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February 19, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Powers, Molecular Gastronomy, Tacoma Playing Cards, DJ Slimrock ...

Jazz guitarist Michael Powers plays tonight at the University of Puget Sound.

THURSDAY, FEB. 19 2015 >>>

1. Seattle's prestigious Cornish College of the Arts stole jazz guitarist Michael Powers from the San Francisco Bay area, where he emerged in 1982 graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor of fine arts in Composition and Performance. While at Cornish, Powers was molded by composers Gil Evans and Sam Rivers, bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Art Lande, and trombonist Julian Priester. However, his style was also influenced by a diverse group of musicians that includes Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Charlie Parker, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, Miles Davis and Kevin Eubanks. Ah, that explains why we find his CDs in the blues, rock and funk sections. Powers will headline a special Black History Month concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Rotunda at Wheelock Student Center on the campus of University of Puget Sound.

2. Have you had shots of mango-vodka purée served in hollow spheres of frozen vanilla water? How about wild rice puffed like popcorn and seasoned with black truffle dust, then tossed in liquid nitrogen so that when you ate it, you breathed smoke? Professor Jeff Grinstead from the University of Puget Sound Chemistry Department and Chris Keil, co-owner and craft cocktail chemist at Hilltop Kitchen and Marrow in Tacoma, will explain how such dishes are created during their "Molecular Gastronomy & Alchemical Cocktails: The Science and Art of Food & Drink" presentation from 6-8 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum. Arrive prepared to taste fake caviar, miracle berries and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

3. Created in 2012, the Tacoma Playing Cards Blue Deck featured 54 Tacoma locations and stories created by some of Tacoma's best visual artists. The second Red deck featuring 14 artists hit the street at the end of last year. You may have appreciated these incredible images while playing your favorite card game, but you'll have a chance to see the Tacoma Playing Cards Red Deck on a much larger scale and have a chance to meet the creative force behind the works. An artist reception with giveaways and small bites will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee.

4. Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Square, will lecture on "An Eyewitness Account of the Egyptian Revolution and the Downfall of a Regime"  as the speaker for Pacific Lutheran University's second biennial Ambassador Chris Stevens Memorial Lecture. At 5 p.m., PLU will hold a free public screening of The Square in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a free public lecture by Noujaim at 7:30 p.m.

5. DJ SlimRock spins soul, funk and more beginning at 9 p.m. inside The Brotherhood Lounge.

February 18, 2015 at 10:28am

Nerd Alert issued for the Academy Awards and "Force Majeure"

Michael Keaton pours all of Batman's simmering disquietude into a different form: that of Riggan Thomson, a has-been actor who hopes to reclaim his reputation by staging an ambitious Broadway show.

The Academy Awards

In a refreshing change of pace from Oscars past, the Academy Awards, this year, are full of nominations for off-kilter films, instead of the usual Oscar-bait pablum. There are no films that aim to create a post-racial society (looking at you, Crash) or dazzle gullible audiences with good special effects (seriously, go back and watch Avatar). Instead, the two movies that have inspired the most feverish Oscar talk are some of the most ambitious films of the past decade: Boyhood and Birdman.

While it's more or less a foregone conclusion that the awe-inspiring, 12-year-long experiment that is Boyhood will win Best Picture, Birdman is such an audacious achievement that I doubt anyone would begrudge it winning the top prize. Still, both films have their lovers and haters, which might make an upset possible. Selma is a more than deserving film to get Best Picture, but it's been overshadowed - both by flashy performances and political debates - by the three other biopics in the nominations: American Sniper, The Imitation Game and The Theory of Everything.

The most heartening story of the 87th Annual Academy Awards has to come down to Michael Keaton's performance in Birdman and J.K. Simmons' in Whiplash getting nods from the academy. Both of these veteran actors have spent years being unacknowledged resources in Hollywood, bringing amazing to performances to movies time and time again. If there's a god in this world, both will take home their respective prizes. This being the Oscars, though, we can never count on those old fogies to do the right thing.

