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Posts made in: January, 2011 (182) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 182

January 1, 2011 at 9:55am

6 Things to Do Today: Model Train Fest, "Joe's Diner," Death First, Molly Hamilton, Supernova holiday show and Best of Olympia 2011!

SATURDAY, JAN. 1, 2011 >>>

1. Today marks the last day of the Washington State History Museum's famed Model Train Festival.  Little bridges. Little trains. Little railroad crossings. And lots of potential fun for old people and little kids alike. Check it out while you still have time.

2. Today and tomorrow check out the South Sound's "first all star acting company" as they delve into the Christian Doyle creation and newborn area favorite, Joe's Diner Lakewood Playhouse. Doyle, the name behind The Outfit Theatre Company, promises with Joe's Diner an evening of slapstick, improv, zany situations and guest stars. OK -  we came up with the "zany" part, but you know we're right.

3. Check out Buckley's Death First and White Ward tonight at Northern in Olympia. Death First's affected vocals and snarling guitar histrionics sound native to the post-millennial FM rock era (shades of mid-career Queens of the Stone Age), and their shrieking choruses and oodles of cooing back-up vocals should make for a keen counterpoint to White Ward's sustained fervor.

4. Like many ex-Dear Records members, Molly Hamilton eventually fled Washington for New York. While there, she joined up with a psychedelic rock-leaning band called Widowspeak, which was a substantial departure from the somber, minimalist music she made in Tacoma. Today, Hamilton returns for a solo show at The New Frontier Lounge. It'll be interesting to see how the big city has affected her solo material.

5. Join C.F.A., 12 Gauge Saint and Bloodhunger tonight at Supernova Hair and Tattoo for an all-ages holiday show you'll definitely be bummed if you miss.

6. Vote for the Weekly Volcano's Best of Olympia 2011 issue right now. Go here and let your voice be heard!

January 1, 2011 at 10:07am

PETTY QUESTIONS: Out At the Pictures

PETTY QUESTIONS: A weekly local advice column about pet peeves and trivial matters by Owen Bates (not pictured).

LOCAL ADVICE ABOUT PET PEEVES AND TRIVIAL MATTERS >>>

Wow, we made it. Another year. The final Petty Questions until 2012.

2012?!?!?!

Just kidding. 2013.

In the last 24 hours I've seen three movies at The Grand: Black Swan, The King's Speech, and True Grit. Let me explain something – I like movies. Let me explain another thing – movies are sometimes the only things that make me feel whole. Also, my cat marked my laptop bag and I think I'm coming down with a cold, so I feel crummy. For Christmas my parents gave me a one-way ticket to nowhere.

One of these things is completely false. Can you guess the fake? Here's a hint: my parents did not give me a one-way ticket to "nowhere" for Xmas. It is a round-trip ticket, to Boston, and it was booked way before Christmas but not enough before to get a killer deal, just an OK deal with a connection in Chicago that got cancelled due to the snow and it's great to be back in the Emerald side of the Emerald state (you know what I'm talking about, folks.)

Coincidentally today's question is about the movies I heard.

QUESTION: I want to know why movie screenings are not more like catching a train? Because I hate people walking around a theater room when I am trying to get into the fucking zone for the feature presentation during the trailers. And when your ass is late to the station, you may have bought a ticket, but the doors are locked and train's done left without your tardy assed ass. – Cinemas Are Fun!

CAF, I thought I felt bad. You're in a pretty foul mood! (I don't feel that bad yet; it's mostly the anticipation of feeling worse that's like, come on.) Let's see what we can do for you here at the foul mood hospitalhouse. In order to do that I'll have to find the root of the problem, the origin of the trauma. I am going to deconstruct your mind.

"I want to know why movie screenings are not more like catching a train?" Here's what we can discern: you feel that movies are not shown but screened, perhaps because for you the presentation of a movie or a film is a big deal, an event, like the birth of a baby sister that makes all your parents attention go away. Moreover, the image of a train comes to your mind, a confusing symbol of both moving forward – progression – but in old times – regression. Classic Elektra complex. "?" seems to suggest that you don't even have a clue what's up, so that's pretty much what's up.

