Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2006 (74) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 74

December 5, 2006 at 2:42pm

Steve Stefanowicz and booze tonight

Time now to enter the comfort zone. Booze and Steve Stefanowicz.

Doyle's Public House celebrates the repeal of the 18th Amendment â€" Prohibition â€" with drink specials and the musical stylings of Stefanowicz tonight.  While his musical style varies greatly depending on the venue and the audience, Stefanowicz was named "Blues Man of the Year" at the 1998 Tacoma Blues Festival. I have heard him play a thousand times it seems â€" everything from James Taylor and Lyle Lovett to Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix and his own material which blends said musicians with lots of blues.  A true talent.

Stefanowicz performs tonight beginning at 7:30 p.m.  I'm sure this post is way to late because the fans of this blog are already on the second beer at Doyle's. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Club Hopping, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 5, 2006 at 6:20pm

Snoop and Cube do Vancouver

Rappers Snoop Dogg and Ice Cube have announced dates for a 10-city tour of Canada, that starts Jan 13, 2007 in Vancouver.  Tickets are $39.50-$69.50 at Ticketmaster.  My mind on that concert and that concert on my mind. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Concert Alert,

December 5, 2006 at 10:08pm

The Mellors CD review

The Mellors
Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest (Loveless)

Mellors_cd_jesus_web225 Emerging from the rubble of two of Seattle's most celebrated bands, Tuffy and Floyds Ranch, surfaced The Mellors in late 2004. Led by singer/songwriter/guitarist Jamie Lane, the band’s self-titled debut was uncharacteristic from the majority of groups in the Emerald City as it embraced a Mid-Western sound that is organic with just a touch of Southern twanginess. Lane's musical background is vast and all encompassing as he has dabbled in everything from jazz to heavy-riff grunge. Like in Floyds Ranch, he now draws inspiration from legendary songwriters such as Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan and Townes Van Zandt.

On the Northwest trio’s sophomore effort, Jesus Christ Made Seattle Under Protest, The Mellors switch gears and revert back to Lane’s lively garage rock roots.  Ditties such as the title track and the three chord fist pounder “Beautiful Life” feature the rare guitar work and heavy beats as they prove they aren’t a one trick pony.  They tackle the Lennon penned Beatles song “She Said She Said” and add organ amongst tempered guitar work for a recognizable version of the classic tune.  The band returns to their roots with an alt. country timbre on “Port Angeles” with all the guts and glory of a Flying Burrito Brothers tune.  While the disc only clocks in at 19 minutes, it shows more versatility than their first effort proving they are continuing to grow.

Available at Loveless Records. â€" Tony Engelhart

Filed under: CD Review,

December 6, 2006 at 8:46am

More Masa, por favor!

I experienced my first Tacogasm at Masa Monday night during their grand opening.  The smoked chicken taco with goat cheese took me to the next gastronomical level, despite it being ever so slightly not entirely hot.  Something about the blend of seasonings mixed with the smoky flavor of the moist chicken, melded together with the goat cheese set my senses afire, perhaps because of the “foreplay” that was the space itself.

I cornered co-owner John Xitco and received the “Xitco tour” from quite possibly one of the nicest guys in Tacoma.  Really. 

He first took me upstairs to the wide-open meeting space, which made me want to get married so I could have a reception THERE.  Something about the view inspired me. I mean, where else in Tacoma can you see the triangulation of Asado across the street, Taco Bell on the corner, and Masa completing the triad of “south of the border” eating? 

He brought me out to the as-yet-unfinished deck where the summer party will rock, with Shucks right across the street; where a bar will jut out into a space covered by a clear-plastic roof that lets in the starlight. When I said something sarcastic like, Yes! Shucks!, and wondered if it was even still open? Would it close down? He grinned broadly and said of course it was, and would stay open, and that was the beauty of having a restaurant in an urban environment.

I remembered to ask him about Taqueria El Guadalajara in the Stadium District, about the rumor I heard from the person who heard a rumor, and he said, "Yes, I do own the building."  And assured me that he had no plans for at least the next year to do anything.  My guess is that he’s probably feeling pretty beleaguered by all the permit delays he experienced in the Masa project, not to mention he’s a smart businessman, and probably wants to see how things shape up with two businesses across the street from each other.

Masaone So then there was the downstairs.  He told me about the mural, by Robert Williamson, who also painted the Asado mural.  The colors used in Masa’s Dia de los Muertos-themed mural are cool-toned, with a cerulean blue dominant. The effect is dynamic, very un-dead, and fabulous.  The brown suede backs of the moveable round banquette seating â€" moveable so they can swoop around when garage-style windows are open in the summer â€" blend with the carpet, while the seating portion of the banquettes in a nearly-metallic teal tone neatly ties in the mural. 

Xitco remember, I said he was nice â€" put up the Gagnon welding team at Casa de Xitco through the bulk of the build-up; the metal-heavy space shows why the Gagnon truck was an ever-present fixture on Sixth Avenue.  Between the metal, the mural, the bar, and the furnishings, it’s evident that the theme is “New York meets Mexico.”

