Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: September, 2011 (172) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 172

September 1, 2011 at 7:36am

MORNING SPEW: Sharpen those No. 2 pencils, Gas Man update, rich CEOs, best wizard beards and more ...



"Ahhhh, Mom": Tacoma School District teachers are not on strike; summer break is over. (News Tribune)

Gas Man Update: U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman ruled against BP's request for a temporary restraining. (News Tribune)

Oh My: At least 25 CEOs earned more than their companies paid in income taxes in 2010. (The Atlantic)

Don't Throw Rocks In San Diego: Toyota RAV4 owner nails boy with crossbow. (Sign On San Diego)

Feud Continues: Gawker claims Bill O'Reilly tried to get the cops to investigate his wife's boyfriend. (Slate)

Watch This: Don Cheadle saves our earth as Captain Planet. (Cinema Blend)

Totally: Jack White and Insan Clown Posse cover Mozart song. (Huffington Post)

Totally Again: Best wizard beards (Ugo)

Filed under: Morning Spew, Tacoma, Music, Crime, Screens,

September 1, 2011 at 8:52am

5 THINGS TO DO TODAY: Marcy Playground, Taco Thursday with Jerry Miller, Musicians Night at Rock the Dock and more ...

Have a taco with Jerry Miller tonight.

THURSDAY, SEPT. 1, 2011 >>>

1. If you came of age, musically speaking, during a similar period in time as this hack writer, you're probably moderately familiar with the Marcy Playground story - or at least the band's "hit," the radio friendly "Sex and Candy." The song came from Marcy Playground's platinum selling, self-titled, major label debut, released by Capitol Records in '97 and highlighted by a grunge stained take on folk rock and the occasional children's rhyme. "Sex and Candy" - the record's second single, following "Poppies" and achieving considerably more success - spent 15 weeks atop Billboard's, "Modern Rock" chart, and the album managed to spawn two more singles, "Saint Joe on the School Bus," and "Sherry Fraser." Next Tonight, Marcy Playground will play Jazzbones in Tacoma, where most of the preceding stats will matter very little. It'll be like the '90s all over again. 

2. It's Taco Thursday at Uncle Sam's in Spanaway with the venerable Jerry Miller. Or, if that doesn't tickler your fancy, peruse the Volcano's extensive live local music listings here.

3. Sure, the Fort Nisqually Candlelight Tours scheduled for Oct. 7-8 are more than a month away, but there's no reason you can't get excited for the re-enactments and melted wax now. Furthermore, there's absolutely no reason why you can't buy your tickets now, as they officially  go on sale today. More information can be found at fortnisqually.org.

4. Check out the open mic and "musicians night" at Rock the Dock Pub and Grill tonight, hosted by Big D of 9 Pound Hammer. The action kicks off at 9 p.m.

5. Today is your last chance to catch the serious mindf*** movie, Another Earth, at the Grand.  It's a worthy escape.

LINK: Arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music tonight in the South Sound

September 1, 2011 at 9:08am

VOLCANO MUSIC: Oh Dear!, Leon Swanks, the Conquering Lion and more …


Sure, it would have been easy for the Volcano's Music Desk to spend all week fretting over the proposed Wal-Mart on Union Avenue. It's conceivable that we could have spent seven days organizing protest, or rallying the troops, or at the very least planning annoying ways to sleep in a Wal-Mart parking lot. But we didn't. We resisted the urge.

Instead, we pumped out another excellent issue of the Weekly Volcano, naturally including another awesome rendition of the Volcano music section.

Here's a peek at the musical goodness in store in print and online ...

INDIE ROCK: Oh Dear! debut album

I remember reading that the rapper Drake used the word "I" over 400 times on his debut album, in a kind of subliminal act of superhuman self-obsession.

In the case of Oh Dear!, and the band's debut album, lead singer Brandon Sagnella may have set some sort of record for the number of times "you" is utilized. The majority of the songs on the self-titled LP are shaped in the same way, with Sagnella singing only about "you," and what he thinks about "you," and the various ways in which "you" have hurt or helped him. As each song drifts into the next, an accusatory song suite begins to emerge. ... - Rev. Adam McKinney

HIP-HOP: Leon Swanks, Deluxe Beatz, Tak Patron ...

I love seeing young artists grow, mature and polish their sound - artist coming into their own.

A few years ago when I first heard Lockcity I knew dude had a nice flow. He was spitting some smooth-tricky street s*** at the time.  Although he was dope, he didn't quite jump out at ya.

