Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

April 10, 2015 at 7:07am

5 Things To Do Today: One Night of Queen, Beerbalation, Romeo et Juliette, Brian Lynch ...

"One Night of Queen," performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, will hit the Washington Center's stage April 10. Photo credit: Property of A.Behn/Copyright 2011

FRIDAY, APRIL 10 2015 >>>

1. The great Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Tanzania (then the Sultanate of Zanzibar) and was raised Zoroastrian near Mumbai. At age 24, he joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, formerly of the band Smile, and named their new enterprise Queen. Thanks in large part to his astonishing vocal range and power - he could easily cover four octaves from bass low F to soprano high F - he was an international star less than five years later. Gary Mullen, on the other hand, was born in Scotland around the time Queen released its first album. He remembers seeing a live performance of "We Are the Champions" when he was four. His wife and mother entered the mild-mannered computer salesman and cancer survivor in a British reality show called Stars in Their Eyes. There, his impression of Mercury's "It's a Kind of Magic" launched him toward a season win in 2000. He assembled his touring band, the Works, two years later. Out of makeup, Mullen looks and sounds nothing like Freddie Mercury; but put a wig, mustache and tight costume on him, and he morphs into a veritable Prince of the Universe. See One Night of Queen at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

2. Top Rung Brewing Co. celebrates their first anniversary with a Beerbalation, kicking off today and run through Sunday. Today, they will release their first bourbon barrel-aged beer - Bourbon Barrel Aged Pyrolysis Imperial Stout. Expect dark and malty flavors with notes of coffee and chocolate boosted with a smooth bourbon finish. Expect live music, commemorative glasses, games and beer from 2-9 p.m.

3. We could've easily featured Roméo et Juliette (it's OK, you can call it Romeo and Juliet, we won't tell) in our music section, because it goes without saying opera lands like a wet noodle in the absence of stirring music. If there's one thing Tacoma Opera boasts, it's capable singers. Opera San Jose resident artist Christopher Bengochea lends his powerful tenor to Roméo, while Ksenia Popova, who did lovely work as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, portrays Juliette. (Spoiler alert: they won't see their paper anniversary.) Tacoma Opera favorite Ryan Bede returns as hotheaded Mercutio. The lush, romantic score's provided by Charles-François Gounod, best known for takes on Ave Maria ("a meditation on Bach") and Faust. Keep an ear out for gorgeous duets and the lilting waltz "Je veux vivre." Non-French-speakers, have no fear: supertitles are provided at the 7:30 p.m. performance inside the Pantages Theater.

4. Australian stand-up comedian Aamer Rahman will be the featured performer at a comedy show aimed at issues of race and social justice at 7 p.m. in The Evergreen State College Longhouse. Rahman, whose ancestors hail from Bangladesh, began his comedic rise as half the award-winning cult comedy duo, Fear of a Brown Planet. His act focuses on politics, racism, the War on Terror and Batman.

5. There are events we in the musical promotional game could never have expected to see. This is one of those events. An otherwise noteworthy jazz musician, Brian Lynch, has cemented our interest in an upcoming concert by adding ... a juggler. This juggler is Henrik Bothe. He's performed all over the country. Garrison Keillor said, "Henrik is one of the few jugglers that have ever succeeded in performing on the radio." What Bothe's enthusiastic brand of physical comedy has to do with jazz, we have zero idea, but we doubt we even care. It's jazz and juggling, people. It's an Afro-Cuban-influenced, Grammy-award-winning trumpeter who's played with everyone from the Buena Vista Social Club to Prince, together with plates on sticks. This is the epitome of win-win. It's chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott. Throw in the Puget Sound Jazz Orchestra, and hell, you've got Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott and waffles. On sticks! Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Blue Mouse Theatre.

April 9, 2015 at 6:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Charles Cross, LeMay Cruise-In, Tacoma Runners, Cody Raymond ...

Charles Cross will speak at the University of Puget Sound tonight.

