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April 6, 2015 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: The Boxers, Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party, Charlie Saibel ...

The Boxers perform at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, APRIL 6 2015 >>>

1. Chicago quartet The Boxers start out their most recent LP, The Blue Pool, with washed-out snippets from Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet," distorted and sinister, before segueing into a sort of anthemic, melancholy rock. It's reminiscent of the days when the Flaming Lips were transitioning from stoned punks into the glorious pop on the late '90s and early '00s. When the crooning vocals come around, it becomes clear that, while The Boxers don't quite sound like the matinee idols that they've quoted, they are still dedicated to melody above all else. Catch the band with Tomorrow's Tulips, Sun Eggs and Bob Bucko Jr. at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Here we go! Over The Moon Café in Tacoma's Opera Alley will face Boathouse 19, the restaurant and bar perched over the Narrows waterway, in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese Championship Game. Online voting will run until 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the voting will resume live at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont during the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party. Ballots will be handed out. The live vote will close at halftime of the NCAA Men's Tournament final and the South Sound Mac and Cheese Champion will be announced.

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers, at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Elks Lodge. What is a shuffle, you say? It's the country western version of polka - the primary difference being that the style of shuffle is less hoppy than the polka. The basic step consists of a triple to the left followed by a triple to the right.  The shuffle is sometimes called double two-step or traveling swing, for it also uses components of two-step and the popular East Coast swing. This makes shuffle a very versatile dance, allowing a mix and match of patterns, which can result in some exciting variations - and there's nothing wrong with that.

4. Piano man Charlie Saibel is a superb musician, a versatile jazz/swing pianist and composer with an innovative sense of texture. He seems to have a lifelong fascination with genres, easily fitting in with honkey tonk, boogie woogie, blues, Latin, jazz, classic rock, plus seasonal and special occasions. He also morphs into any situation: Charlie Saibel and the Intrusions Jazz Trio, '60s rock band The T-Tops, 20-piece Basie-style Lakewood Community Jazz Band and others. Monday, he'll think more along the lines of jazz when he entertains during Rhythm and Rye's Monday Jazz Series, beginning at 8 p.m.

5. At 9 p.m. every Monday, Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

April 2, 2015 at 11:50am

PlayStation, NBA coming to Joint Base Lewis-McChord in June

It's not every day that a National Basketball Association legend swings by your local military base to shoot hoops with the fellas. But later this spring, in conjunction with the NBA, Sony PlayStation and the USO, military families on Joint Base Lewis-McChord will have the chance to rub elbows with basketball greatness.

The 2015 PlayStation NBA Cares Hoops for Troops activation event is part of a series of visits this spring to military installations around the country. The JBLM visit, the penultimate in a series of seven, is slated for June 10 to12.

Though details are still being finalized (including exactly which NBA legend will take part), the visit is scheduled to include a variety of events over the two-day period. For instance, two basketball hoops will be donated for either an indoor gym or outdoor court on JBLM. After the hoops are installed and the ceremonial "hanging of the nets" is complete, the NBA player and others will host a basketball clinic for military youth and families. Players will have "hands-on" time with a true NBA legend and learn tricks of the trade from one of the country's best. Participants will also get a free "swag bag" containing PlayStation and NBA gear.

Also on the agenda is a Commitment to Service project, which is aimed at helping get servicemembers involved in their community.

There will also be a PlayStation trailer set up on site - attention, gamers! - in which new and possibly unreleased video games will be available for play. A gaming tournament is slated for the final day of the visit, with prizes including PS4 consoles and games.   

The yet-to-be-named NBA legend is scheduled to play a few of those PS games alongside the servicemembers, and PlayStation plans to donate several PS4 consoles and games to places like the USO and the Warrior Zone.

The locations of the donated hoops, PlayStation consoles and games, gaming trailer and clinic are still to be determined.

Hoops for Troops began nine years ago as a "global social responsibility program for USA Basketball," according to information on its website.

Its programs and events work to provide support for military personnel and their families. PlayStation is the first-ever partner of NBA Cares Hoops for Troops program.

For more information about the program, visit www.nba.com/hoopsfortroops.

