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August 16, 2014 at 9:11am

Museum of Glass sets up Hot Shop at Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Warrior Transition Battalion

Spc. Jans Ruiz and Staff Sgt. Jose Munoz work on a piece of glass art as part of the Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire program put on by the Museum of Glass. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Working with 4,500 degrees of blue flame can be therapeutic.

"This is a great program," explained Lt. Col. Jeff Mosso, commander, Warrior Transition Battalion (WTB). "We are the only WTB in the country to have this type of therapy, and this program continues to grow along with our partnership with the Museum of Glass."

Welcome to the Hot Shop Heroes: Healing with Fire program presented by the Museum of Glass.

Last week, the Tacoma-based museum brought for the first time its Mobile Hot Shop to Joint Base Lewis-McChord's Warrior Transition Battalion and set up a portable shop in the unit's courtyard.

Soldiers and their families had the opportunity to watch demonstrations and work with flame and glass in the pursuit of art and healing.

>>> The Museum of Glass' glassblowing program offers JBLM's Wounded Warriors an opportunity for hands-on glassblowing and life skills for transitioning to civilian life. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

"Who would've thought glass is so malleable," said Sgt. 1st Class James Wolfe as he shaped a glass bead. "I'm looking forward to more classes!"

Unique to the event, several children will be selected to take part in the Museum's Kids Design Glass and watch their drawings be transformed into three dimensional glass sculptures.

The Museum's affiliation with JBLM began about a year ago when artist Dale Chihuly initiated contact through his sponsorship of Military Day at the Museum.

Since then, more than 1,500 soldiers and their families have enjoyed hands-on activities, glassblowing demonstrations and gallery experiences.

"These soldiers are the fastest learning students we've met," said Greg Owen, Hot Shop Heroes program coordinator. "Their focus and direction is very impressive."

The glassblowing program offers soldiers a number of benefits to include improved dexterity, fine motor coordination and core strength.

"The activity here is one of mindfulness and teamwork," explained Erin Carpenter, a recreational therapist with the WTB.

"The soldiers have to focus on one thing at a time, as they work together, much like they do in the military, to create something. They also leave with a sense of accomplishment."

As Carpenter talked, Spc. Jans Ruiz and Staff Sgt. Jose Munoz worked together to shape a piece of molten glass into a Popsicle.

As they turned and sniped away at the glass, they received encouragement from one of the museum's instructors.

"You guys are doing a great job," commented Rich Langley. "This is starting to look really good."

Nearby on a table, Ja'Dirah and Jo'Siah Howard drew pictures with the hope of seeing their drawings becoming pieces of art.

"This is a wonderful program for them and for me," commented their father, Master Sgt. Marvin Howard, a wounded warrior. "Just great."

>>> As Master Sgt. Marvin Howard watches, his children Ja'Dirah and Jo'Siah Howard draw pictures that may be created into glass art as part of the Museum of Glass' Hot Shop Heroes: Healing With Fire program. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

August 16, 2014 at 8:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Downtown Block Party, Music and Art in Wright Park, military parade, Doctor Sleep ...

The Downtown Block Party is all about family and friends. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

SATURDAY, AUG. 16 2014 >>>

1. The summer calendar is already cluttered with festivals and daylong events, so what's one more to cause you paroxysms of worry about how to manage your free time? And trust us, the Downtown Block Party will have you begging Siri to clear your weekend calendar. Primarily because it's about connectivity and community. Tacoma isn't big, and with a positive (albeit uniquely T-town) mindset it's easy to get channeled into all sorts of brilliant creativity and progressive momentum. Saturday, organized by Downtown Tacoma Neighbors and the nonprofit Local Life, the Downtown Block Party will engulf Opera Alley from 4 to 10 p.m. Expect a street full of arts activities, lots of goodness for the kids, music, life-sized Operation game, DJs, awesome demonstrations, wonderment and even a beer garden. It'll be the place to be - guaranteed.

