Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2010 (121) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 121

October 12, 2010 at 12:36pm

More music coming to Sixth Avenue



A couple new businesses will open on Sixth Avenue catering to the dance crowd - young and old.

First, a new wine bar called Pastiche is scheduled to move into the other half of the former Il Fiasco space (Beyond The Bridge Café occupies the left side) Monday, Nov. 1. The owners bring 20 years of wine experience with them to the 2715 Sixth Ave. spot, as well as tapas for lunch and dinner menu. However, what caught our eyes is the large dance floor. Pastiche will host bands performing music from the '30s and '40s. Could cool jazz full of blaring horns, brushes on snare drums, wicked and suspicious-sounding reeds, and perhaps the coolest basslines of the 20th century come to Tacoma on a regular basis? We pray.

Second, Jason Rim's Gruv Lounge and Nightclub is on target for a soft opening Friday, Oct. 22 in the former Hell's Kitchen space on Sixth Avenue. I toured the joint last week with Gruv manager Calvin Murphy, who launched his DJ conglomerate Ocean Grooves in the same space in 1999 when it was the 6th & Proctor Bar & Grill (after the popular Central Tavern closed in the same spot).

I'm happy to report that Rim and Murphy bypassed the glitzy nightclub motif for more of a fancy industrial environment: gray walls, steel accents and not a drape in sight.

Murphy, barely able to keep the smile off his face, guided me through the two private karaoke lounges, the clean(!) bathrooms, the remote-control LED lighting system - which includes 35 lights that can completely change the interior color - the wraparound video screen below the elevated DJ booth, and the large seating area where Hell's Kitchen pool and pinball room stood.

In regards to the music, Murphy plans on brining in popular national-touring DJs, as well as host Puget Sounds' DJ talent pool. Los Angeles DJ Uberzone will join local DJs dAb, Jason Diamond and Mr. Clean for the club's official opening Friday, Oct. 29. Admission will be $10. And a 6th & Proctor Bar & Grill Ocean Grooves reunion will take place Saturday, Nov. 6 when Donald Glaude, Omar and dAb spin in the same spot they did 11 years ago. That night, which will be a Halloween bash, will be off the hook.

October 12, 2010 at 1:39pm

The Great Income Tax Debate in Tacoma recap

Former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton


Last night, UW Tacoma played host to "The Great State Income Tax Debate" between Bill Gates, Sr. and former U.S. Senator Slade Gorton, in what was being billed as a showdown between two leading minds weighing in on the hot-button issue of I-1098.

Gates, Sr., father of that OTHER Bill Gates and a prominent Seattle lawyer, is one of the authors of the initiative. Gates has pumped a lot of money into the campaign, and believes its core principals are fairness and obligation to maintaining and improving our education system here in the state.

"This will go a long way in promoting tax fairness and meeting our funding gap, with provisions for accountability," said Gates. "We just can't fund the 21st century education and the 21st century public services with a tax structure created in 1935."

The Initiative would level a four percent tax on the wealth of our state's most successful citizens, individuals who file over $200k annually and couples who earn more than $400,000.  In addition to instituting an income tax on Washington's wealthy, I-1098 would also reduce property taxes across the board and reduce the Business & Occupation tax. In addition, it would dedicate revenues raised to education. If passed, the Initiative could produce revenues of more than $2 billion by 2012.

"There is a number," said Gates, "and that number is 50. We are 50 out of 50 in the distribution of tax load on its citizens."

In his opening remarks, Gates also commented on recent cuts to education because of the deficit faced by Washington last year.

"There was a recent court finding in Seattle saying our under-funding of education is unconstitutional," Gates explained, pressing firmly with the No. 2 pencil of his voice. "We are not performing to our own expectations."

Gorton, who has been involved politically at both the state and national level and arguing against the initiative last night, feels a reasonable juxtaposition could be made utilizing Oregon and its sales-tax free system, which relies heavily on property and an income tax.

"Washington, even in a recession, is ahead of the United States as a whole, and 30 points ahead of Oregon," touted Gorton, stating that the per capita income of Washingtonians is $6,000 more than their Oregonian counterparts. With Washington above the national trend on unemployment while Oregon is below, Gorton argued emphatically, "Are these unrelated to the tax system? That's a very, very tough sale."

Both sides brought along a venture capitalist pal to hammer out the statistics. Gates was joined on the pro side by Nick Hanauer of Second Avenue Partners, a Seattle venture capital group.  Hanauer, a multi-millionaire, tried to drive home the point several times that investment would not be as hampered as the opposition claims.

"95 percent of a lot is still a lot," argued Hanauer, utilizing California's Income Tax and consistent technological innovators as a case-in-point argument at several points.

"The idea that an income tax will chase innovation out of the state is just not true. If it was true, Silicon Valley would be in Casper, Wyoming."