March 23, 2015 at 6:25am

5 Things To Do Today: Sister Girlfriend, Meat Bingo, Kim Archer, FOG ...

Sister Girlfriend performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photos credit: Christina Hicks

MONDAY, MARCH 23 2015 >>>

1. Now that indie music has increasingly begun to incorporate pop music into its life, we've found ourselves at an interesting crossroad, where the underground no longer has any fear of selling out or sounding too corporate; instead, bands have folded Top 40 sounds into their brand of uncompromising idiosyncrasy, resulting in the lo-fi R&B of How To Dress Well and others. Weirder still, though, is a band like Sister Girlfriend, which smashes together the blue-eyed soul of H&O with the frantic house music of two decades ago. It's experimental in the oddest way: not charting new ground, but taking two sounds and violently spinning them in a centrifuge to see which comes out on top. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Sister Girlfriend in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Grex and Shadows at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. On weekends all the bartenders are in a bad mood because people are forgetting to tip them and throwing toilet paper around the bathroom. However, Monday is when a neighborhood bar wipes its brow and smiles. But it can take a little coaxing to get your fellow office friends to come with you on a Monday. How to break them down? Meat Bingo! This isn't Grandma's boring bingo. There isn't any yelling out letters and numbers, just singing along to all your favorite songs from yesteryears through today. MTV may have stopped playing videos, but you can catch them every Monday at 7 p.m. in Rock The Dock Pub & Grill. All bingo winners will win raw meat.

3. With a timeless vocal delivery only matched by her engaging stage presence, Kim Archer has been pleasing live music fans in our area since 2004. Archer's powerful voice a la Janis Joplin and Chaka Khan gelled nicely with the sonic buzz of the guitar and groove from the backbeat. She commands the stage playing her own original songs rooted in old school soul, funk and classic rock, sultry blues and ballads while remaining a master at giving choice cover tunes the "Kim Archer treatment," such as the crowd pleasing "Shaft." Catch her at 7:30 p.m. in Smoke + Cedar.

4. What is FOG? It's the reaction of the air when hot meets cold. It disrupts air traffic at SeaTac. It causes crashes on Interstate 5. It's the ooh-la-la factor of Adrienne Barbeau. Or maybe we're confusing it with Swamp Thing. Either way, there are good reasons for FOG, too. It lifts water out of the ocean, extracts the salt, then brings all that freshwater vapor to us at head level, just begging to be drunk. It's also four former members of the legendary jazz group Obrador: flutist Tom Russell, guitarist Paul Hjelm, bassist Steve Luceno and percussionist Michael Olson. Together, they bring more than 200 years of musical knowledge to the stage. Their music is rooted in jazz and folkloric styles and includes original compositions from their Obrador songbook. Be sure and turn your headlights on for FOG is coming at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye.

5. At 9 p.m. Every Monday Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

February 24, 2015 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Feast of Thrones, Washington volcano hazards, trivia night, Hungry Skinny ...

"Give our regards to the Night’s Watch. We're sure it will be thrilling. And if it’s not, it's only for life."

TUESDAY, FEB. 23 2015 >>>

1. Even though you don't live in one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, dining at King's Landing is a bucket list item for any die-hard Game of Thrones fan. While you won't exactly get the chance to "do what queens do," fans of the show will get the chance to dine on A Feast of Thrones and let their imaginations do the ruling. Bayview School of Cooking instructor Caroline Willard will prepare a feast worthy of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms at 6 p.m. From The Wall, to Highgarden, and across the Narrow Sea, taste dishes taken straight from the pages of George R.R. Martin's hugely popular book series. Spicy Dornish Stuffed Grape Leaves begins the culinary journey, followed by Highgarden Medieval Poached Pears with Cheese, both accompanied by a Honey Citrus Wine from across The Narrow Sea. The main course is Winterfell Beef and Bacon Pie served with a Salad at Castle Black. Sansa's beloved Lemon Cakes from King's Landing are the sweet finish to the menu. Complementary wine pairing, of course! Nothing goes better with Game of Thrones than many swigs of complementary wine - just ask the constantly imbibing characters. RSVP at 360.754.1448.

2. United States Geological Survey specialist Carolyn Driedger will present an eye-opening investigation of the history of volcano study in Washington state at noon inside the Washington State History Museum. Part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," Washington's mountains are both beautiful and deadly, making the area a key location for early warning technology and observation. Be sure to check out the "Living in the Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington" exhibit before or after the lecture.

3. If you've resolved this year to get your brain, as well as your body, limber, the pub quiz is a great start. This athletics of the mind can be highly rewarding, both tangibly (winning nets you cash prizes, swag and gift certificates) and intangibly (finding an outlet for such mental detritus as the name of the group that sang "Walking on Sunshine" is surprisingly fulfilling). Treos in Old Town Tacoma offers a weekly Tuesday trivia game to up your cultural literacy. Expect three rounds with prizes beginning at 6:30 p.m.

