Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: October, 2007 (132) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 132

October 1, 2007 at 6:37am

Crown Bar opening and the Avenue

What I thought would be the run of the mill hang-out at the brand new Crown Bar on Sixth Avenue with friends ended up as a trip through the wild and crazy club scene that's heating up on the avenue.

The new Crown Bar struck me first and foremost as a comfy-casual perfect spot to have pub atmosphere and food elevated to the kind of perfection that you'd expect from Charlie McManus and his wife, Jacqueline.

Taking their interior cues from a James Hume painting of Steve McQueen purchased at a show of Hume's work at Tempest Lounge, the dynamic restaurant duo took the existing exposed woodwork, bar-back and basic bones of the former Gary's Steakout (Gary was in the house, too) and embellished it with a vibrant red and unexpected splashes of silver.  The latter, creating a sort of campy-pop texture out of what could have been a ubiquitous interior focal point "river rock fireplace and posts" sort of fits as a metaphor for the food, as well.

Kebabs and sausage --not necessarily standard bar fare in Tacoma, but pretty standard in the U.K.- could have been basic and bland, but I found the Currywurst with curried ketchup one step beneath divinity (divinity was my Pimms with rosemary infusion) while both the Chicken Tikka and Veggie Kebabs made me feel health-consciously happy in all the best of ways.  I especially loved the cucumber yogurt dipping sauce with the Chicken Tikka, miked with bites of the cous cous- mmmmm.

McManus' commitment to sustainable agriculture extends to the Crown Bar, with beef from east of the mountains, local chicken and vegetables, and a fish deal in the works with the Nisqually tribe also added to my overall warm fuzzies- it was exactly the embodiment of community and individuality I so love about my city.

I did not agree with my hottie-mom girlfriend-s assessment that the Veggie Kebabs were bland- on the contrary, I found the seasoning to be subtle and oh-so-yumm mixed with the tart radicchio and rice noodles.

I could have stayed at the Crown all night, watching notables and recognized friends as they came and went, but the gals were restless, and a huge crowd was gathering at the door, anxious to bump us out of our seats.

Our group moved on.  We were three housewives and one interior designer- two had Seattle club scene days (and men met then) in common, three had school days in common (kids in classes together), four had a love of art in common, two had an urgent desire to rock the house down in common.

We worked our way down the Avenue, picking and choosing between a plethora of venues, finally landing at Masa, where we were delighted to find seats and a scene that was heating up.  Carter and her husband. Eric, as well as bagpipe player and massage therapist Bruce, all provided commentary on the evening that about made me pee my pants.  Fortunately, my own drinks were slow in coming, because that meant that I was alert enough to assess the happenings while I played some bizarre sort of den mom, a rare and fun role for me.

What I noted, and loved: artist/filmmaker Teddy Haggarty, who we had seen at the Crown Bar, letting us know about his film screening at the Tacoma Film Festival,  His brother, Leonard, let us know about a potential crazy campy cool karaoke gig coming up at Tempest. James Hume, unassuming, charming and winning more of my respect, all showing up to view Teddy-s work upstairs at Masa- the familiar Haggarty motifs are all rendered in yarn and beeswax by indigenous Mexicans. 

Then: the entertainment value of the gal, rumored to be a Vegas "dancer" in the very short skirt undulating in ways that those around me assessed as either erotic or frightening.

Also: the Masa scene.  It was a crazy-cool mix of clubbin' sparkles, big hair, military buzzed hair, makeup, cologne, designer jeans, shades of skin-tone ranging from mahogany to porcelain, and bodies shakin' as Latin beats thumped. There was energy and some drama, even within my own band of four.

Toward midnight, while my booty-shakin' Cinderella mom friends were nearing the apex of their fun, I took a minute to take it all in: here, in Tacoma, we had a viable "scene" with choices like The Red Hot, Hell's Kitchen, the West End Tavern, Chopstix, Six Olives, O'Malley's, Primo Grill, Il Fiasco, The Crown Bar, Masa, Asado, the Engine House- and so many more. 

