Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: November, 2013 (54) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 54

November 6, 2013 at 9:44am

Plan Ahead: Shook Twins to bring a giant golden egg to the party

Shook Twins bring beat boxing and chicken bocking to the Olympia Ballroom Nov. 8. Press Photo

Shook Twins' grainy video footage shows blonde identical twin girls, Laurie and Katelyn Shook, at the age of maybe 8 or 9, dancing and singing in the backyard. Then they focus on the camera, their voices in control as they sing "Nothing Compares to You." Most kids at that age butcher songs. These girls owned it.

This is the catching clip in a Kickstarter Campaign that netted the girls more than $26,000 to record their next album at Bear Creak Studios with Ryan Hadlock (Lumineers, Milo Greene).

"It was so helpful and inspiring to get that Kickstarter love as soon a we went into the studio," said Katelyn. "It was a tangible representation of the support that we have out there."

The Portland-based, Idaho-born lovelies are fresh off their Midwest tour and are bringing their music to the Olympia Ballroom for a night of bluegrass/rock/funk you won't forget.

"This duet is well suited to meet the demand for quirky new music," reads a review from SSGmusic.com. "The music is genuinely good, and isn't a gimmick. These girls and their band have a wonderful sound and are talented musicians worth seeing."

While talent is no question, their niche seems to be their creative use of instrumentation, which includes banjo, guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, electric guitar, electronic drums, beat box, glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo drumming and their signature golden egg.

Another signature item: the girls' old-fashioned telephone mic.

The use of unique instruments is a mirror to the nature of the twins, who readily crack jokes, goof off and have fun.

"Our playful side of the music keeps a balance of lights and darks, ebbs and flows. We live very wonderful fortunate lives, so we write mostly about that. We happen to love our jobs, and that comes through," said Katelyn.

Shook Twins performance will be a perfect accompaniment to Olympia lady Kendl Winter, known for her solo gems of loop pedal, guitar and banjo.

"We are thrilled to get to play the Olympia Ballroom and with Kendl Winter to boot. She is a homie," said Katelyn, "We've heard such grand things about your town and we are honored to share our music."

SHOOK TWINS, w/Kendle Winter, 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, Olympia Ballroom, 116 Legion Way, Olympia, $10, $8 student at brownpapertickets

November 7, 2013 at 7:21am

5 Things To Do Today: Pray For Snow Party, "Palace Yurt," sweater fashion show, Feather & Oar and more ...

Let's pray.

THURSDAY, NOV. 7 2013 >>>

1. Let's all think about snow sports and drink beer together tonight at the Harmon Harmon Brewery & Eatery's annual Pray For Snow Party. As sure as it will snow in them hills, the Harmon will dole out gear and lift ticket giveaways and raffle prizes, screen snow sports movies and, of course, host the human jukebox Steve Stefanowicz who has performed at this party for as long as we can remember. Proceeds from the raffle benefit the YWCA of Pierce County.

2. Janice Arnold's "Palace Yurt" at the Smithsonian in 2009 was a contemporary take on ancient Mongolian palace yurts. Designed specifically for the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum's 2009 Fashioning Felt exhibition in New York, it was made to fit the arched ceiling of the museum's conservatory and filled the space like air in a balloon with elegantly crafted and draped sheets of handmade felt. Now Arnold has reconfigured the installation for the art gallery at The Evergreen State College. Working slowly with a team of assistants, it took Arnold most of the summer while the gallery was closed to complete the installation, which is one of the best gallery shows ever presented in that space. Check it out from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Palace Yurt: Deconstructed" in the Music and Culture section.

3. Historically speaking, you eat more food during the wintertime, go outside less often, and some of you even wear those jackets that look like sleeping bags. "It's not a fashion show out there," your mom yells at you, even though technically speaking it is a fashion show out there. So, it only makes sense to eat delicious happy hour food tonight, maybe enjoy a bottle of Guernoc Chardonnay or Cabernet and check Lynn Di Nino's wearable sweater art. The fashion show begins at 4:30 p.m. in the Social Bar and Grill. No, we don't know what you should wear. What are we, your mother?

4. Feather is in tribute to the local Native American history. Oar is symbolic of the European settlers who came to Tacoma. Feather & Oar is a men's clothing store in downtown Tacoma specializing in gentle used and vintage goods with a sense of timelessness. The chaps behind the suits not only know and wear their goods, they've woven themselves into the community to do good. Feather & Oar celebrates its one-year anniversary at 7 p.m., with popular hip-hop artist Rockwell Powers adding even more style to the affair.

