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November 16, 2013 at 8:25am

5 Things To Do Today: "The Ladies of Lyric and Song," Arts and Culture Conference, Tellebration!, Aan and more ...

Erin Guinup presents "The Ladies of Lyric and Song" tonight at the University of Puget Sound. Photo credit: Kat Hennessey

SATURDAY, NOV. 16 2013 >>>

1. Erin Guinup knows her way around a concert stage. After earning her degree in vocal performance and music education from the University of Puget Sound, she went on to perform some of the best-loved roles in musical theater. She's directed, taught, conducted and acted her way around the entire region, performing for companies as diverse as Tacoma Opera and Shakespeare in the Parking Lot. Now she's returning to her alma mater for a one-night-only revue, which features female composers and lyricists of the last hundred years, from operetta to present-day Broadway. Catch The Ladies of Lyric and Song at 7:30 p.m. in the Schneebeck Concert Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus.

2. Tacoma's Arts Leadership Lab is hosting a full-day arts conference from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound. Sessions and forums cover topics such as arts education, funding, online engagement, public art, creative small businesses, and arts careers. The day will conclude with a rapid-fire presentation and panel discussion focused on the way space helps define arts programming.

3. Beginning at 11 a.m. at the Tacoma Urban League, the Tacoma Chapter of The Zulu Nation, aka Z53 Zulu, is celebrating National Hip-Hop Month by hosting Food For Thought, an event centered on collecting warm coats and jackets for those in need during this chilly season, as well as offer information about regaining one's right to vote and getting one's record expunged if her or she have gone wayward of the laws. There will be a screening of Hidden Colors 2, the sequel to the first "controversial" film that examines race from an Afrocentric perspective. Oh yeah, there will be food for everyone - and it's all free.

4. It takes cajones to be a good storyteller! You have to impress a crowd with no props, no fancy lighting and no CGI-crafted battle scenes! Each year around the world, "Tellabration!" is celebrated to honor these brave souls and their fans! In its purest form, Tellabration! binds people together in the most wonderful way: with stories and exclamation points, told in all languages and drawn from all manner of cultures - a way of detaching yourself from the video games and gnat-sized attention spans! Since stories were invented the Mt. Tahoma Storytelling Guild has hosted the national celebration at Antique Sandwich Company! It's on again at 7:30 p.m.! Hurrah!

5. Perhaps Aan's best quality is that they hit you with big impressions right off the bat. The Portland band's song "Mystery Life" bursts out of the gates with such impact that it's hard not to take notice. That the song never, ever lets up, is positively intoxicating. Pounding drums and churning guitars explode from the word "go," but what is most affecting is the lead vocal from Bud Wilson. Though his voice initially sounds like a straining yelp, what eventually becomes clear is that you haven't yet heard the boundary-pushing energy that he has to offer. Their press kit compares Wilson's voice to Jeff Buckley's and, while it lacks the pure beauty of Buckley's, it does possess that rough elasticity. Aan performs with Gothic Tropic and others at 8 p.m. in Northern. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Aan in the Music and Culture section.

LINK: Saturday, Nov. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 13, 2013 at 7:25am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Rail chat, goodbye "Hello," Empty Bowls, jazz jam and more ...

Hear the history of Tacoma trains today at the Washington State History Museum.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13 2013 >>>

1. Author David Cantlin will lecture on Tacoma Rail, one of the largest short-line railroad systems in the country, at noon inside the Washington State History Museum. Cantlin's new book showcases the history of the railroad industry in Tacoma, from its humble beginning as a rickety trolley line to the economic engine that helps power the Port of Tacoma and surrounding area.

2. Digital media pioneer Jennifer Steinkamp fabricated a vividly seductive digital artwork following a tree through the four seasons as though blown by unpredictable winds, causing the branches to twist and clench. From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum, the artwork charts the passage of time by following the path of a single tree as it cycles through a year of change in 11 minutes.

3. Meghan Mitchell's drawings in the show "Hello" at Fulcrum Gallery are delightful. We could easily dismiss them as cute little drawings not really important as art, but we could just as easily dismiss the art of great graphic artists like Saul Steinberg and Jules Feiffer in the same way. We can see similarities between Mitchell's drawings and some by Steinberg and Feiffer. We also see similarities in style to popular Tacoma artist Sean Alexander. We can also see the show for the last time as it ends today. Catch it from noon to 6 p.m. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Hello" in the Music and Culture section.

4. There are not many foods you can philosophize about effectively (what does a hamburger mean?), but soup is one of them. It's the perfect winter food, it's rich and healthy, it's just so damn ... warm. You could probably come up with many more fitting theories why soup is so metaphorical. So, come embarrass your peers by waxing poetic at Pacific Lutheran University's Empty Bowls benefit where bowls created by professional and amateur potters will be on sale from 4-6 p.m. to benefit the Trinity Lutheran Church food banks. Admire (and take home) the pretty bowls at $10 a pop. Oh, and there's soup, baby ... beautiful, bottomless bowl after bowl.

