Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

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February 1, 2015 at 9:56am

5 Things To Do Today: Super Bowl eats and drinks, Pearl Django, Tapmaster, "Tacomapocalype 4" ...

Go Hawks!

SUNDAY, FEB. 1 2015 >>>

1. We could have loaded today's 5 Things To Do with double entendres based on the concept of Super Bowl snacks and deflated balls. Instead, click here for several Super Bowl parties in the South Sound.

2. Pearl Django performs at 11 a.m. in the Museum of Glass. Pulling inspiration from the legendary jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt, Pearl Django has a signature Hot Club style marked by the band's expert string work, steady pulse of rhythm guitar and unmistakable swing that reaches out to audiences of all musical sensibilities.

3. These days, South Sound pubs offer more activities than a cruise ship. Tides Tavern wants to make it crystal clear its 12th Annual Tapmaster program isn't about chugging yards of beer then taking a flying leap off the dock into the harbor. Instead, the popular watering hole in Gig Harbor wants you to enjoy its 16 taps through the month of February. Get to know each beer. Ask the beers questions. Ask the bartenders questions. If by happenstance you drink all 16 beers in the 28 days, the Tides will give you a nifty T-shirt and add your name to the wall of fame.

4. We all know what it feels like to be stuck in a job we hate, where managers lead by harassment and double down on strategies that didn't work the first hundred times. Imagine you're trapped in a low-rent Chicago sales office with five alpha males, each struggling to sell Florida swampland before apathetic corporate overlords drop the axe. If you're looking to feel better about your working life, David Mamet's 1983 drama Glengarry Glen Ross is a great place to start. The Lakewood Playhouse stages the play at noon due to some big game on the tube. Read Christian Carvajal's full review of Glengarry Glen Ross in the Music & Culture section.

5. Tacoma's humorous zombie art show returns but at a new location - Destiny City Comics. "Tacomapocalype 4: Back to the Future" focuses on "Zombies Vs. 80's Time Travel Movies." Check out the local zombie art from noon to 6 p.m.

LINK: Sunday, Feb. 1 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 31, 2015 at 8:14am

5 Things To Do Today: "Volcanoes of Washington," The Soul Revue, Rogues Gallery, Resident Kings ...

Volcanoes have been impacting, even physically redesigning, the Puget Sound region for millennia. Photo credit: Christian Carvajal

SATURDAY, JAN. 31 2015 >>>

1. On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m., where were you? Memories of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption informs our knowledge of clear and present danger in the shadows of our dragons next door. That fact is made unnervingly clear by a new exhibit in Tacoma's Washington State History Museum opening at 10 a.m. today. Kudos to whoever had the dramatic idea of funneling audience members past a mockup of a 1980 living room, complete with vintage color TV. The television is running an episode of KOMO 4 News from that spring afternoon. The broadcast transports middle-aged viewers back in time while acclimatizing younger museum visitors. From there it's on to a display of mind-boggling physical destruction, in which a tree has been warped into a claw and the pyroclastic impact of tons of blazing mud crumpled a metal truck door like an aluminum soda can. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington" in the Northwest section.

2. Eugene native and brewmaster Trevor Howard opened Hop Valley Brewing Friday, Feb. 13, 2009. Indeed, he and his father, Ron Howard, Jonas Kungys and Chuck Hare chose Friday the 13th. Good luck has only come their way, as Hop Valley has undergone incredible growth. Drop by the Pig Bar inside South Bay Dickerson's BBQ and get an early start on the brewery's six-year anniversary by sipping a healthy Hop Valley line-up, win prizes and get in on some tasty ribs from 6-9 p.m.

3. The Soul Revue at 6:30 p.m. in Jazzbones will encompass the breadth and variety of soul over the generations. Featuring the songs of everyone from Aretha Franklin and Etta James to Frank Ocean and Janelle Monae, the Soul Revue will be covering selected bits of evolution from the world of soul music and all its various permutations. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on the Soul Revue in the Music & Culture section.

