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June 15, 2014 at 8:58am

5 Things To Do Today: Patio party, brewery tour, SPAMALOT, Boobie Bash ...

Party with Chef Riley Morgan and Manager Rose Peterson of 1022 South J on Hilltop Tacoma tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SUNDAY, JUNE 15 2014 >>>

1. Chef Riley Morgan will release his summer menu at 1022 South J on Hilltop Tacoma. The Southern-raised Morgan has created a Northwest meets Southeast menu, adding a Northwest touch to deviled eggs, pulled pork, collard greens, grits and other Southern staples. He's taking Southern flavors and airing them out for summer. For the full story on the new menu, click here. The new menu will debut toward the end of next week. New cocktails will be added in conjunction with the summer menu. Gone are the hot drinks, replaced with patio drinks, including whatever Morgan calls his new mojito, with mint leaves he grew, smoked infused rum, lime zest poured over smoked ice into a smoked glass. Smojito? The 1022 South J will send off its spring menu in style, hosting its one-year anniversary party Sunday, June 16. Launching at 4 p.m., happy hour prices will remain until close, plus food and drink specials.

2. This year why not give Dad the gift of something delicious and local. The Harmon Tap Room presents a "Father's Day Brewery Tour & Tasting" from noon to 4 p.m. For $20, Dad may tour Harmon's brewery operation, and then enjoy five small plates paired with beer. Reserve Dad a spot at 253.212.2725.

3. With music and lyrics by the Grammy Award-winning team of Eric Idle and John Du Prez and book by Idle, SPAMALOT tells the story of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table as they embark on their quest for the Holy Grail. At 2 p.m. in the Lakewood Playhouse, expect to see flying cows, killer rabbits, taunting Frenchmen, and show-stopping musical numbers, including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life," make for a very Monty Python telling of the Camelot legend.

4. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts a fundraising music and burlesque show at 8 p.m. The goal is to raise money to help the fight against breast cancer in honor of Aunt Lisa who passed away last September. There will be awesome raffle prizes, burlesques dancers Funny Face Fanny, Heather Hostility, Rosie Cheex and bands Noi!se, Rat Path, Crooks To Kings and Overboard. There will be a cover charge at the door; all profits go directly to the Susan G. Komen under the team name, Survivor Chick's Breast Friends.

5. Calvin Johnson has long been one of the weirder ducks in local music. He played a large role in not only popularizing Olympia and its vibrant music scene, but also helping to set the tone of the city's musical output in general, with his lo-fi alt-rock group Beat Happening and his founding of K Records. The Hive Dwellers is Johnson's most recent project, and it finds him continuing down that weird path he set for himself back in the '80s. His guttural monotone is still front and center, and his arrangements are exceedingly off-kilter. Catch the band with The Shivas and Panduhs at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Sunday, June 15 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 10, 2014 at 3:22pm

Nerd Alert! - Ant-Man, The X-Files Files, Game of Thrones Finale Viewing Party

Daenerys learns it’s easier to control a growing army than growing dragons (spoiler: they’re assholes).

A couple of weeks ago, nerds stormed the Internet to report their outrage over a fictional character's film debut losing its director. Edgar Wright left the Ant-Man film, citing creative differences, which nerds everywhere took to mean, "Edgar wants it to be awesome! Why won't Marvel let him make his awesome movie?!"

With Ant-Man's fate hanging in the balance, a nation's nerds were left to ponder who could possibly come in and make this lame superhero's movie as awesome as Edgar Wright would have. Well, ponder no more, because your fears have been assuaged. Ant-Man will be shepherded to the silver screen by none other than Peyton Reed!

I said, Peyton Reed! What, you don't know who that is? Well, he's none other than the director of Jim Carrey's Yes Man. And The Break-Up. And Bring it On. Is that not doing it for you?

Look, I understand that it's less than exciting news to learn that Ant-Man is now being directed by a guy mostly known for lame romantic and teen comedies, but it's not all bad news. Reed also directed the stylish, underrated Down With Love, as well as several episodes of Mr. Show with Bob and David. It could be worse; Adam McKay was in talks to direct, so now we don't have to worry about Ant-Man being a series of medium shots of two people standing around riffing. So, there's that.