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 7 p.m. in The Swiss.

LINK: Wednesday, Nov. 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 28, 2013 at 11:06am

Raising the roof for childhood education

A scene form the 2011 Get Involved Gala. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Each year, the Get Involved Gala - better known as GIG - kicks up its heels and puts on one of T-town's finest parties. Dress to the nines and help raise funds for United Way of Pierce County. Do you think you could do better for a night out? Yeah, I didn't think so.

This year's theme is 253Love, which means all things local and awesome. There will even be a few local celebrities, including Rhubarb and the Sonics Guy.

"The GIG is a fun night out. It's a great opportunity to come out with your friends, mingle and meet new people," says GIG co-chair Brittany Ellsworth. "The majority of the attendees are young professionals in the area, so it's a very dynamic mix of people."

While you mingle to the max, enjoy Top 40, '80s and '90s music spun by a DJ. Bar services by The Mix and Cork Wine Bar ensure libations for all, and Neighborhood Bistro will provide delicious local food. Dress is cocktail attire, which means button-up shirts and ties for men and dresses for women, but the event loves to encourage people to go full-on fancy and formal.

Read more...

October 27, 2013 at 9:11am

5 Things To Do Today: Harmonica Showcase, Halloween events, Vicci Martinez, Jethro Tull and more ...

Stacy Jones will blow you away tonight.

SUNDAY, OCT. 27 2013 >>>

1. A good harmonica player seems like he or she never breathes, he or she just blows and blows and blows until his or her ears say enough, and the intricate collection of notes and rhythms hangs over the audience like a heavy lace curtain. That's about the time people start screaming like wildcats and demanding more, which is exactly what will happen at 5 p.m. when the ninth annual Blues Vespers Harmonica Showcase blows into Tacoma's Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Paul Green & Straight Shot host the affair with Steve Bailey, Stacy Jones, Kim Field, Dan O'Bryant and others. The combined talent (and personalities) will be an indescribable treat for the ears and eyes, and you will walk away jaw hanging like a codfish.

2. The frights are upon us once again, and there are, as always, plenty of ways to spend the Devil's holiday. The Weekly Volcano has listed the parties, the theater performances, haunted houses, the kids fare and the rock 'n' roll here - it's up to you to decide where you'll go, and, of course, what you'll wear. Boo, South Sound.

3. Cindy McCoy has battled and survived breast cancer twice before. She lost her son tragically in 2005, and now she is in the midst of another hardship: she has been diagnosed with terminal stage IV spindle cell sarcoma. McCoy's spirit has reached far and wide, and from 5-9 p.m., a benefit will be held in her honor at The Swiss. Live music by local acts, including The Voice's Vicci Martinez, will be part of the celebration. A silent auction will take place as well, with donated items including a weekend cabin getaway; a custom-made gun safe; a $1,000 Home Depot gift card with three days labor; artwork; window tinting; and a private performance by Martinez. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on tonight's benefit show here.

4. The Mix will host a unique art exhibit where you will experience works from local artists, live music, figure drawing, live performances, fashion, body painting and much from 5:30-9:30 p.m. There will even be an interactive human Tetris game (you read that right). Local vendors will also be present selling merch. There will be wine and snacks as well as a full bar. Halloween costumes are encouraged.

5. At 7:30 p.m., Tacoma's Broadway Center welcomes Ian Anderson to its Pantages Theater stage. He and his mates will perform Thick As A Brick in its entirety for the first time since 1972, then follows up with TAAB 2. This will be Anderson's only West Coast stop this tour. Read Nikki McCoy's interview with Ian Anderson in the Music and Culture section.

LINK: Sunday, Oct. 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 24, 2013 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: FLAVOR, Beautiful Tables, Living Art series, Hallowscene and more ...

Adriatic Grill will serve up tasty Italian fare tonight to help Tacoma Community House. File photo

THURSDAY, OCT. 24 2013 >>>

1. FLAVOR, a night of dining at immigrant-owned and immigrant-supporting restaurants will be held tonight with participating restaurants kicking back 25 percent of food sales to Tacoma Community House. Participating restaurants include El Toro downtown, Indochine, Lele, Gateway to India, El Guadalajara, Adriatic Grill, Il Lucano, La Crème Brulee, La Fondita and others. To add excitement to the night, TCH will offer several prize packages, including a seven-day Mexico trip, Keurig B70 Platinum Brewing System, restaurant gift cards and cookbooks. Read Kristin Kendle's full story, including participating restaurants, here.

