Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: March, 2011 (193) Currently Viewing: 81 - 90 of 193

March 15, 2011 at 3:54pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Don’t forget Katie Downs on St. Patrick's Day


Today's comment comes from Donnie, in regard to Bobble Tiki's list of St. Patrick's Day parties, which posted to weeklyvolcano.com yesterday.

Donnie writes,

What about Katy Downs on Ruston Way? I believe they may at least have green beer.

Filed under: Food & Drink, Holidays, Tacoma,

March 16, 2011 at 9:44am

5 Things to Do Today: Red Elvises, Wacky Wednesday, Robbie Walden and more ...

Robbie Walden & The Gunslingers perform at Jazzbones tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 16, 2011 >>>

1. Quite honestly, when the Red Elvises play the Swiss in Tacoma - a long running tradition - the results are usually epic. Tonight should be no different. Or if that's not your musical cup of tea, click here for the Volcano's comprehensive live local music listings.

2. Wednesdays are synonymous with a few things, including the oft-used, always sure to inspire a middle school giggle, "Hump Day." But Chalet Bowl in the Proctor District has a different adjective they like to use - wacky - as in the weekly Wacky Wednesday. It's all you can bowl for two whole hours - 9-11 p.m.-and it'll only cost you $5.50 per person.

3. Like a man in a black hat? Try Robbie Walden & the Gunslingers at Jazzbones tonight.

4. In 2006 the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation helped create the Youth Against Violence Initiative - a local group partnering community leaders, activists, professionals and (most importantly) area youths in an effort to reduce youth violence and build an "engaged community that fosters a sense of hope and optimism among our community and young people," according to the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation website. Today, members of the Youth Against Violence Initiative will discuss their efforts with the Tacoma City Club.

5. Tax time is soon approaching. And it can be scary. Today in Puyallup, ease your fears with the Tax Information & Assistance class at the Puyallup Public Library.

March 16, 2011 at 10:23am

Spaceworks in words

Jessica Spring's "Parts Unknown" transports viewers back to the 1890s. Photo courtesy of spaceworkstacoma.wordpress.com


It may go without saying that Johannes Gutenberg is one of the more solid contenders for Person of the Most Ever, but the possibility of his having given birth to an artistic revolution as well is rarely mentioned. Unless, of course, you're into fine art printing. The folks behind Spaceworks Tacoma are, and if you've never had the opportunity to experience the wide range of expressive possibilities particular to printing - and calling in personal ads doesn't count - then strolling past Jessica Spring's Bit Map show at the Woolworth Building should bring you up to speed. The Spaceworks Tacoma blog has the details on Spring and her latest show here. Papa Gutenberg would be proud.

Bit Map

March 17-July 1
Woolworth Building, 11th & Broadway

LINK: More Spaceworks Tacoma

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma,

March 16, 2011 at 11:32am

Lisa Koch & the Righteous Mothers keep their clothes on


Righteous and racy?

You might not expect full nudity in a video from The Righteous Mothers, Olympia's funny and politically aware quartet, who also sing about the joys of ice cream and the discomfort of bras and pantyhose.

But the Mothers - who'll perform in Olympia, Saturday, March 19 - went viral a couple of years back with their video for "Old Fat Naked Women for Peace."  It's had more than 750,000 hits.

Don't worry, though. The Mothers - Lisa Brodoff, Wendy Crocker, Marla Beth Elliot and Clare Meeker - don't get naked in the video, which does show shots of naked protesters, but at a tasteful distance.

The song celebrates the 2002 victory of the women of Escravos, Nigeria, over Chevron. The women threatened a naked sit-in if a plant there wouldn't hire locals and provide financial assistance to the local community. They won without resorting to nudity.

The Olympia concert, with Lisa Koch, is a benefit for the Monarch Children's Justice & Advocacy Center. The concert will also feature a sale of handmade jewelry.

[The Washington Center for the Performing Arts, Lisa Koch & the Righteous Mothers, Saturday, March 19, 8 p.m. $25, $20 for students and those with low incomes, 512 Washington St. S.E., Olympia, 360.753.8586]

Filed under: All ages, Music, Olympia,

March 16, 2011 at 1:15pm

As the Gruv turns


As mentioned last week, Brandon Escovedo, who has years of experience gained while managing Jazzbones, Station 56, Firecreek and, most recently, Big Wheel Steakhouse, officially became general manager at Tacoma's Gruv Nightclub and Lounge March 7. In Escovedo's hands, Gruv will undergo a major overhaul. The club's dining area and music room have merged and now have an unobstructed views of live bands and the dance floor. Pool tables and dart boards now occupy the former dining area, and Skee-Ball and a photo booth are pending.

