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Cat Valley set to shake Make.Shift with songs from new EP

The band's 'Bingo Queen,' comes out on Sept. 15

Cat Valley
Cat Valley
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Cat Valley formed in 2016, based around the partnership between Whitney Flinn and Abby Hegge, who both sing, play guitar and write songs. They first met at a party and were so impressed with each other’s music, they knew right away they wanted to form a band. 

The original rhythm section was Sam Bolt on drums and Autumn Marceau on bass, but Melanie Sehman took over the drum chair in 2018 and bassist Kristen Stanovich joined up in 2021. 

They’ve quickly become local favorites with a sound that combines raw garage rock and riot-grrrl punk then leavens the blend with sweet harmonies and a healthy streak of humor. Their lyrics manage to be funny, angry, defiant and inspirational — sometimes all at once — and tackle difficult topics, both political and personal.  

They released a self-titled EP in 2018, the short album “Feral” in 2021, and now they’ve got a new EP, “Bingo Queen,” coming out on Friday, Sept. 15. It will be out digitally and on CD. 

They will be celebrating with a show at Make.Shift that night, then taking to the road for shows in Seattle and Tacoma that weekend. 

The new album represents a big step forward for them in both songwriting and performance. The singles that have already been released have been making some waves on the radio around the region. 

The EP starts with the title track, which gives a witty take on feeling older than your actual age, accompanied by some dark organ. “Not Me” leads off with the best guitar riff of the album, then builds to a double-time, shout-along chorus. 

photo Cat Valley is celebrating its new album with a show at Make.Shift on Sept. 15, then taking to the road for shows in Seattle and Tacoma that weekend. (Photo courtesy of Rachel Bennett)  

My personal favorite track is “Mean Girls,” which wraps themes of empowerment up in an irresistible chorus, before spiraling off into a long instrumental section with soaring guitar leads and even a bit of a drum solo. If there’s one piece of lyrical wisdom that just about everyone needs to hear, it is, as this song insists, that “you’re too hard on yourself.” After that you come to “Impostor,” a six-minute minor key ballad with an epic instrumental ending before the EP returns to their punk roots to wrap up with a pair of hardcore ragers, “My Body” and “It’s Over.” 

If you come down to the show, be prepared: Pretty much every song has a hook persistent enough that you’ll be singing or shouting along with it before you’re even done listening to it for the first time. It all adds up to a cathartic outpouring of rock and roll joy. 


El Capitan’s (the hot dog and sausage place at Chestnut and Cornwall) has started doing open mics in their taproom. I’m told the one in August went really well. The next one is at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8, and after that, they’ll be on the first Friday of each month. 

Stones Throw has lined up one last block party for the end of summer. That will be from noon to 8 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23, with live music from the Jasmine Greene Band and Pat McFarland. We’re getting toward the end of the outdoor music season, so you have to take advantage of these while you can. 

There’s an interesting event coming up at the Pickford Film Center that music lovers should be aware of. The filmmaker, artist and ethnographer Harry Smith was responsible for compiling the Anthology of American Folk Music, one of the wellsprings of the ’60s folk revival. He lived in both Anacortes and Bellingham when he was young. The event at the Pickford is at 4 p.m. on Sept. 17 and features short films, presentations and discussion by two authors, John Szwed and Bret Lunsford, who’ve both written books on his work.  


JESSE’S PICKS

Sofia Talvik
7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14, New Prospect Theatre 
Sofia Talvik is a singer/songwriter/guitarist hailing all the way from Sweden, whose beautiful original music draws heavily from folk roots ranging from bluegrass to Joni Mitchell. She’s at the New Prospect Theatre for a seated concert on Thursday, Sept. 14.

photo  Sofia Talvik’s beautiful original music draws heavily from American folk roots ranging from bluegrass to Joni Mitchell. She’s at the New Prospect Theatre for a seated concert on Thursday, Sept. 14. (Photo courtesy of Makaki Music)  

Bilongo
6 p.m. Friday, Sept. 15, Boundary Bay Brewery beer garden 
Bilongo is a superb local Latin jazz ensemble, featuring the vocals of Sabrina Gomez along with some great horns and percussion. The Boundary Bay Brewery beer garden is likely to be packed with salsa dancers and jazz lovers alike for their show on Friday, Sept. 15.

SpaceBand
4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 16, Samson Estates Winery
You don’t often see bands playing two shows on the same day. SpaceBand is apparently doing just that on Saturday, Sept. 16, bringing their highly entertaining mix of hip-hop and R&B covers to Samson Estates Winery for an afternoon fundraiser, then hustling back into town to jam out at the Underground until late at night. 

Moon Hooch
7 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 17, Wild Buffalo
New York City’s Moon Hooch plays a completely unhinged brand of danceable instrumental music with just two saxophones and percussion. Elements of funk, rock, jazz and EDM are all present. They tour heavily and are making their way back to the Wild Buffalo on Sunday, Sept. 17.