4. If you can say one thing about Rogues Gallery (formerly Jipsea Party), it's that they're clearly devoted to the mad energy of their spectacle. Their gypsy punk is a familiar enough style, but they infuse it with a fervency and a momentum that raises them above some of their other drunken Eastern European devotees. Catch the band with Wages of Sin, the Bog Hoppers and Micah Subar at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

5. Jimmi Davies is a coppersmith, motor head, artist and friendly face around Olympia. But perhaps he is best known for his music - with Oly legends The Dirty Birds and his latest project, straight up rock and rollers Resident Kings. Davies and the new line-up for the Resident Kings play Olympia's Rhythm & Rye with C Average and Marching Suns at 9 p.m. Rock and roll is here to stay.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 31 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 30, 2015 at 7:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Y La Bamba, National Geographic, violinist Maria Sampen, Adonis Puentes ...

Y La Bamba performs at The New Frontier Lounge tonight. Photo credit: Alicia J. Rose

FRIDAY, JAN. 30 2015 >>>

1. It's not surprising to learn that Y La Bamba's records have been produced by the disparate likes of the Decemberists' Chris Funk and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. The ornate instrumentation calls to mind the revivalist classicism of the Decemberists, as well as the Latin rock of Los Lobos, but the presence of both producers at various points highlights the range and varied output of Y La Bamba. While they are more than comfortable being classical with their interpretations of folk and world music, they thrive in that middle ground, where nothing is too easy to describe, let alone predict. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Y La Bamba in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with People Under the Sun, Skinwalker and Black Wolf at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

2. Brian Skerry travels the world photographing marine life. His images are stunning; his stories mesmerizing; his job awesome. He's an acclaimed National Geographic photographer who captivates his audiences with the same enthusiasm and excitement with which he captures his subjects. Skerry's award winning underwater photography will demonstrate the mystery of our ocean's depths. His powerful presentations showcase award-winning imagery and thrilling wildlife encounters, inspire reverence for the marine realm, and offer hope for protecting the vitality of our world's oceans. See his work at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

3. Folk music used to be synonymous with hicks, hillbillies, rednecks and traveling hobos. But not anymore! These days folk music is a marriage of soothing folk riffs and classical strings! Hee-Haw Ma! Violinist Maria Sampen is giving this genre a good name in our books in her upcoming recital Inspired by the Folk: The Romance Between the Violin and the Fiddle. The performance will include a world premiere, a piece evoking the Jewish fiddle tradition, and works that combine Western classical music with folk traditions from America and Romania. Roger Briggs, composer, conductor, artistic director of Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and faculty member at Western Washington University, will be in the Schneebeck Concert Barn for a world premiere of his composition Tune My Heart. Let yourself be cradled by the calming tunes of folk and traditional music at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Barn.

4. If you have a taste for Cuba's sexy island groove, get ready to shine up your dancing shoes, because a new age of Cuban-American détente is upon us. Soñeros Adonis Puentes and fraternal twin Alexis were already well known at home before their arrival in Canada 17 years ago. Since then, both have been nominated separately for Latin Grammys. Among other triumphs, Adonis played South by Southwest in Austin and, with Ruben Blades, at Lincoln Center. He describes his all-acoustic, dance-friendly vibe as "joyous hedonism." That sounds pretty damn buena to us, asere. Catch Adonis Puentes at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

5. From the cacophonous pounding of the drums that open Golden Gardens' Bellflower EP, you'd be excused for thinking that a Spector-esque wall of '60s sound was coming your way. As it is, that sound almost immediately gives way to a gothic, Nick Cave-esque haze. Churchly piano and '80s synths waft in, accompanied by the ghostly vocals of lead singer Aubrey Bramble. Golden Gardens make the type of music that you might hear on the Heathers soundtrack, or in the dorm of that beautiful, moody girl down the hall - you know the one. The band performs at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 29, 2015 at 7:10am

5 Things To Do Today: Willie Nelson, Audrey Marrs, Babe Lehrer Memorial, Cody Beebe & The Crooks ...

Willie Nelson performs at the Emerald Queen Casino tonight.