4. Jerry Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

5. Hungry Skinny perfect a kind of dirtbag glam befitting their Northern California roots. What initially sounds like the same sort of garage pop that comes from Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin eventually reveals itself to be impeccably assembled rock that draws from the sloppy blues-rock of '60s mods like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Filled to the brim with untold amounts of swagger and spit, Hungry Skinny effortlessly recreate the days when the musicians in bands were more totems than men: shorthand in human form for the carefree living and drinking rock 'n' roll supplies in spades. Catch the band with the Loud Potions and Phil Taylor at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

January 7, 2015 at 6:54am

5 Things To Do Today: "Frankenstein" chat, Seth Roth, Knowledge Night, aerial show in a bar ...

Give 19-year-old Mary Shelley credit for dreaming up a world-altering idea and single-handedly concocting the genre of science fiction.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 7 2015 >>>

1. Give 19-year-old Mary Shelley credit for dreaming up a world-altering idea and single-handedly concocting the genre of science fiction. Frankenstein was regarded as Gothic sensationalism when first published - a lurid tale of a scientist driven mad by his obsession to animate the dead. It has earned the status of "literary classic" because the questions it asks remain unanswered, and the issues it raises continue to create intellectual and cultural divides. How does Victor Frankenstein respond to the terrible crimes that he sets in motion? By lying in bed for months at a time, plagued with delirium. Toward the end, when his rescuer is describing the nobility of his passenger's spirit, you feel like yelling, "Are you nuts? He's a spoiled aristocrat wuss-boy who couldn't be bothered to clean up his own mess!" Shelley's book continues to ask tough questions, two centuries after its creation. Who controls life and death? What constitutes human life? Should there be limits placed on scientific research? Literary scholar Lance Rhoades explores this complex story at the Lacey Timberland Library, beginning at 5:30 p.m.

2. Bundle up, pinch your cheeks until they glow and strap on a pair of silver skates, Hans Brinker, for a glide across the frozen expanse at Tollefson Plaza. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street, is open from 4-9 p.m.

3. Seth Roth has been singing since the age of 5. The Tacoma singer-songwriter grew up on Steve Perry and Lou Gramm, but has one solid foot in the Bob Dylan and Neil Young camp. Roth has been serving coffee at Harmon's Hop Coffee since the day it opened inside the Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District. Hop Coffee combines beans from Bluebeard Coffee Roasters with sweetened coffee syrups developed by Melina Eshinski, pastry chef for Harmon Brewing Co. Drop by Hop Coffee and have a cup, then head to the back room and watch him perform from 6-8 p.m.

4. Every Wednesday Doyle's Public House hosts Knowledge Night, its version of a pub quiz, at 8 and 9 p.m. It is free to play. Speaking of free, Doyle's co-owner Russ Heaton is free to roam the room and look over your shoulder, crack wise and punch you in the arm.

5. The Brotherhood Takes Flight aerial show is back, featuring P.J. from Bellingham and others taking to the air with whimsy, strength and artful grace at 8 p.m. in The Brotherhood Lounge. The performance above the drinking crowd is just plain beautiful. A dance party with DJ Fir$t Lady follows the 8 p.m. performance.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 21, 2014 at 7:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Jeff Bridges, Adult Swim, Hip-Hop History Jam, Feels ...

Jeff Bridges & the Abiders perform at the Pantages Theater tonight.

FRIDAY, NOV. 21 2014 >>>

1. Sure, you know actor Jeff Bridges from his performances in The Big Lebowski, Starman, the outstanding 2010 remake of True Grit, and so many other unforgettable films. You may also know he won an Oscar for playing country singer Otis "Bad" Blake in 2009's Crazy Heart. It may have slipped your attention, however, that Bridges had already released a solo album under his own name in 2000. He jammed with Kris Kristofferson between takes on Heaven's Gate (1980), an experience that informed his work on Crazy Heart, and sang in the star-studded choir for "We Are the World" a few years later. Crazy Heart included a song called "The Weary Kind," co-written by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, that also won an Academy Award. Now Burnett has helped Bridges perfect some of his own tunes, plus some from the Crazy Heart score, and take them out on the road, including at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. As an additional treat for musical locavores, PK Dwyer, esteemed member of The Jitters, opens for Bridges. There are still tickets available!

