Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

November 9, 2013 at 7:55am

5 Things To Do Today: "Shimmering Tree," Cottonwood Cutups, Retro Jungle Party, All Freakin' Night and more ...

Jennifer Steinkamp stands next to her artwork. Photo courtesy of contemporaryartdaily.com

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SATURDAY, NOV. 9 2013 >>>

1. Many artists and institutions are embracing immersive environments - creating an experience of "being there" - to immerse the visitor in a virtual world where one's senses are overwhelmed, forcing the viewer out of his physical self. The artists' goal is to turn the viewer from passive perceiver of the material world into active participant in a conceptual inner world. When it works, it creates a feeling of presence, when all the senses perceive the digital environment to be physically real. Digital media pioneer Jennifer Steinkamp fabricated a vividly seductive digital artwork following a tree through the four seasons as though blown by unpredictable winds, causing the branches to twist and clench. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum, the artwork charts the passage of time by following the path of a single tree as it cycles through a year of change in 11 minutes.

2. Pulitzer Prize-nominated playwright Sarah Ruhltransforms the reputation of the vibrator from Seattle Fringe Festival prop to serious theatrical subject matter in In The Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) at 2 and 7:30 p.m. in the Norton Clapp Theatre at the University of Puget Sound. With pre-show hype claiming it's "a story of repressed sexuality and physical exploration with equal doses of humor and emotion," In the Next Room revolves around the prim Victorian medical practice and home life of Victorian-era gyno Dr. Givings and his wife, Catherine. They just had their first child, but they are forced to hire a wet nurse, bringing the bereaved Elizabeth into their lives. As Catherine gossips with Elizabeth, and meets more and more of her husband's patients, she learns about the mysterious, new therapy. Read Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal's review of the show here.

3. We have a hankering for bluegrass tonight. Maybe it's the rain, the flannel shirts and the switch from summer's gin to autumn's whiskey. Whatever the case, it's nice. Tacoma's Cottonwood Cutups are bringing that satisfying pluck and twang and funk to Soutbay Dickerson's BBQ for a hot 8 p.m. set in its cool bar. The three brothers - who enjoy Dr. Dre, campfires and the Hoh Rainforest - deliver toe-tapping Americana, tickled by mandolin and banjo, with guitar and an upright bass to root it all down. Southbay's Pig Bar is the perfect backdrop - intimate, wood walls, nice people, warm food and cold beer. Scuff & Al open.

4. It's a jungle in there. The lighting is dim, but you can still spy the wild life scattered across the landscape. Lushy - think The Jetson's with swizzle sticks - will pounce with its original samples and Bossa beats plus elements of vintage-Latin jazz, exotica, surf, new wave and sixties pop to create its own distinctive intercontinental sound the band likes to call progressive cocktail pop. Perched on the cliff, The Ukadelics are an eight-member uke band influenced by Disneyland's Tiki room and cocktails with a repertoire from classic "hapa-haole" Hawaiian songs such as "Blue Hawaii" and "Tiny Bubbles" to the lounge favorites such as "Secret Agent Man." Yup, it's a jungle party at Bob's java Jive and the cool cats dance beginning at 9 p.m.

5. The late-night mini-fest of blood-injected spazzmatic anti-cinema All Freakin' Night is sure to cause at least one of your major organs to fail when the projector is flicked on at midnight. As part of the Olympia Film Festival, and running through early morning Sunday at the Capitol Theater, Tumult, Sightseers, The Rambler, Motel Hell, Burial Ground: The Nights Of Terror and City of the Walking Dead will flicker with enough carnage to terrify, not just sicken. Host Kenny Ward will pass out enough coffee to keep your head spinning - completely around.  Wedged between the movies will be contests with plenty of putrid prizes.

LINK: Saturday, Nov. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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