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Posts made in: February, 2012 (150) Currently Viewing: 1 - 10 of 150

February 1, 2012 at 7:19am

MORNING SPEW: Firefighters stay, Don Cornelius shot dead, "Mad Men" fashion predictions ...

Unidentified not-so-flying rust / Image credit: night86mare

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

Your House Is Safe: Tacoma City Council accepted $1.6M in concessions to avoid firefighter layoffs. (News Tribune)

It Should Pass: The state Senate will vote today on gay marriage bill. (News Tribune)

Aftermath: Romney on a roll, Gingrich undeterred. (CNN)

Coroner: "Soul Train" founder dead of gunshot wound. (CNN)

Science!: Researchers have demonstrated a striking method to reconstruct words, based on the brain waves of patients thinking of those words. (BBC)

Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha: The band Survivor is suing Newt Gingrich for using "Eye of the Tiger" at rallies. (Rolling Stone)

If You Go All Darth Maul On A Toy Store ...: You'll go to jail. (Blastr)

Groovy: Mad Men season 5 fashions. (The Sew Weekly)

Surreal Photos: Taiwan's abandoned UFO-style homes. (Flavorwire)

Let An Educational Palette Of Primary Hues Wash Over You

February 1, 2012 at 7:45am

5 Things To Do Today: Ladies Night, Mark Hoppmann, Bob Marley Fest, Philthy Rich ...

DJ Sc spins tonight at the Tempest Lounge. Photo credit: Steve Dunkelberger

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 1, 2012 >>>

1. The good news is that ladies' night is no longer the sole domain of cheesy bronzed-and-bleached venues - it has infiltrated every corner of the South Sound and you can now sip discounted highballs and wine almost every night of the week. However, not all ladies' nights are created equal. At the Tempest Lounge, ladies are treated very well - thanks to bartender Larry. The friendly chap tags happy hour prices on drinks for the ladies, beginning at 7 p.m. At the other end of this hip bar, DJ Sc works his laptop and mixer stocked with old school soul ballads and new school pop.

2. Tacoma artist Mark Hoppmann's show Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crows: The Art of Mark Hoppmann opens today at the Collins Library on the University of Puget Sound campus. Inspired, (albeit) loosely by the borders and motifs found in The Book of Kells, The Madness of Crows also uses elaborate border motifs and random bits in addition to the main illustrations. The library is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

3. Ready to trip out today? The Chemical Brothers: Don't Think - considered to be one of the most mind-bendingly psychedelic live shows ever seen - was caught on film and screens at 7:30 p.m. at the Capital Mall 14 in Olympia.

4. Midwest reggae rockers Jon Wayne and The Pain join Live Wyya, Mighty High and Stay Grounded for the Bob Marley Fest at 8 p.m. inside Jazzbones.

5. Hell's Kitchen hosts a 9 p.m. rap show featuring  Philthy Rich, Rydah J Klyde, Meezilini, I-Rocc, Smigg Dirtee, Conceit and Two Against Critics.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Local happy hours

February 1, 2012 at 11:07am

Person, Place or Thing with Steph DeRosa: Best Pizza Ever

The Cloverleaf slices a delicious pizza. Photo credit: Patrick Snapp

THING: Best pizza ever

Historically: Speaking

Place: The Cloverleaf World Famous Pizza

Most popular pizza: Monster

Number of Monster pizzas sold: 9,398

Total number of pizzas sold: 74,679

Every crust: Handmade fresh daily

Only one thing could keep me away from The Cloverleaf prior to 2004, and that was the smoke. I couldn't afford awesome pizza and shiny quarters for the laundry machines. I hated the way we all smelled after exiting a wonderful night at The Cloverleaf.

Thankfully, The Cloverleaf's new owner as of 2004, Debbie Manke, had the balls to take a customer poll - then backing it up by becoming a completely non-smoking establishment when her customers responded.

Read my conversation with Manke here.