5. After more than 1200 submissions, all 32 slots have been filled for the 34th Annual Seattle International Comedy Competition. The first 16 comedians will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

LINK: Thursday, Nov. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 7, 2013 at 3:40pm

Judging by the Trailer: "Thor: The Dark World"

Hemsworth's Thor is still big and blond.

Continuing in the baffling tradition of the gritty Dark Knight-ifying of superhero sequels, we find ourselves in the company of Thor: The Dark World. Whereas the first Thor (which I was forced to see for this here rag) was inexplicably a rom-com set partially in a Tremors-esque desert town and partially in the Rainbow Road course of Mario Kart, Thor the Thequel subverts the inane goofiness of the first installment in favor of ominous skies and a droning pound of a musical score.

After the events of The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World finds the titular Norse god teaming up with his ne'er-do-well brother, Loki - who just got done almost destroying planet Earth - to stop some manner of unnamed threat. Returning, once again, is Natalie Portman as Jane (maybe a Tarzan nod, there?), Thor's scientist love interest who basically vanished for The Avengers to help clear up that filmic traffic jam.

In addition to generally being thematically darker, this new Thor adventure also appears to be literally darker, in the sense that I largely couldn't tell what the hell was going on during much of this trailer. Battle sequences and portentous shots of villains are buried beneath piles of murk that will doubtlessly become murkier should you be so unlucky as to find yourself at a 3D screening of the film.

Following the lead of the first film, which hired an overqualified director of dramas with little experience in the area of CGI tentpole projects (Kenneth Branagh), Thor the Thecond has been helmed by Alan Taylor - who has a long history of directing prestige cable shows (The Sopranos, Game of Thrones, Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men), but no action films, save for his upcoming stab at an entry in the Terminator franchise.

Expect some more interminable scenes of faux-deep sword-and-sandal dialogue, interspersed with choppy actions scenes, but with none of the redeeming slapstick of the first film. Thor, you can count me out.

See Also

A Nerd Alert has been issued!

November 8, 2013 at 7:10am

5 Things To Do Today: Olympia Film Festival, Tangerine, "Driving Miss Daisy," Cabaret Jazz Series and more ...

The Julie Ruin: Kathi Wilcox, Kenny Mellman, Kathleen Hanna, Carmine Covelli and Sara Landeau / photo credit: Shervin Lainez

FRIDAY, NOV. 8 2013 >>>

1. Eager to add modern attractions while staying true to the classics - this gentle tug between new and old defines the Olympia Film Festival at its 30-year mark. The Capitol Theater's sixty-five-thousand-dollar, 4K-resolution digital projector will whir to life for the first time for the French feature Swim Little Fish Swim at 6 p.m. The night cruises along with a live concert headlined by The Julie Ruin, featuring that blast from Olympia's punk past, Kathi Wilcox and Kathleen Hanna of Bikini Kill fame.

2. Combining angelic R&B-indebted vocals with muscular instrumentation and wistfully romantic lyrics, Tangerine sound like very little else on the market right now. Led by Marika Justad - along with drummer Miro Lion (Justad's sister), bassist Ryan Baker, and guitarist Toby Kuhn - Tangerine quickly began gaining traction and attention, aided as much by their strong live performances as by their pristine recorded songs. Where did they come from, and how did they get so good in such a short amount of time? Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Tangerine in the Music and Culture section for the answers. Then visit Anthem Coffee & Tea at 7:30 p.m. to watch the band perform with J. Martin and Jake Loden.

3. Driving Miss Daisy - an intimate socio-drama about an elderly, vinegary Jewish widow Daisy Werthen and her good-natured black chauffeur Hoke Coleburn down Dixie way spanning the pre-to-post-civil-rights era - is sweet and sharp: an examination of humanity and the racial divide with only a smattering of it's-good-for-you preachiness. At first, Hoke's presence in her life is met with disdain. But over the course of 25 years, Hoke becomes not only her chauffeur, but against all odds, her best friend. Catch the play at 7:30 p.m. in the The Dukesbay Theater at 508 S. Sixth Ave. in Tacoma.

4. If a norm jazz show is a house scotch on the rocks, then this jazz show is a Glenlivet scotch on the rocks with a twist. Percussionist/composer Steve Bentley will join forces with saxophonist Jim Pribbenow, bassist Steve Luceno and pianist Brian Kinsella to launch the Washington Center's 2013-14 Black Box Cabaret Jazz Series at 8 p.m. Bently's rhythms and arrangements take the "drums" places they've never been before. By pushing the boundaries on many levels, he mixes the influences of jazz, world beat and classical masters. It's the perfect band to open the Box.

