Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: July, 2014 (93) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 93

July 25, 2014 at 7:31am

Friday Morning Joe: Russia arming Iraq and firing on Ukraine, US Army drawdown plan, US best burger ...

Afghan National Army throws coffee during an obstacle course at Kabul Military Training Center. Original photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd class David Kolmel

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.25.2014 >>>

Report: Russia has begun supplying military helicopters and fighter jets to Iraq.

Iraq Sunni militias pinched by jihadis, corruption.

Iraqi lawmakers elected a veteran Kurdish politician to replace long-serving Jalal Talabani as the country's new president. But a series of attacks killed dozens of people and Islamic militants destroyed a Muslim shrine traditionally said to be the burial place of the Prophet Jonah.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry pressed on for a Gaza ceasefire as the civilian death toll soared, threatening to spread Israeli-Palestinian bloodshed to the occupied West Bank and Jerusalem. 

U.S. says: Russia firing artillery at Ukraine military.

Senior leaders explain Army's drawdown plan.

Sen. Richard Shelby is uncertain if the Senate will pass the Pentagon 2015 defense bill.

The U.S. Army's vice chief of staff, Gen. John Campbell, was confirmed Wednesday as the next commander for NATO's International Security Assistance Force and US Forces in Afghanistan.

Malabar Exercise: The United States, India and Japan are set to kick off week-long war games in the Pacific, beefing up naval ties as they warily eye an increasingly assertive China and its military buildup.

The littoral combat ship USS Coronado will get a chance at an historic LCS first this fall when it launches a surface-to-surface missile in tests off Southern California.

MH-17 shoot down alters Air Force's space equation.

House narrowly defeats motion agreeing to Senate VA bill.

More than half of post-9/11 combat veterans say they have a mental health condition, but three-fourths report they are getting care, according to a new survey of young veterans conducted by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

Guardsmen, reservists help battle western wildfires.

The U.S. Army has selected a new camouflage pattern, but the service doesn't feel the need to formally announce it.

Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama, is now joining several other military bases, including Joint Base Lewis-McChord, as possible locations to house unaccompanied Central American minors, according to the state's governor's office.

The fastest cruise missile in the world launching underwater.

The coolest object disintegration we have ever seen.

What the far future of space mining could look like.

Cyclist films his own road accident, and lives.

Paste names the best Merge Records releases in honor of the label's 25th anniversary.

ThinkGeek has unveiled a Flux Capacitor car charger.

The country's best fast food burger

Supercut: 80s computer hacking.

Finally: Senior citizens recreating classic movie scenes.

We fell out of trees at age 6 ...

LINK: Original photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd class David Kolmel

July 25, 2014 at 7:46am

5 Things To Do Today: Campfire Cassettes, Heritage Distilling, Friday at the Fort, Missionary Position ...

Jonathan Buchanan and Todd Daniels will bring music and fun to Le Voyeur tonight.

FRIDAY, JULY 25 2014 >>>

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 6 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. Heritage Distilling Company has just announced the release of their Batch No 12 line of spirits. Batch 12 will include a vodka, bourbon and rye whisky all produced and bottled at its Gig Harbor site. The salivating, booze-loving public can get their first sip at noon in the Tahoma Market in Fife. The first to buy two bottles will receive a T-shirt. The week following expect to see them pop up at Harbor Greens, IGA stores and other outlets.

3. Over the years, the Weekly Volcano has heard tales of an inexplicable summertime condition.  When the sun is shining, we're told, some people lose their appetites. They all have some ridiculous excuse. Some refuse to sweat and eat at the same time. Sissies. Others say they're too busy. Whatever. Still others pull out the old "it's swimsuit season" excuse. Foolish vanity. The best we can figure is that they all have heatstroke and aren't quite right in the head. After experimenting, we have reached an indisputable scientific conclusion - When the sun is shining, things just taste better. Prove our theory at the Friday at the Fort event inside the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's fence from 6-9:30 p.m. Pampeana will serve their delicious empanadas, 7 Seas Brewing will be pouring pints full of goodness, Mikey's Weiner Trap hopefully means gourmet hot dogs, The Blend Café has the dessert tray while The Shy Boys rock your favorite hits.

