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February 19, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Powers, Molecular Gastronomy, Tacoma Playing Cards, DJ Slimrock ...

Jazz guitarist Michael Powers plays tonight at the University of Puget Sound.

THURSDAY, FEB. 19 2015 >>>

1. Seattle's prestigious Cornish College of the Arts stole jazz guitarist Michael Powers from the San Francisco Bay area, where he emerged in 1982 graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor of fine arts in Composition and Performance. While at Cornish, Powers was molded by composers Gil Evans and Sam Rivers, bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Art Lande, and trombonist Julian Priester. However, his style was also influenced by a diverse group of musicians that includes Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Charlie Parker, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, Miles Davis and Kevin Eubanks. Ah, that explains why we find his CDs in the blues, rock and funk sections. Powers will headline a special Black History Month concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Rotunda at Wheelock Student Center on the campus of University of Puget Sound.

2. Have you had shots of mango-vodka purée served in hollow spheres of frozen vanilla water? How about wild rice puffed like popcorn and seasoned with black truffle dust, then tossed in liquid nitrogen so that when you ate it, you breathed smoke? Professor Jeff Grinstead from the University of Puget Sound Chemistry Department and Chris Keil, co-owner and craft cocktail chemist at Hilltop Kitchen and Marrow in Tacoma, will explain how such dishes are created during their "Molecular Gastronomy & Alchemical Cocktails: The Science and Art of Food & Drink" presentation from 6-8 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum. Arrive prepared to taste fake caviar, miracle berries and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

3. Created in 2012, the Tacoma Playing Cards Blue Deck featured 54 Tacoma locations and stories created by some of Tacoma's best visual artists. The second Red deck featuring 14 artists hit the street at the end of last year. You may have appreciated these incredible images while playing your favorite card game, but you'll have a chance to see the Tacoma Playing Cards Red Deck on a much larger scale and have a chance to meet the creative force behind the works. An artist reception with giveaways and small bites will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee.

4. Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Square, will lecture on "An Eyewitness Account of the Egyptian Revolution and the Downfall of a Regime"  as the speaker for Pacific Lutheran University's second biennial Ambassador Chris Stevens Memorial Lecture. At 5 p.m., PLU will hold a free public screening of The Square in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a free public lecture by Noujaim at 7:30 p.m.

5. DJ SlimRock spins soul, funk and more beginning at 9 p.m. inside The Brotherhood Lounge.

February 13, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Skrill Meadow, artist Glory Cancro, Air Supply, "My Bloody Valentine" ...

Skrill Meadow performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. photo courtesy of skrillmeadow.bandcamp.com

FRIDAY, FEB. 13 2015 >>>

1. We were surprised and delighted to hear the latest from Skrill Meadow, the one-man band of Markly Morrison. Private Memories is an album of straight-up slow jams, albeit jams coming directly from one shitty tape machine to your ear. Despite his limitations, Morrison embodies the consummate frontman, reeking of sex and brimming with confidence, even if it may be buried beneath layers of tape hiss. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skrill Meadow in the music and Culture section, then catch him with Jupiter Sprites and Grey Waves at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Join Metro Parks Tacoma for their annual pre-V Day Wine and Chocolate event at the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at 5:30 p.m. A $30 ticket includes an opportunity to sip on wine and champagne paired with chocolate covered strawberries and truffles while you mingle among glorious floral decorations. Live music will also be onsite. Must be 21 and over to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the conservatory or the Metro Parks main office. For more details, call 253.591.5330.

3. Inspired by her love of Da Vinci's anatomical studies - visceral, instinctive, deep rooted - a necessary part of our human makeup, artist Glory Cancro presents "Music, Tea & Art" from 7-10 p.m. at Mad Hat Tea Company. "I wanted to do something for Valentine's Day and the body parts seemed to fit," says Mad Hat co-owner Maureen McHugh. Singer/songwriter Riley Egge and friends will provide the soundtrack for the art show.

4. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was a 1983 fixture on pizzeria jukeboxes across the country. That ballad, warbled by Russell Hitchcock of Australian soft-rock stalwarts Air Supply, was written by songwriting powerhouse Jim Steinman and actually features two members of the E Street Band. It remained at #2 for three weeks, boxed out of the top spot by another Steinman opus, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." It was a freaking epic time on the radio. And if none of this means anything to you, then you, my friend, are not in your mid-40s. But for some of us, the sound of Air Supply is the sound of first love. So here we are, Air Supply, the ones that you love, just when we thought we were over you, 8:30 p.m., Emerald Queen Casino.

