Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: May, 2011 (216) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 216

May 4, 2011 at 2:45pm

REVIEW: Goldfish racing returns to the Harmon Tap Room



Young professionals and college students gather to down microbrews while listening to bluesy classic rock.  In the backroom there are two eight-foot long sections of roof gutter filled with water.  Spray bottles are positioned at one end of the track.  A small tank of feeder fish waits on a bar nearby.  After a turbulent hiatus, tonight is the reinstatement of Harmon Tap Room's goldfish racing....

To read Joshua Swainston's full review of last night's goldfish racing at the Harmon Tap Room, including comments from PETA and Harmon owner Pat Nagle, click here.

Filed under: Events, Food & Drink, Games, Tacoma,

May 4, 2011 at 5:55pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Remembering Kent Morrill (some more)


Today's comment comes from Car in response to our article on the passing of Fabulous Wailers great Kent Morrill and the memorial concert tonight at the Temple Theater.

Carl writes,

I consider "Dirty Robber", written and performed by Kent, to be the greatest down and dirty garage band rock song of all time. Kent's performance is just amazing. Equally amazing, I heard him sing "Ave Maria" in the St. Martin's College Glee Club, and on that song he had the voice of an angel. When it came to music, that man could do it all.

I, too, went to Visitation, the parochial school in South Tacoma. My mom tells me that Kent's dad was a barber who cut my dad's hair way back then. When Kent was a student at St. Martin's College in Lacey, I was in St. Martin's High School. The college and the high school ate in the cafeteria at the same time. I recall Kent standing in line in the cafeteria, boppin' around, moving his feet, snapping his fingers -- absolutely the coolest guy I ever saw in my life. And god could he sing

I never had a real personal connection with Kent, but it feels like I've lost a good friend. He WAS rock 'n roll for me.

I hadn't heard the Wailers play for years and years when I had the good luck to walk within hearing distance of the bandstand in Olympia during Lake Fair a few years ago. I heard this great rock music in the distance, and the sound was somehow familiar. It awakened long dormant memories of the sound coming from my transistor radio in the early 1960's. I wandered over and asked someone "who's playing"? It was the Wailers!

I stuck around, and shouted out requests for "Tall Cool One" and "Mashi", which they were nice enough to play. When I requested "Mashi", Kent shouted back "Do you know what that means?" Well, I DID remember, and I shouted back "It Moves!" Kent looked surprised, and said "He DOES know!" I was so proud :>) :>) :>)

I walked up to the stage when Kent took a break, and managed to have a few words with him. I told him "You were always the coolest guy at St. Martin's", which seemed to amuse him. :>)

So Long Kent - - - and say hi to Jimi and Janis and Elvis for us.

And I would LOVE to know what the connection was between our Wailers and the Reggae band of the same name. I read that our Wailers spent some time in Jamaica many years ago, before Bob Marley and his band became known. Did Bob Marley name his band after the band from the great Pacific Northwest?

Filed under: Music, Tacoma, Comment of the Day,

May 5, 2011 at 5:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Cinco de Mayo, downtown market opens, Alfredo Arreguin, Allison Chains and more ...

The Voice of Tacoma Vicci Martinez will rock Masa's Cinco de Mayo party tonight.

THURSDAY, MAY 5, 2011 >>>

1. Today is Cinco de Mayo. Cinco de Mayo is not the Mexican Independence Day (it's actually a celebration of the day Mexican forces defeated the invading French army in 1862). You don't need either of these pieces of information to enjoy discounted Coronas. Everyone and their mother is throwing a Mexican-ish party tonight, but one caught our eye. Masa on Sixth Avenue will host a burrito-eating contest at 6 p.m. followed by the Vicci Martinez Band with Erik Deejay Sessions Sundquist and Rafael DD Precision Moya spinning on two floors. Whoa.

