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Sunday, December 16

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January 2004

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Master of the Flying Guillotine @ Music Box

Last week at the Music Box's midnight show, they had Rock 'n' Roll High School. Well, that movie's still playing this weekend, but now you have another astonishing movie to see: Master of the Flying Guillotine, the heartwarming story of a one-armed boxer who must defend himself against a blind monk, bent on revenge after the one-armed man killed his acolytes (yes, even with just one arm). The monk wields one of the most famous weapons in martial arts cinematic history: the Flying Guillotine, a large hat on a chain that can (and does, with great regularity) decapitate the foes of its wielder. If that wasn't enough, the movie contains an astounding array of foes that cast their lot with the monk: a rude Thai boxer, “Win Without a Knife” Yakuma (who has a secret weapon; you'll never guess what it is), and, most memorably, a "guru" who can lengthen his arms to twice their original length. (The long shot of the guru, flailing his arms that are obviously just sticks that he's holding underneath his shirt, is one of the funniest things you may have seen in ages.) Enough! This movie is one of the greatest midnight movie experiences ever, and you owe it to yourself to check it out. Music Box Theater: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Whole @ Siskel Film Center

A man shoots his own leg off. Another binds up his leg and pretends to be an amputee. These people are sufferers of Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), and believe that their happiness can only come from removing a limb. This disturbing topic is explored in the documentary film Whole, which screens at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 9:00 PM. Directory Melody Gilbert will be attending the screening. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Battle of the Bands Final Showdown

Tonight is the big showdown in Rory Lake's Battle of the Bands, with the winners of the previous battles duking it out for the title; a secret special guest star band also performs. At the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton (Belmont and the train). $7, 21 and over, show starts at 8pm.

B-Fest!

The 21st annual B-Fest, a marathon session of bad movies, hits the big screen in Northwestern's McCormick Auditorium this weekend. Imagine a marathon Mystery Science Theater 3000 session: the first flick starts at 6pm Friday and the horrors don't stop for 24 hours -- the audience is locked into the building from 11:45pm till 8am. Here's a complete schedule; Metromix has it, too, sans times. Tickets are $10 per day or $20 for the whole shebang -- buy the overnight tix in advance from the box office in the Norris Univ. Center and save $5. Reserve yours in advance (yes, they do sell out) by emailing tor@b-fest.com.

Voices of a New Black Millennium

3030 and marvin taTe are presenting a night of critical-tainment known as Voices of a New Black Millenium. You'll get to see marvin and Mitar (upright bassist) perform solo work and collaborations. Niki Pattin, dj itchy, Tina Howell, Tim (orange juice) jones, Sean Haefeli, and The Aster Gates will be playing tonight at 9 pm at 3030 W. Cortland. Cover is $6.

Fast Forward Screening

A public screening of the submissions for the Fast Forward Film Fest no. 12 "Out of Context" will be taking place at Open End Gallery (2000 W Fulton) at 8pm. Participants in the fest are given 21 hours to make a three minute film using scenes and/or clips taken from well known or unknown films and TV programs. An awards ceremony will follow the screening. It's $5 to get in.

Singing Drag Kings!

Chicago's Drag Kings, Teatro Luna, and Northwestern U. performers have teamed up to pay homage to "the prettiest, wittiest, gayest musical of them all"--West Side Story! This free show runs January Friday, January 30 at 8 p.m. and January 31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Wallis Theater in the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.

Master of the Flying Guillotine @ Music Box

Last week at the Music Box's midnight show, they had Rock 'n' Roll High School. Well, that movie's still playing this weekend, but now you have another astonishing movie to see: Master of the Flying Guillotine, the heartwarming story of a one-armed boxer who must defend himself against a blind monk, bent on revenge after the one-armed man killed his acolytes (yes, even with just one arm). The monk wields one of the most famous weapons in martial arts cinematic history: the Flying Guillotine, a large hat on a chain that can (and does, with great regularity) decapitate the foes of its wielder. If that wasn't enough, the movie contains an astounding array of foes that cast their lot with the monk: a rude Thai boxer, “Win Without a Knife” Yakuma (who has a secret weapon; you'll never guess what it is), and, most memorably, a "guru" who can lengthen his arms to twice their original length. (The long shot of the guru, flailing his arms that are obviously just sticks that he's holding underneath his shirt, is one of the funniest things you may have seen in ages.) Enough! This movie is one of the greatest midnight movie experiences ever, and you owe it to yourself to check it out. Music Box Theater: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

FemmeTV Burlesque Finale

FemmeTV, the current show by burlesque troupe The Lavender Cabaret, closes tonight. If past events are any sign, it'll be a big finish. At the Lakeshore Theater, Broadway and Belmont, at 10:30pm. $20. Call 773/472-3492 for tickets or more info; tickets also available online.

Whole @ Siskel Film Center

A man shoots his own leg off. Another binds up his leg and pretends to be an amputee. These people are sufferers of Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), and believe that their happiness can only come from removing a limb. This disturbing topic is explored in the documentary film Whole, which screens at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 8:00 PM, and tomorrow night at 9:00 PM. Directory Melody Gilbert will be attending both screenings. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Awakening Brigid's Flame

Chicago Reclaiming, the Chicago branch of a greater Reclaiming tradition, is hosting a fundraiser at TransAmoeba (1325. S. Wabash) tonight from 7 to midnight. There will be a silent auction, performances by local groups, potluck food, and the Abundance Ritual at 9:30. Suggested donation is $10 to $25 but no one will be turned away due to lack of funds. This is also a drug and alcohol free event. Chicago Reclaiming hopes to foster a greater spiritual environment in Chicago by offering classes and spiritual events.

