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September 7, 2014 at 8:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Rafael Tranquilino, XPLORE Adventure Race, Dayclub, 10 String Symphony ...

Rafael Tranquilino rocks Milton tonight.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 7 2014 >>>

1. In the same way that sharks must keep swimming to keep breathing, it seems guitarist Rafael Tranquilino must fuse genres across various musical projects in order to stay afloat. His arrangements incorporate blues, funk, rock, funk, ska, metal, reggae, Latin and jazz-fusion. As accomplished as he is varied, Tranquilino will enter Dave's of Milton's science lab and experiment with bassist Farko Dosumov, drummer Ivan Gunderson and B3 organist Brooke Lizoette at 8 p.m.

2. The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's Crafts of the Past program features milliner Dana Repp as this weekend's artist-in-residence from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program - which will be ending this month - allows visitors to see the "creativity of daily life" in crafts of the 1800s (other crafts for September include tin whistles and cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print). Repp makes period replicas of bonnets based upon examples in museum collections, period illustrations and photographs. Examples of various 19th century bonnets will be on display, and Repp will demonstrate bonnet construction methods.

3. The XPLORE Adventure Race(s) is new this year at the Washington State Fair. There will be an all-ages race at noon and then a 6 p.m. race for those 21 years and older. The fun runs will allow teams of 2-5 people to compete throughout the fairgrounds by solving clues, completing challenges and turning in proof. Space is limited, so early team registration is recommended.

4. OK, OK, yes we told you The Social Bar and Grill's patio would a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and dig resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music last Sunday. We apologize. Who knew the DJs preferred the Fussy Cloud Puppet Jam at Bumbershoot? Anyway, the triple threat of delicious booze, sun and hip tunes known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party "Dayclub." is back on today from 2-6 p.m.

5. Nashville's 10 String Symphony blends aggressive, almost discordant, Celtic and punky string-chording experimentations. Vocally, Rachel Baiman and Christian Sedelmyer lock in seamlessly, and their vocal duets often take center stage despite the fact that they are self-described fiddle players. Check the duo out with the Tattletale Saints at 7 p.m. in Tacoma's Immanuel Presbyterian Church.

LINK: Sunday, Sept. 7 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 6, 2014 at 10:17am

5 Things To Do Today: "Gayla," Proctor Farmers Market, Crafts from the Past, Electrisad ...

Vicci Martinez performs tonight at the Pizza Klatch "Gayla" in the Washington Center.

SATURDAY, SEPT. 5 2014 >>>

1. Vicci Martinez, Tacoma native and finalist on NBC's The Voice will perform at the Pizza Klatch Gayla: A Slice of the Good Life tonight. Also on tap will be the outrageously funny singing group The Righteous Mothers. There will be a silent auction with items ranging from a wine tasting for 15 people; a night at Cabo San Lucas, Mexico; a Seattle Storm fan pack and more. Featured speakers include Congressman Denny Heck, Sen. Karen Fraser, Rep. Laurie Jinkins and Marissa Rathbone of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. Other events at the Gayla include a youth art show, specialty wine and beers, advice booth run by teenagers, and a Panowicz Balloon Pop with a chance to win jewelry worth up to $1,500, all beginning at 7 p.m. in the Washington Center.

2. "Plastics: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly" will be the theme of the 4th annual Green Day at the Proctor Farmer's Market from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Expect a cluster of booths at the market, each focusing on different aspects of plastics in our lives, including volunteer programs you can join, children's activities, and drawings every half hour for prizes related to both the market, and going plastic-free.  And, of course, a marimba band. 

3. Meet national best-selling mystery writer Laurie King at a talk and book signing at 10 a.m. in the Lakewood Playhouse. Nine of King's books will be available for purchase and signing, including The Game and Locked Rooms - popular titles in the series about Mary Russell who partners with the retired Sherlock Holmes to solve cases. A former Pierce County resident, King graduated from Franklin Pierce High School in 1970. As a child, she lived in Dash Point in a house overlooking Puget Sound. She now lives on California's central coast.

4. The Fort Nisqually Living History Museum's Crafts of the Past program features milliner Dana Repp as this weekend's artist-in-residence from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The program - which will be ending this month - allows visitors to see the "creativity of daily life" in crafts of the 1800s (other crafts for September include tin whistles and cyanotypes, a photographic printing process that produces a cyan-blue print). Repp makes period replicas of bonnets based upon examples in museum collections, period illustrations and photographs. Examples of various 19th century bonnets will be on display, and Repp will demonstrate bonnet construction methods.