2. From 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. (yes, new hours!) the Tacoma Farmers Market invites all cabelleros and senoritas to experience the fine wears of the land, and the natural abilities of camaraderie and free spirits, support the local farmers and eat food all at on Broadway between Ninth and 11th in downtown Tacoma. Billy Farmer, Jerry Miller and Rafael Tranquilino will fill the Weekly Volcano Music Stage with blues.

3. In celebration of Cinco de Mayo, the Tacoma Public Library, in partnership with Conexion Latina, hosts acclaimed artist Alfredo Arreguin in a free slide talk and book signing at 5;30 p.m. in the Olympic Room at the Tacoma Public Library in downtown Tacoma.

4. Olympia's Nikki McClure has many talents. Foremost among them is illustration, no doubt the reason her name has graced the New York Times bestseller list and the Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia (she won Best Visual Artist this year). This week, McClure will share her new children's illustration book, To Market, To Market, at Orca Books. The Orca website calls To Market, To Market "a paean to farmer's markets, largely inspired by yours, Olympia." See it firsthand beginning at 6 p.m.

5. The all-female Alice In Chains tribute band Allison Chains will join Downpour, Feared Alive, Boneflower and Stript at 7 p.m. inside Hell's Kitchen.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Let's eat Mexican food today!

May 5, 2011 at 11:01am

This week’s Volcano music section


Despite most of our staff's insistence that news of the SEALS-style smackdown assassination of Osama bin Laden Sunday night automatically required a national day off Monday for red, white and blue bloat drinks, sparklers and double bacon cheeseburgers - and many of them took this day off even though Obama never issued the Osama is Dead National Holiday declaration - we still managed to produce a Weekly Volcano music section this week. Honestly, it was fairly miraculous.

Here's a look at the goodness in store in print and online ...


The joining of Thao and Mirah is so exciting precisely because of how unique their voices and artistic visions are, and how harmoniously they unite. That another strong presence - Merrill Garbus of the brilliant tUnE-yArDs - is felt throughout Thao and Mirah's self-titled record, via co-production and some co-songwriting, makes the success of this balancing act all the more impressive. - Rev. Adam McKinney


While it would be unfair to call Tacoma's underage music scene comatose, there seems to be no shortage of locals who think it needs a good shot in the arm.

Among them are Shayne Weeks (Slushy, on-hiatus Makeup Monsters) and Sam Olsen (Red Hex), two young, doggedly creative musicians spearheading the Coma Collective, an arts contingent in the mode of Elephant 6. The Collective is currently enjoying a three-month creative residency at an abandoned Pacific Avenue property, courtesy of Spaceworks, the city-sponsored pro-arts initiative that converts empty storefronts into havens and "points of interest" for Tacoma's creative subculture. - Jason Baxter


So what's the big deal about another weed album from another rapper? There have been SO many weed-oriented hip-hop albums that it's almost a cliché. So what could Barz possibly give us that's not played out? How about reality weed-rap - that's what I'd call it. Instead of giving listeners the angles we've heard from dozens of MCs before, Barz takes weed rap to a new, realistic everyday-life-struggle level. - Josh Rizeberg


The aesthetic side of Seattle duo Vacant Fever is just as well-realized as the sun-baked garage rock sounds heard on the band's recent free-to-download album, Heparin & Saline. Their indelible block-lettered logo sears into the mind - have I seen it all over town, or does it just feel like I have? They maintain a tasteful Tumblr blog and website, and even their scanned, hand-drawn lyric sheets have an ineffable beauty to them. - JB

PLUS: Better Living Through Music  - Slushy, Aces Up, Tim Reynolds Trio

PLUS: Concert Alert - Weezer, KISS, Britney Spears, Sarah McLachlan and more

PLUS: Live local music listings

PLUS: Crazy crap like this

Filed under: Weekly Volcano, Music, Tacoma, Olympia,

May 5, 2011 at 11:12am

FRIDAY: 72-Hour Film Competition Viewing Party

Kris Crews will participate in the 72-Hour Film Competition once again this year. Facebook photo


On Thursday, April 21, 30 teams assembled at The Grand Cinema to receive this year's 72-Hour Film Competition requirements - elements that need to be included in every film. In each submitted work, someone must say, "What are you going to do about it?"; somewhere, there must be an egg; and at least one scene must take place on a dock or pier.

