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February 13, 2010 at 1:56am

5 Things to Do Today: The Magical Land of Oz, sexy singles, symphony, Top of Tacoma, Arts Olympia 2010

Celebrate the day before VD at Top of Tacoma.

Saturday, Feb. 13 >>>

1. Jaime Kay Jones of Top of Tacoma said we could invite a few of our Weekly Volcano friends to her "Tacoma is My Valentine" party, so we're inviting you.  But only you.  Don't tell anyone else.  (You know how sensitive they get.)  She tells us Pioneers West and Emerald Dollies Burlesque will be on, hand along with a few other special guests. Free. 3529 McKinley Ave., Tacoma 9 p.m. 21+1.

2. 54th St. Sports Bar hosts Pre-Valentine's Day Bash for "sexy singles" (That'd be us they're talking to.) to include Hip Hop, R&B, and comedy. 9 p.m. - 1a.m. 5415 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma $8 ($10 will include VIP access) 5415 S Tacoma Way, Tacoma - 21+

3. Northwest Sinfonietta presents Erwin Stein's arrangement of Mahler's 4th Symphony - Romancing the Muse.  Rialto Theater 901 Broadway, Tacoma. 7:30 pm $19 - $49, www.nwsinfonietta.org

4. Encore! Youth Theater, in conjunction with The Academy of Performing Arts, performs the infamous musical The Magical Land of Oz written by Tim Kelly with music and lyrics by Bill Francoeur. 2 p.m. 615 38th Avenue Northwest, Gig Harbor, $7.00 and to be purchased at 6615 38th Avenue NW, Gig Harbor. For accurate directions, just follow the yellow brick road.

5. Arts Olympia 2010 is up and running today and tomorrow from approximately 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. at the State Capital Museum Coach House.  Check out paintings by Barbara Packard, fabric collage by book illustrator/textile artist Maitri Sojourner; and small works of metal artists Margo Westfall and Don Lovett. Free.  10-5. 211 21st Ave. SW., Olympia

December 8, 2009 at 4:27pm

The state of all age


6a00d8341c3af953ef012876351c46970c-250wi In the local music ecosystem, all-ages venues are invaluable. I think that a lot of under-agers are agonized by being under 21, not because they’re unable to drink in bars, but because they’re constantly being deprived of the opportunity to see amazing shows. Tacoma understands this, but it has always struggled to maintain all-ages venues. Occasionally, something will open up for a little while, but it never seems to last. Unfortunately, Hell’s Kitchen has closed its doors to under-agers in conjunction with its move to Pacific Avenue, downtown. That, along with the closing of the Helm Gallery earlier this year, means that pickings for all-ages shows have become uncomfortably scarce in Tacoma. But it’s not all bad news. Though we may have very few all ages venues, the two we do have are solidly run operations that seem likely to stand the test of time.
Knock on wood.

The Den
Mostly, what seems to work in Tacoma is heavy metal. It seems permanently unflappable. Something about Tacoma nourishes furious guitar licks and mosh pits. No one could say that’s a bad thing, but those who don’t live on the metal are happy to have The Den. Located deep within the bowels of downtown Tacoma’s aggressively hip used clothing store, urbanXchange, is a venue that trades in the kaleidoscopic cult of “indie”â€"folk, garage, psychedelic, electronic, and straight-ahead rock ‘n roll inflections abound.

A complaint I’ve heard (and made) before regards the circular, almost incestuous nature of the Tacoma local music scene. Not to say that this is an entirely a bad thing, but after seeing your favorite local bands so many time, it gets stale and you just need something new in your diet. Luckily, The Den keeps a constant parade of new and exciting bands coming through their doors. Big names and small, local and touring, The Den consistently brings it. Our newest venue, The Den will hit its one-year anniversary in February. With any luck, it’ll stick around for a good long while â€" long enough to exist as an example for future all-ages venues.

The Viaduct
The Viaduct has a scrappy, sweaty background that sounds all too familiar to those involved in Tacoma’s music scene. Starting its life in a run-down building under the viaduct, it eventually had to vacate its location. For a while, its shows swam from one odd spot to the next, until finally resting on its current location on South Tacoma Way, where it’s been growing and fighting since late 2007. The Viaduct was practically forged in blood.

Hardcore music is The Viaduct’s bread and butter, once again connecting with Tacoma’s thirst for the heavy stuff. Unlike Hell’s Kitchen or The Den, The Viaduct boasts the distinction of being exclusively a venueâ€"not a bar or a store. It depends on volunteer employees and word of mouth to stay afloat and, while things are always a little shaky, it seems to be succeeding.