2. Despite whatever other confusing ideas its, ahem, rather unfortunate name might bring forth, clogging is an underappreciated art form.  So come spread the love - as well as the funds - from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. as the Eclectic Cloggers join The Cottonwood Cutups, BarleyWine Revue, The Dodgy Mountain Men, The Clumsy Lovers and many other bands for a day of bluegrass and clogging at the Olalla Little League Field on Olalla Valley Road. The Olalla Bluegrass & Beyond Festival offers a full day's excitement, including a pie contest (difficult to judge with all that clogging going on) and old-time crafts demonstrations (traditional clog making, we imagine). So clog on down (sorry, sorry) and kick up your, er, never mind.

3. Music and Art in Wright Park is back with a musical line-up that will rock yours, your mom's and your kid's socks off. Mos Generator, Girl Trouble, Red Hex, Bandolier and Shotgun Kitchen are just a few of the 14 bands set to play this from noon to 7 p.m. in Tacoma's Wright Park. The family-friendly aspect of the event has expanded even more this year to include kids' activities involving music, and two of the bands have under-agers in them - the all-girl group Fist of Fire and Pig Snout. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on Music and Art in Wright Park in the Music and Culture section.

4. The second annual Celebrating Military Service Parade will be held in downtown Tacoma to honor military past and present. The parade, hosted by the Daffodil Festival, will launch at 6 p.m. from South 17th and Pacific Avenue and travel eight blocks. The parade will include several military bands, large military vehicles and, of course, servicemembers.

5. Olympia's Doctor Sleep is a glam-pop swirl of synths and chip-tune blips. There's a relaxed charm to the music of Doctor Sleep, even as electronic arpeggios whirl about. The vocals of Max Gorbman recall the cheesy excellence of Spandau Ballet, in the best possible way. Listening to Doctor Sleep can sometime inspire images of a tuxedoed crooner adrift in the dayglo-nightmare of Tron. Catch the band with Other Jesus and guests at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Saturday, Aug. 16 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 13, 2014 at 8:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Washington Curiosities, graffiti forum, Tea Time with The Cloves, Scott Cossu ...

If you think a giant coffee pot by the side of the road is odd, wait until you hear author Harriet Baskas go off on other Washington state weirdness.

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 13 2014 >>>

1. Washington state is home to such oddities as a giant coffee pot by the side of the road; a garbage-eating goat sculpture in Spokane; mysterious bumps in the landscape near Olympia called Mima Mounds; a replica of Stonehenge - Stonehenge! - in Maryhill. There's even a Menudo Festival in Granger! All of these oddities, and more, have been cataloged into Washington Curiosities by author Harriet Baskas. She'll be on hand at noon in the Washington State History Museum to tell more stories and sign copies of her book.

2. Tacoma's Mad Hat Tea Co. and local band The Cloves teamed up to create a special tea blend. Mad Hat's Tobin and Maureen made their own unique mix of black tea, cinnamon and cloves to spawn "Tea Time with The Cloves." The band will be playing an acoustic set at this favorite Tacoma hideaway on Commerce Street at 4:30. Come have a sip and celebrate this tasteful collaboration.

3. There's street art and then there's graffiti. One can be beautiful, creative and inspiring; the other can be destructive, ugly and a huge nuisance. But the dividing line is difficult to determine. For proof of that, at 4:30 p.m. head to downtown Tacoma's Post Office Building for a graffiti forum featuring representatives of Tacoma Police Department, BIA, Tacoma Arts Commission, Downtown Merchants Group, Fab 5 and the City's Graffiti Task Force. After the panel answers directed questions the floor will open for audience comment.

4. Northwest composer/pianist Scott Cossu has been erroneously slotted into the neo-classical new age section of the record store. Sure, his stuff is mellow, laid-back and relaxing, but Cossu pushes the musical boundaries further than Yanni or John Tesh ever did, would or could. In other words, he's uncategorizable as he flirts with everything from jazz, blues, world and classical. at 7:30 p.m., Cossu, accompanied by John Croarkin playing flute and harmonica, will present a variety of music styles including jazz, blues and his own compositions, which he has described as "heavy mental" and "cosmic national geographic" at the Olympia Timberland Library.

