will be an undeniable treat to see how his humor translates to the stage. The event will feature readings of new and unpublished work, an audience Q&A, and a post-show book signing. Tickets should be on sale now!

There are a lot of great things going on downtown Nov. 6 for the Art Walk! At the Redlight they will be having the opening reception for Wendelin Wohlgemuth, a German-American artist who graduated from Western back in 2013. His work features strikingly beautiful abstract pieces that incorporate both photography and painting. Over at the Make.Shift they will be hosting Mod.Saints: Rites, Riots, and Relics by Christina Miglino. Her artwork will be exploring what it means to have faith, the power of saints, and rituals. The night will also feature a short performance by Bellingham Repertory Dance at 7pm and a DJ set afterwards by Forrest Camire and Evan Oster.

Local author Thom Carnell will share his experience as a published writer and offer a Q&A session and writing tips on Saturday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m. at the Bellingham Public Library.  Carnell’s fiction has been featured in CARPE NOCTEM Magazine, the horror anthology, BLOODY CARNIVAL from Pill Hill Press, and in his debut novel NO FLESH SHALL BE SPARED. As a journalist, his interviews and profiles can be found in CARPE NOCTEM Magazine (for which he served as Head Writer and Creative Consultant), FANGORIA Magazine, Dread Central.com and Twitchfilm.com.


Your house show needs will be met Nov. 12 on N. Forest Street. Grade-A local talent Prom King and Dogs will be joined by touring acts Woozy and Alaska. Alaska just recently released a new album Shrines that is an absolutely banger so you really shouldn’t miss your chance to see the magic live. This one is popping off early at 6-o’clock, bring $5 to support the touring acts.

This show is a ways away but if you wanna get your tickets you’re gonna want an early start! The Shakedown will be hosting an amazing night of heavy soul crushing music with the legendary Red Fang and the sorely missed Black Breath who just released a new album Slaves Beyond Death that is a definite must listen if you are a fan of dark, harsh, heavy, awesome music. The show is on December 30th so you have plenty of time to clear your plans but as of writing this tickets are already selling (over one-quarter are gone), so act fast! Tickets are $22 in advance.

The WWU Symphony Orchestra will be gracing us with an excellent free performance Nov. 20. The night will be showcasing the works of Finnish composers Kaija Saariaho and Jean Sibelius along with a choreographed version of Serge Prokofiev’s “Peter and the Wolf”. It should be a great night of talented classical musicians, open to all ages!


As many of you know, our good friend Lucas Hicks (The Shadies, Rattletrap Ruckus, countless other bands) has battled cancer for over a decade and, after two and a half years of clean scans, it looks like he’ll be battling again. He recently had successful surgery and is now at home recovering. If you are a praying person, please pray. If that isn’t your thing, just think good thoughts for Lucas as he heals.

Well that’s all we could squeeze in for this month! As always, that’s only the tip of the iceberg though. There is an insane amount of events going on this month and there are new ones popping their heads up every day. As always study the mag and go out and support this beautiful unique little music scene we’ve cultivated! See ya next month Bellingham.