Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: February, 2011 (159) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 159

February 12, 2011 at 2:41pm

TONIGHT: We don't speak Orkaanz, but they do

It's only a model. ... Photo courtesy of http://www.journey-quest.com


Remember the days when fantasy/role-playing games were on par with heavy metal in the juvenile-delinquency pantheon? Raving mothers claimed that their kids were somehow worshipping the devil; yet inferring an association with the occult couldn't have done more to spread the games' popularity. And though now most are loath to admit it, any man who owned Mötley Crüe's Shout at the Devil in junior high dabbled in D&D. Those who acquired more experience points than they'd care to part with moved on to bigger and better things, such as the Puget Sound-based comedy-fantasy webseries, JourneyQuest.

Lifted from the JourneyQuest website:

Following a group of dysfunctional adventurers on a quest to discover and destroy the mythical Sword of Fighting, JOURNEYQUEST is a comedic adventure through the fantasy world of Fartherall, where intellectual orcs, incompetent wizards, and holy zombies form the living (and not-so-living) backdrop to an epic story of unrequited love, burning passions, and severely reluctant heroism. And running away. Lots of running away...

The folks behind JourneyQuest are throwing down cash to create this impressive series. And they rely on donations from fans to keep it going, which we imagine they appreciate. Tonight, the cast and creative crew would like to thank their fans with a free screening their first season on Tacoma Little Theatre's big screen over drinks at happy hour prices. Also unleashed at the party will be the premiere of The Making of JourneyQuest.

Drop that multisided dice and get your drink on with a bunch of Orcs.

An Evening with JourneyQuest

Saturday, Feb. 12, 6 p.m. door, 8 p.m. screenings, free admission
Tacoma Little Theatre, 210 N. I St., Tacoma

Filed under: Food & Drink, Screens, Tacoma,

February 12, 2011 at 4:29pm

BLOG WATCH: Clearance Cuisine

Marisa and Ben attended our Nosh League event Thursday at Beyond the Bridge Cafe. They arrived with laptop, camera, flashlight and smiles.


If your New Year's goals included cooking less often and spending less money, this new site could help: Clearance Cuisine, launched by Tacoma-area foodies Marisa and Ben. Their mission is simple: "We taste and comment on food and drinks from discount grocery stores, outlets and liquidators," or so states their website. Posts so far include reviews of WisPride Lite Port Wine Spreadable Cheese (Marisa: "It also kind of felt like modeling clay in my mouth"), Go Girl GLO Energy Drink (Ben: "not only will your weight loss be minimal and short lived, but your nuts might disappear too"), and PLOMBO Ice Cream Cups (Marisa: "more like a pseudo-McDonald's soft serve than a gourmet treat"). They have tasted disgusting food-like products.

Their reviews sing with humor, the photography is crisp, and it's my new favorite blog. They should app it.

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma, Web/Tech,

February 13, 2011 at 10:09am

5 Things to Do Today: Rich Wetzel, DJ DefCon1, Shannon Knight benefit, Seymour Conservatory jazz and mummies ...

Rich Wetzel and the Grooving Higher Orchestra

SUNDAY, FEB. 13, 2011 >>>

1. A show originally scheduled for Super Bowl Sunday but wisely re-booked, Rich Wetzel and the Grooving Higher Orchestra will be at Stonegate Pizza on South Tacoma way tonight. Click here for our entire live local music calendar.

2. DJ DefCon1 will spin industrial and Goth tonight at Hell's Kitchen in Tacoma.

3. At Jazzbones in Tacoma this afternoon, check out a benefit for Shannon Knight, featuring On The Level, Aury Moore Band, Randy Oxford's All-Star Revue, Red Hot Blues Sisters and Rafael Tranquilino.

4. It's a nice day outside (no, really, it is!). It'd be a great afternoon to check out Cara Francis with accompanist Kacey Evans at the Wright Park Seymour Conservatory. The music starts at 1 p.m. and it's totally free.

5. Nothing says Sunday like a trip to the Washington State History Museum and some hot mummy action - otherwise known as the "Wrapped! The Search for the Essential Mummy" exhibit. Check all the basics here.

February 13, 2011 at 1:47pm

Phunkatron and Coughlin took it to a Tacoma stage


Tacoma boy Matt Coughlin is in a funk - a glorious, deep boogie funk. This is good. His 2004 acoustic rock days are long gone. Today, it's all about the funk. He mixes funk grooves with country when performing with his band, the Growlers. And as I witness - and Tacoma for the first time - last night at Doyle's Public House, Coughlin can summon the funky soul of The Meters and the J.B.s when he performs with Phunkatron & The Double Deuce, a new funk/R&B band out of Olympia.

It was a stone groove, my friends.

