Le Beat: May 2017

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


“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!” – Michael Corleone, Godfather III

Aaaaannnnnnddddd, I’m back! Well hello there, friends, I hope you are all doing well. I’m fine, thanks for asking. After taking a long long break from writing le beat, I’m back in the captain’s chair, ready to tell you just a few of the things happening in our vibrant little town.

Before we go further, though, I’d like to thank Hayden Eller for writing this column. He nearly hit the year and a half marker, which is a hell of a long time. I was trying to come up with something hilarious to say about Hayden – that he’d become a hand model or a pet food tester (a real job), but honestly, he was just burned out and I don’t blame him. He wrote some of the le beats while driving in a cramped car out on tour; not the easiest circumstances and he rocked it like a trooper. So, thanks my good friend, now go write some big riffs.

If you are familiar with my time writing le beat, you know I like to start things off with a little What’s Up! news. First off, we have new shirts! They’re in my house, which is not the most productive place for them to be! But, they’re headed to Unknown Board Shop soon, so go check them out. Thank you to local artist Mat Hudson for the great design! Also, we’re going to be revamping the website soon (Carey Ross, this one is for you).

Finally, and this is WAY out, we’ve already started working on the magazine’s 20th birthday celebrations. It’ll be held the first weekend of March 2018 and should be even more epic than our 15th birthday – that’s the plan at least. Once we hit 20, there’ll be only seven more months before we match The Rocket in duration of existence. If you know what The Rocket was, you are old. And, you also know how cool that would be!

Speaking of paper life, our other paper Grow Northwest, which is run by my amazing wife Becca, turns seven this month. I can’t believe that paper is seven, time is flying by!



Step Dads will be recording a new EP this summer, then headed down for a month-long West Coast tour (lots of cool small towns to play between here and southern California). The boys in the band will be hitting the tour in their new van. Love it when a band gets the van and heads out! We’re looking forward to hearing them when they get back.

Worshiprr recently released a new EP. We hope to have a review in the next issue. I dig Worshiprr, check it out.

Lots of cool things going on with The Spider Ferns. First, they’re playing both Upstream and Bumbershoot, which is, you know, awesome. They’re also working on a new record, plan on releasing a couple videos and singles this summer and will be hitting the West Coast in the fall. That’s how it’s done.

Stereo Donkey recently played their first official show, opening up for the Dt’s at their single release party and are slowly working on a recording… Who is Stereo Donkey you might ask?  Well, the surf rock band includes Pat Wickline on guitar, my old friend Mike Bajuk on drums, and OH MY GOD IT’S HIRO YAMAMOTO on bass. Hiro was the original bassist for Soundgarden, playing on my favorite records (pre-major label). He also played in Truly, a tragically underrated Seattle band from the 90s. Hiro is awesome and, though I didn’t get to see their first show because of working on the mag, I heard it was fantastic. Watch these very pages for more SD news.

Mr. Feelgood and the Firm Believers have a kickstarter in hopes of raising funds for their new album. They are slated to record over the next couple of months with Bill Simpkins, and the new work will be released at Meltdown. For info and to follow along, see facebook.com/mrfeelgood.firmbelievers/.

Second Hand Suits are headed into the studio to record a 7”, which should be released in June. Then, come September, they’ll be headed out on a Midwest tour with Sir Coyler and His Asthmatic Band, which is damn good to hear. I love these guys and am stoked they’re keeping the long tradition of Bellingham garage rock alive.

Jack Mattingly of Whiskey Fever has finished up his debut solo album. Not sure of the release date, but it should be well worth checking out.  Whiskey Fever is a damn good band.

Have you checked out the new Dt’s record? The cover art is worth the purchase alone. It’s all glorious.

Snug Harbor have finished recording their latest release, which should be out in a couple of months, according to Will Glazier, who also just released a new album under Willdabeast. Check out the latest review in this month’s pages.



Music that Moves Me, the annual fundraiser for the Bellingham School District music program (specifically to get instruments for kids) will be held at Boundary Bay on June 3 between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. It’s an all ages event and will feature The Living Arrows, Quinton Rundell, and many more. Please head down and support this great cause!

