Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: February, 2014 (155) Currently Viewing: 51 - 60 of 155

February 10, 2014 at 7:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Schenker, Afro-Latin music chat, Peach Serene Jazz Trio and more ...

Michael Schenker may not be a household name, his indelible influence on four generations of rock and metal guitarists cannot be understated.

MONDAY, FEB. 10 2014 >>>

1. Sometimes you just need to bang your head. At least we do, and tonight's head-banging options will satiate any and all neck-injuring, hair-thrashing needs you may have. Check out cock-rock dinosaur Michael Schenker - the German guitarist, famous for his half-black, half-white Gibson Flying V guitar - at 9 p.m. in the Rock N Roll Lodge. Schenker - unknown to most, but legend to his fans - started down Debauchery Road at a young age, having played lead guitar for the revered Eurometal bands UFO and Scorpions by the time he was 18 years of age. He went on to the Michael Schenker Group in the '80s, which was one long guitar solo.

2. Myriam J.A. Chancy - a Haitian-Canadian writer and professor of English who wrote The Loneliness of Angels, which explores a spiritual world ranging from mysticism to Judaism - will speak on "The Memory Table" at 5:30 p.m. in the Tahoma Room at Commencement Hall on the University of Puget Sound campus.

3. Musician and educator Antonio Davidson-Gomez will discuss Afro-Latin music legacies through a hands-on presentation combining instruments and rhythms with history, language and more at 7 p.m. in the Lakewood Pierce County Library.

4. The New Frontier Lounge isn't The Five Spot on Cooper Square. Then again, it doesn't sit in the East Village of the 1950s either. But, grab the corner bar stool Monday nights at The New Frontier, nurse a double bourbon, close your eyes and let pianist Nate Dybevik, bassist Arneson Cameron and drummer Peter Tietjen take you to the famous New York City jazz club over the din of the drinking Tacoma crowd. It as it should be: hearing cool jazz in a comfortable, no-pressure environment. The Peach Serene Jazz Trio kicks it at 9 p.m.

5. 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.

LINK: Monday, Feb. 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

February 10, 2014 at 9:51am

Eat This Today: Triple Chocolate Brownie Sundae with a view

Boathouse 19's Triple Chocolate Brownie Sundae: Yum!

You're driving along South 19th Street down toward the Tacoma Narrows Passage, deeper and deeper into a quiet, residential neighborhood of modern mansions, retro homes and shacks, when the trees part to reveal the Narrows Marina, Narrows Brewing Company and, thankfully, Boathouse 19.

What a lucky neighborhood.

Boathouse 19 - the kickback hangout from the folks who know water views, Lobster Shop - serves seafood entrees, sandwiches, burgers and delightful starters with Southern flared flavor peppered throughout the dishes

The waterfront restaurant also serves tasty desserts. Again, lucky neighborhood.

Included on its dessert list is a Triple Chocolate Brownie Sundae ($5). This chocolaty, must-try treat screams Valentine's night. The freshly baked brownie is not stiff brick of chocolate. The brownie is tender, giving way to the prodding of the fork instantly, warm and welcoming. Three cheers for the topping: creamy, housemade sweet cream ice cream, whipped topping and appropriate amounts of chocolate and caramel sauce drizzle. Two cherries placed delicately atop completing a lovely presentation.

Perfectly paired with a hot cup of coffee or perhaps a red wine, the Triple Chocolate Brownie Sundae is a divine way to end any meal.

Lucky neighborhood.

TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIE SUNDAE, 11 a.m. to close daily, Boathouse 19, 9001 S. 19th St., Tacoma, 253.565.1919

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

February 10, 2014 at 10:27am

National Salute to Veteran Patients Week is on!

This week the nation's lawmakers are weighing a plan to reverse a recently passed cut to military pensions as the price for increasing the government's borrowing cap. The cuts to cost-of-living pension increases for military retirees under the age of 62 were part of December's budget agreement. Obviously, it sparked an uproar among advocates for veterans.

Speaking of this week and veterans, it's National Salute to Veteran Patients Week as VA facilities across America salute the men and women in our care with Valentines and free concerts and an invitation to you to volunteer. The purpose of the program is to:

  • pay tribute and express appreciation to Veterans;
  • increase community awareness of the role of the VA medical center;
  • encourage citizens to visit hospitalized Veterans and to become involved as volunteers.

During the National Salute, VA invites individuals, Veterans groups, military personnel, civic organizations, businesses, schools, local media, celebrities and sports stars to participate in a variety of activities at the VA medical centers.

The Salute to Veteran Patients is an annual event started in 1974 by No Greater Love, Inc., a humanitarian organization. In 1978, VA took over events, and gave it the now-familiar name. Its connection to Valentine's Day inspired the late columnist Ann Landers to start the "Valentines for Vets" program in 1989.

For more information, click here.

Filed under: Veterans,

February 10, 2014 at 11:05am

Nerd Alert!: "RoboCop" and the definitive history of Dungeons & Dragons

Dumbed-down shoot-em-up … Robocop. Photo credit: StudioCanal/Sportsphoto/Allstar

Courtesy of your friends at Omni Consumer Products, this is Nerd Alert, 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.


