Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2011 (129) Currently Viewing: 121 - 129 of 129

December 29, 2011 at 11:46am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The Year in Tacoma Music, The Young Evils, Hip-Hop Occupies at Occupy Tacoma and more ...

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC >>>

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 hours smoking cigarettes and bumbling around on Twitter (Rev. Adam McKinney), 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.

And this week it's the last Volcano music section of 2011!

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 ...

FEATURE: 2011: The Year in Tacoma Music

In a city where residents can simultaneously be too quick to self-congratulate and wear their shortcomings and bitterness like a talisman, I must approach a year-end summary of Tacoma's music scene largely with optimism, but also a necessary pragmatism. In my opinion (three words one should strongly remember in the reading of this article), this was generally a pretty good year for Tacoma music. While there were setbacks like the seemingly permanent dissolution of the Peabody Waldorf, for instance, there was also the rising of newer venues like Dorky's Arcade and the Space. While the Nightgowns have gone on an indefinite hiatus, newer bands like Not From Brooklyn have begun to establish themselves in town, while the Night Beats have established themselves internationally. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney

FEATURE: The Young Evils

This is a band, led by songwriter Troy Nelson, that approaches the act of songwriting almost as a dare - how tight, bright and ebullient can you make each of these songs while still maintaining that certain gobsmacking efficacy that comes with taking in a great pop song. ... -- Rev. AM

HIP-HOP: Hip-Hop Occupies and Occupy Tacoma plus more

On another note, if you're the revolutionary type who likes to brave the elements, there will be hip-hop and other live music down at the Occupy Tacoma camp on New Year's Eve. The Occupiers in Tacoma are bearing in for the winter, and have no plans to leave. They've outlasted Occupiers in New York, Seattle and many other cities. This is the second Occupy Tacoma has hosted with Hip-Hop Occupies, which is a national group using hip-hop culture to infuse the Occupy movement with renewed energy. I'm throwing down there myself. It will be a fun, celebratory, yet cold night. ... -- Josh Rizeberg

WE RECOMMEND: James Hilborne & The Painkillers

The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. ... -- Rev. AM

PLUS: Better Living Through Music - Czar, $krilla's New Year's Eve bash at Krickets and more

PLUS: Concert Alert

PLUS: South Sound  Live Local Music Listings

PLUS: New Year's Eve Staples Like This

December 29, 2011 at 3:29pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: POSSCA New Year's Eve Masquerade Benefit, First Night, Perry Acker, Polar Bear Plunge, Plus the Boring Lives of Some of the Volcano's Staff ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Rain, hi 46, lo 34

Saturday: Chance of sun, hi 41, lo 36

Sunday: Cloudy, hi 46, lo 41

>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 30:JAMES HILBORNE & THE PAINKILLERS

The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. On record, the Painkillers' music is tremulous and strange, smothered as it is in the kind of haze that one might think would envelop country rock was born under Tacoma's unforgiving gloomy skies. James Hilborne and the Painkillers are the perfect band to send you drifting dreamily along into New Year's Eve, and from there the uncertain future.

  • The New Frontier Lounge, with Humble Cub, special guests, 9 p.m., cover TBA, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: THE BROHO'S NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY

The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia tops the dichotomy list. At the heart of this red-walled haven of booze, dancing and debauchery are community and solidarity. You see, while you kiss the closest beautiful face at midnight - colorful balloons dropping all around and your head dizzy with drinks - you can take solace in the fact that if you were to drop dead at this point, at least you know half of your door money is going to Safeplace, a local non-profit that supports victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. DJ Dead-Air, from Portland, will be spinning all night, and has been said to induce spiritual journeys through his picks of ‘80s, rawk, punk, disco and more. Awesome.

  • The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153

>>> SATURDAY, DEC.31: FIRST NIGHT TACOMA

First Night Tacoma - an annual, all-ages, family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration - follows the Chinese lunar calendar, and this year is the year of the dragon.  In this spirit there will be two large dragons making an appearance at the festival - a 35-foot creation by Metro Parks Tacoma, and a 14-foot fire-breathing metal beast. "We're really stepping up the fire aspect to mitigate the cold," says co-event director Lance Kagey. First Night buttons - available at many businesses in the Stadium and Theater Districts - will get you into all of the stages and events for the evening (not to mention free admission to Tacoma's museums during the day). At 6:30 p.m. First Night Tacoma officially kicks off in the Theater District with a parade. Throughout the evening, attendees can enjoy music on 12 stages. Bands and performers will include regional acts such as Roman Holiday, Rumbeggae and Vamola.

