Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2013 (79) Currently Viewing: 21 - 30 of 79

September 9, 2013 at 7:04am

5 Things To Do Today: Pacific Grill party, Little Big Town, jazz jam and more ...

Celebrate Pacific Grill's eighth anniversary this afternoon. Illustration by Lance Kagey

MONDAY, SEPT. 9 2013 >>>

1. Tacoma loves it some Pacific Grill. It was no surprise when the chef/owner 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. After being open for eight years this month, Naccarato and his team recently rolled out thoroughly revamped menus, featuring small plates, lower prices and more vegan and gluten-free options. From 4-7 p.m., Pacific Grill will celebrate its eighth birthday with a party extravaganza, featuring free appetizers and desserts, prizes and hot DJ action with Mr. Melanin. The only thing more exciting is the food.

2. Think of them as Nashville's version of Fleetwood Mac without quite so many psychosexual head games, and you have Little Big Town. The country foursome will ride into the Washington State Fair at 7:30 p.m. taking turns singing lead and harmonize like no other group in Nashville right now.

3. Pianist Nate D., bassist Cameron and drummer Peter T. host the city's newest jazz jam inviting talent to sit in with them as the house trio explores straight ahead, funk and space at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Not all gigs qualify as a hang, but this one has the precise alchemy that could draw the area's best players: a high level of musicianship, a relaxed atmosphere and a sympathetic intergenerational crowd. Ask any working jazz musician, and the hang is what it's all about.

4. Every Monday Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect $2 PBR drafts, $3 Sinfire shots, $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs.

5. The stereotype is racing through your head: Everyone is in all black, many are wearing dark and heavy eye make-up and every now and then, the DJ stops a tune with a vertebrae-shattering guitar riff for chants of, "Kill! Kill! Kill!" But O'Malley's new "Mondays For The Damned," is not some cartoon-like parody like you see in the movies. For the most part, the 9 p.m. Monday DJ night is just your typical above ground underground new wave, synth pop, goth, industrial and post-punk haven, and, if you're into it, it's one of the best places to find yourself in the company of the city's goth and industrial scene. Night Shift (Nicole and Aaron) and guest DJs will spin, while Rich Sumner screens videos and movies. Get dark over $3.25 micro brew pints and a pound of wings for $5.50.

LINK: Monday, Sept. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 9, 2013 at 11:10am

Nerd Alert!: RiffTrax Live, Alec Clayton theater, Zombie Tag Takeover! and more ...

Drop by Olympia Century Theaters Sept. 12 for a hilarious riff on a masterpiece of alien slaughter propaganda!

Yo, our weekly baggie of Blue Sky is back, bitch! Nerd Alert is the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

I have to admit I'm rather jealous of Rev. Adam McKinney, who alternates weeks with me preparing this column. Next week he gets the release of Stephen King's novel Doctor Sleep, a sequel to The Shining, and the debut of Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. on network TV. I, on the other hand, get the mid-September doldrums. It's enough to make me curl up with my new pile of Star Wars comics, including the long-overdue The Star Wars miniseries from J. W. Rinzler, based on George Lucas's first (and intriguingly different!) draft of the screenplay. The Force of Others is strong with this one!


September 9, 2013 at 12:04pm

Ticket Alert: On sale this weekend

Slayer will play Seattle's WAMU Theater Nov. 1.

It was announced today that three Seattle concerts will go on sale this weekend:

Kanye West brings his Yeezus Tour to Seattle's KeyArena Oct. 19. Tickets are $35.50-$194, and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday through Ticketmaster. Kendrick Lamar will open.

Slayer announced a Nov. 1 show at Seattle's WAMU Theater. Tickets are $40 and go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 13 through Ticketmaster.

The Jonas Brothers will perform Nov. 6 at the Paramount Theatre. Mystery ticket prices go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at tickets.com.

That is all.

