Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: December, 2011 (129) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 129

December 9, 2011 at 12:11pm

Free fitness classes for police and firefighters

Trident Athletics will help olice an dfirefighters find their balance - through the dreaded frog stand - at its South Tacoma Way location. Photo credit: Trident-Athletics.com


As the Weekly Volcano reported this week, the City of Tacoma is facing up to a $31 million budget shortfall in 2012. To balance the municipal budget, Tacoma officials asked various department heads to craft a plan that involves juggling and rerouting various elements of departmental budgets; eliminating services; adjusting wages of city employees; eliminating programs and services; and laying off more than 160 city employees.

The police and fire departments appear likely to bear the brunt of layoffs.

Trident Athletics on South Tacoma Way feels the pain of those likely to lose their jobs. In a show of support, the fitness club extends a special offer to ALL members of the Tacoma police and fire departments.

In an email to the Weekly Volcano, Trident Athletics writes,

We are offering a month free starting next Monday, December 12 through January 12 to any Tacoma police and fire team member. The free month membership includes our popular 3x a week CrossFit class.

We know how important it is to stay mentally and physically sharp during such stressful situations. Our owner and coach Jeff Serven is a former Navy SEAL and very passionate about helping. Additionally, several of our students are current members of the Tacoma police department or firefighters living in Tacoma but working for other cities.

Coaches and athletes are also planning a fundraiser for a few of the families. We will let you know as these details are solidified. However, any help letting the police and fire departments know they are welcome to workout for free from December 12 through January 12th would be greatly appreciated. We are available for phone interviews throughout this weekend or on Monday and could include our current police and fire students to comment if appropriate. We hoped this would work for an online brief or short story next week.

Thank you for all you do.

To take advantage of the special offer, call 253.777.9714

LINK: Weekly Volcano's report on Tacoma's budget issues

Filed under: Economy, Community, Sports, Tacoma,

December 9, 2011 at 4:47pm

NIGHT MOVES: Sammy Steele Band, Charlie Drown, Randy Oxford Band, Girl Trouble, Big Wheel Stunt Show and others ...

Seastar performs at 8 p.m. inside the Mandolin Cafe in Tacoma.


Big Whisky Saloon Tacoma - Downtown. Sammy Steele Band CD Release Party. Release of their debut full-length record "Songs From The Third Cactus". 8 pm. $20.

Harbor Greens/Forza Wine Bar Gig Harbor. The Kari Ehli Band. 7 pm. NC.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Charlie Drown, Serous, Haunting The Disconnect, Days Armor. 7 pm. $5.

  • The goth is strong in this one. Charlie Drown is the kind of group/artist/performer/whatever that's totally comfortable throwing around lyrics about beds made of skin and "48 dead in my head," all while drum machines and synths pulse in the background. Lead vocals are not so much singing as they are various vacillations between sultry coos and snarls. The name Charlie Drown is hilarious on its surface, but thinking more about what exactly the band might be getting at by naming itself this is kind of like a cat chasing its tail (is it still funny if maybe they take the name seriously?). Best, I think, to approach Charlie Drown as something that'll get you to dance madly and get all dark and stuff. Nothing wrong with that. - Rev. Adam McKinney

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Big Wheel Stunt Show, with Gavin Guss. 8 pm. $7.

Le Voyeur Café and Lounge Olympia - Downtown. Hot Rush, Memory Boys, Skrill Meadow. 9 pm.

Louie G's Pizzeria Fife. Benefit Concert For Veterans, National Guard, Reserve & Family Members, with The Randy Oxford Band. All Ages. 7 pm. $10 & donate a new toy at the door.

Mandolin Cafe Tacoma - Central. Blue Creepers. All Ages. 6 pm. Seastar. All Ages. 8 pm.

Morso Wine Bar Gig Harbor. Jaime Wyatt, Ted Wulfers. 8 pm. $25.

