Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: January, 2007 (68) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 68

January 6, 2007 at 12:16pm

Afternoon at Seventh and Pacific in Tacoma

It was a journey not of the mind, but of the heart. It was a quest for truth and goodness. It was one solid stab at fathoming the unfathomable, at rediscovering the familiar, at embracing unexpected strangeness. Above all, it was a damn good chance to drink in the afternoon.

It was downtown Tacoma, Seventh and Pacific Avenue, on a Friday afternoon.  Here it what I discovered.

Paddy Coyne’s shines with cool mill work, a two-toned dark stain that screams “Hell yeah we're a feckin' Irish pub!” and posts and wall mounts for lots of intimate lighting.  The river rock blends well with all the other components, and the kitchen, such as it is, looks impressive.  My guess they open around Jan 26.

Kris Blondin might present a cynical pre-Valentines Day wine tasting for Evil (Shiraz), Pure Evil (unoaked Chard), Bitch (a cheeky Grenache), and Heart of Darkness (a wine for mature wine drinkers only, Blondin says, "It's dirty!") at Vin Grotto Café and Wine Bar Feb. 10.  Actual plans are being firmed up. It could be a chocolate love plus love stinks kind of event for singles, or not.

Vin Grotto hosts a New Zealand wine tasting Jan. 18, and a Spanish tasting Jan. 31.  I imagine the wine names will not be as fun.

I ran into a commercial real estate friend who wants to remain anonymous but came clean that the Drake's building has been leased.  The word is it will be a fancy dance club on the ground floor, a restaurant in the mid-level, and office buildings on the top. Several merchants are skeptical, as they have seen zero progress.  I'll leave this to those who care.

I ended the day in a sea of beautiful men at the Matador.  Tequila, two plasma screens broadcasting the games and beautiful women indulging in happy hour/gossip hour have created quite the scene at the Tex-Mex restaurant.

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

January 6, 2007 at 12:53pm

Alice Di Certo is at Art On Center tonight

Art On Center Gallery hosts photographer Alice Di Certo tonight as part of the celebration for her exhibit, “Skin, Flash and Voices,” a photography and video show at the gallery.  She’s hanging at the gallery from 5 to 8 p.m.  Check out Weekly Volcano art critic Alec Clayton’s prose on her exhibit. â€" Michael Swan

Filed under: Alec Clayton, Arts, Tacoma,

January 7, 2007 at 10:15am

Draw for Peace in Olympia

SideDoor Studio in Olympia has teamed up with the New Year Peace Art exhibit and festival for a 12 hour Draw for Peace event on Jan. 19 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Stop by anytime during the day or night; draw, paint, check out the art and chat with other participants. 

The Peace Art exhibition and festival is a project of the Silk Roads academic program at The Evergreen State College. It opened at the college in December and will run through March. â€" Alec Clayton

Filed under: Alec Clayton, Arts, Olympia,

January 7, 2007 at 3:50pm

Never Quiet Never Still rocks Jazzbones

Last night Fear Train Caravan celebrated the release of their full-length CD, Shadowdancing at Jazzbones.  They never sounded better.  Singer/guitarist Ben Fuller left everything on the stage.

Nqnsone Never Quiet Never Still set the tone for the night. Singer Lindsey Wilt has a mesmerizing stage presence. Now that I know she is a fan of KUMA I fully recognize her Bre Laughlin inspired stage moves. In fact, Wilt's moves seem actually more graceful and ballerina-like than Laughlin's circus sideshow-esque version.

Nqnstwo I still think of Tim Burton when I see Never Quiet Never Still, as though they were cast as the entertainment at a party scene in one if his movies. But I shudder to think what that makes all of us in the audience in that case. â€" Angela Jossy

January 7, 2007 at 4:32pm

Sushi at Jazzbones works

But while so few experiences live up to expectations, there's one thing that never fails to impress Bobble Tiki, one thing that â€" no matter how much it's talked about, no matter how often Bobble Tiki hears it praised â€" is always exponentially better than you could imagine. That thing is toro.

Tuna belly: the fatty, striated, dull-pink meat taken from the underside of that cattle of the sea, the giant tuna. Like eating velvet, like a taste of the divine â€" there are no perfect words to describe Bobble Tiki’s first taste of toro. And no matter how often he eats it, every time is like the first time. Toro never gets dull, never becomes old hat, and you can never eat too much of it. If there's a limit to the potential for enjoying tuna belly, Bobble Tiki would have found it by now, and he hasn’t.

Tackling toro at Jazzbones would seem like a recipe for disaster, especially since it’s house in their dark balcony.  It’s not.  It’s freakin’ good.

Mr. Lee hacks, slices, builds and presents delicious sashimi and sushi rolls, including toro, while bands rock out on the main floor.  It’s brilliant.  Between band changes, Bobble Tiki grabs a roll topped with melted scallops.  If jazz fusion graces the stage, Bobble Tiki will tackle toro, uni and carpaccio and watch the spazzy spectacle on the two plasma screen sandwiching the sushi bar.

