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Suit up with Pantsuitguy

Get ready for a big night of elegant indie rock

Paintsuitguy will be headlining an event called Suits Only on Saturday, March 16 at The Blue Room. (Photo courtesy of Nat Silva)
By Jesse Stanton CDN Contributor

Juliet Diballa started recording and releasing upbeat indie rock under the name Pantsuitguy in 2022. Over the next year, they put a band together to play the songs live, and the band has become known both for their great songs and their creatively-themed (vampires, baseball, etc.) live shows.

On Saturday, March 16 at the Blue Room, they’ll be headlining an event called Suits Only. In case you can’t tell from the title, they’re encouraging everyone to wear suits. 

Diballa describes their music as “mid-fidelity indie rock,” influenced by groups like Tennis, Day Glo and Peach Pit. In practice, that means that the songs are catchy as can be, but the vocals are intentionally obscured a bit by reverb and distortion, and the guitars ring out with unpredictable progressions. Sometimes they also slow it down a bit and introduce more of an R&B vibe. On their latest single, “Speedracer,” the bass takes the lead with some heavily affected melodies for a sound reminiscent of ’80s new wave. It’s a varied enough sound that it ought to appeal to fans of many different genres. 

As good as the songs are that they already have out, Diballa claims they’ve got a huge backlog of new songs to be recorded, and that some of what they have coming out soon will be a huge step forward for the band. The new songs that they have coming out will also eventually be compiled into an album. The basic lineup for the live band also includes Rylan Fischer on guitar, Calvin Gurtler on bass and Julian Tennyson on drums, although other friends fill in from time to time. The Blue Room show will also feature their friends Meldrop and Justin Harden, who both work in a similar musical vein. With a creatively and elegantly dressed crowd to add to the vibe, the night should be one to remember!

News

We have a ton of new releases to talk about. As I’ve been writing this column, I’ve learned we have a bunch of studio-only groups around here, who make great music without necessarily ever playing live. One of the best of these is Rich Arithmetic, and they’ve just put out a new album, “Pushbutton Romance.” If you enjoy any era of guitar-based pop music, you’re probably going to find something to love here. 

Washingtones Records has the new psychedelic rock album from Tim Mechling, “Itself The Sea.” In a move you would expect from ’70s prog rock band, it’s got six regular-length songs before ending with a 22-minute suite of wildly varied, mostly instrumental sections. Sour Fuzz dropped a new single of fuzzed-out alt-rock. On the hip-hop side of things, CHRVNS released the album I previewed a few weeks ago, and Zomi the Homie and Ebony Harris have a deliriously foul-mouthed and funny new collaborative single, “Karma.”

There have also been some great new videos, including a Freshwater Sessions live set from indie rockers Magenta Wave that showcases their epic originals, and Mom Sport’s video for their single, “Feelings.”

As a reminder, I do also maintain some Spotify playlists to help people find the best local music. The Bellingham Now playlist has every local artist I could find on there, and the Bellingham 2024 playlist has new releases from this year. They’re both loosely organized by genre.  Let me know what I need to add!


JESSE’S PICKS

Ceras, Actress, Somerfeld
9 p.m. Thursday, March 14, The Shakedown, 1212 N. State St.

Ceras don’t play out all that often and we’re still waiting on their album, so I don’t get as many chances as I would like to mention that they’re probably my favorite current Bellingham band. Expect haunting melodies framed by epic swirls of distortion when they play at The Shakedown on March 14, with Actress and Somerfeld. 


Portland band Mbrascatu are headlining New Prospect Theatre on Friday, March 15. (Photo courtesy of Mbrascatu)
Mbrascatu
7–9 p.m. Friday, March 15, New Prospect Theatre, 207 Prospect St.

Portland’s Mbrascatu combine Italian folk music with psych-rock and Americana influences. Lead singer Andrea Algieri has a wonderfully rich voice, and the band adds all sorts of interesting texture around it. After opening for DeVotchka at the Mount Baker Theatre last month, they’re back to headline the New Prospect Theatre on March 15.

St. Patrick’s Day
6 p.m. Sunday, March 17, Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave.

