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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 23, 2015 at 9:56am

Nerd Alert issued for Star Wars trailer, Wayzgoose, summer movies ...

Wayzgoose! Letterpress and Book Arts Extravaganza will roll out April 25 at King's Books in Tacoma. Photo credit: Pappi Swarner

Suffering the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, 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.

It seems this good thing must soon come to an end. Nerd Alert will be taking an indefinite break after Rev. Adam McKinney's version next week, as the Weekly Volcano passes through an editorial life change. Think of it as graduation from college. No more keggers for you, kids; cultivate a taste for chardonnay. Or something. I don't know. I'll contemplate it as I wait in line for Avengers: Age of Ultron tickets. A word to the wise: they're available now. Most theaters will start screening the movie on April 30, the night before official opening. I predict it'll earn over $210 million. In other words, it'll boast the most lucrative opening weekend of all time, a record it'll hold for exactly seven and a half months. Enjoy that Star Wars: The Force Awakens trailer, amigos.

FRIDAY, APRIL 24

No matter who's performing the melancholy Dane or where, one goes into any production of Hamlet with the luxury of confidence. That's because it's the greatest single play ever written in the English language, perhaps in any language. Director Sikander Sohail promises his take on the rottenness in Elsinore Castle will be "apocalyptic, revolutionary, and dangerous." Put us down for "to be."

HAMLET, 7:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat., University of Puget Sound, 1500 N. Warner St., Tacoma, $6-$8, 253.879.3100

Actually, this is a big month for theater all over the South Sound. Continuing from last week are two manic comedies: The 39 Steps at Lakewood Playhouse and The Fox on the Fairway at Tacoma Little Theatre. The former runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 and Sundays at 2 through May 10, the latter Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 and Sundays at 2 through May 3. Next month brings equally diverse offerings, including The Language Archive from Pulp Productions at Evergreen State College (opening May 1), Pinocchio at Olympia Family Theater (May 15), Cabaret at Tacoma Little Theatre (May 22), and a find-your-fate musical adaptation of Drood at Lakewood Playhouse (May 29).

SATURDAY, APRIL 25

Dozens of artists from Olympia and Tacoma will converge on King's Books for its 11th annual Wayzgoose festival. Bring any fabric item to be screen-printed by UPS students. Steamroller printing will also return, as will CLAW, the Cartoonists' League of Absurd Washingtonians. By popular demand, the event stretches an extra day this year, so watch for Godrun Aurand of Washington State Book Restoration and Jeremy Gregory of Candy Teeth Creative on Sunday.

WAYZGOOSE! LETTERPRESS AND BOOK ARTS EXTRAVAGANZA, 11 - 4 Sat. and Sun., King's Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, free, 253.705.0760

Finally, let's look ahead to geeky summer entertainment. TV premiere dates include May 28 for Louis C.K. Live From the Comedy Store on FX, June 4 for Hannibal on NBC, June 12 for Defiance on Syfy and Orange Is the New Black on Netflix, June 21 for True Detective on HBO, June 28 for Falling Skies on TNT, and July 17 for Wet Hot American Summer on Netflix. The Strain will return for season 2 on FX, though no exact date has been confirmed.

On the big screen, set your calendars for Muppet documentary I Am Big Bird: the Carroll Spinney Story on May 6, the his-and-hers double whammy of Mad Max: Fury Road and Pitch Perfect 2 on May 15, the Poltergeist reboot and (much more promising) Tomorrowland on May 22, temblor San Andreas on May 29, Jurassic World and SNL documentary Live From New York! on June 12, Terminator Genisys on July 1, Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation on July 31, Josh Trank's darker take on Fantastic Four on August 7, and Netflix's first cinematic feature, the Yuen Wo-Ping wuxia sequel Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend, opening August 28.

Assembling this column has been a blast, folks. I mean that. May the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and may there be no fate but what you make for yourselves. Live long and prosper.

