The Beat Goes On

From hip-hop to film, The Rhetorician keeps evolving

Jordan Moss is a Renaissance man
July 11, 2023 at 5:00 a.m.
Jordan Moss — also known as The Rhetorician — has unleashed an outpouring of musical and visual creativity since moving to Bellingham in 2018. In addition to immersing himself in the local hop-hop scene, he's also branched out into filmmaking and music production.
Jordan Moss — also known as The Rhetorician — has unleashed an outpouring of musical and visual creativity since moving to Bellingham in 2018. In addition to immersing himself in the local hop-hop scene, he's also branched out into filmmaking and music production. (Photo courtesy of Madison Bay)

CDN Contributor

Over the past few years Jordan Moss — better known to the music community as The Rhetorician — has been unleashing a massive outpouring of musical and visual creativity. 

Since moving to Bellingham in 2018, he distinguished himself in the local hip-hop scene with boundless inventiveness and lyrical skill, and proceeded to branch out into filmmaking and music production. Having just released an EP and a short film, he’s still got a couple more albums ready to go throughout the year.  

The new EP is called “Soup Budget,” and it represents his debut as a producer. The EP’s five tracks oddly don’t have a lot of drum beats, mostly surrounding his vocals with spacey guitars, horns and sound effects. That makes it much more atmospheric than some of his more hard-hitting, earlier work — but no less fascinating. 

If you prefer a slightly more traditional hip-hop sound, check out “Fluid Associates,” his great LP from last year made with producer Slap Serif. Although Moss’s influences lean toward old-school classics like J Dilla, Wu-Tang, and A Tribe Called Quest, his style doesn’t feel nostalgic at all, more like he’s mining the past to get ideas for the future. You can celebrate the new EP with him Wednesday, July 12, at the Boundary Bay beer garden, where he’ll be performing as part of the After Sounds series organized by Black Noise Records.

His most recent short film is “The Descendant of Zack Taylor Vol. 3,” and it’s the final piece in a trilogy where he stars as a sci-fi/martial arts hero inspired by the namesake Black Power Ranger. To make these films, he has worked with an all-star crew of local filmmakers, actors and musicians. “Volume 3” will be making the rounds of some regional film festivals before a full online release. If you haven’t already, check out the earlier installments now on his YouTube channel, so you’re up on the story. 

Coming up, Moss has an album featuring a full live band known as the Duper Humans, and another one with beats by Seattle producer Poison Jams. He will also be continuing to make films, with stories already plotted out that will show the Black Ranger meeting up with the members of his band. 

When I checked in with Moss recently, he mentioned that one of his ambitions is to create something entirely unique. Or, as he put it, “to become a one of one.” I’d say he’s well on his way to that, and I can’t wait to see what he comes up with next.

The big event this weekend is the NW Tune-Up Festival. For a preview of that, you can check my column from last week. A few festivals coming up also feature music.

The Shipwreck Festival in Anacortes on Saturday, July 15 features a stage of music in Causland Park curated by the Anacortes Music Project. Highlights include Enduro, Fanny Alger, and Karl Blau. 

Saturday, July 22 is the Sunnyland Stomp. It’s harder to plan ahead, but if you wander around the Sunnyland neighborhood that afternoon, you will typically find all sorts of performances happening in backyards and on front porches. 

An intriguing new festival is also coming up at the end of the month at Lookout Arts Quarry. That Devil Music, happening July 28–29, is an interesting combination of genres and scenes. The festival features metal from bands like Melancholia and Dryland, “circus music” from groups such as Three for Silver and Hot Damn Scandal, and burlesque performances. 

The new location of Structures Brewing has started having live music. They’re at 601 W. Holly St. and they’ve got a Tune-Up Festival afterparty planned for the night of July 16, plus GrooveBot on July 20. They’re also going to have DJs every Wednesday after Downtown Sounds. (Going forward, this will be in the online calendar as “Old Town Structures.”) 

Speaking of afterparties, the Wild Buffalo is getting in on that action, with Miles Harris and the Deep Cuts going on at 9 p.m. after every Downtown Sounds for some funk and soul with an emphasis on Harris’s originals. There’s no cover, but plan on making a donation to the musicians. (Honestly, this is just good practice anytime you see that an event has no cover.)