February 1, 2012 at 5:03pm

Two nights of Trasholes in Tacoma

The Trasholes / Photo credit: Facebook

FUTURE THINGS ARE COMING >>>

I've tried to make it a point, when writing about local music, to avoid talking about the ages of the members of the bands I highlight. But I must impress upon you how young the members that make up Gig Harbor garage two-piece Trasholes are, if only to make it abundantly clear to you just how much they have their shit together. Both members are in their mid-to-early teens, and their music is more sophisticated and weird than you could ever expect. Lead singer and guitarist Ian Call's voice rides that line between adolescence and adulthood, which only makes each voice crack sound that much more punk rock.

It's exciting to see another young band following the lead of other shit-kicking acts like the defunct Freakouts and Durango 95.

[Backstage Bar and Grill, with Kid Congo & The Pink Monkey Birds, Girl Trouble, Red Hex, Thursday, Feb. 2, 7 p.m., all ages, $7, 6409 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.564.0149]

[Tahoma Tea and Co., with the Fun Police, Secret Wives, Yahtzee, Saturday, Feb. 4, 7 p.m., no cover, 1932 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.572.2477]

February 1, 2012 at 8:23pm

State Senate votes 28-21 to legalize gay marriage

THIS JUST IN >>>

Washington United for Marriage just sent word the state Senate approved legislation legalizing same-sex marriage 28-21 on bipartisan vote:

OLYMPIA - Washington United for Marriage, a broad statewide coalition of organizations, congregations, unions and business associations that will work to obtain civil marriage for lesbian and gay couples in Washington State in 2012, today cheered the Washington State Senate's vote in favor of legalizing same-sex marriage legislation in Washington State.  The measure passed by a bipartisan vote of 28-21, with 23 Democrats and four Republicans joining together to advance the bill. 

Read more...

Filed under: Olympia, Gay Rights, Politics,

February 2, 2012 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Jeremy Gregory hug, bluegrass jam, "200 Pound Beauty," Beat Fetish! ...

Meet Jeremy Gregory ??" and maybe have your teeth cleaned - tonight at Brooks Dental Studio.

THURSDAY, FEB. 2, 2012 >>>

1. Tacoma figurative painter and editorial cartoonist Jeremy Gregory has taken his dark sense of humor to the world of puppetry. We don't need to tell you that since you recognized his talent on the Halloween and Christmas covers of the Weekly Volcano. Gregory will showcase his original puppets made from repurposed materials from 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the artist reception of his Tiny Circles show at Brooks Dental Studio at 732 Broadway in downtown Tacoma.

2. Bluegrass music was born in the '40s from the fast fingers of mandolin player Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys, and from there quickly took its place as a cornerstone of American music. As an offshoot of country, it's often associated with the South, but Tacomans who love the twang of the banjo or tight climb of the mandolin need look no further than the next three days at the Mandolin Cafe. The neighborhood gathering spot will host the Rhythm and Roots Weekend kicking off with a good ol' fashion bluegrass jam tonight from 6-8 p.m. Friday and Saturday nights are loaded with local talent; click here for details.

3. The 10th anniversary of the Sister Cities International Film Festival opens at 6:15 p.m. at Tacoma's Blue Mouse Theater with 200 Pound Beauty from Gunsan, South Korea - a sister city of Tacoma since 1978. According to promotion for 200 Pound Beauty, Hanna is a famous Korean pop singer who also suffers from poor self-esteem. In the film, Hanna "makes the decision of a lifetime to have full-body plastic surgery." More information on the Sister Cities International Film Fest can be found at sistercityfilmfest.org.

4. Ah, Ricky J's in Puyallup. It's a nice family restaurant. They have a bunch of karaoke nights. And they serve coconut shrimp. But on Thursday nights Alan Smith brings in national-touring comics for big shows at 8 p.m. We're talking $15 at the door big shows. Tonight, Gabriel Rutledge and friends will be in the house.

