Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2011 (193) Currently Viewing: 61 - 70 of 193

March 11, 2011 at 1:10pm

Editorial: Thoughts on The Loft at Cherry

Abby Blue and the Outskirts performed at The Loft on Cherry during Olympia Art Walk in October 2010 - most likely the last time Art Walk will inhabit the space. Photography by Pappi Swarner


Late last month, The Loft on Cherry hosted its final event. Soon, the stage, the light system, and everything else will disappear from the expansive space. The Loft's historic floor will be ripped out in order to make room for kegs of local beer.  And, if nearly 1,000 community members make good on their pledge, Fish Brewing could see a dip in sales.

Of course, for those of you who have followed Fish Brewing's proposed expansion proceedings, none of this comes as a surprise.

What may surprise you is that I, someone who has followed The Loft story closely, am having a hard time pinning down how I feel about Fish Brewer's expansion into The Loft space.  First and foremost, I'm angry at Fish for failing to negotiate with Loft supporters. In my opinion, Fish didn't make a true attempt to find other viable solutions to destroying The Loft. Sure, they gave money to art community, helped find another space and might even sponsor upcoming cultural events.  But from the outset, Fish had their collective head set on expanding into The Loft, no matter how many alternative solutions were presented. 

On the other hand, I'm definitely aware of Fish's need to grow. There are other arts spaces in the community (the owner of The Loft on Cherry will now operate out of the Olympia Ballroom and maybe the Eagles Hall). I'm not sure it's economically appropriate for any one art space to impede the progress of a thriving local business. Besides, isn't this the typical lifeline of an art space anyway? Operate for as long as possible, until a bigger, more financially viable corporation wants to buy up the space. Then, with the space sold, move on to the next DIY warehouse or crusty studio, grumble about the power of money over art and start fresh traditions in a new arena. The cycle inevitably repeats, but such is the nature of art. 

In an effort decide exactly how I felt on the closure of The Loft, I called Ross Cowman. Cowman, a member of the Art Kitchen and employee of Bicycle Records, was packing up the Bicycle Records office when I called. Since their office was adjacent to The Loft, they also had to leave the building on Cherry and Legion.

I asked Cowman to give me a statement regarding The Loft's closure. He said sure, but after some fumbling, awkward attempts, it was obvious he was having a difficult time clearly articulating how he felt.


Filed under: Food & Drink, Arts, Music, Olympia,

March 11, 2011 at 1:55pm

BEHIND BARS After Hours Trivia


I've been a bartender for a long time. I have met countless freaks, jerks, pervs, sweethearts, rockstars and crazies. Even though it's a physically and mentally exhausting job, these are the colorful people that make it all worthwhile. Well, that and the tips.

I'd like to share with you some of my personal experiences behind the bar, along with the stories from some of my fellow bartenders. Each week - under the clever heading of "Behind Bars" - I will dig into my memory bank - and the incident log books that all bars keep - to bring you some of my favorite stories.

Names of bars, bartenders and patrons have been changed or withheld to protect the innocent.

And the not so innocent.


THIS WEEK: After Hours Trivia

Bartenders aren't usually chosen to pour your poison because of their timid nature, gentle ways or church upbringing. At times, udder recklessness and mayhem can ensue and the situation can quickly turn into something like a paramedic's job, where a calm head, strong stomach, and an affinity to all things wrong with society are key skills to have. In fact, bartenders tend to be a little reckless, alcoholic and crazy themselves, and the job and the to-be-tenders gravitate toward each other like drunken fingers to a pretzel bowl.

So with that preface, I would like to challenge you to a little after hours trivia.

Answer will come in next week's edition of Behind Bars.



LINK: Bartending aborad

LINK: Oh puck!

LINK: 86'd

LINK: More Aural Adventures

LINK: Big & Rich

LINK: Tales From the Incident Log Book

LINK: The Tip Jar

LINK: Aural Adventures

LINK: Smooth Transitions

LINK: The Pooper

Filed under: Behind Bars, Food & Drink,

March 11, 2011 at 2:36pm

Concert Alert: Weird Al will do the Puyallup


Weird Al Yankovic really needs no introduction. He preceded the Jerky Boys, he made Michael Jackson think twice about wearing red leather, he may have caused the disappearance of Canadian band Crash Test Dummies. The king of musical parodies will performThursday, Sept. 15 at the Puyallup Fair. Ticket prices are $50 golden circle, $40 infield, $20 grandstand or $11 to stand outside the grandstand and listen to "Eat It" while ice cream drips all over your Disneyland sweatshirt.

Tickets will go on sale for this concert at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 19 through the Fair's website: www.thefair.com/concerts. Ticketmaster is out of the picture.