THURSDAY, APRIL 9 2015 >>>

1. Charles Cross captained The Rocket, Seattle's monthly rock newspaper, during the era when Nirvana played Seattle Vogue club before a handful of people and you could eat breakfast next to Eddie Vedder at the original Cyclopes Café up the street from the Seattle Art Institute. Overnight, Seattle and the Northwest had gone from being a backwoods that turned out national stars roughly once a decade (in the '60s, the Kingsmen and Jimi Hendrix, in the '70s, Heart) to a music hub like New York or Los Angeles. The Rocket gave way to The Stranger, and Cross went on to pen articles in hundreds of magazines, as well as author of seven books, including Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Hyperion/Hodder, 2001). Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to Heavier Than Heaven, which is the first film to be made from Cross' work. His Hendrix book has also been optioned. The University of Puget Sound hosts Cross and his thousand stories at 7:30 p.m. in Kilworth Chapel.

2. Every second Thursday LeMay - America's Car Museum drive their classic cars onto their plaza to mix and mingle with other car enthusiasts, eat some barbecue, listen to music, vote on the People's Choice Award and enter to win the raffle. The first Cruise-In of the year goes down tonight from 5-8 p.m.

3. The public is invited to attend an informative, entertaining and free presentation by special guest Peter Altmann of Tacoma as he discusses his family ties to the painting "The Woman in Gold", at 5:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Civic Center. Altmann is the great nephew of Adele Bloch-Bauer, who was immortalized in a painting by the world-renowned artist Gustav Klimt.

4. Forget light and low-carb beers. The Tacoma Runners have a better method for fighting fat: They run then drink beer. They're the classic drinking group with a running problem. They meet at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at a Pierce County alcohol-slinging joint, run 3 miles and then return to the starting line to celebrate. Tonight, the group will meet at Two Town Pub and Cafe along Ruston Way.

5. Cody Raymond, an Oregon native born in Corvallis and raised in Albany, has attended Berklee College of Music as a Music Production and Technology Major, and is currently at the Seattle Art Institute as an Audio Production Major, recording all his own music to include drums, bass, guitar, piano, and all vocals and harmonies. Raymond is as much a guitar player as he is a musical visionary, capable of composing and performing anything heard in his own head. Catch him at 9 p.m. in The Swiss.

April 8, 2015 at 9:45am

Keeping Freddie alive: One Night of Queen is a kind of magic

"One Night of Queen," performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, will hit the Washington Center's stage April 10. Photo credit: Property of A.Behn/Copyright 2011

"Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die

I can fly, my friends..." - Queen (from Innuendo, 1991)

The great Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Tanzania (then the Sultanate of Zanzibar) and was raised Zoroastrian near Mumbai. At age 24, he joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, formerly of the band Smile, and named their new enterprise Queen. Thanks in large part to his astonishing vocal range and power - he could easily cover four octaves from bass low F to soprano high F -he was an international star less than five years later. Like Little Richard and Elvis before him, he defined rock performance for a generation. He electrified 72,000 people at Live Aid in 1985, not counting millions more who watched on TV. Six years later, a day after acknowledging he was HIV-positive, Mercury died at home. He was 45. We have not seen his equal since.

Gary Mullen, on the other hand, was born in Scotland around the time Queen released its first album. He remembers seeing a live performance of "We Are the Champions" when he was four. His wife and mother entered the mild-mannered computer salesman and cancer survivor in a British reality show called Stars in Their Eyes. There, his impression of Mercury's "It's a Kind of Magic" launched him toward a season win in 2000. He assembled his touring band, the Works, two years later. Out of makeup, Mullen looks and sounds nothing like Freddie Mercury; but put a wig, mustache and tight costume on him, and he morphs into a veritable Prince of the Universe.