THURSDAY, JAN. 29 2015 >>>

1. Since his stage debut way back during World War II, Willie Nelson has laid claim to being one of our greatest singer-songwriters. He's beloved across genres and by people of all political stripes. Simply put, he's an icon, a living legend, and deservedly so. What you may not know about him is he recorded his first song, "No Place for Me," in Vancouver, Washington, where he worked as a disc jockey for KVAN. This was only a few years before he wrote "Crazy," arguably one of our greatest country songs. It's been said, in fact, that Patsy Cline's cover of "Crazy" is the biggest jukebox hit of all time, but that was no beginner's luck. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on Willie Nelson in the Music & Culture section, then catch Nelson's 8 p.m. show at the Emerald Queen Casino.

2. A public memorial service honoring the life of Babe Lehrer - Tacoma businesswoman, philanthropist and arts advocate - will be held at 4 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. Honor Babe's energy, spirit and tireless involvement to her community.

3. Seattle's Cody Beebe & The Crooks make rock music that is inspired by the frontier attitude of the American Heartland. When you hear their music, you hear the West's Americana and blues roots. However, rather than eclectic, the music comes off with a directness and unpretentious nature characteristic of their hometown's rock and roll. Having recently performed at The Gorge's Watershed Music Festival and having shared stages with acts as diverse and accomplished as Buddy Guy, Stevie Nicks, Austin Jenckes, and Allen Stone, CBC rolls into Jazzbones for a 6:30 p.m. show with Ayron Jones & The Way, Tango Alpha Tango and Jared James Nichols.

4. Audrey Marrs played a significant role in Olympia's music scene in the '90s rocking in bands Mocket and Bratmobile, before graduating from The Evergreen State College in 1999. She became a filmmaker, and with Charles Ferguson, documented the Iraq War and decisions made by the Bush Administration in No End In Sight. The duo won a fair share of awards. Marrs and Ferguson teamed up again, this time for the 2010 film Inside Job, an expose of the 2008 global financial meltdown. The duo won the 2011 Best Documentary Film Oscar. Marrs returns to Evergreen as part of the Willi Unsoeld Seminar Series and will give a free, public presentation - and show a 3-minute clip of her current film on climate change - at 7 p.m. in the Evergreen Longhouse.

5. Barleywine Revue is just awesome. The band writes and performs contemporary, relevant bluegrass and Americana music while paying homage to the traditions that have come in generations before ... think Bill Monroe meets Bill Withers. Oh man, that's fresh! Catch the band at 8 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant & Pub.

LINK: Thursday, Jan. 29 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 28, 2015 at 8:08am

5 Things To Do Today: The Toasters, "BARE," Kittredge Gallery shows, Singer/Song Writer Showcase ...

The Toasters perform at the Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JAN. 28 2015 >>>

1. For those outside the ska scene, it can be a little bit of a struggle to keep the various "waves" in check. Are we up to 20 waves, by now? In any case, there's no denying the influence that The Toasters had on the ska scene through their developing of third wave ska, which added punk elements into the well-defined skiffle and brass of the ska sound. Now more than 30 years into their career, The Toasters stand tall as godfathers of what would come to dominate the skanking dance floors of the '90s. Their performance at 8 p.m. in the Deadbeat Olympia record store is one that cannot be missed. The Fun Police and Skablin will also perform.

2. Two new exhibitions have open at Kittredge Gallery on the campus of the University of Puget Sound that center on drawing, the creation of imagined or ideal spaces, and the act of perception. The Large Gallery features an exhibition of graphite drawings by Michael Schall selected from several different bodies of work. Formerly based in Seattle, and now living and working in Brooklyn, Schall uses his tightly controlled, graphite drawing style to analyze and comment on the intersection of the natural and man-made. The exhibition in the Small Gallery, Parlor Games: Parallax, is a new participatory installation by Timea Tihanyi exploring the nature of the creative process by drawing together ideas from art, science, and philosophy. Check out both exhibits from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The "BARE: A Boudoir Exhibition" at B2 Fine Art Gallery features sketches and drawings by Northwest Mystics artist Guy Anderson, a photography collection by Paul Dahlquist combined with a variety of contemporary works by artists Alex Clayton, Marsha Glaziere, Marianne Hanson, Nina Mikhailenko, Ron Schmitt and Ric Hall from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

4. Portland artist James Allen finds inspiration in the ephemera of the common objects we encounter everyday altering objects such as books, magazines, photos, and postcards to create new experiences through existing media. He earned a BFA in 2000 from the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and was featured in the book, Art Made from Books: Altered, Sculpted, Carved, Transformed. Listen to explain his "Book Excavations" process at 6:30 p.m. in the Collins Memorial Library at the University of Puget Sound.

