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April 4, 2015 at 7:02am

5 Things To Do Today: Fruition, King's Books' birthday, Beer Guy Garage Sale, Woolen Men ...

Portland band Fruition perms at Rhythm and Rye tonight. Press photo

SATURDAY, APRIL 4 2015 >>>

1. We rolled our eyes when Portland band Fruition described itself as "three-part-harmony-infused, melody-rich rock, country, folk and soul." That's like characterizing a chef as an expert in "soul food, artisanal pizza, Carolina barbecue and Tex-Mex." It's too far all over the map. But when we dug into their 2013 album Just One of Them Nights, our jaws dropped. It's so damn good we're willing to overlook the folksy grammar. These three sumbitches can play. Perhaps the best way of describing their music is front-porch Americana, earnest and true. We can't think of a better night of music per dollar. Catch them at 9 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye.

2. King's Books turned 15 years old April 1. To celebrate, they are knocking 15 percent off all items in the store, as well as hosting musician and entertainers. Expect a musical sing-along with Philosopher Queen, storytime with Erica Leith, craft activity and book signing with author and kitten wrangler Laurie Cinotto, face painting with Barb White, a photo booth and more this afternoon.

3. Open up a brewery sales representatives' garage and you'll see an amassment of beer posters, buttons, bottle openers, life-size cardboard replications of brewers, drum kits made out of wooden barrels, beer can bracelets, iPhone covers that resemble frothy beer mugs and, in front of the pile, stands an angry spouse. Marine View Beverage distributors came up with an idea to rid the reps of all their brewery's booty, and simultaneously support the effort to clean up, restore and protect Commencement Bay, its surrounding waters and natural habitat. From noon to 5 p.m., The Swiss Restaurant and Pub will host the Beer Guy Garage Sale, the opportunity to furnish home bars and man cave's with the leftover beer schwag from beer reps. "We're combining two of Tacomans' favorite things - beer and the Bay," says Ian VanDooren, manager at The Swiss. "The folks from Citizens for a Healthy Bay will be on hand to collect money at the sales tables, auction off whatever really cool stuff we get - basketball hoops, hockey goals, coolers, neon signs and such - and also inform folks on their mission." Read the full store in our New Beer Column.

4. It's day two of Harlequin Productions hosted South Sound Improv Comedy Festival The festival returns, with such troupes as Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony and Harlequin's own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite standup comedian Morgan Picton will emcee the show, which begins at 8 p.m. in the State Theater.

5. Portland trio The Woolen Men carry with them a number of easily identifiable influences that mix together in delightful ways. They bring the '50s rock by way of Violent Femmes, the stately indie pop of Guided By Voices, and the shambolic lo-fi rock of Pavement. The Woolen Men find the hook at record speed, juice it until there's nothing left, and the discard the song before heading into another catchy tear. See the band with Metal Heads with Broken Hearts, Annie Girl and the Flight and Young Devil at 8 p.m. in the Deadbeat Olympia record store.

April 3, 2015 at 6:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Hip-hop show, Jordan Family Circus, "It Follows," South Sound Improv Comedy Festival ...

Hip-hop compilation “All Your Friend's Friends” sounds were mined exclusively from the stuff of previous K releases by the likes of Dub Narcotic Sound System, Karl Blau, and the iconic Beat Happening. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, APRIL 3 2015 >>>

1. Olympia producer Smoke M2D6 raided the archives of legendary alternative record label K Records to put out an album of Pacific Northwest MCs rapping over K Records artists. The resulting compilation, All Your Friend's Friends, is selling like hotcakes. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on All Your Friend's Friends in the Music & Culture section, then head to Grit City Grindhouse skate shop at 7:30 p.m. to see XPRERIENCE, Smoke M2D6, Real Life Click, Zikki and others perform songs off the album and more.

2. Today-through Sunday the Jordan Family Circus sets up its tents at the Washington state Fair Event Center, more than ready to stick their entire head in a wild beast's mouth for nothing more than your applause ... and a small entrance fee. See it while you still can - 4 and 7:30 p.m., plus five more times this weekend. It'll be just like when you were a kid, except you'll actually spend the entire time updating your Instagram status with popcorn-eating selfies and not paying attention to a damn thing around you. This is what your life has become.

