Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: January, 2013 (148) Currently Viewing: 11 - 20 of 148

January 3, 2013 at 9:17am

Geeks Who Drink to drink strong exotic drinks

HOLLAND HUME: He's serious about his Geeks Who Drink game.

NOW WITH MORE MAI TAIS >>>

A big change is afoot in Geeks Who Drink land.

As you have noticed, the Geeks Who Drink trivia game has disappeared from Paddy Coyne's. The downtown Tacoma Irish bar told Quizmaster Holland Hume, or as the teams at Paddy Coyne's called him - Holland the Wonder Boy, to grab his quiz sheets and leave. Standing outside the pub, Hume glances across the street and saw Tacoma Cabana's great big smiley aloha. One, two four, Hume had a score. The tiki bar will host the Geeks Who Drinks trivia game every Tuesday beginning Jan. 8.

The nationwide quiz game - held in several venues in Olympia and Tacoma - consists of eight rounds of eight questions and is played in teams of up to six people. Questions are read aloud by the quizmaster; 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.

"The Tacoma Cabana game will be the standard Geeks Who Drink formula, which is a two-hour live MC event," explains Quizmaster Hume. "There are eight rounds in the night. One is a visual handout that is given at the beginning of the quiz, two are audio rounds - one usually music-related and one usually movie/TV-related - and the other five are read by me over the mic. In addition to first and second place prizes - which will be in the form of gift certificates good for the next visit - there are five bonus prizes scattered throughout the night that each equate to a free beer."

The Tuesday night Geeks Who Drink game will be held in Tacoma Cabana's tropically tricked-out backroom, as to not interfere with the front room's enjoyment of Gilligan's Island re-runs and peaceful Zombie cocktail drinking.

I quizzed the quizmaster on his past games.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: What were your favorite moments from Paddy Coyne's game?

HOLLAND HUME: As much as a cop out answer as it is, it's hard to pick one moment. The quiz itself is very much a social gathering. The structure lends itself to countless repeat visits, and I run it with a focus on player interaction. We would be nothing without our quizzers' support, so I try to make them a part of the evening.  We celebrate birthdays and weddings. We have special theme nights with bonus prizes. I work to make it less a "two hour event" and more a "weekly gathering."

Our one-year anniversary quiz was pretty amazing. My scorekeeper and I dressed in drag - black evening gowns - and had lots of bonus prizes. Also, the then-manager Rory did a fantastic cross-promotion job and got us support from some local breweries for the evening. It was a pretty amazing night.  Halloween has also been a fun quiz night. Halloween is the only holiday I really care about, so I try to play it up at the quiz.  I encourage people to dress up and give awards - usually terrible horror movies inspired by the Tacoma Cult Movie Club - based on different categories.

VOLCANO: Was there a trivia night at Paddy Coyne's you wish you could take back?

HUME: Back when I first started, and was still wet behind the ears as far a Quizmaster/drunk crowd controller, I went along with an idea that involved a special cash prize, assuming people could and would police themselves. It was a nightmare. There was rampant cheating from several teams, finger pointing and slander-throwing from half the teams. I received lots of negative feedback. In the end, we lost the support of three veteran teams. I had to spend weeks rebuilding the trust of the remaining teams. It helped me develop my quiz mastering skills quickly and taught me a lot - most notably, cash prizes are generally a terrible and often desperate idea). Ultimately if I could hit a giant "redo" button I would have handled that night much differently.

VOLCANO: Is there an individual or group that is heads and shoulders above everyone else?

HUME: About two-thirds of our teams are repeat players, but we have a few that have been playing anywhere from six months to the entirety of the quizzes lifespan. Of those teams, we have two teams that tend to win more often than others. They always change their name, but I often call them "The Political Team" and "The Beard Team." You would think having the same teams win over and over would turn people off from playing, but really it adds another incentive. If you win you not only get a gift card, but also you beat "those guys." It's an extra level of satisfaction that can be shared by the whole bar.

TACOMA CABANA, TUESDAYS, 8 P.M., NO COVER, 728 PACIFIC AVE., TACOMA, 253.222-4184

LINK: We hung out at Paddy Coyne's Geeks Who Drink

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January 3, 2013 at 11:03am

Checking in on Tacoma Brewing Company's Kickstarter

CROWDFUNDING FOR BEER >>>

Kickstarter has helped many big thinkers get the funding necessary to make hopeful projects come to fruition. The crowdfunding model sprung up in part due to the squeeze of the financial collapse. Small business loans have become more difficult to get in the wake of the recession; even if a business does qualify, it can take a long time for it to see the money.

