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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.

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 10, 2015 at 7:11am

5 Things To Do Today: Oscar nominated documentary shorts, CRAVE: An Early Glimpse of Spring, Classical Tuesdays ...

Gabriel Serra Arguello's "The Reaper (La Parka)" is artfully shot, but frequently stomach churning images make it a difficult (but at times beautiful) watch.

TUESDAY, FEB. 10 2015 >>>

1. Oscar nominees for Documentary Shorts will screen at 1:45 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema. A film of startling intimacy, the elegiac Joanna follows a mother diagnosed with terminal cancer, and focuses mostly on her conversations with her precocious 5-year-old son. The sometimes harrowing Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 spotlights the critical work being done by the counselors at the Veterans Crisis Line in Canandaigua, New York, as they attempt to provide support to veterans contemplating suicide. In the heartrendingly empathetic Our Curse, director Tomasz Sliwinski documents his and his wife's struggles caring for their infant son, who has a rare, and potentially fatal, breathing disorder. Christian Jenson's White Earth chronicles life through the eyes of three children whose fathers' work in the oil fields of North Dakota. And Gabriel Serra Arguello's The Reaper (La Parka) follows a worker at a Mexican slaughterhouse.

2. The W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory says the flowers are blooming; the birds are chirping; more and more frequently the sun peeks through the glass dome. So, the Conservatory will open "CRAVE: An Early Glimpse of Spring" at 10 a.m. with featured flowers azaleas, cyclamen, tulips, clivia, cymbidium orchids, assorted species of winter blooming orchids, vireyas (sub-tropical rhododendrons) and oxalis (purple shamrocks).

3. Commencement Bay Haiku will meet at 6 p.m. in King's Books to read haiku or one page of haibun (prose with haiku), as well as discuss various aspects of haiku, haibun, or haiga (a painting, sketch or photo with haiku). It's not easy to convert the innards of your soul into scrawled words on paper and then wax rhapsodic as judging eyes stare at you. You have our permission to use this haiku at King's: "At the tractor pull / We shared super nachos, Coors / Belched each others' names."

4. In appreciation of these 10 years that the Slavonian-American Benevolent Society has opened their lovely hall for the Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma concerts, the 6 p.m. concert will featuring music of the Croatian and the Balkan regions. Clare Petrich, owner of Petrich Marine Dock in Tacoma, will lead the night off with a presentation "From Old Town, Dalmatia to Old Town, Tacoma ... And Back Again: An Ancestral Journey to Croatia." At 7 p.m., the female a cappella group Dunava will be followed by Dave & the Dalmatians band.

5. 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.

February 6, 2015 at 7:16am

5 Things To Do Today: "H.M.S. Pinafore," Downward Dog Mystery, baroque composers, Band of Lovers ...

Aboard the H.M.S. Pinafore, a tale of love, hypocrisy and mistaken identities unravels when the captain's daughter falls secretly in love with a common sailor. Photo credit: Peter Serko

FRIDAY, FEB. 6 2015 >>>

1. In The Simpsons' 1993 episode "Cape Feare," Bart distracts his homicidal nemesis, Sideshow Bob Terwilliger (Kelsey Grammer), by imploring him to perform H.M.S. Pinafore in its entirety. A flattered Bob replies, "Very well, Bart. I shall send you to Heaven before I send you to Hell." He follows through with a medley of "We Sail the Ocean Blue," "Hail! Men-o'-War's Men!" (Little Buttercup's Song) and a falsetto'd climax from "He Is an Englishman." So guess what? If you recognize that pop culture references, then you know some H.M.S. Pinafore. Tacoma Opera's production of H.M.S. Pinafore boasts vocals by Boston Lyric Opera soloist Michael Drumheller, Seattle Opera Guild's Ksenia Popova and returnees from The Barber of Seville. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on H.M.S. Pinafore in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

2. Seattle novelist Tracy Weber will read from her new novel, A Killer Retreat - the second installment of her award-winning Downward Dog Mystery series about a murder-solving, vegetarian yoga teacher, Kate, and her feisty German Shepherd - at 6 p.m. in Garfield Book Company. This new book finds Kate teaching yoga at a vegan retreat center when a wedding guest at the center is found dead shortly after a loud and public fight with Kate. Kate must try to solve the murder before the police put her behind bars as their number-one suspect. Weber will lead a yoga class for PLU students and others following the reading.