  • Downtown Tacoma- Theater District, 6:30 p.m.-Midnight, Buttons $10 before Saturday, Dec. 31, $14 day of, Kids 10 and younger free, firstnighttacoma.org

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: POSSCA NEW YEAR'S EVE MASQUERADE BENEFIT

Billed as, "a high-octane shake-your-booty event," Saturday's Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts New Year's Eve Masquerade benefit is sure to be an awesome way to bring in 2012, promising 2011's Best of Olympia "Best Band" The Brown Edition, in addition to party favors, hors d' oeuvres and enough funk to make your trunk jump. Best of all: It's all ages. Even better: There's a beer garden for those over 21. You can't go wrong.

  • The Eagles Grand Ballroom, 805 Fourth Ave., Olympia, possca.org

>>> SATURDAY, DEC.31: NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH ROCK-BOT AND BURGERS

Chances are you'll celebrate New Year's Eve one way or another. Either you have magnificent plans, or maybe you don't. But when the time comes you'll be looking for something ... anything ... to do on the big night. Sitting at home in your depressing apartment on New Year's Eve is the very definition of sad and lonely. This being the case, consider Varsity Grill's New Year's Eve celebration, offering an all-ages chance to karaoke your ass off with the live "Rock-Bot" backing band, not to mention bring in the New Year in style. Oh, and did we mention Varsity Grill is giving away a very meaty prize - a burger a day for all of 2012? Only a silly vegan could pass up such an awesome opportunity.

  • The Varsity Grill, 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH PERRY ACKER

Local band Perry Acker has had a big year. They took home top honors at the Ford-sponsored "Give Me The Gig" national battle of the bands contest, they releaed a new record, Path To Freedom, and on Saturday they'll bring in the New Year with a much-anticipated show at Jazzbones. Ben Union is also on the bill, as is an unplugged performance from local favorites Doxology. 

  • Jazzbones, 9 p.m., $15-$30, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169

>>> SUNDAY,JAN. 1: POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

Here at the Weekly Volcano we take our showers warm. We're kind of wimps. But there are plenty of tough, adventurous, rosy-cheeked folks out there who live on the edge, no doubt partaking in activities like Sunday's Polar Bear Plunge at Point Defiance Marina. According to hype, Sunday's New Year's Day cold-water fiasco presents a chance to get 2012 off on the right foot. As the press release says, "The New Year offers opportunities to set new goals and try new things, so get your bucket list out and come take the Plunge with other jubilant merrymakers at the Point Defiance Marina." The all-ages Polar Bear plunge will go down rain or shine, starting at 11:30 a.m.

  • Point Defiance Marina, Polar Bear Plunge, Sunday, Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m., free, 5912 N. Waterfront Dr., Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, 253.591.5325

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
Watching season three of Sons of Anarchy that I missed, so it is sort of like watching Resevior  Dogs since all the episodes now seem like flash backs.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
It's New Year's Eve, my favorite holiday of the year! We'll be at Swing Wine Bar to catch the musical stylings of Skuff and Al. Then, if other celebrants ask us to make out with them, well...let's just say we haven't resolved not to do that.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Making 30 batches of cookies with family in Utah. Recipe swap with six aunties. Gathering on New Year's Day with five generations of family to honor our matriarch.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
For the last two weeks I've worked REALLY hard to build up my ability to stay up past 10 pm (aka watching Mad Men season 1 and 2). On New Year's Eve I will put my training to the test at First Night where I will watch the fire breathing dragon, and Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives while trying to keep my toddler asleep. Sunday I will nap when my son does. First, though, I will clean my house for the last time this year!

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic/Writer
Water volleyball with the over the hill gang and the SAGE Olympia brunch at the Urban Onion Sunday.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

December 30, 2011 at 8:14am

True Tacoman: Score free food by knowing your Annie and Fanny trivia

True Tacoman Trivia Game: Where Tacoma history meets the Foodcaching local food app.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR TACOMA HISTORY ... AND LOVE FOOD? >>

Foodcaching is a new smart phone app alerting customers of awesome food deals at 15 restaurants in the greater Tacoma area. You may download the app for free on your iPhone and Android here.

The Weekly Volcano has teamed up with Foodcaching for the True Tacoman game. Every Tuesday and Friday right here on Spew, we post a Tacoma history trivia provided by the Washington State History Museum. If you know the answer, run to one of the 15 participating restaurants, come clean with answer and you'll receive points on your Foodcaching app, which you downloaded free here. We'll be running the True Tacoman trivia game through the end of the year.

The person will the most points on Dec. 31 will be crowned the True Tacoman and be flooded with various food prizes.