Now in its seventh year, the 72-Hour Film Competition threw a curveball into the mix by requiring that one character must possess super powers, which will doubtlessly shape many of the films to be screened on Friday.

I contacted two battle-tested and ambitious 72-Hour veterans, Kris Crews and Rick Gratzer. Their styles couldn't be more dissimilar, with Gratzer frequently embracing silliness and Crews leaning in a more psychedelic direction. I wondered how they responded differently to the challenge of making a five-minute-or-less film in three days.

To read Rev. Adam McKinney's full article on the 72-Hour Film Competition, including interviews with Crews and Gratzer, click here.

[Rialto Theater, 72-Hour Film Competition Viewing Party, Friday, May 6, 7 p.m., $11-$15, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890]

Filed under: Arts, All ages, Events, Screens, Tacoma,

May 5, 2011 at 12:12pm

THE WEEKEND HUSTLE: Local theater, Tim Conway & Friends, Daubing with the DYDD, Retrospect, Free Comic Book Day, Tacoma Wine Classic - plus the boring lives of our writers



Friday: Rain, hi 55, lo 46

Saturday: Rain, hi 53, lo 43

Sunday: More rain, hi 55, lo 43


Holy guacamole! This weekend is, like, totally stacked when it comes to local theater. Tacoma Little Theatre has Always, Patsy Cline (reviewed by Joann Varnell here). Harlequin's Unexpected Tenderness, by theatre heavyweight Israel Horovitz, opens Thursday. Tacoma Musical Playhouse offers Hello Dolly. Prodigal Sun in Olympia pushes out Amy's View. And Fame opens this week at Capital Playhouse.


Making fun of little people is funny. Everyone knows it. Well, except for little people that is. Comedian Tim Conway sure as hell knows it. Crap, dude probably made a small As-Seen-On-TV fortune hocking those Dorf videos back in the day. While Conway's official bio relies heavily on his 11-year stint on the Carol Burnett Show and six Emmy's, it's those Dorf videos we'll always blame him for. Friday, Tim Conway and Friends make their way to the Pantages Theater.

  • Pantages Theater, 7:30 p.m., $42-$89, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890


You were big in the ‘80s. Not, like, fat ... like a big deal. You were boss. Luckily, the annual Urban Arts Festival is approaching, meaning the season is upon us for Urban Arts Festival fundraisers - like this Friday's at The Space, being referred to as Retrospect. For those that need clarification, the subtitle to Retrospect is "A Totally ‘80s NEW WAVE Dance Fundraiser." Get it? You should ... you were big in the ‘80s.


On the first Saturday of every May since 2002, comic book stores across North America have joined with every publisher they can find to give away comic books - it's called Free Comic Book Day. Major operators like Marvel, DC and Disney provide stacks of recognizable characters, from Spider-Man to Mickey Mouse, while small independent publishers like Aspen, Oni and Top Shelf take the opportunity to draw some much-needed attention to themselves.According to local comic peddler John Munn, "There is literally something for everyone, young and old, whether it's your first comic ever or your four thousandth." Free Comic Book Day will be celebrated at local comic book stores all over the area. Check our story for more details.


Ever wanted to play bingo with the Dockyard Derby Dames, Tacoma's rough-and-tumble roller derby league? Seriously? You've actually said to yourself, "I'd like to play bingo with the Dames?" Well, OK then ... Saturday is your chance. Join the DYDD at Muckelshoot Bingo from 9:30 p.m. - 2 a.m. for the appropriately titled "Daubing with the Dockyard Derby Dames." Get your picture taken with the Dames, enjoy a night of music, fun, and party lights according to hype, and possibly walk away a big winner. It's a total win-win-win.

