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March 10, 2012 at 8:37am

5 Things To Do Today: Poetry Out Loud, "Collision" at Evergreen, Comedy Night at Dave's of Milton and more...

The Poetry Out Loud competition goes down today at the Rialto in Tacoma.

SATURDAY, MARCH 10, 2012 >>>

1. Presented by the Washington State Arts Commission, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, today's Poetry Out Loud State Finals will pit winners from seven regional finals held across Washington state in an ultimate throwdown of poetry recital. Along with ultimate statewide bragging rights, competitors will be vying for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Poetry Out Loud national finals.

2. Ariana Throne's one-woman "dance drama" Collision looks at rape culture in American college life. She herself was involved in two such collisions, and much of her performance is uncomfortably autobiographical. Throne uses a variety of performance skills to examine our views about rape - and to tell her own story - from multiple angles. She brings much to the table: self-penned guitar ballads, a black-light dance routine, tongue-in-cheek vignettes. Throne's show runs today and tomorrow at the Evergreen State College. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on Collision in the Arts section at weeklyvolcano.com.

3. There's not much that's funnier in this world than Dave's of Milton. See for yourself when Dave's hosts its "Comedy Night," tonight featuring Jay Wendell Walker and Rodney Sherwood. The laughs are hosted by Stephen Morton Jr., and expect musical guest O Dark 30.

4. It's Grown Folk Saturday at Last Call Bar in Lakewood. Expect DJ C-Luv to bust out all sorts of "old skool," hits from the 1970s, ‘80s and ‘90s  dance hits.

5. Join Tacoma's master of Karaoke, the Rev. Colin, at Engine House No. 9 tonight. The tunes start getting belted out at 9:30 p.m.

MORE THINGS TO DO: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

March 8, 2012 at 10:44am

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Amocat Live, South Sound Tech Conference, Leo Kottke, Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless, Harmony Sweepstakes, The Bad Plus, Poetry Out Loud State Finals, Olympia Symphony Orchestra and more ...

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

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Rain showers, hi 48, lo 39

Saturday: More showers, hi 45, lo 39

Sunday: Chance of even more showers, hi 43, lo 36

>>> FRIDAY, MARCH 9: AMOCAT LIVE

Time flies when you're having fun. Or so the saying goes - and fun is definitely one of the many great, hyper-local bits of awesomeness being served every day at Tacoma's Amocat Café, celebrating one year this Friday with the aptly titled, "Amocat Live." Expect an evening full of live music for all ages including John Dolge, Jon Parker, Micaela Cooley, Sam Bogle, Russ Dahler, Gen Obata, and The Collaborators. Best of all, it's free. Plus, the ambiance at Amocat can't be beat. This event is a win for all involved. Stop bye and thank proprietor Morgan Alexander for a year of service to his community.

  • Amocat Live, 7 p.m., NC, 625 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.242.3370

>>> FRIDAY, MARCH 9: SOUTH SOUND TECH CONFERENCE

Technology is a pretty freakin' big deal these days. Seems like the legions of tech geeks are ever growing, with a new techie born every time the wind blows or someone purchases a new iPhone. Friday brings the South Sound Technology Conference to the University of Washington Tacoma, a one-day event designed to bring together, "leaders from industry, education and government to discuss and demonstrate innovations and their applications," according to pre-event hype. The day-long event features a morning keynote by VP Product Development Expedia Steve Jarvis, a panel discussion on the mobile app development "explosion," and a lunch keynote by White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Howard Schmidt.

