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March 30, 2015 at 6:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Creative Colloquy Birthday, Leanne Trevalyan, Tunnel Six, Father Murphy ...

Celebrate Creative Colloquy's one-year anniversary with words and wine at B Sharp Coffee House tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, MARCH 30 2015 >>>

1. Admirers of the written word and lovers of the literary will gather, as they have for the past year, at 7 p.m. in B Sharp Coffee House for the monthly Creative Colloquy session. Founder Jackie Casella invites the South Sound to imbibe in libations or sip on roasted bean concoctions and "watch storytellers do the thing they do best, narrate their tales and celebrate CC's birthday," she adds. The emcee for the evening will be master bookseller extraordinaire sweet pea, owner of King's Books. In addition to an open mic, scheduled storytellers include Titus Burley, William Turbyfill, Joshua Swainston, Nick Stokes and Melissa Thayer, with a special musical performance by singer-songwriter Maddy Dullum. There will be cake!

2. Founding member of the "swampabilly" band Junkyard Jane, Leanne Trevalyan has been a fixture in the Northwest music scene for over two decades. "Her voice reminds me of the smoothness, texture and taste of sweet honey as it drips from a spoon onto a fresh biscuit," quotes Roy Brown for Victory Review. "Leanne has a sultry, alto voice capable of rendering both bluesy and country tunes with bare-boned honesty," writes Les Reynolds for Indie Music Review. Catch her at 7:30 p.m. in Smoke + Cedar.

3. With singable melodies that dare to be epic and an unabashedly emotional approach to musical storytelling, Tunnel Six tastefully blends elements of jazz, world, and folk. Following six cross-continental tours and two internationally released albums, this collective continues to dissolve geographic and musical boundaries to reach audiences across North America, including the Rhythm and Rye at 8 p.m.

4. From the anthemic rage of Manic Street Preachers' The Holy Bible to John Lennon's weary look into the unknown on John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, musicians confronting their feelings on religion can often be a harrowing experience. Italian duo Father Murphy take this spiritual struggle to its next logical, roaring step. The band describes its music as being the aural embodiment of Catholic guilt. Powered by industrial drum machines and searing guitars, the stark sound of Father Murphy most closely resembles the similarly disturbing work of Suicide. Catch the band with Jen Grady and Angelo Spencer at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia.

5. At 9 p.m. every Monday, Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Word, Tacoma, Music, Olympia,

March 28, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Sliders Cook-off, Barley Wine Fest, SweetKiss Momma, The Rangehoods ...

Museum of Glass hosts a small sandwich smackdown Saturday. Photo credit: Jackie Fender

SATURDAY, MARCH 28 2015 >>>

1. From 6:30 to 10:30 p.m., the Museum of Glass is hosting its 4th Annual Slider Cook-off, which means seven Pacific Northwest grub go-tos (mostly hailing from Tacoma) are bringing their culinary prowess into the ring in the hopes of coming out on top and being awarded with a sweet glass-blown burger slider trophy and bragging rights. This year, the majority of contenders are newbies to the slider cook-off, which should prove to be entertaining for returning nibblers' taste buds. We connected with participating restaurants to see what attendees could expect while noshing.

2. There are hundreds of barleywines, probably thousands, in the world, but it seems like many are extremely limited and hard to find on a regular, year-round basis. That's one of the reason's why you can barely find an inch of space at the ParkWay Tavern's annual Barley Wine Fest, which will launch at the Tacoma tavern at 10 a.m. Pappi Swarner has the scoop in his New Beer Column.

3. Tacoma- and Puyallup-based Southern rock band SweetKiss Momma, hot off their winter European tour, will perform along with the Kim Archer Band at the Tacoma Rainiers Pre-Season Party from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Cheney Stadium. Play ball!

4. It's been 11 years since Maroon 5 smashed into the public consciousness with "This Love" and "She Will Be Loved," though "Harder to Breathe," the first single from that same album, actually reached #18 two years earlier. (Overnight success is a funny thing.) Since then, Adam Levine's distinctively high-pitched tenor has been ubiquitous on iPods and radio dials around the world. The band's fifth - or sixth, if we're counting Kara's Flowers - studio album, V, boasts three top-five singles thus far. Now its tour marches triumphantly into the Tacoma Dome at 7:30 p.m. Will the arena be full of screaming admirers, swooning each time Levine flexes his narrow but yoga-toned frame? Our Magic 8 Ball says, "You may rely on it." After all, Levine is People's Sexiest Man Alive. Will the encore include "Moves Like Jagger?" The Magic 8 Ball says, "Signs point to yes."

