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October 16, 2014 at 7:08am

5 Things To Do Today: The Voodoo Organist, O'Leary-Spring reception, Gig Harbor Film Festival, Art + Science Salon ...

The Valley in Tacoma chose The Voodoo Organist to headline its first live music show.

THURSDAY, OCT. 16 2014 >>>

1. You say you want some spooky? The Voodoo Organist, the Los Angeles artist sometimes known as Scott Wexton, channels Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Devo, The Doors and an evil roller-rink to conjure a circus of lounge sounds darkly peppy. The Voodoo Organist has powers, brother - and unless you're willing to dance in the moonlight with Satan himself, the Weekly Volcano recommends you skip The Valley's first live music show featuring said organist, the return of bizarro punk jug-band Swampy Draws and Los Hermanos Brothers. The whale of the Voodoo Organist's Hammond and the moan of synths will get inside you - and it just might wreck you for good. If you do decide to brave it, the free show begins at 8 p.m.

2. Tacoma artists Chandler O'Leary of Anagram Press and Jessica Spring of Springtide Press host a dual exhibition reception beginning at 4 p.m. Here's how it works: stop by O'Leary's reception at the Tacoma Public Library Downtown Branch first and pick up an illustrated keepsake. Then, take your keepsake down the hill to Spring's reception at the Old Post Office, and print a phrase on it with her antique printing press. Both events are free and open to the public. Except a small pop-up shop at Spring's reception, stocked with goodies related to both shows and also featuring guest artist Mare Blocker.

3. The University of Puget Sound's Art + Science Salon series returns to the Tacoma Art Museum for a conversation about the intersection of science, analog and technology at 6 p.m. Expect to hear big words from computer-controlled installation artist Brent Watanabe, audio-visual artist Joel Ong, music composer James Bernhard and multi-media artist Cable Griffith. Admission is free.

4. This weekend the seventh annual Gig Harbor Film Festival will prove once again there's plenty of life across the Narrows by welcoming a variety of locally-made films, independents, documentaries, shorts and more to the Galaxy Theatres Uptown. Upping the ante, special guests scheduled to appear at the Gig Harbor Film Fest include Karolyn Grimes who played Zuzu in It's a Wonderful Life. Tonight, at 6 p.m., the comedy Frank Vs. God kicks off the festival with a post-film Q&A with producer Scott Schill.

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

LINK: Thursday, Oct. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 15, 2014 at 2:03pm

Trail To Western American Art: Cherokee Nation, Go West Gala, bluegrass coming to Tacoma Art Museum

Artist Nikki McClure and Peter Raffa, Tacoma Art Museum's director of development, with McClure's paper cut work "Ache," generously donated for the Nov. 14 Go West Gala fundraising auction. Photo courtesy of Tacoma Art Museum

Opening day for the new wing of Tacoma Art Museum is getting closer by the day, and the museum continues to gear up for a huge celebration. Curators are reviewing, restoring and acquiring period frames for a small number of works in the collection. Painting the galleries is complete, and the museum is finalizing the logistics for the Marie Watt sculpture installation, "Blanket Stories: Transportation Object, Generous Ones, Trek". The bronze sculpture made from 400 donated blankets is estimated to weigh 2,500 pounds.

Asia Tail, a member of the Cherokee Nation, recently joined TAM in the role of Haub Fellow. She is reaching out to local Native Americans and tribes across the nation that are included in the artwork of the Haub Family Collection to bring the voice of Native people into the interpretation of the exhibition. This will be an ongoing project and TAM hopes to incorporate quotes and input in various formats throughout the exhibition.

The museum staff continues work testing and operating the lighting system in the new wing. Last year, TAM's team visited the San Francisco Modern Art Museum because as part of their expansion, SFMOMA had established a full-scale test gallery to evaluate lighting systems. The TAM staff was able to learn from SFMOMA's research to make an efficient selection of lighting for the new Haub Family Galleries.

You may see a large "A" on the steel grating of the new entrance canopy; this is a test for the scale of the new logo signage expected to be installed in early November.

TAM's largest annual benefit raising funds for educational programming, called the Go West Gala, takes place Nov. 14 and will include cuisine by El Gaucho, with drinks, dancing and entertainment by performance artist Shovelman with his shovel-turned-guitar, and there will be a gala auction featuring, among other items, beautiful paper cuts by Nikki McClure of Olympia and works donated by artists including Dale Chihuly, Susan Russell Hall, Jeremy Mangan, Camille Patha and Kurt Solmssen.

