Cheap & Easy

The Best Bang for Your Buck Events in Seattle This Weekend: Jan 6-8, 2023

David Bowie Birthday Bash, Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour, and More Cheap & Easy Events Under $15
January 6, 2023
Celebrate Ziggy Stardust's birthday at David Bowie Birthday Bash, a screening of Labyrinth, or both! (Order of the Blackstar via Facebook)
Did you resolve to go on a post-holiday budget? Tightening the purse strings doesn't mean you have to forgo some fun weekend plans. We've got you covered with cheap and easy events from Intergalactic Road Trip: Wild Party, King Youngblood, Blue Rain Boots, Balcony Bridge, Sun Fish, and DJ Holmzen to the 2022 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour and from David Bowie Birthday Bash: Order Of The Black Star with DJ JQ to Labyrinth.

Venues may have health guidelines in place—we advise directly checking the specific protocols for an event before heading out.

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Traditional Cupping: Apple & Coffee Tasting Add to a List
Apples and coffee have more in common than you might think—both offer a range of experiences within the same plant species. This free workshop will allow you to taste different varietals of both and examine the differences between them.
(Fuel Coffee, Miller Park, free)


A Tribute to Justin Townes Earle Add to a List
Local artists including Caitlin Sherman, Chris King, Mike Sampson, Norman Baker, and Owen Tayler, will celebrate the life and music of late Americana artist Justin Townes Earle, the son of alt-country legend Steve Earle, who passed away in 2020. All proceeds will benefit MusiCares, a program that supports musicians and music industry folks.
(Tractor Tavern, Ballard, $15)

For The Love Invitational: deathCAVE, Un, Heiress, Stoned Evergreen Travelers, Ape Machine, and More Add to a List
The Funhouse/El Corazon complex will kick off the new year with a free concert featuring cosmic doom trio deathCAVE, death metal outfit Un, hardcore punks Heiress, "hellbilly" rock band Stoned Evergreen Travelers, Portland-based hard rock quartet Ape Machine, deathcore demons Dark Watch, rap-metal duo The Unforgiven, PNW metalheads Lacabra, metalcore thrashers Clay City, and more special guests. Stick around after the show for karaoke and tacos. 
(El CorazĂłn, Eastlake, free)

Mirabai Kukathas with MidPak and King Sheim Add to a List
Seattle-based singer-songwriter Mirabai Kukathas crafts absurdist indie-folk tunes with titles like "Would You Fuck Your Clone?" which perfectly showcase her ethereal, breathy vocals. She’ll celebrate the release of her new EP, EVENTUALLY, alongside funk trio MidPak and pop-punk outfit King Sheim.
(Vera Project, Uptown, $12-$15)

"Power Up Ukraine" Fundraiser with DakhaBrakha Add to a List
Ukrainian folk quartet DakhaBrakha reframes classic Balkan music by utilizing traditional Indian, Arabic, African, Russian, and Australian instruments to reflect the "fundamental elements of sound, soul, and 'ethno-chaos.'" The ensemble will extend Christmastime just a little bit with a performance of holiday carols that will raise money for the Volia Fund, a partnership platform fostering "tech-rich projects in defense, research, manufacturing, and education fields that protect and boost well-being in Ukraine." Arrive with some extra cash for traditional Ukrainian treats, beers, and crafts, which will also lend proceeds to the Volia Fund.
(The Growler Guys, Northeast Seattle, free)



The Reader, The Tarot Card Improv Comedy Show Add to a List
You might get "read" in more ways than one at this night of improv with a mystical twist. The mysterious Reader will pull tarot cards for you, then a team of improvisers will interpret their meanings. Hang on to your crystals.
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)

Swipe Right, The Online Dating Comedy Show Add to a List
Online dating is notoriously weird, awkward, and uncomfortable. Swipe Right pokes fun at the whole rigamarole. For this improv show, two brave (like, really brave) souls will share their dating profiles with the audience via projector. Then a cast of improvisers will devise a funny set based on the profile details. Who needs love when you've got laughs?
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $15)


