Sounds Spotlight: Kickstart Law

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Sam Sunderland is highlighting proud sponsor Kickstart Law.


Kickstart Law is a Bellingham-based law firm dedicated to providing the most practical and affordable legal advice to small business owners and startups in Washington State and British Columbia.  Dedicated to giving customers the most bang for their buck, Kickstart bases its fees on the value its services add to your business.

With two office locations on either side of the border, Kickstart Law also specializes in cross-border business advice to those in the U.S and Canada. Utilizing “Cloud” software, Kickstart allows clients to access their files and communicate with staff via their online legal services.

Follow them on Facebook and visit Kickstart Law today in the Herald Building at 1155 North State Street.

Sounds Spotlight: Wild Buffalo

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Sam Sunderland is highlighting proud sponsor the Wild Buffalo House of Music.
Delhi 2 Dublin - Wild Buffalo Bellingham 277rThe Wild Buffalo House of Music, located in the heart of downtown at 208 W Holly, has been bringing the people of Bellingham what they want since 1998: music! This summer, the stage at the Wild Buffalo will host its fair share of talented acts like Mia Dyson on July 17, Bubba Sparxxx on July 26, the Soul Rebels and Snug Harbor on August 2, Gregory Alan Isakov on August 3, and Soulja Boy on August 11, just to name a few! For the full list check out the Buffalo’s calendar here.

Wild Out Wednesday will also continue through the summer with reggae, hip hop and dubstep music, every Wednesday featuring the Blessed Coast Soundsystem. Students macklemore-the-town-live-at-theget in for free with student ID before 10:30 p.m., after that the cover is $3. So head over to the Wild Buffalo and dance your heart out this summer to some of the best live music in Bellingham.

Follow the Wild Buffalo on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

(The Wild Buffalo is a 21+ establishment)

Interview with The Prime Time Band

This week’s interview is written by our intern, Sam Sunderland. Sam’s a student at Western Washington University studying Journalism. 

PrimeTimeBandHeadlining the second concert of the Downtown Sounds concert series is The Prime Time Band with opening act The Austerman File. If you’ve been yearning for some melodic doo-boppers to serenade you with soul music on a summer night, or have heard a lot of jazz over the The Prime Time Band, this Wednesday is your last opportunity to see them live in concert. I repeat, THIS IS THE PRIME TIME BAND’S LAST SHOW! So it’s now or never folks, come join us this Wednesday at 6 p.m. for free music, Boundary Bay beer and the tastiest local food vendors. Bring your friends, water and sunscreen – it’s going to be a scorcher! Funk, reggae and blues band Austerman File is on at 6 p.m., then The Prime Time Band takes the stage after 7 p.m. in the 1300 block of Bay Street. I interviewed Jonathan Gipaya of The Prime Time Band to chat about their band, history, and inspirations.

What has been your favorite show to perform at so far?

My favorite show so far was actually the 2012 Downtown Sounds show. It’s great seeing Bellingham get down to some of our music and it’s great that it was available to the public. We had a great turnout and response and we’re hoping it’s the same or even better for this year’s show. My band loved that show, but I’ll also include our Stevie Wonder tribute, our Michael Jackson tribute and our last show at the Wild Buffalo.

Who are your favorite artists to cover?

Our favorite artists to cover are Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, and Allen Stone. Just to name a few!

Is it true your last show together is at Downtown Sounds, what will happen after for you all?

Yes, it’s true. We’ve been together for almost 4 years now and it has been quite the journey. I don’t even consider us a band anymore. We’re family. Knowing that we’re family, we’ll always keep in touch and in some form or another, I’m sure we’ll continue to play music together in different groups, but not as The Prime Time Band anymore. We’ve gone separate ways and have moved to different parts of the state as well as the country. Most of us have graduated from WWU and are pursuing careers in music, acting, photography, etc.

Favorite place to eat in Bellingham?

