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Seattle Weekender: Sounders FC and exiled Russian opulence

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
Sounder Mauro Rosales, right, and Landon Donovan contest for the ball.

Sounder Mauro Rosales, right, and Landon Donovan contest for the ball. Photo by Laurie Hodges

Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers

The Sounders have not managed a win yet this season against the Portland Timbers, a true injustice given that the Rose City MLS club has been having one dismal season. The Timbers army this year has been characterized primarily by mediocre playing, and has endured unexpected player trades and the canning of their once hopeful coach, John Spencer.

This weekend they face a tough challenge in their second match against Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. Normally unavailable seating has been opened up for the final Cascadia game of the season. 66,000 plus tickets have already been sold, surpassing the former season high of 60,104 when the L.A. Galaxy journeyed north to square off with the Sounders. As the Northwest’s last remaining professional rivalry (I don’t know if you’ve heard, but these two teams — they don’t like each other), expect raucous, Euro-hooligan noise and very little respect from Sounders fans.

If you go/watch: Sounder/Timbers, CenturyLink Field, 800 Occidental Ave S, Oct. 7, 6 p.m., $15-$115, ESPN.

Douglas Smith reading

The Bolshevik Revolution was an upheaval of old-world Russian zeitgeist: Opulent palaces were ransacked and the social elite were exiled, tortured and executed by Red Army soldiers crusading for a new order and the creation of Stalin’s Russia. Seattle author and historian Douglas Smith has chronicled the riches to rags tale of Russia’s ruling 1 percent in Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, $30).

Former People follows two such families, the Sheremetevs and the Golitsyns, and depicts their struggles, their loss and desperation, as they, and the rest of the Russian aristocracy, adapted to a new, stringent Soviet Union. Fun fact about Smith: In the '80s he went along as an interpreter on a U.S. state department "Information USA" USSR tour and served as an interpreter Reagan. If we're lucky maybe he'll throw in a few state secrets when he reads from his new book at Elliot Bay on Saturday.

If you go: Douglas Smith, Elliot Bay Book Co, 1521 Tenth Avenue, Oct. 6, 4 p.m., free.

The Evil Dead

Horror junkies take note: The hallmark cabin in the woods story, Sam Raimi’s gory, shoestring, and totally off-the-wall demon flick, The Evil Dead (1981), is as simplistic a story as it gets. The pitch, I imagine, went something like this: "Teenagers attacked by demons at a cabin in the woods." Though he’s occasionally broken into a marketable niche with Marvel’s Spiderman franchise, Raimi’s roots as a junk-flick director have followed him his entire career. Naturally, his best movie since Dead is Drag Me to Hell, which centered on the same possession themes and use of wax-like movie props.

A true DIY movie from the 80s, Evil Dead was beset with difficulties on all sides during production: Actors who left the set before scenes were finished, nights so cold camera equipment froze and makeup so rigged up that taking it off actually tore away eye lashes. But no one can forget — with equal parts fondness and queasiness — that pencil gouge to the ankle, Ellen Sandweiss' fateful trip into the woods, or creamed-corn vomit. I’m sure that looking back on everything, lead actor Bruce Campbell would speak fondly of his first role as the nice guy beleaguered by demons summoned from the Book of the Dead. But he sure had to endure a lot of blood and guts for his breakthrough role.

If you go: The Evil Dead, Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 NE 50th St, Oct 5 & 6,11 p.m.,  $5-$8.

Also playing: The Thing (1982)

Quin Benzel is a former intern at Crosscut. You can reach him at quinbenzel@gmail.com.


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