In other news, a podcast recently hit the Interwebs. Comedian Kumail Nanjiani (of Silicon Valley and his own video game podcast, The Indoor Kids) is the host of a podcast that will cover the entirety of the beloved, influential TV show, The X-Files. Calling his show The X-Files Files, Nanjiani will critically dissect the '90s show that, among other notable achievements, gave birth to the modern fandom (including the dubious distinction of empowering a certain section of viewers known as "shippers") and helped to usher in a new golden age of television.

There are certainly other podcasts dedicated to critical discussion of TV, including the Saved by the Bell podcast, Go Bayside! However, as a television show, The X-Files lends itself to richer analysis. We'll have nine seasons of podcasts to really get into the relationship between Mulder and Scully, cavalcades of conspiracy theories, and finally a real discussion of why the writers thought to make Mulder a porn addict.


Speaking of the golden age of television, Game of Thrones was recently declared HBO's most successful show since The Sopranos. For those who've been keeping up on that show's impossibly labyrinthine plot you are being rewarded with the opportunity to watch the season 4 finale in an honest-to-goodness castle in Lakewood.

For a mere $80, you can nerd out with your fellow Game of Thrones fanatics. Westeros-themed food and drink are included, and costumes are gently encouraged (mostly by me). I won't be there, sadly, but do feel free to corner me in a bar and try in vain to list all of the characters to me, and tell me what they do, and tell me why I should invest 40 hours of my life to trying to understand it. Thornewood Castle, 5 p.m., 8601 N. Thornewood Lane, Lakewood, $80, 206.402.3042

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Lakewood, Screens,

June 6, 2014 at 7:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Pinball show, wine tasting, "Men are from Mars," Smart DJs ...

The Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show will feature the work of nearly 3,000 collectors. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, JUNE 6 2014 >>>

1. No matter how advanced video games get, there's still something special about smacking a metal ball around a ringing, blinking maze of machinery. Celebrate the bliss of pinball with collectors, enthusiasts and exhibitors alike at this weekend's Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show at the Tacoma Convention Center.

2. University Place based Dance Theatre Northwest, a 501-c-3 non-profit arts and community outreach organization, stages a free performance featuring excerpts from the classics Sleeping Beauty, Swan Lake, and Paquita and contemporary ballet, Broadway, jazz and musical theatre pieces at 1:15 p.m. in Lakeview Hope Academy in Lakewood.

3. Morso wine bar in Gig Harbor hosts Talbott vineyards from 5-7 p.m. for tastes of 2011 Sara Case Chardonnay, 2012 Diamond T Pinot Noir, 2012 Kali Hart Pinot Noir, 2012 Logan Chardonnay and 2012 Logan Pinot Noir.

4. Peter Story - who has appeared in primetime shows on three major networks - will take the Theatre on the Square stage during the one-man stage show Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, and bring the two sexes together over a night of entertainment - especially since males and females operate in such different ways. The 7:30 p.m. show is based on the best-selling book by John Gray. The relationship guide, released more than 20 years ago, was translated into more than 40 languages and has sold more than 60 million copies.

5. Just as turntablism - the art of playing records - has made an instrument out of a medium, the movement's DJs have made the transition from enablers to performers. Tonight's "Smart People" event, organized by Tacoma's Mr. Melanin, seeks to put a little stress on that assumption by presenting DJs in an improvised setting, touching on R&B and electronica, bringing in indie rock, boogie-woogie and disco. Dancing is awesome, but you'll catch yourself gazing at the turntable skills. It's OK. It really begins at 9:55 p.m. at The New Frontier Lounge.

LINK: Friday, June 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 5, 2014 at 9:51am

Medal of Honor recipient Staff Sgt. Ty Carter discusses character at Lakes High School

Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, Medal of Honor recipient, spoke to social studies students at Lakes High School. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

The Lakes High School students sat and listened carefully to Staff Sgt. Ty Carter.

A Medal of Honor recipient, Carter talked about his life experiences in pointing out to his young audience the attributes of true character.

"I am no different than you," he began. 

Bringing Carter, who currently serves at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, to Lakes was the idea of Republican State Senator Steve O'Ban.

The majority of students attending acknowledged that they had a family member serving at JBLM.

O'Ban sponsored Senate Resolution 8713 to honor Carter's valor in Afghanistan was instrumental in bringing him to Lakes High School to give the students the opportunity "to meet a genuine hero and to learn from his life experience."