And here, at the start of the evening, I was thinking I might show my friends the whole Tacoma scene- but there was no way we could hit Pacific Avenue, my favorite spots at the Hilltop and the West End, not to mention Stadium and beyond, after so much heat on Sixth Avenue.

Like they said in "Almost Famous" "It's happening!"- Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Food & Drink, Tacoma,

October 1, 2007 at 1:38pm

Dance, dance fever time

There’s no excuse to waste away on the sidelines any longer. Get in the game, get on the dance floor.


Check out Olympia’s Occasions Ballroom at the Eagles Hall Tuesdays and at Tacoma’s Abbey Ballroom Wednesdays. Both have swing dance lessons at 7:30 p.m. with a dance party at 8 p.m.

Ladies, here’s yet another excuse to put on a swirling skirt, strappy heels and crimson lipstick: Friday nights at Tacoma City Ballet for ballroom dancing starting Friday, Oct 5. Beginners can bump into each other from 7-8 p.m. The more experienced get the run of the 6,000-square-foot floor from 8-9 p.m. inside the historic Merlino Arts Center.

Back at Abbey Ballroom, the shake and shimmy just got a little hotter on Saturdays with South Sound Salseros salsa dancing lessons 9-9:30 p.m. Show off your moves 9:30 p.m. to midnight. Hey fellas, did you ever think abut how many single chicks take dance classes to fill up their nights? Even if you don’t meet a hottie at a class, you’ll have impressive boogie skills. â€" Jennifer Johnson

[Abbey Ballroom, lessons $10 (inlcudes dance), free mini-lesson 8:30-9 p.m., $4-$5 dance, 1901 S. Fawcett, Tacoma, 253.572.5424]
[Eagles Hall, 805 Fourth Ave., Olympia, www.olyswing.com]

Filed under: DJ/Electronica, Tacoma,

October 1, 2007 at 4:49pm

Drinking with sluts

Are you a slut? If so, what kind of slut? A book slut or social, gregarious one?

It matters.

See, the Banned Books Slut Social takes place tomorrow night, Oct. 2, at the Tempest Lounge as part of King’s Books Banned Books Week events.  Readers will gather, discuss banned books, and drink cocktails named after banned authors.  There will even be Banned Books Trading Coasters. It begins at 7 p.m.

I’ll be there looking for those confused about the party title.  Hey, I need all the help I can get.

For a complete list of Banned Books Week events, check out the King’s Books Web Site. â€" Brad Allen

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

October 1, 2007 at 5:15pm

Big shows coming to Jazzbones

Yo, check out November at Jazzbones:

Tommy Castro Band Tacoma. Nov. 3 9 pm. $15-$18.

Sonny Landreth Tacoma. Nov. 9 (all ages) 7:30 pm. $15-$20.

Vagabond Opera Tacoma. Nov. 10 (all ages) 6:30 pm. $10-$12.

The Mob Law, Doxology, Aaron Spiro Tacoma. Nov. 10 (all ages) 9 pm. $8-$10.

420 Funk Mob with George Clinton Tacoma. Nov. 16 9 pm. $50.

Savoy Brown featuring Kim Simmonds Tacoma. Nov. 17 9 pm. $22-$25.

Vicci Martinez Band Tacoma. Nov. 21 (all ages) 8 pm. $10.

Randy Hansen’s Tribute to Jimi Hendrix Tacoma. Nov. 24 9 pm. $10-$12.

Tickets are available by calling 253.396.9169 or via its Web site. â€" Brad Allen

October 2, 2007 at 6:59am

Breakfast With Bobble Tiki

Learn it, use it, spell it

Nadir \NAY-dir; nay-DIR\, noun:
1. [Astronomy]. The point of the celestial sphere directly opposite the zenith and directly below the observer.
2. The lowest point; the time of greatest depression or adversity.

