1. Just four months ago hardcore bands Crowd War and John Belushi disbanded and reformed to create To Die For, a favorite hardcore metal band of local all-ages venues. To Die For's throbbing, metal-rage-inducing lineup consists of Patrick Adickes with the vocals, Mike Mike Lavagnino on guitar, Mike Elverston on drums, Mat Donaho playing bass and our dear friend Justin Kirby also on guitar. To Die For performs with Cowardice, I Delilah, Safe & Sound, and Lo' Do I See My Brother in a 6 p.m. all-ages show at Hell's Kitchen in Tacoma. Read Steph DeRosa's Metal Home Companion column for the inside scoop on To Die For.
2. The Grand Cinema reaches the big 15 officially today, and Tacoma's indie film house celebrates at 6 p.m. in the theater's lower lobby. Surrounded by wall art of past films, attendees can reminisce and network over beverages and dessert while the staff salutes those who saved the business from closing its doors in 1997. Weekly Volcano film critic Christopher Wood does his own reminiscing, and chats with Grand employees, in the Arts section at weeklvolcano.com.
3. Hailed as a "young alpinist on fire" by Alpinist Magazine, Colin Haley is a major figure in modern fast and light alpinism. According to hype, "Haley is on the leading edge of international alpine climbing. His accomplishments include establishing a new summit route on Cerro Torre's West Face and a 1st ascent of the Entropy Wall on Mt. Moffit in Alaska's Hayes Range. Colin has climbed with some of the most accomplished alpinists in the world including Steve House and Rolando Garibotti." Haley will discuss his alpine climbing adventures from the Cascades to Patagonia at 7 p.m. inside The Evergreen State College Lecture Hall 1.
4. The Washington Center hosts an amazing evening of music performed by some of Ireland’s most esteemed traditional musicians - including Martin Hayes, Iarla O Lionaird, Dennis Cahill, Mairtin O'Connor, Cathal Hayden, Seamie O'Dowd, David Power - at 7:30 p.m. This concert is based on a festival that has been held for the past 8 years in the West Cork town of Bantry.
5. If imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, then Folsom Prism dispatches flowery love letters to the Man in Black every time the band performs. State Farm agent and Taco Bell enthusiast frontman Corey Wilkins for the Tacoma-based Johnny Cash tribute band rumbles his way to a pitch-perfect imitation of the legendary songsmith. Armed with a repertoire from Cash's Sun Records to his American Recordings, this high-energy tribute band will bring the highwayman's spirit to life at 9 p.m. inside Jazzbones.
WRITER/DIRECTOR JESSE WATSON'S FILM TO SCREEN AT STIFF >>>
We all have multiple identities. Sometimes, Tacoma's Rick Walters makes films. He produces, acts, and has even written and directed his own short, 2011's Scamp. At other times he wears the title Dad for his son Race (the two performed together in Scamp).
But on this particular day Walters plays yet another role - Operations Sergeant at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Dressed in full ACU (army combat uniform), he drives me across the vast post (where he works full-time) toward the French Theater, for a privileged screening of his latest producing effort. I'm no solider, but I get to be an audience of one this afternoon.
I have about 600 seats to choose from within the movie house. I plop down in one as the lights dim, looking forward to seeing A Man, Buried, which I've heard about online for more than a year. The film brings back to the screen a few local faces I recognize: Darlene Sellers (Fantastic Confabulations) and Tony Doupe (who I met just weeks ago on another Andrew Finnigan production, Koinonia).
The major additions to the menu are the 16 types of calzones now available. Flavors ranging from Hawaiian ($10) and blackened chicken ($10) to smoked salmon ($15) and peanut butter and bacon ($10) leave diners with endless choices. Yes, you read that right: peanut butter and bacon. You can't tell me you're not at least curious what that tastes like. I know I am.
New appetizers include the house-made jalepeño poppers ($6) and chicken strips ($6), the latter of which I had a chance to try. Strips of chicken breast were breaded with Panko bread crumbs and fried to crunchy perfection.
There are also more burgers and sandwiches, such as the crab burger ($12) and chicken Caesar sandwich ($9). I ordered the new "roasted bacon blues" burger ($7 for four ounces, $9 for eight ounces), a chicken breast with bacon and blue cheese, and was delighted by the bold flavors. The new "rockin' mai tai" packed quite a punch. Let's just say if I drank two of these, I'd be done for.
The dessert menu now has three dessert pizzas, with flavors like Dutch apple ($8) and cinnamon toast ($6).
