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April 23, 2015 at 10:19am

Growing people: On the job at L'Arche Farm & Gardens

I'm not going to lie: I was underwhelmed when I first glanced at a press release from L'Arche Farm & Gardens. That wasn't L'Arche's fault. It's because I know next to nothing about farming and/or gardening. What little time I've spent near either farms or gardens was in my teenage years, and I sure don't remember enjoying it then. I mean, chickens are the worst. Have you spent any time around chickens, other than the deep-fried kind served in a bucket? They're the reason I'm still proud to be a carnivore. And turkeys? Ugh, turkeys. They're so dumb they drown themselves sometimes by looking up at rain. And don't think I made that stuff up. It's a fact, by which I mean an urban (rural?) legend that's been tidily disproved on Snopes. And they're mean, too! - like the killjoys at Snopes.

Anyway, back to the good folks at L'Arche. My distaste for agriculture notwithstanding, it turns out there's something newsworthy about this operation. It offers dignity and societally meaningful labor to nine Tacomans with developmental disabilities. The six-acre farm hawks its wares at three farmers markets and contributes to Eating Locally in Pierce County. Its employees and volunteers attend local craft fairs and plant sales. In fact, L'Arche Farm has been making floral and paper crafts, such as holiday wreaths and paper crafts, for three decades. Their 2015 season gets underway soon, with an annual Spring Fling opening celebration on April 25. Look for can't-miss deals on herb and vegetable starts, hanging baskets, and plants both annual and perennial. Following that event, L'Arche Farm greenhouses will open each weekend through June, in addition to their regular 8-4 weekday hours.

It's also worth noting that the farm's much-appreciated volunteer staff includes people from a wide variety of backgrounds, aged from fourth grade to fourth decade and up. These South Sounders come together to make great food and art in the service of self-worth for all, hence their motto "Growing People Growing Plants." Look for L'Arche Farm's organic produce at 6th Avenue Farmers Market, Broadway Farmers Market between 9th and 11th, and Proctor Farmers Market at N. 27th. For more information, especially on how to donate, volunteer or serve on L'Arche's Farm Advisory Board, visit www.LArcheTHC.org and look for the Get Involved! Online form. You can also email Farm@LArcheTahomaHope.org directly. Just be careful to stay away from any turkeys.

SPRING FLING, 10-4 Saturday, April 25, L'Arche Farm & Gardens, 11716 Vickery Ave. E., Tacoma, free admission, 253.535.3178

Filed under: Olympia, Events,

April 9, 2015 at 6:40am

5 Things To Do Today: Charles Cross, LeMay Cruise-In, Tacoma Runners, Cody Raymond ...

Charles Cross will speak at the University of Puget Sound tonight.

THURSDAY, APRIL 9 2015 >>>

1. Charles Cross captained The Rocket, Seattle's monthly rock newspaper, during the era when Nirvana played Seattle Vogue club before a handful of people and you could eat breakfast next to Eddie Vedder at the original Cyclopes Café up the street from the Seattle Art Institute. Overnight, Seattle and the Northwest had gone from being a backwoods that turned out national stars roughly once a decade (in the '60s, the Kingsmen and Jimi Hendrix, in the '70s, Heart) to a music hub like New York or Los Angeles. The Rocket gave way to The Stranger, and Cross went on to pen articles in hundreds of magazines, as well as author of seven books, including Heavier Than Heaven: The Biography of Kurt Cobain (Hyperion/Hodder, 2001). Universal Pictures has acquired the rights to Heavier Than Heaven, which is the first film to be made from Cross' work. His Hendrix book has also been optioned. The University of Puget Sound hosts Cross and his thousand stories at 7:30 p.m. in Kilworth Chapel.

2. Every second Thursday LeMay - America's Car Museum drive their classic cars onto their plaza to mix and mingle with other car enthusiasts, eat some barbecue, listen to music, vote on the People's Choice Award and enter to win the raffle. The first Cruise-In of the year goes down tonight from 5-8 p.m.