3. Music faculty members and students at University of Puget Sound will perform works from some of history's most influential baroque composers - from a Bach work centered on the biblical story of Cain and Abel to a Nicola Porpora piece written for the convent choirs at Venice orphanages - at 7:30 p.m. in Kilworth Memorial Chapel. The Jacobsen Series concert from the School of Music will include strings, harpsichord, and piano, with solo arias and choir.

4. Few songs are sweeter than "Tennessee," the acoustic tune by upstate New Yorkers Band of Lovers. Their debut single comes correct with homespun violin, upbeat lyrics, even trilled ooh-oo-oohs and la-di-dahs. Friends for 10 years, Sabina Beachdell and Dave Strumfeld united their troubadour talents in 2013 to craft a five-song eponymous EP. Now they're on the road in support of The Coast, a full-length, crowdfunded album they recorded in a cabin in Woodstock. See them perform at 8 p.m. in Metronome Coffee.

5. Mig Artugue is the defining voice behind Too Long Sparks, which takes spare drum machines and layers looped guitar and ukulele on top to create a moody atmosphere that builds with increasing anxiety. His vocals drift from laconic to panicked, lending an urgency to his minimalistic compositions that sounds like nothing more than one man having a nervous breakdown in the recording studio. Catch the one-man band with Middlewav, The Various Moods Of, People Under the Sun and Patrick Galactic at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

January 30, 2015 at 7:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Y La Bamba, National Geographic, violinist Maria Sampen, Adonis Puentes ...

Y La Bamba performs at The New Frontier Lounge tonight. Photo credit: Alicia J. Rose

FRIDAY, JAN. 30 2015 >>>

1. It's not surprising to learn that Y La Bamba's records have been produced by the disparate likes of the Decemberists' Chris Funk and Los Lobos' Steve Berlin. The ornate instrumentation calls to mind the revivalist classicism of the Decemberists, as well as the Latin rock of Los Lobos, but the presence of both producers at various points highlights the range and varied output of Y La Bamba. While they are more than comfortable being classical with their interpretations of folk and world music, they thrive in that middle ground, where nothing is too easy to describe, let alone predict. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Y La Bamba in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with People Under the Sun, Skinwalker and Black Wolf at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge.

2. Brian Skerry travels the world photographing marine life. His images are stunning; his stories mesmerizing; his job awesome. He's an acclaimed National Geographic photographer who captivates his audiences with the same enthusiasm and excitement with which he captures his subjects. Skerry's award winning underwater photography will demonstrate the mystery of our ocean's depths. His powerful presentations showcase award-winning imagery and thrilling wildlife encounters, inspire reverence for the marine realm, and offer hope for protecting the vitality of our world's oceans. See his work at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

3. Folk music used to be synonymous with hicks, hillbillies, rednecks and traveling hobos. But not anymore! These days folk music is a marriage of soothing folk riffs and classical strings! Hee-Haw Ma! Violinist Maria Sampen is giving this genre a good name in our books in her upcoming recital Inspired by the Folk: The Romance Between the Violin and the Fiddle. The performance will include a world premiere, a piece evoking the Jewish fiddle tradition, and works that combine Western classical music with folk traditions from America and Romania. Roger Briggs, composer, conductor, artistic director of Whatcom Symphony Orchestra, and faculty member at Western Washington University, will be in the Schneebeck Concert Barn for a world premiere of his composition Tune My Heart. Let yourself be cradled by the calming tunes of folk and traditional music at 7:30 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Barn.

