Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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December 6, 2014 at 9:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Shotgun Kitchen on Ice, crime writers, big band Christmas, The Valley hard opening ...

Shotgun Kitchen perform at the Polar Plaza Ice Rink in downtown Tacoma from 7-9 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Watch for free, ice skate for $4-$8. Courtesy photo

SATURDAY, DEC. 6 2014

1. An almost too obvious entry point for the kind of satirical Americana of Shotgun Kitchen would be their spiritual forefather, John Prine. Expect stories about white-trash-living and country-road-dying performed with appealingly outlaw country-ish instrumentation and vocals while ice skating to the band's live performance at the Polar Plaza ice rink in downtown Tacoma from 7-9 p.m. The music is free; it's $4-$8 to ice skate.

2. Five acclaimed Puget Sound regional writers of mysteries, thrillers and chillers will sneak in the downtown Tacoma Main Library's back door at 1 p.m. to discuss about their books, the art of crime writing and their favorite authors. The authors include William Dietrich, Elizabeth George, Bharti Kirchner, Mike Lawson and Bernadette Pajer. The five authors are all members of the Seattle 7 Writers - a nonprofit collective of Pacific Northwest authors whose mission is to foster and support a passion for the written word. 

3. There's no doubt that the annual Beautiful Angle Holiday Party and Poster Sale is an event Tacoma has come to know and love. Going down at 7 p.m. in the Diane Hansen Studio (747 Fawcett Street, Suite B), the event will be a, well, beautiful exposition of everything Tacoma's underground-legend guerilla arts project is all about. If you're not on the Beautiful Angle train yet, see what you've been missing. Sporty Lee will be providing the music. Expect Grit City Beer. And you'll have the opportunity to buy a poster or two while meeting BA artists Lance Kagey and Tom Llewellyn. All the proceeds of this year’s poster sale go to "Tacoma Warhol" to help get the Andy Warhol flower on the Tacoma Dome. It's a win-win.

4. We've given Rich Wetzel a lot of love over the years, not only because he's a groovy guy, but because he's always playing a gig worth mentioning. Tonight is no exception as Wetzel and his Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra bring their annual jazzy holiday to Tacoma Community College at 7:30 p.m. Trumpeter Wetzel sets up chairs for what seems like 59 musicians for a night of swinging renditions of Christmas classics, featuring singers Steve Stefanowicz and Sunny Jo Loudin.

5. True, blue Tacomans likely already have the date circled on their calendar, or programmed into their smart phone, or scrawled on the back of their hand in sharpie. The Valley Pub celebrates its "hard opening" Saturday with CFA, Sun Giants, Stereo Creep and Infinite Flux. Cody Foster, bassist and singer with the high octane CFA, put the show together, welcoming new and improved Valley Pub to the Tacoma Dome neighborhood, and offering a chance for CFA guitarist Dave Takata to show off his new fashion. Foster says this will be the last CFA show of the year as the band needs to hammer down on the new album, although a new song will blast into tonight's show, as well as a cover of Fear's sentimental Christmas song. The free celebratory show is certain to scare the Dickens of out those waiting to board an Amtrak train down the street.

LINK: Saturday, Dec. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 1, 2014 at 12:16pm

Nerd Alert! Trailers for Jurassic World and The Force Awakens, big theater week, anaconda to eat Paul Rosolie's head ...

The "Jurassic World" trailer shows the park opening, the two stars and some dinosaurs, all to a slightly chilling piano rendition of the original film’s theme.