3. The public is invited to attend an informative, entertaining and free presentation by special guest Peter Altmann of Tacoma as he discusses his family ties to the painting "The Woman in Gold", at 5:30 p.m. at the Gig Harbor Civic Center. Altmann is the great nephew of Adele Bloch-Bauer, who was immortalized in a painting by the world-renowned artist Gustav Klimt.

4. Forget light and low-carb beers. The Tacoma Runners have a better method for fighting fat: They run then drink beer. They're the classic drinking group with a running problem. They meet at 6:30 p.m. every Thursday at a Pierce County alcohol-slinging joint, run 3 miles and then return to the starting line to celebrate. Tonight, the group will meet at Two Town Pub and Cafe along Ruston Way.

5. Cody Raymond, an Oregon native born in Corvallis and raised in Albany, has attended Berklee College of Music as a Music Production and Technology Major, and is currently at the Seattle Art Institute as an Audio Production Major, recording all his own music to include drums, bass, guitar, piano, and all vocals and harmonies. Raymond is as much a guitar player as he is a musical visionary, capable of composing and performing anything heard in his own head. Catch him at 9 p.m. in The Swiss.

April 3, 2015 at 6:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Hip-hop show, Jordan Family Circus, "It Follows," South Sound Improv Comedy Festival ...

Hip-hop compilation “All Your Friend's Friends” sounds were mined exclusively from the stuff of previous K releases by the likes of Dub Narcotic Sound System, Karl Blau, and the iconic Beat Happening. Photo courtesy of Facebook

FRIDAY, APRIL 3 2015 >>>

1. Olympia producer Smoke M2D6 raided the archives of legendary alternative record label K Records to put out an album of Pacific Northwest MCs rapping over K Records artists. The resulting compilation, All Your Friend's Friends, is selling like hotcakes. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on All Your Friend's Friends in the Music & Culture section, then head to Grit City Grindhouse skate shop at 7:30 p.m. to see XPRERIENCE, Smoke M2D6, Real Life Click, Zikki and others perform songs off the album and more.

2. Today-through Sunday the Jordan Family Circus sets up its tents at the Washington state Fair Event Center, more than ready to stick their entire head in a wild beast's mouth for nothing more than your applause ... and a small entrance fee. See it while you still can - 4 and 7:30 p.m., plus five more times this weekend. It'll be just like when you were a kid, except you'll actually spend the entire time updating your Instagram status with popcorn-eating selfies and not paying attention to a damn thing around you. This is what your life has become.

4. At 4:05, 6:30 and 8:50 p.m. in The Grand Cinema, the most buzzed-about horror movie in some time: It Follows. The film has an ingeniously simple premise. Our heroine is plagued by an entity that slowly and patiently follows her everywhere, sometimes appearing to her as friends and loved ones. If the being gets her, she's dead. The only way to get rid of the spook is to sleep with someone, thereby transferring the evil presence onto them. It's a sneaky way of exploring STDs and relationships - two longtime preoccupations in the horror genre - in new and terrifying ways.

4. Seth Roth has been singing since the age of 5. The Tacoma singer-songwriter grew up on Steve Perry and Lou Gramm, but has one solid foot in the Bob Dylan and Neil Young camp. Roth has been serving coffee at Harmon's Hop Coffee since the day it opened inside the Harmon Tap Room in Tacoma's Stadium District. Roth will perform at 8 p.m. in Cork! A Wine Bar.

5. Comedy hasn't evolved much since the glory days of ventriloquist and puppet. Every so often, there's a Gallagher smashing watermelons or a musical funnyman like Jack Black, but for the most part, comedy is a dude on a stage with a microphone, plodding through a joke-punchline-new-joke routine. Boring! Well, that changed last year when Harlequin Productions hosted the South Sound Improv Comedy Festival hosting acclaimed improv troupes from the Olympia area and the Puget Sound region at 8 p.m. in the State Theater. The festival returns, with such troupes as Unexpected Productions, Jet City Improv, Fools Play, Olyimprov, Generation Friends, Hat Trick Pony and Harlequin's own improv troupe, Something Wicked. Local favorite standup comedian Morgan Picton will emcee.

