The Grand Cinema had a grand weekend indeed, with back-to-back sold out shows of its inaugural Grindhouse Theater horror film series.
On tap for both nights was a screening of a 33 mm version of "Evil Dead," a cult classic horror movie that has all the makings of gory wonderfulness.
Ghouls and gals traveled from as far away as Portland, Aberdeen and Bellingham for the screenings as well as participate in the raffle.
The monthly series will continue Aug. 24-24, with a rare screening of a 35mm print version of Lamberto Bava's 1985 classic, "Demons," an Italian gore fest about demonic hell let loose on an unlucky audience in a old movie theater.
A special treat both nights will include a Skype conversation with actress Geretta Rosemary, who will talk about the movie and all things gross.
September's offering will be the zombie classic, "The Return of the Living Dead," just in time for the Tacoma Zombie Festerval and Preparedness Expo 2012.
The Grindhouse after party was held at Puget Sound Pizza, which dished up "Pizzanomicon," an evil smiley face plate of pizza awesomeness.
Louiefest 2012 kicked off Friday night at the Pantages Theater with an epic show of old-school rock and roll, courtesy of Tacoma's legendary band "The Sonics," with "Stars of Bombay" and "Dead Man" getting the mixed-ages crowd warmed up with some driving beats and wicked guitar licks.
The lesson learned at that concert was simple. Gray haired folks can rock harder than younger folks, although the young pups on the stage, Stars of Bombay, brought their A game much to the delight of the aging rockers in the cheap seats. This is a band to watch with is mix of classic rock jams and modern edge, albeit in straight-from-Liverpool attire.
Of course, the "Sonics Guy" was there waving his freak flag to get the area an NBA basketball team.
Photography by Winter Teems
Photography by Winter Teems
Photos with Uncle Sam
At Jazzbones, July 26, 2012
Booking a last minute weekday show can be a crap shoot when it comes audiences, or lack thereof. Tacoma's Halcion Halo came up short on that front at its gig Wednesday night at Jazzbones when it opened for Spokane-based Van Marter Project. The throngs of people, ok maybe a dozen rockers, came out for the free show, but that just means the rest of Tacoma missed out on a great show of hard-driving local rock, which played more like a jam among friends. Fans can expect another Halcion CD in a few months and a few gigs around Puget Sound through the summer.
This year's Art on the Ave provided a perfect mix of music and art and weather that neither rained or baked the asphalt. There were young bands and old bands, face painting and ice cream, beer gardens and wine tastings as well as henna and all things WTF at Poison Apple's booth. And of course, there was the Sonics Guy waving his flag and flashing is colors.
South Sound musicians held a proper wake for the Mandolin Cafe at the Tacoma music and sandwich shop's last open mic on Sunday.
A who's who of Tacoma's music scene was there to say fairwell to the place that gave most of them their first time at a live microphone that wasn't located in their garages.
In just the first hour of performances, more than 30 musicians has added their names to the play list, and the night grew from there as seats filled up and standing room was even at a premium.
Denny Foreman, the open mic emcee for the last year and a half, was nostalgic throughout the night.
"There have been a lot of really good musicians come through here," he said. "Hopefully, we can all stay connected."
The set list included the likes of KC. Brakes, Rafael Tranquilino, Gina Belliveau and Jeff Ross, who did a folk version of Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby" that was surprisingly cool.
The eighth annual Urban Art Festival 2012 came and went last weekend, celebrating all things Tacoma June 30-July 1 along Thea Foss Waterway. On tap, along with brews at the beer garden, were art stands, mini storefronts and music. Lots and lots of music that included a hip hop stage, an arcade courtesy of Dorky's and a main stage that offered musical acts from Purdy Spit and the Foxhole Whores as well as a roster of other local bands playing along the waterway. Another attraction was the BMX ramp that rocketed bike riders well into the air as viewers awed.
Hell's Kitchen, the heavy metal Meccah of Tacoma is no longer. The club shut its doors after 10 years of ear-bleeding music and PBR. Its move from Sixth Avenue to Pacific Avenue three years ago proved too costly with needed repairs to the plumbing and other expenses. The down economy didn't help much either. The last official bash on Saturday kicked off with the Cottomwood Cutups. The Hardcount, Psycho78 and White Trash Whiplash on the playbill.
DJ Melodica (John A Hodgson) went loud and proud with his latest installment of disc spinning at his landmark Monday night offerings at Magoo's Annex. On the turn table was a heavy dose of all things classic punk rock, known and unknown. Guest DJ John Purkey brought his own selection of 80s and 90s imports to flesh out the night of teen angst from days gone by. Also on the dock was Snak Pak, a grimy punk, almost beach punk quartet from the 253. Toss in some $3 beers, $2 hot dogs, no cover and lots and lots of black clothing. Oh yeah, and there was a paper airplane battle in the front row.
Tacoma's veteran singer-songwriter Jeanlizabeth turned Jazzbones into her private living room for a CD release party turned jam session Wednesday night that included sets from up-and-comers KC Brakes Music and The Cottonwood Cutups.