Morgan Alexander knows this. The burgeoning brewmaster operates his Tacoma Brewing Company out of his teensy-weensy coffee shop - the Amocat Café in Tacoma's Triangle District. His unique and experimental brews - such as Bloody Mary IPA and Bourbon Oaked Imperial Stout - are damn tasty. Problem is, his batches are small due to space confinement. Therefore, he has launched a Tacoma Brewing Company Kickstarter.

If he hits his Kickstarter goal, Alexander aims to upgrade his brewing equipment and secure a warehouse space. His goal is a measly and attainable $5,000. These funds will help Tacoma Brewing to brew more, maybe even making it accessible to local pubs tap list, which is a good thing.

Contributors will be handsomely rewarded with swag such as car decals, buttons and T-shirts. And for the high rollers awaits an invite to the exclusive VIP release party, and a chance to brew beside Alexander.

"The response has, overall, has been really incredible. It's great to see the community rally behind these really great projects like the South Sound Users Guide, Tacoma Makes Playing Cards and Libertine Salts. We want to be a part of that."

Tacoma Brewing Company has until Jan. 14 to fulfill its dream of large-space brewing. To donate visit the TBC Kickstarer.

Every Friday night Tacoma Brewing Company invites the public to whet its whistle and try new brew recipes at Amocat Cafe. Currently, Alexander is focusing on winter flavors such as a coffee stout and pomegranate porter, but there are light brews too.

Follow the Tacoma Brewing Company's Facebook for updates and event invites.

TACOMA BREWING COMPANY, 625 SAINT HELENS AVE., TACOMA, 253.242.3370

January 3, 2013 at 11:33am

Tacoma rockers Legend of Bigfoot on national TV Sunday

SNAPPED DURING "FINDING BIGFOOT" FILMING: Jimmy Hughs, Jason Flom, Van Connor, Nate Rich and Mike Krushka. Courtesy Photo

TACOMA ON NATIONAL TV AGAIN >>>

Tacoma rockers The Legend of Bigfoot will make an appearance on Animal Planet's reality TV series, Finding Bigfoot. The show airs Sunday, Jan. 6 at 10 p.m. Legend of Bigfoot guitarist Jason Flom gives us a rundown on the long wait, and how it all happened.

November 2011: The Legend of Bigfoot was featured on KISW's Loud and Local band of the week as part of Van Conner's (Screaming Trees) new record label, Strange Earth. A couple days later, a production assistant - a local guy and a rock fan - contacted the group via Facebook.

"As communication opened up the topic of using our music on the show came up," says Flom. "I seized the opportunity and said ‘Hey, if you ever want to use us on the show. ... A few months later, after you start to wonder if they'll even get back to you, they contacted us."

June 2012: "I hear from him that they would be filming an episode up here in the Northwest and maybe we could be a part of it. So we ended up finding out on a Tuesday that filming would commence on Friday - at a bar down in Olympia. So we had to kick it into high gear. Van Conner, who is the head of our record company Strange Earth Records, came through with a huge banner to hang behind us, along with T-shirts made especially for the event.

"We showed up on Friday night, set up, the cast and crew arrived and we were filmed playing a mini-set with the cast sitting in front of us. At one point Cliff from the cast grabbed a guitar and jammed with us during ‘The Fire.' It was insane! The place was packed. I only hope the cool vibe of that night shows through on television - national television!

December 31, 2012: Flom finds out the show will air in six days. "I announced it on January 1 - started the year off right!"

January 6, 2013: The show airs! "We're not sure what to expect from the finished product, but whether it amounts to 30 seconds or 5 minutes, we're extremely grateful for the national TV exposure and honored that we were chosen to be part of the show. I for one am a huge fan of it. I'll just be sitting there as it airs, with my wife by my side, my dog in my lap, and a glass of champagne."

Spring 2013: "Our new album, Door To The Sky, will be out this spring, available worldwide online via Strange Earth Records. We will also have an album release party.