The point is that it’s up to all of us to make Tacoma’s all-ages scene work. These venues don’t fail for lack of trying. They need you to show your support. See a flyer advertising some bands you’ve never heard of? Why not check it out?

The scene is only as good as the people who inhabit it.

Filed under: All ages, Music, Tacoma,

November 25, 2009 at 12:12am

5 Things To Do: Wednesday


11-25-5-Things 1. Doyle's Public House hosts its infamous Bad Holiday Sweater Contest beginning at 8:35 p.m.

2. Tacoma Art Museum's A Concise History of Northwest Art is a big, big, big show - parts of which should appeal to everyone since it has photography, painting, sculpture, jewelry, glass and ceramics covering Northwest art history since the 19th century, including art from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and even British Columbia and Alaska. Check it out from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Hell's Kitchen hosts its final all-ages show tonight and it's kick ass: Girl Trouble, the Gypsies, Johnny Chzbrgr, Apache Chief and Rex Hex from 6-9 p.m.

4. Jazzbones hosts Vicci Martinez with Intervision at 8:30 p.m.

5. The Hub hosts a Thanksgiving Pre-Funk with Myles Crew at 8 p.m.

6. Rumor is there's a Mustache Contest at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: Local movie starting times

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide

November 24, 2009 at 5:50am

Art at Work: Mural unveiling, Victory Open Mic

Art at Work Month: Tuesday, Nov. 24

November 2009 marks the eighth anniversary of Art at Work: Tacoma Arts Month. There is something for everyone to enjoy throughout the month: lectures, music, dance performances, readings, workshops, theater performances, visual art exhibits and more.

Here are today’s highlights:

Tacoma Artist Claudia Riedener unveils her tile mural at the South Tacoma Public Library at 5 p.m.

Victory Music's oldest open mic begins at 7 p.m. inside the Antique Sandwich Company in Ruston.

There are many more events today. For a complete Art at Work schedule, click here.

November 12, 2009 at 1:23pm

New open mic Sunday


Bill-Farmer-11-12 Aspiring acoustic performers, poets, and storytellers: unite, and take over the Mandolin Café’s new Open Mic Night Sunday, Nov. 15 from 6-9 p.m. Everyone from open mic virgins to established artists are welcomed to the new Sunday night session, which will be hosted by versatile guitarist Billy Farmer.

Farmer has a smile ear to ear.

“It’s SO alluring for the performing artist to show their craft in a fine establishment with a reputation for excellence in both entertainment and menu,” beams Farmer over the opportunity to host the open mic at the Mandolin. “It’s been my hope for a long while to set this up at The Mandolin and now the time right.”

The Mandolin Café will serve supper to performing musicians in its green room.

“The meals for the musicians will be a full meal, probably a pasta dish or chicken with garlic bread and a beverage,” explains Mandolin co-owner Creig Kostoff.

Besides adding another night of music to the popular Tacoma cafe Kostoff is most excited about offering each musician a CD of his or her night’s performance.

[Mandolin Café, every Sunday, 6-9 p.m., sign up 5 p.m., all ages, no cover, 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, 253.781.3482]

September 7, 2009 at 2:49pm

Help save Club Impact


Randi Stumpp, co-volunteer coordinator for downtown Tacoma's all-ages Club Impact, sent us a disconcerting e-mail:

As of September 30th, 2009 World Vision, our sponsor and holder of the lease to Brick City, will be pulling our funding/lease for all Brick City programs. We are not the only World Vision program affected, hundreds of programs all across the nation are being shut down due to lack of funding.

The goal of Club Impact for the past 11 years has been to build community by supporting musicians. We do this by providing a venue where local musicians can share their art with the community; it is a scenario in which everyone benefits: the musicians have a stage, the fans have a place to enjoy their art, and local youth have a safe alternative to clubs that serve alcohol. Through friendships made, lyrics and lives that are shared, new hope can be discovered. Our goal is accomplished by living our motto, "Give Respect, Get Respect".

We've already tentatively booked shows through November, but with getting the boot after our September 26th show, that leaves us scrambling and trying to find a rental hall to uphold our commitments.

Club Impact will hold a volunteer meeting next Monday, Sept. 14 at 7 p.m. Those interested in helping out Club Impact are encouraged to attend the meeting. If you can’t wait, drop by the club at 754 Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma and share your ideas with Stumpp, Sara Sanchez or Paul Stuthman. You can email the club here, contact them on MySpace or their Facebook fan page with your ideas to help save the club.

Club Impact's next show:

Keeping Secrets, I Am The Enemy, City In the Sea, Brittany Glabe & Ashleigh Love, Saturday, Sept. 12, 7 p.m., all ages, $7 at Brown Paper Tickets.

