Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: August, 2010 (140) Currently Viewing: 71 - 80 of 140

August 16, 2010 at 12:59pm

THREATS AND PROMISES: singer/songwriter Brian Ellefson

Brian Ellefson/photography courtesy of Kevin Hinson


Are you ready to rock ... yourself into a blissful coma? What Brian Ellefson lacks in rattle-yr-beercoaster grit, he more than makes up for with mellow "adult alternative" chill music - think Jack Johnson (both were born in the Hawaii Islands). Any of Ellefson's 11 tracks of his new Panoramic View (especially the catchy "Girl" and "Right Time") could be slipped by 103.7 "The Mountain" as "the next big thing" and no one would be the unhappy wiser. It's a worthy spin to say the least.

"I started writing a few of the songs about a year ago, but had a hard time finishing things with a day job," explains Ellefson, who now makes his home in Seattle but visits his folks in Tacoma regularly. "So earlier this year I just really made up my mind to set a hard deadline, bunker up, and finish it.  I ended up writing and recording about five songs in a five-week period, which was really fast for me.  The last song I did was "Your Way" and it was done the night before I went into the studio to mix down (in Portland).  Up to this point, I'd been playing and recording guitar for other people, so this is my first go around writing and recording my own music."

Ellefson claims he had 30 songs for the CD in his head, but a third of them disappeared when he fell back asleep or The Office came on.

WEEKLY VOLCANO:  What Tacoma neighborhood do your parent live in?

BRIAN ELLEFSON: They've lived in the Southend a long time - a funky house with a turret rock entry and a German ghost lady living in the attic.  I played her a song once and she liked it.

VOLCANO:  When visiting your parents in Tacoma, where is your favorite spot to hang out?


Filed under: Music, Tacoma,

August 16, 2010 at 4:35pm

Molly Hatchet coming to Spanaway

Molly Hatchet, 2010


Weekly Volcano sales executive Tony Worrell does a perfect imitation of former Molly Hatchet lead singer Danny Joe Brown singing "Flirtin' With Disaster.

It's perfect.

And I could hear a little bit of that sound on my iPhone when Tony called in to let me know Molly Hatchet will perform Aug. 28 at Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill in Spanaway. I asked Tony to give me a little something-something, but he wouldn't do the voice.

If you were old enough to remember back when Led Zeppelin ruled the skies and Sabbath scoured the underworlds, you surely can recall the tunes "Flirtin' With Disaster" and "Dreams I'll Never See."  Florida's shaggy-haired, hard-drinking and heavy-rockin' Molly Hatchet made it medium with the then-burgeoning Southern Rock scene led by Lynyrd Skynyrd. Mr. Molly put an especially heavy-handed, almost ugly brand on the genre.  I am sure that even the members of Spinal Tap would get a chuckle from the titles of the Hatch's albums Devil's Canyon, Silent Reign of Heroes and Warriors of the Rainbow Bridge.

Although Phil McCormack replaced Brown in 1996, today's version of Mr. Molly - featuring original guitarist Dave Hlubeck and longtime keyboardist John Galvin - should whip Spanaway into a frenzy that Saturday.

LINK: Bobble Tiki has the scoop

August 16, 2010 at 6:41pm

Performance piece "Seaside Opera" arms adolescents

The Seaside Opera, performed by Mimi Allin, is a combination of movement and poetry designed to illicit feelings one might feel while at the beach. Photography by J.M. Simpson


1:20 p.m.: I arrive on Pacific Avenue, relieved to find a space in one-hour parking. I'm here for Seaside Opera, a performance art piece by A K Mimi Allin, aka ThePoetessAtGreenLake.blogspot.com. She promises a 10-15 minute celebration of "sea-inspired operas" in Tollefson Plaza. Aha, I think: Idomeneo. I sang "Placido è il mar" back in college choir. Andiamo! Seaside Opera is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.  Allin puts the finishing touches on a rickety lifeguard station. It's 90 degrees but feels hotter.