Wyoming is one of seven states without an income tax, a list that currently includes Washington and South Dakota, as well as Texas and Alaska - both of which rely heavily on their natural resource of oil reserves.

Claiming he was more familiar with fact than hyperbole, the opposition's venture capitalist representative Matt McIlwayne of Madrona Venture Group utilized Connecticut's 20 year-old income tax as a comparative dire warning, stoking the opposition's belief that I-1098, if passed, will lead to an across-the-board income tax for all citizens.

"There was a temporary income tax only on high-earners. It started at 4 percent. Today, 20 years later, we have a permanent tax at 6.5 percent. It starts at $13,000 of income," stated McIlwayne.

"And that's not even the punch line," he continued. "Connecticut has had zero percent job growth that entire time. That's not what I want the future of Washington to be."

In a debate in which neither side was clearly victorious, both sides dropped more than their fair share of sound bites and talking points. In my El Vacio Moral column Friday I'm going do an in-depth review of some of the key points for and against this measure, so we can try to make some sense out of this whole mess and get to the truth of the matter.

Tune in this Friday.

Filed under: Economy, Tacoma,

October 13, 2010 at 7:16am

Get your Mighty Tacoma Ale on today


Someone with vision at Tacoma Art Museum must have thought, "Wouldn't it be nice to have a beer that lauded the greatness of our city (and pair nicely with our Mighty Tacoma exhibit and 75th anniversary celebration)?" and then wisely approached the folks at the Harmon Brewery to craft it.

"We are always excited about working together with the community and other businesses, especially big celebrations like this," Harmon managing partner Pat Nagle shared via email. More than a decade ago Harmon crafted a Picasso Pale Ale for a TAM black tie event.

"(This year is) the first time the Harmon has been able to BOTTLE such a special commemorative brew," Nagle added, noting Harmon's limited run Mighty Tacoma Ale will only be available by bottle at TAM's Workz Café throughout the run of the Mighty Tacoma exhibition, which closes April 24, 2011.

"It's a lager type beer, closer to a steam beer or anchor steam, if you know what that is," explained Harmon Brewery General Manager Bob Casey. He went on to described it as a medium-bodied amber made with California common yeast that would go well with red meat.

This year, however, the specialty beer will also be available to those who drink beer around less expensive art. Mighty Tacoma Ale will be on tap at the Harmon Brewery & Eatery, Harmon Tap Room and The Harmon Hub, both located in Tacoma.

Public consumption of the ale begins today at TAM and all three Harmons.

The Museum will sell specially designed 22-ounce commemorative mugs for the brew. As an added bonus, bring the mug to the Harmon or Hub and receive $1 off refills of Mighty Tacoma Ale.

The Tacoma Art Museum will also center its free Third Thursday ArtWalk night around all things Mighty Tacoma hosting a beer garden, nibbles, "BQdanza" dance performance and interactive exhibit experiences.

TAM celebrates its 75th year with the interactive exhibit Mighty Tacoma that captures through photograph the city that Tacoma is and the citizens it houses. Read more about the exhibit here.

[Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave,, Tacoma, 253.627.1898]

[Harmon Brewery & Eatery, 1938 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.383.2739]

[Harmon Tap Room, 204 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.212.2725]

[The Harmon Hub, 203 Tacoma Ave., Tacoma  253.683.4606]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Arts, Tacoma,

October 13, 2010 at 8:00am

5 Things To Do Today: Jubelpalooza, torches, Dakota Bob, Pen pal ...

WEDNESDAY, OCT. 13, 2010 >>>

1. When it comes right down to it, few things in this world can top a freshly poured, frosty barley pop. We're referring to beer, of course, and it's way more than a delicious sexual stimulant/memory eraser . . . beautiful beer is an art form unto itself. In keeping with its tradition of promoting awareness and appreciation of this heavenly beverage, the Weekly Volcano reminds you that the Parkway Tavern hosts its annual Jubelpalooza at 6 p.m. featuring Jubel Ale '08, '09 and '10, Nitro '09, cask '09, Super Jubel '08 and '10, Abyss '09, Black Butte 21 and Mirror Mirror.

2. Bead artist Keiko will demonstrate her live torch techniques for contemporary bead making from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Museum of Glass' Hot Shop.

3. Dakota Bob & The Business Man Blues Band perform at 7 p.m. inside A Rhapsody In Bloom Florist & Cafe Latte on Sixth Avenue in Tacoma.

4. Appalled by the horrors of local dog fighting in Afghanistan, Pen Farthing and his troop of young Royal Marines had no choice but to intervene. Soon, the Marines operated a makeshift pound. Farthing wrote about the experience in his book, One Dog at a Time: Saving the strays of Afghanistan, which he'll discuss at 7 p.m. inside the Moore Library in Tacoma.

