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June 6, 2014 at 7:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Pinball show, wine tasting, "Men are from Mars," Smart DJs ...

The Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show will feature the work of nearly 3,000 collectors. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JUNE 6 2014 >>>

1. No matter how advanced video games get, there's still something special about smacking a metal ball around a ringing, blinking maze of machinery. Celebrate the bliss of pinball with collectors, enthusiasts and exhibitors alike at this weekend's Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show at the Tacoma Convention Center.

2. University Place based Dance Theatre Northwest, a 501-c-3 non-profit arts and community outreach organization, stages a free performance featuring excerpts from the classics Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Paquita and contemporary ballet, Broadway, jazz and musical theatre pieces at 1:15 p.m. in Lakeview Hope Academy in Lakewood.

3. Morso wine bar in Gig Harbor hosts Talbott vineyards from 5-7 p.m. for tastes of 2011 Sara Case Chardonnay, 2012 Diamond T Pinot Noir, 2012 Kali Hart Pinot Noir, 2012 Logan Chardonnay and 2012 Logan Pinot Noir.

4. Peter Story - who has appeared in primetime shows on three major networks - will take the Theatre on the Square stage during the one-man stage show Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and bring the two sexes together over a night of entertainment - especially since males and females operate in such different ways. The 7:30 p.m. show is based on the best-selling book by John Gray. The relationship guide, released more than 20 years ago, was translated into more than 40 languages and has sold more than 60 million copies.

5. Just as turntablism - the art of playing records - has made an instrument out of a medium, the movement's DJs have made the transition from enablers to performers. Tonight's "Smart People" event, organized by Tacoma's Mr. Melanin, seeks to put a little stress on that assumption by presenting DJs in an improvised setting, touching on R&B and electronica, bringing in indie rock, boogie-woogie and disco. Dancing is awesome, but you'll catch yourself gazing at the turntable skills. It's OK. It really begins at 9:55 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

May 24, 2014 at 7:12am

5 Things To Do Today: Strypes reunion, Chef vs. "Chef," record show, Wheelies and more ...

Strypes in Japan, 1983: Jesse Seales, Andy Morrison, Robert Richholt, Steve Fossen and Regan Lane. Photo credit: Hiro Ito

SATURDAY, MAY 24, 2014 >>>

1. Beginning in 1981, front man Regan Lane, along with keyboardist Robert Richholt, guitarist Jesse Seales and bassist Bob D'Angelo (now of Mechanism) brought a certain power-pop, boy-band charm (complete with '80s hair) and danceable, relatable stories and music to their hometown of Tacoma, and then to the world. Fans in Japan, Korea, Philippines and Guam witnessed the new wave glory of Strypes, and L.A. welcomed them many times over. After a successful run, in 1990, the band members went their separate ways. Now, the band will re-visit the good side of things, and what the band has at its core - great chemistry, and, of course, great music. At 8 p.m., Strypes, (with Strangely Alright's Preston Darvill on drums) will reunite to play one powerful night at Jazzbones. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Strypes in the Music & Culture Section.

2. The Gig Harbor Street Scramble is a treasure hunt that leads participants to 30 checkpoints throughout the community. 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. It kicks off at 9:30 a.m. at Skansie Brothers Park.

3. Several weeks ago Weekly Volcano food critic Jackie Fender gushed over Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge's head chef, Hudson Slater. Deservedly so - the man is on culinary fire. Today, The Grand Cinema hugs Slater. The Grand announced it has invited the chef to host a post-film discussion after the 3:10 p.m. screening of Chef

4. A bevy of vinylists will dig through the crates and study album covers, remixes and the oh-so-sought-after UK 12-inch mix from 5-9 p.m. at the Olympia Record Show in the Olympia Elks Lodge. The show is a bargain hunter's heaven, a record show full of classics.