5. Oh, the plight of the fashionable Tacoma basshead. All dolled up with a $125 Soma record bag and no place to go. No record shop counter to trade esoteric labels by, no listening booths to thoughtfully nod bleached heads at. Boo hoo - nowhere to share your chic catalogue number trivia. Well, at least you have tonight at the new Deltan Club. DJs Omarvelous, Bada$$ Paul Wheeler, Jess E Bomb, Electro and guests will spin at "Beat Fetish!" beginning at 10 p.m. Ah, just a techstep away.

LINK: More arts and entertainment events in the South Sound

LINK: Live music and DJs tonight

LINK: Local happy hours

February 2, 2012 at 8:03am

MORNING SPEW: Punxsutawney Phil sucks, most lesbianish cities, Kiss Transmission Robot ...

WHAT WE HAVE FOUND TODAY >>>

Gay Marriage: State Senate votes 28-21 to legalize it. (Weekly Volcano)

Occupy Tacoma Camp: The welcome is wearing thin. (News Tribune)

LeMay Car Museum: Paul Miller is the man. (News Tribune)

You Suck Punxsutawney Phil: Rodent predicts six more weeks of winter. (Chicago Tribune)

South Sound Is In A Lesbian Sandwich: The 21 most lesbianish cities in America. (Jezebel)

TV: Showtime has renewed freshman comedy House of Lies and returning series Shameless and Californication for additional seasons. (Hollywood Reporter)

Helpful: How to pronounce things hilariously. (Kottke)

Yo Pudding Head: Cosby hoodie. (Dangerous Minds)

Just In Time For Valentine's Day

February 2, 2012 at 9:04am

VOLCANO MUSIC: The SCMC in Tacoma, Leezy Soprano, Zodiac Death Valley, Trasholes ...

Zodiac Death Valley will play the New Frontier in Tacoma Friday, Feb. 3.

BEST LOCAL MUSIC COVERAGE IN THE SOUTH SOUND >>>

The Weekly Volcano never sleeps. It's true ... or very close to true. We average only a few hours of shut-eye a night, be it because it's hard to sleep when you're so busy watching Battlestar Galactica (Rev. Adam McKinney), or simply because there's just so much to do.

Included in all this doing? As always, another shining installment of the Weekly Volcano music section. This week the Volcano delves into the SCMC conference coming to Tacoma's Marriot Hotel Feb. 4, and spills a few words on the Trasholes, Leezy Soprano, Zodiac Death Valley and more.

It's just further proof that the Weekly Volcano music section is your every-Thursday chance at the best in local music coverage anywhere in the South Sound.

Here's a look at the sonic goodness coming at you in print and online in this week's Volcano ...

FEATURE: THE SCMC

The Songwriters Composers Music Conference (SCMC), based out of Washington D.C. and coming to Tacoma Feb. 4, bills itself as a nationally-travelling event designed for unsigned artists, bands, songwriters, producers and independent labels. The SCMC says it offers lessons for success in the music business along with a chance for aspiring musicians, songwriters and producers to show off their skills in front of a crowd of prominent music industry "artists & repertoire" (A&R) representatives and major label types. Admission to the conference, which bills itself as open to anyone but seems most geared toward hip-hop, is $25, which includes an itinerary full of music business-related instruction. But the SCMC also promotes $300 and $500 packages promising private one-on-one meetings with the SCMC A&R panel and a chance to perform at the SCMC showcase in front of the A&R panel and the major labels in attendance. The SCMC website - scmcmusicconference.com - says of the $500 "VIP All Access" offer, "This package was created for artists, producers, independent labels, and managers who are looking to take their careers to the next step." ...

For some within Tacoma's tight-knit, historically DIY music scene, offers and advertisements like the ones made by SCMC raise red flags of concern. Longtime "anti pay-to-play" activist Bon Von Wheelie (Bonnie Henderson), drummer of the Tacoma band Girl Trouble, is one of those people. Von Wheelie's activism against those she views as preying on the naiveté of young artists has been documented in the Volcano before, most notably her nearly-two-year legal battle with Ohio-based Gorilla Entertainment. She instantly bristles when anyone offers to sell aspiring bands a chance at fame and fortune. ... -- Matt Driscoll

HIP-HOP: LEEZY SOPRANO & MORE

So who has the crown right now for Tacoma hip-hop? Many would say Leezy Soprano is running the show. He had a breakout year last year and this year he's keeping his buzz big with the release of his newest project, United We Ball, available for download here. The first single to hit YouTube is "Leezy."