Oh man. I think the restaurant we’ve eaten at the most as a band is Bayou on Bay. Can’t beat their soul food, especially when we’re performing soul music later that night down the street at the Wild Buffalo. We love grabbing beers at Boundary Bay and will get Pel Meni’s after shows too.

Who are you listening to right now?

I’m a fan of the classics. I will always listen to Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Earth Wind and Fire, Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Amy Winehouse. Someone I will continue to listen and study is the music of Quincy Jones, my musical hero. But I also enjoy some newer, younger musicians on the scene too. A couple of my favorite that I’m listening to are Allen Stone, Emily King, Justin Timberlake, Ben L’oncle Soul, just to name a few.

Al Green or Marvin Gaye?

Oh no you didn’t ask me this question! I love both artists. They are both geniuses in their own right. Marvin has one of the smoothest voices ever. I’ve been a huge fan of his music since an early age. He definitely has his classics beginning at his early career with Motown and all the way throughout his career. But I’m going to go with Al Green. I have a history of listening to Al Green’s entire anthology with my Dad and my brother (who’s one of the singers in The Prime Time Band). I have fond memories of long road trips listening to the soulful Al Green and singing along to songs such as: “Let’s Stay Together,” “Love and Happiness,” “Belle,” “Take Me to the River.” Both are legendary musicians, but it’s also about the memories you create from listening to their songs.

Make sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter, and to check out their promo video for Downtown Sounds!

Sounds Spotlight: Logos Bible Software

LogosverticalWe would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Sam Sunderland is highlighting proud sponsor Logos Bible Software.

Headquartered in the heart of Bellingham, Logos Bible Software has been creating electronically accessible Bible study tools and resources since 1992. Logos, residing in 5 buildings in downtown Bellingham, proudly holds the title as the world’s leading producer of Bible software.

Logos has inventively created Christian-oriented products for modernly inclined users, such as mobile phone applications, electronic reading applications and a community website for connecting Christians called Logos employs more than 360 Faithlife Logopeople in the Bellingham area, as well as employing many in their satellite office in Tempe, AZ. Provided with an on-site bike shop, music center, and cafe-grade espresso machines, their employees are known for having fun. This past January Logos was named by Glassdoor as the Best Medium-Sized company to work for.

Support our sponsors Logos and follow them: Facebook | Twitter 

Sounds Spotlight: Rocket Donuts

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor Rocket Donuts.

rocketdonutslogoRocket Donuts is a locally-owned bakery with locations in downtown Bellingham and Fairhaven. Out-of-this-world donuts are a huge draw for this one-of-a-kind shop, but Rocket Donuts also offers delicious muffins, cinnamon rolls, hot and fresh coffee, quiches, and more.

Donuts and other foods are handmade daily, so every bite is fresh and delicious. ACME ice cream is also a favorite at Rocket, made with no added air for a thick cream donutswith a rich taste, and is a perfect partner for any pastry Rocket has to offer. Try their
traditional flavors like vanilla bean or locally-grown strawberry or go for fun flavors like banana walnut or “zab” – a custardy-flavored original.

Themed with sci-fi memorabilia from the ‘50s and ‘60s, this fun spot makes visits memorable for families and friends.

Learn more about Rocket Donuts and what they offer on their website and on Facebook.

Sounds Spotlight: Judd & Black

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor Judd & Black.

juddWith six locations around the northwest corner of Washington state, Judd & Black is a go-to appliance store for anyone in the region looking to purchase or fix an appliance. Visit their locations in Bellingham, Mount Vernon, Marysville, Everett and Lynnwood (including an additional liquidation center in Everett).

Judd & Black has been a family-owned and operated business since it began in 1940. With over three generations of experience, Judd & Black is unmatched by any other appliance store in the area.

Thinking about summertime? You might want to check out the grills at Judd & Black. Gas, charcoal and electric grills are all available and ready to help you get your barbecue on!

Follow them on Facebook.

