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August 20, 2013 at 7:05am

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

Kim Archer is taking her R&B outside tonight.

TUESDAY, AUG. 20, 2013 >>>

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 27, 2013 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: 7 Seas Brewing Bash, Mushroom Fest, Ethnic Fest, Jilly Rizzo and more ...

Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, JULY 27 2013 >>>

1. 7 Seas Brewing isn't just the maker of delicious craft beer. It isn't just at the forefront of the "beer in a can is cool again" movement. It's a local business doing things the right way and an entity that knows how to party - as will be proven when 7 Seas throws a four-year anniversary bash in front of its tap room from noon to 8 p.m. Expect beer, food vendors, a few antics (giant Jenga games have dotted previous anniversary parties) and live music by Perry Acker, Ben Union, Kim Archer, SweetKiss Momma, and Red Stone Sinners.

2. How many folks out there knew Tacoma hosts one of the biggest and best rugby 7's tournament in the entire region? OK, how many people even know what rugby 7's is? A primer may be in order. Rugby 7's is an exciting variation on the traditional game, played on smaller fields with fewer players (seven as opposed to 15. Get it?). For the last 37 years, Tacoma has hosted a summer 7's tournament featuring some of the best male and female rugby teams in the area. Throw on some blood-resistant apparel and catch the action at the Portland Avenue Play Fields in East Tacoma from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. If you've ever been to a mushroom festival - particularly the Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival, which this year runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the Thurston County Regional Athletic Complex - you already know that mycologists ('shroom experts) are in a league of their own. Mushroom festivals are the strangest, funniest and, not so incidentally, most educational experience you're ever likely participate in. And, no, hippie: Pacific Northwest Mushroom Festival does feature "magic" mushrooms (psilocybes and otherwise). What it does include are about a dozen local restaurant chefs who will prepare mushroom-based delectables during the Lacey festival.

4. You don't need to attend the annual Ethnic Fest to see Tacoma is a melting pot, but it certainly doesn't hurt to help you appreciate it. That's the power of more than a dozen food booths representing a multitude of delicious tastes from cultures around the world, not to mention more arts, crafts, Saturday night movie and music than you can shake a culturally diverse stick at. In its 27th year, Tacoma's Ethnic Fest is easily one of the shining moments of each summer for this city. See why from noon to 7 p.m. at Wright Park.

5. We have officially been Jilly Rizzo - Rolled. I cannot, for the life of me, get the song "Shuttlecock of Love" out of my head. After watching a YouTube video of The Jilly Rizzo playing live in studio on the BJ Shea Show, I've been batting the catchy chorus around in my brain. Based out of Renton, the band features former 107.7 DJ Dick Rosetti, who knows a thing or two about catchy choruses. Hence his interest in The Jilly Rizzo playing with Trees and Timber and The Variety Hour, two Tacoma indie pop rock bands that compliment the scene with their diversity and delight at 9 p.m. in The Acme Grub Cage

LINK: Saturday, July 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 23, 2013 at 7:10am

5 Things To Do Today: The Littlest Birds, In The House, The Beatniks and more ...

The Littlest Birds will bring their refreshing, old-time folk to Olympia.

TUESDAY, JULY 23 2013 >>>

1. Coming from the mountain town of Bishop, Calif., the cello-and-banjo duo The Littlest Birds does well in capturing the sort of humbly catchy Dust Bowl-era folk that used to dominate lonely radio stations on long stretches of desolate country road. David Huebner's utilization of the cello is particularly inspired, capturing as it does both the sound and feel of the genre's requisite fiddle, while lending a certain depth that would have been lost without an upright bass or something similar. Catch themat 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. The film In The House centers on Germain (Fabrice Luchini), a high school literature teacher who regards his students as "barbarians" who can't write. But as he's grading papers one day, Germain reads the essay of a teenager named Claude (Ernst Umhauer), who captivates his instructor with a well-written piece about a classmate and his house: For a long time, Claude used to sit in the park across from the house, admiring it and its "holy family." He wants to see what life is like inside, so he befriends the classmate, Rapha (Bastien Ughetto), by offering to tutor him in math. Faced with this gifted and unusual pupil, the teacher rediscovers his enthusiasm for his work, but the boy's intrusion will unleash a series of uncontrollable events. The film screens at 1:40 and 6:55 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

3. Add Victorian style to your correspondence by creating a steampunk greeting card with paper crafter Rachel Collins from 3-5 p.m. at the Summit Library.

4. The Beatniks, Seattle's most famous cover band ('60s-'80s) will perform an outside concert at Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor beginning at 6:30 p.m.

5. Every Tuesday night at Stonegate Pizza on South Tacoma Way Leanne Trevalyan hosts an acoustic open mic at 8 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, July 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 20, 2013 at 8:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Smoke Off, Lakefair, Jesus on the Moon, Stay Grounded and more ...

