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October 3, 2014 at 7:18am

5 Things To Do Today: Olympia Arts Walk, Oktoberfest Northwest, Mudhoney film, Strangely Alright ...

China Faith Star performs "Liquid Letters" at 8 p.m. in Last Word Books as part of the Olympia Arts Walk tonight.

FRIDAY, OCT. 3 2014 >>>

1. Largely because of its abundance of offerings, the Olympia Arts Walk is a bit of a cross between a scavenger hunt and a grab bag. Local businesses - 96 of them this weekend - become galleries for the weekend, week or month, showing paintings, sculptures, photographs and more. Some serve as performance spaces, too. The streets are filled with people and the occasional juggler. But where to go? What to see? There's the fun. Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on Olympia Arts Walk XLIX in the Music & Culture section, then hit downtown Olympia from 5-10 p.m. and have the time of your life.

2. Born and raised in Tacoma, Noah Struthers is a unique product of this "blue collar" environment. His particular mechanic-laborer experiences were tainted early on by artistic explorations, resulting in a unique hybrid of outsider-illustrator art. His work addresses themes of local identity, mechanical structures, nature, and wildlife, which can be seen at the Fulcrum Gallery. Struthers will hang at Fulcrum from noon to 6 p.m. to discuss his art, or the Second Cycle Community Bicycle Shop, which he co-founded.

3. The three-day Oktoberfest Northwest Bavarian celebration at the Washington State Fair and Events Center officially kicks off at 6:15 p.m. with the taping of the Firkin, although the gates open at noon. In its 10th year, this Oktoberfest celebration includes a Munich-inspired Festhalle Biergarten, authentic entertainment, traditional German food, Hammerschlagen Tournament of Champions, the always-popular Weiner Dog Race, and the Sunday morning Oktoberfest Northwest Stein Dash 5K. Manuela Horn, the 6 foot 2 "Australian Amazon" and the Oktoburlesques will headline authentic German entertainment featuring performers crooning everything from Edelweiss to polka versions of popular rock songs.

4. Mudhoney, while beating its fellow flannel-powered pedigree to the punch - Sub Pop released vinyl anthem "Touch Me, I'm Sick" and Superfuzz Bigmuff 12 months before Nirvana's Bleach and three years before Nevermind and Pearl Jam's Ten - has never had a chart topper, but the group has a following more loyal than a mob family. A 6:30 p.m. screening of I'm Now: the Story of Mudhoney film in the Capitol Theater should get folks chatting up Mudhoney again. Full of the same nasal yowls and shag-carpet riffs that made the band a Northwest favorite during the grunge daze, the film will screen with one of the greatest cult flicks of all time - 1979's Rock & Roll High School featuring The Ramones in their prime. Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner and I'm Now director Ryan Short will hang for a post-film Q&A.

5. Strangely Alright's power pop awesomeness will invade The Swiss Restaurant and Pub for the first time, with Brian James opening at 8:15 p.m. and a celebration of Shannon Kristine Rachel Briggs' birthday all night long. If you haven't seen Strangely Alright, expect ringing, triumphant chords and lyrics that allude to conquered tribulations. Frontman Regan Lane's charismatic presence and ability to get asses out of their seats and the underlying lyrical message of hope, empathy, and love rightly live up to the title of the band's album, Forever Is Right Now, a tireless and persistent group of catchy, edgy rock songs that are sugar coated with the band's love of all things rock.

LINK: Friday, Oct. 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

October 2, 2014 at 6:59am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party, Green Drinks, "From Here to Eternity," Zeahorse ...

Tacoma artist and puppeteer Jeremy Gregory will present his work at the Tacoma Arts Month Opening Party tonight. Photo credit: Kris Crews

THURSDAY, OCT. 2 2014 >>>

1. Have you heard? Tacoma's gargantuan feast of literary, visual and performing arts has moved from November to October. That's right; October is Tacoma Arts Month (formerly Art at Work Month), but the festivities actually start Oct. 2 with an opening party and the AMOCAT Arts Awards presentation at the Tacoma Post Office Building. The annual kick-off party goes gargantuan too with the most "arts" in its 13th year history. The free event offers appetizers, dessert and a no-host bar while Speed Queen and Okinawa Taiko Drums perform, exhibits of work by Jessica Spring and The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation's Foundation of Art Award honorees hangs, exhibits of work by Beautiful Angle, Jeremy Gregory, Isaac Olsen, Alice Di Certo, Kristin Giordano, The C.L.A.W., and Poly Rev "pop up," Tintype photo booth by Kyle Dillehay opens and closes, Working Class Theater performs, Abby Kok, Alana Tamminga and Katlyn Hubner create art live, Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo recites, Kat Ogden, Nick Butler, Kris Crews and The Grand Cinema screen films and trash fashion hits the runway. Mayor Stickland's presentation of the 2014 AMOCAT Arts Awards and recognition of the 2014 funding recipients begins at 7:45 p.m. Now that's art at work. Read Kristin Kendle's full feature on Tacoma Arts Month in the Music & Culture section.