5. The Portland-based, Idaho-born lovelies the Shook Twins are fresh off their Midwest tour and are bringing their music to the Olympia Ballroom for a night of bluegrass/rock/funk you won't forget. While talent is no question, their niche seems to be their creative use of instrumentation, which includes banjo, guitar, electric and upright bass, mandolin, electric guitar, electronic drums, beatbox, glockenspiel, ukulele, banjo drumming and their signature golden egg. Shook Twins performance will be a perfect accompaniment to local lady Kendl Winter, known for her solo gems of loop pedal, guitar and banjo. The fun begins at 8 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Nov. 8 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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

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


November 10, 2013 at 8:29am

5 Things To Do Today: Fiesta Familia Folklore, "Les Miserables," film chat, BareFoot Collective and more ...

Minor Mishap is made up of Latino and non-Latino artists dedicated to exploring the brass band music of Oaxaca, a state in southern Mexico. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SUNDAY, NOV. 10 2013 >>>

1. Fiesta, Familia, Folklore! music and dance performance at Tacoma's Rialto Theater promises to provide an authentic regional representation of Mexican music through the use of traditional songs and dances. Witness the vibrant pageantry of ballet folklórico of Bailadores de Bronce. Hear the bright brass music of the Oaxaca region by La Banda Gozona. Feed off of the inspiring youthful exuberance of Mariachi Huenachi. The fiesta begins at 3 p.m.

2. Tacoma Musical Playhouse opened its 20th anniversary season with the Broadway hit Les Miserables, which ends its run at 2 p.m. TMP raised roughly $1.2 million to renovate the stage, orchestra location and backstage areas. The stage is larger and the orchestra is now placed above and behind the stage which helps the actors voices come through better whether they are mic'd or not. TMP's choice of opening its new stage with Les Mis guaranteed a solid start to its season. With added space, choreography is less cramped and sets are able to be more grand. The spectacle of this production did not disappoint with the sets showcasing the talent and skill of the designers and carpenters. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Les Miserables in the Music and Culture section.

3. 12 Years a Slave is the latest from British director Steve McQueen. The film, adapted from the 1853 autobiographical novel of the same name, chronicles the misfortunes of Solomon Northup (Chiwetel Ejiofor), a free black man living in the northern United States in a time when living in the southern United States would have meant he was someone's property. Yes, Northup lived during that time in American history when literally owning another human being was considered a status symbol rather than a crime against humanity, at least in the south. Tacoma playwright Rosalind Bell will be leading a discussion about the film after its 2:40 screening at The Grand Cinema.

4. See dance as you've never seen it before - trouncing through a bookstore! At 3 p.m. in King's Books, the BareFoot Collective will take to the shelves and deliver a unique performance in a unique venue that is just about the opposite of a formal theatre in every way. Today's performance continues tBFC's modern dance performances out of the black box. The group aims to take dance into public spaces around Tacoma. The road shows will be 30 to 40 minutes long and will incorporate improvisation, contemporary, dance-theatre and hip-hop works. All performances are free. Oh, King's Books will not be held responsible for any airborne books and beverages high-kicked ceremoniously from your hand.

5. Multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning producer and guitarist Pete Anderson, who melds blues and country to forge a style all his own, will perform at 7 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma. Known as a pioneer in the roots-rock genre and an early champion of the Americana movement, he had a hand in introducing the world to artists such as Michelle Shocked, Lucinda Williams, Jim Lauderdale, Rosie Flores and his musical partner of 20 years, Dwight Yoakam.

LINK: Sunday, Nov. 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 11, 2013 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Veterans Day, Experimental Jam, Tender Forever and more ...

Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

MONDAY, NOV. 11 2013 >>>

1. The historical epoch of Armistice Day began with the Nov. 11, 1918, signing of a ceasefire between Germany and the Allied powers of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson initiated it. In the South Sound, we're reminded of war's impact more often than people in most other cities. But even so, it's not often enough. Our freedoms, our heritage and the way of life we enjoy today are made possible because of our military veterans. Today's 95th anniversary of Veterans Day honors all of America's veterans for their patriotism, service and sacrifice. And for their families, there is no better time than now to recognize them and give thanks for the remarkable sacrifices they have made. For stories and events honoring our local veterans, visit the Veterans Day Command Center.

2. The Pioneer Park Pavilion in Puyallup is the site of a Veterans Day celebration at 1 p.m. Enjoy the JBLM Army Jazz Combo along with words from guest speaker Tommie Lamb, the Tuskegee Airmen Chapter president.

3. In celebration of Veterans Day, the Washington State History Museum hosts a riveting stage adaptation of the best-selling novel, If All the Sky Were Paper. Local actors from the NW Playwrights Alliance will read from a collection of wartime letters revealing a range of emotions experienced by veterans and active duty military personnel. The stage production, which happens from 2-3 p.m., is part of an all-day celebration at the downtown Tacoma Museum.