Filed under: Concerts,

September 10, 2013 at 7:52am

5 Things To Do Today: "A Hijacking," Science Cafe, comedy shoot, Pheasant and more ...

"I'm pretty sure this is not how you arm wrestle, Mikkel." See "A Hijacking" today at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, SEPT. 10 2013 >>>

1. A Hijacking, the latest from Danish writer and director Tobias Lindholm, finds practically every member of the cast acting as a negotiator, in both minor disputes and one VERY major dispute, between the opening and closing credits. This theme of negotiating is so prevalent throughout the film that it opens, appropriately enough, in the middle of a negotiation. The cargo ship MV Rozen is heading for harbour when it is boarded and hijacked by pirates in the Indian Ocean.Find out what happens at 2:15 and 7 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. Read Jared Lovrak's full review of A Hijacking in the Music and Culture section.

2. Stanley and Seafort's invites you to Dine Out For No Kid Hungry through the month of September. Help raise awareness and funds to conquer childhood starvation and malnutrition by eating out or making a pledge. Restaurants Unlimited will be donating $150,000 to the Share Our Strength, No Kid Hungry Campaign in 2013. Find out more at www.nokidhungry.org.

3. Composite materials are engineered materials made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties and which remain separate and distinct on a macroscopic level within the finished structure. We have no idea what that means, but Dr. George Mayer does. The research professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Washington lives and breathes composite materials. In fact, he'll review some of his work on the toughness of composite materials found in nature at 7 p.m. in Orca Books. You'll never look at a seashell the same way again. Well, you probably will, but at least hear the good doctor out.

4. Jazzbones has put together 10 of its house favorite comics to come out and give you their best 10 minutes tonight during its Ha Ha Tuesday comedy show at 8:30 p.m. In addition to the 10 by 10 entertainment value, Jazzbones will be filming a promotional video that night. Taking the stage are Ralph Porter, Nate Jackson, Susan Jones, Tyrone Hawkins, "Big Irish" Jay Hollingsworth, Michael Walter, Rodger Lizaola, Travis Simmons, Kelsey Cook and Justin Hayes.

5. Pheasant is a band of contradictions: while their music is unabashedly joyful and fun, full of driving beats and irresistible hooks, there is an undercurrent of ... something. It sounds sometimes like anger, or maybe bitterness, or depressive resignation. The Portland band lavishes their tunes with horns, sing-along choruses and strummy guitars, but lead singer Matt Jenkins has a hidden depth beneath his swagger, which makes him a compelling frontman. Catch the band with Jake Bellows and One F at 10 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Tuesday, Sept. 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 10, 2013 at 10:23am

Judging by the Trailer: "Insidious: Chapter 2"

"Wake up! Wake up! Don't give up on this film yet."

In 2010, a horror movie called Insidious was released. Unseen by me, Insidious garnered many positive reviews, praising it as an unexpected return to the sort of fun, slow-burn haunted house movie that had long ago disappeared from mainstream cinemas.

What shocked me even more than the positive reviews was that they were attributed to a film directed by James Wan, the schlockmeister responsible not only for the further proliferation of the torture-porn genre, beginning with his Saw, but for the return of the beat-it-to-death philosophy of sequels, with the subsequent six Saw installments.

So, no surprise, then, that he would ruin the good will of Insidious the first by releasing Insidious: Chapter 2.

The first film put a spin on the haunted house story by having not a haunted house, but rather a haunted child (how this is different from a possessed child will be up for historians to decide). In the trailer, we return to the family from the first film, happy with their lives and rejuvenated by the fact that they will never ever have a run-in with another spooky g-g-g-ghost.

Ah, but this bliss is short-lived, as ominous music starts to fill the soundtrack, and people make worried looks on their faces. Soon, actors with pancake makeup start getting all creepy, and it's up to Patrick Wilson (oh he of good acting chops and unreliable acting choices) to figure out why his teeth are falling out.

Ghostbusters (not the trademarked kind) and psychics are called in to help, and the most eye-rolling use of "happy music playing over scary stuff because of irony" ever occurs when the dulcet tones of Tiny Tim appear, as he croons "Tiptoe Through the Tulips."

