THE LOWDOWN ON WHAT'S UP THIS WEEKEND >>>
Friday: Cloudy with a little rain, hi 48, lo 41
Saturday: Mostly cloudy with some annoying rain, hi 46, lo 37
Sunday: Some rain here and there, hi 44, lo 39
>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 25: CLUSTERFLUFF: AN ECLECTIC GLITTER EXPLOSION
Rock Candy Burlesque promises a smile, a flip of the skirt and a grind of the hips. The Rock Candy is one of the many highlights of Friday's Clusterfluff: An Eclectic Glitter Explosion at The Royal Lounge in downtown Olympia. The burlesque troupe plans to not only showcase its curves, but some (hidden?) talent, too. A raffle for a Rock Candy calendar, special guests from Twin City Tease, as well as a meet and greet (plus photo ops) with the ladies will also be going down. The Rock Candy's motto is "hard, sweet and sticky." Enough said. - Nikki McCoy
- The Royal Lounge, 7 p.m., $12, 311 Capitol Way N., Olympia, 360. 705.0760
>>> FRIDAY, JAN. 25: ICE BLOCK PARTY
We can't think of a better way to celebrate winter than sampling nine different winter ales on Varsity Grill's heated outdoor patio. (Well, maybe being surrounded by snow bunnies in a remote mountain cabin with a hot tub and three weeks off work!) But, for being a Friday night in Tacoma, this is awesome. "It's one of our best parties of the year," says Razhida Pope, Varsity Grill general manager. To go with the delicious brews, expect tacos served outdoor street style, and heaping warm bowls of chicken corn chowder as well as dessert made with beer. After dinner, follow the party inside for live band karaoke. - NM
- Varsity Grill, 5:30-9 p.m., $20, $15 for Varsity Serious Beer Drinkers Club members, 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229
>>> ALL WEEKEND: TACOMA HOME & GARDEN SHOW
Surely you have a few home improvements you've been meaning to make. Maybe, for instance, your retirement community building caught on fire. Need some inspiration to get the job started? This week the annual Tacoma Home & Garden Show returns to the Tacoma Dome, running through Sunday and bringing more garden demonstrations, bathroom renovation tips, vinyl siding samples, shag carpet displays, mulching systems and kitchen cabinet seminars than you'll find just about anywhere. This marks the 30th year of the Tacoma Home & Garden Show. — Weekly Volcano
- Tacoma Dome, Friday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., $10 adults, $8 Seniors, 16 and younger free, $16 two-day pass, 2727 E. D St., Tacoma, otshows.com/ths
>>> SATURDAY, JAN. 25: WESTSIDE TAVERN ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY BASH
The Westside Tavern in Olympia went through some serious transformation during 2011. Gone are Big Buck Hunter and pull-tabs. They have been replaced by refurbished pool tables and the classy photography of Casey Grant featuring tattooed ladies and Olympia beer. Gone is the tattered blue paint on the outside of the building - inside and out. The ambiance has been mellowed by earthy paint tones, accented by red. Gone is the greasy spoon bar food. The Westside now serves homemade upscale menu items, such as portabella fries with sweet Chile sauce and pineapple express sliders. Saturday, new owners Dean and Lisa Damitio celebrate their first year of being the coolest bar on the Westside by offering a live electric acoustic set by Vaughn Johannes and food and drink specials all night. A super great staff is there to please, and they have a nice heated smoking patio, too. "It's a community place for people to come gather," says Dean, "which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve." — NM
- Westside Tavern, 8 p.m., no cover, 1815 Harrison Ave., Olympia, 360.915.7839
>>> SUNDAY, JAN. 27: SOUTH SOUND WEDDING SHOW
A large percentage of people get married at some point during their lives. Some people, like Newt Gingrich for instance, do it several times. Hopefully soon it will be legal for gay folks to marry too. The fact is, weddings are a big part of our existence. All the more reason to check out the sixth annual South Sound Wedding Show Sunday at Centralia's Great Wolf Lodge. Expect everything from wedding gown and tuxedo models to dancing demonstrations. Pro Tip: If you're South Sound Wedding Show date ditches you for one of the Great Wolf water slides, he's probably not the one. — WV
WHAT SOME OF OUR STAFF MEMBERS ARE UP TO
CHRISTIAN CARVAJAL Theater Critic
I'm seeing Or, at Harlequin Productions. Yes, the comma is part of the title — plus my friends' intriguingly named band, Dutch Professors.