I've regretted many times not being able to see Freddie Mercury live before his passing. Queen still tours with Adam Lambert, but for me it wouldn't be the same. That's why I'm so looking forward to Gary Mullen and The Works's upcoming performance as One Night of Queen. Their recreation of the band is so spot-on they remain in contact with Brian May himself. And while Mullen's the first to admit he's not Mercury's equal, he's played for as many as 40,000 people in Mercury's stead. Freddie Mercury was Gary Mullen's hero ... and one of mine. Now, decades later, thanks to One Night of Queen, we get to relive Mercury's special kind of magic. "The Show," after all, "Must Go On."

ONE NIGHT OF QUEEN, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $16-$52, 360.753.8586

Filed under: Music, Olympia,

April 8, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: 50 Jobs in 50 States in 50 Weeks, Lagunitas Sucks IPA, Enjoy by 4.20.15 IPA ...

Daniel Seddiqui was a marine biologist in Washington state during week 11 on his 50 Jobs in 50 States in 50 Weeks journey. Courtesy photo

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 2015 >>>

1. Like lots of college grads, Daniel Seddiqui was having a hard time finding a job. But in spite of more than 40 rejections, he knew opportunities had to exist. He then set out on an extraordinary quest: to work 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks. And not just any jobs - Seddiqui chose professions that reflected the culture and economy of each state. For example, he worked as a coal miner in West Virginia, a border patrol agent in Arizona, a lobsterman in Maine, a marine biologist in Washington, a furniture builder in Pennsylvania, a rodeo announcer in South Dakota, a model in North Carolina, a golf caddie in South Carolina, a petroleum engineer in Texas, an archeologist in Arkansas, a meteorologist in Ohio and on and on. Seddiqui will speak about his employment adventures at 4 p.m. in the Worthington Conference Center on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin's University, then probably go get a job.

2. Lagunitas Sucks IPA use to be a Christmas season exclusive, but due to its immense popularity, it's now being distributed year-round in 32oz bottles. It's an IPA designed as an apology to fans after Lagunitas found it didn't have the capacity to make its Brown Shugga' holiday ale a few years back. The taste is a mind-bending potpourri of tropical fruits, pine, and a faint trace of earthiness. There's a lingering bitterness, but it's in no way abrasive. Pint Defiance Specialty Beer and Taproom scored a rare keg of the stuff and will tap it from 5-7 p.m. as part of their salute to Lagunitas Brewing Company. Expect to drink High-Westified Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout, the debut of Eye of the Hairball Wheatwine and Lagunitas Pale on the Randall with fresh hops and other secret ingredients. Nice.

3. Stone Brewing Company is a beer nerd's brewery, with high ABV and higher IBUs in its most popular varieties. Creator of Arrogant Bastard Ale (with the tag line "You're Not Worthy"), Stone works hard to cultivate its craft-at-all-costs image. Puyallup River Alehouse hosts the Stone crew from San Marcos, California for a night of Stone favorites such as Enjoy by 4.20.15 IPA and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m.

4. Beginning at 10 a.m. every Saturday, NWCZ Radio unleashes comedian Eric Puddin and Shanni Williams on the Internets. Saturday Morning Funnies with Puddin and Shanster is a wild and off-the-cuff talk show. From 7-9 p.m. tonight, the show will be broadcasted at Gloria's Bar & Grill in Tacoma. Hang out with comedians and radio types.

5. The 24th installment of the Vomity Open Mic Comedy night at Le Voyeur features Brendan Kelley and host Taylor Sikorski . The laughs begin at 9 p.m.

April 7, 2015 at 6:31am

5 Things To Do Today: Pile, "Occupy The Farm," Alpine Beer Company, One-Pot Meals Class ...

Pile.

TUESDAY, APRIL 7 2015 >>>

1. While four-piece Pile from Massachusetts named themselves a single, indistinct word, there are thousands of pages to be written with that one little word. Standing out amongst the English language, "pile" is a word that rarely denotes something good. I guess you could have a pile of delicious donuts? More often than not, though, you're dealing with a pile of something wholly unsavory. Listening to the beautifully ugly sound of Pile, their name suddenly gains a whole new resonance. This is a sordid pile of sounds, assembled into a shuffling golem of sound and vision. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Pile in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Mall Walk and Trona at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. The film Occupy The Farm documents the journey of 200 urban farmers determined to keep farmland from corporate agendas. The farmers walk onto a public research farm and plant two acres of crops in hopes of saving it from being turned into real-estate development. The Grand Cinema will screen the film at 2:05 and 6:30 p.m.

