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January 12, 2012 at 4:33pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Olympia Bluegrass Music Show, Bate's MLK Celebration, Children's Museum of Tacoma Grand (Re)Opening, Let's Play! & Let's Walk! & more ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Slightly sunny, hi 46, lo 36

Saturday: Rain, hi 43, lo 34

Sunday: Rain possibly mixed with snow, hi 37, lo28

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 13:OLYMPIA COMMUNITY BLUEGRASS MUSIC SHOW

Few things scream Olympia more than a community-powered bluegrass show that benefits SafePlace and Bread & Roses. It's literally perfect. Friday, that's just what will be on the docket with the return of the Olympia Community Bluegrass Music Show, this year bringing Blackberry Bushes, Mission Mountain and Black River Bluegrass to the stage at South Sound Manor (near Olympia High School). All that goodness aside, there's at least a decent chance the after-show jam session that invites attendees to bring their instruments from home and join in the plucking good times will steal the show. Donations for SafePlace and Bread & Roses will be gladly accepted, with items like paper towels, toilet paper, shampoo, conditioner, diapers and phone cards of particular need.

  • South Sound Manor, show 6:30 - 9 p.m., jam session 9 - 10 p.m., $5 adults, kids free, 455 North St. SE, Tumwater, jameswmiernyk@comcast.net

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 13: BATE'S MLK CELEBRATION

The annual Bates Technical College MLK Day Celebration seems sure to deliver once again this year, bringing community leaders like Tacoma City Council member Victoria Woodards, community organizer and United Parcel Service Exec Frank Boykin and Evergreen State College Tacoma Campus Executive Director Dr. Artee Young together to talk about service, leadership and responsibility. The theme of the event will revolve around strengthening our communities through these three key elements, with each invited guest sharing what all of this means to them. On Monday, as has become tradition, Bates students and faculty will march from the school's downtown campus at 11th and Yakima to the Tacoma Dome to attend the City of Tacoma's annual MLK Celebration.

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 14: CHILDREN'S MUSEUM OF TACOMA GRAND (RE)OPENING

Closed since December, the Children's Museum of Tacoma will celebrate its grand re-opening Saturday at the museum's new location, 1501 Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma. Hype for the evening's swanky Grand Opening Gala promises, "an evening of art, entertainment, and playful surprises." But even before that, during the day Saturday, experience the fun and entertainment provided by the museum's new digs during public play and exploration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those interested in such things will surely enjoy the opening ceremony and remarks scheduled for 10:45 a.m.

  • Children's Museum of Tacoma, 9-10:30 a.m. Member-Only Play, 10:45 a.m. Opening Ceremony and Remarks, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public Play and Exploration, Grand Opening Gala - 5:30 p.m. SPARK Patron Preview, 6:30 p.m. Sparkler Admission, 1501 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, for more info visit playtacoma.org

>>> JAN. 14-16: LET'S PLAY & LET'S WALK

Tim Waer, executive director of the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Commission, is glowing with that combination of exhaustion and exhilaration one gets at mile 23 of a marathon. For good reason. Over the past 50 days, he and his staff of six have scrambled to give life to a long-term idea the Tacoma-Pierce County Sports Commission has held, bringing the emphasis on sports back to Tacoma.The dream suddenly became a reality when a gymnastics tournament needed some help paying for space at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center over the holiday weekend of Jan. 14-16. A lemons-into-lemonade concept was born: spin the gymnastics tournament into what Waer hopes will be an annual event, the LET'S PLAY! Sports and Fitness Fest, an ambitious, all-inclusive celebration of Tacoma's unsung amateur sports clubs. To read Jenni Prange Boran's full feature, click here.

  • Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday "Let's Walk!" starts at 9 a.m., free, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, letsplaytacoma.org

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 14: GABRIEL IGLESIAS

Comedian Gabriel Iglesias isn't fat ... he's fluffy. Or so goes the joke. In truth, Iglesias is probably a little bit of both. Saturday, the well-known laugh-maker will bring his comic styling to the Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma, offering fans of high-energy ranting a chance to catch Iglesias' magic in person - not just on late night Comedy Central reruns. According to promotion for the show, Iglesias' "high-octane show is a hilarious mixture of storytelling, parodies, characters and sound effects that bring all his personal issues to life." Plus, there'll be fat jokes.

