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Melancholia and Dryland both releasing albums

Spooky season kicks off with double-release party by 2 local metal favorites

Dryland's album "Weekend in the Swamp" is quintessential Bellingham stoner rock. (Photo courtesy of Dryland)
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Two of the best metal groups in the area are putting out albums only a week apart. Dryland’s “A Weekend in the Swamp” comes out Friday, Oct. 27. Melancholia’s “Book of Ruination” arrives a week later, Nov. 3, on Brutal Panda Records. The two groups are combining forces for a double album release party at The Shakedown Oct. 27, also featuring Slag Hive. 

Although the two groups both fall under the umbrella of the metal genre, their approaches are pretty different. Dryland comes more out of the Black Sabbath-inspired doom metal subgenre, with some hints of blues in the riffs, more intelligible vocals and just a little more space between the sounds. 

Since forming in 2014, they’ve put out one full-length album and one EP. Melancholia, on the other hand, offers up an almost relentless sonic assault in a style they describe as “blackened sludge.” The duo blasts away with waves of guitar and drums, bleak vocals and only occasional moments of respite. They’ve done three EPs already since forming in 2018.  

Both groups recorded their albums with Rich Canut at The Unknown in Anacortes, which seems to have become the premier local destination for recording heavy music.  

To trace all the connections between these three bands and their members would take way more room than I’ve got here. Suffice it to say that the Bellingham metal scene resembles a big family, and this show will have the feel of a family gathering. Whatever differences there might be, everyone comes together to celebrate each others’ accomplishments, and that’s what this show is all about.

In my weekly calendar, I’ve highlighted shows on the weekend of Oct. 27–28 that I know are clearly Halloween-themed with costumes encouraged. (Realistically, though, you can probably get away with wearing costumes anywhere you want that weekend.) 

I also want to mention some of the shows scheduled for Halloween itself so you can plan ahead. On the night of Tuesday, Oct. 31, there will be swing dancing featuring the superb Sehome High School jazz band at the Hotel Leo. The Mighty Bayou Opossums play music of New Orleans at Paws for a Beer. Elk are taking over The Blue Room with a bunch of their friends (Panda Conspiracy, Ari Joshua, and more) for a night of jam-heavy rock and funk. And, of course, it wouldn’t be Halloween without Horror Business. They ride again with a night of Misfits covers at The Shakedown. 

Also in time for Halloween, Skagit Valley country/folk weirdo Cascade Cody has an EP of spooky songs coming out on Washingtones Records. The title track, “Satan Lives In Candy Bars,” is a ridiculous and rollicking gospel anthem. 

Quite a bit of excellent new music has come out in the last few weeks. True Stars dropped their self-titled debut album, highly recommended for fans of rollicking power pop and garage rock. Pantsuitguy’s new single “Cycles” gives you a more subtle, dreamy shade of indie rock but still builds to a big conclusion. Cat Positive have a great new pop-punk single, “Same Space,” with guest vocals from Whitney of Cat Valley. For more straight-ahead rock, Brook Bates has an epic new single out called “Haunted,” and the Stillvettas have a new album, “Greatest Hits … So Far.”

Willdabeast have released an album of remixes, recruiting their buddies from around the worldwide electronic music scene to reinterpret the already adventurous tracks from their most recent album, “Superhighway Afterglow.”

Finally, I was excited to hear that the band lottery is back. Several bands were formed at random just a few weeks ago and they’ll be taking the stage to show off their impromptu creations at a show on Sunday, Oct. 29 at the Wild Buffalo House of Music. All proceeds from the show will go to Make.Shift Art Space, which makes it a double win for supporting local creativity and community. 


Mike Allen
6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, FireHouse Arts and Events Center
Vancouver jazz saxophonist Mike Allen will be at the FireHouse on Wednesday, Oct. 25 with a quartet for a night of jazz explorations devoted to the spirit of John Coltrane, specifically the classic “A Love Supreme.”

photo  Vancouver jazz saxophonist Mike Allen will be at the FireHouse on Wednesday, Oct. 25. (Photo courtesy of Maddy Cristall)  


Delta Promenade 
7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 26, Zeeks Pizza
Delta Promenade brings its sweet blend of classic acoustic blues, ragtime, folk and hokum to the convivial atmosphere of Zeeks Pizza.