Filed under: Music, Screens, Tacoma,

January 4, 2013 at 7:03am

5 Things To Do Today: Monster Jam, "Broadway's Next Hit Musical," Rusty Cleavers, Latin Night and more ...

GRAVE DIGGER: Will the iconic vehicle win again?

FRIDAY, JAN. 4 2013 >>>

1. A January tradition within the cold, concrete environs of the Tacoma Dome, Monster Jam - the Superbowl of Motorsports - brings together the top vehicles in outdoor entertainment for an engrossing evening of car-crunching, wheelie-popping, mud-churning action. By this point, the bill-topping position of morbid monstrosity Grave Digger is beyond a given - GD, after all, is to monster trucks what Jenelle Evans is to public arrests - but even the acolytes among us are getting somewhat weary of the green-and-black marauder's protracted dominance of the sport. So a rebellious impulse deep inside us is pulling for an upset win by Robosaurus or Maximum Destruction. Monster Jam rolls into the Tacoma Dome at 7:30 p.m. for a three-day smash.

2. The merengue, as well as the bachata and salsa, are taught in mini-versions, with or without partner, at varying levels of experience, every Friday night at Studio 6 Ballroom in Tacoma. After the last instruction, the club lights flip on, disco ball drops and Studio 6 fills with cross body leads, hand throws and hammerlocks. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Studio 6 Ballroom's Latin dance Night in the Weekly Volcano's Clubs/Bars Section.

3. The hysterical Broadway's Next Hit Musical is the only unscripted theatrical awards show. Audience members submit song titles on a slip of paper. These go into a fishbowl; four cast members draw "titles," develop a backstory for the musical the song appears in and create a scene and song on the spot. The first half ends as the audience votes on the "winner," who receives "the coveted Phony Award." A second half features a full "musical," featuring the winning song, four-six scenes, costumes and new improvised songs. Catch it at 8 p.m. inside the Washington Center in Olympia.

4. Something seems so right about the marriage between punk rock and the washboard. Skidding your hand along the grooves of a washboard elicits nothing more than a visceral rattle - a crude affront to the idea of percussion and what it means to be a member of a band. Punk rock similarly shatters the idea of a rock 'n' roll band. It seems only natural to combine the worlds of bluegrass and punk, and the Rusty Cleavers do so magnificently, with all manner of mandolin, banjo and backyard clatter coming together in a cacophony of spirited group-singing and hoops and hollers. Catch the band at 8 p.m. inside The New Frontier Lounge.

5. The Loch's in downtown Tacoma hosts Friday Night Flowcase, a night of hip-hop featuring D.J. Reign on the tables and performances by J.U.I., W.O.L.G. Gang, Cauze-n-Efekt, Sic Ill, Gho$t Kapone and 36uh0. Of course Josh Rizeberg is hosting it. It kicks up at 8 p.m.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 4, 2013 at 8:56am

Why there's an interactive mural in downtown Tacoma

LIVE DOWNTOWN MURAL: Market Street mural encourages living downtown by writing on the art.

EXPRESS YOURSELF >>>

A vacant building on the corner of 11th and Market in downtown Tacoma has some newfound pizazz. Namely a mural painted by Downtown on the Go, a transportation advocate for residents and businesses downtown.

DotG's mural is interactive. Passersby can pick up a piece of chalk and add in their own commentary on what they love or don't love about downtown. In short, DotG has developed the coolest survey ever.

And they intend to listen to the wall.

"We're hoping for real feedback about living downtown," says Kristina Walker, Downtown on the Go manager. "We know that there are some outdated misperceptions of downtown Tacoma, but we also know there are some real reasons that people aren't making that choice (to live downtown) even with the many benefits of living close to work. We want to hear about those and, with the greater downtown community, begin to address them."

Eventually the chalk-written comments will fade away, but DotG is taking daily photos to record what's written and will collect the input throughout the project.

"Our Live Downtown program is in a pilot phase," says Walker. "As we develop the next phase of the project, this input is imperative to the discussion about how we market downtown living and the program."

She is also happy to see comments that simply show why downtown is already cool or why people go downtown. Walker says the comments will help DotG continue to expand transportation options and resources for downtown employees and residents.

LINK: Photo updates of the Live Downtown mural

Filed under: Community, Arts, Tacoma, Transportation,

January 4, 2013 at 10:18am

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Monster Jam, Oly Mountain Boys, Puyallup Home Show, last ice skate and more ...