The Bellingham Girls Rock Camp‘s community celebration will be at the Cooper Lanza Gallery on May 24. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. and includes live music, food and drinks, karaoke, raffle and prices, face paint and GOOD TIMES! Check out bgrc.org for more info!

#WeAreWWU has organized a fundraiser on May 27 at Boundary Bay from 6-11 p.m. Bands include Snug Harbor, Simple Minded Symphony, Bailey Martinet and the Viking Vocal Jazz Club. This is the event’s third year! WeAreWWU is a “philanthropy campaign” run by students at Western, for students. The intention is to raise funds for scholarships and to make donations at different groups on campus. Heather Davidson’s Communication studies class organizes this event over a month. Last year they raised $8,000, and hope to better that mark this year. The show is ALL AGES until 10 p.m. Admission is $6 each, $5 with a student ID (includes a free raffle ticket). Bailey will be face painting after 7 p.m.  Yard games will be going and BBQ and Boundary Bay beer will be available for purchase. Mallard Ice Cream has donated ice cream that will be available for purchase from 6-8 p.m. and all funds from those sales will go directly to the campaign.



Pascal Foley recently released a video for his song “Lows” and, if his facebook updates are any indication, he’s looking to film another soooooon… as in, he might have already filmed it and I just don’t know. I dig Pascal; check out his music if you’re into local hip hop.

The Teachers have changed their name to Girlo and Chef, which I’m REALLY stoked about. Trying to look up The Teachers was complicated; turns out there are a lot of teachers on the web. Hopefully, the new name will mean more shows.

House of Blue Leaves will be debuting a new line up and new sound at BAMF! It’s normally a duo, so if I had to guess, I’m pretty sure they’ve added more musicians. Joseph mentioned a name change as well, but I haven’t seen it yet, so we’ll see. Either way, another local band I love and think an expanded line up could mean very cool things.

Hayden Eller’s label, Lifevest Records, is doing a small kickstarter that I hope you donate to. The concept behind the label is to do local compilations (Bellingham, Seattle, etc.) with the proceeds of each comp going to a local charity. Great idea that is a win-win for everyone! BUT, they need a little cash to buy some tape duplicating equipment. Check out facebook.com/lifevestrecords/ for more info.

What’s Up! would like to congratulate the LEGENDARY Brad Lockhart (Dryland) in his overthrowing of the Bellingham government with beautiful messaging… In all seriousness, the Bellingham City Council adopted Brad’s Bellingham flag, which has helped bring the city together, as THE Bellingham flag. It’s an incredible honor and one that Brad definitely deserves. Thanks for creating good in this community, Brad! We all owe.

Long time local Bob Hall, a big time commercial real estate mogul, has released a new book titled This Old Building: A Guide to Buying, Restoring, Financing, and Managing Historic Commercial Property. If you’re into that kind of thing, check it out.

The Sylvan Center for the Arts is continuing construction on the new space and on schedule to open the ground floor in the fall. It will include a 165-seat main stage theater with a green room, a lobby/box office/art gallery, café space (for lease) and new restrooms. This is all as long as funding moves forward as they hope. SWEET!

File this under not cool stuff.  Couch has broken up. The trio played the What’s Up! birthday party at the end of March and I guess realized it would never get any more awesome than that… No, seriously, I was floored by how great they were, and it just sucks they will no longer be playing. Any band that covers the MC5 and DOESN’T play “Kick Out the Jams” is all right in my book.

Finally, as you already know, Lucas Hicks is an inspiration. We had a nice chat the other day and always wish him the best. Lucas has been battling cancer for nearly 15 years and has more fight and spirit than pretty much anyone else I know. He’s going through another round of chemo and as of press time, no word on if it’s effective. He’s going to be recording an album soon of original compositions, so watch here for more details in the upcoming months. Please keep him in your thoughts or prayers.

I think that’s about it for this month; it feels good being back at the helm.  Stay sexy Bellingham, and thanks again for reading.

–Brent Cole


P.S. Correction: In last month’s Bellinghome article, I wrote that Ryan was looking forward to working with the community. It should have stated Nick, as the story was about his new school of music! My apologies for the error.