Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2011 (129) Currently Viewing: 91 - 100 of 129

December 20, 2011 at 9:35pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Prince after party


Today's comment of the day doesn't come from the folks still giving their two cents on our Cup Check story "The truth about Craig James and those hookers," but rather from David who gives props to Ernest Jasmin's review of Monday night's Prince concert at the Tacoma Dome.

David writes,

Spot on review and yes, the after party was epic. Prince and the NPG came on just after 2AM and played until 4AM.

December 21, 2011 at 7:09am

5 Things To Do Today: Steve Munger tribute show, The Klezmatics, "The Nutcracker," Phasers On Kill ...

The man on the right will be honored tonight at The Royal Lounge in Olympia.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 21, 2011 >>>

1. Olympia saxophonist icon Steve Munger lost his battle with cancer Sunday morning, Dec 11. The jazz community will host a fundraising concert for Munger's family, as well pay homage to the man whose name was in every sentence that described Olympia jazz. Scheduled to perform at 7 p.m. inside the Royal Lounge will be The Bob Nixon Tribute Band, Sour Owl, The Steve Munger Septet, Hurts Like Hell and many others. There will be a silent auction and a potluck dinner.

2. Spanaway has some similarities with Texas. For one, Spanaway likes to go big - in the drive-thru line, and when it comes to holiday light displays. In its wattage-chowing 17th year, Fantasy Lights offers oohers and ahhers a night of blinking and glowing bliss from 5:30-9 p.m. The two and a quarter mile long parade of lit-up scenery has its own peculiar sense of majesty, and it goes without saying that it's the perfect treat for a family to soak up the holiday spirit.

3. Are visions of sugar plums dancing in your head keeping you awake all night?  Then we suggest you exorcise those dancing demons by facing them head on: Go see Washington Contemporary Ballet's The Nutcracker at 7:30 p.m. Mt. Tahoma High School will be awash with creepy Drosselmeyers giving little Claras vividly painted nutcrackers that spring to life and kill kids dressed up like mice. Amazing, huh?

4. Like a little Jewish slant to your "world" music? The Klezmatics hit the Washington Center stage at 7:30 p.m. with their special mix of Arab, African, Cuban, Latin and Balkan rhythms and a little bit of jazz and punk for the folks in the back of the room. Pete Seeger said of the group, "The Klezmatics are wonderful. (The song) ‘Gonna get Through This World' is a piece of genius."

5. Jazzbones's Wednesday Sessions series continues with Phasers On Kill, True Holland and Cadillac Radio kicking it beginning at 8:30 p.m. without a cover charge in sight.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: This week's freebies

LINK: Santa Says Blog

December 21, 2011 at 7:54am

MORNING SPEW: Tacoma's new city manager, floatplanes on Foss, Hall & Oates Hotline ...

Hey Hall and Oates. She's gone. Ohwah. Now what do I do?


T.C. Broadnax Is Tacoma's Next City Manager: The stars at night are big and bright (clap, clap, clap, clap), deep in the heart of Texas. (News Tribune)

Tacoma Regional Convention & Visitor Bureau CEO Tammy Blount Is Outta Here: All the leaves a brown and the sky is grey. I've been for a walk on a winter's day. (News Tribune)

Floatplane Dock Coming To The Foss Waterway?: You know you got to go through hell before you get to heaven. (News Tribune)

Yippee!: Food scraps soon will be accepted in the yard waste bin. (News Tribune)

Analysis: Playing payroll tax roulette. (CNN)

Roger Ebert: Best films of the year. (Sun Times)

Trent Reznor: Comes clean on Fresh Air. (NPR)

Hall & Oates Hotline: Are you having a tough day? Do you love Hall & Oates? Call: 719-26-OATES. (The Atlantic Wire)

Christmas Movies: The worst. (Time)

Best SNL Skits Of The Year? (Pajiba)

December 21, 2011 at 11:51am

Rosewood Cafe sold

Rosewood Cafe: You're still going to love it. Photo credit: Kate Swarner


"The goal is to not make anyone nervous" is how Barry Watson began the conversation about the imminent sale of his North Tacoma business, The Rosewood Café.