5. A certain rush is felt when listening to the Wheelies' garage pop, invoking a sense of wanting to be at their parties, relating to the angst, the desire to try something on one wheel instead of two, and then riding it as long as you can. Easily moving from breezy, low-fi, shoegazey to rough and raw and fast and punchy, Wheelies are must listen. Catch the band with Watermelon Sugar, People Under the Sun and Deep Kink at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, May 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

May 12, 2014 at 10:16am

Words & Photos: Gig Harbor Beer Festival

Peace, indeed. The third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival was a righteous, fun day of beer drinking. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

They called out to ye faithful, and all ye faithful answered. Saturday, at the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival, I watched the gigantic beer garden in the middle of the posh Uptown Gig Harbor retail hub slowly but surely fill up with the most faithful of beer-goers. Let me assure you, shelling out $25 for a six-hour session of beer sampling was absolutely worth it, especially when many of these beers had been just released, or were limited-edition, or were 9 percent ABV and up.

Around 20 breweries made an appearance at the Fest, manning tables in a giant circle around the perimeter. Tastes ranged from a piney Cascadian Dark Ale from 7 Seas Brewery, to a big hop bomb Belgian IPA from Dick's Brewing, a citrusy Flying Monkey Dogfight Pale Ale from American Brewing, German-style Kolsch Ale from Bainbridge Island Brewing and a refreshing Zythos Single Hop from Wingman Brewers, which was perfect beneath the warm sun.

There were also things such as the RAM Big Horn Brewery's Maibock, which brewmaster Bethany Carlsen trumpeted as "a beer that will sneak up on you." It was indeed rich, with a big kick and altogether delicious.

Another big beer was the Damnedeleven from Slippery Pig Brewery out of Poulsbo. Ringing in at 11 percent ABV, this tasty, imperial brew was loaded with 30 pounds of dandelion.

A steady stream lined up before Northwest Brewing's Mango Weizen - and with good reason. This cheery American/Bavarian Hef had the perfect amount of fruit.

The capacity crowd voted for its favorite beer at the Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Silverdale's Rainy Daze Brewing Co.'s Mind Funk walked away with the award. The roasted aroma Oatmeal Pale Stout had a subtle layer of coffee from Sunrise Coffee in Port Townsend. Worthy.

Festival producer John Fosberg can chalk up another success. Thanks to a sunny day, awesome music by Aisle of View and Perry Acker, delicious beer and a very happy, fun crowd, the fourth annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival will be a no-brainer.

LINK: More photos from the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival

May 8, 2014 at 8:23am

The Harmon's Next Generation: Harmon Tap Room and The Hub to integrate

The Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma is being remodeled, including an integration with its sister restaurant, The Hub. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Whatever you do, don't call the Harmon Brewing Company's Stadium District restaurants "McMenamins."

I made the mistake of dropping that term during a conversation with co-owner Pat Nagle about his remodel plans to make the Harmon Tap Room and The Hub more of a destination. "It's not McMenamins," he shot back. "We're not adding a hotel or movie theater."

I've known Nagle for some time. I've never met someone more passionate about the restaurant and brewery business. If he says his new plan doesn't mimic McMenamins then, hey, I'm not calling it either (although I did notice a slight smile on the man's face).

Nagle, and his business partner, Carole Ford, are transforming the Harmon Tap Room, and in a way The Hub above it, into one single destination for families. Phase one is nearly complete. The Tap Room's outdoor beer garden has been remodeled, complete with new tables and concrete walkways. If you're thinking dirndl-wearing beer maids bearing big tankards of frothy lager, think again. You need to think families - dining outdoors, under Tivoli lights, next to a fancy new fence, with giant Jenga games and music on the way, only to be interrupted by the brewmasters wheeling kegs toward the cold storage. The keg highway through the beer garden, or Harmon Garden as it now is known, will disappear in June.

The Harmon, like many other breweries across the nation, is aspiring to be more than just a place where patrons drop in for a mug or a quick bite on the way to somewhere else.

"We have two restaurants and the huge all-ages outdoor Harmon Garden, a private events space, the brewery behind glass - it's more of a destination," says Nagle, nibbling on a Tap Room street taco, while pointing to each subject's location - including The Hub straight above. The Tap Room turned family-friendly this year, but the outdoor beer garden was a 21 and older hangout. If you take your beer out to one of the Garden's long, wood tables today, don't be surprised when two fifth-grade St. Pat's students slam down their root beers on the same table and high-five because their teacher, Mr. Moore, is "rockin' cool."