Soprano is teetering on national-success right now. The video got nothing but love on Worldstarhiphop.com, and Seattle and the rest of the region are recognizing the genuine realness and skill Soprano brings to the table. He just might be making the best street hip-hop in the area right now. Soprano has a flow that most of these lazy unoriginal Tacoma gangsta rappers wish they had, along with the authenticity that many rappers in Seattle lack. Soprano has just the right mix of energy, reality and lyrical seriousness to make his flow undeniable, noticeable and dope. ... -- Josh Rizeberg

WE RECOMMEND: ZODIAC DEATH VALLEY

The music of San Francisco's Zodiac Death Valley straddles the lines between psych-rock, pulsing new wave, freak-folk, and the sun-beaten pop of Dire Straits. It's an infectious combination, aided largely by impeccable songwriting. The band's music is nothing if not filled with memorable hooks and substantial melodies. These are hefty songs, carrying with them a kind of weight and import that isn't usually found in the usual roundup of psych-inflected groups. ... -- Rev. Adam McKinney

WE RECOMMEND: THE TRASHOLES

Lead singer and guitarist Ian Call's voice rides that line between adolescence and adulthood, which only makes each voice crack sound that much more punk rock. It's exciting to see another young band following the lead of other s***-kicking acts like the defunct Freakouts and Durango 95. - Rev. AM

PLUS: BETTER LIVING THROUGH MUSIC - Death By Stars and a benefit for the Tacoma All Ages project

PLUS: CONCERT ALERT

PLUS: THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE LIVE LOCAL MUSIC LISTINGS IN THE SOUTH SOUND

PLUS: PURE, UNBRIDLED NONSENSE

February 2, 2012 at 9:16am

VOLCANO ARTS: The Flat Win Co., "Dawn of 2012," "The Seafarer," "Play It Again, Sam," "Hair," GLBT Book Club & more ...

Kelsi Fillo-Finney's "Venus Garden" is currently on exhibition at Fulcrum Gallery in Tacoma.

ARTS COVERAGE TO END ALL ARTS COVERAGE >>>

At this point it goes without saying. If you're looking for coverage of local arts in Tacoma, Olympia, and all points in between, the Weekly Volcano is THE place to find it. Our goal is to consistently provide the best local arts coverage possible to our fantastic readers. We're  always on the lookout for ways to shine a light on all the awesome creativity we see around us.

This week's Volcano arts section includes a feature on Olympia's Flat Win Co., as well as reviews of Dawn of 2012 art show at Fulcrum Gallery, Lakewood Playhouse's Play It Again, Sam, Capitol Playhouse's Hair and Harlequin's production of The Seafarer - among other bits of awesomeness.

Here's a look at the Volcano arts coverage waiting for you this week in print and online.

FEATURE: THE FLAT WIN CO.

You know the old saying about selling snow to an Eskimo?

Well, that's one way to explain the Flat Win Co., the business/art project of David Scherer Water of Olympia.

Although he hasn't yet sold rain to Western Washington, Scherer Water does sell, among other things, dirt, rocks, gravel and - perhaps most impressive - nothing.

Scherer Water demonstrates the virtues of these products at Olympia's twice-yearly Arts Walk and the annual Lakefair.

In the four and a half years since he started the company, he has sold, he says, more than 5,000 products - including combs, flattened beer cans, twigs and, of course, nothing.

He says this, though, in character. ... -- Molly Gilmore

VISUAL EDGE: DAWN OF 2012

There's quite a range of imagery and styles in the new show at Fulcrum Gallery, Dawn of 2012. The show features emerging artists - a loosely defined and often over-used term that generally means artists who have not yet received the recognition they deserve. Some of us are emerging all of our lives.