The Go West Grand Opening will include free Wells Fargo Stagecoach rides on Pacific Avenue from 1-4 p.m. Visitors can join artist Marie Watt in a sewing circle; Other activities on opening day include storytellers, face painting, western-themed food in the freshly updated TAM Café. The Weekly Volcano has summoned The Oly Mountain Boys and banjo musician Forest Beutel to fill the new wing with bluegrass during the opening day festivities. Buetel and The Oly Mountain Boys will also perform at the downtown Tacoma Polar Plaza Ice Rink this holiday season as part of the Weekly Volcano's Rhythm & Ice: Down Home Holiday Hootenanny shows every Saturday night during the rink's run.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031

SEE ALSO

Painted walls, "Big Red," Celebrity Cake Studio and metal coming to Tacoma Art Museum

Sellen Construction dangles the keys

Checking in with the Tacoma Art Museum

Colors, video, improved store at Tacoma Art Museum

Filed under: Arts, Community, Tacoma, Awards, Music,

October 12, 2014 at 9:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Studio Tour, WILLO Storytelling Festival, pianist Duane Hulbert, Steel Cranes ...

Tour Tacoma artists' studio today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

SUNDAY OCT. 12 2014 >>>

1. The Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tour continues today. There are 61 artists within 37 studios to visit. Luckily, almost all of the studios are within Tacoma city limits, and a map is available online to assist you on this free, self-guided tour. These private sanctums of creativity will be open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and some will offer hands-on activities.

2. WILLO - Women's Intergenerational Living Legacy Organization - hosts its first annual WILLO Storytelling Festival at noon in Theatre on the Square, hosted by Amanda Westbrook. Celebrate the voices of women and girls in at this free event, full of storytelling, hands-on art-making and community engagement. Stick around after the event for author and activist Sister Helen Prejean's talk, "Dead Man Walking in Washington State," starting at 5 p.m.

3. Russian composer Alexander Glazunov is mainly remembered for his score for the ballet Raymonda, and his Violin Concerto gets occasional airings. Distinguished professor of music and head of the Puget Sound piano department Duane Hulbert has set out to champion Glazunov via the piano. Hulbert spent 30 years playing and marveling Glazunov. He has spent the last 15 years recording all 19 solo and duet piano works by the composer - five full hours of music. The new four-CD collection Glazunov: Complete Works for Piano was released last month, and Tacoma audiences will be the first to hear Hulbert perform a selection of the often magical and always enjoyable Glazunov compositions as part of the Jacobsen Series at 2 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall. The concert also will feature guest pianist Yoshikazu Nagai '92, a professor at San Francisco Conservatory of Music and a former student of Hulbert's. The 4-CD set will be on sale at the concert.

4. Two South Sound threater productions end their run today beginning at 2 p.m. Whodunit? Criminal mastermind Agatha Christie's 1943 And Then There Were None (Ten Little Indians) - based on her best-selling novel of the same name - is a mind-bending murder mystery that asks that very question at the Lakewood Playhouse. Read Joann Varnell's review of And Then There Were None in the music & Culture section. Olympia Family Theater's Busytown, Richard Scarry's musical comedy for kids, was also reviewed by Varnell.

5. Amanda Schukle and Tracy Shapiro are Oakland rock duo Steel Cranes. With Schukle on drums and Shapiro on vocals, the two will showcase their debut album, Ouroboros, at Northern Pacific Coffee Company at 7 p.m. Wild Berries and Skates!, will open.

LINK: Sunday, Oct. 12 art and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 11, 2014 at 8:22am

5 Things To Do Today: Big bluegrass-ish show, Tacoma Studio Tour, Spectrum Dance Theater, Jesus Rehab ...

The Rusty Cleavers perform with The Pine Hearts and The Cottonwood Cutups tonight at Bob's Java Jive. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, OCT. 11 2014 >>>

1. Olympia alt-bluegrass band The Pine Hearts, Tacoma old timey meets folk-punk band The Cottonwood Cutups and rustygrass band The Rusty Cleavers will pitch a tent inside Bob's Java Jive at 8 p.m. It will be a cacophony of spirited group-singing and hoops and hollers. Read Kevin Knodell's feature story on Forest Beutel, singer and banjo musician with The Rusty Cleavers.