Bumblebees marks her third album and was an effort that took four years to make.
The CD packs eight original songs with her on vocals, guitar and percussion by Jeanlizabeth, with lead guitar and dobro by the local legend Evan Purcell, winner of the Weekly Volcano's People's Choice Award for Best Male Singer/Songwriter 2009 and Best Guitarist 2010. While the first album with a full band, the CD still has her signature sound and understated lyrics.
Mark Eckert steps in on the pedal steel and bassman cred goes to Peter Jansen and Maria Joyner works the drums.
Engineering and production by Ken Levy.
While the night showcase the new works, a few oldies crept into the mix for good measure. KC Brakes, of course, brought the sauce with his covers and original works while Cottonwood Cutups spanked the stage like a Parkland momma finding her children with a mouthful of cookies. The rockabilly jams on standup bass and mandolin about whiskey and hangovers rounded out the night.
For more information visit www.jeanlizabeth.com
Meconi's Pub and Eatery is the trivia church Wednesday nights with The Rev. Colin at the pulpit. Services begin at 8 p.m. and the wine isn't served in a Communal cup while the Bread of Life might be in the form of a steak taco. But the sermons always seem to get parishioners taking the lord's name in vain. Through the series of seven rounds of nine questions each, more than a fair share of "God Damn it, Colin" echoes through the bar. Rev. Colin spends about six hours a week developing questions the way a priest tolls over an Easter sermon, but a bit of the time involves coming up with odd categories that range from "brought to you by the letter S" and "killing two birds with one piece of sh**," all in an effort to add creative frameworks that could all get lumped into "random crap Colin knows." The hit round from last week was "accepted or denied vanity license plates." Don't even ask what some people wanted labeling their cars, but also why some were rejected and others weren't. Good times, good times.
Antique Sandwich Co.'s open mic each Tuesday night is brought to Tacoma by the fine folks at Victory Music. You can thank them the next time you stop by, and you should stop by. The sign up sheet offers some closet rock stars and up and coming musicians, working their acoustic set. But it also has old hands with decades of strumming and key tickling behind them, providing for a solid roster of blues, jazz, originals and some odd ball selections. Have a sammich and a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy.
Karaoke watchers are now on alert that Linsey Brooke is doing her thing at Cheers West in University Place Mondays and Tuesdays and at O'Malley's in Tacoma on Wednesday. The news prompted a quick swing by the University Place Tuesday for an update on the world of closet rock stars in the making. The feature that is sorta cool is that the song books are gone. They have been replaced by cell phone apps that people can use to select their songs from the clouds and get into the rotation without leaving their bar stools. Thanks Steve Jobs. An iPad is also available for self-proclaimed songsters to use if they still use their cells for calls and stuff.
But the night brought more than whisky inspired-ballads of love and lose for the light 20s to 40s crowd of suburbanites. A gaggle of slackers racked some balls like the table owed them money.
Drink specials were beer buckets for $8 to $10 and $2 tacos.
Bottled beer, gut bomb tacos and drunk singing. A good night was had by all.
Priceless cars and a simple but elegant LeMay America's Car Museum set the mood for one of Columbia Bank's Blue Couch tapings Sunday, April 15. Photography by J.M. Simpson
The Tacoma music community turned out in droves Sunday, April 1 to the aid of longtime music scene supporter and friend Dave Graham, who is battling Stage 4 Melanoma. Hosted by The Swiss, the benefit featured sets James Hilborne and the Painkillers, Snak Pak, Bandolier, Mr. Blackwatch and China Davis. Interspersed amongst the dayÃ?Â¢??s activities were raffles of prizes from a huge assortment of Tacoma donors.
Derailed, like many things, by snowmaggedon 2012, the Dockyard Derby Dames roller derby league officially kicked off season six Saturday, March 31 inside the Pierce College Health Ed Center in Lakewood. Weekly Volcano columnist Steph DeRosa was on the scene.
After three weeks of voting the Weekly Volcano readers have picked the most popular breakfast in the South Sound.
The Tournament of Breakfast Championship match pitted the Moon Rise Cafe in Lakewood against the new kid on the block, Dirty Oscar's Annex in Tacoma.
April 2's championship battle saw the most online voting before dinnertime (5 p.m.) of the tournament, topping out at just over 7,000 votes. The Moon Rise Cafe had a commanding lead by the time the voting switched to the live ballot voting at 6 p.m. during the Tournament of Breakfast Party inside Meconi's Tacoma Pub and Eatery in downtown Tacoma. At the party, folks filled out breakfast voting/raffle ballots when they weren't tossing back $5 martinis and screaming at the NCAA Men's Championship hoop game on the tube.
At halftime of the basketball game, Pappi Swarner jumped behind the mic, grabbed the house PA, and gave away six or so raffle prizes, most to the lucky employees of Dirty Oscar's Annex.
The Weekly Volcano staff quickly downed their drinks and tallied the ballots. After combining the ballots with its 77 percent vote lead accumulated online, the winner of the 2012 Tournament of Breakfast was announced:
Moon Rise Cafe.
Photography by Winter Teems