Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Apr 19–21, 2024

Grass & Gas: 4/20 Celebration, Record Store Day, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
April 19, 2024
Sol and Chong the Nomad will serve vibes at Grass & Gas: 4/20 Celebration & Car Show. (Sol via Instagram)
Celebrate Seattle's favorite holiday, 4/20, by blazing up and heading to one or more of the ultra chill events we've rounded up here, from Grass & Gas: 4/20 Celebration & Car Show with Sol and Chong the Nomad to Record Store Day and from 4/20 Feature: Reefer Madness (1936) and Stoned Shorts on 16mm to The Stranger's Pizza Week!

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Live Lasers to the Music of Taylor Swift’s The Tortured Poets Department Past Event List
Are you ready for it?! In honor of Taylor Swift releasing her eleventh album The Tortured Poets Department today, the Pacific Science Center's laser dome will "make the whole place shimmer" with an impromptu light show set to the album. Whether you consider yourself a Swiftie or not, I think it's time to enter your laser dome era! AV
(Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center, Uptown, $12-$15)



Bandit Theater Presents: Who's High Past Event List
How strong are your stoner-detection skills? At this 4/20 edition of the monthly comedy event, a cast of improvisers will create scenes based on stories informed by the audience. Here's the shtick: Half the players are high. Can you figure out which ones smoked backstage? Take a guess at Who's High? LC
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)


Free Entrance Days in the National Parks Remind List
This Saturday is 4/20, and the national parks are encouraging you to get high on the outdoors with an entrance fee free day (it's also the first day of National Parks Week). Pack up the car and head to the majestic Mount Rainier; Olympic National Park, which is only a scenic ferry ride away; or Lewis and Clark National Historical Park and Fort Vancouver down by the Oregon border. SL
(Various locations, free)


4/20 Feature: Reefer Madness (1936) and Stoned Shorts on 16mm Past Event List
There's nothing like ill-placed hysteria (see: the entire Republican platform) to put a damper on your day, but Reefer Madness manages to be the most fact-free, faux-cautionary flick ever, and somehow make it funny. You probably know the drill already: The film was created by a church group to alarm the youths about the evils of marijuana, but it backfired so spectacularly that it's likely the most pro-weed entry in all of cinematic history. Grand Illusion will screen it in 16mm (for 4/20, duh) alongside "stoned cartoons and shorts." LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11)

Scarecrow Academy Presents Election Year: Politics on Film Past Event List
I am choosing not to think about the fact that it's an election year, but if you're jazzed for a showdown between two geriatrics, Scarecrow Academy has the online film conversation series for you! National Society of Film Critics member and Scarecrow Video "historian-programmer in residence" Robert Horton leads this series of free Zoom sessions, exploring "various approaches that great filmmakers take to the political process...from comedy to tragedy, from satire to fable, with directors ranging from Frank Capra to Spike Lee." LC
(Scarecrow Video, University District, free)

Secret Cinema Past Event List
Secret Cinema is exactly what it sounds like—just show up and prepare to be titillated by whatever pops up on screen. Opportunities to be entirely surprised by a film don't come along very often, so try it out as a reminder that there are still mysteries to uncover in the world. Or maybe you'll hate it. Who knows! That's the fun of the whole shebang. Go forth, switch off your brain, and let the enigma reveal itself. LC
(The Beacon, Columbia City, free)


Grass & Gas: 4/20 Celebration & Car Show with Sol and Chong the Nomad Past Event List
Ah, there is nothing like the scent of gasoline and weed smoke in the morning. I think we all know that it's illegal to drive while under the influence; however, there are no rules about admiring beautiful cars while stoned! That's why Commencement Bay Cannabis is hosting a dual car show and 4/20 celebration this year. After a morning of gazing at polished automobiles, enjoy a myriad of cannabis vendors, outdoor games, a smoking lounge, delectable munchie-satisfying treats, and live music from PNW acts Chong the Nomad, Sol, and IYKYK. AV
(Commencement Bay Cannabis - Green, free)