5. Maurice The Fish Records grabs Jazzbones' stage for its Wednesday Sessions series, this time featuring The Thrill, Dear Darkness, Breakaway Derringer at 8 p.m.

LINK: Wednesday, Aug. 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 10, 2014 at 8:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Ten Tiny Dances, Glenn Harrell benefit, Dayclub, Olympia Hardcore Fest ...

Tara Dyberg performs at "Ten Tiny Dances" inside Jazzbones in 2013. Photo courtesy of YouTube

SUNDAY, AUG. 10 2014 >>>

1. For those who haven't caught the buzz, Ten Tiny Dances is a stripped down format where 10 dance artists demonstrate astonishing inventiveness and variety on a 4-foot-by-4-foot stage - or about the size of a coffee table. Based out of Portland, the contemporary dance series has been adopted by many Northwest production companies, including Tacoma's MLKBallet. Ignoring the in-the-round, up-close theater experience and the fact it's held in a bar (Jazzbones), the coolest aspect of Ten Tiny Dances is the spatial constraint serves as a catalyst for creativity. Expect to see silly to serious improvised and rehearsed movement beginning at 6 p.m. Remember: heckling and betting will not be allowed. All proceeds benefit MLK Ballet's tuition-free dance training.

2. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watching condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

3. OHC: Olympia Hardcore Fest continues today from 2:30-4:30 p.m. at Bike N Bike and 7-10:30 p.m. at Northern. Hardcore punk bands Snob, Bone Sickness, Burial Suit, Bricklayer, Big Zit and others will rock the joints.

4. Friends of musician Glenn Harrell's are holding a benefit in his honor to assist with his current medical bills. Harrell is facing his biggest challenge ever. A live auction, raffle and music by Lady Carter and the Gents, James Coates, Steve Stefanowicz, Junkyard Jane and the Linda Myers Band will fill The Swiss Restaurant and Pub from 3-8 p.m.

5. Blues Redemption - Doug Skoog, Billy Barner, Joe Hendershot and Doug Kearney - will perform at The Spar's Sunday Night Blues series at 7 p.m.

LINK: Sunday, Aug. 10 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 9, 2014 at 7:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Brew Five Three, Native Arts Festival, Stadium Art and Wine Walk, That Coyote ...

Bring your posse to Broadway for the Brew Five Three beer festival today. Courtesy photo

SATURDAY, AUG. 9 2014 >>>

1. With the combination of local food vendors, blues bands and more than 30 Washington craft brewers, Brew Five Three is one not to miss. Back for a second year, the Broadway Center hosts this downtown Tacoma beer festival from 1-9 p.m. The $30 ticket includes 10 tasting tokens and a collectible pint glass, and additional tasting tokens can be purchased at the event. A designated driver ticket - which includes admission to the event, music and food vendors - is available for $10, as the music is kick ass. Read Pappi Swarner's New Beer Column for complete details.

2. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. the Washington State History Museum will host IN THE SPIRIT Contemporary Native Arts Market and Festival showcasing American Indian artists and artisans of the highest-caliber, many of whom live and work right here in the Pacific Northwest. See demonstrations of traditional artwork from the best Northwest native carvers, printmakers, weavers, sculptors and fiber artisans. The Festival on the museum's plaza will showcase high quality art, demonstrations, Native dancers, Native culture, Native American foods and musicians and storytellers. Not to be missed.