2. The South Puget Sound Chapter of the Northwest EcoBuilding Guild will be hosting October's Green Drinks outing at 6 p.m. in The Forum in Tacoma. Steve Abercrombie, the South Sound Chapter president, will be providing updates on the new Vision to Action Symposiums and anything and everything that empowers people through education to transform the built environment for long-term sustainability. This could be a three drink night.

3. Tonight's Olympia People's Mic will feature Garfield Hilson, a Washington State University grad who reclaims his "stolen language" and does it well. He is the 2014 Seattle Poetry Individual Word Poetry Champion. Hilson joins the open mic at 7 p.m. in Café Love in downtown Olympia.

4. One of our most notable musical offerings this time around is a movie ... sort of. Y'know how a company called Fathom Events beams one-night-only screenings to movie theaters? In addition to RiffTrax commentaries and Metropolitan Opera productions, that service also transmits the occasional show from London's West End. This week, the play is a musical adaptation of From Here to Eternity - not the movie starring Burt Lancaster macking total PDA on Deborah Kerr, mind you, but the 1951 novel by James Jones. Jones's original draft had its soldiers swearing and talking about gay prostitution. Such content was struck prior to publication, of course, and it wasn't restored till a 2011 rerelease. When composer Stuart Brayson read that new edition, he recommended it to lyricist Tim Rice, and the result was an October 2013 musical extravaganza. So what? Well, Rice had a hand in some of our all-time favorite shows, including Evita, Chess, The Lion King, and Beauty and the Beast. And you can see his new show from a better-than-front-row vantage point at 7 p.m. in the Century Olympia, all for cheap and with nary a passport. Brilliant!

5. Zeahorse is a band that does not stumble blood-crusted out of the outback. They're from Sydney which, one imagines, could not be without at least a couple air-conditioned fast food restaurants. The prospect of losing one's mind in the wasteland of the desert would likely be far from the minds of the members of Zeahorse. Still, the legacy of groundbreaking Australian acts is a heavy load to carry. Zeahorse, being a band that trades in heavy psych-rock, must be particularly aware of how they enter into the conversation of heavy bands that come from down under. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Zeahorse in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Ex-Gods and Magnetic Rose at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Thursday, Oct. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 30, 2014 at 6:06pm

Nerd Alert! - "Tetris" movie, James Adomian and Stillsuit Cocktails

James Adomian will make an impression at the Tacoma Comedy Club Sunday night. Photo credit: Luke Fontana

There are certain moments that come around every once in a while to remind you that there are no laughably stupid depths that Hollywood is not prepared to plumb. This is such a moment. It has been announced that there is indeed a Tetris movie in the works.

Yes, the landscape of video game adaptations is littered almost exclusively with garbage, so why not take a stab at a game that is just about the goal of turning and stacking blocks? After all, no one expected Clue to be as OK as it was, and there's an Ouija board movie on the way, so who cares? Plus, producer Larry Kasanoff promises it will be a "very big, epic sci-fi movie," so that's great.

But, who's Larry Kasanoff? Only the director of one of the biggest failures in the history of film: Foodfight!, an animated film so inept and so suspiciously expensive that it might actually be considered a Ponzi scheme. Still, Kasanoff's Foodfight! was based entirely on the idea of product placement as art, so he should know what he's doing when it comes to adapting a mindless strategy game like Tetris.

SUNDAY, OCT. 5: JAMES ADOMIAN

Fans of Comedy Bang! Bang! rejoice! James Adomian is coming to Tacoma. You've no doubt heard his voice on the podcast, doing spot-on impressions of Jesse Ventura, Tom Leykis, Dov Charney, Alan Rickman and Paul Giamatti, among others. While Adomian is nominally an impressionist, what makes his characters so special is that he takes them and spins them into surreal and inspired territory. It's a crime that he hasn't been cast on Saturday Night Live, where he is destined to become a post-modern Darrell Hammond.

