NWPAS Wrap up

Kayla Greet



How quickly the biggest pinball and arcade show comes and goes! I spend weeks looking forward to it, they spend months planning it, and then in three short days June it's here and gone. Though I had a wonderful time as always and wanted to report on some highlights.

This was my ninth time attending the Northwest Pinball and Arcade Show and I still have the best time. When I started going in 2008 (just a year after the show started) the show was still in Seattle and still referred to as PAGS – Pinball Arcade and Gameroom Show. Now NWPAS is held at the Tacoma Convention Center and they allow us to take over the entire top floor of the event space! I heard that this year had the most games than any other, clocking in at around 475 machines. And somehow it didn't seem any more crowded than usual.

Walking out to the show floor on Friday the first thing we did was say hi to Tommy Floyd at his awesome looking Nitro Amusements display. Tommy is a major distributor in Canada and works with all the main companies like Stern, Jersey Jack, and Spooky. One of the big surprises of his booth was the Thunderbirds pin made by a brand new company called Homepin. 

After chatting with him about the affordability of it (only $5k – USD, not loonies and toonies), I started a game with Levi (operator of Flip Flip Ding Ding) and Gordon (editor at Skill Shot).  I didn't have much time to figure out the rules and instead just tried hitting all the cool looking shots. It's got a great sound system, a ramp that feeds to the pop bumpers, and some neat bash toys.

One of my main goals for the weekend was to play one each of the nine Iron Maiden pinball machines. I think I got through five of them, but the line was always a couple people deep on each game. Definitely one of the new pins that was in high demand that weekend.

My other goal was to win a NWPAS token from the Safe Cracker pin. After failing a few games in a row on Saturday, I went to it first thing in the morning on the last day and won! This pinball machine has a board game on the back box where you're trying to break into the vault of a bank, all the while being thwarted by guards, robot dogs, and alarms to deactivate.

The show also included the world's largest pinball machine – Hercules. I've played it before at the Pinball museum in the International District, but there's no sense in passing up another opportunity. It's so large that it uses a cue ball from a billard's table as the pinball. My arms are almost too short to reach each flipper button. It's massive!

There were pinball tournaments all weekend long for classics (pins from the late '70s and before), amateur players, women, and open divisions. I gave the open tournament a shot mostly out of a sense of tradition, but did not play well enough to move on. But I did get to play a game with my friend Gene X Wang who was visiting from San Fran and had never been to this show before. He won our game. Visitor's luck!

Another pin I was pretty excited to play was the new game from Jersey Jack – Pirates of the Caribbean. Many years ago Stern made one of these, but Jersey Jack's version is pretty advanced compared to that other one! Coolest things about it are the moving ship, the compass that points to the most valuable shot on the table, and the tilt warning near the flippers so you're never surprised when you shake the machine too much. 

My favorite vendor was definitely Pingravings ( who is a new company that makes these gorgeous pinball art pieces by engraving them on balsa wood. I bought a framed Gorgar piece. And they had made a present for us at Skill Shot which was engravings of some covers of the zine! Amazing!

I only managed to get to one seminar but I'd bet it was the best one all weekend. Raymond Davidson (#1 player in the world and two time IFPA champion from Mukilteo) versus Robert Gagno (#8 in the world and star of the Netflix documentary Wizard Mode) battling each other. The cool thing about it was they also challenged the two champs on a series of drills, showing off their advanced playing techniques, all the while answering questions from the audience and hosts Ashley Weaver and Chase Nunes. Really cool to witness those two heavyweights go at it on an Attack From Mars pinball machine. Even though I lost $2 betting on Raymond in the earlier drills, he eventually won the last challenge and thus the entire match. USA!

On top of all of this there were just so many wonderful people who attended. The NW show is really the best place for a pinball family reunion and a chance to play the best and newest games. Plus there's usually an after party at The Triple Knock in case you didn't quite get your fill of pinball, or meet up at The Mix for a night of karaoke if you're all pinballed out. 