1:30 p.m.: I stroll through James Sinding's installation Letters, which consists of hundreds of wooden, multicolored alphabetic letters distributed on the plaza steps. The artist encourages us to arrange these letters into meaningful phrases.  Thus far the height of our ingenuity appears to be first names, "LOVE YOU MOM," and "PANTS ON THE GROUND."

1:45 p.m.: Allin puts on an LP of tango music as played on the accordion. She finishes arranging her space and drives away to change clothes. The lifeguard station stands empty, ringed by beach paraphernalia including floaties and plastic lobsters.

1:50 p.m.: Two pubescent sk8er bois commence flipping 360s just as loud as they possibly can five feet from Allin's set.

2:05 p.m.: Allin returns to gaze at the skaters, willing them, it seems, to take up residence elsewhere. They're not very good, and a botched move launches a skateboard at our photographer's leg. I retrieve the board and approach the skaters. "Hey, there," I smile, "how ‘bout you give her fifteen minutes of silence so I don't have to throw your board into traffic?  Cool?" The skater is taken aback by this and reconvenes with his buddy at a nearby table.

2:08 p.m.: Mindful of expensive parking infractions, I introduce myself to Allin and ask if she'll be starting soon. "At 2," she assures me. "It's 2 o'clock now." It isn't. I'm looking at my cell phone. It's 2:08.  I shrug and back away.

2:09 p.m.: Allin loads water pistols from a pail.  She waves lazily at the skaters, then aims a spritz at my notebook and me. She misses.

2:10 p.m.: She approaches the skaters and hands them loaded water pistols.  They're delighted by this and immediately faux-murder each other. Allin chases them around the plaza, sometimes threatening to splash them with the remnants in the pail. Are they plants? I can't tell. They seem as confused by her behavior as I am, but hey: Free weapons.

2:13 p.m.: Allin climbs the plaza steps, changes the LP to "Ride of the Valkyries," and dances about like a contestant on So You Think You're a Ballerina.  "Theme music!" cry the skaters, who continue to pester and shoot her.

2:17 p.m.: "Ride of the Valkyries" repeats. This Wagnerian scene, by the way, is set on a mountain, not a beach. Allin salutes the horizon. She somehow accomplishes this without appearing touched in the head.

2:20 p.m.: Allin retrieves her pail of water and schleps away. I don't know if the skaters were part of the act. I'm not convinced the act is over. I'm not 100 percent sure it's begun. But I am about to get a ticket, so I run for my car.

This is the part where I'm told I don't get performance art.  Still, what might be dismissed as "flyweight" and/or "masturbatory" can become "unpolished" or "charmingly goofy" when it's free.

Seaside Opera

Through Aug. 21, every half hour on the half-hour, 2-7 p.m., Free
Tollefson Plaza, Pacific Ave. at South 17th Street, Tacoma
part of Spaceworks Tacoma

LINK: More Seaside Opera photos in our Photo Hot Spot

LINK: Spaceworks in the windows

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma, Theater,

August 17, 2010 at 6:19am

Tacoma ART BUS lets its hair down

Patricia Lecy-Davis/photo courtesy of Paul Schrag


After a month off, the Tacoma Third Thursday Artwalk ART BUS - proudly sponsored by the Weekly Volcano - is back for a motorized tour of downtown Tacoma galleries and spaces beginning at 5 p.m. Angela Jossy of the Speakeasy Arts Cooperative will step down as tour director this month swinging the yellow door open for worthy substitute Patricia Lecy-Davis. Lecy-Davis knows a thing or two about downtown Tacoma. She owns Embellish Multispace Salon, joined others in creating Go Local Tacoma where she remains a board member, and is former president of the Downtown Merchants Group. She holds 23 other downtown positions that escape me right now.

This month, the tour will, as always, start at the Speakeasy Arts Cooperative then chug around the corner to Brownie Morrison, followed by stops at the Brick House Gallery, Tacoma Art Place, 253 Collective, Flying Monkey Mercantile, Tacoma Art Supply, Viceroy Art Gallery, The Peabody Waldorf, Sanford & Son Middle Floor Merchants, Mavi (formerly Two Vaults), The Swiss, Tollefson Plaza and the 301 Puyallup Ave. Suite A-C (which includes Mineral Gallery).

