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February 26, 2015 at 7:14am

5 Things To Do Today: JFK program, Olympia Ambassadors benefit, "Angels In America," Barleywine Revue ...

In this public domain photo, President John F. Kennedy rides alongside First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy moments before his death. Hear more about this fateful day tonight in Olympia.

THURSDAY, FEB. 26 2015 >>>

1. We've all seen the footage: President John F. Kennedy in the gleaming dark blue limousine, smiling and waving at the crowd, and then the shot rings out in Dealey Plaza, and everything in a relatively mundane presidential moment has become a piece of history. Author and journalist Dean R. Owen was 7 years old on the day JFK was assassinated. Owen says the tragedy prompted his 30-plus year career in journalism and communications. He will present a multi-media program entitled "John Kennedy: the Man, Myth and Legend," at 7:30 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library. The program is based on Owen's book, November 22, 1963: Reflections on the Life, Assassination and Legacy of John F. Kennedy. Owen interviewed nearly 100 people for the book, including White House staff, civil rights leaders, family members of Kennedy, and journalists who covered him. Veteran White House correspondent Helen Thomas, who died in 2013, wrote the foreword.

2. From sweeping alleys, to acting as extra eyes and being a familiar friendly face, downtown Olympia businesses have been benefitting from the Olympia Ambassadors. This of course, has been a pick-me-up for downtown retail. Downtown Olympia Ambassadors provide customer service, directions, and city information to all users of downtown. Our 2015 Best of Olympia issue praises the program multiple times. From 4-9 p.m. The Brotherhood Lounge will host a happy hour benefit for the Downtown Ambassadors, donating 50 percent of drink sales to the program.

3. Traveler Pat O'Connor will discuss his expedition to Antarctica and Argentina with pictures and stories of animals and ice at 7 p.m. in the Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Library.

4. Volcano scribe Christian Carvajal spent last week in the skin of a monster. He's playing Roy Cohn, the very real attorney who guided the knife point of Sen. Joseph McCarthy's Red Scare, then adamantly denied his own homosexuality even as he was dying of AIDS. He's a character in Tony Kushner's landmark, two-part play Angels in America, directed by Nic Olson for Olympia Little Theatre. The show is challenging for both actors and audiences, and it inspires bizarre moments on stage. Read Christian Carvajal's first person account of Angels In America, Part 2: Perestroika on our Walkie Talkie blog, then catch the show at 7:55 p.m.

5. Barleywine Revue is just awesome. The band writes and performs contemporary, relevant bluegrass and Americana music while paying homage to the traditions that have come in generations before ... think Bill Monroe meets Bill Withers. Oh man, that's fresh! Catch the band with Squirrel Butter at 7 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant & Pub.

February 25, 2015 at 7:59am

5 Things To Do Today: Hilltop Kitchen Novo Fodo Night, beer drinking, Vince Brown, Positive Rising ...

Novo Fogo on Hilltop, yo.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 25 2015 >>>

1. If you were drinking a cocktail with the floral notes of a rainforest, the aroma of banana and lime flowers, the earthiness of sweet red peppers and the saltiness of oysters, you'd be drinking cachaca (pronounced ka-SHA-sa), a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane juice. Suffice it to say that, if you enjoy rum, you'll enjoy cachaça. Until recently, the only cachaças available in the States were the industrial style, made in a column still and full of harsh, unrefined flavors. Today, with the upswing in premium-spirits appreciation, high-quality, artisanal cachaça (both aged and unaged) is now easily accessible outside of Brazil, including a new brand of cachaca: Novo Fogo, which translates to "New Fire" in Portuguese. Every week or so, Novo Fogo Cachaça Empresários take over a hot bar somewhere in this country for a few hours of "Brazilian Zen." From 6-9 p.m., Team Novo Fodo - Leroy Thomas and Jim Romdall - visit Hilltop Kitchen to deliver South American alegria in the form of delicious cachaça cocktails and happy times.

2. This week in "Humans and Other Animals," Dr. Erin Colbert-White of the University of Puget Sound will be giving a talk entitled, "Evidence for Language-Like Conversational Strategies by an African Grey Parrot," in which she'll discuss evidence that parrots can pay attention to social contexts and take turnsduring conversations. Check it out at 12:25 in Dougan 201 on the University of Washington Tacoma campus.

