Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2011 (172) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 172

September 11, 2011 at 8:48am

Chautauqua Movement hits Tacoma today

Pearl Django performs today as part of the Chautauqua gathering.


In 1874, less than a decade after the end of the Civil War, the original Chautauqua Movement sprang to life - the first national education and cultural movement in the United States, emphasizing learning for all. It started at Lake Chautauqua in western upstate New York as a summer retreat for Sunday school teachers and grew to include a mail-order book club established in 1878. The movement led to independent assemblies, as well as touring circuit Chautauquas, which were part educational and part vaudevillian.

This afternoon, in Tacoma, the Chautauqua Movement finds its way to the First Congregational Church, in the form of educational gathering focusing on sustainability in Tacoma. Sponsored by Go Local Tacoma, the City of Tacoma's Office of Sustainability and Pull Together Now, the Tacoma Chautauqua will feature workshops by Environmental Business alliance, Tacoma 360, Palmer Scholars, Cascade Land Conservancy, Puget Sound Partnership and others.

As you learn, you'll enjoy entertainment by Pearl Django and Fab-5. Food will be provided by Gallucci's and Corina Bakery.

For more information, call 206.679.1252.

[First Congregational Church, Sunday, Sept. 11, 4-8 p.m., free, 209 S. J St., Tacoma]

Filed under: Community, Green Crush, Tacoma,

September 11, 2011 at 9:45am

Bobble Tiki sees cowboys

Jonathan Harris paid tribute to the local military several times throughout his set.


Bobble Tiki gets itchy if he goes more than two blocks without seeing some poured concrete. He blames it all on the movie version of The Wizard of Oz. Not only is country life so dreary they couldn't bother filming it in Technicolor, but Judy Garland falls into that pen with all those shrieking pigs, and Ray Bolger bangs his thumb with a hammer. Scary Bobble Tiki tells you. But last night Bobble Tiki lightened up a bit and ventured out into the great outdoors for some country tunes and Jägermeister.

Bobble Tiki's decision to brave the pollen and cow pies was solidified when he discovered the country concert was actually held at a concrete parking lot in downtown Tacoma.

Big Whisky Saloon and 100.7 FM The Wolf-hosted another Parking Lot Party last night in Whisky's back parking lot. Beginning slowly, the crowd eventually filled the lot to suck up live country music by Jonathan Harris and Robbie Walden & The Gunslingers, dance on the outdoor dance floor, drink cold beer, eat barbecue, shoot paint balls at targets and ride "Bubba the Mechanical Bull."

What surprised Bobble Tiki the most was the large contingent of folks who actually watched first-run Bonanza episodes and not its reruns amid the dregs of Sunday-morning TV. Hopalong Cassidy represent.

LINK: More photos from the Parking Lot Party

Filed under: Music, Photo Hot Spot, Tacoma,

September 12, 2011 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Margy Pepper, Pacific Grill party, "Stuck Rubber Baby," military free at The Fair and more ...

Margy Pepper / Photo credit: MySpace

MONDAY, SEPT. 12, 2011 >>>

1. According the the band, Margy Pepper plays "loud kitty puke punk jazz," which is awesome. Check them out at 5:30 p.m. when the trio performs at an all-ages show with Humble Cub and Meowtain inside The Den at urbanXchange.

2. Gate admission to the Puyallup Fair is free today for active, reserve, and retired military and their dependents, and disabled veterans. The gates open at 10 a.m.

3. Tacoma loves it some Pacific Grill. It was no surprise when the Gordon Naccarato-powered upscale dining option on Pacific Avenue took home "Best Restaurant" honors in the Volcano's 2011 Super Best of Tacoma Readers' Poll. Tacoma's love for Pacific Grill has been proven time and time again. Today and tomorrow, from 4:30-9 p.m., Pacific Grill will celebrate its sixth birthday with two birthday party extravaganzas, each featuring free appetizers and snacks, drink specials, prizes and hot DJ action. The only thing more exciting is the food.

4. The Graphic Novel Book Club meets at 7 p.m. inside the 1022 South lounge to discuss Stuck Rubber Baby by Howard Cruse over craft cocktails.

5. Blues band Palmer Junction performs at 8 p.m. inside The Swiss.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Happy hours!

September 12, 2011 at 8:01am

MORNING SPEW: Teachers' strike option, The Cure, putting out fires with vacuum cleaner and more ...

On Facebook - kind of


It's Go/Stay Time: Teachers Education Association meets tonight to discuss strike option (News Tribune)

Amtrak Vs. Lakewood: Lakewood man doesn't want the high-speed choo-choos in his backyard (News Tribune)

Jobs Plan: Pres. Obama is sending it to Congress tonight. (CNN)

Awesome: Watch this Englishman put out a fire with a vacuum cleaner. (Gizmodo)

The Cure's Robert Smith: He comes clean about politics (The Guardian)

20th Anniversary of Achtung Baby: Jack White, Depeche Mode, Patti Smith and Damian Rice are among the artists who will record covers (Rolling Stone)

Speaking Of Covers: Jim Carrey covers Radiohead's "Creep"

September 12, 2011 at 10:14am

Weekend Posts: Downtown cowboys, chocolate faces, Tacoma rock legends and opening night at The Fair

NOSH LEAGUE RECAP: Masa bartender Emily Cooks licks the chocolate off here gloves as Affairs Cafe and Desserts owner Gay Landry laughs in the background.