He also pointed out that Carter is the first Medal of Honor recipient to be honored by the legislature.

When Carter spoke, he did not disappoint.

At ease with the students as he paced back and forth across the stage, Carter briefly told them of his service in the Marine Corps and the Army.

Then he turned to his point - the value of character.

"You must understand what you do with your future," Carter stressed.  "You control what you do in your future."

>>> Staff Sgt. Ty Carter, recipient of the Medal of Honor, shakes hands with a Lakes High School student. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

At times he alluded to the Oct. 3, 2009 battle at Combat Outpost (COP) Keating in Afghanistan's Nuristan Province. 

More than 300 insurgents had surrounded the COP and the 53 soldiers stationed there.  Eight soldiers were killed; 25 were wounded, including Carter.

During the fight, Carter engaged enemy troops, resupplied ammunition to his fellow soldiers, rendered first aid and risked his life to save an injured soldier who had been pinned down by barrage of enemy fire.

"You work for and with each other," he explained at one point.  "Everyone has to work together," he added when asked about the fight.

Students soon engaged Carter with questions.  One question addressed an issue of concern to Carter.

Post Traumatic Stress.

"My goal is to remove the D from PTSD," Carter said.  "It's not a disorder. It's a normal human reaction to trauma."

Another question centered the wearing of the Medal of Honor.

Carter's answer is character revealed.

"It is a representation," he began.

"Behind it is every man who fought, behind it are the eight men who died and the Gold Star families.  And every time I make a mistake while wearing the medal I have insulted the memory of those who fought and died."

June 3, 2014 at 7:36am

5 Things To Do Today: "Watermark," two farmers markets, Supper with Sinatra, The Americas ...

"Watermark" is a docu-essay that looks at how water and life are entwined, and what risks come with our poor stewardship.

TUESDAY, JUNE 3 2014 >>>

1. Earth is 70 percent covered in water. The atmosphere is so thick with water vapor that water periodically rains from the sky. All life on this planet requires water - directly or indirectly - in order to survive. Lastly and perhaps most importantly: Super Soakers. Is it any wonder we have such an affinity for H2O? In Watermark, Canadian directors Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky explore humanity's history and current relationship with water around the world. This goes far beyond our simple physical necessity for water in order to sustain life, but also the various roles that water plays in sustaining our way of life. Read Jared Lovrak's review of Watermark, then catch the film at 2 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., the city of Lakewood launches its thris annual farmers market season. Running each week through September 16, the Lakewood Farmers Market will provide the community with locally sourced fresh produce, baked and canned goodies, handmade gifts and entertainment at City Hall.

3. Olympia's Westside is happening, but that's not news to those who live up on the hill. If you want proof, drop by the West Olympia Farmers Market from 4-7 p.m. In addition to an awesome selection of local vendors, this season features live music, raffles and special events. Drop by for fresh produce, baked goods, pastured poultry and meats, flowers, veggie starts and crafts.

4. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

5. Chico, Calif. Band The Americas will bring their singular, frenetic brand of twisting songs-within-songs-upon-songs to Olympia's Le Voyeur for a 10 p.m. show with Ghostnote.

LINK: Tuesday, June 3 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 2, 2014 at 11:52am

Nerd Alert! - Edge of Tomorrow, The Fault in Our Stars, Space Junk, final Cosmos ...

Groundhog D-Day: Tom Cruise stars in the sci-fi blockbuster "Edge of Tomorrow." Photo: Courtesy of Warner Bros Entertainment

Refighting its battle each Monday, 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.

After bluffin' with her muffin last Wednesday, Lady Gaga rescheduled her KeyArena Artpop performance for Aug. 8. You should wait before compiling your meat dress.


Spoiler alert for the faint of heart: I'm about to say complimentary things about Tom Cruise. Deal with it.