5. Dave Welch, past president of the Museum Association and the Oregon and California Trails Association, will speak about the Oregon Trail and show an award winning film about students who traveled by wagon train like 19th century pioneers, at 7 p.m. inside the Steilacoom Historical Museum.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

October 13, 2010 at 8:34am

Night Moves: Tough choice in Olympia tonight

Heartfelt performs tonight at Northern in Olympia.


The Brotherhood Lounge Olympia - Downtown. Monotonix, Ty Segall, Dub Narcotic Selectah. 21+. 9 pm.

  • The last time I saw Monotonix at The Brotherhood in Olympia it was off the hook. Hailing from Tel Aviv, Israel, this garage/jungle band puts on one hell of show. The band and their instruments first crowd surfed their way to the pool table, where singer Ami Shalev, in his Borat-style shorts, snuggled a pool ball between his butt cheeks as the crowd cheered. The band, still playing their catchy, quality songs, continued out the front door. Shalev then a climbed a tree, monkey swung over to the neon Brotherhood sign, and as he tried to make it to the roof, broke a piece of neon and crashed to the ground. Undeterred, the crowd moved out into the parking lot where Shalev had everyone lay on the concrete as they pounded out their finale.  I've never seen a happier, more alive crowd then after the Monotonix experience. - Nikki Talotta

Charlie's Sports Bar and Grill Olympia - Downtown. Blues Jam with Blues Attitude. 21+. 9 pm. NC.

Chris Knutzen Hall/PLU Tacoma - Parkland. University Jazz Ensemble. All Ages. 8 pm.

Kamel Toe Bar and Grill Tacoma - Parkland. Jam Night. Features members of Kashmire, Soul Stripper and special guests. 21+. 9 pm. NC.

Mandolin Cafe Tacoma - Central. Billy Farmer & Rockin' Chair Money. All Ages. 7 pm. NC.

Northern Olympia - Downtown. Half-Handed Cloud, LAKE, Marky Morrison, Heartfelt. All Ages. 8 pm.

  • LAKE is something of a local supergroup. All of its many members are solo artists or participants in other area acts, making the collective something of a part-time gig. Nevertheless, LAKE has a full-time wondrousness and enough talent to fill several bands (which, duh, makes perfect sense). Their music is chock-full of Northwest-y sonic hallmarks, from nimble guitars, graceful harmonies, occasional electronic flourishes and dubby bass thumps, to a pervasive sense of woodsy whimsy - everything sounds ideally suited for a rainy day spent indoors at homey café. This particular brand of straightforward, catchy indie seems to have fallen (just a little) by the pop culture wayside, a sad fact that in no way takes away from LAKE's overwhelming aptitude, or their capacity for producing indelible, earworm-y hooks. - Jason Baxter

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

Filed under: Music, Night Moves, Olympia, Tacoma,

October 13, 2010 at 10:34am

TFF Sniff 2010: Free films! Hello?!

"Lost and Found"


Strangely, the allure of free movies enticed but a mere dozen or so devotees to the University of Washington campus Tuesday evening. I suppose the Tacoma Film Festival can't match dinner's siren call for a weary student.

What influences magnetically pull us in one direction instead of another? four short films asked. The answers vary - for the men in Robert Sickels' entertaining doc Walla Walla Wiffle, life centers around a one-day wiffleball tournament each year in Eastern Washington. Wives roll their eyes as business owners, bank VPs and others become boys again with help from a featherweight yellow bat. Yet recreation ventures into obsession for some; one hardcore player, also a family man, makes the curious comment, "I look forward to this [tournament] more than anything else in life."


October 14, 2010 at 7:09am

5 Things To Do Today: "Rocky Horror" in a gay club, Banned Books Tea, voter primer, Maestro Gerard Schwarz is outta here

A Blue Mousketeer/photo courtesy of tacomarockyhorror.net

THURSDAY, OCT. 14, 2010 >>>

1. How many times have you seen it? A young couple gets a flat tire on St. Helens Avenue in downtown Tacoma and stops at Club Silverstone to innocently use the phone to call for help. Once inside there just happens to be a party in progress for the creation of super-hunk, Rocky Horror, which is orchestrated by the evil transvestite scientist, Dr. Furter. Naturally he and his gang of humanoid aliens from planet Transexual wreak havoc on the couple. The rest of the story is better experienced than read. The Blue Mousketeers actors, famous for reenacting The Rocky Horror Picture Show at Tacoma's Blue Mouse Theatre, will be at Club Silverstone tonight at 7. So grab your rice, newspapers, toast and toilet paper, and hit the Silverstone to hang out with all the kinky kooks.

2. Check out the eclectic body of 33 innovative works created by Visiting Artists at the Museum of Glass from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. King's Books hosts a Banned Book Tea from 3-4:30 p.m. at Collins Memorial Library on the UPS campus.

