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March 10, 2015 at 6:48am

5 Things To Do Today: Science Cafe, vampires hanging out, Irish cooking class, Stone Brewing ...

Cutting edge electron microscopy is the topic of tonight's Science Cafe at Orca Books in Olympia.

TUESDAY, MARCH 10 2015 >>>

1. Science Café of Olympia meets each month on the second Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Orca Books. It provides an informal atmosphere where people with and without scientific background can meet to deepen their understanding of interesting topics in science and technology. After a presentation by an expert in the field, the meetings are opened for discussion. Tonight, a big brain will discuss cutting edge electron microscopy. The electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses a beam of electrons to create an image of the specimen. It is capable of much higher magnifications and has a greater resolving power than a light microscope, allowing it to see much smaller objects in finer detail, like our imagination in creating this paragraph.

2. Part of The Grand Cinema's Tuesday Film Series, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night continues the trend - as epitomized by Only Lovers Left Alive - of the "vampires hanging out" film genre. The Iranian/American film centers around a ghost town in Iran called Bad City, and the lonely vampire that haunts it. If it's anything like the sumptuous Only Lovers Left Alive, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is not to be missed. Catch it at 1:15 and 6:25 p.m.

3. This St. Patrick's Day, whether you choose to celebrate with a more authentic Irish Lamb Shepherd's Pie, or with the traditional American-style Corned Beef and Cabbage, Chef Treacy has you covered. He'll take you step-by-step through the preparation of these dishes so you can make them at home for family and friends on March 17. As a fine accompaniment to the meal, his soda bread biscuits are a fun twist on the standard recipe. Grab $55 and reserve your 6 p.m. spot at the Bayview School of Cooking.   

4. If you're curious how California's Stone Brewing Company grew from a small startup brewery into one of the largest craft breweries in the world, then drop by Rainier Growlers from 6-9 p.m., get in a Stone groove, maybe win a raffle prize and enjoy Stone's Go To IPA, Green Tea IPA, Quadrotriticale and Old Guardian brews.

5. Jerry Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

March 9, 2015 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Ladies IgNite, YA novelist Gretchen McNeil, Greta Jane, Rockaraoke ...

Jazz vocalist Lizzy Boyer will be a part of Ladies IgNite at Rhythm & Rye tonight.

MONDAY, MARCH 9 2015 >>>

1. They wiggled, they jiggled, they wore low cut gowns and short shorts, they kowtowed to the club owners and smiled at the customers ... and they did it all, just to play the music they loved. In the 1930s and 1940s, hundreds of women musicians toured the country in glamorous all-girl-bands, while others played side by side with their male counterparts. Yet by the mid-'50s female jazz musicians had literally disappeared from the workplace; their names, their contributions to music, completely forgotten. In celebration of International Women's Day, the Rhythm & Rye will feature a dazzling night of Northwest jazz women, beginning at 8 p.m. Vocalists Susan Tuzzolino and Joanne Green have pulled together a veritable who's who of musicians from across the region. Listen as they assemble and reassemble in the lounge for this sizzling night of jazz.

2. Gretchen McNeil will be reading from her latest young adult novel, Get Even, the first book in her "Don't Get Mad" series, at 7 p.m. in Orca Books. The series, which she describes as "John Hughes with a body count," revolves around four very different girls who form a secret society where they get revenge on bullies and mean girls at their elite prep school.

3. Greta Jane performs Smoke + Cedar from 7:30-9:30 p.m. In your world, jazz is the Pandora station your boss makes you listen to at work. Well, prepare to get schooled. In vocalist Greta Jane's nimble hands, jazz is powerfully sexy, just the thing to settle a body down after another manic Monday. Imagine a snifter of Maker's Mark and pretty ladies in cocktail gloves. That's right, cocktail gloves! It's our fantasy, damnit! Anywho, happy days are here again - at least for tonight.

4. Rockaraoke at Jazzbones will either be your novel opportunity to act as frontman, or be completely intimidating. Perpetually packed with people, Rockaraoke boasts a unique twist for karaoke in Tacoma: instead of a backing track, you get a three-piece band playing behind you. Check it out at 9 p.m.

