Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: May, 2011 (216) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 216

May 7, 2011 at 9:24am

LAST NIGHT: 72-Hour Film Competition Viewing Party

The talent behind the film "It Came First" were all smiles after grabbing two honors last night at the 72-Hour Film Festival Viewing Party.


The first film to screen at this year's 72-Hour Film Festival name-checked Alan Smithee, the famous pseudonym given to directors who want to distance themselves from failed projects. It was a somewhat telling note for a festival of films that-while admirable, all-are wildly uneven.

Look, it's hard to make a short film in three days. Having competed several times, I should know this. All the same, more often than mistakes in technical execution, there are errors in plot development. It's easy to get up in your head with a concept that makes perfect sense to you, because you thought of it, but is pretty hard for newcomers to grasp. This was a common factor in many of the films featured in last night's 7th annual 72-Hour Film Festival.

As always, though, there were a handful of standouts, including Isaac Olsen and Bill Henderson's Eyeballin', a sequel of sorts to the experimental film parody, Excruciating Eyeball, from a few years back. Monkey-men and disembodied eyeballs make a comeback, this time with English narration (not German), and less techno music. In keeping with Olsen's track record, the film was impeccably stylish.

Another standout was Rick Gratzer's The Unfinished Symphony, which eschewed the filmmaker's usual penchant for silliness in exchange for an oddly touching and weird exploration of the mind of a composer. Riley Gratzer, Rick's brother, complains of having too few hands to complete his composition before multiplying into the Grazters five. It was my favorite entry.

Other highlights include Raccoon Ranch, wherein raccoons are made to embody the Manson family; It Came First, which won Best Use of the Superpower and the Audience Award, and featured a fight to the death between a man and an egg; When Nothing Comes To Pass, a gorgeously shot film about death and past loves that won Best Use of Location; Pier Puppetry, by Terese Cuff and her group of older ladies, who continue to contribute some of the more delightfully surreal entries each year; and Kris Crews' Something Eggxsistential, which featured some beatific kaleidoscopes.

Overall, it was an evening of harsh ups and downs, which has come to be expected from the festival. But it will always remain exciting to see what local talent can do.

Best Use of Location: When Nothing Comes To Pass

Best Use of the Line of Dialogue: Spare a Time? - wherein a dance number erupts on the steps of UW.

Best Use of the Superpower: It Came First

Best Use of Prop: Great Moments in Advertising - wherein ad execs open their minds to find the next wave in pantyhose.

Honorable Mention: Senator Feelgood - about two brothers and the oddly specific powers they possess.

Audience Award: It Came First

Best Overall: Director's Cut - wherein a man becomes the director of his own life story.

LINK: Our feature story on the festival

Filed under: Arts, All ages, Tacoma, Screens,

May 7, 2011 at 9:31am

MOVIES: We made Rev. Adam McKinney see “Thor”

Rev. Adam was more pissed than usual when he got back from seeing "Thor." It really seemed to shake him ...


Here is a movie so arbitrary that it defies definition. Were it not for the comic that preceded it, there would be no plausible explanation for Thor's existence.

Drawing slight inspiration from Norse mythology, Thor stages the godly kingdom of Asgard as a kind of steam-punk paradise - an unholy mixture of old-world technology and dumbs*** brass-works. Odin (Anthony Hopkins) has long had a truce with the vaguely evil Ice Giants, which his son Thor (Chris Hemsworth) threatens with his brash arrogance. Sensing a dangerous slide toward war, Odin banishes Thor to puny Earth, where Thor is stripped of his powers and exiled as a crazy homeless dude.

To read Rev. Adam McKinney's full review of Thor, click here.

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma, Olympia,

May 7, 2011 at 9:33am

MEAT MARKET: Vanity Nightclub

Meat Market is a regular feature in the print version of the Weekly Volcano, found in back near all the smutty ads.


I bring a date to Vanity nightclub. I know, I know. Bringing a date kind of defeats the purpose of reporting on the hookup scene, right? But I've seen enough of these clubs alone. Every once in a while, papa's got to get some sugar.

Plus, I tell her it's my job to scrutinize the club and its patrons. A free pass for my eyes to wander. The best of both worlds.

