Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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November 13, 2010 at 9:13pm

Yo Gabba Gabba Live! review

The delirium of Yo Gabba Gabba!, or: How to try (and fail) to not look like a creep at a children's show >>>

Upon my arrival at the Tacoma Dome, I immediately felt woefully out of place. A giant line wrapped its way around the sidewalk as hordes of adorable children and their equally adorable, 30-year-old, bearded parents waited for admission into the hippest kids' show around. I speak, of course, of Yo Gabba Gabba!-otherwise known as the clearest intersection between children and those most obsessed with children's culture: hipsters.

Boasting connections with a collection of some of the coolest musicians and artists of past and present (including Mark Mothersbaugh, MGMT, Biz Markie, Of Montreal, Paul Scheer and others), Yo Gabba Gabba! actually manages to deliver on the promise of other children's shows - by entertaining the parents as much as the kids.

The touring production of Yo Gabba Gabba! was subtitled "There's a Party in My City!" Host DJ Lance Rock (in all his orange-covered, uber-enthusiastic, messianic glory) did his due diligence by frequently complimenting Tacoma on being so smart and fun to be around.

"There's a Party in My City" was comprised largely of popular songs from the television show, and they were met with enthusiasm by the audience of very young people. The formula can effectively be boiled down to: DJ Lance Rock encourages people to dance, espouses the virtues of hugging and eating, and more than once has to cheer up his perpetually depressed green monster friend, Brobee.

Every now and again, confetti and streamers are jettisoned into the crowd. Balloons rain from the ceiling. Swarms of glow sticks are bandied in the dark. At times, Yo Gabba Gabba! resembles a kiddie bacchanal.

Without question, show highlights include the various guest appearances we were treated to. Multi-instrumentalist Keller Williams utilized a looping pedal to create his backing track, freeing him up so he could demonstrate how much he loves hula-hooping. Chris Ballew (of the Presidents of the United States of America, and his own children's music project, Caspar Babypants) dropped in to teach everyone a new dance and exited the stage with the hilarious non-sequitur, "Bye guys! Gotta go write a song about a marshmallow." Biz Markie taught kids how to beatbox...more or less.

In the end, "Yo Gabba Gabba: There's a Party in My City" was a fun-albeit unexpectedly short and tragically expensive-time had by all. Now if only watching Yo Gabba Gabba! didn't make me feel like such a weirdo ...

November 13, 2010 at 10:43am

Yo Gabba Gabba!

Yo Gabba Gabba!

THE KIDS (AND ADULTS) ARE EXCITED >>>

Yo Gabba Gabba Live! hits the Tacoma Dome today for two shows - one at 2 p.m. and one at 5 p.m. for the real party animals. All the regulars will be there, including THE REAL DJ Lance, not to mention the iconic Biz Markie.

Check out the Weekly Volcano's interview with show co-creator Scott Schultz here.

And view this video because it's awesome.

Filed under: All ages, Music, Tacoma, Pop Culture,

September 1, 2010 at 7:54am

5 Things To Do: Zines on Toast, glass artist Ron Desmett, "Life Support," hip-hop show ...

Zines on Toast

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 1, 2010 >>>

1. What does Zines on Toast actually mean? No clue. That's one of the ways they get you. By "they" we mean, Northern; and by "get you," we mean lure you to their space at 7 p.m. for one of the best events of the week - the Zines on Toast Tour. Portland's Alex Wrekk (of Brainscan and Stolen Sharpie Revolution) has rounded up "zinesters" (you can't be cool without the lingo) from the UK and put them all on the road. Pure brilliance.

2. Ron Desmett has been working with glass for over three decades. His use of hollowed out walnut trees as glass molds allows him to "infuse nature that has lost its life with life anew." Desmett is in the Musuem of Glass' Hot Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. as part of the Visiting Artists series.

3. The Grand Cinema, Old Milwaukee Cafe, and Pierce County AIDS Foundation invite you to a free screening of the HBO Film Life Support, based on the true story of AIDS activist Andrea Williams at 6:30 p.m. inside The Grand Cinema. A dessert reception provided by Old Milwaukee Cafe will follow the screening.

4. With popular culture more youth-obsessed than ever, promising talents like The Makeup Monsters' Shayne Weeks and Isaac Solverson seem poised for great things - provided they aren't squashed by the weight of peoples' Great Expectations. Check them out at 8 p.m. with Takhoma, Motorbikes and Trevor Dickson inside the Den Fulcrum Gallery. 

5. Sweatshop Union, Pigeon Hole, General Wojack, Josh Rizeberg, Whhikid Matticuless tell it like it is at 9 p.m. inside Hell's Kitchen.

LINK: More arts and entertainment ideas in the South Sound

August 27, 2010 at 7:49am

5 Things To Do: DJ Eloy, Tacoma Tactical, "Sleuth," Morgan & The Organ Donors ...

DJ Eloy

FRIDAY, AUG. 27, 2010 >>>

1. Masa is in for a treat during its Latin America Meets North America night, which begins at 9 p.m.. House DJ Deejay Sessions is bringing in NYC friend DJ Eloy, a chap who's spun at the Big Apple's hottest clubs, SNL cast parties, and even for Ludacris and Busta Rhymes. Triggering music video samples from DVD, keeping time with layered audio backbeats, and introducing wax-based polyrhythms with the skill of a scratch master, Eloy will introduce his multimedia mash-ups to T-town.

