Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: April, 2007 (49) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 49

April 1, 2007 at 10:09am

Go Upper Crust

They like it deep in Chicago, and New Yorkers swear they do it best. What about Tacomans? We do it gourmet, dahling! Thin-crusted and loaded with toppings, upscale pizza is thriving â€" low-fat diets be damned. Posh pizzerias have captured the genre, replacing fraternity crowds with fashionable foodies. Take-out chow no longer, a perfect pie is now the ultimate eat-out experience.

One of my new old favorites is the Upper Crust Pizza & Eatery next to Magoo’s on North 21st Street.  Nevin and Lori McSpadden recently purchased the spot that serves gourmet pizza, calzones, sandwiches and salads in a tiny, rich environment.

Three pizza sizes, four hand-tossed crust flavors and three sauce choices support a variety of topping options, including wild mushroom medley, roasted walnut, eggplant, goat cheese, chicken breast, chorizo sausage, and many others.

Upper Crust also serves four specialty pizza options that arrive as works of art.  The Chia Pizza â€" tomatoes, cheese and salad tossed with vinaigrette ⎯ resembles, well, a salad.  The Checkerboard marinara and pesto sauce pizza mocks a game board, with roasted red bell pepper stripes marking up the board with circular goat cheese slices topped with a single Kalamata olive as the playing pieces.

The tasty sandwiches â€" not a PB&J or bologna in site â€" arrive between fresh baked rustic bread, which I found too hard. â€" Jake de Paul

[Upper Crust Pizza & Eatery, 2714 N. 21st St., Tacoma, 253.752.0900]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

April 1, 2007 at 10:33am

Tacoma's Wayzgoose proves fun

When sweet pea said that yesterday's Wayzgoose at King's Books was a letterpress "O Come All Ye," I thought he was engaging in a bit of hyperbole.

But "All" seemed to attend, and seemed to enjoy themselves as heartily as I did.

The event was centered on letterpress, though the papermaking courtesy of L'Arche Farm & Gardens was a nice (if cold, in front of the shop on the early spring day) warm-up for the activities within.  Inside, Jessica Spring had a wee press set up where we received our first memento of the day, a roughly 6X6 card with the haiku "sweet emerald peas/nestling with their neighbors in/shiny spring condosâ".  It exemplifies what I love about letterpress.

Letterpress is art, plus so much more, made tangible and accessible. There is something for everyone, from decorator dilettante to art lover, color theorist, historian, mechanical engineer, graphic designer, or lover of literature.

Stylistically, finished works become something old-school modern, and can evoke the turn of the century, the sixteen hundreds, or 1950.

The wee one, aged 5 and a bit, created a work at the table set up by the School of Visual Arts folks, with a bright, bold heart, under which her somewhat eclectic selection of motifs – a phone, three stars, a car salesman, and her name, as well as an arrow, nuclear symbol and flower – blended quite nicely.  Together with Lance Kagey of Beautiful Angle, she created her own Beautiful Angle poster, inscribed with copy that made my heart sing: "Tell me a story around a small, neat fire, about the first time your soul rose upward, like smoke, about the first time mercy fell down like ashes upon your head."

Tragically, the posters were smudged slightly in my grubby little hands. I was saddened by the smudges until I re-thought them: the smudges identified these pieces as imperfectly ours as we involved ourselves in their moments of creation.

Those moments were made more fun by the crowd that surrounded us; there were people I recognized from frequent travels about the town, people I recognized from trips to the Tempest and beyond.

But today was different – I didn't have a glass of wine in my hand, I had my daughter's warm hand in mine.  We engaged in intelligent art with moms like Rosemary Ponnekanti and Amy McBride, seeing ballet mom friends and their kids, ballet teacher Kate and MLK cohort Alexa, and gaining inspiration from the cards, carvings, wood cuts, book art techniques, and promise of future book making classes offered by King's on April 14, 21, and 28.