B-Fest!

The 21st annual B-Fest, a marathon session of bad movies, hits the big screen in Northwestern's McCormick Auditorium this weekend. Imagine a marathon Mystery Science Theater 3000 session: the first flick starts at 6pm Friday and the horrors don't stop for 24 hours -- the audience is locked into the building from 11:45pm till 8am. Here's a complete schedule; Metromix has it, too, sans times. Tickets are $10 per day or $20 for the whole shebang -- buy the overnight tix in advance from the box office in the Norris Univ. Center and save $5. Reserve yours in advance (yes, they do sell out) by emailing tor@b-fest.com.

Singing Drag Kings!

Chicago's Drag Kings, Teatro Luna, and Northwestern U. performers have teamed up to pay homage to "the prettiest, wittiest, gayest musical of them all"--West Side Story! This free show runs January Friday, January 30 at 8 p.m. and January 31 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. at Wallis Theater in the Theatre and Interpretation Center at Northwestern University.

Frank Wakefield & Back Porch Ramblers

The legendary Frank Wakefield, Master of the Mandolin, and the Back Porch Ramblers play some serious bluegrass at Nevin's Live, 1450 N. Sherman Ave. in Evanston, tonight at 8:30pm. Tickets are $12, 21 and over. More info here or call 847/869-0450.

Australian wine tasting

Sounds like a Monty Python sketch, but there is in fact an Australian wine tasting happening tonight, as part of the Australian Day Harvest Festival. The tasting happens downtown, at the Harold Washington Library's swanky Winter Garden on the 9th floor. Tickets are available at the link above, or call for more info: (212) 351-6585. (Yes, that's a 212 area code, not a 312.) Harold Washington Library: 400 S. State.

"Last Comic Standing" Auditions

Here's your opportunity to show America how funny you are: NBC's "Last Comic Standing" reality/contest show will hold open auditions this morning at Zanies Comedy Club, 1548 N. Wells, at 10am. For more information, call Zanies at 312/337-4027.

Booze, Broads, and Drag Kings

About Face Theatre's production of Pulp pays delicious homage to 1950s lesbian pulp novels. This comedy by Patricia Kane runs January 29 through March 20 at Victory Gardens at 2257 N. Lincoln. Tickets are $18-28.

Prime Shorts @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center presents the latest installments of Prime Shorts, a bimonthly short film series featuring local and international films and videos. Two hours of films starts at 8:30 tonight, and will be followed by live music and a reception. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Stuart Dybek @ 57th St Books

Stuart Dybek , Childhood and Other Neighborhoods Wednesday, January 28th, 2004 at 7 pm at 57th Street Books. Showing us both immutable aspects of human nature and delightful, Chicago-specific details, Stuart Dybek and his adolescent heroes evoke an urban wonderland in the short stories of Childhood and Other Neighborhoods. Born and raised on the southwest side of Chicago, Stuart Dybek is the author of the short story collection The Coast of Chicago, the poetry collections Brass Knuckles and Streets in Their Own Ink, and the new fiction, I Sailed with Magellan. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly, Harper's and more.

Bailiwick Directors' Fest: "Chicago Works"

Bailiwick Repertory Theatre presents the second phase of its 16th annual Directors' Festival. Chicago Works features world premieres by Chicago authors or Chicago premieres by authors with strong Chicago connections. Performance starts at 7:30pm; tickets are $10. Call 773-883-1090. Tonight's schedule:

Just Pretend: "a comedy-drama that looks at some of our most base and necessary primal desires and needs, and in doing so reminds us that we get what we need when we're really ready for it." Written and directed by Colby Sellers.

Out of My Mind: "A story about a writer, a gay TV star, a challenging friend and coming out of the closet." Written and directed by Blake Walton.

Three Note Organ: "A sad clown, a bag of broken glass, and the Backstreet Boys. Sounds like the perfect comedy. Or is it? Sharon and Ruth lead you on an unexpected quest to discover the meaning of the Three Note Organ." Written by William Charles Hare, directed by Laurel Haines.

Nicholas Basbanes @ Newberry Library

Author Nicholas Basbanes discusses his new book, A Splendor of Letters, at the Newberry Library tonight at 6:00. A Splendor of Letters is the final volume of Basbanes' trilogy in which he investigates the literary world and the physical presence of books. The discussion is free. Newberry Library: 60 W. Walton. (312) 255-3700.

Bailiwick Directors' Fest: "Chicago Works"

Bailiwick Repertory Theatre presents the second phase of its 16th annual Directors' Festival. Chicago Works features world premieres by Chicago authors or Chicago premieres by authors with strong Chicago connections. Performance starts at 7:30pm; tickets are $10. Call 773-883-1090. Tonight's schedule:

Just Pretend: "a comedy-drama that looks at some of our most base and necessary primal desires and needs, and in doing so reminds us that we get what we need when we're really ready for it." Written and directed by Colby Sellers.

Out of My Mind: "A story about a writer, a gay TV star, a challenging friend and coming out of the closet." Written and directed by Blake Walton.

Three Note Organ: "A sad clown, a bag of broken glass, and the Backstreet Boys. Sounds like the perfect comedy. Or is it? Sharon and Ruth lead you on an unexpected quest to discover the meaning of the Three Note Organ." Written by William Charles Hare, directed by Laurel Haines.