Over the next four to six weeks, Nagle and Ford will remodel the stairway between the two restaurants, allowing an easy flow.

"The only outdoor seating at The Hub is in the bar. If a family wants pizza or a pulled pork grinder in the sunshine, down the stairs they can descend and out to the Harmon Garden," explains Nagle. "It's that easy."

Other changes include a freshening of the Tap Room's facade. In June, expect to see window dressings and awnings. Wood fencing has replaced the chain fence around the Garden.

As I mention, the keg route to cold storage is changing.

"The area off the Tap Room's back room will be remodeled, insulated and fitted to be a bottling and keg-filling center, opening up the brewing room for more tanks," says Nagle. This will eliminate having to cart the kegs through the Harmon Garden. The kegs will soon only travel several feet into cold storage. Gone will be the crowded bottling situation in the brewing room, and awkward flow through the Garden."

Also on the way are menu changes, seasonal specials and holiday dinners.

The Hub and Harmon Tap Room should be integrated by mid-June, just in time for graduations.

Now, if there was a hotel on top of The Hub. ... Just kidding Pat!

HARMON TAP ROOM, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday, all ages until 9 p.m., 204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2725

BEER HERE

THURSDAY, MAY 8

Now in its sixth year, Seattle Beer Week is more than 100 beery events from May 8 through 18. Who cares? Pint Defiance does. The beer store/taproom on the edge of Fircrest will celebrate the Seattle event by tapping 26 Washington beers, in intervals, during the duration. Pint Defiance will issue a special punch card. Drink all 26 and earn a limited edition shirt as proof of your status as a veteran beer marathoner. Start stretching and stay hydrated with your favorite electrolyte-enhanced beverage, because you won't want to hit the wall during this once-a-year-event. Check out its Facebook page for more details: facebook.com/PintDefiance.

SATURDAY, MAY 10

The third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival will host 21 craft brewers, Gig Harbor's Heritage Distillery and a bigger music venue at the Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. In terms of music, Perry Acker returns for the band's second year and takes the stage at 3 p.m. Aisle of View, a reggae band currently touring the country, opens at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25, and are available at gigharborbeerfestival.com. Admission includes a commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. Depending on availability, you may also purchase tickets the day of the event for $25. Additional taster tokens will be on sale during the event. The Uptown Pavilion is at 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 14

The 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is on the move. The Bend, Ore., brewery is opening a third brewpub in Portland's Pearl District this summer - the other two are in Bend and Boise. The Portland site will include a pub and a brewhouse, which will brew small batch and one-off beers. Speaking of 10 Barrel small batch beers, several will be available May 14 when 10 Barrel visits the Puyallup River Alehouse. The downtown Puyallup house of beers will serve hot dogs, tacos, giveaway prizes and pour a bunch of 10 Barrel beers.

May 6, 2014 at 12:22pm

Beer Here: RAM's Maibock, Pint Defiance double shot and upcoming beer events ...

Butt heads with a RAM Maibock.

The arrival of spring at the RAM Restaurant and Brewery marks the return of its 2010 Great American Beer Festival bronze medal winner, Maibock. "The RAM's traditional Heller Bock combines toasty malt richness and a refreshing hop character to deliver a bold kick," says Dave Leonard, director of Brewery Operations for the RAM in a news release.

In Germany, Maibocks are the first bock biers released each year, which makes this medal-winning brew perfect to toast longer days. The RAM's version is an easy drink, smooth with notes of citrus, floral and caramel.

The RAM's Maibock will be on tap for a limited time at all RAM locations.

Wednesday, May 7

I'm transforming my Ford Fusion into a funky vehicle perfect for peeling through the years via one of those freaky traversable wormholes. I still need a collider, an imploding device, a differentiator - you know, your basic road trip stuff. My target? Shea Stadium, 1986, Game 6 of the World Series to make damn sure that Beantown's first baseman bends lower. 

Some would rather go back further, mid-1800s, to see how our state rocked the world back then. If you are having differentiator problems, check out Fort Nisqually Living History Museum at Point Defiance Park. Established in 1833 by the Hudson Bay Company and moved to Tacoma's peninsula in 1933, the fort acts as a repository of living history, and their camps and classes - run by Mike McGuire (a.k.a. Fort Mike) - continue to educate kids about the rich history of the South Puget Sound.