April 14, 2015 at 6:19am

5 Things To Do Today: Haunted Summer, Captain's Party, Science Cafe, Teddy Haggarty's Starbucks Evening ...

Haunted Summer performs at Le Voyeur tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 14 2015 >>>

1. Los Angeles duo Haunted Summer bring a dimensionality and range to dream pop that's as refreshing as it is intriguing. Without sacrificing the gauzy serenity that typifies the genre, they bring inflections of '50s pop (as on the swaying "Ain't One" and their swooning cover of Animal Collective's "Bees") and lo-fi eeriness (as on "Something in the Water," which recalls the Flaming Lips' cover of "Plastic Jesus" in its spare murkiness). While they are sometimes joined by other members on drums, which adds a welcome bit of pep to the proceedings, Haunted Summer still find strength in low numbers. With just dreamy guitar and keyboards, they are more than capable of taking your brain by the stem and leading it on a hazy walk through a secluded wood. Catch the band with Beatrix Sky, Captain Algebra and Coma Figura at 7 p.m. in Le Voyeur.

2. At the inaugural Tacoma Eco-Hour, adults will meet local business leaders who are creating impact through their innovative and sustainable products and practices at 5 p.m. in the Madera Furniture Company. Expect to build relationships with like-minded peers, share ideas and learn about the activities Northwest nonprofit Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability is carrying out to promote sustainable and profitable business in the region. The first hosts will be professional woodworker Carlos Taylor-Swanson of Madera Furniture Company and Paul Birkey of Belina Interiors. They sustain the hell out of their businesses.

3. The city of Tacoma, Downtown On the Go, Pierce Transit and Pierce County want to thank the region's Bike Team Captains and motivate a few others to saddle up with a Captain's Party from 5-7 p.m. at the Harmon Tap Room. Enjoy food and drink specials while picking up special Captain's Packet with Bike Month incentives to help you and your team get in gear. Learn about what other captains do at their worksites to make riding easier for everyone. Whether you're a seasoned veteran, a new captain or thinking about creating your first team, drop by and hug it out.

4. Longtime nationally and locally renowned artist, actor, filmmaker, designer and South Sound resident Teddy Haggarty has been painting up a beautiful storm, with a positively prolific collection of new works to debut tonight at the Starbucks in the Lakewood Towne Center, which coincides with the launch of the Starbucks Evenings program at the store. After 4 p.m., the menu will include the after-work favorites such as beer and a variety of wines and selections such as truffle macaroni and cheese, chicken skewers and double chocolate brownie bites. Haggarty's artist reception will run 5-10 p.m.

5. Ever wonder how scientists study ALS and Alzheimer's? Join the University of Washington's Laura Taylor in a Science Cafe discussion of human dementia and learn how worms are used in the lab to study the early progression of ALS and Alzheimer's disease at 6:30 p.m. in The Swiss Restaurant and Pub.

April 13, 2015 at 6:33am

5 Things To Do Today: Bobby Shew, TCC 50, Hiroya Tsukamoto, Tacoma Historical Society ...

Born In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bobby Shew began playing the guitar at the age of 8 and switched to the trumpet at 10.

MONDAY, APRIL 13 2015 >>>

1. This isn't the first time I've received a press release that referred to an artist as "legendary." It's an adjective I've employed myself, to describe Smokey Robinson and other members of the pop music pantheon, but I can honestly say it's not a word I use lightly. A promoter who makes such a claim had better have facts to back it up. I'm happy to report that's the case with Bobby Shew, a jazz trumpeter who played in the Tommy Dorsey band and, a few years later, with drummer Buddy Rich himself. Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on Bobby Shew and Rich Wetzel in the Music & Culture section, then catch the show at 7:39 p.m. at Tacoma Community College.

2. For its 50th anniversary Tacoma Community College features works by current and former art instructors and alumni, and it's one of the better shows we've seen there in quite some time. Read Alec Clayton's full review of "TCC 50" in the Music & Culture section, then check it out from noon to 5 p.m.