Ethnic Voices: News from Chicago Neighborhoods

Tonight at the UofC's Gleacher Center, there will be a panel discussion about ethnic and immigrant media networks. A gathering of representatives from various media will be in attendance, including: Voice of Polonia host George Migala; La Raza editor in chief Elbio Rodriguez Barilari; India Tribune managing editor Lakshmana Rao; and Islam Online foreign correspondent Dina Rashed. The discussion will run from 6:00 to 8:00. Gleacher Center: 450 N. Cityfront Plaza. Admission is $35 and includes light hors d'oeuvres. Call (800) 997-9689 for more info and reservations.

Bailiwick Directors' Fest: "Chicago Works"

Bailiwick Repertory Theatre presents the second phase of its 16th annual Directors' Festival. Chicago Works features world premieres by Chicago authors or Chicago premieres by authors with strong Chicago connections. Performance starts at 7:30pm; tickets are $10. Call 773-883-1090. Tonight's schedule:

Just Pretend: "a comedy-drama that looks at some of our most base and necessary primal desires and needs, and in doing so reminds us that we get what we need when we're really ready for it." Written and directed by Colby Sellers.

Out of My Mind: "A story about a writer, a gay TV star, a challenging friend and coming out of the closet." Written and directed by Blake Walton.

Three Note Organ: "A sad clown, a bag of broken glass, and the Backstreet Boys. Sounds like the perfect comedy. Or is it? Sharon and Ruth lead you on an unexpected quest to discover the meaning of the Three Note Organ." Written by William Charles Hare, directed by Laurel Haines.

Bingo Night @ California Clipper

On the first and fourth Monday of every month, the California Clipper, 1002 N. California at Augusta, hosts a bingo night with complementary pizza and prizes. It's free, but you gotta to be over 21. Call 773/384-2547 for more info.

Chinese New Year Parade

Head on down to Chinatown for the Chinese New Year Parade. This is the Year of the Monkey, 4702 on the Chinese calendar. The parade will basically take over the neighborhood at 24th and Wentworth and will include marching bands, floats, lion teams, a hundred-foot "Mystical Dragon," Miss Chinatown and Miss Friendship Ambassador -- local stores will also have specials and celebratory events. Call the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association at 312/225-6198 for more information.

Rock 'n' Roll High School @ Music Box

It was originally supposed to be Disco High School, but a dismayed associate of executive producer Roger Corman explained that he'd better go with rock 'n' roll if he wanted his film to survive past its 1979 opening date. And survive it has: thanks to the brilliant idea of casting The Ramones as the heroes of the film, Rock 'n' Roll High School remains a classic "Mad Magazine"-style movie experience that precisely captures the juvenile delinquency attitude that the band was all about. Ignore the cheezy PJ Soles-sung version of the title song, the 1970s spandex costumes, and the unnerving Vincent Van Patten. This movie has shifty hall monitors, lab rats that listen to rock'n'roll, mercilessly picked-on freshmen, a cubic yard of bad jokes and dumb puns, and Clint Howard as Eaglebauer, a high-school entrepreneur who sets up his black-market office in a stall in the boys room. Plus, it's got an excellent soundtrack, fronted by (of course) The Ramones. "Do your parents know you're Ramones?" The movie plays at the Music Box tonight at midnight. Music Box Theatre: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Healthy Dining Club

Chicago's only singles' club catering to the health-conscious diner! Vegetarians and vegans are invited to celebrate the one-year anniversary of The Healthy Dining Club at 930 W. Huron. Dinner will be provided by local vegetarian- and vegan-friendly restaurants, including Amitabul, Chicago Diner, Intelligent Chocolates, and others. Reservations are $40; call (312) 666-9979.

The Frogs & Battle of the Bands

Rory Lake's Battle of the Bands pits four local acts in competion for your favor, with a star guest band to make it worthwhile if the others suck. This week it's New Black, the Dutchmen, The Drapes and No Doctors. Legendary oddity The Frogs headline. At the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton (Belmont and the train). $8, 21 and over, show starts at 8pm.

Appleseed Cast @ Metro

The Appleseed Cast are playing at the Metro. Pelican, The Cougars and Chin Up Chin Up will be opening. Tickets are $10. Doors are at 9.

Macintosh's 20th anniversary

Today's the 20th anniversary of the introduction of the Apple Macintosh. How to celebrate it? Take a trip down to the North Michigan Avenue Apple Store! They're not planning any special events to mark the occasion, but hey... 20th anniversary. Apple Store: 679 N. Michigan. (312) 981-4104.

North Side Chinese New Year Parade

The Asian community around Broadway and Argyle Street will celebrate the Chinese (and Vietnamese) New Year with a parade of their own today at noon. The parade in honor of the Year of the Monkey will run from Broadway to Sheridan Road and will feature traditional lion team dances and lots of fireworks; individual teams will visit shops on Argyle and just north and south on Sheridan and Broadway to scare away bad spirits and invite good luck. Free, of course. Call 773/769-3776 for more information.

Rock 'n' Roll High School @ Music Box

It was originally supposed to be Disco High School, but a dismayed associate of executive producer Roger Corman explained that he'd better go with rock 'n' roll if he wanted his film to survive past its 1979 opening date. And survive it has: thanks to the brilliant idea of casting The Ramones as the heroes of the film, Rock 'n' Roll High School remains a classic "Mad Magazine"-style movie experience that precisely captures the juvenile delinquency attitude that the band was all about. Ignore the cheezy PJ Soles-sung version of the title song, the 1970s spandex costumes, and the unnerving Vincent Van Patten. This movie has shifty hall monitors, lab rats that listen to rock'n'roll, mercilessly picked-on freshmen, a cubic yard of bad jokes and dumb puns, and Clint Howard as Eaglebauer, a high-school entrepreneur who sets up his black-market office in a stall in the boys room. Plus, it's got an excellent soundtrack, fronted by (of course) The Ramones. "Do your parents know you're Ramones?" The movie plays at the Music Box tonight at midnight. Music Box Theatre: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Califone @ Empty Bottle

Califone headline the Empty Bottle, with their record release. With Make Believe. 10:00pm, $8 advance, $10 door buy.