Somesurprises, Coral Grief, and Anthers Past Event List
Formerly the bedroom project of singer-songwriter Natasha El-Sergany, somesurprises is now a dynamic four-piece that blends dreamy folk with electronic elements and shoegaze-y melodies. They will celebrate the release of their new album, Perseids, which draws inspiration from varied influences like Stereolab, Broadcast, Neu!, Mazzy Star, and Nick Drake. Don't miss opening sets from kindred spirits Coral Grief and Anthers. AV
(Tractor Tavern, Ballard, $13-$15)


Queer Vintage Market Past Event List
Banana Marts, a pop-up market highlighting queer makers, curators, and businesses, is heading to the KEXP gathering space this weekend! Grab a delicious coffee from Caffe Vita, listen live to your favorite local DJs, and peruse vintage clothing, local art, and more. I'm thinking about getting a flash tattoo and then taking a stroll around Seattle Center to show it off. More queer joy! SL
(KEXP, Uptown, free)

Record Store Day 2024 Past Event List
Whether you're looking forspecial RSD releases or just want to support your local record store, drag yourself out of bed bright and early this Record Store Day as shops around town fill up with vinyl-hungry shoppers. Participation varies from store to store, but expect sales and exclusive merch, extended hours, in-store performances, and other special events. There are several special releases from PNW-born bands this year, including Death Cab For Cutie's Live at the Showbox, Fleet Foxes's Live on Boston HarborMudhoney's Suck You Dry: The Reprise Years, Pearl Jam's Dark Matter, and Sleater-Kinney's This Time/Here Today. Check out the RSD website for a full list of participating stores. AV
(Various locations)

Renegade Seattle Past Event List
Serving up a thoughtful alternative to mass-marketed trinkets and big box stores, Renegade purports to be "the broadest-reaching curated craft showcase in the world." It'll return with goodies from over 180 curated vendors representing the best of the Pacific Northwest and beyond—skincare enthusiasts, plant parents, and fans of resin earrings and chunky ceramics should find something to smile about. Why not kickstart your spring by snatching up crafty wares by indie artists and bites from on-site food vendors? It's what you deserve. LC
(Magnuson Park Hangar 30, Sand Point, $5 suggested donation)

Spring Native Plant Sale Past Event List
Good news, plant people! Oxbow Farm's native plant sale is back and offers up a selection of wildflowers, shrubs, and even veggie starts for purchase. All the plants are adapted to our local climate (read: good with lack of sunshine, just like us) and will be great additions to any pollinator-friendly garden. Good news for us non-plant people who might be dragged along by our friends—the forecast is predicting high 60s and sunshine. SL
(Oxbow Farm and Conservation Center, free)



Reel Black: SoulGenre presents Kirikou and the Sorceress Past Event List
The latest entry in SIFF's Reel Black: Soulgenre screening series, which spotlights often-overlooked Black genre filmmakers, is Michel Ocelot's '98 film Kirikou and the Sorceress. The mystical animated flick follows an African village that's been afflicted by a curse, and the villager who journeys to a "forbidden mountain" to get to the root of the issue. LC
(SIFF Cinema Egyptian, Capitol Hill, $16.50)



The People's Joker Past Event List
In many ways, the true diva of The People's Joker has been Warner Bros. Discovery. The massive media giant sent a letter that shut down all but the premiere screening of the indie comedy spoof at Toronto International Film Festival in 2022. Those who have seen The People's Joker—co-written and directed by comedian Vera Drew—say it's as much or more a trans coming of age story than a DC Comics-inspired satire, but we must admit the chance to see Maria Bamford as a (nude?) Lex Luthor-like Lorne Michaels, Tim Heidecker as an Alex Jones-adjacent political chaos personality, and Bob Odenkirk as Bob the Goon is certainly a draw. PORTLAND MERCURY ARTS EDITOR SUZETTE SMITH
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign Past Event List
An often-overlooked 1968 social justice movement confronted poverty head-on and reimagined American activism, but you've probably never heard of it. The Smithsonian's traveling exhibition Solidarity Now! 1968 Poor People’s Campaign looks closely at the nearly six-week-long protest, which took place in a constructed "Resurrection City" in DC and drew attention to the impact of poverty on Americans. Everyone from rural Appalachians to residents of Puerto Rico and Native communities showed up for demonstrations and demands for jobs, living wages, access to health care, and more. Organized by Martin Luther King Jr. and Ralph Abernathy, the Poor People's Campaign was the "first large-scale, nationally organized demonstration to take place after King’s death." Head to this exhibition to learn more about it through photographs, oral histories, and political ephemera. LC
(Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, $0-$14, Friday-Sunday)