I'm bored with that so I'll just give you plain straight advice. Until you are allowed to murder and debase people on the basis of vigilante justice, I don't think there's going to be much you or anyone can do to deter people from entering the movie late. It's annoying I know (trust me, I KNOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Yes I know what you are talking about CAF and I cannot only sympathize but also empathize for I am angry too I know!!) What are we going to do, not let people in late by even a minute? It's fascistic and bad for business – "Gonna have to go ahead and give that idea two boos down," sign-languaged Roger Ebert, a critic.

What am I going to tell you to do? Here's what I'm going to tell you to do. Either sit all the way up front or all the way up back. I could have thought of that myself.

If you're in the front row those "assclowns," as you didn't call them, won't even be in your line of vision. Plus you'll be up close, in smooching distance of Natalie Portwoman. This may cause your eyes to hurt over time because of extreme light and eventually blindness---but whatever since you're getting into, as you did call it, "the fucking zone."

If you sit in the back then all the tardy boys will be small and look like stupid ants. You can crush them. Ants don't even factor into your existence (vis-à-vis their being stupid). Plus, if you're in the back you can see the whole screen easy! I stole that tip from Pauline Kael who is dead. Another tip of mine/hers: don't let the darkness consume you.

I bet you were expecting a story. Like, "your predicament reminds me of the time a made-up friend of mine went to boarding school with a pirate in the wilds of the Sahara." Well then, I've got news for you buddy: I ran out of stories and this will be a boring no-fantasy no-fun column now hahaha tricked you! Try unsubscribing your RSS feed now! It is very simple to do, try it. See? I'm gone.

(At this point I put a cloth over your head and then escape your bedroom at a normal walking pace.)

Ring ring hey, check out next week's column alright? It's going to be about telephones. Yes way!

Please direct questions to: askpettyquestions@gmail.com.

Hey! We're on Twitter!

Filed under: Petty Questions, Tacoma,

January 1, 2011 at 10:09am

Happy New Year!

LET'S DO THIS 2011 THING >>>

Ah, the sweet artificiality of the New Year - the reassurance of a clean calendar, of resolutions for self-improvement. And then you pick up the newspaper, and that pure artifice of the change of year, that vagarious demarcation of another arbitrary moment, is rendered meaningless by the inexorably continuing chains of events that know no boundaries defined by pages in a calendar. (Remember, the Chinese and the Jews have their own calendars, no less arbitrary, no more meaningful.)  It's no wonder revelers seem to work so hard trying to have a good time as the countdowns begin.

We here at the Weekly Volcano and Spew hope you had a nice holiday season and we wish you the best all year around.

January 2, 2011 at 9:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Get your Gruv on, last chance ZooLights, Urban Grace breakfast, Rich Wetzel and Tammy Faye & The Thrill Billies

Chris Savenetti spins at Gruv Lounge tonight.

SUNDAY, JAN. 2, 2011 >>>

1. Get your Sunday night dance on tonight at Gruv Lounge on Sixth Avenue. DJs Michael Sherman, Chris Savenetti and Bilori will be doing the spinning.

2. Today is your absolute last chance to check out ZooLights. Billed as the region's biggest walk-through light show, ZooLights includes animated light sculptures, live entertainment, snacks, animal encounters, and the Paul Titus Carousel. While enjoying your stroll, be thankful you're not in charge of this holiday light display.

3. Every Sunday morning from 8:30 - 9:30 a.m. Urban Grace Church serves breakfast to Tacoma's homeless and low-income population. Find you how you can get involved at urbangracetacoma.org.

4. Rich Wetzel, his horn, and his well-known Groovin' Higher Orchestra will tear into Stonegate Pizza twice today - at 5 and 9 p.m. Bonus: there's no cover.

5. Tammy Faye & The Thrill Billies will be at O'Callahan's Pub & Grill today at 4 p.m. For those playing at home, O'Callahan's Pub & Grill is in Lakebay, at the corner of 92nd and Key Peninsula Highway. O'Callahan's Pub & Grill also has some "award winning chowder," according to hype. Sadly, we know very little about Tammy Faye & The Thrill Billies other than that's the most awesome band name we've heard in the last three weeks.

January 3, 2011 at 5:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Trivia night, Senior University, "Mudbound" ...

Possible answer during tonight's trivia contest at the Harmon Tap Room: "My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel."