4. This November voters will be asked to make important decisions about taxes, liquor sales, industrial insurance, and more. These decisions will have a significant impact on the lives of families throughout this state. Representatives in support of these initiative and those that oppose them will discuss the issues addressed by these ballot initiatives at 6:30 p.m. inside the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch in downtown Tacoma.

5. Maestro Gerard Schwarz, the longtime music director of the Seattle Symphony, is pretty much the shit. And we don't usually bestow such heady honors upon symphony types. Under his leadership the Seattle Symphony has become a world-class institution, and Schwarz has been repeatedly recognized for his brilliance and dedication to the craft. On a farewell tour of sorts, tonight will mark Schwarz's last Tacoma appearance before stepping down from his post at the end of the 2010-11 season. See him and his posse at 7:30 p.m. inside the Pantages Theater.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

October 14, 2010 at 7:42am

Night Moves: Something for everyone tonight

The Xylophones play The Den in Tacoma tonight.


4th Ave Ale House Olympia - Downtown. Northwest Sun. 21+. 9 pm.

The Den @ urbanXchange Tacoma - Downtown. Xylophones, The Scarlet Ending, Brooklyn Pool, Appegiator. All Ages. 7 pm. $5.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Vindicator, Aggressor. 21+. 9 pm. $3.

Mandolin Cafe Tacoma - Central. Pete Herzog. All Ages. 7 pm. NC.

O'Callahan's Pub & Grill Key Peninsula. Blues Jam, hosted by Tim Hall Band. 21+. 7 pm. NC.

The Royal Lounge Olympia - Downtown. Machina Muerte Grindtime Tour featuring LuckyIAm, Mestizo, Rolling Rockers, Cadalack Ron, Afrok and DJ El Goonie. 9 pm. $7.

  • This is a big one... big. For one, Nicatine and his Homeland Security team are bringing LuckyIAm of The Living Legends/Mystik Journeymen, Mestizo, Rollin' Rockers, Cadalack Ron, Afrok and your own El Goonie (contributor with the Weekly Volcano and DJ extraordinaire) to Olympia Thursday Oct 14. But it doesn't stop there. Also bringing the ruckus to the stage is Grind Time co-owner/CEO, Lush One, who will host one of the monumental battles in the world's largest rap league right in downtown Olympia. Read my column here for the full scoop. – Jose Gutierrez Jr.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Billy Stoops Acoustic Jam. 21+. 9 pm.

The Swiss Tacoma - Downtown. Revengers, Swampy Draws, Oops I Stepped In Some Christ. 21+. 9 pm.

Tacoma Community College Bldg. #3 Tacoma - Westside. WSU Faculty Jazz Quartet. Two tenors, bass and drums. All Ages. 8 pm. NC.

Tempest Lounge Tacoma - Upper Tacoma. Come Out And Play Open Mic. Hosted by Kim Archer and Nick Sandy. All Ages. 7-10 pm. NC.

Traditions Cafe and World Folk Art Olympia - Downtown. John McCutcheon. All Ages. 8 pm.

LINK: More live music in the South Sound

Filed under: Night Moves, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

October 14, 2010 at 8:30am

TFF Sniff 2010: The Final Day

The film "True Adolescents" closes the 2010 Tacoma Film Festival.


The 5th edition of the Tacoma Film Festival wraps up today with a full schedule of films on the heels of seven days and 99 features and shorts screened throughout Tacoma.

Though official judges already named this year's TFF winners, the Audience Choice award will be announced tonight during the Closing Night Celebration beginning at 6:30 p.m. inside The Grand Cinema. Festival directors have chosen two Pacific Northwest-connected films for the final night: the short silent pixilation Here and Gone followed by Craig Johnson's poised and poignant first feature True Adolescents. Both filmmakers will be in attendance to answer questions.

LINK: TFF goes local

LINK: TFF on twitter

LINK: TFF website

LINK: We wrote a TFF cover story

October 14, 2010 at 3:02pm

Arts Beat: Yup, we cover four plays this week ... and more

"THE TAMING OF THE SHREW": Now with more cowboy talk. Photo courtesy of harlequin/torstudios.com


Sympathetic bestiality: Theater Artists Olympia's The Goat delivers the unthinkable, review by Joe Izenman

Full measure fandango: Harlequin's Shrew is fine as cream gravy, review by Christian Carvajal

Return to Joe's Diner: "Joe's Diner" is being billed as inappropriate for viewers under 13 because, let's face it, grown-up stuff is funny, by Joe Izenman

She-Demon v. The Judge: Riot to Follow's Hedda Gable meets her match, review by Christian Carvajal

Worthy of praise: PLU photography students are finalists in regional competition, by Alec Clayton

Spaceworks Tacoma: Re-presenting Barbara De Pirro and Holly Senn, review by Alec Clayton

LINK: Arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

Filed under: Arts, Olympia, Tacoma, Theater,

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