Tuesday's True Tacoman trivia answer

Tuesday we asked: How many lost their lives when the Narrows Bridge collapsed in 1940? You spent the last three days telling the restaurants listed below only one dog perished – and, thereby you scored points on the Foodcaching app. It was an easy task – a lot easier than surviving a fall from said bridge.

Today is Friday, which means we post another trivia question as part of the True Tacoman contest. Sadly, it's also the last question of this two-month long game.

Today's True Tacoman trivia question

Annie and Fanny are:

  • A) A double drink served at the Tacoma Hotel in the 1940s;
  • B) Two statues at the north end of Wright Park named for Annie Wright and Fannie Paddock;
  • C) Nicknames of the wives of Chief Marcelles Spot.

Answer the question correctly at one of the 15 participating restaurants below and score points - besides scoring awesome food deals from the restaurants. The correct answer will be revealed Tuesday, Jan. 3 on Spew. 

Oh, you can download the free app here.

Participating restaurants

  • 1022 South, 1022 South J St., Tacoma, 253.627.8588, Facebook
  • Capers Cafe & Take Home, 2602 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.761.4444, Facebook
  • Dirty Oscar's Annex, 2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.0588, Facebook
  • Dorky's Arcade, 754 Pacfic Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156, Facebook
  • Harmon Brewery & Eatery, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739, Facebook
  • Harmon Tap Room, 204 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2725, Facebook
  • The Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.683.4606, Facebook
  • Massimo Italian Bar & Grill, 4020 Bridgeport Way W., University Place, 253.503.1902, Facebook
  • Marrow Kitchen & Bar, 2717 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.267.5299, Facebook
  • Over The Moon Cafe, 709 Court C/Opera Alley, Tacoma, 253.284.3722, Facebook
  • Pacific Grill, 1502 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.3535, Facebook
  • The Social Bar & Grill, 1715 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.3835, Facebook
  • STINK Cheese & Meat, 628 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.426.1347, Facebook
  • Top of Tacoma Bar & Cafe, 3529 McKinley Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.1502, Facebook
  • TWOKOI Japanese Restaurant, 1552 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253.274.8999, Facebook

December 30, 2011 at 8:55am

MORNING SPEW: Property tax chat, year-end lists, Creepy Christian twin sisters ...

Morning Spew team laughed out loud at this spot-on faux flyer for Every New Year's Eve Club Night Ever. Photo credit: cthulhucore.tumblr.com

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

Property Tax Chat: A long legal and lobbying effort by the hospital industry is further shrinking taxable values in the South Sound and across the state. (News Tribune)

Simon And Rosalind Bailey: Facing animal cruelty charges after 173 animals were seized from their 5-acre Kitsap County property. (News Tribune)

North Korea: "Expect no change." (BBC)

End Of The Year List: Top stories of 2011. (CNN)

End Of The Year List II: The 10 biggest band beefs of 2011. (Stereogum)

End Of The Year List III: The very worst of 2011. (Salon)

Year-end Think Piece: The end of rock 'n' roll. (The New York Times)

Creepy Christian twin sisters pantomime to Radiohead's "Street Spirit"

December 30, 2011 at 10:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Blackberry Bushes, James Hilborne & the Painkillers, December's Eve Concert and more ...

Catch James Hilborne & the Painkillers tonight at the New Frontier Lounge.

FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2011 >>>

1. The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. On record, the Painkillers' music is tremulous and strange, smothered as it is in the kind of haze that one might think would envelop country rock was born under Tacoma's unforgiving gloomy skies. James Hilborne and the Painkillers are the perfect band to send you drifting dreamily along into New Year's Eve, and from there the uncertain future. Catch the band tonight at the New Frontier Lounge with Humble Cub and special guests.

2. Xylophones, How To Operate Your Brain, Arpeggiator and Books & Covers play an all ages show tonight at the Red Room in Tacoma. Get hip to it. The action starts at 7 p.m. and there's a $5 cover.

3. In Olympia, enjoy the December's Eve Concert at South Puget Sound Community College's Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts tonight, featuring the SPSCC & PSCC Concert Choirs. It's an all ages event and kicks of at 7 p.m.

4. It's a big night for comedy in T-Town as Brian Moote gets into the groove of his weekend stand at the Tacoma Comedy Club, Brad Brake hits the stage at the Grit City Comedy Club and Comedy Underground presents Jim Short at Big Whisky Saloon downtown.

5. The always enjoyable Blackberry Bushes play Traditions Café and World Folk Art in Oly tonight. It starts at 8 p.m. and there is a $10-$15 cover.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 30, 2011 at 10:31am

Behind The Food Ticket: Team D.O.A.

