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May 1, 2010 at 9:54am

NIGHT MOVES: Mecca Normal, The Riffbrokers, Mount Eerie, Tyler Fortier, C.F.A.

Jean Smith and David Lester of Mecca Normal


NOISE ROCK: Throughout the month of May, Northern will be hosting a group exhibit of political artwork from Vancouver, B.C. artists. The show will be co-curated by David Lester and Jean Smith, the duo that make up the long-standing noise-rock band Mecca Normal. Saturday will be the exhibit's opening reception, as well as a celebration of Northern's one-year anniversary, featuring a performance from Mecca Normal. If you've never heard them before, well, they're about as minimal as minimal gets: Lester plays guitar and Smith sings, and that's about it. But Smith's poetic lyrics and passionate vocals, not to mention the raucous sounds that come from Lester's guitar, helped pave the way for noise-rock and riot grrrl. If you're in Olympia, this is an event not to miss. Part of Black Dot Museum opening, Saturday, May 1, 5 p.m., all ages, Northern, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia - Rev. Adam McKinney

POWER POP: The Riffbrokers would sound perfect on vinyl. They remind me of a band whose LP I'd pick up on a stop in a record shop - intrigued by their name and a couple song titles, never having heard them before. I'd bring The Riffbrokers home and listen alone on a rainy day - utterly blown away. Then I'd become slightly obsessed with the band for a couple months, telling all my friends about The Riffbrokers, and the band's sound combination of Creedence Clearwater Revival and REM, but with a singer who sounds like a more subdued Elvis Costello. When my friends would rebuff my offers to play them the record, I'd decide that this music wasn't meant for them anyway. I'd be happy to keep it my secret. With The Lund Bros, Jones Family Fortune, Saturday, May 1, 9 p.m., $5, The New Frontier Lounge, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020  - Rev. AM

LO-FI ROCK: Noise and effects. Noise and effects. Phil Elverum - as The Microphones, or Mount Eerie, or just about any other name in the book, I'd presume - is all about noise and effects. It's lo-fi, and repetitive, and uber-artistic, and the kind of thing that's about as far from the mainstream as you can get without being 4-track recorded monkey sex - but it is epically cool, and you don't even need to be a hipster to appreciate it. Sure, being a hipster kind of helps - it gets your retro sneaker in the Phil Elverum door, so to speak, but once you're inside it's survival of the artistically fittest. Can your mind wrap around the tangled sonic cloth Elverum weaves, like a bohemian David the Gnome, having popped out from underneath some bizarre-ass, Kombucha smelling forest mushroom, acoustic guitar in hand? If it can, Mount Eerie is an enjoyable ride. Or something. With Colonies, Saturday, May 1, 7 p.m., all ages, $8, The Viaduct, 5412 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.1948 - Matt Driscoll

FOLK ROCK: If Tyler Fortier is one thing, it's an up-and-coming, present-tense folk rocker - in a complimentary sense of the notion - based out of lush (read: stony) Eugene, Ore. If Fortier is two things, it's all of the above and a damn entertaining blogger. I know, I know - blogging is a debatable art form, but there's no debating Fortier does it well. In addition to playing a whole slew of shows over the next two months in Oregon, Idaho and Washington - in support of his just released This Love Is Fleeting record, which "dropped" April 15 - Fortier will also be doling out witty lines like this on tylerfortier.wordpress.com: "I played first, tickling some ivory (and by ivory, I mean a plastic keyed digital piano).  I should have prefaced this section by stating the night was billed as "danceable, funky, pop music."  My music ... Not danceable. Not funky.  Not pop.  In fact, my music just wants to make people fucking cry." Awesome. Fortier plays two shows in Tacoma today. Saturday, May 1, 3 p.m., all ages, no cover, Rocket Records, 3843 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.756.5186; 8:30 p.m., all ages, no cover, Mandolin Café, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, 253.761.3482 - MD

ROCK: A band like Cody Foster's Army doesn't come along every day - a dynamic and powerful three-piece with a heavy old school hardcore attitude and an uncompromising DIY approach. Consisting of members of an assortment of legendary Tacoma bands from the last two decades, these guys are no strangers to local rock. Foster plays bass and sings, Dave Takata is the crazy guitarist, and "Reno" David Marseillan is the thundering drummer. Together they are making a name for themselves with a fierce set of raging tunes. They are also gearing up for the release of their debut EP, Smoking Gun, on Violent Hippie Records. Read the full story here. With Zeke, Witchburn, and The Badlands, Saturday, May 1, 9 p.m., $10, Hell's Kitchen, 928 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.759.6003 - Potter

LINK: More live music in the South Sound tonight

April 20, 2010 at 7:09am

5 Things To Do: The Drug Purse, Holly Golightly, Judgement Day ...

Carla Dimitriou's "Hardware Valentine" sits in Two Vaults Gallery in Tacoma.

