Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2013 (79) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 79

September 4, 2013 at 11:53am

Judging By The Trailer: "Riddick"

Vin Diesel battles aliens.

If the race to determine who would be the next Sylvester Stallone hadn't already been decided in Vin Diesel's favor, that dubious honor would surely be awarded to him just on the basis of the trailer for Riddick.

Ah, yes, the third in what was surely always intended to be an epic trilogy. After the modest sci-fi flick Pitch Black, and after the bloated sci-fi embarrassment that was The Chronicles of Riddick, self-styled auteur of dumb stuff Vin Diesel is back with the stupidly succinct Riddick.

In a world where green screens have grown sentient and taken over the universe, there is only one chosen man with a voice gurgly enough to stand up against intergalactic tyranny: Sly Stallone! Er, I mean, Vin Diesel.

Diesel, looking like a big old hunk of meat in a slightly-too-small meat sack, returns as Riddick: Tough Guy of Space! Armed with the ability to see in the dark-a skill somehow not yet developed by other future-people-he must fend off bounty hunters on a desolate planet, with only his trusty space-dog at his side.

Fighting, gurgling, more fighting, still gurgling, and Riddick has been captured by the bounty hunters. How's he gonna get out of this scrape?!

Surprise of all surprises, it turns out this remote outpost on an alien planet is totally crawling with aliens! Better free up the meat sack so he can help defend the humans from those Prometheus penis-monster things.

One thing the trailer for Riddick really wants to get across is that seeing in the dark is basically the best super power you could ever have. Yeah, Wolverine has those adamantium claws and unstoppable regenerative ability but, like, what if it's super dark outside?

"You're not afraid of the dark, are you?" intones Vin Diesel's neck, once again pushing the issue, as the nonsense word Riddick flashes on the screen, practically begging me to make a "ridiculous" joke.

Not this time, Riddick. Not this time.

September 5, 2013 at 7:27am

5 Things To Do Today: Love As Laughter, Film Forward, Shoreline Master Program and more ...

Love As Laughter brings its psychedelic folk-punk to Northern Sept. 5. Photo courtesy of loveaslaughter.com.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 5 2013 >>>

1. There was an Olympia-based emo-bending indie punk band in the early '90s called Lync. After sporadic recordings on K Records, and only one full-length release, Lync disbanded, leaving frontman Sam Jayne to find another project to pour his burgeoning talent into. Jayne's new solo project, Love As Laughter, emerged in 1996 with a debut LP, The Greks Bring Gifts. Eschewing the lo-fi thud of his earlier work, and bringing the sweet melodies closer to the surface, Jayne's latest incarnation brought him further into the emerging zeitgeist of underground American indie rock. Soon, other members would join Love As Laughter, and the textures and tangents of the band would grow more complex and compelling. Catch the band at 8 p.m. with Braindead, Spaceneedles and Happy Noose in Northern. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Love As Laughter in the Music and Culture section.

2. If you're thinking about attending Bates Technical College this fall, then this is your chance to fast-track enrollment. On Thursday, Sept. 5, the college will hold an Enrollment Fair from 10 a.m. to noon in the college's Downtown Campus Auditorium, 1101 S. Yakima Ave. in Tacoma. The free Enrollment Fair includes two Express Information Sessions and two Financial Aid Workshops aimed at helping prospective students learn more about the college, its programs and admission process, and how to complete and submit financial aid forms.

3. The Sundance Institute's Film Forward series continues today with three free movies:

Bones Brigade: An Autobiography, 3:30 p.m., Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S. Post film discussion: Ryan Spence, skateboarder and skate park designer; Robert Boyle and Kevin Carlton, Grit City Grindhouse; Ben Warner, Alchemy Skate Center; moderated by Taylor Woodruff, Grit City Grindhouse

The Light in Her Eyes, special screening with director Julia Meltzer, 4:30 p.m., Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner St. Post film discussion: Julia Meltzer, director for The Light in Her Eyes; moderated by Dr. Turan Kayaoglu, professor of Middle East Studies at University of Washington Tacoma

Town of Runners, special screening with director Jerry Rothwell, 7:30 p.m., The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave. Post film discussion: Jerry Rothwell, director of Town of Runners; moderated by Dr. Bill Kunz, University of Washington Tacoma

4. The city of Tacoma's Shoreline Master Program, updated in 2011 after four years of study and stakeholder discussion, received conditional approval by the Washington State Department of Ecology August 19. In accordance with the State's guidelines, the City has 30 days, until Sept. 18, to accept or propose alternatives to WSDOE's conditions.  To learn more about the Department of Ecology's conditional approval, residents are invited to a community meeting at 6 p.m. in Room 708 of the Tacoma Municipal Building, 747 Market St.

