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McHenry, Perennials plan homecoming concerts

Fri., Jan. 25, 2013

Two Spokane music exports are breezing through town this weekend, but not without first stopping for their own homecoming concerts.

Former indie-jazz-pop darlings Mon Cheri disbanded about a year ago when co-lead singer Patrick McHenry, aka Wayne Patrick, moved to the East Coast for work.

It might come as a surprise to fans that Mon Cheri’s music will be playing during Tuesday night’s episode of TBS series “Cougar Town,” starring Courteney Cox.

“Go On, Go On,” was picked up for the series through an online music service still registered to the band.

While he’s spent the past four months working as a nurse on a hospital boat in West Africa, strumming his acoustic guitar on breaks, McHenry hasn’t played much since Mon Cheri split. 

He’ll appear with Jamal Ali on Thursday at 8 p.m. at The Wave Island Sports Grill and Sushi Bar, 525 W. First. Ave. The show is free.

Meanwhile, the rest of Mon Cheri are busy with their own artistic pursuits.

Caroline Schibel (formerly Francis) recently married and joined cyborganic folk-experimental band BIAS, which plays live on Saturday at 9 p.m. at Jones Radiator, 120 W. Sprague Ave. The show is free. This could be BIAS’ final show for a while, as Schibel is pregnant, with the baby due in March.

Former Mon Cheri drummer Brandon Vasquez is also expecting a baby, due in April. He continues to juggle two distinctly different rock bands, Dead Serious Lovers and Drag Like Pull. DSL is finishing a full-length album and is featured on “The Bartlett” compilation. DLP supports touring band The Overseer on Saturday at The Hop, 706 N. Monroe St. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door, through

Kurt Olson, who played upright bass in Mon Cheri, is active as a performance poet and competed in the Spokane Poetry Slam competition last week.

Upon learning that his song was being used for “Cougar Town,” McHenry said, “It made me want to record and write a lot more. It hasn’t made me want to start a band or be a bandleader, but it gave me more confidence in my songwriting ability.”

Perennial transplant

The Perennials are similar to Mon Cheri in that the band is co-led with male and female vocals, but instead it’s a husband and wife duo, Pete and Amanda Wells.

The band moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., about a year ago to expand its roster and connect with other musicians. Instead, the Wellses, along with drummer Aaron Hamel, ended up recording a new album on the fly in the studio where Pete Wells works.

Wells said the new material is darker and more intimate.

“For the first record, the live shows shaped the songs. You figure out what works by playing to crowds and you get a more energetic build as you’re pushing the songs to make them fun. Here we almost have the opposite, in working with an outside producer for the first time. We have outside input from someone who is not in the band.”

While in Spokane visiting family, The Perennials will play a show with Marshall McLean and Jamie Frost on Tuesday at 8 p.m. at Pacific Avenue Pizza, 2001 W. Pacific. The show is free, all ages welcome.


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