Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Feb 23–25, 2024

C-ID's Lunar New Year, Gaza: PCRF Charity Screening, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
February 23, 2024
Proceeds from a screening of the 2019 film Gaza will go to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund.
It's the weekend—you deserve to take a load off, and your wallet deserves a break, too. Achieve the perfect balance of fun and frugal with events from Chinatown-International District's Lunar New Year to a Free Book Swap at Paper Portal Used Books and from Gaza: PCRF Charity Screening to MoPOP’s 2024 Sound Off! Showcase.

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Lobby Sessions - Track 1: Linda From Work Past Event List
KEXP’s Martin Douglas wrote of Linda From Work's debut LP: "Burnout fully displays their gifts as an emergent force in Seattle’s ever-crowded rock scene, ruminating on failed relationships and a pernicious lack of healthy sleeping habits." They'll bust out of the 9-to-5 grind for some vicious indie garage rock as a part of the Crocodile Hotel's intimate Lobby Sessions. AV
(Hotel Crocodile, Belltown, $15)

Refugee: A Meditation on the Frailty and Resilience of the Human Spirit Past Event List
Choreographer Joan Laage will present her latest work Refugee, a butoh performance (that's a form of Japanese theatrical dance) inspired by the aftermath of war and "the urge to find a safer, saner place to live." Dancers Kaoru Okumura and Helen Thorsen will take the stage alongside pianist Randy Shay and bassist Aaron Harmonson. AV
(Good Shepherd Center/Chapel Performance Space, Wallingford, $10-20 donation)

Songbird Showcase Presents: Birdie Fenn Cent, Barton Carroll, Mark Tegio, and Caleb Thompson Past Event List
If diving into the local music scene feels a little daunting at times, then I recommend checking out a local showcase. If you’re a lover of all things folk, country, or Americana, then check out Ellensburg-born songbird Birdie Fenn Cent who will perform her angelic indie-Americana tunes alongside fellow fowls like folk soloist Barton Carroll, country artist Mark Tegio, and singer-songwriter Caleb Thompson. AV
(The Rabbit Box Theatre, Pike Place Market, $15-$18)



Gaza: PCRF Charity Screening Past Event List
As the siege on Gaza continues, many are feeling confused about how to support the fight for Palestinian liberation. Here's a statistic that should spur you into action: As of early February, Israel's attacks on Gaza have killed at least 10,000 children. That's about one out of every 100 children living in the Gaza Strip. This pay-what-you-can screening of Garry Keane's Gaza is one small way to channel your anger and show your support for Palestine. Proceeds will be donated to the Palestine Children's Relief Fund, a medical and humanitarian aid organization in Gaza. LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5)

Saturday Secret Matinees 2024 Past Event List
If you're a sucker for old-school cinema with an element of surprise, this recurring series has your name written allll over it. Grand Illusion will continue a longstanding tradition with its 16th season of matinee classics screened alongside a secret feature film every Saturday, all in dreamy 16mm. The series continues this weekend with "Deadly Intrigues," so strap in for "life-or-death plots" and "thrilling battles in the distant past." LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11 tickets, $66 series pass)


MoPOP’s 2024 Sound Off! Showcase Past Event List
Now in its 23rd year, MoPOP's Sound Off! will give local under-21 talent the chance to show off their original tunes at the snazzy Sky Church. Considering that Sound Off! alumni include Parisalexa, Naked Giants, and Travis Thompson, this is a perfect opportunity to catch homegrown talent at the very start of their careers. AV
(MoPOP, Uptown, $12-$45)


2024 Lunar New Year Lantern Festival Past Event List
The Seattle Chinese Garden's annual Lunar New Year Lantern Festival will herald the Year of the Dragon with traditional Chinese music, tai chi and lion dance demonstrations, storytime, and a tea tasting courtesy of Phoenix Tea. The Sichuan-style Chinese garden is a lovely place to reflect on the new year amid classical Chinese architecture and peaceful water features. LC
(Seattle Chinese Garden, Riverview, free)

Chinatown-International District's Lunar New Year Past Event List
Usher in the Year of the Dragon with vendor booths, dance performances, live music, and over 40 food walk destinations scattered throughout the Chinatown-International District at this joyful celebration.
(Hing Hay Park, Chinatown-International District, free)


