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February 13, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Skrill Meadow, artist Glory Cancro, Air Supply, "My Bloody Valentine" ...

Skrill Meadow performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. photo courtesy of skrillmeadow.bandcamp.com

FRIDAY, FEB. 13 2015 >>>

1. We were surprised and delighted to hear the latest from Skrill Meadow, the one-man band of Markly Morrison. Private Memories is an album of straight-up slow jams, albeit jams coming directly from one shitty tape machine to your ear. Despite his limitations, Morrison embodies the consummate frontman, reeking of sex and brimming with confidence, even if it may be buried beneath layers of tape hiss. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skrill Meadow in the music and Culture section, then catch him with Jupiter Sprites and Grey Waves at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Join Metro Parks Tacoma for their annual pre-V Day Wine and Chocolate event at the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at 5:30 p.m. A $30 ticket includes an opportunity to sip on wine and champagne paired with chocolate covered strawberries and truffles while you mingle among glorious floral decorations. Live music will also be onsite. Must be 21 and over to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the conservatory or the Metro Parks main office. For more details, call 253.591.5330.

3. Inspired by her love of Da Vinci's anatomical studies - visceral, instinctive, deep rooted - a necessary part of our human makeup, artist Glory Cancro presents "Music, Tea & Art" from 7-10 p.m. at Mad Hat Tea Company. "I wanted to do something for Valentine's Day and the body parts seemed to fit," says Mad Hat co-owner Maureen McHugh. Singer/songwriter Riley Egge and friends will provide the soundtrack for the art show.

4. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was a 1983 fixture on pizzeria jukeboxes across the country. That ballad, warbled by Russell Hitchcock of Australian soft-rock stalwarts Air Supply, was written by songwriting powerhouse Jim Steinman and actually features two members of the E Street Band. It remained at #2 for three weeks, boxed out of the top spot by another Steinman opus, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." It was a freaking epic time on the radio. And if none of this means anything to you, then you, my friend, are not in your mid-40s. But for some of us, the sound of Air Supply is the sound of first love. So here we are, Air Supply, the ones that you love, just when we thought we were over you, 8:30 p.m., Emerald Queen Casino.

5. Twenty years after a Valentine's Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and a blood soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine's Day romance is as good as dead ... AND SO ARE THEY! My Bloody Valentine will be Reverend-Joe Duncan's final Friday Night Frights film at the Blue Mouse Theatre. Expect prizes, goodies and screams, beginning at 10 p.m.

February 12, 2015 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Stringband Mayhem, bicycling film, Oly Old Time Festival, "The Sunset Limited" ...

The Blackberry Bushes Stringband perform at The Swiss restaurant and Pub tonight.

THURSDAY, FEB. 12 2015 >>>

1. The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Wild Rabbit and Renegade Stringband will bring their stringband mayhem to The Swiss at 9 p.m. - part of a larger tour, informally dubbed "The Winter Tour of Stringband Mayhem," which has the three bands visiting eight Northwest cities. There is a strong roots music scene in the Northwest that spans the whole spectrum from traditionalists to those using traditional elements in more modern pop or rock influences. The Blackberry Bushes (Seattle), Wild Rabbit (Bellingham) and Renegade Stringband (Portland) span that spectrum. The Blackberry Bushes perform mostly original material, but they'll keep a thread of bluegrass and old-time going through their show. Wild Rabbit is a little more pop. Renegade is a little more traditional.

2. Explore the social change, events and people that can lead to a bike-friendly city through an interactive free screening of AfterMass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland at 6:30 p.m. in The Grand Cinema. The movie will be followed by a community discussion on how changes can happen in Tacoma. Free tickets are available at The Grand on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. The seventh annual Oly Old Time Festival kicks off tonight with a square dance featuring the Grizzle Grazzle Tune Snugglers and Evie Ladin calling from 7-9 p.m. at The Olympia Ballroom. What will follow will be several of the country's best purveyors of traditional Appalachian and old time American music Friday through Sunday. For the full schedule, visit olyoldtime.weebly.com.

