Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: April, 2007 (49) Currently Viewing: 41 - 49 of 49

April 27, 2007 at 9:23am

Surprise party for Frida Kahlo tonight

On my birthday, I revel in my own self-indulgence. I organize and announce my own birthday party, usually at a spacious bar with plenty of cheap drinks, invite any friend within a 100-mile radius and then kick back and enjoy a drunken evening with my closest associates. That’s what a birthday is supposed to be about.

Tonight, the Tacoma Art Museum throws a surprise 100th birthday party for Frida Kahlo because Kahlo can't throw it herself. She's dead.

Check it here. â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Culture, Food & Drink, Music, Tacoma,

April 28, 2007 at 10:46am

Frida Turns not-quite 100 in high style

Fridaone OK, so technically, Frida Kahlo’s birthday is later in the summer.

Since the whole premise of the Tacoma Art Museum party Friday was “Shhh…It’s a surprise!” the technicalities can safely be thrown out the window.

Which is the best place for them, since the evening wasn’t about technicalities, but about celebration in the name of Kahlo.

Fridatwo What I love about celebrations at the Tacoma Art Museum, is that they’re invariably well-planned, well-executed, well-attended, and fun.  And then, throw in the educational and cultural benefits, throw in the inclusion clause (all are welcome) and you have the kind of trifecta of good that makes me tingle all over and want more.

Friday’s event brought fun to the forefront, with the bed-racing shenanigans (think loosely of the term “bed”â€"I saw a shopping cart, catering trolley, and bicycle cleverly masqueraded as beds, to great effect!) starting the night off, and the music, art, cupcakes, and fun folks keeping the good vibes flowing.

I loved, most of all, creating a Frida pin with the wee one.  I wielded a brush and glue stick, she wielded a brush and glue stick, and the people all around us committed â€"and were committed to committingâ€"art that honored what we felt to be the essence of the images and knowledge we had taken in.

We all focused on small-scale enhancements to pop the images of the woman who’d suffered so much, who would have been 100 soon.

If I said it was super duper cool, I’d be understating the mojo.

Bravo, TAM! â€" Jessica corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

April 29, 2007 at 10:00am

Ten Tiny Dances goes huge at Jazzbones

Tentinyfour There was a surprise eleventh act when the Ten Tiny Dances hit the (tiny, natch!) stage at Jazzbones on Saturday.

Kate Monthy of MLK Ballet and Mary Mabry of the Tacoma Dance Collective matched like physiques and physical skill together to bring a black and white, white and black extension of one-ness to the (diminutive) stage; this happened a little past midway through an evening where tap and sax, tantric sex, working class love by the train tracks, and relationships in a media age (with afro wig!) were explored, alongside themes of collaboration and communication.

I particularly liked that my seat was, thanks to the KAke and Ms. Jennifer Johnson, Jazzbones GM extraordinaire, kick-ass and front row.

There, I could focus on the feet.

No, really.

Tentinythree Tentinytwo Alexa Folsom-Hill mentioned “the Life of a Dancer” at the last MOVE!, and I’ve been pondering the point.

Talking to Mike Barber, Portland-ite and founder of Ten Tiny Dances, the point came closer to home: en route to Tacoma, the group had a vehicle break down, and they had to deal with rental car hassles, stress, and mayhem.

Tentinyfive Tentinysix They persevered, to bring their version of accessible dance to out fine town, and eventually arrived.

Tentonyone And then, driving the “life of a dancer” point home with a hammer, the Ten Tiny Dances showed bare-footed dancing in all it’s calloused, bent-toed, strong glory.  These feet stretch, reach, and express the way many of us would like our bodies and faces to, while showing that the road to becoming strong and expressive is not a smooth one.

On a big stage, en pointe, you never get a chance to see the true story.

In the round, on a four foot stage, where dialogue and music meld intriguingly with a discipline that’s frequently airbrushed, the stories unfold in intimate, intriguing, affecting ways.

