As of January 1, 2016, Gapers Block has ceased publication. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions over the past 12-plus years. 

TODAY

Tuesday, December 11

Gapers Block
Search

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr


Slowdown

February 2004

« January 2004 | Front Page | March 2004 »

Oscar Night at the Theatre Building

Looking for something to do with your extra day? Support Theatre Building Chicago by attending their Oscar Party. Strut your stuff in "creative black-tie" while watching the show on a giant TV, stuffing yourself with food and drink, and winning fabulous prizes. Tickets are $50 (Critic's Choice, includes a special raffle) or $30 (Paparazzi, a discount for theatre professionals who present a head shot/resume or theatre business card). Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 West Belmont Avenue, call the box office at 773-327-5252 to RSVP.

The Mountain Goats @ Empty Bottle

The Mountain Goats, the devilishly clever musical empire built upon the shoulders of a man (John Darnielle), a guitar, and a boombox, trundles its musical wares into the Empty Bottle tonight. If you see only one musical act this year, see The Mountain Goats, too. Empty Bottle: 1035 N. Western. (773) 276-3600.

Cake White Palace @ Texas Ballroom

Texas Ballroom cordially invites you to an evening of art, music and film inspired by the psychedelic, fantastic and magical. Entry is free between 7 and 9pm and $5 after.

Raeses Release Party @ Transmission Gallery

Raeses skateboarding magazine is have a release party at Transmission Gallery, a new art/music venue in the west loop (840 W. Washington). The event starts at 7pm and the cover is $5.

Back to the Future: Generations of Feminism Conference

The University of Chicago will be hosting a feminism conference with lots of 2nd and 3rd wave feminists present. The conference is free and takes place from 9:30 to 6 pm today at Ida Noyes Hall in the Max Palevsky Theater (1212 East 59th Street). You'll be able to see and hear Dorothy Allison, Sabrina Craig, Judith Halberstam, Sharon P. Holland, Nancy K. Miller, Kate Millett, Aihwa Ong, Lynn Spigel, Gayatri Spivak, and Michele Faith Wallace talk.

Open End Barn Dance

Have you ever wanted to kick up your heels at a good ol' barn dance? Regret the fact that those square dancing moves of yours have stayed hidden since 5th grade gym? Well, now is your chance to mosey on over to the Open End Barn Dance. You'll be kickin' up those heels and do-si-do-ing till the wee morning hours at Open End Gallery, located at 2000 W. Fulton (at Damen a few blocks south of Grand.) 7pm. $5 suggested donation. "Swing your partner round and round!"

Ashaki 2004

The Chicago Park District is hosting the 12th annual Ashaki celebration this Friday, February 28, from 6 to 9 pm at Washington Park, 5531 S. King Drive in Chicago. Admission to the event is free. Askahi 2004 will feature arts and crafts, a 'Taste' of Africa, music and performances from Dance Africa Chicago. For more information, call 312-747-7661. The festivities are part of the city's Winter Delights series. Visit the website for more Winter Delights this weekend.

Oscars Shorts @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center presents a 90-minute program of 6 nominated short films from this year's Oscars nominees list. The films: (A) Torsion, Slovenia; The Red Jacket, Germany; Squash, France; Nibbles, Canada; Harve Krumpet, Australia; and Perpetual Motion, USA (actually a winner of a 2003 Student Academy Award). If you've ever wanted to have a chance to see the hard-to-find short films from the Oscars list, here's your chance. The program starts showing tonight, and runs at the Siskel Film Center through Thursday, March 4th. Showtimes: weeknights at 6:00 and 8:15; Saturday at 3:00 and 7:15; and Sunday at 3:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Chicago Kings: "Lucky in Love"

Do you feel lucky, punk? The Chicago Kings sure are. Tonight at Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted, the city's best female drag crew present the Lucky in Love Show. Get it on in the King of Hearts Kissing Booth, shoot the moon at the Wheel of Wuv Raffle, meet Elvis and hit the dancefloor with DJ Boywonder. Oh, and the Kings will perform, of course. Doors open at 9pm, show starts at 10pm. $8 at the door, 21 and over. More informaiton on the Chicago Kings site.

The Dutchmen, Knuckleduster @ Double Door

The Dutchmen, Knuckleduster and the Sleep Defense rock the Double Door. Doors open at 8pm. $5 admission, 21 and over.

Third Coast Int'l Audio Festival Listening Room @ Steppenwolf

The Third Coast International Audio Festival, an annual audio competition started by Chicago Public Radio, presents the latest in a series of live events tonight from 7:00 to 9:00. The Listening Room presents a discussion about the relationships between documenters and their subjects. Scheduled to attend: independent radio producer Dan Collison (from Chicago's Long Haul Productions) and filmmaker Steve James (one of the creators of the celebrated 1993 film Hoop Dreams). The Listening Room will take place at the Garage Theater at Steppenwolf, 1650 N. Halsted. For more information or to reserve tickets contact info@thirdcoastfestival.org or call (312) 948-4682.