4. At 4:05, 6:30 and 8:50 p.m. in The Grand Cinema, the most buzzed-about horror movie in some time: It Follows. The film has an ingeniously simple premise. Our heroine is plagued by an entity that slowly and patiently follows her everywhere, sometimes appearing to her as friends and loved ones. If the being gets her, she's dead. The only way to get rid of the spook is to sleep with someone, thereby transferring the evil presence onto them. It's a sneaky way of exploring STDs and relationships - two longtime preoccupations in the horror genre - in new and terrifying ways.

4. 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. Roth will perform at 8 p.m. in Cork! A Wine Bar.

5. Comedy hasn't evolved much since the glory days of ventriloquist and puppet. Every so often, there's a Gallagher smashing watermelons or a musical funnyman like Jack Black, but for the most part, comedy is a dude on a stage with a microphone, plodding through a joke-punchline-new-joke routine. Boring! Well, that changed last year when Harlequin Productions hosted the South Sound Improv Comedy Festival hosting acclaimed improv troupes from the Olympia area and the Puget Sound region at 8 p.m. in the State Theater. The festival returns, with such troupes as Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony and Harlequin's own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite standup comedian Morgan Picton will emcee.

April 2, 2015 at 6:27am

5 Things To Do Today: Peach Kelli Pop, Olympia Farmers Market, Lee Heath photography, The Brown Edition ...

Peach Kelli Pop performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo credit: Kelsey Reckling

THURSDAY, APRIL 2 2015 >>>

1. The music of Peach Kelli Pop harkens back to the sugary sound of Beach Blanket Bingo - albeit with a fuzzy veneer of bubblegum garage pop - but sneakily provides more substance than Frankie and Annette could've mustered. From bedroom recordings to playful glamor shots on album covers and associations with record labels like Burger, Lolipop and Bachelor, the years since Peach Kelli Pop have been feverishly eventful ones. Numerous tours across North America and even over to Japan have helped to refine and strengthen what Peach Kelli Pop already had pretty well nailed back when it was just a one-woman project. Even though the members tend to shift - with different ladies coming in to fill out the band at various times - the vision of Peach Kelli Pop remains a constant. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Peach Kelli Pop in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Globelamp and No Big Seal at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. One of the most popular attractions in the city of Olympia, the historic and active Olympia Farmers Market opens its main season at 10 a.m. The market has been serving locals and visitors for 40 years and can see upward of 400,000 visitors during the market season. A vast variety of vendors, live entertainment and a covered but open and airy market make it a not-to-miss destination. This year the market has partnered with South Sound Community Farm Land Trust, furthering agricultural land awareness, stewardship and preservation in the region. Bonus: bluegrass band The Pine Hearts will perform 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

3. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub held a photo contest asking the public to submit photos depicting The Swiss as either a family-friendly environment or as a cultural or historical site in Tacoma. Lee Heath won, which means she earned wall space at The Swiss for the month of April. "I have chosen to go strictly with photography," says Heath. "I am not sure if this has been done in Tacoma before, but I am doing a Pay What You Want display. This is an attempt to make an interactive art display, not only by trying to get people to engage in discussions about what they see while they dine, but when someone ‘pays what they can,' and a photo is removed from the wall, a new one will go up in its place." The show features photos from places, people, murals and street art around Tacoma.

4. Tacoma Green Drinks has invited Earthship Seattle to raise awareness about Earthship technology, and all the green building techniques that come with it. What better way to talk about green building techniques than over a drink with friends? Of course, there isn't a better way. Drink and learn at 6 p.m. in The Forum Tacoma.

5. Award-winning Olympia-based funk rock band The Brown Edition wants you to join their band. Hold on - don't get your hopes up. The band, led by the charismatic Miguel Pineda, will host a jam session inviting all to join them on stage at 8:30 p.m. in the Rhythm and Rye venue in downtown Olympia. For the uninitiated, the popular and bubbling band has had it with all the revision, and will return to its funk bass - the bass that scored them the best funk band in Thurston County, according to the Weekly Volcano readers voting in our Best of Olympia issues year after year. In addition to original works, expect funked-out jazz standards covers of more funk essentials at this free show.

April 1, 2015 at 5:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Walk Tacoma, "TCC 50th," Doug Benson, aerial show in a bar ...