Chomping the shark, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

I submit to you, Gentle Reader, that last week was among the most exciting in recent geek history. No sooner had Rev. Adam posted his Nerd Alert for the week than Universal pulled a surprise move, undercutting its own countdown clock by two days and releasing the Jurassic World teaser to an Internet clamoring for a break from sad Missouri news. I'm a dino buff from way back, so this teaser left stirrings in my genes. ("Ooh, it's Mr. DNA!") To answer your first objection, yes, the raptors are actually an overgrown version of a species called Deinonychus and have way too few feathers. Also, that big mothergator in the lagoon, the one that noshes on Bruce in a sly jab at executive producer Steven Spielberg, is a Mosasaurus - a Cretaceous leviathan almost 60 feet long that probably did swallow sharks whole, then digest them over time like an anaconda or the all-powerful sarlacc. Incidentally, look closely the next time you watch the teaser: those raptors aren't hunting Chris Pratt; they're hunting with him. They're in his motorcycle gang; and if that doesn't make Pratt the coolest dude on our planet, then I'm a veggie-saurus. Jurassic World comes out on my 47th birthday, because I am down with Jeebus.

"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?" Based on how drastically my Internet slowed down Friday morning, I'll freaking bet you have. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser was released to near-ubiquitous fanfare, especially the John Williams fanfare that hailed the reappearance of the Millennium Falcon to the saga. Between TIE fighters, X-wings, new characters, cruciform lightsabers, snowy forest planets, soccerbots and what sure as hell sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch intoning his lines through a swig of battery acid, the 88-second teaser offered just enough to whet our appetite to the breaking point without giving away anything of significance. That's impressive for a teaser over a year in advance. I watched it alone in a dark room with my childhood so my wife wouldn't catch me having petit mal geek seizures.

THURSDAY, DEC. 4

Thursday, Christopher Walken stars as Captain Hook in NBC's second stab at Twitter-bait musical theater, Peter Pan Live! That exclamation point's emphatically theirs, by the way. I see live musical theater all the time, made by people who know what they're doing, yet have a hell of a time getting most people to give a wet slap about it. So if you insist on bypassing the three, count 'em, three live musicals opening this weekend in the South Sound in order to watch Marnie from Girls play a boy on a wire, that's on you. Otherwise, Joann Varnell and I will be at The Head That Wouldn't Die (Theater Artists Olympia), Scrooge: The Musical (Tacoma Little Theatre) or A Year With Frog and Toad (Lakewood Playhouse). The Stardust Christmas Commotion is still packing 'em in at Harlequin Productions. I'll also review Olympia Little Theatre's take on Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, which opens Friday. There's no singing or flying, but I hear Lena Dunham gets naked in it.

SUNDAY, DEC. 7

On Discovery's Eaten Alive, environmentalist Paul Rosolie goads an anaconda into eating his head. That's an actual show, folks. I'm not even kidding. He can do this trick once.

TUESDAY, DEC. 9

I already clued you in to Thursday's Blu-ray and DVD release of Guardians of the Galaxy, so instead I ask you to pick up your visual scanning and look at a couple of books. Frank Portman's 2006 YA novel King Dork was one of my favorites that year. It's a cross between Catcher in the Rye and High Fidelity, in which high school sophomore Tom Henderson navigates the tricky adolescent social sphere six years after his cop father's death. Now Portman offers a sequel, King Dork Approximately, in which Henderson is still in the 10th-grade but unlocks the challenging "first girlfriend" level. No less an authority than John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) said, "Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork will rock your world." I have nothing further, Your Honor.

Then there's Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz, in which an American Pinkerton detective, the aptly-named Frederick Chase, awaits Moriarty's nefarious successor. Remember, Sherlock Holmes pushed "the Napoleon of crime" to his just demise at the Reichenbach Falls ... or did he? That's the tension driving the action of a novel endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate. Personally, they had me at "Sherlock," but if you need more, consider this: the London Daily Mail calls Moriarty "the finest crime novel of the year." Read it now before the inevitable movie starring Pratt as Dr. John Watson, Christopher Walken as Moriarty, and Kristen Stewart as Holmes' sad, empty chair.

Sons of Anarchy wraps Tuesday. I've never seen the show, but here's a spoiler anyway: everyone dies except Horatio and Fortinbras. Meanwhile, Square Enix releases a new co-op Tomb Raider adventure, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, in which the titular British adventurer must crisscross Egypt in search of yet another ancient MacGuffin. What was that? No, I said "titular," meaning "mentioned in the title." Why are you snickering?