5. Twenty years after a Valentine's Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and a blood soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine's Day romance is as good as dead ... AND SO ARE THEY! My Bloody Valentine will be Reverend-Joe Duncan's final Friday Night Frights film at the Blue Mouse Theatre. Expect prizes, goodies and screams, beginning at 10 p.m.

February 1, 2015 at 9:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Super Bowl eats and drinks, Pearl Django, Tapmaster, "Tacomapocalype 4" ...

Go Hawks!

SUNDAY, FEB. 1 2015 >>>

1. We could have loaded today's 5 Things To Do with double entendres based on the concept of Super Bowl snacks and deflated balls. Instead, click here for several Super Bowl parties in the South Sound.

2. Pearl Django performs at 11 a.m. in the Museum of Glass. Pulling inspiration from the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Pearl Django has a signature Hot Club style marked by the band's expert string work, steady pulse of rhythm guitar and unmistakable swing that reaches out to audiences of all musical sensibilities.

3. These days, South Sound pubs offer more activities than a cruise ship. Tides Tavern wants to make it crystal clear its 12th Annual Tapmaster program isn't about chugging yards of beer then taking a flying leap off the dock into the harbor. Instead, the popular watering hole in Gig Harbor wants you to enjoy its 16 taps through the month of February. Get to know each beer. Ask the beers questions. Ask the bartenders questions. If by happenstance you drink all 16 beers in the 28 days, the Tides will give you a nifty T-shirt and add your name to the wall of fame.

4. We all know what it feels like to be stuck in a job we hate, where managers lead by harassment and double down on strategies that didn't work the first hundred times. Imagine you're trapped in a low-rent Chicago sales office with five alpha males, each struggling to sell Florida swampland before apathetic corporate overlords drop the axe. If you're looking to feel better about your working life, David Mamet's 1983 drama Glengarry Glen Ross is a great place to start. The Lakewood Playhouse stages the play at noon due to some big game on the tube. Read Christian Carvajal's full review of Glengarry Glen Ross in the Music & Culture section.

5. Tacoma's humorous zombie art show returns but at a new location - Destiny City Comics. "Tacomapocalype 4: Back to the Future" focuses on "Zombies Vs. 80's Time Travel Movies." Check out the local zombie art from noon to 6 p.m.

LINK: Sunday, Feb. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 28, 2015 at 8:08am

5 Things To Do Today: The Toasters, "BARE," Kittredge Gallery shows, Singer/Song Writer Showcase ...

The Toasters perform at the Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28 2015 >>>

1. For those outside the ska scene, it can be a little bit of a struggle to keep the various "waves" in check. Are we up to 20 waves, by now? In any case, there's no denying the influence that The Toasters had on the ska scene through their developing of third wave ska, which added punk elements into the well-defined skiffle and brass of the ska sound. Now more than 30 years into their career, The Toasters stand tall as godfathers of what would come to dominate the skanking dance floors of the '90s. Their performance at 8 p.m. in the Deadbeat Olympia record store is one that cannot be missed. The Fun Police and Skablin will also perform.

2. Two new exhibitions have open at Kittredge Gallery on the campus of the University of Puget Sound that center on drawing, the creation of imagined or ideal spaces, and the act of perception. The Large Gallery features an exhibition of graphite drawings by Michael Schall selected from several different bodies of work. Formerly based in Seattle, and now living and working in Brooklyn, Schall uses his tightly controlled, graphite drawing style to analyze and comment on the intersection of the natural and man-made. The exhibition in the Small Gallery, Parlor Games: Parallax, is a new participatory installation by Timea Tihanyi exploring the nature of the creative process by drawing together ideas from art, science, and philosophy. Check out both exhibits from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The "BARE: A Boudoir Exhibition" at B2 Fine Art Gallery features sketches and drawings by Northwest Mystics artist Guy Anderson, a photography collection by Paul Dahlquist combined with a variety of contemporary works by artists Alex Clayton, Marsha Glaziere, Marianne Hanson, Nina Mikhailenko, Ron Schmitt and Ric Hall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Portland artist James Allen finds inspiration in the ephemera of the common objects we encounter everyday altering objects such as books, magazines, photos, and postcards to create new experiences through existing media. He earned a BFA in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and was featured in the book, Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed. Listen to explain his "Book Excavations" process at 6:30 p.m. in the Collins Memorial Library at the University of Puget Sound.

