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March 3, 2015 at 7:41am

5 Things To Do Today: "National Gallery" film, Tap Tasting Tuesday, Chinese New Year ...

Frederick Wiseman's lengthy "National Gallery" doc takes a provocative stroll in and about the famed British art museum. Tag along today at The Grand Cinema.

TUESDAY, MARCH 3 2015 >>>

1. Frederick Wiseman's three-hour documentary about Britain's National Gallery is a rather sly house of mirrors, in which we watch a film and, within that film, we watch others gaze at a painting, while also joining them in that act. Not to be outdone, many of the paintings - their subjects commissioned portraits, or figures of myth and Christianity - stare just as intently back at us. National Gallery screens at 1 and 6:20 p.m. in The Grand Cinema.

2. Pop by the Harmon Tap Room today for their Tap Tasting Tuesday special. Sample four, 5-ounce beers paired with four small bites for only $10 from 5 p.m. to close. Helluva deal, especially for those indecisive types.

3. Yielding, softness, centeredness, slowness, balancing, suppleness and rootedness are all characteristics of the ancient Chinese practice of Tai Chi. They are evident in names of the movements, like "Cloud hands," and in the movements themselves. The principle of Tai Chi can also be summed up in the title awarded to its founder, "a spiritual man who has attained the Tao and is no longer ruled by what he sees, hears or feels." Ring in Chinese New Year 2015 at the Tumwater Timberland Library with a program for all ages, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The Olympia Tai Chi & Kung-Fu Club will perform the traditional Lion Dance and demonstrate Tai Chi and the martial art of Kung-Fu.

4. Jerry Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller hosts an open jam at 7 p.m. in Dave's of Milton.

5. TCC@TCC! - a group of Tacoma Community College communications students raising money for local tutoring nonprofit write@253 - has teamed up with the Tacoma Comedy Club for a benefit comedy performance at 8 p.m. Write@253 provides after-school homework hope to kids in underserved Tacoma neighborhoods.

February 14, 2015 at 9:30am

5 Things To Do Today: TUSH! Burlesque, Kids ‘N' Critters, Harlem Globetrotters, Neil Andersson Trio ...

From left: Ginger Smack, Edyn Beaver, Aurora Darling, Nani Poonani, Miss Hattie Hotpants, Wednesday du Monde, Bettie Beelzebub and Princess Lucky Buttons. Photo by Ashley McKenzie, courtesy TUSH! Burlesque

SATURDAY, FEB. 14 2015 >>>

1. When it comes to love, anything is possible. Love makes the world, and your heart, spin. Love makes the soul sing. When the subject is love, let nothing be in moderation. TUSH! Burlesque will present multifaceted emotions of passion, temptation and lust at 9 p.m. in the Capitol Theater. It's a valentine to the sights, sounds and sexiness of Olympia, featuring our readers' 2014 pick for Oly's best band, Full Moon Radio. Read Christian Carvajal's Q&A with the women of TUSH! Burlesque in the Music & Culture section.

2. Northwest Trek Wildlife Park hosts its annual Kids ‘N' Critters weekend at the wildlife park from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. You'll see bison, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, moose and deer roaming the 435-acre park. But, keep an eye out for those evil squirrels during your 30-minute tram rides. Bonus: Up to four children 12 and younger will be admitted free to Northwest Trek with each paying adult over the long Presidents Weekend. Expect story times, special workshops, moose crafts ... and squirrels.

3. The Harlem Globetrotters have come along way from traveling to their very first games in founder-coach Abe Saperstein's Model "T" Ford. Back in 1926, their astounding antics, athleticism, wizardry and hijinks won the world over from the start. Hmm, take the children to this: It's simply not acceptable for them to go around thinking the Nike ballers invented these amazing feats of dribbling. Catch the Trotters at 2 and 7 p.m. in the ShoWare Center in Kent. This is history, baby!