5. Punk bands Life Chain, Combat Knife and Katie Jeffries Hard Rock experience will perform at Le Voyeur at 10 p.m.

March 7, 2015 at 9:32am

5 Things To Do Today: Sustainability Expo, Chili Cook-Off, Apothecary Botanicals, Fats Waller Musical ...

South Sound Sustainability Expo will connect residents and business owners with services, products, companies and agencies that address sustainability needs in the community.

SATURDAY, MARCH 6 2015 >>>

1. Recycling is a way of life in western Washington, but do you wonder if you're truly making a difference? The trick to sustainability is knowing what works and what doesn't. That's where the South Sound Sustainability Expo comes in. A team of Pierce County higher-educational institutions first organized this event in 2006. Four years later, the city of Tacoma formed an Office of Environmental Policy and Sustainability, which partnered with area colleges. The expo is now held in the Tacoma Convention Center, where it's grown to include over 90 companies and nonprofits from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Among vendors present at this year's event are American Red Cross, Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Metro Parks Tacoma, Nisqually Land Trust and Tacoma Farmers Market, which hosts a Kids' Corner with a functioning mini-market. Much of the expo's financial support comes from Goodwill, Pierce County, Puget Sound Cooperative Credit Union and Tacoma Public Utilities.

2. This seems like a fun idea. Narrows Brewing Co. in partnership with Families Unlimited Network will host a Smoke on the Water Chili Cook-Off from noon to 5 p.m. Expect eight different varieties of local amateur and professional chefs' homemade chili, and each member of the crowd will have their opportunity to vote for their favorite. Proceeds from ticket sales will go directly to the support of Families Unlimited Network and their food bank.

3. Maria Jost approaches art from the viewpoint and experience of a scientist: "Don't worry I'm a scientist. I am a product of scientific training, I make the measurements, crunch the numbers and compile the data," she has stated in past art shows. But she's also an artist - an illustrator to be more precise. Jost's drawings in ink and collage are highly decorative and amazingly precise. She has produced a limited run of prints of her botanical illustrations called "Apothecary Botanicals," and will host a reception from 2-4 p.m. at Hilltop Kitchen.

4. The Harlem Renaissance produced some of the swingin'est, jazziest, cool cattin'est music of the 20th century. The black musicians that came out of New York in the period between 1919 and the early 1930s made a massive impact not only on jazz, but on American music in general. You'll hear the sound of the Harlem Renaissance in Ain't Misbehavin': The Fats Waller Musical, a musical revue and tribute to musicians of the era featuring beloved songs by Fats Waller by five great Northwest performers at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. Encapsulating the mood of the era and the humor of his music, the show sparkles with Waller's stance that life is a journey ... for pleasure and play. This musical homage includes jazz classics like "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," "Honeysuckle Rose," "I Can't Give You Anything but Love" and others.

5. Travis Barker, the "Boar" to Kristen Wenlock's "Elk" in the twangy Tacoma duo Elk and Boar will perform with his band at 9:30 p.m. in Doyle's Public House.

March 6, 2015 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: Great Grandpa, Catch Me If You Can, Game of Scones, Nolan Garrett ...

Great Grandpa is in Olympia tonight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 6 2015 >>>

1. Seattle quintet Great Grandpa exudes an effortless cool. The grungy pop recalls bands like the Breeders and Garbage, with their sly melodies and crunchy guitars. Lead singer Alex Menne brings a detached swagger that is offset by unobtrusive harmonies from her bandmates. A band like Great Grandpa, with lyrics about things like mountains of Cheetos, wouldn't seem obviously like the kind of group that might tackle sad subject matter, but they dip their toes into the waters of melancholy with an unexpected ease. Catch the band with Jupiter Sprites, Trashlord and Redrumsey at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia.

2. Guitar wizard Nolan Garrett debuts his new, younger band from 7-10 p.m. at Bleach in downtown Tacoma. The new band is helping Garrett define the new direction his music is headed - rock foundation vs. blues foundation - with new material recorded and currently being recorded at London Bridge Studios in Seattle.

