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Controversy turns 'Golden'

“The Golden Compass” is a darker, deeper fantasy epic than the “Rings” trilogy, “The Chronicles of Narnia” or the Potter films. It springs from the same British world of quasi-philosophical magic, but creates more complex villains and poses more intriguing questions. As a visual experience, it is superb. As an

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Awake

Do not believe anything you hear about "Awake," do not talk to anyone about it, and above all do not even GLANCE at the poster or ads, which criminally reveal a crucial plot twist. This movie, which was withheld from critics and has scored a pitiful 13 percent on the

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Velella Velella

The Northwest has never exactly had a funk scene; our bleak and bitter winters aren’t exactly conducive to music that really grooves. For a band to take that road is a commitment to a genre wrought with kitsch, almost guaranteeing that they’ll be playing to a niche, but Seattle’s Velella

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Powerful singer/songwriter

In case there were any doubts, Bobble Tiki is not a lesbian, and he’s not bi-sexual. Bobble Tiki doesn’t claim to know a lot about himself, but if there’s one thing he feels like he has a grasp on it’s his sexual preference. Sure, there was that one time in

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Seeing Red

Quick, how many Grammy nominated bands are playing Maggie O’Toole’s this week? If you said “None, Matt Driscoll is obviously high,” you’re only half right. As it turns out, Red, a Nashville-based alternative Christian band, does have a Grammy nomination under their God-fearing belt. And they’ll be plugging in at Maggie’s this

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Oh Voices

It’s not easy to be happy. It might surprise you to know that making cheerful music that doesn’t sound cheesy is a challenge for many musicians. When I hear a band that is making happy music that doesn’t involve lyrics about getting wasted or carving initials in leather seats, I

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Original Booty Burglars

If the Original Booty Burglars are one thing, it’s, well, original. They’re original and ridiculously entertaining. It’s not quantum physics. It’s rock and roll. The Original Booty Burglars know how to take control of a stage and know how to mesmerize a crowd. The first time I saw the Booty

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Failing Winter, Empire Brass and others

Friday, Dec. 7 CLASSICAL the empire brass Tuba players are always getting the shaft. Their instrument can weigh almost 30 pounds, they rarely get to play a song’s melody, and they can’t help but sound like a sea lion with too much fiber in its diet. But The Empire Brass Holiday Pop

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Java Fusion Coffee House and Deli

Java Fusion Coffee House and Deli opened a little over a year ago on Sixth Avenue near the Narrows Bridges in the west end of Tacoma. Owned by Tacoma natives Marguerite Yoshino and family, the coffee house imparts a warm and welcoming vibe not only projected by charming employees, but

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Bubbles From Around The World

Thursday, Dec. 6: Bubbles From Around The World, 5:30-8:30 p.m., complimentary, Pour At Four, 3814 N. 26th St., Tacoma, 253.761.8015. Friday, Dec. 7-Saturday, Dec. 8: Smorgasbord of Wine & Port, 6-10 p.m., $5, Pairings Fine Wine & Bar, 3012 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.274.9463. Saturdays: Wine tasting, 2-5 p.m., Wine Bank, 7017 27th

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Good barbecue

Good barbecue — like some other good things in life — can’t be hurried. It’s a sloooooow process. We’re not talking about grilling, or backyard barbecues. We’re talking about the art of cooking meats and poultry over low, slow heat. The following know what they’re doing: HONEY BEE BBQ: The

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Go big this season

We’re well into the feasting season. Still, for many of us, Thanksgiving dinner was the last serious sit-down meal for a while. With only the slightest effort, most of us can manage to survive from now until New Year’s Day on nothing but mini crab cakes, smoked salmon, artichoke dip,

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The Ruston Inn's Stoli Elit

So I find myself at the Ruston Inn, yet again. Oh, boy. The 12 or 15 loud talkers on a recent Thursday, all in their 40s and 50s, wearing NASCAR jackets, flannel shirts and hockey jerseys. It’s gonna be another fun night indeed. Over in the corner is the eldest: A

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Trip The Light Fantastic

Turning on the radio can be a fairly depressing proposition. There was a time when stations on the FM dial had integrity, but those days are long gone. With the obvious exception of KEXP, chances are anything you tune in on the car radio is going to suck hardcore, and

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BuyOlympia for shirts

In July 1999 some were worrying about Y2K and the end of days, but Pat Castaldo and Aaron Tuller, two young veterans of the Northwest music scene, were hatching a plan to create a Web site to sell artwork by their friends in bands. Not the music, the visual artwork

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I hope I have seen our future

Hey Tacoma, I have seen the light, and this bright beacon of hope illuminated it’s way into my heart when I least expected it. This past weekend I was fortunate enough to accompany the husband to his company Christmas party, and in all places, Spokane. Yes, you heard me, Spokane.

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Dickens Festival, glass sale and more

THE FILM I’ll hang her up! The Associated Ministries hosts a screening of “It’s a Wonderful Life” tonight at the Blue Mouse Theatre to benefit the Family Emergency Fund. Yeah! Wonderful, yes, but remember that Frank Capra’s postwar holiday classic is about a guy who, for much of the film, is on a

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Sparkles style

You’ve seen him around, without a doubt — spinning every Thursday night at The Monsoon Room, or maybe behind the drum kit at The Scuzztones show, or possibly at The Spar in Old Town Tacoma — looking all Keith Moon-ish. He’s DJ Jimmy Sparkles, and he’s one cool cat. The

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Juniper Drive

Born and bred in Tacoma, Lindsay Hartwell of Juniper Drive has been creating jewelry and other designs on and off for 14 years. “I don’t know if I have one style,” explains Hartwell. “It’s eclectic or artsy — definitely folk art. Each piece is a unique style in and of

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The Buzz and the Bazaar

The Buzz While the Internet is a fantastic way to try out new music, I still relish getting in my car and driving to a real store where I interact with live people. I’ve been listening to My Chemical Romance songs, both old and new, on the band’s Web site for

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