Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2006 (46) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 46

October 21, 2006 at 10:25am

The bitch is back

There's something about song and dance that makes me want to er, sing and dance. Maybe it's all that singing and dancing. If the musical happens to feature people in drag, well, it's ready-made for audience participation.

The toast-throwing Rocky Horror crowd may get mangier with each passing year, but never fear: You young pretties can now take your fishnet-wearing selves over to the the Grand Cinema tonight for the instant cult classic "Hedwig and the Angry Inch." That movie's he-roine for the millennium is every bit as punk rock as Tim Curry's sweet transvestite, and the story's humor and pathos make it imminently more watchable.

Regarding your attire, grrl-bois should get in on the action too (remember that Angry Inch bandmate Yitzhak was played by Miriam Shor), and the Grand Cinema generously states that any drag will do. We here at the Weekly Volcano, however, are partial to the half-black, half-blonde Debbie Harry wig that Hedwig paired with a gold lamé triangle top. But it's up to you.  Check it at 11:47 p.m. tonight. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

October 21, 2006 at 10:54am

I Musici impresses Pantages crowd

Don’t let the nondescript, even grandfatherly appearance of the musicians fool you â€" These guys can seriously play.  No, I’m not talking about the Stones, though I have been told they put on a rocking show, too.  I’m referring to I Musici, the 12-man string ensemble who played the new and improved Pantages Theater last night, courtesy of the Tacoma Philharmonic.

When the men stepped out, I wasn’t sure what to think.  Certainly they didn’t seem to have the sort of commanding presence of, say, the Three Tenors.  The Twelve Italians walked out, sat down, and got down to business.  The first order of business was a little ditty called Sonata in G Major for Strings, No. 1, by Giaocchino Rossini.  I sat up straighter, loving how the guys on stage managed to coax beautiful sounds out of their instruments, many of which were made before the times of the composers whose works were played.

Silvio DiRocco played a mean solo viola, but was shown up by Vito Paternoster’s cello virtuosity as he played his own arrangement of Rossini works.  I didn’t think it could get much better until Antonio Anselmi, a Yanni-haired youngish guy with a face like John Cusack, had his turn as a soloist for Paganini’s Variations for Violin and Strings “Carnivale di Venezia.”  I knew the tune as “Mein hut, er hat drei ecken,” or the “My hat it has three corners” song, but the variations on the theme were insanely difficult, and handled with such apparent ease, that I had to get to my feet with the rest of the standing-O crowd.  I overheard a woman behind me saying, “I wonder if he sold his soul to the devil to play like that?” of Anselmi, who proved himself more than a one-trick pony when he came back to solo in the Antonio Vivaldi piece “Concerto in A Major for Two Violins.” 

The intensity and perfection of I Musici never faltered, not through the Arcangelo Corelli piece, and through to the finish of Spring and Summer, from Antonio Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.  By this point I was in that sublime heaven for those who appreciate great music, caught between the edge of goose bumps and tears. Unfortunately, my heaven had seats slightly less comfortable than clouds.  It was a relief to stand for another standing ovation, and when the men played an encore, performing Rossini’s Bolero, I was relieved that the piece was short.  Much as the music amazed and thrilled me, I was ready to be done.

Listening to my old CD of the Four Seasons at home, however, I realized that for a night, with a lucky packed-Pantages crowd, I had experienced live musical perfection.
And it was good. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Classical music, Tacoma,

October 22, 2006 at 8:55am

Mass quantities of spaghetti

Coneheads0kj Celebrating the return of his brother Jake as his writing partner, adding the Halloween season at hand, Weekly Volcano food critics Jake and Jason de Paul visited the Old Spaghetti Factory … dressed as Coneheads.

Announcer: The boys loved the “Saturday Night Live” Coneheads skit â€" the cones, the language and the requirement for satisfaction in mass quantities.  Most often, mass consumption translates to bland, overcooked food with no character, just bulk.  But just like yesteryear, the wacky boys picky taste buds found culinary satisfaction   while soothing their growling, impatient bellies … much to the angst of the neighboring trolley car tables.

