Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: November, 2013 (54) Currently Viewing: 31 - 40 of 54

November 18, 2013 at 9:43am

Eat This Now: Avocado Egg Rolls

Starts with the Avocado Egg Rolls at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse by the Tacoma Mall. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

Shopping at malls is hard work. When I do brave the mall crowds, I need to keep me energy levels in check. The food court is a-OK and has a selection of culinary finds from Asian cuisine to McD's, but meals served in the court can't be paired with a cocktail or microbrew, which is why I fuel up at BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse on the north side of the Tacoma Mall.

Grab your reading glasses; the menu at BJ's reads like a novel. I always flip first to my favorite chapter: Tap List of BJ's Handcrafted Brews, Cocktails and Wine List. Then, I sip and flip through the appetizers, pizzas, flatbreads, burgers, sammies and full entrees. It's an exercise for the indecisive types.

That said, as a lover of all that is avocado, the Avocado Egg Rolls dish is always my first pairing. You can't go wrong with avocado and cream cheese for starters - especially after adding zest with sundried tomatoes, red onions, cilantro and flavorful, spicy peppers rolled up and deep-fried. Served with a sweet tamarind sauce reminiscent of a Tex Mex style barbecue for dipping, this appetizer rings in at $10.25 or $6 during happy hour.

AVOCADO EGG ROLLS, 11 a.m. to midnight Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday, BJ's restaurant and Brewhouse, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma, 253.472.1220

See Also

South sound Restaurant Guide

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

November 18, 2013 at 11:13am

Joe Rosati returns to Tacoma with a new CD, "The Candelabra Light"

Joe Rosati hosts a CD release party Wednesday, Nov. 27 at The Spar in Old Town Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

If 103.7 FM The Mountain hadn't changed to the Top 40 crap, I'd totally send them a copy of Joe Rosati's new CD, The Candelabra Light, because it would fit in perfectly with Leonard Cohen, The Cure and Echo and the Bunnymen. Also because the recordings are perfectly raw and engineered to capture Rosati's true spirit and emotion.

The Tacoma native, who now resides in Park City, Utah, first picked up a guitar when he was 19. After hanging with The Fabulous Wailers, who used to tell him that "Tacoma is the Liverpool of the Northwest" because it's a blue-collar town on the water, he found his comfort in rhythm-style guitar.

"I loved 'Temptation' by New Order - when I could strum along with that song - that was a defining moment for me," Rosati said.

It wasn't long after, when he was sitting on his porch playing his guitar, that a soon-to-be band mate came up and started singing along. Together, they formed the band Isaac Purrs, (yes, it was named after a cat).

After a few years playing gigs, they were ready for the next step. But the day before they were scheduled to record, his band mate quit.

"I still went in and spoke the words," reminisced Rosati. "But after that, everything fell apart."

Since then, Rosati worked as a booker for Harmon, ran the Shoboat in Ruston and had a stint acting in college, where his original musical score for the movie A Perfect Life won a gold medal at the Park City Film Festival.

During those times, life was financially rough. Despite winning the award, his music wasn't quite where he wanted it to be.

That's when The Candelabra Light was born. With the support of friends and family (a few songs were recorded in his parent's living room, some in Urban Grace Church), his vision came to fruition.

The result is a beautifully mastered (by Ben Fuller of China Davis), raw, emotional collection of songs that are truly moving and inspiring. The stripped-down guitar and heartfelt lyrics are easy to listen to, the emotion in his voice as good as the gets.

"There's a reason it's acoustic," explained Rosati. "It's because its real and emotional - it's a pretty naked place to be - if the song structure and vocals don't cut it, you don't have a song - if it doesn't sound good on an acoustic guitar, it's not going to sound good at all."

Hear for yourself Wednesday at Jazzbones or at Rosati's CD release party Nov. 27 at The Spar.

JOE ROSATI, with China Davis, 7 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 20, Jazzbones, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, no cover, 253.396.9169

JOE ROSATI CD RELEASE PARTY, w/China Davis, 8 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 27, The Spar, 2121 N. 30th St., Tacoma, no cover, 253.627.8215

JOE ROSATI DOES SEATTLE, 8 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 3, The High Dive, 513 N. 36th, Seattle, no cover, 206.632.0212

November 18, 2013 at 11:59am

Nerd Alert!: Potty-mouthed sock puppets, Katniss, video games and Doctor Who

Christian Carvajal playfully warns that "Avenue Q" is rated "WTF," so don't bring the kids - or the prudish - and expect "Sesame Street."

