Hey, big surprise! I'm gonna write about the Vera Project! Now, I know that Vera has been monopolizing this column in recent months, but it's a big time for them—there's a lot to write about. Not only is Vera currently in the midst of a big million-and-a-half-dollar capital campaign, but my nearly nonstop love letters for its summertime events are also justified by the fact that the all-ages organization continues to kick ass despite being homeless while staffers work to raise that money for the nonprofit's new Seattle Center venue. It's not easy putting on shows when you've got no place to host them.

Last weekend Vera wrapped up a very successful A Drink for the Kids fundraiser, a weeklong event for Vera's 21-and-over supporters that ended with a special Iron Composer event at the Showbox (the grand total of money raised wasn't available at press time, so check Line Out, The Stranger's music blog, for an update). This weekend, the beat goes on with the third annual Free for All, an outdoor art and music showcase at the Seattle Center's Mural Amphitheatre stage on Saturday, July 8.

Performers from past Free for Alls have included Smoosh, Aqueduct, Mon Frere, and Travis Morrison of the Dismemberment Plan, and Saturday's lineup stands up to the impressive history with Canada's You Say Party! We Say Die! The band's moody New York–loft dance-party soundtrack combines equal parts Pretty Girls Make Graves and heated, riot-grrrl vocal attitude. Locals Velella Velella and Argo play, too, along with Adjust Your Face and Woji, both of whom feature Vera volunteers. Between sets, Seattle's matchless double-dutch jump-rope team, the Tina Turners, will perform some routines and teach audience members how to do some double-dutch jumping of their own. Jumping rope is the new skateboarding.

You can donate to Vera's capital campaign while you're there by trading a couple bucks for some raffle tickets ($1 a piece) that could win you prizes like a night in a deluxe suite at Seattle's Ace Hotel, free clothes from 20/Twenty, a grab bag of goodies from Suicide Squeeze Records, and gift certificates for Easy Street Records and Silver Platters. Bring a can of food to donate to Northwest Harvest, and you get a free raffle ticket!

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But wait! There's more! (Imagine me saying that in my best late-night TV-commercial voice.) UK buzz band Nine Black Alps are in town this weekend, too, and Vera is hosting a free acoustic performance and Q&A session with the band as a warm up to Free for All. The show starts at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, July 7, at Evo Seattle (122 NW 36th St in Fremont). Afterward, they'll be giving out free ice cream. FREE ICE CREAM!

megan@thestranger.com

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