He's only appearing for one night, so consider this a can't-miss. 7 p.m., Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St, Tacoma, $10, 253.282.7203

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 8: STILLSUIT COCKTAILS

The second annual Frank Herbert tribute, Stillsuit Cocktails, is undoubtedly the coolest and nerdiest thing happening in the coming week - uniting the fierce passions of booze and science fiction. The Dune author and Tacoma native is honored by Hilltop Kitchen and Post Defiance (on his birthday, no less) with cocktails inspired by his works. Drinks with names such as Duncan Idaho and Harkonnen should dredge up images for Herbert fans. Quizzes, books and prizes will also be in attendance, if the idea of drinking Dune-inspired spirits isn't quite enough to convince you to come out and talk with fellow nerds about what it would have been like if Alejandro Jodorowsky really did get to make that movie. 7 p.m., Hilltop Kitchen, 913 MLK Way, Tacoma, no cover, 253.327.1397

September 30, 2014 at 6:53am

5 Things To Do Today: "DamNation," Cake Decorating 101, Yalumba Winemaker Dinner, Doors tribute ...

The change in our national attitude regarding big dams is explored in the documentary, "DamNation."

TUESDAY, SEPT. 30 2014 >>>

1. Patagonia, a manufacturer of high-end outdoor apparel and the official outfitter of Portland, Oregon, produced DamNation, a quick, smart documentary about the havoc one country can create in its native fish populations by building 75,000 dams over an 80- or 90-year span. Inaccurately billed as "green energy," hydropower deprives shorelines and riparian zones of the vital silt washed downriver, while preventing salmon from reaching spawning zones and flooding low-lying wilderness areas. Throw on a Patagonia Nano Air Jacket and catch DamNation at 2 and 7 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. One of the greatest challenges facing the bicycle and pedestrian field is the lack of documentation on usage and demand. Without accurate and consistent demand and usage figures, it is difficult to measure the positive benefits of investments in these modes, especially when compared to the other transportation modes such as the private automobile. An answer to this need for data is the National Bicycle & Pedestrian Documentation Project. This nationwide effort provides consistent model of data collection and ongoing data for use by planners, governments, and bicycle and pedestrian professionals. The Washington State Department of Transportation and the Cascade Bicycle Club will be enlisting the support of volunteers to benchmark the numbers of people bicycling and walking on trails, bike lanes, sidewalks and other facilities across the state today through Oct. 2. Be sure to wave.

3. Everyone knows at least one annoyingly perfect woman who not only bakes her own cakes and blends her own icing from scratch, but also decorates desserts like a trained professional. Well, the Martha Stewart reign of terror is officially over: Bayview School of Cooking's Hands-On Cake Decorating 101 class is at 6 p.m. Caroline Willard will teach you the key fundamentals of cake decorating - flowers, borders, figure piping and sugar molding. Because if you can pipe, mold and frost like Betty Crocker herself, no one will care that the sweet stuff came from a Duncan Hines box.

4. Join Wildside Wine for their Yalumba Winemaker Dinner with Jane Ferrari at 6 p.m. Ferrari, winemaker at Australia's oldest winery, will be presenting some of her fine product paired with small bites - think Aussie meat pie and pavlova for dessert - and wow with her abundant vino knowledge and "down to earth wit and charm." Tickets are $45 and reservations are required at 253.565.0811.

5. The Doors tribute band The American Night hits the Red Wind Casino's stage at 8 p.m. Strange days have found us.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 26, 2014 at 6:06pm

Tonight: Animal Video Festival and Photo Contest

Henri, le Chat Noir.

You know that Facebook friend who's always sharing videos with such status updates as "SOOOO cute!" or "Fluff ball awww"? (Yes, these are real quotes from real Facebook friends.)

Come Friday night, all of those people can go AFK and head for the Lacey Timberland Library, which will be hosting an Animal Video Festival and Photo Contest.

The event's celebrity guest is Will Braden, creator of the Golden Kitty-winning 2012 "Henri 2: Paw de Deux," starring Henri, le Chat Noir, aka Henry, Braden's laid-back cat.

Braden of Seattle has made a career of the animal video craze; having taken the Golden Kitty at the first Internet Cat Video Festival, he now curates and hosts the festival, the original animal video festival and the inspiration behind the local one, developed by librarian Kelsey Smith.