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba / Sithi uhm ingonyama

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 2015 >>>

1. On National Walking Day, why not get up off your booty and commune with Tacoma on foot? Downtown On the Go hosts another Walk Tacoma event. At lunchtime, the organization will lead a walk through Tacoma's Stadium District. Participants will join Melissa McGinnis from Metro Parks, former Tacoma mayor Bill Baarsma and Exit133.com and Tacoma Runners founder Derek Young and learn about the history of Wright Park, residential complexes adjacent to the park and Stadium High School. The first 250 walk participants will receive a swag bag. There is no need to pre-register for the event, simply meet in at the south side of the park on Sixth Avenue near the lion sculptures.

2. Tacoma Community College opens their "TCC 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition" today with a 4-6 p.m. reception in The Gallery. Meet the artists, have a snack and celebrate 50 years of art education at TCC.

3. Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse will be pouring Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA, Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Bitburger Pilsner on draft, as well as some special beers in the bottle. It's Import Night at the downtown Puyallup taproom from 6-9 p.m.

4. San Diegan Doug Benson has been performing standup comedy since 1986, when his buddies dared him to hop on the stage and do three minutes. He's released seven comedy albums, starred in the movie Super High Me, and costarred on everything from Friends to Mr. Show with Bob and David. If Wikipedia is to be believed, he appeared as a visible extra in Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and backup dancer(!) in Captain EO. In 2009, thanks to a jokey appearance on Fox News's Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, Benson scored something of a coup by pissing off the entire government of Canada. Benson drops by the Tacoma Comedy Club at 8 p.m. This isn't an elaborate April Fool's Day prank, by the way. He really will be there. We checked.

5. The Brotherhood Takes Flight aerial show is back, featuring Charly McCreary 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.

March 30, 2015 at 6:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Creative Colloquy Birthday, Leanne Trevalyan, Tunnel Six, Father Murphy ...

Celebrate Creative Colloquy's one-year anniversary with words and wine at B Sharp Coffee House tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, MARCH 30 2015 >>>

1. Admirers of the written word and lovers of the literary will gather, as they have for the past year, at 7 p.m. in B Sharp Coffee House for the monthly Creative Colloquy session. Founder Jackie Casella invites the South Sound to imbibe in libations or sip on roasted bean concoctions and "watch storytellers do the thing they do best, narrate their tales and celebrate CC's birthday," she adds. The emcee for the evening will be master bookseller extraordinaire sweet pea, owner of King's Books. In addition to an open mic, scheduled storytellers include Titus Burley, William Turbyfill, Joshua Swainston, Nick Stokes and Melissa Thayer, with a special musical performance by singer-songwriter Maddy Dullum. There will be cake!

2. Founding member of the "swampabilly" band Junkyard Jane, Leanne Trevalyan has been a fixture in the Northwest music scene for over two decades. "Her voice reminds me of the smoothness, texture and taste of sweet honey as it drips from a spoon onto a fresh biscuit," quotes Roy Brown for Victory Review. "Leanne has a sultry, alto voice capable of rendering both bluesy and country tunes with bare-boned honesty," writes Les Reynolds for Indie Music Review. Catch her at 7:30 p.m. in Smoke + Cedar.

3. With singable melodies that dare to be epic and an unabashedly emotional approach to musical storytelling, Tunnel Six tastefully blends elements of jazz, world, and folk. Following six cross-continental tours and two internationally released albums, this collective continues to dissolve geographic and musical boundaries to reach audiences across North America, including the Rhythm and Rye at 8 p.m.

4. From the anthemic rage of Manic Street Preachers' The Holy Bible to John Lennon's weary look into the unknown on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, musicians confronting their feelings on religion can often be a harrowing experience. Italian duo Father Murphy take this spiritual struggle to its next logical, roaring step. The band describes its music as being the aural embodiment of Catholic guilt. Powered by industrial drum machines and searing guitars, the stark sound of Father Murphy most closely resembles the similarly disturbing work of Suicide. Catch the band with Jen Grady and Angelo Spencer at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia.

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.