5. Besdies being all fancy, the Hotel Murano is dang smart. It knows a good thing when it hears it. The Kareem Kandi Band is back to fill the lobby with jazz from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, Sept. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


September 5, 2013 at 8:10am

Let's talk Squeak and Squawk

The Fame Riot performs at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 12 in the Broadway Center's Studio 1.

The Squeak and Squawk Music Festival (SQSQ), which is set for Sept 12 to 16 at The New Frontier Lounge and Broadway Center's Studio 1 the Library at Sanford and Son Antiques, boasts more than 30 bands, and in its fourth installment is becoming a Tacoma tradition known for letting its freak flag fly.

This year's production would have evolved in a very different way if it weren't for help from the community.

Last year SQSQ producers Rev. Adam McKinney and Jena Stedler - after adopting the festival from founder Sean Alexander - pulled up their big kid pants and pushed through with a $2,000 budget.

Despite monetary limitations, last year's SQSQ was still a success. Heather Rowland, who volunteered at last year's event, said the festival embodied the spirit of summer.

Read more...

September 5, 2013 at 2:38pm

Words & Photos: Tacoma Art Museum expansion groundbreaking

This morning Gov. Inslee, Congressman Kilmer, Sen. Darneille, Mayor Strickland, Stephanie Stebich and others raised a new wing at the Tacoma Art Museum.

The electricity in the air in downtown Tacoma this morning wasn't the result of an earlier thunder and lightning storm.

Instead, with the smell of fresh rain permeating the air, the grounds of the Tacoma Art Museum became a Western wonderland. Bales of hay, lassos and soulful Western music, along with folks clad in bandanas, cowboy hats, boots and shiny brass belt buckles were just some of the sights. Why?

The Tacoma Art Museum was celebrating the groundbreaking of a new museum expansion that will go down in the history books. This, however, was no ordinary ceremony with hardhats and shovels.

The Tacoma Art Museum announced a major donation by Erivan and Helga Haub and family of 280 major works of American Western art, along with endowment funds for the care of the collection and funds for a 16,000-square-foot museum expansion and building renovation. The new wing will provide 50 percent more gallery space overall. Award-winning and renowned Seattle-based architectural firm Olson Kundig Architects has been selected to design the expansion and renovation project.

The donation is noteworthy on many different levels. The collection captures the essence of the American West and dates from the 1820s to the present day. The new wing will take the Tacoma Art Museum to a new level, making it one of the leading museums in the country that features American Western art.

According to a recent museum press release, the collection includes works from significant historic Western painters such as grand manner landscape painters Albert Bierstadt and Thomas Moran; titans of the Western genre Frederic Remington and Charles Russell; and works by artists such as E. Martin Hennings and Ernest Blumenschein. The collection also contains works by notable modernist painters, including Georgia O'Keeffe, as well as more contemporary artists such as John Clymer, Tom Lovell, Bill Schenck and Clyde Aspevig.

Work on the project will begin in late October with an expected completion date in the fall of 2014. The museum's expansion integrates with other local civic projects. Thanks to grants and other generous donations, the expansion marks the extraordinary partnership of public and private interests in making the project a reality.

Originally from Germany, Ervian and Helga Haub own The Tengelmann Group, an international company with diversified retail and investment operations in Europe and North America. The Haubs have both personal and business connections with the Pacific Northwest.

The couple's son, Christian Haub, along with his wife, Liliane, are leading the project on behalf of their family. They speak with a great passion about being connected to the local community, Tacoma in particular.

"My family has a long history here in Tacoma," Christian said. "My father came here in the 1950s and fell in love with the area. In 1958, he returned with his bride, who too, saw that this was a really great place."

The Haubs decided to have all their sons born here, right in Tacoma, to have a permanent connection to the place. Though the children grew up in Germany, summers were spent in Tacoma, and the family sought every opportunity to return as often as possible.

In addition to their love of the South Sound, The Haubs developed a love, passion and inspiration for American Western art. They began developing their extraordinary collection in 1984.

Today's groundbreaking ceremony paid homage to the Haub family and all of the other entities that made the expansion a reality. The ceremony began with a poignant blessing and performance from the Puyallup Indian Tribe. Dignitaries included Steve Barger, Tacoma Art Museum Board president; Congressmen Derek Kilmer; Gov. Jay Inslee; Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland; Christian Haub; and Stephanie Stebich, Tacoma Art Museum director.