USAGE EXAMPLE: While at the time,Bobble Tiki was sure that Britney Spears’ performance at this year’s MTV Video Music Awards would go down as the nadir of her embarrassing career (and existence, for that matter), it now seems she’s lost custody of her children to their father…Kevin Federline! Bobble Tiki knows a couple things. Number one: losing out in a custody battle to Kevin Federline is the definition of nadir. Number two: god help those children.

Breakfastatbobbletikis THE MORNING NEWS

LONDON: Princess Di’s death reexamined.

TACOMA MALL: No verdict yet. (It's in â€" Guilty!)

TOKYO: Loans for haters.

ILLINOIS: No hugging it out!

You can stand atop the mountain and scream your naked desires to the universe or shed that synapse epilepsy and hug the South Sound today with your fellow man:

MUSIC: In this week’s issue of the Weekly Volcano, Matt Driscoll wrote a retrospective on K Records 25th Birthday. Bobble Tiki doesn’t like to give Mr. Driscoll credit, but it was OK. Anyway, K Records, as most of you know, is a vehicle of Mr. Calvin Johnson â€" perhaps the coolest person in the history of Olympia. Tonight at Le Voyeur, Puerto Rican punk band Davila 666 will ponga la casa en el fuego with Kalvin’s Johnson â€" perhaps the coolest band name in the history of Olympia.

MORE MUSIC: What's on tonight.

DISH: Where do you want to eat today?

EVENTS: Banned Books Week builds steam.

Turdus Musicus will play Hell’s Kitchen on Wednesday, Oct. 3. Bobble Tiki isn’t a very intellectual fellow, nor has he ever claimed to be. That said, Bobble Tiki was primarily interested in writing about this show for two reasons. First off, Wednesdays at the Kitchen equal $1 PBRs. That’s never a bad thing. Secondly, it sounds funny to say “Turdus Musicus.” If Bobble Tiki wrote about the show, he knew it meant he’d get to talk about it all week with colleagues, editors, coworkers, and even his family. The words Turdus Musicus have crossed Bobble Tiki’s lips too many times to count over the past few days. If there’s something Bobble Tiki likes almost as much as a reason to celebrate, it’s saying the word turdus.

Please be Bobble Tiki’s friend here.

Breakfast with Bobble Tiki runs Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.  Deal with it.

October 2, 2007 at 10:08am

The Factory is now Station 56

After numerous police calls, fights and ridiculous dance floor outfits, The Factory has said enough is enough.  The nightclub at 56th and South Tacoma Way has gone pub.  It's dropping the R&B dance theme nights and foam parties for the quintessential pub experience with more concentration on food. It has emerged as Station 56.

The Factory's Web site and MySpace page are void of the scantilly-clad vixen ads that once dominated the sites. â€" Brad Allen

Filed under: Club News, Tacoma,

October 3, 2007 at 2:12am

Tacoma Film Festival begins tomorrow

Tacomafilmfestposter200 Why do we love movies so much? Not just watching them, but making them, too. Watching is easy â€" you leave your life behind for a brief amount of time in trade for what’s happening on screen. Making them â€" it becomes your life for an amount of time.

Philip Cowan, The Grand Cinema director, is also the festival director behind the 2nd Annual Tacoma Film Festival, which opens Thursday, Oct. 4 at The Grand Cinema. Cowan and others believe “…new and emerging filmmakers should be given the opportunity to have their work shown before an audience.” Of the 72 film submissions, many will have first time showings, others like “Limbo” and “All About Haggarty,” are familiar works for the area.

Cowan will post a “Philip’s Top 10 Not To Miss” on The Grand Cinema’s Web site, but he let a couple slip early.

“Overall there is some really nice work going on from regional filmmakers, and it is fun to show their work, mostly for the first time publicly,” says Cowan. “Definitely attend the opening festivities and watch South 5’s two short films and the comedy ‘Let Others Suffer’ from a Spokane first time filmmaker.”

Cowan spotlights a group of short films showing Oct. 6.

