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Looking for the heart of Tuesday night music

Away from weekend crowds, surprising musical communities can form

Pete Ruble performs at Culture Cafe on Sept. 26. Cascadia Daily News contributor Jesse Stanton spent a recent Tuesday checking in on a few of the weekly events and was amazed by the breadth of talent on display.
Pete Ruble performs at Culture Cafe on Sept. 26. Cascadia Daily News contributor Jesse Stanton spent a recent Tuesday checking in on a few of the weekly events and was amazed by the breadth of talent on display.
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Tuesdays are typically considered a slow night in the live music realm. However, wise listeners know that sometimes when you get away from the raucous weekend crowds, it opens up interesting possibilities for music and community. 

I spent a recent Tuesday checking in on a couple of the weekly events in downtown Bellingham and came away amazed by the breadth of talent on display.

Cascadia Daily News photographer Finn Wendt and I started the evening at the Culture Cafe for its open mic night. Host Chuck Dingée gets every Tuesday started by playing a few songs right at 7 p.m., then turns it over to a featured artist who does a 30-minute set, before opening it up to everyone else who has signed up. 

The night we were there, the featured artist was Pete Ruble, who played some lovely, bluesy fingerpicked originals and occasionally broke into a whistle. Meanwhile, Dingée was getting people signed up, reassuring newbies and greeting old friends. The feeling of community was palpable. According to Claire Taylor, a regular attendee, “Every time I come, I see someone I know.”

photo  Chuck Dingée, the host and weekly opening act at Culture Cafe’s weekly open night, plays a song Sept. 21. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

After the Culture Cafe, we headed over to Aslan Depot for its weekly jazz night, which kicks off around 8 p.m. This event has been going on for about two years now and features some of the very best musicians the area has to offer. Although the band doesn’t even have a name, the lineup is pretty stable. Saxophonist Thomas Harris, trumpeter Isaac Devange, pianist Blake Angelos and bassist Mark Hunter have all been part of it for a while. Drummer D’vonne Lewis is the most recent addition, making the trip up from Seattle every week to add his thunderous swing to the group’s sound.  

According to Angelos, Lewis and other musicians who come up from Seattle to join in have been blown away by the enthusiasm and attentiveness of the Bellingham crowd. The group’s sound is rooted in hard bop and soul jazz, but they’re also more than capable of sliding into gentle reveries or fierce Latin grooves at the spur of the moment. This crew may well have the greatest collection of sheer instrumental talent of any musical group in the area, and they only play on Tuesdays. 

Next, it was off to The Blue Room to check out its open jam night, known as Jam:30. Host Casey Enderlin takes whatever musicians show up each week and organizes them into impromptu groupings that take the stage for 12–15 minutes each. When I got there, a drummer in a Daft Punk helmet was laying down reggae grooves for a version of “Fire on the Mountain.”

photo  Blake Angelos plays the piano while Thomas Harris plays a solo at Aslan Depot. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  

A few parents had taken advantage of the fact that it’s an all-ages venue to bring their toddlers out for some early exposure to live music, and the kids were loving it. Enderlin does his best to encourage new musicians to join in, and to shuffle groupings around so that new connections are formed. You might see a member of your favorite band, or you might see someone who has never performed in public before. It’s unpredictable, surprising and a lot of fun. 

That was it for me for that night, but it’s worth noting that there’s a lot of other stuff going on that I didn’t even make it to. By sticking to the downtown core, I missed the well-regarded blues night at Menace Brewing. There’s also another popular open mic on first and third Tuesdays at Greene’s Corner. And Ramble Tamble has been doing a Tuesday hip-hop night, The Elevator Club with a featured artist and open cypher. That series is wrapping up since host Mostafa is headed out of town, but apparently there are plans to keep it going in some form. 

The point is, don’t count Tuesdays out. You don’t know what you might be missing!

photo  A packed house enjoys Jazz Night Sept. 27 at Aslan Depot. (Finn Wendt/Cascadia Daily News)  



Alfred Banks
7 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18, The Shakedown
Up-and-coming Louisiana rapper Alfred Banks brings his creative lyricism and soul-infused singing to The Shakedown for a Wednesday night show on Wednesday.