4. The Blackberry Bushes Stringband, Wild Rabbit and Renegade Stringband will bring their stringband mayhem to Rhythm & Rye at 9 p.m. - part of a larger tour, informally dubbed "The Winter Tour of Stringband Mayhem," which has the three bands visiting eight Northwest cities. There is a strong roots music scene in the Northwest that spans the whole spectrum from traditionalists to those using traditional elements in more modern pop or rock influences. The Blackberry Bushes (Seattle), Wild Rabbit (Bellingham) and Renegade Stringband (Portland) span that spectrum. The Blackberry Bushes perform mostly original material, but they'll keep a thread of bluegrass and old-time going through their show. Wild Rabbit is a little more pop. Renegade is a little more traditional.

5. Local gypsy guitar legend Neil Andersson of Pearl Django is joined by well known next generation heavyweights Josh Hegg and Cameron Arneson for an enchanted evening of Hot Club Jazz, Django style at 9:30 p.m. in Doyle's Public House.

February 13, 2015 at 7:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Skrill Meadow, artist Glory Cancro, Air Supply, "My Bloody Valentine" ...

Skrill Meadow performs at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. photo courtesy of skrillmeadow.bandcamp.com

FRIDAY, FEB. 13 2015 >>>

1. We were surprised and delighted to hear the latest from Skrill Meadow, the one-man band of Markly Morrison. Private Memories is an album of straight-up slow jams, albeit jams coming directly from one shitty tape machine to your ear. Despite his limitations, Morrison embodies the consummate frontman, reeking of sex and brimming with confidence, even if it may be buried beneath layers of tape hiss. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Skrill Meadow in the music and Culture section, then catch him with Jupiter Sprites and Grey Waves at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Join Metro Parks Tacoma for their annual pre-V Day Wine and Chocolate event at the W. W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory at 5:30 p.m. A $30 ticket includes an opportunity to sip on wine and champagne paired with chocolate covered strawberries and truffles while you mingle among glorious floral decorations. Live music will also be onsite. Must be 21 and over to attend. Tickets can be purchased at the conservatory or the Metro Parks main office. For more details, call 253.591.5330.

3. Inspired by her love of Da Vinci's anatomical studies - visceral, instinctive, deep rooted - a necessary part of our human makeup, artist Glory Cancro presents "Music, Tea & Art" from 7-10 p.m. at Mad Hat Tea Company. "I wanted to do something for Valentine's Day and the body parts seemed to fit," says Mad Hat co-owner Maureen McHugh. Singer/songwriter Riley Egge and friends will provide the soundtrack for the art show.

4. "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" was a 1983 fixture on pizzeria jukeboxes across the country. That ballad, warbled by Russell Hitchcock of Australian soft-rock stalwarts Air Supply, was written by songwriting powerhouse Jim Steinman and actually features two members of the E Street Band. It remained at #2 for three weeks, boxed out of the top spot by another Steinman opus, "Total Eclipse of the Heart." It was a freaking epic time on the radio. And if none of this means anything to you, then you, my friend, are not in your mid-40s. But for some of us, the sound of Air Supply is the sound of first love. So here we are, Air Supply, the ones that you love, just when we thought we were over you, 8:30 p.m., Emerald Queen Casino.

5. Twenty years after a Valentine's Day tragedy, a small town prepares for its annual holiday dance. When a box of candy arrives containing an eerie warning and a blood soaked heart, the townsfolk realize that this Valentine's Day romance is as good as dead ... AND SO ARE THEY! My Bloody Valentine will be Reverend-Joe Duncan's final Friday Night Frights film at the Blue Mouse Theatre. Expect prizes, goodies and screams, beginning at 10 p.m.

February 10, 2015 at 10:44am

Nerd Alert! Kingsman, Fifty Shades of Crap, Saturday Night Live, Valentine's Day movies!

"SNL" debuted in 1975 with Chevy Chase, John Belushi, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Dan Aykroyd, Lorraine Newman and Gilda Radnor. Photo courtesy of Facebook

In a van down by the river, 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, FEB. 13

This weekend brings two movies I think are worthy of your attention, and one that is worthy of your derision. First, let's talk about Kingsman: The Secret Service, a nutball actioner from Matthew Vaughn of X-Men: First Class and Kick-Ass fame. It stars Samuel L. Jackson as its over-the-top villain (because the 2013 U.S. Supreme Court decision Jackson v. Rickman decreed every movie has to do that now) and Colin Firth as a swanky British superspy. It's been screening and earning raves around the Western world for months. It's kind of like 20th Century Fox knows it has a good thing going. So why, then, is Kingsman debuting in February? Why not? Are you complaining? Would you rather see Jupiter Ascending? I thought not.