OLY MOUNTAIN BOYS: They love hats.

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Clouds and sun, hi 47, lo 39

Saturday: Mostly cloudy with a few showers, hi 45, lo 38

Sunday: Cloudy with a little rain, hi 44, lo 33

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 4-SATURDAY, JAN. 5: BROADWAY'S NEXT HIT MUSICAL

Broadway's Next Hit Musical looks hilarious. It's song. It's dance. It's audience participation. Most importantly, it's improvised. The crowd gets to choose four different song titles, vote on the Broadway's next hit musical and then watch as the talented crew improvs an entire musical based on the winning title. With a witty cast, plot twists and an assortment of situations, each night is different and each night will certainly be memorable. - Nikki McCoy

  • The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m., $9-$26, 512 Washington St., Olympia, 360.753.8585
  • Fulcrum Gallery, 5 p.m., free, 1308 S. MLK Way, Tacoma

>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 4-SATURDAY, JAN. 5: OLY MOUNTAIN BOYS

The Oly Mountain Boys are stomping their way into the Yew Year. With nine shows booked in the South Sound over the next two months, the bluegrass masters start with a show tonight at The New Frontier Lounge in Tacoma and Saturday at The Pig Bar in Oly. The five piece uses all the bluegrass faves - harmonious vocals, mandolin, guitar, banjo, fiddle and bass - to hone a sound that's their own. Plus, they know how to dress. Have you seen the hats they wear? -NM

  • The New Frontier, w/Rusty Cleavers and Michael Gee, Friday, 9 p.m., $5, 301 E. 25th St., Tacoma, 253. 572.4020
  • The Pig Bar, Saturday, 8 p.m., no cover, 619 Legion Way SE, Olympia, 360.943.6900

>>> FRIDAY. JAN. 4-SUNDAY, JAN. 6: MONSTER JAM

For every adult male that never outgrew smashing his matchbox cars into each other, the Tacoma Dome brings back Grave Digger, Bounty Hunter, Captain America and more, in (ahem, let me change to my commercial announcer voice) an OUTRAGEOUS display of monster truck POWER, watch them FLIP, JUMP and SMASH!!  Fun for the whole family, get there early and get up close and personal with the trucks and drivers in the PARTY PIT! This weekend ONLY at the MONSTER JAM ROCK THE DOME BATTLE OF THE MONSTER TRUCKS. BE THERE!! Well, that was obnoxious. I'm sure the real event will be much more entertaining than those commercials. Maybe. - NM

  • Tacoma Dome, Friday 7:30 p.m., Saturday 2 p.m., Sunda, 1 p.m. $10-$22, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, 253.272.3663

>>> FRIDAY. JAN. 4-SUNDAY, JAN. 6: PUYALLUP HOME SHOW

For three days inside the Puyallup Fairground's Showplex, the Puyallup Home and Garden Show will serve up the best in home design, landscaping and decorating. Produced by Trade Shows Northwest, a company that makes its living putting events like this together, according to hype the Puyallup Home and Garden show promises to provide "homeowners with wonderful ideas on enhancing their home´s comfort and functionality, as well as the overall look and appeal of their home." Expect product demonstrations and guys in Janet Jackson headsets slinging vinyl siding. It just might be enough to inspire you to make that kitchen island or storm door a reality. — Weekly Volcano

  • Puyallup Fairground's Showplex, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4-Saturday, Jan. 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 6, $7-$8, Ninth and meridian, Puyallup, 253.874.8711

>>> SATURDAY, Jan. 5: RETRO SKATE NIGHT

Go old school in Puyallup Saturday at another Retro Skate Night at Tiffany's Skate Inn. Retro is all the rage these days, from Atari to tube socks, and Retro Skate Nights at Tiffany's - featuring tunes from the '70s, '80s and '90s - are probably better than both of those things. Get funky from 7:30 - 10:30 p.m. — WV

  • Tiffany's Skate Inn, 7-10 p.m., $7, 113 N Meridian, Puyallup, 253.848.1153

>>> SUNDAY, JAN. 6: LAST SKATE

Sunday is the last day to bundle up, pinch your cheeks until they glow and strap on a pair of silver skates, Hans Brinker, for a glide across the frozen expanse at Tollefson Plaza. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street ends today. Hit the ice from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. — WV

  • Franciscan Plolar Plaza, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., $4-$8, 17th and Pacific avenue, Tacoma

WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
Amanda and I will be celebrating our fifth anniversary as a couple by going on our first-ever ski weekend.