The existing dining menu will change, morphing Gruv's feel into that of a seafood house, with locally sourced oysters, salmon and halibut. Escovedo's own savory crab cakes will be offered soon.

"Steaks, jerk chicken tacos and hand-molded burgers aren't going anywhere," Escovedo says.

With a chuckle Escovedo shares he's dubbed Gruv's late-night afterhours dining option the No-Doze Café. A $10 breakfast buffet of eggs, potatoes, sausage, biscuits and gravy and fruit is served Friday and Saturday (2 a.m. - 4 a.m.). A $5 cover includes a buffet for industry workers. Also, be sure to check out the à la carte menu with a seafood scramble, crab Benedict, non-breakfast items and more.

Gruv now offers a wide variety of entertainment, including local rock, hip-hop and R&B bands, college night with KUPS radio DJs, Top 40, dance music and spoken word.

[Gruv Nightclub and Lounge, 3829 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.761.1550]

Filed under: Business, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

March 16, 2011 at 1:24pm

SXSW with Rev. Adam McKinnney


Walking through crowded Sixth Street in downtown Austin was startlingly similar to strolling on the midway at a carnival. Enormous crowds of people push past each other, music blaring from every location, the smell of food carts sweetening the air, lights garishly illuminating the fronts of buildings which-frankly-begin to resemble haunted houses full of giddy revelers.

I passed by a burning trashcan that no one had any intention of putting out.

My first night at SXSW was decidedly a learning experience. After trying and failing to squeeze in to see Weekend at the Pitchfork-curated show, I ducked into a bar that was being entertained by a live DJ spinning breakbeats. On the wall was a sign that boasted "no irony."

Walking around on Sixth Street, I ran into my first Tacomans here in Austin: The Night Beats. Apparently, they are playing something like 12 shows over the next few days. I have to find time to see them and show them my support.

Afterward, I hit up Esther's Follies to catch some live standup from some of my favorites, including Shane Mauss (of Last Comic Standing notoriety, perhaps), Doug Benson, Eugene Mirman and Aziz Ansari.

As the night was getting long, I decided it was worth another try at seeing a band, so I headed to the Batbar and saw a set from Mister Heavenly, a super group of sorts featuring Nick Thorburn (Islands, the Unicorns), Honus Wagner (Man Man), Joe Plummer (Modest Mouse) and actor Michael Cera on bass. Their music was dark and stompy, with an unexpected doo wop flavor. A nice way to end the night.

Well, it would have been if I hadn't decided to stop at that Mexican restaurant and eat a shitty torta with a chicken-fried steak in the middle before heading back to my hostel. That was another, harsher learning experience.

Filed under: SXSW, Tacoma, Music,

March 16, 2011 at 4:16pm

Free "Quiet Shoes"

"Quite Shoes": The big-ass prop gun was designed by Bill Henderson, better known to Girl Trouble fans as Kahuna


Film noir, with its signature chiaroscuro, hard-boiled dialogue and (most important to an independent moviemaker) low-budget vibe, has over the decades spawned countless remakes, spoofs and homages. Falling somewhere amidst these three categories is Quiet Shoes, which hit the Rialto last summer and now returns to town at the Tacoma Art Museum March 17, as part of the free Third Thursday series.

To read the full story, click here.

[Tacoma Art Museum, Quiet Shoes, Thursday, March 17, 6 p.m., free, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.4258]

Filed under: Screens, Tacoma,

March 16, 2011 at 4:44pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Trees Without Leaves love


Today's comment comes from Nichole, and actually lands on the official Trees Without Leaves Weekly Volcano Band Profile. Currently, 166 bands and counting have created a Band Profile at weeklyvolcano.com - allowing them to share songs, post photos and videos, list upcoming shows and (most importantly) find new ears.

Nichole writes,
I went and saw the Trees Without Leaves show at the Stonegate on Sat March 12. They were sooooo fun! totally brought me out of a blue mood.

Filed under: Tacoma, Music, Comment of the Day,

March 16, 2011 at 5:04pm

SXSW with Jason Baxter: Gold Panda, No Joy, Pictureplane, Pitchfork 3-D glasses and more ...

No Joy last night at Emo's Jr. during SXSW 2011

NOW IN 3-D >>>

For my inaugural night at Austin's SXSW music festival, I might have behaved somewhat lazily, hustling over to one venue and staying there for the duration of the evening's programming. To be fair, Emo's Jr. is one of Austin's most renowned clubs (also the only Austin venue that myself and the Seattle musicians I'm crashing with had already heard a lot about), and their showcase last night was curated by the taste-makers at Pitchfork Media. Literally every band on deck was amazing, so I think I can be pardoned for my lack of adventurousness. 