The Animation Show @ Doc Films

Doc Films presents The Animation Show, a greatest hits package of animation from past and present. Included are six Academy-Award winning shorts, impressionistic exercises and early claymation. The film plays at Max Palevsky cinema in Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., at 9 p.m. Admission is $4. For more information, call 702-8575.

Aileen Wuornos doc @ Siskel Film Center

If you've seen the new movie Monster, you'll probably be interested in seeing Nick Broomfield's new documentary Aileen: Life and Death of A Serial Killer. This is Broomfield's second documentary about Wuornos, and reviewers who have seen both movies have deemed Aileen the better and more unsettling of the two. The film shows tonight at the Siskel Film Center at 8:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Elmore Leonard @ Barbara's Bookstore

Prolific crime novelist Elmore Leonard appears at the Barbara's Bookstore at 1350 N. Wells tonight at 7:30PM, to read from his new book "Mr. Paradise." More info: (312) 642-5044.

Fog of War @ Music Box

The Fog of War, the new documentary by prolific director Errol Morris, opens at the Music Box Theatre tonight. The subject of the film: former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, who worked with two separate presidential administrations and was involved in the major US military operations of the 1960s: the Bay of Pigs, the Cuban missile crisis, and the escalation of American involvement in Vietnam. Fans of Morris' former films don't need to be told to check it out. Music Box Theatre: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Diverse @ The Bottom Lounge

Chicago's own hip hop super talent Diverse will be opening for Mr. Len of Company Flow at The Bottom Lounge. Tickets are $10 in advance and $13 at the door. You can purchase tickets online here. The show starts at 8pm and will be featuring Roosevelt Franklin and Kice.

Elmore Leonard Reading

Mystery writer Elmore Leonard reads from his latest book, Mr. Paradise, on January 23, 7:30pm, at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 North Wells, Free. Call 312/642-5044 for more info.

Tom Lynch in New City has this review:
The crime novelist returns to the scene with another saga of cops, drugs, and cash in "Mr. Paradise," his first book in a long while that abandons Florida and uses Detroit as its predominant setting. The master of putting police lingo to the page creates a few more memorable characters in the thug Anthony Paradiso and the sleazeball lawyer Avern Cohn, although they're not quite as charming as "Get Shorty"'s Chili Palmer or "Rum Punch"'s Jackie Brown. Leonard, 78-years-old with over forty years of fiction behind him, is certainly worth seeing in person, even if his prose is all thrills and popcorn.

Remnant @ Open-end

Stop by Open-end tonight for the opening reception of "Remnant", a photography and installation art show featuring works by Jessica Rowe, Anna Fitzloff, Jean Kahler and Corey Carr. The opening reception and performance will be held from 7-11 pm. "Remnant" will be showing through February 6th. Open-end is located at 2000 W. Fulton #310.

UofC Lecture: Chicago as city and garden

This evening at 5:30 PM, University of Chicago hosts a discussion of the state of Chicago as a leader in urban design. Scheduled guests include the head of the Congress for the New Urbanism, John Norquist. CNU is an organization devoted to urban sprawl, and is one of the co-hosts of the discussion. The lecture is at UofC's Gleacher Center, 450 N. Cityfront Plaza. More information: see the UofC Website, or call (773) 702-1682.

Longdistancerunner, Loomis @ Gunther Murphy's

Longdistancerunner, Loomis and The Names play a 21+ show at Gunther Murphy's, 1638 W. Belmont. Doors open at 8pm, show starts at 9pm. $6.

Flag Wars @ Siskel Film Center

"Flag Wars," a documentary made for PBS' P.O.V. series of films, is screening at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 6:00 PM. The film focuses on the subject of gentrification, and shows a battle waging in a Columbus, Ohio neighborhood between working class African Americans trying to hold onto their homes, and gay and lesbian homesteaders who want to move into the neighborhood. Definitely sounds like a topic that most Chicago residents can identify with. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

The Good, the Shad and the Ugly

Hudson Shad, a male choral group, perform a tribute to cowboy and country'n'western music at the Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan and Washington Avenues, tonight at 7pm. The show includes songs of the wild west as popularized by the the Sons of the Pioneers, Tex Ritter, Frankie Lane, Gene Autrey, the Statler Brothers and others. Songs include "Home on the Range," "Cool Water," "Ghost Riders in the Sky" and "Rawhide" are featured, along with other standards and some of the Germany's biggest cowboy hits (the show debuted in Berlin in 2002). Original choreography by Broadway director Patricia Birch (Grease, Candide). Free. For more information, call 312/427-3325.

International Dinner & a Movie

The Chicago Cultural Center, at Michigan and Washington, hosts International Dinner and a Movie tonight at 7pm in the Claudia Cassidy Theater. The movie will be Alfred Hitchcock's "The 39 Steps," and dinner will be provided by Bob Chinn's Crab House. The film is free, but you need to purchase tickets at least a day in advance for dinner and "priority seating" -- they're $22, available at 312/742-TIXS.

