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January 23, 2015 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Composer Neil Thornock, "The Great Gatsby," Kurt Lindsay, DoctorfunK ...

University of Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris goes off tonight.

FRIDAY, JAN. 23 2015 >>>

1. Feel like your life could use a little more "je ne sais quoi"? Well, we know quoi: You need a classy joint, a night out on the town, some sweet percussion action. Perhaps in the form of a world premiere duet for marimba and euphonium, written by award-winning composer Neil Thornock, professor of music composition and theory at Brigham Young University in Utah. That's the ticket! The wooden-keyed marimba - loved by Latino and modern classical musicians alike for its softly resonating tones - traces its history back centuries to the Mayan tribes in Guatemala. The deep-voiced brass euphonium, a four-valved sister of the baritone horn, had its earliest origins in Renaissance Europe. Together the two instruments create a melodious and otherworldly sound. "It is going to be an exciting night," said concert conductor and University of Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris. "Audiences will hear works including percussion instruments of all sorts, richly combined with euphonium, clarinet, piano, strings, and a video-recorded carillon located in the Centennial Carillon Bell Tower at Brigham Young University." The 7:30 p.m. recital in Schneebeck Concert Hall also will include the piece Amnesia Variance, by the late lee Hyla, featuring the hammered dulcimer. Sweet.

2. In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story called "Winter Dreams," which formed the basis for his most celebrated novel. Other than the novel's title, however, every other detail was true. Fitzgerald did meet his Maker with every reason to believe The Great Gatsby would vanish into obscurity. What Fitzgerald couldn't know is that during World War II, paperback copies of the book (among many others) were handed out free to U.S. soldiers, who lapped it up by the hundreds of thousands. It has since sold more than 25 million copies, and is considered among the greatest of all American novels. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on The Great Gatsby in the Music & Culture section, then catch Tacoma Little Theatre's production at 7:30 p.m.

3. Weekly Volcano music critic Rev. Adam McKinney says there are vocal similarities between Kurt Lindsay and late cult singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. The Rev. says, "Lindsay's voice, like Buckley's is simultaneously full of bravado and wounded timidity. It quivers with feeling, though it might be noted that Lindsay's voice often comes across as more lost, searching, which adds a nice element to what is largely music that errs toward modern rock, with some detours to friendly mixers like R&B and folk." See for yourself at 8 p.m. when Lindsay performs at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. 

4. Jazz drummer Maria Joyner-Wulf performs with many groups in the region including Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Senators and Bevy. She's also a music educator, band leader, composer and multi-instrumentalist. She'll join pianist Reuel Lubag, bassist Wayne Bliss and saxophonist Cynthia Mullis for a righteous show at 8 p.m. in the Washington Center.

5. Unh, get on up! Sometimes you just got to get funky. The 10 Seattleites in DoctorfunK may not look like a prototypical funk band - no bell bottoms, star shades or afrofuturist hairstyles here - but they do have some serious chops. Their music is informed by emphatic, Tower of Power-style horns and Bay Area humanism. As Parliament said, they'll put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip. Get down at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 22, 2015 at 7:47am

5 Things To Do Today: Tacoma Home & Garden Show, Bad Poetry Night, "Girls Night: The Musical," Keith Henson Octet ...

Rachel Kate, “HGTV’s Design Star” finalist and recurring guest on “Rehab Addict,” appears at the show Friday at 1 p.m. and Saturday at noon, but we needed a photo to run today. You get up at the crack of dawn every day and write this.

THURSDAY, JAN. 22 2015 >>>

1. The annual Tacoma Home & Garden Show opens 11 a.m. and runs through Sunday at the Tacoma Dome. It features more than 750 exhibitors, television personality and designer Rachel Kate, the popular Vintage Market, a major kitchen showcase, the Plant Market,  "how-to" seminars and more. Sponsored by the Western Washington Toyota Dealers, the state's largest combined home and garden event is a one-stop opportunity for show-goers to discover a huge range of products and services for the home and garden.

2. The Nearsighted Narwal hosts "Bad Poetry Night" from 7-9 p.m. It's a chance for poets to cleanse his or herself of literary atrocities. After he or she reads a bad poem the opportunity exists to read a piece of work he or she is proud to read. Expect laughter, red faces and hugs.