5. Narrows Brewing Co. has a new website design. Let's celebrate by attending Luke Stanton's "Singer/Song Writer Showcase" from 6-8:30 p.m. inside the brewery's taproom. Beautiful view, beautiful music and beautiful beers.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 28 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Arts, Tacoma, Music, Olympia,

January 25, 2015 at 9:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Danny Glover, Hammerhead Ale, "Peter and the Wolf," Tacoma Creatives Showcase ...

Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Photo credit: Brian Bowen Smith

SUNDAY, JAN. 25 2015 >>>

1. Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers - African Heritage soldiers who served with unimpeachable distinction for a country that rarely appreciated their valor and sacrifice, presented by the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma. Glover starred in the 1997 film Buffalo Soldiers, chronicling the regiment's battles with Native Americans in 19th century New Mexico and the complicated racial tensions and realities that existed between the sides. Glover has been an actor for more than 25 years, earning numerous awards and accolades for roles in films such as Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple. He is also a renowned activist, currently serving as a UNICEF ambassador. Glover takes the Pantages Theater stage at 7:30 p.m.

2. Erivan and Helga Haub donated 295 Western American works of art from their private collection to the Tacoma Art Museum, along with endowment funds for the future care and educational opportunities related to the collection. The collection spans 200 years, from famed early artists/explorers to notable present day masters. Read Alec Clayton's full story on the Haub Family Collection wing at the Tacoma Art Museum in the Music & Culture Section, then see the exhibit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. In 1983, unemployed Mike McMenamin bought the former Fat Little Rooster tavern in Portland and renamed it the Barley Mill. Brian McMenamin soon joined in and today they own threescore pubs, taverns, clubs, hotels, dance halls and a village called Edgefield. The McMenamins have the golden touch - to convert desuetude into quirky, funky, artful joints to gather and drink. One of the early McMenamins beers, the Hammerhead Ale, celebrates its 29th birthday. It's a classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins top selling beer. The beer's signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. McMenamins Spar Café (114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) toasts the Hammerhead's old age by offering $3 pints of the 5.93 percent ABV ale all day.

4. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra opens its Mini Maestros family series at 2:30 p.m. with a performance of Peter and the Wolf at the Rialto Theater in downtown Tacoma. Conducted by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, the performance will feature the famous piece by Sergei Prokofiev that has introduced generations of children to symphonic music.

5. The Nearsighted Narwhal book store hosts its Tacoma Creatives Showcase featuring novelist/playwright Nick Stokes, children's book author/poet/illustrator Jennifer Chushcoff, artist Angela Jossy and modern day troubadours Band of Lovers. Hosted by Michael Haeflinger, the talent hit the stage at 6 p.m. 

LINK: Sunday, Jan. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 20, 2015 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: "Keep On Keepin' On," Ford F-Series exhibit, Rosa Clemente, Banned Book Club ...

Seeing a living legend laid up in an oxygen tent shouldn't be fun. But in Alan Hicks’s doc "Keep On Keepin’ On," it somehow is.

TUESDAY, JAN. 20 2015 >>>

1. Keep On Keepin' On chronicles 89-year-old trumpeting legend Clark Terry who has mentored jazz wonders such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Terry's most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry's ailing health threatens to end his own. Charming and nostalgic, Alan Hicks' melodic debut screens at 1:30 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. For the last 38 years, Ford's F-series has been the top seller for trucks in the United States. Since last spring, Scott Keller, LeMay - America's Car Museum's chief curator has been talking with and looking for owners of these classic Ford trucks from around the state, asking if they would loan their trucks for his exhibit, "The Truck That Grew Up With America." From where the F-Series started to where it is now, tells a story of the country, reflecting a recovery from a depression to a more prosperous time. Check out the trucks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Who doesn't enjoy browsing through old photographs from days gone by? In addition to the enjoyment that is inevitable when looking at vintage photos, the "Found Photographs" exhibition in the Gallery at Tacoma Community College is filled with creative expression in a variety of media from photos to paintings and drawings inspired by found photos, to sculpture, assemblage and collage incorporating old photos. There are stories behind many of the images that are included on wall labels along with copies of the original found photos. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Found Photographs" in the Music & Culture section, then check out the show from noon to 5 p.m.