5. The Phoenix, Arizona, band Electrisad makes music that's perfect for swooning young lovers. Simple synths and gentle melodies weave in and around the cooing vocals. When things rise above a tender whisper, the energy is offset by a lingering sense of melancholy. Cheap synthesizers lend everything the feeling of a heartbroken teenage girl shutting herself away in her bedroom and setting her journal entries to music and endlessly writing the name of her love in her notebook. Catch the band with Seth Boyer at 8 p.m. in Metronome Coffee.

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

September 2, 2014 at 8:04am

5 Things To Do Today: "Life Itself," Saving the USS Olympia, James Alfred Wight, Farmers Market Dinner Series ...

Ebert

TUESDAY, SEPT. 2 2014 >>>

1. As part of its Tuesday Film Series, The Grand Cinema will screen Life Itself - a look at the life of iconic movie critic Roger Ebert, directed by Steve James of Hoop Dreams fame - at 1:45 and 6:35 p.m. Based on Ebert's titular 2011 memoir, the film delves into Ebert's storied career and partnership withGene Siskel, following him through the last months of his life. The film is at its most powerful when it hones in on his experience with the cancer that ultimately claimed his face, his speech, and his ability to eat. Yet, despite all this, Ebert reflects on his life with wit, candor and an unflaggingly positive attitude.

2. Washington's history is multi-faceted, reflecting the different interests of Washingtonians, and the Washington 125 program series celebrating Washington's 125th Anniversary has something for everyone. In partnership with the Office of the Secretary of State, the Washington State Historical Society has created a series that continues until the big celebration Nov. 11 at the State Capitol Building. At noon, another program segment at Tugboat Annie's in Olympia. Author Les Eldridge will discuss "Saving the USS Olympia," with a lunch option.

3. Embracing the bounty of gardens and farms, harvested locally and prepared at home, the idea is to eat mindfully while celebrating the connection between the farmer, the cook, and ultimately, the eater. When you're seated at a long table in the middle of a farmers market, you know at least a few of the dishes sport ingredients that just recently had the bugs and dirt rinsed from their roots. The Olympia Farmers Market hosts its final Dinner Series at 6:30 p.m., focusing on summer's riches and autumn's harvest. Aqua Via and Waterstreet Café Executive Chef Will Taylor will present six courses of late summer flavors from the Olympia Farmers Market, paired with wine from local wineries.

4. If hearing the sound of your own cackling voice echoing off the walls of your shower stall has you craving the sound of something a bit more harmonious, check out the local songbirds at Victory Music Open Mic at the Antique Sandwich Co. from 7-10 p.m. It's guaranteed to be jam-packed with gorgeous sounds and humbling verses, as the South Sound's greatest up-and-coming acoustic musicians bare their souls impromptu-style.

5. James Alfred Wight always enjoyed writing. But when he finally started chronicling his experiences as a country vet, prohibitions against advertising in the veterinary profession meant he had to publish them under a different name. Every surname he thought of all ready belonged to someone else. Then, one day, he was watching a soccer match and was taken with the name of the goalie. He hastily thumbed through the list of veterinarians. It wasn't there. And so James Herriot was born. The South Sound Vegan Meetup Group will discuss Herriot's name and his book, All Creatures Great and Small, during their Vegan Book Club meeting inside King's Books at 7 p.m.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 1, 2014 at 9:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Buffalo Soldiers and Tuskegee Airmen, Toscanos anniversary, "Hundred-Foot Journey," Hook Me Up ...

The Buffalo Soldiers Museum is at 1940 S. Wilkeson in Tacoma.

MONDAY, SEPT. 1 2014 >>>

1. The all-African-American Buffalo Soldiers of the 9th and 10th (Horse) Cavalry served in America's wars from 1866 through the end of World War III. They participated in cross-country cattle drives, escorted wagon trains and stagecoaches through often-volatile territories of the Wild West and fought in the Spanish-American War and both world wars. The Tuskegee Airmen were first African American aviators who fought in WWII. During the course of the war, the Tuskegee Airmen flew more than 15,000 sorties and fought in the skies over North Africa, Sicily and Europe in P-40 Tomahawks, then P-39 Air Cobras, then P-47 Thunderbolts, then finally, P-51 aircraft. From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., The Buffalo Soldiers Museum and the Tuskegee Airmen of Seattle will host a historical tribute at Stanley Playfield in Tacoma. Joint Base Lewis McChord will host a Home Run Derby softball game featuring the "Red Tails Special" Air Force and the "Cannon Balls" Army. Following the game, Gen, Mitch Mitchell will speak on "Embracing the Future." Expect entertainment, vendors and more.