2. The Copper Door hosts a Movember fundraiser beginning at 6 p.m. For every pint sold, a dollar will be earmarked for The Movember Foundation to fight prostate cancer, testicular cancer and mental health issues. Expect a raffle with Movember schwag.

3. Close your eyes and imagine a world where children are encouraged to learn about science, instead of being chastised for participating in it. Now imagine you in the same environment with a cocktail in your hand. Hands On Children's Museum presents its last Adult Swim of the year. Find a sitter and head to the museum to explore and play through luminescent, glow-in-the-dark and light-up art and science activities from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Experiment with chemiluminescence, analyze bioluminescence and get your body painted with phosphorescence. Warning: Sometimes cocktails produce interesting chemistry between adults.

4. The 25Z60 (Tacoma/Olympia/Lacey & beyond) chapter of The Universal Zulu Nation is hosting a free party in celebration of Hip-Hop History Month for any and everyone who respects and loves hip-hop. There will be MCs, DJs, B-Boy/Girls and visual arts/graffiti cyphers  at the Hip-Hop History Jam at 8 p.m. in New World VIP Lounge in Lakewood. The Zulu Nation and Temple of Hip-Hop ask all to bring canned food, non-perishables and clothing to redistribute to those in need within our communities.

5. Feels perform upbeat psych-punk befitting their inclusion on Lolipop Records, one of LA's prominent hubs for psychedelia and garage rock. Though there's no official Feels album to date, they are readying the release of a live cassette, which is designed to resemble a bootleg. Nothing could be more fitting than a bootleg for a band meant to be spread around and talked about. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Feels in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with MILK and Wild Berries at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, Nov. 21 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 17, 2014 at 1:54pm

Nerd Alert! Mockingjay, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, geeky gift suggestions ...

The games are over, but the cash-in continues. Photo courtesy of Moviestore Collection/REX

Volunteering as tribute, 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.


Despite the enduring success of Chess and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, perhaps no geek musical ever has been more popular than Little Shop of Horrors. Let's face it, Audrey (I) and Seymour speak to the dweebs in all of us. He just wants to grow a man-eating plant, and she just hopes she'll survive another date with her sadistic boyfriend. OK, so maybe they're not terrific role models. The point is, I for one never get tired of seeing it live on stage, perhaps because the original finale is grimmer than the version we know from the 1986 film adaptation. Frank Oz, Muppeteer, Jedi Master and director of that movie, even shot the stage ending, but it tanked with preview audiences. (A black-and-white workprint of that reshot conclusion was unearthed a few years ago and included in recent video releases.) Anyway, North Thurston High completes its run of the show this weekend. It's always fun to watch fresh-faced adolescents evoke bloodlust and sadomasochistic relationships on stage. "That thing went bang, kaboom, and he's havin' some fun now." 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, North Thurston High School, 600 Sleater Kinney Rd. NE, Lacey, $6-$10, 360.412.4800

When last we left our heroine Katniss Everdeen, she'd just been yoinked by insurgents and informed storm troopers under the command of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) burned her home state, District 12, to the ground. This was followed by some of the finest eyeball acting in cinema history, courtesy of America's klutziest sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence. Fellow Hunger Gamers Peeta and Johanna (Jena Malone, in a memorably sexy performance) were captured and taken to the Capitol, where they'll be used as pawns against a rising rebellion. The success of this series' previous installment, Catching Fire, was good news for anyone who wanted book three, Mockingjay, to be lavishly envisioned, bad news for anyone who wanted it to fit into a single holiday movie. So Thursday night marks the sneak opening of The Hunger Games Colon Mockingjay Em Dash Part Numeral 1 Comma Electric Boogaloo, and thank Suzanne Collins and Lionsgate we only have one year to wait till the grand conclusion in Part 2.

Speaking of long, goofy titles, Disney recently announced Star Wars, Episode VII will be henceforth known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The phrase "Episode VII," in fact, appears only in the December 2015 installment's iconic opening crawl. It's hard to complain about that subtitle, actually, to the extent that even Internet haters have given up trying. Instead they've returned to making troglodytic fools of themselves over Gamergate.

This being MY last Nerd Alert before Black Friday, it's time to offer geeky gift suggestions. And hey, if you've enjoyed this column these last few years, far be it from me to restrain you from buying any of this fine swag for your humble commentator!