3. Thirteen-year-old Hiroya Tsukamoto picked up a five-string banjo and before long mastered the guitar. In 1994, Hiroya Tsukamoto entered The Osaka University and while at college was introduced to a musical and social movement in South America called Nueva Cancion headed by musical legends such as Victor Jara and Violeta Parra. In 2000, Tsukamoto came to America, having received a scholarship to Berklee College of Music in Boston. Hiroya and his group have appeared several times at the legendary "Blue Note" in New York and have performed at music festivals all over the world, and on television in Japan, Korea and the United States. Catch Tsukamoto at 6 p.m. in the Olympia Timberland Library.

4.  The Tacoma Historical Society will mark its 25th anniversary and learn about "Tacoma's First Boat Builder" when it meets at 6:30 p.m. in the Rotunda at the Wheelock Student Center on the University of Puget Sound campus. The speaker, Allen B. Petrich, will tell of his research into the shipbuilding history of Tacoma and the South Sound. Petrich is a grandson of Martin Petrich, the Croatian immigrant who founded Western Boat in Tacoma in 1917.

5. Drummer Steve Bentley says his quartet will perform "Jazz classics dressed in new attire" at 8 p.m. in Rhythm and Rye. Bentley also says you can expect "Groove oriented modal tunes. Bursts of spontaneous improvisation and a hand full of originals. The night shall be equal parts of drama and humor."

Filed under: 5 Things To Do, Music, Tacoma, Olympia, Arts,

April 10, 2015 at 7:07am

5 Things To Do Today: One Night of Queen, Beerbalation, Romeo et Juliette, Brian Lynch ...

"One Night of Queen," performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, will hit the Washington Center's stage April 10. Photo credit: Property of A.Behn/Copyright 2011

FRIDAY, APRIL 10 2015 >>>

1. The great Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Tanzania (then the Sultanate of Zanzibar) and was raised Zoroastrian near Mumbai. At age 24, he joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, formerly of the band Smile, and named their new enterprise Queen. Thanks in large part to his astonishing vocal range and power - he could easily cover four octaves from bass low F to soprano high F - he was an international star less than five years later. Gary Mullen, on the other hand, was born in Scotland around the time Queen released its first album. He remembers seeing a live performance of "We Are the Champions" when he was four. His wife and mother entered the mild-mannered computer salesman and cancer survivor in a British reality show called Stars in Their Eyes. There, his impression of Mercury's "It's a Kind of Magic" launched him toward a season win in 2000. He assembled his touring band, the Works, two years later. Out of makeup, Mullen looks and sounds nothing like Freddie Mercury; but put a wig, mustache and tight costume on him, and he morphs into a veritable Prince of the Universe. See One Night of Queen at 7:30 p.m. in the Washington Center.

2. Top Rung Brewing Co. celebrates their first anniversary with a Beerbalation, kicking off today and run through Sunday. Today, they will release their first bourbon barrel-aged beer - Bourbon Barrel Aged Pyrolysis Imperial Stout. Expect dark and malty flavors with notes of coffee and chocolate boosted with a smooth bourbon finish. Expect live music, commemorative glasses, games and beer from 2-9 p.m.

3. We could've easily featured Roméo et Juliette (it's OK, you can call it Romeo and Juliet, we won't tell) in our music section, because it goes without saying opera lands like a wet noodle in the absence of stirring music. If there's one thing Tacoma Opera boasts, it's capable singers. Opera San Jose resident artist Christopher Bengochea lends his powerful tenor to Roméo, while Ksenia Popova, who did lovely work as Josephine in H.M.S. Pinafore, portrays Juliette. (Spoiler alert: they won't see their paper anniversary.) Tacoma Opera favorite Ryan Bede returns as hotheaded Mercutio. The lush, romantic score's provided by Charles-François Gounod, best known for takes on Ave Maria ("a meditation on Bach") and Faust. Keep an ear out for gorgeous duets and the lilting waltz "Je veux vivre." Non-French-speakers, have no fear: supertitles are provided at the 7:30 p.m. performance inside the Pantages Theater.