Dr. James Watson @ MSI

Interested in genetics? Head down to the Museum of Science and Industry tonight at 7pm to hear one of the founding fathers of genetics, Dr. James Watson, reflect on the history of DNA science, his seminal role in discovering the DNA double helix and recent breakthroughs in genetic science. Before and after the lecture, explore the Genetics: Decoding Life exhibition, featuring live cloned mice, transgenic frogs and mutant fruit flies. Tickets are $20 for non-members, $8 for members; reservations required at 773/684-1414.

Donna Summer @ Empty Bottle

No, not the disco diva. This Donna Summer is actually DJ Jason Forrest, whose recent album This Needs To Be Your Style showcases his blindingly fast cut-up technique. Samples weave in and out, speed up, slow down to a crawl, and loop endlessly until they collapse under their own weight. Donna Summer prances out onto the Empty Bottle stage tonight, along with Dev/Null, Stunt Rock and Cruder & Dorkmeister. Show starts at 9:30; be there or be silent. Empty Bottle: 1035 N. Western. Tickets: see the Empty Bottle Website.

Ishtar @ Doc Films

The much-maligned Ishtar, starring Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman, will play tonight at 7pm at University of Chicago's Doc Films. Little-known fact: director Elaine May is a UofC alumna.

Doc Films is in the Max Palevsky Cinema in Ida Noyes Hall at The University of Chicago 1212 East 59th Street -- directions here. Call 773/702-8575 for more info.

MLK Day Address @ U of C

African-American history scholar Dr. Michael Eric Dyson gives the keynote address at the University of Chicago’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemoration. Poet Thien-Bao Thuc Phi, who has been recognized for his unique blend of rap and poetry, will give a presentation as well. The commemoration begins at noon at Rockefeller Chapel, 1156 E. 59th St. For more information, call 702-7059.

Rally for day laborers

Today at 10:00 AM, there will be a rally for Albany Park day laborers, who lost their former congregation spot (an old CTA bus turnaround near Pulaski and Foster) last summer. There are about a hundred laborers who show up every day, looking for a day's work, and they don't currently have a shelter to stay in during cold days. The rally starts at the parking lot at Argyle and Pulaski. Come by and show your support for these men to earn a daily wage. More information: the day laborers' unofficial Website, or call (312) 363-0960.

Wild Goat

A concert reading of the new musical by Mark Hollmann and Jack Helbig. 7pm. At Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets are $5; reservations recommended. Call the box office at 773-327-5252. Part of Theatre Building Chicago's Monday Night Musicals series.

The Unicorns/BlackBirds/The Countdown

The Unicorns, Blackbirds and The Countdown are playing at the Fireside Bowl . Doors open at 7pm, the first band goes on at 8pm.

Rhett Miller @ Apple Store

Rhett Miller, frontman and songwriter for the Old 97's performs live in the second-floor theater at the Apple Store, 679 N. Michigan Ave., at 11:30am. It's free. Call 312/981-4104 for more information.

Harlem Globetrotters

The legendary Harlem Globetrotters roll into town with their comedic sports "game," ready to entertain -- and win, of course. Sure it's cheesy, but it's a lot of fun and tickets are only $12. At the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, 1pm. Tickets are available through TicketMaster here.

Demolition Dollrods & Battle of the Bands

Rory Lake's Battle of the Bands is a weekly event in which four local acts compete for your favor, with a star guest band to make it worthwhile if the others suck. This week it's Super 8 Cumshot, Velcro Lewis and His 100 Proof Band, Tough & Lovely and Bon Appetite. The Demolition Dollrods headline. At the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton (Belmont and the train). $8, 21 and over, show starts at 8pm.

Northside Forum On Black Family and Community Issues

The Northside Forum On Black Family and Community Issues is a nonpartisan, public forum sponsored by the Black Agenda Commission of the Black Unity Political Convention of Illinois (BUPCI). Participation includes activists, community and block club leaders, students and educators, health care and social service professionals, parents, business people, and members of the religious community. This first of three citywide forums will help generate attention and support to address Black family issues and community needs. Two similar forums are planned for the South and West Sides of Chicago in 2004.

The forum will be held at the Loyola University Simpson Center, 6333 N. Winthrop Ave., from 9am to noon. Attendance is free. Congressman Danny Davis will be the keynote speaker. For more information, contact Michael J. Harrington at 773/465-6666 or BLKagenda2004@aol.com.

Recycle your Christmas tree

Still have a Christmas tree up? Don't worry! You can recycle it. Today between 9AM and 2PM, the city will have recycling points at various Chicago parks (list in PDF form). Take your tree to the park nearest you, and it'll be mulched. You can keep the mulch for your own garden, or donate it for someone else's. Everybody wins! For more information, contact the Chicago Park District at (312) 742-PLAY.

Harlem Globetrotters

The legendary Harlem Globetrotters roll into town with their comdic sports "game," ready to entertain -- and win, of course. Sure it's cheesy, but it's a lot of fun and tickets are only $12. At the United Center, 1901 W. Madison, at 7pm. Tickets are available through TicketMaster here.

The Dutchmen, Industry @ Nevin's

The Dutchmen headline a 21-and-over show at Nevin's Live, 1460 N. Sherman in Evanston. Industry, Unique Chique and Crusterz open. 9pm, $8. More info here.

Schola Antiqua Concert

Light and the Son
Friday, January 16, 2004 at 8:00 pm
Schola Antiqua of Chicago
Calvin M. Bower, Director

This early music ensemble presents an all-vocal concert of plainchant and early polyphonic for the season of Epiphany. The program of liturgical music is drawn mainly from manuscripts dating from the 11th through the 15th centuries. Tickets only at door, $15 gen'l/$10 senior and student. For more information, call 312-208-1159.