I had heard clubs around 56th Street and South Tacoma Way could be rough and tumble, but Vanity doesn't fit this description. It's actually quite classy. My plaid shirt and Vans are no match for the leather boots and silk shirts that crowd the club.

To read Brett Cihon's full Meat Market account of Vanity Nightclub click here.

[Vanity Nightclub, Open until 2 a.m., $5-$10 cover, 5602 S Washington Street, Tacoma, 253.314.5972]

Filed under: Club Hopping, Tacoma,

May 7, 2011 at 10:45am

RAINIERS MINUTE: Crashing back to reality, and Pink at the Park day


What's that saying about when things are looking up? Just when you've got a handle on your problems, you typically crash back down to reality? What goes around comes around? No, that's not it. Murphy's Law? Well, kind of. Maybe.

Whatever the saying, it does a pretty good job of summing up the Rainiers 2011 season so far.

Thursday night, the Rainiers (11-18) won their first series of the year, taking three out of four games from the Tucson Padres. Everything looked good. The team had won seven out of their last ten games. Relief pitchers were getting outs. Mike Carp could actually hit the ball. $2 MGD flowed liberally through the stands. For the first time this season, fans at Cheney felt optimistic that everything might work out. 

And then BOOM. Nothing like a 14-3 trouncing to send you back to reality.  Last night, the Las Vegas 51s scored in every inning after the fourth.  Dudes named Ryan (Budde and Shealy) hit homeruns. A dude named Brett (Lawrie, no relation) hit a grand slam. Instead of beer flowing through the stands, tears ran down the cheeks of fans. Reality is a harsh, harsh maiden. Especially baseball reality.

-If anything nice can be found in last night's trouncing, and that's a big ‘if,' it's that Dustin Ackley hit his fourth home run of the season.  This dinger wasn't too far removed from his grand slam earlier in the week. It's great to see Ackley heating up at the plate. But it could mean he might soon be headed somewhere else... somewhere far, far away from the humble lights of Cheney.   

-Along with third baseman Brett Lawrie, the Vegas 51s have a starting pitcher named Brett. Brett Cecil earned the win Friday night.  Normally, I feel a meaningful, spiritual connection with people named Brett. Especially when their name is spelled with two t's. But it pained me to watch a couple of Bretts help ravage the Rainiers.

-The 51s are the minor league affiliate to the Toronto Blue Jays. I guess that helps soften the blow of a 14-3 loss. I guess.  

The Rainiers look to redeem themselves against the 51s tonight at Cheney Stadium. Game time is 7:05 p.m..

Sunday's game is a special Pink at the Park day. For Pink at the Park, the Rainiers players don pink jerseys on the field that are later auctioned off to raise awareness of breast cancer. The proceeds of that auction go to support the Carol Milgard Breast Center. This is cool for a couple of reasons - not the least of which is the opportunity to watch Mike Carp play baseball in a pink jersey.     

Filed under: Sports, Tacoma, Rainiers Minute,

May 7, 2011 at 1:45pm

NIGHT MOVES: Jerry Miller Trio, Republic Of Sound, Aces Up, Heartless, Tim Reynolds Trio and others ...

Say Banzai rocks the 4th Ave Ale House in Olympia tonight.


4th Ave Ale House Olympia - Downtown. Elbow Coulee, Bodybox, Say Banzai. 9 pm.

Backstage Bar & Grill Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Heartless, Ravens Rant. 9 pm.

Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Rock n Roll Magic. All Ages. 9 pm.

Doyle's Public House Tacoma - Stadium District. Jerry Miller Trio. 9:30 pm. NC.

Emerald Queen Casino Tacoma - Eastside. Spike & The Impalers. 8:30 pm. $30-$55.

Firwood Rock Lounge Tacoma - Downtown. True Rock Saturday, with Tangent, Republic Of Sound. 8 pm.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Aces Up, SweetKiss Momma, The Shivering Denizens, John Hamhock & The Rooster Run Band. 9 pm. $5.