4. Jeff Angell takes a night off from fronting the acclaimed Walking Papers band for a show with his other band, the soulful rock band The Missionary Position, for an 8 p.m. show with True Holland at Jazzbones.

5. Steel Creek American Whiskey Company hosts a Camo Party tonight. It's free cover before 11 p.m. for those who dress in camo gear. Also, $500 in cash and prizes will be awarded for the best male and female camo outfits at midnight. That's all the information we can find about the party tonight at the downtown Tacoma country bar. The remaining information seems to be hidden.

FRIDAY AT THE FORT, 6-9:30 p.m., Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, 6-9 Point Defiance Park, 5400 N. Pearl St., Tacoma, $10-$12, FridayAtTheFort.org

LINK: Friday, July 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 25, 2014 at 4:59pm

Getting Lucky with Nicky and Adam: Encore Boutique Nightclub Edition

Nicky and Adam pose with a remarkably forgiving girl at Encore Boutique Nightclub in downtown Tacoma.

ADAM: Well, Nicky, I think it's fair to say that our visit to Jazzbones was an unequivocal failure. Turns out there's learning curve to this whole "macking on ladies" business. In an effort to crank this thing up a notch, we decided to jump into the deep end of the pool and go to the one place where we were sure to stick out like a pair of painfully awkward sore thumbs: the Encore Boutique Nightclub in downtown Tacoma. We walked in looking like a couple of substitute history teachers, and we were ready to get our flirt on. How did it feel paying a $10 cover charge to be a wallflower on a fog machine and black light dance floor?

NICKY: The cover wasn't exactly a shock, so I didn't mind it. The $9 vodka and Red Bull did grab me a bit. After we obtained our drinks, we attempted to find a comfortable spot to sit, while still giving us a good view of the joint. Adam picked out a prime spot upstairs; unfortunately it also just happened to be Sabrina's VIP section. With that, we retreated to a spot we knew well to devise a new plan: the bar. It was around this time we began to notice how empty it was. Had we arrived too early? What were your first impressions, Adam?

ADAM: My first impression was that this club must have gone nuts at the velvet rope depot. Every nook and cranny was cordoned off, complete with buff dudes in suits to glare at us. Sabrina's VIP lounge was safe from our polite presence. Right inside the door, there were two people on a couch aggressively making out, so at least somebody was getting lucky that night. Oh, and thanks for that vodka and Red Bull, Nicky. We were doing our best to hyphy, so that jolt was appreciated. As for being too early, we did arrive right on time, just after 10 p.m., which is when they open. Is that not the way this works? Anyway, right around the time a chopped and screwed version of "Royals" came on, people were filling up the dance floor. What do you think our chances of meeting a couple nice ladies were?

NICKY: I wasn't so sure of our chances of meeting ladies in general, let alone "nice" ones. If memory serves correct, about the time Lorde came on was probably the same time the lights went in to full "Flashy-Japanamation" mode. At that moment, I was less concerned with pretty girls twerkin' and more worried about not becoming ill. Maybe this is a good time to mention I suffer from the ol' PTSD, and flashing lights, crowds off strangers and loud music can put me in a less than comfortable state. There was one thing that helped me keep my mind off the visually intrusive strobe light: Mr. Vesty. That kid had moves. While Adam was in the little boys room, I tried to take tips from Vesty. He was there before we arrived, already on the dance floor. It was now about 45 mins later and he was dancing with two girls. Adam returned from the lavatory and we discussed talking to some ladies in the different VIP sections. But which one would we choose? Adam, what was your choice?