Civil War Past Event List
Alex Garland's latest, Civil War, is A24's most expensive in-house production to date, following a group of military-embedded journos headed to DC "before rebel factions descend upon the White House." Honestly, I'm wary of how he'll handle this one, although Garland's work does tend to thrive in dystopian settings. But Kristen Dunst stars as a photojournalist, which is reason enough to watch. Also, Garland may or may not be retiring from directing ("I’m going to take a break for the foreseeable future," he clarified recently), so if you're a fan of the filmmaker behind Annihilation and Men, you should plan to let his new one marinate. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $14.50-$15.50, Friday-Sunday)

Dune: Part Two Past Event List
A sweeping sci-fi film with origins right here in the Pacific NorthwestDune: Part Two is a sequel that surpasses the first by leaps and bounds as it transports us back to the world first created by the late local author Frank Herbert. Picking up where its predecessor left off, it follows the young Paul Atreides (Timothée Chalamet) as he aligns himself with Chani (Zendaya) and the rest of the Fremen who have found a way to survive in the harsh desert climate of Arrakis. As they battle against the forces of the galaxy looking to mine the valuable resources that the planet holds, there is soon a growing sense that the greatest dangers are only just beginning. The film also digs into fears Herbert explored about the hazards of giving power to leaders who talk a big game even as they may be the villains of their own stories. Readers of said books know how this ends, but the film offers just as much to those who are going in blissfully unaware, and its stunning visuals deserve to be seen on the big screen. In all of 2024, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a film as immense and well-crafted as Dune: Part Two. STRANGER CONTRIBUTOR CHASE HUTCHINSON
(SIFF Cinema Downtown, Belltown, $14.50-$19.50, Friday-Sunday)

Hecklevision: Troll 2 Past Event List
Don't you hate when the ghost of your dead grandfather has to warn you about the plant-munching goblins terrorizing your family's vacation destination? Me too. You'll get the whole gooey, ghoul-ridden story at this Hecklevision screening of so-bad-it's-good 1990 masterpiece Troll 2, during which you can submit your wisecracks via phone. (They'll land right on the big screen for the ego boost of everyone finding out how funny you are.) Buckle up, and don't forget your corn and Nilbog milk. LC
(Central Cinema, Central District, $13, Friday-Sunday)

Why Is This Happening to Me?: The Splatter Americana of Calvin Lee Reeder Past Event List
Legendary Seattle weirdo Calvin Reeder's bloody, psychedelic romps represent some of the Pacific Northwest's weirdest filmmaking. If you're into all things low-budget—and maybe a little eye-roll-inducing—Reeder's work should be sufficiently freaky. This two-night celebration of his work includes screenings of Reeder's flicks The Rambler and The Oregonian on April 19, followed by inspirations Tender Mercies and Dead Heat on April 20. LC
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50, Friday-Saturday)


The Stranger's Pizza Week! Past Event List
Calling all enthusiasts/lovers/connoisseurs/purveyors of pizza: From April 15-21, The Stranger is bringing you #strangerpizzaweek! Some of Seattle's finest pizza purveyors will be slinging specialty 'zas crafted just for this week at $4 a slice or $25 for whole pies. And to help you build that appetite for all those slices be sure to check out our friends at Dockside Cannabis!
(Various locations, Friday-Sunday)