The remarks from the special guests echoed a similar theme of gratitude, teamwork, pride and an eye to the future.

Barger enthusiastically thanked the Haub family, those responsible for the grants funding, the city of Tacoma and all of the major donors and sponsors.

"This is truly a gift to be enjoyed by us and generations to come," he said.

Kilmer encouraged everyone present to celebrate the valuable role of the arts and the revitalization of the city.

"There has been an extraordinary investment in this city that adds to its vibrancy and makes it a great place to live and work," he said.

Inslee, delighted to be in Tacoma on this special day, noted that the celebration of recognizing the American West helps to unlock the power of art to inspire children and their families and promote a positive economic impact to the area.

"Art is beauty and truth, but it is also one of the great economic engines of our state," he said. "We need to remind people of that."

Strickland graciously thanked the Haubs, the public and private entities that helped, and the citizens of Tacoma who made the museum a part of their lives and families.

Stebich described the warm relationship the museum has with the Haub family, noting that they have been advocates for the project for the last 18 months along with trustees, members, artists, volunteers, staff, donors, elected officials and proud Tacomans.

"The new wing will be glorious," she said with a smile.

Instead of the traditional groundbreaking, the ceremony concluded with a barn raising in which dignitaries raised two life-size replicas of the featured artwork, Charles Bird King's "Wanata (The Charger), Grand Chief of the Sioux," and Thomas Moran's "Green River, Wyoming."

A fitting end for a historic Western-inspired day.

LINK: More photos from the Tacoma Art Museum Haub Wing groundbreaking ceremony

Filed under: Arts, Community, Tacoma,

September 6, 2013 at 8:27am

5 Things To Do Today: The Fair, Go Pills, Strangely Alright, Happy Hour for Hope and more ...

Luminasia has taken the traditional form of Chinese lantern making and modernized it into the 21st Century.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 6 2013 >>>

1. Every year, more than a million people pour into the Washington State Fair (previously the Puyallup Fair) not only as a tradition, but also for the fresh and innovative experiences the fair offers, like this year's feature, Luminasia - described on the fair's website as "an exquisite take on the timeless tradition of Chinese lantern making, combining high-tech material and state-of-the art lighting and production techniques." Other new highlights are the Bavarian Beer Garden and SillyVille Soda Shoppe. Also for the kiddies are two free interactive experiences: Tractor Tracks, where kids pedal antique tractors through a maze, and Crazy Worlds 5D Adventure, where participants navigate through an imaginary world while wearing 3D glasses. The latest ride to show up at the fair is Rainier Rush, which can be described as a looping inversion coaster and "a nice contrast to the classic wooden roller coaster." Today, the Fair runs 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the Washington State Fair in the Music and Culture section.

2. Dirty Oscar's is joining forces with Team Hammock to help kick cancer's ass! This is Team Hammock's first year participating in the "Light the Night Walk," a 2-mile walk Sept. beginning at Marine Park in Tacoma where every dollar raised goes to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Drop By Dirty Oscar's between 4-6 p.m. for happy hour and help kick cancer's ass.

3. The Sundance Institute's Film Forward series continues today with The Loving Story screening for free at 6 p.m. in Jason Lee Middle School. The film tells the story of Richard and Mildred and examines the drama, the history and the current state of interracial marriage.

4. Two ardent supporters of the analog movement are touring up the West Coast, and will find their way to Olympia's Northern venue at 8 p.m. Calling their tour "Analog Resurgence," Rakehell and Go Pills are traveling with their salvation show, preaching the gospel of low-tech. Musically, they could reductively be described as pop-punk or New Wave, with quirky lyrics and unpredictable style shifts. Go Pills, in particular, might play around with twisted '50s novelty music like the kind Bobby "Boris" Pickett would play ("It Came From Outer Space"), and then jump over to lo-fi punk anthems ("I'm So Tired [It's Not Funny]"). Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Analog Resurgence in the music and Culture section.

5. Tacoma band Strangely Alright, who recently signed to Maurice the Fish Records, and released a hot-seller debut album, The Time Machine is Broken, will be shooting a video for their song, "If I Don't Laugh I'm Only Going To Cry" at Tacoma's antique store Rampart Sept 14. The band requests folks to come in costume and have a good time. There aren't any criteria for costume; coming as you is cool by the band. If you need a Strangely Alright fix before the shoot, the band hosts an all-ages CD release party with Sleepy Pilot and Stone Age Thrillers Friday at 8 p.m. tonight in Louie G's in Fife. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Strangely Alright in the Music and Culture section.

