Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2011 (172) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 172

September 5, 2011 at 8:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Abbots Bromliad wackiness, final Rainiers game, Micro Mondays, special Greta Jane performance and more ...

Drop by Tacoma's Old Town Park at noon and watch the wackiness.

MONDAY, SEPT. 6, 2011 >>>

1. Every Wakes Monday, the dancers in Abbots Bromley, England take up the traditional horns for their legendary 16 kilometer trek of dancing through countryside and pub yards. The Puget Sound Revels are down with that.  From noon to 2 p.m. in Tacoma's Old Town Park, the Revels will stage their own wakes Monday thing and teach folks the Abbots Bromley Horn Dance, as well as several other country dances. And because they are the Revels, they'll sing a few traditional songs too.

2. Metro Parks spraygrounds in Tacoma hit that sweet spot for parents: The spraygrounds size and variety will entertain kids for hours, and, best of all, the spraygrounds are free. Metro Parks will extend its operating schedule for six popular spraygrounds to remain open daily through Sept. 11: Jefferson Park, McKinley Playfield, Norpoint Park, South Park and Wapato Hills Park.

3. Tacoma Rainiers host the Fresno Grizzlies for the final game of the season at 1:35 p.m. at Cheney Stadium.

4. Magoo's Annex's Micro Mondays with DJ Melodica has become a habit for many, specifically those who enjoy punk, post punk, New Wave, early electronica and garage tunes while waiting for that one damn pool table. Tonight, the bar is raised a bit as DJ Aaron Mack joins Melodica behind the turntables. Get in on the party beginning at 8:30 p.m.

5. The Greta Jane Quartet will fill the Royal Lounge in Olympia with jazz in support of FORGE, Olympia's own self defense class for women. The show begins at 9:30 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

September 5, 2011 at 9:07am

MORNING SPEW: Free to be you and me at Jason Lee, Labor unions top 10, best animated TV theme, and more ...

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

Happy Labor Day: 10 great things courtesy of labor unions (Good)

Tacoma School District Takes Another Hit: Jason Lee Middle School's core classes are back to coed. (News Tribune)

In Other School News: They're kicking ass in Puyallup (News Tribune)

Propaganda Bureau: It now controls two major Beijing newspapers. (Guardian)

In Other Newspaper News: There is no safer place to invest your money than print media, according to ... (The Onion)

Vote Now: What's the best animated TV theme of all time? (io9)

Happy Birthday Doodle: Today would have been Freddie Mercury's 65th birthday, and Google is honoring the Queen frontman. (Gawker)

American Idiot: Billie Joe Armstrong was kicked off a plane. (NY Mag)

September 5, 2011 at 10:42am

BUMBERSHOOT REPORT: Day Two Review and Final Day Preview

GRAND HALLWAY: Joe Izenman recommends catching the band at 2:15 p.m. today at Bumbershoot

Convention is for suckers.

Convention at Bumbershoot is to wander from stage to stage taking in a dozen different kinds of pop music, from around the world and across the pop-genre spectrum - country, folk, blues, electronic, rock, punk and hip-hop.

But sometimes convention doesn't do the trick, and doesn't give you everything Bumbershoot can offer.

So I spent an hour Saturday watching bizarre short films about fairies and magic and occasional doom. On Sunday I sat in a small theater and listened to two men talk about saving lives with the Internet. I skipped all the headlining bands and watched a double-bassist from the Seattle Symphony utterly succeed at Failing, to the delight of the audience

Two years ago I followed a giant carrot into the Seattle Center fountain and broke my umbrella. Last year I watched a full-on musical. Today there will be puppets, reenacting one of the worst films I've ever seen.

With all my snarks about loop pedals, who'd have thought the first one I'd actually see this year would be in the hands of a classical bassoonist? Playing a piece about aliens? With cookies?

Throw a wild card into your day. Go see some of the One Reel Film Festival. Hit the Words & Ideas stage and experience something like Dan Savage and the It Gets Better Project. The next time the Seattle Symphony shows up to play a few numbers, take note-it's bound to happen again sometime, even if this was the first time in 40 years of Bumbershoot.