The Last Five Days is a musical romance debuting in select U.S. markets, though probably not in South Puget just yet. The advance word says Anna Kendrick is terrific, the movie itself maybe better as a play. Still, if you've never caught this charming two-hander in a theater, perhaps Kendrick's appeal and actual vocal chops will pull you on board.

Or hey, maybe you have zero taste and you're drooling for Fifty Shades of Grey. Yeah. I hate it that much. "Mr. Grey will see you now!" Not if I see him first. Variety reports it's the fastest selling R-rated movie in Fandango history, while film critic Kim Kardashian tweeted, "OMG it's sooooo good!!!!! (sic)" If the movie is anything like the book, however, nooooo, it's not!!!!! It's fifty shades of crap. By way of elucidation, check out my 1783-word dissection of the book, helpfully entitled "Fifty Shades of Crap." Do you understand what I'm saying? This book is crap. I hated it THAT MUCH. And if you go see its unwarranted film adaptation, and GOD KNOWS YOU WILL because TAKE THAT, CIVILIZATION AND RATIONALITY AND BESIDES, BY THE WAY, THERE IS NO GOD, then you'll get exactly what you deserve. Also, have fun being eaten by your cats Mr. Pawpaw Patch and Jeffrey when you die of cookie dough consumption and Al-Qaeda-level sexual frustration.

SUNDAY, FEB. 15

Dozens of Not Ready for Prime Time Players past and present will assemble for Sunday's 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live on NBC, well within prime time at 8. Producer Lorne Michaels says a significant portion of the show is devoted to new performances, instead of the clips and highlight reels E's been running every weekend. Frequent guests Alec Baldwin, Jon Hamm, Justin Timberlake and Christopher Walken will return, and Eddie Murphy makes his first SNL appearance in three decades. Even Bill Murray, Jack Nicholson and the much-maligned Chevy Chase will show up. You can bet your Schweddy Balls it'll be a good time.

I've often felt "SNL cast member" would be my dream job, but when I reflect on the talented people who've auditioned and failed - Steve Carell, Jim Carrey, Louis C.K., Stephen Colbert, Geena Davis, Zach Galifianakis, Kathy Griffin, Kevin Hart, Lisa Kudrow and Aubrey Plaza, among many, many others including 13-time guest host John Goodman - I think I'd have a better shot if I tried out for Chippendales.

Finally, a word on that Whitman's-Sampler-scented, Hallmark-approved celebration known far and wide, to those who can still stomach it at least, as VD. I for one have been dumped on two different Valentine's Days, which took me a few decades to overcome. I'm fine now. Thanks for asking. The point is some of us are still leery of making a big deal of February 14th, even if we happen to find ourselves consciously coupled at the time. So to you, my fellow star-crossed lovers, I offer sweet, romantic movies to throw on your Netflix queue and watch at home. Take a breather from the Nora Ephron-penned standbys this year. Instead, order a heart-shaped pizza and check out The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, a pastel-hued '60s musical in French starring quite possibly the most beautiful woman who ever acted in front of a camera, Mlle. Catherine Deneuve. Speaking of French, perhaps you've never seen Amélie or La Belle et la Bête - quel dommage! His Girl Friday boasts a killer script, and multiple Oscar winner It Happened One Night is a must-see for any self-respecting cineaste. My wife and I nestled into (500) Days of Summer and Silver Linings Playbook, and Say Anything ... has aged as gracefully as Deneuve. If you really want an excuse to drag out the fur-lined handcuffs you received at your bachelorette party, Secretary leaves Fifty Shades in its disciplinarian dust.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and doggone it, may people like you.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Holidays,

January 20, 2015 at 7:43am

5 Things To Do Today: "Keep On Keepin' On," Ford F-Series exhibit, Rosa Clemente, Banned Book Club ...

Seeing a living legend laid up in an oxygen tent shouldn't be fun. But in Alan Hicks’s doc "Keep On Keepin’ On," it somehow is.