Sounds Spotlight: Bayou on Bay

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor Bayou on Bay. 

Bayou LogoBayou on Bay is sponsoring our talent for the July 9 show, headlinders MarchFourth Marching Band! Located right on the corner of the 1300 block of Bay Street–right next to Downtown Sounds–Bayou is a huge part of the event. We couldn’t do it without them!

Bayou on Bay has a Cajun flair and offers items like jambalaya and gumbo alongside fun food specials like “battle of the (slow-smoked) brisket.” Pick up an alligator skewer or grab a pint of one of the rotating on-tap beer specials.BayouPork

As of June 17, Bayou on Bay’s brand-new sister establishment Rock and Rye Oyster House is open as well! Located on the first floor of the Herald building at 1145 North State Street, Rock and Rye offers everything from champagne-poached salmon to BayouDrinkthe house pork belly with brown sugar and pineapple.

In the mood for some fresh oysters? What better place to go to than Rock and Rye, which has a variety of raw and grilled oyster dishes.

Bayou on Bay and Rock and Rye are huge supporters of not just Downtown Sounds, but of the Partnership in general. We love them so much–help us show them some love by dining at these restaurants today (and tomorrow, and the next day…).

Interview with March Fourth Marching Band!

Today is the first day of the 2014 Downtown Sounds summer concert series, and we’re starting with a bang. Our intern Sam Sunderland interviewed March Fourth Marching Band and got the scoop on their band history, favorite shows, and why they’ve played in their underwear.

MarchFourth Marching Band, Br’er Rabbit and the Galactic Cirque Troupe kick off the 10th annual Downtown Sounds on July 9 on the 1300 block of Bay Street downtown. If you love some good old Folk-Stomp Americana music, you will have a blast during Br’er Rabbit’s performance. If you’re wondering “What the heck is Folk-Stomp Americana music?” trust me, you will still have a blast. Once you’ve gotten the hang of stompin’, stay tuned for the Galactic Cirque Troupe’s mesmerizing dancing and hooping routine, where after you might be inclined to pick up your son’s or daughter’s hula hoop and give it a whirl. Next up the electrifying and never dull, MarchFourth Marching Band will take the stage for the second half of the show with their impressive theatrics and eccentric costumes! Read their interview below, then come join us for Downtown Sounds for beer, food and live music. Did I mention it’s free? Doors open at 5:30, Br’er Rabbit takes the stage at 6 p.m., see you then!

John of March Fourth Marching Band on past and future endeavors and why you may have seen them in their skivvies before

Q: M4 has had a pretty busy June, what are your plans for the rest20130304_March_Fourth_D3C1700_flat_2000px (1) of the summer?

A: Staying busy.  We only have a few days off between July 3 and Aug 10.  A ridiculous amount of our yearly income will be generated during that time, so we can’t afford to not work our butts off.

Q: M4 has performed with some pretty legendary acts, who has been your favorite performer to work with?

A: I think having (legendary New Orleans clarinetist) Charlie Gabriel solo on our last album was probably the most amazing collaboration I’ve experienced.  As far as live shows, we recently had LA saxophone ace Scott Page (Pink Floyd, Supertramp) join us on stage at the Echoplex, and he played some crazy stuff.  The thing in our old bio that says we played with Kiss and No Doubt was just early PR hype; I mean, we played before them, out in the crowd, and I have little doubt (!) that those bands probably didn’t know we were even there!

Q:  This year marks your 11th year together as a band, how does that feel?

A: Well, it just feels weird to me, in many ways.  For one, there are only 4 of us remaining from the original band, which means that most of the people playing with us now have joined the band within the last few years.  So, it’s really a new band, but it’s a better band and I’m grateful for that.  Another weird thing is that after 11 years we’re still living hand-to-mouth in a sense, meaning that we haven’t had our “big breakthrough” moment yet.  I was hoping that moment would have come years ago, so in the meantime we will continue to grind it out on the road in order make some kind of living.

