Weekly Volcano Blogs: Walkie Talkie Blog

Posts made in: February, 2012 (150) Currently Viewing: 41 - 50 of 150

February 8, 2012 at 1:02pm

The Best free party next week



Everyone likes a good party. Or almost everyone does. We've got this friend, Barry, who doesn't like parties AT ALL. He's adamant about it. But he's also in the minority. That's why we feel more than comfortable saying next Thursday's Best of Olympia 2012 Party at the 4th Avenue Tavern is going to be, for all intents and purposes, "off da hook." Music from Scott Taylor and the Fond Farewells and headliners Glass Elevator, $2 Oly draft all night long, a huge raffle, Olympia trivia, a large percentage of the Volcano's esteemed staff in one spot (and available for mass ridicule), and the debut of the Volcano's Best of Olympia 2012.

What else could you want?

Probably nothing we can deliver.

What we can deliver is all the aforementioned goodness for free - which should hopefully be enough to please everyone ... except Barry.

[4th Avenue Tavern, starts at 6 p.m., free, with Glass Elevator, Scott Taylor and the Fond Farewells, 210 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia, 360.786.1444]

LINK: Read the Best of Olympia 2011 issue

February 8, 2012 at 3:51pm

Survey: Help Broadway Center shape its upcoming season

Would you like to see Weird Al at the Pantages? Then vote yes!

The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, known as a world leader for hosting world-class performing artists, providing the largest performing arts education programs in Washington state and preserving downtown Tacoma's historic theaters, is conducting a survey to discover how seriously consumers are committed to their entertainment.

The Broadway Center Survey asks: What do you want to see more of during their 2012-2013 season?

Weekly Volcano
Kickass Shows
Vietnamese Noodle Soup

The results so far? "Kickass Shows" is second only to the Weekly Volcano on the priority list for both men and women. The majority of respondents would give up coffee, sex and Vietnamese noodle soup - in that order - for an entertaining night at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts.

Women were twice as likely to jettison sex as men. Men claimed (by a wide margin) that they'd give up sex before the Weekly Volcano, although analysts are divided on whether this measures commitment or honesty.

(These results are based solely on the votes by employees at Weekly Volcano World Headquarters. Outside results may vary.)


The Broadway Center invites you to participate in the selection process for the upcoming 2012-13 season! Please take a moment to share your opinion and influence the Broadway Center line-up next season. The theaters are yours, and the folks behind the scenes at the Broadway Center hope you'll take a moment to tell them "YES" you would be interested in attending, or "NO" you would not, for several exciting potential shows. Or, answer "SOUP AND VOLCANO" if you would like Vietnamese Noodle Soup and a copy of the Weekly Volcano to be available inside the lobby of the Pantages Theater, Rialto Theater and Theatre on the Square next season. 

Saying "YES" does not commit you to purchasing a ticket to a kickass show; rather, it serves as a valuable tool as the Broadway Center selects the next season's shows.

Filed under: Arts, Tacoma, Theater,

February 9, 2012 at 8:09am

MORNING SPEW: Stealing from victims, Westboro loco, mortgage bailout, "Wizard" of creepy ...

Toonces poser


Appalling: Lakewood police guild treasurer accused of theft cashing in on the deaths of four colleagues and feathering his nest with shiny toys. (News Tribune)

Stay Classy, Westboro Baptist Church: The notoriously anti-gay church plans to picket Saturday's funeral for Charlie and Braden Powell and will be counterprotested by Occupy Seattle. (News Tribune)

Same-Sex Marriage: State House approved a same-sex marriage proposal 55 to 43. (News Tribune)

Mortgage Relief: In the biggest deal to date to fix the housing crisis, officials announced a huge foreclosure settlement with banks. (CNN)

Greece Bailout: Greece agrees to the austerity measures required to gain a new bailout hours before eurozone finance ministers are due to discuss the deal in Brussels. (BBC)

Sonic Fashion: Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon has a new fashion line. (Pitchfork)

Gary Busey: Bankrupt. (Yahoo)

Whoa: Watch the World's Largest Dodgeball Game. (Flavorwire)

Wizard Of Creepy: The 1902 adaptation of The Wizard of Oz looked extremely unsettling. (io9)

If You Have Nothing Else To Do: 25 animals who think they're people. (BuzzFeed)

Are You Ready?