  • Emerald Queen Casino, 8 p.m., $40-$80, 2024 E. 29th St., Tacoma, 888.831.7655

>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 14: ELVIS BIRTHDAY BASH

In Olympia, the King's birthday has become synonymous with one man: Robert Washington - one of the world's top Elvis impersonators ... and a guy who happens to be black. To some this is controversial. To Washington, it's simply his calling. "I don't really think about it. I'm not going to let my color prevent me from being the best," Washington told the Weekly Volcano in 2004. Saturday, Washington will be back in Oly at the Capitol Theater for the 12th annual "Elvis Birthday Bash." A screening of the film Almost Elvis, in which Washington is featured, will kick off at 7:30 p.m., with Washington taking the stage following the movie.

  • Capitol Theater, film screening at 7:30 p.m., concert at 9 p.m., $10-$15, 206 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia, 360.754.6670

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
Likely I will not be doing a whole heck of a lot but I might find myself at a movie or maybe in Oly for a tour of the musicians along Fourth Avenue.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
We're seeing Almost, Maine at Olympia Little Theatre on Friday, then traveling to Portland to see some friends and eat delicious Pok Pok. Oh, Ike's Sticky Wings, how my stomach enjoys making out with you.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Church dinner party Friday. Get my butt kicked at the gym Saturday morning followed by tea at Mad Hat then dinner with besties. Church Sunday.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
I'm very excited for my three day weekend. Friday night we will make homemade pizza, that is, if I have anything to say about it. Sometime Saturday Sunday or Monday I will FINALLY finish my sushi skirt, start my blog, and fix my 1953 Ford so I can drive it around town. I will also try to acquire a traveling red dress and firm up plans for a photo shoot with said dress, my little son, my '53 and maybe the zoo.

JOE IZENMAN Theater Critic
Going to a seminar in Seattle on racially-motivated inner-city gang violence. Wait, no. Going to see West Side Story at the Paramount. Close enough, right? Also, my friends in Vida Vore are releasing a CD on Friday night at O'Malleys, so there's that.

NIKKI TALOTTA Music and Features Writer
I plan to whoop ass in my Family Feud audition. That is all.

.

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic/Writer
Me be going to SAGE Olympia meet & greet happy hour at the Urban Onion. Me be going to see "Almost Main" at Olympia Little Theatre.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

January 5, 2012 at 1:42pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: "Incident at Oglala," "The Big Lebowski," Puyallup Home & Garden Show, "The Furniture Series" & more ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Cloudy, hi 43, lo 30

Saturday: Cloudy, hi 45, lo 30

Sunday: Chance of sun, hi 52, lo 37

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 6: INCIDENT AT OGLALA

Head to King's Books in Tacoma Friday night for a free screening of the 1992 film Incident at Oglala, detailing the 1975 shootout on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and narrated by Robert Redford. As many know, the shootout at Pine Ridge led to the conviction of Leonard Peltier, who remains in prison to this day despite the efforts of activists across the nation campaigning for his freed.

  • King's Books, 6 p.m., 218 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.8801

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 6: THE BIG LEBOWSKI AT MIDNIGHT

What's better than sitting back in Olympia's iconic Capitol Theater at the stroke of midnight and vegging out to the Cohen Bros' cult-classic The Big Lebowski? Try beer and wine in the mezzanine, yo! Enjoy all of the above Friday, or a week from now on Friday, Jan. 13. (The Big Lebowski will also screen at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 16, though beer and wine will not be offered on this date.) Each screening will drive home just how much that rug tied the room together.

  • Capitol Theater, midnight, also Friday, Jan. 13 and Monday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m., 206 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, 360. 754.6670

>>> JAN. 6-8: PUYALLUP HOME & GARDEN SHOW

For three days inside the Puyallup Fairground's Showplex, the Puyallup Home and Garden Show will serve up the best in home design, landscaping and decorating. Produced by Trade Shows Northwest, a company that makes its living putting events like this together, according to hype the Puyallup Home and Garden show promises to provide "homeowners with wonderful ideas on enhancing their home´s comfort and functionality, as well as the overall look and appeal of their home." Expect product demonstrations and guys in Janet Jackson headsets slinging vinyl siding. It just might be enough to inspire you to make that kitchen island or storm door a reality.