3. Miss Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles last night at the Pantages Theater? The faux Fab Four return at 7:30 p.m., this time at the Washington Center in Olympia. The show features a rotating cast of musicians in a multimedia spectacular that carry the band from its jangly, Liverpudlian roots to the grand psychedelic finale of Abbey Road and Let It Be. Since the cover band's inception in 1975, its members have played everywhere from Broadway to the Today show. Dick Clark (who'd know better?) was so impressed by their vocal talents that he engaged Rain for the soundtrack of his 1979 film The Birth of the Beatles.

4.  A night on the town turns unexpectedly poignant when four best friends convene to reminisce about the past and provide insight into relationships. Just kidding. They sing Gloria Gaynor tunes, toss back shots, and yell things like "That one made my hoohah tickle!" That doesn't stop Louise Roche's otherwise flighty karaoke-standard revue from attempting to delve into substantial topics, and things get a little awkward once the Shake Weight jokes take a hard right to marital regret and miscarriage. Catch Centerstage's version of Girls Night: The Musical at 8 p.m. in the Knutzen Theater.

5. The Keith Henson Octet presents five-horn arrangements of popular and jazz standards featuring trumpet wonder Tracey Hooker, alto saxophonist Tracy Knoop, and Dr. David Joyner on piano at 8 p.m. in B Sharp Coffee House.

LINK: Thursday, Jan. 22 2014 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 21, 2015 at 12:22pm

Know Your History: Danny Glover and the heart of America

Danny Glover will discuss the history of the Buffalo Soldiers at the Pantages Theater Jan. 25. Press photo

When I say the name Danny Glover, what comes to mind? As an actor, thanks in large part to his work in 1987's Lethal Weapon, he was one of cinema's first ubiquitous African-American leading men. He was already a household name, though, after strong turns in Places in the Heart, Witness, Silverado and The Color Purple. His stature (6'3") and gentle voice were a perfect fit for "good cop" roles, and he earned his first lead chasing an extraterrestrial trophy hunter in Predator 2. As Lethal Weapon sequels rolled out over the ensuing decade, Glover established a résumé of range, including laudable performances in To Sleep with Anger, A Rage in Harlem, Grand Canyon and the justly beloved Lonesome Dove miniseries of 1989. Now in his late 60s, Glover continues to impress, with younger audiences discovering him in Saw, 2012 and Death at a Funeral. He is not, in fact, "too old for this shit," as his character in Lethal Weapon would famously have it. On the contrary, he's a consummate professional who never strikes a discordant note.

So that's his working life - but aside from that, Glover's established quite the CV as a social and civil rights activist. In college, he and fellow members of the Black Students Union staged a five-month-long student walkout at San Francisco State University. The result was a Black Studies department at SFSU, the first of its kind in the nation. He's a fixture in the pro-union movement and was named honorary tribal chief by the Igbo of eastern Nigeria. He's on the board of a D.C. advocacy organization, the TransAfrica Forum, and of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. In 2004, he was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, an honor for which he served in both Africa and Latin America.

None of that, however, is the focus of Glover's upcoming visit to Tacoma. No, Danny Glover wants to make sure you know a fascinating aspect of U.S. history. If all you know of Buffalo Soldiers is the dorm-friendly Bob Marley classic, it's time you learned why the Civil War story of the U.S. 10th Cavalry Regiment resonates today. The indigenous people they fought called them the "Negro Cavalry," and indeed, some of these all-black regiments were commanded by black officers. They were among the first national park rangers and chased "Pancho" Villa in Mexico. None of that, of course, prevented them from being brutally assaulted numerous times by Texas civilians. Gen. John Pershing, a white man who served with and endorsed the 10th Cavalry, is still called "Black Jack" in history books, if only because newspaper writers of the era euphemized his much crueler nickname.

Although the National Buffalo Soldier National Museum is in Houston (where they were attacked in 1917), Tacoma has its own 501(c)(3) Buffalo Soldiers Museum. It's at 1940 S. Wilkeson - and Danny Glover thinks it's high time you knew that. His evening at Broadway Center's a benefit for that museum and a tribute to American heroes. A $40 donation earns a ticket to a pre-show meet-and-greet. The performance itself is guaranteed to bring history to life and shine a spotlight on soldiers whose complex relationship with the tribes they battled is a microcosm of American civil rights history.

AN EVENING WITH DANNY GLOVER, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 25, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $19-$49, 253.591.5890

Filed under: Theater, History, Military, Tacoma,

January 21, 2015 at 7:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles, JBLM discussion, "King Kong," Hooded Fang ...