February 9, 2012 at 9:15am

5 Things To Do Today: Phillip Roebuck, UWT Urban Studies Forum, Silent Movie Series, Maurice the Fish showcase and more ...

Phillip Roebuck

THURSDAY, FEB. 9, 2012 >>>

1. Local indie label Maurice the Fish Records is connected to many of our area's most talented acts. Rafael Tranquilino, Gina Belliveau and Heidi Vladyka, to name but a few, have all been part of the Maurice the Fish roster. Tonight at the Swiss get in on the Maurice the Fish Records Showcase, starting at 8 p.m.

2. Thursday at the University Washington Tacoma, this year's Urban Studies Forum will focus on "Urban Industrial Futures." According to the UWT press release, the forum is a "one-day event designed to spur community conversation about how to balance industrial and post-industrial urban development strategies." Speakers for the forum include Joan Fitzgerald, professor and director of the graduate Law and Public Policy program and senior research fellow at the Dukakis Center for Urban and Regional Policy at Northeastern University, Brian Coleman, CEO of Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center - a nonprofit industrial developer in New York, and Dean Amhaus, executive director of the Milwaukee Water Council. The Urban Studies Forum is free and open to the public, but registration is required.

3. Phillip Roebuck if freakin' amazing. No seriously. We're not just saying that. We've seen the "one-man-band" schtick before, but Roebuck, usually plucking a banjo with a kick drum strapped to his back, goes above and beyond. He's the kind of one man band you just don't go out and see, you buy the record when he's done performing. Tonight Roebuck will be at Hell's Kitchen with local favorites Swampy Draws, and Henry Kammerer along with the Cottonwood Cutups. Show starts at 9 p.m.

4. Get in on the Ram Restaurant and Brewery's version of the Geeks Who Drink pub quiz tonight by heading to the Ram on Ruston Way. Starting at 8:30 p.m. there'll be questions and drinking and more questions and plenty of fun.

5. Tonight at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts in Olympia the Silent Movie Series will feature The Last Laugh with Dennis James on the Wurlitzer. The event is all ages and starts at 7 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

February 9, 2012 at 9:23am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The Variety Hour, Logics, Abom the Kid, Santee, Solvents, Daniel Blue, Cherry Poppin' Daddies, Too $hort and more ...

Hip-hop legend Too $hort will play the Royal Lounge in Olympia this weekend.


The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true. We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because it's hard to sleep when you're so busy searching for videos of squirrels riding dogs horseback-style on the Internet (Matt Driscoll), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section. This week the Volcano looks at the Variety Hour's new record, Tacoma hip-hopper Logics, Daniel Blue's return to the 253 and much more.

It's just further proof that the Weekly Volcano music section is your every-Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage anywhere in the South Sound.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...


As I noted back in those early, heady days of 2010, the Variety Hour is largely indebted to the sounds of shoegaze and Britpop. Bands like Swervedriver and Teenage Fanclub live in the Variety Hour's blood. Listening to Transmissive, though, it's clear the Variety Hour has doubled down its focus and drive, creating a much more direct and even record. While some of the variety, so to speak, of the band's first EP might be missed, Variety Hour's latest release has a verve and clarity of intent that leads to a more rewarding listen, top to bottom (as opposed to the picking and choosing that might have gone on in the listening of the first album). ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney


One of the breakout artists of 2011 was Abom the Kid. Abom is a solo MC who rides with Gonzo and Blue Nose. He's one of the more lyrically serious MCs of the two crews, and his stage performance is also energetic and intense. If I had to make a formal selection, I'd choose Abom as 2011's "Rookie of the Year." He dropped four mixtapes last year, each one more buzz-worthy than the previous. Abom's last mixtape, which he dropped Dec. 31, 2011, is titled 4 Kornerz, and it represents his most advanced, mature and introspective work to date. The album is available on abomkid.bandcamp.com. It is well worth paying $5 for, considering it comes stacked with 21 tracks and packing guest verses from Cam the Viking, Illizm, Awall A.K.A 2-Piece, Lost Soul the Emo-Kat, Mae Dali, Nuvo The1 and me. Lately, I've been making my rounds throughout the scene and nearly everyone I bump into asks me if I've heard 4 Kornerz. It ended up being one of the biggest local releases of 2011. ... -- Josh Rizeberg