The full house bobbed to the nine-piece that included two guitarists, keys, bowel-shaking bassist Mitch Vandenburg, drummer, trumpet, trombone, tenor saxophonist Alfredo Rivera, vocalist Ashley Young, and vocalist Coughlin, who's sporting long hair and suspenders hanging from the hips. Each performer pushed his or her talent to the extreme, often dancing as they performed. Trombonist Jac'kel Smalls Bruce Green pushed it so hard  I was sure his head would explode. And drummer Dalton Shotwell and Vandenburg kept the band secured to a deep groove.

As I mention, this was Phunkatron's first Tacoma appearance. I'm almost positive I heard them announce they'll revisit Doyle's in March. Watching Doyle's booker Jesse Turcotte's expression during the show, I wouldn't be surprised if this is a house band in the making.

Awesome show Phunkatron. You tore the roof off the sucka.

Filed under: Concert Review, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

February 14, 2011 at 7:12am

5 Things To Do Today: Tallhouse Arts Consortium, Northern Flickers, Maia Santell ...

Be sure to look up if you're at The Brotherhood Lounge tonight. Photo courtesy of The Brotherhood's Facebook

HEART DAY, FEB. 14, 2011 >>>

1. Today is Valentine's Day, the most romantic and stressful time of year for men. Poor guys. We don't envy you. This is the day you dread all year. Trying to figure out what to do, what not to say, how to dress and where to go. We suggest you take her to see Olympia's aerial sweethearts from the Tallhouse Arts Consortium hang above The Brotherhood Lounge beginning at 8 p.m.  The aerial artists will be joined by jugglers, magicians, and contortionists. That should take the attention off you, you poor bastard.

2. Ryan Karlson, the Interpretive Program manager of the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission, will lecture on the Civilian Conservation Corps at noon inside the Washington State Capital Museum. His lecture will highlight the accomplishments of the CCC and the lasting benefits of their work, including local examples such as Millersylvania State Park.

3. The Seattle Guitar Orchestra will serenade folks inside St. John's Episopal Church in Gig Harbor beginning at 7 p.m.

4. Northern's Dory and Devon present a monthly anthology of short animations and experimental films, which they call "Northern Flickers." This month brings a special Valentine's Day edition, which promises "blue movies for lovers and asexuals alike" from 7-9 p.m. Um, what? The invite implies we'll be seeing what are essentially porno clips of cats, ferns, Christmas tree ornaments and classic cartoon characters. Oh, and somehow, like all other Northern events, it's all-ages. But "there will be chocolate," so we guess that makes it all OK.

5. Harmon Brewery and Restaurant offers a special Valentine's Day dinner for two menu with the added bonus of Maia Santell and House Blend singing jazz and blues love songs beginning at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

February 14, 2011 at 7:37am

NIGHT MOVES: Darxiide, Maia Santell, Vince Brown, Jerry Miller Band ...


El Perron Tacoma - Eastside. Cupid's Night Out. Doughkain, Josh Rizeberg, Darxiide, A.R. Mastermind and others. 8 pm. $7, free before 9 pm.

  • If a romantic dinner for two at Maxwell's isn't your ideal Valentine's Day, or if you're looking for something to do after diner, local hip-hop will be out in full effect this Monday evening at El Perron, located at 13021 Pacific Ave. Local mainstays Doughkain and Josh Rizeberg are topping a bill also featuring up-and-comers Darxiide, Golden Brown and A.R. Mastermind. El Perron, in the heart of Spanaway, is one of many venues trying to fill the void left after the questionable demise of El Potrero. Read the full story here.Zach Powers

Harmon Brewery and Eatery Tacoma - Downtown. Valentine's Day, with Maia Santell & House Blend. 8 pm.

Mary Baker Russell Music Center Tacoma - Parkland. Composers Of The Great American Songbook Annual Valentine's Day Concert, with David Deacon-Joyner, Clipper Anderson, Gail Pettis, Dennis Hastings. All Ages. 8 pm.

O'Callahan's Pub & Grill Key Peninsula. Valentine's Day, with The Ed Taylor Quartet. 8 pm.

Old General Store Steakhouse & Saloon Roy. Valentine's Day Dinner, featuring Chris Ward. 7 pm.

Swing Wine Bar & Cafe Olympia - Westside. Valentine's Show, featuring Vince Brown. 7 pm. NC.

The Swiss Tacoma - Downtown. Jerry Miller Band. 8 pm. NC.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

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

February 14, 2011 at 10:17am

Get your chocolate on today

Today, Corina Bakery in Tacoma is decked out in red offering special treats and chocolate.


Yes, another Valentine's Day is upon us, which means giving and/or eating chocolate. Chocolate contains phenethylamine, which is the same chemical that's released in the brain when we have such positive experiences as falling in love, winning at Bingo or deliberately coming to a screeching stop in front of a tailgating SUV. For some people (OK, mostly women), chocolate is akin to catnip; it drives them to delirium. In fact, back in the day, when harems were popular, emperors would sip on mugs of extremely potent "drinking chocolate" to boost their mojo. Sources say that was the secret of Casanova's success, too. So much for being a romantic, though. Casanova didn't actually share any of the chocolate with the women he seduced; he kept it all for himself, that selfish prick.