  • Muckelshoot Bingo, 9:30 p.m. - 2 a.m., $10 for ten games, 2117 Auburn Way South, Auburn, dockyardderbydames.com


The Tacoma Wine Classic is billed as the "premiere wine event in the South Sound region." While that's pretty prestigious stuff, it's probably not even the best part. The BEST PART is the annual event, which features some of the grandest food and drink available, supports Tacoma Community College's core mission of making higher education more readily available in our community. Money raised through the Tacoma Wine Classic go to things like scholarships, student support, faculty development, library acquisitions, childcare for student parents and worker retraining. It's seriously important stuff. Go here for ticket information.

  • LeMay Family Collection Foundation at Marymount Event Center, 5:30 - 10:30 p.m., 325 152nd St E, Tacoma, 253.272.2336


NIKKI TALOTTA Features Writer
This weekend calls for working the bar, pulling weeds and mopping floors, and hopefully a day of breakfast in bed, flowers, baths, and not having to change one diaper.

I will be in theater heaven or hell, depending on your perspective, as I have four shows to see and review. I also have two Mother's Days to celebrate. And, since I'm getting married in three weeks, I should probably hit the gym a few more times. I look too much like a writer.

The family is finally getting settled in to our new Hilltop palace, so the seemingly endless battle to get out of boxes is finally coming to an end. There's a Costco trip on tap this weekend, certainly, and the back door needs weather stripping. Both of those activities will, no doubt, be awesome. I'll also spend some time gazing at the fine photography provided by Jason Ganwich for this week's Weekly Volcano Summer Guide, which hit streets today. It's another great special section - and, in addition to the photos - the words ain't bad either.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Hopefully the weather will be nice and I will forget about my looming stack of grading. On Sunday I will end every request with the phrase, "because it's Mother's Day."  

This weekend, I will be contemplating the probably too harsh review I gave to Thor. Beyond that, I will be contemplating the rainbow bridge that is featured in Thor, and which I failed to mention in my review. Seriously, guys, it sparkly.

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
Too much stuff. Friday night Unexpected Tenderness at Harlequin; Saturday working the PFLAG Booth at the Second Hand Safari Fleamarket; Saturday night Hello Dolly at Tacoma Musical Playhouse; Sunday PFLAG-Olympia meeting.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food and Lifestyles Writer 
Tatanka Take-Out and Pt. Defiance on Friday. Start the day with yoga then lunch at Northern Pacific Coffee Company on Garfield Saturday, followed by potting plants and an afternoon bike ride. Sunday is all about church and Mothers Day.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
The weekend started early last night at the Temple Theater for the Kent Morrill memorial concert. Then, I'll be seeing Hello Dolly at TMP this weekend and playing some ukulele.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

May 5, 2011 at 2:09pm

THEATER REVIEW: “Always, Patsy Cline”

"Always, Patsy Cline"


Always, Patsy Cline is a musical for people that love music but are not particularly fond of musicals. It's more like a concert with a play interspersed between the songs. The story is about the beginning of the six-year friendship between country star Patsy Cline and Louise Seger.

Walking into Tacoma Little Theatre's auditorium for Always, Patsy Cline, the first thing the audience notices is a five-piece country-and-western band, the Bodacious Bobcats, dressed in matching garb.

To read Joann Varnell's full review of Always, Patsy Cline click here.

[Tacoma Little Theatre, Always, Patsy Cline, through May 29, 7:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $17-$26, 210 N. I St., Tacoma, 253.272.2281]

Filed under: Theater, Tacoma,

May 5, 2011 at 2:12pm

PHOTOS: Kent Morrill tribute concert

Fabulous Wailers bassist Buck Ormsby directed traffic on stage during the Kent Morrill tribute concert. Photography by Steve Dunkelberger

The City of Tacoma should erect a monument for Kent Morrill. I would like to remember the famous Tacoman every time I shop in the Stadium District or drive down Sixth Avenue. My guess is the capacity crowd inside Tacoma's Temple Theatre last night would agree. The free tribute concert drew tears and cheers for the Fabulous Wailer frontman who died  April 15 after a long battle with colon cancer. Former concert promoter and KJR disc jockey Pat O'Day and local concert promoter Mike Mitchell elicited roars of laughter with Morrill stories. And every Northwest music legend that performed before the dancing masses attributed their success or inspiration to Fabulous Wailer No. 1. The underlying message of the evening was there wouldn't have been a Northwest garage music scene without Kent Morrill.