Flying Saucer Cinema presents Forbidden Planet Add to a List
Now look, there’s no way around this, and I say it with great affection: The 1956 sci-fi film Forbidden Planet is extremely silly… but it’s also very important. Featuring an unrecognizably young and hot Leslie Neilsen, it’s a pre-Star Trek precursor to many of the science fiction tropes we take for granted today. By today’s standards, it looks like pure camp with its bright colors, waddling robot, and keep-a-straight-face techno-nonsense. But it also, at times, aspires to Shakespearean tragedy, it popularized such ideas as faster-than-light travel, and it features the first-of-its-kind electronic score. Fully enjoying the film requires a little contextualization, and fortunately, Scarecrow has arranged for sci-fi movie experts Mark Daniels and Eric Cohen to explain just what the hell is going on here. Daniels and Cohen will host an online discussion about the movie, unspooling the cinematic history that led to this retrofuturistic gem. Attendees are encouraged to watch the film first; should you settle in for a screening before the lecture, a little chemical alteration might make the experience all the more pleasurable. This is a free virtual event, RSVP here) STRANGER STAFF WRITER MATT BAUME
(Virtual via Scarecrow Video, free)

Saturday Secret Matinees 2023 Add to a List
If you're a sucker for old-school cinema with an element of surprise, this recurring series is for you. Grand Illusion will continue its longstanding tradition of screening matinee classics alongside a "weekly cliffhanger episode of a movie serial" every Saturday, all in dreamy 16mm. January's themes are "It Came from Planet Blech!", spotlighting cornball classics from the '50s, and “Swashbuckling Generations.”
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11)


First Anniversary Party Add to a List
Help Ladd & Lass Brewing mark the occasion of their first anniversary with two new beer releases, savory fare from Carbon Pop, sweets from Lovely & Dapper Desserts, games, prizes, portraits by Toady Town, and even a coloring contest.
(Ladd & Lass Brewing, University District)


David Bowie Birthday Bash: Order Of The Black Star with DJ JQ Add to a List
Put on your red shoes and dance the blues to the otherworldly jams of dearly departed pop king David Bowie. Tunes will be provided by tribute group Order Of The Blackstar and DJ JQ. Plus, indulge in a slice of birthday cake when the clock strikes midnight. 
(Clock-Out Lounge, Beacon Hill, $15)

Intergalactic Road Trip: Wild Party, King Youngblood, Blue Rain Boots, Balcony Bridge, Sun Fish, and DJ Holmzen Add to a List
Rising musicians from Texas, Utah, and Seattle will take you on an intergalactic road trip—blast off with performances from power-pop outfit Wild Party, alt-rockers King Youngblood, garage rock band Blue Rain Boots, hard-hitting quartet Balcony Bridge, rock group Sun Fish, and progressive house DJ Holmzen.
(Neptune Theatre, University District, $15)

Legendary Women of Rock and Roll: Tori Amos, Nina Simone, and Cat Power Add to a List
Local singer-songwriters Leeni (of "doom-wop" project Prom Queen), Ayoko Okano (of jazz-rock ensemble Tsubaki), and Kathy Moore with Patrick Porter will come together to honor the groundbreaking music icons Tori Amos, Nina Simone, Cat Power, and PJ Harvey with an evening of covers.
(Conor Byrne, Ballard, $10)

Lori Goldston Add to a List
Prolific cellist/experimental artist Lori Goldston, whose first major appearance was on stage with Nirvana during their iconic MTV Unplugged set, will perform songs from her latest solo album, High and Low, which was recorded right in the Chapel Performance Space.
(Chapel Performance Space, Wallingford, $5–$20 donation at the door)


Hot In It: A Night of Dance and Drag Celebrating Charli XCX and Other Hyperpop Stars Add to a List
Beep beep! Praise the future of pop by dancing (and scream-singing) along to bangers by Charli XCX, SOPHIE, Kim Petras, Rina Sawayama, and more from the whole PC Music crew. Let's ride.
(Neumos, Capitol Hill, $5-$10)


10 Years of the Duwamish River Artist Residency Add to a List
Conceived as a program through which local artists could gain knowledge of the city's industrial area and river communities while boosting their artistic practice, the Duwamish River Artist Residency was founded in 2012 by artists Fiona McGuigan and Sue Danielson. This panel discussion and talk with participating artists will delve into the past decade of the residency, which has led creatives on week-long explorations of the Georgetown Steam Plant, the Duwamish River People’s Park, and other locales along the shoreline.
(AMcE Creative Arts, Capitol Hill, free)



Cross-Faded Cinema Add to a List
You might've heard the urban legend of a strange synchronicity between The Wizard of Oz and Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon from some cool stoner kid growing up. Inspired by the idea, Cross-Faded Cinema (curated by Seattle's own DJ Nicfit) twists the soundtracks of cult films, giving them a spin that the Seattle International Film Festival describes as "mesmerizing." The film screened for this showing hasn't been announced, but it promises a trippy, ultra-sensory time.
(Here-After at the Crocodile, Belltown, $10)

