The Beat Goes On

Beats and bikes at Waypoint Park for NW Tune-Up

From soul to hip-hop, festival features a world of sound
July 4, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
As part of the second annual NW Tune-Up music and mountain biking festival taking place July 14–16 at Bellingham's Waypoint Park, New Orleans funkateers Galactic will play a long set to close out the action on Sunday night.
As part of the second annual NW Tune-Up music and mountain biking festival taking place July 14–16 at Bellingham's Waypoint Park, New Orleans funkateers Galactic will play a long set to close out the action on Sunday night. (Photo courtesy of Josh Brasted Photography)

CDN Contributor

After a promising debut last year, the NW Tune-Up Festival returns to Waypoint Park from Friday to Sunday, July 14–16, with a strong and diverse lineup.

Organizers have also made some changes since last year in response to popular feedback. Of particular interest to music lovers, this year they are going to be offering “twilight” tickets, allowing music fans who may or may not be interested in the mountain biking aspect of the festival to take advantage of some top-tier musical talent at a reasonable price. 

Those tickets get you in after 7 p.m. and are $35. On Friday, that means you get to see First Nations hip-hop duo Snotty Nose Rez Kids, next-generation Dead tribute Grateful Shred, and the indie/electronic sounds of Portland’s STRFKR.

Saturday’s evening lineup is reggae collective Easy Star All-Stars, R&B/soul powerhouse Mereba, and big-beat electronica pioneers The Crystal Method.

On Sunday, you get electro-funk from The Floozies, plus a long set from New Orleans funkateers Galactic to wrap everything up. Performances on the main stage will go until 11 p.m. each night so even if you only do the twilight tickets, you’re still going to see a whole bunch of music.

Those taking in the entire festival will get lots of great music as well. Some highlights include the vintage soul sounds of Seattle’s True Loves at 6:20 p.m. Friday, dreamy indie pop all the way from South Korea with Say Sue Me at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, and funk/disco/electronic jams with Cytrus at 4:40 p.m. Sunday. 

Earlier in each day some locals will be represented, with Harbor Day, Hot Damn Scandal, Niko Haley, Silk Jammies, and Smooth Kiwi all slated to perform during the course of the weekend.

Over in the VIP tent, Robert Sarazin Blake will be doing a version of his popular online series, Live from the Kitchen Table, where festival acts will stop by for conversation and short acoustic performances. This will be recorded for future release as a podcast.

Between this festival and the new Bellingham Exit festival slated for October, it seems that we may well be turning into a music festival destination!

In other music news is a new podcast dedicated to the Bellingham music scene. Shut Up and Listen Bham is available on all sorts of podcast platforms and is hosted by CHRVNS, Morgan from Bumlord, and Brent Cole, formerly editor and co-owner of What’s Up! magazine. Their first episode features interviews with Pantsuitguy and No Guts. I’m excited to see a new outlet for local music coverage, especially one hosted by such a knowledgeable and enthusiastic crew. 

One notable local album release this week: jazz drummer Jerry Steinhilber’s trio (with King Dahl on bass and Josh Cook on tenor sax) just released “Four Suites,” showcasing their intricate explorations in the shape of four long pieces, three of them dedicated to giants of the genre.  

Finally, I haven’t even attempted to put all the music listings from the Skagit Valley Highland Games into the online calendar, but suffice it to say that if you enjoy the sound of bagpipes and fiddles, Edgewater Park in Mount Vernon will be the place to be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, and Sunday, July 9. 

photo  Hear the tropical pop of The Cosmic Neighborhood when the Bellingham-based band opens the Downtown Sounds summer concert series Wednesday, July 12, at the corner of Bay and Holly streets. Stick around for the Latin/funk/Afrobeat stew of Seattle’s Reposado. (Photo courtesy of Isabella Pierson)  


Jacob Seyer
8 p.m. Saturday, July 8, Honey Moon, 1053 N. State St.
Even without the NW Tune-Up Festival, this is a busy time for music. This week, Jacob Seyer returns to Bellingham to share his talents. His original compositions investigate all of the possibilities of the acoustic guitar, incorporating virtuoso techniques while still paying attention to melody and structure. Info:

Powerman 5000
8:30 p.m. Monday, July 10, Wild Buffalo, 208 W. Holly St. 
Industrial/metal veterans Powerman 5000 will be doing their thing if you want to head-bang like it’s 1999. They’ll be joined by Julien K (former member of Orgy) and Priest (former member of Ghost). Helpful hint: bring your earplugs. Info:

Downtown Sounds 
6 p.m. Wednesday, July 12, corner of Bay and Holly streets
This series is a staple of Bellingham summers that features excellent music and a lively community scene every Wednesday at the corner of Bay and Holly streets. The headliner this week is the Latin/funk/Afrobeat stew of Seattle’s Reposado, but make sure to arrive right on time to catch the tropical pop of local openers The Cosmic Neighborhood, starting at 6 p.m. 

Each week after the show, you can also head to Boundary Bay for the After Sounds party, featuring a new hip-hop lineup each week curated by Black Noise Records. This week’s edition of After Sounds doubles as a release party for the new EP by the Rhetorician.