Flirting with Disaster

The American Red Cross of Chicago invites you to an evening of "hot Latin music and spicy Indian cuisine at the rouge-hued tapas bar and lounge, Vermilion," 10 W. Hubbard. From 5pm to 7:30pm enjoy drink specials, appetizers, raffle prizes and the company of "Chicago's most-eligible, philanthropic singles." $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Call Maureen Kelly at 312/729-6339 for reservations or with any questions.

Bruce Haack doc @ Siskel Film Center

Bruce Haack: The King of Techno documents the life and times of musician Bruce Haack, who made some truly inspired music during his lifetime. His discography contains some really amazing children's records that he recorded with teacher Esther Nelson. Haack built his own instruments and enjoyed demonstrating them to appreciative audiences. The 60 minute documentary runs tonight at the Siskel Film Center at 8:15 PM. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Prime Shorts

Prime Shorts, a bimonthly viewing of short films, returns to The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, tonight at 8:30pm after storming the Gene Siskel Theater last month for its Best of 2003 show. Ten films are featured this month, including a music video for Tortoise; the Kevin O'Donnell Revue also performs. More info here. 21 and over, $5 suggested donation.

P1xel Movie Opening

If you like your rock glam, campy, with lots of glitter and tight silver unitards, check out the opening of P1xel and the Chronic Network's first concert film @ Doc Films. February 24 (Tuesday) at 9:15pm.

Stand Up! for Choice

Think feminists have no sense of humor? Chicago's Planned Parenthood chapter says "ha!" to that, with an evening of stand-up comedy to raise money for the March for Women's Lives. Scheduled laugh-mongers include Deb Downing, Will Durst, Emily Dorezas, and Aaron Freeman. At the Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 7:30 pm. Tickets are $20 ($10 with student ID).

Paczki @ Ann Sather's

Ann Sather's, 929 W. Belmont, is serving up a Fat Tuesday delicacy: paczki. Pronounced "punch-key," paczki are decadent cream-filled donuts and are part of the traditional Polish celebration of the last day before Lent. They'll be selling paczki for $1.25 each starting at 7 a.m. until supplies run out. (And of course customers can still get Ann Sather's famous cinnamon rolls, another perfect Mardi Gras food.)

Ethel @ Cultural Center

The string quartet Ethel plays a free concert at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, today at 3pm.

ohm Series: Headphones Tour

The Headphones Tour is a performance art work: a 45-minute, site-specific guided tour that allows the audience to experience the Chicago Cultural Center in a whole new way. According to the press release, "In groups of eight, audience members are guided only by the instructions they are given through a set of headphones. Moving among the reconceptualized rooms in the building, audience members will encounter performers and be asked to do certain tasks. The Headphones Tour is centered around the theme of social development from birth to death and will include various settings such as graduation, a wedding and a funeral... Each audience member will become part of the art that they are experiencing, and everyone's experience will be completely unique from their fellow tour participants." The tour runs between 7pm and 9pm. It is free, but reservations are required: call 312/744-5270 to reserve your spot.

Free Aaron Freeman Show

Aaron Freeman's will be giving a few stand-up comedy performance titled "One Hilarious Black Jew" at UIC on Monday. You know him from his contributions to the Trib as well as the well-known NPR commentator. Details: Monday, February 23, The Illinois Room, Chicago Circle Center (CCC) @ UIC, Show starts at 6:00 p.m. FREE

HW Brands @ Newberry Library

HW Brands, best-selling author and historian, will read from his book "Lone Star Nation," tonight from 6-7pm at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, as part of the Chicago Humanities Festival. The book covers the history of Texas, from Spanish territory to independent republic to statehood and the present. Admission is free, but reservations are required; call 312/661-1028 x41.

Bruce Haack doc @ Siskel Film Center

Bruce Haack: The King of Techno documents the life and times of musician Bruce Haack, who made some truly inspired music during his lifetime. His discography contains some really amazing children's records that he recorded with teacher Esther Nelson. Haack built his own instruments and enjoyed demonstrating them to appreciative audiences. The 60 minute documentary runs tonight at the Siskel Film Center at 5:00 PM; another screening is scheduled on Wednesday the 25th at 8:15 PM. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Premier Show @ Chicago Photography Center

The newly opened Chicago Photography Center, 3301 N. Lincoln, is celebrating with a premier exhibit. "Foundations" features the photographers and individuals who are part of the Center's Founders' Circle. The gallery opening, held from noon to 4pm. Free. More information here.

Foundations @ CPC

The The Chicago Photography Center is a wonderful and inspiring not for profit organization founded by a group of photographers and students in 2002. The Center's mission is to provide a vibrant and flexible learning environment for emerging and accomplished photographers throughout the Chicago area. They offer weekday evening classes and single-session workshops on evenings and Saturday mornings. Their facility includes darkrooms, a gallery, a lighting studio and classroom space. Visit the center on February 22nd to check out the inaugural gallery show. Some of the beautiful photos taken by and of the founders of the center will be on display. The opening reception on Sunday will take place from noon until 4pm at the CPC space, located at 3301 N Lincoln. The photos will be on display until May 1st.