On my visit, I was struck by the great prices and helpful service. Because Stonegate is half bar, half family-friendly restaurant, feel free to bring the kids. Or leave the little ones at home and check out one of their many nights with live music.
[Stonegate Pizza and Rum Bar, 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, 5421 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.473.2255]
Motorcycle Club Global Grinders: It's under investigation because its after-hour parties twice have ended in shooting deaths in the past eight months. (News Tribune)
The Pot Papers: The 11-member Medical Cannabis Task Force has been sniffing around the Tacoma marijuana dispensaries and will submit a report that tackles issues such as zoning, permitting and security to the city Planning Commission and the Public Safety Committee before landing before the City Council. (News Tribune)
Turn On The Money Machine: because the Legislature ran long, state lawmakers must raise cash for their campaigns quickly. (News Tribune)
Train To The Bank: State auditors have warned the City of Tacoma to stop throwing money at the "Train to the Mountain." (News Tribune)
Prostate Cancer: A new technique to combat early prostate cancer may have far fewer side-effects than standard treatments. (BBC)
Pilfered Paintings: Five famous art heists through history. (Time)
1. Psychedelic folk revivalist Joanne Rand will drop by Fusion Integrated Body Studio for a night of avant-garde Appalachian traditionals, southern blues-rock and original orchestral compositions about the human condition. You might have seen her back in the early '90s when she was an integral part of the Seattle music scene. Today, she calls Northern California home, and every rag in that area has printed the word "best" next to her name. The Hinges open the show at 8 p.m.
2. TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing knowledge and ideas. Most people with an Internet connection probably know about the TED talks posted online, but now Tacoma will have its own TED event. TEDx are locally organized versions of TED talks, and TEDx Tacoma is set to take place from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the theme is Transformation. Speakers will range from artists to business owners to community movers and shakers. Read Kristin Kendle's full feature on TEDx Tacoma in the Arts section of weeklyvolcano.com.
3. Learn to cultivate creativity and live a more artistic life with John Jacobsen, executive director of TheFilmSchool in Seattle, at noon in the theater at Pierce College Fort Steilacoom. During this free, two-hour workshop, Jacobsen will examine what it means to be an artist, how artists tell their stories and why those stories are important.
4. Comedian John Garnett recently moved back to Tacoma from Los Angles where he rubbed shoulders with Brad Pitt, Clint Eastwood and many other celebrities. "Tacoma has always felt like home, full of REAL people, who wake up to REAL lives. Nothing like the big rush hour driven, dollar sign eye'd, people I met when I lived in LA and New York I wanted to be real again," says Garnett who will open Ha Ha Tuesdays at Jazzbones at 8:30 p.m. before headliner Daniel Dugar hits the stage.
5. Every 17th of the month Doyle's Public House hosts a practice session for its big St. Patrick's Day party. Practice makes perfect in the eyes of owners Russ and Dave. However, the party will be taken a notch higher as the Stadium District watering hole will also celebrates its sixth anniversary. Expect corned beef and cabbage as well as 2006 prices on all goods. Oh, and for some reason Doyle's can't mention the band fronted by Junior that will rock the joint, in a very sexy way, at 8 p.m.
Which is more difficult to understand: William Shatner's 1965 all-Esperanto (a fabricated "universal" language) sci-fi flick Incubus, or the funk-metal-turned-easy-listening rise of golf-shirted SoCal male models Incubus? Since so few are familiar with the former, let's just get on with the business of finding something to say about the latter ... wait, it's coming ... Linkin Park is also on the 2012 Honda Civic Tour bill coming to the Tacoma Dome, will that do? Mutemath opens?
Okay, so I'm a little late, sue me. I ventured out to Lobster House around 4pm. Parking was easy on the street (this area can be a real pain sometimes). Walked in, and the place is pretty spartan and vibes of seventies paneling and disco balls are heavy in the air. There's two other parties in, a four top and a deuce. I take the gunslingers seat (back corner, facing the door), and a cute young Asian girl came by with a smile,a pot of tea and two menu pages (laminated, single page, single side menus, one for regular menu items, the other a very short dim sum menu). Sometimes there's a good laugh in just getting thru an Asian menu. Between the typos and bad pictures, it can be a good laugh. At any rate, the options on either menu were pretty limited. Maybe fifteen items on the dim sum, and not a lot more on the regular menu. I was very disappointed with the dim sum menu. There was Xui Mai, steamed spareribs, the aforementioned "football dumplings, and some other stuff that was just not that great sounding or looking ( the pictures on the laminated menu helped nothing). On the regular menu, there are some downright ugly pictures of food that I tried to avoid as much as possible (food photography is an art and can make or break a menu, these weren't making any impressions). The picture of a crab dish was, well, let's say unappetizing. Orange colored crab in an orange colored sauce with some chunky stuff in it...need I elaborate?