As usual, The Grand Cinema will be hosting Tacoma's premiere Oscar party at the Theatre on the Square, Olympia Film Society's bash is at the Capitol Theater and the Gig Harbor Film Festival folks will be at The Hub in Gig Harbor. Get your Oscar pools ready.

Force Majeure

Speaking of things getting snubbed at the Oscars, one of the biggest surprises at the announcement of the nominees was the conspicuous absence of Force Majeure, which was considered a shoo-in for a nod for Best Foreign Language Film. The Swedish dark comedy explores the aftermath of a father abandoning his wife and children when an avalanche strikes. After everyone survives unscathed, Force Majeure shows the consequences of cowardice.

The filmmakers filmed themselves watching the television at the moment that they found out they weren't going to be nominated, in a video that has now gone viral. The director, Ruben Ostlund, positively loses his shit and takes off his clothes, weeping. It's not clear whether or not this is real (and, seeing as how it mimics a scene from the film, I'm guessing not), but it's a potent demonstration of how much this can mean to some of these artists.

Force Majeure plays Tuesday, Feb. 24 at The Grand Cinema.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Tacoma,

February 18, 2015 at 6:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Steve Stefanowicz, Holy Motors, jazz records, Unified Culture ...

Steve Stefanowicz hosts an open mic at the Harmon Tap Room tonight.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17 2015 >>>

1. In the days before adulthood consumed Steve Stefanowicz, the "Human Jukebox" would perform seven days a week. Blind at birth, proficient on the guitar at 15, performing solo and in his band Blind Ambition, Stefanowicz could be seen nightly through the '80s and '90s, performing any of the 1,000 songs he memorized. When not in a club, he was on stage with Lou Rawls, Sam Andrews' Holding Company, Blue Spark, Junkyard Jane, The Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra, jazz guitarist Michael Powers, Savoy Brown, Kansas and Elvin Bishop. To this day, the most amazing version of "Sympathy for the Devil" we have ever seen was when Stefanowicz perform it at an open jam inside Cole's in Ruston. We have our fingers crossed for another version tonight when the blues/rock singer and guitarist hosts an open mic at the Harmon Tap Room beginning at 6 p.m.

2. Metro Parks Tacoma planners invite citizens to discuss the Point Defiance Park Master Plan at 6 p.m. in the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Education Building. This will be a chance for people to learn more about the new Pacific Rim aquarium and other capital projects and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

3. Holy North American Motor Highway (also known as Holy Motors, if you're into the whole brevity thing) make experimental chamber rock that comes steeped in an intangible feeling of dread. Their only release, Live at Paper Street, contains two epic-length songs recorded in a kitchen in Olympia. In the liner notes, the refrigerator's ever-present hum gets a credit. Catch the band with Sawtooth and the Loud Potions at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

4. Remember that SNL sketch with Will Ferrel as a gross homeless man posing for a sketch class? Insert "unsuspecting model" for "gross homeless man," toss in some craft cocktails and a jazz soundtrack and you have your night at Obsidian. Heather Yall and Joe Windslow will be spinning Jon Hassell albums, a little Bitches Brew and more beginning at 9 p.m., perfect music for you to work on your sketch art. Just pick an Obsidian customer and go to work. It'll just be our little secret.

5. Unified Culture - five Island boys, rooted from the Hawaiian Islands - perform a unique combination of roots reggae and dancehall, with an emphasis on wicked intros, mixes, heavy bass lines and catchy saxophone licks. Catch them as part of Jazzbones' One Love Wednesday music series at 9 p.m.

February 17, 2015 at 7:15am

5 Things To Today: Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Jammin' with Jerry, chili contest, The Fun Police ...

Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra will provide the soundtrack for the St. Practice Day party at Doyle's tonight.

TUESDAY, FEB. 17 2015 >>>

1. We've said it many times: Practice makes perfect. Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District lives by this adage. Every 17th of the month, the watering hole hosts St. Practice Day, a trial run at its annual, massive St. Patrick's Day party. It's a warm-up, if you will. Our page-a-day Lucky Charms Quotes desk calendar tells us there's one more month until St. Patrick's Day, which means this month's Practice Day includes the 10 Jameson drinking finalists drawing for plane tickets to Dublin, Ireland. Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra will keep the party rooted in a gator-bait bayou beginning at 8 p.m.

2. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), an 18-year-old Polish orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to take her vows to become a nun when her Mother Superior tells her to visit her only living relative, her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza). The chain-smoking, world-weary Communist Party insider shocks her niece by informing her that her real name is Ida, and that her parents were Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. Together they travel into the Polish countryside to dig up - literally and figuratively - the truth of what happened to Ida's parents, exploring the legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of living under communism along the way. See it unfold before your eyes when Ida screens at 6 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love. 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 Jerry 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 hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

4. After a brief respite from holidays that are improved by the consumption of mass quantities of alcohol, we have arrived at another doozy: Fat Tuesday, and the kickoff of Mardi Gras. It is always my suggestion to avoid the crowds during amateur nights like St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve, but if you insist on subjecting yourself to hordes of unruly revelers, you can do worse than catching a Fun Police show while you're at it. One of Tacoma's quintessential bar bands, The Fun Police always put on a hell of a show, with their dizzy folk-punk that incorporates elements of Americana and ska. Boasting a million members that will cram onto the Half Pint Pizza Pub's tiny stage at 7:30 p.m., the Fun Police promise a glorious mess of a show, with the Chrono Bats in tow.

5. Fans of chili: Raise your spoons and rejoice! The best chili cooks in town will dish out samples while vying for the coveted Northern Pacific Coffee Company Special Award. A panel of judges will crown the Judge's Choice award winner. Tastings will be available beginning at 8 p.m. Expect discounted beers.

February 16, 2015 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: LaVon Hardison, Kids 'N' Critters, "Underwhelmed," Maia Santell ...

LaVon Hardison and band perform at Rhythm and Rye tonight.

MONDAY, FEB. 16 2015 >>>

1. LaVon Hardison has never been any one thing. Although she's identified herself as a jazz singer, the classically trained vocalist has a broad range of sources, including gospel and blues. What comes through is a voice and this combination of something very hopeful and effervescent and sparkling and also some kind of melancholy. Hardison creates music that makes you sit up and take notice - a modern jazz singer who is redefining the genre. You could make a checklist of things that jazz vocalists today do, and she does a lot if not all of them. Pianist Dr. David Deacon, bassist Osama Affifi and drummer Jeff Busch - extremely talented musicians - will join Hardison at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye.

2. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park hosts its annual Kids ‘N' Critters weekend at the wildlife park from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll see bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose and deer roaming the 435-acre park. But, keep an eye out for those evil squirrels during your 30-minute tram rides. Bonus: Up to four children 12 and younger will be admitted free to Northwest Trek with each paying adult over the long Presidents Weekend. Expect story times, special workshops, moose crafts ... and squirrels.

3. Underwhelmed comes to us from Dick Rossetti (formerly of 107.7 The End and currently the frontman of the Jilly Rizzo) and Isaac Olsen. Olsen should be known to fans of local music and film as the director behind Quiet Shoes, Ich Hunger, and the Girl Trouble documentary, Strictly Sacred. The touch of Olsen can be felt in the hyper-kinetic editing of the show, which mirrors the energy shown in his movies. Assaultive radio stings come and go, framing a show that steers violently from tongue-in-cheek commentary to comedy sketches to readings of prison letters and - their favorite invention - a 10-song montage in five minutes. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Underwhelmed in the Music and Culture section., then catch the show from 6-7 p.m. at nwczradio.com.

4. Jazz and blues band Maia Santell & House Blend will perform at 8 p.m. inside The Swiss.

5. Rockaraoke at Jazzbones will either be your novel opportunity to act as frontman, or be completely intimidating. Perpetually packed with people, Rockaraoke boasts a unique twist for karaoke in Tacoma: instead of a backing track, you get a three-piece band playing behind you. Check it out at 9 p.m.