2. It's Freak Friday at Tacoma's 12,000 square foot urban Airsoft facility Tacoma Tactical, which means its just $5 for two hours. That's a freaking good deal!

3. Stella Haloulani hosts Free Ya Mind Open Mic from 7-9 p.m. inside Tully's Coffee at the Bostwick Building.

4. The Tacoma Little Theatre kicks off its new season with Sleuth, the ultimate game of cat-and-mouse played out in a cozy English country house owned by celebrated mystery writer - at 7:30 p.m.

5. Christian Mistress, The Guild, Morgan & The Organ Donors play an 8 p.m. all-ages show at Northern in Olympia.

LINK: More recommended events in The Weekend Hustle

LINK: New movies open today

LINK: Concert go on sale today

August 26, 2010 at 7:03am

5 Things To Do: "Iron Jawed Angels," Thursday Beer Runners, Mirror and Wires, Vincent Moon ...

THURSDAY, AUG. 26, 2010 >>>

1. Today marks the 90th anniversary of women being granted the right to vote - now known as Women's Equality Day. In celebration, the Capitol Theater will host a showing of Iron Jawed Angels starring Hilary Swank putting it all on the line for women's rights. Following the 6 p.m. movie there will be a short Q & A session with state senator Karen Fraser, state Supreme Court Justice Gerry Alexander and others.

2. The Thursday Beer Runners will head out for a leisurely 3-mile run from Terry's Office Tavern, then to return to the same spot for a leisurely beer or 12.

3. Mirrors and Wires rocks the all-ages venue Northern at 8 p.m.

4. The Art Kitchen presents an evening with Parisian filmographer Vincent Moon with music by Eleanor Murray at 8:30 p.m. inside The Loft on Cherry in downtown Olympia.

5. The Kim Archer Band will fill The Swiss with funky grooves beginning at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

August 23, 2010 at 7:03am

5 Things To Do: Symmetry/Symmetry, Foundation of Art Award, Jerry Miller Band ...

Symmetry/Symmetry

MONDAY, AUG. 23, 2010 >>>

1. PDX band Symmetry/Symmetry's splashy, melodramatic rock seamlessly incorporates electronic elements (including a keenly-employed vocoder), and their songs are impeccably structured, often with crescendos leading to grandiose climaxes worthy of MTV-approved biggies like Muse. It makes complete sense that Uram and Jones have a background in audio production and engineering (pulling shifts at Salem's Marigold Studios), because their stuff sounds polished as hell. Comparisons to Radiohead, U2 and Air producer Nigel Godrich are easy to make, and completely warranted. Check them out at 10 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

2. The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation's Foundation of Art Award, 2008-2010 exhibition features works by the 25 nominees and winners of the Foundation of Art Award. Works range from painting, sculpture, and prints to video, jewelry, and embroidery, among other techniques. The show is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Kittredge Gallery.

3. Ethan J Perry and Connor Garvey perform an all-ages 7 p.m. show at The Mandolin Café.

4. The Jerry Miller Band performs at 8 p.m. inside The Swiss.

5. Rockaraoke - karaoke with live band - hits the Jazzbones' stage at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, All ages, Arts, Music,

August 21, 2010 at 8:13am

5 Things To Do: Music and Art in Wright Park, Rock At The Dock II, 1,000 Black Men Rally ...

C.F.A. will rock Wright Park today as part of the Music and Art in Wright Park festival.

SATURDAY, AUG. 21, 2010 >>>

1. The Music and Art in Wright Park festival is a selfless act of goodwill toward this rough-around-the-edges place we call home - in the form of a free, all-day rock show for Tacoma, by Tacoma. After returning last year (from an eight-year layoff) with grand success, event coordinators Cody Foster, Roxanne Wolfe, Bennett Thurmon, Ken Johnson and Donna Herren are back with another installment, this year inviting 15 bands to the stage from noon to 7:30 p.m. in Wright Park.

2. Johnny's Dock Restaurant & Marina hosts Rock At The Dock II, a full day of car shows, a beer garden, food and two bands with an all-city dance benefiting The Breast Cancer Alliance from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m.

3. A historic rally of 1,000 Black Men Rally will take place at People's Park on Hilltop in Tacoma.  Inspired by a general void in consistent leadership, the need for empowerment and the general crisis of community apathy - the rally will include guest speakers and will be hosted from 9:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. by former Tacoma Poet Laureate Antonio Edwards.  The rally will address issues of education, leadership and ways to improve the conditions in our communities.

4. Actress Trieste Kelly Dunn will be in attendance for the 3:15 p.m. screening of the film she stars in, The New Year, at The Grand Cinema as part of the 25 New Faces of Independent Film festival.