  • UWT - William W. Philip Hall, 8 a.m. - 4 p.m., $20, registration required, 1551 Broadway, Tacoma, sstconference.org

>>> FRIDAY, MARCH 9: LEO KOTTKE

There are few, if any, guitarists like Leo Kottke. An acoustic fret master, tickling both the six and 12 string varieties, Kottke's blazing licks have inspired guitarists worldwide for nearly the entire length of his legendary four-decade career. With a wry, almost comical approach to life and songwriting, mixed with unfathomable skill, Kottke is one for the ages. Friday, Kottke returns to the South Sound for a show at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. Come out and be amazed.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 8 p.m., $30-$50, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 10: HIP-HOP 4 THE HOMELESS

Founded in 2002 by Olympia DJ and hip-hop activist Luvva J- real name Jose Gutierrez Jr. -- in Vancouver, B.C., the non-profit organization Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless has now been spreading awareness of homelessness for a decade. Once a year, Luvva J and friends host the two-day event that includes one day of live performances by various hip-hop artists and offers free admission with donations of clothes, blankets, tents, food or anything that could be useful to the homeless. Day two of the annual event offers open doors to the homeless community, providing those in need the opportunity to take whatever necessities are available from the previous night's donations. A warm meal is also provided, along with a haircut and professional massage. In 2006 Luvva J decided he wanted to move the organization to the states and since then Olympia has happily become its home. "The purpose of this event is to not only spread awareness of the issue but to encourage folks to get involved and develop a deeper understanding surrounding poverty in America" says Gutierrez, who has written for the Volcano in the past. This year's Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless music showcase promises some of Olympia, Seattle and Portland's best, including DJs, spoken word and live performances by Khingz & OTOW Gang, Alex Duncan, Afrok & The Movement, Speaker Minds and many more.

  • Olympia Ballroom, live music showcase Saturday, March 10, 5 p.m. - midnight, $5 or donation for the homeless, all-ages, 116 Legion Way SW, Olympia

>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 10: HARMONY SWEEPSTAKES

The Harmony Sweepstakes may sound like a new dating service, but it's actually an annual event in Olympia featuring some of the region's best a cappella talent. No kidding. A night of music and awards, Saturday's festivities will include hosts and guest artists The Baudboys, the 2011 first-place champions, along with event emcee Smilin' Jay of Olympia's KGY AM/FM radio. Event hype available on the Washington Center's website promises, "an evening of impeccable harmonies and scintillation arrangements." Hard to go wrong there.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $15-$25, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 10: THE BAD PLUS

Everything is jazz. Or damn near everything. As The Bad Plus proves, bald heads and fu Manchu mustaches are pretty freakin' jazzy, too. But let us not trivialize this world-renowned jazz band, hitting Tacoma's Pantages Theater Saturday, as anything but remarkable. There's good reason why Billboard, and subsequently the Broadway Center's website, hypes the band as, "America's most "audacious, rule-breaking jazz trio." It's because all those aforementioned adjectives apply. Plus there's the facial hair. Catch The Bad Plus in Tacoma Saturday taking on Stravinsky's Rite of Spring - a pairing that should make for quite an evening of entertainment.

  • Pantages Theater, 7:30 p.m., $24-$56, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890

>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 10: POETRY OUT LOUD STATE FINALS

In high school, you went to State in pizza eating and acne. It could have been cooler. Saturday, you'll have a chance to see a dozen Washington high school students get a better jump on their lives than the Little Caesar's slogan, "Pizza! Pizza!" ever afforded you, competing in the Poetry Out Loud State Finals. Presented by the Washington State Arts Commission, with support from the National Endowment for the Arts and The Poetry Foundation, Saturday's Poetry Out Loud State Finals will pit winners from seven regional finals held across Washington state in an ultimate throwdown of poetry recital. Along with ultimate statewide bragging rights, competitors will be vying for an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Poetry Out Loud national finals.

  • Rialto Theater, 1 p.m., free, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890

>>> SATURDAY, MARCH 10: AUGUST WILSON'S JITNEY

Playwright August Wilson is best known for his Pittsburgh Cycle - a series of 10 plays each set in a different decade recalling the struggles and comedies of the African American experience in the 20th Century. That's what happens when you win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. At 3 p.m., the Broadway Center, Northwest Playwrights Alliance and hosting venue Washington State History Museum bring us a staged reading of Jitney, part of Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle that centers on a cab driver's station in the late 1970s. Hype on the Broadway Center website describes the play, saying "his character driven performance features sharp-witted, hustling co-workers who gossip, argue and dream in between jobs."

