Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2006 (46) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 46

October 14, 2006 at 8:01am

Tacoma Film Festival winners

The Weekly Volcano congratulates Tacoma Film Festival Artistic Director Shawn Sylvian, the staff at Grand Cinema, James Hume and all the folks responsible for making the first Tacoma Film Festival a success.

The winners have been announced here.

Cheers! â€" Ron Swarner

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

October 14, 2006 at 8:30am

Taste of the Arts review

The Broadway Center's Opening Night, A Taste of the Arts, gave South Sounders not only the opportunity to see the remodeled foyer of the Pantages, but also a crash course in local arts organizations.  While some of the set changes were a bit funky and odd, bottom line, the groups themselves dazzled, garnering several standing ovations in the evening. 

The Tacoma Symphony, Tacoma Youth Symphony, Tacoma Concert Band and others sounded sensational â€" powerful and inspiring.  To pay lip service to the talent in this city would be a disservice.  The musicianship here is alive, well and impressive. 

As for the new foyer?  It's nice.  There's better access to the restrooms, the stain glass ceiling is gorgeous, and there's a tiny bit more room to navigate between acts.  Bravo Broadway Center. Thanks for the local arts lesson. â€" Ken Swarner

Filed under: Tacoma,

October 16, 2006 at 4:54pm

Lynn Di Nino knows all

It isn't a secret that the Weekly Volcano staff are Lynnheads. Artist Lynn Di Nino has graced our pages more than Matt Driscoll F-bombs.  In fact, there's a rumor that former Volcano scribe Doug Mackey didn't actually land a great job in Texas, but rather was ordered to stay four states away from Di Nino due to stalking issues.

We doubt those facts will surface when Di Nino and other artists lecture on the secrets behind their show "Cement+Aggregate+Creativity: CONCREATIVITY" Thursday, Oct. 19, 6 p.m., at the Tacoma Public Library's Handforth Gallery.  Di Nino curates the 27 artist show at the Library.

If you still seek knowledge after getting Di Ninotized, check out NY Times best-selling author Elizabeth George in the Library's Olympic Room at 7 p.m. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 17, 2006 at 5:39pm

Scary Spar

The Spar in Old Town Tacoma is holding a pumpkin carving contest Oct. 28 beginning 9 p.m.  With prizes for the best efforts, it should be fun.  Join the Spar again on Halloween night when The Scuzztones get things rocking at 9 p.m.  Those in costume will receive special $3 pints.  Those in costume better than the Scuzztones should be proud. â€" Michael Swan

Filed under: Concert Alert, Tacoma,

October 17, 2006 at 7:12pm

Two Vaults Dia de los Muertos party

Twovaultsfred_rodgers Don't get the Weekly Volcano wrong. We love the dressing up, the candy and of course the spooky sounds tapes, but the Mexican Day of the Dead festival makes Halloween look like Secretaries Day in the town of Roy. 

Two Vaults Gallery will throw a Dia de los Muertos party Thursday as part of the Third Thursday Art Walk in downtown Tacoma.  Sip sangria as you study Mykel Jantz' alters.  Chug Mexican hot chocolate as you stare down Susan Cowan's colorful art. Dip into the salsa as you ponder dead people. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 18, 2006 at 5:54pm

Eric Carle shows at TAM

Ericcarlepainting Eric Carle’s books are engaging to the point of being problematic for many parents and child-minders.  Kids read them, and become addicted, so by the 17th reading, “Brown Bear Brown Bear What Do You See?” Loses some of its magic to the adult reader, and the pictures go by largely unappreciated.

Kudos to the Tacoma Art Museum and the fabulous exhibition of Carle’s artworks, if not for illuminating the non-childrearing public to Carle’s work, then for illuminating facets of the work that might have gone unnoticed.

