The Beat Goes On

The Foundation Lounge: Step up to the mic

New venue offers opportunities for performers
September 21, 2022 at 5:05 a.m.
Dan Gnabbit, left, and Zach Cowin of Rooftop Recordings jam onstage during open mic night at The Foundation Lounge on Sept. 14. The new venue on Cornwall Avenue features open mic nights every Wednesday.
Dan Gnabbit, left, and Zach Cowin of Rooftop Recordings jam onstage during open mic night at The Foundation Lounge on Sept. 14. The new venue on Cornwall Avenue features open mic nights every Wednesday. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)

CDN Contributor

The Foundation Lounge is a new event space that has recently opened at the tail end of Cornwall Avenue. It’s run by Brian Womack, who has big ambitions for it to be an essential community gathering space in the heart of downtown.

Womack has been running the Headquarters Barbershop right next door for a little bit, but opened up the lounge side of things at the beginning of September. It has a nice stage and sound system, and is starting off with live music by hosting an open mic at 8 p.m. every Wednesday night.

photo  Brian Womack kicks off the open mic night at The Foundation Lounge Sept. 14. Womack has big ambitions for the space to be an essential community gathering space in the heart of downtown. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)  


For those looking for opportunities to get onstage, this ought to be worth trying out. The Foundation Lounge also has a Thursday night comedy open mic and Tuesday night salsa lessons organized by Rumba Northwest. The space includes a coffee shop, Cof&, which is open during the day and will be serving alcohol at night — which means most evening performances will be 21-plus. The venue also has a recording studio and plans to start yoga classes, so a lot is going on.

Since The Foundation Lounge is just getting started with hosting live music, Womack wants to encourage musicians to reach out to with ideas for shows. At the end of October, The Foundation Lounge has a big weekend of “Thriller”-themed events planned, including a costume party, a dance and a “haunted barbershop.” The space is also available for event rentals, including weddings. It’s a new and exciting venue full of possibilities, so swing by 1209 Cornwall Ave. and check it out!

photo  Ray Bonner raps onstage during the open mic night at The Foundation Lounge. (Hailey Hoffman/Cascadia Daily News)  

Another fun event coming up is the swing dance at Commercial Street on Sunday, Sept. 25. B’ham Hop received a grant from the Downtown Bellingham Partnership’s sidewalk activation program, and will be setting up a dance floor and a live band in the Commercial Street Plaza by the Parkade. Lessons start at 1 p.m., and the band, Alex Guilbert’s Stampede Seven Quartet, kicks off at 2 p.m. 

I also have a few recent news releases I’ve found by searching Bandcamp that I want to tell you all about. A reminder to the musicians of the area: Send me the news of your releases because I want to write about them.

Ideism is a keyboardist and producer who makes intricate hip-hop instrumentals with a strong jazz influence. His debut beat tape, “Pale Skies,” is out now on Black Noise Records. 

Bullets or Balloons are on the louder side of things, with yelpy, sarcastic vocals surrounded by swirls of noisy but melodic guitars. Their new album is called “Human Condition.” 

John Swanke makes interesting, atmospheric recordings with a combination of instrumental acoustic guitar and found sounds, mostly from nature. He has two new recordings out: a new album called “Sturgeon Moon” and a collection of older demos

Live music listings 

Wednesday, Sept. 21

Bar Cicotti: 5 p.m., Sonia Lee and Tim Volpicella (jazz)
Big Stick BBQ: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano
Foundation Lounge: 7:30 p.m., Open Mic
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
Rockfish: 6 p.m., Andre Feriante (classical/flamenco guitar)
Stones Throw: 6 p.m., CraigO’s Planet Groove (psychedelic rock)

Thursday, Sept. 22

Blue Room: 6 p.m., Open Mic/Jam
Boundary: 5 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake; 8 p.m., Randy Weeks, Steven Ray Leslie (country/rock)
Farmstrong: 6:30 p.m., Paige Woods & The High Fives (folk/rock)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jan Peters and Friends (folk)
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., Circles Around the Sun, Mikaela Davis (jazz/funk/fusion)