TUESDAY, JAN. 20 2015 >>>

1. Keep On Keepin' On chronicles 89-year-old trumpeting legend Clark Terry who has mentored jazz wonders such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones. Terry's most unlikely friendship is with Justin Kauflin, a 23-year-old blind piano player with uncanny talent, but debilitating nerves. As Justin prepares for the most pivotal moment in his budding career, Terry's ailing health threatens to end his own. Charming and nostalgic, Alan Hicks' melodic debut screens at 1:30 and 6:45 p.m. at The Grand Cinema.

2. For the last 38 years, Ford's F-series has been the top seller for trucks in the United States. Since last spring, Scott Keller, LeMay - America's Car Museum's chief curator has been talking with and looking for owners of these classic Ford trucks from around the state, asking if they would loan their trucks for his exhibit, "The Truck That Grew Up With America." From where the F-Series started to where it is now, tells a story of the country, reflecting a recovery from a depression to a more prosperous time. Check out the trucks from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

3. Who doesn't enjoy browsing through old photographs from days gone by? In addition to the enjoyment that is inevitable when looking at vintage photos, the "Found Photographs" exhibition in the Gallery at Tacoma Community College is filled with creative expression in a variety of media from photos to paintings and drawings inspired by found photos, to sculpture, assemblage and collage incorporating old photos. There are stories behind many of the images that are included on wall labels along with copies of the original found photos. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "Found Photographs" in the Music & Culture section, then check out the show from noon to 5 p.m.

4. Rosa Clemente, black Puerto Rican community organizer, journalist, and former Green Party vice presidential candidate, will speak at the Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration at University of Puget Sound at 7 p.m. in Schneebeck Concert Hall on campus. Bronx-born entrepreneur and hip-hop activist Rosa Clemente will headline a program including messages from Puget Sound community members, live music from members of the college's Jazz Band, and the presentation of the Keep Living the Dream Award to a student leader. The celebration is free and everyone is welcome.

5. There may be no better club to join than King's Books' Banned Book Club at Doyle's Public House. At 7 p.m., the club will be discussing Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult, the Young Adult novel that received national attention when a father was handcuffed and escorted out of a New Hampshire board meeting after expressing concern about the required book given to his 14-year-old daughter. Picoult examines a school shooting in her riveting, poignant and thought-provoking novel that asks a haunting question: Do we really ever know someone? Drop-in visitors are always welcome to the BBC.

LINK: Tuesday, Jan. 19 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 19, 2015 at 7:42am

5 Things To Do Today: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events, Supernaut ...

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

MONDAY, JAN. 19 2015 >>>

The memory of Martin Luther King, Jr. always receives plenty of folksy acknowledgment on this day set aside in his name, but the best events tend to target togetherness. Here are a few:

1. Unity Breakfast: The 9th Annual MLK Unity Breakfast recognizes and celebrates the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. over breakfast, featuring keynote speaker CNN national news anchor Fredricka Whitfield and the UW Tacoma Dream Awards, 8 a.m., (University Y, 1710 Market St., 253.692-4501);

2. Community March to the Greater Tacoma Convention Center: Bates Technical College students, staff and families invite the community to march to the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center to attend the City of Tacoma's King event, 8:30 a.m., free, (Bates Technical College, 1101 S. Yakima Ave., 253.680.7113);

3. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.: the city of Tacoma presents the 27th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Celebration, building on message of service and encourages the entire community to join together, and listen to keynote speaker Melannie Denise Cunningham, local entrepreneur, humanitarian and philanthropist, 11 a.m., free (Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center, 1500 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.591.5000).

4. Washington State History Museum: In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Washington State History Museum is offering free admission, along with a 2 p.m. program encouraging the discussion about how diversity and community change are communicated through children's literature, a community photo project and a food drive. (1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, 1.888.BE.THERE).