3. Once only known to the hardcore hop heads, San Diego's Alpine Beer Company have built a reputation of building some of the most sought-after IPAs on the West Coast. Infamous names such as "Nelson" and "Pure Hoppiness" passed from the lips of seasoned beer travelers and soon Alpine's name became synonymous with world-class beer. And thanks to a partnership with Green Flash, these brews are available in Washington state for the first time, and Pint Defiance Specialty Beers and Taproom will give up half their taps to the Alpine team from 5-7 p.m.

4. One of our favorite Far Side cartoons, by Gary Larson, depicts a pair of grizzled cowboys sitting around a campfire at dusk. One is handing the other a cup. The caption reads, "More cappuccino, Raoul?" Yes, times have changed. Campfire and simple cuisine continues to evolve. Bayview School of Cooking Director Leanne offers tried and true recipes that all take under an hour to prepare and with the exception of one, and don't even need a salad to be a complete meal, beginning at 6 p.m. You'll dig the savory chicken and dumplings, the fresh one-pan tomato linguini with tomatoes and mozzarella balls, the spicy shrimp jambalaya and the hearty ground beef stroganoff. Here's proof that convenient doesn't have to mean that it comes out of a box. 

5. Tuesday means it's time for another Ha Ha Tuesday at Jazzbones, a night of comedy hosted by the venerable Ralph Porter. Tonight at 8:30 p.m., comedians Lukas Seely and Sean McBride join Porter on stage.

April 6, 2015 at 4:02pm

Nerd Alert issued for Game of Thrones, Ex Machina, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot ...

What we saw in the Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer is Varys wants Tyrion to help Daenerys take the Iron Throne. Of course, when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Photo courtesy of HBO

Struggling through the Voight-Kampff test, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

THURSDAY, APRIL 9

Louie, one of TV's best and least predictable series, returns for season 5 at 10:30 on FX. A half hour before that, FX debuts one of TV's most soon-to-be-cancelled shows, The Comedians with Billy Crystal and Josh Gad.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10

Sooner and more fully than we comprehend, artificial intelligence will be woven into our daily lives. Some experts predict the next two decades will see the advent of a machine and/or uploaded sentience equal to or surpassing our own. Today's gay and trans civil rights movements will give way to the struggle to understand and empower synthetic personalities. It'll be a true paradigm shift, a transformative moment in the way we define personhood. It'll unravel centuries of assumptions about what it means to be alive and aware. Religion, art, law, philosophy, indeed, every avenue of human thought and self-identity will be challenged by this societal horizon some have rightly defined as a "singularity." No one alive can see beyond it to the other side.

In the meantime, of course, we'll keep right on making slick popcorn movies about how robots who look like hot chicks want to take over the world. Ex Machina's scoring highly on RottenTomatoes.com, and HAL knows we could use something halfway intelligent to cleanse our collective palate after Furious 7. Hey, maybe it'll be three-quarters-of-the-way intelligent like It Follows!

Also on Friday, 13 episodes of Marvel's Daredevil, aka The Man Without Fear, debut on Netflix, the Network Without Standards and Practices.

SATURDAY, APRIL 11

White-hot playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis penned The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, a seriocomic meditation on free will set in a limbo night court beyond time. Its characters are all your Gospel favorites, including Uncle Pino. Wait ... what? This production, directed by 2015 grad Grace Caruso, comes courtesy of Saint Martin's University Theatre Department. "The subject may be religion," notes critic Ben Brantley of The New York Times, "but questions are encouraged. Thank Heaven...at least the person in charge is the class cutup."