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I'd be a fool to miss the Santee show on Saturday, which also features personal favorites of mine People Under the Sun and I Like Science. That's a crazy solid lineup. If you haven't seen People Under the Sun and their gauntlet of vintage synthesizers, you're missing quite a sight.

ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
I shall watch the Seahawks whup up on Washington (I hope, I hope, I hope,) and I'll write a chapter or two in the next great American novel.

NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
Playing catch up on housework, staying under blankets as much as possible and paying bills. You know, recovering from the holidays.

JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
Tonight I'm hosting a nice little local hip-hop show at The Loch's. Catch W.O.L.F. Gang, Sic Ill, J.U.I., Gho$t Kapone, Cauze-N-Efekt, 36uh0! and D.J. Reign. It's only $5 and the doors open at 9 p.m. Saturday from 1-2 p.m. I'll be teaching some spoken word/poetry at D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts. Contact the Center to enroll or just stop on by. Saturday, I'll also be at Awall's video shoot. I don't want to give too much away. Stay tuned!

JACKIE FENDER Food Writer
Just good ol' work. I'll be slinging booze, writing and returning emails and ideally getting January's Wrist issues out on the stands.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
For the first time in weeks I don't have a single thing planned other than church and football! We've already taken the Christmas tree down and organized all the toddlers new toys. If the weather is nice we may let the boy ride his new tricycle outside or take the dogs for a walk. Otherwise, I need to make a new lining for my pea coat and figure out what it means to be defiantly creative and do some of that.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER: Photographer
I will be strapped to my Xbox 360 with my kids touring the Disney games. Also, I'm talking the female offspring to see Children's Hour at Lakewood Playhouse.

TIMOTHY GRISHAM Music Writer
I am still a bit miffed that the world did not end last month. I really planned on it, and spent way too much on gifts for family that I would never see again. But alas, I did see them again, and now I have to do the yearly ritual of returning unwanted gifts at a mall I hate going to. While I am there I am going to catch Django Unchained to easy my psychotic state, or amplify it depending on how you look at it.

ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend, I will be scouring antique stores in an attempt to furnish my apartment.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

January 4, 2013 at 12:59pm

SOUTH SOUND SIDEKICK: Get fit the Dungeons and Dragons way

JASON HEILPERN: When he's not rolling a 20-side die, he's helping people achieve their fitness goals at Geek and Gamer Fitness. Courtesy photo

South Sound Sidekick series offers advice from experts living in the, well, South Sound. It posts every Friday. Today, Jason Heilpern - owner of Geek and Gamer Fitness in Tumwater - has advice on how to begin a fitness program.

Jason Heilpern writes,

It was April 1, 2009 when I woke up.  For the last several years I had spent my life living a life that had consumed me.  I was smoking two packs of cigarettes a day, drinking my way into alcoholism and my diet consisted of fast food and soda.  I weighed close to 300lbs, and couldn't make it up a full flight of steps without great effort.  I was in bad shape, and needed to change.

Sound familiar?  The truth is many people find themselves in similar situations every day, and like me have no idea what to do. They know they need to eat right, and lose weight, but they don't know how. This is why so many people give up and fail.  I was lucky to make it through that first year.  How did I do it you ask?  Simple, I approached fitness the same way I played Dungeons and Dragons.

Level One Character

When you play D&D everyone starts out as a level one character. This means they have no equipment, experience, or skills.  Characters gain levels as they gain experience, and so it is with you in fitness.  You have to accept that you are a level one character, and understand that it's OK to be so.  Experience, skill and strength will come in time.

Choose Your Character

In D&D players must create a character to play.  Will they play a fighter, rouge or wizard?  Each kind of character has different abilities.  So it is with you and fitness.  You need to decide what kind of a Fit Freak you are going to be.  Will you be a runner, a Crossfit athlete or yoga?  There are so many ways to get into shape - the sky is the limit.  The key is finding the type that works for you. If you try yoga and decide you don't like it, don't give up on fitness - try something else. Experiment with different classes, instructors and gyms until you find one that works for you.