2. Toscanos Café and Wine Bar celebrates its 10th anniversary this month. Guests will receive special gift cards every time they come to the Puyallup restaurant in September, as well as entered into weekly raffle drawings. This week's raffle prize will be hand-painted decanter and wine glasses painted by its Martini Madness artist, a bottle of wine and four steaks. Toscanos will be open today at 11:30 a.m.

2. An Indian family moves to a small French town and opens a restaurant across the road from a fine-dining joint run by the imperious Madame Mallory (Helen Mirren). Will Madame melt for budding chef Hassan's (Manish Dayal) sublime curries? He's already won the tastebuds of charmant sous chef Magritte (Charlotte Le Bon). Can lonely widower Papa (Om Puri) find romance in France? Will Michelin stars fall on everyone? Will you see this film, The Hundred-Foot Journey, at 12:10, 2:55, 5:35 and 8:15 p.m. at The Grand Cinema?

Jazz rock fusion quartet Hook Me Up performs at 8 p.m. in downtown Olympia's Rhythm and Rye club.

5. Local comedian and host Eric Puddin Lorentzen hosts "Monday Madness Comedy Night with Puddin" at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Expect 6-10 minute sets, each recorded. The audience will choose a winner, who will headline the following week. It was the great Bill Cosby who said, "Puddin, you can't be a comedian without him," or something.

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

August 25, 2014 at 8:52am

Nerd Alert! - Videographer Vince Ynzunza, "As Above, So Below," Houdini ...

Adrien Brody plays the title role in "Houdini" on the History Channel.

Reaching out and grabbing ya, 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.

We aren't exactly bombarded with story suggestions for this column, more's the pity, so I'm happy to forward a heads-up from videographer Vince Ynzunza. Inspired, no doubt, by the Lovecraftian flavor of his own family name, Ynzunza is one of the driving forces behind Pacific NorthWEIRD, a YouTube show devoted to paranormally significant locations in Washington state. Its first episode covers the Mima Mounds Natural Area Preserve near Littlerock, which you or I might consider geologic aberrations, but which certain fanciful individuals regard as something ... more. What that something may be I couldn't tell you, as despite my journalistic integrity I was too skeptical to make it any farther than 10 minutes into the episode. I'm sorry, Vince; I'm allergic to woo woo. But if you, Gentle Reader, have a fondness for such uncanny topics as Squatchin' or the Black Houses of Olympia, then Vince Ynzunza would like to be your woo-woo, hoodoo man.

FRIDAY, AUG. 28

If you're lucky enough to visit Paris, the City of Light, be sure to spend an afternoon down in the dark. There's a network of catacombs underneath the city, in which the late 18th century saw the remnants of six million Parisians stacked into artful patterns of femurs and skulls. A sign over the ossuary's entrance warns, "Arrête! C'est ici l'empire de la mort!" ("Halt! Herein lies the empire of the dead!") About a quarter of a million visitors ignore that warning each year. My wife and I toured the site last fall, and I can honestly say it was one of the most memorable events of my life. I was so struck by it that I wrote my first horror story, Silver, about the burial of all those unnerving remains. (You can read it for free at CreativeColloquy.com.) Apparently the catacombs had a similar effect on brothers Drew and John Erick Dowdle, who set their movie As Above, So Below, opening Friday, within its subterranean depths. It stars Perdita Weeks as Scarlet, an archaeology student who believes the famous "philosopher's stone" of alchemist Nicolas Flamel, or at least a decent Tomb Raider knockoff, might be hiding in all those tunnels. The trailer suggests Scarlet and her friends find a passel of found footage horror tropes instead, so this is basically The Blair Witch Project's European Vacation.

OK, let's not get our hopes up for a classic horror movie; but the Dowdles did record much of As Above, So Below in the actual Catacombs of Paris, including tunnels that aren't generally open to the public. If you can handle its cinematic shocks, it may be a fun way to log some travel time in one of France's most unforgettable locations. Or you could just stay home and watch Andrew Zimmern slurp down snail caviar on Xfinity. Vive la France!

