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The Frozen North: February 2006

Posted by February 14th, 2006 No Comments »

Bellingham: Majestic, rocking.

The last month was a tough one for the music scene in Bellingham. Not only have the 25-plus days of rain dampened our shaggy rocker hairdos, but we’ve lost the 3B Tavern, which for quite the longest time was the center of rock and roll in this town. Hosting shows of all varieties (but specializing in the loud), the 3B soaked its last crowd in beer on December 31st.

So where does music in the ‘Ham go from here? Not far, fortunately. While rumors had been circulating that the Nightlight was closing, it looks like it’ll be around for a while. Local bands get their due on Tuesday nights, with national acts coming through on the weekends. Shows scheduled for the future include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Low, among others.

Meanwhile, The Rogue Hero Pub continues to play host to local acts and smaller-drawing touring groups. For the longest time the bar was known as the haven of white-hats (bro-brahs, dudemars, whatever you wanna call ’em) and inhospitable to music lovers. But when the Factory closed, a void was seen, and the Rogue has since been providing a place to see local bands, such as last Saturday’s show with Dead Kennedys

Bellingham: Majestic, rocking.

The last month was a tough one for the music scene in Bellingham. Not only have the 25-plus days of rain dampened our shaggy rocker hairdos, but we’ve lost the 3B Tavern, which for quite the longest time was the center of rock and roll in this town. Hosting shows of all varieties (but specializing in the loud), the 3B soaked its last crowd in beer on December 31st.

So where does music in the ‘Ham go from here? Not far, fortunately. While rumors had been circulating that the Nightlight was closing, it looks like it’ll be around for a while. Local bands get their due on Tuesday nights, with national acts coming through on the weekends. Shows scheduled for the future include Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Low, among others.

Meanwhile, The Rogue Hero Pub continues to play host to local acts and smaller-drawing touring groups. For the longest time the bar was known as the haven of white-hats (bro-brahs, dudemars, whatever you wanna call ’em) and inhospitable to music lovers. But when the Factory closed, a void was seen, and the Rogue has since been providing a place to see local bands, such as last Saturday’s show with Dead Kennedys lovin’ punks The Contra. Speaking of, despite being generally laid back guys, The Contra seems to constantly be the subject of violence, as the guitarist was jumped by some of the aforementioned Rogue patrons and busted up pretty bad. Can’t blame the venue though, as the last time something like this happened it was to singer/bassist Blake, and at the 3B, by members of a band which shan’t be named, but suffice it to say they don’t get gigs around here any more.

A venue that hasn’t been victim of violence ye — though it has hosted shows by The Contra — is Chiribins. The intrepid Joel Myrene has taken over booking there; prior to providing the music at Chiribins, he booked for the 3B and the Factory. This is all in addition to laying down bass lines for pop-punks 84, who just released their first full length on New Regard Media. Chiribins is a good sight smaller than the 3B, and still adjusting to the change from restaurant/bar to restaurant/bar/rock venue.

But as shows with Bellingham’s hottest electro-pop foursome The Trucks and up-and-coming indie-fried rock ‘n’ rollers (Built to Spill meets Queens of the Stone Age?) All the Filthy Animals have proven, the ‘Bin – as cool people like me shall call it from now on — can definitely house its fair share of hipsters.

If you’re looking for blues, world or folk, The Wild Buffalo remains the venue. Though the smoking ban has taken away their banner of being one of the few non-smoking bars in downtown Bellingham, you can still get a good range of beer at prices that’ll remind you what it’s like to be rich.

Or not. Either way, the bartenders are pretty friendly and many really hot, so you’ll probably be in there more often than you’d admit to anyone under 37.

In the underage realm, Bay Street Coffeehouse is once again having rock shows from time to time, as their packed out show a few weeks ago with Bellingham’s biggest hardcore act (the other two hardcore bands in B’ham are totally pissed at me right now) Shook Ones proved. Also playing this show was perpetual power pop favorites Racetrack, who’ve been cleaning up at shows in Seattle as well. Bay Street has a solid schedule of rock shows booked in coming months, giving the kids somewhere to drink coffee and lose hearing. Bay Street isn’t the only coffee shop offering a place for music. Both the newly opened Three Trees Coffee and Fantasia Espresso are now booking acoustically oriented music on various nights, with an emphasis on weekends. So if you like to go drink coffee and maintain a decent volume level, perhaps those spots are for you.

Of course, this is all neglecting the frequent shows put on up on the Western Washington University Campus, or in the many basements around town, where it’s been rumored acts such as Damien Jurado and Federation X ply their crafts for those in the know.


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