Someone says, "Whatever was haunting my family, it's not done with us," which makes sense. Even ghosts know a cash cow when they see one. If I were a betting man, I'd guess that the ghosts won't let up until the fourth or fifth outing, or at least until the audiences diminish. Whichever comes first.

Until then, just leave Tiny Tim alone, OK?

QUESTION: Did you see Riddick?

September 11, 2013 at 7:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Easy Star All-Stars, "To Be Human," Sarah Thebarge, Akeem and more ...

The Easy Star All-Stars instrumentalists convert Pink Floyd's monster basslines into slow-bouncing riddims.

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 11 2013 >>>

1. In the category of "things that should be totally silly but are actually awesome," a classic entry has to be Easy Star All Stars 2003 opus, Dub Side of the Moon. In the tradition of dub music, Easy Star All Stars covered an entire album in the style of reggae - a practice they've repeated with varied results on their OK Computer cover album, Radiodread (pretty great), and their Beatles cover album, Easy Star's Lonely Hearts Dub Band (not so great). But they never bested the magic to be found on Dub Side of the Moon, which Easy Star All Stars will be playing in its entirety to mark its 10th anniversary. Something I'm pretty sure everyone remembers from Dub Side is the replacing of the cash registers on "Money" with rhythmic bong rips. But "Us and Them" remains an utter showstopper in reggae.Hear thealbum live with Mighty High and Positive Rising at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

2. Drawn from Pacific Lutheran University's Permanent Art Collection, "To Be Human" features expressive, realist, and abstract images of the human figure in work in a variety of media. The exhibit opens today with an artists reception from 5-7 p.m. in the University Gallery.

3. After being diagnosed with aggressive breast cancer at age 27, Sarah Thebarge moved away from the East Coast and a failed relationship to Portland, Ore. to start over. A chance encounter with a Somali mother of five struggling to raise her daughters alone becomes a lifeline, not just for Hadhi and her daughters but also for Thebarge herself. She recounts her the experience in her new memoir, The Invisible Girls. Thebarge will discuss the book and the Somali family who were practically invisible to the rest of the city at 7 p.m. in the Tacoma Public Library Main Branch.

4. Having made his entry into rap through the "breathe easy" click, Akeem has remade his name as a battle-MC and lyricist, gaining the favor and respect of many ears in The 25360. Thus, it is fitting that he invites the public to celebrate a fall-back-to-school show, which doubles conveniently as his birthday bash. Helping Akeem blow out candles will be Cauze N Efekt, Patron, DJs Pasquan and Luvva J (me!) and the award-winning MC (and long-expected "next-to-blow"), Afrok.  Also, there will be open-mic ciphers for MCs, polished and aspiring, who want to bless the mic one time. It all goes down at 7 p.m. in Sampan Restaurant and Lounge.

5. Saxophonist Kareem Kandi has hosted an open jazz session for years, a backyard patio for his music school friends, fellow musicians and newbies to jam out standards - fresh, fiery and exciting. The jam now resides every second Wednesday at 7 p.m. in The Swiss.

LINK: Wednesday, Sept. 11 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Tacoma, Books, Arts,

September 11, 2013 at 11:09am

Q&A: Carletta Sue Kay chats Squeak and Squawk

Carletta Sue Kay, the singing alter ego of Randy Walker, performs Sept. 13 in the Library at Sanford and Son Antiques. Photo courtesy of Facebook

Randy Walker, stage name of Carletta Sue Kay, is a powerful vocalist out of San Francisco. Walker's wigs, lipstick and fetching fashion - combined with moving ballads, heartfelt, gritty rock and an affinity for torch songs - have caught Tacoma's attention. Heads turned at last year's Free For All Festival, and then again in anticipation of his performance at the Squeak and Squawk Music Festival, Sept 12-16.

