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February 11, 2012 at 10:09am

5 Things To Do Today: GLBT Book Club, Too $hort, Tush! burlesque, electroforming copper and more ...

EvergreenOne and CityHall will be at Jazzbones tonight as part of a fairly epic hip-hop bill.

SATURDAY, FEB. 11, 2012 >>>

1. It's another huge night in live music for the South Sound. Legendary Bay-area hip-hopper Too $hort will be in Olympia at the Royal Lounge, while Olympia's own Calvin Johnson will trek north to Tacoma  with his band the Hive Dwellers for a show at The Space. The Weekly Volcano's comprehensive live local music listings have all the answers you need.

2. Tacoma's GLBT Book Club meets today at Tully's Coffee downtown on Broadway to discuss Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. The Volcano's Jenni Prange Boran recently profiled the GLBT Book Club and its organizer Matt Lemanski.

3. Tacoma Metal Arts Center offers the bold and the curious a chance to learn "electroforming in copper," which is probably just about as awesome as it sounds. According to hype, "Electroforming is an exciting technique which allows you to 'grow' copper over almost any form. You will learn how to use this process to create a shell of copper over things like glass, wax carvings and organic materials (seed pods, dried flowers, etc) to name a few. Electroforming can be used to create complex hollow forms in copper for sculpture or jewelry." This is a two-session class that kicks off today and concludes next Saturday, Feb. 18. Cost is $135 plus $15 materials fee, and instruction is provided by Amy Reeves.

4. Prior to a Valentine's Day performance in Tacoma with T-Town's Gritty City Sirens, Olympia's own Tush burlesque troupe will take to the Capitol Theater. As event hype points out, Tush will be joined by Seattle's own Paris Original, Olympia's Wednesday du Monde, and the music of Portland's Autry. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m., and it'll cost you $10-$15.

5. At Jazzbones, it'll be a night of hip-hop featuring Ra Scion, The Breaklites, City Hall, Josh Rizeberg, DJ Reign and DJ Minus. Show starts at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Still time to seize the weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

February 10, 2012 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Oly Music Awards Pre-show, Jane Alynn, Camp 6 "Commence" dance party, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and more ...

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies will pretend it's 1997 at Jazzbones tonight.

FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2012 >>>

1. Musically, it's a huge night. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies (straight from the ‘90s) play Jazzbones on Sixth Avenue. Former Volcano scribe Heather Loepp and Santee play the Space tonight as part of a benefit for the Squeak & Squawk music festival in April. And let us not forget the Variety Hour's CD release show tonight at Hell's Kitchen. Boom.

2. If it's laughs you're looking for find comedian Chris Franjola at Tacoma Comedy Club and Duane Goad at the Grit City Comedy Club. Both shows will run you $15.

3. If you're like most people, there's part of you that really enjoys shaking your ass without regret. Luckily, Tacoma's Camp 6 is holding its first "Commence Dance Party" (in what's to be a regular series of dance parties) at the New Frontier Lounge.

4. Poet and author Jane Alynn joins the Distinguished Writer Series tonight at King's Books. With two published collections of poems to her name, Necessity of Flight and Threads & Dust, Alynn is an award-winning wordsmith who should be enjoyable to hear read. The event starts at 7 p.m.

5. In Olympia, the first-ever Oly Music Awards Pre-show - generating hype and excitement for the forthcoming first-ever Oly Music Awards - will go down at Le Voyeur, bringing Jabi Shriki to the stage in celebration of a new record, as well as Fight for Change, Elbow Coulee (in the band's first show back with a new lineup) and the debut of Brian Carsten's Point Process. Things kick off at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Plan your weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

February 9, 2012 at 11:51am

WEEKEND HUSTLE: "Enron," Arts Olympia Show & Sale, "The Vagina Monologues" at Evergreen, Tahoma Audubon Society party, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, "Passionate Puccini," Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma plus more ...

