Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

December 14, 2013 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Happy HellaDaze's Evil Christmas Spectacular, Modern Kin, Purr Gato and more ...

The Tacoma Link should be an interesting ride today.

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SATURDAY, DEC. 14, 2013 >>>

1. So Christmas is preparing to sidle up next to you and give a wet kiss under the mistletoe as it pickpockets your wallet. You want to celebrate the forthcoming holiday season but maybe you feel like you didn't fully get your Halloween fix satiated. What to do? Luckily the solution is called Happy HellaDaze's Evil Christmas Spectacular. What the hell is Happy HellaDaze's Evil Christmas Spectacular? It's a group of people who dress up in their finest evil-Christmas wear - Bad Santas, Satanic Santas, Krampuses, disgruntled elves, homicidal Mrs. Clauses, crazed reindeer, maniacal Christmas trees, sinister holiday packages, zombie snowmen and such - and then board en mass the Tacoma Link downtown to various bars. The reactions of unsuspecting holiday travelers will be half the fun. Alfred's Café and Bubble Room serves as the starting point. Participants meet there at 3 p.m. before taking the light rail to the next stop. Though how much more evil can you get than a place called the "Bubble Room"?

2. The autoharp, invented in the 1880s and a fad in the 1890s, became a virtuoso instrument among musicians in the early to mid 20th century. There's a huge debate on whether a German immigrant in Philadelphia by the name of Charles F. Zimmermann or Karl August Gütter of Markneukirchen, Germany, invented the autoharp. Now, will you need to know any of this to appreciate autoharp master Bryan Bowers at 2 p.m. in the Tacoma Public Library, when he busts out a free holiday concert sure to delight the masses? Of course not. But it won't hurt. And it just might make Bowers' mastery of the autoharp all the more impressive, as the singer songwriter is often credited as having redefined the instrument.

3. OK, while the winter solstice technically is the shortest day of the year, and nighttime falls at a ridiculously early hour, for some, the solstice means getting their party on and celebrating. In the Appalachia region, winter solstice means breaking out the instruments, sweet treats and excellent libations in a festival of dancing, music and storytelling. So why can't the South Puget Sound enjoy the same, right? Ah, but we can. The Puget Sound Revels performance brings traditions, energy and spirit right here to our own backyard in an electric, inspirational performance at 2 and 7 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

4. Working our way through Modern Kin's self-titled debut, the word that kept swimming around in our heads was "skeletal." Though the songs are adorned with expansive reverb, what you really pick out and identify are the three people behind the songs: Drew Grow, Kris Doty and Jeremiah Hayden. Even though Modern Kin's sound is big, the songs remain testaments to the tight musicianship of the trio. Modern Kin is a remarkable surefooted debut for the band, and one of the reasons may be that it's actually not a debut - not really, anyway. Modern Kin began life in 2007 as Drew Grow and the Pastors' Wives, an acclaimed folk-rock band that incorporated elements of soul and spine-tingling gospel. Recently, with the loss of a member, the decision was made that a change was needed. Catch the band with Not From Brooklyn and Us Lights at 8 p.m. in Grit City Grindhouse. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Modern Kin in the Music & Culture section.

5. If you could say one thing about Purr Gato, it's that they certainly aren't into half measures. Performing absurd, space-age get-ups and brightly colored wigs, Purr Gato embrace the spectacle of performance. Lead singer Kitty K rocks a honest-to-goodness keytar, if that gives you a good idea of what to expect. Combining cartoonish new wave with trip-hop and four-on-the-floor electronica, Purr Gato make music that seems tailor made to be blared at drugged out music festivals. Catch the band at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

PLUS: Holiday Events Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Holiday Command Center

LINK: Saturday, Dec. 14 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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