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and if Kristen Stewart chases you, run.

December 1, 2014 at 7:31am

5 Things To Do Today: Banff Mountain Film Festival, 24 Beers of Christmas, SHUT IT, Gin Creek ...

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour spans the globe, reaching over 330,000 audience members through more than 735 screenings in 400 locations in 40 countries.

MONDAY, DEC. 1 2014 >>>

1. The outdoors is our neighborhood playground for growth, introspection and escape. Since the time of George Vancouver and Peter Puget, the South Puget Sound has been and will always be an adventurer's region. For that reason, the Banff Mountain Film Festival's annual visit draws huge crowds to see a who's who of the mountain adventure world and learn the story behind the adventurers. Watch and hear amazing stories of the outdoors at 6:45 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

2. "Do not open till Christmas" should never apply to beer. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, Engine House No. 9 will be releasing a different specialty bottle or tap beer; follow along and feel the Christmas spirit in your veins.

3. Online Tacoma magazine Post Defiance wants you to SHUT IT in the Hotel Murano's lobby. Grab a book and read in silence from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Turn off the cellphone!

4. Pianist Benjamin Bergmark gigs with the 56th Army Band and Olympia's big band, the Jazz Senators. Hear him at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia.

5. A Washington Blues Society Best Blues Act nominee, keyboardist Mark Hurwitz and Gin Creek performs an upbeat, joyous blend of blues, jump, swing, and old school R&B. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

LINK: Monday, Dec. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 25, 2014 at 9:38am

Nerd Alert! Small Business Saturday, The Theory of Everything, Birdman

We all need cinematic heroes, and Birdman, both character and film, fits the role with aplomb.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

The season is coming when not much of anything non-Christmas-related is going on in town. Soon, we'll be inundated with colorful lights and an unending parade of cloying holiday songs. As Seasonal Affective Disorder officially begins to take hold, a pall of false cheer will stand as the only line of defense against crippling depression. In other words: Happy Holidays!

Still, there are glimmers of brightness in nerd events that will also help to keep our minds off of the all-encompassing miasma of winter. For instance, the last Saturday before December rears its ugly head is an opportunity to embrace not only local literature, but local small businesses. Small Business Saturday is like the Captain Planet to Black Friday's vile Hoggish Greedly. Instead of getting trampled and maced at Walmart, Small Business Saturday encourages you to relax the day after Christmas, and then shower your local stores with love.

Working in conjunction with Small Business Saturday are two events designed to connect you to local authors and fellow book-lovers. King's Books will be hosting the Tacoma chapter of Indies First, an event started by Sherman Alexie that gathers local authors and has them take turns as booksellers at various independent bookstores. Book recommendations, readings, and general merriment will be coming from authors such as Erik Hanberg, Mark Lindquist, Joshua Swainston and others.

Meanwhile, literary magazine Creative Colloquy will be stationed at the Nearsighted Narwhal, with readings from Michaela Eaves, Jack Cameron, J. Anne Fullerton and our own Christian Carvajal. Needless to say, in addition to rubbing elbows with these authors, buying some written words of your own should be the order of the day. And, while you're at it, take a moment to stroll down Sixth avenue and pick up some stuff from places such as Hi-Voltage Records and Retrospect.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

The other bright spot in this long stretch of darkness is that awards season is upon us! And, what better way to mark this season than with the release of the fall's first big, meaty piece of Oscar bait: The Theory of Everything. Having only seen the trailer, I can basically just tell you that the biopic of Stephen Hawking sure looks like it's swinging for the maudlin fences. Still, the actor they got to portray the famous physicist (Eddie Redmayne) is the spitting image of Hawking, so kudos to that guy and his inevitable Oscar nomination.

Really, though, this is the time to be rejuvenated and remind yourself that there really are good films still out there, even though the rest of the year may mostly tell you otherwise. I've already recommended this one before, but I will continue to sing its praises when I tell you that you absolutely must see Birdman, if you care anything at all about the art of film. Luckily for you, both of these movies will be playing at The Grand Cinema, so you have absolutely no excuse not to see them.

