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Laugh on

Stage

Laugh on

Comic talents come and go -- some more deservedly than others -- but no performer in our time has earned more enduring success than the legendary Lily Tomlin. Born in Detroit, Mary Jean Tomlin spent her 20s acting and doing standup off-Broadway. She performed under a variation on her mother's

El Camino

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El Camino

The current map of Europe is a relatively recent development in that continent's rich history. Spain, for example, wasn't united until 1833. Before that, the region was a collection of kingdoms, counties and dependencies. Andalusia, for example, spanned the southern coast, while kingdoms to the north included (from east to

Jay Chandrasekhar, super trouper

Stage

Jay Chandrasekhar, super trouper

Comic multi-talent Jay Chandrasekhar is a man of three divine names. His last name, pronounced "Chan-drah-SAY-kahr," is Sanskrit for "Moon Crown" and was an incarnation of Shiva the destroyer. His first name is an abbreviation for Jayanth, Tamil for "victorious." But the real standout is his middle name, Jambulingam, Tamil

The horned king

Music

The horned king

He didn't know it yet, but young Kenneth Gorelick was destined for greatness and international fame. He was born in 1956 in Seward Park, a largely Jewish community in Seattle. As a child, he took up golf and the alto saxophone but seemed more gifted at the former than the

All aboard the Polar Express!

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All aboard the Polar Express!

Few literary works from 1985 can be justifiably dubbed modern classics, but The Polar Express may be an exception to that principle. We know parents who read it to their families every Christmas Eve, reminding them that even kids who've begun to doubt the existence and demi-divine powers of jolly

The conqueror nerd

Stage

The conqueror nerd

One would be hard-pressed to name a guy who looks more like what he is than Brian Posehn. If you live in the Venn-diagram intersection space where folks who love both standup comedy and genre-geek culture reside, then you know the stereotypical appearance of your tribe. Balding on top but

Battle of the Bands

Music

Battle of the Bands

Inspired by American blues and rock of the 1950s, British musicians of the early 1960s developed hybrid styles called skiffle (an amateur form of jazz personified by singer Lonnie Donegan) and Merseybeat (a Liverpool movement that hit all four beats of common time on the snare drum equally). The first

A musical masquerade

Music

A musical masquerade

Halloween is a time of putting on costumes that represent wilder, more striking versions of ourselves, so it makes sense it'd also be a time for cover bands to shine. Each year since 2003, Olympia Film Society has devoted its Capitol Theater to a late-October program of local musicians donning

Tacoma Arts Month

Arts

Tacoma Arts Month

Olympia, with just shy of 50,000 citizens, will spend this weekend enjoying its biannual, downtown celebration, Arts Walk. With over four times as many residents, Tacoma needs more. That's why October is Tacoma Arts Month -- but even that's not enough. The 16th annual festival stretches over six weeks, from

Portrait of a rock survivor

Music

Portrait of a rock survivor

The band Great White all but invented the word "supergroup," which is remarkable given the fact that it only charted once in the U.S. That single, of course, was "Once Bitten, Twice Shy," baby, which hit #5 on Billboard and dominated the airwaves in 1989. Even that song was a

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Recent Blog Posts

Army West Blog

Beer week in Tacoma

"He was a wise man who invented beer," opined Plato, and Tacoma agrees. Beer's been Earth's favorite alcoholic beverage since its invention over 11,000 years ago. The ancient Sumerians wrote prayers to Ninkasi, their goddess of beer. In some Bible translations, Proverbs 31:6 recommends beer as a deathbed medication. We

Walkie Talkie Blog

Growing people: On the job at L'Arche Farm & Gardens

I'm not going to lie: I was underwhelmed when I first glanced at a press release from L'Arche Farm & Gardens. That wasn't L'Arche's fault. It's because I know next to nothing about farming and/or gardening. What little time I've spent near either farms or gardens was in my teenage

Walkie Talkie Blog

Nerd Alert issued for Star Wars trailer, Wayzgoose, summer movies ...

Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak. It seems this good thing

Walkie Talkie Blog

Cinema paradiso: The Grand Cinema reaches voting age

When I was a kid in L.A., most walk-in cinemas looked like The Grand Cinema. I remember my parents dropping me off and leaving me in a theater for hours-no helicopter parenting for me - as I watched a double feature or, often, the same movie twice in a row.

Walkie Talkie Blog

Keeping Freddie alive: One Night of Queen is a kind of magic

"Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die I can fly, my friends..." - Queen (from Innuendo, 1991) The great Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Tanzania (then the Sultanate of Zanzibar) and was raised Zoroastrian near Mumbai. At age 24, he joined guitarist Brian May and

Walkie Talkie Blog

Nerd Alert issued for Game of Thrones, Ex Machina, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot ...

Struggling through the Voight-Kampff test, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak. THURSDAY, APRIL 9 Louie, one of TV's best and

Walkie Talkie Blog

Gray Sky Blues Music Festival have programmed a full day of blues

I want to open this blog entry by doing something I almost never do in my efforts for The Weekly Volcano: admit ignorance. One of the guiding principles of journalism, meaning whatever pallid version of it we attempt here, is a writer must do his or her research, then act

Walkie Talkie Blog

Nerd Alert has been issued for Emerald City Comicon, Rock Candy Burlesque, Scientology, "Interstellar" ...

Pouring one out for Xenu in his electronic mountain trap, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.   FRIDAY, MARCH 27 Sadly,

Served blog

Why Adam? Why Odd Otter beer? Here's why: rally behind Team Knowing Stuff

The Tokamak Fusion Test Reactor in New Jersey once reached a temperature of 920 million degrees Fahrenheit. Hawaii gets four inches closer to Japan every year. Ants never sleep, and a decapitated cockroach can live for weeks. The cracks in breaking glass spread at up to 3,000 miles an hour.

Walkie Talkie Blog

Getting Doug With Tacoma: Doug Benson is your comedy friend

"Did you know that in your lifetime, you are more likely to get attacked by a domesticated pig than by a shark?" Doug Benson inquires. "That is a true statistic, especially if you have a tendency to swim in pig-infested waters." Silly? Yes. Funny? Also yes. San Diegan Doug Benson has

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Oscar night parties in the South Sound

Forgive me if I've mentioned this, oh, about a squillion times, but I used to live and work in Hollywood. Most movie and TV studios, in fact, moved to quieter parts of Los Angeles and beyond years ago, but the tiny, tourist-packed neighborhood of Hollywood remains a frequent shooting location

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