  • Puyallup Fairground's Showplex, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 6-Saturday, Jan. 7, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, $6-$7, Ninth and meridian, Puyallup, 253.874.8711

>>> JANUARY 6-7: THE FURNITURE SERIES

Last year the Tacoma Dance Collective-produced Furniture Series collaborative dance performance captured local hearts and minds with its inventive choreography and artful presentation. This year the Furniture Series is back, promising more of the same, plus new dancers and three new full acts. Under the artistic direction of Robin Jaecklein, and featuring dancers from the Tacoma School of the Arts along with Robin Jennings Jaecklein, Joel Myers, Hannah Crowley, Mary Tuttle, Danny Boulet and Faith Stevens, this year's presentation of the Furniture Series seems destine to reach new heights of awesomeness. All of it, naturally, is set to original music by Jamie Alls, Paul Eliot, Colin Reynolds and Ruth Taylor, and features costume design by Lisa Fruichantie, lighting by Kelly Doran and sets by Jim Jaecklein. Also included this year is the visual arts gallery event Vases, provided by Terri Placentia and Jimmy Gosselin.

  • SOTA Theatre, 7:30 p.m. Jan. 6, Jan. 7 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., $15 adults, $7 students, 1118 Commerce St., Tacoma, brownpapertickets.com

>>> SUNDAY,JAN. 8: BUMP KITCHEN

Bobble Tiki likes to say he put the “bump” in Bump Kitchen — always pointing toward his lap and doing one of those pelvic thrust moves with a wink. Typically, Bobble Tiki does this at Bump Kitchen shows, when trying to lure unsuspecting middle aged women drunk on white wine on to the dance floor. Sometimes it even works. At a Bump Kitchen show, there’s plenty of action like this to be had. Packing the dance floor with a body grabbing, booty shaking mix of groovin’ favorites and bumpin’ originals, Bump Kitchen is, like, the party band for the middle age club scene — a cougar heavy, expensive jeans wearing, tanned and trimmed mob that should never be taken lightly. Experience the magic this Sunday at the Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

  • The Spar, 9 p.m., NC, 2121 N. 30th St., Tacoma, 253.627.8215

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
I'll be kicking it with the kiddos this weekend, which will likely mean a Mythbusters marathon on the couch followed by the creation of a Capt. America cake for a birthday party on Saturday for my pa and maybe a movie of some sort tossed in for good measure. There might also be a walk around the Nisqually Delta just to make sure we enjoy the sun... Oh wait, never mind. I'm in Washington.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I plan to read part of one book and write part of another.

.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Homework.

.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Thankfully, I've got nothing on the agenda this Friday or Saturday. Hopefully I'll be able to finish the skirt I've been working on for the last several months and maybe catch a nap or two. On Sunday I will be at Urban Grace singing with my old band.


REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music & Film Writer
I don't have any plans for the weekend, but here's a cheap pop: I will be doing my second guest DJ set at the weekly DJ Melodica-helmed musical revue at Magoo's Annex, Micro Mondays. I go by DJ Pocket Square, and there will be live musical stuffness supplied by N. Dybevik and Porch Grapes.


NIKKI TALOTTA Features Writer
Prepping my family for next weekends Family Feud audition! We've got to figure out our outfits and where we're going to stand and what we'd say to the savvy Steve Harvey if we made it on the show...all that good stuff...Go team Talotta!

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic/Writer
PFLAG Sunday, no other plans, but I'm sure we'll find something to do.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

January 1, 2012 at 10:01am

5 Things To Do: Ice Skating, Hangover Nursing, Polar Bear Plunge and more ...

Brrr. Get in on the Polar Bear Plunge this morning at Point Defiance Marina.

SUNDAY, JAN. 1, 2011 >>>

1. Here at the Weekly Volcano we take our showers warm. We're kind of wimps. But there are plenty of tough, adventurous, rosy-cheeked folks out there who live on the edge, no doubt partaking in activities like today's Polar Bear Plunge at Point Defiance Marina. According to hype, the New Year's Day cold-water fiasco presents a chance to get 2012 off on the right foot. As the press release says, "The New Year offers opportunities to set new goals and try new things, so get your bucket list out and come take the Plunge with other jubilant merrymakers at the Point Defiance Marina." The all-ages Polar Bear plunge will go down rain or shine, starting at 11:30 a.m.

2. If you have yet to check out the ice skating adventures in currently being offered in Tollefson, today might just be your chance to do so. With its stay recently extended through Jan. 8, The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street, is a covered outdoor rink is about half the size of a hockey rink. It will have real ice and hold about 150 skaters at a time. And it's pretty awesome.