Charles Peterson's Nirvana: Public Release and Book Signing Past Event List
Just as grunge was taking shape as a genre, style, and attitude in the late '80s, Longview-born photographer Charles Peterson was there with his camera in hand. Since then, his images have become synonymous with the genre by gracing album covers like Soundgarden's Screaming Life and Mudhoney's Superfuzz Big Muff. In his new book, Peterson has compiled never-before-seen photos of the beloved trio Nirvana which he took over five years. He will celebrate its release with this book signing/meet-and-greet event. AV
(Easy Street Records, Junction, free)


Pacific Northwest Regional Yo-Yo Championship Past Event List
Any self-respecting child of the ’90s learned at least a few yo-yo tricks (walk the dog, anyone?) and though I can't guarantee there will be DEVO, I expect a huge nostalgia kick from watching the pros battle it out at this premier PNW yo-yo event. You can watch the championship prelims and finals on the main stage, or try your hand at some beginner classes. SL
(Seattle Center Armory, Uptown, free)

Seattle Kraken Pregame at the Armory Past Event List
If you don't have tickets to the Seattle Kraken game at Climate Pledge, don't fret, the Seattle Center Armory will be showing it on a big screen next door. To get hyped before the puck drops, the Armory will open two hours before each weekend match so you can join fellow Kraken fans in activities like sign making, cornhole, floor hockey, special activations, and more. Plus, snag a photo with Kraken mascot Buoy and enjoy tunes from Red Alert, the Kraken marching band. SL
(Seattle Center Armory, Uptown, free)



War is Not the Answer Bake Sale: Gaza Relief Edition Past Event List
The Seattle Quaker community is hosting a bake sale that will raise funds for the Ramallah Friends School in Gaza and create space for folks to write letters to local and state representatives calling for a ceasefire. Members of the community will also be there to walk you through how to call your representatives. SL
(University Friends Meeting House, Northeast Seattle, free)


Black Ice: An American Sitcom Improvised Past Event List
Devised in the style of Norman Lear's '70s-era American sitcoms (think All in the Family, Maude, The Jeffersons, and Good Times), Unexpected Productions's Black Ice will channel the elements that made these shows pretty damn great—they often grappled with political and social themes while maintaining an approachable, disarming vibe. Audience members will offer suggestions to the comedian cast and provide the laugh track, so get your weirdest guffaw ready. LC
(Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market, $8-$20)


Secret Cinema Remind 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)


Bigfoot Long's Pop-Up Past Event List
This Sasquatch-themed foot-long hot dog pop-up from chef Geofrey Redd (previously of Jones Brothers & Co., Rider, and Frankie & Jo's) proudly slings "Seattle's longest weiners." Choose from options like the "Seattle Sasquatch" (a Seattle dog with a Tall Grass Bakery brioche bun, thyme caramelized onions, farmers cheese, and jalapeño relish) and the "Italian Chili Cheese" (bolognese, a grilled garlic bread bun, chives, and a mountain of parm). This particular event will also showcase two brunch-ready versions: the "Breakfast in Bread" (bacon, cheddar, scrambled eggs, and pickled red onions) and the "Missing Link" (sausage links, cheddar, scrambled eggs, and chives). Like a certain rare cryptid, these specials are elusive, so catch them while you can. JB
(Tio Baby's, Fremont)


129,600, Jeff Beam, Peter Donovan, and Quill Past Event List
Squeeze one more concert into your weekend with this lineup of experimental rock artists. Don't miss a headlining set from the not-Google-friendly art-pop outfit 129,600, who will support their debut album Granular Convection (if you're a fan of La Luz, Mega Bog, or Cate Le Bon, then this will be right up your alley!) Psych-rock artist Jeff Beam, indie-rock singer-songwriter Peter Donovan, and Quill will join them. AV
(Central Saloon, Pioneer Square, $10-$15)


Free Book Swap at Paper Portal Used Books Past Event List
If you're looking for a new book but want to avoid feeding the capitalist machine, we recommend grabbing a book of yours and heading over to Madrona to swap it for a book well-loved by someone else in the community. You can even leave a little note in the book you’re gifting about what it means to you to share with its new owner. Daylight saving time is still a few weeks away, so I'm relishing in the early dark to cozy up and do some reading. SL
(Paper Portal Used Books, Madrona, free)


Pier 62 Fire Pit Past Event List
We know the waterfront hardly sounds appealing in winter weather, but the Friends of Waterfront Seattle are lighting a fire right before dusk on every Sunday for the next couple of weeks for folks to gather ‘round. Go for a nice little walk and enjoy sunset views of Rainier and the Olympics (on a clear day) or simply soak up the cozy campfire vibes. The fires are weather-dependent, so if it's pouring rain or (god forbid) snowing, they might skip that weekend. SL
(Pier 62, Downtown, free)