Mondo Bingo

Mondo Bingo is a weekly event benefitting local arts or social organizations. Every Sunday, Rodan, the swanky new restaurant/bar on Milwaukee ave in Wicker Park, will be hosting the festivities. This Sunday, February 22, join the folks at Unit B gallery for a night of beer drinking, food eating, and bingo playing! Unit B is a fabulous artist-run gallery space located in Pilsen dedicated to highlighting new, emerging, and established contemporary artists. A portion of the evenings proceeds will help them continue on with their wonderful endeavours and secure a booth at the upcoming Stray Show. Bingo playing will start at 9pm. Come with a hungry belly and ready to play some serious bingo for art. Rodan is located at 1530 N Milwaukee.

Black Goat Ensemble

The Black Goat Ensemble performs "Music for Shattered Lightbox, 7 Posters" in the Claudia Cassidy Theater at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, tonight at 5pm. The ensemble features Rob Mazurek (of Isotope 217 and many, many other bands), Matthew Lux (also of Isotope 217), Alan Licht, Jason Ajemian and Frank Rosaly, with visuals by Casey Rice, Raymond Harmon and Shea Ak.

The performance is in conjunction with an installation presented at Open End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton, Feb. 26-March 2, which incorporates computer manipulated sounds with high definition scans of details from Mazurek's paintings. Ah.

This being a Cultural Center performance, it is free. Call 312/744-6630 for more information.

Dolorous Canter / One Last Walk

Dolorous Canter headline a show of emotional hardcore proportions with One Last Walk and one TBA at The Big Horse, 1558 N. Milwaukee in Wicker Park. Showtime at 9pm, doors at 8:30pm, 21+, $3.

SPEC/GB All-Blogger Reading

Chicago bloggers (including several GB staffers) read a selection of their work in the second-floor gallery at Uncle Fun, 1338 W. Belmont. Brent Ritzel of SPEC Chicago and Zine Guide and Andrew Huff of Gapers' Block host the event. 7-10pm. $5 admission, BYOB.

Participating bloggers (in no particular order):
Mimi Smartypants
Jason Pettus
Lacey Graves
Sour Bob
Louisa Heinrich
Kevin S.
Alicia Dorr
Alex Golub
Shasta McNasty
Jeremy P. Bushnell
Juliet Martinez
Ramsin Canon
David Elfving

Jake Fairley and Pan/Tone

A night of lush live techno takes over the Empty Bottle. Meiotic presents Jake Fairley live, who releases on the Kompakt label, along with Pan/Tone. Reynold and Claudia P. Toile from Paris are supporting, as well as John Patterson. 9:00pm, $10, 21+, 1035 N. Western Ave.

Jason Harrod @ North Park U.

South Carolina folk singer Jason Harrod will play a "coffee house" show at North Park Covenant Church, 5250 North Christiana (near Foster & Kimball). Tickets are $8, $6 for students and seniors. For more information, call 773/463-0055.

Henry Rollins - The Spoken Word

The mighty "aging alternative icon" Henry Rollins (formerly of seminal punk band Black Flag and currently of the Rollins Band) makes his annual trek to beloved Chicago for an evening of his electric spoken word. At the Congress Theatre 2135 N Milwaukee 7:30 PM, $25.

90 Day Men record release

The ever-amazing 90 Day Men (one of Chicago's best musical talents) release their latest at the Empty Bottle with CocoRosie and Pit er Pat who also are releasng records (triple record release power!) for $8 good dollars to start at 10pm.

Dirty Harry @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center is presenting a series of significant 1970s films all this month. Tonight's film: the 1972 action classic Dirty Harry. Do you feel lucky? Well, do ya? The film screens tonight at 8:00, and again on Tuesday, February 24th, at 6:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Buñuel double feature @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center presents a double feature of two classic films by the legendary cinematic surrealist Luis Buñuel: the film classic Un Chien Andalou (1928), Buñuel's notorious collaboration with Salvador Dalí; and L'Âge d'or (1930), the seldom-seen full-length film, also a collaboration with Dalí, which shows, as the Film Center puts it, "a lusty young couple's attempts to consummate their raging desire in the face of social, religious and psychological obstacles." The program runs from Friday, February 20th through Thursday, February 26th. Showtimes: 6:15 PM and 8:00 PM (Fri, Mon-Thu); 4:00 PM and 7:45 PM (Sat); 3:15 PM, 5:00 PM and 6:45 PM (Sun). Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Pink Bloque Dance Party @ Hideout

Dance your pants off for a good cause at the Pink Bloque's post-Valentine's Day dance party. The fundraiser is to help the Pink Bloque organize for the March for Women's Lives on April 25th, 2004 in Washington D.C. DJs Damon Locks, Wayne Montana, Plan B, and Kim Soss will be featured. A bake sale, free condoms and a raffle with all sorts of lovely prizes are among the goodies you'll find there. The dancing starts at 9:30 and there's a $5 suggested donation.

Glorious Noise 3rd Anniv. Party

Glorious Noise, a music webzine based right here in the city, turns three today, and to celebrate they're throwing a party at Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., at 9pm. Quasar Wut Wut, Riviera and The Millions will perform. 21 and over, $8 to get in. More information here.