Pint Defiance - the beer store/taproom so in love with Point Defiance Park it incorporated the Tacoma icon into its name - will host a fundraiser with Ninkasi Brewing Company for Fort Nisqually 5-7 p.m. Wednesday.For every pint sold, Ninkasi will donate $1 to the Fort Nisqually Foundation to keep the camps and classes coming. In fact, $2 will be donated for every growler filled. With Ninkasi's Total Domination IPA, Prismatic Series Lux Helles Lager and Multihead Single-Hop Pale Ale on tap, McGuire should be a happy man.As a bonus, Pint Defiance is putting a bounty on the draft beers by donating $50 to the Fort for every keg emptied that night. Nice. Expect Ninkasi schwag and both free and donation-based raffles.

Thursday, May 8

Now in its sixth year, Seattle Beer Week is more than 100 beery events May 8 through 18. Who cares? Pint Defiance does. It will celebrate the Seattle event by tapping 26 Washington beers, in intervals, during the duration. Pint Defiance will issue a special punch card. Drink all 26 and earn a limited edition shirt as proof of your status as a veteran beer marathoner. Start stretching and stay hydrated with your favorite electrolyte-enhanced beverage, because you won't want to hit the wall during this once-a-year-event. Check out its Facebook page for more details: facebook.com/PintDefiance.

Saturday, May 10

The third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival will host 21 craft brewers, Gig Harbor's Heritage Distillery and a bigger music venue at the Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. In terms of music, Perry Acker returns for the band's second year and takes the stage at 3 p.m. Aisle of View, a reggae band currently touring the country, opens at 1 p.m. Tickets are $25, and are available at gigharborbeerfestival.com. Admission includes a commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. Depending on availability, you may also purchase tickets the day of the event for $25. Additional taster tokens will be on sale during the event. The Uptown Pavilion is at 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW.

Wednesday, May 14

The 10 Barrel Brewing Co. is on the move. The Bend, Ore., brewery is opening a third brewpub in Portland's Pearl District this summer - the other two are in Bend and Boise. The Portland site will include a pub and a brewhouse, which will brew small batch and one-off beers. Speaking of 10 Barrel small batch beers, several will be available May 14 when 10 Barrel visits the Puyallup River Alehouse. The downtown Puyallup house of beers will serve hot dogs, tacos, giveaway prizes and pour a bunch of 10 Barrel beers.

May 1, 2014 at 7:46am

5 Things To Do Today: Green Drinks, Broadway Farmers Market, Oso fundraiser, "Chamber Music," and more ...

Proof VeloFemmes like to drink liquids. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

THURSDAY, MAY 1 2014 >>>

1. It ain't easy being green, which means that committed folks such as the Tacoma Green Drinks contingent are worth their weight in gold. Over the past five years or so, this Mother Earth loving group has gathered every month at a local watering hole to talk sustainability, conservation and the environment, while tossing back drinks. It's a beautiful thing. Also a beautiful thing is the VeloFemmes, a grassroots group dedicated to providing opportunities for more women to cycle. Tacoma Green Drinks and VeloFemmes will collide at 6 p.m. in The Office Bar and Grill. You're totally invited - unless you insist on driving that Dodge Ram SRT10. These fine folks suggest you ride a bike.

2. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. the Broadway Farmers Market invites everyone to experience the fine wears of the land, and the natural abilities of camaraderie and free spirits, support the local farmers and eat food all at on Broadway between Ninth and 11th in downtown Tacoma.

3. The Harmon Brewing Company will host an all-day fundraiser to help the families affected by the Oso mudslide. You may drop off donations of clothing, blankets or money at the Harmon Brewery & Eatery in downtown Tacoma, The Hub and Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District and The Hub at the Narrows Airport in Gig Harbor, and the Harmon folks will forward them to the Red Cross. Bonus: Steve Stefanowicz will be live at the downtown Tacoma Harmon from 6-9 p.m., and the band Yowees will perform 6:30-9 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Hub.