February 14, 2015 at 9:30am

5 Things To Do Today: TUSH! Burlesque, Kids ‘N' Critters, Harlem Globetrotters, Neil Andersson Trio ...

From left: Ginger Smack, Edyn Beaver, Aurora Darling, Nani Poonani, Miss Hattie Hotpants, Wednesday du Monde, Bettie Beelzebub and Princess Lucky Buttons. Photo by Ashley McKenzie, courtesy TUSH! Burlesque

SATURDAY, FEB. 14 2015 >>>

1. When it comes to love, anything is possible. Love makes the world, and your heart, spin. Love makes the soul sing. When the subject is love, let nothing be in moderation. TUSH! Burlesque will present multifaceted emotions of passion, temptation and lust at 9 p.m. in the Capitol Theater. It's a valentine to the sights, sounds and sexiness of Olympia, featuring our readers' 2014 pick for Oly's best band, Full Moon Radio. Read Christian Carvajal's Q&A with the women of TUSH! Burlesque in the Music & Culture section.

2. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park hosts its annual Kids ‘N' Critters weekend at the wildlife park from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll see bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose and deer roaming the 435-acre park. But, keep an eye out for those evil squirrels during your 30-minute tram rides. Bonus: Up to four children 12 and younger will be admitted free to Northwest Trek with each paying adult over the long Presidents Weekend. Expect story times, special workshops, moose crafts ... and squirrels.

3. The Harlem Globetrotters have come along way from traveling to their very first games in founder-coach Abe Saperstein's Model "T" Ford. Back in 1926, their astounding antics, athleticism, wizardry and hijinks won the world over from the start. Hmm, take the children to this: It's simply not acceptable for them to go around thinking the Nike ballers invented these amazing feats of dribbling. Catch the Trotters at 2 and 7 p.m. in the ShoWare Center in Kent. This is history, baby!

4. The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Wild Rabbit and Renegade Stringband will bring their stringband mayhem to Rhythm & Rye at 9 p.m. - part of a larger tour, informally dubbed "The Winter Tour of Stringband Mayhem," which has the three bands visiting eight Northwest cities. There is a strong roots music scene in the Northwest that spans the whole spectrum from traditionalists to those using traditional elements in more modern pop or rock influences. The Blackberry Bushes (Seattle), Wild Rabbit (Bellingham) and Renegade Stringband (Portland) span that spectrum. The Blackberry Bushes perform mostly original material, but they'll keep a thread of bluegrass and old-time going through their show. Wild Rabbit is a little more pop. Renegade is a little more traditional.

5. Local gypsy guitar legend Neil Andersson of Pearl Django is joined by well known next generation heavyweights Josh Hegg and Cameron Arneson for an enchanted evening of Hot Club Jazz, Django style at 9:30 p.m. in Doyle's Public House.

February 13, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Skrill Meadow, artist Glory Cancro, Air Supply, "My Bloody Valentine" ...

Skrill Meadow performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. photo courtesy of skrillmeadow.bandcamp.com

FRIDAY, FEB. 13 2015 >>>

1. We were surprised and delighted to hear the latest from Skrill Meadow, the one-man band of Markly Morrison. Private Memories is an album of straight-up slow jams, albeit jams coming directly from one shitty tape machine to your ear. Despite his limitations, Morrison embodies the consummate frontman, reeking of sex and brimming with confidence, even if it may be buried beneath layers of tape hiss. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skrill Meadow in the music and Culture section, then catch him with Jupiter Sprites and Grey Waves at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Join Metro Parks Tacoma for their annual pre-V Day Wine and Chocolate event at the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at 5:30 p.m. A $30 ticket includes an opportunity to sip on wine and champagne paired with chocolate covered strawberries and truffles while you mingle among glorious floral decorations. Live music will also be onsite. Must be 21 and over to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the conservatory or the Metro Parks main office. For more details, call 253.591.5330.

3. Inspired by her love of Da Vinci's anatomical studies - visceral, instinctive, deep rooted - a necessary part of our human makeup, artist Glory Cancro presents "Music, Tea & Art" from 7-10 p.m. at Mad Hat Tea Company. "I wanted to do something for Valentine's Day and the body parts seemed to fit," says Mad Hat co-owner Maureen McHugh. Singer/songwriter Riley Egge and friends will provide the soundtrack for the art show.

4. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was a 1983 fixture on pizzeria jukeboxes across the country. That ballad, warbled by Russell Hitchcock of Australian soft-rock stalwarts Air Supply, was written by songwriting powerhouse Jim Steinman and actually features two members of the E Street Band. It remained at #2 for three weeks, boxed out of the top spot by another Steinman opus, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." It was a freaking epic time on the radio. And if none of this means anything to you, then you, my friend, are not in your mid-40s. But for some of us, the sound of Air Supply is the sound of first love. So here we are, Air Supply, the ones that you love, just when we thought we were over you, 8:30 p.m., Emerald Queen Casino.

5. Twenty years after a Valentine's Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and a blood soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine's Day romance is as good as dead ... AND SO ARE THEY! My Bloody Valentine will be Reverend-Joe Duncan's final Friday Night Frights film at the Blue Mouse Theatre. Expect prizes, goodies and screams, beginning at 10 p.m.

February 12, 2015 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: Stringband Mayhem, bicycling film, Oly Old Time Festival, "The Sunset Limited" ...

The Blackberry Bushes Stringband perform at The Swiss restaurant and Pub tonight.

THURSDAY, FEB. 12 2015 >>>

1. The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Wild Rabbit and Renegade Stringband will bring their stringband mayhem to The Swiss at 9 p.m. - part of a larger tour, informally dubbed "The Winter Tour of Stringband Mayhem," which has the three bands visiting eight Northwest cities. There is a strong roots music scene in the Northwest that spans the whole spectrum from traditionalists to those using traditional elements in more modern pop or rock influences. The Blackberry Bushes (Seattle), Wild Rabbit (Bellingham) and Renegade Stringband (Portland) span that spectrum. The Blackberry Bushes perform mostly original material, but they'll keep a thread of bluegrass and old-time going through their show. Wild Rabbit is a little more pop. Renegade is a little more traditional.

2. Explore the social change, events and people that can lead to a bike-friendly city through an interactive free screening of AfterMass: Bicycling in a Post-Critical Mass Portland at 6:30 p.m. in The Grand Cinema. The movie will be followed by a community discussion on how changes can happen in Tacoma. Free tickets are available at The Grand on a first-come, first-served basis.

3. The seventh annual Oly Old Time Festival kicks off tonight with a square dance featuring the Grizzle Grazzle Tune Snugglers and Evie Ladin calling from 7-9 p.m. at The Olympia Ballroom. What will follow will be several of the country's best purveyors of traditional Appalachian and old time American music Friday through Sunday. For the full schedule, visit olyoldtime.weebly.com.

4. Working Class Theater NW presents its second full-length production, Cormac McCarthy's The Sunset Limited, exploring religion through the dynamic lens of American race relations, at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Youth Theater space, 924 Broadway. Directed by Tim Samland and starring local actors Aaron Bredlau (White) and Jack House (Black), The Sunset Limited opening scene begins immediately after Black rescues White from jumping in front of a train. From that chance meeting, the two men explore the depths of faith and conviction that have led them down such opposite paths.

5. Here's a worth hip-hop show. Rashan Amad of Oakland's The Crown City Rockers and Sleep of Oldominion will perform at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur's back music room.

February 11, 2015 at 7:18am

5 Things To Do Today: The Life of Elliott Smith, Kegs For Keepers, Kareem Kandi, One Love Wednesday ...

Elliott Smith as seen on the cover of "Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith," which will be discussed tonight in Olympia.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 10 2015 >>>

1. Before Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein branded Portland, Oregon, Elliott Smith did the same - except his Portland was about self-loathing. He told stories about addicts getting off the bus at Southeast Powell Boulevard and 6th Avenue to cop, and chronicled the absurd ritual of the Rose Parade. After battling depression, drugs and alcohol for years, Smith committed suicide Oct. 21, 2003. He was 34. William Todd Schultz, a professor of psychology, chronicled Smith's childhood and adolescence in the book, Torment Saint: The Life of Elliott Smith, offering critical insight into the musician as both an individual and an artist, as well as into the myriad influences that shaped his music and lyrical content. Schultz will drop by the Olympia Timberland Library at 7:30 p.m. to offer a presentation on the life and music of Smith - specifically rare audio recordings and early versions of lyrics for the potent Smith song, "King's Crossing." Q & A will follow.