Women's Empowerment: Models for Advocacy

Beginning tonight at 6 pm at the Chicago Historical Center, you'll get to see a large number of influential women talk about how to empower women and how that relates to local and national public policy issues. The night will kick off with a refreshments reception in the North Atrium and at 7 pm will move to the Arthur Rubloff Auditorium. There are a large number of influential women who will be speaking.

Shift at Heaven

Shift, a collaborative exhibition at the Heaven Gallery featuring work by Jeffrey Sfire, Serena Stucke, and Sara Zimmer among others, has its opening reception. SubK and M50 will DJ the event, which goes from 7-11pm. 1542 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor.

Black Bra Party 4

What good are frilly underpinnings if you can't show them to strangers in bars? ChixMix Productions encourages just such behavior at its fourth annual Black Bra Party, billed as "Chicago's hottest and largest women's dance party." Dance to the turntable stylings of DJ G String and DJ KXS, flaunt your fancies in the Black Bra Contest, and (and!) enter to win a copy of Courtney Love's new CD, "America's Sweetheart." Circuit, 3641 N. Halsted, 9 pm-4 am, ten bucks.

Suicide Girls Burlesque

The naughty girls at Suicide Girls, the popular porn site, have launched a burlesque tour, and tonight they land at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark, with the bands Threefold and Bloom in tow. A little more info here or on the Metro website. Doors open at 7pm, show starts at 8pm. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 at the door. 21 and over.

Six frenetic films @ Siskel Film Center

From the School of the Art Institute's film collection, student Zachary Hall has selected six films to overload the senses. Sensory Overload: Six Frenetic Films is a collection of shorts from 1968 to 1993, from directors in Austria, USA, and Japan, and is guaranteed to fry your eyeballs (or at least jiggle them around a lot). Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

DJ Spooky and Eliot Lipp at the Empty Bottle

Illbient producer and turntablist DJ Spooky is playing at the Empty Bottle in support of two new albums. He's joined by Eliot Lipp, a rising star in Chicago's electronic music production scene, whose sample-driven beats take hip-hop and jazz fusion to another level. 9:30pm, $13, 21+, 1035 N. Western Ave.

Lana's Rain @ Doc Films

Catch a sneak-preview of Lana's Rain Wednesday, February 18th at 9:30 pm at Doc Films.

There will be a question-and-answer with the three producers, Jeff Dillard, Max Kuhar, and producer/distributor David Sikich, after the film.

"Fresh off being honored in November at the 2003 Milan International Film Festival with the Best Actress Award for leading actress Oksana Orlenko, Lana's Rain is a gritty story of survival, betrayal and resiliency set in Chicago in the mid-1990's and directed by Chicago native Michael Ojeda. The movie tells the tale of a Balkan brother and sister who have escaped their war torn country and re-located to Chicago, where their conflicting dreams of their new life in America lead to a life and death struggle for personal freedom, all played out on over 70 locations on Chicago's streets."

Mort Sahl @ Steppenwolf

Mort Sahl, one of the most gifted and intelligent political satirists of the last few decades, will be at Steppenwolf's Upstairs Theatre tonight through the 22nd of February. Times: Weds-Sat 8:00, Sun 2:00. Steppenwolf: 1650 N. Halsted. (312) 335-1650.

Write Club Chicago - SpeakEasy

Write Club Chicago, a literary collective, is sponsoring a SpeakEasy spoken word event on 18 February at 8pm at the lovely HotHouse, an evening of storytelling, poetry, and music by Chicago's unknown and under-appreciated writers and musicians. This month's theme, "The Afterglow."

Are You Ready to Rawk??

The answer is yes. And the place is Excalibur. Everybody's least favorite downtown dance club is hosting the first night of the Malibu Rum $10,000 Entertainer Challenge. This karaoke contest won't be won because one participant sings better than another, no! This is an entertainer contest. So, go, rock hard, and when you win, don't forget where you heard about it.

City of God: Free Showing

As part of Black History Month, two films shown at the Chicago Cultural Center, with discussion to follow. This week, "City of God" is shown on Wednesday, February 18th at 6:30 p.m. at the Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington St.

V-Day Chicago

Tonight's special performance of "The Vagina Monologues" -- part of the 2004 V-Day Worldwide Campaign -- will raise money for two local organizations, The AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Southwest Women Working Together. At the Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 7 pm. Call 312-922-2322 for tickets.

2004 primary election registration deadline

Today's the final day for registration to be eligible to vote in the 2004 primary election on March 16. For information on where to register, see this page at the Sun-Times site.

Spike Lee Talk

Director Spike Lee discusses issues of family, diversity, censorship, filmmaking and more, and answers questions from the audience. At DePaul's Merle Ruskin Theatre, 60 E. Balbo; doors open at 6pm, show is at 7pm. Tickets are cheap -- $1 for students, $10 for the rest of us! -- so it's likely for sell out (if it hasn't already). For more info at the DePaul Department of Communications or call 773/325-7446.