November 25, 2014 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Moore, Harmon dinner, Neil Diamond tribute, comedy open mic ...

In the 1989 film "Roger & Me," Michael Moore ties and fails to gain entry to the offices of General Motors.

TUESDAY, NOV. 25 2014 >>>

1. Combining investigative reporting with a sometimes-mischievous sense of humor, documentarian Michael Moore shined a light on social ills that were otherwise ignored. Although rightly acclaimed for films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling For Columbine, his television work provided many indelible moments. The Grand Cinema celebrates the 25th anniversary of Moore's breakout hit Roger & Me with a screening of the film at 1:45 and 7 p.m., followed by a discussion on Skype with the man himself after the late screening. Have your questions about Flint, Roger Smith and the current whereabouts of Crackers the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken ready. 

2. Longtime Daily World city editor and former Daily Olympian sports editor Bill Lindstrom will give a talk, sell and sign his new book, John Tornow: Villain or Victim?, from 6-8 p.m. at the Shelton Timberland Library.

3. Bar Bistro hosts a five-course beer-pairing dinner with the Harmon Brewing Co. For $35, you'll receive an ahi crostini with a Hop ‘N Rye beer cocktail, braised pork belly with the Black Tartan CDA, pork tenderloin with the new Fall Ball Imperial Red and other treats, beginning at 6 p.m. Reserve your space at 253.537.3655.

4. With a 90-minute set featuring around 20 of Diamond's hits – ranging from his early work for television shows, such as The Monkees ("I'm A Believer") to songs from his movie "The Jazz Singer" – Neil Diamond tribute band The Diamond Experience will rock the Red Wind Casino from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

5. For the Love of Comedy is an all-ages (teen and up) stand up open mic that aims to bring the community together with a microphone and a shared love for the funny things in life at Café Love in downtown Olympia. Comics from LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma and the south Puget Sound region have performed at this 8 p.m. mic.

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 19, 2014 at 3:13pm

New literary publication coming to the South Puget Sound

"Creative Colloquy Volume One" brings together a selection of transformative fiction, insightful essays, and enlightening poetry from the literary revolution occurring in the South Puget Sound.

Jackie Fender, Weekly Volcano cohort and one of the Gritty City's art scene and literary superstars, is about to step things up a notch. She and fellow Volcano scribe Joshua Swainston are releasing the first print collection of stories and poems from their online literary destination, CreativeColloquy.com. I chose this shining moment to highlight Fender's voice from a phone interview, by which I mean I bamboozled her into writing half my blog entry this week.

CHRISTIAN CAVAJAL: So what's the big news?

JACKIE FENDER: The launch party, naturally, which is November 24th. Creative Colloquy Volume One is a super-rad collection of stories crafted by South Sound authors, a really diverse collection of shorts and poems and essays.

(Full disclosure: my own horror short, Silver, is included.)

CARV: And where can I buy this amazing anthology?

FENDER: First we're gonna have it available at the launch party, and then we'll be connecting with King's Books, Nearsighted Narwhal, all the usual retail spaces. And it is available on Amazon.

CARV: Are any of your writing efforts represented?

FENDER: They are not. I've chosen to keep my own words out of it for now. I did write an intro letter to tell people a little about the book.

CARV: Did you ever submit anything and then reject yourself?

FENDER: I've written things and thought, "Yeah, maybe this is the thing!" But then I'm like, nope. I didn't want to start CC and have it be like, "Jackie just wants a platform to share her own work."

CARV: Have you ever gotten a submission that was so bizarre you felt maybe the writer needed some professional psychiatric help?

FENDER: There are a couple of those! Whatever goes on in their brains is really messed up. Joshua is actually one of those.

CARV: On the Volcano, you're known mostly for your food reviews. Which restaurant do you eat at most often?

FENDER: Maxwell's is on my favorites list.

CARV: OK, but you have kids. Which restaurant do you really eat at most often?