This weekend Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma celebrates 25 proud years with three limited performances at the MBT Studio. PHOTO COURTESY: metropolitanballetoftacoma.com



Friday: Rain showers, hi 54, lo 41

Saturday: More rain, hi 48, lo 39

Sunday: Even more rain, hi 50, lo 37

>>> FEB. 10-12: ENRON

Nothing makes for better theater than tragedy. And satire. And maybe a splash of dark comedy. South Puget Sound Community College's presentation of ENRON, running Feb. 10-12 and 16-19 at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, should have all three. According to hype, British playwright Lucy Pebble's 2009 play "uses a mix of timeless themes, including classic tragedy and dark comedy, to explore the inner workings of one of the country's largest financial collapses from several new points of view." Who doesn't love watching a good financial collapse live on stage?

  • Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, Feb. 10-12 and 16-19, all performances at 8 p.m. except Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 - both at noon, $13 for the general public and $7 for students, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia, 360.753.8586


The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's adventure novel by Norton Juster published in 1961, is loved to this day by children and adults alike. While it's easy to see why children connect to young Milo's tale, it also doesn't take much pondering to see why many adults still harbor a soft spot for the book. Luckily for all parties involved, Olympia Family Theater opened a three-week run of the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth last week at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box. Read Christian Carvajal's Weekly Volcano review of The Phantom Tollbooth.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box, Friday - Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m., "Thrifty Thursday," Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., $16 adults, $13 senior/military/student, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8586


Now in its 21st year, the annual Arts Olympia Show and Sale this weekend at the Capital Museum Coach House promises, according to hype for the event, to be the best ever. And we're inclined to believe said hype. Why? Well, this year's event hype includes mention of Olympia's new mayor, Stephen Buxbaum, kicking off the festivities during a Friday-night opening reception (a definite plus), and - more importantly - Volcano arts writer and critic Alec Clayton delivering a lecture Saturday afternoon. And did we mention Sunday promises a poetry event featuring members of the Olympia Poetry Network? The three-day show comes under the header Perspectives 2012 and will include the work of nearly 40 local artists. This one's a no-brainer - which is probably why, year after year, the Arts Olympia Show and Sale keeps coming back for more.

  • Capital Museum Coach House, Friday, Feb. 10 5-7 p.m. opening reception with Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, Saturday, Feb. 11 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Alec Clayton speaks at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. poetry event at 1 p.m., 211 W. 21st Ave., Olympia, artsolympia.org


Each year The Vagina Monologues is performed at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and each year the event is one of the year's most memorable collegiate stage shows. Performed by Greeners, presented by the school's Women's Resource Center, and this year directed by Sam Cori and Cari Pendergrass, The Vagina Monologues of 2012 at Evergreen should live up to tradition. According to Cori, this year an effort is being made to get more non-students to attend - so do your part this weekend.

  • The Evergreen State College - Lecture Hall 1, 7-9 p.m., $7 student, $10 general, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, 360.867.6000


Birding just doesn't get the props it deserves. For one, birding and bird watching are fun for geriatrics and non-geriatrics alike. Most folks assume it's only something the old can get into, but they're wrong. Second, birding vests with a bunch of crazy pockets are hella sexy. Just trust us on that one. Saturday, the Tahoma Audubon Society celebrates its 43rd year with its annual membership banquet and awards ceremony at the Tacoma Landmark Convention Center. According to hype, at the Tahoma Audubon Society Banquet, "Wildlife biologist and photographer Vasiliy Baranyuk will present "Snow Geese and other Wildlife of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve." And that's just the start of the awesomeness (which, yes, does include a live dessert auction and the 2012 board elections).

  • Landmark Convention Center's Temple Theater Ballroom, 5:30 - 9 p.m., $50 per person, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, tahomaaudubon.org


There is a certain segment of the population that is way too into eight-bit video games - specifically, the way those games sounded. These weirdoes have banded together to utilize those primitive sounds in the creation of new music. Their bands are chiptune bands; their members have seemingly uncovered brand new depths of obsession. Saturday, Dorky's Arcade will host several chiptune bands because, well, of course chiptune bands would play at Dorky's. Performers include Awesomecat, Shellshock, Firedrill and Ovenrake, and all the bands will be accompanied by vintage gear like Game Boys. How surreal will it be to dance to fake video game music while - all around you - real video games are lighting up, all abuzz and a-chirp? It'll be like a snake eating its tail. -- Rev. Adam McKinney

  • Dorky's Arcade, with Firedrill, Ovenrake, Awesomecat, Shellshock, 9 p.m., $3, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156


The Tacoma Opera - and more specifically its "Young Artists" - will take you on a musical journey of space in time this weekend, delving into the works of renowned German-Jewish stage composer (and socialist) Kurt Weill. Weill - who was most active in the 1920s and '30s - is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, including The Threepenny Opera, which will be included in the Tacoma Opera's performances this weekend. Tacoma Opera will also take on selections from Weill's Lady in the Dark and Street Scene.