Tentinyseven And it’s a world-rocking thing. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Tacoma,

April 29, 2007 at 10:06am

When world's collide

Immediately after the Ten Tiny Dances, I had to go home.

Which bummed me out: I wanted to check out the last installment of Kulture Lab, I wanted to hang with artists at Tempest Lounge, I wanted to continue the energy I enjoyed as the Portland entity that was Ten Tiny Dances poured their creative souls out on stage.

But I had a kid who expected mom to put her to bed, after declining to accompany me to see the dances.

En route to the mother in law’s house, I saw signs of life at the Rebecca V Gallery, and Pairings.

Rebeccavaprilone Nosy by nature (and suspecting a bottle of nice wine might be a welcome thing) I stopped in.

Holy cow.

Rebeccavapriltwo Mauricio Diaz’ work is crazy-cool.  He uses an architect’s training and eye to render canvases of color and vitality â€" painted primarily with palette knife, occasionally utilizing corrugated board to great textural advantage â€" that bring to mind artists like Van Gogh and Monet, if said artists were to have chosen palettes of vibrant secondary colors with more perspective, less “landscape.”

I loved chatting with Kelly, Tony V, and Mark, and I especially loved the kismet meeting of Heidi, Portland gallery chica, who had no clue that a totally different kind of Portland  Arts gig was happening just up the street from where she was.

It made me walk away smiling, knowing that connectedness really is alive and well.  We aren’t just our own little microcosm of coolness: it’s spreading.

And that’s hot. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

April 29, 2007 at 12:44pm

Kulture Lab's final night

Kulturedeathone I went to the “Death and Burial” of Kulture Lab last night expecting the unexpected, but what I found was truly surprising. I expected to be crammed in 500-600 other people but instead, the turn-out seemed to be more in the 100-200 range. Maybe every one was just too sad about the loss of Kulture Lab and they were home snuggling with tear soaked pillows. Some people just don’t do funerals. Not that the party was quite that somber â€" on the contrary.

The art was intriguing, as usual.  Several mixed media 3 dimensional paintings were displayed and I’ve always found those really interesting. Large clear glass pieces seemed to drip from the walls. A giant Jimi Hendrix painting immediately caught my eye. Also, Mr. Witticism (aka John Kephart) showed some of his paintings for the very first time and all these years I’ve known him I never even knew he was an artist. Apparently in addition to being a local filmmaker and a guitar player he also paints! Geez, you think you know a guy…

Things I loved about the final hurrah of Kulture Lab:

The Confession booth that everyone had to go into before entering the party was a neat idea. If you couldn’t think of a confession, the Dead Artists thoughtfully inscribed about 25 of them on the inside wall for people to read aloud like: “I hate my Boss,” “I pooped my pants in public,” and “I’m a raging alcoholic.” Unbeknown to the confessing, these confessions were projected on the wall inside the party as entertainment for guests already inside.

Kulturedeathtwo Kulturedeaththree Kulturedeathfour The costumes people wore were cool, like the Pope who took the confessions, the “Clockwork Orange” guy, the Catholic Priest, the Russian soldier and Jesus in a toga. Nowhere but a Kulture Lab party would you see such things.

I spoke to Byron who was the one dressed in the soviet uniform. When I asked him about it he said the uniform belonged to a soviet soldier who came to America several years ago to recover a piece of a Russian spacecraft that jettisoned during its ascent. The tale, as he told it, was that the Russians were selling what ever they could to the Americans while they were here and a friend of his name Keiko bought the uniform and immigration papers from one of them. Byron produced a Xerox copy of the papers from his pocket to show us. When asked why he chose to wear the outfit specifically to Kulture Lab he said it was because Keiko gave it to him earlier that day and this was his first opportunity to take his new uniform out for a spin.

Kulturedeathfive The food was, as usual, a sight to behold. The table was costumed as well in the dead artists theme and the food was fabulous. The dessert cups were very tempting but we only nibbled on beef Shish kabobs and bread and spinach dip. I heard the Jell-O shots were amazing too.