3. Starting at 4 p.m., the Stadium District Art & Wine Walk will celebrate its six-year anniversary. If you have walked the Walk before, then you'll all ready be there; if you have no idea what we're talking about, you might want to visit this colorful event. Technically, the entirety of Tacoma's Stadium District participates. Boutiques, restaurants, bars, bookstores, banks, accountants, salons, a pharmacy and many other businesses host artists and hang work just for that night. People stroll up and down Tacoma Avenue and St. Helens, discussing art and potholes. Of course, none of this would be as fun without alcohol! Wine and food samplings are offered by more than 30 participating businesses. A $35 ticket includes 10 wine tastes, savory hors d'ouvres and a commemorative wine glass that we're sure will end up on the shelf at Goodwill Industries next spring.

4. That Coyote describe themselves as hard rock, and while that's intermittently true, they devote a substantial amount of their time to exploring different moods and textures. At any place or time, That Coyote may land upon a catchy enough hook that it could make up its own alt-rock song, while later on in the song, they'll find themselves delving into ambient and hardcore music. In all, it comes across as a majestic way to explore music of a theme, while still coming across as interested explorers of sound. Catch the band with Dark Hip Falls, Wow, Laura and Speed Queen at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

5. Bruising lyrics about weird moons and whiskey friends and love and hate in places like Montesano and Oklahoma, the female vocals are a little Mazzy Star meets old country, with that wavering sexiness that sounds like power. Instrumentally, a little shake, shake, shake, some twang, lots of good melodies and some straight rock riffs as well, 10 Cents in Oklahoma is pretty damn groovy. Catch the band with AquaCulture and Horse Bodies at 9 p.m. in the 4th Ave Tavern.

LINK: Saturday, Aug. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

August 2, 2014 at 7:47am

5 Things To Do Today: DB Cooper Music Festival, Proctor Arts Festival, Olympia Brewfest, Heatwarmer ...

Vicci Martinez will perform her new single "Otra Cancion" and songs from The Voice at the DB Cooper Music Festival Aug. 2. Press photo

SATURDAY, AUG. 2 2014 >>>

1. On the afternoon of Nov. 24, 1971, Thanksgiving Eve, a man who identified himself as Dan Cooper (no middle B - that was a media error) boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, one-way, from Portland to Seattle. A guy could book a flight with sketchy ID in that pre-9/11 era. He could also smoke on the plane; "Cooper" did. He drank a bourbon cocktail and ordered another. Then he informed the flight crew there was a bomb in his briefcase. A few hours later, he vanished from the Boeing 727 with a parachute and $200,000. Neither he nor much of the money he stole was ever found. My point is twofold: first, Wikipedia is amazing. Second, why the hell not name an awesome music festival at the Southwest Washington Fairgrounds after a hijacker's misreported alias? We'll be there. So will Alice Stuart, The Brown Edition, Bump Kitchen, SweetKiss Momma, Curtis Salgado and Vicci Martinez from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. So should you, assuming you're 21 or older. Happy landings! Read Michael Swan's full feature on the 2014 DB Cooper Music Festival in the Music and Culture section.

2. Summer has put us in a serious doggie mood, which is why our ears are all perked up over the canine events at the Proctor Arts Festival. This is no snooty American Kennel Club affair, populated by overbred humans with overbred dogs sporting names like Major Buffington Blue Shropshire-Cronenberg; instead, it's an affair for pooches of even the murkiest pedigree, with judging in categories such as biggest ears, longest tail, best dressed, best kisser, fastest peanut butter eater and so on. In addition to the judging, there will be a doggie fashion show and Top Dog Parade, beginning at 10 a.m. Those not so into dogs, will enjoy other Proctor Arts Festival events such as the Bite of Proctor, juried art show, 160 art and crafts vendors, three stages of music and entertainment, a kids area with participation by the Metropolitan Park District, a farmers market and a merchants sidewalk sale.

3. The Olympia Brewfest returns to the scenic Port Plaza on the waterfront of Budd's Inlet's West Bay from 1-8:30 p.m. Eight brewery booths will butt up against Anthony's Homeport Restaurant, with another 16 facing the water by the Market Place Building and a tent by the amphitheater with 10 or so additional breweries. Marv's Marvulus BBQ, O'Blarney's Irish Pub, Lucky Eagle, Blend Café and other restaurants will serve food by the fence. DBST funkadelic rock band, Beyond The Fringe and Endangered Species will provide the drinking soundtrack on a stage close to the tower. Read the full story here.

