Le Beat: April 2016

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

Before we get started with the usual tomfoolery we need to issue a quick clarification – recently What’s Up! was informed that there has been misprint or two regarding the new location of the Alternative Library. While the Library may relocate to the Karate Church in the future (time frame unclear) their current location is two blocks from The Green Frog at 929 N State Street with regular hours from 2-7 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.



Both Deakin Hicks (Lucas Hicks and Thomas Deakin) and Robert Sarazin Blake recently returned from tour, with the former finishing off a long string of dates along the West Coast and the former recently returning from a German Winter Tour. After a few days off, Sarazin Blake is currently back on the road supporting Aoife O’Donovan across the West Coast. At the end of next month he’ll be heading back across the Atlantic for a short string of dates in Ireland.

Wild Throne will kick off their upcoming two month long tour on April 8 in Nashville. Spanning parts of Canada and close to the entire continental US, the band will be supporting their newest album Harvest of Darkness with support provided by Kvelertak, Torche, and Mutoid Man. Head to Facebook for a full list of tour dates.

Fallopia will return from a string of dates (nine shows in 10 days) down the West Coast on April 2, heading as far South as Anaheim. This is the band’s first tour, supporting their most recent release, Just Regular Girls.

In infinitely less important tour news, The City Hall and The Co Founder will be heading out on their joint West Coast tour later this month. The “My Dark Twisted Van-tasy Tour”, will take place between April 2 – May 11 and span six states (WA, OR, CA, AZ, UT, ID). Catch both bands (along with Candysound and House of Blue Leaves) at The Swillery on April 22.

The Co Founder will also be releasing a music video for “Balance and Composure” (the first track off the six song EP Whiskey & 45’s) this month. The video was directed/edited by Tyler Michael James (director of the award winning video shot for Manatee Commune’s “Brush”) and will be available via Youtube and Vimeo.

On Friday, April 8 The Honey Moon will play host to the second annual Film Is Truth Fundraiser. Events will include film-inspired performance and poetry readings from Mighty Mike McGee (In Search of Midnight), Bruce Beasley (author of Theophobia), Troy Osaki (2015 Rain City Slam Poetry Champion), Elizabeth Vignali (Object Permanence), and Dee Dee Chapman (Colluvium). While admission to the event is free, donations are greatly appreciated.

The Viking Union Gallery (WWU) will feature works by internationally recognized contemporary Vietnamese artist Dihn Q. Le for a majority of this month. The exhibit is titled “Beautiful Terror” and viewing will be available from April 4_22. Le will be giving a free public lecture from 4-5 p.m.  on April 6, followed by a signing in Miller Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Happy Holidays to all the record collectors out there! Record Store Day (April 16) is not only an opportunity to fight a fellow community member over a limited-pressing of Green Day’s 1984 demos (a full list of this year’s releases is available at recordstoreday.com) but also a chance to catch Local Ghost and Willie Reavis And His Weary Boys live at Avalon Music. Local Ghost (ex. Moongrass) released their debut EP last month and Willie Reavis And His Weary Boys are currently working towards a new release (planned for later this month).

Vacationeer will be announcing an indefinite hiatus in the coming weeks, with both Jase and Nikko joining Iska Daaf (Seattle). The two will be touring with Iska Daaf for most of April/May (including a session with Daytrotter) then returning to WA for the Sasquatch Music Festival over Labor Day weekend.

Local alt-rockers Sweet Invicta is headed into the studio to record a new EP this month (length TBD). Tracking will be completed at EGG Studios, with engineering handled by Conrad Uno and production by Dave Crider.

The iDiOM Theater will be moving into a new space this summer in an effort to spearhead the “development of a new, multi-organization, multiple-venue performing arts center” that will be named Sylvia Center for the Arts. The building will contain a “75-seat studio theater, a 160-seat main stage theater, and a café with a small stage for acoustic music and/or readings”. The first official public look into the new building will be during the first Friday Downtown Art Walk, when iDiOM will host a Hootenanny and Open House (featuring music by Deakin Hicks, a square dance, cake walk, craft market, and art from Allied Arts’ ReCycled Art and ReCourse Expo).