4. Chamber Music by Arthur Kopit is an absurdist one-act play set in 1939 and performed by Theater Artists Olympia, or TAO. It is TAO's 11th season and their website states, "TAO is a collective of local artists committed to producing high quality theater. TAO's focus is on producing more thematically provocative materials, and experimental interpretations of classics than generally found in the Olympia area. Our mission is to present creative theatrical pieces that are under-represented in the community." Chamber Music definitely fills that role. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Chamber Music in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun.

5. C Average, Lord Dying and Vanguard will rock The Brotherhood Lounge beginning at 9 p.m. 

LINK: Thursday, May 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 22, 2014 at 10:48am

Gig Harbor Beer Festival returns for a third year, tickets on sale

A scene from the 2012 Gig Harbor Beer Festival. photo courtesy of Facebook

Dedicated South Sound craft beer fans are no strangers to closed gates. The Tacoma Craft Beer Festival and the Tacoma Big Beer Festival had to shut doors on beer drinkers due to capacity crowds. Last year, the Gig Harbor Beer Festival sold out in just over an hour after the gate opened.

"There's a good chance this year's Gig Harbor Beer Festival will sell out before its opening day, May 10," says John Fosberg, the Festival's producer and founder of the Gig Harbor Brewing Company.

Fosberg dropped the third annual Gig Harbor Beer Festival's news release today, touting 21 craft brewers, Gig Harbor's Heritage Distillery and a bigger music venue will consume the Gig Harbor Uptown Pavilion Saturday, May 10 - Mother's Day weekend.

"We love the Uptown Gig Harbor Pavilion and the managers and owners at the Uptown property," says Fosberg. "They are extremely helpful and supportive of our efforts. For the past three years, we've been looking for a new venue - preferably an indoor site - but have been unable to find anything within Gig Harbor that can surpass Uptown in capacity, electric power, ease of parking, management support and cost. Nothing comes close."

Fosberg says there are several brewers returning from previous years who are bringing some fan favorites and new brews to try. Eleven brewers poured at the first Gig Harbor Beer Festival. Last year, 18 beer companies set up booths. This year, 21 Washington state brewers will set up shop. Here's the starting line-up:

  • 192 Brewing, Kenmore
  • 7 Seas Brewing, Gig Harbor
  • American Brewing, Edmonds
  • Bainbridge Island Brewing, Bainbridge Island
  • Big Al Brewing, Seattle
  • Der Blokken, Bremerton
  • Dicks Brewing Co., Centralia
  • Everybody's Brewing, White Salmon
  • Fremont Brewing, Seattle
  • Georgetown Brewing Co., Seattle
  • Harmon Brewing Co., Tacoma
  • Hood Canal Brewery, Kingston
  • Loowit Brewing Co., Vancouver
  • Narrows Brewing, Tacoma
  • Northwest Brewing, Pacific
  • Rainy Daze Brewing Co., Silverdale
  • RAM Big Horn Brewery, Tacoma
  • Silver City Brewery, Bremerton
  • Slippery Pig Brewing, Poulsbo
  • Sound Brewery • Poulsbo
  • Wingman Brewery, Tacoma

"Gig Harbor's own Heritage Distillery will be there pouring samples of their spirits," says Fosberg.

In terms of music, Perry Acker returns for the band's second year and takes the stage at 3 p.m. Aisle of View, a reggae band currently touring the country, opens at 1 p.m.

The standard beer festival giant Jenga game will tower at the festival, too.

Tickets are $20, $25 after April 25, and are available at the Festival's website. Admission includes a commemorative taster cup and eight taster tokens. Depending on availability, you may also purchase tickets the day of the event for $25. Additional taster tokens will be on sale during the event.

"Our ticket prices still haven't gone up," says Fosberg. "Tickets cost the same as they did our first year. It's the perfect Mother's Day gift."

The Gig Harbor Beer Festival benefits the Gig Harbor Kiwanis Foundation.

GIG HARBOR BEER FESTIVAL, noon to 6 p.m. Saturday, May 10, Uptown Pavilion, 4701 Point Fosdick Dr. NW, Gig Harbor, $20 at brownpapertickets or gigharborbeerfestival.com

April 19, 2014 at 8:21am

5 Things To Do Today: Record Store Day, burlesque "Oz," Peter Case, Adrian Connor and more ...

Whoever says the music industry is dead obviously hasn't observed Record Store Day.