I threw a few quick questions at Lecy-Davis regarding her new bitchin' position.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: How did you land this gig as the ART BUS tour director?

PATRICIA LECY-DAVIS: Angie roped me into it. Apparently she thinks I'm cool.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Were you a good kid on the school bus?

LECY-DAVIS: I always sat in the back of the bus throwing stuff, laughing, and occasionally "making out."

VOLCANO: Nice. Will you be secretly judging each passenger's hair?

LECY-DAVIS: I like to think of it more as intrigue. A person's hair says a lot about them. However, sometimes I make up stories.

VOLCANO:  What excites you most happening in downtown Tacoma right now?

LECY-DAVIS: A second graffiti mural down the street at Ninth and Broadway. I like that the (Embellish Multispace Salon) wall has helped bring awareness to the art form. Also, I'm excited about Thursday night's screening of O Brother Where Art Thou at Tollefson Plaza. If it goes well, we may do one or two more before the summer season is over. Stay tuned for Raising Arizona and Napoleon Dynamite.

To board this magic bus, you'll need a rider button, which can be purchased at Speakeasy Arts Cooperative (746 Broadway) for $10 any time after 11 a.m. on Thursday. Local artist and member of Speakeasy Arts Cooperative Scott McGee designed this month's rider button. The tour runs from 5-8 p.m.

LINK: The Volcano was on June's ART BUS

Filed under: Arts, Community, Tacoma,

August 17, 2010 at 6:50am

5 Things To Do: Slang Chickens, Hot Shop Johnsens, Love Tacoma, banned book and getting your Irish on early

L.A.'s Slang Chickens rock Northern tonight. Photo courtesy of Keegan Gibbs/MySpace

TUESDAY, AUG. 17, 2010 >>>

1. L.A.'s Slang Chickens and Chung Antique perform a 7 p.m. all-ages show at Northern in Olympia.

2. The Museum of Glass hosts husband and wife Jasen Johnsen and Karen Willenbrink-Johnson who will push the limits in the Hot Shop from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Johnsens are known for a high level of realism, combining technical mastery with a profound love for their medium, nature and each other. Aaaah.

3. You love Tacoma. You know you do. You spelled it out here. Did you know there are others? Love Tacoma is an informal monthly gathering of individuals who love Tacoma and enjoy exploring the city's urban spots, which includes Katie Downs on Ruston Way from 5:30-8 p.m. Come for a hug, several Love Tacoma Signature Cocktails and prizes.

4. The Banned Book Club discusses Olive Ocean by Kevin Henkes over cocktails at 7 p.m. inside Tempest Lounge. We expect them to be so pissed its banned, that the Tempest will run out of vodka.

5. Doyle's Public House celebrates St. Practice Day hosting The Boys Of Greenwood Glen at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

August 17, 2010 at 7:09am

SHORT ORDER: Tuesday is all about great deals


Take Out: HG Bistro in Puyallup offers a Take out Tuesdays program featuring two take-dinners for $20. Click here to see the menu. Orders take 30 minutes. Call 253.845.0290.

Two Dollars: Every Tuesday Hell's Kitchen serves $2 tacos, $2 wells and $2 beers beginning at 4 p.m.

All. You. Can. Eat!: Happy Days Casino in Lakewood  offers an all-you-can-eat fried chicken deal every Tuesday for $9.99 with purchase of a drink (non-alcoholic or alcoholic).

Steak Deal: Every Tuesday night Harmon Brewery & Eatery serves a 6-ounce sirloin steak or half pound of rib tips - both on a bed of fries - for $5. Check it at 1938 Pacific Ave. in downtown Tacoma.

Early Bird Deal: Salty's at Redondo Beach offers three courses - soup or salad, entrée (salmon, crab mac and cheese, kabobs, chicken) and dessert - for $25 from 4-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Sunday.