Fans of the recently dissolved Moongrass can revel in the arrival of the above-mentioned debut EP from Local Ghost (Eli, Taylor, Cole, and Tom of Moongrass), which was released March 15 and is available via Bandcamp. Hippopotamus Hot Tub (Charlie and Brendan of STFU Robot) released their second Live at The Shakedown collection, following their 2014 release under the same name. The Living Arrows released their first group of songs since the recent name change (ex  Breaking the Spell). Set You Free consists of three new songs and was recorded by Sam Chue and Northwest Sound Studios.

Local electronic artist fantompower released their first full-length (longing) on March 18. Having never heard their music previously, it’s an impressive group of songs and well worth a listen (free via Bandcamp). Released on the same day was “Schema,” the newest single from local pianist Lunacy. With genre tags like piano, post–rock, and “sad bastard music” you can’t not check it out. Continuing under the umbrella of electronica we had releases by Tublushi (Tublushi), TVLAND (2016), and Mollegem (Supurban EP); all three are great and readily available through bandcamp.


We’ll start our monthly, venue-by-venue breakdown of live music selections at The Shakedown, where you can kick the month with great shows on back-to-back nights. April 1 will host the Wild Powwers (Seattle) album release show, with local support provided by Hello, I’m Sorry (participants in this year’s EMP Sound off! Competition) and Rookery (no explanation needed). I imagine most of you don’t need to be reminded, but the next night (Saturday, April 2) is the highly anticipated Diarrhea Planet show, which is almost 100 percent guaranteed to get just the right amount of weird. Later this month you can catch Black Mountain (Thursday, April 21)  – support yet to be announced), and Defenestrator‘s album release show/party (Friday, April 22).

The Wild Buffalo has two great rap shows scheduled this month. First, we have Hieroglyphics, Mostafa Supergroup, Grynch, and Boombox Kid sharing a stage on Tuesday, April 12. That night will be Mostafa’s first show since returning from his recent West Coast tour so make sure to head down and give him a warm welcome home! Then, you can catch Snug Habor, Baby Cakes, Staxx Brothers, and Mockingbird who will be performing at the Benefit for Bernie Worrell show on Saturday, April 16. Bernie was recently diagnosed with stage 4-Lung cancer and the monies raised will be donated towards covering his ongoing treatment. Tickets are $10, doors at 8 p.m.

The Swillery continues its recent string of great live music offerings this month, starting with Panda Panda Panda, Within Rust, Ten Speed (Isaac Pierce), and Greece on Friday, April 1. The show will be one of the final stops for Ten Speed on their recent PNW tour (including an appearance at this year’s Treefort Music Festival). A few weeks later (Friday, April 22) you can catch The City Hall, House of Blue Leaves, The Co Founder, and Candysound for the second show of the aforementioned “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Van-tasy Tour”.

Whiney Ballen and Mo Troper & The Assumptions will be performing at Make.Shift on Saturday, April 9 (w/ local support from Cat Valley and Dog Mountain). On Saturday, April 16Make.Shift will also play host to the first round of the AS Productions/Make.Shift sponsored Battle of the Bands competition.

92.9 KISM is also hosting their annual battle of the bands, Road to Rockstar, every Thursday at the Underground starting April 14. Local bands interested in participating must submit music in MP3 form for a chance to be one of the 12 selected to participate in showcases. For more details see www.kism.com.

Other noteworthy shows include The Naughty Blokes album release show (The Green Frog – Friday, April 1), Mercy Brown/Tetrachromat/“Red//Giant” (Unknown Board Shop – Friday, April 29), and Potbelly/Mannequin Hands/and Boxcutter (The Waterfront – also April 29). Snoop Dogg will also be returning to Bellingham this month, performing a DJ set at Warehouse 420 on April 19. Top Shelf Cannabis will be sponsoring the event and a link to buy tickets is available via FB.

A full list of this month’s events is included in this month’s calendar.


Take a second to go download longing by fantompower which was mentioned above (in the Releases section). The album is free and pretty impressive from start to finish. Whether you’re a fan of hip-hop, downtemp/chillwave, or even ambient music, it’s got something to offer.

–Hayden Eller