I was both thrilled and surprised to see that Nora Brown is coming to town to play Thursday, July 13, at Boundary. This teenage banjo player and singer from New York City performs old-time Appalachian music with startling intensity and emotional depth. She’s part of a folk triple-bill with Chris Acker and Izaak Opatz. Info:


Friday, July 7

  • Admiralty Lounge: 8:30 p.m., Havilah Rand (singer-songwriter)
  • Aslan: 8 p.m., BJ Block Trio (jazz/funk)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Fender Bender
  • Bellewood Acres: 6 p.m., Queen’s Bluegrass
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Ben Dyleuth, Collins Beach, Tuesday’s Refuge (indie rock)
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Hopnotic (funk/jazz)
  • Burlington Summer Nights: 6 p.m., Troy Fair Band (country/rock)
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Michael Dayvid (acoustic covers)
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Carr Parker
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., North Country Highway (country/rock)
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6 p.m., Aloha Danny (folk)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Tim Mechling, Hannah Wyatt, Jack Mattingly, Pete Ruble (singer-songwriters)
  • Karate Church: 8 p.m., Blankslate, Where’s the Exit?, Worms In Dirt (indie rock)
  • Main Street: 8 p.m., Checker Bloom, Full Color Dream (rock)
  • Pioneer Park (Ferndale): 6 p.m., The Mighty Bayou Opossums (music of Louisiana)
  • Seafarer’s Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Chris Eger Band (blues/rock)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Cortege, Twin Void, Slag Hive (metal)
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., The Pontunes (folk/rock/jazz)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., High Mountain String Band (bluegrass)
  • That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Badd Dogg Blues
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Nick Vigarino (blues)
  • Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Queen Mother (Queen tribute)
  • WinkWink: 7 p.m., LipStitch, Old Town Scouts (rock)

Saturday, July 8

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Chris Eger Band
  • Beach Store Cafe: 5:30 p.m., Swing 48
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Crimson Skye
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Knowmads, Marshall Law Band, Dank Zavala, more (hip-hop)
  • Boundary: 8 p.m., Cat Valley, Oliver Elf Army, Fortress of the Bear (rock)
  • Buxton’s: 7 p.m., Collins Beach, Checker Bloom (rock)
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Turn Key Runner
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Kevin Helgeson Band (rock)
  • Fireside: 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Jay Irwin and The GP Sunsets (folk/rock)
  • Heart of Anacortes: 6 p.m., Mama Dirty Skirt (classic rock/R&B)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Jacob Seyer (acoustic guitar virtuoso)
  • Karate Church: 8 p.m., Fotoform, Halou, Night Skye (rock)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 7 p.m., Mighty Bayou Opossums; 8:30 p.m., Petunia and The Vipers (honky-tonk)
  • Main Street: 8 p.m., The Takers (classic rock)
  • Make.Shift: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 8 p.m., Artful Dodgers (country/rockabilly)
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Suze Sims Presents La Roca Boom
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
  • Station 49: 4 p.m., The Replayzmentz (classic rock)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Whiskey River Mudflats
  • Swinomish Casino: 8 p.m., Zepparella (Led Zeppelin tribute)
  • Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Dial Up (alternative rock covers)

Sunday, July 9

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Shannanigans (classic rock)
  • Bellingham Cider: 6:30 p.m., Andy Bunn and Friends (bluegrass/folk)
  • Birdsview: 3 p.m., Undecided
  • Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., Fantasy Band
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Brent & Janet Dodd (folk)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 3 p.m., Red Sky Riders (bluegrass/folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., Jenny and The Tomcats
  • Station 49: 3 p.m., Jeffrey Slough (acoustic covers)

Monday, July 10

  • Blue Room: 7 p.m., Bret Jensen’s Acoustic Jazztet
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Dr. Jimmy and The Swing Time Serenaders (big band)
  • Kulshan: 6 p.m., Crimson Skye (psychedelic soul)
  • Wild Buffalo: 8:30 p.m., Powerman 5000, Julien K (rock)

Tuesday, July 11

  • Archer: 7 p.m., The Piper’s Despair (Irish folk)
  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
  • Beach Cat: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • 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: 6:30 p.m., Old Time Fiddle Jam
  • Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam
  • Zeeks: 6:30 p.m., Simon Evans, 3Ohs

Wednesday, July 12 

  • Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Kevin Woods & Roger Yamashita (jazz)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Open Mic/Jam
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano; 9 p.m., After Sounds featuring Yonny, Slap Serif and The
  • Rhetorician, DJ Spel Chek (hip-hop)
  • Downtown Sounds: 6 p.m., Reposado, The Cosmic Neighborhood
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
  • Rockfish: 6 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Seafarer’s Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Herding Kats
  • Shakedown: 8 p.m., Telekinetic Yeti, Stinking Lizaveta, Somnuri
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., James Coates (singer-songwriter)