3. Nursing a hangover? Find your way to The Grand Cinema in Tacoma for a great movie in a dark room. My Week with Marilyn, The Descendants, Shame and Young Adult are currently playing. In Olympia, the place to hit is the Capitol Theater, where The Rum Diary and Margin Call are playing.  

4. There's a ton of football on today. New Year's Day is synomous the pigskin. Browse the Weekly Volcano's bar listings and find the perfect place to watch whatever game interests you.

5. So far, it's a pretty nice day. And since one of your New Year's resolutions undoubtedly involves being healthier (read: less fat), try an enjoyable walk through one of Tacoma's parks or along the Ruston Way waterfront. In Oly, a jaunt around Capitol Lake is always a good time. Or, if you're looking for more than just a walk, in Tacoma get in on the Metro Parks New Year's Day Dance at the South Park Community Center.

EXTRA CREDIT: The West Coast Bridal Showcase continues today at the Puyallup Fairgrounds.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 31, 2011 at 9:27am

5 Things To Do Today: The BreakLites at Top of Tacoma, First Night, Occupy Tacoma NYE and more

Bring in the New Year tonight at Top of Tacoma Bar & Cafe with the BreakLites. PHOTO: Patrick Snapp

SATURDAY, DEC. 31, 2011 >>>

1. Something about the BreakLites calling their new album RAPFACE - all caps, accompanied by an illustration of a vicious animal with the title clenched in his teeth - seems weirdly incongruous when compared to the music the BreakLites make. The packaging is so aggro that when you finally hear what the BreakLites do, you can't help but laugh. This is a hip-hop group that places a premium on the sound of the record; this is an album that mostly drifts along amiably, MC Cruel's steady stream of words floating on top of a bed of tight beats and smooth melodies - melodies that, for the most part, stay out of the way of the rap. With the exception of the occasional scratchy guitar lick popping through the mix, the music just serves to buoy and support the vocals. Tonight, catch the BreakLites at the Top of Tacoma Bar & Café for what promises to be a kick-ass New Year's Eve throwdown.

2. The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia tops the dichotomy list. At the heart of this red-walled haven of booze, dancing and debauchery are community and solidarity. You see, while you kiss the closest beautiful face at midnight tonight- colorful balloons dropping all around and your head dizzy with drinks - you can take solace in the fact that if you were to drop dead at this point, at least you know half of your door money is going to Safeplace, a local non-profit that supports victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. DJ Dead-Air, from Portland, will be spinning all night, and has been said to induce spiritual journeys through his picks of ‘80s, rawk, punk, disco and more. Awesome.

3. If you're the revolutionary type who likes to brave the elements, there will be hip-hop and other live music down at the Occupy Tacoma camp for New Year's Eve tonight. The Occupiers in Tacoma are bearing in for the winter, and have no plans to leave. They've outlasted Occupiers in New York, Seattle and many other cities. This is the second event Occupy Tacoma has hosted with Hip-Hop Occupies, which is a national group using hip-hop culture to infuse the Occupy movement with renewed energy. Catch Volcano's hip-hop scribe Josh Rizeberg in action, along with the locally-loved band the Fun Police.

4. First Night Tacoma - an annual, all-ages, family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration - follows the Chinese lunar calendar, and this year is the year of the dragon.  In this spirit there will be two large dragons making an appearance at the festival - a 35-foot creation by Metro Parks Tacoma, and a 14-foot fire-breathing metal beast. "We're really stepping up the fire aspect to mitigate the cold," says co-event director Lance Kagey. First Night buttons - available at many businesses in the Stadium and Theater Districts - will get you into all of the stages and events for the evening (not to mention free admission to Tacoma's museums during the day). At 6:30 p.m. First Night Tacoma officially kicks off in the Theater District with a parade. Throughout the evening, attendees can enjoy music on 12 stages. Bands and performers will include regional acts such as Roman Holiday, Rumbeggae and Vamola. Find more First Night info here.

5. If you like burgers and/or karaoke with a live band, you may want to consider Varsity Grill's New Year's Eve celebration, offering an all-ages chance to karaoke your ass off with the live "Rock-Bot" backing band, not to mention bring in the New Year in style. Oh, and did we mention Varsity Grill is giving away a very meaty prize - a burger a day for all of 2012? Only a silly vegan could pass up such an awesome opportunity.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 30, 2011 at 10:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Blackberry Bushes, James Hilborne & the Painkillers, December's Eve Concert and more ...

Catch James Hilborne & the Painkillers tonight at the New Frontier Lounge.