Exterminate! This is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

FRIDAY, NOV. 22: POTTY-MOUTHED SOCK PUPPETS, KATNISS EVERDEEN AND VIDEO GAMES

It's been 10 years since Avenue Q, the racy Sesame Street parody for adults, garnered a raft of awards on Broadway, including the Tony for Best Musical. It uses hand puppets to represent 20-something New Yorkers dealing with the ennui of post-collegiate life. My friends, you are not precious daisies, and the landlord demands his rent no matter how hard you try at your failing artisanal muffin shop. Ain't existence crappy? Perhaps you can relate. So if song titles like "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "The Internet Is for Porn," and "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?" sound intriguing, rest assured they brighten the mood of a deeply funny show. I caught it at the Balagan in Seattle. Now you can see it even closer to home, for less than the cost of a grande Frappuccino. So here's another Avenue Q song title you'll find useful: "There Is Life Outside Your Apartment." Take a date, a really cool date who'll enjoy the song "You Can Be as Loud as the Hell You Want (When You're Makin' Love)." Catchy!

AVENUE Q, 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Pierce College, Fort Steilacoom Theater, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, $3, 253.964.6710

As we've come to expect from middle installments of genre trilogies post-Empire, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire goes dark. Katniss Everdeen finds herself on a victory tour of Panem with the boy she bent the rules to save at the end of the first book. The Emperor - er, President Snow, rather - announces he'll mix things up for the 75th Annual Hunger Games by making it an all-star tournament of previous winners, including our gutsy heroine and her ostensible boyfriend. This time, the battleground's a circular jungle; and, thanks to the worldwide box office success of the first film, its cinematic visualization has a workable budget and convincing CG effects. I always felt the books lost the element of surprise as they went along, but I suspect the movie series will peak with Catching Fire. On the other hand, I thought Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and Almost Human would be awesome, so feel free to doubt my clairvoyance. (Oh, and by the way, Disney's animated Frozen and an action film starring Jason Statham, Homefront, open Wednesday the 27th. Talk about fun for the whole family.)

Trouble, is there's a good chance you'll be too busy to hit up a theater, any theater, this weekend, because either because you'll be bloodshot-eyeballs-deep in your week-old PlayStation 4 or standing in line for an Xbox One. Microsoft's cutting-edge console integrates a Kinect 2 motion sensor, Skype client, voice and gesture commands, cloud computing, and lightning-fast eight-core processor in a sleek, black Imperial torture droid, streeting Friday with 22 optional games including Call of Duty: Ghosts and Madden NFL 25. The real excitement, however, will coalesce around next year's release of a 343 Industries Halo sequel. Xbox One will set you back just shy of $500, PlayStation 4 about $400. Alternatively, I checked eBay, and the Atari 2600's running about $24. Adventure, anyone?

SATURDAY, NOV. 23: DOCTOR WHO

Does it seem strange to anyone but me that Doctor Who premiered the night after President Kennedy was murdered? It seems a bit cavalier, right? Do missing frames of the Zapruder film reveal a British police box on the grassy knoll? Is it true the Comedian's whereabouts that afternoon have never been established? The History Channel may never know. What we do know is the BBC and BBC America have orchestrated a weekend-long celebration of all things Whovian. Expect a TV movie recounting the origin of the whimsical series, An Adventure in Space and Time, Friday the 22nd. Then, on Saturday, a special episode, "The Day of the Doctor," will be simulcast all over the world - including cinematic showings in 3-D. The plot jumbles a crisis in Elizabethan England, Matt Smith as the Eleventh Doctor, a monster in the National Gallery, David Tennant as the Tenth Doctor, a battle in space and John Hurt. Best of all, it's written by show runner Steven Moffat, the mastermind behind the BBC's riveting Sherlock. Pop some popcorn and watch it with the kids. Shape new little geeks. Allons-y!

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you never cross streams by confusing your hydrospanner with your sonic screwdriver. Isn't that right, K-9?

See Also

Judging by the Trailer

November 19, 2013 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Ballet in a bar, "Our Nixon," cultural unity chat, Buffalo Soldiers and more ...