2. The ParkWay Tavern will host Drinking for Conservation's Kegs For Keepers night. Fifty cents of every beer, cider and wine sold between 6 and 10 p.m. will help fund the Point Defiance Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers.

3. Over the past week the Weekly Volcano has published 53 stories on the changes going down at Narrows Brewing Company. Head brewer Joe Walts is headed back home to Madison Wisconsin and his old job as quality control manager at Ale Asylum Brewery. Mike Davis will tie on the Narrows' head brewer apron next week. The folks at Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse bid Walts a fond farewell shining a light on Narrows Brewing beers, beginning at 6 p.m. Drop by and thank Walts for the tasty beers, and maybe even win a raffle prize.

4. Saxophonist Kareem Kandi has hosted an open jazz session for years, a backyard patio for his music school friends, fellow musicians and newbies to jam out standards - fresh, fiery and exciting. The jam now resides every second Wednesday at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

5. Happy (late) birthday, Bob Marley! Although Tacoma's reigning dancehall king, DJ Qualifi, keeps it bangin' at Champions every Saturday night, there is another notable spot hosting a weekly, free Wednesday reggae/dancehall joint. One Love Wednesday at Jazzbones getting irie on Sixth Avenue with rotating bands, a DJ between sets and finishing the night off for the party people. At 9 p.m., The Sindicate takes the stage.

February 10, 2015 at 7:11am

5 Things To Do Today: Oscar nominated documentary shorts, CRAVE: An Early Glimpse of Spring, Classical Tuesdays ...

Gabriel Serra Arguello's "The Reaper (La Parka)" is artfully shot, but frequently stomach churning images make it a difficult (but at times beautiful) watch.

TUESDAY, FEB. 10 2015 >>>

1. Oscar nominees for Documentary Shorts will screen at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. A film of startling intimacy, the elegiac Joanna follows a mother diagnosed with terminal cancer, and focuses mostly on her conversations with her precocious 5-year-old son. The sometimes harrowing Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 spotlights the critical work being done by the counselors at the Veterans Crisis Line in Canandaigua, New York, as they attempt to provide support to veterans contemplating suicide. In the heartrendingly empathetic Our Curse, director Tomasz Sliwinski documents his and his wife's struggles caring for their infant son, who has a rare, and potentially fatal, breathing disorder. Christian Jenson's White Earth chronicles life through the eyes of three children whose fathers' work in the oil fields of North Dakota. And Gabriel Serra Arguello's The Reaper (La Parka) follows a worker at a Mexican slaughterhouse.

2. The W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory says the flowers are blooming; the birds are chirping; more and more frequently the sun peeks through the glass dome. So, the Conservatory will open "CRAVE: An Early Glimpse of Spring" at 10 a.m. with featured flowers azaleas, cyclamen, tulips, clivia, cymbidium orchids, assorted species of winter blooming orchids, vireyas (sub-tropical rhododendrons) and oxalis (purple shamrocks).

3. Commencement Bay Haiku will meet at 6 p.m. in King's Books to read haiku or one page of haibun (prose with haiku), as well as discuss various aspects of haiku, haibun, or haiga (a painting, sketch or photo with haiku). It's not easy to convert the innards of your soul into scrawled words on paper and then wax rhapsodic as judging eyes stare at you. You have our permission to use this haiku at King's: "At the tractor pull / We shared super nachos, Coors / Belched each others' names."

4. In appreciation of these 10 years that the Slavonian-American Benevolent Society has opened their lovely hall for the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma concerts, the 6 p.m. concert will featuring music of the Croatian and the Balkan regions. Clare Petrich, owner of Petrich Marine Dock in Tacoma, will lead the night off with a presentation "From Old Town, Dalmatia to Old Town, Tacoma ... And Back Again: An Ancestral Journey to Croatia." At 7 p.m., the female a cappella group Dunava will be followed by Dave & the Dalmatians band.

5. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love. 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 Jerry 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 hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

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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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