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Word, Tacoma, Music, Olympia,

March 27, 2015 at 6:29am

5 Things To Do Today: The Cutwinkles, station wagons, "In a Dark Dark House," Tobi Stone's Texture Band ...

The Cutwinkles will rock The Valley tonight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 2015 >>>

1. Without slipping into needless hyperbole, we're just going to go ahead and say The Cutwinkles are a Tacoma institution. Formed at the Tacoma School of the Arts about a decade ago, they established themselves as a genuinely unique entity in these parts. Armed with an unhealthy preoccupation with video games, The Cutwinkles specialized in goofily theatrical pop-punk odes to Super Mario Bros. and dragons. They are always marked by a sense of humor and playfulness that stands out against the typically serious garage rock, meta, and folk that tend to dominate the Tacoma music scene. Catch the band with The Fabulous Downey Brothers and masonaspron at 8 p.m. in The Valley.

2. Who can forget the Griswold's infamous green and wood-paneled Wagon Queen Family Truckster in National Lampoon's Vacation flick? Remember the tricked-out Ectomobile in Ghostbusters? Baby boomers across the country wanted to call shotgun and ride with Brady kids in their Plymouth Satellite. Station wagons are an American automobile icon and a symbol of the family road trip. There are few vehicles that conjure up the delight of the family vacation as the great American station wagon. A collection of the sleekest, shiniest, top-of-the-line wagons will make their debut at America's Car Museum today.

3. Longtime musicians Ben Fuller and Justin McDonald will team up for a 7 p.m. show at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. Fuller's brother, Ted "Ten Fingers of Doom" Fuller, is rumored to join the show.

4. Neil LaBute's In a Dark Dark House, presented by Theater Artists Olympia at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun Performance Space, takes place 20 years after the summer that set the course for two estranged brothers lives - reunion to uncover the secrets and lies that have shaped them into the men they've become: One a hand-to-mouth blue collar man struggling to find fulfillment, the other a wealthy attorney caught in the grip of self-destruction. As the brothers soon discover, old habits are hard to break. Slowly, surgically, each has to learn the truth from the other, while trying to keep their own demons buried. This play contains discussions of child abuse, sexual abuse, violence, incarceration, and brief homophobic and ableist language.

5. Saxophonist/composer Tobi Stone has composed an evening of original music in homage to her mentor, late jazz saxophonist Bert Wilson, at 8 p.m. in The Washington Center. Stone's Texture Band blends African grooves with jazz harmonies. The septet features Samantha Boshnack on trumpet, Naomi Siegel on trombone, Tobi Stone on saxophone, from Japan Sumi Tonooka on piano and from west Africa Masa Kobayashi on bass, Thione Diop and Etienne Cakpo on drums.

March 26, 2015 at 6:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Bluegrass, Pierce County READS film, "Battlefields to Farmlands," mini and the Bear ...

The Barleywine revue performs at The Swiss tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, MARCH 26 2015 >>>

1. Tacoma bluegrass band The Barleywine Revue and Tacoma old timey meets folk-punk band The Cottonwood Cutups will pitch a tent inside The Swiss Restaurant and Pub from 7-10 p.m. It will be a cacophony of spirited group singing and hoops and hollers.

2. The South Sound is a lit-lovin' book-readin' type of region. We welcome authors, and we support them. We read their books and we go to events where they read their books to us. And a bunch of these authors even live here, which means we probably sit next to them on the bus, or in a restaurant, or edge past them a little too closely when we're driving and they're rushing through the crosswalk just after the light changes. Many cities in the region host citywide reading events. So do the counties. Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat is the 2015 selection for Pierce County Library System's 8th annual Pierce County READS. The No. 1 New York Times best-seller chronicles the 1936 University of Washington crew team and their epic quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics. Against the grim backdrop of the Great Depression, this nine-man crew of working class origins stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. The library has put together 63 free events that cover various themes from The Boys in the Boat including a free screening of the controversial German propaganda film Triumph of the Will, at 6 p.m. in The Grand Cinema, followed by expert commentary with UW Tacoma's Claudia Gorbman, Ph.D.

3. In the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area alone, more than 11,000 servicemembers will leave active duty in the next two years. Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties are projected to have the highest Post 9/11 veteran population in the state. Organizations like GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty) in Olympia hope to help those veterans transition by affording them opportunities in the field of sustainable agriculture. Join GRuB, Enterprise for Equity, Oly Float, Rainier Therapeutic riding, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Conservation Corps at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theater for a screening of the film Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields, a documentary that examines the plight of farmers and demonstrates how veterans can translate military skills to the world of agriculture. Following the movie screening, County Commissioner Bud Blake will moderate a discussion about the relationship between food security and veteran transition.