3. Several brewer's nights are doing down tonight. Check it.

4. Vince Brown is no stranger to string swing fans in the Northwest. He plays western swing style take-off guitar with Red Brown & the Tune Stranglers; strums guitar and tenor banjo with the gypsy swing band Hot Club Sandwich; he's half of Red and Ruby - a swing duo project with vocalist LaVon Hardison; performs mandolin and tenor banjoist with the old timey outfit Deaf Lester; and the guitarist with the modern jazz/lounge group The Greta Jane Quartet. Brown's nimble fingers have delighted audiences for more than 35 years. Catch his solo jazz guitarist downstairs at Swing Wing Bar & Cafe, the converted bungalow overlooking Capitol Lake in Olympia, from 6-8 p.m.

5. Positive Rising - a Seattle-based reggae band whose members have been rooted in the reggae community for over 10 years - strive to bring a positive message put to catchy hooks and danceable grooves. They have shared the stage with such acts as Natural Vibrations, Easy Star All Stars, Josh Heinrichs & Skillinjah, Kyle & C-Money of Slightly Stoopid, Tomorrows Bad Seeds and Josh Fischel as well as other local acts such as Valley Green, The Approach and Tribal Order just to name a few. Catch them as part of Jazzbones' One Love Wednesday music series at 9 p.m.

February 24, 2015 at 7:44am

5 Things To Do Today: Feast of Thrones, Washington volcano hazards, trivia night, Hungry Skinny ...

"Give our regards to the Night’s Watch. We're sure it will be thrilling. And if it’s not, it's only for life."

TUESDAY, FEB. 23 2015 >>>

1. Even though you don't live in one of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, dining at King's Landing is a bucket list item for any die-hard Game of Thrones fan. While you won't exactly get the chance to "do what queens do," fans of the show will get the chance to dine on A Feast of Thrones and let their imaginations do the ruling. Bayview School of Cooking instructor Caroline Willard will prepare a feast worthy of the capital of the Seven Kingdoms at 6 p.m. From The Wall, to Highgarden, and across the Narrow Sea, taste dishes taken straight from the pages of George R.R. Martin's hugely popular book series. Spicy Dornish Stuffed Grape Leaves begins the culinary journey, followed by Highgarden Medieval Poached Pears with Cheese, both accompanied by a Honey Citrus Wine from across The Narrow Sea. The main course is Winterfell Beef and Bacon Pie served with a Salad at Castle Black. Sansa's beloved Lemon Cakes from King's Landing are the sweet finish to the menu. Complementary wine pairing, of course! Nothing goes better with Game of Thrones than many swigs of complementary wine - just ask the constantly imbibing characters. RSVP at 360.754.1448.

2. United States Geological Survey specialist Carolyn Driedger will present an eye-opening investigation of the history of volcano study in Washington state at noon inside the Washington State History Museum. Part of the Pacific "Ring of Fire," Washington's mountains are both beautiful and deadly, making the area a key location for early warning technology and observation. Be sure to check out the "Living in the Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington" exhibit before or after the lecture.

3. If you've resolved this year to get your brain, as well as your body, limber, the pub quiz is a great start. This athletics of the mind can be highly rewarding, both tangibly (winning nets you cash prizes, swag and gift certificates) and intangibly (finding an outlet for such mental detritus as the name of the group that sang "Walking on Sunshine" is surprisingly fulfilling). Treos in Old Town Tacoma offers a weekly Tuesday trivia game to up your cultural literacy. Expect three rounds with prizes beginning at 6:30 p.m.

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. Hungry Skinny perfect a kind of dirtbag glam befitting their Northern California roots. What initially sounds like the same sort of garage pop that comes from Ty Segall and Mikal Cronin eventually reveals itself to be impeccably assembled rock that draws from the sloppy blues-rock of '60s mods like the Rolling Stones and the Kinks. Filled to the brim with untold amounts of swagger and spit, Hungry Skinny effortlessly recreate the days when the musicians in bands were more totems than men: shorthand in human form for the carefree living and drinking rock 'n' roll supplies in spades. Catch the band with the Loud Potions and Phil Taylor at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

February 23, 2015 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Author Holly Black, Intro to Urban Gardening, Makedonians, Audio Elixir ...

Author Holly Black / photo courtesy of Youtube

MONDAY, FEB. 23, 2015 >>>

1. Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries' seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking. Until one day, he does. ... This is how author Holly Black thinks. She discusses her new fantasy novel The Darkest Part of the Forest at 7 p.m. in the University Place Pierce County Library.