Yogoman Burning Band
9 p.m. Friday, July 14, Boundary Bay Brewery, 1107 Railroad Ave. 
The Yogoman Burning Band makes its big annual return from East Texas back to Boundary Bay’s beer garden, giving old and new fans alike a chance to groove to their blend of reggae, dub and New Orleans R&B. Jordan Rain (Yogoman) has been making music in Bellingham for decades, and his music is sure to get you dancing. Info:

Big Head Todd, Blues Traveler
8 p.m. Monday, July 17, Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St. 
I’m a little surprised to see that, as of this writing, there are still tickets available for the double bill of Big Head Todd and Blues Traveler at the Mount Baker Theatre. Fans of either band should make sure to snap those up, as this is a lineup you’re not likely to see again in the near future. Info:

Supercrush, Dogbreth
8 p.m. Thursday, July 20, Make.Shift, 306 Flora St. 
Make.Shift Art Space has a great lineup of power pop, highlighted by Seattle’s Supercrush and Dogbreth all the way from Phoenix. If you like your loud guitars paired with catchy melodies, don’t miss it. Info:


Friday, July 14 

• Aslan: 7 p.m., Swing Connection (big band jazz)
• 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 (classic rock/folk)
• Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
• Blue Room: 9 p.m., Sweetwood, Dead End Rhythm Section (rock)
• 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., JP Falcon Grady (acoustic covers)
• 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
• Seafarers' Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Free Rain
• Schweinhaus: 6 p.m., Brittany Collins Band (folk/rock)
• 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 (rock/blues/jam)
• Vault: 7 p.m., Jani Templeton (jazz)
• Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., NW Tune-Up Afterparty ft. Fleetmac Wood, Will Sprott

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): 12–6:30 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 and Burlesque
• Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Petty Thief (Tom Petty tribute)
• Fireside: 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
• Glenhaven Clubhouse: 2 p.m., Bilongo (Latin jazz)
• Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Kindred Spirits
• Gruff: Smooth Kiwi (their psychedelic rock music will start after NW Tune-Up festival finishes)
• Heart of Anacortes: 6 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
• Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Phillip Hofmann’s Song Swap (singer-songwriters in the round)
• 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)
• Main Street: 8 p.m., Little Big Band (classic/Southern rock)
• Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Human Musik, Soundfrom, Telltale Ballroom, SpaceyY, Worldwide Levitation, Pure Halcyon (rock/experimental)
• 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 (blues)
• Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Disaster Queen, Late Night Shine, Done to Death (rock)
• Semiahmoo: 4 p.m., Jordyn Johnson
• Skylark’s: 5 p.m., J.P. Falcon Grady Band
• Silver Reef Casino: 8 p.m., Great White, Quiet Riot (hard rock)
• Station 49: 2 p.m., The Penny Stinkers
• Stones Throw: 6 p.m., Anissa & Erik
• Thirsty Badger: 8 p.m., Lost at Last
• Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., The Sweet Goodbyes (folk)

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 (soul/R&B)
• 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
• Old Town Structures: 9 p.m., Moontricks, Cytrus (NW Tune-Up afterparty)
• Station 49: 3 p.m., Michael Dayvid

Monday, July 17 

• Blue Room: 7 p.m., The Problem (jazz)
• Boundary: 6 p.m., Dr. Jimmy and The Swing Time Serenaders (big band)
• Kulshan: 6 p.m., Rose Gerber (folk)
• Mount Baker Theatre: 8 p.m., Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd and the Monsters

Tuesday, July 18

• Archer: 7 p.m., The Piper’s Despair (Irish folk)
• Aslan: 8 p.m., Jazz Night
• Barkley Village Green: 6 p.m., Pacific Twang (country)
• 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
• Horseshoe Cafe: 9 p.m., Michael Dayvid
• Lincoln Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Albert Lee (blues/country guitar virtuoso)
• Menace: 7 p.m., Invitational Blues Jam

Wednesday, July 19

• Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Bellingham Youth Jazz Band
• Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m., Open Mic/Jam
• Boundary: 6 p.m., Aaron Guest on piano; 9 p.m., After Sounds featuring S.Tone, Estimate, OG Neeks (hip-hop)
• Downtown Sounds (Bellingham): 6 p.m. North Sound Soul; 7:30 p.m., Five Alarm Funk
• Greene’s Corner: 6 p.m., Karaj Lost Coast
• Guemes Island General Store: 5:30 p.m., Ben Starner on piano
• Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Open Mic
• Rockfish: 6 p.m., Trish Hatley (jazz)
• Seafarers’ Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., Cascadia Groove
• Shakedown: 8 p.m., Volores, guests
• Stones Throw: 6 p.m. Free Harmony (classic folk/rock)
• Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., Miles Harris and the Deep Cuts (funk/soul)