4. Australian stand-up comedian Aamer Rahman will be the featured performer at a comedy show aimed at issues of race and social justice at 7 p.m. in The Evergreen State College Longhouse. Rahman, whose ancestors hail from Bangladesh, began his comedic rise as half the award-winning cult comedy duo, Fear of a Brown Planet. His act focuses on politics, racism, the War on Terror and Batman.

5. There are events we in the musical promotional game could never have expected to see. This is one of those events. An otherwise noteworthy jazz musician, Brian Lynch, has cemented our interest in an upcoming concert by adding ... a juggler. This juggler is Henrik Bothe. He's performed all over the country. Garrison Keillor said, "Henrik is one of the few jugglers that have ever succeeded in performing on the radio." What Bothe's enthusiastic brand of physical comedy has to do with jazz, we have zero idea, but we doubt we even care. It's jazz and juggling, people. It's an Afro-Cuban-influenced, Grammy-award-winning trumpeter who's played with everyone from the Buena Vista Social Club to Prince, together with plates on sticks. This is the epitome of win-win. It's chicken and waffles, shrimp and grits, Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott. Throw in the Puget Sound Jazz Orchestra, and hell, you've got Gwen Stefani and Missy Elliott and waffles. On sticks! Catch the show at 7:30 p.m. in the Blue Mouse Theatre.

April 8, 2015 at 9:45am

Keeping Freddie alive: One Night of Queen is a kind of magic

"One Night of Queen," performed by Gary Mullen and The Works, will hit the Washington Center's stage April 10. Photo credit: Property of A.Behn/Copyright 2011

"Fairy tales of yesterday will grow but never die

I can fly, my friends..." - Queen (from Innuendo, 1991)

The great Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Tanzania (then the Sultanate of Zanzibar) and was raised Zoroastrian near Mumbai. At age 24, he joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, formerly of the band Smile, and named their new enterprise Queen. Thanks in large part to his astonishing vocal range and power - he could easily cover four octaves from bass low F to soprano high F -he was an international star less than five years later. Like Little Richard and Elvis before him, he defined rock performance for a generation. He electrified 72,000 people at Live Aid in 1985, not counting millions more who watched on TV. Six years later, a day after acknowledging he was HIV-positive, Mercury died at home. He was 45. We have not seen his equal since.

Gary Mullen, on the other hand, was born in Scotland around the time Queen released its first album. He remembers seeing a live performance of "We Are the Champions" when he was four. His wife and mother entered the mild-mannered computer salesman and cancer survivor in a British reality show called Stars in Their Eyes. There, his impression of Mercury's "It's a Kind of Magic" launched him toward a season win in 2000. He assembled his touring band, the Works, two years later. Out of makeup, Mullen looks and sounds nothing like Freddie Mercury; but put a wig, mustache and tight costume on him, and he morphs into a veritable Prince of the Universe.

I've regretted many times not being able to see Freddie Mercury live before his passing. Queen still tours with Adam Lambert, but for me it wouldn't be the same. That's why I'm so looking forward to Gary Mullen and The Works's upcoming performance as One Night of Queen. Their recreation of the band is so spot-on they remain in contact with Brian May himself. And while Mullen's the first to admit he's not Mercury's equal, he's played for as many as 40,000 people in Mercury's stead. Freddie Mercury was Gary Mullen's hero ... and one of mine. Now, decades later, thanks to One Night of Queen, we get to relive Mercury's special kind of magic. "The Show," after all, "Must Go On."

ONE NIGHT OF QUEEN, 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 10, Washington Center for the Performing Arts, 512 Washington St. SE, Olympia, $16-$52, 360.753.8586

Filed under: Music, Olympia,

April 8, 2015 at 6:49am

5 Things To Do Today: 50 Jobs in 50 States in 50 Weeks, Lagunitas Sucks IPA, Enjoy by 4.20.15 IPA ...

Daniel Seddiqui was a marine biologist in Washington state during week 11 on his 50 Jobs in 50 States in 50 Weeks journey. Courtesy photo