9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 27, Wild Buffalo
The musically omnivorous genius TeZATalks takes the stage at the Wild Buffalo with her mix of hip-hop, pop, metal and anything else she feels like tackling, a combination she refers to as “Hardcore Pop.” The local openers are appropriately eclectic, including rappers from Black Noise records, up-and-coming local rockers Actress, and experimental bass DJs Keags and Ellie Wild. 

The Dead Will Rise: Sleepy Alligators’ Halloween Show
9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 28, Boundary Bay Brewery
The Sleepy Alligators return to Boundary Bay on Saturday, Oct. 28 for their annual event, “The Dead Will Rise.” That’s not as creepy as it sounds, because it just means Grateful Dead covers in costume, but it should be a lot of fun for Deadheads. 


Bolded listings indicate the event is Halloween-themed. 

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, The Hobby (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

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Fender Benders
  • 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 (acoustic covers)

Sunday, Oct. 22

  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Guitars & Gratitude
  • 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)

Monday, Oct. 23

  • Blue Room: 7 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., Diane Leigh and Triple Play
  • Karate Church: 7:30 p.m., Ian Macphee, Ethan Wil, Past Lives
  • Kulshan: 6 p.m., Song Wranglers (acoustic Americana)

Tuesday, Oct. 24

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam

Wednesday, Oct. 25

  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Mike Allen (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Ocie Elliott
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Janette West
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m. Free Harmony
  • Underground Coffeehouse: 7 p.m., Babes In Canyon, Kazmyn
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Spafford (jam rock)

Thursday, Oct. 26

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Sunflower, Sweetwood, guests
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Joshua Red Uttech
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Tango Cowboys
  • 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., Wreckno (electronic)
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., Delta Promenade (acoustic blues)

Friday, Oct. 27

  • Admiralty Lounge: 7 p.m., Octavia McAloon (folk)
  • Aslan: 8 p.m., The Unknowns
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Doug Parent
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Trick Myers
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Corner Taphouse: 7 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Minimum Wage (classic rock)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., The D’vas
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Shawn Hess (Americana)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., James Micah Basnight
  • Majestic: 7 p.m., Mom Sport, Old Town Scouts (rock)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Melancholia, Dryland, Slaghive (metal)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Vince Bigos
  • Vault: 7 p.m. Dick and Jane (acoustic covers)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., TeZATalks, Black Noise takeover, Actress, Keags b2b Ellie Wild

Saturday, Oct. 28

  • Admiralty Lounge: 7 p.m., Badd Dogg Blues Society
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Shannagins (classic rock)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Dave Hannon
  • Boundary: 9:30 p.m., Sleepy Alligators (Grateful Dead tribute)
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Three for Silver
  • Chair 9: ELK (funk/rock)
  • Corner Taphouse: 7 p.m., The Dimes (rock/soul)
  • DownTime Taps: 7 p.m., Cascade Cody
  • FireHouse: 6 p.m., John Pinetree & The Yellin Degenerates (blues/folk/soul)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., Tapwater
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Spider Cult
  • Karate Church: 8 p.m., Ghorot, Chrome Ghost, Empress, Inpathos (metal)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Motown Cruisers
  • Old Edison: 8 p.m., The Walrus
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Joel Astley Band (blues)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Phil Paige
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., The D’vas
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Petty or Not (Petty and Fleetwood Mac covers)
  • WinkWink: 6 p.m., Monstress, The Sorcerer (metal)

Sunday, Oct. 29

  • FireHouse: 4 p.m., Marco De Carvalho Trio (jazz)
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Decolletage (Celtic)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Ron Bailey & The Tangents
  • Ritual Records: 6 p.m., Yellow, Ceras, Somerfeld (rock)
  • Wild Buffalo: 7:30 p.m., Bellingham Band Lottery (random)

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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