SATURDAY, APRIL 19 2014 >>>

1. Record Store Day is a holiday devoted to encouraging music fans to leave their bubble of predictable downloads and entering a world where the skip button doesn't exist. To browse through the shelves upon shelves of lovingly pressed vinyl, immaculately illustrated covers, essential liner notes, and magically enlivened grooves. Record stores have been threatening to disappear for years, but they've survived through the gauntlet of CD's and evil Pandora. In the past few years, records have even begun to regain some of their old popularity. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full thoughts on Record Store Day in the Music & Culture section.

2. The heavy, four-piece Pariah's Revolt from Olympia has all the badassness of ear-splitting chords, metal riffs and black clothing that you'd expect from the genre. And they're taking their community involvement to the next level with a fundraiser to help the Thurston County Food Bank at 6 p.m. in Louie G's in Fife.

3. Pasties and butt cheeks and hip-hop Toto, oh my! Expect all three - and more titillating fun - in The Gritty City Sirens' Adventures in Oz, a Wizard of Oz-inspired burlesque production at 7 p.m. in the Temple Theater Ballroom. We attended the dress rehearsal.

4. After disbanding the Los Angeles new wave/power pop group the Plimsouls, bespectacled, gruff-voiced frontman Peter Case launched a career as an important American singer/songwriter specializing in the flat-pick guitar style and semi-autobiographical stories of drifters delivered in a narrative style. Case has been writing and recording as a solo act for much longer than he was ever in the Plimsouls, or his first band, the seminal '70s punk band The Nerves. Case will bring his dynamic Americana-inspired blend of blues, folk and rock to the intimate Morso wine bar in Gig Harbor at 8 p.m.

5. Soaked in dark grunge and '90s alt rock, Adrian has the power trio of powerful female vocals, slick guitar notes and great production behind the release of the band's new album, Be Your Own Saviour. Frontwoman, guitarist and songwriter Adrian Conner, who plays lead guitar in AC/DC all-female tribute band Hell's Bells, has orchestrated a band full of infectious pop wrapped around electric, bombastic rock and roll. Catch the band at 9 p.m. at Uncle Sam's in Spanaway.        

LINK: Saturday, April 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area.

April 11, 2014 at 3:00pm

Night Moves: Cosmopolites, Mike Coucoules Duo, Guitar Shorty, Oly Mountain Boys, Hawaiian Heritage, Jerry Miller and others ...

Fruit Juice

LIVE MUSIC TONIGHT IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Fingertips. 9 pm. NC.

Forza Coffee Company Gig Harbor Gig Harbor. Joe Cugno & Mike Shea. 7-9 pm. NC.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Blues Theater Presents: Guitar Shorty. 8 pm. $15-$18.

Le Voyeur Café and Lounge Olympia - Downtown. Cosmopolites, Skrill Meadow. 9 pm.

  • As of press time, I'm not even sure if I like the Cosmopolites, but they do, blessedly, give me pause. What I know for sure is that they're compelling. There's something at once cheesy and subversive about the music they make. Blending a syrupy mixture of light jazz and provocative experimentalism, the duo arrives at something akin to progressive rock (which can essentially be synonymous with the more divisive "jazz fusion" label), but with a giddier, geekier bent. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's interview with the Cosmopolites in the Music & Culture section.

Maxwell's Restaurant + Lounge Tacoma - Downtown. Lance Buller Combo. 7 pm.

Midnight Sun Olympia - Downtown. Captain Jack Fest 2014 featuring The Straws, Hot Hoodoo, Mosquito Hawk, Captain Algebra, Them Dogs, Tidals, Fruit Juice, Wauby, A Friend. All ages. 4:30 p.m. $5.

Rhythm & Rye Olympia - Downtown. Oly Mountain Boys. 9 pm.

Rialto Theater Tacoma - Downtown. Hawaiian Heritage: George Kahumoku Jr., Stephen Inglis, Waipuna. All Ages. 7:30 pm. $19-$39.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Led Zeppmen. 9 pm.

