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November 26, 2014 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Ugly Holiday Sweater Party, Vicci Martinez, Movember Mustache Party, Kim Archer ...

It's going to get real ugly at Doyle's Public House tonight. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 26 2014 >>>

1. You knew there was a reason to hold on to the Christmas-light-laden and obscenely geometric printed green-and-red sweater. You once thought even the one with reindeer had potential. Now it’s time to explore your closets because, ladies and gentlemen, the ugliest holiday sweater contest returns to Doyle’s Public House at 8 p.m. The ugly holiday sweater contest prizes will be shelled out for the best worst male, best worst female, best worst couple and best worst group. "The more crocheted reindeer, the better," says Doyle's co-owner Russ Heaton. Hey, it's better than hanging out with your relatives, right?

2. When it comes right down to it, few things in this world can top a freshly poured, frosty barley pop. We're referring to beer, of course, and it's way more than a delicious sexual stimulant/memory eraser - beautiful beer is an art form unto itself. In keeping with its tradition of promoting awareness and appreciation of this heavenly beverage, the ParkWay Tavern hosts "Honey, The Parkway Ruined Thanksgiving Once Again!" The Stadium District tavern will yank out their strong brews, aged winter beers, barleywines, Belgians and stouts beginning at 5 p.m. Your hand will shake like a sonofabitch as you gnaw off that turkey leg. 

3. Well, November is drawing to a close and with it the end of everyone's favorite excuse to grow facial hair, Movember. Over at The Social Bar and Grill they're going to be celebrating their first Movember Mustache Party beginning at 7 p.m. Mo Bros (the dudes who participated in this anti-cancer campaign) are encouraged to come in costume in honor of the fight against prostate cancer. For every drink purchased, The Social will donate $1 to cancer research. Not only do they have mustache themed drinks but they will also have a photo booth to capture your Thanksgiving Eve 2014 memories, a DJ and prize giveaways for those who receive the winning raffle tickets.

4. Imagine soulful music of yesterday being forcibly pumped out of Janis Joplin's larynx and then lathered with the silkiest velvet, and you've a pretty good idea of the kind of groove Kim Archer can make. Archer has a strong, emotional voice, a robust musical sense and a willingness to work outside the tightly proscribed boundaries of the genre. Tonight, Archer will rock The Hub Gig Harbor's annual Thanksgiving Eve party. Expect food and drink specials, with Kim jamming from 7-10 p.m.

5. There isn't a better way to spend Thanksgiving Eve than a Vicci Martinez show. Tacoma's Martinez became a household when she competed on NBC-TV's The Voice. At 8 p.m., she'll perform at her home away from home, Jazzbones. The night has two added bonuses. First, it's a release party for her second live performance release, Live From Jazzbones 2. Second, Mirrorgloss will take time off from recording to open the show, performing a bunch of new tunes.

LINK: Wednesday, Nov. 24 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

November 10, 2014 at 1:05pm

Tacoma Filmmakers hosts Wait-a-Minute Film Competition

Good things sometimes come in small packages, and that's the goal with the Wait-a-Minute Film Competition in Tacoma.

Come one, come all to the inaugural run of the Wait-a-Minute Film Competition - a competition designed to involve members of Tacoma Filmmakers as well as other local filmmakers in a competition with a straight-forward goal. The goal - create a one-minute film within the span of a week.

"We hoped that those who were otherwise intimidated about making a film would see that this wouldn't be such a daunting task after all. The whole goal of Tacoma Filmmakers is to encourage local filmmakers to create films and network with others who want to create films," says John Kephart of the Tacoma Filmmakers executive committee.

The contest is pleasantly open and inviting to all Washington state residents. Rules are simple - entered films including their credits must be 60 seconds; films must be written, edited, scored and completed between 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 16 and 6:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 23. To ensure all films are actually created during that week, participants will be granted a mystery element when they register for the contest at Sanford and Son Antiques between 3-4 p.m. Nov. 16.