2. The Tacoma Arts Month Studio Tour is this weekend. There are 61 artists within 37 studios to visit and only two days to accomplish the task. Luckily, almost all of the studios are within Tacoma city limits, and a map is available online to assist you on this free, self-guided tour. These private sanctums of creativity will be open to the public Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 11 and 12, and some will offer hands-on activities. For those who don't want to plan their tour, Duchess of Downtown Tours, best known for the Tacoma ART BUS, will be visiting eight diverse studios for $11, or $22 if you want the VIP swag bag.

3. Top Rung Brewing Co.'s Hoptober party will consume its taproom, front patio and the large parking lot behind the brewery from 2-9 p.m. Expect barbecue food, games such as cornhole, ladder toss and Jenga. As mentioned previously in the New Beer Column, Top Rung's Trashed Pumpkin Ale will be released at the party. Bluegrass trio The Outlanders will perform three sets beginning at 6 p.m. There isn't a cover charge.

4. Spectrum Dance Theater LOVE is Tony-nominated choreographer Donald Byrd's exploration of the most complicated of human emotions. LOVE returns Byrd to the grandness and aesthetic beauty of pure dance, with leaps, lifts, and extensions. Backed by a minimalist stage, the performers create the rawness of LOVE and all that it encapsulates with their motions - frailty, comfort, jealousy, passion, and more - the dance is an ever-evolving view of LOVE. See LOVE at the Tacoma Armory beginning at 8 p.m.

5. Their most recent Jesus Rehab LP, The Zoo At Night, is described by band members and brothers Jared and Dominic Cortese as being about "mind-reading lizards, chubby 10-year-olds, and what its like to grow up in a world where no one is as they seem" - a fanciful and emotional description that, along with the heavy guitars and crashing drums, reminds once again of the Flaming Lips of the early '90s. For a two-piece, the Cortese brothers do an admirable job of creating an enormous sound that bounces and skips when it's not slashing and burning. The nimbleness of their minimalist setup means that the Jesus Rehab are free to careen anyplace, anytime. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on The Jesus Rehab in the Music and Culture section, then catch the band with Back From Hiatus, Terrapin and Trevor Peach at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Saturday, Oct. 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 8, 2014 at 1:38pm

Trail To Western American Art: Painted walls, "Big Red," Celebrity Cake Studio and metal coming to Tacoma Art Museum

Debra Baxter's "Devil Horn Crystal Brass Knuckles (mosh safely)," 2013, quartz crystals, sterling silver, 5 x 4½ x 3 inches, will be part of the "Protective Ornament" exhibition at Tacoma Art Museum. Courtesy of the artist.

It's Wednesday, which means it's time for another installment of "Trail To Western American Art," our weekly update on the progress of Tacoma Art Museum's new wing featuring the Haub Family Collection of Western Art, which will officially open Nov. 15 with a huge shindig.

Julie Speidel's brightly colored sculpture "Kinetic Repose" will be installed on the parking level near the new glass vestibule entrance of the Tacoma Art Museum in preparation for the big opening. The sculpture comprises 10 pieces, including three benches for seating. The tallest component, nicknamed "Big Red," is more than 14 feet high. Speidel's work references the region's geologic history. She says, "I seek to arouse curiosity and wonder through forming a link from our particular time and place to a larger history reaching back to geological time."

This is sweet: TAM has partnered with Celebrity Cake Studio to provide cupcakes for the Nov. 15 grand opening, and the Weekly Volcano will sponsor entertainment for the day.

Painting in the Haub Family Galleries is underway, and we're told the walls are taking on a beautiful range of hues, while Museum preparator Ben Wildenhaus and Haub curator Laura Fry continue their work on the gallery layout. Meanwhile, work on the Museum lobby wall that fronts the TAM Store is underway. A series of tall sliding glass doors will be installed. The doors can be moved to the side to completely open these spaces to the lobby, supporting a lively lobby experience.