But in this case the artists truly are emerging. Some of these artists have never before had gallery shows. They're young, innovative and exciting. Surrealistic and pop imagery abounds, and there is an interesting variety of media, including repurposed materials.

One of the most exciting works is Gabriel Brown's "Floating Islands Estates," which is a surrealistic city of floating houses suspended from fluffy clouds.

THEATER: THE SEAFARER

We often speak of a movie or play as a "rollercoaster ride," but it's easy to forget that even the best rides begin with a slow, clanky climb up a hill. In the latter Harry Potter novels, Jo Rowling seemed to relish torturing readers with hundreds of actionless pages, the better to unleash hell toward the end.

Of course, if a writer constructs his or her story this way, then the payoff had better be worth the wait. In the case of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer, boy, is it.

I knew almost nothing about the show when I walked in. "That's good," director Scot Whitney laughed, and like Whitney, I don't want to drop spoilers. Suffice it to say that as we get to know "Sharky" Harkin (Jason Haws) and his blind, irascible brother, Richard (David Wright), we become slowly convinced the play is going nowhere ... and we're wrong. ... -- Christian Carvajal

THEATER: PLAY IT AGAIN, SAM

I haven't seen the film version of Play It Again, but I'm confident I know exactly what old Woody's version of Allan Felix is like, and Smith's rendition is a healthy departure from the type. Like most of his recent roles - Hamlet in Rosencrantz & Guildenstern, Vice Principal Panch in Spelling Bee, and others - Smith brings a flailing, manic quality to the typically depressed set of standard Allen neuroses, allowing injections of slapstick throughout.

Felix's romantic tribulations after his wife walks out form the core of the story. He experiences a series of romantic flubs and faux pas in his desperate attempts to convince women he is not the loser he thinks he is. ... -- Joseph Izenman

THEATER: HAIR

The musical Hair is much like a jam band concert: it's multi-sensual, it elicits an emotional ride, and it's probably about 15 minutes too long. That said, director Heidi Fredericks shakes every last nugget from Hair's theatrical dime bag at Capital Playhouse.

There's no questioning the difficulty of the material, for this company or its audience. The script is not, shall we say, overburdened with plot, and the lyrics must be hell to memorize, let alone sing. When Leonard Bernstein griped, "The songs are just laundry lists," he had a point. But is any song in the Broadway canon more irresistible than "Let the Sun Shine In?" It lifts itself out of a dirge, "The Flesh Failures," that's as lovely (and hauntingly worded) as "Sun Shine" is bright and beatific. ... -- Christian Carvajal

LOCAL FILM: KEN CARLSON & LYQUOC VO'S IRRESISTABLE

Last year, Olympia filmmaker Ken Carlson and his team, Mutually Assured Productions, embarked on an experiment. They decided to build their very own film festival from scratch, calling it the Olympia Awesome Film Festival. This one-day event debuted in May, successfully attracting short movies and their makers from across Washington and beyond. OAFF exuded a laid-back style that showed potential to widen its fan base and stick around for years to come.

But alas, sometimes you have to shelve a great idea to make way for an even better one. With 2012 here, Carlson could either foster his fledgling fest into its second year, or quit while ahead and move on. He went with door number two.

Already he's found a project to replace OAFF: writing and producing a feature-length concept with fellow Olympia resident and friend Lyquoc Vo. They haven't yet given away too many plot details of Irresistible (a working title), other than the tough heroine is loosely based on the "femme fatale" archetype of film noir. And given Mutually Assured's track record, it wouldn't surprise me to see violence make a cameo. ... -- Christopher Wood

FEATURE: TACOMA'S GLBT BOOK CLUB

In amorous Spain, Catalonia to be precise, Valentine's Day is superseded by the late-April holiday La Diada de Sant Jordi, Saint George's Day, a celebration during which lovers exchange books. What better way to show the object of one's affection what's inside one's heart than with a literary work that moves that person? A book that speaks to his or her soul?

But, where to find such a book? Anyone in the Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender community is in luck, as recently imported Tacoma resident Matt Lemanski has joined forces with King's Books to form its seventh active book club, the GLBT Book Club.