2. The Evergreen State College Tacoma will offer a four-session life enrichment course called "Intro to Urban Gardening," Monday evenings, Feb. 23-March 16, from 6 to 8 p.m.  The class costs $100, which includes materials and a home consultation with course instructor Dean Jackson, who is executive director of Hilltop Urban Gardens, a food sovereignty and social justice organization in Tacoma. Jackson has been growing food in urban settings for 10 years and is a master gardener in Pierce County. Course topics will include site selection, building a raised bed, starting a planting calendar and creating proper soil for plant health. During the first session, students will start seeds indoors that will be available as transplants at the end of the class. This non-credit course is geared toward the general public and beginning gardeners with an interest in growing their own food.

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers. The shuffle is sometimes called double two-step or traveling swing, for it also uses components of two-step and the popular East Coast swing. The hoedown begins at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Elks Lodge.

4. Throughout the Makedonians' rollicking, energetic set of traditional Balkan music at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye, you will be treated to lessons in Greek musical geography, five-tone scale harmony (most "western" music uses the seven) and how to count some of the more unusual time signatures, ranging from 5 to 25 beats in a measure.

5. Blues trio Audio Elixir performs at 8 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant and Pub.

February 22, 2015 at 9:26am

5 Things To Do Today: Academy Awards parties, "The Miracle Worker," Bob Rivers, DJ Qualifi ...

In the immortal words of "Unforgiven" - “deserve’s got nothin’ to do with it.” Enjoy the ceremony as part of a lively conversation about contemporary movies.

SUNDAY, FEB. 22 2015 >>>

1. Thanks to The Grand Cinema in Tacoma and Olympia Film Society in Olympia, you can not only stroll the red carpet in your Sunday finest, you might also win one of several fabulous prizes. Show up to Theatre on the Square in a movie costume (Death to Smoochy, anyone?), and you could snag 250 bucks. That'd buy a crap ton of popcorn! Another prize up for grabs is a "Golden Ticket" good for movie admission any time till the next Oscar ceremony. Both events feature great food and drinks, and remember, your odds of winning an Academy Award of your own this year are exactly as good as Jennifer Aniston's or Daniel Oyelowo's! You'll be in beautiful company, in more towns than one. Megastar selfie! Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on the 87th Academy Awards parties in Tacoma and Olympia in the Music & Culture section, then arrive at the Theatre on the Square or Capitol Theater at 5 p.m.

2. Nena Curley was 14 years old when she performed the role of Sarah, one of the blind girls, in the Lakewood Playhouse 2003 production of The Miracle Worker. Twelve years later, Curley is the stage manager and production manager for the theater company's current production of The Miracle Worker, William Gibson's inspiring 1959 drama about blind, deaf and mute child Helen Keller and teacher Annie Sullivan's extraordinary efforts to communicate with her, which hits the stage at 2 p.m.

3. The Gig Harbor Film Festival folks are also hosting an Oscar Party at 4 p.m. in The Hub in Gig Harbor. Dinner will be served as well as red carpet pictures and a champagne toast. The Hub will have a big screen and all the other dialed into the red carpet and the Oscar ceremony. The Gig Harbor Film Festival will have film directors on hand and other local celebrities. Your $50 ticket helps finance this year's Gig Harbor Film Festival.

4. Seattle radio personality Bob Rivers will host a night of Northwest comedians at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

5. If you are looking for a crunk, trapped out, hustle-music haven then check out Champions every Sunday at 9 p.m. DJ Qualifi keeps the beats bangin' - deep bass, booty music, trap music, D-Boy/Girl music. ... All. Night. Long.  This is officially one of the spots to hit if you want to appear like you're in a 2015 rap video. Twerkin' will happen. Yeah, Champions is a hole in the wall type bar/club, but it is where Tacoma rocks on a Sunday.

February 21, 2015 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Specters, Mardi Gras Festival, Puget Sound Piano Trio, Ultra Violent Rays ...

