$15 or Less: Meteors, music, movies and more

Blood Squad's horror improv, pop strains from Chastity Belt, Japanese heritage, reading Walt Whitman. Cheap (summer) thrills for culture lovers.
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Dancers at Nihonmachi Nite

Blood Squad's horror improv, pop strains from Chastity Belt, Japanese heritage, reading Walt Whitman. Cheap (summer) thrills for culture lovers.

Outdoor movies continue, street food returns, and there is another free KEXP Concert at the Mural (hopefully, without rain). I’m most excited to go see local improv troupe Blood Squad doing some more of their unique brand of comedy horror, which after the sun has gone down on a Saturday evening, is just what you should be doing. To cap off yet another gorgeous summer weekend, don’t miss the Perseid Meteor Shower on Sunday night.

The Unauthorized Reading: Walt Whitman’s "Song of Myself
Fremont Abbey Arts Center, Thurs. 8/8 at 8 p.m., $7 or pay what you can
A recipient of the Smart Venture grant through the Seattle Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, this new series, which features beloved works of literature read aloud, begins with Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Being read to is a simple pleasure in life and this night will be a rare treat, with local artists, including poet Ed Skoog, reciting this riveting poem, which remains an American classic, nearly 150 years later.

South Lake Union Block Party
South Lake Union, Fri. 8/9, noon -11 p.m., FREE
This year’s SLU Block Party, presented by Amazon, is sure to be the ritziest neighborhood celebration in town. Benefiting the Center for Wooden Boats, the Block Party includes a burger cook-off, MOHAI trivia, and to cap it all off, an outdoor showing of Dirty Dancing.

Concerts at the Mural
Seattle Center Mural, Fri., 8/9 at 5:30 p.m., FREE
At the second KEXP Concert at the Mural Cloud Cult, Deep Sea Diver and Chastity Belt take the stage. Cloud Cult, coming all the way from Minnesota, have been around for awhile now. I saw them in 2007 and they’ve only gotten better since then, with the release of the 2010 album Light Chasers garnering national attention. Seattle quartet Chastity Belt, a bit riot girl, a bit dream pop, have released their debut album this week, which you can stream here.

Nihonmachi Nite
International District and Hing Hay Park, Sat. 8/10, 4-8 p.m, FREE (plus food for sale)
Nihonmachi Nite celebrates Seattle’s historic Japantown — one of the few remaing in the country — with an evening of Japanese food, street vendors and live music. In addition, Seattle Asian American Film Festival’s outdoor film series kicks off (pun pathetically intended) with Shaolin Soccer, a Hong Kong comedy that gives us the ultimate underdog story: a fallen Shaolin monk reunites his five brothers to form a soccer team with kung twists.

Blood Squad
Balagan Theatre, Sat., 8/10 at 11 p.m., $10
Blood Squad is back and from the “Camp Death” show I saw last weekend, inspired by the summer camp slasher genre of horror, they’re better than ever. All four members of this improv troupe are immensely talented and I usually laugh until nearly crying (and I’m not an easy laugh). This is the second of three Camp Death shows, with the final performance taking place Saturday the 17th.

Raising Arizona at Elysian
Elysian Brewing Company in Georgetown, Sat. 8/10 at dusk, FREE (with a food drive donation)
While there are a jillion outdoor movies this summer, Elysian Brewing Company and Scarecrow Video team up to create a truly perfect night. The setting: outdoors at Elysian’s brewery in Georgetown. The perk: An Elysian beer garden, offering their many beers, which are among the best, most adventurous and definitely most consistent on the Seattle tap scene. The film: the 1987 Cohen brothers classic Raising Arizona. Nicolas Cage is at his finest, and the pacing and quirkiness of this dark comedy makes for perfect group viewing.

Seattle Street Food Festival
Cal Anderson Park, Sat. 8/10, 5 p.m. -11 p.m.
Along with Macklemore and referendums, street food seems to be something Seattle can’t get enough of. And I’m totally fine with that. New trucks keep popping up all the time and the burgeoning scene has created some healthy competition. At yet another celebration of street food, you can look forward to confit rabbit from Nosh, The Narwhal Oyster Truck and many other mobile culinary indulgences.

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Perseid Meteor Shower
The Night Sky, Night of Sun. 8/11 to 8/12, midnight to 3 a.m.
It’s the annual sky show and while some of the wonder will be visible from Seattle, the farther you can get away from city lights, the better. Wherever you may be, it’s sure to be incredible. While the words “debris left from comet Swift-Tuttle” mean very little to me, more meteors than you can turn your head to see is pretty enticing. Face northeast and take it in.

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 editor@crosscut.com.


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