The performers were segregated along pretty traditional, genre-based lines, with the electronic acts playing on the cramped indoor stage and the rock bands playing on the venue's roomier outdoor stage. Acoustically, this made perfect sense, but it also bifurcated the crowd, save for the brave souls willing to pinball between stages, squirming their way through the packed house.

I started out at the outdoor stage for No Joy's set. Frontwomen Jasmine White-Glutz and Laura Lloyd were phenomenal, rocking out on complementary noise-pop riffs while the band's male half served as rhythm section. White-Glutz and Loyd wore almost identical outfits-little boots, black knee-high socks, torn stockings, high-wasted denim cutoff shorts-and did enough headbanging and flaxen hair-whipping between them to compensate for the crowd's noted lack of movement. The ladies re-tuned their guitars after almost every song, but with each instrument running into a menagerie of pedals, they managed to make these necessary lulls sound like strange, distorted ambient pieces. Their riffing was ferocious and impressive-a keen reminder that shoegaze-y bands, while mellow on record, are almost always incredibly heavy live. In the crowd, I spotted Alex Gehring, bassist for Ringo Deathstarr, an Austin-based band with a similarly gauzy, gain-soaked sound. If she's a No Joy fan, it wouldn't surprise me.

Following No Joy, I ducked inside for the remainder of the evening. Denver's DIY-crossover rave artist Travis Egedy/Pictureplane was up next, and his set, while fleeting, was one of the better ones I've heard from him. Unlike the especially bored-looking underage skater boy chilling up front by the stage, I was having a blast watching Egedy burn through the best and most intoxicating cuts from his Dark Rift LP. "Goth Star" in particular sounded terrific, with Egedy adding new arpeggiated embellishments via his Microkorg synthesizer. "I forgot to put on eyeliner," Egedy joked mid-set. The free-spirited musician also told the sweaty, gyrating crowd, "You can live your life however you want" (come for the dance music, stay for the motivational speaking, I guess). Throughout Egedy's set, colored strobes went off and visuals-being edited and "DJed" live by a dude on stage left-were projected at a wonky angle behind the stage. It was a little difficult to make out what, exactly, the visuals were, but I know they included cartoons, porno footage, and GAP commercials. He closed with a new song that absolutely slayed. His new record is hotly anticipated, and if his new material is any indication, it will employ just as much savvy sampling as Dark Rift.

There was a fairly long wait between Pictureplane and the night's next indoor performers, Mount Kimbie, which was partially ameliorated by the projection of 3-D music videos against one of the walls of the club. Volunteers had been handing out Pitchfork-branded 3-D glasses all night long, so when the videos started, it solved the night's first big mystery, namely: WTF is up with all the glasses? The clips of Deerhunter, Wavves, and Das Racist were rad, but weren't exactly mind-blowing (to be fair, neither was Avatar). People who like to bitch and moan about Pitchfork's pervasive influence can relish this new  development: the website's annexation of a whole 'nother dimension.

When Mount Kimbie finally "mounted" the stage, they were slow to set up, beset by gear issues and miscommunication with the sound guy (it's hard to get that throbbing, skull-splitting dubstep bass just right). By the time their set started, the interior of Emo's had become, for the first time last night, almost unbearably packed. Shoulder-to-shoulder with the rest of the crowd, I cringed through Mount Kimbie's set-clearly, the UK duo was playing their synth melodies and triggering their Roland drum pad samples with absolute precision, but the mix was all wrong. The band attributed it to a lack of "mid-low" tones, but their high end sounds were also excruciatingly shrill. Their heavily-reverbed bass was overpowering, and even their elegiac guitar chords where marred by feedback. Nevertheless, watching them pound out halfstep rhythms live on a partial onstage kit was impressive to say the least, and their ethereal rendition of "Maybes" (from their EP of the same name) made for an ideal set-closer. The band, clearly frustrated, encouraged fans to see them again later in the week (at a different club), and as soon as they were done playing, they cracked open some tallboys and started drowning their sorrows.

The night was capped with a performance by another UK electronic act, Gold Panda, who looked like a Jedi as he danced around with his hood up, triggering samples. His hour-long set was virtually free of pauses (I counted maybe three total), and the whole room was seriously vibing on it. He was blessed with a far better mix than Mount Kimbie, and the volume of his throbbing bass hit the exact right sadomasochistic sweet spot. "This is my jam!" a girl next to me screamed as GP (real name: Derwin Panda) launched into his second song, "You," from his Lucky Shiner LP. Throughout his set, Panda dramatically accelerated and decelerated his beats, stacking new slabs of percussive loops over them continuously and demonstrating an expert knack for manipulating the audience. Endorphin levels in the crowd were seriously high, and after Panda wrapped with "Quitter's Raga," they demanded an encore. The Emo's management was not having it, and the throng, dazed, dispersed into the muggy Austin night.