Ted Brown Music Company Tacoma - South. Rock and Roll Clinic with guitarist Jerry Miller. All Ages. 6-8 pm. $5.

Treos Tacoma - Old Town. Mike Couloules. All Ages. 7 pm. NC.

  • I can't remember when I met Mike Coucoules. Years and years ago at Cole's in Ruston is my guess, well before it burst into flames, before his auto accident benefit jam at Seafarers Sports Bar in 2006, and before I became a groupie when Coucoules played bass in Malcolm Clark's blues trio. For certain I wasn't in the picture when Coucoules picked up a guitar at 14, studied Hendrix, Cream, Zappa, CS&N and Steve Miller during high school, before a friend turned him on to jazz and CTI Records. "He showed me some jazz chords and changed my world. He told me I was going to be a good musician because I had a lot of feeling, something that took years to understand. My music is all about feeling, from the heart," Coucoules tells me. He's shared his heart with too many bands to count over the last 40 years, and holds a piece from every one, but his heart grew three sizes when he met horn player John Croarkin during a gig with the Blues Bentley Band. Blown away by Croarkin's chops and comps, Coucoules knew he was the missing piece to the CD churning in his head. The resulting Latin jazz blues country CD can be purchased, and the duo heard live, the next two nights.

Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill Spanaway. 18th Birthday Bash, with Hambone Blues Band, Amigos. 9 pm. NC.

LINK: More live music Friday, April 11 in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 10, 2014 at 7:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Spring Fair opens, Thursday Night Out, Moondog Matinee, Tom Cotter and more ...

Of course there are monster trucks at the Washington State Spring Fair.

THURSDAY, APRIL 10 2014 >>>

1. Last year, we sat above the fairgrounds in a wobbly umbrella-covered enclosure, surging over that precarious point in the Ferris wheel where we swore to corn dog we would be pitched over, knocked off balance with our missing partner, and die a horrible death. We didn't, and we will freely admit that yes, we are a ride-wuss (and afraid of heights, to boot!). Even still, there is more to be enjoyed at the Washington State Spring Fair than rides. We also saw the baby animals, which included the sweetest 5-week-old pygmy goats ever, as well as freshly hatched chicks, and adult animals such as a huge male pig, sheep, dancing horses and cattle. Oh, he said herpetology? Whew. See, touch and learn about captive raised turtles, frogs, lizards, snakes and insects from around the world at Brad's Reptile World Show. The four-day Spring Fair  - which opens at 2 p.m. - will include carnival rides, music, food, animal shows, fashion show, monster trucks, pig races, dockdogs and much more.

2. More than 40 downtown Gig Harbor waterfront businesses will be open from 5-8:30 p.m. offering special offers, activities, demonstrations, refreshments and live music at the inaugural Thursday Night Out. A complimentary Thursday Night Out shuttle bus will be on the scene.

3. What Moondog Matinee lack in innovation they make up for in execution. Though their professed influences are a staggering assembly of just about every musical touchstone of the past 50 years (Talking Heads, the Band, Nick Cave, the White Stripes, Arcade Fire, and Edith Piaf [of all people], just to name a fraction of them), it's clear that they mostly take their cues from heavy blues, approached with an admirable widescreen expansiveness. Catch the band with Fox and the Law and Our Burgundy at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

4. Based in Portland, Ore., BodyVox dance group marries dance, athleticism, theatrics and humor. Both complex and refreshingly simple, BodyVox's Reverie is inspired by the impressionist era and builds from an overriding belief in the power of beauty. Check it out at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

5. Tom Cotter finished second on America's Got Talent in 2012.Cotter lost to a dog act, but don't hold that against him; he was the first comedian ever to be a finalist on the show and was the highest finishing human being on the show that year. Welcome Cotter to the Tacoma Comedy Club at 8 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, April 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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about Eddie Vedder’s "Ukulele Songs" available today - and I don’t hold a candle to that shit

AndrewPehrson said:

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Shimul Kabir said:

Vedder's album is really nice. I have heard attentively

about Eddie Vedder’s "Ukulele Songs" available today - and I don’t hold a candle to that shit

marble exporters in India said:

amazing information for getting the new ideas thanks for sharing a post

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