Jake “Beldar” de Paul: High Master, oh how I enjoy the novelty of piles of starched strands amidst brand-new instant old-world flavor.  Back on planet Remulak, rubbish meets its demise in the flames of Kandor.  On this planet, it is celebrated â€" polished and haggled by greedy humans on eBay.       

Jason “High Master Kuldroth” de Paul:  Agreement. Remulaks lacked human appreciation for warm wood paneling, crystal chandeliers, Tiffany-style lamps and stained glass accents, faux-brass bed frames fashioned into seats and a trolley plopped in the middle.   Notwithstanding, Remulaks would grin from tibble to tibble over the Factory’s clamor caused by tall ceilings and lack of carpeting.   

Beldar: As we converse I can distinguish the racket of glassware from ye ol’ bar across the room.  May I comment, I find the potent pours amiable.

High Master Kuldroth: Agreement.  While I find the house wine … how do you say … sucks, I receive pleasure from their strong drinks.

Beldar: Oh, how I wish I could transport back mass quantities of Fat Tire Amber for the Moon of Meepzor festivities.

High Master Kuldroth:  Is it just my cone, or do you find friendly, capable service underlined the utilitarian nature of the place.

Beldar: Affirmative.  During three cycles I have eaten here, I have noticed each time large tables, presumably family units, who linger comfortably over their mass quantities, sharing from the delicious  baked bread at the center of the table, stopping to converse and digest, then digging back in. The environment is relaxed; the atmosphere is laid-back and unpretentious â€" no worries about which pronged device to use or whether to sniff the wine before consumption.

Little Girl From Adjacent Table: Mommy, I’m scared.

High Master Kuldroth: The sensory overload distracts attention from the food:  better than average and very populist cheap.  A complete meal can cost 10,000 mips (roughly eight bucks).  Basic spaghetti with mushroom sauce, dinner salad with bleu cheese, infinite quantities of bread and garlic butter, ice cream (with tea, coffee and milk) are a safe bet. 

Beldar: Don’t try to pull the larckors over my cone, you always augment your entrée to mammoth portions by purchasing the Hearty Meal deal for $1.50. 

High Master Kuldroth: Agreement.  However, if you pulled your cone out of your muldroth ion field, you’d notice I wave the spumoni or vanilla ice cream accompanying the complete meals.  I feel the molten lactate extract of hoofed mammals lacks flavor.   

Beldar: To each his cone. 

High Master Kuldroth:  In addition to five varieties of spaghetti sauces, including the esteemed spaghetti with brown butter and mizithra cheese, other consumables include baked lasagna, chicken parmigiana and marsala, fettuccine, ravioli and tortellini â€" all  $10.85 or less for a complete meal.   None may warble of genuine Italian origins, but who is tasting too attentively at these prices?

Beldar: Especially when they named a dish after your wife, Mizithra.

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

October 23, 2006 at 6:34pm

South of the Border Tacoma

Tacoma is so close to getting fine South of the Border style loving that I can almost taste it.

I took another peek inside my Matador Tex-Mex tequila bar last week.  They were just about to make the concrete floor shine.  All of the booths are in place, the kitchen and bathroom spaces are quickly getting populated, and the gorgeous, long bar is just waiting for Natasha's very own hiney and barstool.  Don't expect an enormous place, but do anticipate being cozy.  They'll have enough sparkly votive candles and the open fire pit; plus tequila will light anyone's fire.  The iron work is incredible, too.  Matador is hoping to open by Nov. 9.

I also just talked to my heroes from Asado.  They're hoping to open their second venture, Masa, high end Mexican yummy, by Nov. 15. The rehab of the building on Sixth Avenue has got me chomping at the bit.  They've installed garage doors on the street level just like Asado so I'll be able to wave at my friends and be seen.  I've also been noting an open airway patio in the upstairs. I'm looking into my crystal ball, and I'm seeing that this location will finally be a success, and I want nothing more than to get after whatever food they're serving.