5. The Rangehoods have been a Western Washington staple since the band permutated from The Heats (when is the Heats reunion going to be, anyway?) around 1984. Steve Pearson, Pat Hewitt, Tony Lease and Don Kammerer took a twang approach to the breakneck wave of the Heats and moved on. It was a big deal when the Rangehoods played The Swiss in the ‘90s. At 7:30 p.m. in The Valley, Hewitt's 60th birthday will be celebrated while The Rangehoods, Twang Junkies, Stone Pony and special guests rock the joint. Cancel Sunday.

March 27, 2015 at 6:29am

5 Things To Do Today: The Cutwinkles, station wagons, "In a Dark Dark House," Tobi Stone's Texture Band ...

The Cutwinkles will rock The Valley tonight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 2015 >>>

1. Without slipping into needless hyperbole, we're just going to go ahead and say The Cutwinkles are a Tacoma institution. Formed at the Tacoma School of the Arts about a decade ago, they established themselves as a genuinely unique entity in these parts. Armed with an unhealthy preoccupation with video games, The Cutwinkles specialized in goofily theatrical pop-punk odes to Super Mario Bros. and dragons. They are always marked by a sense of humor and playfulness that stands out against the typically serious garage rock, meta, and folk that tend to dominate the Tacoma music scene. Catch the band with The Fabulous Downey Brothers and masonaspron at 8 p.m. in The Valley.

2. Who can forget the Griswold's infamous green and wood-paneled Wagon Queen Family Truckster in National Lampoon's Vacation flick? Remember the tricked-out Ectomobile in Ghostbusters? Baby boomers across the country wanted to call shotgun and ride with Brady kids in their Plymouth Satellite. Station wagons are an American automobile icon and a symbol of the family road trip. There are few vehicles that conjure up the delight of the family vacation as the great American station wagon. A collection of the sleekest, shiniest, top-of-the-line wagons will make their debut at America's Car Museum today.

3. Longtime musicians Ben Fuller and Justin McDonald will team up for a 7 p.m. show at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. Fuller's brother, Ted "Ten Fingers of Doom" Fuller, is rumored to join the show.

4. Neil LaBute's In a Dark Dark House, presented by Theater Artists Olympia at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun Performance Space, takes place 20 years after the summer that set the course for two estranged brothers lives - reunion to uncover the secrets and lies that have shaped them into the men they've become: One a hand-to-mouth blue collar man struggling to find fulfillment, the other a wealthy attorney caught in the grip of self-destruction. As the brothers soon discover, old habits are hard to break. Slowly, surgically, each has to learn the truth from the other, while trying to keep their own demons buried. This play contains discussions of child abuse, sexual abuse, violence, incarceration, and brief homophobic and ableist language.

5. Saxophonist/composer Tobi Stone has composed an evening of original music in homage to her mentor, late jazz saxophonist Bert Wilson, at 8 p.m. in The Washington Center. Stone's Texture Band blends African grooves with jazz harmonies. The septet features Samantha Boshnack on trumpet, Naomi Siegel on trombone, Tobi Stone on saxophone, from Japan Sumi Tonooka on piano and from west Africa Masa Kobayashi on bass, Thione Diop and Etienne Cakpo on drums.

March 26, 2015 at 6:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Bluegrass, Pierce County READS film, "Battlefields to Farmlands," mini and the Bear ...

The Barleywine revue performs at The Swiss tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

THURSDAY, MARCH 26 2015 >>>

1. Tacoma bluegrass band The Barleywine Revue and Tacoma old timey meets folk-punk band The Cottonwood Cutups will pitch a tent inside The Swiss Restaurant and Pub from 7-10 p.m. It will be a cacophony of spirited group singing and hoops and hollers.