  • Theatre on the Square, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $30, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org


Like emotions? Like, REALLY like emotions? Then you just might go nuts for Giacomo Puccini. The bad news is Giacomo Puccini, championed and ridiculed for his overly-emotional flare, died in 1922. The good news is the Northwest Sinfonietta is bringing Puccini's three great works, Madama Butterfly, La boheme, and Tosca to stages in Puyallup and Tacoma this week just in time for Valentine's Day. Offered under the titling Passionate Puccini, the Northwest Sinfonietta, which self-describes itself as "(a)n orchestra of passion, vision, thrill, and creation - an orchestra that awakens the musical spirit in all of us, performing to sold-out crowds of youngsters, hipsters, and connoisseurs alike," says to expect a an "evening of love, passion, and intrigue" from of Passionate Puccini. The Northwest Sinfonietta also promises its "guest vocalists will fire your imagination with the beloved arias and duets from three of Puccini's most famous masterpieces." That's hot. And it includes the impressive soprano Shana Blake Hill. Catch Passionate Puccini in Tacoma at the Rialto Theater Saturday, Feb. 11 and in P-Town Sunday, Feb. 12 at Pioneer Park.

  • Rialto Theater, Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., $19-$49, 310 S. Ninth, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org
  • Pioneer Park Pavilion, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., $30, 330 Meridian Ave., S, Puyallup, 253.383.5344


Didn't quite get your fill of the white fluffy stuff during Snowmaggedon 2012? A glutton for punishment? Metro Parks Tacoma has you covered with two snow-related happenings going down this weekend. Saturday is one of four scheduled Metro Parks "Family Snow Days," which invite family groups of two or more to head up to Mt. Rainier for a day of sledding and fun in the snow. Of course, families must provide their own sleds and equipment, but the transportation and abundant chances for memory making are provided. Then, Sunday marks the Metro Parks Tacoma Adult Snowshoe Hike, which promises adventurers 21 years of age and older a chance to meet new friends while "learning the basics of cross-country skiing," on a groomed, level trail on Snoqualmie Pass. According to hype the trail is "just right for beginners," but you can be the judge of that.

  • Family Snow Day, Saturday, Feb. 11, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $20 for family of four, $4 per additional person, trips depart at 9 a.m. from various community centers and return at 4 p.m., find more info at metroparkstacoma.org/outdoor
  • Adult Cross-Country Skiing, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $60 for Tacoma residents, $65 non-residents, includes equipment and instruction, trip departs from Metro Parks Headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma, metroparkstacoma.org/outdoors


This weekend Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma celebrates 25 proud years with three limited performances at the MBT Studio. Looking back on a quarter century of ballet in T-Town, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma's presentation of choreography will include favorite dances like "Army, Navy, Airforce, Baby," "Female of the Species," "Shanti Mantra," "Broken Hearted Melody," "Mission," and "Monkey Puzzle." If you call Tacoma home, and your passionate about ballet, there's a good chance you've already been touched by the work of Metropolitan Ballet. Take an opportunity to pat the studio on the back this weekend.

  • MBT Studio, Saturday, Feb. 11 2 and 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 2 p.m., $8 general admission - limited seating, 5435 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.5359


Big band leader Rich Wetzel, no stranger to snappy sports coats and even snappier jazz numbers, isn't afraid to make a big promise. So, when he proclaims Sunday's performance at Stonegate Pizza as "the Super Bowl of live entertainment," we shouldn't be surprised. Does this mean we should expect four-plus hours of pomp and Madonna at halftime? Probably not. But what we can expect is a damn entertaining show from Wetzel and his 15-piece jazz rock orchestra.

  • Stonegate Pizza, 5-8 p.m. 5421 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.2255


We're seeing what promises to be a quirky show about Enron at SPSCC. Also, we're in a secret supper group (not so secret now, I guess), so we're cooking a sexy feast in honor of St. Valentine and his chubby, cherubic aides de l'amour.