4. Working Class Theater NW presents its second full-length production, Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited, exploring religion through the dynamic lens of American race relations, at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Youth Theater space, 924 Broadway. Directed by Tim Samland and starring local actors Aaron Bredlau (White) and Jack House (Black), The Sunset Limited opening scene begins immediately after Black rescues White from jumping in front of a train. From that chance meeting, the two men explore the depths of faith and conviction that have led them down such opposite paths.

5. Here's a worth hip-hop show. Rashan Amad of Oakland's The Crown City Rockers and Sleep of Oldominion will perform at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur's back music room.

February 11, 2015 at 7:18am

5 Things To Do Today: The Life of Elliott Smith, Kegs For Keepers, Kareem Kandi, One Love Wednesday ...

Elliott Smith as seen on the cover of "Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith," which will be discussed tonight in Olympia.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10 2015 >>>

1. Before Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein branded Portland, Oregon, Elliott Smith did the same - except his Portland was about self-loathing. He told stories about addicts getting off the bus at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 6th Avenue to cop, and chronicled the absurd ritual of the Rose Parade. After battling depression, drugs and alcohol for years, Smith committed suicide Oct. 21, 2003. He was 34. William Todd Schultz, a professor of psychology, chronicled Smith's childhood and adolescence in the book, Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith, offering critical insight into the musician as both an individual and an artist, as well as into the myriad influences that shaped his music and lyrical content. Schultz will drop by the Olympia Timberland Library at 7:30 p.m. to offer a presentation on the life and music of Smith - specifically rare audio recordings and early versions of lyrics for the potent Smith song, "King's Crossing." Q & A will follow.

2. The ParkWay Tavern will host Drinking for Conservation's Kegs For Keepers night. Fifty cents of every beer, cider and wine sold between 6 and 10 p.m. will help fund the Point Defiance Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers.

3. Over the past week the Weekly Volcano has published 53 stories on the changes going down at Narrows Brewing Company. Head brewer Joe Walts is headed back home to Madison Wisconsin and his old job as quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewery. Mike Davis will tie on the Narrows' head brewer apron next week. The folks at Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse bid Walts a fond farewell shining a light on Narrows Brewing beers, beginning at 6 p.m. Drop by and thank Walts for the tasty beers, and maybe even win a raffle prize.

4. Saxophonist Kareem Kandi has hosted an open jazz session for years, a backyard patio for his music school friends, fellow musicians and newbies to jam out standards - fresh, fiery and exciting. The jam now resides every second Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

5. Happy (late) birthday, Bob Marley! Although Tacoma's reigning dancehall king, DJ Qualifi, keeps it bangin' at Champions every Saturday night, there is another notable spot hosting a weekly, free Wednesday reggae/dancehall joint. One Love Wednesday at Jazzbones getting irie on Sixth Avenue with rotating bands, a DJ between sets and finishing the night off for the party people. At 9 p.m., The Sindicate takes the stage.

February 8, 2015 at 8:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Mazen Kerbaj, "H.M.S. Pinafore," Mark Dufresne, Comedy Drag Show ...

The festival of improvised music at Obsidian tonight features a very special guest by the name of Mazen Kerbaj.

SUNDAY, FEB. 8 2015 >>>

1. This festival of improvised music at Obsidian features a very special guest by the name of Mazen Kerbaj. Hailing from Beirut, Lebanon, Kerbaj specializes in the trumpet, taking that instrument many miles from any expectations you may have when I utter the words "improvisational trumpet." His style takes the trumpet in directions that delve deep into the experimental, testing the instrument's limits of expression, whether they be textural, percussive tonal, or pushing the envelope of what could reasonably pass for music. In taking advantage of his instrument's many characteristics, Kerbaj takes his audience through a journey of finding the potential in any sound to transport. For anyone with a passing interest in experimental music, this 8 p.m. show with Arrington De Dionyso, Paul Hoskin, Daniel Buscher and Hammer of Hathor must be observed. The daring will get the most from this excursion into the base elements of the musical experience.