MONDAY, SEPT. 1

It may surprise you to learn that such professional illusionists as Penn and Teller regard Erik Weisz, better known to spellbound audiences around the early-20th-century world as Harry Houdini, as a barely mediocre magician. No, Houdini's true calling was as an escape artist, a skill he pursued with obsessive-compulsive rigor starting in 1899. Touring Eurasia and America as the "Handcuff King," a name you'd never admit to calling yourself on Facebook, Houdini escaped from riveted beer barrels, a water-filled milk can, the memorably-named "Chinese Water Torture Cell" - even once, on a Boston beach, from the belly of a beached whale. He starred in movies, learned to fly (and then crashed) his own biplane, and aided Scientific American by debunking clairvoyants and other Ynzunzan mystics.

Who better to play the stocky, round-faced, 5'6" Handcuff King than the chiseled, hawk-nosed, 6'1" Adrien Brody? That's a question the History Channel hopes you'll be too enthralled to ask Monday night, as it debuts its two-night bio-miniseries Houdini. And, considering it was written by author and screenwriter Nicholas Meyer (Star Treks II and VI, The Day After, Time After Time, The Seven-Per-Cent Solution), the History Channel may just get its wish. The show airs Sept. 1 and 2 at 8 p.m. As the Amazing Mumford would say, "A la peanut butter sandwiches!" (Yes, it was "a la," not "Allah." I looked it up. I'm a journalist!)

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you always find that lock pick you hid in your skivvies.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, History,

August 20, 2014 at 7:51am

5 Things To Do Today: Darren Motamedy, Mini Hop Fest, Drinking Liberally, Ko Ko Jo ...

Darren Motamedy has released 11 smooth jazz albums since 1989.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 20 2014 >>>

1. Smooth jazz isn't just for sick people in medical-office waiting rooms. Besides one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet, Darren Motamedy blends jazz with pop, funk and blues to create a contagious sound. Grab a lawn chair for his 6:30 p.m. show in Steilacoom's Pioneer Park.

2. The public is invited to spend an afternoon at the Lacey Museum, located at 829 Lacey St. SE in the historic neighborhood of Lacey, from 4-6 p.m. Want more Lacey? The Lacey Historical commissioners will be in the house, the house being the Lacey Museum. A presentation will be given on the current status of the new museum project, the "Lacey Museum at the Depot," beginning at 5:15 p.m. Lacey, get to know it ... all of it.

3. Pint Defiance is hosting a Mini Hop Fest with Laurelwood, as the Portland brewery takes over half the beer and taproom's taps with their hop-centric brews. On draft from 5-7 p.m. will be some of Laurelwood's hoppiest concoctions including Pale Pony ISA, Workhorse IPA, Green Elephant IPA and a rare appearance of Megafauna Imperial IPA.

4. They say never talk politics at the bar. The Black Angus in Lakewood encourages it. With the dismal low voting in the recent primary, there is bound to be some interesting conversations beginning at 6 p.m. Drinking Liberally Lakewood is an informal gathering of like-minded left-leaners and true hardcore lefties who want to trade ideas, get more involved, to rant, or just share each others company ... over drinks.

5. What happened to Freckles Brown? The Olympia quartet is now Ko Ko Jo, will perform rock and country covers, as well as their own tunes, at 7 p.m. in Sylvester Park.

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

August 8, 2014 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Downtown Music Crawl, Tacoma Trivia Night, Radio8Ball, Coven ...

The Rockwell Powers Band will anchor the Downtown Music Crawl tonight at UrbanXChange.

FRIDAY, AUG. 8 2014 >>>

1. Tonight will see round three of the confluence between small businesses and indie music performances in a moment of synergy that won't rub you the wrong way. Dubbed the Downtown Music Crawl, the event will feature three downtown businesses showcasing three brief, consecutive concerts. Starting with Q Dot at 6:30 p.m. in Anthem, Will Jordan at 7:45 in Bleach and ending at 9 p.m. with The Rockwell Powers Band at urbanXchange, the event is designed to reward those who do the crawl and hit all three stores. Ten dollars cash allows you in to all three concerts, plus 15 percent discount at each store.

2. Don't know much about history; don't know much about biology, who cares? What matters is how much you know about Tacoma. Here's your chance to strut your Tacoma stuff: a trivia game where your local knowledge feeds your ego and your sense of belonging. Dr. Bill Baarsma, former mayor of Tacoma, will host History of Tacoma Free Trivia Night from 6:30-9 p.m. at The Forum. Expect history-themed eats and drinks. Wear period costumes for door prizes. What Tacoma woman was a nurse for 30 years before running for state office? You know. What Jack lived in the grotto by the Tacoma Hotel in the 1890s? Why, that's easy. What two Tacoma clubs, owned and operated by the Downings, were home to local bands in the 1990s? You puked outside of both. Here's your chance to impress your friends and neighbors.