Fast-forward to present and the story is a little better. Lockcity is now Leon Swanks, and the name change has signified a change in sound for the Tacoma MC. The swag he once relied on has now turned into true artistry. He's released a number of high-quality videos this year - the newest being "Straight Jewel$." ...  -- Josh Rizeberg


To most, the band RTX means the revival of one-half of the legendary Royal Trux, a band that rode the waves of the ‘90s on a surfboard made of sex, drugs and all things rock ‘n' roll. These days, RTX is still a familiar blistering combination of noise rock, indie hardcore, fuzzy, squealing, sexy riffs and the hot-blooded gritty vocals of front woman Jennifer Herrema ... only cooler. ... - Nikki Talotta

PUNK & METAL: Conquering Lion, McKibbin's b-day and more

As far as Tacoma venues go, add a big one to the list! A brand spankin' new all-ages spot located in the old Viaduct location (5412 South Tacoma Way) by the name of The Conquering Lion will be holding its grand-opening Saturday, Oct. 1 with a HUGE hardcore show. The venue is being operated by some big names in the local scene. Good ol' Lonnie Local (of NXNW Metal Fest and Black Ice/Freedom Records) and Patt Lucas (of the new band Spidervain - and formerly of almost as many old Tacoma metal bands as yours truly) are taking the helm and are out for blood! In a recent conversation with Lucas, he expressed to me that he longs for the days (daze?) of the Community World Theatre and vows to bring in as many huge shows as he can. With occupancy of 550+, the Conquering Lion will be able to do just that.  ... -- Jason McKibbin

PLUS: Better Living Through Music - Lips, Weird Tigers, and the Rusty Cleavers

PLUS: Concert Alert

PLUS: Live local music listings

PLUS: Totally bananas stuff like this

September 1, 2011 at 9:15am

VOLCANO ARTS: Quilt bonanza, movies to keep you warm, the progression of hip-hop as an art form and more ...


At this point it goes without saying. If you're looking for coverage of local arts in Tacoma, Olympia, and all points in between, the Weekly Volcano is THE place to find it. Our goal is to consistently provide the best local arts coverage possible to our fantastic readers -- always be on the lookout for ways to shine a light on all the awesome creativity we see around us.

Here's a look at the Volcano arts coverage waiting for you this week in print and online.

VISUAL EDGE: Quilt bonanza

("Black Wolf" is a piece by Nancy Erickson currently on display at American Art Company. Photo courtesy American Art Company)

It's back! The Northwest Contemporary Art Quilt Invitational at American Art Company. I used to look forward to it every year, and then they quit holding this show for about three years. Now it's back and more colorful than ever. And I mean that literally. ... - Alec Clayton

MOVIE BIZ BUZZ: Movies to stay warm to

No question about it: we done got screwed this summer. Never mind the fact that I write these words outdoors with a cloudless blue sky and blazing sun above me; I'm here to bitch about past grievances. It took us too many weeks to finally earn this weather, and from the look of things it won't last. That freak rainout last Monday only tells the fidgety fatalist in me that autumn isn't far away.

We do what we can to stave off the inevitable cold, and I believe movies can offer the great escapism we'll soon need. I combed my collection for a few titles that should keep you in a tropical state of mind regardless the season.

So here's my top five, ranked by temperature for your convenience (and they all hold up as pretty good films to boot). May they serve you well on those looong winter nights. ... - Christopher Wood

THE LION SUBMISSION: The progression of hip-hop

(DJ Kun PHOTO: Courtesy Facebook/Merc Photography)

The mid-1970s marked the birth of hip-hop, and ever since the artistic genre has expanded all around the world. Today there are many versions of hip-hop, but originally it came out as raw organic expression. Hip-hop continues to branch out, but in which way is mainstream hip-hop growing? Do we frown upon it? Or can we enjoy it? I sat down with a few people in the music business to figure it out.

  ... -- Khalil Duberry

PLUS: More local theater coverage than you can shake a stick at

PLUS: The Volcano's extensive arts and events calendar

PLUS: Pretty stuff

September 1, 2011 at 9:47am

There's a guillotine in Lakewood!


There's a guillotine sitting in the backyard of a home in Lakewood. We didn't grab a closer shot for obvious reasons.

Filed under: Photo Hot Spot, Lakewood,

September 1, 2011 at 11:06am

CUP CHECK: Ron Artest and Cutler’s ex-fiance land on "Dancing with the Stars"

Catch Cup Check every Thursday in the classifieds section of the Weekly Volcano


It's been almost seven years since Ron Artest - NBA player, bad rapper, all-around nut job - became reviled. That's what happens when you storm into the stands and start a player-on-fan brawl. It's just bad PR.

Ancient history.

It was announced this week that Artest, along with U.S. women's national soccer team goalkeeper Hope Solo, will be part of the 13th season of Dancing with the Stars, scheduled to premiere Sept. 19 on ABC. Other members of the kinda-famous cast include Robert Kardashian, Chaz Bono, Ricki Lake, Chynna Phillips (really?) and Jay Cutler's ex-fiancé, Kristin Cavallari, who hopefully realizes by now she lucked out of a whole lifetime of pouting and facial fat when J-C dumped her.