"I wasn't in a hurry to make an announcement because it isn't that exciting," says Watson. "Rich Benzin, the new owner is a friend of mine; it's just a transfer of ownership. The menu, staff and my recipes - everything will stay the same." 

The café's manager and kitchen manager will take on more responsibility with the eventual departure of Watson's smiling face, but it won't be any time soon. 

"Even after the sale is final I'm staying on for an undetermined amount of time," Watson explains. "I want to be sure they (the Benzins) have it down before I go."

Watson is set to leave at the height of his current entrepreneurial career, a rarity in the small business world even during sunnier economic times.

"Business has never been better; we've beat past years' sales every year. I'm getting out of the (restaurant) business on a positive note," he says,

He also finds himself in the unique position to know the in-coming owners well, to have a mutual respect and liking of them.

The Northend will like him, too. Watson says the Benzins couldn't be any more "local." "If I wasn't completely comfortable and didn't believe this wasn't a great match, I wouldn't do it," says Watson.

Just outside of the Proctor Business District proper, the café sits among homes on North 26th Street. Instead of feeling isolated, it has become a destination in the 8 and a half  years since opening. The Rosewood earned and maintains a well-deserved reputation for being a casual place to enjoy simple, good food at easily affordable prices. Staff is friendly and helpful.

Mostly made from scratch, Watson's menu of comfort foods with Northwest slant includes sandwiches, salads, soups, and larger plates of macaroni and cheese, and deep dish personal pot pie, and salmon fillet. 

Reflecting Watson's on-going commitment to keep prices affordable for the masses, college students are known to occupy tables next to Lexus drivers.

From his days before the cafe as a beer and wine representative, Watson's selection at the cafe is impressive. A large display case of vino hugs most of one wall; interesting beers are never in short supply and rotate seasonally.

Desserts made in-house have a cult following.

"I'm looking forward to joining the lives of the living," says Watson of the well-deserved break he has before him. "For the last nine years seven days a week, life has been planned out for me. And now I'll have no plans to do anything. That's the exciting part for me."

The café will continue to be open for lunch and dinner daily from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.

[Rosewood Café, 3323 N. 26th St., Tacoma, 253.752.7999]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 21, 2011 at 6:01pm

Tacoma Mayor-a-thon begins Dec. 22


Downtown Tacoma Renaissance, Hilltop Tacoma crime, Commencement Bay Superfund site, Tacoma Dome, Sheraton Hotel, University of Washington-Tacoma and other major, and minor, Tacoma historical events and projects will be discussed on TV Tacoma over the next two weeks. The show Cityline will present a two-part special discussing the past 30 years of Tacoma's political history first-hand with Tacoma mayors. Doug Southerland (1982-1989), Karen Vialle (1990-1993), Harold Moss (1994-1995), Brian Ebersole (1996-2000), Mike Crowley (2001), Bill Baarsma (2002-2009) and Marilyn Strickland (current) shared their personal experiences, frustrations and triumphs.

Part one of the two-part program will air at the following times:

  • Dec. 22: 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 23: 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Dec. 24: 2 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 25: 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Dec. 26: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Dec. 27: 2 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec. 28: 4 a.m. and 11 a.m.

Part two will air at the following times:

  • Dec.  29: 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec.  30: 1 a.m., 8 a.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Dec.  31: 2 a.m., 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec.  1: 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 11 p.m.
  • Dec.  2: 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Dec.  3: 2 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.
  • Dec.  4: 4 a.m. and 11a.m.
Small print: TV Tacoma is available on both the Click! and Comcast cable systems. On Click!, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma city limits and in Pierce County, with the exception of University Place, where it can be found on Channel 21. On Comcast, TV Tacoma can be seen on Channel 12 in the Tacoma city limits and on Channel 21 in Pierce County. For programming information or program streaming, visit www.tvtacoma.com.