Don Norman on Emotional Design

Don Norman will discuss his new book, Emotional Design: Why We Love (or Hate) Everyday Things, at 7pm tonight at Evanston's Main Library, 1703 Orrington. According to Norman, a well-rounded product will "enhance the heart as well as the mind, being a joy to behold, to use, and to own." Free. For information, call 847/866-0300.

Zulkey Book Release Party

Claire Zulkey, local blogger and brand new author, invites you to raise a glass in honor of the release of her first novel, Girls! Girls! Girls! Join her and publisher Ben Brown of So New Media at JoyBlue, 1401 W. Irving Park (at Southport), tonight from 8pm to 10pm. RSVP to the eVite, or just show up unannounced.

Grace Lee Boggs

Grace Lee Boggs, an activist, writer and speaker whose 60 years of polictical involvement encompass the major US social movements of the last century, will speak on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 75th birthday. The title of the speech is "From 'I Have a Dream" to Global Citizenship and Revolution in Values." 7pm at UIC's Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted, Room C.

Sex! Opening Night

Sex!, The Neo-Futurists' latest prime-time show, examines the burning questions, "What is sex? And why are so many people doing it?" Find out, for just $12 ($8 for students) Fridays and Saturdays at 8 pm. Through Feb. 21, at the Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, 773-275-5255.

Gay Marriage Debate

The Chicago Anti-Bashing Network co-hosts What's at Stake in the Gay Marriage Debate: A Town Hall Discussion tonight at 6:30 pm, First Methodist Temple, 77 W. Washington St.

How To Be Eccentric

Richard Massingham, a British film director who made a series of humorous short instructive films through the 1930s and 1940s, is being celebrated through a retrospective titled How To Be Eccentric: the Films of Richard Massingham. The program plays today at the Siskel Film Center at 6:00 PM. Titles include "Pedestrian Crossing", "The Five Inch Bather", "Handkerchief Drill", and "Jet Propelled Germs". Fans of film comedy should definitely check this show out. siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Chasing Freedom

"Chasing Freedom" is a dramatic film based on true story of a young Afghan woman fleeing persecution by the Taliban and the attorney that helps her navigate the process of seeking asylum in the United States. A short panel discussion will follow the screening at the Thorne Auditorium at Northwestern University School of Law, 375 E. Chicago Ave. (in Chicago, not Evanston). The film starts at 5:30pm. Free, but RSVP required -- email mihrc[at]mihrc@heartlandalliance.org or e-curtis[at]law.northwestern.edu.

Partly Dave Show Returns

After a three-month hiatus, the music/performance/spoken word carnival known as the Partly Dave Show returns to Rogers Park. Tonight's show: Hooray for Anthropomorphism! — a celebration of "puppets and personification" (puppet shows, talking lawn ornaments, singing toasters) featuring performers Jeff Dorchen, John Pierson, Phil Ridarelli, Diana Slickman, and Christopher Piatt with your host, Dave Awl. Admission is $7 (or pay what you can), and the festivities begin at 8 pm, No Exit Cafe, 6970 N. Glenwood, just off the Morse el stop.

Cooking with Inspiration

"Cooking with Inspiration: Six Wines and Six Classical Dishes" at Inspiration Cafe, 4554 N. Broadway, Suite 207. Kevin O'Donnell, owner of The Outpost, leads a French wine tasting and discussion while chef Kyle Petersen teaches how to prepare several classic French dishes. Samples of both wine and food included. Proceeds of the event benefit Inspiration Corporation's many programs for the homeless. 7-9pm. Tickets are $50; to reserve your spot or for more info, call 773/878-0981.

Classic Radio Theater -- Live!

Members of the Seniors Committee of the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists and the Screen Actors Guild perform classic radio scripts as they were originally produced, complete with live sound effects and no re-takes. Many of the performers appeared in radio soap operas and serial adventures back when Chicago was number on in the nation's radio industry.

To be performed are "Ants," a 1949 episode from the Escape! series, and "It Pays to be Ignorant," a comedy featuring 1940s popular radio personalities competing on a quiz show. At the Chicago Cultural Center, Michigan and Washington Avenues, in the Claudia Cassidy Threater. Free. For more information, call 312/427-3325.

Vusi Mahlasela @ Chi. Cultural Ctr.

Vusi Mahlasela performs for free at 7 p.m. under the grand Tiffany dome in Preston Bradley Hall of the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Known in his home country of South Africa as "The Voice," this solo concert marks Vusi Mahlasela's Chicago debut. For more information, call the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs at 312-744-6630 or visit ChicagoCulturalCenter.org.

Sharon Quattrin sings Jewish Music

Shir: Music of Jewish Culture Sunday, January 11, at 4:00 p.m. From the romantic songs of the Sephardim to contemporary Chamber works by Copeland and Ben-Haim, this unique program celebrates the diversity of Jewish music! Gerald Rizzer, Artistic Director, keyboard Susan Levitin, flute Sharon Quattrin, soprano Andrew Snow, cello Tickets at the door: Members $10, non-members $15, students $5 Childcare available Meet-the-artists reception follows the concert. For more information or to reserve tickets, please contact Cantor Deborah Bard at 773.924.1234.