Filed under: Books, Culture, Tacoma,

April 2, 2007 at 9:12am

Winfield's opens in Tacoma

Winfield's Twisted Cue Club has officially opened at 539 Broadway in the mansion that was formerly David's on Broadway. The new proprietors have renovated this antique space and something that's important to me, a 1,100 square foot deck. I might have to make reservations now for the 4th of July fireworks shows.

Winfield's will be dishing breakfast buffets, lunch, dinner, a Sunday Brunch and an on-site bakery. They've also got billiards galore with six tables and billiards supplies and a dance floor that I'm sure will be put to good use.

They're still waiting for their liquor license, but that'll happen soon enough.

Check it out. â€" Natasha

April 2, 2007 at 9:29am

Whose line was it in Tacoma?

A man has molested a salmon while stealing a Wal-mart shopping cart, using Karen’s Playstation, and leaving behind fishnets and an abacus.

That man has no idea of what he’s done, and it’s up to his interrogator to leave him clues so that he can confess to the crime.

Eventually, using nebulous cues and body language, the “criminal” comes clean.

Welcome to an evening with Colin Mochrie and Brad Sherwood.

To a degree, the very enjoyable, hilarious evening felt scripted â€"or at the least, formulaic â€" despite the “improv” title.

But the formula works: it worked with Mochrie and Sherwood as they appeared in both of the "Whose Line is it Anyway?" shows â€" English and American â€" and it worked tonight.

The fans sitting in front of scribe Angie Jossy and me made the trek down from Seattle to view the two who could have been party to his marriage proposal â€" though his card wasn’t read during that performance.

The fans waiting after the show, for the chance to photograph Mochrie and Sherwood, left disappointed (the boys were whisked away via alien invasion, or something â€" they just sort of …disappeared) but not really.

The show was wicked smart, wicked funny, and wicked originalâ€"a wicked good use of a Sunday April Fool’s Day. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

April 2, 2007 at 2:22pm

Get high at the Parkway Tavern

Last night I stumbled into the Parkway Tavern to have a tasty beer with my homegirl Emmalee, only to be completely floored upon arrival.

Each person who entered who hadn't been in a while did the exact same I did. They said, "HOLY CRAP!" and they looked up.

The Parkway recently removed their hanging ceiling and restored the high ceiling behind it with such beautiful craftsmanship and majestic rafters that I couldn't stop staring. The ceilings are so high now that voices are echoing all the way up it, which I think is cool because that matches the antique church door and windows that are now above the bar. I had had to fight with all of my might to not start singing the solo songs I used to perform in my Catholic school choir.

If you couple that with all of the work they've done to the rest of the establishment (a new bar and paint job, a new backroom with a fireplace and a plasma, blowing out the wall by the pool table where there's now a lineup of booths, landscaping work along the front of the building), this is without a doubt a brand new Parkway.

But don't worry, the beer selection is still perfect, the regulars are still jovial, Big D the bartender is still a big sweetheart, they still scream CORN when you order popcorn, and I still firmly believe that this is the best tavern in town. â€" Natasha

April 3, 2007 at 11:14am

The Gossip sign to a major

For years, Olympia based label Kill Rock Stars has been known for impeccable taste.  With a roster that at one time or another has had The Decemberists, Sleater Kenny, Mary Lou Lord, and Elliott Smith; KRS has almost made a career out of nurturing young artists’ careers, only to see them leave for major labels.

Although major labels have been speaking to The Gossip for a while now, the band has resisted the urge to sign to a major unless the deal was right.  And hot off the heals of their break-out record, Standing in the Way of Control, it seemed like major-label interest was at a fever pitch, and the right situation would presented itself.

After four well-received records in five years, The Gossip is parting ways with Kill Rocks Stars to sign with Columbia Records subsidiary Music With A Twist.  Music With A Twist is being positioned as “the first major music label dedicated to identifying and developing lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgendered artists,” according to their press release.