Jazzbones bartender Johanna Gardner has almost completed her new cocktail creations, including many sake cocktails, to compliment the sushi bar.

Expanded seating and a pool table upstairs are in the planning stages.      

Short of hopping a jumbo jet bound for Japan, you are not going to find a sushi and music combo better anywhere in this area. â€" Bobble Tiki

January 7, 2007 at 8:47pm

Classical Sunday at the Antique Sandwich Company

Outside threatening storms painted the skies gray above my view of Commencement Bay.  Fighting the mother of all colds, I was feeling decidedly gray and stormy, myself, until I hit the Antique Sandwich Company.  I now believe in the restorative powers of a pot of Plum Passion Tea and great live classical music.

Franko Fontaine and David Hirst, along with the Antique, presented a talented group of five educators (mostly musical) called the King Street Quintet â€" on flute was Anne Carpenter, Ken Brown played Oboe, Ruben Watson played the oboe’s cousin the clarinet, David Cripe played the woodwind grand-daddy bassoon, while Tracy Cripe rounded out the quintet on French Horn.  David Cripe also played a piano for the “Serenade for Flute, Horn and Piano,” and introduced quite a few of the pieces, a task shared with Brown and Watson.

Opening with “Three Shanties,” the quintet reined in the crowd; the Mozart “Quintet in E Flat” put me in a place next to Heaven, while the “Serenade for Flute, Horn and Piano made both my mother in law and me sigh in pleasure, “ahhh, that’s nice.”

Glancing around the crowd, I noted young and old, readers, thinkers, sketchers, and one guy who was either listening intently or falling asleep.

After the intermission, Saint-Saens’ Carnival of the Animals (with accompanying narration by fabulously top-hatted and boa-ed Christianson Elementary librarian Danielle Eller, reading Ogden Nash,) captivated many of the kids young and old.  The exception was my own child, who’d grown music weary by this point, and dragged off her grandma, leaving me to enjoy a large hunk of afternoon in peace, with lovely music, and the remains of a pot of tea.  Really, it was my kid’s loss, as the “Tortoises” movement of the carnival included a hilariously slowed down version of the Can-Can, and the finale if the Carnival was none other than the song played in Fantasia 2000, as flamingoes played with yo-yos.  I had to close my eyes and giggle, remembering the film, and revel in the fact that only five musicians were able to fill the space with the breadth of sound that a symphony of musicians created for the Disney film.

The Klughardt piece “Quintet, Op. 79” daunted me, in title and historical time frame; I’m generally accustomed to being irritated by music from the latter part of the 19th century. I like Bach, Handel, Mozart, and their ilk, and I’ve always felt that the grandiose symphonic stuff following those composers has always been sort of large-scale pompous.

When Cripe introduced the Klughardt piece as being “romantic” in the Wagnerian-symphonic sense, I felt this sense of imminent dread.  As it turned out, the piece rocked my world.  It contained the first Andante grazioso I’ve ever found really interesting at first listen-through (Andantes are typically the moderately slow movements filled with emotion; I’m a cold-fish classical music listener, I’m afraid) and the final movement’s Adagio-Allegro molto vivace lived up to it’s descriptive name and had me delighting in rapid-fire, staccato notes peppered throughout the piece. 

The quintet ended on a flapper-esque jazz piece, “You Cannot Shake That “Shimmie” Here."  The extremely patient, polite and adorable young (very young!) man at the table next to mine did shake his bear’s “Shimmie” while Watson’s clarinet wailed and the rhythms of a Jazz era overtook the space, ending on an informally up note.

The intimacy and informality of the Antique served as the perfect classical music backdrop with freedom to nibble, sip, read, and draw, the accessibility of a sometimes intimidating musical form was enhanced.

I studied violin and viola for eight years, and have enjoyed classical music for many more than that.  I thought that I knew what I liked, and what I didn’t.  Today at the Antique, my perceptions were altered, and in the process, I had a simultaneously relaxing and invigorating afternoon.  The Classical Sundays will run through April 1 at 3 p.m., and will include everything from music students and their teachers to guitar, piano, strings, and voice, and many combinations of the aforementioned.  Open contribution is recommended, and the boho ambience and stress reduction services are free. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Music, Tacoma,

January 9, 2007 at 11:44am

Matador to open for lunch

Matador has succumbed to the overwhelming demand of the South Sounders who have fallen in love with the joint and they'll be opening for lunch next week. They are shooting for Jan. 16.

The T-Town Matador is the first to open daily for lunch. The peeps who frequent their Ballard and West Seattle locations must not have taste buds as refined or demanding as ours. Nee-ner, Nee-ner.

Now we won't have to wait until 4 p.m. for the Tex Mex treats, and I'm sure everyone who works or lives downtown can appreciate yet another dining option to break up the busy day â€" I know I will. Just be sure to bring a whole box of Altoids to disguise the tequila breath. Salud! â€" Natasha

Filed under: Food & Drink, Natasha, Tacoma,

January 9, 2007 at 2:38pm

Friends of the Rag, Unite! Tonight! Free!