I had several interesting conversations with bright shiny people that I like. For instance Bennett Thurman told me that he had just come from magistrating a wedding for some close friends of his. I said that I didn’t know he was ordained and he said he wasn’t. He said in this state anyone can perform a wedding ceremony, no license required. That makes two new things I learned last night!

The magician, Heath Delaney, who was part of the entertainment at Kulture Lab was a surprise. Upon first glance he appeared to be a street hustling card shark type of guy that you see in movies and on TV show set in New York City. When we built up enough courage to approach him it was clear that this guy was an artist and a pretty skilled one at that. He moved the cards with a ballet like grace and rearranged them in artistic formations all the while tricking the eyes of his spectators and turning up cards that turn out not to be the ones expected at all.

Then he did the trick that I still can’t stop thinking about. He handed me his business card and asked me to write the name of someone I cared deeply about, someone who has had a great impact on my life. He turned away and I wrote down my daughter’s name, Jesse, who was standing right next to me. Then I folded up the card like he asked and handed it back to him. He never opened the folded card. He stared into my eyes for several seconds and I felt as though he was stealing a piece of my soul. It was hard to maintain eye contact and I think I started to giggle nervously. Then he said he was having a hard time guessing the name so he wanted me to write down her first initial and circle it on the same card. He turned away again and I did so then folded the card back up and gave it to him. He held the card never unfolding it and asked me to squeeze his well formed forearm. When I let go he rubbed his arm and a red mark arose in the shape of a J. He said it was your daughter Jesse who is standing right here. How the heck? I don’t know but I was amazed. Afterward I read his business card. The slogan on it said “…disturbed reality.”

The party was fun but several regulars were conspicuously missing and we missed them. Also, one of the entertainers Stephanie Johnson didn’t arrive until near closing time so we didn’t get to hear her sing.

Rob Anderson and Matt Eklund filled in with some nice impromptu jamming (Anderson on keyboard and Eklund on guitar) and afterward Eklund rocked the loop pedal which allows him to play along with himself and himself and himself. Ya gotta love the music technology available theses days.

Kulturedeathlast After that a Brazilian band that was scheduled to perform showed up without gear essential for their performance. They needed a CD player to play their background music and there wasn’t one on the premises. When we left (about 10:30 p.m.) it wasn’t clear whether or not a CD player could be obtained or not and by then there were so few people left that I don’t even know if it mattered.

Rumor had it that the party was going to go until midnight instead of the usual 10 pm. But standing around for that many hours wasn’t what my aching feet had in mind so we had to go. We definitely had a good time, if not a GREAT time. â€" Angela Jossy

[Photography by Joseph Kapler]

Filed under: Angela Jossy, Arts, Culture, Tacoma,

April 30, 2007 at 10:13am

Tea (er, champagne) and fashion for Point Defiance Zoo

Frequently, fashion shows are all about, well, fashion.

The way the Point Defiance Zoo Society did it for the Fashion Tea Saturday at the Emerald Queen Casino, the subjects were fun and fashion, with the addendum to read “fund-raising.”

High points were plenty, from the Tom Jones opener “What’s New Pussycat” reinforcing the Purrrrfect theme, with a Tom Jones who looked suspiciously like Jack Black.  In a good way, as I dig JB and thing Tom is oogie.

Fashiontea2 More high points: the cake auction, with hot men in tuxes tempting the audience with dessert decadence.  Perhaps it was the heat of the men that drove bidding frenzy to over $300 for several cakes, which did indeed sound dreamy, especially when paired with a hot, topless man to serve it â€" but it was interesting to me that while cakes were hot, a few of the auctioned trips sold less quickly, despite the valiant attempts by Larry Stokes.

Stokes did manage to gain the Zoo at least $1,000 through two bidding splits, where the two highest bidders both won prizes.

I was teary-eyed by the generosity of many, when contributions were solicited to fund such things as school tours, walrus feedings, and outdoor ed programs, and I was awed to be in the presence of people so committed to helping sustain such an entity as the zoo, which brings so many great things to Tacoma.