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, 7:30 p.m. April 11 and 14-18, 2 p.m. April 12, State Theatre, 204 4th Ave., Olympia, $7-$12, 360.438.4506

SUNDAY, APRIL 12

When last we left our Westerosian heroes and villains, a certain Lannister was having a bad day on the crapper, another was enjoying an unexpected sea cruise, and Cersei was mastering level-23 bitchcraft. The last two episodes of season 4 finally lived up to Game of Thrones's promise, balancing oversize visual spectacle against compelling adventure and character development - with nary a brothel boob in sight, no less! Here's hoping David Benioff and company keep this spectacular train on the rails as it speeds past George R. R. Martin's literary source material.

Speaking of lit, today marks the 20th anniversary of Barnes & Noble (1530 Black Lake Blvd.) in Olympia. Expect author signings, story readings, princesses on the loose, and other fun moments throughout the day.

TUESDAY, APRIL 14

Timothy Olyphant hangs up his Stetson as Justified rides into the sunset, leaving Harlan County, Kentucky to its own drug- and violence-addled devices. That's a real county, by the way, though the series has never shot a minute of footage there. I bet Harlanites are super proud of their depiction on screen.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and always pay your debts.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Theater, Olympia,

April 6, 2015 at 10:53am

Gray Sky Blues Music Festival have programmed a full day of blues

Teddy Le Hooker performs at The Swiss and B Sharp Coffee House April 11. Courtesy photo

I want to open this blog entry by doing something I almost never do in my efforts for The Weekly Volcano: admit ignorance. One of the guiding principles of journalism, meaning whatever pallid version of it we attempt here, is a writer must do his or her research, then act as if he or she has been an expert in the subject for years. It's malarkey, of course. I often write about subjects I researched for the first time that day. It happens all the time, in newspapers and TV stations and other media outlets all over the world, and if called out on our lofty authority we end up defending our assertions against people who've been working in relevant disciplines for decades. It's the biz. I acknowledge that here.

Case in point: I know next to jack squat about the blues.

It's not that I've never enjoyed the blues. It's certainly not that I've never had the blues. In fact, I've even been known to have the blues so bad. I've suffered from both the walkin' blues and the talkin' blues. But if you're asking me whether I know more about the blues than a dude who's been playing the axe since early childhood, who changed his name to Teddy Lee Hooker out of respect for his brother-in-law John Lee Hooker, I'm not fit to hold that guy's pick. That cat was a finalist at the International Blues Challenge in Memphis. He's the real deal. Me? I'm a beige-American who digs Bessie Smith and knows exactly three chords on a good day.

So allow me to defer to the experts for once. The good folks at the Gray Sky Blues Music Festival have programmed a full afternoon and evening of entertainment in three different venues to follow the Tacoma Grand Floral Daffodil Parade. They've selected artists who produce what they consider "some of the finest blues west of the Mississippi." Having spent the last hour (I know, a whole hour!) listening to Teddy Lee Hooker, I'm inclined to agree. Check the lineup below: Mr. Hooker's just the icing on a very fine cake. He and his colleagues are gonna rock you like your back ain't got no bones. That's a quote from Muddy Waters, by the way. I looked it up online, which makes me kind of an expert.

THE EMILY GARDNER BAND, MAIA SANTELL AND HOUSE BLEND, THE CD WOODBURY BAND AND TEDDY LEE HOOKER, 1-7:30 p.m. Sat., April 11, The Swiss Restaurant and Pub, 1904 S. Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 253.572.2821

KING KOM BEAUX, LITTLE BILL AND THE BLUENOTES, BLUES COUNTY SHERIFF AND JERRY MILLER BAND, noon-5:30 p.m. Sat., April 11, The Harmon Brewery & Restaurant, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, free, 253.383.2739

THE DEAN REICHERT BAND WITH TEDDY LEE HOOKER AND MAIA SANTELL, 8-11 p.m. Sat., April 11, B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Court C, Tacoma, $5, 253.292.9969

Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

April 6, 2015 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: The Boxers, Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party, Charlie Saibel ...