Santee makes scratchy, lovesick, indie folk-pop. The band has a way of tentatively coming around to these walloping choruses and emotionally resonant refrains. Over the years, what began as the bedroom folk duo of Heather Loepp and Josh Vega has grown and developed into a larger, fuller band with a richer sound to match. -- Rev. AM


Jarrod Bramson and his pop-rock band, Solvents, come from Port Townsend. And, aided heavily by the violin-work of bandmate Emily Madden, the band, often compared to Big Star, even sounds a little like the little postcard town at the end of the road they call home. Exterior beauty, boatyard grit, small-town honesty: the Solvents brim with all of it. ... -- Weekly Volcano


For the record, pimpin' ain't dead. It ain't even close to dead, in fact. We know this because legendary Bay Area rapper, Too $hort, returns to Olympia Saturday, bringing his official "Pimpin' Ain't Dead" tour with him. Joined on the bill by Dubbleoo, Steady the Boss and Free Whiskey, Too $hort's stop in Oly promises to be nothing short of epic, a show adding itself to the growing list of major hip-hop happenings to have recently rocked our state capital. ... -- WV


It's best not to think too much about the possible connotations behind the Cherry Poppin Daddies' name. We tried, on accident, and it kind of made us squeamish. Instead, we'd focus on the rambunctious mix of pomp and nostalgia that powers the Cherry Poppin Daddies' swinging ways. We'd focus on the ska, skank and swing rather than the creepy, Matthew-McConaughey-in-Dazed-and-Confused innuendo. Friday, the Cherry Poppin Daddies return to Tacoma and Jazzbones, a venue, and likely crowd, with which the band is already familiar. ... -- WV

PLUS: BETTER LIVING THROUGH MUSIC - Dub Lounge International, The Hive Dwellers, Daniel Blue, Chiptune Disko and more ...



Filed under: Weekly Volcano, Music, Tacoma, Olympia,

February 9, 2012 at 9:29am

VOLCANO ARTS: Goldfinch and Spaceworks Tacoma, "The Phantom Tollbooth," "Gold We Have Spun From Straw!" 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. We're  always on the lookout for ways to shine a light on all the awesome creativity we see around us.

This week's Volcano arts section includes a feature Tacoma band Goldfinch teaming with Spaceworks Tacoma to record a new record, a review of Olympia Family Theater's The Phantom Tollbooth and words on the big art show at Washington Center for the Performing Arts.

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


The Spaceworks Tacoma program, described as a joint initiative of the City of Tacoma, Shunpike and the Tacoma-Pierce County Chamber of Commerce, strives to match creative groups and empty spaces in downtown Tacoma. Recently, local band Goldfinch took up residence at 1310 Martin Luther King Jr. Way.

"We look for artists, groups, and creative businesses that produce quality work, can engage the community, and can use a vacant space to take their project to the next level," says Rebecca Solverson, Spaceworks Tacoma coordinator.

While Spaceworks is most known for working with visual artists, the program has jumped into the world of music before, including collaborating with the Red Hex- and Slushy-powered The Coma Collective.

Goldfinch is an eclectic band, often classified as indie folk rock. Founded by Aaron Stevens, Goldfinch has changed significantly since the band's one-and-only previous album. Now, with an entirely new lineup of musicians (aside from Stevens), Goldfinch plans to record a second album with the help of Spaceworks. ... -- Kristin Kendle


Given my lifelong adoration of facts and figures, it's a wonder I've never read The Phantom Tollbooth. Written by Norman Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer, this 1961 kid-lit classic is oft referred to as an American Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. It tells the story of Milo, a boy given to ennui, who finds himself the recipient of an interdimensional portal in the shape of a tollbooth. He's transported to "the Lands Beyond" - specifically, the Kingdom of Wisdom, which is governed by dueling monarchs, King Azaz the Unabridged (lord of all things literary) and the Mathemagician.

