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.

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Past Columns
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

Sound of Soundings:

September 25, 2019

News of brews

September 18, 2019

Sex In The City:

September 11, 2019

While I was sleeping:

September 4, 2019

Little in the middle

August 28, 2019

Events
Today
A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Books and Bites

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Winter Herbal Tonics Class

5:30pm|Chuckanut Center

Family Story Night

6:00pm|Fairhaven Library

Paddling With Spirits

6:00pm

Stand in the Corner

7:00pm|Bow Corner Pub

Beauty and the Beast

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

Tanya Tomkins and Tamara Friedman

7:00pm|Croatian Cultural Center

The Curious Savage

7:00pm|Alger Community Church

Contest of Crowns

7:30pm|ACT Annex

Sweet Honey in the Rock

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

Singing truth to power

7:30pm

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

The Revolutionists

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Tomorrow
A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Paddling With Spirits

6:00pm

Beauty and the Beast

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

The Curious Savage

7:00pm|Alger Community Church

Contest of Crowns

7:30pm|ACT Annex

The Revolutionists

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

Martin Luther King, Jr. Human Rights Conference

8:30am|Whatcom Community College

WNPS Field Trip

9:00am|Larrabee Park

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Gluten- and Dairy-Free Cooking

10:00am|Blaine Library

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Your Life is a Story Writers Group

10:30am|South Whatcom Library

Propagating Perennials

11:00am|Christianson's Nursery

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Womxn's March

11:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Seed Swap, Barter Fair and Skillshare

12:00pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Camera Unobscura Workshop

1:00pm|Whatcom Museum's Lightcatcher Building

Bird Smarts

2:00pm|Everson Library

Discovering Sherry Tasting

2:00pm| Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

More than a label

2:00pm

Rising Above the Pain

4:00pm|Village Books

Sunrise Night of Music

6:00pm|Maple Hall

Blue Abode Comedy Showcase

7:00pm|Blue Abode Bar

Whatcom Wind Ensemble Winter Concert

7:00pm|Performing Arts Center Concert Hall

Patsy Cline Tribute Concert

7:00pm|Magnolia Grill Hall

Hot Club of Troy

7:00pm|Walton Theatre

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Salsa Night

9:30pm|Cafe Rumba

Sunday
A Forest of Words Poetry Competition

10:00am|Whatcom County

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

The Curious Savage

7:00pm|Alger Community Church

Beauty and the Beast

7:00pm|BAAY Theater

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Space Trek

7:30pm|Upfront Theatre

Sedro-Woolley Community Breakfast

8:00am|American Legion Post #43

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am

Deep Forest Experience

11:00am|Rockport State Park

Langar in Lynden

11:00am| Guru Nanak Gursikh Gurdwara

Birding for Kids

2:30pm

An American in Paris

7:30pm|Mount Baker Theatre

An American in Paris

7:30pm

see our complete calendar »