2. Though 120 years old, H.M.S. Pinafore is as seaworthy as ever, an irresistible blend of Sullivan's matchless melodies and Gilbert's shrewd satire of the Victorian caste system. Tacoma Opera's production boasts vocals by Boston Lyric Opera soloist Michael Drumheller, Seattle Opera Guild's Ksenia Popova and returnees from The Barber of Seville. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on H.M.S. Pinafore in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 2 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

3. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub will host a benefit concert for the Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children featuring The Oly Mountain Boys at 4 p.m., Steve and Kristi Nebel at 5 p.m., The Twang Junkies at 6 p.m. and The Barleywine Revue at 7 p.m. Mitrata-Nepal Foundation for Children's mission is to educate and empower severely underprivileged children to reach their full potential as citizens of Nepal.

4. Mark Dufresne is schooled in the ways of Sonny Boy, Junior Wells and James Cotton. His work on the chromatic harmonica is considered as some of the most innovative in blues music. His ability to circular breathe has left audiences dazed, dancing in circles until they drop. Catch the blues musician and his band at 7 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

5. Jubal Flagg from the Movin 92.5 FM morning show host a Comedy Drag Show featuring five comedians performing as themselves, get a complete makeover, and come back as the opposite sex. Check it out at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

February 7, 2015 at 8:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Drive the Blues Away, Ravenna Woods, "Capitol Punishment," The Rusty Cleavers ...

Legendary Northwest blues band Little Bill & The Blue Notes will perform at the Drive The Blues Away party Feb. 7.

SATURDAY, FEB. 7 2015 >>>

1. LeMay - America's Car Museum will unleash beer, booze, blues and classic Buicks at 7 p.m. when their "Drive the Blues Away" celebration consumes their space next to the Tacoma Dome. Chug Red Hook and Narrows Brewing beer, sip booze from 2bar Spirits, Heritage Distilling Co., Sidetrack Distillery, Magnolia Moonshine Cocktails and Glass Distillery, chow down on grub from Pacific Grill as you listen to Little Bill & The Blue Notes, the Kim Archer Band and James King and the Southsiders. Bonus: Gibson Guitars will be in the house, allowing you to test drive acoustic and electric guitars. Oh, then there are the 300-plus classic, collectible and vintage vehicles spanning more than 110 years - but that's a given.

2. Ravenna Woods have grown in ways that enter them into a different realm from those that consider folk revivalism the be-all and end-all of new indie expression. What began as a three-piece that created percussive folk has nor involved more electronic elements that expand their sound. Now, with their newest album, The Jackals, Ravenna Woods will be subjected to a modern dance interpretation of their album, just as Lemolo did last year with the Kaleidoscope Dance. Just as last year's performance involved a band its album in its entirety, accompanied by modern dancers, so will this year's production involve Ravenna Woods' latest album, The Jackals, joined with interpretive dancers. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Ravenna Woods in the Music & Culture section, then catch the performance at 7 p.m. in the Urban Grace Church.

3. The South Sound MC battle scene began in the early '90s, but flourished on an astronomical trajectory with the emergence of Heretic The Heathen's For MCs By MCs Presents organization a few years back. The local battle scene is composed of upstart and veteran writers, lyricists and vocalists who compete with clever combos of wordplay and verbs. At 8 p.m. in McCoy's Tavern, the battle continues when For MCs By MCs Presents "Capitol Punishment" featuring multiple bouts with highly touted MCs. Get it innnn!

4. Mig Artugue is the defining voice behind Too Long Sparks, which takes spare drum machines and layers looped guitar and ukulele on top to create a moody atmosphere that builds with increasing anxiety. His vocals drift from laconic to panicked, lending an urgency to his minimalistic compositions that sounds like nothing more than one man having a nervous breakdown in the recording studio. Catch the one-man band with Red Planet Rebels, No Crown and Little Star at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

5. It seems only natural to combine the worlds of bluegrass and punk, and The Rusty Cleavers do so magnificently, with all manner of mandolin, banjo and backyard clatter coming together in a cacophony of spirited group-singing and hoops and hollers. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

February 6, 2015 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: "H.M.S. Pinafore," Downward Dog Mystery, baroque composers, Band of Lovers ...