Seattle Secrets Past Event List
Drawing from radically honest projects like PostSecret, Mortified, and Found Magazine, this mysterious—and hilarious—show compiles anonymously submitted secrets from Seattleites and uses the city's dirty laundry to create improvised scenes. Expect a mix of lighthearted laughs, tea-sipping, and catharsis. LC
(Unexpected Productions' Market Theater, Pike Place Market, $15, Friday-Saturday)


American Fiction Past Event List
If the words "incisive literary satire" perk up your ears, then boy, does director Cord Jefferson have the film for you!! In his new dramedy (an adaptation of Percival Everett’s Erasure), Jeffrey Wright stars as Monk, a novelist who's understandably aggravated by the establishment that profits from "Black" entertainment and its exhausting tropes. When Monk writes a book under a pen name, he finds himself paddling in the same phony waters he admonished in the first place. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Cleopatra Jones Past Event List
In the '70s, Blaxploitation films kicked open Hollywood's doors with productions that showcased Black talent, catering to Black audiences for the first time. Cleopatra Jones is a solid example of the subgenre's proclivity for shock, excess, and feminism—the flick features a 6'2" supermodel-turned-secret agent who targets a poppy-hawking drug queenpin named "Mommy." Can we get a hell yeah? The film will be presented by Kung Fu Clubhouse, a film series spotlighting action-packed flicks full of nostalgia (and a little cheesiness). LC
(Grand Illusion, University District, $8-$11, Friday-Saturday)

Drive-Away Dolls Past Event List
A Margaret Qualley-fronted flick directed by Ethan Coen? Okayyyy, I'm listening. Drive-Away Dolls stars Qualley and Geraldine Viswanathan as two friends aiming to "loosen up" by driving to Tallahassee. (This was their first mistake—trust me, I'm from Florida.) The pair meet up with a bunch of idiot criminals, and things spiral from there. One Letterboxd reviewer deemed the film a "zippy queer joyride," and they weren't kidding—the best thing about Drive-Away Dolls might be its tight 84-minute runtime. Take notes, Christopher Nolan. LC
(Ark Lodge Cinemas, Columbia City, $12-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Oscar Shorts 2024: Live Action Past Event List
If you typically watch the Oscars with a passing interest in the nominated short films, perhaps feeling intrigued but knowing that you'll never get a chance to see them on screen, have I got the opportunity for you. SIFF Cinema Uptown will screen the nominees in the live action, animation, and documentary categories, so you can predict the winners and scope out standouts like Wes Anderson's The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar, which was based on a Roald Dahl story. Pepper that into conversation later, your friends will think you are cool. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $14.50-$15.50, Saturday-Sunday)

Perfect Days Past Event List
New German Cinema pioneer Wim Wenders, who directed Wings of Desire and a mysterious terrain of canyons and neon in Paris, Texas, is known for his deliciously "slow" cinema and emphasis on desolation. Interestingly, this film (which was shortlisted for Best International Feature at this year's Oscars) feels a little more lighthearted, but I suspect that I will still come away feeling somehow devastated. Perfect Days follows a Tokyo toilet scrubber, Hirayama, whose days are filled with contentment, cassette tapes, books, and photos of trees. May we all be so blessed. LC
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $13-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Roar Past Event List
If, like the rest of the world, you binged Tiger King in 2020 and are famished for more zookeeper madness, may I suggest Noel Marshall's 1981 film Roar? Like a twisted Disney flick with a dash of Swiss Family Robinson, Roar tells the story of a woman and her family who travel to Africa to meet a scientist who lives with wild animals. Hundreds of cast and crew members abandoned the project, and a hell of a lot of them (like, 70) were injured, including the 14-year-old Melanie Griffith. LC
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50, Friday-Saturday)

The Taste of Things Past Event List
Early on in The Taste of Things, a renowned chef asks a young culinary prodigy to taste a consommé and note how the flavor has changed. The prodigy concludes that it’s become less strong, and the chef agrees. “What you lose in taste you gain in color,” he says, explaining that the clarification process has alchemized the broth into something smoother, subtler, gentler, more delicate and pure. It’s a fitting analogy for the film itself, which forgoes embellishments and is all the more powerful for it. Director Trần Anh Hùng allows long, uninterrupted cooking sequences to speak for themselves: Instead of relying on music to evoke emotion, he scores the movie with a symphony of sounds: the clink of cutlery against china, the sizzle of short ribs in a pan, and the crackle of a hearth, all set against a near-constant backdrop of birdsong and buzzing bees. Read the full review on The Stranger. JB
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $14.50-$15.50, Friday-Sunday)