I quite literally have nothing planned by serving Communion at church on Sunday. Rock Star!

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Another weekend with not much happening EXCEPT I get to go have tea with a friend (and my adorable toddler as a tag along). We'll go to church on Sunday and maybe watch a movie or two. I will probably try to talk my husband into cooking something fabulous.

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
Saturday I'll be the guest speaker at the Arts Olympia exhibition opening and Sunday I'll be attending PFLAG meeting.

NIKKI TALOTTA Music and Features Writer
This Friday I'm slingin drinks and taking care of the kids. You know - the usual. But Saturday is date night! Ricardo's steakhouse and Tush! Burlesque. Talk about primal delights! Sunday is writing and R&R.

JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Features Writer
The usual: dancing with Camp 6 at New Frontier Friday night, and a vampire tour of Pioneer Square in Seattle on Saturday night. And laundry.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music and Features Writer
We're putting on two all-ages shows this weekend at the Space to help raise money for April's Squeak and Squawk festival. Friday Santee, Makeup Monsters and a whole slew of other great bands will get on stage, and Saturday Calvin Johnson's Hive Dwellers will be in town.

JOSH RIZEBERG Tacoma Hip-Hop Writer
Friday at 6 p.m. at D.A.S.H. Center I'll be teaching my spoken-word/poetry class. Saturday I'll be rocking at Jazzbones with Ra Scion, City Hall and The Breaklites!

NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
Gonna open up for Too $hort at The Royal on Saturday followed by getting drunk.

MOLLY GILMORE Olympia Arts and Features Writer
I'm spending all weekend dancing at a workshop with Michael Molin-Skelton, a teacher who is visiting from Los Angeles.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Friday Camp 6 Dance Party at The New Frontier with artist James Allan Tucker. Saturday gym then beachcombing in Gig Harbor. Sunday church and family time.

PAUL SCHRAG General Assignment Writer
Clown wrestling! I'm putting my money on Blocko. 

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

February 9, 2012 at 9:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Phillip Roebuck, UWT Urban Studies Forum, Silent Movie Series, Maurice the Fish showcase and more ...

Phillip Roebuck

THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 2012 >>>

1. Local indie label Maurice the Fish Records is connected to many of our area's most talented acts. Rafael Tranquilino, Gina Belliveau and Heidi Vladyka, to name but a few, have all been part of the Maurice the Fish roster. Tonight at the Swiss get in on the Maurice the Fish Records Showcase, starting at 8 p.m.

2. Thursday at the University Washington Tacoma, this year's Urban Studies Forum will focus on "Urban Industrial Futures." According to the UWT press release, the forum is a "one-day event designed to spur community conversation about how to balance industrial and post-industrial urban development strategies." Speakers for the forum include Joan Fitzgerald, professor and director of the graduate Law and Public Policy program and senior research fellow at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, Brian Coleman, CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center - a nonprofit industrial developer in New York, and Dean Amhaus, executive director of the Milwaukee Water Council. The Urban Studies Forum is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

3. Phillip Roebuck if freakin' amazing. No seriously. We're not just saying that. We've seen the "one-man-band" schtick before, but Roebuck, usually plucking a banjo with a kick drum strapped to his back, goes above and beyond. He's the kind of one man band you just don't go out and see, you buy the record when he's done performing. Tonight Roebuck will be at Hell's Kitchen with local favorites Swampy Draws, and Henry Kammerer along with the Cottonwood Cutups. Show starts at 9 p.m.

4. Get in on the Ram Restaurant and Brewery's version of the Geeks Who Drink pub quiz tonight by heading to the Ram on Ruston Way. Starting at 8:30 p.m. there'll be questions and drinking and more questions and plenty of fun.

5. Tonight at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia the Silent Movie Series will feature The Last Laugh with Dennis James on the Wurlitzer. The event is all ages and starts at 7 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 8, 2012 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: SOAC Focus Series and "The Human Experience" at PLU, "Young Frankenstein," Big Friction Jam and more ...