Priceless cars and a simple but elegant LeMay America's Car Museum set the mood for one of Columbia Bank's Blue Couch tapings, in which real customers kick back on the bank's iconic blue couch as tell it how it is.
"It's unscripted," commented Stacia Allen, a spokeswoman for GreenRubino, the bank's advertising agency, during yesterday's taping at LeMay.
Columbia Bank senior vice president of marketing, David Devine nodded his head in agreement.
"Simple, beautiful, well-crafted," he added.
The focus of the Blue Couch taping was the museum's CEO David Madeira and COO Paul Miller. The Blue Couch campaign launches next month.
As employees for NorthXNorthwest set up lights, cameras and sound equipment for the commercial, the chemistry between the museum's leaders was clear and simple.
The taping went smoothly and crisply - both Madeira and Miller clearly had fun.
THE WEEK IN GEEK IN THE SOUTH SOUND ... AND BEYOND >>>
And we're back! Nerd Alert is the Spew blog'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. Did I steer you wrong with my recommendation of Cabin in the Woods? Well, did I?
Record Store Day!
Holy crap in a Cracker Barrel, Record Store Day is this Saturday, April 21! Once a year, artists unite with independent record stores to offer music you simply cannot buy online. This year's selection is incredibly diverse, offering live sets from the Black Keys and Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, 7" vinyl from Foster the People and Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, a limited-run, 180g vinyl from Death Cab and hundreds of other items. Participating stores in the South Sound include Phantom City and Rainy Day in Oly, plus Disc Connection and Rocket Records in Tacoma. For the full roster of swag for sale, visit RecordStoreDay.com. Then show your local disk pushers some love. They deserve it.
While you're shopping, pick up a Blu-ray or DVD copy of Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol. This Tom Cruise blockbuster, directed briskly by animation genius Brad Bird (Iron Giant, The Incredibles), was my favorite movie of 2011, and I'm in no way ashamed to say it. Did Moneyball or A Separation have an action scene set on the side of the 2,716-foot Burj Khalifa tower in Abu Dhabi? They did not.
Friday, April 20
My fellow theater critic Joe Izenman can barely contain himself about Terminus, a verse play by Mark O'Rowe about a woman who falls off a construction crane, gets saved from certain death by a worm demon, and then has sex with said demon. So yeah, same old, same old. For those of you who don't follow the 21st century playwriting scene - which, let's face it, is most of you, so listen up! - Ireland is where the magic is happening. O'Rowe is one of a handful of Gaelic dudes penning brutal, foulmouthed, shock-a-minute masterpieces. Harlequin staged The Seafarer by Conor McPherson, Riot to Follow just closed Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, and now director David Domkowski has his filthy way with Terminus. Don't take your grandma ... unless, of course, Grandma is a huge William Friedkin fan. That'd be weird.
At 5:30 and 9:30 p.m., the Seattle Cinerama will screen a gorgeous 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey. "My God, it's full of stars!" You know, like Keir Dullea. Still ... trippy.
At 10 p.m., Patton Oswalt has a new hour of standup on Comedy Central, called Finest Hour, followed by new Paul F. Tompkins. "Wackity, schmackity doo!"
Sunday, April 22
There are otherwise button-down, Wonder-bread, vanilla South Sounders who lose their ever-lovin' shizz over Wayzgoose. We're talking full-on fanboy meltdowns. Tacoma's "Letterpress and Book Arts Extravaganza" might seem an odd choice for this column, but I've never met a geek yet who didn't have at least some appreciation for the siren song of an artfully published book. Did you know that a wayzgoose is the annual feast thrown by a master printer for the staff of his or her press? And did you know this year will mark the third Wayzgoose appearance of C.L.A.W., the Cartoonists' League of Absurd Washingtonians? And did you further know that Jeff's Ice Cream will be there, hawking frozen delights from a trailer on the back of a bicycle? Bicycle ice cream, people. The man sells bicycle ice cream!
[King's Books,Wayzgoose, free, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.8801]
Until next week, may the odds be ever in your favor, the Force be with you, and your dialogue be written by Aaron Sorkin.