Shia LaBeouf, Gwyneth Paltrow, Keanu Reeves - I find it interesting to note which actors draw the most Internet ire. We give Woody Allen and Alec Baldwin passes for odious behavior, then dump our collective loathing on Katherine Heigl. (Actually, I'm OK with that one.) Perhaps the least deserving public piñata is one Thomas Cruise Mapother IV, the diminutive adrenaline junkie who taught us all how to bounce on couches, rock out in our tighty whities and run with blade hands. Yet I know people who refuse to see any Cruise vehicle, and they're missing out. Cruise has exceptional taste in directors. Thanks to J. J. Abrams and Brad Bird, the last two Missions: Impossible were awesome. His performance in Magnolia and unrecognizable appearance in Tropic Thunder were justly lauded. While he was miscast as Reacher, the movie itself was pretty good. Hell, I even liked Oblivion. If that doesn't convince you to give Edge of Tomorrow a shot, did you dig The Bourne Identity? Swingers? Mr. and Mrs. Smith? Two episodes of I Just Want My Pants Back? Then you have director Doug Liman to thank. At time of writing, Rotten Tomatoes lists a mid-90s score for Edge of Tomorrow, which boasts the additional selling point of not being a remake, reboot, sequel, threequel, prequel or ripoff. Maybe that alone should be enough to recommend it.

If, however, you're of a more literary bent, and/or you're a 15-year-old girl, you're probably hip to the publishing phenomenon that is John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. After numerous recommendations from critics and friends, my wife and I listened to the audiobook over the course of a drive to coastal Oregon. It blew us away. I bawled as if Fantine had beaten up my mom before both died of consumption and high notes. The point is it's a really great book. It takes the tried-and-true genre of romantic weepie and elevates it to what Time's reviewer called "damn near genius." I say there's no need to qualify its praise. Now, whether that means the movie will be good is anyone's guess, but folks I admire are involved (Mike Birbiglia, Willem Dafoe, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley and Green himself). Its early June release speaks to the studio's pride. But if you haven't read the book first, well ... that's on you. Bring your best crying face. Oh, and local cinemas will live-screen the movie along with cast interviews on Thursday, June 5, under the title "The Night Before Our Stars." Awww.

Or you could stay home and fire up a new season of Orange Is the New Black on Netflix. Bitches gots to learn, n'est-ce pas?


Friends, are you trapped in an orbital station 22,000 miles above the earth? Did George Clooney give his life to save yours, as you drifted in a terrifying shitstorm of visual effects?  Is your helmet filling with carbon dioxide and regret for starring in All About Steve? Then IMAX is here to help, or at least to explain why you're getting perforated with aluminum bullets. Pierce College presents a first come, first serve screening of the Tom Wilkinson-narrated documentary Space Junk. It's free, but BYOBB (Bring Your Own Barf Bag).

SPACE JUNK, 3:20 p.m., Pierce College Science Dome, 9401 Farwest Dr. SW, Lakewood, free, 360.786.9484

For only two nights and five bucks a ticket, Olympia Little Theatre presents a minimally-staged reading of a 2011 script called Good People. And you should care why? Its playwright, David Lindsay-Abaire, is the creative talent behind Fuddy Meers, Rabbit Hole, and Shrek the Musical, and his newest effort was nominated for a Tony for Best Play.

GOOD PEOPLE, 7:55 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $5, 360.786.9484


Cosmos completes its Spacetime Odyssey with an episode titled "Unafraid of the Dark." The Midnight Society could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, June 12, is my 46th birthday. I enjoy ice cream cake, AMC gift certificates, boob pics and the collected works of Iain Banks. In lieu of those, try to win me a role in Star Wars, Episode VII: The Phantom Lens Flare by donating to UNICEF here.  I appreciate it.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you never win a Razzie for All About Steve.

May 31, 2014 at 8:31am

5 Things To Do Today: The Family Curse, Zombie Apocalypse 5K, Dave Graham, Papillon Saints ...

The Family Curse rocks Bob's Java Jive tonight. Photo by Kate

SATURDAY, MAY 31 2014 >>>

1. The Family Curse describe themselves as "electro filth rock," and that definitely does a more succinct job of letting you know what they're all about than we could. To be more specific, the Family Curse sound positively caked with grime and some weird sticky substance that you don't even want to think about. Everything is unspeakably heavy and harsh, like a flaming freight train blazing down the tracks, catching seagulls and squirrels in its path. Catch the band with Survival Knife, Criminal Code, Wimps and the Kitchen at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

2. Speed and survival skills will be the key combination at the first annual Association of the United States Army Zombie Apocalypse 5K at 10 a.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood.

3. Tacoma Art Museum welcomes the community to participate in its free, day-long celebration of the region's Native American heritage from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The museum will be alive with dancing, singing, and hands-on art activities for all ages, engaging participants in the 5th annual Northwest Native Community Celebration.