Yup, the Four are still Fab and tribute shows abound. But Rain has the edge, including a multimedia presentation that incorporates original footage. Press photo

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 21 2014 >>>

1. Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles features a rotating cast of musicians in a multimedia spectacular that carry the band from its jangly, Liverpudlian roots to the grand psychedelic finale of Abbey Road and Let It Be. Since the cover band's inception in 1975, its members have played everywhere from Broadway to the Today show. Dick Clark (who'd know better?) was so impressed by their vocal talents that he engaged Rain for the soundtrack of his 1979 film The Birth of the Beatles, directed by Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi). Expect full-scale productions of such classics as "Come Together" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In other words, anticipate greatness at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater.

2. A community listening session regarding potential Army force structure reductions at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will be held from 10 a.m. to noon in the McGavick Center Ballroom at Clover Park Technical College in Lakewood.The 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review requires the Army to reduce its force. The listening session allows the community to provide input to the senior leadership of the Army before any decisions are made regarding force reductions.

3. Outdoor adventure takes center stage from noon to 8 p.m. as the Washington Sportsmen's Show opens for a five-day run at the Washington State Fair Events Center in Puyallup. Expect a big line-up of fishing, hunting, camping attractions and more than 100 hours of how-to seminars, plus great values on fishing and hunting gear, clothing, camping equipment, sport fishing boats and RVs.

4. Take a break from asphyxiatingly overplotted blockbusters to absorb the good old days, when all you needed was a mysterious island, a couple dinosaurs and one sexually voracious ape. The Grand Cinema is deep in its Classic Film Series, hitting the Triangle District movie house very third Wednesday. At 1:45 and 6:45 p.m., they screen the original brainless blockbuster cobbled together by real-life thrillseekers Merian C. Cooper and Ernest Schoedsack (The Most Dangerous Game) for maximum impact. Cherish the smell-the-panties moment - a bit sliced out of the film that took 40 years to restore. That's right, the original King Kong is coming to Tacoma!

5. Toronto's Hooded Fang have garnered their fair share of positive reception since their formation in 2007, even earning a nomination for a Polaris Prize (sort of like the Canadian Grammy's) and setting up a tour supporting Johnny Marr, and they're deserving of every bit of praise. As their sound has evolved over the years, they've begun to embrace a volatility that wasn't quite present in their early days. Combining garage rock fuzz, the wiry dynamism of the Pixies, and the fractured structure and bombastic sound of Broken Social Scene. Unlike the majority of bands that rise on gales of internet hype, Hooded Fang have only improved, getting darker and leaner without giving up the vitality that made them so appealing when they first arrived on the scene. Catch them with No Body and Guaranteed Whales at 8 p.m. in the record store Deadbeat Olympia.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 21 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 20, 2015 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: "Keep On Keepin' On," Ford F-Series exhibit, Rosa Clemente, Banned Book Club ...

Seeing a living legend laid up in an oxygen tent shouldn't be fun. But in Alan Hicks’s doc "Keep On Keepin’ On," it somehow is.

TUESDAY, JAN. 20 2015 >>>

1. Keep On Keepin' On chronicles 89-year-old trumpeting legend Clark Terry who has mentored jazz wonders such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Terry's most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry's ailing health threatens to end his own. Charming and nostalgic, Alan Hicks' melodic debut screens at 1:30 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. For the last 38 years, Ford's F-series has been the top seller for trucks in the United States. Since last spring, Scott Keller, LeMay - America's Car Museum's chief curator has been talking with and looking for owners of these classic Ford trucks from around the state, asking if they would loan their trucks for his exhibit, "The Truck That Grew Up With America." From where the F-Series started to where it is now, tells a story of the country, reflecting a recovery from a depression to a more prosperous time. Check out the trucks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Who doesn't enjoy browsing through old photographs from days gone by? In addition to the enjoyment that is inevitable when looking at vintage photos, the "Found Photographs" exhibition in the Gallery at Tacoma Community College is filled with creative expression in a variety of media from photos to paintings and drawings inspired by found photos, to sculpture, assemblage and collage incorporating old photos. There are stories behind many of the images that are included on wall labels along with copies of the original found photos. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Found Photographs" in the Music & Culture section, then check out the show from noon to 5 p.m.

