Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

January 24, 2015 at 8:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Skates, nature walk, Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless, Handel's "Alcina," Solvents ...

Skates are a Seattle-based pop-punk band featuring former members of The Redwood Plan.

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SATURDAY, JAN. 24 2015 >>>

1. Skates is a band formed almost on a whim, formed from the ashes of the recently defunct Redwood Plan. Frontwoman Lesli Wood made a move basically akin to Queen vowing to not use synthesizers on their album, or like Joe Jackson nonchalantly making the decision to not include any guitars on an album, except to the most extreme degree: Wood ended one band and formed another in one month, based on just one name alone. Where The Redwood Plan was a jittery fury of dance-punk, Skates finds its comfort zone with surfy pop-punk, almost in the same vein as fellow Seattleites Tacocat. Gone are the squirrelly synthesizers and panicked vibes, now replaced with Skates' analog surf-pop. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skates in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Hot Cops, Deep Creep and Wimps at 9 p.m. in the 4th Ave Tavern in downtown Olympia.

2. Explore Tacoma Nature Center during a seasonal naturalist-led family walk from 1-2 p.m. Discover the plants and animals that live in the park and how they adapt in the different seasons.

3. Members of the Olympia hip-hop community, and beyond, join together for the Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless benefit at 5 p.m. in the Olympia Ballroom. Originally founded in Vancouver, B.C., in 2002, HH4H moved to Olympia in 2007. This year performing are Afrok, The Staxx Brothers, AKA, Free Ya Mind, The Zulu Nation (206 and 25Z60), VintageDOPE, Formula Boogie and others, as well as the 6th Annual 25360 Awards presentation. 

4. George Handel's magical opera Alcina, based on the epic Italian poem Orlando Furioso, features back-to-back solos littered with cadenzas, lots of cross-dressing and heavy use of castratos - from the time when castration was the quickest route to success for aspiring opera singers. PLU Opera presents the three-act play that tells the story of a Circe-like sorceress who loses her powers when she falls in love with one of her captives, Ruggiero. Meanwhile, Ruggiero's fiancée, Bradamante, comes disguised as a man to rescue him, like Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio, and like Leonore she attracts the attention of another young woman, Alcina's sister Morgana. The play can be both ravishing and heart-rending, given the way both Alcina and Ruggiero are in a perpetual state of inner conflict. (Handel was clearly more touched by the complicated villainess than by the goody-good guys.) James L. Brown will conduct the chamber orchestra in Italian with English supertitles, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Eastvold Auditorium.

5. Considering how abrasive and corrosive solvents can be, the band Solvents may as well be a swimming pool filled with fluffy teddy bears. The Port Townsend duo are a master of controlled intensity, blending guitar and violin in ways that can attack as much as they soothe. The interplay between Jarrod Paul Bramson and Emily Madden is what draws you into the world of Solvents, where everything skirts the line of dusty Americana and introspective pop. catch the band with Teach Me Equals, Dweller on the Hill and RedRumsey at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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