5 Things To Do Today: America's Music, Jordan World Circus, Lee Oskar, Lindquistpalooza and more ...

By Volcano Staff on April 4, 2014

FRIDAY, APRIL 4 2014 >>>

1. Some say that size doesn't matter. Tell that to the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, which is hosting a six-week-long program series with an insanely-lengthy title, "America's Music: A Film History of Our Popular Music from Blues to Bluegrass to Broadway." Each week, the AM:AFHoOPMfBtBtB (which, by the way, is pronounced AM-AFF-HOOP-EM-fuh-BEAT-BEAT-BEEEE! and should be immediately declared a musical genre unto itself) will seek to enlighten audiences by highlighting uniquely American forms of music through film. The first installment goes down at 6:30 p.m. and covers blues and gospel music and features excerpts from the almost-as-lengthily-titled documentary Martin Scorsese Presents The Blues, Episode 1: Feel Like Going Home, and cinéma vérité classic Say Amen, Somebody. Andrew "Drew" Buchman, Expressive Arts (read: Music) faculty member at The Evergreen State College, will be on hand to introduce the film portion of the evening, and lead a discussion afterward.

2. You might think swinging and flipping over high bars and prancing on two-inch-wide beams are skills only Olympic athletes such as Jordyn Wiebercan pull off with any degree of grace. But the performers of the Jordan World Circus have mastered those gymnastic feats, and much more. Their show is full of extremely flexible performers who could wow even the most jaded Olympian. The circus's troupe includes acrobats, jugglers, and contortionists between the ages of 11 and 50. Where else can you watch men your dad's age twist their bodies into pretzel shapes?  Marvel at the exotic animals, gasp in awe at the death-defying aerial acts, and be deeply, deeply frightened by the clowns at 4 and 7 p.m. at the Washington State Fairgrounds.

3. Lee Oskar founded the band WAR with Eric Burden. His harmonica can be heard on classics such as "Low Rider," "The Cisco Kid," and others. Most recently, his playing was sampled on the pop song "Timber" by Pitbull and Ke$ha. Oskar is known for his improvisational skill on the harmonica and animated stage presence. Oskar will hold a harmonic clinic and autograph session at 6 p.m. in Ted Brown Music.

4. At 6 p.m. in the Landmark Temple Theatre, Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist will kick off his bid for re-election with what we can only be described as a star-studded "kick off party" - which in the business of politics, is code for warm and fuzzy fundraising event. Lindquist promises the event will feature Peter Buck of R.E.M., actress and singer Molly Ringwald, The Beatniks, as well as speakers Gov. Jay Inslee, Sheriff Paul Pastor, Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland, and Detective Ed Troyer, executive director of Crime Stoppers.

5. "Eldridge Gravy and the Court Supreme are as fun a funk dance party as I can imagine," says Daniel Landin, booker and Weekly Volcano reader-voted Best Music Scenester in its Best of Olympia issue. Thirteen strong on stage, Eldridge Gravy's incredible soul vocals blend with three back-up singers, pour over a four-piece horn section, and all this bakes to groove perfection with a relentless full rhythm section. Catch the band with DBST at 9 p.m. in The Olympia Ballroom.

LINK: Friday, April 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area