Let's start with the Blu-ray of the year: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comes loaded with hours of special features, including more of respawned Groot and another '70s classic from Star-Lord's Sony Walkman. True, the movie won't hit video till Dec. 9, but feel free to preorder it for me, I mean a loved one, right now.

If for some bizarre reason your gamer buddies don't yet own Titanfall, now's your chance to pay it forward till Halo: Spartan Strike hits Dec. 12. Wort, wort, wort!

It's a year old, but I for one would swoon over the gift of Battlestar Galactica Vault: The Complete History of the Series, 1978-2012, an abundantly illustrated coffee table compendium that follows the saga all the way from its origins as a cheesy Star Wars knockoff through Caprica and Blood & Chrome. And if you know what Blood & Chrome is, then you're probably a superfan who should just buy the frakkin' thing for yourself.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and so say we all.

November 12, 2014 at 7:48am

5 Things To Do Today: Olympia Film Festival, Super-team at MOG, Taylor Guitars Road Show, Vomity ...

Learn about Pirates pitcher Dock Ellis perceptually enhanced 1970 no-hitter against the Padres at the Capitol Theater tonight.

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 12 2014 >>>

1. Dock Ellis is best known as the Major League Baseball player who pitched a no-hitter (aka a "no-no") while tripping balls on acid. He couldn't really see the players, he recalls, just which side of the plate they were standing on. Ellis was baseball's first "militant black athlete," a black player who wasn't simply so grateful to be allowed in the game that he would overlook slights and slurs. Refusing to tamp down his outsized personality and style just to fit in meekly was his contribution to the black pride movement; refusing to temper his drinking and drugging was his downfall. Catch Director Jeff Radice's take on Ellis in the film No No: A Dockumentary at 9 p.m. at the Olympia Film Festival.

2. Simon Kogan is locally famous in Olympia for his World War II memorial on the Capitol Campus and for the larger-than-life statue of a pregnant woman, "Motherhood," at Percival Landing.  He is also well known as a teacher of private art classes. Today is the last day to check out artworks by his students in the art gallery at Pacific Lutheran University. Read Alec Clayton full review of the "Art Students of Simon Kogan" show in the Music & Culture section, then see the show from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

3. Super-team Dr. Erik Demaine, Martin Demaine and Shandra McLane will complete their collaborative Visiting Artist Residency at Museum of Glass today through Sunday, Nov. 16. Assisted by the Hot Shop Team, they will be experimenting with new techniques that blend together printmaking and glassblowing. The Demaine duo is well known in their respected fields at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Martin Demaine has multiple roles at MIT, from Resident Artist to Technical Instructor at the Glass Lab, while his son, Dr. Erik Demaine, is a professor in Computer Science. Their collaborator, Shandra McLane, learned the art of glassblowing at the renowned Pilchuck Glass School, where she served as Print Shop Coordinator for 18 years. MOG opens at 10 a.m.

4. The Taylor Guitars Road Show is all about guitars, giving you a chance to talk shop with a team from the company's factory in El Cajon, California. At each event, Taylor's Road Show team shares insights on the company's guitar-making process and the award-winning Expression System pickup, and demonstrates how body shapes and woods affect tone. After the demonstration, guests are invited to sample a variety of different models, along with rare and custom Build to Order guitars, as part of Taylor's "Petting Zoo." The Road Show hits Music 6000 in Olympia at 7 p.m.

5. Comedy open mics are where comedians cut their teeth, develop their chops and other folksy idioms meaning "possibly suck to get better." Polish is traded for rawness. Comedians nervously testing out premises they thought of while parking. It wouldn't be a true comedy open mic without a few rookies floundering or even some industry veterans filling the room with crushing awkwardness, but Vomity features some damn good performers who more than balance it out every Wednesday at 9 p.m. in Le Voyeur. Host Sam Miller has an infectious enthusiasm for what he does, and the result is a well-organized but natural open mic that doesn't take itself too seriously.

LINK: Wednesday, Nov. 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 5, 2014 at 7:12am

5 Things To Do Today: Aerial show in a bar, Knowledge Night, Margaret Cho, Buddy Jackson ...

Jenn Johnson will soar above the crowd at The Brotherhood Lounge tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 5 2014 >>>

1. Remember when as a kid you sat on a swing, pumping your arms for all they could muster to get a motion going that felt like flying? Your mother was always worried that you'd go off and join Ringling Bros. Circus, but you went on to become an elementary school yard monitor. Other swing fanatics went on to perform aerial dance inside bars. The Brotherhood Takes Flight aerial show is back, featuring Jenn Johnson taking to the air with whimsy, strength and artful grace at The Brotherhood Lounge. The performance above the drinking crowd is just plain beautiful. A dance party with DJ Fir$t Lady follows the 8 p.m. performance.

