Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2009 (183) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 183

October 6, 2009 at 9:23am

Morning Spew

NEWS TEAM: GOOD MORNING SOUTH SOUND >>>

Snug: Microsoft donates $100,000 to approve R-71. (Slog)

Clinton, Gates: U.S. in Afghanistan for long haul. (CNN)

Rwanda Queen-Killing Suspect: Gotcha. (BBC)

Doh!: The British Department of Health is spending nearly $1 million to sponsor episodes of The Simpsonsas part of its new Change4Life health campaign. (Reuters)

Hey Michael Vick!: The Supreme Court discusses whether free speech includes the distribution and sale of bloody pit bull fighting videos. (Fox News)

In Cyberspace, Everyone Can Hear You Scream: Google’s email system, Gmail, has been targeted as part of an “industry-wide” scheme with over 60,000 names and passwords posted online. (BBC)

October 6, 2009 at 10:35am

TFF Sniff 11: Review of Monday's Films

CHRISTOPHER WOOD: I FINALLY GET A LOOK-SEE AT THE TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL >>>

Like glorious sunrays burning through the clouds after a storm, a hole finally opens within my deluged work schedule. With only four days left before the Tacoma Film Festival hibernates for another year, it seems time for a sampling of independent movies.

A healthy crowd fills up The Grand Cinema’s lobby for Monday’s Afternoon of Drama and Comedy â€" a good sign already that this buffet of shorts won’t disappoint. Jason Gutz, an avant-garde filmmaker whom I had met for an article last spring, sits in front of me in the theater. He helped as grip for director Andrew Finnigan’s The Stairwell, which makes its premiere today.

My stomach tightens as the houselights dim â€" don’t ask me why. Maybe it has something to do with the intimate nature of film festivals: tiny pockets of artists sharing their passion to rooms of strangers. That kind of personal and organic symbiosis between viewer and creator just can’t happen with a Hollywood flick, especially with filmmakers like Gutz present.

A now a word from our sponsors. A commercial for condominiums in Tacoma plays first.

“This movie sucks,” a young female voice whispers from the row behind me, and her cohort’s chortle.

The ad’s artistic merits notwithstanding, it plays a second time. Anticipation in the room dissipates into fraying patience. This must be the “Drama” part of the screening; will the real movies ever begin?

My attention turns from the screen to the restless group behind my chair. I begin recording their random snippets of conversation, which include such exclamations as “Is this a penis?”; “This really IS the worst movie ever!”; and “This is where you start seeing a lot of crotch shots.” Are they watching Showgirls back there? I wonder.

But I digress. To the films:

What would happen in a world of wheelchairs where only you could use your legs? One bold Hungarian director answered this question with his film Forditva (Rotate). The concept at first seems played for laughs, but its story of a job seeker constantly looked up upon has a sober message. 

Initial Conditions spends what seems like half its running time in a lecture hall watching an overzealous professor drone on about chaos theory. Once school gets out, however, the story improves a bit. The last scene has the professor and his brother and niece running across a field DODGING LIGHTNING BOLTS â€" sadder than you’d think.

Several of these shorts in fact dance with themes of death â€" what better drama fodder? Northwest filmmaker Vanessa Williams’s Hart shows droog-like bullies taking their dislike of a schoolyard outsider to almost murderous extremes. And all because the poor gal has antlers … this doe’s got some serious foes (that one’s for free). And The Beneficiary doles out stabbings and shootouts as slick as the film’s cinematography.

But we sometimes find humor in life’s end. The hero’s son in Old Grace passes on with dignity … by falling on his own bayonet in a Civil War reenactment. Its original concept and well-written banter between crusty grandpa and precocious grandson make this my favorite short today.  
 
Section 44 got possibly the biggest laugh with its surprise (party) ending, but this one-joke tale feels more gimmick than anything else. The Stairwell (shot in and around Tacoma’s Financial Center) finds its comedy â€" and heart â€" naturally, through the interactions of its four trapped protagonists. Within their confined setting, these strangers face a greater truth about themselves and each other, and eventually leave with a fresh perspective on things.

Hmmm … such an experience sounds eerily like the Tacoma Film Festival.      

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival on Twitter

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival Web site

LINK: Full film descriptions

LINK: Weekly Volcano Tacoma Film Festival cover story

October 6, 2009 at 11:06am

Albums that drop today

RON SWARNER: IT’S RECORD RELEASE DAY >>>

Music-For-Men Gossip, Music for Men

Built to Spill, There is No Enemy

Meshell Ndegeocello, Devil’s Halo

DJ Tiesto, Kaleidoscope

Tokio Hotel, Humanoid

Michael Buble, Crazy Love

Brandi Carlile, Give Up the Ghost

Hockey, Mind Chaos

Toby Keith, American Ride

Filed under: Music,

October 6, 2009 at 11:31am

Empty Bowls

MICHAEL SWAN: HELP OUT THE EMERGENCY FOOD NETWORK >>>

The Emergency Food Network never takes a day off. They can’t while there are mouths to feed. Sunday, Oct. 11 its annual fund raising event Empty Bowls combines art, community, giving and fine eats. Local and regional artisans have donated one-of-a-kind bowls made from hand-tooled carved wood, colorful glass, hand-thrown clay by Pacific Northwest Potters, and placemats by Tacoma Weavers’ Guild.

Bowls are $10 each.

This event is very popular; the bowls go fast. Tasty soup and hearty breads from local chefs accompany purchases.