* *

A few options to consider for one last day on the grounds:

2:15 PM - Grand Hallway (Mural Amphitheatre)

I've written more than once before about the excellent music these frequent Tacoma visitors are making. Take my word for it, whether you want to or not.

3:30 PM - The Unexpected (SIFF Cinema)

The Bumbershoot.org description of this film set is short and cryptic, but quirky twists are a hallmark of the short film art form, and this batch promises to be a lot of fun. In a weird sort of way.

7:00 PM - Orkestar Zirkonium (Festival Grounds)

One of this year's "spectacle" pieces, a.k.a. performance art divorced from the stage, Orkestar Zirkonium had me at "Seattle's mobile Balkan brass band..." I can imagine no way in which this does not turn out awesome.

That's all for me until the festival is dead and gone. Enjoy!

Filed under: Events, Arts, Culture, Music,

September 5, 2011 at 12:17pm

Where Everybody Knows Your Name: Burs Restaurant

Busy Burs: A landmark restaurant since 1952, Burs has a large following of loyal customers. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

ICONICALLY GOOD >>>

The phrase "destination restaurant" often creates visions of white tablecloths and fine china.

Not for me.

Pilgrimage worthy food doesn't always come from a cosmopolitan - or corporate - kitchen.  Astoundingly good vittles might be served out of a nondescript building in the most unlikely of places.

Like Burs Restaurant on Steilacoom Boulevard in Lakewood.

The place began as the Lakewood Coffee Shop in 1952 when Al and Jeanne McGinnis served homemade pies and pastries to go with that cup of morning eye-opener.

Then in the early 1970s, Will Burslem and his wife, Verna Burris, bought the business and renamed it Burs - a cute combination of their two last names.

Since then, the restaurant has been the unofficial meeting place for Lakewood.

Not only is the food good - you will make liberal use of your napkin - but the atmosphere of Burs reminded me of the feeling I get when I'm wearing a beat up pair of jeans, a loose fitting hoodie, oh-so-comfortable shoes and a well-worn baseball cap.

Add the fact that the waitresses seem to know everyone who walks in by their first name, and you're starting to get the idea.

Then again, there are the folks who have been coming into Burs since I was knee-high to a grasshopper.

Mike Gaines had just finished his breakfast of eggs, hash browns, toast and coffee when I slid into the booth seat opposite him.

He told me he first walked into Burs for lunch on February 11, 1975.  It must have been one damn good lunch because like clockwork he's been coming back every day since then when the doors open in the morning.

"Not only is the food good and the waitresses friendly, but at certain times on certain days you would see certain people sat in their spots," Gaines said with certitude.

Another cool thing about Burs is the 11-seat counter that runs parallel to the kitchen area. 

On the front page of a newspaper dated March 11, 1952, there is a picture of the counter.  As if caught in time, it hasn't much changed since then.

I often occupy seat nine when I drop in to grab a couple of orders of Wrecked Eyes for my wife and me.

Across the counter is a pie case, filled with apple, lemon meringue, cherry and banana cream pies, a picture of heaven.

To the right is a coffee machine that is constantly filled and refilled as the time passes.

And brother has time passed.

Waitresses, some of whom have been around for over a quarter of a century, talk with customers, many of whom have been coming in for 30 or 40 years.

Through a window I watch the cooks working and putting various dishes up of gin-u-wine homecookin'.  The smell of food overwhelms me like the leading edge of a Category 5 hurricane.

This is a place you're gonna want to return to.

You'll have to excuse me now - I'm hungry.

[Burs Restaurant, 6151 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, 253.588.4844]

LINK: South Sound coffee shops

Filed under: Food & Drink, Lakewood,

September 6, 2011 at 6:52am

5 Things To Do Today: RTX, comedy open mic, open turntables and more ...

Tonight at The Brotherhood Lounge is going to be awesome.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 6, 2011 >>>

1. RTX will blow minds tonight at Olympia's beloved Brotherhood Lounge beginning at 9 p.m. Having garnered rave reviews from Decibel, Vice, Village Voice and the like, RTX is dotting the coast with a Sonic Youth-y, MC5-ish sound. For the full story on this awesome band, read Nikki Talotta's story here.