Dorothy had her Scarecrow and Tin Man; Milo has Tock and Humbug. Tock (Emmalene Ryle) is a watchdog, obsessed with time. Humbug's a kind of insectile Newt Gingrich, a role Sara Geiger squeezes for all it's worth. ... -- Christian Carvajal


There's a really big show at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts, and it's not on the stage. It's called Gold we have Spun from Straw! and it stretches throughout the Washington Center lobby, mezzanine and the upper balcony. The place is full of art. Really big art.

Especially big is a piece by Bil Fleming and Christine Malek called "Polyethylene Fiend." It's a giant dragon made of used plastic bags and packing materials, bamboo, packing tape, thread, a bath exhaust fan and annealed wire. The piece is also referred to by Fleming in an email as a "Hydrocarbon Leviathan" or a "Petrochemical Problem."

The dragon is huge (45' x 20' x 4') and colorful. It looks like something that should be carried through the streets by a dozen people in costume at a Chinese New Year's celebration or at Olympia's Procession of the Species. The dragon fills the stairwell. Its tail wraps around the railing on the upper balcony and its face almost touches the floor of the ground-level lobby. It is so big that you cannot see the whole thing from any one point of view.

Making "Polyethylene Fiend" must have been a huge undertaking, and it is fun to look at; but sorry, folks, I just can't call it art.

In addition to the big dragon Gold we have Spun from Straw! features selected works from Matter Gallery artists. I'm tempted to say Matter owner Jo Gallagher has picked the cream of the crop, but it may be more accurate to say she has selected the pure art and left out the craft and utilitarian art. No lamps or coat racks or any such, just paintings and sculptures made from, mostly, recycled materials. ... -- Alec Clayton


Thanks to its Tuesday Film Series, The Grand Cinema has spent the last six months ramping up the number of titles marching through its doors. The program kicked off on July 26, 2011, with the American documentary Lords of Nature. The theater has since used each subsequent Tuesday to bring in a different film beyond its regular weekly run, amounting to a unique experience for viewers every time.

Executive director Philip Cowan handpicks the growing list, noting that the series "gives me a chance to play 52 more films a year ... that (The Grand) otherwise wouldn't have had a chance to play." ... -- Christopher Wood

PLUS: Comprehensive Arts and Entertainment Calendar

PLUS: South Sound Events the Volcano Recommends

Filed under: Arts, Weekly Volcano, Tacoma, Olympia,

February 9, 2012 at 11:36am

Oly Music Awards kicks off with a pre-show Friday night

Jabi Shriki at the Olympia Arts Walk / Photo credit: Robert Johnson of Capital City Guitars


Who really cares if Bon Iver wins a Grammy or how many VMAs Madonna has stacked on her mantel? It's not like anybody with taste actually takes them seriously. As aficionados of the South Sound music scene, however, we're dying to know which of our faves will end up big winners at the inaugural Oly Music Awards this May.

"We're specifically focusing on the Olympia music scene, but encouraging musicians, bands, and music listeners throughout the South Sound region and throughout Western Washington to participate, especially bands with a presence in the Olympia music scene - bands that play Olympia," says musician and Oly Music Awards organizer Jabi Shriki.

The Oly Music Awards will run three days, kicking off Thursday, May 3 with a solo performer showcase, followed by a live band showcase Friday and an awards ceremony Saturday.

Not specific to any one genre - although the Weekly Volcano doesn't see any crunk, chillwave or garagedubcrunksteptechwave on the eligible "recognized" genre list - the contest portion of the Oly Music Awards will consist of two components - judging of submitted mp3s and online voting to pick the best live musicians.

"There will also be two showcases as part of the Oly Music Awards - one will feature solo/acoustic musicians and the other will feature live bands," says Shriki.

To build momentum, an Oly Music Awards "pre-show" will hit Le Voyeur Friday night. We tossed a few questions at indie acoustic musician Shriki.

WEEKLY VOLCANO: Who's performing Friday at Le Voyeur?

JABI SHRIKI: I'm kicking off the show at 9 p.m. performing music off my new CD, Puzzle Pieces. Alt-pop band Fight For Change hits the stage at 10. Rockers Elbow Coulee with its new line-up performs at 11 p.m. The night ends with the debut of indie rockers Point Process.