I loved the book dummies and works-in-progress displayed.  I loved the endpapers.  I loved looking with my nose nearly pressed to the glass, to see the fine details in collage achieved with detailed cuts and deft placement.  I saw the details on some of his works, like the rungs of a ladder, the legs of the hermit crabs, and the beaks of his rubber ducks cut laboriously into tissue and painted papers.  But the details were almost not as important as how Carle masters simplicity, in text, and in his forms.  The moon, the rubber duck factory, the animals, all seem like they could have been created by a child, but how Carle is able to achieve the impression of life and vitality is brilliantly conveyed in this exhibition.

Mostly, I loved the colors and textures painted on papers used as bodies of animals, or water, or animals.  His combinations of colors, like in the "10 Little Rubber Ducks" series, brought motion and energy to each piece that had gone unnoticed by me, as I read the books to my daughter.

Tonight, I think I’ll go through and reread the classics, paying special attention to the details I’ve missed until viewing Carle’s pieces, up close and personal at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Hear the man speak for himself at the Rialto Theater on Sunday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. where he will appear along with Nick Clark, founding director of the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art in Amherst, Mass. Admission is $5 to $20.  Afterward, hop over to the Tacoma Art Museum at 4 p.m. for his artist reception and book signing. Ticket stub from the Rialto garners free admission. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 19, 2006 at 7:41am

State of live music in Tacoma

The state of live local music in Tacoma â€" it's ever changing. It's confusing. Sometimes it's a mess.
Not the music, of course.  There'll always be bands in T-Town.  There'll always be distortion and feedback seeping from the cracks in Tacoma's walls.  There'll always be groups of sweaty kids gathered in basements and garages, fine-tuning their licks and fostering dreams of rock greatness.
The question is: Where the hell can you find it?

Weekly Volcano scribes Matt Driscoll and Angela Jossy discuss venue changes, all-ages clubs and the pay to play trend here.

October 19, 2006 at 7:59am

Night Out on the Town

What time is it?  It’s wine wobble time! Once again, Tacoma merchants â€" 20 of them â€" are rolling out the burgundy (and chardonnay) carpets and staying open late  to lure adult trick-or-treaters, pre-Halloween sans costumes, for tonight’s “Night Out on the Town” from 6 to 9 p.m., which happens to be Third Thursday Art Walk too.  Sanford and Son shops are getting jiggy with this festive time of year by creating a first annual Pumpkin Palace, and the studio space formerly housing Mindy Barker’s eye candy will show Jennifer Adam’s “Year of the Moth,” featuring found objects such as paper, thread, insects, and other ephemera. Grab a Night Out on the Town postcard at Theatre District downtown Tacoma shops, collect 20 initials, and receive incentives and gifts (buzz optional). â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 19, 2006 at 12:23pm

Big time debate over pay to play

Tacoma music stalwarts chime in on new trend that provides bands an audience for a price / by Matt Driscoll

On Saturday, Oct. 21, the greatest band in the history of Tacoma (in my humble opinion) â€" Girl Trouble â€" was supposed to play the Eagles Hall in Olympia. For fans of the band living in Oly, it was going to be a good day.

It’s not going to happen. 

For a number of reasons, Girl Trouble is no longer on the bill. Down With People, a supergroup of sorts (Young Pioneers, Room Nine, Love Battery), will still take the stage as planned, but there’ll be no GT.

It’s a sad development.

There’s a big dry erase calendar that sits above my desk. At the beginning of each month I fill it with shows.  I use it to plan out what I’ll be writing about and when. From the get-go I’ve had Girl Trouble in big red letters scheduled for this week. It wasn’t until days before deadline that I learned GT would no longer be playing. I faced a dilemma. I could do what my editors would probably prefer â€" pick another show and do my typical snarky, borderline arrogant preview. Or I could write the story I’ve been itching to put in print for months now, say to hell with the fact that I’m not previewing a damn thing this week, and write about Girl Trouble.
Guess which one I chose?

GIRL TROUBLE. In big red letters.

Why would I be so interested in writing about Girl Trouble, a band that’s seemingly been part of Tacoma since wooly mammoths sold crack on Yakima Avenue? What could I write about GT that hasn’t already been covered?