MONDAY, JAN. 3, 2011 >>>

1. The Harmon Tap Room hosts a trivia night from 6-8 p.m. with a whopping $50 cash prize for the winner. First hint: The name the 1973 ABC Afterschool Special that focused on a young boy's struggle to accept his parents' separation was called My Dad Lives in a Downtown Hotel. Second hint: Be sure to order their tasty seasonal IPA.

2. Neil Andersson is a landscape painter whose work has been shown all over the country. He's also a founding member of the jazz group Pearl Django. Andersson has his work hanging at the Rosewood Café in north Tacoma. Check it out, as well as enjoy one of their kick ass sandwiches.

3. You're never too old to learn about Cambodia! The Franke Tobey Jones retirement community hosts Senior University: Cambodia travelogue at 3 p.m. and learn about Molly Daugherty's experiences as a volunteer at an orphanage in rural Cambodia. Afghans not provided.

4. The Graham Pierce County Library's monthly Talk It Up! Book Discussion Group will meet at 3 p.m. to talk about the book Mudbound by Hillary Jordan - the story of racism and well-kept secrets set on a desolate farm in the Mississippi Delta at the end of World War II.

5. Ya ya ya - Rockaraoke at Jazzbones at 9 p.m. But have you actually gone? You'll be surprised at its awesomeness.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Subscribe to our music stories

January 3, 2011 at 10:28am

Crazy Shit I Found on the Internet

MOST PEOPLE LET THEIR CHILDHOOD DREAMS FADE; 30-YEAR-OLD MICHELLE STILL EMBRACES HER INNER TURTLE>>>

When I was a kid I wanted to be a Ninja Turtle too. We'd play at recess and fight over who got to be Donatello (because he had a giant stick). I'd always get stuck playing April (because I'm a girl and I have brown hair. Whatever.) and instead of getting to swing around a stick, I'd sit at the end of the slide with a fake giant typewriter.

Those days were fun, but I was five. This is the inspirational story of a full-grown-woman who took her childhood dreams into full-blown fruition. Turtles in a half shell, Turtle power.

Filed under: Video Hot Spot,

January 3, 2011 at 2:40pm

Stephlist job openings

Jason Barker

IT'S LIKE CRAIGSLIST, ONLY YOU WONT BE MURDERED >>>

You can find Jason Barker parked outside next to Doyle's Public House, in the parking lot.  No, he hasn't been 86'd (that I know of); he's trying to start up Community Produce - which, as it sounds, would be local produce distribution bringing food to the neighborhoods of Tacoma. I'll have full details of Barker's melon squeezing habits in this week's Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa, but if you love varieties from the fresh fruit and veggie species and are looking for a job, listen up:  Barker is looking for a few self-starters who would like to promote lower-cost fruit and vegetables, know a lil' bit about produce, can handle extreme weather, are punctual, and have great customer service. Give him a jingle.

I love whoring people out.

Jason Barker: 253.370.0157

Filed under: Community, Health, Food & Drink, Tacoma,

January 3, 2011 at 2:48pm

Movie Biz Buzz: 2011 and beyond

"The Social Network" kicked ass in 2010.

ANOTHER YEAR >>>

We had some times in 2010, you and I, times indeed. The nerds had their revenge this year for sure: We watched an ever-wimpy Michael Cera inexplicably annihilate his girlfriend's legion of almighty exes (epic!). We witnessed socially inept Jesse Eisenberg (Hollywood's "other" Michael Cera) build a web empire further downgrading face-to-face human interaction (like!). We even went toe-to-claw with predators alongside a chiseled Adrien Brody (mediocre!).

Yes, not every film we streamed, downloaded, bootlegged and, as a last resort, saw in a theater this year spelled "instant classic;" True Grit didn't fully live up to the hype, and I won't start on Jonah Hex. The industry has yet to reclaim the greatness of its golden age, which I have incontrovertibly traced back to 1999, a magical year that brought the world The Matrix, Fight Club, Blair Witch and others.

Oh yeah, I just said "Blair *expletive* Witch." What?

But it appears Tinseltown will stay the safe, predictable course in 2011. The adapted comic craze (or graphic novel, if you will, Lord Fancyknickers) still hasn't gone away, as evidenced by recent trailers for Green Hornet, Green Lantern, and *sigh* Thor. And Nick Cage still has to convince us of his action star credentials with next week's Season of the Witch, not to mention the forthcoming Drive Angry.

But maybe we'll get a few surprises thrown our way. Who knows?