Thursday, July 20 

• Barkley Village Green: 11 a.m., Free Harmony
• Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., High Peak Trio
• Blue Room: 8 p.m., Hippies with Money, Cuttlefish, HoneyWeather
• Boundary: 5 p.m., Robert Sarazin Blake and The Happy Hour Band; 8 p.m., North Country Highway, Jourdan Thibodeaux
• Brown Lantern: 8:30 p.m., Open Mic
• Corner Taphouse (Fairhaven): 6 p.m., Whitewing Duo
• Elizabeth Park: 6 p.m., The Atlantics
• Hotel Bellwether: 6 p.m., SpaceBand (hip hop/R&B covers)
• Kulshan Trackside: 6 p.m., Madam Monarch, 7:30 p.m., LipStitch
• Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Dogbreth, Supercrush, Yomiori, Cat Positive
• Mount Vernon Riverwalk: 6 p.m., The Enthusiasts
• Old Town Structures: 6:30 p.m., GrooveBot
• Thirsty Badger: 7 p.m., Open Mic
• That’s What I Like: 6 p.m, J.P. Falcon and Friends (folk/rock)
• Wild Buffalo: 7:30 p.m., Bellingham Idol
• Zeeks: 8 p.m., BeatRoots (alternative rock covers)

Friday, July 21

• Bar Cicotti: 6 p.m., Tea Seas Trio ft. Jan Peters (funk/jazz/boogaloo)
• Beach at Birch Bay: 6 p.m. Little Big Band (classic/Southern rock)
• Bellewood Farms: 6 p.m., Handsome and Gretyl
• Birdsview: 6 p.m., Trick Myers
• Bistro at Shuksan: 5 p.m., Julian MacDonough Jazz Quartet
• Boulevard Park: 6 p.m., Baby Cakes (R&B/pop covers)
• Boundary: 6 p.m., Tracy Spring (singer-songwriter)
• Brown Lantern: 9 p.m., The Pine Hearts
• Burlington Summer Nights: 6 p.m., Stacey Jones Band (roots rock/blues)
• Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Enchantrix
• Fireside: 7 p.m., Jeffrey Slough and Friends
• Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Tad Kroening (singer-songwriter)
• Make.Shift: 8 p.m., Ceras, The Wyrds, guests
• Mount Baker Theatre: 7:30 p.m., Steve Earle (country/Americana)
• Seafarers’ Memorial Park (Anacortes): 6 p.m., The Davanos
• Shakedown: 8:30 p.m., Cat Valley, Gloomy June, Party Nails, Hockey Teeth (rock)
• Skagit Cellars: 5 p.m., Daniel Pellegrini
• Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Steve Webb & The Great Mad Swirl (folk/rock)
• Station 49: 7 p.m., Matt Farris (country)
• That’s What I Like: 7 p.m, Leo Bootes (blues)
• Vault: 7 p.m., Double Trouble

Saturday, July 22

• Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., SpaceBand (R&B/hip-hop covers)
• Birdsview: 6 p.m., Curtis Moore
• Blue Room: 7 p.m., Lewie (hip-hop)
• Centennial Riverwalk Park (Ferndale): 2 p.m., J.P. Falcon; 3:15 p.m., Uncle Doug; 4 p.m., The Shannanigans; 7 p.m., Antishock
• Conway Muse: 8 p.m., Stardrums & Lady Keys
• Eagle Haven: 7 p.m., Brittany Collins Band
• Fireside 4 p.m., Singers’ Saturday
Guemes Island General Store: 6:30 p.m., Clinton Fearon and the Boogie Brown Band (reggae)
• Heart of Anacortes: 6 p.m., The Fabulous Roof Shakers (vintage rhythm and blues)
• Honey Moon: 8 p.m., Tenderpile’s Smile Aisle (jazz)
• Kulshan: 4 p.m., Cuttlefish (part of Sunnyland Stomp)
• Kulshan Trackside: 7 p.m., Sleepy Alligators (Grateful Dead tribute); 8:30 p.m., Sanoma (surf/garage/cinematic)
• Main Street: 8:30 p.m., Neon Shadows (’80s pop and rock covers)
• Rockfish: 7:30 p.m., Savage Blues Band
• Shakedown: 8:30 p.m, Adolescents, The Dollyrots, Dog Party, Crazy & The Brains (punk)
• Skylark’s: 5 p.m., Into the West (American roots)
• Station 49: 7 p.m., Matt Farris (country)
• Stones Throw: 6 p.m., David Donohue (singer-songwriter)
• Swinomish Casino: 2 p.m., Midlife Crisis and the Alimony Horns; 4 p.m., Time Machine Radio; 6 p.m., Darin Jones & The Last Men Standing
• Zeeks: 7:30 p.m., The Naughty Blokes (rock)

Sunday, July 23 

• Beach at Birch Bay: 3 p.m., Replayzmentz (classic rock)
• Bellingham Cider Co: 6:30 p.m., Lindsay Street (Celtic)
• Gilkey Square (La Conner): 1 p.m., Chris Eger Band (blues/rock)
• Kulshan: 5 p.m., Cardova (R&B/soul)
• Kulshan Trackside: 3 p.m., Jack Dwyer & Bobby Winstead (bluegrass/folk)
• Main Street: 6 p.m., Open Mic
• Old Edison: 5:30 p.m., The Atlantics
• Wild Buffalo: 9 p.m., INVT, Pax, Cables (“pan-Latino bass”)

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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