4. Dave Graham, 49, passed away May 17, 2014, after a courageous battle with cancer. Dave's good friend, John Kephart, paid tribute to Dave here. A potluck memorial will be from 6-9 p.m. in the library at Sanford & Son Auctions. Afterward, a tribute party featuring Dave's favorite bands - Deborah Page, masonapron and Bandolier - will be held at 9:30 p.m. at Stonegate Pizza, 5419 S. Tacoma Way.

5. New country rock group The Papillon Saints will play Doyle's Public House in Tacoma at 9:30 p.m. Expect Neil Young, CCR, Waylon Jennings, original Americana and more.

LINK: Saturday, May 31 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

May 26, 2014 at 7:35am

5 Things To Do Today: Memorial Day, "The Immigrant," Creative Colloquy, Chickadee ...

Let us not forget the men and women who have died on our behalf.

MONDAY, MAY 26 2014 >>>

1. Memorial Day is the one day of the year that we set aside to remember and honor our country's patriots, yet we owe them a debt of gratitude, every day of every year. The Evergreen State College will hold a remembrance roll-call commemoration honoring the U.S. military men and women of all races, faiths, and nationalities who have died serving in the global war on terror at noon in the Evergreen State College Library Lobby. There will also be an exhibit of names of all of the U.S. military fatalities since the start of the war. Both are open to the public. Pierce County Veterans Advisory Council and Mountain View Funeral Home, Memorial Park & Crematory present their annual Veterans Memorial Day Service at 2 p.m. at the Joint Services Memorial in Mountain View's Garden of Honor section. The general public is warmly welcomed to participate.

2. In director James Gray's The Immigrant, Ewa Cybulksi (Marion Cotillard) and her sister, Magda (Angela Sarafyan), arrive at Ellis Island in 1921, intent on pursuing the fabled "American Dream." Their plans get derailed when Magda is denied entry and quarantined due to a lung disease and Ewa is nearly deported because of alleged prostitution on the very ship that brought her to New York. The mysterious Bruno Weiss (Joaquin Phoenix) gets Ewa out of trouble and into a dancing gig in his Bandits' Roost Theater where she can earn money for her sister's treatment. There's just one catch: Bruno's dancers dance vertically and horizontally. It's far from the glamorous new life Ewa imagined, but it's a means to an end. Catch the film at 12:15, 2:50, 5:30 and 8:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

3. Creative Colloquy, which goes down at 7 p.m. at B Sharp Coffee House, encourages scribes to connect with like minds. Short stories and novel excerpts are encouraged but other prose is welcomed. Each performer will have up to 5 minutes to read. Opportunities are based upon those who arrive and sign up first. Tonight's featured storytellers include Nick stokes, L. Lisa Lawrence, William Norris Turbyfill and the work of Alec Clayton performed by actors Sharry O'Hare, Michael O'Hara and Christian Carvajal. Come imbibe in libations or sip on roasted bean concoctions and watch storytellers do the thing they do best - narrate their tales.

4. New vintage swing band Chickadee will perform tunes that invoke and satisfy dreams and passions for dancing and romancing at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia.

5. Every Monday at 9 p.m. 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 and $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs.

LINK: Monday, May 26 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 27, 2014 at 8:26am

5 Things To Do Today: David Gray, Lakewood International Festival, organ concert, Little Bill and more ...

Singer/songwriter David Gray will perform tonight at the Pantages Theater, having just finished work on his tenth studio album.

SUNDAY, APRIL 27 2014 >>>

1. Acclaimed British pop songwriter David Gray - a gentle-voiced vocalist known best for his 2000 single "Babylon" - will perform at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. Gray creates soulful pop that combines folk immediacy with subtle electronic flourishes. His vocals have a tossed-off, over-the-top quality that qualifies him as a cousin to Dave Matthews, and his forthcoming full-length Mutineers should be front and center.

2. Each year, the Lakewood Sister Cities Association holds a three-day festival highlighting the culture of one of its sister cities. This year, the organization is proud to bring the rich culture of Okinawa, Japan to the area with its 2014 International Festival and ArtsFest Celebration. The festival concludes today with a fun-filled lineup planned. Entertainment for the day will include the Shahdaroba Middle Eastern Dance Troupe, the Chang Hee Suk Woman Drummers, Lakewood Playhouse Performers, art exhibits, food, crafts, Kids' Corner and more from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Pierce College in Lakewood.