Fashionteaone As the event closed, though, I was stoked to see my boutiquin’ homies all representin’ for the 253, from Dame Lola (I suspect the Nordstrom intro was erroneously placed before the lovely lantern-sleeved Miguelina blouse, yellow dress, and tunic top that I recognized from the shop, whereas I did not recognize the evening gowns shown under the shop’s name) â€" to the hot styles from Red Line, Rocky & Coco’s, Tiki Lounge, Cake, Bloom, and other local shops that brought heat wrapped in style to the runway.

And as the grand finale?

How fun to see Rusty George, whose company designed the event’s graphics, himself (attired beguilingly in a fabulous bridal gown courtesy of the Wedding Bell) with his incendiary fiancée, attired beguilingly in a tux.

Rad, is all I can say. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Culture, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

April 30, 2007 at 11:57am

Def Leppard to rock Auburn

Eighties rockers Def Leppard will perform with Styx and Foreigner Sept. 26 at the White River Amphitheatre to try to recapture their glory and dominance of the '80s hair metal scene. Gone are the mullets and ripped jeans in lieu of a more contemporary look, but don't be fooled, this is still the same Def Leppard: Joe Elliot's trademark vocals, two wailing guitarists, a driving bass line, and a one-armed drummer.

Tickets are $27.50, $62.50 and $85.  They go on sale Saturday, May 5, 10 a.m., at Ticketmaster outlets. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Concert Alert,

April 30, 2007 at 3:21pm

Mike Gregoire loves Swiss cheese

Imagine our surprise while shopping for lunch today to find Mike Gregoire, also known as First Mike, the husband of Governor Christine Gregoire pushing a shopping cart through Tumwater's Safeway with his body guard in tow. 

First Mike had some salad ingredients, and the last we saw him he was off to find Swiss cheese.  We also noted that the body guard was doing his job â€" No junk food was seen in the cart. 

It's nice to see how the other half lives. â€" Michael Swan

Filed under: Food & Drink, Olympia, Politics,

April 30, 2007 at 9:39pm

Broadway Center teases with next season's treats

It turns out that my father lied when he told me that hard work would help me reach my career goal. I probably shouldn't be too shocked by this news. He also lied that time I asked where babies come from.

So I admire Broadway Center Executive Director David Fischer's hard work steering the Tacoma arts organization into greatness.  Judging by next season's shows (see below), hard work pays off. 

Fischer prompted a community focus group through series of questions tonight: What would they like to see the Center host?  What would they pay?  What do they wish was in Tacoma rather than Seattle?  Who invented Liquid Soap and why? OK, they last one was mine.  Ha!

There was banter.  There were drinks.  There were light bulbs bursting above Fischer’s head.

Before sending us back out into the rain, Fischer busted out a few highlights of next season:

  • “100 Years of Broadway” featuring former Broadway stars;
  • “Birdhouse Factory” starring former “Cirque du Soleil” stars performing acrobats, theater, and other “Cirque”-like stuff;
  • Dark Star Orchestra;
  • The popular “Striking 12” pop-rock musical comedy;
  • “Peter Pan”;
  • Pink Floyd Experience;
  • Spoken word events orchestrated by local poet Luke Smiraldo (Vanilla Soul) including poet Billy Collins;
  • “Operation Homecoming”;
  • Garrison Keillor;
  • Bobby McFerrin;
  • Shakespeare’s “The Tempest”;
  • Orson Welles’ “Moby Dick”;
  • “Rush Limbaugh in Night School”;
  • “Not A Genuine Black Man”;
  • “Defending The Caveman”;
  • “The Wonder Bread Years”;
  • Theater of Illusion â€" old school magic;
  • comedians Josh Blue and Craig Ferguson
  • And much more.

When my editor complains that my work stinks like yesterday's Gorgonzola, I can simply tell him it sucks because he doesn’t work hard enough editing it.  Ha! â€" Suzy Stump

Filed under: Culture, Music, Tacoma, Theater,

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