The first ever Doyle's Smoke Off goes down this afternoon.

SATURDAY, JULY 20 2013 >>>

1. Doyle's Public House is hosting its first annual "Smoke Off" from 4-7 p.m. It has nothing officially to do with Initiative 502. Rather, it's a smoked meat competition with 100 percent of the proceeds benefitting F.I.S.H. Food Banks of Pierce County. Anyone can enter, and everyone who attends is a judge. For $20 you may sample every cook of ribs and other meaty categories and help pick the winner. So shove your pockets full of moist towletts and help support an organization that fed 140,000 families in Pierce County last year.

2. Gig Harbor Summer Art Festival throws local art, music, food and more onto the streets of downtown Gig Harbor from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.

3. Oh, Lakefair. You seductive  tramp. Every year you roll through Oly, wafting your carnival of appeals, your treasures of artistic desire, your car shows, your cotton candy, your Queens, your nights of beer. And every time you draw us into the revelry. You're the party that completes us, Lakefair. We just can't deny you. You're the one for us. Except for that one time we made out with that Funtastic chick after shots at the Clipper. What the hell was that all about? Anyway, click here for today's recommended Lakefair music, including C-Average's last show ever.

4. Having relocated to the South Sound, Jake Frye, an English teacher, found a bassist in one of his former students, Derek Reed. Suddenly, the prospect of sharing Jesus on the Moon became a reality. The two of them, along with a drum machine, began showing Jesus on the Moon to audiences. Jesus on the Moon tends toward a sort of jumpy, Devo-ish vibe. Simple drum machine patterns run under fairly unadorned electric guitars, creating a gently driving momentum, on some songs. Other songs up the spaced-out moodiness, like "Divide" and "In a Spell." Still, songs like "Proletariat Rock" could pass for Dave Edmunds outtakes. Check them out with Tortilla Flat at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Jesus on the Moon in Northwest Military's Music & Culture section.

5. Members of the Pacific Northwest reggae community have come together to form Stay Grounded -  a band rich in experience and new in concept. Join their good vibe with Ethan Tucker  and I Rain at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

LINK: Saturday, July 20 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 16, 2013 at 7:27am

5 Things To Do Today: "Melting Away," Banned Book Club, Bon Odori dance lesson, Railflowers and more ...

The Grand Cinema screens "Melting Away" today as part of its Pride Film Festival.

TUESDAY, JULY 16 2013 >>>

1. Tel Aviv may be Israel's gay-friendliest city, but in 2009 two people died during an armed attack on an LGBT youth center that remains unsolved. In response to the attack, which left 15 others injured, director Doran Eran and screenwriter Bill Ben Moshe wrote the emotionally wrenching family drama Melting Away that explores the heartbreak and defiance a gay teen experiences when his parents discover he's gay and kick him out of the house. Catch the film at 2 and 6:45 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

2. Did you find The Kite Runner hard to put down? Did you find this story about the structure of society in Afghanistan as well as redemption and atonement within one family fascinating? Some people find is disturbing and frightening, which is why it's King's Books' July selection for its monthly Banned Book Club. This is a story about how two boys and two fathers define honor. Unfortunately the two main characters get it wrong and while they try their best, they live their lives dishonorably and dishonestly. Join the discussion at 7 p.m. in Doyle's Public House.

3. Remember last year when you joined the dance portion of Tacoma Buddhist Temple's Bon Odori festival? How you skirted around the circle as if your pants were on fire? Yea, disaster. You need to slow it down this year. In fact, you should attend the 7:30 p.m. dance lesson at the Temple. The Aug. 3 festival is fast approaching. This is the year you won't be laughed out of the sake garden.

4. Summer Sounds At Skansie continues with a 6:30 p.m. by the 133rd Army National Guard Band in Skansie Brothers Park in Gig Harbor.

5. The Railflowers - the sister trio of Hannah, Beth and Ellen Knight - are perhaps the sweetest thing to happen to folk-music scene in quite some time. Catch them at 9 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Tuesday, July 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 9, 2013 at 7:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Levon Helm film, Summer Sounds, science and beer, and more ...

The film focuses on the four-time Grammy winner and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame member after his 2007 comeback album, "Dirt Farmer."

TUESDAY, JULY 9 2013 >>>

1. If you're at all familiar with The Band, A prolific Canadian-American folk rock group of the '60s and '70s, then drummer Levon Helm requires no introduction, and the captivating documentary Ain't in It for My Health chronicling Helm's final years is sure to draw you in. Check it out at 1:40 abd 7 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. Read Jared Lovrak's full feature on the film in Northwest Military's Music & Culture section.