4. Rosa Clemente, black Puerto Rican community organizer, journalist, and former Green Party vice presidential candidate, will speak at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at University of Puget Sound at 7 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Bronx-born entrepreneur and hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente will headline a program including messages from Puget Sound community members, live music from members of the college's Jazz Band, and the presentation of the Keep Living the Dream Award to a student leader. The celebration is free and everyone is welcome.

5. There may be no better club to join than King's Books' Banned Book Club at Doyle's Public House. At 7 p.m., the club will be discussing Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, the Young Adult novel that received national attention when a father was handcuffed and escorted out of a New Hampshire board meeting after expressing concern about the required book given to his 14-year-old daughter. Picoult examines a school shooting in her riveting, poignant and thought-provoking novel that asks a haunting question: Do we really ever know someone? Drop-in visitors are always welcome to the BBC.

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 30, 2014 at 1:35pm

A many-splendored New Year's Eve First Night

Ben Union hits the First Night Main Stage at 8:45 p.m.

What does New Year's Eve mean to you? If you're anything like us, it used to mean glum tequila shots among strangers, followed by blurry staggers home and migraine-enriched New Year's Day mornings. There was room, shall we say, for improvement. Luckily, Tacoma offers vastly superior options. The best of these options is clearly First Night, as it offers so many wonderful sub-options. To wit:

The music alone lasts well beyond the stroke of midnight. Brazilian drum and dance ensemble VamoLá takes the outdoor main stage at 6:30 p.m., in a clatter of maracatu percussion and a rainbow of Carnival-type outfits. It's super fun. The group is followed by the Sherman Family of fuzz-rockers in the Pantages at 6:45, and by rock quartet Loser Dog on the Mountain House stage at 731 Broadway. Meanwhile, singer-songwriter Kye Alfred Hillig will entertain the Blue Couch lounge at 920 Broadway, and the Boneyard Preachers drop serious blues on the library at 742 Broadway. And that's the first 15 minutes! We haven't even made it to world-renowned flautist Gary Stroutsos, Ohana Ukulele, or Owl Parliament - all of whom arrive during the 7:00 hour! We'd be remiss, however, if we failed to mention the 8:05 Rialto appearance of Baby Gramps, an artist so inimitable the Village Voice observed, "If you feel like being amazed, he's a better bet than most."

Now let's dive into the realm of utter fantasy. Suppose you hate music - that's bizarre, but whatever. Maybe Chuck Berry said mean things about your mom once. In any case, you still have a full afternoon and evening of live performance ahead of you, starting with portrait art by the members of C.L.A.W. (Cartoonists League of Absurd Washingtonians) at 6:30 in Brooks Dental Studio, 732 Broadway. Also, be sure to catch Metro Arts Theatre Company's presentation of The Hysterical History of the Trojan War at Theater on the Square at 7, and the "incendiary dance" moves of Pyrosutra and L Lisa Lawrence of Wild Celtic Rose. At 8:30 on the main stage, First Night will attempt to set a Guinness world record for, of all things, the most people (male and female) blowing bubbles while dressed in wedding gowns-and yes, you are invited, nay, entreated to dress up and participate.

Or hey, maybe you're nuts about free stuff. Who isn't? Starting at noon, New Year's Eve is your chance to enjoy free admission to the Museum of Glass, Tacoma Art Museum, and Tacoma Children's Museum, plus free skate rental at Franciscan Polar Plaza. That's a whole lot of something for nothing, amigo. There's literally too much on the schedule to tell you about here in defensible detail, which is why we said nothing about the insane Day-of-the-Dead-themed Alice in Wonderland extravaganza at 9. You may even decide to go whole hog and spring for the Hotel Murano package deal, which includes not only event tickets but also a specially-priced room to collapse in at oh-dark-30.

See you there ... unless, of course, that fifth shot of tequila kicks in, in which case our eyes may not be focusing properly. Uber?

FIRST NIGHT TACOMA, starting noon Wednesday, Dec. 31, 9th and Broadway, Tacoma, free to $15, FirstNightTacoma.org

Filed under: Arts, Community, Music, Holidays, Theater, Tacoma,

December 29, 2014 at 8:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Model Train Festival, "The Butterfly Effect," Surf Monkeys, Maria Joyner-Wulf ...

Remember to look both ways before crossing, and keep your pennies to yourself at the Washington State History Museum today.

