Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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December 1, 2014 at 12:16pm

Nerd Alert! Trailers for Jurassic World and The Force Awakens, big theater week, anaconda to eat Paul Rosolie's head ...

The "Jurassic World" trailer shows the park opening, the two stars and some dinosaurs, all to a slightly chilling piano rendition of the original film’s theme.

Chomping the shark, 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.

I submit to you, Gentle Reader, that last week was among the most exciting in recent geek history. No sooner had Rev. Adam posted his Nerd Alert for the week than Universal pulled a surprise move, undercutting its own countdown clock by two days and releasing the Jurassic World teaser to an Internet clamoring for a break from sad Missouri news. I'm a dino buff from way back, so this teaser left stirrings in my genes. ("Ooh, it's Mr. DNA!") To answer your first objection, yes, the raptors are actually an overgrown version of a species called Deinonychus and have way too few feathers. Also, that big mothergator in the lagoon, the one that noshes on Bruce in a sly jab at executive producer Steven Spielberg, is a Mosasaurus - a Cretaceous leviathan almost 60 feet long that probably did swallow sharks whole, then digest them over time like an anaconda or the all-powerful sarlacc. Incidentally, look closely the next time you watch the teaser: those raptors aren't hunting Chris Pratt; they're hunting with him. They're in his motorcycle gang; and if that doesn't make Pratt the coolest dude on our planet, then I'm a veggie-saurus. Jurassic World comes out on my 47th birthday, because I am down with Jeebus.

"There has been an awakening. Have you felt it?" Based on how drastically my Internet slowed down Friday morning, I'll freaking bet you have. The Star Wars: The Force Awakens teaser was released to near-ubiquitous fanfare, especially the John Williams fanfare that hailed the reappearance of the Millennium Falcon to the saga. Between TIE fighters, X-wings, new characters, cruciform lightsabers, snowy forest planets, soccerbots and what sure as hell sounds like Benedict Cumberbatch intoning his lines through a swig of battery acid, the 88-second teaser offered just enough to whet our appetite to the breaking point without giving away anything of significance. That's impressive for a teaser over a year in advance. I watched it alone in a dark room with my childhood so my wife wouldn't catch me having petit mal geek seizures.

THURSDAY, DEC. 4

Thursday, Christopher Walken stars as Captain Hook in NBC's second stab at Twitter-bait musical theater, Peter Pan Live! That exclamation point's emphatically theirs, by the way. I see live musical theater all the time, made by people who know what they're doing, yet have a hell of a time getting most people to give a wet slap about it. So if you insist on bypassing the three, count 'em, three live musicals opening this weekend in the South Sound in order to watch Marnie from Girls play a boy on a wire, that's on you. Otherwise, Joann Varnell and I will be at The Head That Wouldn't Die (Theater Artists Olympia), Scrooge: The Musical (Tacoma Little Theatre) or A Year With Frog and Toad (Lakewood Playhouse). The Stardust Christmas Commotion is still packing 'em in at Harlequin Productions. I'll also review Olympia Little Theatre's take on Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park, which opens Friday. There's no singing or flying, but I hear Lena Dunham gets naked in it.

SUNDAY, DEC. 7

On Discovery's Eaten Alive, environmentalist Paul Rosolie goads an anaconda into eating his head. That's an actual show, folks. I'm not even kidding. He can do this trick once.

TUESDAY, DEC. 9

I already clued you in to Thursday's Blu-ray and DVD release of Guardians of the Galaxy, so instead I ask you to pick up your visual scanning and look at a couple of books. Frank Portman's 2006 YA novel King Dork was one of my favorites that year. It's a cross between Catcher in the Rye and High Fidelity, in which high school sophomore Tom Henderson navigates the tricky adolescent social sphere six years after his cop father's death. Now Portman offers a sequel, King Dork Approximately, in which Henderson is still in the 10th-grade but unlocks the challenging "first girlfriend" level. No less an authority than John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) said, "Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork will rock your world." I have nothing further, Your Honor.

Then there's Moriarty by Anthony Horowitz, in which an American Pinkerton detective, the aptly-named Frederick Chase, awaits Moriarty's nefarious successor. Remember, Sherlock Holmes pushed "the Napoleon of crime" to his just demise at the Reichenbach Falls ... or did he? That's the tension driving the action of a novel endorsed by the Conan Doyle estate. Personally, they had me at "Sherlock," but if you need more, consider this: the London Daily Mail calls Moriarty "the finest crime novel of the year." Read it now before the inevitable movie starring Pratt as Dr. John Watson, Christopher Walken as Moriarty, and Kristen Stewart as Holmes' sad, empty chair.