Enjoy a new year of the same old same, cinephiles.

Youtube Pick: This clever mash-up actually makes the films of 2010 look cool and amazing.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Screens,

January 3, 2011 at 3:09pm

Above all else ...

WHAT I LOOK FOR, PART IV >>>

A professional theater critic should be the second critic to see the show, not the first, and he or she is much less important to the show's success or failure than the actual first critic: the director. Part of a director's job is to dissect his or her own show and find every last flaw, then correct it before anyone else ever sees it.

It's often said wise audience members wait till the last week of a show to see it, and that it's a shame theatre critics can't do the same. Horseshit. I can only review the show you show me, and every show should be 100 percent ready on opening night. That audience pays the same ticket price as any that follows. The problem with the old saw about "theatre magic" salvaging a show from chaos at the last possible second is it works, but only so well. Yes, actors' desperation to avoid public humiliation can slap leaky patches on a broken show, but imagine how much better that show would've been if it were sufficiently rehearsed. Determined acting can't fix incompetent directing, nor is it an actor's job to even try.

Other elements I enjoy in a show:

Guts, by which I mean courage; but a few steaming piles of viscera never hurt a good Jacobean slaughterfest either. Onstage nudity is incredibly brave, of course, but so is looking old or unattractive.

Poetry, delivered clearly and beautifully.

Lockstep platoons of chorus dancers.

Water effects--the refraction off a "swimming pool" surface, the skillful deployment of spinning gobos to simulate rainfall, the Tempest.

Credible child actors.

Choreographed swordfights and derring-do generally.

Actors who "cover" technical mishaps without missing a beat.

Sexy classics. It's incredibly difficult to make Shakespeare sexy, but Kenneth Branagh managed with Much Ado About Nothing. So can you.

Range. I cannot emphasize this enough. Olympia loves to stereotype its actors, and I understand why. It's easier and safer. But nothing makes me love an actor more than a brand-new, believable character. If, on the other hand, I get "sassy!" from certain actors one more time I will weep openly.

Stage kissing that looks like actual kissing. In a Meisner show, it should be actual kissing.

Urgency. Something in the story has to matter to its characters-both deeply and now.

Vulnerability. No human being is bulletproof, physically or emotionally.

What Brecht called "character gestus," a physical choice that reveals personality, motivation, and background.

Variations in tempo, adroitly orchestrated to heighten tension and impact.

Originality.

Wit.

The perfection of artful moments.

Creative spectacle.

And above all: Passion. Passion. PASSION! Without that, there's always something better on TV.


PREVIOUS "WHAT I LOOK FOR" POSTS

LINK: Script is king

LINK: Before the show

LINK: On with the show

Filed under: Arts, Community, Theater, Olympia,

January 4, 2011 at 7:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Barstool bingo, comedy, Elvis and more ...

TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2011 >>>

1. On weekends all the bartenders are in a bad mood because people are forgetting to tip them and throwing toilet paper around the bathroom. However, Tuesday is when a neighborhood bar wipes its brow and smiles. But it can take a little coaxing to get your fellow officey friends to come with you on a Tuesday. How to break them down? Bingo! Every Tuesday from 7-9 Mama Glo hosts barstool bingo at Gloria's Bar & Grill in Tacoma. It's Glorious.

2. Tim Hall will host an open jam at the Summit Pub in Puyallup tonight. If a Tuesday night open jam at the Summit Pub doesn't scream for some top-notch blues - the kind Hall is known to provide - we don't know what does.

3. Be honest. The holidays didn't go well for you. Shake off some of that anger tonight at Jazzbones during Ha Ha Tuesday - as always, hosted by Ralph Porter. Tonight's headliner is Brett J, and also features comic Ash-Ley Deon. DJ Omar spins after the show.

4. Elvis' annual birthday celebration is just around the corner. You can just smell those peanut butter and friend banana sandwiches, can't you? Warm you Elvis-loving ass up with Danny Vernon's Illusions Of Elvis show at 6:30 p.m. inside the Red wind Casino.

5. How are you doing with those two turntables and a microphone you scored for Christmas? Ready for the bing time? While your name – DJ Scratch-n-Sniff might not knock anyone over, your DJ skills might. Test them out tonight during Gruv Lounge's Open Deck Night beginning at 8 p.m.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Be the first to know when we post theater reviews

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