TUESDAY, APRIL 20, 2010 >>>

1. After watching Tim Burton films and spending many hours in the hardware store,Carla Dimitriou has created wonderful encaustic paintings and 3D constructions that are on display from noon to 6 p.m. at Two Vaults Gallery under the title wax and wire

2. The word "environment" has rapidly become an all-encompassing term to reflect the world we live in and the world we create. Pecha Kucha Night Tacoma No. 005 - to be held Tuesday, April 20 at 5:30 p.m. in downtown's Bone Dry Shoe Building - will feature speakers sharing their views and reflections of that environment from the perspectives of art, landscape, architecture, and books, as part of what the five PK organizers like to call, "eARTh" night.

3. What do classical string instruments and metal typically have in common? Oh, about as much as peacocks and pink monsters - but that's the beauty of Judgement Day - the string metal sensation that originally emanated from the crusty streets of Berkeley set to hit Olympia's Northern at 8 p.m. The all-ages show includes Swordfern, Meconium, and Black Oak.

4. Holly Golightly & The Broke Offs, Angelo Spencer Et Les Hauts Sommets, Morgan & The Organ Donors, and DJ Selector Dub Narcotic perform an all-ages show at 8 p.m. insde the Capitol Theater in Olympia.

5. The Drug Purse and Psychedelic Horseshit perform inside the Fulcrum Gallery at 8 p.m.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

April 18, 2010 at 9:01am

5 Things To Do: Dark Star Orchestra, World Folk Art Fest, Bluesbillies ...

Dark Star Orchestra recreates a Grateful Dead show at 7 p.m. inside the Capitol Theater.

SUNDAY, APRIL 18, 2010 >>>

1. OK, purists: It's not the Grateful Dead. But guess what? You're never, ever going to see the Dead live again. And, musically speaking, a re-creation of one of the band's historic shows just may have more potential than a performance by a Jerry-less offshoot (or the Boys themselves, on off nights). Besides, the Dark Star Orchestra offers more than note-for-note mimicry - it's a whole concert experience, minus the parking-lot cops and the bathroom lines at 7 p.m. inside the Capitol Theater.

2. The World Folk Art Festival continues at the Washington State History Museum featuring master folk artists teaching their crafts and talking about their cultures. Learn traditional Croatian dances, dip Mexican wax flowers, try Ukrainian wheat and much more from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. If you've ever acted, directed or "teched" for a play (or even wanted to do any of those things), Tacoma Little Theatre's production of Noises Off is the play to see. In three acts that seem to take far less time than their two hours, the audience watches as the cast attempts to rehearse and perform the play Nothing On. "Attempts" is the key word, you see, not because the cast isn't talented or rehearsed - but because the real play, Noises Off, is a farce about the theater. It's a play about putting on a play. The Sunday show hits the stage at 2 p.m. Read our full review here.

4. Chopstix, A Dueling Piano Bar on Sixth Avenue hosts its Family Night at 5 p.m.

5. Today's show at the Spar will be the last Swampy Draws live performance "for a while." The band plans to focus on other aspects of their art over the coming months, specifically a TV pilot they're working on with Tacoma's bearded hero, Justin Peterson - the same man that designed Swampy Draws' one-of-a-kind, Southern front porch stage setup. Also on the bill is The Bluebillies featuring Bob Hill from The Swiss. The free show begins at 7 p.m.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

April 17, 2010 at 9:29am

5 Things To Do: "The Goonies," Roman glass, Paris Spleen ...

SATURDAY, APRIL 17, 2010 >>>

1. Click! Cable TV hosts another Free Family Movie at The Grand Cinema screening The Goonies on two screens at 10:30 a.m.

2. The Museum of Glass kicks off another round of its History of Glass Lecture Series with a look at glassblowing - from Roman times up to the emergence of stained glass in Medieval Europe - from 1-2 p.m.

3. Jim MacCarthy's "Rio" will be will be playing at Woody's On The Water in Tacoma from 7-10 p.m. This combo features Jim Trefethen on tenor sax playing jazz standards, bebop and bossa.  