To read this week's full Cup Check column click here.

Filed under: Sports, Weekly Volcano,

September 1, 2011 at 1:31pm

THE WEEKEND HUSTLE: Oly Harbor Days, Get Out of the Rut Weekend, Paddles & Pints plus the boring lives of our writers ...



Friday: Most sunny, hi 72, lo 51

Saturday: Sunny, hi 81, lo 54

Sunday: Iphone says still sunny, hi 84, lo 54


The Volcano's "Weekend Hustle" is synonymous with fun, so there's no way we would ever let Olympia's Harbor Days festival pass without trumpeting it. Why? Because we love the hell out of some tugboats. And if there's one thing Oly Harbor Days is synonymous with, it's tugboats. And history. And fun. Is there another way we could use the word synonymous in this blurb? Probably. But why push our luck. The important thing is that you head down to Oly's waterfront Friday, Saturday and/or Sunday and get in on a late-summer rite of passage. Of particular interest are the annual tugboat races, which go down Sunday at noon.

  • Percival Landing & Port Plaza, 5-8 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. Sunday, free, 222 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, harbordays.com


A few weeks ago we highly recommended a play about stamps (Mauritius). This week, we're back at it, throwing our weight behind The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a Tony award-winning musical taking to the Tacoma Little Theater stage three weeks starting this Friday. Billed as, "tender and sardonic," not to mention "hilarious," and irreverent," The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, directed by Suzy Willhoft, should be totally excellent. Excellent: e-x-c-e-l-l-e-n-t. Excellent.

  • Tacoma Little Theatre, through Sept. 26, $16.50-$26.50, 7:30 p.m. Friday -Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 210 N. I Street, Tacoma, 253.272.2481


Ahhh yeah! It's that time of year! Time for getting it on! That's why Northwest Trek invites you to its "Get Out of the Rut Weekend," your chance to play peeping Tom on the breeding habits of moose, elk, deer and even sheep. You see, the "rut," refers to the breeding habits of hooved animals - and we all know hooved animals are the hottest of all! According to hype, "Watch and listen as they grunt, snort, bugle and spar. From wild romance to turbulent action, you won't want to miss this three-day kickoff to the most dramatic time of year at Northwest Trek." So hot.

  • Northwest Trek, 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m., $9-$18, 2 and under free, Get Out of the Rut Weekend activities free with admission, 11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville, nwtrek.org


You've seen the Weekly Volcano's cover story this week. You know this weekend brings the third annual Tacoma Craft Beer Festival. Your mouth is already watering at the thought of it. But even better - this year you have an opportunity to do a little paddling before you pound the brews. In conjunction with Metro Parks, this Saturday at 10 a.m. the Paddles & Pints event offers kayak and beer enthusiasts of all skill levels the chance to do a little outdoor recreating before settling in at the Craft Beer Fest for a day full of awesome suds. Taking off at 10 a.m. from the Thea Foss boat launch, according to hype the paddling will offer, "a view of the city skyline while kayaking past the glass Museum and the marinas. ... Afterward  arrive at the Tacoma Craft Beer Festival to enjoy local craft beer, food and entertainment." Perfect pairing.

  • Thea Foss boat launch, 10 a.m. $50 with kayak rental, $30 without, pre-registration required, 253.594.7847


NIKKI TALOTTA Features Writer
It's Labor Day weekend, Biotch! There's a three-day live music event out in Elma I might check out - called Impressive Vibrations Tour, and dubbed "Woodstock of Olympia." There's also this private house party/concert on Monday out on the Sound that sounds rad. Oh yeah ... It's also my two-year-old's birthday party, so chocolate cake and make-believe dinosaurs are also in the cards.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music and Film Writer
Friday, I'll be catching a last-minute show at The New Frontier with my favorite local band that I've never been able to cover: Derek Kelley and the Speedwobbles. (One of these days I'll be able to write about you, Speedwobbles! You will rue the day!) The rest of my weekend will be spent trying to get up the nerve to go to Bumbershoot. Lots of great comedy shows. I recommend the Comedy Bang Bang podcast tapings with Scott Aukerman and Paul F. Tompkins. Very funny people.

ALEC CLAYTON Volcano Visual Arts Critic
I'm going to learn how to spell and do lots of other fun stuff at the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee at Tacoma Little Theatre. Plus, I'm going to write the next chapter in the next great American novel.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food and Lifestyles Writer
Saturday: whitewater rafting, rodeo, dancing in cowboy boots. Sunday after church, it's my mother-lovin' birthday barbeque, shindig, potluck, soiree! I'm sure something will get lit on fire. Hopefully it isn't me this year.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Labor Day weekend = first weekend after the start of school. I'd like to say that I'll be loafing, but I'll probably spend some time thinking about lesson planning. The rest of the time will be spent hanging out with my little son and planning out his school day meals. Oh, on Sunday I'll be playing music at church. 