"The mystery element is what ensures that the film is made between the period of November 16 and November 23," says Kephart. "If teams don't have the mystery element in their films, they either made it ahead of time or somehow forgot to include it. The mystery element will be something simple, non-intrusive to the story the filmmakers are telling - in case they wish to show their film elsewhere the mystery element won't necessarily stand out as something included to satisfy a demand it be there. On the other hand, there IS an award for best use of the mystery element. ..."

Filmmakers can enter the contest solo or with a team. If you seek a team and yet don't know any other filmmakers, you can contact David Ewing at dayviewing@gmail.com to connect with others looking for team members.

There's an entry fee of $5 and there are prizes. Best Film awards will be given both to a film chosen by the executive committee and by the audience - both of these will win a $50 Visa card. There will also be certificates for Best Use of the Mystery Element, Best Editing and Best Youth Film for Filmmaker Under 25. Entries must be in mp4 format and turned in on a flash drive, which will be returned. For more information, visit tacomafilmmakers.com.

Stay tuned for details on the viewing party Wait-a-Minute Film Competition Viewing Party.

Filed under: Contest, Screens, Tacoma,

August 6, 2014 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Blueberry Festival, Walk Tacoma Scavenger Hunt, The Brown Edition ...

Participants enjoy the 2013 Berry Festival outside the Anderson University Center at PLU. Photo credit: John Froschauer/PLU

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 6 2014 >>>

1. As we wolfed down fresh wild blueberries, we couldn't recall the last time we ate any fruit quite so flavorful. Eating a blueberry still warm from the sun was like tasting one for the very first time. Its essence goes straight to our heads. And everyone knows blueberries are loaded with antioxidant compounds that travel through the body reducing free radicals that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases. We were pumped to hear Pacific Lutheran University brought back its berry festivals, specifically the Blueberry Festival today from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. The berry festivals are a summertime tradition at PLU; each monthly lunchtime concert focuses on one delicious berry and features summery desserts and free live music and entertainment, which features folk-rock musician and PLU alum Peter Benjamin. Bonus: local farmers and community groups will be onsite promoting community-supported agriculture, sustainable communities and local food. We no longer have to jump a certain fence to gather wild blueberries ... although, the price was right.

2. We gotta spent this paragraph of copy convincing you that spending your Wednesday afternoon combing downtown Tacoma for clues, answering trivia, and completing challenges while snapping photos is as unbelievably rad as we both know you know it is. Downtown On the Go Walk Tacoma Scavenger Hunt asks you to begin the hunt between 4:30-5:30 p.m. at the Social Bar and Grill, then use public transportation and your feet to take you to destinations scattered across downtown before meeting back at the Social Bar and Grill for food, drinks and prizes at 6:45 p.m. This is pretty much as close to a purpose that one can hope to find in an uncaring, noncasual universe, and the very notion you'd need encouragement is ridiculous. But, it's free and there is no need to pre-register.

3. With a rotating cast of contributors and performers over the past seven years, the core of Champagne Sunday is the creative brain of Jessi and Jared Fredeen. Jessi's huge, soulful vocals could star on Broadway, on tour with Garbage or in your church choir. Her voice - which draws comparison to Chrissie Hynde and Ani Difranco - ranges from a hushed lullaby to a soaring celebratory wail. Jared, armed with a James Taylor-ish voice, guitar and a passion for raw music, can rock star pose when Jessi wails, then float on a cloud when she takes it into the ethereal edges. Catch them at 6:30 p.m. for a free, outdoor show in Old Town Park.

4. Peter Finn, The Washington Post National Security editor and one-half of the team that wrote The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle over a Forbidden Book, will speak at the Olympia Timberland Library from 7:30 to 8:45 p.m. Finn and his co-author, Petra Couvee, bring to light a story that has stayed behind the historical scenes for decades, a cold war drama in which Russian novelist Boris Pasternak's literary masterpiece, Dr. Zhivago, became a pawn of two super-powers.