REV. ADAM MCKINNEY Music Writer
There are two fantastic shows this weekend at The New Frontier: Friday, with I Like Science, Glass Elevator, Oh Dear! and Battersea, and Saturday with Not From Brooklyn, the Harvey Girls and People Under the Sun. I'd find it hard to miss either.
ALEC CLAYTON Arts Critic
Saturday night we're going to see Or, at Harlequin Productions in Olympia. It's a fascinating play about a cross dresser who survived the Nazis in Germany on wit and guts. Sunday, Gabi and I are doing the talkback after The Children's Hour at Lakewood Playhouse - a riveting play, to say the least.
NIKKI MCCOY Feature Writer
This weekend brings an extra shift at the bar Saturday night, which means I will be serving pre-funkers headed to the Royal Lounge for E 40. I also invited Jared Warren from Big Business to come visit me and have a drink on me, so we'll see. If he doesn't make it, I'm sure there will be an entourage from the Capitol Theater in search of libations before, during and after the Bones Brigade flick and Big Business double feature. Other than that, I should probably do some laundry.
JOSH RIZEBERG Music Columnist
Friday night I'm going to check out the all-ages hip-hop line-up at The Loch's in downtown Tacoma. It's only $5 to get in. There are some good Seattle artists coming to perform on the bill. The show starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at 1 p.m. I'll be teaching my spoken word poetry class at D.A.S.H. The center is looking for 13- to 19-year-old poets who want to compete in slams. If ya know a young person who is good, send them to D.A.S.H. Saturday is also swim lessons for my little one. Later that day I'll be performing spoken word poetry at Hip-Hop 4 Homeless. This is an all-weekend event, Saturday and Sunday at the Olympia Ballroom. I'll be going-on during the Free Ya Mind segment of the show. Sunday, I'll be hanging with my Jewish community at Temple Beth El.
JACKIE FENDER Food Writer
This weekend will be a mellow weekend. I'll be writing and slinging booze some ... and otherwise floating around in a pregnancy-induced haze.
JOANN VARNELL Theater Critic
I will spend this weekend rejoicing in completing the first semester of the school year while simultaneously lamenting that my SOTA intern is almost done with her J-term (and me). Of course, all that really means is I have no plans other than entertaining the toddler, spending time with the husband, and attending church on Sunday. The toddler keeps asking for a backpack so maybe I'll finally sew the fabric I cut out last weekend.
TIMOTHY GRISHAM Music Writer
Olympia is a swinging place when Leg. session is in. (Pun here: swinging from the rafters) So to celebrate the increase in temporary citizens, I plan on taking in a movie at Tacoma's Grand Cinema, then catching some form of live show (undecided yet as to what), and a meal somewhere away from downtown
Olympia. Curry Corner in Lacey sounds great.
NIC LEONARD Music Writer
Saturday night I will be checking out the Hip Hop 4 Homeless event at the Olympia Ballroom. Afterward, I'll be heading over to The Royal to open up for Bay Area legend E40. Go me!
ROCKFORD ROWLEY All-Ages Music Columnist
This weekend my friend and I are headed over to Cashmere, Wash. to visit some friends and attend a dessert party. We'll probably also visit Leavenworth, and enjoy the faux Bavarian town during its holiday season.
LINK: Even more local events that we recommend
LINK: Comprehensive South Sound Arts & Entertainment Calendar