MONDAY, DEC. 29 2014 >>>

1. Just so you know, you might miss the train today - seeing as how it's scaled down to one and a half inches. Get it? At the 19th Annual Model Train Festival, every floor of the Washington State History Museum features model trains of all sizes and eras, landscapes, train experts plus the museum's permanent HO-scale 1,700-square-foot model railroad layout that portrays Tacoma and surroundings in the 1950s. The wee ones will go nuts over the Model Train Festival. Slip your budding trainiac a couple candy canes along the way and their little heads will practically explode. The trains run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. The Thurston County Family & Juvenile Court is not a place people are likely to go with the intention of viewing art, but the court is open to the public and there is a lot of exciting art to be seen. "The Butterfly Effect" is a new permanent installation in the stairwell of the court house that was created by stringing together many hundreds (probably more than a thousand) butterflies cut out of plastic juice pouches, the work of nearly 700 students. Read Alec Clayton's full review of the art at the Thurston County Family & Juvenile Court in the music & Culture section.

3. Franciscan Polar Plaza is the place to be once winter hits. Think you can find something better to do than busting out some ice skates? Yeah, good luck with that. Polar Plaza is on its fourth year of setting up an ice-skating rink decked out in wintery goodness at Tollefson Plaza, just across from the Tacoma Art Museum in downtown Tacoma. With three fabulous years behind them, the Plaza folks put their heads together and found a few key ways to make this ritzy rink even better for 2014. Skate from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today.

4. Our ears perked up and our stomachs flipped a little when we heard the phrase "ultra cool spy themes." It sounds dangerous and sexy. Blues, that most American of musical forms, will receive a dose of spy music, as well as surf tones, at The Swiss' Monday Blues Night at 8 p.m. Seattle guitarist and singer Chris Stevens will fill the downtown Tacoma watering hole with electric blues lines via a big Gibson archtop. Taking their unusual name from a song title by legendary blues guitarist Freddy King, Stevens' back band, the Surf Monkeys, keep a firm footing in the blues while stretching the boundaries with "ultra cool spy themes," reverb drenched surf twang and Chris' own "blues on the edge of jazz" originals.

5. Jazz drummer Maria Joyner-Wulf performs with many groups in the region including Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Senators and Bevy. She's also a music educator, band leader, composer and multi-instrumentalist. She'll join pianist Reuel Lubag, bassist Wayne Bliss and saxophonist Cynthia Mullis for Rhythm and Rye last jazz night of the year, beginning at 8 p.m.

LINK: Monday, Dec. 29 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 18, 2014 at 6:59am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Art Bus, Sub Pop story, REVIVE, Ugly Sweater Run, Andrew Rivers ...

The December Tacoma Art Bus is our favorite. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, DEC. 18 2014 >>>

1. Can you smell it? Holiday shopping panic. (You smug bastards who already finished your shopping can just keep it to yourselves. No one wants to hear how organized and on top of things you are.) But panicking doesn't help; it just makes you drink more and understand why suicide rates go up around the holidays, and no one wants that. What you need is a little break. A third Thursday hits this week, which means the Tacoma Art Bus will hit the streets of Tacoma, toting around art enthusiasts to art shows in galleries, spaces and businesses - away from the gridlock and parking nightmares. And, most likely, you'll happen upon that perfect gift for picky-ass Aunt Edna whose good side you're trying to get on for inheritance reasons. Holiday ugly sweaters are encouraged, awesome Puget Sound Pizza will provide pizza and the tour begins at 5:45 p.m. in front of the Tacoma Elf Storage.

2. Spaceworks Tacoma partnered with property owners Jori Adkins and Rick Semple to help launch a collective of furniture makers - REVIVE, locally crafted custom furniture close to the Tacoma Dome. The beautiful 2,500 square foot showroom, right on the corner of Puyallup and D Streets, is a perfect fit along "Furniture Row." The five businesses are: Alchemy Concrete, birdloft, reply Furniture, Spring Fever Upholstery and Wane + Flitch. The grand opening is from 5-9 p.m.

3. Ho, ho, hold up - where's your ugly holiday sweater? Don't show up to Tacoma Runners Ugly Sweater Run tonight without one, because some sort of ugliness - be it a deck-the-halls display or a simple Santa face - is mandatory. The event will kick off with a 6:30 p.m. check-in at Slappy's Garage - North End Tavern. The Christmasy 3-mile run will wind through Tacoma's northend, with the runners returning to Slappy's to toss back a bunch of drinkies. You've finally got a use for that reindeer sweater grandma knitted you, so Febreeze off the mothball odor and come run around the Proctor District to spread some Christmas cheer.

