Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: 'Photo Hot Spot' (115) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 115

February 25, 2012 at 10:32am

Photos: The Tacoma Social & The Brotherhood of the Black Squirrel

Devin Good and Taylour Woodruff hanging out at The Tacoma Social inside the Top of Tacoma Bar and Cafe. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


Weekly Volcano hired shooter Steve Dunkelberger hovered around McKinley Hill last night.

First, he dropped in on Camp 6's Tacoma Social party at the Top of Tacoma Bar and Café. Dunkelberger found an even mix of Top regulars and Top newbies who came for the social gathering centered on fashion, the arts and a love of the 253. It was a thing of beauty: jean jackets and tats merged with ties, tight jeans and Buddy Holly glasses for a surge of Tacoma collaborative goodness.

The ruckus and throaty band Overboard found fans in both camps.

Having dutifully done his damage, our hired gun darted to The New Frontier Lounge to catch the last few songs of Ghost Writer's sweat-filled rockabilly set before The Brotherhood of the Black Squirrel emerged from their cave for another trip through roots- and blues-based experimental rock and roll.

PBR was the drink of the night.

LINK: Photos from The Tacoma Social

LINK: Photos from Ghost Writer and Brotherhood of the Black Squirrel

January 23, 2012 at 12:39pm

Seeing red in Tacoma

Walrus Skull Pin Sculpture" by Christy Reedy hanging at Embellish Multispace Salon


I ran into red Saturday night in downtown Tacoma.

The Mix

Dungeon Science at Hell's Kitchen

Filed under: Photo Hot Spot, Tacoma,

January 15, 2012 at 3:31pm

Photos: Amocat Cafe's January Live Music Night

Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


From the backward spelling of its name to the tree-studded front patio, to the upper reaches of the "Swiss Building" that seems to spread its arms into many different worlds at once, it is evident that the Amocat Cafe occupies a space all its own. The building, a merger of a Swiss chalet style and gothic Tudor, is an amalgamation that sets the eye at odd angles and comforts with charm. The Webster Apartments above exist harmoniously with AMOCAT and neighboring businesses, The Mix and Puget Sound Pizza

While the atmosphere isn't comfy, it's comfortable. The laid back, inviting three-room café sports hardwood floors, funky artwork, local goods, Valhalla coffee, tasty grilled panini sandwiches, Northwest craft beer and wine, and a wall of windows to the outside world.

But ambiance isn't all that's offered at Amocat Cafe. Once a month owner Morgan Alexander hosts a live music night anchored by the house band, the Collaborators, with performers Jessica Reid, Leslie Young, Kirk Parker John Dolge, Brian Neufeld, Donna Dolge, Karen Miller, Gen Obata and others rotating in and out of the makeshift stage in front of the northern-most window.

Weekly Volcano photographer Steve Dunkelberger dropped in on Amocat's January live music night, which was Friday. What he heard and photographed were many of the folks listed above singing and strumming acoustic folk-rock, bluegrass and country with the occasional venture into pop music and covers.

Alexander's birthday was also celebrated Friday night.

LINK: More photos of Amocat Cafe's January Live Music Night

LINK: Amocat grabbed a Super Best of Tacoma award

Filed under: Photo Hot Spot, Music, Tacoma,

November 29, 2011 at 11:53am


Mandolin Cafe Monday Trivia Night host Jeff Ross. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


If you're a frequent bar-goer in the South Sound, then you've surely been corralled into going to a trivia night, only to be stumped by the name of Jupiter's second moon. We all know the empty feeling of watching geekier teams chug beer after free beer after winning each round of trivia, then continuing to drink and win while much drunker than you, and it aint pretty. We all know the feeling of being beat by individuals with one eye on the English football on the boob tube. And we all know what it's like to be mocked unmercifully by someone who calls himself Trivia Newton John.

If you seek a mellower atmosphere to share your knowledge of actor Abe Vigoda or the difference of a traverse stage from a three-quarter thrust, may we suggest Monday nights at the Mandolin Café.

From 6-8 p.m. host Jeff Ross tosses out random trivia questions about movies, sports, news and geography to teams of players - while students study in the corner, ladies knit and that one guy dozes next to the fire. The winning team of each round - six total - receives a bowl of candy. The overall winning team scores a free drink, which means beer and wine.

It's a challenging, fun night.

Last night Weekly Volcano photographer Steve Dunkelberger dropped in on the Mandolin to watch seven teams battle it out.