April 1, 2015 at 5:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Walk Tacoma, "TCC 50th," Doug Benson, aerial show in a bar ...

Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba / Sithi uhm ingonyama

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 1 2015 >>>

1. On National Walking Day, why not get up off your booty and commune with Tacoma on foot? Downtown On the Go hosts another Walk Tacoma event. At lunchtime, the organization will lead a walk through Tacoma's Stadium District. Participants will join Melissa McGinnis from Metro Parks, former Tacoma mayor Bill Baarsma and Exit133.com and Tacoma Runners founder Derek Young and learn about the history of Wright Park, residential complexes adjacent to the park and Stadium High School. The first 250 walk participants will receive a swag bag. There is no need to pre-register for the event, simply meet in at the south side of the park on Sixth Avenue near the lion sculptures.

2. Tacoma Community College opens their "TCC 50th Anniversary Art Exhibition" today with a 4-6 p.m. reception in The Gallery. Meet the artists, have a snack and celebrate 50 years of art education at TCC.

3. Puyallup River Brewing Alehouse will be pouring Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA, Young's Double Chocolate Stout and Bitburger Pilsner on draft, as well as some special beers in the bottle. It's Import Night at the downtown Puyallup taproom from 6-9 p.m.

4. San Diegan Doug Benson has been performing standup comedy since 1986, when his buddies dared him to hop on the stage and do three minutes. He's released seven comedy albums, starred in the movie Super High Me, and costarred on everything from Friends to Mr. Show with Bob and David. If Wikipedia is to be believed, he appeared as a visible extra in Blade Runner, Fast Times at Ridgemont High and backup dancer(!) in Captain EO. In 2009, thanks to a jokey appearance on Fox News's Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld, Benson scored something of a coup by pissing off the entire government of Canada. Benson drops by the Tacoma Comedy Club at 8 p.m. This isn't an elaborate April Fool's Day prank, by the way. He really will be there. We checked.

5. The Brotherhood Takes Flight aerial show is back, featuring Charly McCreary and others taking to the air with whimsy, strength and artful grace at 8 p.m. in The Brotherhood Lounge. The performance above the drinking crowd is just plain beautiful. A dance party with DJ Fir$t Lady follows.

March 27, 2015 at 6:29am

5 Things To Do Today: The Cutwinkles, station wagons, "In a Dark Dark House," Tobi Stone's Texture Band ...

The Cutwinkles will rock The Valley tonight.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27 2015 >>>

1. Without slipping into needless hyperbole, we're just going to go ahead and say The Cutwinkles are a Tacoma institution. Formed at the Tacoma School of the Arts about a decade ago, they established themselves as a genuinely unique entity in these parts. Armed with an unhealthy preoccupation with video games, The Cutwinkles specialized in goofily theatrical pop-punk odes to Super Mario Bros. and dragons. They are always marked by a sense of humor and playfulness that stands out against the typically serious garage rock, meta, and folk that tend to dominate the Tacoma music scene. Catch the band with The Fabulous Downey Brothers and masonaspron at 8 p.m. in The Valley.

2. Who can forget the Griswold's infamous green and wood-paneled Wagon Queen Family Truckster in National Lampoon's Vacation flick? Remember the tricked-out Ectomobile in Ghostbusters? Baby boomers across the country wanted to call shotgun and ride with Brady kids in their Plymouth Satellite. Station wagons are an American automobile icon and a symbol of the family road trip. There are few vehicles that conjure up the delight of the family vacation as the great American station wagon. A collection of the sleekest, shiniest, top-of-the-line wagons will make their debut at America's Car Museum today.

3. Longtime musicians Ben Fuller and Justin McDonald will team up for a 7 p.m. show at Treos in Old Town Tacoma. Fuller's brother, Ted "Ten Fingers of Doom" Fuller, is rumored to join the show.