  • Aces Up hail from Bonney Lake, and we suppose if any part of Pierce County was going to produce lyrics such as, "I like my trucks like I like my women / Big and beefy with a torqued-out engine / Might take a little while to get her going / But once you got her started man she don't stop a-rollin'," it might as well be Bonney Lake. Aces Up's MySpace describes the band as a "unique blend of blue-collar country and the distinct sounds of the famous Seattle, Washington rock scene." However, we submit that tight, straightforward country rock might be a more apt description. Basically, Aces Up is a summer barbecue with a cooler full of beer - in cans. Can you dig it? - Weekly Volcano

Hitchin' Post Saloon Federal Way. Loose Gravel & The Quarry. 9 pm.

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. TR3, Danny Barnes, Marcus Eaton. 8 pm. $15-$18.

  • If there's one thing Tim Reynolds (of the appropriately named Tim Reynolds Trio) can do, it's jam on it. Dude is like best buds from way back with Dave Matthews, after all, which means he's no fan of the two-and-a-half-minute pop song. Nope, this guitarist is all about the improvisation. Playing Colombo, my guess is fans of Reynolds tend to smoke a little weed - but that's neither here nor there. And I'm not going on anything but Reynolds's band, his hair and his penchant for "jamming on it."  Perhaps that's stereotypical of me. Saturday, Reynolds will give fellow jammers and those just waiting for Dave Matthews' annual sandal-fest at the Gorge something to chew on when the Tim Reynolds Trio lights up Jazzbones. It'll probably smell like a skunk in the upstairs bathroom, but - again - that's probably stereotypical. - Matt Driscoll

LakeBridge Forza Lakewood. Lisa Mitts. All Ages. 9 pm.

Malarkey's Pool and Brew Tacoma - Downtown. Saint Number Five, Liquidrive, BND. 8 pm. $5.

Mandolin Cafe Tacoma - Central. Tommy Simmons. All Ages. 8 pm. $5.

Pantages Theater Tacoma - Downtown. Tacoma Concert Band Presents: Fiesta Mexicana! All Ages. 7:30 pm.

R & R Live Graham. Corson Swift. 9 pm.

The Spar Tavern Tacoma - Old Town. The Tim Hall Band. 8-11pm. NC.

Swing Wine Bar & Cafe Olympia - Westside. Paul Anastasio, Vince Brown. 9 pm. NC.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

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

May 7, 2011 at 4:42pm

Kids won't leave Ted Brown Music

Photo courtesy of Ted Brown Music


Ted Brown Music 5th annual "Hands on Contest" began yesterday at 6 p.m. at its Tacoma store just off Interstate 5 at Tacoma Mall Boulevard. Fifty-six kids showed up for the contest. The rules: Keep both hands on a trumpet case. The person that keeps his hands on the case the longest wins a band instrument of his choice.  

After 22 hours, six kids remain - hands on a case, dreaming of rocking someone's face off at The Gorge. The store will remain open until we have a winner. You should drop by and check the awesomeness out.

Studies show that students that take band in school have higher test scores and work better in groups. Read this press release for proof.

Filed under: Events, Contest, Music, Tacoma,

May 8, 2011 at 7:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Breastfest III, TAM loves families, Tacoma Gets Smashed and more ...

The Missionary Position rock it out for breasts tonight at The Swiss.

SUNDAY, MAY 8, 2011 >>>

1. It seems breasts are a cause most people feel comfortable getting behind ... or, rather, fighting breast cancer is. There's probably not a more rallied-against cancer out there. Colon cancer wishes it had the PR program breast cancer has. From 6:30-9:30 p.m., Breastfest III will go down at The Swiss in Tacoma, raising money for the cause. Music from The Missionary Position, Sea Jayne Trip, Radio Edit and the Stoned Evergreen Travelers only sweetens the deal.

2. Treat your mother, mom, mommy, momma, or whatever else you like to call that special woman (or women - don't forget grandmothers, wives, and all the other ladies) to a great Mother's Day at the Tacoma Art Museum. The downtown Tacoma house of art hosts "Learning to Look Family Workshop at 2 p.m. The whole damn family can enjoy a guided exploration of the galleries and learn some simple tips and techniques for making art approachable and enjoyable. Participants will receive information and ideas about activities around art exploration that can be done in the museum or at home that are fun for everyone. Call 253.272.4258 to see if there's still room.