Nikki McCoy caught up with Walker for insight to his fashion, learn his thoughts on Carletta and gender roles, and hear why he thinks Squeak and Squawk rocks.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Are you psyched to return to Tacoma? What was your previous experience like?

RANDY WALKER: Tacoma is lovely. We did the Free For All Festival last year and enjoyed it very, very much. The folks were fantastic and made us all feel right at home. We got to play in the gorgeous Pantages and it was a real thrill. Squeak and Squawk organizer Adam McKinney had seen us play SXSW a couple years back and that led to us coming to Tacoma for the first time to do the Free For All. We're super looking forward and are very excited to see what interesting and daring things Adam is going to put together for SQSQ.


September 12, 2013 at 7:47am

5 Things To Do Today: Squeak and Squawk, Girls Night Out, readers' theater, "Last of the Red Hot Lovers" and more ...

The Fame Riot kicks off the Squeak and Squawk Music Festival at 6 p.m. in the Library at Sanford and Son Antiques in downtown Tacoma.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 12 2013 >>>

1. The Pacific Northwest is a haven for indie music and representation from Portland to Olympia and Tacoma to Everett will represent at this year's Squeak and Squawk Music Festival, which opens today and runs through Monday. There are two shows a day: At 6 p.m., all-ages performances take place at the Library at Sanford and Son Antiques followed up with 9 p.m. shows at The New Frontier Lounge for those 21 and over. The festival kicks off at 6 p.m. with The Fame Riot, Xylophones and J. Martin in the Library, and the 9 p.m. evening show at The New Frontier features I Like Science, Week of Wonder and People Under the Sun.

2. How does this sound: fashion, wine, food, giveaways and an auction and raffle with some fab items? Sounds fun, yes? Envy boutique is proud to play host to "Envy's Girls Night Out" - a benefit auction and raffle from 5 to 8 p.m. Sip wine, nosh on yummy eats, shop until you drop, and enjoy Envy's unique items and sweet deals. The best part? One-hundred percent of the auction and raffle proceeds benefit South Sound Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, "The Breast Savers."

3. If you're a dedicated Volcano reader or fan of local literature, you've devoured the Southern-fried fiction of our own Mr. Alec Clayton. His fall 2012 release Return to Freedom, a sequel to 2010's The Backside of Nowhere, finds its Mississippian characters reeling from the aftermath of a deadly hurricane. Also, and we hope we're not being too glib or immature about this, but it features hot MILFs making out. Unwilling to settle for a mere, mundane book signing, Alec prefers to cast local actors in readers' theater adaptations of his scenes. He calls his cadre of thespians the Freedom Players, and they're performing at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberline Timberland Library.

4. Olympia Little Theatre stages Neil Simon's Last of the Red Hot Lovers, at 7:55 p.m. It's set in December 1969, the same month the play opened on Broadway, and it follows the adventures of Barney, a middle-aged husband, as he attempts to cheat on his wife with three different women. What keeps this nebbish from being despicable is his amorous ineptitude - no spoilers, but his fourth time's the charm - and the fact that he really just wants to learn what's so fantastic about the Sexual Revolution. Read Christian Carvajal's full review of Last of the Red Hot Lovers in the Music and Culture section.

5. Danny Barnes and Matt Sircely return from far-flung escapades to perform in Olympia at 9 p.m. in the Pig Bar. After 10 years of friendship, Barnes and Sircely began touring this year, stretching the full length of the West Coast from Los Angeles to Port Angeles, and as far east as Moscow (Idaho). One outing resulted in a live recording that will be available in cassette format at the event.

LINK: Thursday, Sept. 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

September 12, 2013 at 9:58am

Volcano Music: Ian Anderson, Richard Album, OOPS!, Northern, Babysitter and more ...

The Fabulous Downey Brothers will rock the Olympia Outdoor Public Spectacle Saturday. Photo credit: Winter Teems


The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true.

We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because we're compulsive insomniacs who stay up long hours watching Star Trek Into Darkness over and over (hit On Demand), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section.