5. Supernaut, Black Top Demon and Loser Dog will rock Le Voyuer at 10 p.m.

LINK: Monday, Jan. 19 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

January 5, 2015 at 7:51am

5 Things To Do Today: James Coates, Polar Plaza, Jerry Miller, Bucharest Drinking Team ...

James Coates performs at Smoke + Cedar tonight.

MONDAY, JAN. 5 2014 >>>

1. Club hopping can be overrated, especially when the weather is a snarling blast of rain and cold that makes one think twice about even leaving the couch. Some nights we like to stake out a place at a venue and hang out for a while, maybe have a meal, a few adult beverages and listen to music that doesn't invite itself into our head with an axe handle. Smoke + Cedar fits that bill Monday nights with its new music series. Tonight, venerable singer-songwriter James Coates will perform at the restaurant.Arrive at 7:30 p.m. to catch this gentleman armed with only an acoustic guitar and a whole lot of heart, who generates all sorts of comparisons to Bob Dylan and Ryan Adams. (Hey, no pressure, James, OK?)

2. Bundle up, pinch your cheeks until they glow and strap on a pair of silver skates, Hans Brinker, for a glide across the frozen expanse at Tollefson Plaza. The Franciscan Polar Plaza, located on the corner of Pacific Avenue and South 17th Street, is open from 4-9 p.m.

3. Moby Grape was one of the most versatile San Francisco rock bands to emerge out of the summer of love. Sadly, through a combination of inner turmoil and bad management decisions, the mighty Moby Grape broke up in 1969. However, their debut album is still considered one of the best of all time by many critics, in part because of the nimble fingers of guitarist Jerry Miller. Miller was named one of the top 100 guitarists of all time by Rolling Stone above Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Winter and Randy Rhoads. The Tacoma native has enjoyed a rich career sharing the stage with countless musicians including members of the Doobie Brothers and Carlos Santana. Miller performs at 8 p.m. in The Swiss.

4. Olympia's Rhythm and Rye will host two of its favorite honk bands at 8 p.m. - The Bucharest Drinking Team and Artesian Rumble Arkestra. The Bucharest Drinking Team, a band that borrows stylistically from great Balkan brass bands such as Fanfare Ciocarlia and Boban Markovic, mixes in a liberal shot of Romanian folk music and a penchant for '80s disco from behind the Iron Curtain to bring you a high-proof Eastern Bloc Party, complete with dancing, drinking, and music. The utterly delightful punk marching band Artesian Rumble Arkestra play a variety of jazz standards and atypical covers reflecting the broad diversity of its members' favorite music: samba, rock, Balkan, New Orleans, gospel, reggae and pop. This will be a sight to see ... and hear.

5. Rockaraoke at Jazzbones will either be your novel opportunity to act as frontman, or be completely intimidating. Perpetually packed with people, Rockaraoke boasts a unique twist for karaoke in Tacoma: instead of a backing track, you get a three-piece band playing behind you. Check it out at 9 p.m.

LINK: Monday. Jan. 5 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

January 4, 2015 at 4:33pm

Words, Photos & Video: The Oly Mountain Boys live at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink

The Franciscan Polar Plaza ice-skating rink crowd enjoyed awesome bluegrass and cold temperatures Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

The best music has never been about noodling around, proving what a virtuoso one is as a player, or simply trying to fill up one whole side of an album with a 22 minute plundering of one marginally interesting idea. No, the good stuff pushes the fringes of what had been heretofore accepted within the realms of popular music, thrusting it as far as possible into the arena of legitimate art. Like Brian Wilson did on Pet Sounds. Like The Beatles did on Sgt. Pepper. Like Ray Davies did on Village Green. Like The Oly Mountain Boys did on White Horse. Nothing like White Horse had existed prior to its release. The Olympia bluegrass quintet produced the first bluegrass concept album, the life and hard times of Charlie McCarver in Washington state during the early 20th century. White Horse gallops to traditional bluegrass influenced by the music of Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley and Earl Scruggs. The album, The Oly Mountain Boys' fourth, draws from the mildew and forlorn, straight from the Olympic National Forest. This is the best brand of bluegrass: energetic and thoroughly heartbroken.