Laser 4/20 Week Past Event List
This weekend, the region's only laser dome will "light up" for Seattle's stoners with trippy laser light shows set to weed anthems by pot-smoking legends like Wu-Tang Clan, SZA, Sublime, Childish Gambino, and more. All laser light shows are best enjoyed high, but for the love of god, no smoking or vaping in the dome!
(Laser Dome at Pacific Science Center, Uptown, $12-$15, Friday-Sunday)


14 Hours by Janelle Abbott Past Event List
Janelle Abbott, a local zero-waste visionary and critic of all things hyper-consumerist, will chat about her upcoming performance, 14 Hours, at this artist talk. Abbott plans to "perform 14 hours a day, six days in a surrogate and demonstrate the daily lived experience of garment workers across the globe," during which time she'll quilt deadstock fabric to be auctioned in support of garment workers' rights and reparations. (Abbott will compensate herself "based on the average daily wage of a Bangladeshi garment worker—about $3.50.") Scope the performance via Twitch, or see it in person April 15-20 from 6 am to 8 pm. LC
(Prairie Underground, Georgetown, free, Friday-Saturday)

I, Chrysalis, Open at the Close: Sebastian Loo Past Event List
LA-based painter Sebastian Loo creates ink and color compositions on rice paper for I, Chrysalis, Open at the Close, which he describes as a "hyper-personal" exhibition. That descriptor makes sense—Loo's work blends a system of symbols with Buddhist and Christian aesthetics to draw parallels between his own life and "the transitional site of the chrysalis." We're talking mortal impermanence here, so get on board! Loo's process includes pointillism, paper cutouts, and collage approaches, and the results are a blast to observe. (I'm partial to Flying or Falling: bb Luci and friends to Daoist canyons, embracing suffering and acknowledging faults for the purpose of growth?) LC
(SOIL, Pioneer Square, free, Friday–Sunday)

Manifestations by June Sekiguchi Remind List
June Sekiguchi's scroll-cut woodworking method makes her pattern-based sculptures and large-scale installations a very loopy experience. Addressing "cultural identity, cross-cultural exchange, and personal narratives through an interplay of surface pattern and structural form," Sekiguchi's latest show emphasizes her metaphorical approach and honors her source materials. (I'm stoked for her big, glowy hanging bug, Silkpunk Grasshopper Leg Transport.) LC
(King Street Station, SoDo, free, Friday-Saturday)

Martine Gutierrez: Monsen Photography Lecture Remind List
Transdisciplinary artist Martine Gutierrez creates twists on pop culture tropes through elaborate narrative scenes. Using a wide range of mediums connected to mass media, from music videos to billboard campaigns and satirical fashion magazines, Gutierrez explores constructions of self and their own multicultural, first-generation identity as an artist of Indigenous descent. This presentation of Gutierrez's work was organized in conjunction with their upcoming Monsen Photography Lecture, an annual talk that brings key makers and thinkers in photographic practice to the Henry. LC
(Henry Art Gallery, University District, $0–20 suggested donation, Friday-Sunday)

Shine On Seattle Past Event List
Light lovers LUSIO and the Downtown Seattle Association have lit up Pioneer Square for Shine On Seattle, a luminous public art installation. From March 1 to April 30, visitors can take a walking tour of “dazzling exhibits that will illuminate window storefronts, parks, and other outdoor spaces” in the area. LC
(Pioneer Square, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Sunday)

Whispers of the Veiled Melody - Nasim Moghadam and Kiana Honarmand Past Event List
Exploring the diversity of SWANA (Southwest Asian and North African)experience, SOIL's latest exhibition showcases video projections, sculptures, and vinyl installations.Whispers of the Veiled Melody features works by Iranian artists Nasim Moghadam and Kiana Honarmand, whose multimedia approaches blend memories and sociocultural influences to reflect on the distinctions of their identities and heritages. (Moghadam's award-winning works focus on "hyphenated identity, as well as the constraints on women, their bodies, and their voices," while Honarmand contemplates "the complexities of her cultural identity, the violation of women's rights in Iran, and the Western perception of the SWANA identity.") LC
(SOIL, Pioneer Square, free, Friday–Sunday)

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