[St. Charles Borromeo Church, 2-5 p.m., $10, 7112 S.12th St., Tacoma, 253.224-6967]

Filed under: Benefits, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

October 6, 2009 at 1:08pm

Morrissey coming to Seattle

RON SWARNER: SWORDS FIGHT >>>

Morrissey will play the Paramount Theatre in Seattle Nov. 29, touring on his new album, SWORDS, which will drop Oct. 26. SWORDS consists of 18 select songs released as b-sides of his 13 hit singles from his last four albums.

I caught Morrissey two years ago at the Paramount. He gave dirty looks at his band, and rolled around on the floor for 10 minutes. Good show, anyway.

Tickets are $55 and $75 and go on sale Saturday, Oct. 10, 10 a.m. at LiveNation.com, 24-hour kiosks at the Paramount and Moore Theatres, or charge by phone at 877.STG.4TIX.

LINK: Concert Alert

October 6, 2009 at 1:19pm

Drumandbasselectrodubstep

SUZY STUMP: BEAT THIS SATURDAY NIGHT >>>

Habit Dubstep â€" U .K. garage and grime's more forlorn, less MC-oriented cousin â€" has been incubating since 2000, but despite greater awareness via blogs and Internet forums, it's unlikely to blow up; most people just don't want to experience cranium-clamping bass pressure, entropic beats, and austerely melancholy melodies.

Nevertheless, seekers of innovative low-end music should keep tabs on what Matt Eklund’s Pacific Fusion Productions has in store for two October nights. Eklund and partnering company Lotus Inc. will blaze their own path into the dubstep realm by adding drum ‘n’ bass and electro into the dub zombies’ world Saturday night, then will follow it up with Night of the Living Dub Oct. 30.

Saturday, DJs dAb, Habit, Suga Jones and D:FI will take the London-centric genre's stark, haunted mutations of dub and slap it with some fun. There will be a raffle for Night of the Living Dub tickets, too.

“It will be a mix of ragga jungle, drum and bass, dubstep and dirty electro,” explains Suga Jones, a resident drum ‘n’ bass DJ for more than 10 years. “It's gunna be deep."

[Tempest Lounge, Saturday, Oct. 10, 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., no cover, 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.272.4904]

October 6, 2009 at 1:54pm

Tempest to go all ages

RON SWARNER: TODAY IN TEMPEST LOUNGE >>>

The liquor board sent Denise Tempest and Michelle Douglas the official letter. Their Tempest Lounge has been given the green light to be an all-ages spot â€" as soon as the two owners build the barrier in front of the bar.

In other Tempest news, their benefit Sunday for Ref. 71 raised $7,773. Not bad. They built a stage for the occasion for the musical stylings of Evan Purcell and The Kim Archer Band. A bigger stage is in the works next summer.

Here are a couple of pics from the benefit show:

Tempest-Evan Tempest-Kim By the way, it’s iPod Tuesday at the Tempest.

[Tempest Lounge, 913 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, Tacoma, 253.272.4904]

October 7, 2009 at 12:12am

TFF Sniff 12: Wednesday

WEEKLY VOLCANO: YOUR DAILY GUIDE TO THE TACOMA FILM FESTIVAL >>>

The 2009 Tacoma Film Festival runs through Oct. 8 at The Grand Cinema. Ticket prices and more information are here.

Wednesday, Oct. 7
2:15 p.m., Grand Cinema: Autism: Made in the USA

4:30 p.m., Grand Cinema: Earthling, The Donut, the Balloon and the Lifesaver

6:30 p.m., Grand Cinema: Comedy Shorts
Otis v. Monster, Clones Gone Wild, Cost of Living, The Mouse that Soared, Ten for Grandpa, Missing the Boat, Post-It Love, Schizofredric, Boutonniere, After You

9 p.m., Grand Cinema: A Simple Game of Cards, Lowland Fell, Waxie Moon

Waxie-Moon-1 Waxie Moon
Directed by Wes Hurley
Documentary (70 min) â€" NW Film
Filmmaker in attendance
What happens when a classically-trained dancer/actor decides to pursue the lowbrow art of stripping? Waxie Moon, a boylesque sensation takes the world of neo-burlesque by storm in this hilarious and thought-provoking portrait of one artist’s unlikely journey.
   
    

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival on Twitter

LINK: Tacoma Film Festival Web site

LINK: Full film descriptions

LINK: Weekly Volcano Tacoma Film Festival cover story

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma, TFF Sniff,

October 7, 2009 at 12:15am

5 Things To Do: Wednesday

MICHAEL SWAN: WEDNESDAY, OCT. 7, 2009 >>>

10-7-5-things 1. As part of the City Club of Tacoma’s All Together Now 25-year celebration at the Washington State History Museum at 5:30 p.m., 25 “community partners” will be honored â€" including the Weekly Volcano.

2. Undead, a group exhibition inspired by braineaters and bloodsuckers, opens today at The Telephone Room gallery with a reception from 5-9 p.m.

3. Doyle's Public House will host the original Sounder, Roger Levesque. He will sign autographs and pose for pictures at 7 p.m.

4. DJ J-Fresh spins at The Hub’s Hump Day party beginning at 7 p.m.

5. Vicci Martinez performs at The Swiss at 9 p.m.

LINK: Live music and DJs in the South Sound

LINK: Local movie starting times

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide

October 7, 2009 at 9:05am

Morning Spew

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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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