3. You are now cleared for takeoff for Paradise Theatre's 7:30 p.m. stage presentation of Catch Me If You Can. Written by Scott Witman and Marc Shaiman, the play follows the true story of Frank Abagnale, Jr. a world-class con artist who passed himself off as a doctor, lawyer and jet pilot all before the age of 21. With straight-arrow FBI agent Carl Hanratty on Frank's trail, the story takes off on a jet-setting, cat-and-mouse chase fueled by a jazzy '60s score that keeps the adventure in constant motion. The musical is based on the 2002 film, which was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hanks and Christopher Walken.

4. Jeri, Kate and Linda join forces once again to commit manic mayhem over at Tacoma's Perky's Coffee House. This time, the ladies do battle with Tacoma politics, retail marijuana and Scottish scones. Could this be the episode of their dreams? Loosely inspired by William Shakespeare's Macbeth, JAVA TACOMA 5: Game of Scones is the fifth installment of an original soap opera/sit-com, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in The Dukesbay Theater above The Grand Cinema. Written by Aya Hashiguchi, this theatrical serial is generously peppered with Tacoma humor.

5. It may be impossible to overstate William "Smokey" Robinson, Jr.'s contribution to pop music. For once, the term "living legend" sells the guy short. No less an artist than Bob Dylan listed Robinson among his favorite poets. It's not merely that his hits represent a significant chunk of the American songbook, nor is it the songs he wrote for others, including "Get Ready," "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "My Girl." It's that such productions as "Tears of a Clown" and "The Tracks of My Tears" set the standard for the decade to follow, the greatest in the history of radio. Smokey will perform at 8:30 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

March 5, 2015 at 6:54am

5 Things To Do Today: There Is No Mountain, Arresting Power, Laughter on the 23rd Floor, Andra Taylor and Nate Dodge ...

There Is No Mountain performs at Le Voyeur tonight. Photo credit: Ric Santora

THURSDAY, MARCH 5 2015 >>>

1. Portland's There Is No Mountain is a husband-and-wife duo that seems to set itself up to be just another cutesy, folk-pop duo before sharply and forcefully shifting gears into restlessly experimental trajectory. Kali Giaritta and Matt Harmon bring effortlessly lovely harmonies to the table. Musically, though, their adventurousness is evident. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on There Is No Mountain in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Mike Blackburn at 10 p.m.in Le Voyeur.

2. The issue of police misconduct and brutality is certainly not a new one, but the level of activity, allegations and attention have ramped up recently with incidents such as the murder of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the outrageously surreal footage of the shooting death of Antonio Zambrano-Montes by Pasco Police last month. Arresting Power, a new documentary charting nearly 50 years of police brutality in Portland reaches back to the late '60s to examine numerous police killings as well as robust community resistance. The film screens at 6 p.m. in the Capitol Theater.

3. Led by Dr. Anne Lyman, the TCC Voices and TCC Singers perform with Bong Lang Ruamjai, an ensemble from the Thai Buddhist temple Wat Washington Buddhavanaram, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tacoma Community College Bldg. 2 Auditorium. The concert features folk music from the northeast of Thailand, as well as Thai pop and Northern melodies.

4. An extended act of hero worship masquerading as a laugh riot, Neil Simon's Laughter on the 23rd Floor is filled with one-liners, peopled entirely by folks who either write or want to write jokes, and fairly accurately reflects the three years when many of the gods of 20th century comedy - including Simon, Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, and Larry Gelbart - regularly assembled in one room to help make Sid Caesar the funniest man on television. Harlequin Productions will stage the comedy at 8 p.m.

5. Andra Taylor is an indie acoustic singer/songwriter from Philadelphia. Her musical style blends rhythmic guitar work and soulful vocals with thoughtful and provocative lyrics. In 2012 she teamed up with fellow songwriter, Nate Dodge, sold her apartment and set out on tour. Taylor and Dodge form a fiery and energetic duo, merging her indie/Americana with his progressive/alternative and collaborating on each other's tunes. Catch their eclectic, fiery, energetic and versatile show at 9 p.m. in The Swiss.