Aaron Grissom and Nicole De La Paz will show you there's more to bar food than cheese fries.

OUR CONTINUED LOVE AFFAIR WITH DIRTY OSCAR'S ANNEX >>>

Since taking the lead in the kitchen almost six months ago, Chef Aaron Grissom of Dirty Oscar's Annex has seen firsthand how easily faces come and go in the restaurant business.

"It's hard to find someone that fits with the other personalities that can cook too," says Grissom of hiring kitchen staff.

Getting employees that "meld well together" is trickier by far, yet his recently assembled team is exactly that.  

"I feel lucky to have them. Nicole, Tim and even Bryan were friends from the industry and the timing just worked," says Grissom.

Hiring Bryan Way and former executive chefs Tim Moisio and Nicole De La Paz this fall meant Grissom might relax a bit on his days off. With more than 20 years of combined experience, Grissom's kitchen staff excels at elevated bar cuisine.

"Tim Moisio has run a magnitude of kitchens over the years. He has a great grasp of how flavors work together," says Grissom of Moisio who cut his teeth at C.I. Shenanigans, Lobster Shop and Stanley and Seafort's after studying culinary arts at Le Cordon Blue and Scottsdale Culinary Institute. Dirty Oscar's operator Jake Barth gives a nod of approval, "Tim shows up consistently, puts out good food, and does it fast."

In a graceful move that looks less like stepping down and more like simply wanting something quite different, Nicole De La Paz resigned as executive chef at Puyallup's HG Bistro in early November to become Grissom's sous chef. As De La Paz hustles around the kitchen there's an intense energy about her. It's apparent she cares what she's doing.  Grissom says she brings passion, creativity and experience - all things that strengthen his team.

On Saturday and Sunday Dirty Oscar's, a bar for those 21 and older, opens at 8 a.m. to serve an eclectic breakfast menu until 4 p.m. Cook Bryan Way arrives to begin prep work while most of his industry peers are still in solid slumber.

Barth and Grissom agree; Way knows how to bang out breakfast in prompt fashion, each plate looking and tasting as good as early morning patrons have come to expect. "I tip my hat to cooks that dominate me on the breakfast field," says Grissom of Way, "Bryan owns breakfast."

When asked for something interesting about his years cooking, Grissom shares that he catered the 2010 U.S. Amateur Open golf championship at Chambers Bay under Chef Dustin Joseph and personally cooked a five-course dinner for Tom Waits' bassist. He laughs adding, "I think we've all cooked for famous people actually."

Barth reports Grissom's new Deep Winter menu featuring braised lamb, pulled elk, Korean short rib, vegetarian and gluten-free dishes is being received well. That's a testament to clientele that by all outward appearances just want to drink and hang-out being willing to try new things and branch out beyond hot wings, flat bread and cheesy fries.

"We all bounce ideas off each other and bring different elements to the table. Together we want to continue bringing good food to people, and it's not going to be your average bar cuisine," says Grissom.

The team came up with a New York strip loin topped with Danish blue cheese in port butter. And it's delicious.

Dirty Oscar's Annex

4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday-Friday
8-2 a.m. Saturday-Sunday
2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma
253.572.0588

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

December 31, 2011 at 8:16am

2011's Top Reads: Music, Arts and Entertainment

Macklemore returning to perform in Olympia this past February was one popular story.

A LOOK BACK >>>

As the Weekly Volcano finishes its last eggnog before switching back to vodka, we threw on "Best Years" by Whitesnake and tallied up the most popular stories on our website from this past year. The top of the heap swells with our Best Of issues, Tournament of Pizza contest, concert reviews, 5 Things To Do Today blog posts, the Sexy Issue, marijuana stories, nightlife coverage, the truth about Craig James and those hookers, Ivan the gorilla story, Santa Says Blog, restaurant openings and Cheney Stadium and Tacoma Rainiers posts. Also, you're still fired up about the Funky Monkey leaving the airwaves.

Of course, there were many music, arts and entertainment stories that caught your eye this past year. Sprinkled among the stories listed above were feature stories on cultural issues, visual and performing arts reviews, band interviews and more.

But, before we get into the list, a big thanks to everyone for hanging with us this year: clicking around our website, walking the streets with the print issue under your arm and joining us at our parties and events. We are humbled by the support and committed to delivering a local, potent editorial mix. The Weekly Volcano has many awesome things in store for 2012, so stay tuned.

Without further ado, here's a look back at the top music, arts and entertainment stories of the year based on page views. 

