All Sound, No Fury

A week at the Wild Buffalo

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

I am not ashamed to say I spent the entirety of last weekend inside my house, mostly in my pajamas. With the exception of one brief sojourn to find sustenance, I hunkered down in my hermitage, perfectly content.

But it’s time to break out and should I need an excuse to do so beyond impending cabin fever, the coming days at the Wild Buffalo are full of reasons good enough to get me out of my pajamas, into a proper pair of pants and out in the world again.

The first time I saw MarchFourth it was back when they were MarchFourth Marching Band and, true to their name, were marching through the streets of downtown Portland. They were fun and unexpected, and the experience imprinted itself sharply upon my memory. The last time I saw MarchFourth was mere weeks ago, when they played Downtown Sounds to a crowd of thousands. In the intervening years, I’ve watched them perform a handful of times, and seen a whole bunch of bands/troupes that inhabit roughly the same orbit, and MarchFourth remains among the best of the bunch. If a brass band and a carnival had a baby, it would grow up to look and sound a lot like MarchFourth. When: 9:15pm Fri., Sept. 21 Cost: $15

Typically, when Bellingham totally and wholeheartedly claims a band or musician as its own, it makes a certain amount of sense considering our history and known proclivities. But somehow Sir Mix-A-Lot exists in the pantheon of our most beloved artists and it makes no sense to me, but I do not care. Like you, I love him too. I spent a goodly part of my teenage years listening to Swass, wondering what “swass” meant and memorizing the lyrics to “Buttermilk Biscuits.” I firmly believe humanity’s common denominator is that we all know at least some of the lyrics of “Baby’s Got Back.” However, all of this is just a tease. Sir Mix-A-Lot’s Wild Buffalo show has been sold out for weeks. Don’t fret too much—something tells me he’ll be back. When: 9:15pm Sat., Sept. 22 Cost: Priceless

Lyrics Born is the rapper who made me understand how hungry this town was for hip-hop when he sold out the long-defunct Nightlight Lounge during his first visit here about a billion years ago. And he did not disappoint. First he packed the house and then he brought it down. An Asian rapper from Berkeley, Calif., Lyrics Born fits no established molds, a point that has always worked in his favor. He’s an engaging mix of authenticity and charisma—with mad lyrical skills and funk sensibilities. Tickets for the show are still available, and seeing as he’s sold out venues in this town more than a few times, you might not want to wait too much longer to get yours. When: 9pm Sun., Sept. 23 Cost: $15

We all know how I feel about reggae, so I’m not going to pretend to love it for the sake of this story. I am a very serious journalist. I have values. But I’d have to be some kind of horribly disrespectful monster to not appreciate the Wailers and what they mean to reggae, both its music and its culture. When Bob Marley died in 1981, he did not wish for his songs, which had reached so many people the world over, to die with him. And so the Wailers, his legendary band, have kept it alive, continuing to spread Marley’s music and its message to audiences old and new. While the Wailers you’ll see at the Wild Buffalo are a mix of original and newer members, some of those younger faces onstage are directly related to Wailers of the past. Reggae might not be my preferred genre, but I’m not trying to get in the way of the Wailers. Even a heathen like me knows when church is in session. 8:30pm Tues., Sept. 25 Cost: $20

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