Kayla Greet

Kayla Greet

Full Tilt Blog – Kayla Greet



Back in 2011, Kayla Greet worked for Full Tilt as a scooper in the U-District store. Shortly after starting that, she was one of the first staff members of the Ballard location when it opened up. As you may know, the Ballard location has several pinball machines, versus U-District which just doesn't have any room for one. A few years prior to working with us, Kayla had become involved in the local pinball community, so Full Tilt Ballard was a great fit! She. even later went on to join the Full Tilt Capitol Hill pinball team, Drain Freeze.

Since then she has become a music writer and regular contributor to Razorcake magazine out of Los Angeles, New Noise magazine based in Berkeley, and has been a part of the Seattle pinball zine Skill Shot for the last six years, having also started a pinball podcast with the zine three years ago. In January of 2018 her work was published in the book Drop Target Omnibus, wherein she fully imagined and designed her dream machine theme: Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?

We had a chance to catch up with her and find out her process on things, and the myriad of projects she's been up to lately.



FT: When did you start writing?

Basically I've been doing it since I learned how to hold a pen. All through school I was always drawn to English classes and I remember a teacher in middle school who would have us start every class with a quick writing prompt. So each day we were writing a few sentences about a random topic, or just free writing for ten minutes if we weren't inspired by the topic. Since then I have always had a journal that I'd scribble in on the bus or in coffee shops, and if I wasn't doing that, I was writing several pages of letters to friends who lived in other states. For as long as I can remember I've always been creative, but what's different and special about writing is that I could do it all by myself. From age 12-20 I was a glass blower which requires a minimum of three people in order to make anything. So things like writing, drawing, or knitting were enticing because it was art that I could make on my own.



FT: What made you start?

I was always an avid reader and even now you can catch me tearing through a book while I walk home or to work, so long as it's not raining! Even as a kid I'd read every facet of the cereal box as I ate breakfast. I just always wanted to be consuming some kind of text. And because of that I tended to excel in those Creative Writing / English classes. It helped a lot that my mom worked for the Tacoma News Tribune covering pet adoptions and obituaries when I was growing up. In high school I joined Running Start which allows students to attend community college in their Junior and Senior years. While in that program, I started working as an editor on both the high school and college student newspapers, as well as taking Journalism courses. It was wild. I was 16 and being paid to go to school because of my writing. Some time in my teens I got caught up in punk and started making my own zines. Over email or instant messaging I'd interview small bands who were touring through the Northwest. Then I'd get out my typewriter and do a cut and paste article about said band for a zine that I'd give out for free at their shows. It was my way of giving back to the DIY punk scene, as well as getting people into bands when they couldn't afford merch.


FT: What are some of your long term goals? What are you working on now?

This almost isn't fair because I always feel like once something is said allowed or shared online, I have to then actually start working towards that goal! My pipe dream is to write my own novel, or at least a short story. I don't know about what, and I don't know when, but it's something I'd like to challenge myself to do. No promises here! A more obtainable long term goal is to build a website containing all the record reviews, band interviews, short stories, and live reviews that I've had published, as well as some no one has ever seen. It feels incredibly navel gazing, but it's what I like to do and it'd be neat to see them all collected in one place. Earlier in 2018 I finally got my work published in a book. Up till now it'd just been zines, magazines, and websites. You can get a copy of said book if you're so inclined. It's the Drop Target Ominbus put together by Jon Chad and Alec Longstreth. It's about pinball and I designed and wrote up a dream machine for Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?.


Day to day I do my best to stay very busy. I have a feature length interview with the UK band Caves coming out in the next issue of Razorcake which I did a few weeks of deep research in order to prep for. Also for Razorcake I do a monthly podcast which akin to an hour long punk radio show. Plus, each issue of the zine I do around ten record / zine / book and/or dvd reviews. Then for New Noise I just finished up an interview piece with the Portland band Abolitionist, as well as am working on one for Ontario, Canada's The Creeps. I'm toying around with the idea of writing a One Punk's Guide to Star Trek but that might come a bit later. Finally, for Skill Shot I do a monthly podcast with my co-host Graham Klym, and recently I have taken on the task of writing a Podcast Round Up for the zine, as well as a feature on newly opened locations.


FT: What else are you doing besides writing and the podcast?