5. Narrows Brewing Co. has a new website design. Let's celebrate by attending Luke Stanton's "Singer/Song Writer Showcase" from 6-8:30 p.m. inside the brewery's taproom. Beautiful view, beautiful music and beautiful beers.

LINK: Wednesday, Jan. 28 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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

January 27, 2015 at 7:48am

5 Things To Do Today: "She's Beautiful When She's Angry," Marissa Meyer release, beer takeovers, Rick Steves ...

"She's Beautiful When She's Angry" offers a story of 1960s and 1970s feminism. Photo courtesy of IFC

TUESDAY, JAN. 27 2015 >>>

1. She's Beautiful When She's Angry tells the story of the brilliant, often outrageous women who founded the feminist movement from 1966 to 1971. They said, "the personal is political" and made a revolution: in the bedroom, in the workplace, in all spheres of life. Called "threatening" by the FBI, yet ignored in many histories, these women changed the world. Since the '60s, when a generation of activists and critics dared to argue that women should be allowed to make decisions and hold jobs of note and be paid worth a damn and not get raped, feminism has fundamentally changed most aspects of our lives today. The Grand Cinema will screen Mary Dore's documentary as part of its Tuesday Film Series at 1:45 and 6:30 p.m.

2. Bates Technical College's Culinary Arts crew threw their hat into the ring during November's 2014 World Food Championships in Las Vegas and came out on top with their Snooty Chef Burger. This behemoth earned them fourth out of 50 of those competing, advancing them to the final round where they placed in the top 10. From 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the citizens of the South Sound may dig into this championship burger at Bates Technical College's café for a cool $9.95 (price includes tax and fries).

3. Join King's Books as they celebrate the release of Fairest, the latest inThe Lunar Chronicles, by Tacoma's own Marissa Meyer. Fairest is a prequel to the other books in the series and tells the backstory of the dreaded Queen Levana. At the event you can hear Marissa read an excerpt, ask her questions, participate in fun activities, and, of course, buy books. Expect a large crowd. At 4 p.m., book signing tickets will be available and at 5 the doors will open. 

4. Some 20 years ago, Manny Chao was the first employee at Mac and Jack's Brewery. With Chao's help, Mac and Jack's amber ale became the third best selling craft brew in the state. Five years later, Chao left Mac and Jack's and by 2002, he and his housemate, Roger Bialous, homebrewed their first beer - Manny's Pale Ale. In 2003, Chao was the number one employee at his Georgetown Brewing Company located in Seattle's Georgetown district. In 2013, Chao and Bialous produced 52,300 barrels of beer - the second highest in the state behind Red Hook. Meet Chao at the Georgetown Brewing Brewer's Night from 5-7 p.m. at Pint Defiance, drink his Manny's Pale, Lovely Rieda Imperial IPA, Lucille IPA and Barrel-aged Chopper's Red Ale, learn the stories behind the beer names and maybe win a raffle prize. Over at Puget Sound Pizza, Hop Valley Brewing will unleash their Operation Vacation Extra Pale Ale and IPAs from 6-9 p.m.

4. The University of Puget Sound welcomes travel guru Rick Steves to its Schneebeck Concert Hall for a "Israelis and Palenstinians Today" chat at 7 p.m. Steves - book author, travel expert, pot smoker, global wanderer, TV host - has spent four months each year overseas for the last 30 years — including Israel and Palestine. According to pre-event hype, "Steves will share his impressions of the beauty of the Holy Land and explore legacies of the region's long history of conflicts, including the disputed settlements in the West Bank, the security wall built by the Israelis, and the long-lingering Palestinian refugee camps."