Future Things Are Coming: Primo Grill in Tacoma will host a cooking class using local farm goods Saturday, Aug. 21 at 2 p.m. The $65 fee includes recipes and instruction, lunch, a glass of wine, dessert, tax and gratuity. Reserve your spot at 253.383.7000.

Food Matters: East Coast beats West in burger battle, Zagat decrees. 

LINK: Hell, who doesn't need a happy hour today

LINK: Oh my, look at all the restaurants

August 17, 2010 at 12:56pm

EAT THIS: Ride the Big Wheel soon


I've been watching for signs of life below the Big Wheel Steakhouse sign in a strip mall off Steele Street for months. Building owner Steven Kang took over the endeavor after the original would-be restaurateur defaulted, leaving the restaurant and lounge unfinished. Kang went looking for a general manager and came back with seasoned restaurant, kitchen and live entertainment venue manager Brandon Escovedo.

Escovedo cut his teeth at much larger and complicated locations in recent years - Station 56, Jazzbones, The Crystal Saloon and Firecreek Ale House - and he says he's crafted his "greatest hits" of recipes and dining fare into a loosely Italian lunch and dinner menu for Big Wheel. Expect appetizers of teriyaki tender tips, bruschetta, crab and artichoke dip, and entrees of steaks and combination plates, seafood, specialty pastas, hand-tossed New York style pizzas, salads, sandwiches and burgers thrown in.

Beside these basics, Escovedo says to expect feature sheets, which he says will, "will allow more focus on fresh ingredients and will play trends better."

Big Wheel Steakhouse will essentially have a split personality. The right side of the operation will hold a long bar serving beer, wine and liquor, a pool table and stage and DJ booth. The left side will be a family friendly dining room.

Military will receive a 10 percent discount.

Escovedo is hopeful for an end of August opening.

Big Wheel Steakhouse and Lounge

11401 Steele Street South, Suite 102, Tacoma

August 17, 2010 at 10:41pm

work. pollenate. serve your queen.


Survival of the fittest.

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

August 18, 2010 at 6:46am

5 Things To Do: Vince Brown, Twitter class, Scrabble Rousers meets bad poetry ...

Vince Brown

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 18, 2010 >>>

1. Popular guitarist Vince Brown fills Swing Wine Bar & Cafe in Olympia with jazz beginning at 9 p.m.

2. Have you heard of this Twitter thing? Yeah, we hadn't either. Apparently, though, a whole bunch of people are into it, and it's supposed to be the next big thing ... or something. We're not sure. We don't really get it. Once we learned about Twitter, we discovered a whole bunch of people giving monotonous 140-character descriptions of nothing (trips to the grocery store and shit). What's that all about? Like we said, we're not sure. That's why we'll be attending the 1 p.m. "Intro to Twitter" class at the Tacoma Public Library main branch. We'll be the guy sitting between the man that just woke up from a 15-year coma and the dude that lives under a rock.

3. An aging wooden lifeguard chair stands sentinel as Tollefson Plaza turns into a beach for A K Mimi Allin's Seaside Opera, a performance art pieces that lasts for 15 minutes from 2-7 p.m. on the every half-hour. The artist performs to a mesmerizing audio of ocean-inspired operas and carnival sounds. Viewers may be enticed to participate by the toy-strewn water pools.

4. King's Books hosts a "Bad Poetry" edition of Scrabble Rousers, where beginner, intermediate, or expert Scrabble players battle it out on the board - with the option to stand up and read some very bad poetry. Entrance fee is $10 per person with proceeds directly benefiting the Tacoma Community House Student Scholarship Fund. The words start flowing at 6:30 p.m.

5. Plague Ships, Devils Of Loudon and Helles rock Hell's Kitchen beginning at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

August 18, 2010 at 6:56am

SHOWDOWN: Tacoma Third Thursday Artwalk

Cory Mattheis' "Swarm" is on display at Viceroy Art Gallery.


Here's a Polaroid-style primer of what a few of the participating galleries, museums and spaces will have on display Thursday, Aug. 19 during Third Thursday Artwalk.