Slow cooking class

The latest in a series of cooking classes at Thai Wild Ginger in Lincoln Park is a class on slow cooking: the gentle art of using a Crock Pot. Duane Boslet, chef at Cafe Absinthe, will show you how to cook four tasty recipes with the use of a pot or Crock Pot (if you don't have one, the ones that will be used in the class will be for sale afterwards, ingredients included). Class runs from 7:00 to 9:00 tonight; check the site for registration information, and a schedule on upcoming classes. Thai Wild Ginger: 2203 N. Clybourn. (773) 883-0344.

Urge Overkill @ Double Door

Urge Overkill is back! After a seven-year hiatus, Chicago natives Nash Kato and Eddie 'King' Roeser, who formed the band in 1985, have reunited. They are playing two shows at the Double Door this weekend. The February 14th show is sold out, but, as of this writing, tickets still remain for the Feb. 15th. Both shows start at 10pm. Contact the Double Door at 773-489-3160 for more information.

Muskrat Love

Looking for something really unique to do for Valentine's Day weekend? How 'bout a hike to look for muskrats in love? The Lake County Forest Preserve District is offering a hike through McDonald Woods Forest Preserve this Sunday from 1:30-3pm, with the intention of seeking out the big, cute rodents. For more info and to reserve a spot (prepayment required), call 847/968-3321. $7 per person, $5 if you live in Lake County.

Urge Overkill @ Double Door

Urge Overkill is back! After a seven-year hiatus, Chicago natives Nash Kato and Eddie 'King' Roeser, who formed the band in 1985, have reunited. They are playing two shows at the Double Door this weekend. The February 14th show is sold out, but, as of this writing, tickets still remain for the Feb. 15th. Both shows start at 10pm. Contact the Double Door at 773-489-3160 for more information.

Rembrandt's Journey @ AIC

Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter, Draftsman, Etcher opens today at the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition, which runs through May 9, features over 200 works by famed 17th century artist Rembrandt van Rijn. Tickets are $12 from Monday-Thursday and $15 Friday-Sunday, but City of Chicago residents receive a $3 discount off tickets purchased in-person at the museum. See the museum website for more information.

The Countdown @ The Metro

St Valentines Day Massacre at the Metro with The Countdown and Evil Beaver!

Valentines Day Flower Workshop

Design a floral arrangement for your sweetheart with carnations, baby's breath, candy, ribbons, tulle and more at Garfield Park Conservatory. The workshop will be taking place at 1:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. The price for participation is $12-$15 and all materials are provided. Advance registration is required. For more information call 773-638-1766, ext. 2.

Salsa Dance for Nicaragua

The Nicaraguan Solidarity Committee (which had some part in the creation of NikeWages.org) holds its annual salsa dance benefit tonight at the Heartland Cafe, 7000 N. Glenwood. Don't know how to salsa? No worries, lessons will be given. A silent auction will also be held. Proceeds of the event go to support the work of the Nicaragua Solidarity Committee, Radios Populares and the Nicaragua Medical Alliance. Tickets are $12-15 at the door.

My Secret Valentine 2004

Sneek a peek at some lovely art created by local artists for Verge's "My Secret Valentine Show". Stop by 1431 W Chicago avenue between 7-10 to have a look at the creations. An afterparty will follow at Sonotheque, located at 1444 W Chicago. There's no cover if you get there early (before 11:30)!

Freedom to Marry Day

For Valentine's Day, DontAmend.com will be organizing rallies in cities around the country to protest the proposed Constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages. Chicago's rally starts at noon in front of Cardinal Francis George's residence, North Ave. at State St.

GB Last Ditch Valentine's Get-together

Come hang with the staff of Gapers' Block at Danny's, 1951 W. Dickens (just east of Damen) in Bucktown, tonight at 8:30 'til late. We'll be all the way in the back -- look for people resembling these mugshots.

Meet cool people, flirt with that cute one over there, get his or her number, go out on a date and fall in love. And you can say it was all because of GB!

Lee Bontecou Opening @ MCA

Lee Bontecou sculpture and drawing retrospective opens tonight at the MCA. Bontecou was widely recognized in the early 60's for her welded steel sculptures, which incorporated various fabrics and found objects. She has not been the subject of a major exhibition since 1972. Admission is free for members and $15 for non-members. Free appetizers and a cash bar will be provided. The reception will be from 6-9. The show will be running through May 30.

Lewis Warsh & Jesse Seldess @ 3030

Lewis Warsh and Jesse Seldess read as part of the ongoing Discrete Series at 9pm at 3030 W. Cortland. $5 suggested donation, BYOB.

Heaven and Earth Magic @ Siskel Film Center

If you're a fan of Harry Smith (the musicologist who put together the immensely influential American Anthology of American Folk Music) or of experimental film, you'll want to see tonight's showing of a film by Smith at the Siskel Film Center. Heaven and Earth Magic (1957-1962) is a feature-length animated film created by Smith, which is described by the Film Center as "a [Joseph] Cornell box come to life." The film screens tonight at 8:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Guild Complex benefit

The Guild Complex, Chicago's independent literary cultural center, celebrates its 15th anniversary with Everybody Does It, "a night of hedonism, passion, indulgence, debauchery, poetry, prizes, raffles, fun, gaiety and more." At Darkroom, 2210 W. Chicago; tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door.

