5 Things To Do Today: Gray Sky Blues Festival, Bettie Brigade, Nuclear Cowboyz, Universe People and more ...

By Volcano Staff on April 5, 2014

SATURDAY, APRIL 5 2014 >>>

1. Ahhh, the Daffodil Parade! As surely as pint-sized marching bands will file down the street in lockstep while serenading onlookers with "Tequila," the sky will fill with dark clouds before an inevitable downpour drenches everyone within a two-mile radius of downtown Tacoma - which is as good of an excuse as any to go hear some great blues music and dry off. And the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival, which seems to be named just for this happenstance, begins right after the parade wraps up, around noon. The event takes place across three venues: The Swiss, The Harmon Restaurant and Brewery and Stonegate Pizza and Bar. The festival's headliner is Cee Cee James, who - I'm told by the reliable source that is this event's press release - is "one of the most popular female blues artists on the scene today." She'll hit the stage at 6 p.m. in The Swiss. Stonegate will be the scene of the festival's after-party, which begins at 8:30 p.m. With any luck you'll not only be starting the day with "Tequila," but ending it that way, too.

2. They're chirping and hooting out the news that it's time to celebrate their unique characteristics and appreciate the ways in which they contribute to the planet. Lovely. That's the focus of Migratory Madness, a two-day special event at Northwest Trek Wildlife Park April 5 and 6 featuring a nest full of events about birds, beginning at 11:30 a.m.

3. Let it be known the JBLM Bettie Brigade roller derby team will take on the I5 Rollergirls at 5 p.m. Saturday, April 5 at the Bettie Bunker, 5700 Lacey Blvd. The co-ed junior team, JBLM Bratz, will face the I5 Rollergirls B-Team, too. More details at bettiebrigade.com.

4. So, the guys in circulation were trying to describe it to us the other day - telling us all about the Nuclear Cowboyz FMX tribe who returns to the Tacoma Dome at 7:30 p.m. for an action-packed show complete with a Hunger Games-ish storyline told through more than 1,000 gravity-defying freestyle stunts. Or something. From what we're told, it's part Broadway show, part rock show, part freestyle motocross - now with more dance troupes and an army of Shaolin Kung Fu Warriors. Again, this is the circulation department talking. On top of all this, we're told, the show combines fearless freestyle gravity defying stunts, outrageous pyrotechnic and freakin' laser displays synchronized to heavy metal, rock alternative and electronic dubstep music, and features the world's best freestyle motocross athletes - such as X Games medalists Colten Moore, Taka Higashino and Jeremy "Twitch" Stenberg - front and center. Got it?

5. Even though it's their name, starting with what Universe People (the group) are may be the worst entry point for exploring what Universe People (the band) is. Also known as Cosmic People of Light Powers (catchy), Universe People are a Czech UFO religion that believe they can communicate telepathically with aliens. Like any successful, harmless religion, it is helmed by a magnetic leader (Ivo A. Benda) with unique abilities, secret knowledge of the fate of the world, and apparently a DVD player, given how many times it seems he's watched The Matrix. Meanwhile, the band that's also called Universe People shares almost none of those traits. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Universe People in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Service Animal, Low Hums and Battersea at 8 p.m. inside Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, April 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area