4. Bruce Pavitt helped put the Pacific Northwest on the music map in the 1980s with his record label, Sub Pop, with business partner Jonathan Poneman. Pavitt has written a book about his experience at Sub Pop. He will talk about and read from that that book, SUB POP U.S.A.: The Subterranean Pop Music Anthology, 1980-1988, at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library. K Records founder Calvin Johnson, a.k.a. Selector Dub Narcotic, will DJ 45s following the reading and book signing. This program will occur after regular library hours and no other library services will be available. 

5. As the son of longtime Seattle DJ Bob Rivers, Andrew Rivers got accustomed early to the not-always-flattering spotlight. "I was the butt of so many jokes on the radio show," he says. Maybe that's why - despite his jokes about how he's not tough enough to walk those female friends to their cars - Rivers seems to have a pretty thick skin. Catch him tonight with local comedian Nate Jackson at 8 p.m. in Little Creek Casino in Shelton.

LINK: Thursday, Dec. 17 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 14, 2014 at 8:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Broho Anniversary Party, Christmas Revels, "The Nutcracker," Michael Powers ...

The Falsies perform tonight at The Brotherhood Lounge in Olympia. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SUNDAY, DEC. 14 2014 >>>

1. It has been 12 years since The Brotherhood Lounge morphed from the dank, labor bar into one of Olympia's beloved hotspots; 12 years of soul nights, dance parties, aerial artists and more bands than you can ever want to count. By the time owner Pit Kwiecinski purchased The Brotherhood in September 2002, he was ready to get out of the dance club business selling longtime Olympia hotspot Thekla. After four months of extensive renovation, a new Olympia hotspot was born. Although the bar had been around for decades, Kwiecinski loved the spot and made an offer for the bar, which the owner accepted. Fresh from reincarnating Courtney Love and Hole for Night of the Living Tribute Bands 2014, Oly's all-grrl rock trio Full Moon Radio will wake up in their makeup again for The Brotherhood Lounge's 12th anniversary party. It's also a good chance to catch the early '60s classic rock style tunes from The Falsies.

2. Tacoma's acclaimed Fulcrum Gallery hosts its annual Holiday Artists Market Saturday and Sunday offering one offs, B-sides and studio gems from such artists as Kellë McLaughlin, Darlene Dihel, Ometepe Art (Victor Inmaculada and Maria Davis), Artifaex Studios (Michael Wishwell), Mossport Studios (Gail Kelly) Scott Nelson and Lynne Farren and gallery owner Oliver Doriss from noon to 4 p.m.

3. Don't let these dark days get you down, mio amico. Hop in the Christmas Revels' time machine, journey to the Renaissance, and bask in Salerno's bright, cheerful courtyard - 1 and 5:30 p.m. at the Rialto Theater. Let a troupe of commedia artists and musicians put a smile on your face. Sing along with a pub song. Wipe away tears from a lush Pater Noster, and kick up your heels to "Madama Doré," a lively canzo a ballo (wedding dance). Have some cocoa. Feel the feels. It's what England's Master of Revels, not to mention Sally the Solstice Slug, would want.

4. Hello, holiday tradition! The Nutcracker ballet performance is a holiday forever classic. The Tacoma City Ballet does it up right and with a delightful twist. Did you know that there's a "prequel" to The Nutcracker called Tale of the Hard Nut? Celebrating its 31st performance season, the ballet company takes on The Nutcracker performance in its entirety, which includes the prequel. In short: prepare to be dazzled, delighted and enchanted at 3 p.m. in the Pantages Theater.

5. Blues music is a genre that often hearkens back to the past. So when Billboard magazine proclaims guitarist and singer Michael Powers "the future of the blues," it's saying he's both a virtuoso and an innovator. That's no revelation to anyone who's heard "Murch" Powers chug through the rolling guitar licks on "Baby's Got a Train." Born in New Jersey, Powers spent his childhood summers around North Carolina tobacco fields. He was influenced by both Jimmy Reed and Jimi Hendrix, then opened for the likes of James Brown and Bo Diddley. He's recorded with everyone from Chuck Berry to Bruce Springsteen to Robert Cray. Now you can catch him live at 5 p.m., and for free, on his sixth annual appearance at Marine View Presbyterian, where he'll play "holiday jazz" pieces from his albums Frosty the Bluesman and Frosty's Funky Holiday. Expect greatness.

LINK: Sunday, Dec. 14 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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2007
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2006
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December