ADAM: I wanted to talk to what was clearly a bachelorette party across the dance floor from us, partitioned by a velvet rope. However, the bouncer we talked to (who also apparently works for Microsoft?) seemed to think that might not be the best idea - although, getting thrown out of Encore might have been the best way for this thing to wrap up. Instead, we ended up getting our picture taken with a remarkably forgiving girl. One of our friends recently proposed the idea that we're not so much wingman-ing each other as we are cockblocking each other. She might have a point. Encore proved to be unsuccessful, but I feel like we're getting closer. When we hit 502 Downtown, next time, I'm just gonna go ahead and predict we'll be bringing mad skills. Or, you know, not.

Filed under: DJ/Electronica, Sex, Tacoma,

July 26, 2014 at 7:53am

Saturday Morning Joe: Libya embassy evacuation, Russia in Ukraine, Gaza truce, Boeing takes a hit ...

322nd Civil Affairs Brigade, U.S. Army Reserves Pacific, throw simulated coffees during a Best Warrior Competition event. Original photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Hubenthal

GRAB A CUP AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.26.14 >>>

The United States evacuated its embassy in Libya today, driving its staff under heavy military guard across the border to Tunisia because of escalating clashes between rival militias in Tripoli.

As fires rage in two states in the Pacific Northwest, Defense Department fire-suppression efforts are underway with two Modular Airborne Fire Fighting System-capable C-130s.

Russia has accelerated its intervention, moving more of its own troops to its border with Ukraine.

The Pentagon said Russia is delivering heavier and more sophisticated missile launcher systems to separatists in Ukraine.

Short Gaza truce: Palestinians in the Gaza Strip poured into the streets to recover their dead and stock up on food supplies

The House passed a resolution requiring authorization from Congress for a sustained presence of combat troops in Iraq.

Predominant battleground for extremists: The number of foreign fighters in Syria now exceeds 12,000 and rising.

China's naval modernization program is moving at a rapid pace, the chief of U.S. naval operations said.

The Air Force's top officer gives his service top marks for personal behavior, saying he is "very happy with the ethical fabric of the United States Air Force," despite problems that include a cheating scandal at its nuclear missile sites and a general's drunken binge on an arms control mission.

Powerful forces in Congress are working to buy the U.S. Navy an extra amphibious ship, and lawmakers in both the House and Senate have added between $650 million and $800 million to the proposed 2015 shipbuilding budget to begin construction.

$1 billion-plus short: Amphibious add isn't enough, so Navy wants to repurpose it.

Boeing is taking a $272 million hit to its KC-46A tanker contract after discovering a wiring issue that will require fixing on a test aircraft.

Force-wide changes to the military's Tuition Assistance program may require troops to pay back their TA money if they perform poorly in class.

The Webb Space Telescope's sunshield is complete and it looks cool.

Here's Colbert's complete interview with multi-industry mad scientist Elon Musk.

The documentary about Tim Burton and Nicolas Cage's failed Superman movie has a trailer.

Bloopers!

LINK: Original photo by Staff Sgt. Chris Hubenthal

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

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

July 26, 2014 at 11:16am

Night Moves: Color Me Badd, Shai, Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat, Eric Tollefson Band, Campfire Cassettes, Mad Mardigan ...

Shake It Off

LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

B Sharp Coffee House Tacoma - Downtown. The Linda Myers Band. All Ages. 8 pm.

Bob's Java Jive Tacoma - Central. Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat, Power Skeleton, Trueno, Tummler and Solomon, Rexx 8 pm. $5.

  • One of the things that tends to deter me from music with the "experimental" label is that it too frequently has a tendency to spiral out into free jazz journeys with no end in sight. My roots are too entrenched in pop construction for me to have much patience for 20-minute explorations. Toyboat Toyboat Toyboat never feel like they're noodling. Their avant-pop ditties are high on unorthodox instrumentation and off-the-wall ideas, but it all feels like it's in its right place. Of particular interest is the inclusion of a member who plays the Quintron, which is a rare synthesizer that functions off of exposure to light. It's propulsive, screwy music that lets things get experimental while always reassuring you that a sure, crazy hand is behind it all. - Rev. Adam McKinney

Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival Dawson's Stage, featuring Keith Klawitter Jazz Alliance, Steve Stefanowicz, Palmer Junction, The Randy Oxford Band, Junkyard Jane. 2 pm.

