Le Beat: March 2016

Hello there, this is Jan Michael Vincent reporting from Quadrant C… aaaand now we’re off.


What’s Up!s 18th birthday celebration will be a free night of music at The Shakedown on Friday, March 18. The line up (from opener to headliner) will be: Hello, I’m Sorry, Fretts, SOSA, The Co Founder, ässwipé (yup, they’re a band again!)

The Shakedown’s 5th Anniversary Party (golf claps all around) will be held the next day, with events taking place throughout the day/night. The day’s festivities will be as follows: 11am – 2pm pancake breakfast, a late afternoon-early evening show, followed by a regular 8pm – close set. It’s also FREE, as in $0 for live music. Take a second and go RSVP on FB, we’ll wait. The following Wednesday (23rd), The Cutthroats 9 (ex. Unsane) and Drunk Dad will be in town to rupture whatever is left of your eardrums. I saw Drunk Dad this past October and their drummer, Joseph Naylor, alone makes the  $7 cover a steal.

Make.Shift has a jaw dropping set of shows lined up for next month, with three in particular that may just cause your jaw to fall off entirely. On Sunday the 6th you can catch Mr. Bones, Two Moons, and House of Blue Leaves. If you’re a fan of Nothing/Real Estate and the tasteful use of blast beats, then House of Blue Leaves might be your new favorite band – their EP Charmed Existence is available for free download via bandcamp.  The next Friday (11th) Wild Throne will play their first legit local all-ages show in almost two years (with support from Muscle Beach and Croak), followed by Girl Guts, Candysound, Catbomb, and Just Friends a night later (Saturday the 12th). As always, the shows are all-ages with a $6 cover.

On Saturday, March 5 you can catch Hot Damn Scandal, Silver Press Entertainment, and professional dance instruction at The Majestic Ballroom as part of the third annual Lumber and Lace Ball. The event aims to raise funds and awareness about local Hospice services.


The newest local Supergroup has formed! SOSA (ex. Karate Kitchen, Sweaty Sweaters, Bright Weapons, Falling Up Stairs, Go Slowpoke, and Pirates R Us) are currently mixing their debut EP, and have been active in booking local shows. They’ll be playing at The Waterfront with Baltic Cousins and Muscle Relaxers on March 4th, and the aforementioned What’s Up birthday show two weeks later. Did I mention the show is FREE. You can spend some money on merch if you feel so inclined, but the show is FREE – which can also be stylized as $0 or ZERO DOLLARS. *cough

The talented people behind the Bellingham Soundcheck sessions have two exciting releases lined up for this month – the first will feature Robby Cleary’s new band Boxcutter, and the second from local legends Ässwipé. In other Soundcheck news, Erik Wallace (one of the lead volunteers behind the monthly video series) will be moving back to Bellingham after a month long trip to Japan this March. Moving forward he will be devoting all his time/energy into his audio engineering business Shibusa Sound, while working to expand his skill set into photography/videography (which he hopes to begin incorporating into his existing business model). For those of you who aren’t familiar with Erik’s previous work, you can check out shibusasound.com for a full list of previous projects/samples – if you’re in need of audio/video work this Spring, Erik is an unbelievably talented artist, and a pretty rad dude to work with. Welcome home Erik!

Local Emcee Mostafa should be on the road by the time this month’s issues hits your eyeballs, as he and Heist will be heading down the West Coast, then back up through CO, UT and ID. Mostafa has posted a full list of tour dates via Facebook, so check them out and send him some love.

Local percussionist Tom Fitzgibbon (Candysound) has announced that he will be playing drums with Seattle based Barsuk artist Hibou during the groups upcoming NW/SW tour. Full tour dates and tickets are available via Facebook and Barksuk records.

Sky Colony’s “Lost Relation” was recently added to a compilation created by Foreign American Pictures (in conjuction with the Skagit Board of Tourism) that aims to promote local-Skagit country artists. The compilation also includes tracks by  SiLM, Candysound, Karl Blau, Mt. Eerie, The Lonely Forest, Ever Ending Kicks and The Drink Up, and Honey. It is currently available for $10 via Bandcamp.

Moongrass has officially called it quits, deciding to reform as two separate groups – Willie Reavis and His Weary Boys and Local Ghost. Both groups contain some (if not all) of the previous members of Moongrass, and will individually focus on specific sonic aspects of the member’s previous musical endeavors.

KVWV 94.9 FM Bellingham, your newest local community run radio station, has officially hit the airwaves! The station has recently started a membership campaign for listeners and is currently looking for underwriting support from local businesses (similar to NPR/Public Radio sponsorships). With 10 shows already in place, programming is set to expand in the coming months with the upcoming addition of a Queer Youth Program.