Above all, Lemanski is a book lover. Sure, he wrote poetry in his teens and 20s. "Like everyone does," he says. As far as movies go?  The last movie he saw in an actual theater was 2007's Juno.  It's no surprise then that his work life found him, after obtaining a Masters in Library Sciences, at a library in his home state of Michigan.

"As part of my job, I was required to lead three book discussions, which I did not enjoy. Those who attended were not looking for books to expand their experience. They were looking for books to underline the bubble they were living in," recalls Lemanski.

He adds with a smirk, "One month we read David Sedaris.  That did not go over well."

It didn't take much twisting of the arm when Lemanski was offered a position with the Pierce County Library. ... -- Jenni Prange Boran

PLUS: COMPLETE SOUTH SOUND ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT CALENDAR

PLUS: RAMPANT GOOFINESS

February 2, 2012 at 11:57am

WEEKEND HUSTLE: Olympia Love Panel & Dessert Party, "The Phantom Tollbooth," Styx at the EQC, Tacomapocalypse II, ScrapArtMusic, "Two Trains Running," & more (plus the boring lives of our writers)

Team ScrapArtsMusic (from left): Christa Mercey, Gregory Kozak, Greg Samek, Spencer Cole, Simon Thomsen / Photo Credit: Levi Sim

THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>

WEATHER REPORT

Friday: Partly sunny, hi 54, lo 34

Saturday: Partly sunny, hi 54, lo 30

Sunday: Partly sunny, hi 54, lo 32

>>> FRIDAY, FEB. 3: LOVE PANEL & DESSERT PARTY

Very few of us fully comprehend the intricacies of love and relationships. Dessert, on the other hand, is something most have a firm grasp on. Friday in Olympia both aspects of our existence will be combined for the scrumptious (and enlightening) sounding Love Panel & Dessert Party at the Olympia Mahayana Buddhist Center. According to event hype, "[t]he evening begins with a decadent dessert and appetizer party featuring an array of irresistible treats," before "The Love Panel" - consisting of three Buddhist teachers (Olympia's Kelsang Tsoglam, Portland's Kadam Heather Rocklin and Seattle's Patrick Meagher) - answers the crowd's questions about love and relationships "from a Buddhist point of view." Should you hit that? Let Buddha guide you.

  • Olympia Mahayana Buddhist Center, 6:30-8:30 p.m., $12, free for supporters, 211 Legion Way SW, Olympia, 360.754.7787, meditateinolympia.org

>>> FEB. 3-19: THE PHANTOM TOLLBOOTH

The Phantom Tollbooth, a children's adventure novel by Norton Juster published in 1961, is loved to this day by children and adults alike. While it's easy to see why children connect to young Milo's tale, it also doesn't take much pondering to see why many adults still harbor a soft spot for the book. Luckily for all parties involved, Olympia Family Theater opens a three-week run of the stage version of The Phantom Tollbooth this week at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts - Black Box, Friday - Saturday 7 p.m., Sunday 1 p.m., "Thrifty Thursday," Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., $16 adults, $13 senior/military/student, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8586

>>> FRIDAY, FEB. 3: WISH YOU WERE HERE

Derailed, like many things, by snowmaggedon 2012, the opening reception for South Puget Sound Community College's Wish You Were Here postcard exhibit has been rescheduled for Friday. As Volcano arts critic Alec Clayton noted in his review of the show, "There are a lot of artist-made postcards in the Wish You Were Here postcard exhibit at the Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Gallery at South Puget Sound Community College. More than 75 local and regional artists submitted more than 250 works. ... [T]hey run the gamut, from sweet and sentimental to corny, wise, clever, beautiful, stupid and amateurish. The postcards include paintings, prints, photography, drawing, ceramics, sculpture and mixed media. A few of the postcards in this show are clichéd, and there are some that are badly done; but for the most part the works are very inventive and skillfully executed." Wish You Were Here runs through March 2 at the SPSCC Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Gallery.