Seattle quartet Specters will perform at The New Frontier Lounge tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

SATURDAY, FEB. 21 2015 >>>

1. Seattle quartet Specters are romanticizers of the '90s, as they say. Specifically, they bring the sort of slacker vibe to their music that bands like Pavement mastered. Unlike the weirdo energy that recent slacker rockers like Mac Demarco carry, there is a gentle power pop grandeur to the Specters that honors the guitar rock bands of the past. Melodies and hooks take their time establishing themselves, after which they nonchalantly burrow their way into your ears. at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge, they'll be sharing the stage with Tacoma favorites Wheelies and Wow, Laura, who will be bringing their brands of ragged rock and mathy pop, respectively. It'll be a night of appreciating the simple pleasures of indie rock, bent and stretched in various directions while respecting the fundamental power of a couple loud guitars.

2. The second annual Mardi Gras Festival is so loaded with authentic music, libations, food and costumes it will have you thinking the Key Peninsula Civic Center is in the middle of the French Quarter.  This year's festival will feature Richard Allen & The Louisiana Experience along with the always-exciting Kim Archer Band. Murph's BBQ will be dishing up ample à la carte New Orleans fare to include Louisiana hot sausage, dirty rice (chicken/pork/vegetarian) and seafood gumbo - topped off with a nice piece of King Cake.  Dinner and no host beverage service begins at 6 p.m., music starts at 7 p.m., and the party goes until 11 p.m.  This is a 21+ event.

3. The University of Puget Sound School of Music faculty members pianist Duane Hulbert, violinist Maria Sampen and cellistDavid Requiro will perform Mozart's Piano Trio in C major, K. 548, whichinterweaves lyrical melodies between the three instruments, while the finale is a romping allegro, with a darker middle section; Spanish composer Joaquin Turina's Circulo: Fantasy for Piano, Violin, and Violoncello, Opus 91, which has three movements, each depicting a different time of day: dawn, midday, and dusk; and Tchaikovsky's Piano Trio in A minor, Opus 50, one of the most dramatic of the piano trios from the Romantic era. The Puget Sound Piano Trio concert is at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall.

4. Imagine Philip K. Dick howling at a pale and dangerous moon while Siouxsie Sioux does a rain dance around him, but instead of rain, rainbow-colored fire falls from the sky consuming everything, leaving only a net of blue-gray regret. The Ultra Violent Rays are bassist/vocalist Cooper Gillespie and percussionist Greg Gordon, former Mad Planet members who hail from Silver Lake, California. (It's the arty suburb of Los Angeles that most resembles Tacoma.) UVR describe their style as shamanic goth pop, but there's also something very ‘80s collegiate gloom about them. They're joined at 9 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive by Beatrix Sky, Ishtmusia, masonsapron, and at least two dudes in black coats and guyliner.

5. Members of the Pacific Northwest reggae community have come together to form Stay Grounded -  a band rich in experience and new in concept. Join their good vibeat 9:30 p.m. in Doyle's Public House.

February 20, 2015 at 7:54am

5 Things To Do Today: Strangely Alright, Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo, "The Miracle Worker," the Hoot Hoots ...

Strangely Alright performs at The Swiss tonight.

FRIDAY, FEB. 20 2015 >>>

1. Strangely Alright is more than all right - the band is awesome. Its music is fun, timeless and real. The band can laugh, cry and flip people off all in one album, backed up by talent and experience. Fronted by longtime Tacoma musician Regan Lane (Baby Knockors, Strypes, Groovy Times in Babylon, BrokenNess), take the Beatles and Super Furry Animals sprinkled it with some Bowie, Traveling Wilburys and Elvis Costello and add confessional lyrics ala John Lennon and Bob Dylan and you have the five-piece power pop band Strangely Alright. "We'll perform new material I have written Friday," says Lane, "plus a Weezer-style cover of ‘Imagine,' some New York Dolls and Ramones." Our new single, ‘Come on,' will be released in a few weeks. In fact, we'll be releasing a new single and video every two months this year." Well, all right! Catch the band with SleepyPilot at 9 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant and Pub.

2. Broadway Center for the Performing Arts presents Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo at 7:30 p.m. in the Pantages Theater. Delicately stuffed into tutus and man-sized toe shoes, the gender bending all-male ballet company returns to deliver hilarious twists on classical ballet. A worldwide phenomenon, the comedy of "The Trocks" is only outmatched by their technical prowess. Performing en pointe, these "mallerinas" revel in buffoonery and antics with perfectly pointed toes and leap to the heavens with attuned choreographic precision.