We wouldn't lie. You better believe we pumped out another stellar Weekly Volcano music section - your every-Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...


When Ian Anderson, the flute-playing frontman of Jethro Tull, is not on tour, he wakes to his farm in southwest England. He usually rises around 6 a.m. for a rotation of breakfasts: crispy bread, oily fish, and poached eggs from his wife's chickens, accompanied with half a glass of orange juice and strong black Italian coffee.Sunday, Oct. 27, Tacoma's Broadway Center welcomes Ian Anderson to its Pantages Theater stage. He and his mates will perform Thick as a Brick in its entirety for the first time since 1972, then follows up with Thick as a Brick 2. This will be Anderson's only West Coast stop this tour. ... — Nikki McCoy


Richard Album (along with his band, the Lifestyles) is a master of power pop, straight down to the sort of vulnerable songwriting that once defined the genre. Similar to those artists, his album covers feature faux-heartthrob poses. On the cover of Sophomore he poses as a college man circa 1955, which he cribbed from Nick Lowe and Greg Kihn, who both cribbed from Frankie Avalon and other clean-cut heart throbs. ... - Rev. Adam McKinney


The Olympia Independent Music Festival (OIMF) has put on one hell of a shindig the past few years, creating a free block party with all the usual perks of Olympia - killer bands, ladies of burlesque, art, vendors, chin-balancing - all in the name of helping the Olympia Film Society. Saturday, Sept. 14, organizers are bringing back all that Oly love, but under a new moniker: OOPS!: The Olympia Outdoor Public Spectacle. ... - NM


I suppose it's due time I update you on what's coming up at my favorite all-ages venue in Olympia - Northern. And it is for good reason I am bringing you this information because some fantastic acts are scheduled to be visiting our State Capitol. Thursday, Sept. 12 Portland-based band Hits - formerly Hits Of Sunshine - will be making their way up to Olympia to perform their percussion-based music that originated in Joshua Tree, Calif. Also joining the bill that evening will be French-born solo artist Angelo Spencer, as well as Hugo Berlin, who will be bringing her dream-like original songs to the venue. ... - Rockford Rowley


It gets to a point where differentiating between punk bands becomes a game of inches. It's all such a matter of feeling and the indescribable act of actually going out and seeing a show. Listening to punk bands and saying, "Hey, this is one to write about," is a fruitless journey and, ultimately, an unrepresentative way of judging a band. That being said, the attack that hit me when I pressed play on the first song on Babysitter's EYE LP was so immediately guttural that I imagined the sonic damage it would do to your internal organs if you exposed them to the ridiculous vibrations emanating from the amplifiers. The rest of the songs flirt with early ‘90s indie and grunge, while never giving up the caustic edge that first alerted me to Babysitter. ... - Rev. AM

PLUS: Music Critics' Picks Frances Rose, Nate Jackson and Oly Funk Fest

PLUS: Squeak and Squawk Music Festival

PLUS: Strangely Alright's video shoot

PLUS: Comprehensive live music listings

PLUS: What if Monty Python and The Holy Grail would release in 2013?

Filed under: Music, Tacoma, Olympia,

September 12, 2013 at 3:37pm

It's going to get "Complicated" Friday night at the 502 Martini Bar

Jazz guitarist Ed Taylor will fill the 502 Martini Bar will funky grooves Friday.

Jazz guitarist Ed Taylor used to be everywhere. From 2006 to 2010, you could find the smooth-talking, smooth-jazz musician most nights in the South Sound.

Then he disappeared.

"About four years ago, I went through a horrible divorce after 20 years of marriage. At that time I was working on an album tentatively titled Connections. It was based on how all of us as well as animals and nature are all connected together," Taylor said. "That was coming along fine, until I found out a few personal things. I was so bluesy and moody that everything I tried to write turned out depressing."

So he took time off - until a blue light bulb went off above his head. He turned the negative energy into songs.

"I sent four songs to four important people to help me choose which of those would be best for a single release," he said.

Then, it got complicated.


Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

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