As the museum prepares for the grand opening they it also prepares for the Protective Ornament exhibition, opening Oct. 18; for various events associated with the city of Tacoma's "Metal-Urge"; and for the 10th anniversary of the Dia De Los Muertos Community Festival. Protective Ornament: Contemporary Amulets to Armor will showcase approximately 80 wearable works in metal, including helmets, brass knuckles, breastplates, chain mail, amulets, talismans and protective gear.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday-Sunday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. third Thursday, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8-$10, 5 and younger free, 253.627.6031

SEE ALSO

Sellen Construction dangles the keys

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Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

October 8, 2014 at 7:01am

5 Things To Do Today: Less Than Jake, Stillsuit Cocktails, KMPS 12 Man Jam, Kareem Kandi ...

Less Than Jake's fast, boisterous and at times jocular sound has not changed much at all.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 8 2014 >>>

1. It's been a couple decades, but third wave ska revival giants Less Than Jake have remarkably stuck around with essentially the same line-up. Even though they've kept up with releasing album after album, things haven't fundamentally changed about the band; the order of the day remains the sort of bright, upbeat ska-infused pop-punk that you most likely came to know as a teenage dirtbag. Even if nostalgia is the only thing that brings you to Jazzbones at 8 p.m. - not that we doubt that you've been keeping strict tabs on Less Than Jake - you probably shouldn't pass on the rare opportunity to skank with impunity. Big D and the Kids Table and The Interrupters open.

2. University of Puget Sound Associate Professor of Painting Elise Richman creates innovative, process-based paintings that explore elements of the material world and states of flux. Janet Marcavage, also an Associate Professor of Art at UPS, specializes in printmaking, such as lithography, etching, relief, and intaglio, plus experimental, photomechanical and digitally-augmented methods. The two professors share a show, "Ripple and Unfold," at the Kittredge Gallery on campus. Ripple and Unfold explores their shared interests in pattern and visible process, juxtaposing Richman's paintings, drawn from natural forms, with Marcavage's prints, which investigate the manmade, both deliberate and accidental. The artists' reception is from 5-7 p.m.

3. The second annual Frank Herbert tribute, Stillsuit Cocktails, is undoubtedly the coolest and nerdiest thing happening tonight - uniting the fierce passions of booze and science fiction. The Dune author and Tacoma native is honored by Hilltop Kitchen and Post Defiance (on his birthday, no less) with cocktails inspired by his works beginning at 7 p.m. Drinks with names such as Duncan Idaho and Harkonnen should dredge up images for Herbert fans.

4. The KMPS 12 Man Jam featuring country and western musicians Randy Houser, Scotty McCreery, Jon Pardi, RaeLynn, Katie Armiger, Frankie Ballard, Dean Alexander, Kristian Bush and Josh Thompson begins at 7 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

5. Saxophonist Kareem Kandi has hosted an open jazz session for years, a backyard patio for his music school friends, fellow musicians and newbies to jam out standards - fresh, fiery and exciting. The jam now resides every second Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

LINK: Wednesday, Oct. 8 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 7, 2014 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: Luminaria stars workshop, Cars as Metal Art, Roaring '20s food and drink ...

We wish we may, we wish we might ...

TUESDAY, OCT. 7 2014 >>>

1. The man who gave us A Christmas Carol - not to mention an adjective used for describing everything from working conditions to an episode of The Wire - receives a big toast in Tacoma's Stadium District every holiday season. This year marks the 10th edition of the Dickens Festival. The man who gives us the yearly Lumins Festivus illuminated parade - not to mention tacomasoutsidersguide.com, an alternative guide to Tacoma - will illuminate this year's Dickens Festival at Stadium. Adam Martin will hang luminaria stars throughout the district this season. From 6-9 p.m. he's holding the first luminaria star-making workshop at Gibson's Frozen Yogurt in the Stadium District. You'll need to remember two things. First, Martin is a deep thinker so the stars will have alternative meaning. Second, keep it together if you run into an illuminated Tiny Tim.

2. The last time we heard a car story, it was a rare Pixar dud and turned out to be the end of the road, more or less, for both Paul Newman and George Carlin. We're due for another car story. Each first Tuesday of the month, a staff member from LeMay - America's Car Museum picks a car and offers a fascinating peek into its history. The discussion at 11:30 a.m. will be "Cars as Metal Art Part 1: Automotive Body Sculpting," with Scot Keller, ACM chief curator. This program is part of Tacoma Arts Month's Metal Urge series.

3. The One I Love marks Mark Duplass' most high-profile film in two years, and he's joined by Mad Men's Elizabeth Moss. Together the pair portray a husband and wife on the outs who head to the countryside to reconnect at the behest of their marriage counselor (Ted Danson). There, they find a guest cabin that ... well, we're not going to spoil what's in that cabin. Catch the film at 2:15, 6:55 and 9:10 at The Grand Cinema.