The Blue Room & Pure Halcyon presents: Fall Ball 2023
8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 20, The Blue Room
Sometimes you just need an excuse to get dressed up. On Friday, The Blue Room hosts a Fall Ball featuring three excellent local rock groups: Pure Halcyon, pantsuitguy, and No Mars. Formal and/or creative outfits are highly encouraged. 

photo  Pure Halcyon, joins two other local rock groups Friday, Oct. 20, for The Blue Room’s Fall Ball. (Photo courtesy of Desiree Erdmann)  

Pearl Django and Nuages
2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, The Blue Room
For fans of the style of jazz originated by Django Reinhardt, often referred to as Manouche jazz, The Blue Room offers not one but two shows on Saturday, with Seattle’s superb Pearl Django and locals Nuages. There’s a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening show at 7 p.m. That’s a good indication of just how strong of a following Pearl Django has around here. 

9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, Schweinhaus Biergarten
Later on Saturday, Willdabeast brings their powerful blend of electronic music with live horns to the Schweinhaus for a 9 p.m. show. It’s not necessarily a venue known for dancing, but their music combined with the wild visuals they typically bring with them might just induce a transformation. 


Listings in bold are part of Bellingham Exit. To purchase passes or RSVP to free shows, go to

Tuesday, Oct. 10

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam
  • Ramble Tamble: 9 p.m., The Elevator Club ft. Dank Zavala (hip-hop)

Wednesday, Oct. 11

Thursday, Oct. 12

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., King Youngblood, Atomic Affair, Where’s The Exit?(rock)
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Charlie Partin
  • Gruff: 7 p.m., Me Nd Adam
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 8 p.m., The Hu, Voice of Baceprot, Blind Channel
  • New Prospect Theatre: 7 p.m., Tommy Prine (singer-songwriter)
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Slow Magic, Beacon Bloom, Solstis
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., JP Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Wild Buffalo: 6:30 p.m., Youth Lagoon
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., Cats Like Us (rock/punk/psychedelic)

Friday, Oct. 13

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Dan Hewitt
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Conrad Gruener (country)
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Black Noise Records: 7 p.m., Black Noise DJs
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Paper Idol, Hockey TeethBoundary; 6 p.m., Whalien (jam/funk/rock)
  • Corner Taphouse: 7 p.m., Verboten (indie rock)
  • Culture Cafe: 8 p.m., Mostafa, guests (hip-hop)
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., The Devillies (Irish folk)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., The McHughs (folk family)
  • Gruff: 6:30 p.m., Bobby & The Turnbuckles (honky tonk)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Duos, Conan Neutron & The Secret Friends, Lung, Slowfall (rock)
  • Schweinhaus: 8 p.m., Pure Halcyon, Magenta Wave (rock)
  • The Shakedown: 5:30 p.m., Yumi Zouma (indie rock) 
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band
  • Vault: 7 p.m., J.P. Falcon
  • Wild Buffalo: 6 p.m., Sol, Grieves (hip-hop); 10 p.m., Machinedrum, The Librarian, Cables (electronic)

