Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

March 13, 2015 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Jake Shimabukuro, Picasso at the Lapin Agile, New Kingston, Freeway Park ...

Whether he's covering Pink Floyd and the Beatles, playing a Hawaiian traditional, or writing one of his own elaborate pieces, Jake Shimabukuro has gained the respect of musicians and fans around the globe. Press photo

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FRIDAY, MARCH 13 2015 >>>

1. We encountered Jake Shimabukuro through his much-admired rendition of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," a piece that went viral in YouTube's infancy. Since then he's toured with Jimmy Buffett and played the West Hollywood House of Blues, B.B. King's Nightclub in New York, Bumbershoot and popular TV and radio talk shows. He's a household name in Japan, where he's the ambassador for Hawai'ian tourism. His instrument has only four strings with little sustain and can cover a mere two octaves from middle C up, but that's close to the range of the average human voice. Thus, Shimabukuro has all of the popular music at his disposal. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on Jake Shimabukuro in the Music & Culture section, then catch the ukulele virtuoso at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater.

2. Andrew Gordon, the actor-playwright who co-authors and produces mystery nights for his company, Open Road Productions, at Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen in Tumwater. His latest is an all-new musical, Murder Beyond the Stars, at 7:30 p.m. Andy, you have the floor: "It's set at the 26th annual Journeycon, a celebration of the TV show Journey Beyond the Stars back in the '90s. The convention takes place 26 years after the show ended disastrously. The two leads weren't speaking to each other. Something terrible happened, and that's to be revealed. The producer has decided to bring back the show as a movie, but instead of hiring the old cast, he's going the Chris Pine route. He went with a new, young, idiot actor, whom the script describes as all teeth and no brains. I don't think I'm giving away secrets when I tell you someone dies. Of course, everybody looks at least a little like a suspect."

3. From the manic mind of comic Steve Martin comes the offbeat comedy Picasso at the Lapin Agile. Set in Paris at a bar known as The Lapin Agile (The Agile Rabbit), Martin imagines a meeting between a young Pablo Picasso and a young Albert Einstein, two men who will transform the 20th century. Pablo, Al and their friends meet at The Lapin Agile to eat, drink and change art and science forever. Tacoma Little Theatre draws open the curtain at 7:30 p.m.

4. The father-and-sons quartet New Kingston are of rasta heritage, but the Pantons are second-generation Americans who drop laid-back jams like "Today" and "La La La" in a Brooklyn accent. They're a bashment, in reggae slang, meaning a party in progress. Their lyrics are socially conscious, but don't worry too much about that right now. Instead, close your eyes and sip cocktails on a beach in your mind at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones. In fact, I hear Jazzbones makes a ranking rum punch. New Kingston will urge you to "puff it and pass it" - but even in Washington, you have to wait till you get home for that. One love!

5. Seattle quartet Freeway Park offers up angular noise-pop accompanied by the manic preaching of frontman Graham Isaac. When you eliminate singing from your band, the onus then becomes dangerously focused on the strength of the words and the music. Isaac's deadpan reading of his wryly funny lyrics serves as a handy counterpoint to the jittery guitars. Catch the band with Coast Culture, 100 Ounces and Godfish at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

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