Cure Add to a List
While often overlooked for spine-tingling greats of aughts-era J-horror like Ringu and Audition, Cure can still hold its own. Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s tangled '97 journey into the mind of a murderer evolves into a gruesome psychological game of cat-and-mouse.
(The Beacon, Columbia City, $12.50)


Modular Nights Add to a List
Squeeze one last concert into your weekend with another installment of Modular Nights, which will feature mind-bending experimental, electronic, ambient, and industrial tunes from Time Dilations, Vytia, Hilinner, Bike Monday, Cujo Boogie, Demetrius Patin, and Coracle. All that for the low price of FREE.
(Substation, Fremont, free)



Village of Lights: Winter Karneval Add to a List
The holidays may be over, but winter's still here—why not pretend you're in a real-deal Bavarian village? Leavenworth's Winter Karneval honors an ancient German tradition called Fasching. The charming town will brighten its streets with twinkle lights and offer performances and demos of ice carving and fire dancing alongside other snowy festivities.
(Leavenworth, Saturday-Sunday)


Broker Add to a List
Cannes Best Actor winner Song Kang-ho (Parasite) stars in this cynical flick from lauded Japanese filmmaker Hirokazu Kore-eda, who won the Palme d’Or for crime drama Shoplifters in 2018. The dramedy draws from an unexpected subject—child trafficking—inviting audiences to question their sense of empathy. 
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $11-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Eo Add to a List
What can't be doubted is the inspiration for this Polish film, which concerns a donkey. It is Robert Bresson's masterpiece Au Hasard Balthazar. But that 1966 film is about an ordinary rural donkey. EO's donkey (called EO) is special. He has spent his whole life in a Polish circus, and so when he is liberated from the small world of entertaining humans, he enters and journeys through strange and cruel natural and cultural worlds. In this respect, the story is much like the almost unknown late Soviet-Era novel Faithful Ruslan. In that story, a guard dog accustomed to being cruel to human prisoners is liberated and sees and is confused by a less brutal human world. EO won the Jury Prize at 2022's Cannes Film Festival. STRANGER SENIOR STAFF WRITER CHARLES MUDEDE
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, Friday-Sunday)

Labyrinth Add to a List
It's never a bad time to revisit '86 dark fantasy Labyrinth, which only serves to bolster the theory that David Bowie was a creation pulled straight from Jim Henson's fantastical imagination. Plus, it's Bowie's birthday on January 8, so grab a beer and some popcorn in honor of his cinematic mystique.
(Central Cinema, Central District, $12, Friday-Sunday)

2022 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour Add to a List
No need to head to Park City to experience the buzzy magic of Sundance—this curated collection of seven short films from the 2022 festival (including three award-winning flicks) feels like the real thing. Sundance's short film program often foretells later success, with past featured directors including Jay and Mark Duplass, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Todd Haynes, Lynne Ramsay, and Taika Waititi, so you might be bear witness to future greatness.
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$14, Friday-Sunday)

Unstreamable Add to a List
Your favorite internet personalities magically jump off the computer screen and into real life this weekend as Stranger staff writer Jas Keimig and former editor Chase Burns present this series of films that you can’t find anywhere online (legally, at least). Burns and Keimig have an encyclopedic knowledge of lost media. Through their Unstreamable column—now published on Scarecrow Video's blog—they've written more than 350 (!) blurbs and reviews about offbeat, forgotten, and otherwise unobtainable pieces of cinematic history. Now they’ll share some of their favorite unstreamable films on the big screen. This edition will screen the 1992 pulpy erotic thrilled Poison Ivy, which features Drew Barrymore in her breakout role. STRANGER STAFF WRITER MATT BAUME
(Northwest Film Forum, Capitol Hill, $7-$13, Saturday-Sunday)

A Week at the Movie House: Tribute to Dennis Nyback Add to a List
If there's such a thing as a legend in the film archivist and historian community, Dennis Nyback was that man—he screened original film programs worldwide while operating Seattle's Rosebud Movie Palace and Pike St. Cinema, and also renovated Portland’s historic Clinton Street Theater in the '90s. This week-long tribute to a true PNW force of nature captures an idea for a film series that Nyback had before his death. A Week at The Movie House centers "a mishmash of films" that he once screened while working as a projectionist at Grand Illusion in the '70s; the series also includes Luis Buñuel’s classic The Exterminating Angel, one of Nyback's favorite films, and a selection of 16mm curios from The Sprocket Society.
(Grand Illusion, University District, $5-$11, Friday-Sunday)