3. Nena Curley was 14 years old when she performed the role of Sarah, one of the blind girls, in the Lakewood Playhouse 2003 production of The Miracle Worker. Twelve years later, Curley is the stage manager and production manager for the theater company's current production of The Miracle Worker, William Gibson's inspiring 1959 drama about blind, deaf and mute child Helen Keller and teacher Annie Sullivan's extraordinary efforts to communicate with her, which hits the stage at 8 p.m.

4. Weekly Volcano scribe Rev. Adam McKinney has long been in love with the fizzy, cartoonishly bright power pop of the Hoot Hoots. With their driving indie rock, dressed with colorful costumes and embellished with lyrics about robots and dinosaurs, the Hoot Hoots have embodied the height of blissful optimism for him in the Pacific Northwest. Seeing them live is a sweaty, exuberant joy. Read his full feature on The Hoot Hoots in the Music and Culture section., then catch the band with the Jesus Rehab, Fruit Juice and Trees and Timber at 8 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

5. Obsidian in downtown Olympia hosts "Invokation," a night of gothic, industrial, darkwave and electro tunes spun by DJs. Dress to depress for a night of classic bats-and-bondage soundscapes, beginning at 9 p.m. Bela Lugosi's dead - long live Bela Lugosi!

February 19, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: Michael Powers, Molecular Gastronomy, Tacoma Playing Cards, DJ Slimrock ...

Jazz guitarist Michael Powers plays tonight at the University of Puget Sound.

THURSDAY, FEB. 19 2015 >>>

1. Seattle's prestigious Cornish College of the Arts stole jazz guitarist Michael Powers from the San Francisco Bay area, where he emerged in 1982 graduating Magna Cum Laude with a bachelor of fine arts in Composition and Performance. While at Cornish, Powers was molded by composers Gil Evans and Sam Rivers, bassist Gary Peacock, pianist Art Lande, and trombonist Julian Priester. However, his style was also influenced by a diverse group of musicians that includes Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Charlie Parker, George Benson, Stanley Jordan, Miles Davis and Kevin Eubanks. Ah, that explains why we find his CDs in the blues, rock and funk sections. Powers will headline a special Black History Month concert at 7:30 p.m. in the Rotunda at Wheelock Student Center on the campus of University of Puget Sound.

2. Have you had shots of mango-vodka purée served in hollow spheres of frozen vanilla water? How about wild rice puffed like popcorn and seasoned with black truffle dust, then tossed in liquid nitrogen so that when you ate it, you breathed smoke? Professor Jeff Grinstead from the University of Puget Sound Chemistry Department and Chris Keil, co-owner and craft cocktail chemist at Hilltop Kitchen and Marrow in Tacoma, will explain how such dishes are created during their "Molecular Gastronomy & Alchemical Cocktails: The Science and Art of Food & Drink" presentation from 6-8 p.m. at the Tacoma Art Museum. Arrive prepared to taste fake caviar, miracle berries and liquid nitrogen ice cream.

3. Created in 2012, the Tacoma Playing Cards Blue Deck featured 54 Tacoma locations and stories created by some of Tacoma's best visual artists. The second Red deck featuring 14 artists hit the street at the end of last year. You may have appreciated these incredible images while playing your favorite card game, but you'll have a chance to see the Tacoma Playing Cards Red Deck on a much larger scale and have a chance to meet the creative force behind the works. An artist reception with giveaways and small bites will be held from 7-9 p.m. at Bluebeard Coffee.

4. Egyptian-American filmmaker Jehane Noujaim, director of the Academy Award-nominated documentary The Square, will lecture on "An Eyewitness Account of the Egyptian Revolution and the Downfall of a Regime"  as the speaker for Pacific Lutheran University's second biennial Ambassador Chris Stevens Memorial Lecture. At 5 p.m., PLU will hold a free public screening of The Square in the Karen Hille Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a free public lecture by Noujaim at 7:30 p.m.

5. DJ SlimRock spins soul, funk and more beginning at 9 p.m. inside The Brotherhood Lounge.

February 18, 2015 at 6:39am

5 Things To Do Today: Steve Stefanowicz, Holy Motors, jazz records, Unified Culture ...

Steve Stefanowicz hosts an open mic at the Harmon Tap Room tonight.