2. Washington State Park Ranger Tom Pew will highlight some of the great adventures to be had around the state including hikes, camping, water sports, wildlife viewing and more at 5:30 p.m. in the Tumwater Timberline Library. Attendees will have a chance to win one of two Washington State Discover Passes, paid for by the Friends of the Tumwater Timberland Library.

3. In Gig Harbor it's time once again for Summer Sounds at Skansie Brothers Park, this evening at 6:30 p.m. with The New Blues Brothers Revue.

4. The Swiss and science are synonymous. OK, so maybe they're not quite synonymous, but they do go together quite well - the "Tacoma Science Café" at the Swiss proves it. At 6:30 p.m., the Pacific Science Center presents Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center's Greg Brennan, D.V.M., Ph.D., who will discuss how the virus vs. animals conflict has led to some of the most serious epidemics in modern times, and how we're learning to try to control them. You might want to pull back from your normal beer consumption Tuesday, as Brennan will also host a Q-and-A session.

5. AWOL One brings the California word to Le Voyeur at 9 p.m., yo.

LINK: Tuesday, July 9 arts and entertainment in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 5, 2013 at 8:10am

5 Things To Do Today: CinemaGig Outdoors, beer garden tunes, hip-hop, salsa dancing and more ...

Guess who's dropping by Skansie Brothers Park tonight?

FRIDAY, JULY 5 2013 >>>

1. It's officially summer, and longer days and warmer nights mean finding any excuse to be outside. What could be a better nighttime entertainment choice than hanging out in a park? Hanging out in a park with free movies! CinemaGig Outdoors movie series is on with 9:15 p.m. screenings in Skansie Brothers Park. Tonight, it's 100 percent Iowa corn and Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams. Costner, slack but unoffending, is Ray Kinsella, a novice farmer guided by voices to build a ballfield for disgraced diamond great Shoeless Joe Jackson (Ray Liotta); restore the faith of a reclusive novelist (James Earl Jones); and shepherd the apotheosis of a saintly ballplayer-turned-doctor (Burt Lancaster). You will, come.

2. Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District has invited Joe Rosati to perform in its outdoor beer garden at 6 p.m. Grab a beer, kick back in the sun and listen to songs off his new CD, The Candelabra Light.

3. Sometimes you desperately need something to bring a laugh or distract you enough to allow you to let go of whatever has been troubling you, even if only for a couple hours. Lakewood Playhouse's production of The Importance of Being Earnest does all of that. Oscar Wilde's 118-year-old script is as smart and fresh now as when it debuted in London. While director Marilyn Bennett had a fantastic play to work with, her direction of the cast and crew of the quick paced, witty script was flawless. It hits the stage at 8 p.m.

4. Most renowned for its rock sensibilities and downtown Olympia hardcore patronage - as well as favored (pricewise and taste-wise) drinks among Olympians - McCoy's Tavern continues its mild shift of venue personage as it hosts another hip-hop function.  At 8 p.m. the likes of an O'Lacey (Olympia and Lacey) who's who list of factors (cats who make a difference in the scene) such as Heretic, Q-Storm, Double B, Cauze N Efeckt, David Gies, DJ Pasquan and Model Citizens take over the downtown Olympia joint. Be on the lookout for the gritty-grimey-gangsta-styled Prano Tha Don from Seattle and out-of-staters Landon Wordswell and Tim Hoke. This is a diverse lineup of hip-hop that with a couple beers and more - just might be what you need this weekend to keep the party going.

5. The merengue, as well as the bachata and salsa, are taught in mini-versions, with or without partner, at varying levels of experience, every Friday night at Studio 6 Ballroom in Tacoma. After the last instruction at around 9:30 p.m., the club lights flip on, disco ball drops and Studio 6 fills with cross body leads, hand throws and hammerlocks. "It's always fun and memorable," says Natasha Thayer, master coach at Studio 6 Ballroom. "One of the reasons we chose Friday nights was so that you could club hop on Sixth Avenue and go out for food after." Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Studio 6 Ballroom's Latin dance Night in Northwest Military Clubs/Bars Section.

LINK: Friday, July 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

May 27, 2013 at 9:59am

Eat This Now: Petite Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli

Brix 25's Petite Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli

As you coast down Pioneer Way to take in Gig Harbor's waterfront view and charming retail shops and galleries, you must consider a visit to Brix 25.

The attractive restaurant exudes an intimate and approachable fine dining atmosphere while serving up flavorful dishes courtesy of chef and owner Thad Lyman. Among many wonderful dishes, Lyman's talents shine with his Petite Smoked Mozzarella Ravioli ($8 happy hour serving in the lounge or $21 entree size). This dish features roasted red pepper pasta filled with a three-cheese blend of mozzarella, asiago and ricotta. The delectable cheesy nibbles are then tossed in a house made Italian sausage Bolognese sauce.