December 22, 2011 at 6:37am

5 Things To Do Today: "Scrooge: the Musical," SEACATS, triple comedy, Bodybox ...

"Scrooge: The Musical": One of the best productions of the year. Courtesy Capital Playhouse

THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 2011 >>>

1. Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal announced his annual Cervy Awards. Capital Playhouse's Scrooge: the Musical blanket Carvajal's nominees for best of 2011. In fact, the show won in two categories. Scrooge: the Musical, like all incarnations of A Christmas Carol, is a transformation story. Rarely has that been so clearly represented as in this year's impeccable production at Capital Playhouse. It hits the Olympia stage at 7:30 p.m. Read Carvajal's review of the show here.

2. Call the mayor and draw up a proclamation: it's Power Pop Night in Tacoma. The SEACATS will leave the comforts of Kelso and fill the all-ages Red Room with Weezer-esque pop rock beginning at 7 p.m. Joining the CATS will be Books and Covers, a mammoth a wooly mammoth, Specters and Talkton and Easy.

3. The Tacoma Comedy Club has a three-for-the-price-of-one awesomeness scheduled for tonight. Catch topnotch comedians Adam Norwest, Susan Jones and Andrew Rivers as part of a show that kicks off at 8 p.m.

4. Actor/director/pianist Josh Anderson, the man behind Saul Tannenbaum's oversized glasses and bad wig, is no stranger to the region's stages. But for Tannenbaum, who made his first Olympia appearance two Christmases ago, playing the Black Box at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts at 8 p.m., is a big step. Performing with Tannenbaum will be the sultry Mona von Horne (Christina Collins); Belles Kitty Beaujolais (Lauren O'Neill), Donna Beldonado (Katie Youngers) and Lola de Sazerac (Kristin Carlson); and special guests Milt and Mindy McNaughton (Mark Alford and Sam Cori).

5. Weekly Volcano music critic Rev. Adam McKinney says there's vocal similarities between Bodybox frontman Kurt Lindsay and late cult singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley.  The Rev. says, "Lindsay's voice, like Buckley's (though, of course, no one can truly touch Jeff Buckley, vocally), is simultaneously full of bravado and wounded timidity. It quivers with feeling, though it might be noted that Lindsay's voice often comes across as more lost, searching, which adds a nice element to what is largely music that errs toward modern rock, with some detours to friendly mixers like R&B and folk." Check it out at 9 p.m. when Bodybox, Life Afterlife, the Estafets and Levendy feat. Vanna D perform at Hell's Kitchen.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: This week's freebies

LINK: Santa Says Blog

December 22, 2011 at 7:35am

MORNING SPEW: Straight dope on Tacoma's impending crime wave, alarm clock app ...

Lava spews into the air, higher than the treetops, near the Kamoamoa fissures between Napau Crater and the Pu`u `O `o crater on Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, on March 7, 2011. Photo credit: USGS


Ring The Alarm: Straight dope on Tacoma's impending crime wave. (Weekly Volcano)

Wheelz Comes To Screeching Halt: The Fircrest roller rink closed. (News Tribune)

Lakewood Rules: At least according to its city manager. (News Tribune)

Gingrich To Gay Man: Vote for Obama. (CNN)

Wow: The year in volcanic activity. (The Atlantic)

Nikki Sixx: Vegas residency is start of biggest years of Crue's career. (Rolling Stone)

David Letterman: Apologizes to Jay Leno. (Split Sider)

Nog Me Up, Scotty: Enterprise Xmas lights display. (Geekologie)

Alarm Clock App: Features fake wake-up calls from Jimmy Fallon. (Laughing Squid)

Time To Trim The Tree

December 22, 2011 at 9:47am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The BreakLites, Alliance Battle League, Allan Boothe, Maia Santell and more ...


The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true. We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because we're compulsive insomniacs who stay up long working on our Words With Friends skills (Bobble Tiki), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section.

We wouldn't lie. You better believe we managed to pump out another stellar Weekly Volcano music section - your every Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...