4. Rosa Clemente, black Puerto Rican community organizer, journalist, and former Green Party vice presidential candidate, will speak at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at University of Puget Sound at 7 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Bronx-born entrepreneur and hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente will headline a program including messages from Puget Sound community members, live music from members of the college's Jazz Band, and the presentation of the Keep Living the Dream Award to a student leader. The celebration is free and everyone is welcome.

5. There may be no better club to join than King's Books' Banned Book Club at Doyle's Public House. At 7 p.m., the club will be discussing Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, the Young Adult novel that received national attention when a father was handcuffed and escorted out of a New Hampshire board meeting after expressing concern about the required book given to his 14-year-old daughter. Picoult examines a school shooting in her riveting, poignant and thought-provoking novel that asks a haunting question: Do we really ever know someone? Drop-in visitors are always welcome to the BBC.

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 19, 2015 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events, Supernaut ...

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MONDAY, JAN. 19 2015 >>>

The memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. always receives plenty of folksy acknowledgment on this day set aside in his name, but the best events tend to target togetherness. Here are a few:

1. Unity Breakfast: The 9th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast recognizes and celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over breakfast, featuring keynote speaker CNN national news anchor Fredricka Whitfield and the UW Tacoma Dream Awards, 8 a.m., (University Y, 1710 Market St., 253.692-4501);

2. Community March to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center: Bates Technical College students, staff and families invite the community to march to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center to attend the City of Tacoma's King event, 8:30 a.m., free, (Bates Technical College, 1101 S. Yakima Ave., 253.680.7113);

3. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: the city of Tacoma presents the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, building on message of service and encourages the entire community to join together, and listen to keynote speaker Melannie Denise Cunningham, local entrepreneur, humanitarian and philanthropist, 11 a.m., free (Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5000).

4. Washington State History Museum: In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Washington State History Museum is offering free admission, along with a 2 p.m. program encouraging the discussion about how diversity and community change are communicated through children's literature, a community photo project and a food drive. (1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 1.888.BE.THERE).

5. Supernaut, Black Top Demon and Loser Dog will rock Le Voyuer at 10 p.m.

LINK: Monday, Jan. 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 18, 2015 at 6:32am

5 Things To Do Today: "Way Down East," South Sound Wedding Show, Tacoma RV Show, Belly Dance Revue ...

Lillian Gish plays Anna, a country naif tricked into a fake marriage and then impregnated by a cad during her stay in the city, in "Way Down East."

SUNDAY, JAN. 18 2015 >>>

1. The Washington Center has launched its Silent Movie Series for the year. Renowned organist Dennis James nestles the Center's beautiful Wurlitzer Pipe Organ as they screen some of the earliest films created, including Way Down East - a 1920 romantic drama directed by D. W. Griffith and starring Lillian Gish - at 2 p.m. Way Down East is best known for the exciting climax featuring Gish trapped in the ice during a snowstorm. Shot on location during an actual blizzard, this harrowing sequence features Gish's character, having fainted on an ice floe, floating toward a waterfall with her right hand and her hair in the freezing river. The film will be accompanied by the actual original musical score written for the film's initial release.

2. A large percentage of people get married at some point during their lives. Some people, like Larry King for instance, do it several times. The fact is, weddings are a big part of our existence. All the more reason to check out the seventh annual South Sound Wedding Show from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Centralia's Great Wolf Lodge. Expect to meet caterers, disc jockeys, wedding planners, florists, photographers, jewelry designers, as well as representatives from wedding and reception venues and bridal and tux shops. The latest styles in hair, makeup, bridal bouquets, jewelry, wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and tuxedos will be featured during fashion shows at 11:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Prizes will be awarded to engaged couples during the show. Pro Tip: If your South Sound Wedding Show date ditches you for one of the Great Wolf water slides, he's probably not the one.

3. There's nothing more American than a recreational vehicle. Here's a car that's literally as big as a house, equipped to the nines with every sort of modern amenity you can think of, a brazen gas-guzzler ready to tear giant swaths of land apart, highway by scenic highway. Indeed, the modern RV is an apt metaphor for the United States. The final day of the Tacoma RV Show runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Tacoma Dome. The show will feature hundreds of new RVs.