The library will show compilations of mostly funny and occasionally aww-inspiring videos, announce the winners of its animal photo contest and offer a photo booth where people can pose with cutouts of animal celebrities.

Smith is including all kinds of animals in the library festival, though cats do have a prominent place.

The event will even include a guest appearance by Cal, the office cat of Joint Animal Services. Accompanying Cal will be Joint Animal Services director Susanne Beauregard, who as host of TCTV's "Best Friends Animal Adoption" is something of animal video star herself.

Henri will not be attending the festival. One might guess that's because he turned up his nose at the inclusion of non-felines.

"Yes, your cat thinks of you with disdain," he recently tweeted (and posted on his website at henrilechatnoir.com). "But it's not because of anything you've done. You simply had the misfortune of being born a human."

ANIMAL VIDEO FESTIVAL AND PHOTO CONTEST, 7-9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 26; Lacey Timberland Library, 500 College Ave. SE, Lacey; free; 360-491-3860 or trl.org

Filed under: Comedy, Lacey, Events, Screens,

September 25, 2014 at 3:06pm

K Records' Northwest hip-hip compilation includes documentary

“All Tour Friend’s Friends” is a seminal Northwest hip-hop compilation album produced entirely off of samples pulled from the K catalog.

Red Williamson and Newspin Photography changed the hip-hop game in Olympia by opening up shop for local hip-hop artists to step their YouTube game up. For the past couple of years, the accomplished photographs - and Sasquatch Music Festival documentarian - has been making quality music videos for the Olympia hip-hop scene. Therefore, it was a logical choice to have Williamson document K Record's Northwest hip-hop collection release, All Your Friend's Friends.

The Olympia record label allowed 30 hip-hop artists to rummage through its 30-year catalog of hip-hop tunes to turn beats into new classics. Those performing on the album include XPerience, Free Whiskey, AKA, Smoke, the Chicharones, XPerience, Heddie Leone, Ang P, MG! The Visionary, Bishop, Puget and many others.

Williamson's trailer for his documentary and the first track off of the album dropped yesterday. Three words from participating musicians - including Macklemore and Calvin Johnson who aren't on the compilation, and Weekly Volcano scribes Paul Schrag, Owen Taylor and Jose Gutierrez, all playing a part in the rise of South Sound hip-hip - hype the release of the documentary, which will drop in a few weeks.

All Your Friend's Friends drops Nov. 11 in both physical and digital formats.

Filed under: Olympia, Music, Screens,

September 25, 2014 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: Super Circus Heroes, Katchafire, Gadabout Traveling Film Festival, Nacosta ...

"Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Presents Super Circus Heroes" showcases wonders from the marvelous to the magnificent. Press photo

THURSDAY, SEPT. 25 2014 >>>

1. Superheroes are coming to Kent's ShoWare Center tonight. These "superheroes" don't actually fight crime. Instead, they battle against a more insidious threat to mankind: fickle, short-attention-span audiences. As part of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus Presents Super Circus Heroes, these courageous do-gooders perform super-human feats of athleticism for your amusement. The storyline, such as it is, involves "Mr. Boredom" (award-winning clown Davis Vassallo of Italy, making his American debut), searching for his own superpower while witnessing such acts as The Cuban Comets (springboard artistes), sexy acrobats The Lightning Rods (the jokes write themselves with that name) and the Shaolin Warriors - who, among other feats, swing sticks, chains, swords and their bodies at one another in what looks like an effort to figure out which one of them is more macho.

2. The largest of 12 lakes in Lakewood's Lakes District, American Lake was once envisioned by Tacoma developers as an ideal resort location. But their grandiose dreams came to a crashing halt with the Panic of 1893. Author Nancy Covert has added another book focusing on the area, American Lake Vignettes, exploring the little-known history of American Lake, weaving together stories from lifelong residents. Join Covert for a vivid look back at life on American Lake at the Steilacoom Historical Museum, beginning at 7 p.m.

3. Like many a young independent filmmaker trying to get a foot in the door, Eric Ayotte felt disenfranchised. It's not an easy life, he learned, and you just have to make your own way through the muck. In 2002, he took his future into his own hands and started the ragtag gypsy Gadabout Traveling Film Festival. The microfest seeks not only to expose audiences to quality short films by unknowns, but also comes with live music by Ayotte. His sincere songs bring a political message as well as an emotional truth. This tour will be supporting his fourth full length record, Transparency, a full band album that explores the concept of honesty, and wanting more open communication from his community, government, friends, religions and himself. See it all at 8 p.m. in Northern.