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 8 2015 >>>

1. Like lots of college grads, Daniel Seddiqui was having a hard time finding a job. But in spite of more than 40 rejections, he knew opportunities had to exist. He then set out on an extraordinary quest: to work 50 jobs in 50 states in 50 weeks. And not just any jobs - Seddiqui chose professions that reflected the culture and economy of each state. For example, he worked as a coal miner in West Virginia, a border patrol agent in Arizona, a lobsterman in Maine, a marine biologist in Washington, a furniture builder in Pennsylvania, a rodeo announcer in South Dakota, a model in North Carolina, a golf caddie in South Carolina, a petroleum engineer in Texas, an archeologist in Arkansas, a meteorologist in Ohio and on and on. Seddiqui will speak about his employment adventures at 4 p.m. in the Worthington Conference Center on the Lacey campus of Saint Martin's University, then probably go get a job.

2. Lagunitas Sucks IPA use to be a Christmas season exclusive, but due to its immense popularity, it's now being distributed year-round in 32oz bottles. It's an IPA designed as an apology to fans after Lagunitas found it didn't have the capacity to make its Brown Shugga' holiday ale a few years back. The taste is a mind-bending potpourri of tropical fruits, pine, and a faint trace of earthiness. There's a lingering bitterness, but it's in no way abrasive. Pint Defiance Specialty Beer and Taproom scored a rare keg of the stuff and will tap it from 5-7 p.m. as part of their salute to Lagunitas Brewing Company. Expect to drink High-Westified Barrel-Aged Imperial Coffee Stout, the debut of Eye of the Hairball Wheatwine and Lagunitas Pale on the Randall with fresh hops and other secret ingredients. Nice.

3. Stone Brewing Company is a beer nerd's brewery, with high ABV and higher IBUs in its most popular varieties. Creator of Arrogant Bastard Ale (with the tag line "You're Not Worthy"), Stone works hard to cultivate its craft-at-all-costs image. Puyallup River Alehouse hosts the Stone crew from San Marcos, California for a night of Stone favorites such as Enjoy by 4.20.15 IPA and raffle prizes from 6-9 p.m.

4. Beginning at 10 a.m. every Saturday, NWCZ Radio unleashes comedian Eric Puddin and Shanni Williams on the Internets. Saturday Morning Funnies with Puddin and Shanster is a wild and off-the-cuff talk show. From 7-9 p.m. tonight, the show will be broadcasted at Gloria's Bar & Grill in Tacoma. Hang out with comedians and radio types.

5. The 24th installment of the Vomity Open Mic Comedy night at Le Voyeur features Brendan Kelley and host Taylor Sikorski . The laughs begin at 9 p.m.

April 7, 2015 at 6:31am

5 Things To Do Today: Pile, "Occupy The Farm," Alpine Beer Company, One-Pot Meals Class ...

Pile.

TUESDAY, APRIL 7 2015 >>>

1. While four-piece Pile from Massachusetts named themselves a single, indistinct word, there are thousands of pages to be written with that one little word. Standing out amongst the English language, "pile" is a word that rarely denotes something good. I guess you could have a pile of delicious donuts? More often than not, though, you're dealing with a pile of something wholly unsavory. Listening to the beautifully ugly sound of Pile, their name suddenly gains a whole new resonance. This is a sordid pile of sounds, assembled into a shuffling golem of sound and vision. Read Rev. Adam McKinney's full feature on Pile in the Music & Culture section, then catch the band with Mall Walk and Trona at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. The film Occupy The Farm documents the journey of 200 urban farmers determined to keep farmland from corporate agendas. The farmers walk onto a public research farm and plant two acres of crops in hopes of saving it from being turned into real-estate development. The Grand Cinema will screen the film at 2:05 and 6:30 p.m.

3. Once only known to the hardcore hop heads, San Diego's Alpine Beer Company have built a reputation of building some of the most sought-after IPAs on the West Coast. Infamous names such as "Nelson" and "Pure Hoppiness" passed from the lips of seasoned beer travelers and soon Alpine's name became synonymous with world-class beer. And thanks to a partnership with Green Flash, these brews are available in Washington state for the first time, and Pint Defiance Specialty Beers and Taproom will give up half their taps to the Alpine team from 5-7 p.m.