My colleague the Rev. Adam McKinney saw fit to neglect Wednesday's reboot of RoboCop in last week's Nerd Alert column, and I imagine it's because - like me - he doesn't think it'll be any good. Some movies don't need to be remade. The trailers make this new version look like a borderline-competent, dare I say interchangeable, action movie, but they don't show a hint of satirical wit. That was what made the '87 original stand out. God knows it wasn't all those obscenely gory squib hits; it was the worldview that demanded them. Director Paul Verhoeven, as subtle as a brick in the eye, reveled in violence and amorality with a wink so obvious even teenagers could tell he was kidding. I know the difference between violence and ironic violence is a subtle one, but the problem here is, it might be so subtle the reboot's director, José Padilha, didn't realize it was there. On the other hand, he did study English literature at Oxford, so maybe I'm selling him short. In other words, perhaps I'd buy his movie for a dollar after all. I mean, it's not like any of us thought The LEGO Movie would be worth a flip.


Because I don't have HBO and I'm not a shameless scofflaw, today's Blu-ray and DVD release marks my first opportunity to watch Season 3 of Game of Thrones. I have successfully, one might say miraculously, avoided all spoilers. Ergo, all I know is some people will be killed, red is not the luckiest color in Westeros and nameless wenches will bare their breasts. Like, a lot of them. All the damn time.

If you're a geek of a certain age, chances are you spent many if not most Friday nights tossing 20-sided dice, absorbing Domino's pizza, and pretending to be a 10th-level Elf Druid with your friends. Yes, I'm talking about Dungeons & Dragons, the role-playing fantasy game you came to know and love as D&D. Unfortunately, I was a Jehovah's Witness at the time, and we were forbidden from playing the game. (Apparently it opened our minds to demonic attack by making us want to be thieves or assassins for a living. I know. That didn't work out, largely because it's hard to major in assassination and/or thievery in college. Phoenix online college doesn't count.) Imagine my surprise, then, when I discovered the game's co-creator, Gary Gygax, self-identified as one of Jehovah's Witnesses.

That's just one of many thousands of interesting factoids in Playing at the World, a book by game enthusiast Jon Peterson - and it's buried in a footnote, no less! This nautical anchor of a tome offers the definitive history of D&D and its wargaming forebears, then contextualizes it by recounting the study of game simulations since chess.

I'm not a book critic. I'm a theater critic. I don't want to be a book critic. I write books myself, so the last thing I want is to unload the uric acid of skepticism into yet another pool in which I myself am swimming. (That's called a metaphor, lads.) But when the publisher of this August 2012 release offered me a copy to peruse, I was too big a nerd to say no. The fact is it's like reading a doctoral dissertation. On the minus side that means it has the mass and density of a neutron star. Not a detail is missed. But on the plus side, not a detail is missed!

This guy really does know his stuff. After three weeks of intense effort I'm about 100 pages into his 630-page book, plus appendices. It won't make you or anyone else a better RPG player. It won't teach you strategy - though it does touch ever so briefly on modern game theory - but it will fascinate you for hours on end. It includes, for example, a thorough retelling of the early history of published science fiction and fantasy, during which Peterson makes a compelling case for the influence of Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island on early genre fiction (by way of H. Rider Haggard). But I digress! Bottom line: if you're an RPG fan, Playing at the World will be an indispensable addition to your nonfiction library.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may the Rite of Rebirth bestow blessings of Bahamut upon you. I have a plus-seven against dragons and wyverns!

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Books, Screens,

February 10, 2014 at 11:27am

Plan Ahead: Sean Alexander and Virginia Bunker at Moss + Mineral

“Rolling Stone” by Sean Alexander

You thought you knew Sean Alexander, didn't you? He's the guy who did the illustrations for the South Sound Users Guide, an artist known for detailed ink drawings. But there is more to Alexander than that. At the Feb. 20 opening at Moss + Mineral you'll see modernest furniture inspired by mid-20th century design by Alexander, along with 2-D art and oil paintings. Examples of his 2-D art give a nod to the precise ink drawings he is known for but featuring geometric designs combined with pop and dada imagery.

How about a black faced robotic boy with stars for eyes marching along behind a Piet Mondrian painting? Or a silhouette of a man standing on a balcony that is collapsing in a cascade of cubistic shards? Such inventive imagery beautifully rendered are just two examples of what Alexander will be showing.

Also on the bill are eye-popping fashion accessories by Virginia Bunker. Her stylish accessories are up-scale, colorful and fearlessly inventive. How about a man's vintage silk tie refashioned into a louche drape for around her throat? Or a romantic ribbon belt sporting a fabulous, saucer-size flower? These pieces are good for evening wear or anytime you want to present a bold statement.

Alexander and Bunker will be there to greet you at the opening.

Moss + Mineral is a design store, the idea for which grew out of the former Mineral Gallery owned and operated by artist Lisa Kinoshita from 2003 to 2011. Featured in the store are jewelry and fashion art made by Kinoshita and wearable and usable art by other area artists.