William Gibson @ Borders

William Gibson will be reading from his best selling book, Pattern Recognition, tonight at the Borders in Lakeview. This free event starts at 7pm, but I recommend getting there early! Borders is located at 2817 North Clark (at Diversey). Call 773/935.3909 for more information or visit the website.

"Find a Valentine" Party

Sauce, 1750 N. Clark St., is giving you one last chance to get a date for Valentine's Day weekend. From 10pm to 2am, lots and lots of singles will be drinking at the open bar and cruising the open meat market. It's $10 with an RSVP or if you come with someone on the list. The open Bar runs till midnight w/ $2 upgrades to top shelf; afterwards it's $3 drinks and $2 domestics. More info at hypechicago.com.

Annual Art Exhibition

Tonight at Fizz (3220 N. Lincoln) artists will be selling their creations from 6 pm to 11 pm. If you'd like to grab a martini and some cool art, drop by with some cash.

Partly Dave Show: Gathering of the Gods 3

Dave Awl's exciting cabaret experience, The Partly Dave Show, is back again for its monthly goodness. Tonight: Gathering of the Gods 3. Performers -- including Stephanie Shaw, Diana Slickman, Christopher Piatt, John Pierson and more -- impersonate their favorite gods and goddesses for your entertainment pleasure. Musical interludes by Big Smith. No Exit Café, 6970 N. Glenwood, 8 pm, $5.

Eric Alterman, Mark Green @ Borders

Eric Alterman (columnist for The Nation and author of What Liberal Media?) and Mark Green (NYC's former public advocate and Democratic candidate for mayor in 2001) will read from and discuss their new book, The Book on Bush: How George W. (Mis)leads America, today at 12:30 at the Borders store at 150 N. State. The event is free. Call (312) 606-0750 for more info.

Barack Obama fundraiser

A fundraiser to support the campaign for Barack Obama will take place tonight at Hot House (31 E. Balbo) from 5:30 -7:30. DJ Honeypot will be spinning while Obama mingles and answers questions. The suggested donation is $25 but more is always taken. If you decide to attend after Feb. 6, the organizers request that you send an email to hothouseobama@yahoo.com to let them know you're coming.
Gapers Block neither supports nor endorses this candidate.

Denali/Pinebender

The mighty sexy sounds of Denali (think a rockin' Portishead) come back into town with local boys Pinebender opening. With Laguardia and Catfish Haven. Fireside Bowl, 7pm.

Five Easy Pieces @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center is showing a series of major films from the 1970s. Tonight's is the 1970 classic Five Easy Pieces, which turned Jack Nicholson from a character actor into a star with one simple line: "I want you to hold it between your knees." The movie screens tonight at 6:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Aleksandar Hemon @ HWL

Local author Aleksandar Hemon will be reading from his newest collection of stories, Nowhere Man, at the Harold Washington Library Center. This free event starts at 5:30pm in the Chicago Authors Room, and Hemon will be available afterwords to sign copies of the book. For more information, see the library website.

Marc Shaiman tribute @ Gentry

What do the South Park movie and the current stage production of Hairspray have in common? Tony-award-winning composer Marc Shaiman, who's written songs for a number of movies and musicals. Tonight he'll be honored by the current Chicago cast of Hairspray as they present "Marc Shaiman ... This Is Your Life!" Bruce Vilanch, currently in the Hairspray cast, will emcee. Tickets are going fast, so make reservations right now, if you want to attend. Two shows tonight: 8:00 and 10:30. Proceeds benefit the Alexian Brothers AIDS residences Bonaventure House and the Harbor. Gentry: 440 N. State. (312) 836-0933 or (312) 902-1400.

Weisman Scholars Exhibit @ Columbia College

The work of more than 60 Columbia students goes on display today as part of this year's Weisman Scholars Exhibit, a showcase for recipients of grants from the Albert P. Weisman Memorial Fund. The free exhibit runs through March 13th at Columbia's Hokin Gallery, 623 S. Wabash. Gallery hours: 10-5 weekdays and 11-3 Saturday. More info: (312) 344-7696.

Forced Entertainment @ MCA

Forced Entertainment, the acclaimed UK performance group, makes its Chicago debut this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art. They are performing a seres of shows including "First Night" on February 5, 6, and 8 at 7:30 pm and "And on the Thousandth Night..." on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9pm. See the museum website for ticket information.

THE2NDHAND Release Party/Reading

The 13th edition of THE2NDHAND's broadsheet series and the inaugural edition of Terry Plumming, an audio magazine takes place at Skylark, 2149 S. Halsted, at 8pm tonight. The night will include readings by Mickey Hess, Erika Mikkalo, Joe Meno, John L. Sheppard and Todd Dills, as well as music by Dan Layne, Winter Carousel and Lumberjackass. And, of course, much more. The first 100 in the door get a free copy of Terry Plumming. More info here.

Mondo Bingo

Join Post Chicago at Rodan for a night of bingo playing. All proceeds will benefit Post Chicago and help them continue on with their wonderful projects. Mondo Bingo is a new weekly event benefitting local arts or social organizations. Bingo playing will start at 9pm...be ready to win big. Rodan is located at 1530 N Milwaukee.