History aside, everyone knows that Valentine's Day is really all about the chocolate itself. I'm sure you already have some ideas about how to celebrate this sugarcoated holiday, but before breaking out the Hershey's syrup for that midnight striptease, click here for a list of sweets (ignore the Halloween theme) created in our own backyard.

Filed under: Food & Drink, Holidays, Tacoma,

February 14, 2011 at 12:41pm

Nobody here but us chickens


Last Thursday I was able to do something I almost never get to do anymore: I was invited to a show, so I went, and I didn't review it. Hopefully the cast and crew weren't expecting me to. It was DramaFest at Olympic High School, for which intrepid teenage thespians direct and act in three one-act plays. If it's not too weird to say I'm friends with a high school girl--after all, I was friends with her mom first--oh, God, now it all sounds skeevy--the point is, all invited me, so I went. The family bought my ticket, which was deeply appreciated as I'm super broke right now for reasons that'll be abundantly clear in a couple of weeks. I strolled in right before curtain, read my program, watched the show, and left. Period. It was awesome.

I watched the show exactly the way you would. I didn't analyze the script. I didn't take notes or ask anyone what the house music was. I'm friends with the director, but she and I never spoke and I didn't hang around afterward to say hi to my friend Maya in the cast. I was worried she and the rest of the cast would run up and ask me what I "thought." It's not that I thought anything negative, mind you, I just didn't want to think at all. When I arrived home, I Googled nothing even remotely connected with the show. I didn't think very long about the title of this blog entry, never weighing its initial impression against the text of the entry. In fact I banged the whole thing out in minutes, and I never even told you whether I thought this show was worth seeing. What's the point? It's already gone.

I forgot it only hours after seeing it. You know, like you usually do. I was simply entertained. Gentle Reader, there are times when mere, meaningless entertainment is exactly what the doctor ordered.

If you were to interpret this entry as suggesting it can be kind of a buzzkill to be a critic, well, I see no good reason to dispute that. It is what it is.

Filed under: All ages, Arts, Olympia, Theater,

February 14, 2011 at 3:43pm

Needle jumps out of Gruv

Calvin Murphy and Chef Aaron Grissom both leave their positions at Gruv Lounge in Tacoma >>>

Last week, differing opinions on music, entertainment format, promotion techniques, expectations and styles of business conduct led Gruv Lounge and Nightclub's general manager, Calvin Murphy, to voluntarily leave Gruv and return to his previous employment at PJ Pockets in Federal Way.

"I gave a lot and gave up a lot to make that place happen," says Murphy, "the remodel and design, my contacts, more than four whole months of my life."

Murphy, now free from trying to run a nightclub he describes as struggling,  continues with a smile in his voice. "I'll be doing shows all over the place and not at just one venue," he says. "Lots of big things in 2011."

The real passion for the longtime electronic music supporter, producer and promoter is his DJ conglomerate, Ocean Grooves Entertainment. Murphy has continually brought acts like Donald Glaude and DJ Uberzone to Tacoma, and it's where he's made his name.

The Sixth Avenue nightspot where Murphy was general manager until very recently, owned by Jason Rim, seems to be going in a different direction.  According to Assistant Manager Ray Tolbert, cover bands and Top 40 music on Friday and Saturday will be introduced at Gruv this month. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday will not have live DJ entertainment, though the nightclub will be open with a jukebox available.

Citing similar differences with Gruv's ownership, Chef Aaron Grissom has opted to move to Tacoma's Varsity Grill. Along with operating partner Jon Tartaglia, Grissom will conceptualize a small bite menu that should drop just in time for March Madness. The menu he developed for Grub will stick around for two weeks.

"My goal here at Varsity is to bring an approachable, yet innovative new spin to the existing menu," he says.

Keeping in line with Grissom's fledgling run at Gruv, expect more of his house-made ingredients and, of course, fresh approachable ingredient combinations: chipotle-braised chicken with Manchego, pancetta risotto with fried sage, seasonal ravioli, blueberry balsamic and candied peppered bacon carbonara.

February 14, 2011 at 5:29pm

Comment of the Day: Rich Wetzel love


Today's comment comes from jon juan in regard to Sunday's "5 Things to Do Today" post featuring Rich Wetzel and the Groovin' Higher Orchestra.

Juan writes,

Man I went to the Stonegate last night to hear Rich and the gang. They had a 15 piece group that wailed. That was by far the best live performance I have seen in many years. They played the songs of Ferguson and Chase, featured great solo's and just killed it. They are playing again on March 6th early so you monday workers won't loose any sleep. Come check these really skilled cats out...

Filed under: Music, Tacoma, Comment of the Day,

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