Musical luminaries from around the Northwest - Steve Peterson, Neil Andersson, Gail Harris, Jerry Miller, Jim Manolides, Freddie Dennis, Jumpin' Jim Wallace, Barry Curtis, Merrilee Rush, Jeff Kathan, George Barner, Gerry Roslie and on and on - joined Buck Ormsby and ALL the members of the Fabulous Wailers on the Temple Theatre stage before packed dance floor. Many of those dancing were the same faces who use to dance in front of the same musicians during the famous rock ‘n' dance parties O'Day and others threw in the late '50s and early '60s.

True to the man it honored, it was a night to remember.

LINK: More photos of the night in our Photo Hot Spot

Photography by Steve Dunkelberger

Filed under: Concert Review, Music, Tacoma,

May 5, 2011 at 3:57pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: 72-Hours of fun


Today's comment comes from Marguerite in response to Rev. Adam McKinney's article on the 72-Hour Film Competition, which will hold its always-awesome viewing party tomorrow evening at the Rialto Theater.

Marguerite writes,

This is one of the funnest activities I've participated in. My team last year had so much fun making our movie, (We got an honorable mention!) and we were sad not to be able to do it this year. I can't wait to do it again next year, it was a really fun, creative time!

Our Video- www.youtube.com/watch?v=7upCYs-pnW8

May 5, 2011 at 4:53pm

RAINIERS MINUTE: Late game magic and Franklin Gutierrez


In a season full of struggles so far for the Tacoma Rainiers (10-17), last night's ninth-inning rally and victory at Cheney Stadium was about as sweet as can be - like the first sip of a $2 MGD on Tasty Thursday.

Speaking of Tasty Thursday, what's today? Oh yeah! It's freakin' Thursday! And the Rainiers are at home.

Miller Lite Tasty Terrace here we come ...

Here are some thoughts before the first pitch of tonight's series finale against the Tucson Padres (real original name, fellas).

- Who is this Anthony Rizzo character, manning first base for the Tucson Padres? Sounds connected, if you catch our drift. Like someone you don't want to mess with. And dude's definitely packing some firepower - he went yard in the top of the ninth last night, driving in two runs. Rainiers announcer Mike Curto reports he's been routinely lighting it up in batting practice as well. So far this season Anthony Rizzo, middle name Vincent, has nine home runs, a .402 average, and dimples that just wont stop. Too bad he also gave up the error that put the Rainiers ahead for good last night in the bottom of the ninth. Look for Rizzo to seek revenge for the Padres tonight. And if Rhubarb disappears, check Rizzo's trunk.

- Dustin Ackley hit a his first career grand slam with the Rainiers last night, which at the time put the team up 4-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning. Excuse me while I daydream about the eventual major league combo that will be first baseman Justin Smoak and Ackley at second (never mind the fact Ackley is still only hitting .214 on the year in Tacoma). It's hard to tell via Curto and 850 AM radio whether Ackley wears one of those Justin-Smoak necklaces yet, but it's probably coming.

- I saw a member of the Cheney Stadium ground's crew at Home Depot on Center Street last weekend.

- Mariners centerfielder Franklin Gutierrez will continue his rehab stint in Tacoma tonight, reportedly scheduled to play about seven innings in center field. Gutierrez, of course, has been unable to go for the M's so far this season because of mysterious stomach troubles that were only recently diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome. Luckily for Gutierrez, he'll be on the field tonight and not in the Tasty Terrace ... $2 beers are no way to rehab irritable bowels.

Filed under: Sports, Tacoma, Rainiers Minute,

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