2. The South Sound is a lit-lovin' book-readin' type of region. We welcome authors, and we support them. We read their books and we go to events where they read their books to us. And a bunch of these authors even live here, which means we probably sit next to them on the bus, or in a restaurant, or edge past them a little too closely when we're driving and they're rushing through the crosswalk just after the light changes. Many cities in the region host citywide reading events. So do the counties. Daniel James Brown's The Boys in the Boat is the 2015 selection for Pierce County Library System's 8th annual Pierce County READS. The No. 1 New York Times best-seller chronicles the 1936 University of Washington crew team and their epic quest for gold at the Berlin Olympics. Against the grim backdrop of the Great Depression, this nine-man crew of working class origins stormed the rowing world, transformed the sport and galvanized the attention of millions of Americans. The library has put together 63 free events that cover various themes from The Boys in the Boat including a free screening of the controversial German propaganda film Triumph of the Will, at 6 p.m. in The Grand Cinema, followed by expert commentary with UW Tacoma's Claudia Gorbman, Ph.D.

3. In the Joint Base Lewis-McChord area alone, more than 11,000 servicemembers will leave active duty in the next two years. Thurston, Pierce and Mason counties are projected to have the highest Post 9/11 veteran population in the state. Organizations like GRuB (Garden Raised Bounty) in Olympia hope to help those veterans transition by affording them opportunities in the field of sustainable agriculture. Join GRuB, Enterprise for Equity, Oly Float, Rainier Therapeutic riding, the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs and the Veterans Conservation Corps at 6:30 p.m. at the Capitol Theater for a screening of the film Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields, a documentary that examines the plight of farmers and demonstrates how veterans can translate military skills to the world of agriculture. Following the movie screening, County Commissioner Bud Blake will moderate a discussion about the relationship between food security and veteran transition.

4. The Olympia People's Mic invites vocalists, writers and poets to speak their pieces for an hour or two at 7 p.m. in Café Love. Tonight, the featured poet is eastern Washington transplant, currently-residing-in-Seattle-poet Tim Johnson. 

5. San Francisco power volume duo mini and the Bear joins Big Idiot for heavy jams at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

March 25, 2015 at 6:38am

5 Things To Do Today: Jerry Miller, Ninkasi Brewing Night, Comedy Open Mic, grindcore ...

Jerry Miller will perform after the Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night at The Swiss tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 25 2015 >>>

1. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love.  While they were rooted in psychedelia, they injected elements of folk, blues and country. Unlike the jam bands of the time, Grape possessed a meticulously unique sound by way of multilayered triple guitar arrangements - Jerry Miller on first guitar, the melodious Peter Lewis on second, with weirdo Skip Spence on third. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Miller. Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller now performs with his trio, the Jerry Miller Band, as well as host jam and open mic nights around town, including Tuesday nights at Dave's in Milton. Miller and crew will perform at 8 p.m. in The Swiss. A pre-show Full Sail Brewing Brewer's Night will help everyone ride the snake.

2. Pint Defiance Specialty Beers & Taproom has killer Brewer's Nights. Their recent Facebook post reminded us of such fact: "one where we had a line out the door at start time, or that one where we broke the randall, we've had a history of kegs emptied in record time, and tons of great prizes given away." From 5-7 p.m., Ninkasi Brewing Company and rep. Josh Russell will be in the house with an eye on reaching Pint Defiance's Number One Brewer's Night Of All Time, with hoppier beers, more enthusiastic high fives and kitten-themed prizes, as well as the latest R&D (Rare & Delicious) release, Rich's Double Belgian IPA, "This Is Why I'm Hop" IPA, the original Total Domination IPA and Spring Reign Pale Ale.

3. SideWalk is a local organization on a mission to end homelessness in Thurston County. They combine volunteerism and intensive community engagement with data-driven, evidence based methods to accomplish their mission. The Olympia Downtown Association will be hosting a benefit house party for SideWalk from 5-8 p.m. at The Washington Center. Besides a performance by local band Blue Laces, and food and wine from several local restaurants, program will feature words from WCPA Executive Director Jill Barnes, ODA Executive Director Vida Zvirzdys-Farler and Sidewalk Executive Director Phil Owens. This is a free event for our community, with an opportunity to donate directly to Sidewalk during the evening.