Three words: pay to play.

Six months ago, Bon Von Wheelie, GT’s drummer and a member of Tacoma’s scene for whom I have the utmost respect, drew my attention to Big Time Entertainment and a practice she considers a scam. She alleged BTE was duping many of the area’s young bands into, basically, paying to play.  Within the fraternity of musicians and artists, pay to play is about as big of a sin as there is.   

I don’t pretend the Weekly Volcano is an investigative magazine or that the people who sign my checks care to ruffle many feathers, but I thought the story deserved ink, and perhaps by offering the facts and a couple of opinions, I could shed light on the issue.

Unfortunately BTE did not return my calls. I’ve had to refer to the company’s Web site, and e-mails they’ve sent.

The facts: BTE rents well-known clubs in the area to put on shows, Hell’s Kitchen and Studio 7 for example. It finds bands to play these shows â€" usually young ones and usually through Myspace, and the bands are required to sell their own tickets. Tickets run $7 a pop. BTE asks that each band bring in at least 20 people. This figure was recently lowered from 35. According to an official BTE e-mail, bands are paid according to how many tickets they pre-sell. “25-35 is $1 a ticket, 36-49 is $1.50 a ticket, 50+ is $2 a ticket, 73+ is $3.50 a ticket, and 86+ is $4 a ticket.” According to this e-mail, theoretically, your band could sell $164 worth of tickets and not get paid. If your band sells 25 tickets at $7 each, you get $25, and BTE gets $150. BTE bills usually have five bands.  The order the bands play is determined by which band sells the most tickets.

Those are facts. The question becomes is this wrong?

“(Young bands) see this ‘booker’ asking them to ‘sell tickets’ to play, and they think that’s how it’s done. They think it’s Hell’s Kitchen, but it’s actually Big Time Entertainment contacting them,” vents Von Wheelie.

“Whether you’re actually paying or pre-selling tickets, if you’re handing any money over to anyone before you get on stage, you’re paying to play.

“It’s not the job of the band to pre-sell tickets and get maybe 10 percent back while the ‘booking’ company takes the rest. The bands are the artists. They are in charge of putting on a good show, dealing with clubs, keeping the van running, and creating the music. Bands are up against enough without being conned by some company that’s going to take most of the money. Bands starting out need to start small.  They need to learn how to promote themselves. They will appreciate the big shows when they’ve done the little ones first.  All you learn through Big Time is how to con your family and friends into buying expensive tickets.

“In their promotional contract, Big Time writes a big paragraph to these kids about how making flyers, handbills or taking out print ads doesn’t work.  Girl Trouble says bulls@#%. This is absolutely the way it’s done. Big Time is trying to eliminate what is good about music scenes. Name any scene you can think of â€" San Francisco in the ‘60s, the L.A. punk scene, the grunge scene. Can you imagine those scenes without posters and flyers?  It’s not just the bands that make a scene; it’s artists, writers, fanzines, fans â€" everybody working together in the same area. Big Time is suggesting that all be cut out.”

Flash, Hell’s Kitchen’s booking agent, has a slightly different perspective.

“Yes. It’s pay to play, but there will always be bands out there willing to do it. At least (BTE) is very up front about it,” says Flash.

“As a musician, I would have just ignored mass e-mails from Big Time trolling for bands to play their shows. They are good for the club, though. They take dates and times that would otherwise be dark and bring heads through the door.”

Whether or not it’s “pay to play,” or whether or not it’s wrong is up to you to decide. For more of Von Wheelie’s thoughts, check out her Myspace site. For more information on BTE, check out its Web site.

Filed under: Tacoma,

October 19, 2006 at 4:06pm

Cat Box Lounge will be JJ's Pub & Grub

The old Cat Box will re-open in December with a new name â€" JJ's Pub & Grub.  Jolena Furman, a bartender at Dawson's, and Jack Christy have partnered.  Get your double J on at 5431 So. Tacoma Way.  They are gutting the place for a classier look. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Club News, Tacoma,

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