4. At 28, Stacy Jones had released five CDs, played hundreds of shows and won multiple awards, including Washington Blues Society's "Best Female Vocalist of the Year" in 2010. Her band will play the Blues Vespers Show at 5 p.m. in the Immanuel Presbyterian Church. Finding a flow of funk, blues, rock and jazz appears to come easy to The Stacy Jones Band. Its presence, talent and raw soul weave seamlessly on stage.

5. The true origins of Middle Eastern belly dance, or raqs sharqi ("Oriental dance") in Arabic, have been clouded by time. Egyptian art seems to suggest belly dancers provided sexy entertainment for pharaohs as they have for sultans and sheikhs ever since. Some believe the sinuous belly roll movements originated in birthing rituals; belly dancing has long been associated with feminine fecundity.  Some present-day commentators, uncomfortable with the association with sex and fertility, claim belly dance was invented as a way for women to entertain and socialize with other women. In any event, the Tacoma Belly Dance Revue takes over the B Sharp Coffee House at 6:30 p.m. The free show features 12 dancers.

LINK: Sunday, Jan 18 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 17, 2015 at 7:48am

5 Things To Do Today: Porterpalooza, Peking Acrobats, Oly Mountain Boys, Elvis vs. James Brown ...

P-51 Porter's posterity will pour during Porterpalooza today. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, JAN. 17 2015 >>>

1. Wingman Brewers will host their annual Porterpalooza in which they'll offer creative variations on their flagship P-51 Porter, from 2-11 p.m. Expect to drink the following variations on their Porter theme: Coconut, Peanut Butter Cup, Vanilla Rum, Chili Pepper and Sichuan Pepper Corns, Maple Pecan, Chocolate Orange, Smoked Sea Salted Caramel, Mexican Chocolate and Cinnamon Raisin. Also available during Porterpalooza will be Wingman's Bourbon Barrel Aged Big Baby Flat Top, aged in Willet Distillery barrels from Kentucky. Read the full story on Porterpalooza in our New Beer Column.

2. Regional bragging rights. Office betting pools. Weekend afternoon boredom. These are all worthwhile reasons to be a sports fan. But for the Weekly Volcano's money, the best defense of sports' spectators has to be the vicarious thrill that we get from seeing athletes do all the cool stuff we can't do. So unless you already know how to dance atop a stack of chairs or juggle jars, desks, ladders, and bamboo with your feet, you'll want to check out The Peking Acrobats at 3 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. The Peking Acrobats will dazzle with breathtaking displays of contortion, flexibility and control. You can bet on it.

3. What began as acoustic ruminations on offbeat subjects transformed into an unusually loose, yelpy indie rock band that seemed to favor getting the feel of the song out, with the clearly talented musicianship hiding beneath a layer of charming aloofness. Elements of Vampire Weekend and Eastern European drinking songs found their way into the mix, and the Noodlebird of old struck a balance with what Noodlebird was steadily approaching. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Noodlebird in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Sunset Flip and Tom Nook at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

4. At this year's Elvis Birthday Bash in Olympia, the King will be sharing the spotlight with the Godfather of Soul. The reason for the pairing is Robert Washington, the first African American to win the world champion Elvis impersonator, long a part of the 15th annual bash, also does a James Brown act. While diehard Elvis fans might not like the dual billing, the combination is not as unlikely as it initially sounds. The two knew and admired one another. Brown visited Presley at Graceland, and it's said that the capes Brown worse onstage inspired Presley to add a cape to his costumes. Read Molly Gilmore's full feature on the Elvis Birthday Bash in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Capitol Theater.

5. The Olympia bluegrass quintet The Oly Mountain Boys produced the first bluegrass concept album - centering on the life and hard times of Charlie McCarver in Washington state during the early 20th century. White Horse gallops to traditional bluegrass influenced by the music of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Earl Scruggs. This is the best brand of bluegrass: energetic and thoroughly heartbroken. Catch the band at 8 p.m. in The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 17 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 13, 2015 at 3:04pm

Strawberry Fields Forever: Reuniting the Fab Four in Tacoma

Yup, the Four are still Fab and tribute shows abound. But Rain has the edge, including a multimedia presentation that incorporates original footage. Press photo

I had the great privilege of seeing Paul McCartney live in Kansas City back in 1993. I traveled there from Oklahoma with my good friend Shawn and his mother, and all three of us enjoyed the show immensely. As we were creeping out of the parking lot, Shawn's mom remarked, "He was a lot better this time than the last time I saw him." Excuse me? Come to find out, she had seen the Beatles live on their 1964 American tour. She said the sound was bad. They played a dozen songs and could barely be heard over ten thousand shrieking teenagers.