The BareFoot Collective performs inside The Mix tonight. Photo: Michael Hoover

TUESDAY, NOV. 19 2013 >>>

1. Let's face it. Tacoma's gay-friendly bar The Mix has seen plenty of vibrating, undulating, circling and pulsing. At 7 p.m. patrons of the downtown Tacoma joint will experience all of that, only with even more tutus. Tonight's performance is part of The BareFoot Collective's modern dance series out of the black box. The group aims to take dance into public spaces around Tacoma. The road show will be 30 to 40 minutes long and will incorporate improvisation, contemporary, dance-theatre and hip-hop works.

2. Our Nixon is the latest from director Penny Lane. Consisting entirely of archival footage, this award-winning documentary chronicles the Nixon administration from the beginning all the way to its shameful end. Throughout Nixon's presidency, Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, Domestic Affairs Adviser John Ehrlichman and Special Assistant Dwight Chapin obsessively recorded their experiences with the President on Super 8 home movie cameras. Their shared compulsion eventually spanned more than 500 reels of film; film which the FBI seized during the Watergate investigation and then subsequently kept hidden away from the public for 40 years. Catch the film at 2 and 6:30 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

3. Rivers have been widely regarded as the sustenance of life, forever renewing the fertility of land. Rivers are also more than a source of water. They are the start of cities and countries that bring people together. A river is thus a metaphor for all-embracing, merging of cultures from around the world. Gregory Wilson knows the power of rivers. He is the author of Dead Portraits in a Living Room, a collection of poems exploring the intersection of diverse cultures using a river and meeting of rivers as a metaphor. As part of its Caribbean Writer series: Dialogues on identity, Immigration, and Art, the University of Puget Sound hosts the poet and educator who grew up in Jamaica and graduated from The University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica, for a discussion, exploring cultural unity in the Caribbean and central America at 5:30 p.m. in the Rasmussen Rotunda at the Wheelock Student Center.

4. Brian Johnson of Better Cocktails at Home concocts compelling potions and films it for youtube. It's awesome. From 6-8 p.m. Johnson will leave his home and sling cocktails at Tacoma Cabana. Grab your phone and film him making three original recipes including Bathysphere (gin, Benedictine, lime, tiki bitters), and two favorites including the Last Word (gin, green Chartreuse, lime, Maraschino), all ringing in at $8 a pop.

5. The Lakewood Historical Society celebrates its 15th anniversary with a lecture on the Legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers by Jackie Jones-Hook at 7 p.m. in St. Mary's Episcopal Church.

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


November 20, 2013 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Fruit Juice, Irish glass, Rob McKenna lecture, "Everest 1963" and more ...

Fruit Juice plays Le Voyeur tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 20 2013 >>>

1. The kind of light psychedelic pop created by Fruit Juice is eminently invigorating in its giddy goofiness. With their glammy energy and commitment to sunny, falsetto harmonies, Fruit Juice at times resembles Of Montreal. Smack in the middle of a brightly poppy journey, an underwater spoken word interlude busts in and ushers the listener down a rabbit hole of brain-warping textures before emerging on the other end just as boisterous and driving as before. Elsewhere, Fruit Juice recalls the pastoral beauty of Village Green-era Kinks, or the sly experimentation of John Lennon. It's a swirling fish bowl of paint illuminated against a wall in an endless configuration of shapes and colors, and it all eventually congeals into a surprisingly consistent vibe of wackiness and devil-may-care subversion - all with pleasantly glassy-eyed sheen. Catch the band with I Like Science at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. Irish glass engraver, designer and tutor Eamonn Hartley will be working in the Hot Shop at Museum of Glass from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the 2013 Visiting Artists residency program. His work is currently on display in Museum of Glass' newest exhibition, "CAUTION! Fragile. Irish Glass: Tradition in Transition," which explores the Irish glass industry and the impact of recent factory closures on artists, tradition and personal identity.

3. The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation's "Foundation of Art Award" has been recognized as one the most notable art awards in the South Sound region. To celebrate the sixth anniversary of the Award, the Foundation is hosting an exhibit featuring the 12 talented artists that were nominated in 2013 at Fulcrum Gallery, from noon to 6 p.m. The exhibit will also unveil the commissioned artwork created by the 2013 winning artist, Shaun Peterson.

4. Rob McKenna, former attorney general for Washington, will lecture at 6 p.m. in the Norman Worthington Conference Center as part of the Leadership Lecture Series hosted by the Saint Martin's University's School of Business.