Something about the BreakLites calling their new album RAPFACE -all caps, accompanied by an illustration of a vicious animal with the title clenched in his teeth - seems weirdly incongruous when compared to the music the BreakLites make. The packaging is so aggro that when you finally hear what the BreakLites do, you can't help but laugh. This is a hip-hop group that places a premium on the sound of the record; this is an album that mostly drifts along amiably, MC Cruel's steady stream of words floating on top of a bed of tight beats and smooth melodies - melodies that, for the most part, stay out of the way of the rap. With the exception of the occasional scratchy guitar lick popping through the mix, the music just serves to buoy and support the vocals. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney


On a local note, every Saturday at Rum-Runners on South Tacoma Way there's an Alliance Battle League event - from 1-4pm. Alliance Battle League was formed down at the Graffiti Garages on Broadway but has morphed into an official MC battle league that produces legit battles every Saturday (with judges and all). This is the place to see and hear truly raw hip-hop. No press from a show, no write-ups in a newspaper, just two MCs who are pissed at each other and have some really awful, wicked and humorous things to tell one another. It's one of the most organic, local, D.I.Y. movements to come out of Tacoma hip-hop this year. ... -- Josh Rizeberg


Looking at Allan Boothe and hearing him sing are two completely different things. To see him, he's a tall, handsome guy with a goofy laugh and an affable manner, but to see him perform is to see a bundle of nerves. As Humble Cub, Boothe is buoyed by a bed of choppy, layered sound, which serves to carry his nerviness through into something resembling indie pop. But when he performs, all of the tics and eccentricities stand front and center. ... -- Rev. AM


Maia Santell has been called the Northwest's queen of swing for her high-energy shows and boisterous vocals. Yet, unlike so many female singers, she is not a screamer but rather possesses exceptional vocal control that is rich and warm. This show should mark a great way to kick off your holiday weekend. ...  - Weekly Volcano

PLUS: Better Living Through Music - Death By Stars, James Coates, Luminol & more ...

PLUS: Concert Alert

PLUS: Comprehensive Live Local Music Listings

PLUS: Holiday-themed garbage like this

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

December 22, 2011 at 10:11am

VOLCANO ARTS: Jason Ganwich and "The High Bar," The 2011 Carvies, Randy Sparks and more ...


At this point it goes without saying. If you're looking for coverage of local arts in Tacoma, Olympia, and all points in between, the Weekly Volcano is THE place to find it. Our goal is to consistently provide the best local arts coverage possible to our fantastic readers -- always be on the lookout for ways to shine a light on all the awesome creativity we see around us.

Here's a look at the Volcano arts coverage waiting for you this week in print and online.


Lights, camera ... what's that humming noise? 

Tacoma-based producer Jason Ganwich frowns in the direction of a noisy cooler chilling beer at the Tempest Lounge at Ninth and MLK Jr., location of a recent shoot of the artistically challenging and thought-provoking series, The High Bar. An effort to stop the humming cuts out half the lights illuminating host, Warren Etheredge, and guest, lesbian Pulp Fiction icon Ann Bannon. She chuckles good-naturedly as Etheredge sips gin through a cocktail straw.

As the lights, re-patched now, shine and the humming is killed, Ganwich swipes the straws from Etheredge's cocktail.  The camera is unkind to grown men who sip their drinks through dainty little straws.

It's tireless attention to details like this, in combination with a working knowledge of how to shoot a low- to no-budget program that boasts the look, and line-up, of a big budget venture, that propelled Ganwich from crew to executive producer in just two seasons of working on The High Bar.  And with Ganwich on board, the Tacoma network of dedicated and hungry film and television professionals is getting some deserved time behind the camera of a program that's going places. ... -- Jenni Prange Boran


This was an outstanding year for supporting actors and technicians. Lead actors and directors hog the glory, but a show can rise or fall on less prominent talent. My candidates for best show were all ensemble efforts. In the end, each was terrific, but I picked the one I couldn't stop raving about.

These were difficult, often subjective choices. If I've overlooked deserving achievements, remember: I can only be right 99-percent of the time. ... -- Christian Carvajal


I creep up the creaky, flame-emblazoned steps as silently as I can, not sure whether the audio guy will detect my approach through his boom mic. Director Randy Sparks has pretty much the entire floor above Tacoma's Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar to himself this Sunday afternoon, shooting a scene from his newest picture, Rose Colored Shades.