Chocolate Beer Week Past Event List
After you're done raiding the heart-shaped Russell Stover packages you received from your bevy of admirers on Valentine's Day, check out this event offering a unique lineup of chocolate-inspired beers on tap from a range of craft breweries, including Fremont, Structures, Perennial, Oskar Blues, Belching Beaver, Double Mountain, Bottle Logic, Mother Earth, Block 15, Boulevard, and Oakshire. You'll get to pick out your own flights, making this one box of chocolates where you do know what you're going to get. JB
(The Beer Junction, Junction, free, Friday-Sunday)


A Lunar New Year Passport Program Past Event List
The winter doldrums can be a challenging time of the year for small businesses. Help give them a boost—and celebrate Lunar New Year in the process—by participating in this passport program, which lets you earn stamps by making purchases at the following AAPI-owned businesses: the Korean deli and cafe Ohsun Banchan, the Asian market Anyoung Super (located inside Ohsun), the Ballard brewery Lucky Envelope, the independent Asian American bookstore Mam's Books, and the boutique Sairen. Each business has a unique stamp created by artist and printmaker Lauren Nishizaki, and if you collect all five, you'll earn 20% off the purchase of your choice at any of the participating venues. JB
(Various locations, Friday-Saturday)


Annual Gallery Artist Group Exhibition Past Event List
Contemporary mainstay Traver Gallery's first exhibition of 2024 kicks off the new year with its annual multimedia selection of works from its material-focused roster of artists, including heavy hitters like Granite Calimpong, Andrea Dezso, Naoko Morisawa, Bronson Shonk, Preston Singletary, Curtis Steiner, April Surgent, Dick Weiss, and more. Expect to feast your eyes on works from the realms of blown glass, watercolor, ceramics, and engraving. LC
(Traver Gallery, Downtown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Colleen RJC Bratton: Edgeless Burial Past Event List
The brilliant, genre-transcending Cuban American artist Ana Mendieta died on September 8, 1985 after somehow "falling" from a window amid an argument with her husband, the minimalist artist Carl Andre, who passed away on January 24. Let's pay Andre homage the right way: By focusing solely on Mendieta and her "earth-body" works, which stand the test of time and are infinitely stronger than anything he ever created. That's what Colleen RJC Bratton does in Edgeless Burial, which directly references Mendieta's Siluetas series of ephemeral body tracings created in varying landscapes. Bratton's drawings "find their roots in the landscapes that birthed them," including the Puget Sound, the Cascades, and a small farmstead, among other places. Bratton reckons with impermanence, transformation, and the climate crisis in her multimedia time-lapses and "biomorphic" installation, which also reference Washington's landmark decision to legalize human composting. LC
(Gallery 4Culture, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Sunday)

Enter the Forest Past Event List
You'll find plenty of weekend-worthy exhibitions at Seattle Art Museum right now, like Remember the Rain, a collection of 20th-century Haitian paintings, and Elizabeth Malaska: All Be Your Mirror. (Pro tip for you Cheap and Easy readers: You can snag free museum passes from the Seattle Public Library and the King County Library.) Don't forget to duck into SAM Gallery, though, where you'll find Enter the Forest, a collection of works by local artists Linda Davidson, Chris Sheridan, and Sheryl Westergreen that feel as though they were pulled straight from the forest floor. LC
(SAM Gallery, Downtown, free, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Hank Willis Thomas: LOVERULES—From the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation Remind List
Conceptual artist and activist Hank Willis Thomas blends mixed media with mass-produced, archival, and contemporary images to create photographs, sculptures, and installations that reckon with important questions about the role of art in civic life. LOVERULES, which pulls works spanning 20 years of Thomas's career from the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation's collection, includes some of his most well-known pieces, including the corporate advertising-inspired works Branded and Unbranded: Reflections in Black by Corporate America. Staying curious about advertising and visual culture as creators of "narratives that shape our notion of value in society," Thomas spotlights the cultural tropes that influence race relations, inequality, and resistance. LC
(Henry Art Gallery, University District, Suggested donation $0-20, Saturday-Sunday; opening)

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