Doyle's Public House Tacoma - Stadium District. Eric Tollefson Band. 9:30 pm. NC.

The Gig Spot Gig Harbor. Mystery Machines, Suite Clarity, The Orange Version. All Ages. 7 pm.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Color Me Badd, with Mycle Wastman, William Jordan. 8 pm. $25.

Jezebels Olympia - Downtown. Shai. 9 pm. $20.

  • Grab a date; Saturday's show at Jezebels will be historic. Early 1990s R&B harmonizers Shai rolls into Olympia. Not only does this show mark a significant visit from the platinum-selling crooners, but also a going-away party of sorts, as Jezebels - formerly The Mint and Barcode - will be shutting its doors after a decade on Fourth Avenue. Jezebels has been a part of the bedrock for hip-hop, rap and other urban shows, most popularly known for its famous dollar wells Wednesday nights, that left all competition in the surrounding 20 miles floundering and confused about what to do. Reportedly the venue will re-open as a live rock music venue, and rock a party that will surely be memorable with Shai singing and DJ Drastic spinning. And the number of live hip-hop venues continues to dwindle. - Jose Gutierrez

Louie G's Pizza Fife. Midstokke, Blue Helix, Late September Dogs, Jason Kertson & The Immortals. All Ages. 5 pm.

Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge Tacoma - Downtown. The Kareem Kandi Band. All Ages. 8 pm. NC.

Metronome Coffee Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Campfire Cassettes, Todd N Todd, Patrick Galactic 7 pm. NC.

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. Mad Mardigan, Old Man Wizard, Shake It Off, Jugs of Blood. 9 pm. $5.

South 56th Street Tacoma. Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival Main Stage, featuring Little Bill & The Blue Notes, Junkyard Jane, Vicci Martinez, The Randy Oxford Band, Rich Wetzel's Groovin Higher Orchestra, Mike Vax, Jiggs Whigham. All Ages. 1:30 pm.

The Spar Tacoma - Old Town. The Echo Devils. 8 pm.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival Stonegate Stage, with Lance Buller Trio, Mitch Reems Combo, Lynda Myers Band. 2 pm.

Tacoma Dance Studio Tacoma. Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival Dance Studio Stage, featuring Kevin England Jazz Collective, Carole Kapeliela Jazz Trio, Malo Castro, Clave Con Jazz. All Ages. 2 pm.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival Stonegate Stage, with Lance Buller Trio, Mitch Reems Combo, Lynda Myers Band. 2 pm.

LINK: More live music Saturday, July 26 in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 27, 2014 at 8:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Bubba Sparxxx, Dayclub, Gong Show, Battle of the Sexes ...

Bubba Sparxxx performs at Jazzbones tonight.

SUNDAY, JULY 27 2014 >>>

1. Born Warren Anderson Mathis, Bubba Sparxxx grew up in Georgia, where a black friend turned him on to New York mail-order mix tapes. His introduction to rap was dominated by the booty-shaking grooves of 2 Live Crew and the brutal truths spit by N.W.A. Later, when he discovered ATL pioneers OutKast, Sparxxx was inspired to write his own rhymes and started battling at school. Sparxxx made a major bang with solo-debut Dark Days, Bright Nights, which featured the single "Ugly" and went gold with the help of Shannon Houchins, a staff producer for Jermaine Dupri's So So Def label. Sparxxx's "Ugly" video put him in overalls and created some frustration for the Southern white rapper when the public pegged the video as satire. Sparxxx responded that the video depicted his Southern roots. Touring behind his 2014 release, Made on McCosh Mill Road, Sparxxx will rap about living in the country, loving women, cars and booze with Mike Drastic, Mr. Von, A King Also x The Royal Coat at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

2. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watching condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

3. The great irony of the original Gong Show was that the program itself would have gotten gonged. And to its credit, it - and its creator, Chuck Barris - wore that fact like a badge of (dis)honor, creating a space in television where it could be proud of showcasing the misplaced pride of the American populous. At 3 p.m. in The Swiss, the Music and Art in Wright Park folks will host a Gong Show to raise funds for their August concert. It will match the zaniness of the original show. Bands Speakerbox and The Jilly Rizzo will warm up the crowd for when the "talent" hits the stage at 5:30 p.m. The master of ceremonies will be local comedian Eric Puddin Lorentzen, which will be worth the price of admission alone. After the $100 prize is awarded, The Nitrogen Lion Society will rock.