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. Countdown to Christmas Show, with Girl Trouble, The Fucking Eagles, The Dignitaries. 8:30 pm.

  • Christmas in Tacoma is synonymous with a number of things. Half-racks of Pabst adorned with bows. Eternal darkness. Mediocre gift exchanges. Heavy drinking. Loneliness. Depression. They all have their place on the Tacoma holiday mantle. Luckily, T-Town also has the annual (or somewhat annual) Girl Trouble Countdown to Christmas show, which this year will again be held at The New Frontier Lounge, and - along with its garage rocking namesake - will bring Grit City staples the Fucking Eagles and the Dignitaries to the stage. It will be a Tacoma-centric celebration of the holidays that's easy to get behind, and won't leave you a sobbing mess of tears all alone in front of the TV watching Holiday claymation. Or does that just happen to me? - Matt Driscoll

The Spar Olympia. Paul Mauer. 8 pm. NC.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. J-Mac, Tie One On. 9 pm. NC

Tempest Lounge Tacoma - Hilltop. Hamell On Trial. 7 pm. $10.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

December 10, 2011 at 7:03am

5 Things To Do Today: "Nutcracker," Duck The Malls, Cash Flow Show, Big Band Christmas ...

SATURDAY, DEC. 11, 2011 >>>

1. The magical, wonderous world of the Nutcracker we see today is a far cry from the bleak, unhappy place imagined by the story's original author, E.T.A. Hoffman. Clara is Marie, a child in an unhappy home whose closest companion is a Nutcracker doll. The mouse king has seven heads and while it features a happy ending, the tale as a whole was so dark it was never intended for children. Then Alexander Dumas nice-ified the text and Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write a ballet score. And the far kinder version that Tacoma City Ballet presents at 3 p.m. inside the Pantages Theater. Representatives from the Marine Corps Toys for Tots Foundation will be on hand to accept donations for needy children in our community. Yet another reason why we should all love ballet.

2. Duck The Malls sounds fun on paper. If nothing else, this holiday sale to benefit the Olympia Film Society cuts out so much of the guesswork and crap of going to a regular flea market: With just the freaks on board selling their Yaz CDs, hipster bicycles and Ronald McDonald drinking glasses, you're sure to be steering clear of screaming babies and the scary men selling kicker boxes and enormous knives. Meanwhile, you may finally pick up that home-tattooing manual you've always wanted, along with that Boss phaser pedal whatshisname uses. You know there's going to be that moment where somebody runs into her ex, who's behind a table selling everything she ever gave him. Check it our from 1-4 p.m. inside the Capitol Theater. For the complete story on the event, click here.

3. We love the holidays, but let's face it: shopping at this time of year can suck. Snagging your nails in a catfight over a cashmere scarf, ruining your skin in the moisture-sucking mall air, and growing monster knots of tension just to cross each gift off your list makes for a stressful season. Enter the Mad Hat Tea Company, whose Cash Flow Show featuring local artists you know and love, slinging a bounty of artistic goodness priced at $25 or less, from 7-11 p.m. Santa has all the details here.

4. Who better to lean about Himalayan Sherpas than from someone whose last name is Sherpa. After traveling  around the world in 1991, Caryl Sherpa returned with a story to tell and a desire to write. Her passion is for Nepal, most especially the Sherpa people, after she met and married her trekking guide, Nima Sherpa. Caryl will enter Orca Books with a backpack full of her new book, I Taste Fire, Earth, Rain: Elements of Life With A Sherpa at 7 p.m.

5. Yet another chance to enjoy seasonal music, this time provided by Rich Wetzel's expanded million-piece Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra. Wetzel will lead his big band through both traditional and non-traditional holiday music, with many of the arrangements taken directly from the great Stan Kenton. Wetzel will also orchestrate hallowed stuff in the jazz world and some big band arrangements of bygone holiday swingers, as well as some of Groovin' Higher's regular jazz book. The music begins at 7:30 p.m. inside Tacoma Community College's Building 2 Auditorium.