St. Patrick’s Day is March 17 and that always brings out big crowds. Boundary Bay is the hub as usual, with Pogues tribute band Bottle of Smoke in the beer garden on Saturday night and Robert Sarazin Blake plus The Dublin Letters there the next night, plus music in the taproom all weekend. Another good downtown choice would be The Blue Room on Sunday afternoon, when the Devilies play a special edition of their Sunday afternoon Folk Club series.


LIVE MUSIC CALENDAR

Friday, March 8

  • Aslan: 7 p.m. Aperatonic Trio
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • The Blue Room: 8 p.m., Pure Halcyon, The Glare Killers, Torch (rock)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Under The Puddle (rock)
  • Corner Taphouse: 7 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Aaron Crawford (country/Americana)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Misty Flowers (folk)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Bellflower
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Walt Burkett
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m.,  Mt. Fog, Lane Lines, LipStitch, Sleepy Genes
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Cuttlefish
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., The House Wrens (Celtic)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., International Women’s Day Showcase
  • Stones Throw: 5 p.m., The Sweet Goodbyes (folk)
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Kyle Alan Hobbs
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Cheryl Hodge (jazz/blues)
  • The Vault: 7 p.m., Darla Kendrick
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., The Record Company, Sarah Rogo

Saturday, March 9

  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Christopher Nunn
  • The Blue Room: 8 p.m., Beatroots, Slowfall, Back to the Loud, Kellen Murphy & Friends (rock)
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Pension King & The Dependents
  • Buxton’s: 7 p.m., Brittany Collins, Pearl Tottenham, Brian Tottenham, Kate Dinsmore, Mike Frazier (singer-songwriters in the round)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Badd Dogg Blues
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Lindsay Street
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Michael Daley, Finn Wilcox
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Marvin Johnson
  • Larrabee Lager: 7 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Sunset Superman (classic rock)
  • Old Edison: 8 p.m., Jasmine Green Band (rock/pop/blues)
  • Karate Church: 7 p.m., Headstone Brigade, The Moving Hats, The House Wrens 
  • Make.Shift: 6 p.m., Avant Garde Open Mic
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Cuttlefish (rock)
  • Ritual Records: 6 p.m., Dryland, Done to Death, MEM//BRANE (metal)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., The Atlantics (classic rock)
  • The Shakedown: 9 p.m., Full Color Dream, Biff Got Killed, Toadmortons (rock)
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Jerry Wirkkala (flamenco)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., JP Falcon Grady
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Cheryl Hodge (jazz/blues)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., The Wood Brothers, Rainbow Girls

Sunday, March 10

  • Kulshan: 5 p.m. Cardova (funk/R&B)
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m. The Dunton Sisters
  • Ramble Tamble: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • The Shakedown: 8 p.m., DEAL (Grateful Dead tribute)
  • Tokyo Monster: 4 p.m., Singers’ Sunday

Monday, March 11

  • FireHouse Arts and Events Center: 3:30 p.m., Sharp Five Collective (jazz)
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7 p.m., Montreal Guitar Trio plays music of Ennio Morricone

Tuesday, March 12

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Beach Cat: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Menace Brewing: 7 p.m.,  Invitational Blues Jam
  • Ono Kitchen: 7 p.m., Open Mic ft. Alice in Space
  • Skagit River Brewery: 6 p.m., Wes Jones
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Marvin Johnson
  • Underground Coffeehouse: 7 p.m., Open Mic

Wednesday, March 13

  • The Blue Room: 7 p.m., Message Received (jazz) 
  • FireHouse Arts and Events Center: 6:30 p.m., Mike Allen Quartet (jazz)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • New Prospect Theater: 5:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Sottile, OConnor & Loeffler
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m. The Archtops Duo (blues/jazz/swing)
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Marvin Johnson

Thursday, March 14

  • The Admiralty Lounge: 7 p.m., Pete Irving & Micky Stylin
  • The Blue Room: 9 p.m., DUOS, Live TV, Blood Capsules (rock)
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Joshua Red Uttech
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., East Coast Dave
  • **Menace Brewing:  6 p.m., St. Pat’s Pub Sing ft. members of the Devilies
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Jazz Jam ft. The Problem
  • The Shakedown: 9 p.m., Ceras, Actress, Somerfeld
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like! Island Grill: 6 p.m, JP Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Diane Leigh
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., Mick Jenkins
  • Zeeks Pizza: 7 p.m., The Moving Hats

