Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2010 (194) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 194

December 13, 2010 at 1:17pm

I went under

Marlene Bennett hypnotized the Volcano's Christian Carvajal for this week's cover story

ALTERED STATES >>>

As you may have seen in the current issue of the Weekly Volcano, this week's cover story is about hypnosis. Specifically, I let a mild-mannered hypnotist an all-access pass to my innermost mysteries.

You can read it here.

Ideally, this will be one in a series of articles about legally altered states (see editor Matt Driscoll's fine article on salvia divinorum). So if you own a sensory deprivation tank and don't mind hearing me howl like a prehistoric simian, please, hit me up at christian.carvajal@hotmail.com.

Filed under: Health, Olympia,

December 13, 2010 at 1:52pm

Last night on the Northwest Convergence Zone

HOT PODCAST ACTION >>>

Last night I made my monthly appearance on the Northwest Convergence Zone podcast to talk sports - an act that has become part of my regular routine because a) I just really like hosts Big D and the Gimmer, and b) because I'm a promotional whore, and anything I can do to get the word out about the Cup Check column I do with gusto.

A bit under the weather, I called in to the show last night - an experience that was an adventure all in itself. With no land-line at the Driscoll household, and with cell phone reception that proved spotty at best, I ended up using a payphone on Hilltop to get through - adding a bit of gritty intrigue to an already fascinating discussion (if I do say so myself).

Anyway, check out the Northwest Convergence Zone and last night's podcast (I'm part of the second half of the show ... but listen to the whole thing to catch an interview with The Hardcount and Bad Boys Bail Bonds).

Filed under: Sports, Tacoma,

December 13, 2010 at 1:55pm

It's a Wonderful Art Bus: B2 Fine Art Gallery/Studios

The Third Thursday Art Bus will make a stop at B2 Fine Art Gallery/Studios. That's fun to say!

THIRD THURSDAY ART BUS IS MY FAVORITE >>>

Ahhh, the holidays sure are fun, aren't they?  Fun and loving.  And warm.  And smiley.:) Wish they came more than once a year, don't you? Like everyday. Or maybe, for some odd reason, you don't. That's OK. You should know the best way to spread Christmas cheer, is riding the Tacoma Third Thursday Art Bus. I'm serious. We'll be making many stops at galleries and business. See the stop schedule here.  Can't wait to see them. ... We're gonna stop at a tree place and a bar and Doug Mackey and Evan Purcell are going to play holiday tunes on the bus. Doug and Evan are my favorites.

One of the stops will be at B2 Fine Art Gallery/Studios. Sounds fun. They have this show up called Gene E. Rivers: Meet Me @ The Easel. They say it's not a real genie or anything. They say Gene is one of the most important pastel artists operating on the West Coast. Congratulations Gene! You did it! B2 owners Gary and Deborah Boone say they'll have refreshments too.

I asked Gary what B2 wants from Santa. He says, "Santa can bring good cheer and more foot traffic to the Theater District in the coming year." I know Santa and he would like that too.

OK. So the bus is $10 to ride and it's going to be super cool. Sign up here. I'll have gifts for you. Seriously.

What's your favorite color?

LINK: Here's another thing about past Art Bus nights

Filed under: Arts, Holidays, Music, Tacoma,

December 13, 2010 at 4:22pm

"The Fighter", but not because we hate our local movie critic

WORKIN' HARD FOR HIS MONEY >>>

It may not seem like we like our local movie critic, the Rev. Adam McKinney, very much - what, with all those crappy rom-coms and Chris Pine movies we send him to - but that's not actually the case. As he's said himself, there just haven't been very many good movies this year.

This week Mark Wahlberg has a new flick coming out - The Fighter, which also stars the angry-on-the-inside Christian Bale. It's a movie about a washed up boxer with great abs.

And, yes, McKinney will be reviewing it - because there's nothing he likes more than riding the bus to Seattle to see a Marky Mark joint. Trust us. It has nothing to do with whether we like him or not.

Here's a trailer from The Fighter to get you all pumped up.

And here's a clip of some of Marky Mark's best work ever.

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma, Olympia,

December 14, 2010 at 5:51am

I'm the Foursquare Holiday Mayor of the Children's Museum of Tacoma!

Leap captured by Matthew David Photography

BANDITO BETTY LOU WHO LEAP OF THE DAY >>>

"Oh no! I scared all the children off when I became the mutha elfing Foursquare Holiday Mayor of the Children's Museum of Tacoma!" screamed Bandito Betty Lou Who – our very happy friend who leaps for us on Spew. "This leap might land me on the Naughty List."

Read more...