The Boxers perform at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, APRIL 6 2015 >>>

1. Chicago quartet The Boxers start out their most recent LP, The Blue Pool, with washed-out snippets from Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet," distorted and sinister, before segueing into a sort of anthemic, melancholy rock. It's reminiscent of the days when the Flaming Lips were transitioning from stoned punks into the glorious pop on the late '90s and early '00s. When the crooning vocals come around, it becomes clear that, while The Boxers don't quite sound like the matinee idols that they've quoted, they are still dedicated to melody above all else. Catch the band with Tomorrow's Tulips, Sun Eggs and Bob Bucko Jr. at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Here we go! Over The Moon Café in Tacoma's Opera Alley will face Boathouse 19, the restaurant and bar perched over the Narrows waterway, in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese Championship Game. Online voting will run until 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the voting will resume live at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont during the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party. Ballots will be handed out. The live vote will close at halftime of the NCAA Men's Tournament final and the South Sound Mac and Cheese Champion will be announced.

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers, at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Elks Lodge. What is a shuffle, you say? It's the country western version of polka - the primary difference being that the style of shuffle is less hoppy than the polka. The basic step consists of a triple to the left followed by a triple to the right.  The shuffle is sometimes called double two-step or traveling swing, for it also uses components of two-step and the popular East Coast swing. This makes shuffle a very versatile dance, allowing a mix and match of patterns, which can result in some exciting variations - and there's nothing wrong with that.

4. Piano man Charlie Saibel is a superb musician, a versatile jazz/swing pianist and composer with an innovative sense of texture. He seems to have a lifelong fascination with genres, easily fitting in with honkey tonk, boogie woogie, blues, Latin, jazz, classic rock, plus seasonal and special occasions. He also morphs into any situation: Charlie Saibel and the Intrusions Jazz Trio, '60s rock band The T-Tops, 20-piece Basie-style Lakewood Community Jazz Band and others. Monday, he'll think more along the lines of jazz when he entertains during Rhythm and Rye's Monday Jazz Series, beginning at 8 p.m.

5. At 9 p.m. every Monday, Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

April 4, 2015 at 7:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Fruition, King's Books' birthday, Beer Guy Garage Sale, Woolen Men ...

Portland band Fruition perms at Rhythm and Rye tonight. Press photo

SATURDAY, APRIL 4 2015 >>>

1. We rolled our eyes when Portland band Fruition described itself as "three-part-harmony-infused, melody-rich rock, country, folk and soul." That's like characterizing a chef as an expert in "soul food, artisanal pizza, Carolina barbecue and Tex-Mex." It's too far all over the map. But when we dug into their 2013 album Just One of Them Nights, our jaws dropped. It's so damn good we're willing to overlook the folksy grammar. These three sumbitches can play. Perhaps the best way of describing their music is front-porch Americana, earnest and true. We can't think of a better night of music per dollar. Catch them at 9 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye.

2. King's Books turned 15 years old April 1. To celebrate, they are knocking 15 percent off all items in the store, as well as hosting musician and entertainers. Expect a musical sing-along with Philosopher Queen, storytime with Erica Leith, craft activity and book signing with author and kitten wrangler Laurie Cinotto, face painting with Barb White, a photo booth and more this afternoon.

3. Open up a brewery sales representatives' garage and you'll see an amassment of beer posters, buttons, bottle openers, life-size cardboard replications of brewers, drum kits made out of wooden barrels, beer can bracelets, iPhone covers that resemble frothy beer mugs and, in front of the pile, stands an angry spouse. Marine View Beverage distributors came up with an idea to rid the reps of all their brewery's booty, and simultaneously support the effort to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat. From noon to 5 p.m., The Swiss Restaurant and Pub will host the Beer Guy Garage Sale, the opportunity to furnish home bars and man cave's with the leftover beer schwag from beer reps. "We're combining two of Tacomans' favorite things - beer and the Bay," says Ian VanDooren, manager at The Swiss. "The folks from Citizens for a Healthy Bay will be on hand to collect money at the sales tables, auction off whatever really cool stuff we get - basketball hoops, hockey goals, coolers, neon signs and such - and also inform folks on their mission." Read the full store in our New Beer Column.

