5 Things To Do Today: The Van Allen Belt, Reach Out at the Well, Polecat, Indigenous Robot ...

By Volcano Staff on October 17, 2014

FRIDAY, OCT. 17 2014 >>>

1. Named after a scientific discovery, The Van Allen Belt are doing their part to tear down and rebuild. Their recent LP, Heaven on a Branch, is a sly study in mixing and matching. The ways they play with sounds and expectations is sometimes so subtle that you find yourself waking from a trance at a song's end and wondering what route you took to get your head where it's arrived. A big part of the band's success comes down to lead singer Tamar Kamin's effortlessly soulful voice, which handily weathers the storm of mastermind Benjamin Ferris' gently forceful experimentation. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on The Van Allen Belt in the Music and Culture section, then catch the band with Anna Gordon, Swoon and Beatrix Sky at 8 p.m. in Northern.

2. Following a successful first run, "Reach Out at the Well" returns to downtown Olympia's Artesian Commons Park from noon to 3 p.m.  The Olympia Outreach Workers League, a coalition of nearly a dozen downtown service organizations who operate with generous volunteer support, hosts the free community fair. Participating organizations setup booths and provide information on their services and volunteer opportunities. "We aim to uplift the downtown neighborhood through strengthening relationships, cultivating networks, and encouraging volunteerism," said Renata Rollins, event organizer and a coordinator with the Outreach Workers League. "It's all about the ethic of courageous community caretaking. It takes a village to raise a village."

3. Members of the BJ Shea Morning Experience will celebrate their 15th year on the radio with a little shindig at 7 p.m. in Jazzbones. BJ will be giving away a trip to Atlanta to attend a VIP party on the set of the Walking Dead, where you'll tour the real Terminus location, meet members of the cast and maybe even some of the undead. You'll also get the chance to win tickets to see Judas Priest and Lewis Black. Admission is free for this 21 and older event.

4. St. Patrick's Day celebrations aren't easy. You must practice to prepare yourself for the zaniness that goes down every March 17. Doyle's Public House knows this. That's why they host monthly St. Practice Day parties, of which happens again Friday. The party begins with Doyle's Guinness Club toast at 5:17 p.m. All the members gather before Grand Poobah Russ Heaton, who recognizes members who have hit milestones, such as 500 pints of Guinness, while the other members tear up. After the announcement, Heaton raises a glass of the Irish Mother's Milk and toasts the members. At 9 p.m., musical guest Polecat gives everyone another reason to raise a glass. The Bellingham band's nimble, high-energy, fiddle-fueled, hybrid-Americana music really must be seen live to be truly appreciated.

5. The lessons '70s psych bands taught us were not in vain, and some restraint applied to the right blend of mind-melting antics can be very effective. Enter Indigenous Robot, who cram the stomping menace of Black Sabbath and the masculine poetry of the Doors into something resembling Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Psychedelia still works, as shown in Indigenous Robots' in-and-out brevity, which allows them to pack a considerable amount of punch into three minutes or less. The band performs with Bottlenose Koffins and Static and the Cubes at 10 p.m. in Half Pint Pizza Pub.

LINK: Friday, Oct. 17 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area