2. It's all about huckleberries at the 6th Ave Farmers Market from 3:30-7 p.m. Music by The Key of Joy will keep things lively.

3. Be honest. Labor Day didn't go well for you. Shake off some of that barbecue anger tonight at Caffe Dei during its Comedy Open Mic. Sign up at 7:30 p.m. and then let the crowd have it beginning at 8 p.m. There isn't a cover or drink minimum. And if there are children in the crowd then the parents are to blame. Burnt wiener jokes are fair game.

4. On weekends all the bartenders are in a bad mood because people are forgetting to tip them and throwing toilet paper around the bathroom. However, Tuesday is when a neighborhood bar wipes its brow and smiles. But it can take a little coaxing to get your fellow officey friends to come with you on a Tuesday. How to break them down? Trivia contest! Farrelli's Wood Fire Pizza on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue hosts a 9 p.m. trivia night with prizes. And the bartenders are nice.

5. For eff sakes you were gifted those two turntables and a microphone at Christmas! It's time chief. Test out your DJ skills tonight during gay-friendly MetroGruv's Open Deck Night beginning at 8 p.m. They have the equipment. Do you have the nerve?

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Nightlife!

September 6, 2011 at 7:21am

SHORT ORDER: restaurant openings, closings and changes

Goodbye giant martinis.

SOUTH SOUND NEWS, NIBBLES AND BITES >>>

Tacoma Avenue Hole: JoAnna and Tom Irick quietly opened the SideBar Bistro last summer, and now have quielty closed it – along with their other restaurant Hot Rod Dog next door at 11th and Tacoma Avenue South.

Cicada In Olympia: Chris Cratsenberg and Jen Thornson are the new owners of Cicada Restaurant and Lounge. While they say there will be little changes to the menu, the new owners will change the interior and have added two 50-inch TVs in the lounge for sports games. The new hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

Pan-Asain: Cafe Banana will open Sept. 15 in the spot Goodfellas Steakhouse once occupied at Great American Casino in Lakewood. it's been tagged as an upscale Asain bistro.

Adding Land: Sushi rocks next to the cinemas at Capital Mall in Olympia has closed and Land and See Buffet is moving into its spot.

Maxwell's Speakeasy: Maxwell's new owners will roll out a new menu Sept 13 with a grand "red carpet" re-opening in mid October.

LINK: Half-priced wine bottles tonight!

September 6, 2011 at 9:22am

MORNING SPEW: Innovation Partnership Zone in Tacoma, Atari vs. iPad, "Stars Wars" building and more ...

George Lucas's eight-story building looks like a Jawa sandcrawler.

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

How Can You Have A High-Speed Chase In Fern Hill?: It happened when a moron stole a car and crashed into a state trooper. (News Tribune)

Innovation Partnership Zone: Can in happen to the east side of Tacoma's Foss waterway? (News Tribune)

Through Rain And Sleet And Email?: The U.S. Postal Service is in trouble (CNN)

Teeny Tiny Waspy Stupidity: Everything that is wrong with fashion magazines today (Dumb As A Blog)

Space Invaders: Atari is making a joystick for the iPad (Gizmodo)

May The Interior Designer Be With You: George Lucas' crazy new offices for LucasFilm in Singapore look like something out of Star Wars movies (Gizmodo)

No It's MY Chemical Romance: Michael Pedicone, the drummer for My Chemical Romance, has been fired for stealing. (Take 40)

Newsflash: Madonna absolutely hates hydrangeas. (Billboard)

September 6, 2011 at 10:04am

Weekend Posts: Funny beer drinkers, Tacoman on national TV, Tacoma Film Fest schedule and more ...

Folks wore funny hats during Saturday's Tacoma Craft Beer Fest.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT WHILE LIVING IN A TENT >>>

Labor Day typically marks the end of summer. Sad, we know. Actually, screw that, we're ready for football season.