  • SPSCC Kenneth J. Minnaert Center for the Arts Gallery, opening reception, Friday, Feb. 3, 6-8 p.m., free, 2011 Mottman Rd. SW. Olympia, 360.596.5527 or email artgallery@spscc.ctc.edu

>>> FRIDAY, FEB. 3: SCREWING MOTHER NATURE

Screwing something for profit gets a negative connotation when taken in its most basic form, but - if you think about it-it's also the American way. Or at least the American Capitalist way. Friday at Orca Books in Olympia, local author and television producer Elaine Smitha will delve into her recent book, Screwing Mother Nature for Profit. (But what about fun?) According to event hype, "Ransacking pristine forests, vandalizing sacred lands and exploiting nature the world over: there are no limits to what Big Business will do to turn profit. But in this revelatory book, renowned businesswoman Elaine Smitha takes on the corporations and governments, showing them how to clean up their act by adopting the characteristics of the one thing they are damaging the most: Mother Nature herself. Will they listen? Only time will tell. The one thing that's certain is you should listen to Smitha in person at Orca Friday.

  • Orca Books, 7 p.m., free, 509 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia 360.0123

>>> FRIDAY, FEB. 3: TACOMAPOCALYPSE II

We'll be frank. Apocalypse-like events usually only happen once. If an apocalypse-like event ever returns, it's either really bad news, or a sign that things weren't that apocalyptic in the first place. The good news about the Treefish Studio-produced Tacomapocalypse II, set to inhabit Amocat Café during the month of February starting Friday, is neither statement is true. A collection of two and three-dimensional art that's heavy on the zombie, and designed to offer a gruesome alternative to the usual Valentines-style lovey-dovey crap that's everywhere else this time of year, Tacomapocalypse II is the sequel to last year's successful Zombie Tacomapocalypse. Stuart M. Dempster of Treefish Studio in Tacoma spoke to the Volcano prior to last year's event, saying, ""While other shows will be talking about how they want you for your heart or your body, we're only out for your brains." We imagine the same, or something very similar, holds true this year. Friday's opening party will include snacks, live electronic music from Gibson Starkweather and quite possibly a zombie horde.

  • Amocat Café, Tacomapocalypse II opening party,5:30 - 9  p.m., free, Tacomapocalypse II runs  through Feb. 29, 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m., Monday -Friday, 625 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma

>>> FRIDAY, FEB. 3: STYX

Styx will never fucking die. The band is like a dated, long-haired, tight-jeaned, effeminate Energizer Bunny, stuck in a era long gone but still chugging along like nothing has changed. And, for many of the band's fans, as those in attendance Friday night at the Emerald Queen Casino will see firsthand, nothing has changed. Especially when it comes to fashion sense. Sing along to the hits or just revel at the bald spots when Styx hits the EQC. Later, blow a few dollars on the slots.

  • Emerald Queen Casino - I-5 Showroom, 8:30 p.m., $40-$70, 2024 E 29th St., Tacoma, 888.831.7655, emeraldqueen.com

>>> SATURDAY, FEB. 4: SCRAPARTSMUSIC

Like banging on s***? So do the folks behind ScrapArtsMusic, a Canadian performance outfit coming to Olympia this week to blow your mind. On the group's website, ScrapArtsMusic is described thusly: "An earth-friendly, Vancouver-based company that creates unforgettable percussion performances using kinetic instruments skillfully crafted from industrial scraps. 2. An entertaining contemporary invented instrument ensemble. 3. Five extraordinarily virtuosic and innovative drummers. 4. The result of transforming ‘scrap' into "art,' and ‘art' into'"music.'" Intrigued? You should be. The brainchild of percussion freak Gregory Kozak and designer Justine Murdy, ScrapArtsMusic may well prove to be the week's grandest spectacle.

  • Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 7:30 p.m., $7.50-$35, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, 360.753.8586

>>> SATURDAY, FEB. 4: TWO TRAINS RUNNING

Playwright August Wilson is best known for his Pittsburgh Cycle - a series of ten plays each set in a different decade recalling the struggles and comedies of the African American experience in the Twentieth Century. That's what happens when you win two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama for something. Saturday, the Broadway Center, Northwest Playwrights Alliance and Washington State History Museum bring us Two Trains Running, part of Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle recalling Civil  Rights Era Pittsburgh in 1969.Hype on the Broadway Center website describes the play, saying "In spite of the political and social change that sweeps through the nation, many of the characters are too cynical and down-trodden to experience hope for the future or even rage for the ongoing tragedies."

  • Washington State History Museum, Two Trains Running, Saturday, Feb. 4, 3 p.m., $14, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.9747, broadwaycenter.org

>>> ALL WEEKEND: THE SEAFARER

Olympia's Harlequin Production's celebrates the opening of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer Thursday, a production running through Feb. 18 at Harlequin's home, The State Theater. According to hype, McPherson "has a stunning ability to remind us that logic and reason are but weak weapons against the myth and magic that permeate our lives," and The Seafarer, "is an incredibly beautiful and rewarding story of redemption that may put people off initially, because who wants to watch a bunch of alcoholic losers celebrating Christmas?" We do! We do!

  • Harlequin Productions - The State Theater, through Feb. 18,Thursday - Saturday 8 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., "Pay What You Can" Wednesday, Feb. 1 8 p.m., "Ladies Night" Friday, Feb. 3 7 p.m., $31, 202 Fourth Ave. E, Olympia, harlequinproductions.org

>>> WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO

CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I'm seeing The Phantom Tollbooth at Olympia Family Theater, followed by a trip to Seattle on Saturday. I'm feeling Lunchbox Labby this weekend.

STEVE DUNKELBERGER Photographer
I will be the emcee at the St. Mary's Church and School on Saturday so I have my tux all  ready to go. Other than that, I have some kiddo plans for geocaching around T town if we don't need a canoe to get around.

JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
Sleep. Wake. Hang out with the toddler and document new words and funny moments with video/pictures. Sleep. Wake. Church. I'll also eat whenever and wherever I can fit it in. Maybe shower. You know, the usual.

ALEC CLAYTON Visual Arts Critic
It's going to be a great big weekend full of theater. The Seafarer at Harlequin, Hair at Capital Playhouse and California Suite at Tacoma Little Theatre.

NIKKI TALOTTA Music and Features Writer
My house is officially becoming a ranch. This weekend I'm getting two more chickens, a pretty white dog, and some neon fish to go along with the existing chicken, koi fish, tom cat and two barefoot children. Wish me luck.

JENNI PRANGE BORAN Arts and Features Writer
Saturday, pizza and cake to celebrate my son's 5th birthday.  Sunday, babysitter permitting, Super Bowl at the Harmon Tap Room where my husband and I will enjoy discount food and beer during the game, and a lovely cab ride home afterwards.

REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music and Features Writer
Venturing up to Ballard on Saturday to catch Derek Kelley and the Speedwobbles at the Sunset Tavern. The performance will apparently be broadcast on KEXP, so maybe listen for me girlishly creaming Tristan Marcum's name from the crowd.

JOSH RIZEBERG Tacoma Hip-Hop Writer
I'll be teaching my spoken-word/poetry class at the D.A.S.H. Center for the Arts on Friday from 6-7 p.m. Saturday I'll be recording two verses for Jon Salt's new album at Remedy Recording with DJ Phinisey and I'll be hitting Illizm's video shoot in Everett to make a cameo.

NIC LEONARD Olympia Hip-Hop Writer
I'm going to the Andre Nickatina show on Saturday at the capitol theatre then probably go get drunk at the Brotherhood afterwards.

MOLLY GILMORE Olympia Arts and Features Writer
I'm going to see The Seafarer at Harlequin and taking a day trip to Port Townsend.

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JENNIFER JOHNSON Food & Lifestyles Writer
Friday date night, Saturday gym and homework, Sunday church and potluck dinner.

LINK: Even more local events that we recommend

LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar

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