FRIDAY, DEC. 30, 2011 >>>

1. The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. On record, the Painkillers' music is tremulous and strange, smothered as it is in the kind of haze that one might think would envelop country rock was born under Tacoma's unforgiving gloomy skies. James Hilborne and the Painkillers are the perfect band to send you drifting dreamily along into New Year's Eve, and from there the uncertain future. Catch the band tonight at the New Frontier Lounge with Humble Cub and special guests.

2. Xylophones, How To Operate Your Brain, Arpeggiator and Books & Covers play an all ages show tonight at the Red Room in Tacoma. Get hip to it. The action starts at 7 p.m. and there's a $5 cover.

3. In Olympia, enjoy the December's Eve Concert at South Puget Sound Community College's Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts tonight, featuring the SPSCC & PSCC Concert Choirs. It's an all ages event and kicks of at 7 p.m.

4. It's a big night for comedy in T-Town as Brian Moote gets into the groove of his weekend stand at the Tacoma Comedy Club, Brad Brake hits the stage at the Grit City Comedy Club and Comedy Underground presents Jim Short at Big Whisky Saloon downtown.

5. The always enjoyable Blackberry Bushes play Traditions Café and World Folk Art in Oly tonight. It starts at 8 p.m. and there is a $10-$15 cover.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 29, 2011 at 3:29pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE: POSSCA New Year's Eve Masquerade Benefit, First Night, Perry Acker, Polar Bear Plunge, Plus the Boring Lives of Some of the Volcano's Staff ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Rain, hi 46, lo 34

Saturday: Chance of sun, hi 41, lo 36

Sunday: Cloudy, hi 46, lo 41

>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 30:JAMES HILBORNE & THE PAINKILLERS

The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. On record, the Painkillers' music is tremulous and strange, smothered as it is in the kind of haze that one might think would envelop country rock was born under Tacoma's unforgiving gloomy skies. James Hilborne and the Painkillers are the perfect band to send you drifting dreamily along into New Year's Eve, and from there the uncertain future.

  • The New Frontier Lounge, with Humble Cub, special guests, 9 p.m., cover TBA, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253.572.4020

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: THE BROHO'S NEW YEAR'S EVE PARTY

The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia tops the dichotomy list. At the heart of this red-walled haven of booze, dancing and debauchery are community and solidarity. You see, while you kiss the closest beautiful face at midnight - colorful balloons dropping all around and your head dizzy with drinks - you can take solace in the fact that if you were to drop dead at this point, at least you know half of your door money is going to Safeplace, a local non-profit that supports victims of sexual assault and domestic violence. DJ Dead-Air, from Portland, will be spinning all night, and has been said to induce spiritual journeys through his picks of ‘80s, rawk, punk, disco and more. Awesome.

  • The Brotherhood Lounge, 119 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360.352.4153

>>> SATURDAY, DEC.31: FIRST NIGHT TACOMA

First Night Tacoma - an annual, all-ages, family-friendly, alcohol-free New Year's Eve celebration - follows the Chinese lunar calendar, and this year is the year of the dragon.  In this spirit there will be two large dragons making an appearance at the festival - a 35-foot creation by Metro Parks Tacoma, and a 14-foot fire-breathing metal beast. "We're really stepping up the fire aspect to mitigate the cold," says co-event director Lance Kagey. First Night buttons - available at many businesses in the Stadium and Theater Districts - will get you into all of the stages and events for the evening (not to mention free admission to Tacoma's museums during the day). At 6:30 p.m. First Night Tacoma officially kicks off in the Theater District with a parade. Throughout the evening, attendees can enjoy music on 12 stages. Bands and performers will include regional acts such as Roman Holiday, Rumbeggae and Vamola.

  • Downtown Tacoma- Theater District, 6:30 p.m.-Midnight, Buttons $10 before Saturday, Dec. 31, $14 day of, Kids 10 and younger free, firstnighttacoma.org

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: POSSCA NEW YEAR'S EVE MASQUERADE BENEFIT

Billed as, "a high-octane shake-your-booty event," Saturday's Patrons of South Sound Cultural Arts New Year's Eve Masquerade benefit is sure to be an awesome way to bring in 2012, promising 2011's Best of Olympia "Best Band" The Brown Edition, in addition to party favors, hors d' oeuvres and enough funk to make your trunk jump. Best of all: It's all ages. Even better: There's a beer garden for those over 21. You can't go wrong.