Filed under: Food & Drink, Gig Harbor,

May 25, 2013 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival, Street Scramble, hip-hop, Joe Bob Briggs and more ...

Award winning blues and boogie woogie pianist Arthur Migliazza rocks the Harmon Brewery at 5 p.m. Saturday, May 25. Press photo

SATURDAY, MAY 25 2013 >>>

1. That's right, it's Tacoma Jazz & Blues Festival time again, when you can cram an entire week's worth of fun into one whirlwind Saturday. The Harmon Brewery & Eatery, The Swiss and Stonegate Pizza, between 12:30 and 11:30 p.m., will be going full blast with quartets up to big bands the size of Ruston's population. The Blues stage at The Harmon kicks off at 12:30 p.m. with Steve Cooley and the Dangerfields, followed by The Cody Rentas Band at 2, Maia Santell and House Blend at 3:30 and headline Arthur Migliazza at 5 p.m. The Johnny Lewis Big Band and Roadside Attraction will command The Swiss from 1-6 p.m. Beginning at 8 p.m. Rich Wetzel's Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra with guest trumpeter Mike Vax will perform for three and a half hours at Stonegate Pizza. The festival is free, thanks to sponsors - although there's a $5 cover at Stonegate.

2. The Gig Harbor Street Scramble is a treasure hunt that leads participants to 30 checkpoints throughout the community beginning at 9:30 a.m. The checkpoints are circled on a map, and each has a description such as "sculpture" or "road bend." They can be visited in any order, on foot or bike. Participants cannot use a motorized vehicle. Participants must return to the finish line before their time is up. To register, pick up a brochure at the Tom Taylor Family YMCA; Gig Harbor Visitor Information Center, 3125 Judson St.; or at other locations around Gig Harbor including Uptown Gig Harbor, Integrated Financial Services, MultiCare Gig Harbor Medical Park, Route 16 Running and Walking, Columbia Bank and Old Town Bicycle.

3. Beginning at 1 p.m., Olympia is going to be off the hook. Hip-hop scenes from Olympia, Tacoma and Seattle will merge for an all-day event of Western Washington's version of the XXL Freshman List. Hundreds of votes poured in, highlighting the regions favorite performers who rap, battle and blow minds. Leezy Soprano, XP, AKA and the Heart Hurt Goods, Motamouth Jones, NW Choppas and The Th3rds are just a few of the artists on the bill, which will also include the popular We Out Here Battle League, that will consume the Olympia Ballroom.

4. As we mentioned yesterday, Justin Giallo is presenting the sickest and most violent of all the '80s slasher movies, PIECES "uncut," as part of his Grindhouse Theater Film Series at The Grand Cinema. At 9 p.m. film critic Joe Bob Briggs will host the screening. That's right, the opinionated "Original Drive-In Reviewer" will be in the house. Expect a free raffle, trivia with prizes and screams.

5. As drummer and frontman of Umber Sleeping and I Like Science, Peter Tietjen would compose spaced-out, repetitive jams in a similar mode as bands such as Stereolab and Can. With the release of his solo debut, Tietjen's performance at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge will be accompanied by a cavalcade of local fixtures - presumably acting as the titular "Balloon Power Challenge" - including Rowhouse's Alex Tapia and Gary Kawamura, People Under the Sun's James Jenkins and Taxi Driver's Nate Dybevik.

LINK: Saturday, May 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 23, 2013 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: "Caesar Must Die," embroidery exhibit, Tacoma Poet Laureates and more ...

'CAESAR MUST DIE": Inside the maximum security prison of Rebibbia in Rome, the inmates perform their final show of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar" and are rewarded by rapturous applause.

TUESDAY, APRIL 23 2013 >>>

1. Tacoma Community College has joined forces with The Grand Cinema for a third year to celebrate its Diversity Film Festival. The DFF runs until April 25, and seems particularly bent on revealing beauty in the unlikeliest of places. Haven't seen Rome in awhile? You haven't seen it like this - Caesar Must Die transports viewers to lovely Rebibbia Prison, where criminals quoth the Bard at 2 and 6:15 p.m. 

2. Former Tacoma Community College Librarian Mark Bieraugel's chosen art form is embroidery, but his creations diverge wildly from the classic flower-patterned throw pillow. Check out his embroidery work during an opening reception of his exhibit from 5-7 p.m. at the TCC Gig Harbor campus.

3. Tacoma Arts Commission and current Tacoma Poet Laureate Josie Emmons Turner officially introduce the new, 2013-15 Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo at 6 p.m. inside the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch. Former Tacoma Poet Laureates Bill Kupinse and Tammy Robacker also will read. Light refreshments following in the library's Handforth Gallery.

4. 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."

5. Loves It, Manzanita Falls and Scatter Gather rock Le Voyeur at 9 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, April 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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