4. Katchafire are an all-Maori reggae band from Hamilton, New Zealand. With three of the original band members coming from the same family, guitarist Grenville Bell and his sons Logan (vocal) and Jordan (drums/vocals), connections are a driving force behind the band. As the group's name suggests, Katchafire was inspired by Bob Marley, whose fifth album was titled "Catch a Fire." Katcha the band at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

5. Astral, visceral, ethereal - all of these "al" words describe Los Angeles indie rock band Nacosta. Synthy, dancey and poppy describe them, too. Releasing their first album this past spring, Under the Half Moon is full of harmonic tendencies, resulting in dreamy songs, backed by solid instrumental work. The song "Aberlina," for instance, is lyrically, and musically, a love story laced with creepiness, as good love stories should be. Do I hear a Beatles and other '60s psychedelic influence? And perhaps some Radiohead and other '90s pop influence as well? On a successful tour, including SXSW, these hotcakes will hit The Swiss at 9 p.m. before heading home and busting out another album. Catch them while you can.

LINK: Thursday, Sept. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 24, 2014 at 1:59pm

Judging by the Trailer: "The Song"

Marital drama. "Temptation" as a plot point. Redemptive message. Limited release with little mainstream publicity. Put ’em all together, and what do you get? JAY-SUS!

I've taken the summer off from reviewing awful trailers, but a siren song called me back into the fray. My ears burnt with the suspicion that a new film will be miraculously shone down upon legions of bussed-in parishes. After devoting more of my year than necessary drunkenly catching up Christian films with my friends (God's Not Dead, in particular, is ripe for camp appreciation), I may have finally met my match - a film that appears to be so stultifyingly dull and frustratingly competent that I can't imagine bearing down and actually watching the thing.

Ah, so, here we have The Song. Allegedly based on the life of King Solomon (a guy from that Bible thing), The Song follows the story of singer-songwriter Jed King (yep!), son of David King (YEP!), as he chases his dream of stardom, even as the road and the lure of foul temptresses threatens his blissful family life. King, as portrayed by Christian rock artist Alan Powell, looks distractingly like Joaquin Phoenix, which is unfortunate, seeing as the movie looks essentially like Walk the Line with presumably less drugs and prison concerts.

As far as how close the film hews to the life of Solomon, I can't very well say. All I know about the guy is that he tended to solve problems by cutting babies in half. If there's any baby mutilation to be found in The Song, the trailer is being awfully coy about it. Thankfully, fellow Volcano scribe Christian Carvajal (a man who's actually read the Bible), had this to say:

"It's based on the life of Solomon to exactly the extent my life is based on that of Spanish conquistador Francisco de Carvajal. I wonder if ‘Rose Jordan' (ugh) will be okay with ‘Jed King's' (get it? GET IT?!) hundreds of wives and concubines, aka sex slaves. Also, she needs to make sure he doesn't peep on his neighbors' Jacuzzi."

Wise words! I'll just wait until Nicolas Cage's Left Behind gets its crazy stank all over theaters next month.

September 23, 2014 at 7:51am

5 Things To Do Today: JFK chat, "Gabrielle," Watermark 40th anniversary, Sinatra tribute ...

President Kennedy was assassinated Friday, Nov. 22, 1963.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23 2014 >>>

1. While riding in a motorcade with Texas Governor John Connally, President Kennedy was assassinated. Never regaining consciousness, the President died on an operating table at 1 p.m. The suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald, was caught in a darkened movie theater in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas, about a mile and a half from the assassination. Police officer J.D. Tippit was shot and killed near the same theater by Oswald. Connally, who was riding in a jump seat directly in front of the President, was shot in the chest. After a four-hour operation, he was reported in satisfactory condition. Johnson was sworn-in as President at 2:39 p.m. Central time. At 7 p.m. at the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch, Dean Owen will talk about his new book, November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination, and Legacy of John F. Kennedy, a fascinating collection of interviews and thought-provoking commentary from notable men and women connected to that notorious Friday afternoon when President Kennedy was assassinated.

