I’m trying out the WordPress application for Android. I put it on my phone in anticipation of all those future occasions when I might be tempted to write a Spellout entry in the midst of something interesting. That interesting thing will never happen to me, however, as long as I’m fucking around with my phone and not living my life to its hands-free fullest. Paradoxical.
By the way, this shot was taken at the very recently opened Ballard location of Full Tilt Ice Cream, where I have been making recent efforts to elevate my pinball game to merely awful. They have about ten pinball machines now and two standup video games, but the manager told me they intend to get the total number of machines up to 15 or so. Full Tilt’s Ube ice cream is a poem.
The Ballard Seafood Fest is the dowdy sibling among Seattle’s summer street parties. It doesn’t float on an ocean of Paul Allen’s pocket money like the South Lake Union Block party does. It doesn’t offer a smorgasbord of indie screamers like the Capitol Hill Block Party does. And it doesn’t have its own language, customs and currency like the West Seattle Street Fair does. (It really is a way of life over there, isn’t it? Like the Amish, but with bigger beards.) But the Ballard Seafood Fest does have one thing those other festivals don’t: A tremendous goddamn mesquite fire pit with salmon — salty, wonderful salmon — frying on top of it like the delicious pink dupes they are. Plus, there’s a coveralls fashion contest, a hyuuuuge beergarden, some fairly decent live music and the feeling of being a nice big fish in a small pond. (I don’t care what band you’re in, dude: Capitol Hill doesn’t know you’re alive.) Bonus: The usual street food suspects come out to play (why, Ballard Brothers Burgers, imagine meeting you here), and the bars on Ballard Ave. are nice and chill in the afternoons. That’s where you’ll find me, my darlings, with a hint of eau de salmon on my person. Get all the details here.
Something tells me you could do with a distraction or two this weekend. And I’ve been terribly, horribly remiss in my cheap-end duties, for reasons too mundane to list here. I know you’re almost out the door and into the bars, but if you’ll allow me lay a few quick recommendations on you anyway, I think we would both feel a lot better about ourselves. This is good! We’re making progress.
Tonight at Roq la Rue, from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m.: Works by two emerging artists, Edwin Ushiro (pictured above) and Yoskay Yamamoto. From the look of Roq la Rue’s online sneak peek, it looks like a wonderland of a show — all vivid color and alluring myth. But this is a given, really: Pretty much every time Kirsten Anderson puts fresh art on Roq la Rue’s walls, my mind is blown in new and different ways. And I’m already in love with Ushiro’s palette.
Also tonight: Lick, a dance party “for Dykes, Trannies, Fags, and Friends,” goes off at 8 p.m. Members of Le Tigre will do their part to keep the dance floor warm, and cover is only $5.
Tonight and Saturday: George Lucas’ “THX 1138” is playing at the Egyptian, midnight. Here’s my confession: I have never seen more than six minutes of this movie at one time. But I’m told that it’s an outstanding first film from this largely obscure filmmaker, and I kinda love the Queen video based upon it. So there’s that.
And on Sunday, you should go to the Seattle Pinball Museum. Seriously, it’s a swell idea, and I really want them to succeed. Ain’t every town has a pinball museum.
I love being around pinball machines, but I hate playing them. I’m pretty much the worst damn pinball player you’ve ever seen. The ball’s in play for 30, maybe 45 seconds before it slips down the sides or shoots directly down the middle. But I do love watching friends play pinball, especially if those friends can keep a game going long enough to land in traps, activate multiballs and do all that other cool stuff pinball machines are capable of doing in the hands of someone who doesn’t suck completely. The Seattle Pinball Museum, newly opened in Chinatown thanks to some rare forward thinking from City Hall, affords me that luxury. While it’s not nearly as large as Las Vegas’ sprawling Pinball Hall of Fame (and what could be), it does have a good number of vintage pinball machines in terrific condition — and you can play them as much as you want for only $5, a terrific deal that not even the Hall of Fame can match.
This is the first weekend update I have filed in this decade. Positively shameful. I have a litany of excuses and woes, but you don’t care about any of that stuff. I mean, who would? All that’s important here — the quote takeaway unquote — is that I’m still doing this; I have not blown the emergency slide and ducked out. Now let’s get down to cases.
This Saturday, August 14, looks like it’s going to be a hot, beautiful and perfect summer day, like the kind we’ve dreamed of all summer. There may be no better day for KEXP to hold its annual “BBQ” at Seattle Center’s Horiuchi Mural Ampitheater — a free, daylong concert featuring Victor Shade, Dinosaur Feathers, The Joy Formidable, The Lonely Forest, Suckers and Quasi (pictured). The price for this musical spectacular? Nuthin’. Just show up at 2 p.m. and smile pretty.
Also Saturday: Fremont Outdoor Movies presents a 25th anniversary screening of “The Goonies,” a movie that no one actually paid to see in summer 1985. It’s true. We paid to see “Back to the Future” or “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” and then we just sneaked from one theater to the other. That day we also saw “Weird Science” and “Pumping Iron 2: The Women,” so we really feel like we got our money’s worth. Anyway, “The Goonies” is cute and we’ll gladly pay the $5 donation for it, but only for Martha Plympton. H.O.T.T. N.E.R.D.
Also also: August 14 is India’s Independence Day. Rub it in England’s snooty gob by getting down to a special edition of Bollygrooves at the Croc. $10 gets you DJ Anashul spinning all the Bollywood boogie a body can stand, and an artist painting free henna tattoos in whatever qualifies as a quiet corner.
And on Sunday, August 15: Go see that “Scott Pilgrim” movie all the geeks are talking about. Seriously, it’s kind of wonderful. Michael Cera, I absolve thee of everything you’ve done wrong since “Superbad,” which is everything/