4. The Olympia People's Mic invites vocalists, writers and poets to speak their pieces for an hour or two at 7 p.m. in Café Love. Tonight, the featured poet is eastern Washington transplant, currently-residing-in-Seattle-poet Tim Johnson. 

5. San Francisco power volume duo mini and the Bear joins Big Idiot for heavy jams at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

March 25, 2015 at 6:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Jerry Miller, Ninkasi Brewing Night, Comedy Open Mic, grindcore ...

Jerry Miller will perform after the Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night at The Swiss tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 2015 >>>

1. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love.  While they were rooted in psychedelia, they injected elements of folk, blues and country. Unlike the jam bands of the time, Grape possessed a meticulously unique sound by way of multilayered triple guitar arrangements - Jerry Miller on first guitar, the melodious Peter Lewis on second, with weirdo Skip Spence on third. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Miller. 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 now performs with his trio, the Jerry Miller Band, as well as host jam and open mic nights around town, including Tuesday nights at Dave's in Milton. Miller and crew will perform at 8 p.m. in The Swiss. A pre-show Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night will help everyone ride the snake.

2. Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom has killer Brewer's Nights. Their recent Facebook post reminded us of such fact: "one where we had a line out the door at start time, or that one where we broke the randall, we've had a history of kegs emptied in record time, and tons of great prizes given away." From 5-7 p.m., Ninkasi Brewing Company and rep. Josh Russell will be in the house with an eye on reaching Pint Defiance's Number One Brewer's Night Of All Time, with hoppier beers, more enthusiastic high fives and kitten-themed prizes, as well as the latest R&D (Rare & Delicious) release, Rich's Double Belgian IPA, "This Is Why I'm Hop" IPA, the original Total Domination IPA and Spring Reign Pale Ale.

3. SideWalk is a local organization on a mission to end homelessness in Thurston County. They combine volunteerism and intensive community engagement with data-driven, evidence based methods to accomplish their mission. The Olympia Downtown Association will be hosting a benefit house party for SideWalk from 5-8 p.m. at The Washington Center. Besides a performance by local band Blue Laces, and food and wine from several local restaurants, program will feature words from WCPA Executive Director Jill Barnes, ODA Executive Director Vida Zvirzdys-Farler and Sidewalk Executive Director Phil Owens. This is a free event for our community, with an opportunity to donate directly to Sidewalk during the evening.

4. 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 Tacoma Comedy Club's Open Mic Night features some damn good performers who more than balance it out. Check out the free performance at 8 p.m.

5. Deathgrave and Augurs, two Oakland, California, bands that have made grindcore and downtuned sonic aggression a way of life, will join The Vatican band for total auditive devastation at 9:30 p.m. in Obsidian.

March 24, 2015 at 1:14pm

Nerd Alert has been issued for Emerald City Comicon, Rock Candy Burlesque, Scientology, "Interstellar" ...

Jewel Staite of "Firefly" joins the geeky goodness in Seattle this weekend.

Pouring one out for Xenu in his electronic mountain trap, 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.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

Sadly, Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood), Morena Baccarin (V, Homeland) and Jenna Coleman (the lovely and charming Clara Oswald) had to bow out of appearances at this weekend's Emerald City Comicon. The event recovered, however, by adding Jewel Staite and Gina Torres of Firefly. Also in attendance: Hayley Atwell (aka Agent Carter), Kurt Busiek (Astro City and Marvels), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Grant Imahara of Mythbusters, Lucy Knisley (Displacement and Relish), STAN LEE, Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Bruce Timm (DC's animated series), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and dozens of other folks you'll recognize or should. The second level of the Washington State Convention Center will be devoted to gaming tournaments, including a dozen demos. Genre authors Kevin J. Anderson, Greg Bear and Michael A. Stackpole offer informed advice to new writers. A kids' area includes a costume parade, a workshop devoted to clay animation, and a visit from Emperor Palpatine's feared 501st Legion. For superhero, sci-fi and fantasy geeks all over western Washington, this weekend-long festival is annual home base.

EMERALD CITY COMICON, Friday through Sunday, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, $10-$295, 888.372.3976

The shamelessly sentimental comedy I'm directing for Olympia Little Theatre, Charles Morey's Laughing Stock, is about a summer of rep plays at a star-crossed theater in a refurbished barn in New England. The year is 1993, as "The Playhouse" struggles through rehearsals and performances of Dracula and Hamlet, with Murphy's Law in full effect and love and chemical fog in the air. Here is my promise to you, the consumer: if you laugh harder at any other play this year, I will personally buy you a Coke.