FENDER: I hate to admit this. Taco Bell.

CARV: And do you feel this disqualifies you from food criticism?

FENDER: I like to pretend it doesn't exist. But having small children, you have to budge a little bit. They don't appreciate really good food, even when I cook it.

CARV: What's the worst book you love?

FENDER: How Should a Person Be?: A Novel from Life by Sheila Heti. I found myself really enjoying it, even though I don't dig Heti's style, nor do I like any of the characters. If I knew them in real life, there would be a lot of internal dialogue and disingenuous smiling.

CARV: What is your kid's favorite book?

FENDER: Right now, my kid loves Green Eggs and Ham. He also likes Sammy and the Dinosaurs.

CARV: You could do a lot worse. If you and I were going to write a story together right now, what would it be about?

FENDER: I think I'd just like to jump on your wagon and pick one word I hear at an event, then see what that sparks. (Note: that's how Silver was conceived.) Maybe superheroes?

CARV: Right now I'm leaning toward otters. I think people just like otters.

FENDER: It's true, they do! But then you hear all these awful rumors about them-

CARV: What, like prostitution rings?

FENDER: They're vicious little beasts! I don't even want to discuss it. Google it.

CARV: I don't really think of otters as vicious man-eaters.

FENDER: They're just vicious to other animals.

CARV: Maybe that's what the story should be, an exposé from the point of view of a trout.

FENDER: That would be interesting.

CARV: I'd have to go dark. I'd want the otter to have a heroin problem.

FENDER: Yeah, like two illegitimate children!

CARV: Right, like an otter posted the Fappening or something.

FENDER: It could be a dark little vortex into Otter World.

CARV: I think we've found Creative Colloquy Volume Two.

FENDER: Oddly enough, someone asked me if Volume One had a theme. We didn't go for one, but there are an abnormal number of stories about animals, I daresay almost half. Our cover is just a collection of images the artist picked from stories we knew would be included. The cover has all these animals on it. The book's not even about animals, but there are a lot of animals in the short stories.

CARV: Does anyone use the phrase "fur baby?" Because that's just weird.

FENDER: Not in any of the stories, no.

CARV: Maybe it should've been called Creative Colloquy Volume One: Troubled Loners.

FENDER: That's why we have our events at a place (B Sharp Coffee House in Opera Alley) that has libations.

CARV: Ah, to draw people out of the house!

FENDER: Yeah, there's a social lubricant there for us troubled loners.

CREATIVE COLLOQUY VOLUME ONE LAUNCH PARTY, 7 p.m., Monday, Nov. 24, B Sharp Coffee House, 706 Opera Alley, Tacoma, no cover, CreativeColloquy.com

Filed under: Books, Word, Tacoma,

November 18, 2014 at 7:52am

5 Things To Do Today: "Rich Hill," Dennis Hastings Quartet, cartoonist MariNaomi, hypnotist ...

"Rich Hill" intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them.

TUESDAY, NOV. 18 2014 >>>

1. The former coal mining town of Rich Hill, Mo., is one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it towns that litter the byways and highway exits of the American landscape, a reminder of past economic growth gone to seed. Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner documentary Rich Hill offers a microcosmic view of the increasing poverty afflicting the country, focusing on three boys growing up in this impoverished community. Granted unfettered access to the boys' lives, the film is more meditative and thoughtful than the usual handwringing exercises that occupy the "look at these poor people" subgenre, but ultimately, it's unable to transcend its trappings. Rich Hill screens at 2:15 at 6:55 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. Jazz and blues vocalist Dennis Hastings, who has played on the same bill with notable talent such as Bobby McFerrin, John Lee Hooker and The Marcels, will showcase his repertoire of tunes made popular from the 1940s to the 2000s at an 11 a.m. recital in Kreielsheimer Hall on the Saint Martin's University campus. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Hastings has been singing jazz and blues in the Northwest for more than 30 years. Performing with Hastings will be Steven Luceno on bass, Phil Lawson on guitar and Steven Bentley on drums.