4. In the same way that sharks must keep swimming to keep breathing, it seems guitarist Rafael Tranquilino must fuse genres across various musical projects in order to stay afloat. His arrangements incorporate blues, funk, rock, funk, ska, metal, reggae, Latin and jazz-fusion. As accomplished as he is varied, Tranquilino can be seen every Monday night at 8 p.m. as host of Stonegate Pizza's rockin' blues, if not experimental, jam.

5. While all of the glossy, radio-ready electro-pop and achingly beautiful, heartfelt lyrics of Melanie Valera's (aka Tender Forever) recordings were well on display during this year's Squeak and Squawk Music Festival, what we weren't expecting was how utterly charming and downright funny Valera is in a live setting. Kicking off her shoes and dancing down in the pit with the audience members, Valera announced herself as a mesmerizing performer. Narrating youtube videos via projection screen, conducting percussion with Wii remotes, making a shaved-head picture of Britney Spears both silly and inspiring - Tender Forever is a stunning live act, and one that you shouldn't dare miss at 8 p.m. with Poppet and Mirrorgloss at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Monday, Nov. 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 11, 2013 at 11:53am

Eat This Now: Paesan's lamb meatball and semolina gnocchi

We suggest beginning your Paesan dining experience with the lamb meatball and semolina gnocchi. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Paesan Kitchen and Bar is a great spot to start and end the day. The early risers can snag espresso on the go to fuel the day while the night owls may sip microbrews and nifty cocktails when the lights dim. And while best known for serving up Neapolitan-style pizza pies with compelling toppings such as salmon belly, pancetta and pear, Paesan Kitchen and Bar is no one-trick pony.

That said, I am clearly on a lamb bender having featured the lamb burger from Iron Rabbit only two weeks prior, but man oh man I just can't get enough of it. Upon my last visit to Paesan - and many visits previously - I begin my meal by riding the lamb meatball and semolina gnocchi ($13).

An equal part of tender lamb meatball and gnocchi, the dish is smothered in a flavorful pomodoro sauce. What really unites these flavors and highlights their full glory is fresh basil leaves teasing with aromatic, herbal notes. Gooey grated Parmesan cheese is then sprinkled on top. This dish is a nice shareable starter that won't leave you full before the main entree.

Friendly foodie tip: The lamb appetizer pairs well with the rustic bread from Macrina Bakery to sop up all that saucy goodness.

PAESAN KITCHEN AND BAR, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 6 a.m. to midnight Friday, 8 a.m. to midnight Saturday, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday, 1701 Dock St., Tacoma, 253.301.2396

See Also

South Sound Restaurant Guide

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

November 12, 2013 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: One Hundred Percent, haikus, book readings, Tender Forever and more ...

One Hundred Percent is a loud-ass band from San Francisco.

TUESDAY, NOV. 12 2013 >>>

1. Bay Area band One Hundred Percent channel the sort of guitar-driven alt-rock that dominated the '90s, calling to mind groups like Dinosaur Jr. and My Bloody Valentine. Angular guitars melt into fuzzy atmospherics before exploding into a squall of distortion, all the while accompanied by the sensitive lead vocals of Matt Habegger. Rather than send-up that period of music with touches of contemporary influences, One Hundred Percent instead strive for slavish recreation, the end result being an uncanny approximation of the kind of band you would theoretically spot on a flyer for a Jawbox gig, or would see pop up on 120 Minutes. Catch the band at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. Composer Neil Flory will share his thoughts on some of the more than 80 musical compositions he has created in acoustic and electro-acoustic mediums as the next guest in the Saint Martin's University "Music @ 11" recital series at 11 a.m. in Kreielsheimer Hall. Flory will also perform a piano improvisation.

3. "A haiku must be very simple and free of all poetic trickery and make a little picture and yet be as airy and graceful as a Vivaldi Pastorella," wrote Jack Kerouac. And that's exactly what the Commencement Bay Haiku Club hopes to accomplish tonight - refreshingly simple and accessible poems that jog the imagination. Here's a haiku we wrote about the folks down the street from our office:

Trailer has no tires

Rusted rims have sunk in deep

My Homeland's secure

Think you can do better? Pop into King's Books at 6 p.m. with your page of three to five haiku poems to read and listen for feedback.

4. Beverly Conner and Hans Ostrom will read from two new books - Conner's devastating and inspiring novel Where Light is a Place and Ostrom's stark, intimate collection of poems Clear a Place for Good - at 7 p.m. in Trimble Forum at Trimble Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus. The event is part of the university's Coffeehouse Series.