March 11, 2011 at 5:03pm

Limelights go dark as theater family loses Walker

Councilmember Walter Neary and the Lakewood City Council honored Marcus Walker Jan. 3, 2011 with a proclamation noting his dedication and outstanding public service to the artistic development of the City of Lakewood. Photography by Steve Dunkelberger


Reporters aren't supposed to feel. We report the news in articles and voice our opinions in reviews with no feelings or bias. That's how it works in textbooks and movies. That's now how it works in real life.

Such is the case with Marcus Walker. He died this morning after a valiant fight with metastatic melanoma. Not only was he the artistic director of the Lakewood Playhouse while it expanded and grew its programs as it staged great community theater season after season, he was my friend. At least I would be honored if he considered me one too. We talked religion, theater and life, well outside the realm of a "source" and a "reporter."

He spiritually supported me during my divorce with kind words and letters of encouragement. And now he is gone. I will miss him. But I am not alone. Theater folks, church folks and Lakewood boosters will all miss him. But most of all, hear dear wife, Lauren, will miss him. We could only pray we have such love as what they shared.

Marcus is gone. We must move on as he is lifted to the Lord. A celebration of his entrance into glory has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Sunday, March 20, at Mason United Methodist Church, 2710 N. Madison St., Tacoma.

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma, Lakewood, Tacoma,

March 12, 2011 at 8:28am

5 Things To Do Today: MOVE! #18, Zine Battle, Harmony Sweepstakes, Tush Burlesque and more ...

Each of MOVE! #18's nine performances will move and amaze you. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY MARCH 12, 2011 >>>

1. If you have yet to catch the local dance phenomenon that is MOVE!, you're a little behind the curve - but there's still hope. At 2 and 7 p.m. inside the SOTA Theater on Commerce, MOVE! #18, with the talents of the Tacoma City Ballet, Jill Leversee, Rosa Vissers, The MOVE!NG Company and Joel Myers - to name but a few - will be in full effect. Highlights of the show include The MOVE!ING Company's "A Life That Feels Like Dying," choreographed by Kate Monty and featuring a score by Vicci Martinez, which explores the life of anyone who has been addicted to something. The six impressive dancers take the audience on a full-circle journey. Jessie Fouts wrote, choreographed and performed an emotional piece about the death of her father. Joel Myers and Jill Leversee are brilliant. And Michael Hoover and Katie Stricker add comic relief through boomboxes. It's a must see.

2. Sen. Debbie Regala (D-Tacoma), Rep. Jeannie Darneille (D-Tacoma) and Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) invite constituents of the 27th Legislative District to a town hall discussion from 10-11:30 a.m. at the Evergreen State College's Tacoma Campus. The leaders will come prepared to chat about education, social services, the environment, and supporting local business, hardworking people and major industries at the same time.

3. Joshua James Amberson and Alexis Wolf, two local zinesters, square off in a Zine Battle at 6 p.m. inside Orca Books. Amberson, an avid musician and current Orca employee, presents his new zine chronicling his love affair with the music of Prince. Wolf's zine, Hyena in Petticoats, is about the 18th-century writer Mary Wollstonecraft, best known as the author of A Vindication of the Rights of Woman.

4. Masterworks Choral Ensemble hosts the Northwest regional finals of Harmony Sweepstakes where a cappella groups square off to sing sparkling vocal arrangements and silken harmonies at 7:30 p.m. inside the Washington Center.

5. Burlesque can be a drag. "Stage-ready makeup for burlesque is called ‘full drag,' " explains Frida Fondle of Olympia's Tush Burlesque. "It's a great homage to the drag queens, who really do exemplify the ultimate of feminine glamour. When we are putting on our makeup for the stage, we aspire to look as glamorous as drag queens." The Tush troupe, now a year and a half old and performing Deadly Dames at 7:30 and 10 p.m. inside the Eagles Hall Ballroom in Olympia, is all women - although some numbers do include men. Read the full story here.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

March 12, 2011 at 1:07pm

NIGHT MOVES: Tacomen, Kent Morrill benefit, Ryan Purcell & Last Round, Underride, Vicci Martinez Band, Wheelies and others ...

The Highrollers play Dawson's on South Tacoma Way tonight.


4th Ave Ale House Olympia - Downtown. Custom, Guns of Barisal. 8 pm.

Bob's Java Jive Tacoma - Central. Tacomen, MC Mike Kopf, Murder Party, The Ram Rams. 9 pm.