August 13, 2009 at 1:00pm

Kids can visit TAM for free


This just arrived at the Weekly Volcano World Headquarters:

Tacoma, Wash. - Anyone under 18 can go to Tacoma Art Museum free Aug. 18-30.

Things to do at the museum:

  • See five different art exhibitions
  • Make art in the Open Art Studio
  • Learn more about art in the Art Resource Center 
“We want young people in our community to be exposed to the arts,” said Paula McArdle, director of education and audience development. “We’d love to see teenagers and families take advantage of this affordable, educational activity as the summer winds down.”

This special free admission offer is made possible by generous contributions from Tacoma Art Museum donors.

Current Tacoma Art Museum exhibitions are:

  • Ornament as Art: Avant-Garde Jewelry from the Helen Williams
  • Drutt Collection
  • Loud Bones: The Jewelry of Nancy Worden
  • 2009 Neddy Artist Fellowship 
  • Speaking Parts: Conversations Between Works in the Collection
  • Dale Chihuly Permanent Collection

Ornament at Art and Loud Bones showcase studio art jewelry. The Drutt Collection is considered one of the best collections of studio art jewelry in the world. Nancy Worden is a Northwest artist known for the stories she tells through her art.   

“As young people look at these exhibitions in particular, they’ll see a wide variety of things art can be made of,” McArdle said. “We hope they’ll also think about questions like what is art, and how and why do we wear jewelry?”

LINK: Tacoma Art Museum information page

Filed under: All ages, Arts, Bargain Guide, Tacoma,

July 11, 2009 at 6:18am

Rock the Books tonight


Painkillers There’s something undeniably attractive about getting away with inappropriate acts. Instead of satisfying this itch by indulging in murder or white-collar crime, howsabout you just be loud in a library?

OK, but really loud.

Tonight, the Makeup Monsters will bring their brand of punkish indie pop to the first installment of the Tacoma Public Library’s Rock the Books summer concert series. Hordes of hipsters and hipster-sympathizers will pack a small room at the Main Downtown Library and watch as James Hilborne & the Painkillers â€" the eerie calm before the storm â€" open for the Makeup Monsters and the inevitable sonic destruction of the Dewey Decimal System.

It’s all ages, free, and an opportunity for a light rebellion.

What more could you ask for?

[Tacoma Public Library Main Branch, Makeup Monsters, James Hilborne & the Painkillers, Saturday, July 11, 7 p.m., all ages, no cover, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.591.5666]

Filed under: All ages, Books, Music, Tacoma,

June 16, 2009 at 12:55pm

Go see Thee Oh Sees


Thee Oh Sees When Bobble Tiki first became acquainted with San Francisco’s Thee Oh Sees â€" they were Thee Ohsees. See the difference? It’s really not much of one â€" which is why it’s fairly unimportant in the scheme of things. The important thing is the band is still churning out some of the best tunes you’re liable to hear anywhere â€" and certainly on a Tuesday night in Oly. When Thee Oh Sees classify themselves as pop/folk/psychedelic on MySpace, they mean it. They’re exactly the type of band that Olympia should slurp up like cheap drinks at McCoy’s. They’re arty, but not to a fault. They’re smart, but not to the point of being alienating. They’re definitely indie, but not just because it’s cool. According to Wikipedia, The Oh Sees “began as a way for John Dwyer (of Coachwhips, Pink and Brown, Landed, Yikes, Burmese, The Hospitals, etc.) to release his instrumental, experimental home recordings. However, over the course of five albums it has evolved into a full band.” Thank god. The results are awesome.

[northern, Thee Oh Sees, Christmas, Full Red, 8 p.m., all ages, $6, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia, www.olympiaallages.org]

Filed under: All ages, Bobble Tiki, Music, Olympia,

June 14, 2009 at 7:21am

Letters Burning


Letters Burning A Hot Topic tour? Sounds a little cliché doesn’t it? But Letters Burning is making their way up the coast from their home in Southern California by way of a series of shows in local Hot Topics â€" all booked independently to give the all-ages demographic a “band that they can be a part of and follow,” according to Letters Burning guitarist and lead singer Tal Mir. This desire is what brings Letters Burning to Steele Street and our beloved Tacoma Mall today: which Mir referred to as “the climax of (their) tour.” And it’s free. This looks to be the grassroots movement of pop-punk as the passionate duo, as Mir and his Letters Burning band mate Gabe Kubanda take to the road with some insanely catchy tunes that don’t mesh with the generic and oh-so-typical songs we hear coming from modern-day pop-punk bands. Care to catch fire?
[Hot Topic, 5 p.m., all ages, no cover, 4502 S. Steele St., Tacoma, 253.473.4469]

Filed under: All ages, Music, Tacoma,

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