  • Washington State History Museum, 3 p.m., $14, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.3500

>>> SUNDAY, MARCH 11: FREE ELECTRONICS RECYCLING

Speaking of how everyone is becoming a major techie, collecting newfangled and ever-fancier gadgets at warp speed, our desk drawers here at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters sure are full of a lot of obsolete pieces unwanted tech - from flip phones to classic Fisher Price Viewmasters. While we're not about to give away the Viewmasters, everything else can go - which is why we'll likely head to Sunday's free electronics recycling event in the parking lot of Tacoma's Champion Centre (1819 E 72nd St., Tacoma). Organized by the Seattle-based organization Friendly Earth, the goal of Sunday's event is to take as much unwanted tech off the streets as possible, and recycle it instead of letting it rot in the ground or in your desk drawer. Tax write offs will be given to any donated tech, and the list of accepted electronics is substantial, including appliances, metals, computer equipment and components, home and business electronics, batteries and machinery. Sadly, speakers, light bulbs, paints, wood based products and small miscellaneous plastics will not be accepted - making disposing of that pimped out yet unused lizard tank in your closet still difficult.

  • Champion Centre - Parking Lot, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m., 1819 E 72nd St., Tacoma

>>> SUNDAY, MARCH 11: OLYMPIA SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA

The close of the week offers a chance to join the Olympia Symphony Orchestra and guest pianist Wolfgang Wortberg for "By Audience Request," a performance promising Beethoven's Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Op. 15, Verdi's Overture to NabuccoI, Grainger's Irish Tune from County Derry and Stravinsky's Suite from The Firebird. While the Olympia Symphony Orchestra rarely-if-ever disappoints, much of the pre-show hype for this events centers on Wortberg's piano skills, and rightly so. As the Symphony's website notes, "Known for his musical insight, beautiful tone, and technical command, pianist Wolfgang Wortberg has performed in venues across the United States and Europe.  Audiences and critics alike acclaim his unique concerts: portraits of a single composer, interweaving music with insightful reflections on the life and work of the composers themselves and their contemporaries." Catching Wortberg and the Olympia Symphony Orchestra as a Sunday nightcap seems like a sure bet for good times and ageless music. But you're advised to test that statement for yourself.

  • The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7 p.m., $20-$50, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8585

WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
Don't imply I have no plans for this weekend, pal. This ain't some total dweeb you're talking to. I preordered the Game of Thrones Blurays, so...wait, that doesn't help my point.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Depending on how naptime goes, we may be attending a birthday party for a one year old on Saturday. Sunday I will be reviewing Tacoma Little Theatre's Someone to Watch Over Me. The rest of the time I intend to hang out with my now 19-month-old son and spend some time writing for my blog.

JOSH RIZEBERG Tacoma Hip-Hop Writer
Friday I'll be teaching my Spoken-Word/Poetry class at the D.A.S.H. Center. Class is all-ages and is open for enrollment and drop-ins are welcome! After that I'll be performing with Abom the Kid and Awall A.K.A. 2-Piece at Krickets in Spanaway for Abom's "Rookie of the Year" show. Saturday I'll be going to Olympia to support the annual Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless benefit. It's packed with great talent from Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle. This might be Olympia's best yearly hip-hop event. Looks like Sunday I'll just be chilling with The Family!

NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
Friday night Free Whiskey is playing an all-ages show at the Don't Stop Printing Shop for the Fresh Heads EP release party, so I will be partaking in that. Saturday I will be at Hip Hop 4 The Homeless.

ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
Our big plans include going to see "The Color Purple" (the musical) at Tacoma Musical Playhouse Saturday night and a PFLAG meeting in Olympia Sunday.

MOLLY GILMORE Arts Writer
Friday is Leo Kottke at the Washington Center. Saturday is my daughter's birthday party (at Alley Oop Gymnastics) and then a kirtan with Shantala at Waves Studio.

JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Feature Writer
There's nothing to write home about scheduled for Saturday, hoping to catch up on re-writing a script that's been crying out for attention, but on Sunday I'll be enjoying a Living Social adventure I purchased called "Shootin' and Drinkin'" which involves a trip to a shooting range and a brewery--hopefully in that order.

NIKKI TALOTTA Music Writer
This weekend brings a much needed shopping date with my hubby. We get to pick out a laptop without the continued interruption of our children's needs! We may even go to lunch - can't remember the last time we did that... Ah, the joys of parenting.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music Writer
I will be heading out to the New Frontier for the Sound Icons show -- a spectacle that I cannot pass up. However, I recently found out about a show at Dorky's Arcade on the same night (too late to include it in the paper, unfortunately) featuring the Cutwinkles, the Fabulous Downey Bros., a great band called the Hoot Hoots (whose record I am now obsessed with), and the untouchably ludicrous air-band, Airpocalypse. It's going to be a profoundly nerdy evening of indie rock.

JOSEPH IZENMAN Theater Critic
Aside from the general awesomeness that is taking Friday off from work to do nothing but music, I'll pretty much be sitting in one theater or another most of the weekend. Thursday night is preview night for "The Color Purple" at Tacoma Musical Playhouse, Friday night we're off to PLU for "Rabbit Hole," and Saturday is capped off by seeing jazz trio The Bad Plus rock through Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" at the Broadway Center.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photographer
I am doing nothing but working at home with my nose in books and spreadsheets. But I might his Amocat's music bash on Friday.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

March 8, 2012 at 9:39am

5 Things To Do Today: "Rabbit Hole," Sandy Harvey, Hacienda Real, Musicians Night at Rock the Dock Pub and more ...

Capitol Steps return to Olympia and the Washington Center tonight.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8, 2012 >>>

1. Almost exactly a year ago the Washington D.C. comedy troupe Capitol Steps descended on Olympia and the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, bringing with it a full bag of political humor and clever song parodies about things that rhyme with Scalia. Major laughs ensued. Tonight the Steps return to our state capital, no doubt full of new material thanks to a whole year of new inspirations - from the seemingly endless Republican presidential candidate debates to the many sweater vests of Rick Santorum.

2. PLU debuts David Lindsey-Abaire's Rabbit Hole tonight at the school's Studio Theater. The production starts at 7:30 p.m. According to hype, "Ultimately, as Rabbit Hole so beautifully demonstrates, compassion for ourselves and for each other makes us stronger as individuals and wiser as a community."

3. Slide in and catch Sandy Harvey in the Piano Lounge at El Gaucho in Tacoma tonight. The swank gets heavy around 6 p.m.

4. Thursday is the new start of the weekend, and what better way to kick things off than the open mic and "Musicians Night" at Tacoma's Rock the Dock Pub & Grill and hosted by Big D of 9 Pound Hammer? There's really not. The fun starts at 9 p.m. and there's absolutely no cover.

5. Weekly Volcano hip-hop columnist Josh Rizeberg gave us the lowdown this week on Hacienda Real. Tonight, check out the club for yourself during "Thursday Night South Sound with Skrilla and DJ J City." Expect a Top 40 party kicking off at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight

February 28, 2012 at 10:36am

CURATOR: Olympia awesomeness, Tacoma's Graffiti Garages, Julian Peña and more ...

The South Puget Sound Community College Concert Choir will host its sixth annual “100 Voices” concert on March 3 at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts main stage.

CRITICAL MASS >>>

Spew sifts through the Internets for local arts stories so you don't have to.

Over the weekend Weekly Volcano arts critic Alec Clayton reported Olympia painter Tom Anderson - "an institution in Olympia, and he may be the only contemporary abstract artist I know who has been able to support himself entirely from his art" - now shares a space with Olyphant Art Supply. Clayton reports the space is "a new happening place with exciting potential."