3. Andras Jones created Radio8Ball in 1998 on KAOS in Olympia. Now, he is producing it as a local TV series (for the web, for now) with Olympia Film Collective. The episodes are filmed in front of a live audience at Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia, including tonight at 8 p.m. Radio8Ball has fun with synchronicity, choosing the songs that answer the questions by spinning "The Wheel of 8" or picking a Radio8Card, and using the music and lyrics of the song to answer questions from the audience, drawing in associations with other systems, like tarot, astrology and numerology. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Radio8Ball.

4. For rock guitar fans looking for instrumental jams à la such '80s shredders as Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, and Eric Johnson, the Travis Larson Band has made sure the genre is still living and breathing in the new millennium. The band hits the Jazzbones stage at 8 p.m. with Nolan Garrett and Larry Mitchell opening. This show will rock. 

5. Seattle thrash metal legends Coven plan to rule McCoy's Tavern at 9 p.m. with Iron Kingdom and Reficul. After 20 years, they are re-releasing their third album, Boneless Christian. Coven demonstrate shock-comedy metal at its finest.

LINK: Friday, Aug. 8 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 9, 2014 at 7:17am

5 Things To Do Today: History of PNW cuisine, Raspberry Festival, 133rd Army Band, Double-Double Feature ...

Can anyone guess who this is? Hint: He is one of Oregon’s wine pioneers. Find out at 11 a.m. inside the Washington State History Museum.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 9 2014 >>>

1. Author Marc Hinton visits the Washington State History Museum to share the history of cuisine in the Northwest - from the time of the mastodon to the molecular gastronomic revolution of today. Hear how chefs have used our region's bounty to create our local cuisine and how winemakers and brewers have carved out their own traditions in Oregon and Washington. Expect to taste samples from Hinton's book, A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy, beginning at 11 a.m.

2. The Berry Festival is a summertime tradition at Pacific Lutheran University; each monthly lunchtime concert focuses on one delicious berry and features summery desserts and free live music and entertainment. From 11:30 to 1 p.m., raspberries will be the focus with live music by the Funaddicts, in PLU's Red Square.

3. The South Sound's popular young adult author Marissa Meyer will hang at the Puyallup Public Library at 6 p.m. as part of the library's summer reading program. She'll discuss her Lunar Chronicles, a book series of futuristic fairy tales made up of Cinder, Scarlet, and Cress.

4. The 35th season of Music in the Park opens with a rousing performance from a crowd favorite - the 133rd Army Band from 7-8 p.m. in downtown Olympia's Sylvester Park.

5. The Something Wicked improvisational comedy troupe presents an evening of ad-libbed shenanigans, performing a movie to your specifications. It's called Double-Double Feature; and if you can imagine it, they can bring it to life before your very eyes. They'll even throw in a couple of jokes at no additional charge. But wait. Now you have to think of something original? On the spot? Making movies is haaard! Check it out at 8 p.m. inside Harlequin Productions' home.

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

July 5, 2014 at 9:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Ben Union, South Sound BBQ Festival, Hellgate, Spamalot ...

Ben Union plays solo tonight at The Spar in Old Town Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, JULY 5 2014 >>>

1. He's not the new king of pop yet, but Ben Union makes a pretty good Adam Levine. Union frames his prodigious and rock solid talent - soulful vocals, a danceable funk groove, irresistible pop hooks - with passion and showmanship. Imagine the music of Maroon 5 and Train being forced occasionally through the Red Hot Chili Peppers backbeat, grabbing Fred Hammond's soul and then pumped out Levine's larynx, and you have a pretty good idea of the kind of sound Ben Union and his band can produce. While most of Union's songs don't stray too far from the characteristic blend of funk and soulful rock, some of his best moments are the more mellow tunes, such as "Angeles" - which will most likely be front and center at 8 p.m. as Union will perform solo at The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

2. The craft of blacksmithing is waning, even as the art of wrought iron is on the rise, working its way into art schools. But it's the craft-its usefulness, its dignity and its allure should draw you to Fort Nisqually's Crafts of the Past - Blacksmithing demonstration from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ray Baker trained with the NorthWest Blacksmith Association and has participated in workshops with master smiths from Colonial Williamsburg. He has mentored several budding blacksmiths at the Fort, where he has been volunteering for 15 years.