2. Rear Admiral Eleanor Valentin, the first Filipino American female to be the Commander of Navy's Medicine Support Command and the first female director of the U. S. Navy's Medical Service Corps, will be the guest speaker at 6 p.m. in the Worthington Conference Center at Saint Martin's University. The areas under Valentin's command include the Naval Medical Logistics Command, the Navy Medicine Manpower, Personnel, Training and Education Command, the Navy Medicine Information Systems Support Activity, the Navy and Marine Corps Public Health Center and the Naval Medical Research Center.

3. Margaret Cho is back for another night of two shows at the Tacoma Comedy Club. Cho is a fierce and funny ambassador for the Korean American community who makes amazing jokes about her parents, loves the gay community, loves sex (sometimes with women) and has starred in more TV shows at 46 than most comics will in a lifetime. Catch her at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m.

4. Every Wednesday Doyle's Public House hosts Knowledge Night, its version of a pub quiz, at 8 and 9 p.m. It is free to play. Speaking of free, Doyle's co-owner Russ Heaton is free to roam the room and look over your shoulder, crack wise and punch you in the arm.

5. Montana-based garage pop band Buddy Jackson sure know their way around a good "woh-oh." While there's certainly a good amount of fuzzed-out thrashing, Buddy Jackson always give you plenty of sugar to let the medicine go down. Melody and a good sing-along chorus seem to always be at the front of their minds, even when the lead vocals get pushed to the edge of a scream. Catch the band with Chasing Hornets and Hold Fast at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Wednesday, Nov. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 15, 2014 at 7:46am

5 Things To Do Today: Hamell on Trial, scary improv, Molybden, Indigenous Robot ...

Hamell on Trial performs at The Swiss tonight.

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 14 2014 >>>

1. What the hell is a Hamell on Trial? Hamell on Trial is the nom de la musique of Ed Hamell, solo punk poet extraordinaire, beloved among cognoscenti at the Venn-diagram intersection of folk, punk and observational standup comedy. His current album, The Happiest Man in the World, was inspired by a recent divorce, but don't let his aggro delivery scare you: this guy can sing a joke. He'll remind you of Bill Hicks. Even better, he can play the rockin' hell out of a '37 Gibson guitar. We were especially won over by his YouTube video for a jaunty number called "I Hate Your Kid." Catch him with Tacoma garage rock band Radio On at 8:30 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant and Pub.

2. Musically, Woman Who Left Behind is lushly spare, and Tess Seipp's tremulous, silky voice wraps around the four tracks like a nice hemp sandal. Growing up 62 miles from the Mexican border in the Chihuahuan Desert city of Marfa, Texas (known for its Minimalist art and the 2006 filmings of both No Country For Old Men and There Will Be Blood) and coming of age selling vinyl in Pacific Northwest record stores, Seipp, who is also known as Molybden, tells tales of the homeland and ponders the world around her, pulling together influences from Elliott Smith and Patti Smith to Charlie Feathersand Rosanne Cash, as well as paying homage to poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Need another reason to catch her show at Rainy Day Records at 8 p.m. She performs with Eleanor Murray and Mona Reels.

3. Doyle's Public House's version of a pub quiz is fun to play and the prizes are always tasty. Nick Walsh is off for the night so Nicole Karen Olson will be reprising her role as the Quiztress. Same format as usual with 50 percent brainteaser riddle and 50 percent current event questions. Two sessions will go down - 8 and 9 p.m.

4. Harlequin Productions presents The Nightmare Before Improv with their improv comedy troupe at 8 p.m. in The Historic State Theater. Those brave enough to attend can expect frighteningly funny Halloween-themed improv comedy, a costume contest and an evening of ghostly delights.

5. Indigenous Robot cram the stomping menace of Black Sabbath and the masculine poetry of the Doors into something resembling Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds. Psychedelia still works, as shown in Indigenous Robots' in-and-out brevity, which allows them to pack a considerable amount of punch into three minutes or less.  See the band with Glass Elevator at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Wednesday, Oct. 15 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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