4. Neil LaBute's In a Dark Dark House, presented by Theater Artists Olympia at 8 p.m. in The Midnight Sun Performance Space, takes place 20 years after the summer that set the course for two estranged brothers lives - reunion to uncover the secrets and lies that have shaped them into the men they've become: One a hand-to-mouth blue collar man struggling to find fulfillment, the other a wealthy attorney caught in the grip of self-destruction. As the brothers soon discover, old habits are hard to break. Slowly, surgically, each has to learn the truth from the other, while trying to keep their own demons buried. This play contains discussions of child abuse, sexual abuse, violence, incarceration, and brief homophobic and ableist language.

5. Saxophonist/composer Tobi Stone has composed an evening of original music in homage to her mentor, late jazz saxophonist Bert Wilson, at 8 p.m. in The Washington Center. Stone's Texture Band blends African grooves with jazz harmonies. The septet features Samantha Boshnack on trumpet, Naomi Siegel on trombone, Tobi Stone on saxophone, from Japan Sumi Tonooka on piano and from west Africa Masa Kobayashi on bass, Thione Diop and Etienne Cakpo on drums.

March 24, 2015 at 1:14pm

Nerd Alert has been issued for Emerald City Comicon, Rock Candy Burlesque, Scientology, "Interstellar" ...

Jewel Staite of "Firefly" joins the geeky goodness in Seattle this weekend.

Pouring one out for Xenu in his electronic mountain trap, this is Nerd Alert, the Weekly Volcano's recurring events calendar devoted to all things nerdy. I myself am a Star Wars fan, mathlete, and spelling bee champion of long standing, so trust me: I grok whereof I speak.

FRIDAY, MARCH 27

Sadly, Karen Allen (Marion Ravenwood), Morena Baccarin (V, Homeland) and Jenna Coleman (the lovely and charming Clara Oswald) had to bow out of appearances at this weekend's Emerald City Comicon. The event recovered, however, by adding Jewel Staite and Gina Torres of Firefly. Also in attendance: Hayley Atwell (aka Agent Carter), Kurt Busiek (Astro City and Marvels), Anthony Daniels (C-3PO), Grant Imahara of Mythbusters, Lucy Knisley (Displacement and Relish), STAN LEE, Mike Mignola (Hellboy), Marina Sirtis (Deanna Troi), Bruce Timm (DC's animated series), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead) and dozens of other folks you'll recognize or should. The second level of the Washington State Convention Center will be devoted to gaming tournaments, including a dozen demos. Genre authors Kevin J. Anderson, Greg Bear and Michael A. Stackpole offer informed advice to new writers. A kids' area includes a costume parade, a workshop devoted to clay animation, and a visit from Emperor Palpatine's feared 501st Legion. For superhero, sci-fi and fantasy geeks all over western Washington, this weekend-long festival is annual home base.

EMERALD CITY COMICON, Friday through Sunday, Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Place, Seattle, $10-$295, 888.372.3976

The shamelessly sentimental comedy I'm directing for Olympia Little Theatre, Charles Morey's Laughing Stock, is about a summer of rep plays at a star-crossed theater in a refurbished barn in New England. The year is 1993, as "The Playhouse" struggles through rehearsals and performances of Dracula and Hamlet, with Murphy's Law in full effect and love and chemical fog in the air. Here is my promise to you, the consumer: if you laugh harder at any other play this year, I will personally buy you a Coke.

LAUGHING STOCK, 7:55 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 1:55 p.m. Sunday, through April 19, Olympia Little Theatre, 1925 Miller Ave. NE, Olympia, $8-$14, 800.838.3006

An unsettling drama from Neil LaBute (In the Company of Men, Nurse Betty) reunites a pair of estranged brothers two decades after devastating childhood events In a Dark, Dark House. It's not a musical. It sure ain't a comedy. It is, however, perfect for the dark, dark Midnight Sun Performance Space, and for avant-garde Theater Artists Olympia. Christopher Rocco directs. There will be trigger scenes.

IN A DARK, DARK HOUSE, 8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, through April 11, 2:30 p.m. April 12, Midnight Sun Performance Space, 113 Columbia St. NW, Olympia, $15, 360.259.2743

SATURDAY, MARCH 28

The self-described "legendary sexpots" of Olympia's Rock Candy Burlesque celebrate their third anniversary with host Tyler Lockwood, special guests Bananas Foster and Mae Zing, and cake, if you know what I mean. (I mean cake. I like cake. Count me in.)

