Le Beat: December 2015

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

Well hello there friends, it’s me, Brent, editor of this fine publication. I’m back again, albeit briefly, in the le beat chair. I’d like to thank Raleigh for all the words he contributed in these pages; writing le beat isn’t the easiest of gigs and he handled it like a champ. He is focusing on his education and will no longer be chatting about the scene.

Before I get to the normal music stuff, I want to share some What’s Up! news. AND IT’S BIG! After a two-year break, the What’s Up! Awards ARE BACK! You’ll be able to vote for the awards starting Dec. 7 through early January at www.whatsup-magazine.com. The awards show will be held Jan. 23 at the Wild Buffalo, and the line up is ridiculous! We have Wild Throne, Rabbit Wilde, Mostafa, Dryland, STFU Robot, plus an incredibly special set by Ässwipé, (with Charlie McCoy of Sharpie/Camarojuana fame) who haven’t played live in 20 years. I’m beyond stoked for this show – getting the chance to see the Ässwipé guys play again is a dream come true. So vote, then come down and hang out at the Buff. OH YEAH… there’ll also be a lip sync battle for good measure. If you’ve been checking those out, ya know how good it’ll be.


Khu.eex, which includes such phenomenal musicians as Stanton Moore, Skerik, Bernie Worrell (who lives in Whatcom) and Bellingham’s own Captain Raab is done with their debut album, which will hopefully be released as a double LP in February. Hopefully shows will follow!

Peadar McMahon has released an album of Irish songs for your listening pleasure. He, along with Jan Peters and others, have been hosting Irish night on Mondays, now at Boundary Bay. Peadar has been a part of the music scene since before I got here and I’m really glad he’s still playing music. We’ll have a story on him in the January issue.

If you’re interested in abstract music, follow Spectropol on bandcamp or facebook. Run by Bruce Hamilton (professor at Western), the label puts out great weird music on a regular basis. The most recent release is a lush electroacoustic EP from Marco Oppedisano. Check it out.

The mighty Vincent Blackshadow has begun work on his solo record, which will be engineered by Sam Chue and produced by Stone Jones. And it’s about damn time! My first memory of Vincent was as a three-year-old playing God of Thunder by KISS on the piano. And not just sort of playing it, but being in fully engrossed in the song, banging his head and keys. It was brilliant! Now, 15 years later, he’s recording… I can’t wait to hear how this. He’s one of the most talented I’ve ever seen.


Robby Cleary, Gavin Hadley, David Munro and Glen Manola have formed Boxcutter for your punk rock pleasures. They’ve already recorded a five-song demo at Funk Schwey and will hopefully debut with shows next month. According to Robby, they sound a lot like Black Flag.


Last month, The Green Frog celebrated 10 years of existence! Through all of the battles, James Hardesty has managed to keep the Frog going and we’re damn glad he’s done it! Congrats my man, here’s to another 10!

The Cabin Tavern has been sold by long-time owner John Wirts to local Christian Danielson (who used to work at the 3B). He’s excited to roll up his sleeves and get to work remodeling, but keeping the  feel of the Cabin. Congrats to Christian on this new adventure, and to John on his 23 years! You can see John at the Main Street Bar & Grill in Ferndale.

On the flip side, Robby Cleary, one of the bookers at The Cabin, will be working at The Waterfront Tavern, booking shows at least one night a week, but possibly more. Details are still being worked out, but starting in January, you’ll be able to see shows at the Waterfront. As a long time Whatcom resident… this makes me really, really giddy.

The Shakedown got second in Evening Magazine’s best venue in Western Washington. We’ve all known The Shake is a great venue, now all of Western Washington gets it as well. Congrats Hollie and Marty! And, Happy Birthday to Hollie, whose birthday show is coming up Dec. 12 with Helms Alee, The Crawl, and Powwers!

Have you been to Café Bouzingo yet? It’s a new performance space/cafe lounge at 1209 Cornwall Ave. They’ve been ramping up their music of late. Just before we went to press, Chivalry Timbers played with Portico Dance Company. Think Bouzingo fits a great need in town, looking forward to see how it shakes out over the next year.


A few great guys in the scene have been battling cancer, please keep them in your thoughts.

Scott Greene, who has played music in town with Slick Watts (if you remember them, you are old!) to Luke Warm and the Moderates (most recently) has been battling brain tumors. He is doing better as of late and hopefully will continue on the upswing. We’re thinking of you, Scott.

Our old friend Lucas Hicks, currently with The Gallus Brothers, The Shadies and Deakin Hicks, will be having another surgery in early December. Lucas has been around since the beginning of the magazine – his old band, Pacer, was on the fifth cover and his music and his fight has inspired us throughout the nearly 18 years of What’s Up! Please say a prayer for him, think good thoughts, send good vibes. Let’s hope Lucas gets through the surgery cancer-free.

Our good friend and sales rep for the mag, Victor Gotelaere, has been diagnosed with aggressive Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Victor has put on more benefits and helped more folks than anyone I know. It’s time for the community to show their thanks and support, and help him out with covering expenses through treatment. Please come down to the Wild Buffalo on Sunday, Dec. 13, starting at 10 a.m. Watch the Seahawks game and check out the silent auction and raffle, then come back to catch Acorn Project perform later that evening. If you can’t make it down, please consider donating to Victor’s gofundme account (see our facebook page for a link). He has been instrumental in the magazine’s life over the last two years and we’re grateful. Please help him out, keep him in your heart, and say some positive words.


As always, thanks for reading the paper and supporting those who advertise with us. Have a good holiday, stay safe, and we’ll see ya next month.