Team Awesome

Team Bob Loblaw

Team Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

[Mandolin Café, Monday Trivia Night, 6-8 p.m., 3923 S. 12th St., Tacoma, 253.761.3482]

LINK: More photos of Mandolin's Trivia Night

November 7, 2011 at 11:06am

PHOTOS: Project: U's Get Involved Gala

People got involved at the Get Involved Gala Saturday night at the Tacoma Art Museum. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


Considering I might have been the oldest person in the room, and certainly one of maybe six donning a tux, I still had a blast at Project: U's Get Involved Gala Saturday night at the Tacoma Art Museum. The United Way's 20- to 30-something gang of do-gooders sure knows how to throw a party. The benefit, without a doubt, was the youngest gala crowd I've seen in Tacoma - and certainly the most grinding I've seen in TAM's Marie A. Helmer Lobby.

I was overwhelmed by the mass of young, beautiful people. I counted 293 people, which is impressive for the inaugural event. I also counted an average of seven drinks per person. I'm sure the United Way folks are please with the money raised.

Weekly Volcano photographer Steve Dunkelberger was in the house. See more of his shots here.

The Weekly Volcano has teamed up with United Way for a year's campaign to fight homelessness in Pierce County. Please text "House" to 20222 and give $10 to a worthy cause. Thank you!

LINK: Project: U

October 30, 2011 at 8:11pm

PHOTOS: Dead Sunday in Tacoma

Jooley Heaps of Tacoma's Top Box Vintage was in the dark house at Le Noir Bizarre.


Swarms of death-obsessed folks converged on downtown Tacoma today. From far and wide they came, like zombies searching for human necks, to take in the festivities at the Tacoma Art Museum's Day of the Dead community festival, as well as the Le Noir Bizarre in the lower level of Sanford and Sons Antiques. Some folks dropped in on both festivals.

Held in conjunction with Centro Latino, TAM's annual festival celebrated Dia de los Muertos with traditional music and dance, food, art activities, displays of art that included a traditional Tapete, or sand painting, and community altars honoring passed loved ones. It was also opening weekend for the impressive exhibit, Folk Treasures of Mexico, full of skeletons, devils and colorful spirits.

As in years past, the community showed up in throngs, forcing elbowing to get to the craft rooms and peruse the altars. There weren't as many altars this year, but still plenty of empty booze bottles as part of the displays. And the sugar skulls for decorating ran out early.

It's one of our favorite Tacoma community festivals of the year.

Down the street along Antique Row, Le Noir Bizarre, "The Dark Market," looked like what you'd expect if Jules Verne and Tim Burton had a garage sale. All the vendors were in costume, as well as many shoppers, and every 10th person was carrying a giant fake ray gun. There were hundreds of skulls and creepy dolls. Men in steampunk-inspired brass goggles rubbed elbows with Victorian-era dressed women. Quite a few costumes were cleavage friendly, creating a constant collision hazard for distracted attendees like yours truly.

Most of the action was in Sanford and Son's lower-level library floor, but the merchants in the above two floors dressed for the occasion too, including organizer Julia Jones holding court in her Goth fashion store, A Little Touch of Magick.

From the merchants and wandering characters to the music and theater, Le Noir Bizarre was dark bizarro fun.

LINK: More photos from the events

LINK: Le Noir Bizarre background story

October 2, 2011 at 1:26pm

Photos: Oktoberfest in an alley


For a full month leading up to Oktoberfest Tacoma, organizer Morgan Alexander kept telling us, over and over, it's more about the beer than German tradition.

Yesterday, just as the weather turned for the better, Oktoberfest Tacoma consumed Opera Alley. And, surprise, it was all about the beer. In fact, the scene was more "harvest" than anything remotely Bavarian with corn stalks and pumpkins scattered. The breweries brought their pumpkin beers, as well as stouts, IPAs and seasonals. There wasn't any sign of cleavage, clogging or crowns.

What did fill the downtown Tacoma alley was smiles, conversation, pretzels and lots of beer.

LINK: More Oktoberfest photos in the Photo Hot Spot

September 27, 2011 at 10:25am

PHOTOS: New Big Whisky Saloon Grand Opening Night

Giani Martin and David Thomas get their cowboy on at Big Whisky. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger


Here's the tricky thing about grand openings:

They're grand.

At any club's grand opening, the bathrooms are clean, the lights flow perfectly and the liquor is stocked. Hoards of pretty ladies and muscled men abuse the dance floor. At grand openings, a noticeable buzz of excitement crams the air.

What a competent reviewer (eh-HMM) must do is gaze through all the glitz and glamour of opening night and ask the tough questions. Will the new Big Whisky Saloon in Olympia always be a Stetson-wearing, whisky-drinking hoopla; or is this more of a first night kind of deal? 