4. Sherilyn Lightner runs the bar at Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen, the Prohibition-era speakeasy in downtown Olympia. She has been bar mistress at Dillingers since it opened Jan. 28 of this year. You already know this as you read Lightner's Q&A yesterday. She joins Dillingers Chef Denise Alsonso for a night or Roaring '20s food and drink at Bayview School of Cooking, beginning at 6 p.m. It's $55 a person; RSVP here.

5. "Now Wally, I want you to go in the living room and pick up those orange peels that you left on the coffee table. If your father comes home and sees them he'll be in a terrible mood all through dinner and won't let you and The Beaves rock the Red Wind Casino at 6:30 p.m." - June Cleaver

LINK: Tuesday, Oct. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 6, 2014 at 7:35am

5 Things To Do Today: "Ripple and Unfold," Northwest Repertory Singers, Maia Santell, Harvey Wainapel ...

"Untitled (blue)," 2014, by Janet Marcavage, on display at Kittredge Gallery on the University of Puget Sound campus.

MONDAY, OCT. 6 2014 >>>

1. University of Puget Sound Associate Professor of Painting Elise Richman teaches painting, drawing, and 2-dimensional design courses as well as the 2-D senior seminar every other year. Her innovative, process-based paintings explore elements of the material world and states of flux. Janet Marcavage, also an Associate Professor of Art at UPS, specializes in printmaking. She teaches studio courses incorporating a range of print media such as lithography, etching, relief, and intaglio, plus experimental, photomechanical and digitally-augmented methods. Today, the two professors open a shared show, "Ripple and Unfold," at the Kittredge Gallery on campus. Check it out from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

2. Oktoberfest is dead. Halloween is dead. The Day of the Dead is dead. Even Thanksgiving is dead. Well, at least to the Northwest Repertory Singers. The Tacoma-based organization has just nudged out the department stores in the race toward Christmas. The choral group is currently rehearsing for its annual December concerts, and like every year, opens the singing sessions to the public. So exchange your pumpkin sweater with that candy cane ditty in the back of your closet, because the sugarplums are rockin, and there's no need for any knocking, beginning at 6:30 p.m. in Mason United Methodist Church.

3. Jazz and blues band Maia Santell & House Blend will perform at 8 p.m. inside The Swiss.

4. Bay Area clarinetist and saxophonist Harvey Wainapel has been making yearly musical pilgrimages to Brazil since 2000, and has no plans to stop. The variety of musical traditions across cultures and regions is practically inexhaustible, he says, with perhaps only a single common thread: "they all swing like hell." Naturally, that irrepressible, infectious rhythmicality will be on display as Wainapel hosts a CD release party for his new CD, Amigos Brasileiros Vol. 2, at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye. Pianist and frequent collaborator Jovino Santos Neto will join him.

5. While there have been a few bars that have tried hosting karaoke nights with live bands, Jazzbones' Rockaraoke live band karaoke is one of the ones that's lasted. It can be fun as hell singing along with a live band. Expect $2 PBR drafts, $3 Sinfire shots and $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs beginning at 9 p.m.

LINK: Monday, Oct. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 5, 2014 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Midday Veil, Steilacoom Apple Squeeze, "Project 562," James Adomian ...

Seattle experimental rock ensemble Midday Veil combines otherworldly vocals and cosmic synths with driving, hypnotic rock grooves. Photo credit: Frank Correa.

SUNDAY, OCT. 5 2014 >>>

1. Midday Veil takes cues from krautrock without explicitly copying it. There's experimental improvisation and rigid beats, but the '70s were a long time ago. What remains with Midday Veil is an exploratory way of approaching an inscrutable subgenre dipping into different cultural influences to provide an mélange of textures and atmosphere. Catch the band with Swahili, Total Life and Lost Integrity in 8 p.m. at Northern.

2. The town of Steilacoom will host their annual cider squeeze from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. offering to press apples for folks, or having jugs of fresh squeezed cider available. And if the cider isn't reason enough to go, then go to sample fresh baked apple pies, cider floats, apple fritters, pony rides and music by Barleywine Revue and Steve and Kristi Nebel.

