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$15 or less: Weekend listings for the budget-conscious culture lover

"The Mirage" by Mark Ruff

Editor's note: This is the debut of $15 or Less, our eclectic, weekly events calendar for cash-strapped devotees of arts and culture. Look for it every Thursday afternoon.

Matt Ruff
Elliott Bay Book Company, Thurday, 2/28 at 7pm, FREE
The lauded local author celebrates the paperback release of his newest book: The Mirage.

Hey Marseilles
Easy Street Records, Thursday, 2/28 at 7, FREE
Known nationally for sweet melodies layered over string arrangements, the Seattle band plays at Easy Street Records in West Seattle. They'll be showcasing songs off their forthcoming album "Lines We Trace," recorded in and around Columbia City.

Easy Rider
Northwest Film Forum, Thursday, 2/28 at 7, $7/students, $10/general
Part of American.Film.Week, this 2012 documentary captures the settings of the original 1969 “on the road” classic and meditates on the larger implications of looking for America. Just as exciting, three short films show beforehand.

Searching for Sugar Man
SIFF Cinema Uptown, opens 3/1,  $8-11
This winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Film celebrates the little-heard political folk music of Sixto Rodriguez (released in the 1970s), and the atypical career that has followed.  This is opening week, so you’ll have a few weeks to see Sugar Man, which music and film fans agree is beyond inspiring.

Plastics Unwrapped
Burke Museum, through May 27, $10/general, free to UW students
The latest Burke exhibit focuses on plastics, ever-present and seemingly indispensable to our modern existence. The show, which has been open for a while, combines great content, stunning presentation and some pointed social commentary.

Theatre Off Jackson, 2/27-3/3 at 7:30 pm, 2pm, $15 in advance
Tina Vernon is the latest artist to be showcased in Theatre Off Jackson’s series of Seattle’s best solo performances.  It’s a one-woman play, with music, about her oft-gritty coming of age in West Texas.

Raiders of the Lost Ark Double Feature
SIFF Cinema Uptown, Saturday, 3/2 at 7, $15
Take in back-to-back classics: the 1981 Lucas/Spielberg adventure film and the adaptation filmed by a group of 12-year-olds growing up in the Deep South in the 80s. The director and actors, now just 40-year-old guys who once did something awesome, will be in attendance.

Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra
Town Hall, Saturday, 3/2 at 7:30, $7/adults, $4/students in advance, $11/$7 at the door. 
Two hours of Brahms and Dvorak by a talented, all-volunteer orchestra in a gorgeous acoustic space. For an incredible price.

Johnathan Sundstrom, Lark: Cooking Against the Grain
Book Larder, Tuesday, 3/5 at 7, FREE
Author and Lark restaurant chef Johnathan Sundstom talks about his culinary inspiration and shares a recipe from his new cookbook, which spotlights local delicacies from geoduck to foraged nettles.

Cotton Jones
Tractor Tavern, Wednesday, 3/6, $10
The indie/psychedelic folk music of Cotton Jones is perfect any time of year, even drizzly March. They are the rare sort of band with both scads of heart and energy — and the whistling "s's" don't hurt either. 

What are you doing this weekend? Let us know in the comments area below. And if you hear of any interesting – under $15 – events in or around our grand city, please email

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