LAUGHING STOCK, 7:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1:55 p.m. Sunday, through April 19, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $8-$14, 800.838.3006

An unsettling drama from Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty) reunites a pair of estranged brothers two decades after devastating childhood events In a Dark, Dark House. It's not a musical. It sure ain't a comedy. It is, however, perfect for the dark, dark Midnight Sun Performance Space, and for avant-garde Theater Artists Olympia. Christopher Rocco directs. There will be trigger scenes.

IN A DARK, DARK HOUSE, 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, through April 11, 2:30 p.m. April 12, Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, $15, 360.259.2743

SATURDAY, MARCH 28

The self-described "legendary sexpots" of Olympia's Rock Candy Burlesque celebrate their third anniversary with host Tyler Lockwood, special guests Bananas Foster and Mae Zing, and cake, if you know what I mean. (I mean cake. I like cake. Count me in.)

ROCK CANDY BURLESQUE: A TIME FOR CAKE-PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENTS!, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, $10-$13, 360.705.0760

SUNDAY, MARCH 29

HBO and documentarian Alex Gibney take on the Church of Scientology in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on Lawrence Wright's jaw-dropper of a book and debuting tonight at 8. Our lawyers inform us Scientologists are a fine organization of people who haven't been duped by a schlocky extended space opera con of a pseudo-religion. Also, our fondness for that noble body should in no way be attributed to its propensity for devastating lawsuits.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1

Christopher Nolan's mind-expanding masterpiece Interstellar, which gives 2001: A Space Odyssey a run for its monolith as best hard-SF epic of all time, arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD. April Fools! Oh, Interstellar does hit video today, but its screenplay is light-years from being as clever as it thinks (and, frankly, declares) it is. That third act in the LSD library is rather a mess. I did like the cameo and robot.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you attain the full glory of the state of Clear.

March 24, 2015 at 6:34am

5 Things To Do Today: Religious Girls, "Big Eyes," sports chat, Kurt Lindsay ...

Oakland trio Religious Girls will perform at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

TUESDAY, MARCH 24 2015 >>>

1. Oakland trio Religious Girls is gospel music for noise. Praising everything both beautiful and abrasive, Religious Girls are fascinated with taking clattering and chanting and making it a main character. Eardrums are pummeled, pupils are dilated, and minds are expanded to the place where they can receive that glut of input being ejected from Religious Girls. Above all else, the drums become the frontman for Religious Girls, shoving and cajoling the music into places it wouldn't otherwise have gone. Catch the band with Saul Conrad, Joseph Hein and the Breakfast Cowboy at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Tim Burton's film Big Eyes reunites him with the writers of Ed Wood, his best-ever film. It stars the red-hot Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. It will screen at 2 and 6:40 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

3. Broken Spoke on Hilltop Tacoma hosts a Brewer's Night honoring breweries 21st Amendment, Hopworks, Hop Valley and Oskar Blues Brewery. Expect the release of two new beer cans, swag giveaways, taco truck and a lot of talk about bicycles, from 7-10 p.m.

4. There's a sport for everyone. Whether it's video football or dangling from great heights by little ropes, you have enjoyed at some point the principles of fair play, hard work, achievement, etc. Well, so did many folks in 1936. History professor Chad Moody wants to tell you all about the intersection of sport, spectacle and fascist ideology ... for free at 6:30 p.m. in the Gig Harbor Library. You game? Well, run like hell (you are an athlete, after all) to the Gig Harbor Library tonight. Learn about Jesse Owens, German athletes and Hitler during the 1936 Olympics. Bring friends and make the lecture some sort of sport. There's a sport for everyone.

5. With a voice that is influenced by old soul-singers such as Otis Redding, but also spiced with some folk sensibilities, Kurt Lindsay knows how to evoke emotion and have full control of every song he explores. Lindsay's voice, like Jeff Buckley's, is simultaneously full of bravado and wounded timidity. It quivers with feeling, though it might be noted that Lindsay's voice often comes across as more lost, searching, which adds a nice element to what is largely music that errs toward modern rock, with some detours to friendly mixers like R&B and folk. Catch him at 7:30 pm. in Smoke + Cedar.

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