March 4, 2015 at 7:01am

5 Things To Do Today: Holocaust Education, Building the Future, Tippin' For Tigers, Chef Interrupted ...

"50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus" to screen at Pacific Lutheran University tonight.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 2015 >>>

1. Pacific Lutheran University presents the Eighth Annual Powell-Heller Conference for Holocaust Education, a unique and perpetually relevant three-day event that provides educators, students and community members a way to use the lessons of the Holocaust to empower themselves and others to challenge prejudices, violence and other forms of dehumanization. The conference, held at PLU from March 4-6, focuses on the theme "Children's Voices: The Holocaust and Beyond." This year's conference opens with a 7 p.m. screening of the Emmy-nominated film 50 Children: The Rescue Mission of Mr. and Mrs. Kraus, which chronicles the courageous and intricate work of an American couple committed to saving Jewish children on the eve of the Holocaust. A discussion with 50 Children director/producer/writer Steven Pressman follows at 8:15 p.m.

2. "Building the Future: Collections at Evergreen" closes today at The Evergreen State College. The show highlights not only works of art from Evergreen's art gallery collection but also collections from the Malcolm Stilson Archives and Special Collections, the Chicano/Latino Archive, the James F. Holly Rare Books Collection, the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center and Evergreen Pictures. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Building The Future: Collections at Evergreen" in the Music & Culture section, then catch its final day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. The Swiss Restaurant and Pub hosts Tippin for Tigers tonight. For each beverage you imbibe between 5 and 9 p.m. 50 cents will be donated to the Tiger Conservation Campaign. There's no easier way to get a case of the warm and fuzzies than to have some beers in support of some majestic furry friends.

4. For two decades Boundary Bay Brewing Co. has operated out of a historic 1922 warehouse on Railroad Avenue in Downtown Bellingham. A couple of weeks ago the brewery accepted a Lifetime Achievement Award from Sustainable Connections in Bellingham. They think local first, take care of their employees and live the principled life. That's not to say the brewery won't be thinking about the South Sound March 4 when it pours a bunch of their beers from 6-9 p.m. at the Puyallup River Alehouse. Boundary Bay representative Bryan Bendix will also have some sweet Boundary swag.

5. Author Trevis Gleason will give a free book talk and signing at 7 p.m. in the Wheelock Library. His book, Chef Interrupted: Discovering Life's Second Course in Ireland with Multiple Sclerosis, is not a book about diagnosis or coming to grips with a "new normal" of living with multiple sclerosis. It is a celebration of life and the indomitability of the human spirit, illustrating those lifelong dreams can still be realized with a bit of gritty determination, some serious planning, a positive attitude and the ability to laugh at yourself.

March 3, 2015 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: "National Gallery" film, Tap Tasting Tuesday, Chinese New Year ...

Frederick Wiseman's lengthy "National Gallery" doc takes a provocative stroll in and about the famed British art museum. Tag along today at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 2015 >>>

1. Frederick Wiseman's three-hour documentary about Britain's National Gallery is a rather sly house of mirrors, in which we watch a film and, within that film, we watch others gaze at a painting, while also joining them in that act. Not to be outdone, many of the paintings - their subjects commissioned portraits, or figures of myth and Christianity - stare just as intently back at us. National Gallery screens at 1 and 6:20 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

2. Pop by the Harmon Tap Room today for their Tap Tasting Tuesday special. Sample four, 5-ounce beers paired with four small bites for only $10 from 5 p.m. to close. Helluva deal, especially for those indecisive types.

3. Yielding, softness, centeredness, slowness, balancing, suppleness and rootedness are all characteristics of the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi. They are evident in names of the movements, like "Cloud hands," and in the movements themselves. The principle of Tai Chi can also be summed up in the title awarded to its founder, "a spiritual man who has attained the Tao and is no longer ruled by what he sees, hears or feels." Ring in Chinese New Year 2015 at the Tumwater Timberland Library with a program for all ages, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Olympia Tai Chi & Kung-Fu Club will perform the traditional Lion Dance and demonstrate Tai Chi and the martial art of Kung-Fu.

4. Jerry Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

5. TCC@TCC! - a group of Tacoma Community College communications students raising money for local tutoring nonprofit write@253 - has teamed up with the Tacoma Comedy Club for a benefit comedy performance at 8 p.m. Write@253 provides after-school homework hope to kids in underserved Tacoma neighborhoods.

March 2, 2015 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Greta Jane and Vince Brown, Makoto Fujimura, Underwhelmed Radio, Joy Harjo ...

Greta Jane will sing at Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen tonight.