4. Comedy open mics are where comedians cut their teeth, develop their chops and other folksy idioms meaning "possibly suck to get better." Polish is traded for rawness. Comedians nervously testing out premises they thought of while parking. It wouldn't be a true comedy open mic without a few rookies floundering or even some industry veterans filling the room with crushing awkwardness, but Tacoma Comedy Club's Open Mic Night features some damn good performers who more than balance it out. Check out the free performance at 8 p.m.

5. Deathgrave and Augurs, two Oakland, California, bands that have made grindcore and downtuned sonic aggression a way of life, will join The Vatican band for total auditive devastation at 9:30 p.m. in Obsidian.

March 24, 2015 at 6:34am

5 Things To Do Today: Religious Girls, "Big Eyes," sports chat, Kurt Lindsay ...

Oakland trio Religious Girls will perform at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

TUESDAY, MARCH 24 2015 >>>

1. Oakland trio Religious Girls is gospel music for noise. Praising everything both beautiful and abrasive, Religious Girls are fascinated with taking clattering and chanting and making it a main character. Eardrums are pummeled, pupils are dilated, and minds are expanded to the place where they can receive that glut of input being ejected from Religious Girls. Above all else, the drums become the frontman for Religious Girls, shoving and cajoling the music into places it wouldn't otherwise have gone. Catch the band with Saul Conrad, Joseph Hein and the Breakfast Cowboy at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Tim Burton's film Big Eyes reunites him with the writers of Ed Wood, his best-ever film. It stars the red-hot Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz. It will screen at 2 and 6:40 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

3. Broken Spoke on Hilltop Tacoma hosts a Brewer's Night honoring breweries 21st Amendment, Hopworks, Hop Valley and Oskar Blues Brewery. Expect the release of two new beer cans, swag giveaways, taco truck and a lot of talk about bicycles, from 7-10 p.m.

4. There's a sport for everyone. Whether it's video football or dangling from great heights by little ropes, you have enjoyed at some point the principles of fair play, hard work, achievement, etc. Well, so did many folks in 1936. History professor Chad Moody wants to tell you all about the intersection of sport, spectacle and fascist ideology ... for free at 6:30 p.m. in the Gig Harbor Library. You game? Well, run like hell (you are an athlete, after all) to the Gig Harbor Library tonight. Learn about Jesse Owens, German athletes and Hitler during the 1936 Olympics. Bring friends and make the lecture some sort of sport. There's a sport for everyone.

5. With a voice that is influenced by old soul-singers such as Otis Redding, but also spiced with some folk sensibilities, Kurt Lindsay knows how to evoke emotion and have full control of every song he explores. Lindsay's voice, like Jeff 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. Catch him at 7:30 pm. in Smoke + Cedar.

March 23, 2015 at 10:35am

Getting Doug With Tacoma: Doug Benson is your comedy friend

Doug Benson performs at the Tacoma Comedy Club April Fool's Day. Press photo

"Did you know that in your lifetime, you are more likely to get attacked by a domesticated pig than by a shark?" Doug Benson inquires. "That is a true statistic, especially if you have a tendency to swim in pig-infested waters."

Silly? Yes. Funny? Also yes. San Diegan Doug Benson has been performing standup comedy since 1986, when his buddies dared him to hop on the stage and do three minutes. He's released seven comedy albums, starred in the movie Super High Me, and costarred on everything from Friends to Mr. Show with Bob and David. If Wikipedia is to be believed, he appeared as a visible extra in Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and backup dancer (!) in Captain EO. In 2009, thanks to a jokey appearance on Fox News's Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, Benson scored something of a coup by pissing off the entire government of Canada. He appears frequently on Jimmy Kimmel Live and @midnight, and hosts not one but three wildly popular podcasts. If you're curious and have three free hours a week to kill, they're called The Benson Interruption, Doug Loves Movies and Getting Doug With High. The latter is about how much fun it is to smoke weed. It's amazing how little trouble Benson has getting guests. "Marijuana pleases us," he explains in his self-produced show, The Marijuana-Logues. "The last time I was (at Disneyland), I got more stoned than the Ten Commandments."

He's also a huge fan of the Pacific Northwest, by which I mean he detests it. "In Seattle," he says, "they have a saying: if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes and then shoot yourself in the face." It's to our collective credit that he overcame this aversion to play the Tacoma Comedy Club April first. This isn't an elaborate April Fool's Day prank, by the way. He really will be there. I checked.