3. Matika Wilbur's "Project 562" is an ambitious and fascinating photographic study of Native American culture and an equally ambitious artistic project of which Tacoma Art Museum is fortunate to be able to present to the world the inaugural exhibition. Today is the last day to see the exhibit. Read Alec Clayton's full review of Matika Wilbur's Project 562" in the Music & Culture section., then see the show from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Shakespeare can be a bit inaccessible for the average Joe and many a community theater company has butchered it so badly as to make the audience loathe ever catching another production of The Bard's works. So leave it to director Suzy Wilhoft and Tacoma Little Theatre to stage something that could go so, so wrong. Fortunately it doesn't and the audience is presented a modest start and a whiz-bang finish in A Midsummer Night's Dream, which closes today at 2 p.m. Read Joann Varnell's full review of A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Music & Culture section.

5. Fans of Comedy Bang! Bang! rejoice! James Adomian will be at the Tacoma Comedy Club at 7 p.m. You've no doubt heard his voice on the podcast, doing spot-on impressions of Jesse Ventura, Tom Leykis, Dov Charney, Alan Rickman and Paul Giamatti, among others. While Adomian is nominally an impressionist, what makes his characters so special is that he takes them and spins them into surreal and inspired territory. It's a crime that he hasn't been cast on Saturday Night Live, where he is destined to become a post-modern Darrell Hammond. He's only appearing for one night, so consider this a can't-miss.

LINK: Sunday, Oct. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 3, 2014 at 7:18am

5 Things To Do Today: Olympia Arts Walk, Oktoberfest Northwest, Mudhoney film, Strangely Alright ...

China Faith Star performs "Liquid Letters" at 8 p.m. in Last Word Books as part of the Olympia Arts Walk tonight.

FRIDAY, OCT. 3 2014 >>>

1. Largely because of its abundance of offerings, the Olympia Arts Walk is a bit of a cross between a scavenger hunt and a grab bag. Local businesses - 96 of them this weekend - become galleries for the weekend, week or month, showing paintings, sculptures, photographs and more. Some serve as performance spaces, too. The streets are filled with people and the occasional juggler. But where to go? What to see? There's the fun. Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on Olympia Arts Walk XLIX in the Music & Culture section, then hit downtown Olympia from 5-10 p.m. and have the time of your life.

2. Born and raised in Tacoma, Noah Struthers is a unique product of this "blue collar" environment. His particular mechanic-laborer experiences were tainted early on by artistic explorations, resulting in a unique hybrid of outsider-illustrator art. His work addresses themes of local identity, mechanical structures, nature, and wildlife, which can be seen at the Fulcrum Gallery. Struthers will hang at Fulcrum from noon to 6 p.m. to discuss his art, or the Second Cycle Community Bicycle Shop, which he co-founded.

3. The three-day Oktoberfest Northwest Bavarian celebration at the Washington State Fair and Events Center officially kicks off at 6:15 p.m. with the taping of the Firkin, although the gates open at noon. In its 10th year, this Oktoberfest celebration includes a Munich-inspired Festhalle Biergarten, authentic entertainment, traditional German food, Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions, the always-popular Weiner Dog Race, and the Sunday morning Oktoberfest Northwest Stein Dash 5K. Manuela Horn, the 6 foot 2 "Australian Amazon" and the Oktoburlesques will headline authentic German entertainment featuring performers crooning everything from Edelweiss to polka versions of popular rock songs.

4. Mudhoney, while beating its fellow flannel-powered pedigree to the punch - Sub Pop released vinyl anthem "Touch Me, I'm Sick" and Superfuzz Bigmuff 12 months before Nirvana's Bleach and three years before Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten - has never had a chart topper, but the group has a following more loyal than a mob family. A 6:30 p.m. screening of I'm Now: the Story of Mudhoney film in the Capitol Theater should get folks chatting up Mudhoney again. Full of the same nasal yowls and shag-carpet riffs that made the band a Northwest favorite during the grunge daze, the film will screen with one of the greatest cult flicks of all time - 1979's Rock & Roll High School featuring The Ramones in their prime. Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner and I'm Now director Ryan Short will hang for a post-film Q&A.

5. Strangely Alright's power pop awesomeness will invade The Swiss Restaurant and Pub for the first time, with Brian James opening at 8:15 p.m. and a celebration of Shannon Kristine Rachel Briggs' birthday all night long. If you haven't seen Strangely Alright, expect ringing, triumphant chords and lyrics that allude to conquered tribulations. Frontman Regan Lane's charismatic presence and ability to get asses out of their seats and the underlying lyrical message of hope, empathy, and love rightly live up to the title of the band's album, Forever Is Right Now, a tireless and persistent group of catchy, edgy rock songs that are sugar coated with the band's love of all things rock.

LINK: Friday, Oct. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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