PLUS: Today's Santarchy, Beautiful Angle Holiday Party and Dickens Fest are previewed in our Weekend Hustle.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: 2011 South Sound Holiday Happenings

LINK: Happy hours!

December 10, 2011 at 4:18pm

NIGHT MOVES: Infernal Legion, Five Alarm Funk, Polly Darton, White Orange, Baby Gramps ...

Hot Fruit will rock Le Voyeur in Olympia tonight.


Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Highrollers. 9 pm.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Infernal Legion CD Release, with Ceremonial Castings, Churchburner, Bloodhunger, Terra Morta, Sok & The Faggots. 6 pm. $5.

  • The 253 has more metal bands than I have room to mention, but one band has been bashing out the most evil, blackest metal longer than the rest - Infernal Legion. Tonight the band will release its newest full-length record on Moribund Records. The Spear of Longinus features nine songs and 45 minutes of the most Satanic tunes ever - plus the debut of new bassist and local celeb Josh Dombeck. Recorded right here in Tacoma by Jesse O'Donnell at the Autopsy Room, the first thing that jumped out and throttled me about this CD was the production and sinister tones blaring out of my speakers. A heavier release than expected, I was pleasantly surprised by the songwriting throughout. For my song-by-song rundown of the album, click here.Jason McKibbin

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Five Alarm Funk. 8:30 pm. $10.

Kings Books Tacoma - Stadium District. Bryan John Appleby entertains the Beautiful Angle Holiday Party. 7 pm. NC

LakeBridge Forza Lakewood. Kim Archer. All Ages. 7-9 pm. $10.

Le Voyeur Café and Lounge Olympia - Downtown. Polly Darton, Hot Fruit, Z'Dar. 9 pm.

Louie G's Pizzeria Fife. Erotic City (Prince tribute). All Ages. 9 pm.

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. White Orange, Argonaut. 9 pm.

  • "I've been into psychedelic and heavy music for a long time," says White Orange lead singer Dustin Hill. "I studied it, and was very much into early '60s underground psychedelic high school bands, and was also very influenced by - for lack of a better word, the whole doom/stoner movement, which starts in the '60s with Blue Cheer and Black Sabbath. It's not a new thing. So, with the early movement of this heavier music, plus the early movement of (psychedelia), and especially as it progressed into the desert of America with Kyuss - I mean, all of that is a heavy influence for me." To read up on White orange, click here. _ Rev. Adam McKinney

The Red Room Tacoma. SOTA Showcase, with Rooftop Warrior, Roswell, Whitney Miller, Jillian Kelley, Riley O'Boyle. All Ages. 7 pm. $5.

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

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Sea Of Misinformation. 9 pm. NC.

Tacoma Community College Auditorium Tacoma - Westside. A Big Band Christmas, featuring Rich Wetzel's Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra. All Ages. 7:30 pm. $10.

Traditions Cafe and World Folk Art Olympia - Downtown. Baby Gramps. All Ages. 8 pm.

  • Baby Gramps looks just like he sounds. His appearance is a more or less spot-on indication of the noises that soon follow when he picks up an old gee-tar and starts a-singing. A long, scraggly white beard, some spectacles, a low-brimmed hat, and when he opens his mouth, the strangest sounds fall out. Throat-singing, it's called, this kind of guttural croak - and it's Baby Gramps' most effective tool in transforming these old folk songs, labor songs and sea shanties into something that feels real. Twee anachronism fades, and all that remains is the pungent punch of that voice. Knowing about how long Baby Gramps has been busking on Seattle streets - somewhere close to 50 years - it's hard to really question the sights that beard has seen. - Volcano Staff

Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill Spanaway. Devils Of Loudun, Decibal Point, DA27 Ether. 9 pm.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

LINK: Saturday Night It List

December 11, 2011 at 9:24am

5 Things To Do Today: "A Christmas Tale," 1962 World's Fair chat, "Gen Silent," Blues Vespers ...

In the depths of the Korvatunturi mountains, 486 meters deep, lies the closest ever guarded secret of Christmas.