LIVE MUSIC LISTINGS

Tuesday, Sept. 5

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Boundary: 3 p.m., Out of the Ashes; 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
  • Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam
  • Ramble Tamble: 9 p.m. The Elevator Club ft. BF Knowhere (hip-hop)
  • Zeeks: 6 p.m., Open Mic

Wednesday, Sept. 6

  • Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Jerry Steinhilber Trio (jazz)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Jazz Center of Bellingham Open House
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m. Odd Mood Jam Band (rock/blues/jam)

Thursday, Sept. 7

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio (funk/jazz)
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Hip Hop Open Mic
  • Boundary: 5 p.m., Lindsay Street (Celtic); 8 p.m., Alpha Yaya Diallo
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jazz Jam
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Jasmine Greene (blues/rock)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., The Shindellas, guests (soul/R&B)
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., JP Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Frubbles, Leafs, Sam Fox, Perpetual Motion (drum and bass)
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., Soul Drift (string band indie covers)

Friday, Sept. 8

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Jasmine Greene Band
  • Beach Store Cafe: 5:30 p.m., Groove Doctors (classic rock)
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Pure Halcyon, Rice, Somerfeld (rock)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m. Cozmic Sauce (funk/R&B)
  • DownTime Taps: 7 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady (acoustic covers)
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Mama Dirty Skirt (classic rock)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Young Kidz
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Brett and Janet Dodd
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Grave Clothes, John Swanke (ambient/experimental)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 6 p.m., GrooveBot, BeatRoots
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Al Stewart and The Empty Pockets (folk)
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Haunted Horses, Pleasure Dome, Mem//Brane (hardcore) 
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Lisa Temcov Band (classic country)
  • Taproom at El Capitan’s: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Simon Llewelyn Evans (folk)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Las Cafeteras, QUITA PENAS

Saturday, Sept. 9

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Anti-Shock (alt-rock covers)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Jack Parker
  • Boundary: 7 p.m., North Sound Soul
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Jealous Dogs (Pretenders tribute)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Robin Elwood & Friends (folk/Celtic)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Sarah Goodin (singer-songwriter)
  • Lynden Whiskey Walk: 5 p.m., Petty or Not, Whiskeydicks, Quattlebaum, more
  • Make.Shift: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Chris Pierce (blues)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Powerhouse (blues/rock)
  • Schweinhaus: 7 p.m., Meece, The Disorderlies, Sour Fuzz (punk)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Warp Detour, Doc Savage (punk covers)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Ben Starner
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., CraigO’s Planet Groove (psychedelic rock)
  • Station 49: 5 p.m., The Davanos (classic rock/blues)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Carly Ann Calbero (singer-songwriter)

Sunday, Sept. 10

  • Bellingham Cider Co: 6:30 p.m., Hot Tomatoes (vintage jazz)
  • Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., The Murphtones
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., The Devilies (Irish/folk)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 3 p.m., The Sweet Goodbyes (folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Fabulous Roof Shakers
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Triptides, Worn-Tin, Smooth Kiwi (rock)
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., D’vas and Dudes
  • Wild Buffalo: 6:30 p.m., The Walrus (classic rock)

Monday, Sept. 11

  • Kulshan: 6 p.m., Delta Promenade (acoustic blues)

Tuesday, Sept. 12

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Jam:30 (open jam night)
  • Boundary: 3 p.m., Out of the Ashes, 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. CHRVNS (hip-hop)
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., Feral Moon, Energy Pyramid, Slag Hive

Wednesday, Sept. 13

  • Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Matt Eakle & Tim Volpicella  (jazz)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., John Sheckler Quartet (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., The Colonel
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., The Hipocrats

Thursday, Sept. 14

  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio
  • Boundary: 5 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake & The Happy Hour Band; 8 p.m., Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, Mara Kaye
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Yankee Drivers (bluegrass)
  • Gruff: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Marie, The Band (folk)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 5 p.m., Sleepy Alligators (Grateful Dead covers)
  • New Prospect Theatre: 7 p.m., Sofia Talvik (folk)
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., JP Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Wild Buffalo: 8 p.m., The Cosmic Neighborhood, Pantsuitguy, Devin Luna
  • Zeeks: 7 p.m., Northside Jive Talkers (blues)

Friday, Sept. 15

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Lost at Last
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Marcia Keester
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., The Stillvettas, Counterproductive, Actress (rock)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m. Bilongo w/ Sabrina Gomez (Latin jazz)
  • FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Steve Webb
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Harley-Rogers Duo
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Hedgewitch, West of Roan (folk)
  • Karate Church: 7:30 p.m., Nightmayor, Glitchlette, Sunflecks
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Cat Valley, Weep Wave, Cat Positive (rock)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., The Keening, Ser (gothic folk)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., The Song Wranglers (acoustic Americana)
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Louis Ledford (folk)

Saturday, Sept. 16

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., North Sound Soul
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Faith In Strangers, Asterhouse, Moon Mother (rock)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Stacy Jones Band
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Tribute Band Festival ft. Moon Daddy (Santana tribute), Wasted On the Way (CSN tribute), Uncle Ron’s Band (Grateful Dead tribute)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Cape Flattery, Last of the Red Hot Mamas (Americana)
  • Jansen Art Center: 7:30 p.m., Katie Van Kooten (opera)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m. Whitewing (blues/R&B/soul)
  • Samson Estates: 4 p.m. SpaceBand (hip-hop/R&B covers)
  • Schweinhaus: 9 p.m., Hippies With Money (rock)
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Phil Paige and Mark Monrean (soft rock jazz)
  • Station 49: 4 p.m., Ten Feet Thick
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Tyler Clarke
  • Underground: 9:30 p.m., SpaceBand 
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., The Expendables, Bumpin Uglies, Claire Wright (reggae/ rock)

Sunday, Sept. 17

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., The Replayzmentz
  • Bellingham Cider Co: 6:30 p.m., The Best Intentions
  • Kulshan Sunnyland: 5 p.m. Katie & Kevin (folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Menace: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m. The Davanos (classic rock/blues)
  • Shakedown: 7:30 p.m., Townes Van Zandt tribute night
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., Cascade Cody
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., Moon Hooch, guests

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: jsbhammusic@gmail.com or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the date of the Bilongo event. It is on Friday, Sept. 15. The story was updated at 5:17 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 7. Cascadia Daily News regrets the error.

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