4. Friends and talented musicians will hold a benefit concert for Christopher Brant Anderson at the Antique Sandwich Co. at 7 p.m. Anderson was diagnosed with asbestosis in 2004, which is a progressive condition and leads to heart-related complications along with other symptoms. Scheduled to perform are Steve Beck, Steff Kayser, Larry Murante, Kevin Jones, Mark Filler, Jim Moore, Bill Glover and Rob Kneisler.

5. Remember that time in high school when your parents went away? You know, plot line of every teenage movie ever made - except this time, you blew up the house. Standing in the ashes as your parents roll up, what do you do? Say it with us now -iiiiiimprovise. Take notes at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club when male and female comedians battle with improve and sketch skills. 

LINK: Sunday, July 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 28, 2014 at 7:08am

Monday Morning Joe: Congress VA deal, drone traffic jam, spy satellite upgrade, Spider-Man punches cop ...

Headquarters Company 34th Combat Aviation Brigade throw practice coffee pots from the standing position at Camp Ripley, Minn. Original photo by Spc. Jess Nemec

GRAB THE COFFEE POT AND READ THE MORNING REPORT FOR 7.28.14 >>>

House and Senate lawmakers will announce an agreement on veterans' legislation during a press conference today.

North Korea defies U.N. censure to fire missile into sea.

As fighting abates in the Gaza Strip for now, the road forward to a more durable ceasefire will be rocky at best

The Obama administration has quietly moved an additional 62 advisers to Iraq over the past three weeks.

Possibility for another volley exists: U.S., Iranian drones crowd Iraqi air space.

The U.S. Air Force will soon have new spy satellite capability that will provide oversight over other objects in space.

What a war in Europe really looks like: Headless body in the street, bombed summer cottages, gunmen at the morgue ...

U.S.-supplied weapons vulnerable after Afghanistan withdrawal.

The New York Times: It's putting its weight behind a bill that will be introduced in the Senate this week to rein in the National Security Agency.

Republican lawmakers are challenging Obama over a plan to expand the use of bases to house illegal immigrant children.

Rough ride for the F-35: Congress is still pouring money into a program that is intended to produce more than 2,400 F-35s for the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines through 2037.

The Marine Corps needs 38 amphibious assault ships for crisis-response missions, but will likely have to settle for 33.

The U.S. Air Force missileers to work with Navy in morale-improvement effort.

Court: U.S. must explain why it rejects foreign deals.

Defense bill amendment: Effort advances to add names of 74 sailors to Vietnam Memorial.

War and games: Ex-Army helicopter pilot heads Washington Redskins special teams.

This ATM that plays DOOM would make trips to the bank so much better.

Mark Hamill talks about returning to Star Wars.

Princess Leia is getting her own comic-book miniseries.

Watch the trailer for Kevin Smith's new film, Tusk.

Stephen Colbert hosted the Hobbit panel at Comic-Con in Hobbit costume.

The New York Times: Spider-Man punched a police officer in the face in Times Square over the weekend ...

It's been a while since we had a good dominoes toppling ...

LINK: Original photo by Spc. Jess Nemec

July 28, 2014 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Irish history and storytelling, Bill Colby, flamenco, Podunk Funk ...

David McDonnell's book "ClanDonnell" will be discussed at King's Books tonight.