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 26, 2015 at 10:56am

Nerd Alert! Cirque du Soleil, "IMAX Game of Thrones," Patton Oswalt, "Star Wars" costumes ...

"Kurios": A collection of otherworldly characters step into a makeshift mechanical world. Photo credit: © Martin Girard shootstudio.ca

Now with reinflated balls, 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, JAN. 29

The last time Cirque du Soleil came through Seattle, I described their Tempest-inspired tent show Amaluna as "unforgettable showmanship ... like watching superheroes before your very eyes." I also said Amaluna was "more than a circus. It's a life event, superhuman in scale and achievement." I stand by every word. Two years later, I remember each moment of that show perfectly. So yes, when Cirque announced last year it was sending a new show to Marymoor Park, you can bet your rubber clown nose I pounced on the opportunity to review it. This new show, Kurios, is set in a steampunk world of whimsical illusions and magical machines. I'm beyond stoked. My family and I are seeing it Saturday, so expect a full and, I have every reason to believe, enraptured review next week.

KURIOS: CABINET OF CURIOSITIES, 8 p.m. through March 22, Marymoor Park, 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE, Redmond, $35-$156, 877.924.7783

Thursday marks your first chance to catch HBO's Game of Thrones in IMAX, as the final two episodes of season 4 are projected in giganto-vision along with a trailer for season 5. (It runs through Feb. 5.) In "The Watchers on the Wall," the Night Watch has to beat back the Wildings and defend Castle Black in one of TV's most epic battle scenes of all time. In season finale "The Children," Tyrion Lannister pays some serious debts. I don't have HBO, so I have yet to see either episode. Let me guess: gratuitous nudity? Swirly crotch demons? Hodor sings?

FRIDAY, JAN. 30

For my money, there's simply no funnier standup comedian working right now than Patton Oswalt. As evidence, I submit to you his extended riff on the copiously-portioned offerings at Black Angus Steakhouse, his characterization of KFC's latest entrée as "a failure pile in a sadness bowl," and his bittersweet desire to go back in time and murder George Lucas. His description of a news story in which a senior citizen bore a baby made me laugh so hard it probably contributed to my recent hernia. I slumped a few weeks ago when he was too busy to honor his ritual of live-tweeting Downton Abbey, and for the love of sweet Abigail Mae, what does that say about my life? He has an uncanny knack for wangling his way onto shows he enjoys, so don't be surprised if he moves on from Mr. Show with Bob and David, Reno 911!, Reaper, Community, Caprica, Justified, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and one truly epic pop-culture soliloquy on Parks & Rec to hang out with Lord and Lady Grantham. I bought my tickets back in October, and man, I hope you did, too, 'cause this baby's sold to the rafters. How the hell does he find time to tour? Are there really Patton Oswalt clones like on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.?

PATTON OSWALT, 8 p.m., Pantages Theater, 901 Broadway, Tacoma, (sold out), 253.591.5894

SATURDAY, JAN. 31

After a lavish debut party Fright night, the EMP's Science Fiction Museum in Seattle opens its Star Wars and the Power of Costume exhibit (running through Oct. 4) to us Padawan learners. Exhibits include Vader's helmeted breath mask, Threepio's golden carapace, and yes, Princess Leia's bronze bikini. I encourage you to view these splendid costumes in Machete Order.

SUNDAY, FEB. 1

Apparently there's some sort of game on Sunday. Did you hear about this? Alternatively, you could watch Puppy Bowl XI on Animal Planet, Kitten Bowl II on Hallmark, Fish Bowl II on Nat Geo Wild, or Toddler Bowl on, of all things, The Learning Channel. I'll be busy watching the real thing, but ... y'know, if adult competitors actually were bowling with toddlers, I might be tempted to DVR that shizz. Speaking of DVRs, you do have yours set for the premiere of AMC's Breaking Bad spinoff Better Call Saul a week from Sunday, right? Just checking.