5. While all of the glossy, radio-ready electro-pop and achingly beautiful, heartfelt lyrics of Melanie Valera's (aka Tender Forever) recordings were well on display during this year's Squeak and Squawk Music Festival, what we weren't expecting was how utterly charming and downright funny Valera is in a live setting. Kicking off her shoes and dancing down in the pit with the audience members, Valera announced herself as a mesmerizing performer. Narrating youtube videos via projection screen, conducting percussion with Wii remotes, making a shaved-head picture of Britney Spears both silly and inspiring - Tender Forever is a stunning live act, and one that you shouldn't dare miss with Poppet, Hot Fruit, Symmettrix, Hym(e)n, Everybody Weekend, Taylor Newcomb, DJ Royal Bleu and DJ Anna Phylaxis at 7 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 12, 2013 at 10:21am

Nerd Alert! - Drunken Telegraph, Dungeons & Dragons, Cheech and Chong ...

Richard "Cheech" Marin and Tommy Chong are friends again - and they will their brand of stoner comedy to the Emerald Queen Casino Saturday, Nov. 16.

In researching material for this column, I often find myself questioning just what it means to be a nerd in this day and age. What was once a moniker of derision has morphed into a proud self-identifier - an indication that one's overenthusiastic obsession with cultural ephemera is something to be nurtured and celebrated, not scoffed at. It seems as though anything can be considered nerdy now, even things that were once perceived as jocky (fantasy football, anyone?).

It comes as quite a relief, then, to be able to report on three forthcoming events that plant their feet firmly in the comfortable nerd-space of old.

FRIDAY, NOV. 15: DRUNKEN TELEGRAPH: CLASH OF THE TITANS

Over the years, live and public storytelling has re-announced itself as an art form. Beginning with the revival of the oral tradition in the form of the one-man show, the likes of Spalding Gray and Stephen Tobolowsky once more popularized storytelling as a fascinating bit of theater - whether taking the form of hilarious anecdotes or moving tales of woe. Podcasts like The Moth and Risk! carried storytelling further into the public square.

Drunken Telegraph (taking its name from a Rudyard Kipling quote about Tacoma) is a local storytelling live show. Each show has a central theme featuring various Tacomans telling different stories on that theme, with the final act being a storytelling slam from members of the audience. This installment - hosted by the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts as part of their "Free For All" series - is entitled "Clash of the Titans," and will focus on the battles faced by the evening's storytellers.

BROADWAY CENTER STUDIO III, 7:30 p.m., 915 Broadway, Tacoma, free with registration at broadwaycenter.org, 253.591.5890

SATURDAY, NOV. 16: DUNGEONS & DRAGONS MEETUP

My first time playing Dungeons & Dragons was as a 10-year-old, with my brother and our friends, and with my dad presiding as Dungeon Master. I was always drawn to the world-building and imaginative nature of the game. You could literally be anything you wanted to be and do anything you wanted to do (provided the dice rolled in your favor).

We were frequently regaled with stories from my dad - an old D&D pro from the '70s - about his early exploits in the game, which included finding a group of Smurfs and pissing on them (Smurfs melt when exposed to urine, it turns out). At one point, a portal through space and time was opened, revealing to the D&D warriors an alternate universe where several nerdy dudes sat around a table rolling dice. The archer fired an arrow at the Dungeon Master, and the game ended.

Tap into your D&D-loving nerdy side with a Dungeons & Dragons meetup at the Tacoma Main Public Library. Your Dungeon Master will be provided for you, I'm told, but you must bring your own pencils, paper and dice.

TACOMA PUBLIC LIBRARY MAIN BRANCH, 1-3 p.m., 1102 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, free participation, 253.292.2001

SATURDAY, NOV. 16: CHEECH AND CHONG

Having spent the afternoon slaking your thirst for dragon blood, spend the evening doing the other thing that my dad spent the '70s doing: laughing at Cheech and Chong.

People who've only seen the films of Cheech and Chong haven't gotten the full picture of what these guys are all about. Yes, their humor is largely druggy, but the characters they played in films only showed one aspect of them. As comedians, Cheech and Chong were surprisingly incisive and clever, weaving through absurdist bits and satirical commentary.

Sure, they've gotten up in years, but Cheech and Chong have retained the anarchic glee that established them as two of the best stand-ups of the '70s.

EMERALD QUEEN CASINO, 8 p.m., 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma, $45-$100+, 253.594.7777

LINK: Previous Nerd Alert! warnings

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Word, Games, Comedy, Tacoma,

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