VOLCANO: Any science behind the line up?

SHRIKI: The show really kind of fell together organically.  Elbow Coulee wanted to have a return show with their new line-up.  Point Process is a band that practices at my house that wanted to schedule their first show.  Fight for Change is a band that also practices at my house that I really liked, so I asked them to join the bill.  I put myself on the bill, since Olympia Power and Light wanted to review the CD, but they wanted to have a show to mention in the article.  It ended up not working out time-wise, but I kept myself on the bill as a solo act at 9 pm.

VOLCANO: What's the backstory on your CD title?

SHRIKI: It's a long story. The title came from a quote from a character in a book that I'm working on. One of the characters - who is a good person with powers that can be used for horribly destructive purposes -  wonders why a just god or an ordered universe would allow her to exist. The other character responds, "We all have a purpose in life, but the search for that purpose can be maddening. It's like putting together a puzzle with all the pieces facing down.  You know that they fit together somehow, but it's impossible to see the bigger picture."

I ended up spending a lot of time thinking about puzzle pieces as a metaphor for life, and I wrote a poem, which was:

blind to the way
undertones turn the world
in verse, second voices grind
broken glass into puzzle pieces

VOLCANO: Will you perform at the Oly Music Awards?

SHRIKI: I'm keeping my music totally separate from the Oly Music Awards. I'll be strictly the organizer for future pre-shows.

[Le Voyeur, Oly Music Awards Pre-show, Friday, Feb. 10, 9 p.m., no cover, 404 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.943.5710]

LINK: Best of Olympia 2012 Party

February 9, 2012 at 11:51am

WEEKEND HUSTLE: "Enron," Arts Olympia Show & Sale, "The Vagina Monologues" at Evergreen, Tahoma Audubon Society party, Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill, "Passionate Puccini," Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma plus more ...

This weekend Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma celebrates 25 proud years with three limited performances at the MBT Studio. PHOTO COURTESY: metropolitanballetoftacoma.com



Friday: Rain showers, hi 54, lo 41

Saturday: More rain, hi 48, lo 39

Sunday: Even more rain, hi 50, lo 37

>>> FEB. 10-12: ENRON

Nothing makes for better theater than tragedy. And satire. And maybe a splash of dark comedy. South Puget Sound Community College's presentation of ENRON, running Feb. 10-12 and 16-19 at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, should have all three. According to hype, British playwright Lucy Pebble's 2009 play "uses a mix of timeless themes, including classic tragedy and dark comedy, to explore the inner workings of one of the country's largest financial collapses from several new points of view." Who doesn't love watching a good financial collapse live on stage?

  • Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts, Feb. 10-12 and 16-19, all performances at 8 p.m. except Feb. 12 and Feb. 19 - both at noon, $13 for the general public and $7 for students, 2011 Mottman Road SW, Olympia, 360.753.8586


The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's adventure novel by Norton Juster published in 1961, is loved to this day by children and adults alike. While it's easy to see why children connect to young Milo's tale, it also doesn't take much pondering to see why many adults still harbor a soft spot for the book. Luckily for all parties involved, Olympia Family Theater opened a three-week run of the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth last week at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box. Read Christian Carvajal's Weekly Volcano review of The Phantom Tollbooth.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box, Friday - Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m., "Thrifty Thursday," Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., $16 adults, $13 senior/military/student, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8586


Now in its 21st year, the annual Arts Olympia Show and Sale this weekend at the Capital Museum Coach House promises, according to hype for the event, to be the best ever. And we're inclined to believe said hype. Why? Well, this year's event hype includes mention of Olympia's new mayor, Stephen Buxbaum, kicking off the festivities during a Friday-night opening reception (a definite plus), and - more importantly - Volcano arts writer and critic Alec Clayton delivering a lecture Saturday afternoon. And did we mention Sunday promises a poetry event featuring members of the Olympia Poetry Network? The three-day show comes under the header Perspectives 2012 and will include the work of nearly 40 local artists. This one's a no-brainer - which is probably why, year after year, the Arts Olympia Show and Sale keeps coming back for more.