5. Come watch and listen to Tom Hornbein discuss the greatest Himalayan climb in American mountaineering history. The film High and Hallowed: Everest 1963 tells the story of Willi Unsoeld and Hornbein's pioneering ascent of the West Ridge of Mt. Everest, and examines the risk and adventure that drew them to the summit. Filmmakers David Morton, Jake Norton and Jim Aikman will join Hornbein onstage after the film to discuss the film with the audience. Discover how Unsoeld and Hornbein conquered the mountain at 7 p.m. in the Washington Center.

PLUS: Joe Roasti performs songs off his new CD at 7 p.m. with China Davis at Jazzbones.

LINK: Wednesday, Nov. 20 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area


November 20, 2013 at 10:03am

Catch Science! at the Pig Bar in Olympia

Science! / photo credit: Pat Snapp

Weekly Volcano readers are ahead of their time. In 2012, they voted the acoustic duo Science! - guitarists and singers Justin Stang and Jim Elenteny - as "Best New Band" in Thurston County. In 2013, they awarded Science! For "Best New Album" for their self-titled debut album.

Since winning their major awards, Science! has toured extensively, been endorsed by Ninkasi Brewery and Monday, Nov 11, made their Seattle television debut on King 5's New Day, where they performed the title track off their upcoming full-length album.

"It was an incredible experience to have the ability to share our music with such a broad and diverse audience in comparison to traditional club gigs," notes Stang. "We were thrilled to have such a terrific opportunity and excited to see all our hard work materialize in such a great way."

With a CD tucked under their belts, and a chocolate lab by their sides, Science! has plenty on the horizon. Next year will be a big - their new studio release will drop in March and they'll tour the West Coast then embark on a 30 U.S. city tour.

In the meantime, hear them on the The Marty Riemer Show at 9:30 a.m. Friday, Nov 22, then catch the two guitarists later that night live at a free show in the Pig Bar at live later that night at a free show in the Pig Bar.

SCIENCE!, 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 22, Pig Bar, Southbay Dickerson's BBQ, 619 Legion Way, Olympia, no cover, 360.943.6900

November 20, 2013 at 2:42pm

Judging by the Trailer: "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire"

"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" - a delicious middle course?

Note: Unfortunately, I am not able to do a proper review of The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, due to a crippling bowling accident that has left my hands in a state unfit for typing. Rather than hiring a typist to take dictation (as I've done for this preamble, at quite an expense), I'll instead reprint this ill-fated instant messaging conversation between my precocious 14-year-old cousin, Jeneva, and myself.

Jeneva: OMG COUSIN ADAM!! Have you seen the preview for the new HUNGER GAMES?

Adam: What? There's another one of those? I'll take a look. Oh, and HELLO, Jeneva. Kids...

Jeneva: WELL? What do you think? Wanna see it with me opening day??

Adam: I mean, I never saw the first one. Mostly this trailer just seemed like gobbledygook. Am I getting it right that there's a character named Marvel played by an actor named Jack Quaid? Good lord.

Jeneva: BUT IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL I"M CRYING COUSIN ADAM WHY ARE YOU SUCH A JERK?!

Adam: OK! Calm down. I mean, it looks fine. I like Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Donald Sutherland and Woody Harrelson and all that.

Jeneva: Who?

Adam: Never mind.

Jeneva: KATNISS IS SO PRETTY.

Adam: I guess so. Why is she still fighting in the Hunger Games? Didn't that end in the first one?

Jeneva: I thought you said you never saw it! HAHA.

Adam: I didn't, I just...

Jeneva: HAHA.

Adam: Stop it.

Jeneva: OMFG YOU SAW THE HUNGER GAMES AND YOU'RE A GROWN MAN WITH NO GIRLFRIEND AND A JOB THAT'S NOT EVEN REALLY REAL!!

Adam: Wow, that's really mean and accurate.

Jeneva: You probably forgot you saw it because you drink too much and you should have gone to college and your haircut looks stupid and everyone knows that you're a fraud.

Adam: What?

Jeneva: HAHAHA.

Adam: ...

Jeneva: Cousin Adam...?

Adam: I don't want to see this movie with you any more.

Jeneva: NO! Come on, I was just joking.

Adam: I can't believe I paid for your archery classes. YOU WILL NEVER BE KATNISS EVERDEEN. This Internet chat is over!

See Also

A Nert Alert has been issued!

November 21, 2013 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Antje Duvekot, Art Bus, arts chats, poetry anthology party and more ...

Antje Duvekot is a German-born singer-songwriter who lives in the Boston area. She'll be visiting Gig Harbor tonight. Press photo.

