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Old-school hip-hop, live at The Shakedown

Jungle Brothers are keeping it classic

New York City-based trio Jungle Brothers will bring their old-school hip-hop sounds to Bellingham for a Friday
New York City-based trio Jungle Brothers will bring their old-school hip-hop sounds to Bellingham for a Friday (Photo courtesy of Jungle Brothers)
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Formed in New York City in 1987, hip-hop trio Jungle Brothers may never have quite reached “household name” status, but they’ve been massively influential, created a bunch of great party-starting singles, and collaborated with some of the biggest names in music.

They don’t tour much, so the fact that they’re going to be right here in Bellingham rocking the mic at The Shakedown is honestly amazing. Fans of old-school hip-hop will absolutely not want to miss this one! 

Last year, Beyonce made some waves for integrating house music into her sound. The Jungle Brothers were quite possibly the first hip-hop act to do so with their single “I’ll House You” in 1988. After that, they were part of the Native Tongues collective, a loose grouping that also included De La Soul, A Tribe Called Quest, and Queen Latifah. Their biggest live show was when they performed as part of the huge celebration of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, at Wembley Stadium in London. 

Through all of this, they seem to have remained unusually drama-free. The three original members — Michael Small, Nathanial Hall and Sammy Burwell — are all still in the group. They’ve performed at everything from clubs to festivals, whenever the right gigs come along. Their most recent album, 2020’s “Keep It Jungle,” is every bit as good as their classic stuff. 

As an added bonus, the show on Friday, Feb. 24 also features The Rhetorician, one of our finest local rappers. His stuff is very much in the jazz-inflected, positive, adventurous hip-hop tradition pioneered by groups like the Jungle Brothers, so it should be a powerful pairing. 

Cool things are afoot in Anacortes. The Anacortes Arts Festival, in collaboration with several partner organizations, is leasing the former Buxton’s building on Commercial Avenue to create a “multi-functional art and event space.” Anacortes Music Project will be heavily involved, using the space for music camps, lessons, rehearsals and even an instrument-lending library. It sounds like a fantastic project, kudos to everyone involved!

Congratulations are also due to everyone who made the recent Petty or Not show at the Mount Baker Theatre happen. I was home sick but it was by all accounts a triumphant success. It’s great to see local bands being given the chance to play there, it’s even better to see them taking that opportunity and running with it. 

Finally, I don’t know what’s going on in the booking touring world, but it seems like both The Shakedown and Wild Buffalo are announcing huge new shows every time I check. The Shakedown’s spring shows include High on Fire, Bob Log III, and the Supersuckers, while the Buffalo has recently announced Pedro the Lion, Gary Numan, and the Reverend Horton Heat. Hop online and make some plans.

Live music listings 

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Boundary: 6 p.m., Mighty Bayou Opossums
FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., The Atlantics (special New Orleans-focused show)
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Hotel Leo: 6:30 p.m., Lindy at the Leo featuring live music
Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam


Wednesday, Feb. 22

Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
FireHouse: 7 p.m., John Daversa & Tal Cohen (jazz)
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
Rockfish: 6 p.m., Janette West (jazz)
Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Song Wranglers (acoustic Americana)

Thursday, Feb. 23

Beach Cat: 5 p.m., Michael Dayvid
Blue Room: 6 p.m., Open Mic; 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam)
Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Bluegrass Jam
Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Luzcid, Keags, LargR, Beethoven (electronic)
Zeeks: 7 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band

Friday, Feb. 24

Aslan: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
Black Fern: 6 p.m., Merriweather String Band (traditional folk)
Blue Room: 8 p.m., Pure Halcyon, Madam Monarch, Kazmyn (rock)
Fireside: 7 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band
Karate Church: 8 p.m., Trask, Hippies With Money, Jade House
Main Street: 8 p.m., Old Town Scouts, guests (rock)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Ethan Lucci, Martii McFly, Salem Hush (hip-hop)
McIntyre Hall: 7:30 p.m., Lunasa (Celtic)
Shakedown: 9 p.m., Jungle Brothers, The Rhetorician (hip-hop)
Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Conrad Gruener (country)
Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Rose (alternative folk rock)
Vault: 7 p.m., Adrian Clark (acoustic covers)

Saturday, Feb. 25

Birdsview: 6 p.m., Free Harmony (classic folk/rock)
Blue Room: 8 p.m., David July, YT Suns, Goldmouth, John Thomas, Sky Meraki (hip-hop/pop)
Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Cozmic Sauce (funk/R&B)
Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Market Street Dixieland Jass Band
Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Kevin Hegleson
Fireside: 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
Gateway1890: 7 p.m., Thomas Sandblom & Mark Williams (acoustic covers)
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Doug Allen & Son (folk)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Lucas Warford (cabaret folk)
Karate Church: 8 p.m., Myonia, Simulation Theory (rock)
Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Shannanigans (rock covers)
Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Randy Weeks & The Silent Treatment (roots rock)
Shakedown: 9 p.m., Warp Detour, Dial-Up (punk and alt rock covers)
Skylark’s: 8 p.m., The Song Wranglers (acoustic Americana)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Kottonmouth Kings, Crazy Town, SYLKROAD (hip-hop/rock)

Sunday, Feb. 26

Kulshan: 5 p.m., Carly Ann Calbero (singer-songwriter)
Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
Mount Baker Theatre: 3 p.m., Bellingham Symphony Orchestra
Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Bow Diddlers (classic rock)
Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., Metalachi, guests

Monday, Feb. 27

Blue Room: 7 p.m., Nuages (jazz)
FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., D’vas Trio
Kulshan: 6 p.m., Bob Paltrow (folk/rock/blues)

Tuesday, Feb. 28

Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam

Before heading out to listen to live music, check with individual venues to make sure the event is still taking place as scheduled. 

Jesse Stanton’s music column, The Beat Goes On, runs Wednesdays. Email: jsbhammusic@gmail.com or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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