Seattle Weekender: Sallie Ford, the mighty M's, and pickleball

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend: Or at least some fun.
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Blue Angels fly over Lake Washington

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend: Or at least some fun.

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside

The band met like any other band does in Portland — they were misplaced artists from around the country attracted to the city’s leisurely lifestyle. Sallie Ford, of the eponymous band, traveled west from Asheville, N.C., and ended up doing what many of her talented ilk fall into, waitressing. But it wasn’t long before she gathered together the remaining trio of musicians needed to string together a band to play shows in Portland, then shows outside of Portland, then David Letterman, and, most recently, a European tour. Industry standards would suggest they have “made it.”

They were destined for success it would seem. Ford has a voice straight out of the country sticks of North Carolina. Her retro fashion statement puts her at the forefront for the musical “it” girl. She sings loud, yells in fact, with crystal clarity. Back in 2010, before they were ubiquitous, the Portland news weekly Willamette Week named the Sound Outside 2010’s “Best New Band.” They also earned praise from USA Today and The Oregonian.

Fresh off their European tour, Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside comes to Seattle to headline the second night of the Columbia City Theater’s two-year anniversary. (See below for a short YouTube video of the band.)

If You Go: Columbia City Theater, 4918 Rainier Ave S., Aug. 4, 9 p.m., $10.


It was inevitable — the event that everyone already knows about. Some Seattleites begrudgingly accept Seafair as a tradition and tolerate the noise and hoards of people. Others take to the hills and escape to more bucolic locales to get some peace and quiet. And many, of course, can’t get enough of it. Those Blue Angles are loud, fast, and totally bitchin! Somewhere, Tom Cruise is crying, “I feel the need, the need for speed!”

Hydro races happen on Saturday and Sunday (when you stay for the crashes and hope that no one gets hurt. Those boats take forever to settle when they flip). But look up for the Angels around 2 p.m., flying closer and closer to each other before barrel rolling upside down to skim the lake beneath. God! Please be careful! Lather the kids in sunscreen, cram the cooler with beer, and get a good spot down by the lake. U.S.A! U.S.A!

If You Go: Stan Sayres Pits Memorial Park, 3808 Lake Washington Blvd., Aug. 3-5, $10-$40.

The Sting

Riding off his own coattails, director George Roy Hill would cast Paul Newman and Robert Redford together again in 1973’s The Sting four years after finding success with the same duo in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Not that The Sting needed all that much help to begin with. The simple to follow, if at times convoluted, script pitted a David against Goliath, the poor going after the rich and corrupt. It’s the kind of thing so cherished in down-and-out-underdog movies that you want to stand up and cheer.

Redford and Newman play two heisters who pull off the impossible con and swindle Doyle Lonnegan (Robert Shaw as a ruthless 1 percenter). Every act of the screenplay is segmented with old-timey title cards and Scott Joplin ragtime music. The Sting has the best backroom poker scene on a train you’ll ever see. It can be watched on repeat for years. How does Newman pull off a sleight of hand maneuver that slick? It’s all a setup, and these guys are pros.

If You Watch: Grand Illusion Cinema, 1403 N.E. 50th St., Aug. 3, 6:30 & 9 p.m., $5-$8.

95 Slide

Capitol Hill’s newest sports bar holds sacred an M’s game played on Oct. 8, 1995. The Mariners were playing the Yankees for a shot at the American League Championship (against the Cleveland Indians). In extra innings, Edgar Martinez hit what Seattle simply calls “the double,” sending Ken Griffey Jr. around the bases and sliding into home. Dogpiled underneath ecstatic Mariners players, Griffey’s smile is priceless. From that game, 95 Slide got its namesake.

All hopes of imitating that 95 post-season series are lost. As of now, the M’s are 12 games out of first in the AL West, too far behind to make any sort of a charge. But since the All Star break, a surge in batting has propelled the Mariners to a 14 and 6 record. They just completed back-to-back sweeps of the Kansas City Royals and the Toronto Blue Jays for a seven game winning streak. The Mariners — would you believe it? — have become fun to watch again. This weekend, the club squares it up with the Yankees again in New York, and, no doubt brimming with confidence, hope to light up New York with a continuation of putting that bat on the ball.

The 95 Slide is there to help Seattle sports fans through the good times and (too often) bad times of NW sports. The 20 55-inch TVs line the walls, and their rooftop deck is unbeatable, even if our teams sometimes are.

If You Go: 95 Slide, 722 East Pike St, 2 p.m.-2a.m. daily.


Some might say the Olympics is in disarray: There are empty seats at events; London overestimated how many tourists would fill the streets; Michael Phelps is not blowing away the competition; athletes are tweeting incessantly; and badminton players try to finagle themselves into a knockout round by purposely losing round-robin matches.

If it weren’t for South Korea, China, and Indonesia’s lapse in competitive scruples, everyone would be scratching their heads when asked their thoughts about badminton (It's that sport with a bird, right?). Except for tennis (and maybe table tennis), racket sports sit low on the Olympic totem pole. One that’s not even on the pole, however, is pickleball — perhaps the most universal of all net sports.

Even though you can’t watch it played at the highest level — which is a shame, because no doubt that wiffle ball would be dancing all over the place — you can still play it competitively. Every Friday, the Miller Community Center on Capitol Hill holds adult drop-in pickleball. Normally, anywhere from 10 to 12 people show up, so your chances are good that you’ll walk away as the champ. So hike up your shorts, put on some tube socks, grab a wooden paddle, and hit a plastic ball with holes in it over a net for fun.

If You Compete: Miller Community Center, 330 19th Ave E., every Friday, $3.



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