How To Be Eccentric

Richard Massingham, a British film director who made a series of humorous short instructive films through the 1930s and 1940s, is being celebrated through a retrospective titled How To Be Eccentric: the Films of Richard Massingham. The program plays today at the Siskel Film Center at 3:15 PM, and also screens on Wednesday, January 14th at 6:00 PM. Titles include "Pedestrian Crossing", "The Five Inch Bather", "Handkerchief Drill", and "Jet Propelled Germs". Fans of film comedy should definitely check this show out. siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

WLUW Hootenanny at Subterranean

From the WLUW website:
This Saturday, January 10th, it's your chance to whoop it up and do si do at Subterranean - it'll be a WLUW Hootenanny featuring the Golden Horse Ranch Square Dance Band. Annie Coleman is a third generation square dance caller, and she'll teach you all the basics, as we promenade and allemande the night away. The Hoyle Brothers will get things started with some authentic old time country music. Showtime is 10 PM, and tickets are $8.

The Polkaholics & Battle of the Bands

Rory Lake's Battle of the Bands pits four local acts in competion for your favor, with a star guest band to make it worthwhile if the others suck. This week it's Descendro Allegro, Sugarwalls, Quasar Wut Wut and Lynyrd's Innards. The legendary Polkaholics headline. At the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton (Belmont and the train). $8, 21 and over, show starts at 9pm.

Biodiversity in the Neotropics

Dr. Michael Dillon, curator and head of vascular plants in the botany department of the Field Museum, and other museum staff scientists will give a talk on the "Neotropics," the tropical regions of Central and South America. The scientists will discuss the challenges of inventorying species in these deverse areas, assess the status of conservation and talk about a project that's working to better understand the tropical rainforest and track more than 30,000 individual plants through time. 11am; free with museum admission. More information here.

SPEC Chicago @ Uncle Fun

Uncle Fun, 1338 West Belmont, hosts its first ever live show upstairs in the gallery, featuring readings by a variety of Chicago-area zinesters, bloggers, writers, and poets, This event, brought to you by the Self-Publishers Event Council of Chicago. Reading/performing will be:
Billy Roberts (Proof I Exist & Her zines, Loop Zine Distro)
Emerson Dameron (Kazoo zine, freelancer)
Alicia Dorr (Random Life In Progress zine & Zine Guide, blogger)
Ken Hunt (Perpetually Bad Timing zine, poet)
Aaron Cynic (Diatribe zine)
Michelle Aiello (Indigo zine)
Larry Roth (1544 zine)
Christopher Barton (Chicago blogger, freelancer)
Julie Larson (Chicago independent writer)
Andrew Mall (Living Proof zine)
Kate Sandler (S.P.E.C. Chicago webmaster, poet)
Brent Ritzel (Zine Guide & Tail Spins magazine)
The event starts at 7pm; $3 suggested donation. For more info, check the SPEC Chicago website.

Recycle your Christmas tree

Still have a Christmas tree up? Don't worry! You can recycle it. Today between 9AM and 2PM, the city will have recycling points at various Chicago parks (list in PDF form). Take your tree to the park nearest you, and it'll be mulched. You can keep the mulch for your own garden, or donate it for someone else's. Everybody wins! If you miss today's recycling, you can still take advantage of the program next Saturday (January 17). For more information, contact the Chicago Park District at (312) 742-PLAY.

Small Brown Bike/The Casket Lottery

It doesn't get better than this: three similar bands of the best "screamo" in recent indie times line up for a stellar rocking night at the Fireside Bowl this Friday, Jan 9th. Small Brown Bike will go out in style for their last show ever, the excellent Casket Lottery play with them for the umpteenth time and local upstarts and rocking bastards Black Print round out the show. Show starts at 10pm. Be there.

La Jetée @ Siskel Film Center

Probably the most famous film by French director Chris Marker, La Jetée is a 29-minute story told in still images. You might recall that the film was remade by Terry Gilliam as 12 Monkeys; come see the original inspiration at the Siskel Film Center tonight, or on any evening through January 15. La Jetée will be preceded by the Chris Marker film Remembrance Of Things To Come, and is being shown as part of a Chris Marker retrospective throughout the month of January. Showtimes: weekdays at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM; Saturday at 3:15 PM and 7:15 PM; and Sunday at 3:30 PM and 5:00 PM. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

J. Davis Trio, Baldwin Brothers

The J. Davis Trio, "rap music for the rest of us," and the Baldwin Brothers perform at the Hothouse, 31 E. Balbo tonight at 9:30pm. $12, 21 and over.

Discrete Reading Series

The Discrete Reading Series presents poets William Fuller and Michael Bernstein. The pair will read some of their works at 3030, located at 3030 W. Cortland, one block south of Armitage between Humboldt Blvd. and Kedzie. Performance starts at 9pm, $5 suggested donation. BYOB, should you want booze with your poetry. For more information, email j_seldess[at]hotmail.com or kerri[at]conundrumpoetry.com, or call 3030 at 773/862-3616.

Elvis Spectacular

Elvis Birthday Spectacular at the House of Blues, 329 N. Dearborn, featuring Chicago's own Mark "Elvis" Hussman. 18 and over show, doors open at 7pm. Tickets are $15.00, available online.

Audrey Niffenegger Reading

Local author Audrey Niffenegger will read from her best-selling book, The Time Traveler's Wife, at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark St., tonight at 7:30pm. Call 773/769-9299 or check here for more information. (Bookslut has an interview with Niffenegger.)