  • The Eagles Grand Ballroom, 805 Fourth Ave., Olympia, possca.org

>>> SATURDAY, DEC.31: NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH ROCK-BOT AND BURGERS

Chances are you'll celebrate New Year's Eve one way or another. Either you have magnificent plans, or maybe you don't. But when the time comes you'll be looking for something ... anything ... to do on the big night. Sitting at home in your depressing apartment on New Year's Eve is the very definition of sad and lonely. This being the case, consider Varsity Grill's New Year's Eve celebration, offering an all-ages chance to karaoke your ass off with the live "Rock-Bot" backing band, not to mention bring in the New Year in style. Oh, and did we mention Varsity Grill is giving away a very meaty prize - a burger a day for all of 2012? Only a silly vegan could pass up such an awesome opportunity.

  • The Varsity Grill, 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229

>>> SATURDAY, DEC. 31: NEW YEAR'S EVE WITH PERRY ACKER

Local band Perry Acker has had a big year. They took home top honors at the Ford-sponsored "Give Me The Gig" national battle of the bands contest, they releaed a new record, Path To Freedom, and on Saturday they'll bring in the New Year with a much-anticipated show at Jazzbones. Ben Union is also on the bill, as is an unplugged performance from local favorites Doxology. 

  • Jazzbones, 9 p.m., $15-$30, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.396.9169

>>> SUNDAY,JAN. 1: POLAR BEAR PLUNGE

Here at the Weekly Volcano we take our showers warm. We're kind of wimps. But there are plenty of tough, adventurous, rosy-cheeked folks out there who live on the edge, no doubt partaking in activities like Sunday's Polar Bear Plunge at Point Defiance Marina. According to hype, Sunday's New Year's Day cold-water fiasco presents a chance to get 2012 off on the right foot. As the press release says, "The New Year offers opportunities to set new goals and try new things, so get your bucket list out and come take the Plunge with other jubilant merrymakers at the Point Defiance Marina." The all-ages Polar Bear plunge will go down rain or shine, starting at 11:30 a.m.

  • Point Defiance Marina, Polar Bear Plunge, Sunday, Jan. 1, 11:30 a.m., free, 5912 N. Waterfront Dr., Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, 253.591.5325

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
Watching season three of Sons of Anarchy that I missed, so it is sort of like watching Resevior  Dogs since all the episodes now seem like flash backs.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
It's New Year's Eve, my favorite holiday of the year! We'll be at Swing Wine Bar to catch the musical stylings of Skuff and Al. Then, if other celebrants ask us to make out with them, well...let's just say we haven't resolved not to do that.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Making 30 batches of cookies with family in Utah. Recipe swap with six aunties. Gathering on New Year's Day with five generations of family to honor our matriarch.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
For the last two weeks I've worked REALLY hard to build up my ability to stay up past 10 pm (aka watching Mad Men season 1 and 2). On New Year's Eve I will put my training to the test at First Night where I will watch the fire breathing dragon, and Drew Grow and the Pastors Wives while trying to keep my toddler asleep. Sunday I will nap when my son does. First, though, I will clean my house for the last time this year!

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic/Writer
Water volleyball with the over the hill gang and the SAGE Olympia brunch at the Urban Onion Sunday.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

December 29, 2011 at 11:46am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The Year in Tacoma Music, The Young Evils, Hip-Hop Occupies at Occupy Tacoma and more ...

THIS WEEK IN MUSIC >>>

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 we're compulsive insomniacs who stay up long hours smoking cigarettes and bumbling around on Twitter (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.

And this week it's the last Volcano music section of 2011!

We wouldn't lie. You better believe we managed to pump out another stellar Weekly Volcano music section - your every Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage.

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

FEATURE: 2011: The Year in Tacoma Music

In a city where residents can simultaneously be too quick to self-congratulate and wear their shortcomings and bitterness like a talisman, I must approach a year-end summary of Tacoma's music scene largely with optimism, but also a necessary pragmatism. In my opinion (three words one should strongly remember in the reading of this article), this was generally a pretty good year for Tacoma music. While there were setbacks like the seemingly permanent dissolution of the Peabody Waldorf, for instance, there was also the rising of newer venues like Dorky's Arcade and the Space. While the Nightgowns have gone on an indefinite hiatus, newer bands like Not From Brooklyn have begun to establish themselves in town, while the Night Beats have established themselves internationally. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney

FEATURE: The Young Evils

This is a band, led by songwriter Troy Nelson, that approaches the act of songwriting almost as a dare - how tight, bright and ebullient can you make each of these songs while still maintaining that certain gobsmacking efficacy that comes with taking in a great pop song. ... -- Rev. AM

HIP-HOP: Hip-Hop Occupies and Occupy Tacoma plus more

On another note, if you're the revolutionary type who likes to brave the elements, there will be hip-hop and other live music down at the Occupy Tacoma camp on New Year's Eve. The Occupiers in Tacoma are bearing in for the winter, and have no plans to leave. They've outlasted Occupiers in New York, Seattle and many other cities. This is the second Occupy Tacoma has hosted with Hip-Hop Occupies, which is a national group using hip-hop culture to infuse the Occupy movement with renewed energy. I'm throwing down there myself. It will be a fun, celebratory, yet cold night. ... -- Josh Rizeberg

WE RECOMMEND: James Hilborne & The Painkillers

The music of James Hilborne and the Painkillers would be odd in any number of places, but, in Tacoma, it's more or less an anomaly. Ostensibly, the Painkillers play Americana: streaks of country twang and blues rock run through the band's songs, but these elements are accompanied by errant spells of psychedelia and druggy macabre. ... -- Rev. AM

PLUS: Better Living Through Music - Czar, $krilla's New Year's Eve bash at Krickets and more

PLUS: Concert Alert

PLUS: South Sound  Live Local Music Listings

PLUS: New Year's Eve Staples Like This

December 29, 2011 at 9:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Allan Boothe, Religious As Hell, Billy Roy Danger, Nate Jackson's Super Funny Comedy Show and more ...

Hangin' at the Play Pen in Lacey ...

THURSDAY, DEC. 29, 2011 >>>

1. Looking at Allan Boothe and hearing him sing are two completely different things. To see him, he's a tall, handsome guy with a goofy laugh and an affable manner, but to see him perform is to see a bundle of nerves. As Humble Cub, Boothe is buoyed by a bed of choppy, layered sound, which serves to carry his nerviness through into something resembling indie pop. But when he performs, all of the tics and eccentricities stand front and center. Catch Boothe tonight at the New Frontier Lounge along with Oh Dear!, Belmont Whips and Not From Brooklyn. And tomorrow catch the full-on Humble Cub at the New Frontier with James Hilborne and the Painkillers.

2. You know where you wont find Tim Tebow tonight? The Tempest Lounge on Tacoma's Hilltop, where "Religious As Hell" will offer up a dance night of post punk, Goth, dark wave and shoegaze.

3. The always entertaining Billy Roy Danger & the Rectifiers will be at Stonegate Pizza tonight. Start your weekend a wee-bit early with a trip down to South Tacoma Way.

4. Unless you're some kind of stiff, you like to laugh. And people in Tacoma who like to laugh seem to enjoy Nate Jackson's Super Funny Comedy Show, which happens every Thursday at the Varsity Grill on Broadway.

5. In Olympia, DJ Drastic spins at Jezebels. In rough and tumble Lacey, gyrate to DJ Kewlaid at The Play Pen.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 28, 2011 at 9:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Comedy open mic, Nolan Garrett Trio, End County Road and more ...

End County Road performs at the Mandolin Cafe today.

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 28, 2011 >>>

1. If you still find yourself on vacation this holiday season (lucky bastard), try rounding up the entire family and heading to Northwest Trek, where the "Winter Wildland" promotion continues through Jan. 1. Promotion for the third annual event urges you to, "Watch animals throughout the wildlife park enjoy fun, holiday-themed enrichments. Then head over to the indoor, seasonally-themed Cheney Family Discovery Center to learn about how animals adapt to winter." Find more info here.

2. End County Road (the somewhat goofy dudes pictured above) will perform today at the Mandolin Café in Tacoma. The show is all ages and starts at 6 p.m.

3. The Nolan Garrett Trio holds down this week's Wednesday Session at Jazzbones.

4. Across the bridge and all the way in Bremerton (if you find yourself there), the venerable Mike & Lee host an open mic night at The Manette Restaurant and Bar. It starts at 8 p.m.

5. Think you're funny? Want to prove it? The Tacoma Comedy Club on Market Street invites one and all (as long as they're 21 or older) to test their chops during the Wednesday comedy open mic. It starts at 7:30 p.m. and there's a $5 cover.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

LINK: This week's freebies

December 22, 2011 at 12:34pm

WEEKEND HUSTLE HOLIDAY EDITION: Gritty City Sirens anniversary, Maia Santell, "He Is" and more ...