Sons of Anarchy wraps Tuesday. I've never seen the show, but here's a spoiler anyway: everyone dies except Horatio and Fortinbras. Meanwhile, Square Enix releases a new co-op Tomb Raider adventure, Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris, in which the titular British adventurer must crisscross Egypt in search of yet another ancient MacGuffin. What was that? No, I said "titular," meaning "mentioned in the title." Why are you snickering?

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and if Kristen Stewart chases you, run.

December 1, 2014 at 7:31am

5 Things To Do Today: Banff Mountain Film Festival, 24 Beers of Christmas, SHUT IT, Gin Creek ...

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour spans the globe, reaching over 330,000 audience members through more than 735 screenings in 400 locations in 40 countries.

MONDAY, DEC. 1 2014 >>>

1. The outdoors is our neighborhood playground for growth, introspection and escape. Since the time of George Vancouver and Peter Puget, the South Puget Sound has been and will always be an adventurer's region. For that reason, the Banff Mountain Film Festival's annual visit draws huge crowds to see a who's who of the mountain adventure world and learn the story behind the adventurers. Watch and hear amazing stories of the outdoors at 6:45 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

2. "Do not open till Christmas" should never apply to beer. From Dec. 1 through Dec. 24, Engine House No. 9 will be releasing a different specialty bottle or tap beer; follow along and feel the Christmas spirit in your veins.

3. Online Tacoma magazine Post Defiance wants you to SHUT IT in the Hotel Murano's lobby. Grab a book and read in silence from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Turn off the cellphone!

4. Pianist Benjamin Bergmark gigs with the 56th Army Band and Olympia's big band, the Jazz Senators. Hear him at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia.

5. A Washington Blues Society Best Blues Act nominee, keyboardist Mark Hurwitz and Gin Creek performs an upbeat, joyous blend of blues, jump, swing, and old school R&B. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

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

November 30, 2014 at 8:34am

5 Things To Do Today: White Christmas Sing Along, Little Women, 6th Ave Dinner Tour, Michele D'Amour and the Love Dealers ...

Sing along with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye tonight!

SUNDAY, NOV. 30 2014 >>>

1. Suave Bing Crosby and fleet-of-foot Danny Kaye star as workaholic Bob Wallace and playboy Phil Davis, successful 1950s vaudevillians who discover the lovely Haynes sisters, then accompany them to their holiday gig at an inn in Vermont that turns out to be (a) run by the guys' adored old World War II general and (b) dying the tourist death due to an absence of frozen precipitation. Crosby and Kaye decide to bring in their retinue and put on a show in the barn. Romantic misunderstandings and big numbers ensue. But in the end, each song-and-dance man gets a Haynes, snow flutters down and YOU get to sing along to the tune Crosby made the bestselling record in history. We are, of course, speaking of the White Christmas Sing Along at 5 p.m. in the Washington Center. In addition to goodie bags, the Washington Center will award prizes to the best holiday sweaters.

2. After a year of construction at a cost of $15.5 million, the 16,000-square-foot expansion adds 32 percent new space to the Tacoma Art Museum's 50,000-square-foot facility. This state-of-the-art project includes four gracious new galleries, a sculpture hallway and an enlarged light-filled lobby. New visitor amenities include an orientation space, redesigned entrances on Pacific Avenue and on the parking level with a new glass enclosed vestibule, beautiful new landscaping and major outdoor sculptural works, plus improvements to the museum's store and café. Erivan and Helga Haub donated 295 Western American works of art from their private collection to the Tacoma Art Museum. The collection spans 200 years, from famed early artists/explorers to notable present day masters. Read Alec Clayton's full story on the Haub Fally Collection wing at the Tacoma Art Museum in the Music & Culture Section, then check it out from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. With 150 years of popularity, it's no wonder that Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was the number one patron pick for plays to be performed during the 2014/2015 season at Lakewood Playhouse. The script highlights most of the major plot points of the novel and takes the audience on a journey through the experiences of the four March sisters: Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy. Directed by Suzy Wilhoft, the actors do a remarkable job manipulating the emotions of the audience. The audience roared, chuckled, giggled and smirked at the antics and snarkiness of Jo and Laurie, the pretentious airs of Amy and Hannah's long suffering exasperation. Read Joann Varnell's full review of Little Women in the music & Culture section, then ctach the show at 2 p.m. in the Lakewood Playhouse.