2. The annual Beautiful Tables Showcase, in Lakewold Garden's Wagner House, evokes the gracious spirit of entertaining while offering the visitors ideas to continue the tradition at home. The event showcases more than 30 table decorators from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. Two highly distinctive, contemporary artists, Jeanne van Heeswijk and Randy Bolton, will be featured in free public events this fall as part of University of Puget Sound's Living Art visiting artist series. The events include presentations, conversations, a reception and art exhibit. At 5:30 p.m. in the University's Kittredge Art Gallery, van Heeswijk will discuss how art can promote urban renewal and participation, as well as the strategies that she employs in creating her socially engaged art.

4. Today, low-income people and the middle class are now in the same boat - living near poverty, or an illness, lost job, or disaster away from poverty. Eight low-income and middle class families living in and around Portland, Ore., each of whom called 211info, a nonprofit referral organization, in search of help with paying bills, finding housing, or getting advice on how to weather the current financial downturn, are profiled in the documentary, American Winter, directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmakers Joe and Harry Gantz (Taxicab Confessions, The Defenders). Shot over the winter of 2011-12, this powerful film reveals the human impact of budget cuts to social services, rising poverty and economic inequality and the fracturing of the American Dream. Catch it at 6:45 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

5. The frights are upon us once again, and there are, as always, plenty of ways to spend the Devil's holiday. The Weekly Volcano has compiled a giant list of Halloween parties, theater performances, haunted houses, kids fare and music - it's up to you to decide where you'll go, and, of course, what you'll wear. It all starts today. Boo, South Sound.

LINK: Thursday, Oct. 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 22, 2013 at 11:02am

Win a Vicci Martinez private concert

Vicci Martinez will perform Sunday, Oct. 27 at The Swiss. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

Cindy McCoy has battled and survived breast cancer twice before. She lost her son tragically in 2005, and now she is in the midst of another hardship: she has been diagnosed with terminal stage IV spindle cell sarcoma.

Despite her struggles, the aunt, mother, grandmother and nanny maintains a positive attitude and unwavering faith.

McCoy's spirit has reached far and wide, and Sunday, Oct. 27, a benefit will be held in her honor. Live music by local acts, including The Voice's Vicci Martinez, will be part of the celebration. A silent auction will take place as well, with donated items including a weekend cabin getaway; a custom-made gun safe; a $1,000 Home Depot gift card with three days labor; artwork; window tinting; and a private performance by Martinez.

"It's Cindy's infectious personality and her smile," said Stacia Dorman, event organizer, on why she believes the community is showing such tremendous support. "Plus, cancer sucks. It's the only way to put it. So many people are affected by it. I know Vicci in particular has lost her dad to cancer, so I know it's a very personal issue. Seems everyone by now has someone close to them that has been affected, so they like to help anyway they can."

At this point, McCoy has been denied medical assistance, and she is unable to work. All proceeds from the event go directly to help offset medical costs.

"We hope it's a nice event for her," Dorman said. "She's an incredible woman. She was our nanny for years; she resided in our home for 10 years. She had various jobs, but found her calling with children. She's just an incredible woman."

Here's Sunday's the musical line up:

5 p.m.: Mooseunit AKA Liquid Courage

6 p.m.: Doug McCoy

7 p.m.: Vicci Martinez

8 p.m.: Zero Love

Credit cards will be accepted for auction items. Cash donations can be made at any Wells Fargo Bank into the donation account "Cindy McCoy benefit."

Tickets are $25 for ages 13 and older; 12 and younger free. The show is all-ages until 8 p.m.

For more information, visit http://www.cindymccoybenefit.com/ .

CINDY MCCOY BENEFIT FEATURING VICCI MARTINEZ, 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, The Swiss, 1904 Jefferson Ave., Tacoma, $25, 253.572.2821

October 11, 2013 at 9:07am

Plan Ahead: Frightfully Delightful Dinner and Dessert Auction

Delicious Italian food, yummy desserts, costume contest, door prizes, silent auction with great items, a special "golden ticket" raffle (hot air balloon ride anyone?) and holiday fun - sounds like a great recipe for a great time, yes? So, take these ingredients and add in the important fact that proceeds of this event would benefit a terrific local organization that supports people living with the traumatic brain injury and their families.

The Brain Energy Support Team (BEST) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide support, advocacy, public awareness, and education and socialization opportunities to individuals with a brain injury and their families. Founded in 2008, BEST distinguishes itself with its leadership, services, and programs that are built by and for people living with brain injury and their families.

The team at BEST is honored to invite the general public for a night of great food and fun at its Frightfully Delightful Dinner and Dessert Auction 4-7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante in Tacoma. Costumes are encouraged.

