Le Beat: November 2017

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



ello there my friends and welcome to another edition of le beat, this time in issue number 232. When I write this piece, I usually have something on in the background like an old war movie or comedy. But not this time. Stranger Things is on. I’m into episode four and am absolutely freaked out. I thought season one was weird and dark… but wowza. It’s about midnight and there’s a really good chance sleep will not be well tonight.

Things are slowly coming together for What’s Up!’s 20th birthday celebration. We’re shooting for two nights and one day of free local music all across downtown Bellingham in early March. Cross your fingers and wish me luck.

New this month is Artists of the North Sound, a What’s Up! video series produced by the ridiculously talented Adam Jacobs. Starting in mid-November, each new segment features a local musician or artist from our area. I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am for this project – we already have a few in the can and Adam has done a great job. Check out our website, www.whatsup-magazine.com or facebook.com/Whats-Up-Magazine-78893247459/ for the videos or more information.

For those of you wanting to know about the hot sauce, we have good news! HOSA – a new hot sauce company with Andy Beer of No Guts, old friend Jacob Covey (What’s Up!’s first photographer in 1998 as well as a badass designer down at Fantagraphics), and myself – will be available soon! WE ARE PAINFULLY CLOSE to having bottles out in public for sale and consumption, first offered at Aslan, Streat Food and Carne, with more locations to come. Check it out, think you’ll love it. Follow the Facebook page for updates, too!

In mistake news, we’d like to apologize to Sarah Richardson, who is absolutely badass. Last month, Lee Huffman’s picture was incorrectly credited. It read courtesy photo but was taken by Sarah. Sorry, Sarah, you rock!


The Co Founder – Hayden Eller, Nikko Van Wyck and Jake Barrow – are on a West Coast tour the first 12 days in November, though sort of in reverse. They’re driving to LA (over a day and a half), then playing their shows on the way back up. I like it!

After a hiatus, The Dawn Bombs are back in action, which is beautiful to see. They started rolling again in late October, so watch for shows in November and beyond. Stoked.

Chrystal Myth is badass. I caught a bit of them before the Earthless show and have been listening to their recording on bandcamp. Super thick riffs, just the way I dig ‘em. The band has only been together a bit, so I’m stoked to hear how they sound in a year or so. Hopefully they’ll hit the road and live it for awhile.

Bailey Martinet (aka Ruby) is releasing a new album on Nov. 2 with a release at the Green Frog. I look forward to checking out the new goods, she’s a fantastic songwriter and a hell of a spirit. Should be good times.

Baby Cakes is raising funds to put out an album of originals. Check out their facebook page for kickstarter info. If you haven’t checked out Baby Cakes, you should and if you have, then help them out. If ever a band deserves some Bellingham love, it’s these folks!

The Swillery is gone, sadly, but Bosco’s is coming in its place, owned by ex-Narrows and current Deadly D bassist Sean McKee. I’ve known Sean for many years and he’s one of the supreme cool people in town. Bosco’s will not have a regular music schedule, only a weekly singer/songwriter time. The place should be open in early November and will be very cool.

The Orion (311 Holly) is now open, run by Johnny McIntyre (ex-Rooftops). I’ve also known Johnny for years and am really excited to see what this bar has to offer!

Two new locations, both run by awesome folks. Check them out.


It’s been nearly a month since our friend and long time Bellingham musician, Lucas Hicks, passed away. At the age of 39, he had fought a 14-year battle with cancer.

There are not enough words in the world to explain the magic this man lived and brought to this community, and across the world. If you knew him in any way, you have good things to say. You’re probably smiling right now at his greatness in all his different ways, and equally tearing up because you know he is no longer here with us. And if you didn’t get the chance to know him, you knew about him from others. He was an absolutely wonderful person who undoubtedly left a mark of goodness on everyone around him.

Lucas had battled cancer for so long that, to some extent, he almost seemed invincible. It’s hard to believe he’s passed. It’s as if we’ll get a message soon, bump into him somewhere, or see him performing soon on some stage, smiles all around. We will no longer be able to feel that; now we must keep sharing with one another. I hope he knew what all those moments meant to all of us.

For myself, Lucas has been around in some way during the  magazine’s time in Bellingham. Early on, he was playing in an amazing, crazy jazz inspired band called Pacer. We ran in similar circles, though our paths never crossed directly. But I remember the first time I saw him – the first time I realized it was Lucas from Pacer! There was a vibe about him, a way; he had that thing that you can’t put into words, a natural coolness, a genuine way about him that made you take notice. We met at some point later – Pacer was on the cover of What’s Up!’s fifth issue (the band officially broke up a week after the mag was out, but really broke up on the way home from the photo shoot). A few months later I ran into him at a show and he told me the mag was “getting better,” which broke my little heart but in hindsight, he was right. The mag was terrible, but slowly getting better. He didn’t seem to hold how bad we were against us, though, giving an early glimpse into his genuine and beautiful spirit.

Over the years, Lucas mastered a number of instruments – from sax to banjo, guitar, accordion and more. At the time he was was diagnosed with a slow growing cancer, he was living in San Francisco, and soon after made his way back to Bellingham. He seemed to have a renewed energy towards his music. His bravery, his spirit, his love were remarkable to see; here was a guy who went through chemo and treatment, but it didn’t seem to get him down, it brought out this amazing person who loved to create and loved to live. He took something that scares even the best person and used it as fuel to truly live his life.

And that was who Lucas was – someone who lived more in a year than most do in decades.

As he developed an even more aggressive form of cancer taking over his body, he continued to live a life full of inspired music. He often played shows just as his cancer treatments wrapped up. Over the years it became difficult to play certain instruments, so he adapted and played new ones (he was insanely talented!). No matter how sick he was, he treated everyone with kindness and love – smiling and hugging, spreading joy just being who he was.

I love Lucas and told him many times. Loved what he was about, who he was, his music,  the kindness he brought into the world. And I believe that everyone who knew him in some way feels the same way. We are so amazingly lucky to have had him in our lives, and utterly heartbroken he’s no longer here.

We send his family and friends much love and wish you peace. May all of our hearts be filled with the goodness he gave us, and may we live with his endless, joyous spirit.

Rest in peace, Lucas. Thank you for all the magic you put into the world! We love you. Always.