The tough part will be choosing which one to go to on a regular basis.

Eenie meenie, miny mo, catch Natasha by her toe. â€" Natasha

Filed under: Business, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

October 24, 2006 at 7:56am

Scary parties in Tacoma

Dressing up for Halloween makes me happy.  As a kid, I got to be whatever I wanted.  As a grown-up, I get to be whatever I want, AND act as silly as I want, and opt out of being recognized.

As a kid? I stood to gain candy.  As an adult? Cash, prizes, and money off of alcohol (hangover optional).

So what’s going on, where? 

While word is that Syren, Chopstix and Tempest will be costume-friendly venues, with Tempest giving you a buck off your drink if you show up in costume on Halloween Night, other venues will get the party rolling early.

The Swiss will host a costume parties Friday and Saturday night, with cash prizes (Bartender Nobby tells me “we like cash.”)  Prizes will be awarded as close to midnight as possible, during breaks from live music.  Dance Factory will perform Friday, and Just Dirt will hit the stage Saturday.

As long as live music and factories are being mentioned, heavily-buzzed The Factory will be throwing a big, loud bash with Atomic Outlaws, Top Heavy Crush, and Underride. There will also be a costume contest. 

The Spar will double-dip the holiday action, hosting a BYOP (bring your own pumpkin) carving contest on the 28th â€" because nothing says fun quite like “sharp carving implements” and “alcohol.” Actually, I was told that those bright orange safety-carvers are encouraged. On Halloween, the Scuzztones will play the Spar, and wearing costumes gets you $3 micros.

Magoo’s Annex will host a cash-prizes costume party, but on Halloween night; 1st Prize will be $150, which buys an awful lot of chocolate bars or a couple of rounds and some big tips, if you’re charitable. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Editor's note: For costume suggestions, check out Natasha's ideas.

Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

October 26, 2006 at 11:45am

Just Dirt plays tonight and Saturday

Just Dirt knows all of your favorite rock songs. They’ve been studying for years at the Funky Monkey virtual school of rock, memorizing all of the latest thrashers (no pun intended). I’ve partied with them many times and always found myself hopping around on the dance floor by the end of the night. What can I say? Their powers are irresistible. But I often wonder if the other musicians in town secretly envy them. It’s tough to measure up to such pros. But if you can’t beat them, you might as well join them. Thursday nights they host a jam night. Every week at 8:30 p.m. they invite any would-be rock stars to join them onstage. They used to do a jam night like this at The Bullseye in Spanaway, and some of my favorite musicians would show up to jam with the dirty boys. Good times. Now the party is at The Royal Bear in Algona, which is just far enough from civilization that you can really get down with the sickness without getting strange looks from yuppie suburban types. 
Saturday night the band prvides the rockin' soundtrack for the Swiss Pub's Halloween Bash beginning at 9 p.m. â€" Angela Jossy

Filed under: Angela Jossy, Concert Alert,

October 27, 2006 at 12:35pm

Big Time Entertainment responds

Last week I wrote an article about Big Time Entertainment â€" specifically regarding the shows they put on at Hell’s Kitchen and Studio 7 in Seattle.  For months now Bon Von Wheelie, Girl Trouble’s drummer, has been ranting and raving about BTE â€" alleging the company tricks young bands into paying to play. “Pay to play” is one of the dirtiest,  most hated phrases in the history of local music scenes, and as the name implies, simply means bands being required to fork over  money to get on stage.

In the article I wrote BTE did not return my emails seeking comment. At the time of last week’s deadline, they hadn’t. The day after deadline they did, and were eager to offer their two cents on the topic. During a three way call on Monday, Oct. 22, I spoke with Ryan Kintz and Dan Robertson, cofounders of Big Time Entertainment, if not to set the record straight, then certainly to balance the story.