Behind Their Eyes: Stories of Afghan Women

Three women who escaped the rule of the Taliban portray the perils of living in Afghanistan and their hope for the future in Behind Their Eyes: Stories of Afghan Women Alive and Among Us, a new Angels Theatre Company performance piece playing for a limited engagement at the Storefront Theater in the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St. Chicago-based director and writer, Cecilie Keenan, directs. The show opens tonight at 7:30pm and runs through January 17.

All tickets can be purchased by phone at 312-742-TIXS (8497), on-line at www.ticketweb.com, or at the Gallery 37 box office Wed.-Sat. 12pm-6pm. Tickets are also available at the door one hour prior to each performance.

Seeds of Deception

Another lecture by Jeffrey Smith, author of the book "Seeds of Deception" at 7 pm in the Belloc Lowndes Fine Arts Gallery at 835 W. Washington, 2nd floor. Jeffrey will be co-presenting with John Beske, GeneWise Board Membeer and Creative Director at Sustain. GeneWise will also be exhibiting it's "Pod" multimedia artpiece, created for the MCA "VersionFest 03" event, depicting the future of Biotechnology in the year 2006.

An American In Paris @ Siskel Film Center

Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron star in this 1951 Vincente Minnelli classic film that is one of only nine musicals that have won the Best Picture Oscar. The film includes a long list of Gershwin favorites: "I Got Rhythm", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "Embraceable You", and more. The film is at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 8:00 PM. An American In Paris is part of a month-long retrospective of the work of director Minnelli; check the Film Center's Website for a full schedule. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Photocollages -In the Flesh

Phineas X. Jones presents his wonderfully amazing and beautiful Photocollages at Uncommon Ground all through January. Meet him and other photography collage afficionados in the flesh at the official opening this Wednesday, January the 7th where there will be wine! Cheese! and lots of brou-ha-ha and general hipster elitist behaviour. We're kidding about that last one. From 5-8pm at Uncommon Ground in Wrigleyville at 1214 W. Grace (Grace and Clark).

Seeds of Deception

You gonna eat that? You might not want to after hearing Jeffrey M. Smith read from his book "Seeds of Deception: Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating" tonight at Women & Children First bookstore, 5233 N. Clark, 7:30 pm.

Bergen Woodwind Quintet

Norway's Bergen Woodwind Quintet is composed of the principal winds of one of the world's oldest orchestras, the Bergen Philharmonic. Currently visiting guest artists at the University of Minnesota, the ensemble's members are active as soloists and serve on the faculty of the University of Bergen's Grieg Academy. The group will give a free performance tonight at 7:30 at Northwestern University's Lutkin Hall, 700 University Ave. in Evanston. Call 847/491-5441 for more information.

Unprecedented @ Siskel Film Center

Unprecedented, the 2003 documentary about the 2000 Florida election debacle, will be shown at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 6:00 PM. If you've forgotten why people were so angry about 3 years ago, this film might refresh your memory. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

An American In Paris @ Siskel Film Center

Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron star in this 1951 Vincente Minnelli classic film that is one of only nine musicals that have won the Best Picture Oscar. The film includes a long list of Gershwin favorites: "I Got Rhythm", "Our Love Is Here To Stay", "Embraceable You", and more. The film is at the Siskel Film Center today at 3:00 PM, and also screens on Wednesday the 7th at 8:00 PM. An American In Paris is part of a month-long retrospective of the work of director Minnelli; check the Film Center's Website for a full schedule. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Final day of Seahorse Symphony @ Shedd

If you haven't seen the seahorse exhibit at Shedd Aquarium, you'd better check it out today, because they're closing it down after 5 1/2 years. Originally scheduled to be an 18-month show, the Seahorse Symphony exhibit has been one of the aquarium's most popular displays, bringing in 10 million visitors over the years. If you haven't seen the seahorses yet, do yourself a favor and check it out; the aquarium's open today from 9 to 6. Shedd Aquarium: 1200 S. Lake Shore Drive. (312) 939-2435.

Unprecedented @ Siskel Film Center

Unprecedented, the 2003 documentary about the 2000 Florida election debacle, will be shown at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 7:45 PM, and again on Monday the 5th at 6:00 PM. If you've forgotten why people were so angry about 3 years ago, this film might refresh your memory. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Cooler By the Lake & Battle of the Bands

Rory Lake's Battle of the Bands pits four local acts in competion for your favor, with a star guest band to make it worthwhile if the others suck. This week it's The Drip, American Heritage, Galactic Inmate and Juzt Nutz. Cooler By the Lake headlines. At the Bottom Lounge, 3206 N. Wilton (Belmont and the train). $8, 21 and over, show starts at 8pm.

Foul Zine 3rd Anniv. Party

Foul zine celebrates its third anniversary with a party at the Independent Video Alliance, 7009 N. Glenwood in Rogers Park, at 7pm. Hosted by Foul workhorses Brandon Wetherbee and Greg Smith, this bash will feature readings, live music, and a film, along with your standard party type stuff. $5 gets you in the door. Check here for more information and a full listing of readers and bands.

'70s Elvis Tribute Show

Impersonator Frank LaFon performs a tribute to Elvis' Seventies era at 8pm at the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave. Tickets are $20; buy them here.

New Year's Polar Bear Swim

No nudity, no wetsuits, no whining. It's the fifth annual New Year's Day Polar Bear Swim. Come to North Avenue Beach at noon and put all that holiday flab to good use: insulation.

New Year's Day 5K Fun Run & Walk

There's still time to register for the first 5K run of the new year. The race starts at 11:00 AM at Lincoln Park, and benefits the Lakeview Citizens Council. For more information, see the Chicago Special Events Management Website.

Upcoming