4. If you have a taste for Cuba's sexy island groove, get ready to shine up your dancing shoes, because a new age of Cuban-American détente is upon us. Soñeros Adonis Puentes and fraternal twin Alexis were already well known at home before their arrival in Canada 17 years ago. Since then, both have been nominated separately for Latin Grammys. Among other triumphs, Adonis played South by Southwest in Austin and, with Ruben Blades, at Lincoln Center. He describes his all-acoustic, dance-friendly vibe as "joyous hedonism." That sounds pretty damn buena to us, asere. Catch Adonis Puentes at 7:30 p.m. in the Rialto Theater.

5. From the cacophonous pounding of the drums that open Golden Gardens' Bellflower EP, you'd be excused for thinking that a Spector-esque wall of '60s sound was coming your way. As it is, that sound almost immediately gives way to a gothic, Nick Cave-esque haze. Churchly piano and '80s synths waft in, accompanied by the ghostly vocals of lead singer Aubrey Bramble. Golden Gardens make the type of music that you might hear on the Heathers soundtrack, or in the dorm of that beautiful, moody girl down the hall - you know the one. The band performs at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 30 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 25, 2015 at 9:23am

5 Things To Do Today: Danny Glover, Hammerhead Ale, "Peter and the Wolf," Tacoma Creatives Showcase ...

Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers. Photo credit: Brian Bowen Smith

SUNDAY, JAN. 25 2015 >>>

1. Actor Danny Glover hosts an evening tribute to the famed Buffalo Soldiers - African Heritage soldiers who served with unimpeachable distinction for a country that rarely appreciated their valor and sacrifice, presented by the Buffalo Soldiers Museum in Tacoma. Glover starred in the 1997 film Buffalo Soldiers, chronicling the regiment's battles with Native Americans in 19th century New Mexico and the complicated racial tensions and realities that existed between the sides. Glover has been an actor for more than 25 years, earning numerous awards and accolades for roles in films such as Lethal Weapon and The Color Purple. He is also a renowned activist, currently serving as a UNICEF ambassador. Glover takes the Pantages Theater stage at 7:30 p.m.

2. Erivan and Helga Haub donated 295 Western American works of art from their private collection to the Tacoma Art Museum, along with endowment funds for the future care and educational opportunities related to the collection. The collection spans 200 years, from famed early artists/explorers to notable present day masters. Read Alec Clayton's full story on the Haub Family Collection wing at the Tacoma Art Museum in the Music & Culture Section, then see the exhibit from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. In 1983, unemployed Mike McMenamin bought the former Fat Little Rooster tavern in Portland and renamed it the Barley Mill. Brian McMenamin soon joined in and today they own threescore pubs, taverns, clubs, hotels, dance halls and a village called Edgefield. The McMenamins have the golden touch - to convert desuetude into quirky, funky, artful joints to gather and drink. One of the early McMenamins beers, the Hammerhead Ale, celebrates its 29th birthday. It's a classic Northwest pale ale and McMenamins top selling beer. The beer's signature Cascade hop nose and intense hopped flavor blend nicely with the caramel tones from the crystal malt. McMenamins Spar Café (114 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia) toasts the Hammerhead's old age by offering $3 pints of the 5.93 percent ABV ale all day.

4. The Tacoma Symphony Orchestra opens its Mini Maestros family series at 2:30 p.m. with a performance of Peter and the Wolf at the Rialto Theater in downtown Tacoma. Conducted by Music Director Sarah Ioannides, the performance will feature the famous piece by Sergei Prokofiev that has introduced generations of children to symphonic music.

5. The Nearsighted Narwhal book store hosts its Tacoma Creatives Showcase featuring novelist/playwright Nick Stokes, children's book author/poet/illustrator Jennifer Chushcoff, artist Angela Jossy and modern day troubadours Band of Lovers. Hosted by Michael Haeflinger, the talent hit the stage at 6 p.m. 

LINK: Sunday, Jan. 25 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 24, 2015 at 8:16am

5 Things To Do Today: Skates, nature walk, Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless, Handel's "Alcina," Solvents ...

Skates are a Seattle-based pop-punk band featuring former members of The Redwood Plan.

