Rocky Sandoval | Friday, March 24
There are certain qualities that just can’t be teached. In hip-hop, things like flow, rhythmic complexity, and lyrical finesse can be learned and honed over time. But, then, there are those intangibles that come fully formed in artists – smoothness, for instance. A sense of poise and ease with words is one of things that just comes baked-in with some emcees. For a nearby example, we can look at the Tacoma-based Rocky Sandoval. Blending hip-hop and R&B, Sandoval has his finger on the pulse of what will get listeners up and moving, seamlessly blending storytelling with the kind of club-ready production that creates a concoction so intoxicating that you may be incapable of resisting that sexy vibe.
Frankly, Sandoval’s bend toward funky, giddily horny music is a breath of fresh air in a scene where sex has taken a backseat to, I dunno, musical dynamics. After a couple years of isolating from human contact, it honestly feels like a blissful excursion to listen to Sandoval’s 2022 LP My Confessions, which encompasses every primal urge that surges inside not only Rocky, but all of us: heartache, longing, wired nights on the dancefloor, and the feeling that comes with coming home alone – and, even worse, coming home with the wrong person. Rocky Sandoval has spent years exploring these thoughts, and you can join him at ALMA to get those thoughts of your own out.
More from Almanac
Umi Wagoner’s Tacoma: Curran Coffee Carries on Tradition
Coffee culture is continuing to grow in Tacoma and it continues to be exciting to have options. Tacoma hasn’t always been a place with variety as a priority; it’s more of an oldie but goodie place. The more of the market place independents take up the less need for chains like Starbucks and far less market potential for them to poach. I’m not saying we don’t need them but more us and less them should always be the goal. Although keeping in mind there may be some Tacomans who own franchises and those should be the ones most frequented. There is a lot of charm and tradition built into our businesses. But as of late (the last 5 years) we are starting to see the rumblings of progress. Slowly more independent coffee experiences are developing throughout Tacoma and that’s bringing Tacomans into neighborhoods they haven’t traditionally frequented. It’s great businesses that often create cross pollination within cities. An area may feel out of the way until you have a reason to go. And Old Town Tacoma hasn’t been injected with something new in a while. Space is a major part of the issue, there’s only room for about 4 businesses on the little strip of N 30th anyway, but it’s prime real estate and holds significant historical value. The space they occupy was once completely owned by the Spar, one side was the Spar cafe while the other catered to the Spar bar. During my early years of college living elsewhere and coming home to the Spar felt like the most authentic part of Tacoma, the Old Town history and proximity to downtown via Schuster Way offered a level of convenience to the Waterfront prior to its developments and my version of nightlife simultaneously.
Umi’s Corner Tacoma: Buy the Pint
Tacoma loves beer. We’re pretty good at brewing it and we enjoy drinking it on the regular. But we enjoy more than just the taste, we enjoy the competition and the culture that surrounds it, either it makes you a fan of a company or a naysayer. It helps that Eastern Washington grows some of the best hops in the world and has a natural habitat to do so. It also helps that there are taprooms everywhere that strive to provide the best, newest, rarest and most popular beers out. During the rather short lived Great Notion era and the even shorter lived slushie era taprooms around Tacoma were scrambling weekly to keep up with demand. It was a fun moment but it wasn’t for the beer drinker it was for the non beer drinker. Why would you mask the beer taste if you like the taste of beer??
Make It To The Show: Punx in the Woods Fun-Raiser
Punx in the Woods Fun-Raiser | Saturday, April 22In a world where we sometimes find ourselves dancing around saying what we mean, the Punx in the Woods Festival not only says its idea on its face, but invites you to come on in and make some mayhem in the woods you might not have felt free to do back home. Over the course of Labor Day weekend – Friday through Sunday – all sorts of decibel-testing acts will be letting their freak flags fly in a national forest.If we want to get there, though, we’d better lube the gears of this endeavor by seeing shows like this one, raising funds for Punx in the Woods by featuring some of the Pacific Northwest's best and brightest bands, old and new talent that want to slash and burn their way into the foundation of local rock.