Music

Valentine’s Day

Let’s get weird

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Last week, I expressed my ambivalence toward Valentine’s Day. To recap: People who want to make a big deal of it and break out the flowers and bust out the candy—I don’t really get it, but I’m cool with it. As for people who abhor Valentine’s Day, everything it stands for and everyone who celebrates it—I don’t get that either, but live and let live.

In other words, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, you do you, boo.

However, something I can get behind is an unorthodox Valentine’s Day, one that deviates from the Hallmark-forward script in favor of getting a little weird. Luckily, this is a realm in which Bellingham provides.

I’m no poet, but if I were to write a Valentine’s Day verse, it would probably go something like, “Roses are red/Violets are blue/Lavender Country.” It’s like a haiku, but instead of the syllable-per-line count being five-seven-five, it’s four-five-five.

Hey, I said I wasn’t a poet.

Lavender Country isn’t just more of my word salad. It is the longtime project of Seattle musician Patrick Haggerty, whose claim to historical fame is the release of the first gay-themed country music album in history. Lavender Country accomplished this feat in 1973, with funding from the Gay Community Social Services of Seattle. The band performed at Seattle’s first pride celebration the year after, and broke up a couple of years later. Lavender Country probably would’ve faded into obscurity forever were it not for a renewed interest in rediscovering country’s gay pioneers at the turn of this century, which resulted in the reemergence of Haggerty and his band. They were the subject of a memorable documentary, These C*cksucking Tears (a reference to their most infamous song), in 2016, which introduced Lavender Country to a new audience eager to be late-adopters of the heretofore-unknown gay icons. Haggerty and Co. first played the Shakedown in conjunction with a showing of the documentary, and they’ve been back several times since. You could spend Valentine’s Day with a boring box of chocolates, or you could be entertained by one of country music’s true outlaws. Where: 1212 N. State St. Info: http://www.shakedownbellingham.com

Meanwhile, at a music venue across town, a 10-piece funk band will be reminding everyone that Valentine’s Day isn’t just about sugar, spice and everything nice, but it can also be about soul music, sweat and a smattering of sin. Bellingham loves a big band and a big show, and they’ll get everything they love all wrapped in one big Baby Cakes package on Valentine’s Day. The Bellingham band has a big local following and their shows are growing ever more rare (it’s not an easy thing to wrangle 10 people and their schedules), so it might be wise to jettison the lingering glances and candlelit dinner in favor of making it to the Wild Buffalo by the show’s 8:30pm start time. Sure, you can go the roses-and-romance route on Feb. 14, but I’d like to propose an alternate four-part plan: 1. See Baby Cakes at the Wild Buffalo. 2. Shake booty. 3. Get lucky. 4. Never tell me about it later. What happens at Baby Cakes stays at Baby Cakes. Where: 208 W. Holly St. Info: http://www.wildbuffalo.net

Maybe neither soul bands nor gay country pioneers are making your heart beat faster. Perhaps what is required to put you in the mood for love is female-fronted psych pop. In that case, you’ll want to make the Firefly Lounge your Valentine’s Day destination. Seattle’s General Mojo’s will make the journey to Bellingham in order to provide a dreamy soundtrack to your romantic date night—or galentine’s day or solo evening out, whatever you have in mind. General Mojo’s Heather Thomas is more than just the band’s singer and percussionist, she’s also an outspoken advocate for supporting, making space for and increasing the visibility of female and female-identifying musicians. She’s been working for her own success for more than a decade with the goal of opening doors and broadening opportunities for herself and as many women as possible. I don’t know about you, but I think I’m in love. Where: 1015 N. State St. Info: http://www.thefireflylounge.com

More Music...
Bellingham Folk Festival
They come in peace

Last year, Cayley Schmid, the mastermind behind Bellingham’s folk and Irish festivals, told me that one of her favorite things about the events is spying folks downtown with musical instruments during festival weekend and trying to figure out who they are and what they’re up to.

My…

more »
The Big Weekend
Make the most of it

Like anything else, Bellingham’s music scene changes over time. Some of this has to do with musical preferences shifting between styles and genres. Some of it is the normal ebb and flow of things, the wax and wane that happens on a long enough timeline. Some of it can be attributed to…

more »
Sweet Honey in the Rock
Singing truth to power

In the Bible, Psalm 81:16 says, “But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” King David is doing the talking, and he’s letting his people know if they’re into following the Lord, abundance would be their reward. Supposedly, the honey…

more »
Events
Today
Winter Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Salish Sea Early Music Festival

7:00pm| Fir-Conway Lutheran Church, St. Paul's Episcopal Church

Cinderella

7:00pm|Lynden Christian Worship and Fine Arts Center

Winter Dances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Davis

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

They come in peace

12:01am

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Cups for community

5:00pm

Fourth Friday Art Walk

5:00pm|Historic Fairhaven

Opera Scenes

6:00pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Levity

7:00pm|Presence Studio

Greyson Chance

7:00pm|Mount Baker Theatre

The Good Doctor

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Cocoanuts

7:30pm|Phil Tarro Theatre

Tomorrow
Winter Book Sale

10:00am|Bellingham Public Library

Cinderella

7:00pm|Lynden Christian Worship and Fine Arts Center

Winter Dances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

Davis

8:00pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

They come in peace

12:01am

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Good Doctor

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Ferndale Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #154

Lynden Breakfast

8:00am|Lynden Community Center

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Pruning 101

10:00am|Blaine Library

La Conner Birding Showcase

10:00am|Maple Hall

Correspondence Club

10:30am|Mindport Exhibits

Basic Pruning Methods with Plant Amnesty

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

A Taste of India

12:00pm|La Conner Braves Club

Clean Water Happy Hour

12:00pm|Overflow Taps

Bird Smarts

2:00pm|Ferndale Library

Baja, Mexico Wine Tasting

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

Early Railroads of Whatcom County

4:00pm|Village Books

Service Dog Meet and Greet

4:00pm|Samson Estates Winery

Roller Betties Pre-Season Bout

5:30pm|Lynden Skateway

Kulshan Winterfest

7:00pm|Samish Oyster Bar and Shellfish Market

Jennifer Scott Trio

7:30pm|Jansen Art Center

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Off the Hill Concert Series

7:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Sound of Music Sing-Along

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Contra Dance

8:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Paula Poundstone

8:00pm|Lincoln Theatre

Sunday
Winter Dances

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

They come in peace

12:01am

A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

The Good Doctor

7:30pm|Bellingham Theatre Guild

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Low Sensory Sunday

10:00am|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Creative and Literary Liberation book club

1:00pm|Village Books

Birds on the Shelf

1:30pm|Whatcom Museum's Old City Hall

Skagit Symphony Family Concert

2:00pm|McIntyre Hall

Bill Evans, Dan Crary, and Wally Barnick

2:00pm|Nancy's Farm

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

Art of Jazz

4:00pm|BAAY Theater

Andrew Rivers

7:00pm|Upfront Theatre

see our complete calendar »