4. The Asia Pacific Cultural Center together with the Seattle Asian Art Museum present the Korean Traditional Hanji Paper Fashion Show form 7-9 p.m. in the Museum of Glass. The Korean art of Hanji paper is a traditional art form that involves creating paper by harvesting trees and carefully weaving the finished material into a sculptural vessel. Audiences will be so inspired when they see the work of our featured Korean artist Dr. Jeon Yang-Bae, who has taken the Hanji paper art to a whole new level - to the world of fashion.

5. Mixing jazz elements with hyperactive synth-rock, Heatwarmer create unpredictable music that doesn't so much jostle with its time changes and flights of fancy so much as it fervently sprints to wring every little bit of inspiration possible out of a song. In doing so, they command the attention of their audience members, which - in my mind - was the ultimate goal with all of those bloated prog-rock explorations. Heatwarmer getting the same thing done in record time is a minor miracle. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Heatwarmer in the Music and Culture section, then catch the band with Convict, Guram Guram and Whelp at 8 p.m. in Northern.

LINK: Saturday, Aug. 2 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 28, 2014 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Irish history and storytelling, Bill Colby, flamenco, Podunk Funk ...

David McDonnell's book "ClanDonnell" will be discussed at King's Books tonight.

MONDAY, JULY 28 2014 >>>

1. Tacoma has a few Irish traditions. One of them is going to Doyle's Public House on St. Patrick's Day and being part of a party so huge that anyone can incidentally wander (stagger?) into St. Helens Avenue and block it like a giant amoeba without having to worry about being arrested or asked to please step aside. Hopefully, here's a new tradition. David McDonnell, author of ClanDonnell, the epic story of Ireland told through the lives of the McDonnell clan and their descendants, will discuss his family history at 7 p.m. in King's Books. Because the first McDonnells were mercenaries called to service in all corners of Ireland, the clan's history is intertwined with the history of the entire island. Immediately following the talk, the group will wander (not stagger) next door for storytelling at Doyle's.

2. A visit to Bill Colby's latest exhibition at The Gallery at Tacoma Community College is like a trip to the beach. The gallery is filled with - by my cursory count - 44 bright paintings dominated by clear blue water and clear blue sky complemented by rocks of bright orange. It's a feast for the eyes, restful and joyous. "The joy of nature is within all of us and in my art work," said Colby in his artist's statement. "'Water and Rocks' has been an evolving theme from 1956 to the present." Read Alec Clayton's full review of Bill Colby's "Water And Rocks: A Journey" in the Music and Culture section, then see the show from noon to 5 p.m.

3. A Most Wanted Man is a taut, tense spy thriller, a fitting swan song for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and a poignant reminder of why he was a most wanted man in Tinseltown. Read Jared Lovrak's review of the film here, then catch it at The Grand Cinema at 1:10, 3:45, 6:20 and 9 p.m.

4. Flamenco dancer and Seattle native Savannah Fuentes presents La Luna Nueva, a presentation of Spanish flamenco music and dance featuring special guest artist, direct from Spain, world renowned flamenco singer Jose Anillo in The New Frontier Lounge at 8 p.m.

5. Podunk Funk will combine elements of jazz, rock, Bluegrass, classical, fun, and many other influences to produce a "jazz-grass and psycho-grass" sound in Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia at 8 p.m. 

LINK: Monday, July 28 arts and entertainment event sin the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 23, 2014 at 7:42am

5 Things to Do Today: Kim Archer Band, Sunset Market, brewer's night, Tacoma Runners ...

The Kim Archer Band will perform at the Washington Center in downtown Olympia tonight.