  • Capital Museum Coach House, Friday, Feb. 10 5-7 p.m. opening reception with Olympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum, Saturday, Feb. 11 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Alec Clayton speaks at 1 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. poetry event at 1 p.m., 211 W. 21st Ave., Olympia, artsolympia.org


Each year The Vagina Monologues is performed at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, and each year the event is one of the year's most memorable collegiate stage shows. Performed by Greeners, presented by the school's Women's Resource Center, and this year directed by Sam Cori and Cari Pendergrass, The Vagina Monologues of 2012 at Evergreen should live up to tradition. According to Cori, this year an effort is being made to get more non-students to attend - so do your part this weekend.

  • The Evergreen State College - Lecture Hall 1, 7-9 p.m., $7 student, $10 general, 2700 Evergreen Pkwy NW, Olympia, 360.867.6000


Birding just doesn't get the props it deserves. For one, birding and bird watching are fun for geriatrics and non-geriatrics alike. Most folks assume it's only something the old can get into, but they're wrong. Second, birding vests with a bunch of crazy pockets are hella sexy. Just trust us on that one. Saturday, the Tahoma Audubon Society celebrates its 43rd year with its annual membership banquet and awards ceremony at the Tacoma Landmark Convention Center. According to hype, at the Tahoma Audubon Society Banquet, "Wildlife biologist and photographer Vasiliy Baranyuk will present "Snow Geese and other Wildlife of the Wrangel Island Nature Reserve." And that's just the start of the awesomeness (which, yes, does include a live dessert auction and the 2012 board elections).

  • Landmark Convention Center's Temple Theater Ballroom, 5:30 - 9 p.m., $50 per person, 47 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, tahomaaudubon.org


There is a certain segment of the population that is way too into eight-bit video games - specifically, the way those games sounded. These weirdoes have banded together to utilize those primitive sounds in the creation of new music. Their bands are chiptune bands; their members have seemingly uncovered brand new depths of obsession. Saturday, Dorky's Arcade will host several chiptune bands because, well, of course chiptune bands would play at Dorky's. Performers include Awesomecat, Shellshock, Firedrill and Ovenrake, and all the bands will be accompanied by vintage gear like Game Boys. How surreal will it be to dance to fake video game music while - all around you - real video games are lighting up, all abuzz and a-chirp? It'll be like a snake eating its tail. -- Rev. Adam McKinney

  • Dorky's Arcade, with Firedrill, Ovenrake, Awesomecat, Shellshock, 9 p.m., $3, 754 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.627.4156


The Tacoma Opera - and more specifically its "Young Artists" - will take you on a musical journey of space in time this weekend, delving into the works of renowned German-Jewish stage composer (and socialist) Kurt Weill. Weill - who was most active in the 1920s and '30s - is perhaps best known for his collaborations with Bertolt Brecht, including The Threepenny Opera, which will be included in the Tacoma Opera's performances this weekend. Tacoma Opera will also take on selections from Weill's Lady in the Dark and Street Scene.

  • Theatre on the Square, 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, $30, 915 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org


Like emotions? Like, REALLY like emotions? Then you just might go nuts for Giacomo Puccini. The bad news is Giacomo Puccini, championed and ridiculed for his overly-emotional flare, died in 1922. The good news is the Northwest Sinfonietta is bringing Puccini's three great works, Madama Butterfly, La boheme, and Tosca to stages in Puyallup and Tacoma this week just in time for Valentine's Day. Offered under the titling Passionate Puccini, the Northwest Sinfonietta, which self-describes itself as "(a)n orchestra of passion, vision, thrill, and creation - an orchestra that awakens the musical spirit in all of us, performing to sold-out crowds of youngsters, hipsters, and connoisseurs alike," says to expect a an "evening of love, passion, and intrigue" from of Passionate Puccini. The Northwest Sinfonietta also promises its "guest vocalists will fire your imagination with the beloved arias and duets from three of Puccini's most famous masterpieces." That's hot. And it includes the impressive soprano Shana Blake Hill. Catch Passionate Puccini in Tacoma at the Rialto Theater Saturday, Feb. 11 and in P-Town Sunday, Feb. 12 at Pioneer Park.