Weekly Volcano theater critic Christian Carvajal sings in a choir. No, it's true. And he says, "Singing choral music isn't like crooning along with Bruno Mars on the radio. It requires a wider range, for one thing, and it helps if you can read musical notation. I can't." Carv better get into the zone quick as he's singing in the sixth annual "100 Voices" concert March 3 at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts.

Post Defiance wrote a piece on how Tacoma's Graffiti Garages redefine graffiti art, touching on the history and culture of graffiti. Post Defiance writer Ben Armstrong wrote, "The creation of the Garages has placed Tacoma in the forefront nationally as a city combating illegal graffiti by celebrating and promoting the art form through legal wall space.  A New York artist told his friend whom I interviewed that it was good to see a place for graffiti in the City, and that Tacoma was ahead of major cities including New York, one of graffiti's birthplaces." That's cool.

The new King of Style in Tacoma Camp 6 popped into artist Julian Peña's Tacoma space for a chat.

Over on the OlyBlog, Thad Curtz posts Kathleen Flenniken, the state's poet laureate for the next two years, has a blog called The Far Field.

And the only arts critic reviewing classical music, The Trib's Rosemary Ponnekanti, gave an 86 percent thumbs up to the Tacoma Symphony's Chopin, Barber and Mendelssohn concert over the weekend.

LINK: South Sound arts and entertainment calendar

February 12, 2012 at 8:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Kareem Kandi Band, Rich Wetzel, Galumpha, JazzLive at Marine View Presbyterian Church and more ...

The Kareem Kandi Band will play an early all ages show today at the Mandolin Cafe from 2-5 p.m.

SUNDAY, FEB. 12, 2012 >>>

1. The Kareem Kandi Band will play the Mandolin Café in Tacoma today, an early all-ages show that runs from 2 - 5 p.m. Then, at 6 p.m., Denny Foreman and Friends take to the Mandolin stage.

2. Big band leader Rich Wetzel, no stranger to snappy sports coats and even snappier jazz numbers, isn't afraid to make a big promise. So, when he proclaims today's performance at Stonegate Pizza as "the Super Bowl of live entertainment," we shouldn't be surprised. Does this mean we should expect four-plus hours of pomp and Madonna at halftime? Probably not. But what we can expect is a damn entertaining show from Wetzel and his 15-piece jazz rock orchestra.

3.Galumpha hits the Broadway Center in Tacoma and the Pantages Theater today. According to hype, Galumpha offers "(s)tunning acrobatics, striking visual effects, physical comedy and inventive choreography bring to life a world of imagination." Today's show starts at 3 p.m. with tickets running $15 - $29.

4.Sunday means it's time for another Sunday open mic with Jeanlizabeth at the Steilacoom Pub and Grill. There's no cover and the tunes start at 8 p.m.

5. Tonight's JazzLive at Marine View Presbyterian Church in Northeast Tacoma features the Janette West Group. It's all ages and starts at 5 p.m. with no cover.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Still time to seize the weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

February 11, 2012 at 10:09am

5 Things To Do Today: GLBT Book Club, Too $hort, Tush! burlesque, electroforming copper and more ...

EvergreenOne and CityHall will be at Jazzbones tonight as part of a fairly epic hip-hop bill.

SATURDAY, FEB. 11, 2012 >>>

1. It's another huge night in live music for the South Sound. Legendary Bay-area hip-hopper Too $hort will be in Olympia at the Royal Lounge, while Olympia's own Calvin Johnson will trek north to Tacoma  with his band the Hive Dwellers for a show at The Space. The Weekly Volcano's comprehensive live local music listings have all the answers you need.

2. Tacoma's GLBT Book Club meets today at Tully's Coffee downtown on Broadway to discuss Geography Club by Brent Hartinger. The Volcano's Jenni Prange Boran recently profiled the GLBT Book Club and its organizer Matt Lemanski.