Filed under: Leap Of The Day, Holidays, Tacoma,

December 14, 2010 at 7:56am

Photo: Hardcore holiday

LET THERE BE LIGHT >>>

Apparently this dark, rainy morning was the perfect opportunity to put up St. Leo Church's Christmas lights. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Filed under: Holidays, Tacoma,

December 14, 2010 at 10:37am

5 Things to Do Today: Classical Tuesdays, new beer, open mic, Nicole Mitchell and the Nativity House Holiday Art Show

7 Seas Brewery will debut Santa Ale at the Crown Bar in Tacoma tonight.

TUESDAY, DEC. 14 >>>

1. "Wine & Song" - what more could you want from a Tuesday evening? Check out Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma tonight for the annual Wine & Song benefit, welcoming Alexandra Picard and baritone Charles Robert Stephens for what's being billed as an evening of "Romantic Arias."

2. Stop into the Crown Bar in Tacoma tonight for the debut of 7 Seas Santa Ale. Mmmmm. Beer. (7 Seas in the Weekly Volcano.)

3. Looking for a good way to let loose some creativity? Try the Loft on Cherry in Olympia tonight for the Art Kitchen sponsored open mic, sure to draw lots of great poetry, music, spoken word and more. The action starts at 8 p.m.

4. Folk meets blues meets acoustic singer songwriter action when Nicole Mitchell performs at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma today.

5. A great cause and a great shopping experience - the Nativity House Holiday Art Show goes down today from noon to 6 p.m. at the Tahoma Center Gallery at 1323 S. Yakima Street. Nativity House artists will offer their one-of-a-kind wares to you - conscientious consumer - and 100 percent of proceeds will go straight back to them. Score big for a good cause.

December 14, 2010 at 11:35am

It's a Wonderful Art Bus: Fulcrum Gallery

THIRD THURSDAY ART BUS IS MY FAVORITE >>>

I think the biggest bad thing on holiday cheer is grown-uphood. Whether it's because of the smartypants thing that makes having a gloomy outlook a good thing or that if-you-only-knew-what-I've-been-through thing, your adult self cannot turn on glee the way your child self used to.

If that's you then you sit on a throne of sadness.

Banish the grown-up. Admit you like holiday sing-alongs, and Santa hats and fake snow and combing all of those neat things on a bus touring Tacoma's Third Thursday Artwalk. I'm the Art Bus tour guide this Thursday and we're going to have fun. We're gonna sing on the bus and at Two Five Trees and at the former Luzon Building with music guys Doug Mackey and Evan Purcell. Did I tell you Doug and Evan are my favorites? Well, they are.

One of the stops will be at Fulcrum Gallery in a magical place called Hilltop Tacoma. A man called Oliver owns Fulcrum. He says he's bringing back a studio sale called One Off's B-Sides & Studio Gems the night of the bus tour so we can see local art and crafts made by local artists such as Trevor Dickson, Mindy Barker, Zoe Johnson, Sean Alexander and Jeremy Gregory. Jeremy Gregory is like having two first names. 

Good news. I saw a cat today.

Also, Fulcrum Gallery still has the wonderful Shuffle show up. A man named Alec Clayton loves this show.

I asked Oliver what Fulcrum wants from Santa. He said, "a new roof." Oliver sounds like a funny man.

So, OK, the bus is $10 to ride and it's going to be super fun. Sign up here. I'll have gifts for you. Seriously.

LINK: B2 Fine Art Gallery/Studios is also on the Art Bus tour

Filed under: Arts, Music, Holidays, Tacoma,

December 14, 2010 at 1:06pm

Script is king

Harlequin's "Taming of the Shrew" delivered where many have not.

THOUGHTS FROM THE VOLCANO'S THEATER CRITIC >>>

I've heard people say casting is half of directing, but if that's true, then play selection is the other two-thirds. (I may have forgotten to carry a one somewhere.) When I critique a script, I'm looking at a wide variety of considerations, the foremost being: Does it provoke a physical response? Specifically, do the jokes make me laugh--not think, "Oh, that's witty," but actually laugh? Do the dramatic scenes boost my heart rate? Do the tragic scenes make my cry? I'm an easy laugh and an easy cry, so if those don't work the show has a real problem. Generally speaking, a show that produces a physical response other than revulsion will be a financial and popular success. As for musicals, if there's only one memorable song in the show, then I would argue there are half a dozen too few. Why? Count the great songs in The Little Mermaid or Chess or Avenue Q or the average jukebox musical. They're your competition.

Now. Who's your audience? If you direct one of the old warhorses, Our Town for example, are you appealing to the nostalgia of a generation that doesn't exist anymore? Those people are dead. Before a contemporary audience can make any sense of Dial M for Murder, you first have to explain what "dial M" means, then maybe what "dial" means. (I guess nowadays it'd be called Text OMFG! for Identity Theft.) Even the plot of a movie like Die Hard makes no sense in the era of cell phones, and much of the world's population grew up after the advent of cell phone technology. The folks who have a sentimental attachment to plays up through about 1970 are not the future of the art form. I realize they're the patron base of a lot of theaters, but catering to them makes sense only in the short term. Talented people are still writing plays rather than movies or TV: Yasmina Reza, Rebecca Gilman, John Patrick Shanley, Martin McDonagh. Read new material. The stuff you liked back in college, even the material that drew you into theater in the first place, was written for that time and audience. It probably hasn't aged as well as you have. But if you're still married to a revival of twentieth-century drama, at least give us program notes to explain what it means to audience members who grew up after it was current.