4. One of our favorite Far Side cartoons, by Gary Larson, depicts a pair of grizzled cowboys sitting around a campfire at dusk. One is handing the other a cup. The caption reads, "More cappuccino, Raoul?" Yes, times have changed. Campfire and simple cuisine continues to evolve. Bayview School of Cooking Director Leanne offers tried and true recipes that all take under an hour to prepare and with the exception of one, and don't even need a salad to be a complete meal, beginning at 6 p.m. You'll dig the savory chicken and dumplings, the fresh one-pan tomato linguini with tomatoes and mozzarella balls, the spicy shrimp jambalaya and the hearty ground beef stroganoff. Here's proof that convenient doesn't have to mean that it comes out of a box. 

5. Tuesday means it's time for another Ha Ha Tuesday at Jazzbones, a night of comedy hosted by the venerable Ralph Porter. Tonight at 8:30 p.m., comedians Lukas Seely and Sean McBride join Porter on stage.

April 6, 2015 at 4:02pm

Nerd Alert issued for Game of Thrones, Ex Machina, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot ...

What we saw in the Game of Thrones Season 5 trailer is Varys wants Tyrion to help Daenerys take the Iron Throne. Of course, when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. Photo courtesy of HBO

Struggling through the Voight-Kampff test, 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.

THURSDAY, APRIL 9

Louie, one of TV's best and least predictable series, returns for season 5 at 10:30 on FX. A half hour before that, FX debuts one of TV's most soon-to-be-cancelled shows, The Comedians with Billy Crystal and Josh Gad.

FRIDAY, APRIL 10

Sooner and more fully than we comprehend, artificial intelligence will be woven into our daily lives. Some experts predict the next two decades will see the advent of a machine and/or uploaded sentience equal to or surpassing our own. Today's gay and trans civil rights movements will give way to the struggle to understand and empower synthetic personalities. It'll be a true paradigm shift, a transformative moment in the way we define personhood. It'll unravel centuries of assumptions about what it means to be alive and aware. Religion, art, law, philosophy, indeed, every avenue of human thought and self-identity will be challenged by this societal horizon some have rightly defined as a "singularity." No one alive can see beyond it to the other side.

In the meantime, of course, we'll keep right on making slick popcorn movies about how robots who look like hot chicks want to take over the world. Ex Machina's scoring highly on RottenTomatoes.com, and HAL knows we could use something halfway intelligent to cleanse our collective palate after Furious 7. Hey, maybe it'll be three-quarters-of-the-way intelligent like It Follows!

Also on Friday, 13 episodes of Marvel's Daredevil, aka The Man Without Fear, debut on Netflix, the Network Without Standards and Practices.

SATURDAY, APRIL 11

White-hot playwright Stephen Adly Guirgis penned The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, a seriocomic meditation on free will set in a limbo night court beyond time. Its characters are all your Gospel favorites, including Uncle Pino. Wait ... what? This production, directed by 2015 grad Grace Caruso, comes courtesy of Saint Martin's University Theatre Department. "The subject may be religion," notes critic Ben Brantley of The New York Times, "but questions are encouraged. Thank Heaven...at least the person in charge is the class cutup."

THE LAST DAYS OF JUDAS ISCARIOT, 7:30 p.m. April 11 and 14-18, 2 p.m. April 12, State Theatre, 204 4th Ave., Olympia, $7-$12, 360.438.4506

SUNDAY, APRIL 12

When last we left our Westerosian heroes and villains, a certain Lannister was having a bad day on the crapper, another was enjoying an unexpected sea cruise, and Cersei was mastering level-23 bitchcraft. The last two episodes of season 4 finally lived up to Game of Thrones's promise, balancing oversize visual spectacle against compelling adventure and character development - with nary a brothel boob in sight, no less! Here's hoping David Benioff and company keep this spectacular train on the rails as it speeds past George R. R. Martin's literary source material.