SATURDAY, JAN. 24 2015 >>>

1. Skates is a band formed almost on a whim, formed from the ashes of the recently defunct Redwood Plan. Frontwoman Lesli Wood made a move basically akin to Queen vowing to not use synthesizers on their album, or like Joe Jackson nonchalantly making the decision to not include any guitars on an album, except to the most extreme degree: Wood ended one band and formed another in one month, based on just one name alone. Where The Redwood Plan was a jittery fury of dance-punk, Skates finds its comfort zone with surfy pop-punk, almost in the same vein as fellow Seattleites Tacocat. Gone are the squirrelly synthesizers and panicked vibes, now replaced with Skates' analog surf-pop. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skates in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Hot Cops, Deep Creep and Wimps at 9 p.m. in the 4th Ave Tavern in downtown Olympia.

2. Explore Tacoma Nature Center during a seasonal naturalist-led family walk from 1-2 p.m. Discover the plants and animals that live in the park and how they adapt in the different seasons.

3. Members of the Olympia hip-hop community, and beyond, join together for the Hip-Hop 4 the Homeless benefit at 5 p.m. in the Olympia Ballroom. Originally founded in Vancouver, B.C., in 2002, HH4H moved to Olympia in 2007. This year performing are Afrok, The Staxx Brothers, AKA, Free Ya Mind, The Zulu Nation (206 and 25Z60), VintageDOPE, Formula Boogie and others, as well as the 6th Annual 25360 Awards presentation. 

4. George Handel's magical opera Alcina, based on the epic Italian poem Orlando Furioso, features back-to-back solos littered with cadenzas, lots of cross-dressing and heavy use of castratos - from the time when castration was the quickest route to success for aspiring opera singers. PLU Opera presents the three-act play that tells the story of a Circe-like sorceress who loses her powers when she falls in love with one of her captives, Ruggiero. Meanwhile, Ruggiero's fiancée, Bradamante, comes disguised as a man to rescue him, like Leonore in Beethoven's Fidelio, and like Leonore she attracts the attention of another young woman, Alcina's sister Morgana. The play can be both ravishing and heart-rending, given the way both Alcina and Ruggiero are in a perpetual state of inner conflict. (Handel was clearly more touched by the complicated villainess than by the goody-good guys.) James L. Brown will conduct the chamber orchestra in Italian with English supertitles, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in Eastvold Auditorium.

5. Considering how abrasive and corrosive solvents can be, the band Solvents may as well be a swimming pool filled with fluffy teddy bears. The Port Townsend duo are a master of controlled intensity, blending guitar and violin in ways that can attack as much as they soothe. The interplay between Jarrod Paul Bramson and Emily Madden is what draws you into the world of Solvents, where everything skirts the line of dusty Americana and introspective pop. catch the band with Teach Me Equals, Dweller on the Hill and RedRumsey at 8 p.m. in Bob's Java Jive.

LINK: Saturday, Jan. 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 23, 2015 at 7:50am

5 Things To Do Today: Composer Neil Thornock, "The Great Gatsby," Kurt Lindsay, DoctorfunK ...

University of Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris goes off tonight.

FRIDAY, JAN. 23 2015 >>>

1. Feel like your life could use a little more "je ne sais quoi"? Well, we know quoi: You need a classy joint, a night out on the town, some sweet percussion action. Perhaps in the form of a world premiere duet for marimba and euphonium, written by award-winning composer Neil Thornock, professor of music composition and theory at Brigham Young University in Utah. That's the ticket! The wooden-keyed marimba - loved by Latino and modern classical musicians alike for its softly resonating tones - traces its history back centuries to the Mayan tribes in Guatemala. The deep-voiced brass euphonium, a four-valved sister of the baritone horn, had its earliest origins in Renaissance Europe. Together the two instruments create a melodious and otherworldly sound. "It is going to be an exciting night," said concert conductor and University of Puget Sound Director of Bands Gerard Morris. "Audiences will hear works including percussion instruments of all sorts, richly combined with euphonium, clarinet, piano, strings, and a video-recorded carillon located in the Centennial Carillon Bell Tower at Brigham Young University." The 7:30 p.m. recital in Schneebeck Concert Hall also will include the piece Amnesia Variance, by the late lee Hyla, featuring the hammered dulcimer. Sweet.