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Cloudy, hi 46, lo 39

Saturday: Rain, hi 48, lo 37

Sunday: More rain, hi 45, lo 37

>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 23:MAIA SANTELL & HOUSE BLEND

Maia Santell and House Blend perform their traditional holiday jazz and blues show at Jazzbones this Friday. They play an upbeat brand of R&B with a little jump blues and big band jazz thrown in for a party second to none. Santell has been called the Northwest's queen of swing for her high-energy shows and boisterous vocals. Yet, unlike so many female singers, she is not a screamer rather possessing exceptional vocal control that is rich and warm. This show should mark a great way to kick off your holiday weekend.

  • Jazzbones, 7:30-10 p.m., all ages, $8, 2803 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.369.9169

>>> FRIDAY, DEC. 23: GRITTY CITY SIRENS ANNIVERSARY SHOW

Believe it or not, it's already been a year. Tacoma's very own Gritty City Sirens burlesque troupe has been doing its thing since December 2010, establishing itself in only 12 short months as a creative force in this town, and turning plenty of heads in the process. Typically adorned with adjectives like "radiant" and "artful," the Gritty City Sirens' unique brand of cabaret and vaudevillian fun is impossible to deny. Friday the Sirens celebrate one year in style at Grit City Comedy Club.

  • Grit City Comedy Club, 8 and 10:30 p.m., 445 Tacoma Ave. S., Tacoma, 253.961.4262

>>> FRIDAY, DEC.23: PARK FOR FREE IN OLY

Fridayis the last day of downtown Olympia's 12 Days of Free Parking promotion. As a thank you to shoppers and diners for buying local and supporting downtown Olympia the city has allowed free two-hour parking in the pay station areas of downtown since Dec. 12. Head to Olympia for your last-minute shopping.

>>> SATURDAY, DEC.24: HE IS

Join Capital Christian Center as it presents He Is, a night of acting, music and celebration - with two services, one at 4 p.m. and another at 6 p.m. -inside the Washington Center in Olympia.  If He is anything like Bobble Tiki, He is frustrated he can't find Shania Twain's Down-Home Country Christmas at Thong Beach in the local record stores.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 4 p.m. & 6 p.m., free, all ages, 512 Washington Street SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

>>> SUNDAY, DEC. 25: FIDDLER ON THE ROOF SING-ALONG

Fiddler on the Roof - back again this year at the annual Dec. 25 sing-along at the Capitol Theater - was released in 1971 and is set in 1905, but some of its themes have never felt more topical. The sing-along, a project of the Olympia Film Society and Temple Beth Hatfiloh, is in its eighth year, and Fiddler has been the film of choice for six of those years. "Some people love Fiddler, and they'll see it every year," says Rabbi Seth Goldstein of Temple Beth Hatfiloh. The temple has traditionally shown films on Dec. 25 to give those not celebrating Christmas a way to have fun in community, and Goldstein suggested the sing-along as an expansion of that. At the event, volunteers collect blankets, coats and other warm clothing to be given to homeless people, and a costume contest is also part of the fun.

  • The Capitol Theater, 6:30 p.m., $7 for Olympia Film Society members, $4 for children younger than 13, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia, 360.754.6670 or www.olympiafilmsociety.org

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

NIKKI TALOTTA Features Writer
My weekend will be a blur of consumption: flying wrapping paper, way too much pork and eggnog, and no more money. But! It will also be a weekend of creation: memories and smiles, passed down recipes and traditions, and the continuance of the spirit of the season. Happy Holidays!

JOANN VARNELL: Theater Critic
TAMALES! My husband and I are going to make awesome tamales on Christmas Eve before going to a candlelight service. On Christmas Day we will open presents at a ridiculously early hour, cook, eat, relax, and enjoy being a family. We may also through some caroling in there somewhere.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Meat Market Photographer
Kiddo time at the movies

.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
Amanda and I are celebrating the arrival of jolly Saint Nick with her family, my family, and our wonderful friends. Ergo, I suspect there'll be drinking.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY: Music Writer & Film Critic
Saturday, I'll be hosting karaoke at Puget Sound Pizza starting at around 9pm. Do like me and use this as an excuse to save yourself from your family this holiday.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Getting out of Dodge; spending the holidays in Utah with family.

.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

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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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