Speaking of lit, today marks the 20th anniversary of Barnes & Noble (1530 Black Lake Blvd.) in Olympia. Expect author signings, story readings, princesses on the loose, and other fun moments throughout the day.

TUESDAY, APRIL 14

Timothy Olyphant hangs up his Stetson as Justified rides into the sunset, leaving Harlan County, Kentucky to its own drug- and violence-addled devices. That's a real county, by the way, though the series has never shot a minute of footage there. I bet Harlanites are super proud of their depiction on screen.

Until next week, may the Force be with you, may the odds be ever in your favor, and always pay your debts.

Filed under: Nerd Alert!, Screens, Theater, Olympia,

April 6, 2015 at 6:42am

5 Things To Do Today: The Boxers, Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party, Charlie Saibel ...

The Boxers perform at Deadbeat Olympia record store tonight. Photo courtesy of Facebook

MONDAY, APRIL 6 2015 >>>

1. Chicago quartet The Boxers start out their most recent LP, The Blue Pool, with washed-out snippets from Bobby Vinton's "Blue Velvet," distorted and sinister, before segueing into a sort of anthemic, melancholy rock. It's reminiscent of the days when the Flaming Lips were transitioning from stoned punks into the glorious pop on the late '90s and early '00s. When the crooning vocals come around, it becomes clear that, while The Boxers don't quite sound like the matinee idols that they've quoted, they are still dedicated to melody above all else. Catch the band with Tomorrow's Tulips, Sun Eggs and Bob Bucko Jr. at 8 p.m. in Deadbeat Olympia record store.

2. Here we go! Over The Moon Café in Tacoma's Opera Alley will face Boathouse 19, the restaurant and bar perched over the Narrows waterway, in the Tournament of Mac and Cheese Championship Game. Online voting will run until 5 p.m. At 6 p.m., the voting will resume live at McNamara's Pub & Eatery in DuPont during the Official Tournament of Mac and Cheese Party. Ballots will be handed out. The live vote will close at halftime of the NCAA Men's Tournament final and the South Sound Mac and Cheese Champion will be announced.

3. Get out your dancing shoes and join in the whimsy of a country western shuffle dance, hosted by the Evergreen Country Dancers, at 6:30 p.m. in the Olympia Elks Lodge. What is a shuffle, you say? It's the country western version of polka - the primary difference being that the style of shuffle is less hoppy than the polka. The basic step consists of a triple to the left followed by a triple to the right.  The shuffle is sometimes called double two-step or traveling swing, for it also uses components of two-step and the popular East Coast swing. This makes shuffle a very versatile dance, allowing a mix and match of patterns, which can result in some exciting variations - and there's nothing wrong with that.

4. Piano man Charlie Saibel is a superb musician, a versatile jazz/swing pianist and composer with an innovative sense of texture. He seems to have a lifelong fascination with genres, easily fitting in with honkey tonk, boogie woogie, blues, Latin, jazz, classic rock, plus seasonal and special occasions. He also morphs into any situation: Charlie Saibel and the Intrusions Jazz Trio, '60s rock band The T-Tops, 20-piece Basie-style Lakewood Community Jazz Band and others. Monday, he'll think more along the lines of jazz when he entertains during Rhythm and Rye's Monday Jazz Series, beginning at 8 p.m.

5. At 9 p.m. every Monday, Jazzbones is packed to the brim with college kids. Party types. The type that wear tight shirts and trucker hats. Throngs of Chad Fratguys and Sarah Sororitysisters swarm the bar, line up for the bathroom and dance to the Rockaraoke - live band karaoke. The Rockaraoke band is skilled, too. Expect dollar beers.

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News and entertainment from Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s most awesome weekly newspapers - The Ranger, Northwest Airlifter and Weekly Volcano.

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Recent Comments

Melisa Ben said:

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

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

Web Developers Delhi said:

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

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Carv said:

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

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

Andrew Gordon said:

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

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

Marcy LaViollette said:

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

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