I was at full time job which I did not enjoy, mostly because it cuts into my time to do the things I really love. But I recently got laid off and am looking forward to the ample amounts of free time to create while searching for a job that is a bit less soul sucking. Otherwise I am usually desperately searching for what people call "down time." When I find it, I'm usually out at a local show (though last year I saw bands in Portland, LA, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Gainesville so I'm open to gigs outside of Seattle!). Or I'm knitting hats/sweaters/socks/gloves for friends. Every other month I help edit and layout Skill Shot Zine with some friends. And once or twice a month I write a postcard to my pin-pal in D.C. If there's any time left over after all that, I'm listening to records with a book and a cat, and day dreaming of places I want to travel to.


There is a new Mudhoney coming out!!! And you get a free copy.

OK, it's not really any kind of secret that I am a big Mudhoney fan. We have an ice cream named after them. Watching them playing my store is the highlight of owning Full Tilt. So, I am a little excited over this new record coming out.

 Recorded live during their 2016 European tour at shows in Germany, Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Norway, and Slovenia LiE is the first unlimited-edition, non-bootleg live  album to date. Mudhoney is a ferocious band live. When they played our White Center store there was a kid that was right in front the whole time. He was maybe 12, but he new all the words. At the end of the set when Mark said "thanks everybody!" and started to pack up, this kid said, "but you didn't even play touch me I'm sick!" So they launched into it, and you could see this kids face melt. Like it was the greatest thing he had ever seen. The whole night was amazing, but really seeing the look on the little dudes face is really what music is all about.

We suckered Sub Pop into giving us one of these. So sign up for our newsletter, and leave a comment and I will send it out to one of you.


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Tiny Dragon Music & FREE RECORDS!!!

Tiny Drago

Drew worked for us both at our retail stores as a scooper, and as an ice cream maker in the warehouse. He was always the happiest guy in the room. A lot of people may know him as the singer for Burn Burn Burn, but he also started a record label this year called Tiny Dragon Music.  We did a quick email interview. Sign up for our news letter, and leave a comment. We will pick one lucky person and send out a record pack from Tiny Dragon


So why did you decide to start a label?


Tiny Dragon Music is an independent label my beloved bandmate Adam France and I started at the beginning of 2017.

Our band Burn Burn Burn! has been around for the last 7 years. Though we have in the past had other labels put out certain records of ours, most of our catalog was self released. Self releasing your own music is such a risk, nobody REALLY knows the longevity of your own project. And (at that point) after 6 years of.. 

1. not breaking up. 




2. Learning the true science behind getting your own records done at a reasonable cost, yes cutting corners without compromising quality is a science..


...we decided to use these skills to help out our friends bands. So far it's been such a fulfilling experience watching our friends bands grow. Also, I quit drinking and putting weird crap up my nose yet still wanted to be extremely reckless with my money, lol.



So how many titles do you have out so far?


We're proud to end our first year at 9 records! It's a lot to put out in our first year and there were definitely times I felt in over my head, BUT WE DID IT! We even put out a split 7" for a punk band out of Korea! PRETTY COOL!


So Whats next?  What do you have coming out next year?


We can't say too much about this right now other than we're not slowing down. Some of the new releases may surprise some and others will be of no shock at all..   I'd expect 5-7 releases next year, hopefully more. Burn Burn Burn will have a new EP and Full Length released under Tiny Dragon Music, I can definitely say that. Why shop out my bands new records when I run my own label? Duh.


Is there anything that you are really excited about for next year?


Honestly, I get excited about every release. I'm just so happy to have been a part of the process with these records. I love reading the positive feedback that the bands on our roster get. I keeps me going!



Is there any release from last year that really stands out? Maybe something that sold faster than you thought it would?


We're by no means breaking down walls here but every release has been moving at a pace that both the bands, France & I are comfortable with. Each record more or less sells at the same pace with every other release. And that's better than a bunch of records collecting dust in my closet.




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Its Not really a blog.

I wanted to create a place on our site for things I think are cool, but not necessarily ice cream related. 

So, first thing is from a former employee and her new music project Loud in the Morning.