For me, it’s a tie as to what I love most.  A four-way tie. Yeah, there’s that taco that haunts me still.  The other food was also good, I liked the carne asado tacos with the sort of  horseradish sauce flavoring them, I loved the Queso Fondida con Chorizo â€" again, if it were ever-so-slightly nearer to “hot,” with the cheese less combative and more melty, it would have hit divinity) â€" but the pollo had me at “pollo.” 

I loved my white wine sangria, disappointed as I was that somehow my second never made it to our table.  My friends’ drinks were equally good â€" a mojito that had none of the cloying sweetness many are guilty of, with plenty of boozy minty lime-y pleasure, and an equally happy-boozy margarita that sang its Mariachi song to me â€" but the muddled Sangria was bliss.

Masathree The third in the tie for “what I like best about Masa” might have been the mural, might have been the design scheme in general, but ended up the design scheme specifically in the bathroom.  Yeah, like Natasha says, bathrooms are the ticket.  At Masa, there’s this blue mosaic work on the floor mixed in with the terra cotta, added to the blue tile walls, the incredible basins, and the amazing steel toilet partitions.  Oh yeah, and Claudia Riedener’s Ixia Tile mirror surround-muy fabuloso. All together, the elements make for my favorite bathroom, to date, in Tacoma.

Masatwo And now, you ask, what’s the fourth in the four-way tie?  In my hanging-on-his-shirttails tour from Xitco, I stopped to ask him about the taqueria.  Cooler than cool â€" this space will be open 24 hours.  Cooler than cooler than cool â€" the meats, tortillas, and salsas will be “on tap” for take-home immidiemente diners, café food (24 hours) can be eaten there, and the regular menu will be offered during business hours, to-go.

But the coolest of the cooler than cool, the taqueria space itself.  Yeah, more tile.  Cool tile.  Yeah, excellent diner-booths, perfect for 4 a.m. munchies.  But look.  On the tables â€" those Mexican candles featuring Our Lady the Blessed Virgin.  Above the tables â€" the art.  Xitco himself was inspired with the idea seeing photographer Matthew Mahon’s photos, a producer found the “models” (car and human) and Mahon shot the classic, fabulous photos hanging.  They’re criminally good, and will be framed in the same metalwork that frames the taqueria café menu on the wall.

As you walk out the front door, the steelwork reads, “dia de los muertos,” and I commented to Xitco that this place will be so flippin’ cool for next year’s Sixth Avenue procession. 

But cooler than all the aforementioned cools?  The Cinco de Mayo party in the works with the Engine House.  Think: deck opened.  Think: street closed.

Think: Mexipartygasm. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 7, 2006 at 4:10pm

Paddy Coynes update

Talked to Patrick "Paddy" Coynes in his current work site/future new pub on Pacific Avenue next to Vin Grotto Cafe and Wine Bar.

The space is all rough-framed in above the existing Olympus Hotel tile work (YES!) with the long wall-o'-booth seating showing the existing Olympus wainscoting woodwork, and with the original bar moved from the back of the place to the front.

Salvaged architectural glass meets up with wall to create a warm entry, while more salvaged glass sits beside.  I can't wait to see what that'll be, nor can I wait to see what will become of the old freezer-fronts that I saw on the ground.

Scrim was up on the fireplace wall, which Paddy told me will be all river rock, and the fireplace will be open from two sides, one of which will be a raised seating area for private parties. 

Bathrooms and the kitchens have been roughed in as well.  It's all beginning to look like it's well on its way.

Paddy told me he's "about a month out" for an opening.  Can't wait to have an Irish pint for St. Patty's Day, if not sooner! â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 9, 2006 at 10:29am

Candy Cane Ball Sunday night

Be here, be queer.  Most of you now know, you don't have to gay to be queer, so get off your laurels and celebrate the season and reason at the sixth annual Candy Cane Ball Sunday night at the Syren Lounge & Nightclub. The Gay Tacomas and The Imperial Sovereign Court of Tacoma are throwing this bash to raise money for the Three Cedars AIDS hospice.  expect a spectacular drag show and raffle prizes. Hurrah! â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

December 9, 2006 at 10:52am

Pottery sale today

Many a strange phenomenon comes over the South Sound during this, the holiday season. People pretend they’re in ye olde Victorian England. Television commercials start to rhyme. The Weekly Volcano uses terms like “hustle and bustle” in everyday conversation voluntarily. But before you decide to curl up into a ball inside your big down parka and never come out, take into account all of the lovely things that accompany all of this weirdness. Enjoy one of the many finer points today at the December Pottery Sale at Tacoma Community College.  The Tacoma Community College Clay Club hosts the sale until 5 p.m. today in the Gallery on the main campus of TCC.  Enter the campus at South 12th St.  There is also a silent auction of donated work.   