“(Von Wheelie) called us a scam. We don’t appreciate it. We don’t deceive our bands and we’re not dishonest. The definition of scam is to deceive and be dishonest. We don’t do that,” explained Kintz.

“In regards to pay to play, that’s a misconception. When a band turns in their money, they get paid. It’s irritating to hear that stuff. There are a bunch of different expenses not being taken into consideration.

“If a band wants to do it themselves, that’s fine. But a lot of bands don’t, and we help them. A lot of the bands we work with come from referrals from other bands we’ve worked with that were happy.”

Asked if, under any circumstance, a band would ever owe money to BTE after playing one of their shows, Kintz responded “no.”

BTE official website is www.bigtimeentertainment.net. Last week I incorrectly listed it as www.bigtimeentertainment.com.

They’ve created a feedback Web site, seemingly in response to these allegations, located here.

Filed under: Club News, Matt Driscoll, Music,

October 27, 2006 at 3:34pm

Donald Glaude is No. 46!

DJmag has just release its Top 100 DJs Poll 2006 awarding Paul van Dyk the world's No.1 DJ again.

Coming in at No. 46 â€" Tacoma's own Donald Glaude.

You can catch Mr. 46 Halloween night at Hell's Kitchen â€" Not.  Glaude was scheduled to to spin at Ocean Grooves Entertainment's Halloween Party but ran into a scheduling conflict and had to bag out.  DJ dAb, Suga Jones and Jason Diamond will spin.

Altogether 217,102 dance music fans voted for their favorite DJs via DJmag from 233 different countries. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: DJ/Electronica, Tacoma,

October 27, 2006 at 4:05pm

Dia de Muerto laughs at death

Just when you were about burned out on the orange and black trick-or-treat build-up, along comes a colorful, cultural celebration of the dead.

Dia de Muertos is not about green plastic hands sticking out of front lawns to scare the wee ones.  It’s about an explosion of color that celebrates the spirits of the deceased. 

Diademuertos2006032 Pierce County Aids Foundation altar on display at the Tacoma Art Museum.

Right now, the Tacoma Art Museum features a Day of the Dead preview in the form of a huge tapete, a beautifully colorful painting of sand on the lobby, as well as altars by Centro Latino and the Pierce County Aids Foundation.

The thing about the Dia de Muertos is that it joyfully celebrates a situation â€" death â€" that much of Western culture shrouds with sorrow and a heavily bleak curtain.  Sure, the altars at the TAM set forth some sobering images, but the grade-school diorama-esque treatment of the subject elevates the lighter and irreverent sides of death.

You can be a part of the Dia de Muertos celebration for free at TAM on Sunday Nov. 5, or you can take part in the procession of the dead and enjoy the fruits of local artistic labors on Nov. 2 on Sixth Avenue, along with cocoa and sweetbreads in heated tents courtesy of the soon-to-be Sixth Avenue restaurant Masa, an upscale Mexican restaurant by the Asado folks.

Can’t wait that long? Go to the Sixth Avenue Liquor Store and look through the window at the Johnny Cash altar, see Susan Cowan's homage to lost fisherman and tapete art in the window of the Sixth Ave Art Gallery, or go to www.myspace.com/el_zokalo">El Zokalo and the What? Shoppe to grab yourself some colorful Dia de Muerto art. Create your own art, bone up on the subject, and be a part of it. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 28, 2006 at 11:12am

Bands need to register now for SxSW

For those who feel that music has hit rock bottom, that it just can't get any worse â€" well, there's always the South by Southwest music conference down in Austin March 14-18, 2007. There's nothing like the thought of 500 bands in four days spread across 50 venues, all in a downtown area the same size as downtown Tacoma. It's a perfect anecdote to cure what ails you, the music biz's spring break, a time when you can shake off the winter blahs (not to mention that heavy coat) and think about nothing but music.  Discounts are available now for early registration.  Check out their Web site for details.
South Sound bands interested in performing at SxSW need to apply before Nov. 10.  Go to their Web site and register today. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Concert Alert, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

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