LINK: Friday, Sept. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 6, 2013 at 10:00am

Olympia gets blue with Coach and Calvin and Uggs

blue opened in downtown Olympia Thursday, Sept. 5. Photo credit: Nikki McCoy

With bargain hunters lining the block, Olympia's newest thrift store was packed during its grand opening celebration Thursday, Sept. 5.

Located at 534 Capitol Way S., next to Starbucks, blue, a Goodwill boutique, welcomed hundreds of shoppers in its first few hours.

Despite a 40-minute wait in the checkout line, while other shoppers crammed and browsed the 2000 square-foot store, many items flew off the shelves, and customers walked away satisfied.

"I found a wonderful top and a crystal urn. I'm very happy," said shopper Carol Irey.

"We had a nice rack of Ugg boots that did not last," laughed Christine Murphy, aka Gabby Goodwill, the store's social network fashionista.

But fear not dear consumer, a rotation of deeply-discounted, high-end clothes and accessories, vintage knick knacks and classy décor will be at your fingertips - blue receives two to three truckloads of goods per week.

Retail profits fund free job training and job placement efforts in Thurston County.

blue is open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.

See Also

blue in Tacoma

Filed under: Fashion, Olympia,

September 6, 2013 at 12:26pm

Talking Shop: Millesime Designs in Tacoma

Millesime Designs / photo credit: Jackie Fender

Located among Tacoma's Antique Row's charming shops you'll discover Millesime Designs. Though quaint in size, owner Summer Hess Briggs brings the style and whimsy in her one of a kind up-cycled treasures.

Every eight weeks Briggs revamps the storefront space with a new color combo and theme. Pops of yellows starkly contrasted with blacks can be found one visit, kitschy reds and comics the next and vibrant baby blues with vintage touches make each shopping adventure new and exciting.

You'll find large up-cycled dressers, fabulously updated coffee tables and compelling dioramas and knick-knacks galore. Visits to the shop often leave me feeling like I've traveled down the rabbit hole with Alice as ceramic owls hold my gaze from their perches surrounded by little glass bottles meant for potions.

If you're seeking to find a creative spark to fuel your next Pinterest project you will also find DIY kits for $7. These little goodies bags are filled with random items that Briggs has put together including but not limited to vintage keys, birds' nests, game pieces and more.

An added bonus: Briggs is always on site and offers fabulous conversation.

Her husband, Daniel, is also often in house promoting his The One Spot jam concoctions that include bold flavors like blueberry basil and cayenne and peach.

MILLESIME DESIGNS, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, 745 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.722.5100

See Also

Best of Tacoma 2013 Bought and Sold

Filed under: Tacoma, Talking Shop,

September 6, 2013 at 1:33pm

Conversations RE:Tacoma is back

If you're one of those daisies who can't quite commit to even being a Tacoman despite having lived here for more than a year, or if you're new and need to understand the ethos and pathos of Tacoma in a manner that will help you appreciate this city, Conversations RE:Tacoma, an ad hoc group, has taken it upon themselves to educate your sorry ass on Tacoma's built environment - past, present and future.

Conversations RE:Tacoma will do this through a three-part lecture series specifically designed to enhance your love of T-town. Tacoma is not all deserted spaces and Pabst specials, although it's also not entirely without those gems either.

The first lecture - "From Here to There," Thursday, Sept. 19 - will focus on transportation-oriented development and its integration into the livable city, to quote the press release. Prof. Ali Modarres, director of the University of Washington Tacoma's Urban Studies; Tina Lee, principal planner at Pierce Transit; and Rick Williams, transportation management expert and parking consultant in Portland, Ore. will knock around ideas while moderator Peter Callaghan, The News Tribune columnist, keeps the conversation flowing. Appropriately, the conversation will be held at the LeMay America's Car Museum.

Read more...

Filed under: Tacoma, Community, Word,

September 7, 2013 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Craft Beer Festival, Film Forward ends, Tacoma Rock Night, Turn Me On Dead Man and more ...

The entire outfield at Cheney Stadium will be full of craft breweries today.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 7 2013 >>>

1. Today's Tacoma Craft Beer Festival features 75 breweries with craft-brew concoctions, including five craft ciders and even a winery for those who don't want to fill up on the brewskis alone. And it's not just the quantity of breweries participating that has taken on the "go big or go home" motto; it's the location as well. Cheney Stadium will host this year's event from noon to 9 p.m. Among this year's beer lineup, drinkers will find local favorites such as 7 Seas Brewing, Engine House No. 9 Brewery, Harmon, Wingman Brewing and others alongside newcomers such as Narrows Brewing, Pacific Brewing & Malting Co and Oregon-based McMenamins, which is slated to move into the Elks Building ... someday. The sheer variety of potions is mindboggling.