4. It's day two of Harlequin Productions hosted South Sound Improv Comedy Festival The festival returns, with such troupes as Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony and Harlequin's own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite standup comedian Morgan Picton will emcee the show, which begins at 8 p.m. in the State Theater.

5. Portland trio The Woolen Men carry with them a number of easily identifiable influences that mix together in delightful ways. They bring the '50s rock by way of Violent Femmes, the stately indie pop of Guided By Voices, and the shambolic lo-fi rock of Pavement. The Woolen Men find the hook at record speed, juice it until there's nothing left, and the discard the song before heading into another catchy tear. See the band with Metal Heads with Broken Hearts, Annie Girl and the Flight and Young Devil at 8 p.m. in the Deadbeat Olympia record store.

April 3, 2015 at 6:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Hip-hop show, Jordan Family Circus, "It Follows," South Sound Improv Comedy Festival ...

Hip-hop compilation “All Your Friend's Friends” sounds were mined exclusively from the stuff of previous K releases by the likes of Dub Narcotic Sound System, Karl Blau, and the iconic Beat Happening. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, APRIL 3 2015 >>>

1. Olympia producer Smoke M2D6 raided the archives of legendary alternative record label K Records to put out an album of Pacific Northwest MCs rapping over K Records artists. The resulting compilation, All Your Friend's Friends, is selling like hotcakes. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on All Your Friend's Friends in the Music & Culture section, then head to Grit City Grindhouse skate shop at 7:30 p.m. to see XPRERIENCE, Smoke M2D6, Real Life Click, Zikki and others perform songs off the album and more.

2. Today-through Sunday the Jordan Family Circus sets up its tents at the Washington state Fair Event Center, more than ready to stick their entire head in a wild beast's mouth for nothing more than your applause ... and a small entrance fee. See it while you still can - 4 and 7:30 p.m., plus five more times this weekend. It'll be just like when you were a kid, except you'll actually spend the entire time updating your Instagram status with popcorn-eating selfies and not paying attention to a damn thing around you. This is what your life has become.

4. At 4:05, 6:30 and 8:50 p.m. in The Grand Cinema, the most buzzed-about horror movie in some time: It Follows. The film has an ingeniously simple premise. Our heroine is plagued by an entity that slowly and patiently follows her everywhere, sometimes appearing to her as friends and loved ones. If the being gets her, she's dead. The only way to get rid of the spook is to sleep with someone, thereby transferring the evil presence onto them. It's a sneaky way of exploring STDs and relationships - two longtime preoccupations in the horror genre - in new and terrifying ways.

4. Seth Roth has been singing since the age of 5. The Tacoma singer-songwriter grew up on Steve Perry and Lou Gramm, but has one solid foot in the Bob Dylan and Neil Young camp. Roth has been serving coffee at Harmon's Hop Coffee since the day it opened inside the Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District. Roth will perform at 8 p.m. in Cork! A Wine Bar.

5. Comedy hasn't evolved much since the glory days of ventriloquist and puppet. Every so often, there's a Gallagher smashing watermelons or a musical funnyman like Jack Black, but for the most part, comedy is a dude on a stage with a microphone, plodding through a joke-punchline-new-joke routine. Boring! Well, that changed last year when Harlequin Productions hosted the South Sound Improv Comedy Festival hosting acclaimed improv troupes from the Olympia area and the Puget Sound region at 8 p.m. in the State Theater. The festival returns, with such troupes as Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony and Harlequin's own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite standup comedian Morgan Picton will emcee.

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Melisa Ben said:

i liked reading about the religious girls.they are interesting. ...

about 5 Things To Do Today: Religious Girls, "Big Eyes," sports chat, Kurt Lindsay ...