Women Talking Add to a List
Miriam Toews's bestselling 2018 novel Women Talking unraveled the tense tale of a group of women clawing to escape from an isolated Mennonite colony. This film adaptation boasts an all-star cast including Claire Foy, Frances McDormand, Jessie Buckley, and Rooney Mara; The Los Angeles Times described director Sarah Polley's approach as "an artful, incisive distillation of Toews’ arguments."
(SIFF Cinema Uptown, Uptown, $11-$14, Friday-Sunday)


A rhythm, a glow, a softening of surface: Carol Summers Add to a List
Before the first week of the year is up, scurry on over to Koplin del Rio and catch the final week of Carol Summers' A rhythm, a glow, a softening of surface. The exhibition features the late artist's innovative woodblock prints that are almost spiritual in the way broad swaths of color occupy each page. Summers made each print using his so-called Carol Summer Technique, which involved printing colors on both sides of each sheet and spraying each print's surface with solvent so the ink bled into the surface giving it a watercolor-like effect. Summers's vistas of volcanoes spewing multi-colored lava or his prints of a smattering of stars above the black ocean just before dawn will lift your mood better than any SAD lamp ever could. STRANGER STAFF WRITER JAS KEIMIG
(Koplin Del Rio Gallery, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

The Animation Academy: From Pencils to Pixels Add to a List
Charting developments in animation history from hand-drawn cels to CGI discoveries, The Animation Academy invites museum visitors to learn about storyboarding, color mixing, green screens, and more while they create their own stop-motion shorts and check out America’s largest 3D zoetrope.
(Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, $0-$14, Friday-Sunday)

everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt. Add to a List
Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt. grapples with the incredible paradoxes of human experience, considering the contradictions of trauma, beauty, cruelty, and love. The exhibition, which derives its name from a line in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, compiles moving image installation works from the Henry's collection, including pieces by Rashid Johnson, Kaari Upson, Lutz Bacher, Sue DeBeer, and Candice Breitz.
(Henry Art Gallery, University District, By donation, Friday-Sunday; closing)

Grey Magic Add to a List
Curated by gallerist Dawna Holloway, Grey Magic is a potent potion that "cast[s] a spell of contemporary sensuousness." The group exhibition of 14 artists (including local fave Emily Counts and multimedia artist Joe Feddersen, a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes) draws from the natural world in beadwork, painting, ceramics, and other mediums.
(studio e, Georgetown, free, Friday-Saturday; closing)

Have You Eaten? Add to a List
Curated by Ballard-based artist Rya Wu, Slip Gallery's latest group exhibition Have You Eaten explores Asian "diasporic identity and otherness" through a series of poignant questions related to home and belonging.
(Slip Gallery, Belltown, free, Friday-Sunday; opening)

Johnny Friedlaender: Harmonious Abstraction Add to a List
Twentieth-century visionary Johnny Friedlaender, who described himself as a "painter who engraves," inspired countless printmakers with his moody, pensive compositions and surrealist subject matter. This retrospective of Friedlaender's work emphasizes his expressive vision, which was inspired by everything from musical references to his years of imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp.
(Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

Mel's Hole - PUNCH Projects Add to a List
Seattle-gallery-turned-rural-arts-collective PUNCH Projects presents this eerie investigation into Mel’s Hole, which ranks eighth out of’s 20 Most Mysterious Places in the USA. So what's going on with this weird hole in Ellensburg, shouting distance from Central Washington University? Well, it might be bottomless. It also might emit "powerful beams of light." Explore the hole's mysteries through this installation, which offers a visual journey deep into the Manastash hills.
(SOIL, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Sunday)

Moon Lee: Finding Home—A Selection of My Observations and Experiences Add to a List
Informed by her Korean American identity, Moon Lee's monographs and layered prints explore everything from the impacts of COVID-19 to the dynamics of inclusion and exclusion in contemporary society. In her solo exhibition Finding Home, the artist's works feel like small narratives hinting at complex inner conflicts.
(Davidson Galleries, Pioneer Square, free, Friday-Saturday; opening)

Pathways: Joe Rudko, Kandis Susol, and Brian Sanchez Add to a List
Washington-based artists Joe Rudko, Kandis Susol, and Brian Sanchez will present new work in this group exhibition, focusing on "hyper-specific abstraction." (Sounds paradoxical, but we're intrigued.) Rudko's found photo collages create curious networks of memory, while Susol's meditative wax-coated paper sculptures look deceivingly soft.
(Winston Wächter Fine Art, South Lake Union, free, Friday-Saturday)

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