MONDAY, JULY 28 2014 >>>

1. Tacoma has a few Irish traditions. One of them is going to Doyle's Public House on St. Patrick's Day and being part of a party so huge that anyone can incidentally wander (stagger?) into St. Helens Avenue and block it like a giant amoeba without having to worry about being arrested or asked to please step aside. Hopefully, here's a new tradition. David McDonnell, author of ClanDonnell, the epic story of Ireland told through the lives of the McDonnell clan and their descendants, will discuss his family history at 7 p.m. in King's Books. Because the first McDonnells were mercenaries called to service in all corners of Ireland, the clan's history is intertwined with the history of the entire island. Immediately following the talk, the group will wander (not stagger) next door for storytelling at Doyle's.

2. A visit to Bill Colby's latest exhibition at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College is like a trip to the beach. The gallery is filled with - by my cursory count - 44 bright paintings dominated by clear blue water and clear blue sky complemented by rocks of bright orange. It's a feast for the eyes, restful and joyous. "The joy of nature is within all of us and in my art work," said Colby in his artist's statement. "'Water and Rocks' has been an evolving theme from 1956 to the present." Read Alec Clayton's full review of Bill Colby's "Water And Rocks: A Journey" in the Music and Culture section, then see the show from noon to 5 p.m.

3. A Most Wanted Man is a taut, tense spy thriller, a fitting swan song for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a poignant reminder of why he was a most wanted man in Tinseltown. Read Jared Lovrak's review of the film here, then catch it at The Grand Cinema at 1:10, 3:45, 6:20 and 9 p.m.

4. Flamenco dancer and Seattle native Savannah Fuentes presents La Luna Nueva, a presentation of Spanish flamenco music and dance featuring special guest artist, direct from Spain, world renowned flamenco singer Jose Anillo in The New Frontier Lounge at 8 p.m.

5. Podunk Funk will combine elements of jazz, rock, Bluegrass, classical, fun, and many other influences to produce a "jazz-grass and psycho-grass" sound in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia at 8 p.m. 

LINK: Monday, July 28 arts and entertainment event sin the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 28, 2014 at 9:30am

Storm Large to return to Tacoma

Storm Large will perform at Tacoma's Theater on the Square Sept. 4. Photo credit: Laura Domela

The budding cabaret scene in the South Sound will likely never be compared with post-World War I Paris or Berlin in its Weimar Republic heyday. No matter, we're simply happy that there is something different. Over the years, the Weekly Volcano has learned that blatant sexuality doesn't have the staying power of intelligent sensuality, which is what Portland resident Storm Large promises at the Theater on ther Square Sept. 4.

During the mid-2000s, Large and her band, The Balls, brought their "Loungecore" act - a hybrid of lounge, jazz and rock - to the South Sound.  The Balls mashed popular songs - such as ABBA's "Take a Chance on Me" and "Dancing Queen" with Iron Butterfly's  "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" or Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" with Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back" - then run them through the Jazzomatic. The beautiful, full-bodied six-foot blonde exuded sexuality; pole dancing on the mic stand, her red dress toyed like Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct," until you can hear the jealous slaps across men's faces. Gyrating in a crouched position she rattled with a full-tilt banshee metal screech, then oozed jazz and undulated up. The Weekly Volcano knew chanteuse's talent - vocal strength and stage presence - could take the nation by storm. 

And she did.

She shot to national prominence in 2006 as a finalist on the CBS show, Rock Star: Supernova.

The following year she took a career departure and starred in Portland Center Stage's production of Cabaret with Wade McCollum. The show was a smash hit, earning Large glowing reviews. As was her next show, Crazy Enough, which ran 21 straight weeks to sold out shows in Portland. Crazy Enough appeared Off-Broadway in spring 2012 and Simon & Schuster published a book version of her autobiography in November 2012.

Large made her debut as guest vocalist with the band Pink Martini in April 2011, singing four sold-out concerts with the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. She continues to perform with the band, touring nationally and internationally.

Large will return to Tacoma, performing at Tacoma's Theatre on the Square on Sept. 4 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $18-$48, and on sale now.

Filed under: Concerts, Music, Tacoma,

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