4. 6th Ave Dinner Tours is celebrating their next shindig with a live musical performance by Steve Stefanowicz at 6 p.m. First enjoy a guided dinner tour with start times at 3:30 4:30 and 5:30 p.m. launching from Studio 6 Ballroom. "The Funky Umbrella Tour" will guide you down the Ave as you nibble your way through Half Pint Pizza Pub, Wild Orchid and Ice Cream Social, plus nibbles from Legendary Donuts. Tickets are $35. More details can be found at 6thAveDinnerTours.com.

5. Michele D'Amour and the Love Dealers play high energy, danceable blues, often with a touch of funk and R&B. The Seattle-area based band will perform at 7 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

LINK: Sunday, Nov. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 25, 2014 at 9:38am

Nerd Alert! Small Business Saturday, The Theory of Everything, Birdman

We all need cinematic heroes, and Birdman, both character and film, fits the role with aplomb.

SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY

The season is coming when not much of anything non-Christmas-related is going on in town. Soon, we'll be inundated with colorful lights and an unending parade of cloying holiday songs. As Seasonal Affective Disorder officially begins to take hold, a pall of false cheer will stand as the only line of defense against crippling depression. In other words: Happy Holidays!

Still, there are glimmers of brightness in nerd events that will also help to keep our minds off of the all-encompassing miasma of winter. For instance, the last Saturday before December rears its ugly head is an opportunity to embrace not only local literature, but local small businesses. Small Business Saturday is like the Captain Planet to Black Friday's vile Hoggish Greedly. Instead of getting trampled and maced at Walmart, Small Business Saturday encourages you to relax the day after Christmas, and then shower your local stores with love.

Working in conjunction with Small Business Saturday are two events designed to connect you to local authors and fellow book-lovers. King's Books will be hosting the Tacoma chapter of Indies First, an event started by Sherman Alexie that gathers local authors and has them take turns as booksellers at various independent bookstores. Book recommendations, readings, and general merriment will be coming from authors such as Erik Hanberg, Mark Lindquist, Joshua Swainston and others.

Meanwhile, literary magazine Creative Colloquy will be stationed at the Nearsighted Narwhal, with readings from Michaela Eaves, Jack Cameron, J. Anne Fullerton and our own Christian Carvajal. Needless to say, in addition to rubbing elbows with these authors, buying some written words of your own should be the order of the day. And, while you're at it, take a moment to stroll down Sixth avenue and pick up some stuff from places such as Hi-Voltage Records and Retrospect.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING

The other bright spot in this long stretch of darkness is that awards season is upon us! And, what better way to mark this season than with the release of the fall's first big, meaty piece of Oscar bait: The Theory of Everything. Having only seen the trailer, I can basically just tell you that the biopic of Stephen Hawking sure looks like it's swinging for the maudlin fences. Still, the actor they got to portray the famous physicist (Eddie Redmayne) is the spitting image of Hawking, so kudos to that guy and his inevitable Oscar nomination.

Really, though, this is the time to be rejuvenated and remind yourself that there really are good films still out there, even though the rest of the year may mostly tell you otherwise. I've already recommended this one before, but I will continue to sing its praises when I tell you that you absolutely must see Birdman, if you care anything at all about the art of film. Luckily for you, both of these movies will be playing at The Grand Cinema, so you have absolutely no excuse not to see them.

November 25, 2014 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Moore, Harmon dinner, Neil Diamond tribute, comedy open mic ...

In the 1989 film "Roger & Me," Michael Moore ties and fails to gain entry to the offices of General Motors.

TUESDAY, NOV. 25 2014 >>>

1. Combining investigative reporting with a sometimes-mischievous sense of humor, documentarian Michael Moore shined a light on social ills that were otherwise ignored. Although rightly acclaimed for films like Fahrenheit 9/11 and Bowling For Columbine, his television work provided many indelible moments. The Grand Cinema celebrates the 25th anniversary of Moore's breakout hit Roger & Me with a screening of the film at 1:45 and 7 p.m., followed by a discussion on Skype with the man himself after the late screening. Have your questions about Flint, Roger Smith and the current whereabouts of Crackers the Corporate Crime-Fighting Chicken ready. 

