Your Arts & SLU Block Party Weekend Planner


Pay no attention to the weather. Instead, bring a sweater to the South Lake Union Block Party , which begins our weekend's fun-and-culture activities. Our


Your Arts & SLU Block Party Weekend Planner

  • Your Arts & SLU Block Party Weekend Planner

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    Pay no attention to the weather. Instead, bring a sweater to the South Lake Union Block Party, which begins our weekend's fun-and-culture activities. Our Britt Thorson tells why you should head down to SLU:

    There's nothing like hot, sweaty people gathering together on a summer day to celebrate their neighborhood. Hence the South Lake Union Block Party. Festivities will include food vendors, farmers market, a burger cooking competition, wine tasting area ($12), and beer garden. On the music stage, Benjamin Doerr, Grand Hallway, and members of The Maldives are among the featured acts. Then at dusk (around 9 o'clock), an outdoor movie will be projected in accordance with a recent online poll (already concluded), so you can stick around for Raising Arizona. Come sweaty, leave happy, and you can ride the SLUT for both ends of the trip. South Lake Union Discovery Center, Denny Way & Westlake Ave. N., 342-5900, Free. Noon-11 p.m. BRITT THORSON

    Make the jump for more weekend parties and arts picks...

    FRIDAY (cont.)

    SAM Remix

    Who hasn't wanted to party in between the giant Oldenburg typewriter eraser and the Calder eagle? That's exactly what you're invited to do at this SAM Remix event, which offers walking tours with local artists, spoken-word performers, comic-book artists, dancing, and music. The latter will make the PACCAR Pavilion into an open-air summer disco, with DJs including Rena Jones, Filastine, and Lusine. Also on the bill: Seattle's Breakdancing Ninja Clan. And if you need any more incentive to attend, the first 100 guests get in for free. Olympic Sculpture Park, 2901 Western Ave., 654-3121, $5-$10 (18 and over). 8 p.m.-12 a.m. MALIA MAKOWICKI


    Eddy Radar

    The built environment goes abstract in Eddy Radar's acrylic-on-canvas paintings displayed in Manmade Landscapes. A runway, perhaps in Frankfurt or San Francisco, is translated into line and color. Primary yellow directionals mark the tarmac with sweeping rings, while an airplane tail casts army-green shadows. The view is from the plane itself, as these images are reconfigurations of photos Radar took during her travels. The colors are flat and often muted (with lots of grays and greens); though there's some perspective in these works, everything seems squished into two dimensions. Elsewhere, a golf course vista becomes a clean, minimal, unpopulated green expanse. And the close-up of a baseball field is so reduced to its essential geometry that none but a die-hard fan would recognize it as such. With Maria Frati's nature-inspired prints in the upstairs gallery, through August 29. Gallery 110, 110 S. Washington St., 642-9336, Free. Noon to 5 p.m. ADRIANA GRANT

    Viva VHS!

    As Blu-ray, VOD, your TiVo, Hulu, and YouTube-streaming iPhones push old technologies further into obsolescence, now may be the last chance to celebrate the humble video cassette tape, which revolutionized home viewing during the '80s. The humble, durable, half-inch magnetic medium is the subject of tonight's Viva VHS! tribute, sure to include found-footage oddities along with selections from the vaults of Scarecrow Video. The knowledgeable staff will play selections from the vaults of their store, founded long, long before the advent of DVD. Back in '88, when Scarecrow took its present name, Cocktail, Big, and Rain Man dominated the box office. But we're guessing tonight will feature more obscure stuff from that year (and others) that requires the touch of the rewind button when it's done. (Ah, the tactile pleasures of nostalgia.) Don't tell me you've forgotten about Phantasm II already? With an early role for James LeGros? Wait, I'm sure I've got my copy lying around here someplace... Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, $6-$9. 9 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

    Fremont Outdoor Movies

    Completely restored for its recent DVD box set, Francis Ford Coppola's Oscar-winning The Godfather may look better now than it did in 1972. The famously thick chiaroscuro lighting of cinematographer Gordon Willis was just murk on VHS or TV. Now you can appreciate the lovely restoration. The Mario Puzo original was a bestselling novel of family, crime, and corruption that, when published in 1969, struck a generational, Nixon-era chord. For boomers, idealistic young Michael (Al Pacino) becomes a tragic hero undone by his loyalty to family; he's sucked into the criminal enterprise of his father (Marlon Brando), lying to his wife Kay (Diane Keaton) that the Corleones will go legit, ultimately becoming part of the same old guard. No matter how many times we're told that times are changing (this during 1945-55), The Godfather is about the power that tradition has over the feeble present. It begins and ends in an office, where crime is run as a business (like any other part of the establishment, Michael tells Kay). And when the office door swings shut at the end, the new boss is trapped there forever. (R) Fremont Outdoor Cinema, N. 35th St. & Phinney Ave. N., 781-4230,, $5, Saturdays, 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER


    The Ring

    One of the pleasant shocks of Seattle Opera's 2000 production of Wagner's Ring was the first appearance of mezzo-soprano Stephanie Blythe as Fricka, Wotan's wife and thus sort of the First Lady of the gods (literally a diva). She brought the part a bold, soaring voice and a commanding presence and fearlessness--which she's since shown here in other all-out roles like Carmen and Aida's Amneris. (Not to mention the comic heroine Isabella in Rossini's The Italian Girl in Algiers.) After having been named SO's Artist of the Year this past season for her Amneris, Blythe is back as Fricka. Frankly, this somewhat unsympathetic role needs someone of her star power: Fricka's more than a bit of a scold (as you'd be, too, if your sister got traded for a castle). And with Wotan (Greer Grimsley), she has to carry one of the four-opera cycle's notorious longueurs, their 45-minute conversation in Act 2 of Die Walküre. But she made the scene riveting in 2000 and 2005, and will this year, too. McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St. (Seattle Center), 389-7676, $302-$1,508. Opening night: 7 p.m. (Cycle I through Aug. 14; Cycle II, Aug. 17-22; Cycle III, Aug. 25-30.) GAVIN BORCHERT

    Business as Usual: New Video From China

    A woman in fishnet stockings, styled with bangs that suggest Anna Karina, lounges around a Shanghai apartment. Men in Mao suits come and go, play cards, and wait nervously. They're like a gang of petty criminals hiding from the cops--unless too timid (bored?) to commit an actual crime. In a second video by Yang Fudong, a man and his doppelgänger repeat parallel gestures, mimic movie stars, and dance, while a woman occasionally joins the bossa nova in their high-rise apartment. Again, the tenor is boredom, lassitude, stasis, waiting. Things are more industrious in the facing gallery at Business as Usual: New Video From China (through Oct. 4). In the first segment of her 20-minute triptych, Cao Fei documents workers in a giant light bulb factory, like the first shot of Manufactured Landscapes. The next interpolates fantasy figures, ballerinas and other dancers, onto the factory floor; and the third simply comprises worker portraits set to rock ballad sung in phonetic English. The two galleries depict different responses to China's relentless growth: Yang's subjects seem lost in cinematic reverie, shunning the economic reality outside their door; while Cao's workers participate in the boom, by necessity if not choice. They have their dreams, too, but light bulbs still need to be made for customers an ocean away. Henry Art Gallery, 15th Ave. N.E. & N.E. 41st St., 543-2280, $6-$10. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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