The first Gossip-related release for Music With a Twist is a compilation, Revolutions, due out on April 17.  The Gossip has contributed its club hit “Standing in the Way of Control,” and will have a new album out on the Columbia subsidiary later this year. â€" Timothy Radar

Filed under: Music,

April 3, 2007 at 1:50pm

Clumsy Lovers return to Jazzbones Saturday

There is something pure and unadulterated about using acoustic instruments versus plugging in.  In these days of computer enhanced recording techniques and slick production, it is a treat to find a band that plays barebones and authentically.  With roots in traditional Celtic, bluegrass, reggae, country and Cajun, the Clumsy Lovers create a newfangled sound that is genuinely fresh and exceedingly fun.  They return to play Jazzbones Saturday after a long absence.

Formed in 2000, the Victoria, B.C. quintet of Trevor Rogers (guitar, harmonica, percussion, vocals), Andrea Lewis (fiddle, vocals), Chris Jonat (bass, vocals), Jason Homey (banjo, mandolin) and Gord Robert (drums), never set out to be a “band.” They were just five musicians who loved jamming, but soon fans were demanding more than the occasional gig.  Between 2000 and 2003, they issued four live discs. Finally in 2004, the group released its studio debut, After the Flood. While the disc was polished, it retained the rootsy vibe of their live shows with a nice mix of self-penned originals and barn-burner renditions of traditional Celtic and bluegrass tunes. 

The follow-up came one year later with Smart Kid, on which Clumsy Lovers upped the ante of creativity to include folk-rock and progressive country.

My fellow Volcano scribe Angela Jossy interviewed Clumsy Lovers.  Check it out Thursday when our rag hits the streets. â€" Tony Engelhart

[Jazzbones, Saturday, April 7, 9 p.m., $12-$15, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169]

Filed under: Concert Alert, Music, Tacoma,

April 3, 2007 at 4:31pm

2 Live Crew enters the Garage

Some form of the 2 Live Crew will play the South Sound Garage Saturday, April 21, at 8 p.m.  Tickets are $10 at Ticketswest.com, or $12.50 at the door. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Concert Alert, Tacoma,

April 3, 2007 at 5:09pm

Puget Sound Pizza adds karaoke topping

Karaoke might be Japanese for "empty orchestra," but bars fill up pretty quickly when any lush can stumble on stage for four minutes of “American Idol” fantasy.

What about pizza joints that serve booze?  Let’s see.

This weekend Puget Sound Pizza adds karaoke to its toppings hosted by Leonard and Colin beginning at 9:30 p.m. 

After a few drinks, brave souls will sway a bit, grip that microphone, and pour their hearts into Journey’s back catalogue.  Nice. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Food & Drink, Music, Tacoma,

April 4, 2007 at 9:36am

Toward creating fairyopolis

Crescentmoongifts Yep, I’m still in fairy mode, ostensibly for the kid, though I seem to be getting more for myself, now that I’ve found a love for all things Crescent Moon Gifts at the Freighouse Square in Tacoma.

In the interest of organizational beauty, I had to break down and buy a couple of calendars â€" they were buy one get one free, after all; and in that process, I had to buy a couple (okay, four) candles, which came with affirmations to make their mysteriously good scents blend that much better. (OK, got the “creative” affirmation down â€" now to get the “be organized and timely” affirmation candle.)

Then there were the stones, a rose quartz, an amethyst, and a prosperity-scripted jade.
But lest you think I’m all about me when I shop, I offer this: For the kid, I bought a tooth fairy box that, sadly, the puppies destroyed as it apparently looked like a pig’s ear or bully stick.

Also purchased for the kid a coloring book that was cheap â€" er, inexpensive â€"and is her favorite to color in to date, as well as a book on the care and feeding of fairies, more or less, that came with figurines which, apparently, do not look like bully sticks or pigs ears.
Next purchase: a candle for the pups, with an “I will not eat inappropriate items” affirmation?

Filed under: Tacoma,

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