  • Rialto Theater, Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:30 p.m., $19-$49, 310 S. Ninth, Tacoma, 253.591.5890, broadwaycenter.org
  • Pioneer Park Pavilion, Sunday, Feb. 12, 2 p.m., $30, 330 Meridian Ave., S, Puyallup, 253.383.5344


Didn't quite get your fill of the white fluffy stuff during Snowmaggedon 2012? A glutton for punishment? Metro Parks Tacoma has you covered with two snow-related happenings going down this weekend. Saturday is one of four scheduled Metro Parks "Family Snow Days," which invite family groups of two or more to head up to Mt. Rainier for a day of sledding and fun in the snow. Of course, families must provide their own sleds and equipment, but the transportation and abundant chances for memory making are provided. Then, Sunday marks the Metro Parks Tacoma Adult Snowshoe Hike, which promises adventurers 21 years of age and older a chance to meet new friends while "learning the basics of cross-country skiing," on a groomed, level trail on Snoqualmie Pass. According to hype the trail is "just right for beginners," but you can be the judge of that.

  • Family Snow Day, Saturday, Feb. 11, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $20 for family of four, $4 per additional person, trips depart at 9 a.m. from various community centers and return at 4 p.m., find more info at metroparkstacoma.org/outdoor
  • Adult Cross-Country Skiing, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12, Pre-registration required by calling 253.594.7847, $60 for Tacoma residents, $65 non-residents, includes equipment and instruction, trip departs from Metro Parks Headquarters, 4702 S. 19th St., Tacoma, metroparkstacoma.org/outdoors


This weekend Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma celebrates 25 proud years with three limited performances at the MBT Studio. Looking back on a quarter century of ballet in T-Town, Metropolitan Ballet of Tacoma's presentation of choreography will include favorite dances like "Army, Navy, Airforce, Baby," "Female of the Species," "Shanti Mantra," "Broken Hearted Melody," "Mission," and "Monkey Puzzle." If you call Tacoma home, and your passionate about ballet, there's a good chance you've already been touched by the work of Metropolitan Ballet. Take an opportunity to pat the studio on the back this weekend.

  • MBT Studio, Saturday, Feb. 11 2 and 6 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12 2 p.m., $8 general admission - limited seating, 5435 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.472.5359


Big band leader Rich Wetzel, no stranger to snappy sports coats and even snappier jazz numbers, isn't afraid to make a big promise. So, when he proclaims Sunday's performance at Stonegate Pizza as "the Super Bowl of live entertainment," we shouldn't be surprised. Does this mean we should expect four-plus hours of pomp and Madonna at halftime? Probably not. But what we can expect is a damn entertaining show from Wetzel and his 15-piece jazz rock orchestra.

  • Stonegate Pizza, 5-8 p.m. 5421 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.2255


We're seeing what promises to be a quirky show about Enron at SPSCC. Also, we're in a secret supper group (not so secret now, I guess), so we're cooking a sexy feast in honor of St. Valentine and his chubby, cherubic aides de l'amour.

I quite literally have nothing planned by serving Communion at church on Sunday. Rock Star!

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Another weekend with not much happening EXCEPT I get to go have tea with a friend (and my adorable toddler as a tag along). We'll go to church on Sunday and maybe watch a movie or two. I will probably try to talk my husband into cooking something fabulous.

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
Saturday I'll be the guest speaker at the Arts Olympia exhibition opening and Sunday I'll be attending PFLAG meeting.

NIKKI TALOTTA Music and Features Writer
This Friday I'm slingin drinks and taking care of the kids. You know - the usual. But Saturday is date night! Ricardo's steakhouse and Tush! Burlesque. Talk about primal delights! Sunday is writing and R&R.

JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Features Writer
The usual: dancing with Camp 6 at New Frontier Friday night, and a vampire tour of Pioneer Square in Seattle on Saturday night. And laundry.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music and Features Writer
We're putting on two all-ages shows this weekend at the Space to help raise money for April's Squeak and Squawk festival. Friday Santee, Makeup Monsters and a whole slew of other great bands will get on stage, and Saturday Calvin Johnson's Hive Dwellers will be in town.