  • There are pockets of Tacoma that are well aware of just what exactly the Tacomen are and what they do so well. Regulars at the Antique Sandwich Company's Victory Music open mic will recognize the group as the frequent closers or penultimate act of the night, and what a bizarre feeling they bring to the room. Led by Taco Mike (oh, he of the crazy long, black hair), all of the Tacomen's songs are improvised on the spot, usually with Taco Mike focusing on some strange notion like what he would do if his car got a million miles to the gallon (true story). The Tacomen are weird, funny and totally unique in these parts, and their show at the Jive will be a rare opportunity to witness them live in the wild. - Rev. Adam McKinney

Conquering Lion Tacoma - South. Barrington Levy, Ras Attitude, DJ Arch. 8 pm. $20.

Dawson's Bar and Grill Tacoma - South. Highrollers. 9 pm. NC.

Doyle's Public House Tacoma - Stadium District. Ryan Purcell & Last Round. 9:30 pm. NC.

Eastside Club Tavern Olympia - Downtown. How Now Brown Cow, EnRoot. 9 pm. $5.

Hell's Kitchen Tacoma - Downtown. Underride, Atomic Outlaws, Wide Eye Panic, Riot In Rhythm. 8 pm.

The Hub Tacoma - Stadium District. Fingertips. 9 pm. NC.

Hub Bar & Grill Centralia. Chief, Big Chunk, Rock City Refugees, 9 pm. NC, donations accepted.

  • Centralia knows how to party. Seems like Podunk towns always do, especially when it comes to hometown pride. The bands come out, the kegs are tapped and everyone and their moms and grammas turn out to show some spirit. Saturday, Centralia and The Hub Bar and Grill pull out all the stops to raise money for a beloved Northwest icon, the Yard Bird - leftover from the home improvement chain of yesteryear. A benefit show to help restore the huge, ugly-yet-endearing black bird (still standing at the former corporate flagship location of Yard Birds in Chehalis - having endured 40 years of weather and having garnered more than 5,000 friends on Facebook) will go down with Olympia heavyweights Chief, and Centralia bands Big Chunk and Rock City Refugees. Throw in a visit from Ms. Yard Bird and this is one loud and local party worth making the drive for. - Nikki Talotta

Jazzbones Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. Vicci Martinez Band, Aaron Daniel. 8:30 pm. $10-$12.

Louie G's Pizzeria Fife. Tacoma All Ages Music Project Benefit Show. Bands scheduled to perform: Sons, Wake The Giant, The Wheelies, Mount Forgotten, Marissa Olson. All Ages. 8:30 pm. $10 spaghetti feed an dshow, $5 show.

  • I didn't even bother to ask who was in the band. I just assumed that, like most of the rest, it would fade away, only to leave behind another reason to lose faith in the music scene that is Tacoma. ... Then came that fateful day. I was on my way to Westport for a surfing trip when the CD changer switched discs. It only took about 30 seconds for me to ask my friend who the band was. He said he thought they're called the Wheelies. Now I get it. Every song sounds good. Not just the kind of good you say when a co-worker asks if you like Rush - the kind where you might actually go looking for some of their music yourself. I could call it groovy starry shoe gaze pop, but instead I'm going to simply define it as indie rock. Now you can feel comfortable knowing that if you get caught on a bus with the headphones too loud, you're still hip. - Justin Arter

The New Frontier Lounge Tacoma - Dome District. Argonaut, Plastards, Sleeper Cell. 9 pm.

North Shore Golf & Country Club Tacoma. Boogie 4 The Wailer: benefit for Kent Morrill. Jim King & The Southenders and many friends join in to raise money for medical expenses in Kent's fight against cancer. All Ages. 7:30-10:30 pm. $20 donation.

Northern Olympia - Downtown. The Curious Mystery, Karl Blau, Georgy. All ages. 8 pm.

  • Last week, the Curious Mystery (Seattle's most rustic, roots-y psych band) released We Creeling, their second LP for esteemed Olympia imprint K Records. Saturday's show is the first of two South Sound dates on the quartet's schedule, and this spring they be spreading the gospel of their self-styled lysergic Americana on a nationwide tour. The band's sound is a mélange of familiar styles, all gussied up in one atypical package. Imagine Alejandro Jodorowsky's El Topo as filmed in the Southwestern United States instead of Mexico - the Curious Mystery's music is simultaneously bluesy, trippy, and bursting with vibrant Tex-Mex plumage and Western flair. Elegiac hallucinatory jammer Georgy and Karl Blau open this all-ages show. - Jason Baxter

O'Malley's Irish Pub Tacoma - Sixth Avenue. City Hall, Rockwell Powers. 9 pm.

Stonegate Pizza Tacoma - South. Brotherhood Of The Black Squirrel, Trees Without Leaves. 9 pm.

Traditions Cafe and World Folk Art Olympia - Downtown. The Makedonians. All Ages. 8 pm. $8-$12.

Uncle Sam's American Bar & Grill Spanaway. Steve Cooley Band, featuring Billy Moss. 9 pm.