Really Old Airplanes will play the Mandolin Cafe tonight from 6 - 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8, 2012 >>>

1. Pacific Lutheran University and the school's School of Arts and Communication kick off the fledgling SOAC Focus Series today with an exhibition of printmaking from around the country. Designed as an annual event, this year's first-ever SOAC Focus Series will center on a theme of compassion. According to hype, the series will have a goal of bringing together "talented students and faculty each year," with "a common theme will be selected and discussed through a multi-disciplinary approach. ...  Each year, the theme selected will be relevant, timely and appropriate to the mission of SOAC and PLU." Today sees the opening of the National Print Exhibition: The Human Experience, a collection of juried printmaking entries from around the country that are apparently, "as varied as the human experience," and feature, "many touchstones that speak to us in different ways and tie one individual to another through the love of art and a broader understanding of each other."

2. Do you enjoy comedy? Do you like bliss? Then you'll want to catch the musical Newsday called "blissfully funny," Mel Brooks's adaptation of Young Frankenstein, in its final day today  at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. The production, developed in Seattle in 2007 and hit Broadway two years late, is a mostly faithful translation of the 1974 movie. It includes all your favorite moments: "Abby Normal," "Puttin' on the Ritz," Frau Blücher's way with horses and one enormous schwanzstucker. (Voof!)

3. There was a time when the Big Friction Jam at Jazzbones was THE place to be for Sunday night maxin', relaxin' and jammin'. Powered by the groove-heavy leanings of saxophonist Brett "Big Friction" Cummings, the Big Friction house band took the stage, laid down the funk and groove, and magic ensued, with a cast of talented locals streaming through to take the stage and get down. TonightJazzbones will welcome back the Big Friction Jam for an evening that's sure to blow your usual Hump Day plans out of the proverbial water. If you're down to jam on it (or enjoy when others jam on it) this one's for you.

4. In all-ages musical action, tonight at the Mandolin Café Really Old Airplanes will play from 6 -7 p.m., and singer/songwriter Gina Belliveau will lay it down from 7-8 p.m.

5. The Northern Pacific Coffee Co. in Parkland holds its renowned open mic tonight from 8 - 11 p.m. There's no cover, and sign-ups star at 7:30 p.m. Bring the kids, because the NPCC open mic is totally all-ages.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 7, 2012 at 2:43pm

World's youngest person born Sunday at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital

Behold the former "Youngest Person on Earth."


Usually on a Tuesday afternoon, with the Volcano's print deadline looming, I wouldn't be making time for a Spew blog post.

But gold like this only arrives in your inbox every so often. When it does, it's best to pounce.

Straight from MultiCare Media Relations Coordinator Cole Cosgrove:

World's Youngest Person Born

TACOMA, Wash. -- The youngest person on Earth was born Sunday morning at MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital.

Immediately upon entering this world, Grayson Dale Burlingame held the prestigious title of "World's Youngest Person" for approximately 4.2 seconds - until an even younger person was born somewhere else on this planet. On average, a baby is born every 4.2 seconds, according to world population statistics.

In 2011 at Tacoma General Hospital, 3,048 newborns claimed the title of "World's Youngest Person," at least for a few seconds. 

Grayson, who weighed 7 pounds, 7 ounces, was born to Tacoma residents Lisa Patterson Burlingame and her husband Jeff Burlingame, who beamed with pride over their son's accomplishment at such a young age. The parents attribute their son's remarkable youthfulness to diet, avoiding cigarettes, and the fact that he just now emerged from the womb.

Grayson himself didn't have the words to describe what it feels like to be so young. During the nearly 5 seconds that he reigned as the "World's Youngest Person," Grayson spent most of that time adjusting to the light while staring lovingly at his parents

The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper of Monroe, Georgia, couldn't be reached for comment. She was born Aug. 26, 1896 - a date when she briefly held the title of "World's Youngest Person."


Cosgrove says he's always wanted to do such a press release, calling it a "light-hearted counterbalance to the recurring ‘news' story ‘World's Oldest Person Dies.'"

I just call it pure brilliance.

February 7, 2012 at 9:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Dick Hensold, Project:U at Varsity Grill, Saint Martin's celebrates Dickens' B-Day and more ...

Dick Hensold will perform in Old Town Tacoma tonight.