JOSH RIZEBERG Tacoma Hip-Hop Writer
Friday at 6 p.m. at D.A.S.H. Center I'll be teaching my spoken-word/poetry class. Saturday I'll be rocking at Jazzbones with Ra Scion, City Hall and The Breaklites!

NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
Gonna open up for Too $hort at The Royal on Saturday followed by getting drunk.

MOLLY GILMORE Olympia Arts and Features Writer
I'm spending all weekend dancing at a workshop with Michael Molin-Skelton, a teacher who is visiting from Los Angeles.

JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Friday Camp 6 Dance Party at The New Frontier with artist James Allan Tucker. Saturday gym then beachcombing in Gig Harbor. Sunday church and family time.

PAUL SCHRAG General Assignment Writer
Clown wrestling! I'm putting my money on Blocko. 

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

February 10, 2012 at 7:40am

MORNING SPEW: Bryant Montessori, "The Simpsons" untold stories, scary nature thing of the day ...

We think this is suppose to be Katy Perry. Photo credit: Thaeger


Today's Lesson: Bryant Montessori doesn't need any more drama. (News Tribune)

Marijuana Legalization: Pot Initiative 502 won't get fast-tracked by the state Legislature before it sees the ballot this fall. (News Tribune)

Pissing Off Catholics: President Obama will announce a plan as early as today to accommodate religious employers opposed to a rule that would require them to cover birth control for women free of charge. (USA Today)

Mortgage Deal: Conservatives say the $26 billion deal to settle charges of mortgage fraud unfairly rewards those who miss payments; liberals say it doesn't offer enough relief. (CNN)

Russia Doesn't Like Spies: An engineer at Russia's Plesetsk space station is jailed for 13 years after being convicted of selling missile test data to the CIA. (BBC)

Geeks On Parade: Comic-Con to open with 136-mile Olympics-style lightsaber relay. (LA Times)

Hey Young People!: Portlandia to get its own book. (Rolling Stone)

The Simpsons at 500: Untold Stories. (The Hollywood Reporter)

Yes Trollhunter Is On The List: The top 50 foreign language films of the last decade. (Den Of Geek)

A Brief Photographic History: Glitter-Bombs. (Time)

Designer Pops: (No idea how to describe this due to poor study habits in our German class.) (Thaeger)

Scary Nature Thing Of The Day

February 10, 2012 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Oly Music Awards Pre-show, Jane Alynn, Camp 6 "Commence" dance party, Cherry Poppin' Daddies and more ...

The Cherry Poppin' Daddies will pretend it's 1997 at Jazzbones tonight.

FRIDAY, FEB. 10, 2012 >>>

1. Musically, it's a huge night. The Cherry Poppin' Daddies (straight from the ‘90s) play Jazzbones on Sixth Avenue. Former Volcano scribe Heather Loepp and Santee play the Space tonight as part of a benefit for the Squeak & Squawk music festival in April. And let us not forget the Variety Hour's CD release show tonight at Hell's Kitchen. Boom.

2. If it's laughs you're looking for find comedian Chris Franjola at Tacoma Comedy Club and Duane Goad at the Grit City Comedy Club. Both shows will run you $15.

3. If you're like most people, there's part of you that really enjoys shaking your ass without regret. Luckily, Tacoma's Camp 6 is holding its first "Commence Dance Party" (in what's to be a regular series of dance parties) at the New Frontier Lounge.

4. Poet and author Jane Alynn joins the Distinguished Writer Series tonight at King's Books. With two published collections of poems to her name, Necessity of Flight and Threads & Dust, Alynn is an award-winning wordsmith who should be enjoyable to hear read. The event starts at 7 p.m.

5. In Olympia, the first-ever Oly Music Awards Pre-show - generating hype and excitement for the forthcoming first-ever Oly Music Awards - will go down at Le Voyeur, bringing Jabi Shriki to the stage in celebration of a new record, as well as Fight for Change, Elbow Coulee (in the band's first show back with a new lineup) and the debut of Brian Carsten's Point Process. Things kick off at 9 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Plan your weekend with the Volcano's WEEKEND HUSTLE

About this blog

News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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