5. Galen McCarty Turner will jump his bike 3 inches off the ground through a wall of dirty, handmade, panty-melting neon tubing set up in the alley at 8 p.m. in the alley at Sixth and I Street. The performance has been heavily promoted as a public event and is a fundraiser for 2nd Cycle, Tacoma's Independent Bike Co-op located in Hilltop. Bike Jump T-shirts and limited edition event prints (printed on Brown and Haley Cherry Mountain Bar packaging sheets) will be available for purchase during the gathering. Merriment will commence after the neon is swept from the street.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: More ideas in our Weekend Hustle

August 17, 2010 at 6:50am

5 Things To Do: Slang Chickens, Hot Shop Johnsens, Love Tacoma, banned book and getting your Irish on early

L.A.'s Slang Chickens rock Northern tonight. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gibbs/MySpace

TUESDAY, AUG. 17, 2010 >>>

1. L.A.'s Slang Chickens and Chung Antique perform a 7 p.m. all-ages show at Northern in Olympia.

2. The Museum of Glass hosts husband and wife Jasen Johnsen and Karen Willenbrink-Johnson who will push the limits in the Hot Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Johnsens are known for a high level of realism, combining technical mastery with a profound love for their medium, nature and each other. Aaaah.

3. You love Tacoma. You know you do. You spelled it out here. Did you know there are others? Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city's urban spots, which includes Katie Downs on Ruston Way from 5:30-8 p.m. Come for a hug, several Love Tacoma Signature Cocktails and prizes.

4. The Banned Book Club discusses Olive Ocean by Kevin Henkes over cocktails at 7 p.m. inside Tempest Lounge. We expect them to be so pissed its banned, that the Tempest will run out of vodka.

5. Doyle's Public House celebrates St. Practice Day hosting The Boys Of Greenwood Glen at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

August 11, 2010 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do: Whateverly Brothers, Tacoma Concert Band, "Food, Inc.," house music ...

The Whateverly Brothers perform tonight inside A Rhapsody In Bloom Florist and Cafe Latte on Sixth Avenue.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 11, 2010 >>>

1. The Whateverly Brothers  - Chris Glannister, Matthew Moeller, Dan Roberts - will offer homemade three-layer harmonies with instrumental frosting at 7 p.m. inside A Rhapsody In Bloom Florist & Cafe Latte on Sixth Avenue. The question is, will they sing "All I Have to Do Is Whatever"?

2. The Tacoma Food Co-op presents a free screening of the film Food, Inc. at 6 p.m. inside Rausch Auditorium on the University of Puget Sound campus.

3. The Tacoma Concert Band continues on its two-county tour of parks with a stop at Olympia's Sylvester Park at 7 p.m. to pump out some J.S. Bach, Alfred Reed, Richard Wagner, John Philip Sousa and other great composers past and present for the Hackey Sackers.

4. Cotton Jones, Parson Red Head and Quiet Life play an all-ages show at 7 p.m. inside Northern.

5. Best of Tacoma 2010 DJ dAb joins DJ Sticky J for a night of house music beginning at 9 p.m. at the Surreal Ultra Lounge.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

August 10, 2010 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do: "Heavy Metal In Baghdad," historic arts and crafts, YellowFever ...

"Heavy Metal in Baghdad" tracks a brave band's tumultuous quest to rock out.

TUESDAY, AUG. 10, 2010 >>>

1. Heavy metal and Baghdad go together like, wait, what? Really, it's true. The critically acclaimed 2007 "rockumentary" Heavy Metal In Baghdad follows Acrassicauda, a heavy metal band from Iraq, as the band preservers through the Iraq war, which is happening all around them. Presented by Veterans for Peace and to be shown at 7 p.m. inside King's Books in Tacoma, according to promotions the story of Acrassicauda "echoes the unspoken hopes of an entire generation of young Iraqis."

2. The Washington State History Museum's Arts and Crafts Movement in the Pacific Northwest exhibit showcases significant buildings and interiors, furniture, glass, metalwork, ceramics, textiles, fine art, graphics, book art and photographs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The Tacoma Concert Band performs a pop concert at 6:30 p.m. in DuPont's Clocktower Park.

4. Hell's Kitchen serves $2 tacos, $2 beers and $2 wells every Tuesday under the title Tightwad Tuesday.  That is common knowledge. Tonight at 7:30 p.m. the downtown rock club will add the bands Highlight Bomb, Big Quinn & The Broken Hearts and Chaos Revolution Theory to the wad. Tomorrow will, no doubt, be Wrecked Wednesday.

5. Since forming in 2006, YellowFever has released several EPs of deceptively catchy, intelligently minimalist indie-pop that NPR's Carrie Bowenstein once described as "haunted house surf music," an odd, but somehow accurate label that has followed the band from review to review. Yet despite comparisons to Stereolab and favorable reviews of their self-titled debut LP, the duo's quiet demeanor had kept them largely under the radar ... until guitarist Jennifer Moore's accidental jihad. Read up on Moore's incredible story before their 8 p.m. show at Northern in downtown Olympia.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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