SUNDAY, DEC. 11, 2011 >>>

1. The Finnish legend of Santa Claus is a little darker than ours. Namely, he shows up and demands presents. And the version of Santa Claus in Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale is after more than presents. Basically, a greedy corporation unleashes demon Santa from his icy mountain and he starts nabbing kiddies. So a couple trappers have to end his ass. The full-length film in Finnish with sub-titles will screen at 2 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. The juried Fine Arts and Crafts Show will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Women's Club of Olympia House in downtown Olympia.

3. Astronauts, Elvis, sky rides, royalty, the Kennedys, religion, topless  showgirls, the Canadian tattoo, the Cold War and futurist speculation - the 1962 Seattle World's Fair had it all.  The era and its people come to life in The Future Remembered: The 1962 Seattle World's Fair and Its Legacy - a new, coffee-table-style book by Paula Becker and Alan J. Stein filled with fascinating history, stories and pictures to celebrate the fair's upcoming 50th anniversary. Stein will drop by the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch for a 2 p.m. chat, slide show and signing.

4. Gen Silent is a critically-acclaimed documentary from filmmaker Stu Maddux that explores the challenges of six LGBT (lesbian, gay, bi, trans) seniors who face the difficult choice of hiding their friends, their spouses and their entire lives in order to survive in the health care system. The film will screen at 5 p.m. as part of SAGE Olympia's senior gay and lesbian film series at the Capitol Theater.

5. Little Bill and the Blue Notes headlines the Christmas Blues Vespers show at 5 p.m. inside Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Tacoma.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: 2011 South Sound Holiday Happenings

LINK: Happy hours!

December 11, 2011 at 11:47am

Sunday night bingo

Falicia Pritchett calls Sunday night bingo at the Lakewood Pub and Grill in Lakewood. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

Bobble Tiki speared Christmas shopping. Not "eased it"; not "did it early."  Speared it.  In one all-night, online hurricane of holiday goodwill. A monster bag of Tim's chips and a two-liter bottle of Dew (a salute to the creators of the Net), Bobble Tiki demolished his nagging list and reclaimed the month of December for actual living - which means bingo tonight!

Lakewood Pub and Grill offers bingo each Sunday night to offer folks a way to relax with a beer and some food while they win stuff they likely don't need. Last week people won Stanley screwdrivers and glittered ornaments that sent glitter spewing when touched. Awesome.

[Lakewood Pub and Grill, 5 p.m. Sunday, free to play, 7505 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, 253.5682.9185]

Jennifer Langlow, Jennifer Akana and Jill Schock working the squares at the Lakewood Pub and Grill.

LINK: Other stuff to do tonight

Filed under: Games, Lakewood,

December 12, 2011 at 7:41am

MORNING SPEW: U.P. in trouble, fast-food robber too slow, 2011 top films ...

"Midnight in Paris": One of the best of the year.


University Place: Pretty on the outside, ugly on the inside. (News Tribune)

Fast-Food Robber: Not fast enough. (News Tribune)

Hero Of The Year: Robin Lim, an American woman who has helped thousands of poor Indonesian women have a healthy pregnancy and birth, was named the 2011 CNN Hero of the Year on Sunday night. (CNN)

Holiday Guide: Geek Greetings Edition. (Weekly Volcano)

American Film Institute: Top films of 2011. (L.A. Times)

Louis C.K. Special: Buy it for $5. (buy.louisck.net)

Smothers Brothers: Coming to the big screen. (Deadline)

Hair Metal: The best of all time? (L.A. Weekly)

December 12, 2011 at 10:00am

5 Things To Do Today: Karaoke galore, acoustic jam with Jeff Morgan, Metal Monday and more ...

Rockaraoke at Jazzbones is all the rage on Monday nights.