Today will be the last day of hot temperatures for a while. We're looking at temps in the lower 70s over the next couple of days. Just watch: Even though it'll still be plenty warm out, everyone's going to be breaking out sweaters and stuff. Ridiculous.

If you zoned in on your television during the first full weekend of football, here's what we posted over the weekend:

We hung out at the Big Whisky Saloon Parking Lot Party.

We posted a recap with photos of the Nosh League event at Affairs Café.

Tacoma Rock and Roll Wall of Fame banquet is coming in October.

Scenes from opening night at the Puyallup Fair.

LINK: Things to do today

September 12, 2011 at 2:16pm

PARK(ing) Day: Turn on with the Weekly Volcano Friday


For those dreaming to turn on, tune in and drop out of work for four hours Friday, your dream is now reality. The Weekly Volcano will transform a street-level parking space along Pacific Avenue in Tacoma's Museum District into a mini Woodstock festival. Titled PARK(stock), our hippie happening is part of national PARK(ing) Day, the annual global event where citizens, artists and activists collaborate to temporarily transform metered parking spaces into "PARK(ing)" spaces: temporary public places.

It's beautiful, man.

Downtown On the Go - the Tacoma commuter program partnership between downtown businesses and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber, the City of Tacoma, and Pierce Transit - sponsors the local version of the movement. Local businesses - including your favorite alt rag - will create pop-up parks in parking spaces, from the University of Washington-Tacoma to the Stadium District, in hopes the public will hang at each park and ponder how public space is created and allocated - while, at least at our park, spreading love and peace, man.

Drop by our park Friday with your tambourine, you dig?

PARK(ing) Day

Friday, Sept. 16, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., free
Downtown Tacoma

LINK: Tell the universe you are down with this

LINK: Downtown On The Go

September 12, 2011 at 3:43pm

PLAN AHEAD: Tacoma Noise Rodeo Saturday

Pulled off the Tacoma Noise Rodeo poster


Marquees around town don't feature Bagger288, Full On, Firedrill and Infradead bands every other weekend. These cats can't draw a crowd of yuppies/college kids on a consistent basis. Sadly, these bands lack what it takes for popular acceptance. They are a "niche" group. They play "chiptune" music. It's really noisy, and pretty in an experimental sort of way - an absolute pleasure for ears irritated by production.

Chris Lehfeldt digs chiptune music - synthesized electronic music often produced with the sound chips of old computers and video game consoles. He and his fellow chiptuners host a yearly chiptune event in Seattle.

"My own music has always been more ambient and noisy even though I use a lot of chiptune elements so I decided to try and set up a show in Tacoma that would cater more toward the chiptune sound," says Lehfeldt, aka Infradead.

Lehfeldt contacted Caffe Dei on Sixth Avenue, the experimental bands mentioned above and Saturday's Tacoma Noise Rodeo was out of the chutes.

"The idea behind Tacoma Noise Rodeo is there really has not been a venue for more experimental electronic music in Tacoma. There are quite a few bars and clubs that play dance music but no place for livaPA acts to play stuff more left field and less than danceable," says Lehfeldt.

Left field is right. Lehfeldt says he's bringing a modular synthesizer and plenty of patch cables to create conduit, Firedrill will be armed with a Commodore 64 and a fistful of bananas and Bagger288 will drone on a fretless Buddha guitar

Lehfeldt also says Caffe Dei will have some beer and wine specials during the night.

There you go folks. We imagine the Tacoma Noise Rode will either give you nightmares or you'll join the fan club.

Tacoma Noise Rodeo

Bagger288, Full On, Firedrill, Infradead
Saturday, Sept. 17, 8 p.m., no cover
Caffe Dei, 2607 Sixth Ave., Tacoma

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

September 12, 2011 at 4:34pm

Movie Biz Buzz: Couch Fest Films

Couch Fest Films founder Craig Downing (Icelandair shirt) and friends are coming to a couch near you. Photo credit: Couch Fest Films


It wouldn't surprise me to find out that on any given day a film festival is brewing in some corner of the world. But in our small slice of Western Washington, they all tend to congregate in the autumn months. With the exception of the Seattle International Film Festival (a May/June affair), between September and November you can keep yourself pretty busy (and broke) buying passes to all the fests in this area. One barely has time to breathe between the Port Townsend Film Festival (Sept. 23-25), Local Sightings at Seattle's Northwest Film Forum (Sept. 30-Oct. 6), Tacoma Film Festival (Oct. 6-13), Gig Harbor Film Festival (Oct. 14-16), and finally the Olympia Film Festival (Nov. 11-20) before things cool down for a while.