2. The Film Forward Festival ends today with a gumbo of melting snow caps, fragile father-daughter relationships, locavorism, Katrina conspiracy theories, and giant prehistoric pigs, or what director Benh Zeitlin calls Beasts of the Southern Wild. Catch the film at 2 p.m. in the Tacoma Public Library downtown branch. A post film discussion will be moderated by Dr. Joanne Clarke Dillman of the University of Washington Tacoma.

3. Whitney Otto's recent novel, Eight Girls Taking Pictures, explores the ambitions, passions, conflicts and desires of eight female photographers throughout the 20th century. Get a better picture of the book at 3 p.m. when she visits Orca Books in Olympia.

4. On tour to promote their second album on Jell Biafra's Alternative Tentacles, Turn Me On Dead Man brings their heavy psychedelia to Olympia. Do we hear a little Pink Floyd meets The Smiths? A landscape of groovy reverb, grounded with blazing licks and tricked out with heavy, loud-ass space jams, people should be stoked to catch them live - especially since the line-up consists of tour mates The Spiral Electric who bring their own brand of psychedelic rock. To round off bill is Olympia's The Big Red Sun and Tacoma's From the Sea. The show kicks off at 9 p.m. in McCoy's.

5. NWCZRadio.com presents "Tacoma Rock Night" with local darlings Big wheel Stunt Show, Cody Foster Army and Blanco Bronco at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Saturday, Sept. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 8, 2013 at 8:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Jho Blenis benefit, Luminasia, Dayclub, Jazzaganza and more ...

Catch Little Bill and the Blue Notes around 7 p.m. at The Swiss.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 8 2013 >>>

1. Tacoma takes care of its own, as we like to say. Today will provide an opportunity for us to prove that we can extend this affection to one of our area's beloved musicians. Jho Blenis needs help paying his medical bills. Enough said. A benefit will be held from 1-10 p.m. at The Swiss featuring a full day of awesome blues: Spin Cycle, Randy Oxford Band, Big Nasty, Dean Reichert Band, Little Bill and the Blue Notes, Tim Hall Band, Jerry Miller Band and Bump Kitchen anchoring at 8 p.m. Ted Brown Music is providing a bass rig and drum kit/cymbals. All-Star Guitar is donating major gear for guitarists. Robert Richholt is donating a Hammond XK3 with a Leslie for back line.

2. Roller derby fans and skaters no doubt celebrated the sports' 78th anniversary last month with an elbow to someone's chest. The latest out of the Dockyard Derby Dames' camp is an early start. The league will hit the flat track for season eight Saturday, Oct. 5. Also look for more out-of-league play, as well as appreciation nights. Need a breakaway from sorting books at the library? The Dockyard Derby Dames Boot Camp runs every Sunday in September. For $40 you will learn the basic skills and have fun, too. In no time you'll be transformed into Anna Scar-enina! Hurry! Camp opens at 9 a.m.

3. Luminasia - described on the Washington State Fair's website as "an exquisite take on the timeless tradition of Chinese lantern making, combining high-tech material and state-of-the art lighting and production techniques." "It really is one of the most amazing attractions we've had in years," said Karen LaFlamme, media relations representative for the fair. "We have 40 artisans from China working on it. The theme is "East meets West," so there will be dragons and pagodas and things like the Space Needle, a ferry boat and totem poles ... it really is a magical 2-acre event." Catch Luminasia from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the Fairgrounds.

4. Paesan Kitchen and Bar's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watch condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, tables mean nothing as resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This quadruple threat of delicious pizza, booze, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub." Today marks the last Dayclub of the season. Mr. Melanin says it's going to be off the hook.

5. Jazz Live at Marine View kicks off its fall season with a celebration of jazz entitled Jazzaganza. It's an anthology of jazz, with a look at how jazz has changed and grown from its humble beginnings. Gospel, R & B and jazz vocalist Josephine Howell joins the Buckshot Jazz Band with Buck Chandler on percussion, Eugene Bien on keyboards and Cliff Colon on saxophone for Jazzaganza from 5-6:45 p.m. at Marine View Church - for free.  In addition, modern dance instructor Monica McEthy-Ballet will add a theatrical element to the evening.  

LINK: Sunday, Sept. 8 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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