3. Hosted by Tacoma Community College students, the Bill Harrington Veterans Emergency Fund fundraiser will raise money toward the Bill Harrington Fund, a man who served 20 years in the Army. In 1994 he embarked on another two decades of service working with the students of TCC. This foundation acts as an emergency fund for returning Veterans on campus in need. The fundraiser will be held at Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante from 4-8 p.m. with a portion of proceeds from food sales donated toward the fund. There will also be raffles to enter for prizes.

4. Cartoonist MariNaomi is on a tour promoting her new book, Dragon's Breath & Other True Stories, and Yumi Sakugawa, author of Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe will join her at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library. They will present a slide-show talk and take audience questions.

5. You are getting sleepy, v-e-r-y sleepy. Now, go see the hypnotist show at 8 p.m. inside the Red Wind Casino. Whether a skeptic or believer, the show will be sure to entertain with its comedy, rock and roll and outrageous hypnosis, like people sneezing and having orgasms(!) when Ron Stubbs, the man behind the magic, utters the word "pepper."

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 13, 2014 at 7:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Pray For Snow party, Girls Night Out, Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger, hip-hop ...

Let us pray.

THURSDAY, NOV. 13 2014 >>>

1. Thursday, for the 18th year in a row, the Harmon Brewery and Eatery will host its annual "Pray for Snow" party. The festivities kick off at 5 p.m. and promise to feature a toboggan full of live music, tons of ski- and snowboard-related prizes, Crystal lift tickets and giveaways, plenty of drinking and even more praying for the white stuff to fall from the sky this season. Will it work? Does it ever work in Washington? That's not really the point.

2. Now that Heritage Distilling Co. has opened its second location on Gig Harbor's waterfront (3118 Harborview Dr.), the HDC Waterfront will host the Gig Harbor Waterfront Alliance Girls Night Out from noon to 9 p.m. There will be holiday shopping specials, giveaways and more. Let's face it; booze is the best stocking stuffer.

3. The ParkWay Tavern welcomes 10 Barrel Brewing Company from Bend, Oregon, and their Uberliner Berliner Weissbier, Power to the People American Stout, German Sparkle Party Berliner Weissbier, Apocalypse IPA, among others, beginning at 5 p.m.

4. Critics are using words such as "brutal," "unflinching," "visceral" and "moving" to describe Charlie Jack Joseph Kruger's fiction. The author will provide his own descriptions and discuss his book, In Stark Weather, at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library.

5. Hip-hop show featuring Drumatic, Lega C Jones, TripleTHR33, OPUS DEI, N.O.V.A., Cyrus and DIRTAY hits Le Voyeur at 8 p.m.

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

November 4, 2014 at 7:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Margaret Cho, Sundance Film Festival Shorts, Finally Found Trio, election night party ...

Margaret Cho performs twice at the Tacoma Comedy Club tonight.

TUESDAY, NOV. 4 2014 >>>

1. Over the course of Margaret Cho's ever-evolving career, the world has watched her blossom from an insecure comedian into an empowering yet still-hilarious feminist icon. Flirtations with drugs, kicking the habit and confronting her sexuality - all before the eager eyes of her fans - have transformed Cho into a hilarious force to be reckoned with. Her stand-up films - notably Notorious C.H.O., Assassin and I'm The One That I Want - are among the better examples of the genre, balancing blunt, painful confessional with the political activism that has always been less parallel to and more tangled with her comedy career, into all of which is woven a welcome strain of good old-fashioned folly. Catch her at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. at the Tacoma Comedy Club.

2. If your short attention span craves something friendlier than the standard 90-minute film, then you're in luck, because The Grand Cinema has been chosen to a set of short films, courtesy of one of the most highly regarded film festivals in the land. Showcasing a wide variety of story and style, the 94-minute Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour features both fiction and documentary short films and includes three films that won awards at the 2014 Festival. See the shorts at 1:45 and 6:35 p.m.