I still haven't attended the Port Townsend Film Festival, but I can vouch for another fest held that same weekend worth taking in: the Seattle-based Couch Fest Films. For one day only - Sept. 24 - the concept takes films out of the traditional, formal theater setting and into a homier atmosphere - basically, folks' living rooms. Each participating home hosts its own batch of shorts, grouped into various genres (comedy, animation, etc.) that repeat every hour from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The Couch Fest motto sums it up: "Awkwardly Awesome."

I went more than once, and found something goofy and refreshing about strangers warmly inviting me into their homes, intimate spaces where I huddle with more strangers and together watch good movies on a tiny screen.

Filmmaker and CFF founder Craig Downing told me from his current residence in Reykjavik, Iceland, that his idea evolved from a modest goal.

"Couch Fest Films was just a sneaky plan to get people from Seattle to open up and talk to each other," he says. "I figured cozy living rooms would be a great place. ... There we could surely open our doors to each other both physically and metaphorically."

Moviemakers have increasingly cozied up to the festival's down-to-earth and community-focused vibe. About 200 submissions (a record in the event's four-year history) arrived from across the globe. Downing and his volunteers also scoured other fests and personally sought out the best works to include in their own lineup.

Local movie lovers have come forward and offered their private pads as host sites. Currently five locations within Seattle are locked (exact addresses will appear on the CFF website on Sept. 22). These places should be close enough that you can bounce around on foot or bicycle, see more and pay less on gas and parking.

Not only will Seattle host, but cities in other states and beyond have shown interest as well: Portland, San Diego, New York, London, Istanbul, Cairo, Reykjavik and many more. Yup, Couch has for the first time gone global. Says Downing, "We are so excited about how much interest there has been worldwide." His ambition to plop a film-friendly couch on every continent continues: "I was hoping (this time) to host ... in the South Pole - next year, next year."

You won't find many festivals as committed to opening your mind as relaxing your rump. But Downing firmly believes his patrons' dear derrieres possess political value; by attending Couch Fest, he says, "your rump could be part of a worldwide film festival revolution. Yeow!"

Next Saturday, check your social awkwardness at the door, sit back and enjoy global cinema in a unique way.

Find ticket prices and updates on host locations here.

LINK: See a movie tonight

September 12, 2011 at 6:01pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Keep the drive alive this Saturday


Today's comment comes from A.R. Mastermind in response to Josh Rizeberg's hip-hop column What's The Word about the "Last drops of summer."

Mastermind writes,

I've seen Saw perform a couple times. He's is a fully developed artist, I am surprised he hasn't dropped a full length but I can see why the hold up. As far as Kept See I've never herd his music but now I can go on a search for it. SP is having the first showcase in Tacoma this Saturday @ the conquering lion on s. Tacoma way and 54th. Hope to see some of ya'll out there. A.R.

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

September 13, 2011 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Bill Monroe tribute, Prairie Trail Line chat, Geeks Who Drink, DJ & Drummer and more ...

Runaway Train will do it for Bill Monroe tonight.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 13, 2011 >>>

1. We fell under the spell of bluegrass music long before The Grand Cinema ran Coen brothers' O Brother, Where Art Thou? for 13 years in a row. Our dad filled the truck's cab with the high, lonesome mountain-blues sound of Bill Monroe's plaintive voice accompanied by a banjo, mandolin and fiddle. The Oly Mountain Boys are putting together a celebration of the music of Monroe on the occasion of his 100th birthday at 7 p.n. inside the Black Lake Grange Hall. Runaway Train will headline, the Oly Mountain Boys will open, and Pickled Okra from Seattle will do an all-Monroe set in between. There will be birthday cake, door prizes, rare concert film projected, and an all-around toe-tappin' good time.

2. Prairie Line was once the terminus of the Northern Pacific Railroad, today running through the University of Washington-Tacoma campus and other areas around downtown. This stretch of land has largely been forgotten in modern times, but there's a facelift in its future - a walking and biking interpretive trail headed up by design studio Thoughtbarn, made up of Lucy Begg, Robert Gay and Todd Bressi. These folks will hang from 9:30-11 a.m. inside the Rain City Café to share their plans with the public. Read the Weekly Volcano's story a program called Public Art In Depth (PA:ID) is kicking up its heels along the Prairie Line Trail here.

3. Olympia's Le Voyeur often slips through the cracks. But for those in the know, this trendy little restaurant is a perfect spot to sip PBR and discuss obscure Soviet films. Le Voyeur doesn't offer too many specials, but they do have $4 sandwiches on Tuesdays. The cheap sandwiches are a perfect complement to inexpensive beer, the amazing garlic fries and the ultra-hip clientele that are some of Le Voyeur's other specialties.

4. Geeks Who Drink Quiz Night with Quizmaster Holland Hume goes down at 8 p.m. inside Paddy Coyne's Irish Pub in Tacoma. The game consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by Hume; teams write their answers on provided sheets and turn them in at the end of each round. The team with the most points after eight rounds is the winner. Oh, and there's drinking involved, too.

5. The DJ & Drummer Duo Battle featuring DJ Switch and Chris Dahl begins at 9:30 p.m. at the Backstage Bar & Grill on Sixth Avenue.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Tonight's Nightlife It List

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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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