“Finding Thea” is the only “encore” presentation from last year’s festival. “Every time we played the 24-minute documentary on Thea Foss last year, it sold out so we’re bringing it back.” Another documentary, a 14-minute movie called “Spitfire 944,” is the true story of John Blyth, a WWII pilot from Lacey, now as an 83-year-old veteran, watching a movie of his crash landing for the first time ever, Blyth will attend the screening.

Oct. 7 catch “Her Best Move,” a non-documentary family movie about a 15-year-old soccer player. Cowan also recommends the documentary “Inlaws and Outlaws” on Oct. 7. “It’s both informative, entertaining and at times heartbreaking,” Cowan says of this Washington state production cataloging true stories of gay and straight couples and singles in a heartbreakingly funny narrative. “It isn’t obvious who’s straight or gay, and it becomes unimportant as the film goes along, delving into how very much alike all people are, their wants, desires, and fears.”

The Weekly Volcano recommends “Full Disclosure,” a short film solely consisting of dialogue between two female and male characters discussing the merits of full disclosure: revealing all faults, quirks, weaknesses and strengths upon first meeting to save future time dating and finding things out gradually. Recognizable actors, mildly snarky dialogue, and humorous, thought provoking content make this a must see. The idea of full disclosure is an intriguing one and worthy of lighthearted discussion afterward. It screens Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Tacoma School of the Arts.

Tacoma Film Festival details

Tacoma Film Festival schedule

Q&A with “Limbo” actor Joe Rosati

Q&A with “South 5 â€" True Grit” director Bryan Johnson

Where to eat around The Grand.

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

October 3, 2007 at 6:39am

I interrupt your film fest fodder...

Darjeelinglimited Looking past all the hubbub over the opening of the Tacoma Film Festival â€" Has anyone noticed that Wes Anderson’s “The Darjeeling Limited” will open at The Grand Oct. 19?  It’s the story of three American brothers on a spiritual bonding journey who find themselves stranded in the dessert with eleven suitcases, a printer, and a laminating machine.

Word is Roger Ebert will toss many stars at it. Nice.

I love all of Wes Anderson’s movies. I think the reason people react so strongly to his films is because of the soundtracks. They are perfect. The music reaches right into your chest and squeezes your heart. It's amazing. Have you seen "Rushmore" lately?

OK, back to your Tacoma Film Festival giggles. â€" Jennifer Johnson

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

October 3, 2007 at 7:25am

Radiohead on your terms

If I was to call Radiohead an innovative band, the proclamation wouldn’t exactly make waves. It would be more like stating the obvious.

However, as Radiohead readies to release In Rainbows, the UK band’s seventh studio album, their approach is nothing short of revolutionary. While Radiohead will have a traditional release of In Rainbows in early 2008, beginning Oct 10 you can “purchase” the downloadable version of the record here. 

But here’s the revolutionary part:

Radiohead is letting you decide the price.

Go to the band’s Web site, and you’ll be guided through the process of pre-ordering In Rainbows. Once the mp3 version of the record is added to your cart, you can check out. You’ll be asked how much you’d like to pay. Fill in anything you like, from zero to infinity. Seriously. It’s up to you.
Be careful, though, the price is in pounds.

I’m not sure what Radiohead was smoking when they hatched this plan, but it’s brilliant! â€" Matt Driscoll

Filed under: Matt Driscoll, Music,

October 3, 2007 at 11:22am

Let's get physical

OK, forget about the ‘80s-era aerobic craze â€" today’s fitness is less about the clothes and the pose, and more about adapting to active interests, and adding them to daily lifestyle to enhance health.

At least, that’s the premise put out there by Metro Parks in their Active Living Every Day classes, to be held beginning Oct. 10 for 20 weeks at the Metro Parks Tacoma main office on Wednesday from 7-8:30 p.m. The $135 cost includes an Active Living Every Day book and access to additional support through the program’s web site and online study guide.

This won’t be an exercise class, so don’t worry about finding the perfect matching headband and legwarmers: rather, the behavior-change program looks at creative and simple ways to be active every day, everywhere, and create a lifetime of active habits that will result in health benefits. â€" Jessica Corey-Butler

Filed under: Sports, Tacoma,

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