LINK: More live music tonight in the South Sound

Filed under: Night Moves, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

March 12, 2011 at 5:42pm

Photos: "The DODO Show"

Mad Hat Tea Company co-owner Topin Ropes / photography by Steve Dunkelberger


Living on the otherwise uninhabited island of Mauritius, dodos, having no need to protect themselves from predators, became too lazy to fly and eventually lost the ability to do so. Then in the late 17th century some Portuguese sailors arrived, bringing with them pigs, monkeys and dogs, and the grounded birds, uselessly flapping their wings, proved easy prey.

See ya later dodo.

The bird's extinction didn't expire The DODO show at Mad Hat Tea Company. The bird graced Mad Hat's first tea label - Pai Mu Dan, a white tea from Fujian, China - so owners Maureen and Tobin thought, "why not center a show around the dodo."

And in true Mad Hat fashion, last night they kicked off the show with a big party featuring treats from Puget Sound Pizza and Corina Bakery, beer, wine, music by singer-songwriter Stephanie Johnson ... and the participating artists in the house.

Below are a few photos from the show. More are on our Photo Hot Spot here.

Drop by Mad Hat Tea Company in the next month to see the show before it goes the way of the dodo.

"Dodo" by Alexis St. John

"Dodo Sandwich" by Linda Desantis

Matt Eklund and his daughter, Zienna (photo by Steve Dunkelberger)

Mad Hat Tea Company

10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
1130 Commerce St., Tacoma

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

March 12, 2011 at 6:30pm

Photos: Not From Brooklyn

Not From Brooklyn at The New Frontier Lounge, Friday, March 11


Tacomas pop/rock band Not From Brooklyn joined a powerful bill at The New Frontier Lounge last night that included Santee, PWRFL Power and Blank Fortunes. Weekly Volcano photographer Steve Dunkelberger snapped a few shots during Not From Brooklyn's set. Enjoy >>>

LINK: What's going down tonight

Filed under: Photo Hot Spot, Music, Tacoma,

March 13, 2011 at 12:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Chicks who kick ass, "No Child...," immigration chat, "Fences" and more ...

Tonight, You could see this at the Acme Grub Cage.

SUNDAY, MARCH 13, 2011 >>>

1. The Tacoma Cult Movie Club and welcomed guests will gather at 7 p.m. inside the Acme Grub Cage to watch flicks centered around the theme "Chicks Who Kick Ass." A slew of shorts, trailers and snippets will also be screened. Popcorn will be consumed. Hugs will be exchanged. Then they'll head home and throw their remotes at HBO.

2. Nilaja Sun's insightful and hilarious play No Child..., which is being presented by the South Puget Sound Community College Drama Program at 2 p.m. inside the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, grabbed the 2007 Obie, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, and Theater World Awards. The show - based on Sun's experiences as a teaching artist in New York City's public schools - follows a group of students at the fictional Malcolm X High School as they prepare for a play of their own. Funny, troubling, and humane, the 75-minute tour de force takes its name from the Bush Administration's No Child Left Behind legislation, which, with its emphasis on standardized testing, in Sun's estimation leaves lots behind.

3. The Broadway Center presents a staged reading of August Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle VI: Fences at 3 p.m. inside the Washington State History Museum. Fences follows Troy Maxson, a trash collector who has long abandoned his dream of becoming a professional baseball player.

4. Put simply - the immigration situation in this country is a little fucked right now. It's ruining innocent lives every day, and until we do something about it the problem is only going to escalate. At 4 p.m., Tacoma Community House presents a panel discussion titled "Demystifying Immigration," at St. Mark's Lutheran Church. Panel members include Rosie Clark, an immigration staffer for Congressman Norm Dicks; Sok-Khieng Lim, immigration attorney for Davies Pearson; and Ken Morse, an advisory board member at the Northwest Detention Center.

5. Collective Love Unlimited, Random Abiladeze and Cloud Eaters perform an 8 p.m. all-age sshow at Northern in downtown Olympia.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

March 13, 2011 at 8:22am

Today: Books by the Inch Sale

WAKE UP! >>>

Today is not just any Sunday. Daylight Savings Time began at 2 a.m., and you probably didn't turn your clocks ahead before you went to bed. Which means you are late for church (if you go to church).

Books to the rescue!

From 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church of Tacoma, the Tacoma Lesotho Connection and the Micah Project will sell hardbound and paperback books for $1 per inch. It's in a church, so that counts, right?

CDs, DVDs, VHS films, art, maps and games are on sale too. Not sure about the inch thing on those items.

All proceeds go toward construction of the St. Camillus Orphanage and home based care center in the Mohale's Hoek region of Lesotho, Southern Africa.

Grab a couple books and you're good to go until we can "fall back" once again.

Filed under: Books, Tacoma,

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