2. Longtime Daily World city editor and former Daily Olympian sports editor Bill Lindstrom will give a talk, sell and sign his new book, John Tornow: Villain or Victim?, from 6-8 p.m. at the Shelton Timberland Library.

3. Bar Bistro hosts a five-course beer-pairing dinner with the Harmon Brewing Co. For $35, you'll receive an ahi crostini with a Hop ‘N Rye beer cocktail, braised pork belly with the Black Tartan CDA, pork tenderloin with the new Fall Ball Imperial Red and other treats, beginning at 6 p.m. Reserve your space at 253.537.3655.

4. With a 90-minute set featuring around 20 of Diamond's hits – ranging from his early work for television shows, such as The Monkees ("I'm A Believer") to songs from his movie "The Jazz Singer" – Neil Diamond tribute band The Diamond Experience will rock the Red Wind Casino from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

5. For the Love of Comedy is an all-ages (teen and up) stand up open mic that aims to bring the community together with a microphone and a shared love for the funny things in life at Café Love in downtown Olympia. Comics from LA, San Francisco, Seattle, Tacoma and the south Puget Sound region have performed at this 8 p.m. mic.

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 18, 2014 at 7:52am

5 Things To Do Today: "Rich Hill," Dennis Hastings Quartet, cartoonist MariNaomi, hypnotist ...

"Rich Hill" intimately chronicles the turbulent lives of three boys living in an impoverished Midwestern town and the fragile family bonds that sustain them.

TUESDAY, NOV. 18 2014 >>>

1. The former coal mining town of Rich Hill, Mo., is one of those blink-and-you'll-miss-it towns that litter the byways and highway exits of the American landscape, a reminder of past economic growth gone to seed. Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner documentary Rich Hill offers a microcosmic view of the increasing poverty afflicting the country, focusing on three boys growing up in this impoverished community. Granted unfettered access to the boys' lives, the film is more meditative and thoughtful than the usual handwringing exercises that occupy the "look at these poor people" subgenre, but ultimately, it's unable to transcend its trappings. Rich Hill screens at 2:15 at 6:55 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. Jazz and blues vocalist Dennis Hastings, who has played on the same bill with notable talent such as Bobby McFerrin, John Lee Hooker and The Marcels, will showcase his repertoire of tunes made popular from the 1940s to the 2000s at an 11 a.m. recital in Kreielsheimer Hall on the Saint Martin's University campus. Originally from Portland, Oregon, Hastings has been singing jazz and blues in the Northwest for more than 30 years. Performing with Hastings will be Steven Luceno on bass, Phil Lawson on guitar and Steven Bentley on drums.

3. Hosted by Tacoma Community College students, the Bill Harrington Veterans Emergency Fund fundraiser will raise money toward the Bill Harrington Fund, a man who served 20 years in the Army. In 1994 he embarked on another two decades of service working with the students of TCC. This foundation acts as an emergency fund for returning Veterans on campus in need. The fundraiser will be held at Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante from 4-8 p.m. with a portion of proceeds from food sales donated toward the fund. There will also be raffles to enter for prizes.

4. Cartoonist MariNaomi is on a tour promoting her new book, Dragon's Breath & Other True Stories, and Yumi Sakugawa, author of Your Illustrated Guide to Becoming One with the Universe will join her at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library. They will present a slide-show talk and take audience questions.

5. You are getting sleepy, v-e-r-y sleepy. Now, go see the hypnotist show at 8 p.m. inside the Red Wind Casino. Whether a skeptic or believer, the show will be sure to entertain with its comedy, rock and roll and outrageous hypnosis, like people sneezing and having orgasms(!) when Ron Stubbs, the man behind the magic, utters the word "pepper."

LINK: Tuesday, Nov. 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 17, 2014 at 1:54pm

Nerd Alert! Mockingjay, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, geeky gift suggestions ...

The games are over, but the cash-in continues. Photo courtesy of Moviestore Collection/REX

Volunteering as tribute, 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.