2. In 1922, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote a short story called "Winter Dreams," which formed the basis for his most celebrated novel. Other than the novel's title, however, every other detail was true. Fitzgerald did meet his Maker with every reason to believe The Great Gatsby would vanish into obscurity. What Fitzgerald couldn't know is that during World War II, paperback copies of the book (among many others) were handed out free to U.S. soldiers, who lapped it up by the hundreds of thousands. It has since sold more than 25 million copies, and is considered among the greatest of all American novels. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on The Great Gatsby in the Music & Culture section, then catch Tacoma Little Theatre's production at 7:30 p.m.

3. Weekly Volcano music critic Rev. Adam McKinney says there are vocal similarities between Kurt Lindsay and late cult singer-songwriter Jeff Buckley. The Rev. says, "Lindsay's voice, like Buckley's is simultaneously full of bravado and wounded timidity. It quivers with feeling, though it might be noted that Lindsay's voice often comes across as more lost, searching, which adds a nice element to what is largely music that errs toward modern rock, with some detours to friendly mixers like R&B and folk." See for yourself at 8 p.m. when Lindsay performs at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. 

4. Jazz drummer Maria Joyner-Wulf performs with many groups in the region including Seattle Women's Jazz Orchestra, Jazz Senators and Bevy. She's also a music educator, band leader, composer and multi-instrumentalist. She'll join pianist Reuel Lubag, bassist Wayne Bliss and saxophonist Cynthia Mullis for a righteous show at 8 p.m. in the Washington Center.

5. Unh, get on up! Sometimes you just got to get funky. The 10 Seattleites in DoctorfunK may not look like a prototypical funk band - no bell bottoms, star shades or afrofuturist hairstyles here - but they do have some serious chops. Their music is informed by emphatic, Tower of Power-style horns and Bay Area humanism. As Parliament said, they'll put a glide in your stride and a dip in your hip. Get down at 8 p.m. in Jazzbones.

LINK: Friday, Jan. 23 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 13, 2015 at 7:06am

5 Things To Do Today: Classical music and cookies, MLK celebrations, "Pump," Karaoke Party ...

Tacoma Youth Symphony takes over Classical Tuesdays in Old Town Tacoma tonight. Courtesy photo

TUESDAY, JAN. 13 2015 >>>

1. Classical music is not like spinach. Sure, your mom might have insinuated that cultivating a taste for both was good for you, but the goal of Classical Tuesday in Old Town Artistic Director Pamela Ryker is to get you to see that, unlike the somewhat slimy green stuff that left a funny feeling on your teeth, the musical dish she serves up is spicy, peppy fun. They'll be plenty of moms in the Slavonion Hall at 7 p.m. when Ryker hosts the Tacoma Youth Symphony chamber music ensembles. The glue-eating kid won't be there. The night will feature the best of the best: of the hundreds of students in the Tacoma Youth Symphony orchestras, the top instrumentalists will be showcased in small groups of woodwinds, brass and strings. Expect cocoa, coffee and cookies.

2. Two Martin Luther King, Jr. celebrations happen today. A Living Voices performance will serve as the featured entertainment at Bates Technical College's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the college's South Campus Auditorium. The performance, titled "The Right to Dream," follows a young African American student growing up in small-town Mississippi, where the American Civil Rights movement is on the horizon. Audience members will watch as the animated performer brings life to civil rights-era issues. At Joint Base Lewis-McChord, the I Corps Equal Opportunity Office will sponsor a celebration of the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. from 1-2:30 p.m. at French Theater on Pendleton Boulevard, Lewis Main.

3. The Grand Cinema screens Pump at 1:50 and 6:40 p.m. as part of its Tuesday Film Series. The film examines why Americans are so lacking in options at the gas station, what that means about the future of transportation and environmental health, and why the oil-driven American Dream must die - why it is dying.