3. Tacoma Metal Arts Center offers the bold and the curious a chance to learn "electroforming in copper," which is probably just about as awesome as it sounds. According to hype, "Electroforming is an exciting technique which allows you to 'grow' copper over almost any form. You will learn how to use this process to create a shell of copper over things like glass, wax carvings and organic materials (seed pods, dried flowers, etc) to name a few. Electroforming can be used to create complex hollow forms in copper for sculpture or jewelry." This is a two-session class that kicks off today and concludes next Saturday, Feb. 18. Cost is $135 plus $15 materials fee, and instruction is provided by Amy Reeves.

4. Prior to a Valentine's Day performance in Tacoma with T-Town's Gritty City Sirens, Olympia's own Tush burlesque troupe will take to the Capitol Theater. As event hype points out, Tush will be joined by Seattle's own Paris Original, Olympia's Wednesday du Monde, and the music of Portland's Autry. Doors open at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m., and it'll cost you $10-$15.

5. At Jazzbones, it'll be a night of hip-hop featuring Ra Scion, The Breaklites, City Hall, Josh Rizeberg, DJ Reign and DJ Minus. Show starts at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Still time to seize the weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

February 10, 2012 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Oly Music Awards Pre-show, Jane Alynn, Camp 6 "Commence" dance party, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and more ...

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies will pretend it's 1997 at Jazzbones tonight.

FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2012 >>>

1. Musically, it's a huge night. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies (straight from the ‘90s) play Jazzbones on Sixth Avenue. Former Volcano scribe Heather Loepp and Santee play the Space tonight as part of a benefit for the Squeak & Squawk music festival in April. And let us not forget the Variety Hour's CD release show tonight at Hell's Kitchen. Boom.

2. If it's laughs you're looking for find comedian Chris Franjola at Tacoma Comedy Club and Duane Goad at the Grit City Comedy Club. Both shows will run you $15.

3. If you're like most people, there's part of you that really enjoys shaking your ass without regret. Luckily, Tacoma's Camp 6 is holding its first "Commence Dance Party" (in what's to be a regular series of dance parties) at the New Frontier Lounge.

4. Poet and author Jane Alynn joins the Distinguished Writer Series tonight at King's Books. With two published collections of poems to her name, Necessity of Flight and Threads & Dust, Alynn is an award-winning wordsmith who should be enjoyable to hear read. The event starts at 7 p.m.

5. In Olympia, the first-ever Oly Music Awards Pre-show - generating hype and excitement for the forthcoming first-ever Oly Music Awards - will go down at Le Voyeur, bringing Jabi Shriki to the stage in celebration of a new record, as well as Fight for Change, Elbow Coulee (in the band's first show back with a new lineup) and the debut of Brian Carsten's Point Process. Things kick off at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Plan your weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

February 8, 2012 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: SOAC Focus Series and "The Human Experience" at PLU, "Young Frankenstein," Big Friction Jam and more ...

Really Old Airplanes will play the Mandolin Cafe tonight from 6 - 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 8, 2012 >>>

1. Pacific Lutheran University and the school's School of Arts and Communication kick off the fledgling SOAC Focus Series today with an exhibition of printmaking from around the country. Designed as an annual event, this year's first-ever SOAC Focus Series will center on a theme of compassion. According to hype, the series will have a goal of bringing together "talented students and faculty each year," with "a common theme will be selected and discussed through a multi-disciplinary approach. ...  Each year, the theme selected will be relevant, timely and appropriate to the mission of SOAC and PLU." Today sees the opening of the National Print Exhibition: The Human Experience, a collection of juried printmaking entries from around the country that are apparently, "as varied as the human experience," and feature, "many touchstones that speak to us in different ways and tie one individual to another through the love of art and a broader understanding of each other."

2. Do you enjoy comedy? Do you like bliss? Then you'll want to catch the musical Newsday called "blissfully funny," Mel Brooks's adaptation of Young Frankenstein, in its final day today  at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia. The production, developed in Seattle in 2007 and hit Broadway two years late, is a mostly faithful translation of the 1974 movie. It includes all your favorite moments: "Abby Normal," "Puttin' on the Ritz," Frau Blücher's way with horses and one enormous schwanzstucker. (Voof!)