TUESDAY, FEB. 7, 2012 >>>

1. Bring your love of the bagpipes out of the closet and into full view today when Dick Hensold, billed as "one of America's finest traditional bagpipers," drops in on Tacoma for a performance brought to us by the Old Town Music Society and Puget Sound Revels. Dabbling in Northumbrian smallpipes, reel pipes, seljefloyte, sackpipa and piborn according to promotion - in traditional and historical styles including Cape Breton, early Scottish, Northumbrian, Scandinavian, Irish and medieval - Hensold seems certain to blow the roof off the joint.

2. Tonight at Varsity Grill join the United Way of Pierce County's Project:U for a fundraiser and food drive event. The Varsity Grill will donate 20-percent of all sales proceeds to the United Way of Pierce County cause, and canned food donations will be collected for area F.I.S.H. food banks.

3. Saint Martin's University in Lacey will celebrate the 200th birthday of Charles Dickens today with what's described as "a marathon reading of the renowned author's works." According to hype, Saint Martin's English Department and the English honor society Sigma Tau Delta will host the event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Harned Hall. Expect excerpts from Great Expectations, A Christmas Carol, A Tale of Two Cities and more.

4. Tuesday means it's time for another Ha Ha Tuesday at Jazzbones, a night of comedy hosted by the venerable Ralph Porter. After the comedy, stick around for Jazzbones' hot weeknight DJ action.

5. It's open mic night at Tugboat Annie's in Olympia. Bring your geetar or your best songs and show the world what you've got (and by "world" we mean the collection of Thurston County folks on hand at the favorite local watering hole).

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 2, 2012 at 9:04am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The SCMC in Tacoma, Leezy Soprano, Zodiac Death Valley, Trasholes ...

Zodiac Death Valley will play the New Frontier in Tacoma Friday, Feb. 3.


The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true. We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because it's hard to sleep when you're so busy watching Battlestar Galactica (Rev. Adam McKinney), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section. This week the Volcano delves into the SCMC conference coming to Tacoma's Marriot Hotel Feb. 4, and spills a few words on the Trasholes, Leezy Soprano, Zodiac Death Valley and more.

It's just further proof that the Weekly Volcano music section is your every-Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage anywhere in the South Sound.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...


The Songwriters Composers Music Conference (SCMC), based out of Washington D.C. and coming to Tacoma Feb. 4, bills itself as a nationally-travelling event designed for unsigned artists, bands, songwriters, producers and independent labels. The SCMC says it offers lessons for success in the music business along with a chance for aspiring musicians, songwriters and producers to show off their skills in front of a crowd of prominent music industry "artists & repertoire" (A&R) representatives and major label types. Admission to the conference, which bills itself as open to anyone but seems most geared toward hip-hop, is $25, which includes an itinerary full of music business-related instruction. But the SCMC also promotes $300 and $500 packages promising private one-on-one meetings with the SCMC A&R panel and a chance to perform at the SCMC showcase in front of the A&R panel and the major labels in attendance. The SCMC website - scmcmusicconference.com - says of the $500 "VIP All Access" offer, "This package was created for artists, producers, independent labels, and managers who are looking to take their careers to the next step." ...

For some within Tacoma's tight-knit, historically DIY music scene, offers and advertisements like the ones made by SCMC raise red flags of concern. Longtime "anti pay-to-play" activist Bon Von Wheelie (Bonnie Henderson), drummer of the Tacoma band Girl Trouble, is one of those people. Von Wheelie's activism against those she views as preying on the naiveté of young artists has been documented in the Volcano before, most notably her nearly-two-year legal battle with Ohio-based Gorilla Entertainment. She instantly bristles when anyone offers to sell aspiring bands a chance at fame and fortune. ... -- Matt Driscoll


So who has the crown right now for Tacoma hip-hop? Many would say Leezy Soprano is running the show. He had a breakout year last year and this year he's keeping his buzz big with the release of his newest project, United We Ball, available for download here. The first single to hit YouTube is "Leezy."