List them all as fast as you can: clay, ceramics, earthenware-y, (stupid rhyming), pinch pots and more. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

December 10, 2006 at 10:20am

Olympia's Red House Video

For the past 15 years the Red House in downtown Olympia has hosted punk shows, recorded bands, hosted meetings and been a gathering spot for the Olympia music scene.  Nora Danielson of the band Liarbird has produced a video documenting the history of the house including interviews with Calvin Johnson, Slim Moon, Danielson's band mates, current residents and others.  Check it below. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Music, Olympia, Screens,

December 10, 2006 at 11:10am

Tacoma's Eye Full

Eyefull6_1 Eyefull1_1 Eyefull2_1 Danii Blackwell summed up my feelings when she said, giddy with the vibe of coolness pervading Tacoma's Eye Full event last night, “Doesn’t it kind of feel like New York City or something?”

Given that I’ve never experienced the NYC art scene up close and personal, I can only imagine the energy might be similar.  In New York you might have haughty art-type.  In Tacoma you have an accessible, fun scene of people who smile readily and share in the arts mojo.

The arts mojo last night was all about the girls â€" Women created the art hanging on the walls,  the live nude painted (and sketched) was female, the catering was impressive and done single handedly by Christina Cooley, currently-out-of-dance-work dancer who’s putting together a wicked alternate gig as a caterer, and the impressive dressing was all about the gowns and indie fashions by Lisa Fruichantie and Sherra Laureen, among others. 

Here, the boys represented, with the word “Loyalty” splashed happily on a few of the items of clothing present.  Like Elvis, Daniel Blue was everywhere, his white Wranglers showing off his impressive art skills.  If you missed his praying Jesus hands belt-buckle, you missed out on a lot.  Also like Elvis, but hella more glam, Eye Full organizer Laura Eklund was everywhere too, sparkling.

Eyefull4 Shakespeare in the Parking LotEyefull3_1 had their time in the (regrettably loud) space, and several dancers danced in many disciplines, with many messages.

Of the crowd present, favorite faces abounded, with Dead Artists Rob Anderson, Jeff Olsen, Jim Price with James Hume in attendance, as well as live artist Teddy and his brother Leonard Haggarty also present.  Sent from heaven, Julie Bennett wandered the crowd with my camera shooting the best and brightest of ‘em.  Check out the urbanXchange Myspace site in the days to come and I’ll bet you’ll see more of her shots.

Naturally, there was a great post-party action at Tempest, where the beautiful people ate, drank, and were merry.  While an ever-so-sweet MLKBallet Alexa told me she wanted to get an “I heart JCB” tee shirt made, I want to get an “I heart Tacoma (and the Eklunds)” shirt.

Eyefull5_1 Eyefull7 Eyefull8 Eyefull9 Eyefull10 Eyefull11 Eyefull12 Ah, Tacoma, where the air is clean and it’s happening. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

December 11, 2006 at 2:32pm

Tacoma's Dickens Festival review

Low tech â€" and low attendance â€" marked the vibe at the Dickens Holiday in Tacoma's Stadium District this weekend.  A huge shame as the district put on a great show.

The Weekly Volcano started at Taqueria El Guadalajara (the Queen’s Stage), where we had a delicious Mexican lunch to the sounds of the Ladies in Red Sax Quartet.  A group of very impressive carolers wished us a merry Christmas as we finished up, and then we all had a laugh at the Entertainmen Jugglers.  My daughter noted the “safety violation” that was knife juggling, and I noted that the young guys put on a good show, even if the audience primarily did consist of the Ladies in Red, with a smattering of others.

Victorianone As we walked to King’s Books (also, the King’s Stage) to pick up a book I had ordered, my daughter excitedly saw the horse-drawn carriage.  As I talked to Kris at Vin Grotto on my cell phone only to have our ride stolen by a wandering dude with a British accent and Victorian garb. We retrieved it at Rankos, (Picadilly Circus) where Santa entertained my daughter, who was only a trifle petrified, and then I whined to get a horsey-ride, but alas, the carriage was full.

So we hoofed it on human feet to King's, where the Victorian Music Hall Show was setting up, and where an impressive crowds had assembled earlier in the day to watch Punch and Judy, Peter Berry (Celtic Harpist and storyteller) and the Ladies in Red.

Victoriantwo I was dying to see my first Punch and Judy show, though, so we trotted up the street to the “Royal Courtyard” in front of the First Presbyterian Church, where I laughed harder than I have in a long time.  Though the puppets were reminiscent of Mr Rogers’ friends, the stories â€" a sweet retelling of "St. George and the Dragon," a hilarious Christmas tree tale, and a Punch and Judy tale to top it all off â€" were timeless, well-timed, and sharper than St. George’s sword (which was a butter knife.)

Victorianfour Finally, I stopped to ooooh and aaaah at the beauty, fashion, and really good hair (thanks to Angelo Mendi salon) at the Tiki Lounge’s fashion show.

Victorianthree It was a cool day I feel lucky to have been a part of; thanks to all the work and energy that was put forward by the Stadium merchants to make it happen. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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