Aboard the H.M.S. Pinafore, a tale of love, hypocrisy and mistaken identities unravels when the captain's daughter falls secretly in love with a common sailor. Photo credit: Peter Serko

FRIDAY, FEB. 6 2015 >>>

1. In The Simpsons' 1993 episode "Cape Feare," Bart distracts his homicidal nemesis, Sideshow Bob Terwilliger (Kelsey Grammer), by imploring him to perform H.M.S. Pinafore in its entirety. A flattered Bob replies, "Very well, Bart. I shall send you to Heaven before I send you to Hell." He follows through with a medley of "We Sail the Ocean Blue," "Hail! Men-o'-War's Men!" (Little Buttercup's Song) and a falsetto'd climax from "He Is an Englishman." So guess what? If you recognize that pop culture references, then you know some H.M.S. Pinafore. Tacoma Opera's production of H.M.S. Pinafore boasts vocals by Boston Lyric Opera soloist Michael Drumheller, Seattle Opera Guild's Ksenia Popova and returnees from The Barber of Seville. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on H.M.S. Pinafore in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

2. Seattle novelist Tracy Weber will read from her new novel, A Killer Retreat - the second installment of her award-winning Downward Dog Mystery series about a murder-solving, vegetarian yoga teacher, Kate, and her feisty German Shepherd - at 6 p.m. in Garfield Book Company. This new book finds Kate teaching yoga at a vegan retreat center when a wedding guest at the center is found dead shortly after a loud and public fight with Kate. Kate must try to solve the murder before the police put her behind bars as their number-one suspect. Weber will lead a yoga class for PLU students and others following the reading.

3. Music faculty members and students at University of Puget Sound will perform works from some of history's most influential baroque composers - from a Bach work centered on the biblical story of Cain and Abel to a Nicola Porpora piece written for the convent choirs at Venice orphanages - at 7:30 p.m. in Kilworth Memorial Chapel. The Jacobsen Series concert from the School of Music will include strings, harpsichord, and piano, with solo arias and choir.

4. Few songs are sweeter than "Tennessee," the acoustic tune by upstate New Yorkers Band of Lovers. Their debut single comes correct with homespun violin, upbeat lyrics, even trilled ooh-oo-oohs and la-di-dahs. Friends for 10 years, Sabina Beachdell and Dave Strumfeld united their troubadour talents in 2013 to craft a five-song eponymous EP. Now they're on the road in support of The Coast, a full-length, crowdfunded album they recorded in a cabin in Woodstock. See them perform at 8 p.m. in Metronome Coffee.

5. Mig Artugue is the defining voice behind Too Long Sparks, which takes spare drum machines and layers looped guitar and ukulele on top to create a moody atmosphere that builds with increasing anxiety. His vocals drift from laconic to panicked, lending an urgency to his minimalistic compositions that sounds like nothing more than one man having a nervous breakdown in the recording studio. Catch the one-man band with Middlewav, The Various Moods Of, People Under the Sun and Patrick Galactic at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

February 4, 2015 at 7:29am

5 Things To Do Today: Seed Swap, Medicine Creek Council, improv comedy, aerial show ...

"Dude ... need seeds?"

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 4 2015 >>>

1. The Pierce County Conservative District Seed Swap goes down from 6-8 p.m. in the Parkland/Spanaway Library. Bring excess seeds either purchased or saved, cuttings, or transplants to trade with community members. Kelda Lorax of Divine Earth Gardening Project will host a seed saving workshop. The event will also be a potluck so bring a dish to share. Top your dish with sesame seeds and watch the crowd erupt in cheer.

2. Transcendent Music Group brings in Seattle Rastafari roots reggae band Laborer for its One Love Wednesday music series at Jazzbones, beginning at 7 p.m.

3.The Medicine Creek Council took place in the Nisqually Delta Dec. 26, 1854. It brought together 62 Native American tribal leaders and a contingent of American settlers headed by territorial governor Isaac Stevens, and changed the course of Northwest history. The treaty established reservations for the Native American tribes represented and described the lands that would be ceded by the tribes to the United States Government. Historian and author Drew Crooks will discuss the event and its ramifications at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library.

