Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

July 26, 2014 at 8:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival, Scottish Highland Games, Mushroom Festival, two big beer events ...

Junkyard Jane gets all swampy on 56th Street from 3-4 p.m. Saturday, July 26. Photo credit: James Westveer/Facebook

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SATURDAY, JULY 26 2014 >>>

1. It was a cool July night in the City of Grit. My fedora pulled down low over my eyes, I peered out through a haze of cigarette smoke as I slunk down South Tacoma Way. Maybe that's why at first I didn't see the hep cat in the zoot suit. He was layin' back deep in the shadows and burnin' a cancer stick of his own. "What's the haps, brotha man?" I asked, meanin' to breeze past. "You lookin' sharp."

"You see that?" he asked, pointing a long dark finger at an open space near Stonegate Pizza. "I'm tellin' you, they's some crazy bidiness 'bout to go down on this block, and that's the stone truth. This scene gon' be 18-karat come this weekend."

"This block here?" I repeated. "Lay it on me, Jack."

"This here where they puttin' together the Jazz and Blues Festival this year, son. That ain't no applesauce."

Read Christian Carvajal's interview with the mysterious hep cat about the Tacoma Jazz and Blues Festival in the Music and Culture section, then enjoy the festival from 1 p.m. to midnight at 56th and South Tacoma Way.

2. We here at the Weekly Volcano think it takes a real man to wear a skirt and wear it proudly.  That's why we're piling into the Weekly Volcanomobile and heading to the 68th Annual Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games at the Enumclaw Expo Center to watch some manly men flash their legs and flip some freakin' big logs in the Heavy Field Events and Caber Toss. If all that testosterone gets to be too much, we'll head for the Parading of the Clans or dancing, piping and drumming competitions. Honestly, there are a lot of events going down at the thing between 7:45 a.m. and 9 p.m., including dancing demonstrations, pipes and drums galore, food and rockin' Ockham's Razor.

3. If you've ever been to a mushroom festival - particularly the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, which this year runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and tomorrow at the Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex - you already know that mycologists ('shroom experts) are in a league of their own. Mushroom festivals are the strangest, funniest and, not so incidentally, most educational experience you're ever likely participate in. And, no, hippie: Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival does feature "magic" mushrooms (psilocybes and otherwise). What it does include are featured speakers, chefs, cooking demonstrations, farm tour, children activities, entertainment, vendors, mushroom tasting, Grow in the the Dark 5K and a Saturday evening mushroom and wine event during the Lacey festival.

4. Two big beer events go down today. The official merging of Harmon's two St. Helens neighborhood sister restaurants Harmon Tap Room and The Hub into one giant beer complex. In celebration, a "Progressive Party" will be thrown from 1-6 p.m., where those who pay $15 may meet head brewer Jeff Carlson and his crew, drink specialty beers, taste the new menu, sample desserts from Harmon's new in-house baker and, of course, hug a Harmon employee. Space is limited; grab your tickets at The Hub and Harmon Tap Room. Harmon will also unveil its Hop Coffee enterprise at the party. If that wasn't enough, the party will also take time out for the Harmon and Tacoma homebrewing supplier MASH to hand out awards for their homebrewing competition, Aroma of Tacoma. The Parkway Tavern hosts a "79th Birthday Partay" including a "Badass Tacomacentric Beer Line Up," a beer garden in its backyard, Chad's BBQ out front, punkgrass band Rusty Cleavers jammin' around 3 p.m., Mr. Gibson's FroYo Wagon pulls up around 4, plus the release of the new ParkWay hoodies.

5. 1. Campfire Cassettes was started by Jonathan Buchanan as a way of getting pesky songs out of his head. Sometimes he performs with a full band, but the tour he's on finds him performing solo, with an assist from his tourmate, Todd N Todd (AKA Todd Daniels). The first song on the Los Angeles-based Campfire Cassettes' upcoming LP,GOSLEBROCK, features this line: "My sister Mary got everything. She got a brand new horse when she was 17. My sister Mary got everything. When I was 17, I got an STD." It's this sort of downer self-deprecation and outer bitterness that defines Campfire Cassettes It'd be depressing if it weren't so hilarious. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Campfire Cassettes in the Music and Culture section, then catch Buchanan and Daniels at 7 p.m. in Metronome Coffee.

LINK: Saturday, July 26 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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