Boy or a girl: Conversations about gender in elementary classrooms by Alec Clayton

Catch him while you can: Macklemore heads back to Olympia and The Royal Lounge by Nic Leonard

Riot Grrrl Movement: Revolution girl-style - then and now by Jason Baxter

Vicci Martinez: Tacoma singer shows America her voice by Rev. Adam McKinney

Tacoma Comedy Club set to move: A new home at the former Rhythm and Brews location seems like just what the doctor ordered by Steph DeRosa

Oh Gee whiz: Motopony partners with Southwest Airlines for a somewhat ridiculous promotion by Matt Driscoll

Summer Guide 2011: ECETI Ranch by Brett Cihon

A perfect story: Local filmmaker Chad Ruin and actors Joe Rosati, Ashley Cozine and Scott C. Brown strike success with "A Perfect Life" by Alec Clayton

Photos: Project: U's Get Involved Gala by Ron Swarner 

This week's Volcano music section: Louie G's, Gazmo the Gr8, Baby Gramps, Arts Walk music by Matt Driscoll

What were your favorite 2011 Weekly Volcano stories?

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

December 31, 2011 at 9:27am

5 Things To Do Today: The BreakLites at Top of Tacoma, First Night, Occupy Tacoma NYE and more

Bring in the New Year tonight at Top of Tacoma Bar & Cafe with the BreakLites. PHOTO: Patrick Snapp

SATURDAY, DEC. 31, 2011 >>>

1. 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. Tonight, catch the BreakLites at the Top of Tacoma Bar & Café for what promises to be a kick-ass New Year's Eve throwdown.

2. The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia tops the dichotomy list. At the heart of this red-walled haven of booze, dancing and debauchery are community and solidarity. You see, while you kiss the closest beautiful face at midnight tonight- colorful balloons dropping all around and your head dizzy with drinks - you can take solace in the fact that if you were to drop dead at this point, at least you know half of your door money is going to Safeplace, a local non-profit that supports victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. DJ Dead-Air, from Portland, will be spinning all night, and has been said to induce spiritual journeys through his picks of ‘80s, rawk, punk, disco and more. Awesome.

3. If you're the revolutionary type who likes to brave the elements, there will be hip-hop and other live music down at the Occupy Tacoma camp for New Year's Eve tonight. The Occupiers in Tacoma are bearing in for the winter, and have no plans to leave. They've outlasted Occupiers in New York, Seattle and many other cities. This is the second event Occupy Tacoma has hosted with Hip-Hop Occupies, which is a national group using hip-hop culture to infuse the Occupy movement with renewed energy. Catch Volcano's hip-hop scribe Josh Rizeberg in action, along with the locally-loved band the Fun Police.

4. First Night Tacoma - an annual, all-ages, family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration - follows the Chinese lunar calendar, and this year is the year of the dragon.  In this spirit there will be two large dragons making an appearance at the festival - a 35-foot creation by Metro Parks Tacoma, and a 14-foot fire-breathing metal beast. "We're really stepping up the fire aspect to mitigate the cold," says co-event director Lance Kagey. First Night buttons - available at many businesses in the Stadium and Theater Districts - will get you into all of the stages and events for the evening (not to mention free admission to Tacoma's museums during the day). At 6:30 p.m. First Night Tacoma officially kicks off in the Theater District with a parade. Throughout the evening, attendees can enjoy music on 12 stages. Bands and performers will include regional acts such as Roman Holiday, Rumbeggae and Vamola. Find more First Night info here.

5. If you like burgers and/or karaoke with a live band, you may want to consider Varsity Grill's New Year's Eve celebration, offering an all-ages chance to karaoke your ass off with the live "Rock-Bot" backing band, not to mention bring in the New Year in style. Oh, and did we mention Varsity Grill is giving away a very meaty prize - a burger a day for all of 2012? Only a silly vegan could pass up such an awesome opportunity.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 31, 2011 at 10:38am

New Year's Eve Command Center

PUCKER UP PEOPLE >>>

For days now, you've been waiting for your posse to come up with a plan for New Year's Eve. Meanwhile, they were waiting for your brilliant plan, and there you are, all gussied up with no place to go when the ball drops. Before you end up watching your mate fall asleep in front of The Twilight Zone marathon, check out the following South Sound events and ideas for this weekend.

5 Things To Do Today: Duh. It's your daily go to click.

Turn it up to a 12: New Year's Eve live music forecast for the South Sound

Get down on it: Dance to a DJ New Year's Eve

First Night Tacoma: The allure of fire

Bar hopping in Olympia: You won't be able to do it much longer

Last meals: Where to eat locally before the zombies arrive

Shocking New Year's Day: Take the plunge

Franciscan Polar Plaza: Skate your way into 2012

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

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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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