Q: Out of all the festivals you’ve performed at, what has been your favorite? Why?

A: High Sierra Music Festival is one of our long-running favorites.  The most epic music festival in terms of the quality of lineup and unique location is Jam Cruise.  We appreciate music festivals where the emphasis is on live bands, as opposed to the electronic music festivals that feature live music as some kind of side show.

Q: What is the best part of performing live music?

A: It just feels good.  I love music, playing music with other people, and sharing that with people.  With M4 no two shows are ever identical, so as an art form we’re really creating a moment with the audience.  This band in particular is interesting because there are so many moving parts.  As the bass player it’s my job to glue the groove together, and it’s really challenging to do that sometimes with 5 drummers (instead of one kit player) trying to lock in together and then lock in with 7 horn players.  There’s no “phoning it in” for me onstage: I really have to be paying attention all the time because the grooves shift around sometimes and I have to figure out if my note should be on the beat, or behind it, or pushing it.  To be in the rhythm section in M4 means that you have to keep moving, because that’s where you find the pulse of the groove.  There’s no standing around.

Q:  What is the most memorable costume you all have worn?

A: Probably the two times we played in our underwear.  The first time was in NYC in 2007 on our first national tour playing at the Rubulad (a filthy, packed underground party loft with no AC).  It was just gross, but we were dying in there.  The second time was in Bellingham in 2010 at the Wild Buffalo (I have no idea why it was so hot in there that night).  Otherwise, as far as real costumes go it’s all a blur of multi-colored marching band jackets, crazy hats, epaulettes, stripy tights, sequins, feathers and God-knows-what.  It has been 11 years, you know…

Sounds Spotlight: Spark Museum of Electrical Invention

We would not be able to put on Downtown Sounds if it wasn’t for the support of our sponsors. Today, our intern Emily Willeman is highlighting proud sponsor Spark Museum of Electrical Invention. 

Spark Museum is the only place in Bellingham – maybe even in the Spark LogoUnited States – where lightning strikes a few times every day. Focused on science and the history and power of electricity, Spark contains rare and amazing artifacts ranging from the earliest electrical experiments in the 1600’s to the 1940’s and golden age of radio.

Along with six galleries full of electrical artifacts, Spark is famous for its nine-foot-tall “MegaZapper”–Tesla coils which create bursts of lightning-like electricity–and other interactive fun. Spark Megazapperalso offers all sorts of summertime fun with their kid-focused workshops that include topics like bit circuits and robotics.

Along with Boundary Bay, Spark is sponsoring this year’s beer garden at Sounds. But don’t wait until then to say hi–Spark is over on Bay St. and is open Wednesday-Sunday from 11am to 5pm. Grab the whole family for a one-of-a-kind experience.

View their page on Facebook.

Sounds Spotlight: Boundary Bay Brewery


I love Boundary Bay, and I’ll always have a soft spot for them. You walk in, and you feel like you’re being invited inside someone’s living room. One of our board members, Casey Diggs, serves as their Operations Manager, and he invited me to Boundary for a meeting. Before I could sit down, he offered me a beer and something to eat. That’s Boundary in a nutshell–taking care of people like they’re family. They’ve been doing that since 1995, and having recently expanded their taproom, they aren’t going anywhere.

Boundary’s award-winning beer comes in such a large variety, even the rare few who don’t like beer are sure to find something to enjoy. My personal favorite? The Amber Ale, but I almost always get a sampler because they all are so wonderful.BoundarySampler Good beer needs to be accompanied with good food, and Boundary’s got that in spades with yam alechiladas, the meatloaf sandwich, and mac & cheese (best with sriracha and bacon IMO).

Boundary is one of the sponsors of this year’s beer garden, and we couldn’t be happier to be pouring some of Bellingham’s finest. Visit them today for one of their many summer events in the beer garden, or to just kick back with the whole family to enjoy Bellingham’s living room.

Follow them here: Facebook | Twitter