Peader MacMahon has officially booked a two-week long tour in Ireland for this July (4th-18th), with two shows already confirmed. He will be playing at the Percy French Festival (July 7th) and two days later in Co. Clare (July 9th). Peader will be hosting the first fundraising event (aimed at raising monies to fund the cross-Atlantic endeavor) on Saturday, March 26th. The show take place from 7-9 pm, with performances by Richard Scholtz, Robert Sarazin Blake, Jahn Peters, Aaron Harmonson (on upright bass), Evan Ingalls, Derek Duffy, and Mike Marker. There will be a $10 suggested donation at the door. Congratulations Peadar!

Pullman-based artist Zachary Kolden will have his photographic works on display from March 4th-27th at the Dakota Gallery downtown. The exhibit is called Elementary Reactions and is a exploration of “the connection of process and image making on a purely formal and abstract basis”. The opening reception will be a part of next months Art Walk (Friday, March 4th), with viewing available from 6-9pm – this will be the first exhibition held in Dakota Gallery’s newly renovated space. You can also view the works of 35 separate local photographers at Casa Que Pasa, now through the end of March. All 61 photographs are available for purchase, with 20 percent of the proceeds being donated to Lydia Place. In other local business news, a new restraurant/bar/venue has opened downtown on the corner of Cornwall and Chesnut. Eat! is advertised as “farm to table with a French twist”, and will be holding live music every Friday and Saturday.

The Beat’s program at Shuksan Elementary School has recently expanded it’s after school programming to include music production training, through which students can gain experience/training through the recording software Ableton. Beat’s has partnered with multiple local businesses (Unknown Board Shop, Make.Shift, and our local GuitarCenter) to provide their students with new exciting opportunities, all under the umbrella of identifying innovative ways to connect with at-risk students. They are currently looking for instrument-donations (drums, guitar, bass, keyboards, recording equipment, etc…), as many students have expressed interest in a “School of Rock” after school program. If you have any gear that you’d like to donate, please contact Mike.Anderson@bellinghamschools.org for more information.


In anticipation of their upcoming performance at this years Sound Off (hosted by the EMP), Hello, I’m Sorry released their newest full-length this path month. Entitled Consolation Party, it contains 12 new songs, the majority of which are a solid step-forward from their previous material. They’re an exciting young up-and-coming band with a ridiculously entertaining live show – word around the watering hole is that they’ll be playing the aforementioned FREE What’s Up! 18th Birthday show at The Shakedown on March 18.

Dog Mountain has decided to push back the release of their new material, scrapping the planned EP in exchange for a full-length (release date TBA). They’ll be hitting the road in mid-March, heading down through the Bay-Area with a new lineup in place (after the departure of their most recent bassist James Shogren). Head over to their Facebook page for a full list of tour dates.

Todos Somos Lee has released their first group of songs since December of 2014. The self titled album is 45 minutes of instrumental genius and is currently available for free download via Bandcamp. With song titles like “Mustache Flannel,” “Lick and Slap,” and “Latin Passion with a Russian Accent” how could you not love it?

Self described Garage/Primitive/Lo-Fi/Fuzz Skunk-ers The Second Hand Suits will be heading into the studio in March to begin work on their new (yet to be named) album. Stay tuned to their Facebook for your bi-weekly primitive skunk updates.

Additionally, the exciting Dad Jazz revival has taken another step forward! Not only has the band been resurrected,  but they’ve recently announced via the Facebook machine that they’re currently working on a new batch of songs – keep an eye out for a more specific announcement regarding their release date in the next few weeks.

Breaking the Spell has officially undergone a name change, now going by the name The Living Arrows. The totally talented trio (winners of the Axes of Folk award at this year’s What’s Up! Awards show) will be releasing their new three-song EP (Set You Free) within the next month and hope to begin work on their next full length ASAP. They are still in search of a drummer to handle recording/live performance duties, so if you are 21+ and love smacking the drums, let them know.


Go check out Charmed Existence by the aforementioned Bellingham/Seattle outfit House of Blue Leaves. I could write a few sentences about why it’s worth a listen, but I wouldn’t come close to doing it justice. It’s worth 1010 listens and it’s free via Bandcamp.

Good night, and good luck.

–Hayden Eller


(Editor’s Note: Last month we wrote that Jenni Potts was releasing new music in May and was in Sharlese from KEXP’s top 25. She released music LAST May and was in Sharlese’s top 10! Cool).