SEAN ALEXANDER AND VIRGINIA BUNKER, 4-8 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 20, Moss + Mineral, 305 S. 9th St., Tacoma, free admission, 253.961.5220

February 10, 2014 at 12:29pm

Battle of the Bands shout out

It's a little-known fact that Henry Kissinger tried unsuccessfully to resolve the Vietnam conflict with a battle of the bands. The whole deal fell apart when it proved impossible to locate an electric zen xin (a stringed instrument used by the Hmung).

The Washington State University Student Entertainment Board hosts its ninth annual Battle of the Bands Monday, March 24 and it invites qualified bands to travel to Pullman on a Monday and participate in the hottest bout since Godzilla took on King Kong.

According to a pre-show hype, "Bands will be competing for a paid performance on the daytime stage at Springfest. Audience members will be able to vote for their favorite bands and voting will make them eligible for prizes throughout the night via raffle."

Do you think your bass player can take time off from his database systems administrator job at Aflac?

Bands are encouraged to apply and send in their press kits as soon as possible. In order to apply bands must meet the following criteria: must be unsigned, based out of either Washington, Idaho, or Oregon, be a group act (no solo acts). Media kits must contain the following items: a demo CD or MP3 format compilation (must be a minimum of 3 songs with one cover at the most), genre, contact information of all band members, and a group photo or band logo. Any press kits missing the required sections will be disqualified from the selection process. Submissions are due by 5 pm on Friday, February 28th.

Completed press kits can be emailed to wsubob@hotmail.com, or be delivered in person to the SEB Office (Compton Union, Room 304), or mailed to the Student Entertainment Board office.

Please send/deliver all expedited materials to:

  • Washington State University SEB
  • attn: Battle of the Bands
  • 100 Dairy Road
  • Pullman WA 99164

February 10, 2014 at 1:15pm

It's Happening Tonight: Pete Seeger Memorial Show

Pete Seeger, a well known champion Folk Artist musician, passed away at age 94 at New York Presbyterian Hospital Jan. 27.

Pete Seeger casts an enormous shadow over the last century with his tremendous banjo, his kick-ass sweaters and his deep passion for social justice. He respected the musical traditions and he heralded the greater good of mankind. Seeger died Jan. 27, but he lives on in the music and lyrics of tens of thousands of guitar and banjo players, including John Elliott, Kendl Winter, The Rackets, Robert Blake, Juli Kimbrell and others who will pay tribute to Seeger tonight at Northern. Expect a sing-a-long.

PETE SEEGER MEMORIAL SHOW, 6 p.m., Monday, Feb. 10, Northern, 414 ½ Legion Way, Olympia, $5

Filed under: Music, Olympia,

February 10, 2014 at 2:57pm

Walla Walla Veterans' Home one step closer

Sen. Mike Hewitt (R-Walla Walla) is a happy man. A veterans' home is one step closer to being built in his backyard, and by backyard we mean Walla Walla.Today the Senate unanimously approved a measure supporting the proposed Walla Walla Veterans' Home, which would serve more than 50,000 veterans and their families in southeast Washington. Hewiit has been pushing Senate Bill 5691 since early last year and, according to a new release, he says "it's been an honor to work on a measure that supports the state's military men and women, and creates about 93 permanent jobs."

Senate Bill 5691 authorizes the state Department of Veterans Affairs to operate the veterans' home, which would serve as a skilled-nursing facility providing long-term care for honorably discharged veterans, families, and Gold Star Parents - those whose children died while serving in the armed forces.

The measure now moves to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

Filed under: Veterans, Legislature,

February 10, 2014 at 3:12pm

JBLM spouse named Volunteer Firefighter of the Year

Firefighter Ashley Jeanes was awarded Volunteer Firefighter of the Year (2013) for her substantial efforts and contributions to the Bald Hills Fire Dept. in Yelm. Jeanes took advantage of a bit of free time in 2012 while her Joint Base Lewis-McChord active-duty husband, Sean, was deployed. According to a news release, "Firefighter Jeanes completed Firefighter I certification, Hazmat Awareness level certification, Hazmat Operations level certification, Firefighter II certification, as well as Fire Instructor I."

Oh, and besides the deployed husband, Jeanes is a full-time student with young children.

February 10, 2014 at 3:40pm

Air Force kicks off High Flyin’ BBQ Challenge

You know that master sergeant over at Wing Plans and Programs who everyone calls Master Sgt. Bark because he claims he could sell the brown, crunchy jerky-like crust on his ribs to Metropolitan Market and, as he says, "make a killin'. Has anyone ever tasted his ribs? (We get it. You don't want to go barking up the wrong rib.)

Seriously, though, it's time for Master Sgt. Bark to put up or shut up. The Air Force Personnel Center Directorate of Services is hosting the inaugural Air Force High Flyin' BBQ Challenge now through September. The competition is open to all active duty Airmen and sister service members at Air Force-led joint bases in the continuous United States who think their barbecue is the best in town and want to prove their barbecue prowess.

That's you Master Sgt. Bark!


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