THURSDAY, NOV. 21 2013 >>>

1. Antje Duvekot silky voice wraps around her songs like a nice hemp sandal. One song breaks out and tackles grittier social matters with razor sharp insights. The next song, her pitch perfect, sweet, delicate and poignant soprano voice waxes personal. Then, she'll sing a dark-eyed ballad about what becomes of people who fall short of the American Dream in uncomfortable detail. She is as understated as she is wise and her songs go down mentally as well as soulfully. Her voice has a sound of innocence and naivety, which makes razor sharp insights into the human condition. Catch the Boston folk darling at 8 p.m. in Morso Wine Bar in Gig Harbor.

2. Your smokin' local ticket to great art, cool venues, celebrity tour guides, shopping, delicious nibbles, special treats, games, raffles, and fun, fun, fun is just two words: Art Bus! Hop aboard this premier Tacoma art tour at 6 p.m. in front of the Tacoma Art Museum and explore the city, enjoy games, great giveaways and so much more with a wickedly wonderful local twist. Tonight, the Art Bus gives back to the community by donating non-perishable food items to help the hungry (those who donate get a VIP raffle ticket to say thanks).

3. The University of Puget Sound's Art + Science Salon series returns to the Tacoma Art Museum for a conversation about the intersection of science, literature and the printed medium at 6 p.m.

4. The last CONVERSATIONS RE: TACOMA urban design lecture series will center on the arts and its influence on the livelihood of a community, such as Tacoma, at 6:30 p.m. in the museum of Glass. The after party will be at The Social Bar and Grill where the topic will be how cocktails affect an arts discussion.

5. And just when you were about to reach karmic exhaustion and flip on South Park, the anthology Sarasvati Takes Pegasus as Her Mount - featuring poems by Peggy Barnett, Glenna Cook, Maria Gudaitis, Marjorie Rommel, Josie Emmons Turner, Connie Walle and 11 other women poets  - is released, with a 7 p.m. celebration at King's Books. And the calm flows into your skin like the cool rays of the morning sun.

LINK: Thursday, Nov. 21 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 22, 2013 at 7:20am

5 Things To Do Today: Polar Plaza ice-skating, coffee and cheese samples, "Avenue Q," A Happy Death, Mirrorgloss and more ...

Hit the ice today from 4-10 p.m. Photo credit: Hans Brinker

FRIDAY, NOV. 22 2013 >>>

1. Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink opens at 4 p.m. The Polar Plaza is on its third year of setting up an ice-skating rink decked out in wintery goodness at Tollefson Plaza, just across from Tacoma Art Museum. With two fabulous years behind them, the Plaza folks put their heads together and found a few key ways to make this ritzy rink even better for 2013. What's New in 2013? Click here and discover the magic.

2. Hungry for holiday cooking inspiration and ideas? Hungry for real? Food lovers, there's a terrific 24-hour market in Tacoma's Proctor District offering great food samples, food advice, and so much more during the make or break week before the Thanksgiving holiday cook-off madness. From 3-6 p.m., Zola coffee and Somerdale Cheese nibbles are at Metropolitan Market.

3. It's been 10 years since Avenue Q, the racy Sesame Street parody for adults, garnered a raft of awards on Broadway, including the Tony for Best Musical. It uses hand puppets to represent 20-something New Yorkers dealing with the ennui of post-collegiate life. My friends, you are not precious daisies, and the landlord demands his rent no matter how hard you try at your failing artisanal muffin shop. Ain't existence crappy? Perhaps you can relate. So if song titles like "Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "The Internet Is for Porn," and "What Do You Do with a B.A. in English?" sound intriguing, rest assured they brighten the mood of a deeply funny show, which begins at 7 p.m. inside the Fort Steilacoom Theater at Pierce College.

4. Though they have a song that's explicitly called "Surf Rock Band," it would be a mistake to call them one. A Happy Death plant their feet firmly in the court of garage-pop madness, seemingly content to thrash away in blissfully psychedelic, noisy bliss, while never crossing the threshold into noise-rock or brain-melting chaos. Mostly, reverb is utilized to create a haze of '60s revivalism, though it finds itself imbued with a sweetness frequently found in the hordes of garage nostalgists. Catch the Portland band at 8 p.m. with Thunders of Wrath and Our Burgundy at O'Malley's Irish Pub in Tacoma. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on A Happy Death in the Music and Culture section.