4. It's Retro Night Rock and Skate from 7:30-10:30 p.m. at Tiffany's Skate Inn in Puyallup.

5. Paris Spleen, Wild Orchid Children, Gypsies and Womberang will perform an all-ages show at 7 p.m. inside The Den @ urbanXchange. Bobble Tiki gives pops to Paris Spleen.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

April 5, 2010 at 1:06am

5 Things To Do: Post Punk tour, Toot Reid, volatile volcanoes ...

Joe Biel's Plan-It X Records documentary "If It Ain't Cheap, It Ain't Punk!"

MONDAY, APRIL 5, 2010 >>>

1. Microcosm Publishing's Post Punk Extravaganza West Coast Author Tour hits Northern in Olympia at 7 p.m. The free show will feature: traveling vegan chef/author Joshua Ploeg doing a "cooking show" from his book In Search of the Lost Taste as well as making some interesting vegan snacks for all; Joe Biel will be showing the Plan-It X Records documentary, If It Ain't Cheap, It Ain't Punk!, hosting a Q&A on DIY publishing, and setting up a well-stocked zine/book table; Mia Partlow and Michael Hoerger of the upcoming Edible Secrets book and the brand-new Curious Case of the Communist Jell-O Box poster zine will be showing up with a mobile museum and document library on the fascinating secret history of food and espionage.

2. The Artist's Cut - a retrospective of Toot Reid's body of work - will show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the University Gallery at Pacific Luthern University.

3. The Washington State History Museum staff will discuss volatile volcanoes from 10:30 a.m. to noon at the Garfield Book Company next to PLU. Then the Weekly Volcano's phone lines and email boxes will be flooded with complaints.

4. Fallujah, Fallen Figure, and Super Happy Story Time Land will play an all-ages show at 7 p.m. inside The Viaduct in Tacoma.

5. Jazzbones' notorious Rockaraoke live band karaoke begins at 9 p.m.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

April 2, 2010 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do: Telephone Room, Java Jive benefit, Chalk-Off ...

Staple, photograph, 2010. Photo courtesy the Telephone Room Gallery.

FRIDAY, APRIL 2, 2010 >>>

1. Photos of refuse left behind by visitors in museum spaces examine ideas about territory, propriety, trespassing and adaptation in Jennifer Peters and Ellen Ito's exhibit Trace Evidence opening today at The Telephone Room Gallery. The opening reception is from 6-9 p.m.

2. Alex Stisser has been working in glass since 1993 and has been a lead gaffer on the Museum of Glass Hot Shop Team since 2002. Stisser will showcase his personal design series and mastery of traditional techniques infused with his unique contemporary voice from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. inside MOG's Hot Shop. It's Hot Lunch Friday so if you didn't put your lunch order in by Wednesday you're watching everyone else chow down on Gallucci's Catering.

3. Capital Playhouse will stage Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer-prize winning Broadway musical Rent at 7:30 p.m.

4. The Fun Police, Big Wheel Stunt Show, The Brotherhood of the Black Squirrel and Ten Miles of Bad Road perform a benefit show for Bob's Java Jive at 8 p.m. Keep Bob and Lylabelle Radernich's little coffee pot of wackiness alive. The promoters As You Are entertainment asks for minimum donation of $3. 

5. Ludicra, Pierced Arrows, and Lullabye Arkestra play an all-ages show at 8:30 p.m. inside the Capitol Theater in Olympia.

BONUS: The Frost Park Chalk-Off-Challenge begins today at noon.

March 31, 2010 at 6:24am

5 Things To Do: Murray Morgan Bridge hug, Slow Poisoner ...

Photo courtesy of Michael Lane/lanemik.openphoto.net

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 31, 2010 >>>

1. At 9 a.m., the City of Tacoma in partnership with the Washington State Department of Transportation, will host a ribbon cutting celebration on the Murray Morgan Bridge to commemorate the completion of the re-cabling work and the turnback agreement for said bridge. Most likely there's will be cupcakes, too.

2. Peterson Toscano, playwright, actor, comedian, and gay activist, will be performing his play, Transfigurations: Transgressing Gender in the Bible, at 7 p.m. inside the Schneebeck Concert Hall at the University of Puget Sound. The one-person play explores the lives of transgender individuals using stories from the Hebrew and Christian scriptures in a controversial performance that has been described as funny, moving, and insightful by audiences on three continents.

3. Kim Archer performs an all-ages show at 7 p.m. inside the Tempest Lounge.

4. The Slow Poisoner, Right On John and Mosquito Bandito play an 8 p.m. show at Bob's Java Jive.

5. The Urban Art Festival hosts a fundraising show featuring Shotgun Kitchen, Sugar Beats and Voxxy Vallejo at 9 p.m. inside Hell's Kitchen.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

March 29, 2010 at 6:41am

5 Things To Do: "Cats," "Speedmetal Loser," Hugs ...


MONDAY, MARCH 29, 2010 >>>

1. The national tour of Cats hits the Washington Center's stage at 7:30 p.m.

2. Reuben Storey's Speedmetal Loser, a collection of pen and ink drawings crafted by hand damaged by basement dwelling and heavy metal album covers, hangs in the Capitol Theater's lobby from 6-11 p.m.