THURSDAY, NOV. 20

Despite the enduring success of Chess and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, perhaps no geek musical ever has been more popular than Little Shop of Horrors. Let's face it, Audrey (I) and Seymour speak to the dweebs in all of us. He just wants to grow a man-eating plant, and she just hopes she'll survive another date with her sadistic boyfriend. OK, so maybe they're not terrific role models. The point is, I for one never get tired of seeing it live on stage, perhaps because the original finale is grimmer than the version we know from the 1986 film adaptation. Frank Oz, Muppeteer, Jedi Master and director of that movie, even shot the stage ending, but it tanked with preview audiences. (A black-and-white workprint of that reshot conclusion was unearthed a few years ago and included in recent video releases.) Anyway, North Thurston High completes its run of the show this weekend. It's always fun to watch fresh-faced adolescents evoke bloodlust and sadomasochistic relationships on stage. "That thing went bang, kaboom, and he's havin' some fun now." 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, North Thurston High School, 600 Sleater Kinney Rd. NE, Lacey, $6-$10, 360.412.4800

When last we left our heroine Katniss Everdeen, she'd just been yoinked by insurgents and informed storm troopers under the command of President Snow (Donald Sutherland) burned her home state, District 12, to the ground. This was followed by some of the finest eyeball acting in cinema history, courtesy of America's klutziest sweetheart, Jennifer Lawrence. Fellow Hunger Gamers Peeta and Johanna (Jena Malone, in a memorably sexy performance) were captured and taken to the Capitol, where they'll be used as pawns against a rising rebellion. The success of this series' previous installment, Catching Fire, was good news for anyone who wanted book three, Mockingjay, to be lavishly envisioned, bad news for anyone who wanted it to fit into a single holiday movie. So Thursday night marks the sneak opening of The Hunger Games Colon Mockingjay Em Dash Part Numeral 1 Comma Electric Boogaloo, and thank Suzanne Collins and Lionsgate we only have one year to wait till the grand conclusion in Part 2.

Speaking of long, goofy titles, Disney recently announced Star Wars, Episode VII will be henceforth known as Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The phrase "Episode VII," in fact, appears only in the December 2015 installment's iconic opening crawl. It's hard to complain about that subtitle, actually, to the extent that even Internet haters have given up trying. Instead they've returned to making troglodytic fools of themselves over Gamergate.

This being MY last Nerd Alert before Black Friday, it's time to offer geeky gift suggestions. And hey, if you've enjoyed this column these last few years, far be it from me to restrain you from buying any of this fine swag for your humble commentator!

Let's start with the Blu-ray of the year: Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy comes loaded with hours of special features, including more of respawned Groot and another '70s classic from Star-Lord's Sony Walkman. True, the movie won't hit video till Dec. 9, but feel free to preorder it for me, I mean a loved one, right now.

If for some bizarre reason your gamer buddies don't yet own Titanfall, now's your chance to pay it forward till Halo: Spartan Strike hits Dec. 12. Wort, wort, wort!

It's a year old, but I for one would swoon over the gift of Battlestar Galactica Vault: The Complete History of the Series, 1978-2012, an abundantly illustrated coffee table compendium that follows the saga all the way from its origins as a cheesy Star Wars knockoff through Caprica and Blood & Chrome. And if you know what Blood & Chrome is, then you're probably a superfan who should just buy the frakkin' thing for yourself.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and so say we all.

November 16, 2014 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: The Lacs, Christmas carols, Hari Kondabolu, open movie shooting ...

Hick-hop band The Lacs will sing redneck ideals at Steel Creel American Whiskey Co. tonight.

SUNDAY, NOV. 16 2014 >>>

1. Clay "Uncle Snap" Sharpe and Brian "Rooster" King are The Lacs (Loud Ass Crackers), a hip-hop duo from Georgia who proudly tout redneck ideals - blacking out on Wild Turkey, kicking up mud in their four-wheel drives, living in a country boy's paradise with "wild women in white T-shirts" - and infuse their sound with Southern pop rock swagger. They are joined by local country band Aces Up at 8 p.m. in Steel Creek American Whiskey Co. in downtown Tacoma.

2. Christmas is coming! You can tell because Sirius radio has turned the holiday carols switch on. Get into the Yuletide spirit early with Christmas carols by Karen Thomas and Seattle Pro Musica. Seattle Pro Musica, one of America's best choirs, brings a Gallic flair to Christmas with Christmas motets by Poulenc and Villette, medieval and Renaissance Christmas music and traditional French Christmas carols. If you're a fan of early music, come all ye faithful to St. John's Episcopal Church at 3 p.m. and listen to them ding dong merrily on high.