WEDNESDAY, JULY 23 2014 >>>

1. With a timeless vocal delivery only matched by her engaging stage presence, Kim Archer and her band have been pleasing live music fans in our area since 2004. Archer's powerful voice a la Janis Joplin and Chaka Khan gelled nicely with the sonic buzz of the guitar and groove from the backbeat. Archer commands the stage playing her own original songs rooted in old school soul, funk and classic rock, sultry blues and ballads while remaining a master at giving choice cover tunes the "Kim Archer treatment, such as the crowd pleasure "Shaft." The 7 p.m. show has moved from Sylvester Park to the Washington Center due to the rain.

2. Moss + Mineral is an easy-to-overlook design store tucked away in a small space on Ninth Street near a bail bondsman in downtown Tacoma. They show art and photography by some of the area's best. Featured through July are works by Carlos Taylor-Swanson (fine woodworking); Claudia Riedener (ceramics); the design team ofAdrienne WicksandJeff Libby (fine woodworking); Holly Senn (sculpture) and Harriet McNamara (photography). Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Natural Spectacle: Art + eco-Furnishings in the Music & Culture section, then check it out at Moss + Mineral from noon to 5 p.m.

3. Farmers markets come in all sizes, shapes and vibes, but the atmosphere of the new Sunset Market is definitively about fun. Right off the bat, it turns the tables on the usual early-morning affairs we're used to by hosting its vendors in the evenings, from 3 to 7:30 p.m. - a Puyallup version of Tacoma's 6th Ave Farmers Market if you will. The Sunset Market focuses on local farmers, growers, processors, artisans, downtown merchants and food vendors accompanied by live entertainment, demonstrations and more. The farmers' party continues every Wednesday through Sept. 17.

4. Cooper Point Public House in Olympia will be hosting Hood River darlings Double Mountain from 6-9 p.m. Expect Kolsch-In Cologne, Homestead-Orange, Lil Red Pils and the newly-released Clusterf#ck. Remember when Cluster was the dominant hop in the U.S. brewing industry? Read up on Clusterf#ck here.

5. Forget light and low-carb beers. The Tacoma Runners have a better method for fighting fat: They run then drink beer. They're the classic drinking group with a running problem. The problem is, REI has called them out to double their running this week. Apparently REI has a new bitchin' truck they want to show off, so they called the Thursday running group and convinced them to gather for a special Wednesday night run and drink. No problem, the Tacoma Runners are in, and will meet at the Parkway Tavern at 6:30 p.m. for a 3-mile jaunt with their new REI buddies followed by craft beers back the Tacoma tavern. Tomorrow night's 3-mile run and beer outing will be at the Chalet Bowl in the Proctor District - same beer time.

LINK: Wednesday, July 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 21, 2014 at 1:56pm

Art-Pop Meets Film: Quasar Wut-Wut to perform live during Buster Keaton film

Quasar Wut-Wut / press photo

Every so often here at the Volcano, we receive a press release so goshdarn well-crafted that we're tempted to reprint it verbatim and call it a day. Matt Schwartz's email for an upcoming event featuring the band Quasar Wut-Wut is just such a document; but unfortunately for us, we also go through intermittent periods of semi-professionalism. We shall paraphrase Schwartz's missive accordingly.

You may be unfamiliar with Quasar Wut-Wut, a Motor City-born, Windy City-based quartet that classifies itself as experimental, post-punk, art pop. I have no earthly idea what those words mean when jumbled together, but I do like Quasar's music. In any case, you may be equally unschooled in the oeuvre of one Joseph "Buster" Keaton. Perhaps you think he was a character on Family Ties. Perhaps you're so young you don't remember Family Ties either, and are wondering who gave Grandpa the remote.

I'll start again.