It would have been nice to catch a couple more of the outdoor bands, particularly SF jammers Weekend, but navigation inside the venue was treacherous at best. Tonight, I intend to be a lot more peripatetic. I'll let you know how that goes...

Filed under: SXSW, Music,

March 17, 2011 at 7:17am

Tournament of Pizza: First Round battles (CLOSED)


It's March ... meaning Madness is in the air. Beginning today, 64 well-oiled competitors (for the most part) will tip off and do battle - working their way through the tediously constructed bracket and toward ultimate supremacy.

We speak, of course, of the Weekly Volcano's Tournament of Pizza, which kicks off this morning right here on Spew. Sixty-four area pizza joints were selected and seeded by readers throughout February, and now the time has come to see who's best. Only one can be crowned king - so vote early, often and DAILY here on Spew. Use the bracket attached to his post to guide you through the daily matchups.

Then, on April 4, join us at the Schooner Pub in Lakewood for the Official Tournament of Pizza Party - our winner will be announced during halftime of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game.

The daily pizza battles here on Spew are sponsored by al Forno Ferruzza Sicilian Cuisine.

OK, let's check out today's First Round pizza battles. Vote for one pizza joint per battle.


GAME 1: The Cloverleaf Pizza (6430 Sixth Ave.) vs. Papa Johns Pizza (various locations)

A year after Larry Turco purchased the Cloverleaf Tavern; he added the famous pizza recipe to the Sixth Avenue joint. The rest, as they say, is pizza history. Lennard Manke bought it in 1971, and then turned it over to his family in 2004, which has since been renamed The Cloverleaf Pizza. Many consider the pizza - with its thin crispy crust and tangy red sauce - a Tournament of Pizza final four contender. The historic pizza battles Papa Johns Pizza, a pizza franchise out of Jeffersonville, Ind.

GAME 2: Ale House Sports Pub (2122 Mildred St. W.) vs. Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante (2207 N. Pearl St.)

Embedded in the Narrows Plaza area with ownership roots in Tacoma's E-9, the Ale House is know for its 64 beers on tap and clear view of the game on the tube. They claim their pizza is "famous" on their website, and it's a tasty, strong contender. The Ale House will need all 64 of those beers as they face off with Joeseppi's Italian Ristorante and its famous owner Joe Stortini, the former Pierce County executive. Joeseppi's has a talented roster with six pizzas on its menu, including their popular Lisa Marie pie with its five-cheese blend, and the good will the Stortini's spread throughout the community.

GAME 3: DelBrocco's (3908 Sixth Ave.) vs. Mona Pizza and Pasta (6104 Sixth Ave.)

With its East Coast feel, and bevy of cheese steaks and grinders, DelBrocco's serves Philly-style thin crust pizza, including by the slice. They also deliver the goods - for free! Mona, with its cozy fireplace, sports an impressive array of specialty pizzas, including six without meat. They offer both a traditional and thin crust, and are open to add or delete any topping to your desire. They also deliver. This game is too close to call. Good early match-up.

GAME 4: Pizza Casa (12924 Pacific Hwy. SW) vs. Cerello's Pizza (4916 Center St.)

A great match up to close out day one. Pizza Casa is a Lakewood icon that transcends all peoples. You'll find as many of the international jet set crowd of Gravelly Lake estates dining there, as you will common folk like us.  And, yet, it is located in the infamous Ponders Corner region once better known for late night lady walking clubs (admission applied) than good dining. But, the Casa has weathered all geographic storms and remains open seven nights a week serving the best spaghetti and (square) pizza in Lakewood (did we just write that?). Cerello's, known for its tasty crust and quick delivery out of it's tiny strip-mall location off Center Street, will need a strong defense today to stay close. 

Tomorrow's First Round Pizza Battles

Game 1: Vic's Pizzeria (233 Division St. NW, Olympia) vs. Pizzeria La Gitana (309 E. Yelm Ave., Yelm)

Game 2: Figaro's Pizza (9410 Martin Way E., Olympia)vs. Casa Mia (716 Plum St., Olympia) 

Game 3: Farrelli's Woodfire Pizza (1590 Wilmington Dr., DuPont) vs. Ramblin Jacks (520 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia)

Game 4: Smitty's Authentic Chicago Style Food (909 Sleater-Kinney Road SE, Lacey) vs. Ricardo's (5211 Lacey Blvd. SE, Lacey)

LINK: Hot Damn! Yes, I want the Weekly Volcano newsletter!

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