Saturday, Oct. 14

  • Bantam: 6 p.m., Julian Macdonough (jazz)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Tom Sandblom
  • Black Noise Records: 7 p.m., Black Noise DJs
  • Blue Room: 5 p.m., Sona Jobarteh; 8 p.m., Alex Vile, Instant Crush, Niko Haley (rock)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Cascade Cody
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Dan Norman & The Chrysalis Effect
  • Champlin Guitars: 3 p.m., Louis Ledford (singer-songwriter), Spoon River
  • Culture Cafe: 8 p.m., BlkSknn, Oble Reed, CHRVNS (hip-hop)
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Chuchito Valdes (Latin jazz)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday, 
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Lindsay Street (Celtic)
  • Gruff: 6 p.m., Holy Tailfeathers, Dryland
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Kat Bula (singer-songwriter)
  • Katt’s Westside Stories: 5 p.m., UR GRLS, Nobody’s Peach, Bitchslap
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., The Heatherlys, Chris Eger Band
  • Lost Giants Cider: 2 p.m., Flattery (Celtic)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Little Big Band (classic/Southern rock)
  • Make.Shift: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mallard: 3 p.m., Cat Positive, Sunflecks
  • Menace: 6 p.m., MIchael Dayvid
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Mope, Lord Kuja & the Don
  • Red Rum: 5 p.m., No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Stereo Donkey (rock)
  • Ritual Records: 6 p.m., Cat Valley, Harbor Day
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Cozmic Sauce
  • Shakedown: 5:30 p.m., Orions Belte, Shimmertraps (psychedelic rock/ pop), 10 p.m., Kerela Dust, Navvi
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Ryan Higgins
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., JP Falcon Grady
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., The Shannanagins (classic rock)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Anissa & Erik
  • Wild Buffalo: 6 p.m., Molly Tuttle & Golden Highway, 10 p.m., The Funk Hunters (electronic)
  • Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., Whitewing (blues/ R&B)
  • Zuanich Park: SeaFeast, music lineup TBA

Sunday, Oct. 15

  • Blue Room: 6 p.m., Joe P
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Cardova
  • Mallard: 3 p.m., Luke Hogfoss, Kazmyn
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 7 p.m., Deltron 3030 (hip-hop)
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Bow Diddlers
  • Ritual Records: 6 p.m., Smooth Kiwi, Actress (rock)
  • Shakedown: 6:30 p.m., Acid Tongue, Bret Amaker & The Rodeo, Foxy Apollo
  • Station 49: 2 p.m., Cascade Cody
  • Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., Snakehips (electronic)
  • Zuanich Park: SeaFeast, music lineup TBA

Monday, Oct. 16

  • Blue Room: 7 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., Daddy Treetops (blues)
  • Kulshan: 6 p.m. The Sweet Goodbyes (folk)

Tuesday, Oct. 17

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam
  • Ranch Room: 9 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Wednesday, Oct. 18

  • Corner Taphouse: 6 p.m., Dry Martini (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Ponderosa: 7 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Andre Feriante
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Alfred Banks, guests (hip-hop)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m. Whitewing Duo (blues/soul)
  • Underground Coffeehouse: 7 p.m., Atomic Affair

Thursday, Oct. 19

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Sweetwood
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Chest Fever (a tribute to The Band)
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m, JP Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., The Problem (jazz/funk/soul)

Friday, Oct. 20

  • Aslan: 8 p.m. Cardova (funk/R&B)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Vic Smith
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Pure Halcyon, pantsuitguy, No Mars (rock)
  • FireHouse: 7:30 p.m., Winds5 (wind quintet)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Fritz and the Freeloaders (acoustic rock)
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Emery Road
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Cat Valley, Kurly Somthing (rock)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Jaden Oscar
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Rose
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Neighborhood Singers Showcase
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Simon Evans (singer-songwriter)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Chuck Dingee
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Champagne Drip (electronic)

Saturday, Oct. 21

  • Bellingham Elks: 6 p.m., Groove Doctors
  • Blue Room: 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Pearl Django, Nuages (Manouche jazz)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Nicola Linde
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Gabe Doran
  • Buxton’s: 7 p.m., Cory Vincent & The Electric Band, Lazy Acres, Cascade Cody
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Levi Ware, The Dimes
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., The Righteous Mothers (folk)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday 
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Heron & Crow
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Paige Woods (singer-songwriter)
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Dreamdecay, Stuck, ESO
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m. Bill Mattocks Band (blues)
  • Schweinhaus: 9 p.m., Willdabeast, CraftyRaft3r (electronic)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Marley Dzis
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., The Sweet Goodbyes (folk)
  • That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Sunday, Oct. 22

  • Karate Church: 7 p.m. Where’s the Exit, Mom Sport, North by North, Lemon Bear (rock)
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Katie & Kevin (folk/bluegrass)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m. The Everlovers (roadhouse country classics)
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Wolves of Glendale (comedic rock)

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

The Beat Goes On is published online Tuesdays and in print Fridays. Email: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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