Last night, The Oly Mountain Boys performed live at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice-skating rink in downtown Tacoma. The concept of their concept album didn't sink in with the skaters. Why would it? The band didn't perform it front to back, but instead teased with six White Horse songs, among songs off their other albums and several cover songs. The skaters didn't carry Charlie McCarver's fall from grace on their shoulders. No, they skaters were busy falling themselves ... over and over and over. But, unlike McCarver, the skaters were able to pick themselves back up and continue skating in circles to the complex and melodic bluegrass these five chaps have mastered.

The Olympia-based band performed at the ice-skating rink as part of the Weekly Volcano's "Rhythm & Ice: Down Home Holiday Hoedown" music series. The Tacoma Art Museum asked us to produce the live music stage at the rink every Saturday night during its run. In conjunction with the "Art of the American West" exhibit across the street at TAM, we booked seven Saturday nights of bluegrass, country rock and old-timey bands. The Oly Mountain Boys wrapped up the series in fine style ... cowboy hats.

I shot a little amateur video last night, which features "Sky Fell Down," "Chased Away" and "It Rained For Forty Days," all off White Horse. The video also includes an intermission at neighboring Indochine.

The Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink at Tollefson Plaza is open to public ice-skating sessions across the street from TAM daily through Jan. 11.

Enjoy a few photos and a video (above) from The Oly Mountain Boys live at Polar Plaza Jan. 3, 2015. ...

SEE ALSO

Words, photos and video from Forest Beutel's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from Dixie Highway's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from The Rusty Cleavers' live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from Shotgun Kitchen's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and video from SweetKiss Momma's live performance at Polar Plaza

Words, photos and a video from The Cottonwood Cutups' live performance at the Polar Plaza ice rink

The backstory and band schedule for the Weekly Volcano's Rhythm & Ice music series at the Franciscan Polar Plaza ice rink

January 4, 2015 at 9:13am

5 Things To Do Today: Jazz brunch, Puyallup Home & Garden Show, Zoolights, Sleepy Pilot ...

The Kareem Kandi Band kicks of the Museum of Glass' Sunday Music Series at 11 a.m.

SUNDAY, JAN. 4 2015 >>>

1. What is brunch doing to jazz? Must I resign to hearing second-rate elevator music as I nibble smoked salmon and sip Bloody Marys? This thought seems too horrible to accept, so I'm thrilled to announce the Museum of Glass debuts its Sunday Music series with the Kareem Kandi Band in the house, beginning at 11 a.m. When Kandi put his sax to his lips, I hear evidence he's devoted years of his life listening to Dexter Gordon, Sonny Stitt and Joshua Redman. The Kareem Kandi Band owns the "Best Jazz Group" in the Weekly Volcano's annual Best of Tacoma issue. Jazz this hip will fit perfect in MOG's Grand Hall. Brunch and beverages will be available for purchase from Choripan, the Museum's café, during the performance.

2. The final day of the Puyallup Home & Garden Show runs 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show offers garden displays and vendors with opportunities to shop at participating nurseries, as well as exhibitors demonstrating the latest in home remolding, building, decorating and improvement techniques. It's all there, from windows to doors, bathrooms to kitchens, decks to roofing and furniture to spas. Northwest leading experts will be presenting home ideas for 2015.

3. Tonight is the last night to check out Zoolights, the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium's holiday light show and extravaganza, offering a stroll through more than half a million lights, crafted whimsically throughout the zoo from 5-9 p.m. A Sunday evening would be a nice time to take the family out and see some bright shiny things.

4. Tacoma record label Maurice the Fish Records presents another Sunday Session concert with Sleepy Pilot and Negative Inside taking the Jazzbones stage at 7 p.m.

4. Jay Hollingsworth is one "big dude" (those are his words, as are "I'm six-eight. I weigh right around twoooo much") who tells some big-ass jokes. He was born in Portland, moved from Seattle to Los Angeles and happily refers to himself as "Big Irish." He's a fixture on podcasts including Doug (Benson) Loves Movies and his own HollingsWorthless. Louie Anderson calls him "a great joke writer," and we agree. Catch his show at 8 p.m. in the Tacoma Comedy Club.

LINK: Sunday, Jan. 4 arts and entertainment events in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

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