Notwist @ Metro

The Notwist are playing at the Metro. Tickets are $15-17 and the show starts at 9.

A "Queer Eye" on Marriage

What is the spiritual meaning of marriage for same-gender couples? A forum to discuss the spiritual aspects of LGBT marriage will mark the start of Valentine’s Week today at 2pm at Ann Sather’s, 929 W. Belmont. Alderman Tom Tunney will moderate a panel including Rev. Greg Dell of Broadway United Methodist Church, Rev. Wayne Bradley of the Metropolitan Community Church and lay members of Congregation Or Chadash, Dignity Chicago and Rainbow Lotus Sangha. The discussion will offer perspectives from the Christian, Jewish, and Buddhist traditions. An informal question-and-answer period will follow. Light refreshments will be served. Free. Call 773/262-0099 for more information.

Chocolate Fest @ Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory, home to the only chocolate trees in Chicago that actually produce fruit, is hosting its 5th annual Chocolate Fest this Saturday and Sunday. Free tasting of different chocolates, opening of chocolate pods at 4:00PM, and various activites and displays. Did I mention chocolate? The park is open 11:00AM to 5:00PM, and is also currently home to GIANTS, a display of African dinosaur skeletons. $3 suggested donation. Garfield Park Conservatory: 300 N. Central Park Avenue. (312) 746-5100.

Crafty Collective

The craft just keeps on coming. This time, it's the Crafty Collective who are putting together a craft show at 1205 N. Milwaukee Ave (just at the corner of Milwaukee and Division). Doors open today at 11am and close at 6pm. If you're going to be going, be polite and give the organizers an email: rsvp@craftymonkey.com.

Pistil Dance Party

PISTIL Magazine invites you to a dance party in celebration of their upcoming issue. DJs Jamie Levinson, Gate Rettig and Mark Renard will spin from 11 pm - 2 am at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave. $3 suggested donation.

Forced Entertainment @ MCA

Forced Entertainment, the acclaimed UK performance group, makes its Chicago debut this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art. They are performing a seres of shows including "First Night" on February 5, 6, and 8 at 7:30 pm and "And on the Thousandth Night..." on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9pm. See the museum website for ticket information.

Coming Out Against Cancer Ball

It's time again for the Lesbian Community Cancer Project's annual Coming Out Against Cancer fundraiser, the most lady-licious event of the winter. After a financially difficult 2003, LCCP hopes to regain lost ground with its 13th dinner/dance/silent auction event, featuring honorary chair Gretchen Helfrich and the DJ skills of Meshell Ndegeocello. The VIP reception begins at 6:30 p.m., and the Ball runs from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive.

Chocolate Fest @ Garfield Park Conservatory

The Garfield Park Conservatory, home to the only chocolate trees in Chicago that actually produce fruit, is hosting its 5th annual Chocolate Fest this Saturday and Sunday. Free tasting of different chocolates, opening of chocolate pods at 4:00PM, and various activites and displays. Did I mention chocolate? The park is open 11:00AM to 5:00PM, and is also currently home to GIANTS, a display of African dinosaur skeletons. $3 suggested donation. Garfield Park Conservatory: 300 N. Central Park Avenue. (312) 746-5100.

Around The Coyote Winter Festival

Didn't stock up on enough art this fall at the usual Around The Coyote? Another art festival by the same people is being held this weekend, Feb 6 and 7th in the Flat Iron Building at North, Damen, and Wells. In addition to the usual visual art on display, you'll also have a chance to see theater, hear poetry readings, and see some short films. Details and performance schedule at http://www.aroundthecoyote.org/.

Crafty Collective

The craft just keeps on coming. This time, it's the Crafty Collective who are putting together a craft show at 1205 N. Milwaukee Ave (just at the corner of Milwaukee and Division). Doors open today at 11am and close at 6pm. If you're going to be going, be polite and give the organizers an email: rsvp@craftymonkey.com.

Forced Entertainment @ MCA

Forced Entertainment, the acclaimed UK performance group, makes its Chicago debut this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art. They are performing a seres of shows including "First Night" on February 5, 6, and 8 at 7:30 pm and "And on the Thousandth Night..." on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9pm. See the museum website for ticket information.

Five Easy Pieces @ Siskel Film Center

The Siskel Film Center is showing a series of major films from the 1970s. Tonight's is the 1970 classic Five Easy Pieces, which turned Jack Nicholson from a character actor into a star with one simple line: "I want you to hold it between your knees." The movie screens tonight at 8:00, and again Tuesday, February 10th, at 6:00. Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Opening Reception @ Foundation Gallery

"S&M", a show featuring new paintings by Sayre Gomez & Matthew Rodriguez, will be on view from February 6 until March 14 at Foundation Gallery. There is an opening reception tonight from 6-10. The gallery is open Sundays 1-5 and by appointment.

Taste of Check Please

Join WTTW for a food & wine event with tastings from restaurants that have been featured on Check, Please! Alpana Singh will host the event with prizes, a silent auction, music, and more… Friday, February 6, 2004; WTTW Studios; 5400 North St. Louis Avenue

VIP Admission 6:30 - 7:30 PM, tickets $150
General Admission 7:30 - 10:30 PM, tickets $80 -- alas, it's sold out.