Anyway, between Kurios, Patton Oswalt, and what promises to be the Super Bowl of the decade against those double-crossing Patriots, this is shaping up to one of my favorite weekends ever. Call a historian, folks. This is one for the Holocron.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and Hodor.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Theater, Comedy, Tacoma,

January 26, 2015 at 8:01am

5 Things To Do Today: Dean Reichert, Creative Colloquy, baroque concert, Leanne Trevalyan ...

Dean Reichert performs at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub's Monday Blues Night.

MONDAY, JAN. 26 2015 >>>

1. Monday, that most put-upon of weekdays, has gotten a bad rap. Yeah, going back to the office stinks, but the first day of the week also happens to be the best one for letting loose. Think about it: You're still fresh from your weekend, and you haven't yet had your joie de vivre trounced by the working week. Dean Reichert knows it. A year ago the blues guitarist played a Monday night at The Swiss Restaurant and Pub. He returns, spreading his down-home rhythm and testifying punch of gospel-based R&B through the many rooms of the downtown Tacoma joint, beginning at 8 p.m. Experience his snarl of the blues, his mournful rumination of honky-tonk, his sultry jazz and his up-front sexuality of funk. The show is free and pretty damn cool, if you ask the Weekly Volcano (and really, by reading this, you are asking us).

2. There are those among us who can make their trip to a hair stylist the most riveting story you've heard all week. People whose stories never trail off into "it was really cool. ..." Envy them. They are not like you. Not only do they have great success at parties, they have a future with Creative Colloquy. See what all the storytelling fuss is about at 7 p.m. inside B Sharp Coffee House when scribes Chelsea Vitone, Alec Clayton, Melissa Thayer and Tacoma Poet Laureate Lucas Smiraldo share their latest work, followed by an open mic. If you can stand a 5-minute hairdo story, just imagine how riveted you'll be by something with an actual plot.

3. Transport yourself to Baroque times - when Handel and Bach were society's rock stars, and creating bold and riveting music that wowed the courtly crowds. Anna Marsh, Jeffrey Cohan and Jonathan Oddie will perform sonatas for baroque flute, bassoon and harpsichord by Johann Sebastian Bach, Handel, Hotteterre (from the court of Louis XIV), Quantz (from the court of Friedrick the Great), Platti and a solo bassoon sonata by Boismortier in an intimate and diverse program of baroque chamber music for winds on period instruments at 7 p.m. in Trinity Lutheran Church.

4. 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.

5. Formed in 2011 and nominated for 2012 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award for NW Alternative Jazz Group, the Sam Boshnack Quintet features all-original compositions by Boshnack. The quintet thrashes and bounds through tightly woven twists, tunnels and cliffs with the deftness and precision of a chamber ensemble and weight of a rock band. Catch them at 8 p.m. in Rhythm & Rye.

LINK: Monday, Jan. 26 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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

January 25, 2015 at 9:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Danny Glover, Hammerhead Ale, "Peter and the Wolf," Tacoma Creatives Showcase ...

Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Photo credit: Brian Bowen Smith

SUNDAY, JAN. 25 2015 >>>

1. Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers - African Heritage soldiers who served with unimpeachable distinction for a country that rarely appreciated their valor and sacrifice, presented by the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma. Glover starred in the 1997 film Buffalo Soldiers, chronicling the regiment's battles with Native Americans in 19th century New Mexico and the complicated racial tensions and realities that existed between the sides. Glover has been an actor for more than 25 years, earning numerous awards and accolades for roles in films such as Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple. He is also a renowned activist, currently serving as a UNICEF ambassador. Glover takes the Pantages Theater stage at 7:30 p.m.

2. Erivan and Helga Haub donated 295 Western American works of art from their private collection to the Tacoma Art Museum, along with endowment funds for the future care and educational opportunities related to the collection. The collection spans 200 years, from famed early artists/explorers to notable present day masters. Read Alec Clayton's full story on the Haub Family Collection wing at the Tacoma Art Museum in the Music & Culture Section, then see the exhibit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. In 1983, unemployed Mike McMenamin bought the former Fat Little Rooster tavern in Portland and renamed it the Barley Mill. Brian McMenamin soon joined in and today they own threescore pubs, taverns, clubs, hotels, dance halls and a village called Edgefield. The McMenamins have the golden touch - to convert desuetude into quirky, funky, artful joints to gather and drink. One of the early McMenamins beers, the Hammerhead Ale, celebrates its 29th birthday. It's a classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins top selling beer. The beer's signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. McMenamins Spar Café (114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) toasts the Hammerhead's old age by offering $3 pints of the 5.93 percent ABV ale all day.

4. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra opens its Mini Maestros family series at 2:30 p.m. with a performance of Peter and the Wolf at the Rialto Theater in downtown Tacoma. Conducted by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, the performance will feature the famous piece by Sergei Prokofiev that has introduced generations of children to symphonic music.

5. The Nearsighted Narwhal book store hosts its Tacoma Creatives Showcase featuring novelist/playwright Nick Stokes, children's book author/poet/illustrator Jennifer Chushcoff, artist Angela Jossy and modern day troubadours Band of Lovers. Hosted by Michael Haeflinger, the talent hit the stage at 6 p.m. 

LINK: Sunday, Jan. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 24, 2015 at 8:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Skates, nature walk, Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless, Handel's "Alcina," Solvents ...

Skates are a Seattle-based pop-punk band featuring former members of The Redwood Plan.

SATURDAY, JAN. 24 2015 >>>

1. Skates is a band formed almost on a whim, formed from the ashes of the recently defunct Redwood Plan. Frontwoman Lesli Wood made a move basically akin to Queen vowing to not use synthesizers on their album, or like Joe Jackson nonchalantly making the decision to not include any guitars on an album, except to the most extreme degree: Wood ended one band and formed another in one month, based on just one name alone. Where The Redwood Plan was a jittery fury of dance-punk, Skates finds its comfort zone with surfy pop-punk, almost in the same vein as fellow Seattleites Tacocat. Gone are the squirrelly synthesizers and panicked vibes, now replaced with Skates' analog surf-pop. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skates in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Hot Cops, Deep Creep and Wimps at 9 p.m. in the 4th Ave Tavern in downtown Olympia.

2. Explore Tacoma Nature Center during a seasonal naturalist-led family walk from 1-2 p.m. Discover the plants and animals that live in the park and how they adapt in the different seasons.

3. Members of the Olympia hip-hop community, and beyond, join together for the Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless benefit at 5 p.m. in the Olympia Ballroom. Originally founded in Vancouver, B.C., in 2002, HH4H moved to Olympia in 2007. This year performing are Afrok, The Staxx Brothers, AKA, Free Ya Mind, The Zulu Nation (206 and 25Z60), VintageDOPE, Formula Boogie and others, as well as the 6th Annual 25360 Awards presentation. 

4. George Handel's magical opera Alcina, based on the epic Italian poem Orlando Furioso, features back-to-back solos littered with cadenzas, lots of cross-dressing and heavy use of castratos - from the time when castration was the quickest route to success for aspiring opera singers. PLU Opera presents the three-act play that tells the story of a Circe-like sorceress who loses her powers when she falls in love with one of her captives, Ruggiero. Meanwhile, Ruggiero's fiancée, Bradamante, comes disguised as a man to rescue him, like Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio, and like Leonore she attracts the attention of another young woman, Alcina's sister Morgana. The play can be both ravishing and heart-rending, given the way both Alcina and Ruggiero are in a perpetual state of inner conflict. (Handel was clearly more touched by the complicated villainess than by the goody-good guys.) James L. Brown will conduct the chamber orchestra in Italian with English supertitles, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Eastvold Auditorium.

5. Considering how abrasive and corrosive solvents can be, the band Solvents may as well be a swimming pool filled with fluffy teddy bears. The Port Townsend duo are a master of controlled intensity, blending guitar and violin in ways that can attack as much as they soothe. The interplay between Jarrod Paul Bramson and Emily Madden is what draws you into the world of Solvents, where everything skirts the line of dusty Americana and introspective pop. catch the band with Teach Me Equals, Dweller on the Hill and RedRumsey at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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