3. Who doesn't like meat off the grill? Well, vegetarians we suppose, but still. Barbecue is pretty damn popular. From 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. the LAcey Chamber of Commerce looks to jump all over this fact with the South Sound BBQ Festival, which returns to Huntamer Park. Admission is free, and yes - the chicken wing eating contest is back.

4. Louie G's Pizza takes its rock as seriously as its oversize pies. Restaurateur Louis Galarza installed professional-grade light and sound equipment, then threw his doors open to the types of bands you may not expect with your meatball calzone. At 6 p.m. he's hosting Montana's heavy-metal trio Hellgate as part of the all-ages Killhate Tour, a fist-pumping demonstration against police brutality and hate crimes everywhere. That's right, Hellgate shreds with a conscience. Guitarist and lead vocalist Joel Floyd West snarls through such retro rockers as "Dear Me" and "Death of Faith" with clarity and conviction, while Scott Daniels' crunching bass lines supply the perfect counterpoint. Also: fried pickle spears. Rawk!

5. Lakewood Playhouse never seems to disappoint and their most recent production is no exception. People who don't like Monty Python humor, also known as fuddy duddies, might want to skip it but for everyone else, Spamalot (books and lyrics by Eric Idle) will have them laughing, whistling and singing even after the show. Director John Munn's brilliant cast and crew could not have done a better job. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Spamalot in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 8 p.m.

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

June 22, 2014 at 8:22am

5 Things To Do Today: FISH Food Benefit Concert, Pride Parade, Tacoma History Hike, Dayclub ...

Champagne Sunday will rock for FISH today.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22 2014 >>>

1. It's like money in dog years. For FISH Food Banks of Pierce County, every dollar raised has seven times the buying power. Based on this math, last year's Maurice The Fish Records benefit concert brought in nearly $50,000 to help feed the hungry. This year's FISH Food Benefit Concert has eight bands taking the stage at the all-ages, family friendly 3-7 p.m. show at Louie G's in Fife. Musical artists span many genres and include: James Coates, Champagne Sunday, Vividal, Moss Brothers, The Approach, Tin Man, Nolan Garrett and Strangely Alright. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the FISH Food Benefit Concert in the Music & Culture section.

2. Capital City Pride began under the aegis of Rainbow Center Olympia. Back then, the festival drew a few hundred people. Now as many as 10,000 celebrants converge on a two-day extravaganza that marks the climax of a very busy year for the organization. Today marks day two of the fabulous celebration with The Pride Parade at noon followed by another full day of music. There will be information and food booths in the park, a marvelous kids' area with activities provided by the Hands On Children's Museum, lots of speechifying and, of course, drag performances.

3. If you are looking for a quiz that calls for more than sitting on a stool with a pint of beer, or if you have killer knowledge of Tacoma history that you feel compelled to show off, then this trivia game is for you. Today you can test your local authority against other history buffs. The Tacoma History Hike is a high-suspense, high-speed scavenger hunt that begins at the Washington State History Museum and leads you to a variety of checkpoints within a 1.5-mile radius, allowing you to walk, run, skip or bike the course. Each checkpoint provides the answer to a question of Tacoma-related historical trivia. Collect as many as you can in the time allotted, and return to the museum for music, awards, goody bags and admission. There is still walk-up registration at 12:30 p.m. with the race at 2 p.m.

4. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watch condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

5. Seattle film director Megan Griffiths' latest film, Lucky Them, stars Toni Collette as a Seattle rock journalist who is ordered by her magazine's editor, played by Oliver Platt, to search for a long lost rock god who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. In the story she teams up with an eccentric amateur documentary filmmaker played by Thomas Haden Church.  Read Jared Lovrak's review of Lucky Them in our Music & Culture section, and then chat with Griffiths after the 2 and 4:20 p.m. screenings at The Grand Cinema.

BONUS: Don't get stuck watching the World Cup games cornered in some dingy bar with a 10-year-old TV and '80s classic hits on the radio. Doyle's Public House's giant tent with two huge TVs (and a bar) will make it feel like you're along the Amazon watching the games (minus the Piranhas). USA takes on Portugal today at 3 p.m.      

LINK: Sunday, June 22 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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2013
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2012
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2011
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2010
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2009
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2008
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2007
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
2006
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December