MONDAY, MARCH 2 2015 >>>

1. Dillingers Cocktails and Kitchen looks as if it came straight from the '20s, with a graceful, high-arched mirrored shelving system to hold small-batch bottles of booze. For your own taste of Jazz Age Prohibition era, vocalist Greta Jane and guitarist Vince Brown will perform music of the gin joints and back-alley speakeasies at 6 p.m. Bonus: Dillingers was voted Best Restaurant in the Weekly Volcano's 2015 Best of Olympia issue, with the joint's bartender Sherilyn Lightner grabbing Best Bartender honors.

2. "Process Drawings: Recent Works by Makoto Fujimura" showcases recent works by the abstract expressionist painter that provide insight into his creative process and the evolution of an important group of his large-scale paintings created since 2007 at Kittredge Gallery on the University of Puget Sound campus. An artist reception will be held from 5-6:30 p.m.

3. Online Tacoma magazine Post Defiance wants you to SHUT IT at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. Grab a book and read in silence from 5:30-8:30 p.m. Turn off the cellphone!

4. Underwhelmed comes to us from Dick Rossetti (formerly of 107.7 The End and currently the frontman of the Jilly Rizzo) and Isaac Olsen. Olsen should be known to fans of local music and film as the director behind Quiet Shoes, Ich Hunger, and the Girl Trouble documentary, Strictly Sacred. The touch of Olsen can be felt in the hyper-kinetic editing of the show, which mirrors the energy shown in his movies. Assaultive radio stings come and go, framing a show that steers violently from tongue-in-cheek commentary to comedy sketches to readings of prison letters and - their favorite invention - a 10-song montage in five minutes. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Underwhelmed in the Music and Culture section, then catch the show from 6-7 p.m. at nwczradio.com.

5. Award winning Muscogee-Creek poet, musician, memoirist, playwright and performer Joy Harjo will read her works at 7 p.m. in the Communications Building Recital Hall at The Evergreen State College. Harjo will read selected works from her book How We Became Human, a collection of poems throughout her twenty-eight-year career, beginning in 1973 in the age marked by the takeover at Wounded Knee and the rejuvenation of indigenous cultures in the world through poetry and music.

February 28, 2015 at 7:32am

5 Things To Do Today: The Classical, vinyl sale, Total Experience Gospel Choir, The Oly Mountain Boys ...

The Classical performs tonight at Dead Olympia record store. Photo Credit: Bert Johnson at www.bertjohnsonphotography.com

SATURDAY, FEB. 28 2015 >>>

1. San Francisco duet the Classical make concise descriptions quite a task. The easiest way to sum them up is to call them baroque art-rock, though that doesn't quite cut it. "Shovel & Bevel" combines clinically mesmerizing drums with odd phrases repeated over and over with darkly expressive strings to create a creepily compelling product. Lead singer and songwriter Juliet E. Gordon pushes the lurching songs forward with her sighing vocals, leaving long stretches of meditative blank space before reappearing to offer more cryptic intonations. Though the songs tend to move slowly, there's a disjointed structure to most of them that manages to keep you on your toes. Check it out at 8 p.m. with Fruit Juice and Retrospecter in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2.  KAOS 89.3 FM, located in deep West Olympia on the campus of The Evergreen State College, is hosting one of its rare and beautiful music dump or as the station calls it - a "CD & Vinyl Liquidation Sale." In years past, this event was a treasure chest of rare and lost gems of audio delight for collectors of music. It still has that aura, but the "pickins" are more and more slim as the years pass by - with vinyl becoming a scarce commodity you have to get there early and beat the DITC (Diggin' In The Crates) experts. The sale begins at noon in the KAOS lobby.

3. Seattle's acclaimed Total Experience Gospel Choir, led by the Rev. Pat Wright, has performed all over the world, has made numerous recordings, has included Sanjaya (American Idol) and Ray Dalton (Macklemore/Lewis), and has been the featured group in the annual Seattle production of Langston Hughes' Black Nativity. The Total Experience Gospel Choice, er, experience is like no other. They join their powerful voices to create a blend of lyrics, movement, and narrative that variously relate history, point the finger at injustice, encourage activism and sing the praises of love. The University of Puget Sound will host the choir at 8 p.m. in Schneeback Concert Hall, capping the university's Black History Month celebration. The concert will include commentary by the 75-year-old Wright, an ordained pastor whose southern roots and personal musical journey provide a spoken word accompaniment to the choir's ebullient music.

4. Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro is famed for his signature brand of tough, rocking rhythm and blues. With his eyes and ears firmly on the future, Castro, along with The Painkillers - original Tommy Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald, Bowen Brown on drums and James Pace on keyboards - has stripped his music down to its raw essence as he rockets into the next phase of his storied career. Whatever. Nobody plays roadhouse like this anymore: the rock snarl and the soul heart. His songs don't make you want to sing along; they make you want to scream along. The band is back at 8 p.m. for a second night at Jazzbones.

5. The Olympia bluegrass quintet The Oly Mountain Boys produced the first bluegrass concept album - centering on the life and hard times of Charlie McCarver in Washington state during the early 20th century. White Horse gallops to traditional bluegrass influenced by the music of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Earl Scruggs. This is the best brand of bluegrass: energetic and thoroughly heartbroken. Catch the band voted "Best Bluegrass Band" in the 2015 Best of Olympia issue at 8 p.m. with The Student Loan and Mbrascatu in Rhythm & Rye.

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Olympia, Tacoma,

February 27, 2015 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: International Guitar Night, A Streetcar Named Desire, Nasalrod, Tommy Castro ...

Brazilian jazz master Diego Figuierido performs at the Rialto Theater Feb. 27.

FRIDAY, FEB. 27 2015 >>>

1. If you think the height of guitar music is a stoner's curbside rendition of "Wish You Were," then prepare to have your mind blown. (Seriously - why does every guitarist learn "Wish You Were Here" fresh out of the gate? What's wrong with a little "Bourrée in E Minor?") The Broadway Center for the Performing Arts is serving up an evening of six-string wizardry, brought to you by some of the finest git-axe pickers from around the world - Brian Gore, Andrew York, Diego Figuierido and Maneli Jamal. True, there's no Eddie Van Halen or Tom Morello in the IGN lineup, but we can assure you its artists' lack of household name recognition is undeserved. Catch the 7:30 p.m. concert in the Pantages Theater.

2. When the curtain dropped on the 1947 debut production of Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire, the room - legend has it - was absolutely silent. After a long moment, the stunned audience regained their senses and burst into an ovation that continued for a solid half-hour. University of Puget Sound's production of Williams' classic of love, loss and madness runs through the next two weekends. In the right hands, the play's raw ending (no spoilers here, I promise) still retains the power to take the wind right out of an audience. The word is UPS does just that. The curtain rises at 7:30 p.m. in the Norton Clapp Theatre.

3. We have a hankering for rowdy bluegrass tonight. Maybe it's the rain, the flannel shirts and the switch from Winter Warmers to India Pale Ale. Whatever the case, it's nice. Tacoma's The Cottonwood Cutups are bringing that satisfying pluck and twang and bang to B Sharp Coffee House with McDougall and Nate Dybivek, beginning at 8 p.m.

4. Nasalrod is a lot of goddamn fun. The punk rock Portland foursome create impossibly energetic music that doesn't so much pummel as it grabs you by the shoulders and shakes you about. With stop-start dynamics and gleefully deranged vocals, Nasalrod recall the early days of New Wave and art-rock just as much as the glory days of punk. What makes Nasalrod incredibly exciting, though, is the presence of former Fear member Spit Stix on drums. Having a member of one of the godfathers of punk in your band-and having that person named Spit Stix - is a very Portland thing to have happen. Nasalrod will be joined by C Average and Bullets or Balloons at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

5. Award-winning guitarist/vocalist/songwriter Tommy Castro is famed for his signature brand of tough, rocking rhythm and blues. With his eyes and ears firmly on the future, Castro, along with The Painkillers - original Tommy Castro Band bassist Randy McDonald, Bowen Brown on drums and James Pace on keyboards - has stripped his music down to its raw essence as he rockets into the next phase of his storied career. Whatever. Nobody plays roadhouse like this anymore: the rock snarl and the soul heart. His songs don't make you want to sing along; they make you want to scream along. The band hits Jazzbones' stage at 8 p.m.

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Arresting Power is at 6:30 (even though it's a good idea to get there early).

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