5. If you want to get a party started, start it off with The Brown Edition. Self-described as "all the soul, funk and jazz your ass can handle," the Brown Edition's music keeps listeners happy because it keeps them glued to the dance floor. The band pushes the funk forward; he also reveres those who came before them. Lead singer Miguel Pineda is fiercely serious about the music that he loves. The entire band is a who's who of Olympia's jazz and funk scene. Bassist Thomas Pell tackles the meatier end of the, uh, funk stick, and it's just sick. Get into the groove at 7 p.m. at Sylvester Park in downtown Olympia.

LINK: Wednesday, Aug. 6 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

July 24, 2014 at 11:18am

2014 Best of Tacoma on the street, readers' poll winner announced

The 2014 Best of Tacoma is on the street. Many thanks to photographer Jason Ganwich!

The time has finally arrived. The Weekly Volcano's annual Best of Tacoma issue is on the street. And once again it stands alone as the definitive user's guide – for urban explorers and bar stool wise-asses alike - to Grit City and Pierce County.

Maybe you filled out the Weekly Volcano's Best Of Tacoma survey and maybe you didn't. But either way the super-sized, all-powerful Weekly Volcano Best of Tacoma 2014 edition is now spread out on tables or the bottom of birdcages.

If you did vote, then probably you're anxious to discover if you won the random drawing for dinner for two at Lobster Shop and overnight stay in a Premium Suite at the Silver Cloud Inn on Tacoma's waterfront.

Drum roll please ...

Congratulations to Jim Konek of University Place. Our Steno Pool is tracking down Jim.

The 2014 Best of Tacoma will be posted online in a few days.

We thank our readers for their continued support, and our advertisers deserve a nod as well for their part in keeping the Weekly Volcano free and on the streets. Thank you!

Filed under: Best of TAcoma, Contest, Tacoma,

July 10, 2014 at 11:17am

Tiki Logic: Tacoma Fire Dept. music video vote, saxophonist Paul Sawtelle Kickstarter, Nolan Garrett Single Scavenger Hunt

Listen to Nolan Garrett's music and win a prize!

If you're anything like Bobble Tiki, then you're about halfway done healing after having been on the wrong end of a dangerous, though admittedly riotous, prank involving a bratwurst bun and three-dozen bottle rockets. Sometimes patriotism hurts.

While resting in the burn ward of the secret smart-person hospital that Bobble Tiki prefers, his iPod never stopped. There was the Replacements for bed-pan changes, Motörhead to amplify doctor visits, The Ramones for throwing crap at the guy next to Bobble Tiki, Tom Waits when things got weird, the Police to get all weepy and nostalgic over high school with, and more often than not, rock ‘n' roll singing-songwriting genius John Hiatt.

Bobble Tiki has always been able to identify with rock lyrics whether or not he agrees with their stance. But Hiatt's music Bobble Tiki can physically feel. They're true.  They sting.

Since he has all the time in the world, Bobble Tiki thought he'd mention a few musical notes from the South Sound. ...

Tacoma's Fire Department Station 12 has paired up with local filmmakers to create a music video for Good Morning America's 5-Alarm Firefighters Challenge. Your vote today by noon can help them win $10,000 to be donated to the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Operation Warm Coats for Kids.

Watch the video here and vote by clicking on the poll Tacoma button on the right side of the page.

Tacoma saxophonist Paul Sawtelle is using the crowdsourcing platform Kickstarter to raise funds for his first solo CD, Virtual Insanity. Notable names include guitarist Eric Tingstad, keyboardist Brooke Lizotte and vocalist Jessica Lynne.

All proceeds go to Ted Brown Music (TBM) Outreach, a 501c3 nonprofit that works to put instruments in the hands of kids who can't afford to play in school band.

Visit Paul Sawtelle's Kickstarter page here.

Guitarist Nolan Garrett will release the first of six singles at 4 p.m. Sunday July 13 at the Jazzbones Stage during the Art on the Avenue Tacoma community festival on Sixth Avenue. The single, "I Don't Know," is part of a summer campaign of singles, which he calls the Single Scavenger Hunt. The singles will come out on download cards only and will complete a map that will lead to the grand prize when the final single is released at the end of the summer.  