Friday, Sept. 23

Aslan: 8 p.m., Cat Valley, The Hobby (rock)
Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m. Wicked Timing (acoustic covers)
Blue Room: 9 p.m., Diego Romero Band, Magenta Wave, Not You (rock)
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Jack Parker
Boundary: 6 p.m., Whalien (jam rock)
Center for Spiritual Living: 6 p.m., Danned If I Do (Steely Dan tribute)
FireHouse: 6:30 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Kat Bula (singer-songwriter)
Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Iona Fyfe (Scottish folk)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Myonia, No-Fi Soul Rebellion, Tuesday’s Refuge (rock)
Shakedown: 9 p.m., Boxcutter, The Disorderlies, Done to Death (punk)
Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band (acoustic covers)
That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Carly Ann Calbero (singer-songwriter)
Vault: 7 p.m., Trio Sueno (jazz/flamenco)
Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Manila Killa, guests (electronic)

Saturday, Sept. 24

Beach at Birch Bay: 4 p.m., Southbound (country)
Birdsview: 6 p.m., Sandy Rowe
Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., Desolation Sound
Concrete Theatre: 6 p.m., Pretty Much Nothing, Barefeet, Jack Mattingly, Zach Michaud
Conway Muse: 8 p.m., La Rosa Trio (Afro-Cuban jazz
FireHouse: 7:30 p.m., Gina Williams (pop/jazz/gospel)
Fireside: 3:30 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
Gateway1890: 7:30 p.m., Mark Williams and Tom Sandblom
Greene’s Corner: 6:30 p.m., Simon Llewelyn Evans (folk)
Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., Groovebot (R&B/funk covers)
Herald Building Parking Lot: 2 p.m., Rae Du Soleil, Idell Drive, Madam Monarch, Diego Romero Band, North Sound Soul
Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Sarah Goodin (singer-songwriter)
Jansen Arts Center: 7:30 p.m., Two Accordions
Main Street: 9 p.m., 4Tens (classic rock)
Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Pure Halcyon, State Parks, Jhoff (rock)
Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Billy Appleton Band (classic rock)
Shakedown: 9 p.m., PaperHeart, Antishock (alt rock covers)
Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Ryan Sandholm (acoustic covers)
Station 49: 4 p.m., Chill DeVille (classic rock)
Stones Throw: 1 p.m., High Mountain String Band (bluegrass); 5 p.m., Legendary Chucklenuts (classic rock)

Sunday, Sept. 25

Commercial Street Plaza: 2 p.m., Swing Dance featuring Alex Guilbert’s Stampede Seven Quartet
Culture Cafe: 7 p.m., Open Mic
FireHouse: 4 p.m., Thomas Marriott Quartet (jazz)
Kulshan Sunnyland: 5 p.m., Simon Llewelyn Evans
Mount Baker Theatre: 3 p.m., Bellingham Symphony Orchestra
Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
Shakedown: 8 p.m., Polkadot Cadaver, Ossuary Wraith, Ent (metal)
Station 49: 2 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Monday, Sept. 26

Boundary: 6 p.m., Chad Peterson (jazz)
FireHouse: 3:30 p.m., Mark Nichols and Julie Lewis
Kulshan Sunnyland: 6 p.m., Arthur Buezo (folk)

Tuesday, Sept. 27

Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
Beach at Birch Bay: 6:30 p.m., Open Mic
Boundary: 6 p.m., Paul Klein on piano
Horseshoe: 8 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Wednesday, Sept. 28

Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Kevin Woods & Roger Yamashita (jazz)
Rockfish: 6 p.m., Andre Feriante (classical/flamenco guitar)
Stone’s Throw: 6 p.m., CraigO’s Planet Groove (psychedelic rock)

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: or Twitter: @JSBhamMusic.

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