3. Kat Cullman, Curtis Koller and Teri Wolf called themselves the Finally Found Trio. They perform traditional country, folk, Americana and acoustic based music, while thinking a lot about Townes Van Zandt, John Prine, Neil Young and Steve Earle. See what the trio is all about from 5-6 p.m. at B Sharp Coffee House in Tacoma.

4. Chris Dixon will talk about his new book, Another Politics: Talking Across Today's Transformative Movements at 7 p.m. in Orca Books. Amidst war, economic meltdown and ecological crisis, a "new spirit of radicalism is blooming" from New York to Cairo, according to Dixon. In his book, he examines the trajectory of efforts that contributed to the radicalism of Occupy Wall Street and other recent movements.

5. Votes have been cast, stickers have been uploaded to Facebook, and now it's time to wait. Stakes are high, so perhaps a little distraction is in order. Don't spend it watching results at some boring, pricey cash-bar party. A good election bash has to have it all: decent, cheap drink options; barbecue ribs; a Bloody Mary called "Devil's Spit"; and a dark room with taxidermy to cry if your candidate isn't elected. The Pierce County Democrats will be watching election results at Famous Dave's Bar-B-Que in Tacoma beginning at 7:30 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 3, 2014 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Poetry Above the Roar, Fumiko Kimura/Rob Fornell Exhibit, Environmental Seminar, Spin Quartet ...

Mezzo-soprano Erin Calata will sing 10 works of poetry written by Tacoma's first poet laureate, William Kupinse, tonight.

MONDAY, NOV. 3 2014 >>>

1. Following the popularity of last winter's Poetry Above the Roar event, three Pacific Northwest artists - a poet, composer, and a singer - will again take the chill out of the season with a return performance at the University of Puget Sound at 7 p.m. in Commencement Hall. Mezzo-soprano Erin Calata will sing 10 works of poetry written by Tacoma's first poet laureate William Kupinse, who is a member of University of Puget Sound's English faculty. The 10 poems, from his 2009 collection Fallow, have been set to original music by composer Greg Youtz, professor of music at Pacific Lutheran University. Youtz's music will be performed electronically by a computer capable of sounding like a small jazz combo or a chamber orchestra. 

2. The "Fumiko Kimura/Rob Fornell Exhibit" opens today at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College. For Puget Sound Sumi Artists co-founder Kimura, exhibition represents nearly 60 years of her sumi paintings, mixed media sumi collages and Asian brush calligraphies. Ceramics artist Fornell created objects that are contemporary in their expression and concern, and which function to bind us in the expression of our humanity at this moment. Check out the exhibit from noon to 5 p.m.

3. The UWT Environmental Seminar features Kevin O'Brien, the chair of the Environmental Studies Program and an associate professor in the Dept. of Religion at Pacific Lutheran University discussing "Ecological Scale and Christian Ethics: Bringing Religion and Science Together to Think About Climate Change" at 12:25 p.m. in SCI 309 on the UWT campus.

4. Collins Memorial LibraryhostsBill and Vicky Stewartfor their fifth visit to Puget Sound. The Stewarts represent book artists across the United States. This one and a half hour informal"Show & Tell"will showcase some of their most recent acquisitions. Begins at 1 p.m. in the Library on the University of Puget Sound campus.

5. The Spin Quartet brings together four modern internationally touring jazz artists multiple-CMA-grant recipient and NIU professor Geof Bradfield on saxophone, Grammy-winning bassist Clark Sommers (Kurt Elling, Brian Blade, Darrell Grant), Kobie Watkins(touring drummer for Sonny Rollins) and is spearheaded by trumpeter, and newly appointed DePaul University faculty member Chad McCullough (Bram Weijters, The Kora Band). Recorded shortly after McCullough had relocated to Chicago, IL; their album, In Circles, captures the group's dynamic interplay and cohesion, showcasing the group's original repertoire. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia.

LINK: Monday, Nov. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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about 5 Things To Do Today: Religious Girls, "Big Eyes," sports chat, Kurt Lindsay ...