"I Don't Know" is basically a song about the uncertainties of death and not knowing what happens when you die. I wrote this as kind of a letter to my family members that have died ... most likely, one of my grandmas," states Garrett in a news release. "The song is saying that the older I've gotten, the more uncertain I am about death, and I'm asking my passed on family members for some kind of answer."

Grab a download card Sunday at Art on the Ave.

There's probably more local music news, but Bobble Tiki doesn't really care because he doesn't even know you, and unless you want to give Bobble Tiki a post-blog-post rubdown, he's sure he doesn't want to meet you. Besides, it's time for him to close this laptop 'cause there's a telemarketer on his Blackberry he'd like to get to know better.

Filed under: Bobble Tiki, Music, Tacoma, Contest,

June 22, 2014 at 8:22am

5 Things To Do Today: FISH Food Benefit Concert, Pride Parade, Tacoma History Hike, Dayclub ...

Champagne Sunday will rock for FISH today.

SUNDAY, JUNE 22 2014 >>>

1. It's like money in dog years. For FISH Food Banks of Pierce County, every dollar raised has seven times the buying power. Based on this math, last year's Maurice The Fish Records benefit concert brought in nearly $50,000 to help feed the hungry. This year's FISH Food Benefit Concert has eight bands taking the stage at the all-ages, family friendly 3-7 p.m. show at Louie G's in Fife. Musical artists span many genres and include: James Coates, Champagne Sunday, Vividal, Moss Brothers, The Approach, Tin Man, Nolan Garrett and Strangely Alright. Read Nikki McCoy's full feature on the FISH Food Benefit Concert in the Music & Culture section.

2. Capital City Pride began under the aegis of Rainbow Center Olympia. Back then, the festival drew a few hundred people. Now as many as 10,000 celebrants converge on a two-day extravaganza that marks the climax of a very busy year for the organization. Today marks day two of the fabulous celebration with The Pride Parade at noon followed by another full day of music. There will be information and food booths in the park, a marvelous kids' area with activities provided by the Hands On Children's Museum, lots of speechifying and, of course, drag performances.

3. If you are looking for a quiz that calls for more than sitting on a stool with a pint of beer, or if you have killer knowledge of Tacoma history that you feel compelled to show off, then this trivia game is for you. Today you can test your local authority against other history buffs. The Tacoma History Hike is a high-suspense, high-speed scavenger hunt that begins at the Washington State History Museum and leads you to a variety of checkpoints within a 1.5-mile radius, allowing you to walk, run, skip or bike the course. Each checkpoint provides the answer to a question of Tacoma-related historical trivia. Collect as many as you can in the time allotted, and return to the museum for music, awards, goody bags and admission. There is still walk-up registration at 12:30 p.m. with the race at 2 p.m.

4. The Social Bar and Grill's patio is a lovely spot to while away a weekend afternoon, sipping cocktails and old world red wine and watch condo residents walk their dogs. Come Sunday afternoon, resident DJ Mr. Melanin and rotating guests spin an eclectic and extremely tasteful selection of lounge, bossa nova and electro soul music 2-6 p.m. This triple threat of delicious happy hour specials, sun and hip tunes is known as Tacoma's only daytime summer party, "Dayclub."

5. Seattle film director Megan Griffiths' latest film, Lucky Them, stars Toni Collette as a Seattle rock journalist who is ordered by her magazine's editor, played by Oliver Platt, to search for a long lost rock god who also happens to be her ex-boyfriend. In the story she teams up with an eccentric amateur documentary filmmaker played by Thomas Haden Church.  Read Jared Lovrak's review of Lucky Them in our Music & Culture section, and then chat with Griffiths after the 2 and 4:20 p.m. screenings at The Grand Cinema.