5. Mirrorgloss is a very new band, having only played a handful of shows thus far. Even still, their sound is so clearly drawn out and natural, so well-defined and - the best part - relatively novel for Tacoma. With the exception of a couple bands, like Death by Stars, there isn't much in the way of electro-rock to be found in these parts. Made up of singers Del Brown and Najamoniq Todd, guitarist Danny Kenny and drummer Bryan Robertson, Mirrorgloss is a dance-rock band in the vein of LCD Soundsystem. The band joins the Pecos and I Like Science at 8 p.m. in Medi's Pizza on Tacoma's Sixth Avenue.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Friday, Nov. 22 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 22, 2013 at 7:47am

Night Moves: Stephanie Anne Johnson, Swelter, Gabriel Wolfchild, Nick Moss Band, I Like Science and others ...

Bali Girls

LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

The Gig Spot Gig Harbor. Argonian. 8 pm. $8.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Nick Moss Band. 8 pm. $10.

Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge Tacoma - Downtown. Lance Buller Combo. 7 pm.

Medi's Pizza Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Mirrorgloss, the Pecos, I Like Science, the Spins. 8 pm. NC.

  • Made up of singers Del Brown and Najamoniq Todd, guitarist Danny Kenny and drummer Bryan Robertson, Mirrorgloss is a dance-rock band in the vein of LCD Soundsystem. They find solid grooves and have the good sense to sit in them and let them stretch out until they settle nice and deep into your bones. Their secret weapon is their guitarist, who nimbly does yeoman's work of filling in the gaps between preprogrammed beats and the live drumming, stealthily sewing everything neatly together. - Rev. Adam McKinney

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. Swelter 15-Year Reunion, with Bali Girls, Negative Press. 9 pm. $5.

  • If you enjoy claustrophobic crowds, sweaty people and hard rock, don't miss this show. Swelter, a Tacoma band formed around 1990, will reunite to rock The New Frontier Lounge Friday. The quartet began as Swelter Cacklebush, a heavy pop band formed by singer Micah Hembree, bassist Chad Baker, drummer Stuart Linkert and guitarist Jason Harsin. Linkert and Harsin blazed to form the uber popular Katie's Dimples. In 1993, Linkert grabbed guitarists Jason Dietrich and David Takata, changed the name to Swelter and rocked a Stooges-meet-Bad Seeds sound. A third guitarist, Sean Lanksbury joined the band, until the band broke up in 1998. - Ron Swarner

Northern Olympia - Downtown. Gabriel Wolfchild, Bitches In The Beehive, NoodleBird, The Celestials. All Ages. 7 pm. $5.

  • To stand out as a man with an acoustic guitar takes some doing, as anyone who's been to a coffeehouse open mic can attest. Gabriel Wolfchild makes unapologetically somber music that somehow avoids the pitfall of maudlin naval-gazing. Gabriel Wolfchild's voice is clear and steady, devoid both of showboating and of ponderous whisper-singing. His collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Maesyn only enriched the quality of his songwriting. Maesyn's contribution of violin and harmony on their album, A Cry to the Moon, expands and enlivens the proceedings, freeing it from the solo singer-songwriter palate and transporting it into a world of folk that extends to world music, blues and Tom Waits-indebted balladeering. What mostly stands out about Gabriel Wolfchild is his storytelling. Each of his songs unfolds in ways that validate their sparse surroundings. - Rev. AM

Northern Pacific Coffee Co. Tacoma - Parkland. Thanksgiving Benefit Show featuring Stephanie Anne Johnson, Kye Alfred Hillig, Andrew Cook, David Hannon, Heidi Stoermer and Toby Hanson. All Ages. 7 pm. Cash and canned food donations.

O'Malley's Irish Pub Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. A Happy Death, Thunders of Wrath, Our Burgundy. 9 pm.

  • Though they have a song that's explicitly called "Surf Rock Band," it would be a mistake to call them one. A Happy Death plant their feet firmly in the court of garage-pop madness, seemingly content to thrash away in blissfully psychedelic, noisy bliss, while never crossing the threshold into noise-rock or brain-melting chaos. Mostly, reverb is utilized to create a haze of '60s revivalism, though it finds itself imbued with a sweetness frequently found in the hordes of garage nostalgists. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on A Happy Death in the Music and Culture section.

Red Wind Casino Yelm. Jonathan Harris. 8:30 pm. NC.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Chris Jones. 5 pm. Ghost 211. 9 pm.

Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill Spanaway. Fallen Kings, Dirge Era, Lady Luck. 9 pm.

LINK: More live music Friday, Nov. 22 in the South Sound

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