I'm talking the TOUGH questions here, people.

Read Brett Cihon's review of the new Big Whisky in Thursday's Weekly Volcano. In the meantime, enjoy Steve Dunkelberger's photos of the Olympia Big Whisky.

LINK: More photos of Big Whisky Saloon Olympia

LINK: Brett visited the Tacoma Big Whisky

September 18, 2011 at 10:24am

10 Things I learned during Thursday's Art Bus tour

"Parkland is Burning!" Art Chantry show at Fulcrum Gallery


Thursday, the Art Bus pushed off from the Tacoma Art Museum for another tour of Tacoma galleries, schools and businesses during the Third Thursday Artwalk. The guest tour guide was local author and Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. He led Art Bus patrons through exhibits at Embellish Multispace Salon, Handforth Gallery, Jazzbones, Tacoma Food Co-op, MLK Spaceworks, Fulcrum Gallery, Brick House and The Swiss. It was a younger, livelier crowd than normal occupying the bus seats, and Lindquist took advantages of the vibe dishing out jokes as if it was a comedy show. Good times. Here are 10 things I learned during the tour.

1. Thomas Duke, manager of Membership and Annual Giving at the Tacoma Art Museum, most likely increases membership because he's so cool. It's a common sight to see people follow him around the Museum, imitating his moves. You should join just to meet him. Duke also carries around an extra roll of duct tape for emergencies. Thanks Thomas for the help with the Volcano banner!

2. Hanging at Embellish Multi Space Salon is a timeline of hair fashion through the ages, created by artist Maureen McHugh. I had no idea the Bob cut hit the scene around the same time Germany invaded Poland.

3. The Puget Sound Sumi Artists celebrates its 25th anniversary with a retrospective of more than 70 paintings by 42 artists at the Handforth Gallery inside the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch. My favorite is "Consequential Swipes" by Ellen Miffitt.

4. The staff at Tacoma Public Library Main Branch recommends books Tengo un Manny en Casa and Death of a Valentine.

5. Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist digs Art Chantry's posters at Fulcrum Gallery.

6. It's common knowledge Art Chantry is famous for a series of hand-set posters promoting rock shows in Seattle. His posters merged big type with astonishing art, often cut out of exploitation magazines. He also punched his time card four different times as the Rocket art director. One of his proudest accomplishments is having his artwork hung in one of the Louvre's bathroom.

7. This painting hangs upstairs at Jazzbones. It was a collaboration between Corey Green and James Allan Tucker. Apparently, Green doesn't take his talent seriously. He should.

8. Seventy-something artist Alex J. Moeller painted the murals gracing the Tacoma Food Co-op building. He's painted for the rich and famous. He also plays a mean jazz piano.

9. Although blurry, here's proof Pierce County Prosecutor Mark Lindquist is taller than Brick House Gallery owner Peter MacDonald.

10. Weekly Volcano columnist Josh Rizeberg's monthly hip-hop showcase Word 3rd Thurs should have good legs. The debut drew a good-size crowd.

LINK: Ride the Art Bus

LINK: More photos of the tour in the Photo Hot Spot

Filed under: Arts, Photo Hot Spot, Tacoma,

September 17, 2011 at 10:50am

PARK(ing) Day was groovy


Park(ing) Day has come and gone and for at least another year, the urban jungle known as downtown Tacoma will be a little less green than it was for one glorious day yesterday. 

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tacoma Bike, BLRB Architects, Doyle's Public House, Cascade Land Conservatory, Tacoma School of the Arts, Transportation Choices Coalition, Boe Architects, Pierce Transit, Stadium Bike Club Citizens for a Healthy Bay, the Seabury School and your beloved Weekly Volcano transformed metered parking spaces into a pop-up park. Yesterday's national Park(ing) Day challenged the status quo with the goal of stirring conversation or dialogue on public space, green space, and to inspire a vision of a city where the streets are for people.

The Weekly Volcano took liberties – transforming our little space into a mini Woodstock festival, bringing love and music to the urban environment. The public hung with us, honked at us, hugged us and ate our free brownies. On a side note, Pierce Transit drivers gave the most thumbs up of all the public transportation drivers. Taxis came in second.

Big thanks to Downtown: On The Go and Transportation Choices Coalition for organizing the local effort. And thanks to Ben and Ted Fuller of the band China Davis for performing all day at our (PARK)stock.

Remember, Park(ing) Day isn't just about temporarily reclaiming some public land for public use, it's about raising awareness that whatever its benefits, there is a high cost we pay for the convenience of on-street parking.

Anyone have links to photos of the other park(ing) parks in downtown Tacoma?

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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