3. There was a time when the Big Friction Jam at Jazzbones was THE place to be for Sunday night maxin', relaxin' and jammin'. Powered by the groove-heavy leanings of saxophonist Brett "Big Friction" Cummings, the Big Friction house band took the stage, laid down the funk and groove, and magic ensued, with a cast of talented locals streaming through to take the stage and get down. TonightJazzbones will welcome back the Big Friction Jam for an evening that's sure to blow your usual Hump Day plans out of the proverbial water. If you're down to jam on it (or enjoy when others jam on it) this one's for you.

4. In all-ages musical action, tonight at the Mandolin Café Really Old Airplanes will play from 6 -7 p.m., and singer/songwriter Gina Belliveau will lay it down from 7-8 p.m.

5. The Northern Pacific Coffee Co. in Parkland holds its renowned open mic tonight from 8 - 11 p.m. There's no cover, and sign-ups star at 7:30 p.m. Bring the kids, because the NPCC open mic is totally all-ages.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 6, 2012 at 11:38am

Hey Sister: "Cast Me If You Can" in Tacoma's Proctor District

Cast Me If You Can

IT'S NOT THAT DICAPRIO FLICK >>>

One of your New Year's resolutions was to up your culture intake, thus impressing all the pretentious pricks for whose admiration you yearn.

Ha. Well, foreign films are perfect pretense fodder.

For extra intellectual bedazzlement, skip the snotty, food-laced French flicks, over sexed Italian romps, and whacked-out Indian song-and-dance jobs, and move right into the Japanese. You can't go wrong with the simple moral plots and brilliant aesthetics of a comedic film from the land of the rising sun.

Thursday, as part of the awesome Tacoma Sister Cities International Film Festival, the Blue Mouse Theatre screens Cast Me If You Can. Directed by Atsushi Ogata, Cast Me If You Can centers on an actor, hampered with supporting roles and the shadow of his famous playwright father, who falls in love with an energetic aspiring actress and rediscovers himself.

Arrive early to enjoy a cultural program in conjunction with Tacoma's sister city, Kitakyushu, Japan.

[Blue Mouse Theatre, Cast Me If You Can, Thursday, Feb. 9, 6:15 p.m. cultural program, 7 p.m. film, $10, 2611 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.752.9500]

Filed under: Screens, Culture, Tacoma,

January 29, 2012 at 8:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Hey Girl opens for Pierced Arrows in Oly, In the Pocket Jazz Night, open mic night with Jeanlizabeth and more ...

Pierced Arrows returns to the Brotherhood in Olympia tonight.

SUNDAY, JAN. 29, 2012 >>>

1. The band Hey Girl is totally Olympia. Sludgy, grungy, dirty and totally cute. And I mean cute in a garage punk way. It makes you wanna crush on the three-piece band, based on their live performances and relatable lyrics - like in the song "Pizza Girl," where the delivery diva is on a pillar of gold, hallowed by catchy riffs and slamming drums. Tonight at The Brotherhood in Oly, Hey Girl, along with local rock 'n' roll shredders Blues Druid, should be the perfect openers for the ever-popular Pierced Arrows. Brace yourself for a night of sweaty, good old-fashion fun. 

2. Drop in on "Jeriactric Jazz" today at the Northern Pacific Coffee Co. in Tacoma. It runs in the afternoon, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and there is no cover. It's also all-ages, in case the kids dig on jazz.

3. Speaking of jazz, it's In The Pocket Jazz Night at Tacoma Comedy Club.

4. DJ Keith. Rock, despite his name, will spin country, R&B, hip-hop and Top 40 at North Point Bar and Grill tonight. Action starts at 9 p.m.

5. Now that football season is nearly over you can get back into your Sunday open mic routine, which no doubt includes busting into your song catalogue at Steilacoom Pub and Grill during the Sunday open mic with Jeanlizabeth.

LINK: The Weekend Hustle

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

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