3. Always, Patsy Cline is a musical for people that love music but are not particularly fond of musicals. It's more like a concert with a play interspersed between the songs. The story is about the beginning of the six-year friendship between country star Patsy Cline and Louise Seger. Tacoma Little Theatre presents a staging of the show at 2 p.m. Our theater critic Joann Varnell love it.

4. Mojo Overload brings their, er, mojo at 7 p.m. to The Spar in Old Town Tacoma.

5. The arty Tacoma Gets Smashed party revisits The New Frontier Lounge, this time with a Mother's Day theme, musical smash-ups by The Andy Childs Experience, the band Squirrels Without Trees, prizes and their infamous piñatas. The music begins at 7 p.m.; piñatas go down at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Does someone need a happy hour?

May 8, 2011 at 9:56am

MUSIC: Thao and Mirah in Olympia Monday

Thao and Mirah


In a somewhat counter-intuitive way, collaborating with another artist is a bold act of confidence. One might think relinquishing some control to another person is a way of hedging bets, but it's quite the opposite. To collaborate is to say, "I am sure enough of my voice and my ability to shine even in the presence of an equally powerful talent." It can be quite cowardly to create alone.

The joining of Thao and Mirah is so exciting precisely because of how unique their voices and artistic visions are, and how harmoniously they unite. That another strong presence - Merrill Garbus of the brilliant tUnE-yArDs - is felt throughout Thao and Mirah's self-titled record, via co-production and some co-songwriting, makes the success of this balancing act all the more impressive.

To read Rev. Adam McKinney's full article on Thao and Mirah click here.

[Northern, Thao and Mirah, with Led to Sea, Monday, May 9, 8 p.m., $8, 321 Fourth Ave., Olympia]

Filed under: Music, Olympia,

May 8, 2011 at 5:08pm

RESTAURANT REVIEW: Dirty Oscar’s Annex

DOA: Kyle Wnuk gets down to business


ANNOUNCER: In the building that housed Sax Restaurant & Lounge on Sixth Avenue, Dirty Oscar's Annex remains a bit of an insider's secret in Tacoma. Named after Sesame Street's Oscar the Grouch, it's typically referred to as DOA. What distinguishes DOA from similar neighborhood bars is the food. Since opening over four months ago, head cook Kyle Wnuk has tweaked his original menu of appetizers, flatbread, salads, burgers and entrées only slightly. Surprising ingredients elevate typical bar food. Wnuk uses chipotle chicken breast and fresh herbs in nachos; hummus with roasted red peppers is made in-house. Specials like fried soft shell blue crab crostini with roasted shallots and rémoulade keep it interesting.

To read Jake and Jason DePaul's full, conversational review of DOA, click here.

[Dirty Oscar's Annex, 2309 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.0588]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

May 9, 2011 at 9:17am

SHORT ORDER: Tap Night Tacoma tonight, new Blizzard, Harmon beer dinner and more ...


Tap This: Recognizing the burgeoning craft beer market in the Tacoma area, five local watering holes - The Red Hot, The Parkway Tavern, Doyle's Public House, The Swiss, and Engine House No. 9 - have joined forces for a monthly beer event.  Every second Monday of the month - that's tonight people - the five locally owned and operated joints will simultaneously tap a fresh cask of ale at 6 p.m. then yell "Tap Night Tacoma is on!" The Red Hot will tap Everybody's Brewing Dry-Hop Country Boy IPA, The Parkway will unleash Everybody's Brewing Imperial IPA, Doyle's will pour Fullers ESB, The Swiss will serve Pike Dry-Hop Double IPA and Engine House No. 9 will tap their E-9 Imperial Bourbon Barrel Stout.

Ice Cream Storm: Dairy Queen serves up a German Chocolate Brownie as its featured Blizzard for May.

Future Things Are Coming: The Harmon Brewery & Eatery hosts a four-course spring beer dinner with dishes paired with its own brews at 6 p.m. Thursday, May 12. The cost is $27 per person. Reserve your spot at 253.683.4606.

Drink Matters: The rise of the plastic, disposable coffee cup lid

LINK: Happy hours!

Filed under: Short Order, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

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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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