ROCK CANDY BURLESQUE: A TIME FOR CAKE-PAST, FUTURE AND PRESENTS!, 8 and 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Rhythm & Rye, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, $10-$13, 360.705.0760

SUNDAY, MARCH 29

HBO and documentarian Alex Gibney take on the Church of Scientology in Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, based on Lawrence Wright's jaw-dropper of a book and debuting tonight at 8. Our lawyers inform us Scientologists are a fine organization of people who haven't been duped by a schlocky extended space opera con of a pseudo-religion. Also, our fondness for that noble body should in no way be attributed to its propensity for devastating lawsuits.

TUESDAY, APRIL 1

Christopher Nolan's mind-expanding masterpiece Interstellar, which gives 2001: A Space Odyssey a run for its monolith as best hard-SF epic of all time, arrives on Blu-Ray and DVD. April Fools! Oh, Interstellar does hit video today, but its screenplay is light-years from being as clever as it thinks (and, frankly, declares) it is. That third act in the LSD library is rather a mess. I did like the cameo and robot.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may you attain the full glory of the state of Clear.

March 21, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Rhythm and Rye Party, Flea Market, Taste of Gig Harbor, Amy Schumer ...

The Oly Mountain Boys will help Rhythm and Rye celebrate their first anniversary tonight.

SATURDAY, MARCH 21 2015 >>>

1. We knew the traditional fifth anniversary gift was the astoundingly lame "wood," and, of course, the 25th anniversary is the silver and 50th golden. We're pretty sure the 75th is either oxygen tanks or pre-chewed food. Apparently, the first anniversary is the kickass music anniversary, because downtown Olympia music and whiskey venue Rhythm and Rye is celebrating its first year in operation with bands Hillstomp (punk blues) and The Oly Mountain Boys (bluegrass), the two bands that officially opened the venue last March 21. The show begins at 9 p.m.

2. You spend hours wandering around consignment stores, yard sales, and nothing. Break the cycle. Rethink your thought process. Antiques - The older they are the better. And, unlike the average retail giant's merchandise, you can sometimes get a deal. So come check out the Women's League Annual Flea Market and peruse more than 60 vendor booths of previously owned antiques and collectibles, sporting goods, home furnishings, clothes, books and more from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the University of Puget Sound. It's the University of Puget Sound Women's League's 47th flea market to fund student scholarships. A silent auction runs throughout the day. Not so silent? You when you happen across mannequin legs! 

3. The Gig Harbor Rotary presents Taste of Gig Harbor from 5:30-10 p.m. at the Tacoma Narrows Airport. Weekly Volcano foodie Jackie Fender has the scoop here.

4. If we need to tell you who Amy Schumer is, you must not own a TV. Her Comedy Central series Inside Amy Schumer was nominated for an Emmy. Both Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone praised it as one of last year's best series, especially a firecracker of a sketch about a Call of Duty-type video game. Schumer wields one of the 21st century's most distinctive, vital, quotable comic voices, and it's won her gigs from Cosmo to Fox News to a slot in the upcoming Ghostbusters reboot. That's right, Amy Schumer will soon be given her very own proton pack. For a comedian in her 30s, that's like being named one of the apostles. Catch her at 8:30 p.m. in the Emerald Queen Casino.

5. The Fucking Eagles reminds one of a '50s sock hop mixed with a backwoods roadhouse show of the same era. It's fun as hell. Catch the band with The Wimps and Vibrating Antennas at 9 p.m. in The New Frontier Lounge, as part of the Bleak Outlook Vol. 3 festival.

March 16, 2015 at 11:00am

Military families turned out for party at Marymount Car Museum

Isabelle Poole smiles as she receives a trim Maria Afrens during the His & Her Party held at the Marymount Car Museum. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

Five-year-old Isabelle Poole sat quietly as a barber trimmed her hair.

"We're fixing her hair," her mother, Karen Poole, said.