4. Harlequin Productions' improv troupe Something Wicked returns to the stage for a show about the beautifully absurd world of dating. Join them at 8 p.m. in the Historic State Theater as all the terror, glee, tragedy and joy of modern-day romance are whirled together into a frothy, intoxicating evening of heart-mending laughter.

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

February 2, 2015 at 7:46am

5 Things To Do Today: Sister Cities Film Festival, "Underwhelmed" radio show, TV theme song night ...

Co-written and directed by Driss Chouika, "Crossed Destinies" has a beautiful beachfront setting.

MONDAY, FEB. 2 2015 >>>

1. The Tacoma Sister Cities International Film Festival kicks off tonight with Crossed Destinities, a Moroccan film in honor of sister city El Jajida, Morocco, which screens at 7 p.m. in the University of Puget Sound Rotunda. The French film set in Morocco follows Abdelkhalek and Rachida as they play host to their college friends, invited to spend the weekend at their beautiful beach house but don't know who sent the invitations bringing them all together. The group of 40-somethings begin to recall stories of their past and reveal to each other, and themselves, veiled truths and long hidden secrets with a central thread of mystery weaving through the story. A Moroccan cultural program will kicks off the night at 6:15 p.m.

2. In 2013, filmmaker Isaac Olsen (Quiet Shoes, Ich Hunger) and his friends started Strapping Young Productions, a company to promote Olsen's projects and local bands Red Hex, Trees and Timber, and the Dick Rossetti (former disc jockey at 107.7 The End) fronted Jilly Rizzo. Today, Rossetti and Olsen find themselves under a new umbrella, the online weekly radio show, "Underwhelmed." Kicking off at 6 p.m. on nwczradio.com, and every Monday from 6-7 p.m., the two will present "unshitty/shitty music played, revelry and neat segments like ‘Record Collectors Are Pretentious Assholes" and "Ten 30 Second Commercial Free Music Sweeps.'" Tonight's episode will feature an interview with The Clash, local calls bullshit on the Seahawks, NFL and all 12s in general, top tunes from Toto, The Germs, Tit Nuns, Chaka Khan and many more. ...

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Olympia Elks Lodge.

4. Don't stay home and watch TV - come listen to TV. Trumpeter Mike Lewis and friends are going to blow up your favorite TV theme songs in the Jazz Lab at 8 p.m. at Rhythm & Rye.

5. The Shelly Ely Band will fill The Swiss with blues at 8 p.m.

LINK: Monday, Feb. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 31, 2015 at 8:14am

5 Things To Do Today: "Volcanoes of Washington," The Soul Revue, Rogues Gallery, Resident Kings ...

Volcanoes have been impacting, even physically redesigning, the Puget Sound region for millennia. Photo credit: Christian Carvajal

SATURDAY, JAN. 31 2015 >>>

1. On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m., where were you? Memories of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption informs our knowledge of clear and present danger in the shadows of our dragons next door. That fact is made unnervingly clear by a new exhibit in Tacoma's Washington State History Museum opening at 10 a.m. today. Kudos to whoever had the dramatic idea of funneling audience members past a mockup of a 1980 living room, complete with vintage color TV. The television is running an episode of KOMO 4 News from that spring afternoon. The broadcast transports middle-aged viewers back in time while acclimatizing younger museum visitors. From there it's on to a display of mind-boggling physical destruction, in which a tree has been warped into a claw and the pyroclastic impact of tons of blazing mud crumpled a metal truck door like an aluminum soda can. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington" in the Northwest section.

2. Eugene native and brewmaster Trevor Howard opened Hop Valley Brewing Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. Indeed, he and his father, Ron Howard, Jonas Kungys and Chuck Hare chose Friday the 13th. Good luck has only come their way, as Hop Valley has undergone incredible growth. Drop by the Pig Bar inside South Bay Dickerson's BBQ and get an early start on the brewery's six-year anniversary by sipping a healthy Hop Valley line-up, win prizes and get in on some tasty ribs from 6-9 p.m.