Much of Benson's act consists of advice you can use in your very own life - such as it is, given that you have time to listen to three different podcasts by the same guy each week. "It's deadly to dogs to eat grapes," he says, "so I think all chocolate from now on should be surrounded in grape. ... Why would any woman agree to be on a show called Bridezillas? It's not like men would agree to be on Douchegroom. ... I actually got pulled over once for driving in the diamond lane. Cop said to me, ‘You know you have to have more than one person in the car to drive in the carpool lane.' I said, ‘Check the trunk.'" See? Now you can eat chocolate around your dog, make wise TV booking choices and get tased and arrested like a pro.

DOUG BENSON, 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, Tacoma Comedy Club, 933 Market St., Tacoma, $20, 253.282.7203

Filed under: Comedy, Tacoma,

March 23, 2015 at 6:25am

5 Things To Do Today: Sister Girlfriend, Meat Bingo, Kim Archer, FOG ...

Sister Girlfriend performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photos credit: Christina Hicks

MONDAY, MARCH 23 2015 >>>

1. Now that indie music has increasingly begun to incorporate pop music into its life, we've found ourselves at an interesting crossroad, where the underground no longer has any fear of selling out or sounding too corporate; instead, bands have folded Top 40 sounds into their brand of uncompromising idiosyncrasy, resulting in the lo-fi R&B of How To Dress Well and others. Weirder still, though, is a band like Sister Girlfriend, which smashes together the blue-eyed soul of H&O with the frantic house music of two decades ago. It's experimental in the oddest way: not charting new ground, but taking two sounds and violently spinning them in a centrifuge to see which comes out on top. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Sister Girlfriend in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Grex and Shadows at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. On weekends all the bartenders are in a bad mood because people are forgetting to tip them and throwing toilet paper around the bathroom. However, Monday is when a neighborhood bar wipes its brow and smiles. But it can take a little coaxing to get your fellow office friends to come with you on a Monday. How to break them down? Meat Bingo! This isn't Grandma's boring bingo. There isn't any yelling out letters and numbers, just singing along to all your favorite songs from yesteryears through today. MTV may have stopped playing videos, but you can catch them every Monday at 7 p.m. in Rock The Dock Pub & Grill. All bingo winners will win raw meat.

3. With a timeless vocal delivery only matched by her engaging stage presence, Kim Archer has been pleasing live music fans in our area since 2004. Archer's powerful voice a la Janis Joplin and Chaka Khan gelled nicely with the sonic buzz of the guitar and groove from the backbeat. She commands the stage playing her own original songs rooted in old school soul, funk and classic rock, sultry blues and ballads while remaining a master at giving choice cover tunes the "Kim Archer treatment," such as the crowd pleasing "Shaft." Catch her at 7:30 p.m. in Smoke + Cedar.

4. What is FOG? It's the reaction of the air when hot meets cold. It disrupts air traffic at SeaTac. It causes crashes on Interstate 5. It's the ooh-la-la factor of Adrienne Barbeau. Or maybe we're confusing it with Swamp Thing. Either way, there are good reasons for FOG, too. It lifts water out of the ocean, extracts the salt, then brings all that freshwater vapor to us at head level, just begging to be drunk. It's also four former members of the legendary jazz group Obrador: flutist Tom Russell, guitarist Paul Hjelm, bassist Steve Luceno and percussionist Michael Olson. Together, they bring more than 200 years of musical knowledge to the stage. Their music is rooted in jazz and folkloric styles and includes original compositions from their Obrador songbook. Be sure and turn your headlights on for FOG is coming at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye.

5. At 9 p.m. Every Monday Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

March 21, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Rhythm and Rye Party, Flea Market, Taste of Gig Harbor, Amy Schumer ...

The Oly Mountain Boys will help Rhythm and Rye celebrate their first anniversary tonight.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 2015 >>>

1. We knew the traditional fifth anniversary gift was the astoundingly lame "wood," and, of course, the 25th anniversary is the silver and 50th golden. We're pretty sure the 75th is either oxygen tanks or pre-chewed food. Apparently, the first anniversary is the kickass music anniversary, because downtown Olympia music and whiskey venue Rhythm and Rye is celebrating its first year in operation with bands Hillstomp (punk blues) and The Oly Mountain Boys (bluegrass), the two bands that officially opened the venue last March 21. The show begins at 9 p.m.