Level Up

Any D&D player will tell you their favorite part of playing is leveling up their character. This is where they get new skills and abilities.  A mistake many Fit Freaks make is doing the same things over and over again.  Don't do that.  Constantly be pushing yourself to try new things in fitness.  This is how we become better. Spending 30 minutes on the treadmill everyday will never get you into the body you want.  Find a coach, trainer or classes that will always push you to become better then you are.

You are starting out on a wonderful journey of fitness.  If you stick with it, never give up, and continue to learn fitness will change your life. It took me from being overweight to a slim competitive athlete.  Even more surprising, fitness gave me a new career. In 2012 I opened my own fitness center to help others find their fitness path called Geek and Gamer Fitness.

LINK: Roommate advice

LINK: Marijuana smoking advice

LINK: Speeding ticket advice

LINK: How to harvest geoducks

LINK: Music business advice

LINK: First tattoo advice

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GET THE AFTERNOON DELIGHT NEWSLETTER

The Weekly Volcano’s Afternoon Delight newsletter features breaking news, stories, calendar picks and more sent directly to your inbox Monday-Friday. It’s completely free to subscribers, but costs $10,000 if you don't like it. You will like it. It's sweet and sour and makes you pucker and swoon. Sign up here:

January 4, 2013 at 1:45pm

Today in House Science, Space and Technology Committee news

SOUTH SOUND IN D.C. >>>

Rep. Derek Kilmer lands another committee:

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The House Democratic Caucus today named Representative Derek Kilmer to the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  Representative Kilmer's appointment to the House Armed Services Committee was confirmed today as well.

"I am excited by the opportunity to serve on the Science, Space, and Technology Committee.  At a time when our nation's employers are demanding higher skills - particularly in the arena of science and technology education - and at a time when our laboratories, colleges, and universities are pioneering new innovations, this committee can have a real impact on improving our region's competitiveness and on fostering economic growth for our entire country," said Representative Kilmer.  "I look forward to having an active role in shaping our nation's policies on innovation and research to help our employers compete and create more jobs here at home."

Will Rep. Kilmer attend the opening of the Science Dome in Lakewood? If so, will he arrive by jet pack? 

Filed under: Politics, News To Us, Gig Harbor,

January 4, 2013 at 4:22pm

WEEKEND HIP-HOP: J.U.I., Cauze-n-Efekt, DJ Reign, P.M.E., Chris Thomas, MusiKKast and more ...

36UHO: The Olympia hip-hop band performs tonight at The Loch's in downtown Tacoma. Photo courtesy of Facebook

LOTS OF SHOWS >>>

The weekends come and go! It seems like every other day I'm sitting down at my computer and telling ya'll what to go do on the weekend. I like it when they come more than they go. Here are your instructions for the first weekend of 2013.

Tonight will have ya at The Loch's. The downtown Tacoma venue is fully up and running. Do not let the lack of a new sign out front deter you. The cheap drinks and quality sound system that you enjoyed when the spot housed Hell's Kitchen still exist. For $5, which is a steal on a Friday night, you can catch W.O.L.F. Gang (MC Coo Beanz and Joey Moody), J.U.I., Sic Ill, Gho$t Kapone, Cauze-n-Efekt, 36uh0! with D.J. Reign on the wheels and hosted by myself.

Tonight's show at The Loch's is an off-the-beaten-path sort of line up - full of top quality hip-hop, but not necessarily artists ya get to see on bills every weekend. J.U.I. is a veteran M.C. from Tacoma who could have put out the sleeper best album of the year in 2012. He has an intelligent, wordy, nerdy, stiff yet fonky-flow. There is no one else that even sounds remotely like J.U.I. in the rap game.

Cauze-n-Efekt and 36uh0! are two of the more promising and popular crews from Olympia. I believe this is their first Tacoma show, so come show some neighborly support for your down south brethren. It is a good chance to see some of the best that Olympia has to offer.

Also, many consider DJ Reign to be the best hip-hop D.J. in Tacoma. He is running things down at The Loch's. I know he has some good things ready for us in 2013. Come get reacquainted with Reign and acquainted with the new spot, Loch's. If this show goes well, there will be plenty of more hip-hop on Friday nights there. Perhaps in 2013, Tacoma hip-hop can move out of the Thursday realm and into the prime weekend spot for shows.