BONUS: Don't get stuck watching the World Cup games cornered in some dingy bar with a 10-year-old TV and '80s classic hits on the radio. Doyle's Public House's giant tent with two huge TVs (and a bar) will make it feel like you're along the Amazon watching the games (minus the Piranhas). USA takes on Portugal today at 3 p.m.      

LINK: Sunday, June 22 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 12, 2014 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Bull-riding contest, World Cup, Spit-Take, Forces ...

Hop on tonight at Steel Creek in downtown Tacoma.

THURSDAY, JUNE 12 2014 >>>

1. Steel Creek American Whiskey Company kicks off its three-day, one-year anniversary celebration with a bull-riding contest and line dancing. Enjoy drink specials, but practice moderation so you can partake in all of the fun that requires hand-eye coordination. If not, the whiskey fueled shenanigans can be just another hazy memory. Get the chance to work on your "boot scootin' boogie" with free line dance lessons or hop on the mechanical bull and hang on for dear life - cash and swag prizes go to whomever walks away the bull-riding champion. Read Jackie Fender's feature story on Steel Creek's anniversary and new menu.

2. Doyle's Public House in Tacoma's Stadium District has erected a 4,400 sq. ft. tent in its neighboring parking lot, placing two, 20-foot screens on opposite ends to the 2014 World Cup games, which launches today. There will be raised seating on both sides of the tent to provide better sight lines as well as increased standing room. A centrally located bar will make it easy to quench your thirst. Doyle's co-owner Russ Heaton has some thoughts on the World Cup.

Northwest author Brian Doyle will discuss his new novel, The PLOVER, at 7 p.m. in the Puyallup Public Library. Doyle's appearance marks the kick-off for the Puyallup Public Library's Adult Summer Reading program, which officially begins June 16 and runs through Aug. 16. Doyle's book is about searching for something on a boat in the Pacific Ocean. Like we're going to tell you.

4. Connecticut poppy and punk/emo band Spit-Take, featuring members of Heats of Formation and Secret Parts brings its Wipers, Lemonheads and Jawbreaker inspired music to Le Voyeur for a 7 p.m. all-ages show with Snow Roller.

5. Erick Olson, Matt Johnston and Jason Riley are Forces, a band too weird to live and too rare to die. The electronic rock band will play The Swiss with PYP, Vaughan and DJ Mernsivich at 8 p.m.

LINK: Thursday, June 12 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

June 5, 2014 at 11:59am

Best of Tacoma 2014 - Vote Now!

Do it.

Put on your thinking caps, and tell the Weekly Volcano what you think makes Pierce County tick. Your answers will be disclosed in our upcoming Best of Tacoma 2014 special section, a guide that offers a savvy glimpse into the real lives of the real folks who live in the ever-changing Pierce County.

Think you know the best band, restaurant, politician, blog or thrift store? Want to help spread the word about the best bike shop, make-out spot or bar in our area? Cast your vote. Remember, our annual survey isn't just the city of Tacoma. If you say the best restaurant is in Gig Harbor, so be it. If the best villain is in Lakewood, then vote it so. Voting in the Weekly Volcano's Best of Tacoma Readers' Poll is a lot like participating in a national election: No bitching about the results unless you play the game. The results of our ultra-scientific survey will be published in the Weekly Volcano Best of Tacoma issue July 24.

THE PRIZE!

All ballots must be received by Sunday, June 29 at 11:45 p.m. Those that arrive before the deadline will be eligible to win dinner for two at the Lobster Shop and overnight stay in a Premium Suite at the Silver Cloud Inn on Tacoma's waterfront. The winning ballot will be chose at random.

Let's do this thing. VOTE NOW!

April 8, 2014 at 8:00am

Tournament of Burgers: a champion crowned

Westside Tavern was crowned champion of the 2014 Tournament of Burgers. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

It's a simple equation. Take ground beef and add heat. Then, it becomes tricky. Choices need to be made. Griddle or grill? Plain salt or complex seasoning blend? Poppy seed or potato bun? In those choices lie the path to burger greatness.