Friday, March 15

  • Aslan: 7 p.m., BJ Block Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Thomas Harris Quartet (jazz)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., North Sound Soul
  • El Capitan’s: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., The D’vas
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Augie Ballew, Adam Greenberg
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Walt Burkett
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Dial Up (’90s alt-rock covers)
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Maldisdeun, Maneater, Verota, Slag Hive (metal)
  • McIntyre Hall: 7:30 p.m., John Reischman & The Jaybirds (bluegrass)
  • Mount Baker Theatre (Walton Theatre): 7:30 p.m., Gallowglass (sold out)
  • New Prospect Theatre: 7 p.m., Mbrascatu
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Shady Groove
  • The Shakedown: 8 p.m., Les Lullies, Energy Pyramid, guests
  • Skagit Casino: 8 p.m., Dana Osborn Band
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Badd Dogg Blues Society
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Neighborhood Songwriters Showcase
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Cheryl Hodge(jazz/blues)
  • The Vault: 7 p.m., JP Falcon Grady

Saturday, March 16

  • Barley & Brew: 9:30 p.m., The Devilies
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Jack Mattingly (singer-songwriter)
  • The Blue Room: 9 p.m., Meldrop, pantsuitguy, Justin Harden
  • Boundary: 11 a.m., The Devilies, 1 p.m., The House Wrens, 6 p.m., Bottle of Smoke (Pogues tribute), The Moving Hats
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Cozmic Sauce (funk/R&B)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Friends for the Ghost, Cascade Cody and His Unpulled Bootstraps 
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Billy Appleton Band (blues/rock)
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Quickdraw Stringband (folk)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Marlo Mudd, Harlow, Sunflecks
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Blake Angelos
  • Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Thermal Blues Express
  • Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Sugar Does Broadway (cabaret)
  • Old Edison: 8 p.m., Stacy Jones Band (blues/rock)
  • Ramble Tamble: 8 p.m., Kyle Alan Hobbs, The Preacher and the Freight Train, Pete Ruble (folk/alt-country)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
  • The Shakedown: 9 p.m., Helms Alee, Heiress, Melancholia (metal)
  • Skagit Casino: 8 p.m., Dana Osborn Band
  • Skagit Cellars: 6 p.m., Eric Kosarot & Harper Stone (folk)
  • Skylark’s: 8 p.m., Ryan Sandholm
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Paige Woods
  • Swinomish Casino: 8 p.m., Hell’s Belles (AC/DC tribute)
  • Temperate Habits: 6 p.m., The Devilies
  • That’s What I Like! Island Grill: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Tokyo Monster: 5:30 p.m., Cheryl Hodge (jazz/blues) 
  • Underground: 8 p.m., SpaceBand (hip-hop/R&B covers)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., BUNT., guests
  • Zeeks Pizza: 7 p.m., Motown Cruisers

Sunday, March 17

  • The Admiralty Lounge: 7 p.m., Sarah Goodin
  • The Blue Room: 3 p.m., The Devilies
  • Boundary Bay Beer Garden:  1 p.m., Rosin and Reed, 6 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake and the Dublin Letters
  • Boundary Bay Taproom: 12 p.m., Shiv Tim; 2:30 p.m., Lindsay Street; 4 p.m., The Moving Hats; 6 p.m., The Devilies 
  • Conway Muse: 7 p.m., The Whateverly Brothers (folk)
  • Glynns: 6 p.m., Lindsay Street, 8 p.m., The Moving Hats
  • Kulshan: 3 p.m., Calaskan, Decolletage (Celtic)
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m. The Flaming Pies (Beatles tribute)
  • Ono Kitchen: 3 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
  • Ramble Tamble: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • Stones Throw: 2 p.m., Flattery (Celtic)
  • Tokyo Monster: 4 p.m., Singers’ Sunday
  • Wild Buffalo: 7 p.m., Gone Gone Beyond, Cassandra Lewis, Wolfchild

Jesse Stanton's music column, The Beat Goes On, and his compilation list of live music events in Whatcom County appear weekly. Reach him at jsbhammusic@gmail.com; @JSBhamMusic. Check with individual venues to make sure events are still taking place as scheduled.

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