Thursday, July 13

  • Barkley Village Green: 11 a.m., Odd Mood Jam Band
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio
  • Blue Room: 8 p.m., Mad King, Smithers, Floodlights and Fools (rock)
  • Boundary: 5 p.m., The Wandering Seas; 8 p.m., Chris Acker, Izaak Opatz, Nora Brown
  • Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
  • Corner Taphouse (Fairhaven): 6 p.m., Jupiter’s Trail
  • Eagle Haven: 6 p.m., Curtis Moore (rock/country)
  • Elizabeth Park: 6 p.m., Sweet Goodbyes (folk)
  • Farmstrong: 6 p.m., Sweetwood
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Kevin Murphy, Louis Ledford, Norah McGlaughlin
  • Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., Jasmine Greene Band (rock/blues/pop)
  • Kulshan Trackside: 6 p.m., Cardova; 7:30 p.m., Ebb, Slack, and Flood
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Leo Kottke (acoustic guitar wizardry)
  • Mount Vernon Riverwalk: 6 p.m., The Atlantics (classic rock and roll)
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Karl Blau, The Gift Machine, Anna Arvan
  • Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
  • That’s What I Like: 6 p.m., J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
  • Zeeks: 8 p.m., BJ Block Trio (jazz/ funk)

Friday, July 14

  • Aslan: 8 p.m., Brittany Collins Band (folk/rock)
  • Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., One Million Years BC
  • Bellewood Farms: 6 p.m., Prozac Mtn Boys (bluegrass)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Free Harmony
  • Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
  • Blue Room: 9 p.m., Sweetwood, Dead End Rhythm Section
  • Boundary: 6 p.m., Cozmic Sauce; 9 p.m., Yogoman Burning Band
  • Burlington Summer Nights: 6 p.m., Wes Jones Band (Americana)
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Pension King and the Dependents
  • Fireside: 7 p.m., Young Kidz
  • Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., Karl Blau Band, Jacob Navarro
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Paige Woods (singer-songwriter)
  • Lake Padden Golf Course: 5:30 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Robert Cray Band (blues)
  • NW Tune-Up Festival: 3 p.m., Harbor Day; 3:50 p.m., Hot Damn Scandal; 4:40 p.m., Shana Cleveland; 5:30 p.m., True Loves; 6:20 p.m., Fleetmac Wood; 7:25 p.m., Snotty Nose Rez Kids; 8:25 p.m., Grateful Shred; 9:45 p.m., STRFKR
  • Seafarer’s Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Free Rain
  • Schweinhaus: 6 p.m., Brittany Collins Band
  • Shakedown: 9 p.m., Drouth, Isenordal, MEM//BRANE (black metal)
  • Skagit Cellars: 5 p.m., Mike Hopkins
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Ryan Sandholm (acoustic covers)
  • That’s What I Like: 7 p.m., Badd Dogg Blues
  • Valley Taphouse: 7 p.m., Odd Mood Jam Band
  • Vault: 7 p.m., Jani Templeton (jazz)

Saturday, July 15

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Blind Fate (classic rock)
  • Birdsview: 6 p.m., Sandy Rowe
  • Boundary: 3 p.m., Bellingham Festival of Music Brass Quintet
  • Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., The Low Hums
  • Causland Park (Anacortes): Noon to 6:30 p.m., Shipwreck Music Festival ft. Enduro, Gift Machine, UR Girls, Sword Fearn, The Combo, Karl Blau, Fanny Alger
  • Conway Muse: 8 p.m., French Quarter Cabaret & Burlesque
  • Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Petty Thief (Tom Petty tribute)
  • Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
  • Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Kindred Spirits
  • Heart of Anacortes: 6 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
  • Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Phillip Hofmann Song Swap
  • Karate Church: 8 p.m., Candle Power, Nora Kelly Band, Fog Bodies
  • Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Greg Koch and the Koch/Marshall Trio (blues)
  • Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Human Musik, Soundfrom, Telltale Ballroom, SpaceyY, Worldwide Levitation, Pure Halcyon
  • NW Tune Up Festival: 3 p.m., Niko Haley; 3:50 p.m., Silk Jammies; 4:40 p.m., Smooth Kiwi; 5:30 p.m., Say Sue Me; 6:20 p.m., Travis Thompson; 7:20 p.m., Easy Star All-Stars; 8:30 p.m., Mereba; 9:45 p.m., The Crystal Method
  • Paws for a Beer: 4 p.m., Michael Dayvid
  • Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Nick Vigarino
  • Skylark’s: 5 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady Band
  • Silver Reef Casino: 8 p.m., Great White, Quiet Riot (hard rock)
  • Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Anissa & Erik

Sunday, July 16

  • Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Cory Vincent Electric Band
  • Birdsview: 5 p.m., Dead Lee
  • Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., BroHamM
  • Greene’s Corner: 5:30 p.m., Simon Evans
  • Kulshan: 5 p.m., Katie & Kevin (folk)
  • Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
  • NW Tune Up Festival: 3 p.m., Rozzi; 3:50 p.m., Cytrus; 4:40 p.m., Rayland Baxter; 5:30 p.m., The Brothers Comatose; 6:20 p.m., Moontricks; 7:30 p.m., The Floozies; 8:40 p.m., Galactic feat. Anjelika “Jelly” Joseph
  • Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Bow Diddlers

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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