Music

Sounds Like Christmas

Get your jingle on

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

According to Facebook Memories, it was during this time frame in years past that a number of friends gathered at my house for a pre-Christmas-caroling round of spiked egg nog before we donned Santa hats, bundled up and headed into the frigid winter night to share songs of the season throughout Bellingham’s York neighborhood and at a number of downtown bars—a couple of which rewarded our humble efforts with hot toddies.

That won’t be happening this December, as singing in public is a surefire way to cause the coronavirus to spread more quickly. Although health experts say it’s not advisable to go “a-caroling” these days, that doesn’t mean you can’t still enjoy holiday hits. In fact, a number of virtual happenings scheduled for this weekend are likely to have attendees singing along—from the safety of their own houses, of course.

First up is “A Winter Wonderful” concert featuring We Banjo 3 on Fri., Dec. 18 that will help raise funds for Mount Vernon’s McIntyre Hall. The Irish quartet known for a hybrid of traditional, old-time and bluegrass music they’ve dubbed “Celtgrass” has played at the performing arts venue in past seasons, but won’t have to hoof it to Skagit County to share their formidable talents this time around.

In addition to the festive offering by the celebrated ensemble comprised of two sets of brothers, the livestreamed event will also feature remote sets by the likes of Bela Fleck and Abigail Washburn, Skerryvore, the Whileaways, BackWest, and Ajeet, with limited-edition merch and ticket bundles available. And although viewers will only have one chance to catch the action in real time, they’ll be able to re-watch the livestream through Sat., Dec. 26. A portion of ticket sales will benefit McIntyre Hall, so go big—and go home. When: 5pm Fri., Dec. 18. Cost: Tickets start at $20. Info: http://www.mountvernonchamber.com

Although Mount Baker Theatre recently had to cancel its in-person Movie Palace Holiday Films lineup—which would’ve included It’s a Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th St., Elf, Diehard, and a Dec. 25 viewing of White Christmas—they’re still onboard to present a Saturday night showing of Natalie MacMaster and Donnell Leahy’s “A Celtic Family Christmas at Home.” The duo last performed at the MBT in February 2019 to a packed house, but this time they’ll actually be inviting ticket-holders into their house. In addition to the high-octane Celtic fiddling the Canadian power couple is known for, the virtual event will also feature the duo candidly engaging in holiday traditions with their seven offspring—who will join their parental units for some of the musical portions of the evening, as well.

The duo (pictured) also collaborated with the Mount Baker Theatre to spread the love at 15 assisted-living facilities in Bellingham, Lynden, Burlington, and Mount Vernon. Each were provided with a complimentary pair of tickets to the event, hoping to make spirits just a little brighter.

“The residents in assisted living are incredibly isolated because of COVID-19, so many are unable to see their loved ones in person right now,” MBT Program Director Renee Gaumond says. “We are thrilled to facilitate this generous gift from Natalie, Donnell, and HomePlay, which will allow more than 100 people to enjoy a heartwarming holiday show from the safety and comfort of their own communities.” When: 7pm Sat., Dec. 19. Cost: Tickets are $20. Info: http://www.mountbakertheatre.com

And in what has to be one of the busiest weekend nights in recent memory—especially for those looking to get their jingle on—Saturday will also bring a “Holiday Special with Fireside Friends” hosted by the Fireside Martini and Wine Bar and featuring local and regional musicians such as JD Merris, Michael Bride, Cheryl Hodge, Kaeli Earle, Conner Helms, and more. Advance ticket purchase to the virtual show is required, but those who also order dinner, snacks, holiday gift boxes or cocktail kits from the Bellingham-based venue will get the musical portion of the evening for free. When: 7pm Sat., Dec. 19. Cost: Tickets are $15. Info: http://www.my-site-firesidemartini.square.site

And lest you think the band CD Baby once described as “a sizzling, red-glowing, cranked-up grill whereupon slabs of the Stones, the Kinks, the Stooges, and the Beatles bake at hair-melting temperatures” is going to let the holiday season pass without throwing a homegrown hoedown, rest assured that “A Very Clambake Christmas” will proceed as usual—well, as usual as the longtime Bellingham band can get during a global pandemic. This is another Saturday night soiree, so plan your life accordingly, and join Clambake and True Tone Audio for an online concert that promises to have you grabbing a partner and hitting the dance floor (i.e., your living room). When: 7pm Sat., Dec.19. Cost: Entry is free. Info: http://www.facebook.com/Clambake

More ...
Stream Scenes
J.P. Falcon Grady holds down the fort

Last weekend, Ferndale-based musician J.P. Falcon Grady announced he is now in charge of booking for Fort Blanket Studio—the faction of True Tone Audio that has safely been putting on livestreamed shows since shortly after the beginning of the pandemic. It seemed like an opportune time to…

more »
Gray Matter
A fond farewell at Make.Shift

It was make or break for Make.Shift Art Space when Katie Gray took over the role as executive director in January of 2018. With a questionable future, Gray saw two outcomes for the organization—growing and becoming a staple in the community, or completely fizzling out.

Make.Shift, a…

more »
Jingle Bells
Christmas concerts, take two

In last week’s online issue of Cascadia Weekly, I chronicled a number of virtual holiday concerts designed to bring the sounds of the season to life in a year when “bringing to life” means viewing the action from the safety of our own screens. I’ll add a few more here in the hopes of…

more »
Saturday
Grow Your Groceries

10:00am

Registration is currently open for an online “Grow Your Groceries Winter 2021” series starting Feb. 2 with WSU Skagit. The 12-week series will cover all aspects of home gardening for food…

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference

5:00pm

Whatcom Human Rights Task Force presents its 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference from Fri., Jan. 15 to Sun., Jan. 17. “Recapturing the Revolutionary Spirit:…

Bellingham Winter Farmers Market

10:00am

A variety of vendors will have edible and homemade offerings for sale from 10am-2pm at the first Winter Market of the season at the Bellingham Farmers Market’s Depot Market Square, 1100…

Share Spot

12:00pm

Birchwood Food Desert Fighters hosts a Share Spot from 12pm-2pm Saturdays in the parking lot of the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. Thanks to a collaboration with the Miracle…

Family Book Group

4:00pm

Kids in grades K-5 and their families are invited to register for a Family Book Group from 4pm-5pm via Zoom. The monthly event is led by Whatcom County Library System youth staff, and…

Sunday
Grow Your Groceries

10:00am

Registration is currently open for an online “Grow Your Groceries Winter 2021” series starting Feb. 2 with WSU Skagit. The 12-week series will cover all aspects of home gardening for food…

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference

5:00pm

Whatcom Human Rights Task Force presents its 23rd annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Conference from Fri., Jan. 15 to Sun., Jan. 17. “Recapturing the Revolutionary Spirit:…

Bellingham Winter Farmers Market

10:00am

A variety of vendors will have edible and homemade offerings for sale from 10am-2pm at the first Winter Market of the season at the Bellingham Farmers Market’s Depot Market Square, 1100…

Share Spot

12:00pm

Birchwood Food Desert Fighters hosts a Share Spot from 12pm-2pm Saturdays in the parking lot of the Industrial Credit Union, 3233 Northwest Ave. Thanks to a collaboration with the Miracle…

Family Book Group

4:00pm

Kids in grades K-5 and their families are invited to register for a Family Book Group from 4pm-5pm via Zoom. The monthly event is led by Whatcom County Library System youth staff, and…