Soprano is teetering on national-success right now. The video got nothing but love on Worldstarhiphop.com, and Seattle and the rest of the region are recognizing the genuine realness and skill Soprano brings to the table. He just might be making the best street hip-hop in the area right now. Soprano has a flow that most of these lazy unoriginal Tacoma gangsta rappers wish they had, along with the authenticity that many rappers in Seattle lack. Soprano has just the right mix of energy, reality and lyrical seriousness to make his flow undeniable, noticeable and dope. ... -- Josh Rizeberg


The music of San Francisco's Zodiac Death Valley straddles the lines between psych-rock, pulsing new wave, freak-folk, and the sun-beaten pop of Dire Straits. It's an infectious combination, aided largely by impeccable songwriting. The band's music is nothing if not filled with memorable hooks and substantial melodies. These are hefty songs, carrying with them a kind of weight and import that isn't usually found in the usual roundup of psych-inflected groups. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney


Lead singer and guitarist Ian Call's voice rides that line between adolescence and adulthood, which only makes each voice crack sound that much more punk rock. It's exciting to see another young band following the lead of other s***-kicking acts like the defunct Freakouts and Durango 95. - Rev. AM

PLUS: BETTER LIVING THROUGH MUSIC - Death By Stars and a benefit for the Tacoma All Ages project




January 29, 2012 at 8:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Hey Girl opens for Pierced Arrows in Oly, In the Pocket Jazz Night, open mic night with Jeanlizabeth and more ...

Pierced Arrows returns to the Brotherhood in Olympia tonight.

SUNDAY, JAN. 29, 2012 >>>

1. The band Hey Girl is totally Olympia. Sludgy, grungy, dirty and totally cute. And I mean cute in a garage punk way. It makes you wanna crush on the three-piece band, based on their live performances and relatable lyrics - like in the song "Pizza Girl," where the delivery diva is on a pillar of gold, hallowed by catchy riffs and slamming drums. Tonight at The Brotherhood in Oly, Hey Girl, along with local rock 'n' roll shredders Blues Druid, should be the perfect openers for the ever-popular Pierced Arrows. Brace yourself for a night of sweaty, good old-fashion fun. 

2. Drop in on "Jeriactric Jazz" today at the Northern Pacific Coffee Co. in Tacoma. It runs in the afternoon, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and there is no cover. It's also all-ages, in case the kids dig on jazz.

3. Speaking of jazz, it's In The Pocket Jazz Night at Tacoma Comedy Club.

4. DJ Keith. Rock, despite his name, will spin country, R&B, hip-hop and Top 40 at North Point Bar and Grill tonight. Action starts at 9 p.m.

5. Now that football season is nearly over you can get back into your Sunday open mic routine, which no doubt includes busting into your song catalogue at Steilacoom Pub and Grill during the Sunday open mic with Jeanlizabeth.

LINK: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

January 28, 2012 at 9:17am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Urban Orchestra, Ben Union, The Blondes featuring Steve Stefanowicz and more ...

Catch Ben Union at Louie G's in Fife tonight.

SATURDAY, JAN. 28, 2012 >>>

1. Tonight, the currently trending Tacoma Urban Orchestra will lay down 14 - XIV Underground, a dance opera by Benjamin Smith-Chenovick, at The Library at Sanford and Son Antiques. Event hype promises the premiere of Acts IV and V from the Tacoma Urban Orchestra's winter show of 2012, plus Colin Reynolds of I Low singing tenor, the dance and choreography of Karin Stevens and Katrina Ellison and the costume design of Lisa Fruichantie. The action starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Sanford and Sons Antiques Library.

2. For the past few years - and working from an unusually strong starting point - Ben Union has been working to hone his sound to a fine point. After emerging on the scene with a potent live show and an even more precise debut LP, The Light, Union and his band - drummer Jared Mira, bassist Seth Mira, guitarist Talon Carpenter and percussionist "Shazam" - have been working hard to take that certain special sound and reduce it to its most effective essence. Tonight the band celebrates the release of a new record at Louie G's in Fife.

3. Both the Tacoma Home and Garden Show (in the Tacoma Dome) and The Washington Sportsmen's Show (at the Puyallup Fair Events Center) continue today with all the awesomeness you expect.

4. The Blondes featuring Steve Stefanowicz perform tonight at the iconic Spar in Old Town Tacoma. Starts at 8 p.m.

5. On the all-ages front, The Loose Buoys, Dale Everett and the Broken Song Byrds play Tahoma Tea and Co - also known as The Den, for those playing at home. The good times roll at 7 p.m.

LINK: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

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