Over the past three weeks we've pitted 64 of the South Sound's best against one another in the mother of all reader-voted burger brackets. You've seen the carnage: No. 1 seeds fell, powerhouses butted heads and surprise patties made a run at the prize. 

Yesterday, our Tournament of Burgers came to a close. The championship match pitted the Westside Tavern in Olympia against Maxwell's Restaurant & Lounge in Tacoma, and you, the voters, made your decision. It was the closet margin of victory in Weekly Volcano food tournament history. For the first time, the championship party meant more than an excuse to drink on a Monday.

The day began with Maxwell's gobbling up online votes for an early lead. The Westside Tavern kept the game within a lettuce leaf's length, holding back its steak burger. At 3 p.m., Maxwell's surged forward after server Kent jumped up on the bar and broke out in what he calls the Burger Slide. With an hour left in the online voting portion, the Westside Tavern unleashed the kraken, their steak burger. When the 5 o'clock bell chimed, and the online voting closed, the Westside had a 17-vote lead.

At 6 p.m., the Tournament of Burgers moved into the live vote portion of the championship game, initiating a ballot vote and a bunch of beers at Meconi's Tacoma Pub. The Westside Tavern contingent arrived a half-hour before Team Maxwell's made its way down Saint Helens Avenue. The televised NCAA Men's Championship hoop game would every so often steal a burger conversation.

As promised, we tallied the on-location votes during halftime of the hoop game, a vote Maxwell's managed to own. After the raffle prizes found homes, and I stumbled through an explanation over Meconi's PA system, both vote sessions were combined and the Westside Tavern of Olympia was crowned the Tournament of Burgers champion by a four vote margin.

Then, a burger love fest broke out. Both restaurants congratulated each other, tossing out compliments (and tossing back shots!) as well as posing for pictures. An hour after Westside's win, both teams still held court at Meconi's, signing autographs and telling stories of early bracket victories.

Both South Sound burger joints will receive Tournament of Burgers trophies after engraving. Also, look for an upcoming feature on the Westside Tavern in the Weekly Volcano.

So it's official: Westside Tavern is the winner of Weekly Volcano's 2014 Tournament of Burgers. Eat it up, South Sound.

Thank you!

We would like to extend special THANKS! To Ricky J's Restaurant & Lounge for sponsoring the Tournament of Burgers. The popular Puyallup hangout really stepped up and made the tournament possible.

Also a big thanks to Meconi's Tacoma Pub and Eatery for hosting our Tournament of Burgers championship party last night. Good times.

But most of all, thanks to all the awesome folks who voted. You rock.

See you next spring for the Tournament of Mac N Cheese!

April 7, 2014 at 7:56am

Tournament of Burgers: Final vote and tonight's party

Today's marquee matchup: The Westside's Tavern Burger vs. Maxwell's Walker Burger.

<<< MONDAY, APRIL 7: GAME CLOSED >>>

Update: Tournament of Burgers champion crowned.

The titanic burger throwdown finale is on! Voting for the 2014 Weekly Volcano Tournament of Burgers Readers' Poll Championship game is live.

After three weeks of voting, you have picked the most popular burger joints in the South Sound. What began as 64 burger-slinging joints has been narrowed down to two: Maxwell's Restaurant and the Westside Tavern.

Who do you think has the best burger?

The daily burger battles on Walkie Talkie are sponsored by Ricky J's Restaurant and Lounge in Puyallup.

Welcome to the big dance. Online voting will end at 5 p.m. Vote for one burger joint per game. Voting will resume at 6 p.m. live at the Tournament of Burgers Party at Meconi's Tacoma Pub in downtown Tacoma. Ballots will be handed out, which will also serve as raffle tickets. The live vote will close at halftime of the NCAA Men's Tournament final and the South Sound Burger champion will be announced.




Thanks again for voting! See you at Meconi's Pub at 6 p.m.

LINK: What's up with this burger tournament?

LINK: Hot Damn! Yes, I want the South Sound Happy Hour App!

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