3. The Soul Revue at 6:30 p.m. in Jazzbones will encompass the breadth and variety of soul over the generations. Featuring the songs of everyone from Aretha Franklin and Etta James to Frank Ocean and Janelle Monae, the Soul Revue will be covering selected bits of evolution from the world of soul music and all its various permutations. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Soul Revue in the Music & Culture section.

4. If you can say one thing about Rogues Gallery (formerly Jipsea Party), it's that they're clearly devoted to the mad energy of their spectacle. Their gypsy punk is a familiar enough style, but they infuse it with a fervency and a momentum that raises them above some of their other drunken Eastern European devotees. Catch the band with Wages of Sin, the Bog Hoppers and Micah Subar at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

5. Jimmi Davies is a coppersmith, motor head, artist and friendly face around Olympia. But perhaps he is best known for his music - with Oly legends The Dirty Birds and his latest project, straight up rock and rollers Resident Kings. Davies and the new line-up for the Resident Kings play Olympia's Rhythm & Rye with C Average and Marching Suns at 9 p.m. Rock and roll is here to stay.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 31 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 30, 2015 at 7:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Y La Bamba, National Geographic, violinist Maria Sampen, Adonis Puentes ...

Y La Bamba performs at The New Frontier Lounge tonight. Photo credit: Alicia J. Rose

FRIDAY, JAN. 30 2015 >>>

1. It's not surprising to learn that Y La Bamba's records have been produced by the disparate likes of the Decemberists' Chris Funk and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. The ornate instrumentation calls to mind the revivalist classicism of the Decemberists, as well as the Latin rock of Los Lobos, but the presence of both producers at various points highlights the range and varied output of Y La Bamba. While they are more than comfortable being classical with their interpretations of folk and world music, they thrive in that middle ground, where nothing is too easy to describe, let alone predict. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Y La Bamba in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with People Under the Sun, Skinwalker and Black Wolf at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

2. Brian Skerry travels the world photographing marine life. His images are stunning; his stories mesmerizing; his job awesome. He's an acclaimed National Geographic photographer who captivates his audiences with the same enthusiasm and excitement with which he captures his subjects. Skerry's award winning underwater photography will demonstrate the mystery of our ocean's depths. His powerful presentations showcase award-winning imagery and thrilling wildlife encounters, inspire reverence for the marine realm, and offer hope for protecting the vitality of our world's oceans. See his work at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

3. Folk music used to be synonymous with hicks, hillbillies, rednecks and traveling hobos. But not anymore! These days folk music is a marriage of soothing folk riffs and classical strings! Hee-Haw Ma! Violinist Maria Sampen is giving this genre a good name in our books in her upcoming recital Inspired by the Folk: The Romance Between the Violin and the Fiddle. The performance will include a world premiere, a piece evoking the Jewish fiddle tradition, and works that combine Western classical music with folk traditions from America and Romania. Roger Briggs, composer, conductor, artistic director of Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and faculty member at Western Washington University, will be in the Schneebeck Concert Barn for a world premiere of his composition Tune My Heart. Let yourself be cradled by the calming tunes of folk and traditional music at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Barn.

4. If you have a taste for Cuba's sexy island groove, get ready to shine up your dancing shoes, because a new age of Cuban-American détente is upon us. Soñeros Adonis Puentes and fraternal twin Alexis were already well known at home before their arrival in Canada 17 years ago. Since then, both have been nominated separately for Latin Grammys. Among other triumphs, Adonis played South by Southwest in Austin and, with Ruben Blades, at Lincoln Center. He describes his all-acoustic, dance-friendly vibe as "joyous hedonism." That sounds pretty damn buena to us, asere. Catch Adonis Puentes at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

5. From the cacophonous pounding of the drums that open Golden Gardens' Bellflower EP, you'd be excused for thinking that a Spector-esque wall of '60s sound was coming your way. As it is, that sound almost immediately gives way to a gothic, Nick Cave-esque haze. Churchly piano and '80s synths waft in, accompanied by the ghostly vocals of lead singer Aubrey Bramble. Golden Gardens make the type of music that you might hear on the Heathers soundtrack, or in the dorm of that beautiful, moody girl down the hall - you know the one. The band performs at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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