Event tickets are $35 and include dinner and event admission. Tickets may be purchased online.  Be sure to purchase your ticket by Oct. 18 to guarantee your spot.

September 27, 2013 at 10:18am

China Davis launches an Indiegogo campaign for "Arctic Days"

China Davis performing at the Hard Rock Cafe in Seattle. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Gig Harbor born, but Northwest raised rock band China Davis has launched an Indiegogo campaign for their upcoming album, Arctic Days, which core members, and brothers, Ben and Ted Fuller have been working on since their birth. I have heard snippets, and read lyrics, for the past two years. It's full of mystery, beauty and a sense of yearning. Tacoma musician, poet and artist Jeremy Silas has added his talent to the project, too. Read more about the band's new effort and where the $4,000 it's asking for through an Indiegogo campaign will be going, below then scroll down to check out the video for "Anjilla" off Arctic Days.

Read more...

August 20, 2013 at 7:05am

5 Things To Do Today: Kim Archer on the lawn, 25 New Faces films, happy hour for a cause and more ...

Kim Archer is taking her R&B outside tonight.

TUESDAY, AUG. 20, 2013 >>>

1. Imagine soulful music of yesterday being forcibly pumped out of Janis Joplin's larynx and then lathered with the silkiest velvet, and you've a pretty good idea of the kind of groove Kim Archer can make. Archer has a strong, emotional voice, a robust musical sense and a willingness to work outside the tightly proscribed boundaries of the genre. At 6:30 p.m. you may kick back with Archer's heavy soul and groove when she and her funky band performs outside at Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor. They'll be dancing on the lawn tonight.

2. Leave it to The Grand Cinema to fill this void with something fresh and inspiring for local movie lovers. Since 2010, the theater has built a tradition out of its annual "25 New Faces" festival. More than 30 original works made their way into a fest that found its genesis in the way, way back of 1998, the year Filmmaker Magazine published its very first "25 New Faces of Independent Film" list. The film contunes to roll today with a bunch of collected shorts from the talent screening at 1, 6:15 and 8:30 p.m. Read Christopher Wood's full feature on the fest here.

3. Tonight at The Brotherhood Lounge, voted "Best Bar" years after year in the Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia issue, will give 50 percent of its happy hour sales from 4-7 p.m. to the Thurston County Food Bank. The Brotherhood is the best.

4. Randy Linder's tribute to Creedence Clearwater Revival hits Red Wind Casino at 8 p.m.

5. Idaho hardcore band Bone Dance brings its extreme metal and a new self-titlked LP to The New Frontier Lounge for a 9 p.m. show of sludge and doom.

LINK: Tuesday, Aug. 20 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 27, 2013 at 2:27pm

Digital Cinema Campaign sounds awesome

Vince Brown will join LaVon Hardison at 3 p.m. Aug. 1 in Traditions Fair Trade to raise money for the Capitol Theater's digital cinema campaign. Photo credit: Kate Gross

It's 1977. You and a friend just busted some serious disco moves and you're taking a dance floor breather with a couple cool Chi-Chi drinks. You discuss your John Travolta moves, which leads into your love of Saturday Night Fever - and 30 minutes later the cocktail napkin has your Bill and Chucks Cinema plans in order: Find yourself an auditorium, some padded seats, put up a screen, buy a ton of popcorn - oh, and you'll need a projector, but nothing too highfalutin. The 35-millimeter film will be around forever, so that's a no-brainier.

(Cue flapping film reel sound)

Anyone hoping to open a small theater in 2013 has to deal with much tougher circumstances. Everything is digital now. And the digital equipment is expensive - ask the Blue Mouse Theatre, The Grand Cinema and the Olympia Film Society.

Traditions Fair Trade has offered to host a week of free musical performances encouraging audience members to contribute to the Olympia Film Society's digital campaign for the Capitol Theater. The musicians are donating their time. Special incentives are part of various contribution levels. Vegan sandwiches will be prepared.

Scheduled to perform are Hootenany (2 p.m. July 28), Choro Tomorrow (3 p.m. July 29), Joe Baque (3 p.m. July 30), Mucho Gusto (3 p.m. July 31), Red & Ruby (3 p.m. Aug. 1), Tarik Bentlemsani (2 p.m., Aug. 2), Dan Walker and Shannon DeLong (3 p.m. Aug. 3) and a Jazz Jam (2:30 p.m., Aug. 4).

Much has changed since 1977. Ask my hairline. Love for cinema hasn't. Help keep the Capitol Theater alive, and enjoy some awesome music.

TRADITIONS FAIR TRADE, 300 Fifth Ave. SW, Olympia, 360.705.2819

Filed under: Benefits, Olympia, Music, Screens,

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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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