Tonight at 8 p.m., artist Indian Owen will present some wearable art in the “Journey of Friends of the Rag” event being shown at the Tacoma School of the Arts Theatre. Co-sponsored by Northwest Designer Craftsmen and the Tacoma School of the Arts Theatre, the evening will feature Owen explaining, through slides, the creation of the Northwest-based, nationally-known group in 1972, and how they have evolved.

While at face value, a slide show about wearable art may seem tame, Lynn Di Nino sheds some light on the true nature of the Rags background. 

“In those days â€" '70s â€" things were much less conservative,” says Di Nino.

She suggests that the audience might be amazed by what they see, thinking, “I can’t believe they got away with that!”

She adds, “It will probably be completely inspiring to see something from that long ago hold up as entertainment.”

The event is free, and Owen will begin her talk at 8 p.m.

Be there or be naked. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

January 10, 2007 at 11:14pm

Old is new with Tacoma's Friends of the Rag

They’re a group of friends pulled together by their interest in creating eclectic fashions, and they decide to create together, and put on shows.  Eventually, the shows morph into multi-disciplinary entertainment events that drew crowds in some swank venues.

It might sound like something you’ve heard about locally, centering around the likes of groups like prime.all and the Loyalty Conglomerate.

But it’s not.  It’s Friends of the Rag, and it’s a group of locals who formed in 1972.

Friendsoftheragreviewo Indian Owen put together a talk about the group on Jan. 9 at the Tacoma Shool of the Arts, illustrated by some examples from her 5,000-slide collection that illustrated the history of the group.  Initially, they banded together to put on street-wear shows in the traditional fashion, charging money for entry to the shows, and even optimistically pricing the clothing, intending to sell it.

They were not just creative with the clothing, they were creative with the events, which had names (and themes matching the names) like “Dynamite Dud,s” “Hung at the Henry,” the “Prodigal Rag Returns,” “Roller Rags,” and “In A Somewhat Random Fashion.”

At about 1976, the group became more interested in the costuming side of wearable art, and the performance side of showing the art.  They did one show at Bumbershoot, “As the Rag Turns.”

Friendsoftheragreviewt “Space Western Hoedown in a Martian Fashion” marked another point at which the group was really more about the ensemble performance than the individual items of clothing.

But the individual items of clothing kept evolving creatively, as well.  In 1988, when the group put together “Night of the Living Thread,” Owen put together a trio of pieces notable for their amazing bead work-helmets, with tubing (and tusks) marking them as not-quite human.  Their names, “Planet Clair,” “Hullabaloo,” and “Shindig” further emphasize the nature of the pieces. These three pieces were joined by those of Owens’ friend Corky.  My favorite was “Olive Oil” with pimiento-tipped green pumps and a T-shirt that proclaimed “Extra Virgin.”  This piece was for the event, “Cheesy Nights and Saucy Women,” and was joined by “Spaghetti Western” and a circle-dress featuring pizza.

As the evening progressed, I couldn’t help but feel the whole interconnected, “full circle” vibe.  These indie designers had done, 20-plus years ago, something vital, and fun, and not at all unlike what our talented and indie Tacoma designers are doing now.

That made me happy.

What made me kind of sad, was that those who most emulate the creative spirit of the Friends of the Rag weren’t present. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

January 11, 2007 at 2:40pm

Enjoying the Tacoma white stuff

Snowday My kid wakes me up like a bad '80s remix of a bad '80s song, repeating herself ad-nauseum in a club-dub, “Mom, mom, mom, can we go out now? Mom, mom, I wanna go out. Mom, mom mom, can we go out now? Mom, mom, I wanna go out.” (Repeat.)

Mumbling something unintelligible, I hurtle myself out of bed toward the coffeepot.

First cup of coffee later, she appears again, in hat, gloves, Capri jeans, snow boots, tee-shirt.  “I’m ready!”

This is the kid who, on school days, can’t get a sock on in under an hour.

I help to re-dress her, and then squeeze myself into my snowboard clothes.  On our way to Vassault park, we see snow-shovelers, a mailbox knocked out of the ground by a wayward car, a stuck SUV, an electrical van spinning wheels in an attempt to get up a hill, and a cross-country skier.

We get to the hilly party on Vassault Park, and play the super fun game of kid-slides-down, mom-carries-the-sled-back-up.

Twice, I sit into the plastic sled.  First time, with her, we go wicked fast, hitting a snow bank on the bottom.  That thing was huge, must have been, like, six inches.  Next time, I sit alone, hurtling through space, nearly flattening a kid on a blow-up ring.  Same snow bank stops me, sending snow flying straight into my nostrils.


She serenades me with Christmas songs as I lug her home (she’s tired and frozen, and couldn’t possibly walk, she tells me) and we see more snow-shoveling, smiling people.
And I’m thinking, yeah, it’s like Christmas, without the stress.

The power of powder. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Tacoma,

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