3. Brazilian soul/jazz collective EntreMundos Quarteto will bust out "diverse and groovy" tunes led by the silky vocal stylings of Adriana Giordano at 5 p.m. in the Marine View Church in Northeast Tacoma.  Leading with a deep passion for the Brazilian music of her homeland, Giordano sings with a mesmerizing lyricism that is infectious, enthusiastic and authentically heartfelt.

4. On the comedy spectrum, Hari Kondabolu sits far opposite from your Daniel Toshes and Dane Cooks. The former immigrants' rights organizer stays true to his progressivism with material aimed at that enlightening/entertaining sweet spot. He has staked a place in the smart-comedy revolution that refuses to attack marginalized groups for cheap laughs. Kondabolu is joined by comic Elicia Sanchez at the Olympia Film Festival's Closing Night festivities at 8 p.m. in the Capitol Theater.

5. Tacoma son Joe Rosati is back in town shooting a new film, Jack-A Short Film. In true Rosati fashion, "Jack has had a few major things not go the way that he expected them to. Now, he somehow gets away with those things you just ‘can't' do." Scenes will be shot at 10 p.m. in The Valley, the revitalized pub in the Tacoma Dome District. Rosati and the film crew invite the public to be a part of the film, with filming consuming the joint until closing. Go, be in a movie, but for heaven's sake, don't look at the camera.

LINK: Sunday, Nov. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 15, 2014 at 8:26am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Art Museum Western party, No Turning Back, All Your Friend's Friends, Little Donuts ...

John Nieto (American, born 1936) "Buffalo at Sunset", 1996. Acrylic on canvas, 48 ?- 60 inches. Tacoma Art Museum, Haub Family Collection, Gift of Erivan and Helga Haub, 2014.6.89

SATURDAY, NOV. 15 2014 >>>

1. It's here at last - the brand new Haub Family Collection of Western American Art in the new galleries designed by Olson Kundig Architects - open to the public at the grand opening celebration today. The new wing doubles the museum's gallery space and places the Tacoma Art Museum as the only museum in the Pacific Northwestern region with a Western American art collection of this caliber. The celebration begins with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. and will feature music by Foss High School Orchestral Band. The new galleries open at 11 a.m. From 1-2 p.m. there will be a living history presentation and storytelling by Karen Haas. At 2:30 p.m. there will be curator and author talks followed by book-signing of the new Art of the American West: Haub Family Collection at Tacoma Art Museum, followed by Native American storytelling by Roger Fernandez from 3-5 p.m. The Oly Mountain Boys will perform at 3 p.m., followed by banjo musician Forest Beutel at 4 p.m. The evening social and members' party will be from 7-11 p.m.

2. Warren Miller Entertainment's latest film, No Turning Back, was shot and produced by cinematographer Josh Haskins, working closely with ski racer Chris Anthony. It follows a cadre of elite snowboarders and skiers from Montana to Mount Olympus. (Yes, Greece has an actual Mount Olympus. It rises to 9570 feet. Opa!) The film takes stunning side trips to Norway, the Swiss Alps, Chugach Mountain peaks in Alaska and deep powder in Niseka, Japan. World-class athletes make the slopes look fairly easy, but even reaching some of these exotic locations can be daunting. Despite these difficulties, Haskins and his crew have done it again: they've immortalized feats of human daring and athleticism by freezing breakneck action into slow-motion glory. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on No Turning Back in the Music & Culture section, then see the film at 6 and 9 p.m. in Pantages Theater.

3. 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 gearing up for an album release show tonight Olympia. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on All Your Friend's Friends in the Music & Culture section, then seeWildcard, Tyler Xp Andrews, Free Whiskey, MIZ, Angel Perez and Calvin Johnson perform at 8 p.m. in The Olympia Ballroom.