MONDAY, DEC. 12, 2011 >>>

1. Get your devil horns and exclamation points ready!!! It's Metal Monday at the New Frontier!! As McKibbin would say, "Support the scene!!"

2. Let's tally up the score for Jazzbones Rockaraoke, shall we? A chance to sing on stage with a live band? Yes. Cheap Miller High Life? Yes. A valid excuse to drink on a Monday (repeat, Monday) night? Yes, yes and, oh God, yes.

3. Not only is it a good night for rockaraoke at Jazzbones - it's a good night for karaoke throughout the South Sound. Lady Luck's Cowgirl Up Steakhouse hosts "Toxic Karaoke," Jake's on Fourth Avenue in Olympia hosts gay-friendly karaoke, the Play Pen in Lacey busts out a karaoke contest and the Bull Market Bar and Grill offers karaoke in a bowling alley. The possibilities are endless.

4. At El Gaucho in Tacoma, Butch Harrison will be classing it up in the piano lounge.

5. Out on South Tacoma Way, Stonegate Pizza hosts an acoustic jam with Jeff Morgan. Have some pizza and enjoy the good times. There's no cover.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight!

December 12, 2011 at 10:16am

TONIGHT: Not so silent night due to beer


It's the second Monday of the month, which means it's Tap Night Tacoma. Five locally owned and operated joints - The Red Hot, The Parkway Tavern, Doyle's Public House, The Swiss, and Engine House No. 9 - will simultaneously tap a fresh cask of ale at 6 p.m. tonight.


The Red Hot will tap Port Townsend Hop Diggidy IPA.

The Parkway will unleash some American Brewing Company Red on cask.

Doyle's will have Thornbridge Hall Halycyon Green Hop out of the cask.

The Swiss will feature Georgetown Brewing Lucille IPA.

Engine House No. 9 will come clean with their Winter Warmer.

LINK: Happy hours

December 12, 2011 at 12:31pm

Top Banana

Cafe Banana's Pad Thai


In more than a decade of writing for the Weekly Volcano, I've come to depend heavily on restaurant leads from its knowledgeable readers. I can't be everywhere at once, and feedback from readers has frequently led me to restaurant gems that I might not have unearthed on my own. But in that decade-plus, I've never gotten more encouraging reviews from readers about a restaurant than I've received in the past month or so about Café Banana, the new Asian bistro where once Goodfellas Steakhouse anchored the Great American Casino in Lakewood.

Where a lot of restaurateurs would probably be happy just throwing a few posters from Thailand on the walls and a bronze Buddha in the corner, owner Tony Wen dims the lights, giving the bamboo wallpaper and Asian cultural décor a more mystic feel.

The menu at Café Banana shines with five appetizers, five curry dishes, five noodle dishes, three satays and four entrees, including a crispy red snapper. It's reasonably priced, with most dishes ringing in less than $10.

So how do you decide between the red curry with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers and Thai basil and the green curry with coconut milk, bamboo shoots, bell peppers, snow peas and Thai basil? Well, since the flavors at Café Banana are clean and wonderful, it doesn't really matter which dishes you choose.

There are a handful of menu items I'd highly recommend such as the Massaman chicken and cashew chicken. I tend to judge Thai restaurants on their Pad Thai; I figure if that classic Thai noodle dish isn't up to par, then there's no reason to think anything else will be. Café Banana's Pad Thai ($9.95) definitely wins "Best Of" status in my book. It's exceptional.

Several curry and noodle dishes are offered as $7.95 lunch specials with choice of soup or a mixed baby green salad.

With a full bar of boozy goodies and extra-friendly service, this new restaurant is top banana in my book.

[Café Banana, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday, 1-11 p.m. Saturday, 1-9 p.m. Sunday, happy hour 4-7 p.m. Sunday-Thursday, 10115 S. Tacoma Way, Lakewood, 253.589.4678]

Filed under: Food & Drink, Lakewood,

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