3. Hugs and 1776 play an all-ages show at 7 p.m. inside The Den @ urbanXchange.

4. The S.R.O. swing band, a 16-piece unit playing music from the ‘30s and ‘40s, perform from 7-9 p.m. inside the Imperial Dragon restaurant on Sixth Avenue.

5. DJ Jason Diamond spins roots reggae beginning at 9 p.m. inside O'Malley's Irish Pub.

LINK: Movie showtimes in the South Sound

March 5, 2010 at 12:00pm

The Prefunk

If you were a cat, it might look something like this...


Is it that time already? Time for another installment of Prefunk - your weekly guide to liver destruction, local events and feelings of morning regret?


While I've spent a decent amount of time in recent weeks explaining the idea of "The Prefunk" to newcomers, I'm hoping by this point anyone interested has already caught on. I'm also hoping people uninterested in pictures of dogs and cats drinking beer or receiving tips on ways you can heighten your weekend event-going experience through glue huffing and Scope mouthwash Jell-O shots have already tuned out.


Brooklyn Pool at Rocket Records - 3 p.m.

The band was once called As Far as Foxes Go, and before that - ever so briefly - Bearfeat. In truth, though, none of that matters. The moniker is officially Brooklyn Pool these days, and together Morgan Brown, Aaron Sweet and Jesse Goodrum are churning out some of our area's most intriguing indie pop. The melodies seal the deal. Saturday the kiddies get a chance to have at it, as Brooklyn Pool plays an all ages show at Sixth Avenue's Rocket Records.

PREFUNK: Here's a novel idea - make THIS your prefeunk. It's early enough, right? Getting totally wasted before a 3 p.m. all ages show would be moderately disgraceful, right?

Of course.

Here's what you do: The court ordered you to see your kids. This is a fact. It's also a fact that one of the main reasons you're in this predicament in the first place is you loved going to rock shows way more than being married to your crazy ex. Rub it in his/her face by taking the wee-ones out to a show that will surely sculpt their minds in a much more positive fashion than listening to mom and dad argue about dad's Adult Friend Finder account.


4X4 Off Road and High Performance Meet at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center - 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday is the perfect day for off roading - or, at the every least, heading to the Puyallup Fair Grounds to get an off roading boner with a bunch of Carhartt partial, like minded folks.

Big tires. Big trucks. A love of mud. These are your people. Indulge.

PREFUNK: The event is associated with the Moonshiners Jeep Club - based out of Spanaway. The club emblem even features an old, bearded, Yosemite Sam looking dude bouncing out of the back of a jeep with a moonshine jug in hand.

Rather than spending too much time wondering about whether moonshiners should actually operate a jeep club, just join in the fun. Make some hard-hitting hooch in your tub (I hear in prison they use urine), guzzle down an old mason jar full of the stuff, and head on over to Puyallup. Once there, be sure to use the phrase, "down by the river" a lot - and get some mud on your clothes.

The good news is, by this point, that bathtub hooch should have hit and there's a good chance you will have already fallen on your ass heading into the fair grounds - thus accomplishing the dirty, off roader look. Well done.

See you next week.

February 26, 2010 at 2:48pm

All-Ages Movement Project alert


With news of the Warehouse in downtown Tacoma closing down, all-ages music fans might want to take note of the follow press release from the Pepsi Refresh Project.

SOS! Mayday! Calling all supporters of all-ages music in every town!  We need your help NOW!

With only three days left in the Pepsi Refresh Project online voting competition to win $50,000, and after three weeks of sitting comfortably in the top ten spots, the All-Ages Movement Project (AMP) has fallen to the dreaded, and possibly fatal, 11th position.  It is not too late, however, for AMP to surge late in the game and finish in the winning top 10.  All we need is for everyone who believes in the importance of all-ages music to vote once a day through the end of voting at 9pm EST on Sunday, February 28. AMP is asking music lovers everywhere to vote daily and deploy tweets, status updates, email blasts, blog posts, smoke signals and carrier pigeons to get word out to their friends to vote as well.  Pearl Jam and Blitzen Trapper leant their support to AMP's cause yesterday - now lend yours! 

Vote at www.allages.net/vote


Filed under: All ages, News To Us, Music,

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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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