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 17 2015 >>>

1. In the days before adulthood consumed Steve Stefanowicz, the "Human Jukebox" would perform seven days a week. Blind at birth, proficient on the guitar at 15, performing solo and in his band Blind Ambition, Stefanowicz could be seen nightly through the '80s and '90s, performing any of the 1,000 songs he memorized. When not in a club, he was on stage with Lou Rawls, Sam Andrews' Holding Company, Blue Spark, Junkyard Jane, The Groovin' Higher Jazz Orchestra, jazz guitarist Michael Powers, Savoy Brown, Kansas and Elvin Bishop. To this day, the most amazing version of "Sympathy for the Devil" we have ever seen was when Stefanowicz perform it at an open jam inside Cole's in Ruston. We have our fingers crossed for another version tonight when the blues/rock singer and guitarist hosts an open mic at the Harmon Tap Room beginning at 6 p.m.

2. Metro Parks Tacoma planners invite citizens to discuss the Point Defiance Park Master Plan at 6 p.m. in the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium Education Building. This will be a chance for people to learn more about the new Pacific Rim aquarium and other capital projects and Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.

3. Holy North American Motor Highway (also known as Holy Motors, if you're into the whole brevity thing) make experimental chamber rock that comes steeped in an intangible feeling of dread. Their only release, Live at Paper Street, contains two epic-length songs recorded in a kitchen in Olympia. In the liner notes, the refrigerator's ever-present hum gets a credit. Catch the band with Sawtooth and the Loud Potions at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

4. Remember that SNL sketch with Will Ferrel as a gross homeless man posing for a sketch class? Insert "unsuspecting model" for "gross homeless man," toss in some craft cocktails and a jazz soundtrack and you have your night at Obsidian. Heather Yall and Joe Windslow will be spinning Jon Hassell albums, a little Bitches Brew and more beginning at 9 p.m., perfect music for you to work on your sketch art. Just pick an Obsidian customer and go to work. It'll just be our little secret.

5. Unified Culture - five Island boys, rooted from the Hawaiian Islands - perform a unique combination of roots reggae and dancehall, with an emphasis on wicked intros, mixes, heavy bass lines and catchy saxophone licks. Catch them as part of Jazzbones' One Love Wednesday music series at 9 p.m.

February 17, 2015 at 7:15am

5 Things To Today: Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra, Jammin' with Jerry, chili contest, The Fun Police ...

Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra will provide the soundtrack for the St. Practice Day party at Doyle's tonight.

TUESDAY, FEB. 17 2015 >>>

1. We've said it many times: Practice makes perfect. Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District lives by this adage. Every 17th of the month, the watering hole hosts St. Practice Day, a trial run at its annual, massive St. Patrick's Day party. It's a warm-up, if you will. Our page-a-day Lucky Charms Quotes desk calendar tells us there's one more month until St. Patrick's Day, which means this month's Practice Day includes the 10 Jameson drinking finalists drawing for plane tickets to Dublin, Ireland. Marty O'Reilly & the Old Soul Orchestra will keep the party rooted in a gator-bait bayou beginning at 8 p.m.

2. Anna (Agata Trzebuchowska), an 18-year-old Polish orphan raised in a convent, is preparing to take her vows to become a nun when her Mother Superior tells her to visit her only living relative, her aunt Wanda (Agata Kulesza). The chain-smoking, world-weary Communist Party insider shocks her niece by informing her that her real name is Ida, and that her parents were Jews murdered during the Nazi occupation. Together they travel into the Polish countryside to dig up - literally and figuratively - the truth of what happened to Ida's parents, exploring the legacy of the Holocaust and the realities of living under communism along the way. See it unfold before your eyes when Ida screens at 6 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

3. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Jerry Miller. 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.

4. After a brief respite from holidays that are improved by the consumption of mass quantities of alcohol, we have arrived at another doozy: Fat Tuesday, and the kickoff of Mardi Gras. It is always my suggestion to avoid the crowds during amateur nights like St. Patrick's Day and New Year's Eve, but if you insist on subjecting yourself to hordes of unruly revelers, you can do worse than catching a Fun Police show while you're at it. One of Tacoma's quintessential bar bands, The Fun Police always put on a hell of a show, with their dizzy folk-punk that incorporates elements of Americana and ska. Boasting a million members that will cram onto the Half Pint Pizza Pub's tiny stage at 7:30 p.m., the Fun Police promise a glorious mess of a show, with the Chrono Bats in tow.

5. Fans of chili: Raise your spoons and rejoice! The best chili cooks in town will dish out samples while vying for the coveted Northern Pacific Coffee Company Special Award. A panel of judges will crown the Judge's Choice award winner. Tastings will be available beginning at 8 p.m. Expect discounted beers.

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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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