2. Pouise Archambault's sensitive film Gabrielle tells the story of the title character (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard), a young woman with Williams syndrome who is passing into adulthood, and all the trials and tribulations - living alone, taking care of yourself, finding love - that accompany that journey. Catch the film at 2 and 6:50 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. Olympia's Westside is happening, but that's not news to those who live up on the hill. If you want proof, drop by the West Olympia Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. In addition to an awesome selection of local vendors, this season features live music, raffles and special events. Drop by for fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts and crafts.

4. Karen McGrath's Watermark Cards and Gifts has been in downtown Tacoma for 40 years. Located across the street from the downtown Post Office Building, the store sells home decor, gifts, calendar, humor items and women's accessories. However, it's the go-to for greeting cards. It blows Hallmark out of the water as the spot with the perfect card - from the sentimental to the risqué to the humorous. At 6 p.m. McGrath will wheel out cake and refreshment plus giveaway gifts as she celebrates her 40th anniversary.

5. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 22, 2014 at 12:40pm

Nerd Alert! - Millennium Falcon update, The Amazing Race premiere, Outlander finale, Masters of Sex ...

"Outlander": A married World War II nurse is mysteriously transported from 1945 to 1743 in the Scottish Highlands, where she's held captive by hunky Scottish warriors in an even more patriarchal, misogynistic society than the ’40s.

Making point five past lightspeed, 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.

J.J. Abrams revealed last week that among the "special modifications" on Star Wars, Episode VII's Millennium Falcon is a toy-sized model of the Tumbler, aka the Christopher Nolan Batmobile. No joke, I just think it's hilarious that with all the Marvel options in the grand Disney corporate family tree at his disposal, Abrams went with an Easter egg from the DC universe instead.

FRIDAY, SEPT. 26

Laika Entertainment, the macabre-motion animators behind Coraline and the underrated ParaNorman, bring us a quirky new family offering, The Boxtrolls - or, as it's known in overseas markets, Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Otherwise, it's all about the telly this week. As for me and my household, we're psyched for the season 25 premiere of The Amazing Race (8 p.m., CBS). Its cast includes TNA wrestler and surfer Bethany Hamilton, the shark attack victim who wrote about her brush with Bruce in a memoir called (and filmed as) Soul Surfer. If you're wondering what TNA wrestling is, by the way, I gather it stands for "Total Nonstop Action" and is a thing one can watch. "So if ya don't know, now ya know." - B. Smalls, 1994

>>> Photo credit: John Paul Filo/CBS

SATURDAY, SEPT. 27

It may be that you're a fan of the Starz series Outlander, which starz the improbably named Caitriona Balfe as the nearly-as-improbably named Claire Beauchamp Randall. She's a wartime nurse who finds herself time-shifted back to 1743, Scotland. The show is, after all, produced by Ronald D. Moore, beloved mastermind of Syfy's glorious reboot of Battlestar Galactica. Diana Gabaldon's 1991 novel, along with seven sequels, two readers' guides and a graphic novel to date, is enormously popular throughout the English-speaking world. Me, I find it about as intriguing as its British/Australian title, Cross Stitch, but I get where you're coming from. Sci-fi-fantasy-tinged period romance blows your kilt up; more power to you. The midseason finale airs Saturday at 9, the last ep till early 2015. As I write this, Scots are voting "aye" or "nae" on whether they want to secede from the United Kingdom.

Remember, ye bonnie voters: if it's not Scottish, it's crap! Live from New York, it's Saturday night! SNL returns for season 40 (!), with star-lord Chris Pratt, musical guest mite Ariana Grande, and Darrell Hammond returning to fill the late Don Pardo's resonant shoes as show announcer. I love that.

SUNDAY, SEPT. 28

Speaking of SNL, Not Ready for Prime Time alumnus Andy Samberg is featured on a laughtrack-free sitcom you ought to be watching, Fox's Brooklyn Nine-Nine. It airs from 8:30 to 9, so you'll have plenty of time to slip into something more comfortable for the 10 p.m. season finale of Masters of Sex over on Showtime. I mean, you know, like, if you're into that sort of thing. Er. I mean, not that I'm judging if you are. That's between you and your special someone, you pervert.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 29

Transformers: Age of Extinction hits home video, so feel free to throw it on your Netflix queue just as soon as you've seen literally every movie that earned more than 16 percent on RottenTomatoes.com. Yes, Battleship, too. Have some principles, will ya?

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you earn your MS degree. Bao chicka wow wow! (Hey, remember when porn featured wah-wah guitars? ... Nah, me neither. I was just testing you. Moving on.)

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens,

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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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