Rumor Has It

Say It Ain’t So:

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

I had a feeling this day was approaching, but in the interest of not borrowing trouble, I chose to ignore the signs and remain blissfully ignorant of encroaching reality.

Way to burst my bubble of denial, Polecat.

After 10 years, hundreds of shows, countless emails from me to Aaron Guest asking for high-resolution photos and one unforgettable Side-eye of Sauron, Polecat is officially calling it quits.

Normally bands who decide to no longer be bands don’t elicit much more from me than the wish that they will splinter into more bands that I will have the chance to enjoy, but Polecat is different, both to me and to the Bellingham audience that has embraced them with strong and sometimes frightening love almost since the very beginning.

Although I have always enjoyed their music, I would not say that I’m among the cadre of folks who consider themselves to be Polecat superfans. Instead they occupy a very particular place in my personal pantheon: They’re my platonic ideal of what a local band should be.

First of all, they’re just really damn good at what they do, no matter how their sound has evolved throughout the years. They came up during a different time, when really great local music was so plentiful bands barely had to practice in order to play regularly and draw crowds. Polecat wasn’t about that life, and when they took the stage, they knew their stuff, playing intricate bluegrass—that would later morph into a sound that leaned more heavily on rock, pop and folk—with ease and authority. And they were professional about it—in my many dealings with them, I found them to be unfailingly polite, accessible and helpful. When they asked me to help them get the word out, they did so with an abundance of good-natured humor and without ego or entitlement.

But most of all, I valued Polecat because they really went for it. They used their excellent live show to build a strong, steadfast local following pretty early on, and deftly managed a precarious balance of trying to use that as a springboard to greater things while never giving a sense that they felt themselves to be bigger than the place they came from.

Rest assured, a band like Polecat isn’t going gentle into that good night. Instead, they’ll play shows in four towns—Bend, Portland, Seattle, and Bellingham—that have served as their bases of support. For us, that means a pair of March 7 shows at the Cirque Lab, where they’ll finally get to live out their secret fantasy of running away to join the circus for a night. So far, Polecat guitarist Jeremy Elliott has RSVP’d to three of the shows and Aaron Guest to one, but presumably all members will be there. Get your tickets ASAP because this is a guaranteed sellout if ever I’ve seen one.

Past Columns
Drink it up

February 19, 2020

Apologies in Advance

February 12, 2020

All-Ages Action

February 5, 2020

Music at the Movies

January 29, 2020

Hot in Herre

January 22, 2020

Chicken and egg:

January 15, 2020

Passages:

January 1, 2020

A necessary update:

December 25, 2019

Questions and answers:

December 18, 2019

It’s Baaaack:

December 11, 2019

Of Art and Artists:

December 4, 2019

Fundraising and Family Time:

November 27, 2019

Of beginnings and endings:

November 20, 2019

Of love and loss:

November 13, 2019

Dream All Day:

November 6, 2019

News of the Muse:

October 30, 2019

But wait, there’s more:

October 23, 2019

Comings and goings:

October 16, 2019

Sing Loud:

October 9, 2019

Road to somewhere:

October 2, 2019

Events
Today
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Bellingham City Club Meeting

11:30am|Northwood Hall

Mapping Mountains

4:00pm|Western Library

Beginners Welcome

4:00pm|Village Books

Group Run

6:00pm|Skagit Running Company

Wild Church

6:00pm|Marine Park

Food and Wine Pairing

6:30pm|Cordata Community Food Co-op

The Slacks

7:00pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Tomorrow
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

Jazz Lecture Series

2:00pm|Anacortes Public Library

Exploring Equity

2:00pm|Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center

Keenan's Dinner

4:00pm|Keenan's at the Pier

Trivia Night

6:00pm|Burlington Public Library

Life Between the Pages Dinner Book Club

6:00pm|Evolve Chocolate + Cafe

A date with democracy

6:30pm

Bottle Club

6:30pm|Thousand Acre Cider House

Pasta Party

6:30pm|Community Food Co-op

The Woman's Hour with Elaine Weiss

6:30pm|Performing Arts Center Mainstage

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

Balkan Folk Dancers

7:00pm|Fairhaven Library

An Iliad

7:00pm| Firehouse Arts and Events Center

The True Cost

7:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Jazz and Mariachi Night

7:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Good, Bad, Ugly

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

WWU Wind Symphony

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

House Concert with Meghan Yates and Louis Ledford

7:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Friday
Fiction 101 Short Story Contest

10:00am

Human Rights Film festival turns 20

6:30pm

Fame, the Musical

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

My Fair Lady

7:00pm|Ferndale High School Auditorium

All the Great Books (Abridged)

7:00pm|Squalicum High School

Godspell

7:00pm| Burlington-Edison High School

The Curious Savage

7:30pm|Claire vg Thomas Theatre

Typhoon of Tenderness

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Wild Things

9:30am|Interurban Trail

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Cultural Arts Festival

12:00pm|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Valley Writers

1:00pm|South Whatcom Library

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

The Hobbit

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

Sanford-Hill Piano Series

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Cupid's Arrow, Fifty Shades of Velvet

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Comedy Night at Chair 9

9:00pm|Chair 9

see our complete calendar »