Known up to this point for sunny comedies, Sparks has opted for something darker in this tale of cold-blooded gangsters and hit men, which he wrote with Rod Long. Today's scene summed up what viewers can expect: the not-so-angelic character Gabriel (Don MacEllis) rubbing out his latest victim as she sleeps in bed. ... -- Christopher Wood

PLUS: South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

PLUS: Alec Clayton's Visual Edge Column

PLUS: Photos with Santa

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

December 22, 2011 at 12:34pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE HOLIDAY EDITION: Gritty City Sirens anniversary, Maia Santell, "He Is" and more ...



Friday: Cloudy, hi 46, lo 39

Saturday: Rain, hi 48, lo 37

Sunday: More rain, hi 45, lo 37


Maia Santell and House Blend perform their traditional holiday jazz and blues show at Jazzbones this Friday. They play an upbeat brand of R&B with a little jump blues and big band jazz thrown in for a party second to none. Santell has been called the Northwest's queen of swing for her high-energy shows and boisterous vocals. Yet, unlike so many female singers, she is not a screamer rather possessing exceptional vocal control that is rich and warm. This show should mark a great way to kick off your holiday weekend.

  • Jazzbones, 7:30-10 p.m., all ages, $8, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.369.9169


Believe it or not, it's already been a year. Tacoma's very own Gritty City Sirens burlesque troupe has been doing its thing since December 2010, establishing itself in only 12 short months as a creative force in this town, and turning plenty of heads in the process. Typically adorned with adjectives like "radiant" and "artful," the Gritty City Sirens' unique brand of cabaret and vaudevillian fun is impossible to deny. Friday the Sirens celebrate one year in style at Grit City Comedy Club.

  • Grit City Comedy Club, 8 and 10:30 p.m., 445 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.961.4262


Fridayis the last day of downtown Olympia's 12 Days of Free Parking promotion. As a thank you to shoppers and diners for buying local and supporting downtown Olympia the city has allowed free two-hour parking in the pay station areas of downtown since Dec. 12. Head to Olympia for your last-minute shopping.


Join Capital Christian Center as it presents He Is, a night of acting, music and celebration - with two services, one at 4 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. -inside the Washington Center in Olympia.  If He is anything like Bobble Tiki, He is frustrated he can't find Shania Twain's Down-Home Country Christmas at Thong Beach in the local record stores.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 4 p.m. & 6 p.m., free, all ages, 512 Washington Street SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585


Fiddler on the Roof - back again this year at the annual Dec. 25 sing-along at the Capitol Theater - was released in 1971 and is set in 1905, but some of its themes have never felt more topical. The sing-along, a project of the Olympia Film Society and Temple Beth Hatfiloh, is in its eighth year, and Fiddler has been the film of choice for six of those years. "Some people love Fiddler, and they'll see it every year," says Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh. The temple has traditionally shown films on Dec. 25 to give those not celebrating Christmas a way to have fun in community, and Goldstein suggested the sing-along as an expansion of that. At the event, volunteers collect blankets, coats and other warm clothing to be given to homeless people, and a costume contest is also part of the fun.

  • The Capitol Theater, 6:30 p.m., $7 for Olympia Film Society members, $4 for children younger than 13, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia, 360.754.6670 or www.olympiafilmsociety.org


NIKKI TALOTTA Features Writer
My weekend will be a blur of consumption: flying wrapping paper, way too much pork and eggnog, and no more money. But! It will also be a weekend of creation: memories and smiles, passed down recipes and traditions, and the continuance of the spirit of the season. Happy Holidays!

JOANN VARNELL: Theater Critic
TAMALES! My husband and I are going to make awesome tamales on Christmas Eve before going to a candlelight service. On Christmas Day we will open presents at a ridiculously early hour, cook, eat, relax, and enjoy being a family. We may also through some caroling in there somewhere.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
Kiddo time at the movies


Amanda and I are celebrating the arrival of jolly Saint Nick with her family, my family, and our wonderful friends. Ergo, I suspect there'll be drinking.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY: Music Writer & Film Critic
Saturday, I'll be hosting karaoke at Puget Sound Pizza starting at around 9pm. Do like me and use this as an excuse to save yourself from your family this holiday.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Getting out of Dodge; spending the holidays in Utah with family.


LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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