If you're reviving material written prior to 1900, on the other hand, material like Shakespeare or Rostand, then it's safe to assume it's survived because there's something universal about it. Directors: Do not automatically assume you have to translate the Bard into some other time and space. Shakespeare was not a historian. Ancient Rome didn't have tolling clocks, Illyria doesn't resemble the country in Twelfth Night, and ninth-century Danish Prince Amleth (i.e., Hamlet) never existed. Shakespeare created his own playgrounds--they're already mythical--so moving those stories is a bit like transporting The Hobbit to New Hampshire. What's the point? If the argument in favor of the move is simply, "It'll make costuming cheaper," that's not good enough. Changes to the text should amplify it rather than stand in its way. If you really want to set a drama with pretty language in Las Vegas, Nevada, write one. Don't twist and mutilate Titus Andronicus in hopes of making it fit.

(Of course, every time I gripe about the automatic transportation of Shakespeare, someone comes along and does it perfectly--witness Harlequin's Taming of the Shrew. Thanks a pantsload, Scot Whitney.)

If you're still desperate to try your hand at the creative exercise of moving a text, does it have to be Shakespeare or Greek? Use your imagination. What about Volpone in the Mafia? The Odd Couple in a lunar module? Brigadoon in a Sid & Marty Krofft style puppet orgy? Those are clearly godawful ideas, but at least they have, as Captain Kirk would say, "the virtue of having never been tried before."

Okay, enough about the text. You've chosen your playground; now lie in it. Study it thoroughly. Know where all the beats are. Know which plot developments are surprises and how to make them "land," meaning how to use them to create that physical response you're seeking. Live entertainment is about physical response. It's about cheering our heroes and booing the villains. Give a damn about your characters. Make them people, not job descriptions or vocal ranges! Not every show needs to be as emotionally gripping as Rabbit Hole, but hey, it sure couldn't hurt.

Filed under: All ages, Arts, Theater,

December 14, 2010 at 2:18pm

Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa

They make 'em big at Louie G's Pizzeria in Fife

This week ...

THING: Louie G's Pizzeria "Little Italy" Pizza Challenge

STATS: 28-inch pizza, three topping minimum. Starts at $39.95. You eat it - you win

CREATOR: Louie G.

CHALLENGE ATTEMPTS: 170

CHALLENGE COMPLETIONS: A big fat ZERO

TIME LIMIT: One hour

MOST COMMON EXPRESSION UPON FIRST SIGHT: Oh, shit!

MAXIMUM AMMOUNT OF CHALLENGE TEAM MEMBERS: Two

PRIZES: T-Shirt, possible cash money, name on the wall, memorial plaque, free pizza, bragging rights, four raw eggs and a used toothbrush found in Louie G's medicine cabinet.

AMOUNT OF TRUTH IN THE ABOVE STATEMENT: Not sure.

If you're one of the many tens of people who follow me on Twitter you may have read of my recent bongo obsession. Questions have arisen, such as: Are there such things as bongo lessons? Is it possible to play bongos incorrectly? Most importantly, when will the people at Nintendo or Xbox come out with a Bongo Hero video game?

Steph DeRosa obsessions are fun, and one of them is pizza dough. Aside from all of the wonderful sexual innuendos that arise when discussing raw dough, the evolution that transforms a mound of mushy flour into a delicious pizza pie is wondrous to me. It also doesn't hurt the obsession-meter when I watch men of Italian descent toss dough high up in the air.

Louie G has staked his claim in the handmade pizza pie world by honoring his own old-school family dough recipe, and providing only the freshest ingredients in fun combinations on over 14 different specialty pizzas at his Fife location. Don't let Louie G's weekday six-dollar pizza and salad bar buffet fool you: Every pizza is hand-tossed and baked in a New York brick oven. I love this place. The fact that this joint is independently and locally owned doesn't hurt, either.

What will soon (if not already) become a Steph DeRosa obsession is Louie G's "Little Italy" pizza challenge. No, I'm not going to attempt it, but I'd love to see someone else succeed. 

Hear my cry when I say, please, for the love of all things gluttonous, let me watch you and a friend try to down Louie G's 28-inch Little Italy pizza in under an hour! 

I'll hold your hair if you puke, I promise. I'll buy you an ice cream cone afterwards. I'll do (almost) anything if you just let me overeat vicariously through you. C'mon, do it!

[Louie G's Pizzeria, 5219 Pacific Hwy E., Fife, 253.926.9700]

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