In some ways, modern audiences have it better. We can listen to the Fab Four in stunning remastered stereo and mono editions. We know all the words and get to sing along with every "na" in "Hey Jude," and no one can tell us to pipe down. There will never be another Beatles. It's been 50 years now, and no one's come close. Having said that, it's still possible to recreate the experience of seeing them live. I can vouch for a group called 1964, having caught them in Arizona, and you can test the impersonation skills of Rain: A Tribute to the Beatles this Wednesday, Jan. 21.

The show features a rotating cast of musicians in a multimedia spectacular that carry the band from its jangly, Liverpudlian roots to the grand psychedelic finale of Abbey Road (in my opinion, the greatest pop disc ever recorded) and Let It Be. Since the cover band's inception in 1975, its members have played everywhere from Broadway to the Today show. Dick Clark (who'd know better?) was so impressed by their vocal talents that he engaged Rain for the soundtrack of his 1979 film The Birth of the Beatles, directed by Richard Marquand (Return of the Jedi). Expect full-scale productions of such classics as "Come Together" and "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In other words, anticipate greatness.

One of the things I love about writing promotional pieces like this is I come across interesting trivia about the artists in question. Sometimes they fit into the article; sometimes not. This factoid isn't all that relevant, but it is so juicy so I have no choice but to throw it in anyway. (It's my Volcano preview; I can do what I want. Consider it my contribution to the font of public knowledge.) Back in 1977, Dr. Carl Sagan and his then partner, later wife, Ann Druyan, hit on the idea of attaching a golden LP record to the Voyager spacecraft. With only six weeks to complete the task, the NASA team was understandably frantic. Among the pieces of music they sought to include was "Here Comes the Sun." The Beatles themselves were all for it. Their label, EMI, unfortunately, owned the rights and nixed the idea on grounds of copyright infringement. Sorry, V'ger. No Beatles for you.

RAIN: A TRIBUTE TO THE BEATLES, 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, $29-$85, 253.591.5890

Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

January 13, 2015 at 7:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Classical music and cookies, MLK celebrations, "Pump," Karaoke Party ...

Tacoma Youth Symphony takes over Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma tonight. Courtesy photo

TUESDAY, JAN. 13 2015 >>>

1. Classical music is not like spinach. Sure, your mom might have insinuated that cultivating a taste for both was good for you, but the goal of Classical Tuesday in Old Town Artistic Director Pamela Ryker is to get you to see that, unlike the somewhat slimy green stuff that left a funny feeling on your teeth, the musical dish she serves up is spicy, peppy fun. They'll be plenty of moms in the Slavonion Hall at 7 p.m. when Ryker hosts the Tacoma Youth Symphony chamber music ensembles. The glue-eating kid won't be there. The night will feature the best of the best: of the hundreds of students in the Tacoma Youth Symphony orchestras, the top instrumentalists will be showcased in small groups of woodwinds, brass and strings. Expect cocoa, coffee and cookies.

2. Two Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations happen today. A Living Voices performance will serve as the featured entertainment at Bates Technical College's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the college's South Campus Auditorium. The performance, titled "The Right to Dream," follows a young African American student growing up in small-town Mississippi, where the American Civil Rights movement is on the horizon. Audience members will watch as the animated performer brings life to civil rights-era issues. At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the I Corps Equal Opportunity Office will sponsor a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from 1-2:30 p.m. at French Theater on Pendleton Boulevard, Lewis Main.

3. The Grand Cinema screens Pump at 1:50 and 6:40 p.m. as part of its Tuesday Film Series. The film examines why Americans are so lacking in options at the gas station, what that means about the future of transportation and environmental health, and why the oil-driven American Dream must die - why it is dying.

4. If hearing the sound of your own cackling voice echoing off the walls of your shower stall has you craving the sound of something a bit more harmonious, check out the local songbirds at Victory Music Open Mic in the Antique Sandwich Co. from 7-10 p.m. It's guaranteed to be jam-packed with gorgeous sounds and humbling verses, as the South Sound's greatest up-and-coming acoustic musicians bare their souls impromptu-style.

5. Karaoke is a uniquely egalitarian way for people to live out minor fantasies while also blowing off steam. Teddy hosts a Karaoke Party at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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