2. You spend hours wandering around consignment stores, yard sales, and nothing. Break the cycle. Rethink your thought process. Antiques - The older they are the better. And, unlike the average retail giant's merchandise, you can sometimes get a deal. So come check out the Women's League Annual Flea Market and peruse more than 60 vendor booths of previously owned antiques and collectibles, sporting goods, home furnishings, clothes, books and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound. It's the University of Puget Sound Women's League's 47th flea market to fund student scholarships. A silent auction runs throughout the day. Not so silent? You when you happen across mannequin legs! 

3. The Gig Harbor Rotary presents Taste of Gig Harbor from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Weekly Volcano foodie Jackie Fender has the scoop here.

4. If we need to tell you who Amy Schumer is, you must not own a TV. Her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer was nominated for an Emmy. Both Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone praised it as one of last year's best series, especially a firecracker of a sketch about a Call of Duty-type video game. Schumer wields one of the 21st century's most distinctive, vital, quotable comic voices, and it's won her gigs from Cosmo to Fox News to a slot in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. That's right, Amy Schumer will soon be given her very own proton pack. For a comedian in her 30s, that's like being named one of the apostles. Catch her at 8:30 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

5. The Fucking Eagles reminds one of a '50s sock hop mixed with a backwoods roadhouse show of the same era. It's fun as hell. Catch the band with The Wimps and Vibrating Antennas at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge, as part of the Bleak Outlook Vol. 3 festival.

March 20, 2015 at 6:34am

5 Things To Do Today: Jonny Lang, Scott Cossu, The Rusty Cleavers, Ex-Gods ...

Jonny Lang will rock the Emerald Queen Casino tonight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 20 2015 >>>

1. Fargo, North Dakota native Jonny Lang has had five albums in the Billboard top 50. He recorded his first blues guitar album, Smokin', at the tender age of 14. Two years later came Lie to Me, an album that went multi-platinum and earned raves from major critics. After a Grammy nomination for Wander the World in 1998, he won the award for Turn Around. He's toured with Aerosmith, Blues Traveler, B.B. King, the Stones, and other iconic artists. Lang's most honest testimonial came from fellow singer and guitarist Jimmy Thackery, who admitted, "He plays so good I want to break his fingers." Yowza. Catch his show at 8:30 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

2. In college, Scott Cossu immersed himself in the music of Ecuador, living in the Andes Mountains and Chota Valley while furthering his ethnomusicology studies.  He then alchemized his amassed knowledge into records with shamelessly cheesy titles like Emerald Pathways, Stained Glass Memories and, simply, Mountain. Cossu's a laudable pianist, and his compositions have a playful precision to them. While his lite jazz isn't for everyone, in some circles such as the South Puget Sound Community College, Cossu's type of music is seeming less and less like a guilty pleasure, and more like an unexpected muse. Cossu performs at the college's "An Evening of Fine Jazz and Northwest Cuisine," featuring chefs Treacy Kreger and Christine Ciancetta, at 6:30 p.m. Stottle Winery will provide the wine for the evening. It's going to rock. Softly.

3. Olympia Family Theater presents Our Only May Amelia, adapted from the Newberry Award winning novel by Jennifer L. Holm, at 7 p.m. It is the coming of age story of a 13-year-old who is being raised on an isolated farm as the only girl in a family of seven brothers. In 1899, life on the Naselle River in Southwest Washington was hard for anyone, but especially for 13-year-old May Amelia Jackson, the only girl in all of the Naselle settlement. There is not another girl in her neck of the woods with whom to play or commiserate.

4. Wingman Brewers will introduce the Old Plank Pils to the world at 8 p.m., a beer head brewer Ken Thoburn and crew brewed especially for Tacoma punkgrass band, The Rusty Cleavers, who will perform at 8 p.m. during the beer release party. For full details, check out our New Beer Column.

5. Mahnhammer was a stalwart in the Tacoma metal/rock scene, but in 2014, they switched things up by swapping out their drummer and changing their name to something equally thunderous: Ex-Gods. Catch the band with Griever and Strange Wilds at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge as part of the Bleak Outlook Vol. 3 festival.

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