Let’s take a look back at last week’s SCENE cover story on the Yakima AppleJam Battle of the Bands. Hmm, what does it say? Oh yeah, here it is: “The favorites may be The Finger Guns, a professional punk-leaning outfit out of Seattle. Or maybe it’s Bad Habit, the reigning deans of Yakima punk rock, and their reggae-slanted sound.”
Guess what, reader: Those were in fact the winners. The Finger Guns took home $500 for best performance, and Bad Habit took home $500 for best band. The other $500 went to soloist Jay Jay Garza, the 2017 runner-up.
By all accounts it was a fun and entertaining day out at State Fair Park. New music reached the ears of new fans. Friendships were made. Experience was gained. But let’s not lose track of the most important thing: My prediction was correct. That almost never happens, and I’m going to revel in it for a good long while. Congratulations to all the winners, and of course, most of all, to me.
Now a couple of other notes from the local music scene:
■ Brandon Huck, seen most recently as the host of local comedy open mic nights, has a long history of involvement with the local music scene, too. So it wasn’t entirely surprising when he started collecting songs from the legendary (among a small group of people anyway) Yakima rock compilation CD’s “Rotten Apples,” “Rotten Apples Vol. 2” and “Rotten Apples Vol. 3” and posting them on his YouTube page, www.youtube.com/user/UncleBling/playlists.
Altogether, there are 42 tracks of local music recorded by Yakima-area bands in the 1990s. The CDs, released in 1993, 1994 and 1997, were produced by Thane Phelan, who owned a record store and went on to become a longtime radio DJ before leaving the music biz to become vice president of the Greater Yakima Chamber of Commerce. This was back before people could just burn CDs at home, so it was a big deal to a lot of local bands that had theretofore only been able to release music on cassette.
Nowadays nobody even bothers to buy CDs, but the whole collection is on YouTube. A lot of it didn’t age terribly well, but a lot of it still sounds surprisingly good. And, if nothing else, it’s a really cool time capsule. The 1990s Northwest sound wasn’t limited to Seattle; that grungy stuff crept over the mountains and infiltrated Yakima, too. You can hear it on these tracks.
■ Former Yakima resident Ken Bevis, a folk singer who returned to town in May to play The Seasons Performance Hall alongside Yakima Symphony Orchestra members as part of the YSO’s collaborative series on pollinators, has a new album out. “The Raven” will be released officially at a July 28 concert at the Merc Playhouse in Twisp, near where Bevis lives in the Methow Valley.
A wildlife biologist by day, Bevis writes and sings about things like black bears, flowers and bees. It’s pretty good stuff. You can get a taste at www.kenbevis.com.
■ The city of Yakima’s two summer concert-in-the-park series start this week. First there’s the Summer Sunset Concert Series in Franklin Park, which kicks off Friday at 6 p.m. with the always-excellent Joe Brooks Quartet. Then on Sunday it’s Rebeldes de la Sierra, kicking off the city’s Latin music series, Viva la Musica, which begins at Miller Park and switches to Martin Luther King Park in August.
Both series are free to attend, and both recur weekly through mid-
August. For a full schedule, visit www.yakimaparks.com/special-events.