4. If hearing the sound of your own cackling voice echoing off the walls of your shower stall has you craving the sound of something a bit more harmonious, check out the local songbirds at Victory Music Open Mic in the Antique Sandwich Co. from 7-10 p.m. It's guaranteed to be jam-packed with gorgeous sounds and humbling verses, as the South Sound's greatest up-and-coming acoustic musicians bare their souls impromptu-style.

5. Karaoke is a uniquely egalitarian way for people to live out minor fantasies while also blowing off steam. Teddy hosts a Karaoke Party at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 13 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

December 9, 2014 at 7:28am

5 Things To Do Today: Puyallup River Film Festival, Polar Plaza, Classical Tuesdays benefit, Bobby Meader ...

"Rodney Raccoon Goes Green" won the Grand Prize at the 2014 Puyallup River Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Youtube

TUESDAY, DEC. 9 2014 >>>

1. Done on a budget of $434, spanning 23 trips over eight months up and down the Puyallup River - from Mount Rainier to Commencement Bay - you are eager to show the public your film at the Puyallup River Film Festival from 6-9 p.m. at the University of Washington-Tacoma. Using shots of spiritual rituals, inspirational landscapes and devastating destruction, and interweaving them with a score combining bluegrass, you have expressed ideas about the interconnectedness of humans and the river, and the transcendence of evolution. With a generous grant from The Russell Family Foundation, the University of Washington Tacoma will host the second annual film festival focused on the Puyallup River Watershed. Community members, students and non-profit organizations located in or working in the watershed submitted two- to three-minute videos related to issues affecting the Puyallup River and its tributaries. Of all the judged categories - open, middle school, high school, college/university, non-profit and government - you are confident your film will walk away with at least one award. You have to win; you invited all your friends, even that one guy who skinny-dips in the river.

2. Whether you want to channel your inner Winter Olympics sports nerd, capture the magic of the season in a vibrant urban venue or just have a wintery and sporty adventure, break out the ice skates, people, because the Franciscan Polar Plaza, in partnership with the Tacoma Art Museum, is open from 4-9 p.m. Bring family and friends to Tacoma's holiday ice rink for holiday fun and a good time right in the heart of downtown Tacoma.

3. Ron Bates has performed '40s tunes since the '80s. He knows Sinatra's songbook inside and out. Catch him at 6:30 p.m. for a Supper with Sinatra show at the Red Wind Casino.

4. This year's Classical Tuesdays Wine & Song Benefit in Old Town Tacoma will feature Neapolitan songs and standard Italian opera hits by tenor Gino Lucchetti. Baritone Charles Robert Stephens will sing romantic songs from the 1940s and 1950s. The two singers will also perform duets. Equally important, the night will feature lovely wines by neighboring Ginkgo Forest Winery, which kicks off at 7 p.m. inside the Connelly Law Offices. This annual event benefits the free Classical Tuesdays in Old Town chamber music series. So bring $25.

5. Bobby Meader's music is not technically complicated, or particularly unusual by any means. But it's heartfelt, a broken man with the raspy voice of an old punk turned soft, who strums like a early Bob Dylan or a John Denver, supporting himself on harmonica. It's the kind of music that makes you think of bad breakups and that trip to the woods you were supposed to make months ago. Catch Meader at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

LINK: Tuesday, Dec. 9 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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Melisa Ben said:

i liked reading about the religious girls.they are interesting. ...

about 5 Things To Do Today: Religious Girls, "Big Eyes," sports chat, Kurt Lindsay ...

Web Developers Delhi said:

very informative post for me as I am always looking for new content that can help me and my...

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Carv said:

I do think it's worth noting that Noah is a quarter-Jewish--and matrilinearly to boot, which...

about Nerd Alert issued for Trevor Noah and "It Follows" horror film

Andrew Gordon said:

Thanks for the article, Carv! The article mentions Pellegrino's Italian Kitchen - just to...

about A murder at Journeycon: To hostility ... and beyond!

Marcy LaViollette said:

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

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