4. When I heard that some of Tacoma's best musicians were getting together to form the Northwest's premier (and only?) all-Filipino Hall & Oates tribute band, my question wasn't "why?" All I wanted to know was when and where I could see this magic happen. The new tribute band, known as the Little Donuts, is made up of members of Le Lo/Fi, the Dignitaries and the recently defunct Bandolier. I spoke with Little Donuts member Reylan Fernandez about the unlikely project. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Little Donuts in the music & Culture section, then catch the band at8:30 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

5. Velocity will come forth onto Doyle's Public House at 9:30 p.m. and there bestowed unto their faithful fans a glorious bounty of fusion and funk, powered with Galactic grooves and Latin spice. And the people will be thankful, and there was much rejoicing, for Velocity - lead composer/pianist Peter Adams, drum maverick Brian "Hannibal" Smith, tenor saxophonist Cliff Colòn and bassist Rob Hutchinson aka Dr. Shred  - have traveled light years to rattle pints of Guinness with hard hitting grooves and hook melodies. The moon will shine mightily down upon the countenances of the faithful fans, and their shepherd's pies will be plenty, and their goats will bore many offspring and there will be peace over the Stadium District.

LINK: Saturday, Nov. 15 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 14, 2014 at 8:03am

5 Things To Do Today: Warren Miller film, "Uncle Vanya," The Paperboys, Glass Elevator ...

Warren Miller’s ski film "No Turning Back" pays homage to the 65 years of mountain culture and adventure filmmaking that has taken the legendary filmmaker around the world. Courtesy of Warren Miller Entertainment

FRIDAY, NOV. 14 2014 >>>

1. Warren Miller Entertainment's latest film, No Turning Back, was shot and produced by cinematographer Josh Haskins, working closely with ski racer Chris Anthony. It follows a cadre of elite snowboarders and skiers from Montana to Mount Olympus. (Yes, Greece has an actual Mount Olympus. It rises to 9570 feet. Opa!) The film takes stunning side trips to Norway, the Swiss Alps, Chugach Mountain peaks in Alaska and deep powder in Niseka, Japan. World-class athletes make the slopes look fairly easy, but even reaching some of these exotic locations can be daunting. Despite these difficulties, Haskins and his crew have done it again: they've immortalized feats of human daring and athleticism by freezing breakneck action into slow-motion glory. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on No Turning Back in the Music & Culture section, then catch the flick at 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

2. The grand passage of Tacoma history past and present, so well preserved in the city's buildings, will be front and center when the City of Tacoma's Community and Economic Development Department and the Planning and Development Services Department's Historic Preservation Office hosts the Adaptive Reuse Open House and Harmon Brewery Tour. Appetizers will be available as attendees explore one of Tacoma's largest and most successful adaptive reuse projects, the 1908 Harmon building, and learn more about how historic preservation creates economic opportunity. "Adaptive reuse of existing and historic buildings has been the backbone of Tacoma's redevelopment - be it in downtown or within our neighborhood mixed-use centers," said Tacoma Councilmember David Boe. "Projects have ranged from Union Station becoming a Federal Courthouse to the collection of warehouses on Pacific Avenue into the University of Washington-Tacoma campus. I'm excited to host this event and share my experience with adaptive reuse as an architect in Tacoma." The tour begins at 5 p.m. in the Harmon Brewery & Eatery. RSVP at 253.591.5254.

3. Vanya and his niece, Sonya, lead predictable lives, keeping their emotions buttoned up while maintaining a country estate and sending all the profits from their work to Vanya's brother-in-law. But, their daily routine quickly unravels with the return of the brother-in-law, a retired professor named Serebryakov, and his young, very beautiful wife, Yelena, who manages to trigger within the entire family hidden passions born of unrequited love, thwarted ambition and enduring hope. This is the plot of what many consider to be Anton Chekhov's greatest play, Uncle Vanya, which will be presented by the Saint Martin's University Theatre Arts Program at 7:30 p.m. in Kreielsheimer Hall.

4. The Paperboys were formed by Mexican born, Tom Landa in the mid-‘90s in Vancouver, B.C. In a music scene dominated by flannel and grunge, Tom had a vision of forming a band that fused folk, Celtic and bluegrass music with pop and rock. He was armed with a dozen of self-penned tunes and a lot of drive and ambition. After finding a group of musicians who shared common musical interests, they recorded their first CD and set to tour across Canada in a used van they bought for 500 bucks. At 8 p.m., The Paperboys will takeover Jazzbones.

5. Where the hell has Glass Elevator been? It's been 15 months since their last live show. Well, the band's tight-wound stony brand of rock is back for a 9 p.m. show at Metcalf Manor. Crowd the Sky will open the show with their unique blend of organic electronica. Fruit Juice will follow with booty shaking glamorous pop so catchy you'll find yourself wondering why you don't know these songs already.

LINK: Friday, Nov. 14 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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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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