3. Paul Fritts' organ has a following. In fact, it's so awesome he's being honored for it 2 p.m. in Kilworth Chapel. Fritts and his team of artisans in Tacoma craft thousands of wood and steel components into some of the most graceful and inspiring modern pipe organs in the world. One of these artworks is the Bethel Schneebeck Organ in Kilworth, on the campus of University of Puget Sound, where Fritts graduated in 1973. The public is invited to presentation in Kilworth, which will take place following intermission during the 23rd Annual Bethel Schneebeck Organ Recital, with university organist Joseph Adam performing. The concert will include works by Heinrich Scheidemann, Francois Couperin, Johann Sebastian Bach, César Franck, and Maurice Duruflé. Admission is complimentary and no tickets are required.

4. Little Bill Engelhart is soul on wheels. He’s also probably one of the most inspirational musicians that you’re likely to meet in person. He grew up on Hilltop Tacoma and learned rock ’n’ roll by playing rhythm and blues with the black musicians’ downtown, which was unusual for a young white kid at the time. He formed a band with some of his teenage friends and had a national hit when he was just 19 titled “I’m in Love with an Angel." These days, Little Bill & the Blue Notes play all over the South Sound. But they always make time for the Spar in Old Town, and the quintessential Tacoma restaurant's Sunday Night Blues. Little Bill and the Blue Notes will stop in again at 7 p.m., making it the perfect time for you to drop in.

5. Portland dream pop band WL doesn't suffer from gauzy translucence. Though their songs do hazily float along, there's a very clear backbone to their music, defined by crisp percussion and strong melodies. Nothing by WL sounds like a whale so. Occasionally, some honest-to-goodness aggression peaks its head up through the clouds, as seen on "Sugar Pill," whose fuzzy crunch does wonders for lead singer Misty Mary's serene vocals. Catch the band with Appendixes and Red Alder at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Sunday, April 27 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

April 25, 2014 at 7:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Ben Rice, Olympia Spring Arts Walk, magic show, A Leaf and more ...

Rice and pizza tonight at The Stonegate.

FRIDAY, APRIL 25, 2014 >>>

1. When 25-year-old Ben Rice opened his mouth to sing, we did not expect to hear the voice of an old soul, belted out in the honey-haggard tone of one who has been singing for a career, but that's exactly what happened. Combine with quick-picking on the guitar (sometimes on a cigar-box guitar), throw in some resonators, and you get roots-rock-blues-Americana for the new generation. Ben Rice and the Illamatics will perform at 9 p.m. in Stonegate Pizza.

2. Olympia Spring Arts Walk - a celebration of music, theater and art - is proof Oly knows how to have a good time. It's one huge block party. It's a great place to bring the kids during the day and then hit the bars at night. All of downtown Olympia is transformed into a giant smorgasbord of food, fun, art and music for an entire weekend, more specifically this weekend - April 25-26. The fun kicks off tonight from 5-10 p.m., including a Nirvana tribute concert at the Capitol Theater.

3. Each year, the Lakewood Sister Cities Association holds a three-day festival highlighting the culture of one of its sister cities. This year, the organization is proud to bring the rich culture of Okinawa, Japan to the area with its 2014 International Festival and ArtsFest Celebration. Tonight features ArtsFest, with a showcase of student and veteran artwork from 6 to 9 p.m. at Pierce College. There will be a reception following the exhibition and an opportunity to meet the artists in person. The Clover Park High School entertainers will provide entertainment.

4. If you've ever wanted to get levitated, drowned in a milk jug, or penetrated by Spikes of Doom, now's your chance. Married illusionists Kevin and Cindy Spencer were named "Magicians of the Year" by the International Magicians Society in 2009, and yes, they do call people up out of the audience to get ensorcelled within an inch of their lives. Kevin has a habit (swiped from Harry Houdini) of walking through brick walls, so catch his act at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater before he does himself any permanent craniofacial damage.

5. A Leaf and The Sound and The Fury perform at 8 p.m. in Metronome Coffee in Tacoma. According to the Internet, "It's gonna be a rad show!!!"

LINK: Friday, April 25 arts 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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