The Weekly Volcano had a staycation this past weekend. Here's what we posted:

Beer drinkers wearing funny hats;

Vintage shots of a modern day Tacoma Craft Beer Fest;

Bumbershoot reviews and previews;

Tacoman on national television;

Breakfast in Tacoma;

Tacoma Rainiers coverage as drunk as you were;

Tacoma Film Festival 2011 schedule of films;

And last week in Tacoma rocked us like a hurricane.

LINK: This work week is already too long. Happy hours!

September 6, 2011 at 10:16am

BUMBERSHOOT REPORT: Izenman's Final Recap

YACHT / Photo credit: Allie Fowler-Facebook

AH, MEMORIES >>>

I love Bumbershoot for a lot of things, but mostly I love it for its memories. The singular moments that pop up every year and stick with you forever.

In 2005 I high-fived Iggy Pop as he ran through the photo trough. I stood in Memorial Stadium and watched a band I'd only ever heard once before, The Decemberists, make an entire crowd scream like the whale-eaten.

In 2007 I wasn't paying attention to the Crowded House stage until I heard a roar from the crowd, and suddenly there was Eddie Vedder. I stood swaying in the oncoming lightning storm as the crowd sang about love and time and hope with Glen Hansard and the Frames.

In 2008 Monotonix played for 15 minutes of crazed, manic joy before the security guards got nervous and shut them down. In 2009 Jason Webley conquered the crowd of Bagley Wright Theatre and led us marching, chanting, laughing and dancing slowly down into the fountain.

I guess that's why I've had so much trouble figuring out what to write this weekend. I don't think I saw a single bad performance. Young locals like Brite Futures, Lemolo and The Lonely Forest. Seasoned veterans like the Presidents and Broken Social Scene. Sol and YACHT and Tennis and Leon Russell.

But the thing that'll stick with me the most about this year was just laying around. Chilling on the grass for band after band. Getting up long enough to go to the next stage, to chill some more. No mad, frantic rock out moments. No getting beat to shit by a 15-minute long mosh pit with a band in the middle of it. No huge singalongs or dance numbers.

Just a weekend of good music and relaxation. Not a bad day to wind down a stupidly short summer in which I've barely had time to slow down, let alone stop to enjoy it. Not bad at all.

Filed under: Arts, Events, Music,

September 6, 2011 at 1:30pm

MOVIE BIZ BUZZ: What a rush

THE GIG HARBOR 72-HOUR FILM COMPETITION, PART TWO >>>

Whether it comes from inside their own heads or other people, filmmakers hear "No!" a lot. It simply comes with the territory; theirs is an art, and business, of constant constraints and near-limitless limitations, never enough money/time/CGI apes ... you fill in the blank. These conditions prompt the more daring to engage in a sort of self-abuse and impose even greater restrictions on their work. So we see screenwriters set entire movies in cramped elevators, and more specifically a director like Hitchcock attempting to film his feature, Rope, in a single take.

You can bet plenty of local masochistic filmmakers will not resist the Gig Harbor 72-Hour Film Competition. Sure, participants have only a weekend (6 p.m. on Sept. 15 through the same time on Sept. 18) to complete a short film. And sure, every work must include the same line of dialogue, prop, action and situation. And sure, the Gig Harbor Film Society, which organizes the contest, has even capped every team's crew to five members. That's five people, four elements, three days, two nights, one movie. But you can't make diamonds without a little pressure, and all these rules may squeeze out a masterpiece.

Emilie Firn, one of the contest directors as well as program director for the upcoming Gig Harbor Film Festival, continues to ponder which elements she will ultimately pick. "I'm trying to choose elements that don't suggest an obvious storyline," she says, which means the competitors have some work ahead of them.

But no one seems to mind. In only its second year, the contest has already lured several of the same filmmakers back for another go at the top prize: the two best shorts as voted on by judges will secure a place in GHFF's Oct. 14-16 lineup.

I can't blame these folks - my friends and I have returned multiple times to The Grand Cinema's version of this competition. It's stressful, sleep-depriving and sometimes a real pain in the ass. But what a rush.

LINK: The details

Filed under: Arts, Screens, Gig Harbor,

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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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