253 COLLECTIVE: The Collective has, er, collected soaps, jewelry, artwork, ceramics and other handcrafted, one of a kind items for you to ponder as your walk the hall and peek inside each room. 5-8 p.m., 1901 S. Jefferson, Suite 100, 253collective@gmail.com

THE ART STOP: The opening reception for the three-day Second Fabulous Trunk Show With Maralyce Ferree happens inside The Art Stop during Artwalk. 5-8 p.m., 940 Broadway, 253.274.1630

BKB & COMPANY: The gallery of wearable art and contemporary crafts will aim the spotlight on Katherine Sylvan's scarves during Artwalk. Rumor has it the gallery will go markdown crazy Thursday night. 5-8 p.m., 1734 Pacific Ave., 253.272.6884

BRICK HOUSE GALLERY: What does it mean to be naked? The Brick House Gallery encouraged artists to come up with their own definitions of the word with strong hints that they should feel free to interpret nakedness in ways other than the obvious (i.e., figures without clothing). Read the full review here. 5-9 p.m., 1123 S. Fawcett, 253.627.0426

FULCRUM GALLERY: Cell phone towers are everywhere. They're a manifestation of the world we've created, and the evolution of human interaction. You can look at this as good or bad. Matthew M Johnson chooses to look at it throughtraditional charcoal and watercolor portraits - the results collectively titled Impersonal Portraits. "As the cell phone has integrated into my life it has led to a depersonalization of my relationships through convenience. The towers represent my connection the world," says Johnson. 6-9 p.m., 1308 Martin Luther King Jr. Way, 253.250.0520

MADERA ARCHITECTURAL ELEMENTS: Their Don't Look group show - a boudoir vignette viewed through a peephole, will be open until 10 p.m. during Artwalk. It looks bitchin' cool in the dark. 5-10 p.m., 301-B Puyallup Ave., 253.572.1218

MAVI CONTEMPORARY ART: The new gallery housed in the spot formerly occupied by Two Vaults opens during Artwalk. Joe Malik chats up the new gallery in his Slouching Toward Utopia column here. 5-9 p.m., 502 Sixth Ave.

MINERAL: A new batch of chastity belts are back at Mineral Gallery, this year under the title Access Denied: the 2010 Exhibit of Chastity Belts by Artists, and running through Oct. 9. Here's what the press release states: "The historical origins of the chastity belt reach back to the Middle Ages, and as an anti-sex mechanism (for both sexes) it was in use as late as the 1930s. The works in Access Denied explore the social, cultural, historical and metaphorical nuances of chastity in an age when the Internet has all but dissolved the invisible boundaries between individuals. 5-8 p.m., 301-A Puyallup Ave., 253.250.7745

ROBERT DANIEL GALLERY: Former Two Vaults Gallery owner Paula Tutmarc-Johnson has gathered Ethan Jack Harrington's hot soft landscapes, Karl Krogstads inimitable "French Funk" architecture, street scenes and figures, and J. Neils Harvey's breakthrough "post post-modern folk art revival" for a show. 5-9 p.m., 2501 S. Fawcett, 253.534.5125

SPACEWORKS TACOMA: All its loveliness will be on display in downtown Tacoma. The Weekly Volcano wrote about the tour, windows, Letters and the Seaside Opera performance art.

TACOMA ART MUSEUM: You can roam the rich, panoramic views of Where Sky Meets Earth: The Luminous Landscapes of Victoria Adams exhibit at TAM, or you can actually climb inside them when the Vashon Island artist drops in on the show from, 5-7 p.m. to discuss the processes and her moods during its creation. Bonus: Museum staff will host a geocaching and geotagging workshop and scavenger hunt.  5-8 p.m., free, 1701 Pacific Ave., 253.272.4258

VICEROY ART GALLERY: The Viceroy opens another show during Artwalk featuring abstract painting by noted New York artist Michael Rubin and another big-ass installation - this time featuring Cory Mattheis' "an exploration of porous masonry screens informed by contextual numeric patter...ning." 6-9 p.m., inside office G|O architects, 711 Court A, Suite 100, 253.572.9818

LINK: Take the ART BUS tomorrow night

LINK: More visual art goodies

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