I'll be swinging by the Northwest Convergence Zone podcast Sunday to talk sports with Darrell and the gang. I'm sure Voxy can't wait. Fantasy football will no doubt come up. The rest of my weekend is a complete mystery at this point, even to me. Although I do know I'll be watching the kids for a good chunk of it while my uber-smart wife attends the annual American Political Science Association annual conference in Seattle.

Our friends Chris and Heather are getting married (at long last), so we'll be merrily toasting their union.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

September 1, 2011 at 2:27pm

Big Whisky Saloon to open in Olympia

A bigger version of the Big Wheel inside the Big Whisky Saloon in Tacoma will grace the wall of the Olympia version.


Spit-shine your cowboy boots and dig out your hats, y'all! In just two weeks, Big Whisky Saloon will put its shit-kickin' foot stomp on a 12,000-square-foot plot of land in downtown Olympia. OK, it's moving into the former Vault nightclub spot, but exciting nonetheless.

According to Roger Rahil, Big Whisky Saloon's operating partner, and former owner of the Vault, the mammoth bar and live music venue will take over the space Friday, Sept. 16. Rahil co-owns the Big Whisky Saloon with business partner Jon Tartaglia.

"One of the elements that excites us about this project is we are bringing something completely different to downtown Olympia," explains Rahil. "There are numerous venues that play the same style of music but we get an opportunity to set ourselves apart from the masses and cater to a completely different crowd."

A seven-week remodel has kicked up dust in the joint as the 1,500 square-foot-hardwood dance floor and 72-foot prize wheel are hauled in. The audio and video system will be updated, which will be important since the club will play country and rock videos similar to the downtown Tacoma Big Whisky.

"The renovations are absolutely amazing," says Rahil. "I believe people will see a lot of similar aspects between the Tacoma location and here. The only major difference between the properties will be that we can present some large name national touring acts."


LINK: We hung out at the Big Whisky in Tacoma

Filed under: Club News, Music, Olympia,

September 1, 2011 at 4:43pm

Late afternoon hug: Mobility Master Plan kudos


Late last year the Weekly Volcano sat down with Tacoma City Councilmember Ryan Mello to discuss his thoughts on how the City of Tacoma performed 2010, and what 2011 would bring. One of Mello's proudest accomplishments was the Mobility Master Plan, as he stated, "a fancy term for a comprehensive bicycle and pedestrian network throughout Tacoma."

"It's completely revamping the bicycle, trail and pedestrian network," Mello told Weekly Volcano reporter Zach Powers. "It's going to make Tacoma a whole lot more livable and sustainable, so people feel more comfortable walking to work, walking to shop, biking to work, biking to busses, etc.  It's going to change the paradigm that it's unsafe to bike or walk long distances in Tacoma." Read th efull interview with Mello here.

Today, the City of Tacoma sent out a release stating it won a 2011 VISION 2040 Award from the Puget Sound Regional Council for its Mobility Master Plan. The award recognizes innovative projects and programs that help ensure a sustainable future as the region grows. The release continues:

"We were impressed with how Tacoma is using the Mobility Master Plan to achieve three citywide goals: transportation improvements, increased sustainability, and encouragement of active living," said Mukilteo Councilmember Jennifer Gregerson, Chair of the VISION 2040 Awards Selection Committee. "More importantly, Tacoma is making sure the plan becomes a reality by investing $1 million in the top four bikeways from the plan. This means that 10 percent of the bicycle facilities in the plan will be finished by 2012."

Tacoma adopted its Mobility Master Plan in 2010 with the goal of developing a comprehensive network of bikeways and pedestrian walkways citywide to enhance the comfort and safety for all. The plan includes a comprehensive set of bicycle and pedestrian guidelines, including an emphasis on complete streets, specific strategies for high traffic areas like the Tacoma Dome, and accessibility transition guidelines.

VISION 2040 is the region's growth management, economic, and transportation strategy, designed to meet the needs of the 5 million people expected to be living in the region in 2040. It is an integrated, long-range vision for the future that lays out a strategy for maintaining a healthy region - promoting the well-being of people and communities, economic vitality and a healthy environment.

Congratulations Tacoma.

September 1, 2011 at 7:21pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: Giddy about all-ages clubs


Today's selected comment comes from Shawna Reid in response to a Spew post announcing The Conquering Lion all-ages club will open Oct. 1 in the space formerly occupied by the Viaduct club.

Red writes,

This makes me happy. Tacoma so needs this. There is so much good underage talent out there with underage fans that just need a solid place to play. Obviously if your over 21 you have plenty of options. I thought there were a lot more underage places around Tacoma when I was younger, but I think we could just get into places easier back then. Thanks :) Keep Rockin:)

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