Saturday, also at The Loch's, is the young upstart outfit P.M.E. - Power Moves Entertainment - album-release party. The young, motivated Tom Hutch heads P.M.E. The album features Luni Coleone among others, so maybe the $10 entry fee will be worth it. Expect to see Controversy the Misfit, Gazmo the Gr8 and Abom. Controversy is one of the most hyped, animated performers Tacoma has to offer. Gazmo the Gr8 is a polished local M.C. who has ties to California. He puts out some of the better music in Tacoma. He is also big in the blogosphere. He has the potential to be one of the top M.C.'s in T-town.

Who was the first host of B.E.T.'s Rap City? If ya say Chris Thomas, then I know you are old school. He was the first host of the show, followed by Prince Dejour, Joe Clair, Big Lez, Big Tigger and the list goes on. Well, the first mayor of Rap City, Thomas is performing stand-up at the Temple Theatre Saturday night. Ticket information is at Ticketmaster or call 800.745.3000.

Sunday is actually the busiest day of the weekend for hip-hop. There is the Graffiti Garage cipher at 1 p.m. Then, that night at The Loch's is the MusiKKast Records and Entertainment Industry Showcase and Mixer. This consists of an artist showcase competition, model showcase and all-around networking extravaganza. Young Jay Weed is on the bill. The night is hosted by the statesmen-like 6-Deep the Messenger. There are all kinds of good prizes to be won, like free beats, mastering, promotional material and airplay. Go to http://musikkast.com/pnw-industry-mixer-competition/ to register.

LINK: What's The Word? hip-hop column

January 5, 2013 at 8:48am

5 Things To Do Today: SweetKiss Momma on Ice, Tumwater Pioneers, Chris Thomas, All Night Yard Sale and more ...

SWEETKISS MOMMA: It's first album, "Revival Rock," is in the CD Baby's Top 20 for "Southern Rock."

SATURDAY, JAN. 5 2013 >>>

1. Winters here are cold and wet, and it's better to admit that fact and find a way to enjoy the season than to stay home depressed. Ice skating, with its low requirements in start-up costs and athletic prowess, may be the perfect way to beat the winter doldrums. It's charming and, in Tacoma, it comes with live music. Tonight is the last edition of the Weekly Volcano Electric Salchow Stage at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink. Back from recording in Nashville, SweetKiss Momma has the honor of being the last live band to rock it for the season. The band will fire up its Southern soul rock sound at 7 p.m. and perform for skaters until 9 p.m.

2. The Tumwater Pioneers arena soccer team makes its South Sound debut at Tumwater Indoor Sports at 7 p.m. against the Marysville Ruckus. The Pioneers are a semi-pro indoor soccer team competing in its first season in the Premier Arena Soccer League and feature athletes from the Olympia area including a number of current players and alumni from The Evergreen State College, Saint Martin's and South Puget Sound soccer teams.

3. Chris Thomas is best known as "The Mayor of Rap City." He worked on Run-D.M.C's and Public Enemy's national tours in the late '80s. His hip-hop know-how led him to BET's music video television program Rap City, which helped launch many music careers. He hosted the show, which began in 1989, until 1993. Rap City ended in 2008. Thomas, who is now in his 50s, still hosts programming for the Washing Wizards and his own "TV Icons of Comedy" tour. Thomas will join Shai, Jay Lamont, Damon Williams and Willie Brown for a comedy show at 8 p.m. inside Tacoma Temple Theatre.

4. True Holland and China Davis will rock the Westgate Bar & Grill at 8 p.m. in celebration of Marnie's birthday.

5. Musician Jesse Turcotte celebrated his birthday this week. If you have followed his birthday schedule in the past you know he typically celebrates it with a live music extravaganza at Doyle's Public House, the Stadium District pub where he pours spirits. Sue enough, this year isn't any different. Turcotte's band All Night Yard Sale - a Gyspy, Latin jazz funk thang - goes live at 9:30 p.m. with Turcotte on bass, Josh Hegg on guitar, Colby Sander on guitar and Jeff Berghammer on drums. If you follow live music in the area, you know these musicians are kind of a big deal.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 5 arst and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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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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