I first became aware of Keaton's 1926 classic film The General when Roger Ebert credited it for elements of the thrillingly ridiculous mine-car sequence in Temple of Doom. No less an authority than Orson Welles called The General "the greatest comedy ever made, the greatest Civil War film ever made, and perhaps the greatest film ever made." Again, I don't know about all that, but The General is one of the most entertaining silent films you can find. Watching it, you realize that what you're seeing is the invention of the modern-day action film, using techniques and dynamics we're still awed by today. Not only did Keaton figure out how to inject raw testosterone into the movies, he also did all his own stunts. One wrong move, and Keaton would've gone down in history as "that old-timey director guy who smeared the bottom of a locomotive with his face."

The General does have one glaring omission, I'm afraid: sound, because the technology to add sound to flickering images was still in its crib. Try as he might, Keaton was unable to run screaming and yodeling into every cinema in the country, so instead, live pianists added an oft-improvised soundtrack. That's where Quasar Wut-Wut comes in. Back in 2004, they wrote their own surprisingly contemporary score for The General, a concept album they call Taro Sound. They'll be performing Taro Sound along with The General in support of a new album, Digesting Mirror. They also perform their own stunts, which include a bouncy, happy new single, "Dark Love."

It's exceptional music, played live for free at an equally free screening of an undeniably awesome movie. I mean, don't trust me - that fat guy who played Unicron said so! And hey, the Washington Center is Olympia's cultural temple, so you don't have to worry about some bee-hole behind you spilling half a gallon of soda on your head!

Yeah, take that, Matt Schwartz's press release.

QUASAR WUT-WUT, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 26, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, free admission, 360.753.8585

Filed under: Arts, Music, Screens, Olympia,

July 21, 2014 at 6:14am

5 Things To Do Today: Guitarist Abd.El.Kader, "Mining the Ego," Combo Cameleon, Rockaraoke ...

AEK performs tonight at The Swiss.

MONDAY, JULY 21 2014 >>>

1. Algerian blues guitarist Abd.El.Kader, or AEK, has created his own original blues style, SafarBlues, combining the sounds of North Africa and the West. AE discovered the guitar when he was 10. Very quickly he felt a passion for the blues, whose laments reminded him of the traditional songs of his country of origin. It was the beginning of the nineties that he crossed the path of famous bluesmen like Correy Harris, Luther Allison, Willie Kent and Amar Sundy. Sundy supported AEK, together they played at various festivals, jam sessions and Parisian clubs throughout France. It's from that collaboration with Amar Sundy that his SafarBlues was born, a mix between blues and African rhythms balanced on the strings of his guitar. AEK and his band revisit The Swiss for its Monday Night Blues series at 8 p.m.

2. "Mining the Ego" presents a selection of sculpture from Benjamin Entner's "Ego Sum" series, in which Entner draws himself in postures similar to that of Classical Greco-Roman and Renaissance sculpture. "Ego Sum" is a series of inflatable drawings that explore the boundaries and interplay between two- and three-dimensional methods of “making.” Specifically, the point at which a drawing can become form and an object can become a representation. Read Alec Clayton's review of the show here, then check it out from noon to 4 p.m. at the Minnaert Center.

3. Local comedian and host Eric Puddin Lorentzen hosts the "Monday Madness Comedy Night with Puddin" at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge. Expect 6-10 minute sets, each recorded. The audience will choose a winner, who will headline the following week. It was the great Bill Cosby who said, "Puddin, you can't be a comedian without him," or something.

4. Mike Lewis spent 25 years of his life playing trumpet in Polynesia. For the last 15 years, he has been working the tri-state New York area, fluent in jazz trumpet, lead trumpet and recording projects. Lewis recently moved to Olympia. At 8 p.m., he and Combo Caméléon - full of horns and percussion - will play Rhythm and Rye in downtown Olympia.

5. While there have been a few bars that have tried hosting karaoke nights with live bands, Jazzbones' Rockaraoke live band karaoke is one of the ones that's lasted. It can be fun as hell singing along with a live band. Expect $2 PBR drafts, $3 Sinfire shots and $4 Smirnoff flavor vodka bombs.

LINK: Monday, July 21 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Tacoma, Arts, Olympia,

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

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January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December