Around The Coyote Winter Festival

Didn't stock up on enough art this fall at the usual Around The Coyote? Another art festival by the same people is being held this weekend, Feb 6 and 7th in the Flat Iron Building at North, Damen, and Wells. In addition to the usual visual art on display, you'll also have a chance to see theater, hear poetry readings, and see some short films. Details and performance schedule at http://www.aroundthecoyote.org/.

Crafty Collective

The craft just keeps on coming. This time, it's the Crafty Collective who are putting together a craft show at 1205 N. Milwaukee Ave (just at the corner of Milwaukee and Division). The reception gets kicked off tonight from 6-10 pm. If you're going to be going, be polite and give the organizers an email: rsvp@craftymonkey.com.

Forced Entertainment @ MCA

Forced Entertainment, the acclaimed UK performance group, makes its Chicago debut this week at the Museum of Contemporary Art. They are performing a seres of shows including "First Night" on February 5, 6, and 8 at 7:30 pm and "And on the Thousandth Night..." on Saturday, Feb. 7 at 9pm. See the museum website for ticket information.

José Mercé @ Park West

José Mercé, one of Spain's most popular flamenco singers, will be performing at the Park West tonight at 7:00. Mercé's debut performance in Chicago is part of the monthlong "Flamenco 2004" series presented by the Instituto Cervantes, a Chicago institution created for the promotion and teaching of the Spanish Language. Park West: 322 West Armitage. (773) 929-5959 or (312) 559-1212.

Bailiwick Directors' Fest

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:

Liberty: "the story of two lonely individuals who find comfort in a glitter-packaged pop star icon. It is a tale of desire and the want for companionship in the world of cyberspace and carefully crafted media icons." Written by Sarah Warner, directed by Nathan Robbel.

Things: "A young woman speaks candidly to her ex-partner about their failed relationship in this look at the concepts of closure and tact." Written and directed by Jennifer Dobby.

Kichel: "What starts as a misunderstanding, a difference in etymology, ends in a respectful friendship between a Jewish man and an African-American man at the zoo sharing kichel, a Jewish pastry." Written by David Alex, directed by Libya Pugh.

bell hooks @ Washington Library

bell hooks, author of We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity among other books, will speak at the Harold Washington Library, 400 S. State St., at 6pm. Free, but space will be limited, so get there early.

Rintaro @ Japanese Info Center

Famed Japanese anime director Rintaro/Taro Rin (you know him from such anime as Metropolis) will present a free lecture at the Japanese Information Center,737 N. Michigan, 10th floor, from 6-8pm today with a reception after. A must for fans of anime. More info here.

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:

Liberty: "the story of two lonely individuals who find comfort in a glitter-packaged pop star icon. It is a tale of desire and the want for companionship in the world of cyberspace and carefully crafted media icons." Written by Sarah Warner, directed by Nathan Robbel.

Things: "A young woman speaks candidly to her ex-partner about their failed relationship in this look at the concepts of closure and tact." Written and directed by Jennifer Dobby.

Kichel: "What starts as a misunderstanding, a difference in etymology, ends in a respectful friendship between a Jewish man and an African-American man at the zoo sharing kichel, a Jewish pastry." Written by David Alex, directed by Libya Pugh.

Drinking & Writing in Evanston

The Neo-Futurists present their play "Drinking & Writing," a look into the writing process as helped (or hindered) by alcohol. The play has been performed in Chicago and Arlington Heights, and now it moves to Nevin's Live in Evanston. The play runs every Monday night at 7:30. Admission: $12, or $8 for students. Nevin's Live: 1450 Sherman Ave., Evanston. (847) 869-0450.

Bailiwick Director's 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:

Liberty: "the story of two lonely individuals who find comfort in a glitter-packaged pop star icon. It is a tale of desire and the want for companionship in the world of cyberspace and carefully crafted media icons." Written by Sarah Warner, directed by Nathan Robbel.

Things: "A young woman speaks candidly to her ex-partner about their failed relationship in this look at the concepts of closure and tact." Written and directed by Jennifer Dobby.

Kichel: "What starts as a misunderstanding, a difference in etymology, ends in a respectful friendship between a Jewish man and an African-American man at the zoo sharing kichel, a Jewish pastry." Written by David Alex, directed by Libya Pugh.

Opera @ Chicago Cultural Center

Yes, believe it or not, there's something else to do today besides watch the Super Bowl. Down at the Chicago Cultural Center, they're offering a program of opera as part of their program of Chicago Winter Delights. At 1:00 PM, there will be a Student Opera Showcase, featuring music students from DePaul, Northwestern and Roosevelt U. At 3:00 PM, the Classical Symphony Orchestra performs in the Center's Preston Bradley Hall, playing selections by Mozart, Gershwin and Rachmaninoff. Sure, a little high-brow, but we could all use a little more culture in our lives. Plus, both programs are free. Chicago Cultural Center: 78 E. Washington. (312) 744-6630.

Upcoming