"This past Thursday she tried cutting her own hair, so today's event came at a good time for us to stop by," she added with a thin smile.

I began to get the picture.

Standing nearby, husband and Sgt. 1st Class Greg Poole, 1st Special Forces Group, held the couple's 2-year-old daughter, Kayla.

"She also cut her sister's hair as well," the girls' mother continued. "So both girls are now getting their hair fixed."

Now I had the picture.

Servicemembers like the Pooles from Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Camp Murray, Naval Base Kitsap, reservists and retired military had accepted an invitation to attend a His & Her Party Sunday afternoon at the Marymount Car Museum.

Lining the walls of the Marymount gymnasium where the majority of the event was staged were vintage cars, gasoline signs and other automobile memorabilia.

The Ranger and Northwest Airlifter newspapers produced the event, sponsored by USAA.

As to Marymount, it is a propitious venue.

Marymount Military Academy opened in 1923 under the guidance of the Sisters of St. Dominic with 30 boys in attendance, though the number fluctuated over the years to as many as 120 students.

With the end of the Vietnam War in 1975, the sisters ended their operation of the military school.

By the 1980s, maintenance problems led the sisters to sell Marymount. It is at this point that Harold and Nancy LeMay purchased the buildings and ground.

Today, Marymount is the home of the LeMay Family Collection Foundation. 

The event's activities included a Man Cave, antique cars, hair services, teeth whitening, hand treatments, door prizes, giveaways, game shows with prizes and acupuncture.

"It's really nice to be here to show our support of the military," said Ann Goode, co-owner of Sportclips. "And this is a wonderful place to hold the party."

Filed under: Military, Events,

March 12, 2015 at 6:53am

5 Things To Do Today: Puget Sound Boat Show, Warren G, Ancient Victorys, Dead Larry ...

Find a boat that matches your personality at the Puget Sound Boat Show opening today at the Tacoma Dome. Photo courtesy of Facebook

THURSDAY, MARCH 11 2015 >>>

1. Giving boaters and anglers an opportunity to see and touch, compare prices and features, and talk with experts about the newest technological advancements in boats and motors and fishing gear holds great appeal and utility in the Puget Sound area. Just before boat season begins, the Puget Sound Boat Show will showcase 2015 models and closeout models offered by more than 20 area dealers, boating accessories and fishing gear and more than two dozen hours of how-to seminars through Sunday, opening at 11 a.m. in the Tacoma Dome. Shop and compare a selection of boats - ranging from kayaks and inflatables, aluminum models popular with fishermen, fiberglass sport boats and offshore models offering luxury and durability.

2. The quarterly Ancient Victorys Open Mike brings back some of the 3,000 acoustic music performers from open mikes run by Chris Lunn in this state and California from the 1965 through 1990 to the Antique Sandwich Co. at 7 p.m.

3. Based on one audience suggestion, The Improvised Shakespeare Co. will create a fully improvised Shakespearean masterpiece at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center. Each of the players has brushed up on his "thee's" and "thou's" to bring you an evening of off-the-cuff comedy using the language and themes of William Shakespeare. All of the dialogue is said for the first time, the characters are created as you watch, and if ever you're wondering where the story is going ... so are the actors.

4. Having worked with everyone from 2Pac to Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre (his half-brother), Warren G is a vital voice of not only reality rap and party music, but he has always been a conscientious and active voice in community driven issues. Long Beach is in the house for a 8 p.m. show with Grynch, Wanz at Crytical in Jazzbones. Sing Nate Dogg's (RIP) hooks, y'all! 

5. More so than many of the other bands striving to capture the feeling of music in the '90s, pop weirdos Dead Larry feel like they emerged straight from the time capsule. It's remarkable how uncanny their resemblance is to the pop eccentrics like They Might Be Giants, Ben Folds Five, the Lemonheads and Crash Test Dummies. Dead Larry is unabashedly upbeat music that finds their footing in piano pop, with diversions into white-boy-funk, and stoned psychedelic explorations. Catch the band with Birger Wink, Larry Wish and American Forrest at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

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.

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