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TODAY

Monday, December 18

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Slowdown

January 2005

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Kevin Tihista and Andrew Morgan @ Schubas

Schubas' Monday night residency program, Practice Space, hosts Kevin Tihista's Red Terror and Andrew Morgan for the month of January. Angie Heaton opens tonight. $6 cover. 8pm, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport.

Bingo Night @ Gingerman Tavern

Nothing can get you out of a "case of the Mondays" like Bingo, so head on down to Wrigleyville bar, The Gingerman Tavern tonight for Bingo from 10 p.m. till midnight. The bar is located right by Wrigley Field, at 3740 N. Clark Street. For more information, call (773) 549-2050.

All About Pots and Pans

Flavour Cooking School at 7401 W. Madison in Forest Park offers a free class on how to select good pots and pans, and care for them. Good stuff for bachelors and young couples, this. You need to register in advance for this 4-5pm class at their website.

Wakoski and McDonald @ Myopic Books

Tonight at 7 p.m., Diane Wakoski and Robert McDonald read at Myopic Books. Diane Wakoski has published twenty-two full-length collections of poems and many other slim volumes.  Her most recent books are ARGONAUT ROSE ('98) and THE BUTCHER'S APRON ('00) from Black Sparrow Press. She is currently Writer in Residence at Michigan State University. Robert McDonald attended Michigan State University, where he studied German and then poetry. Diane Wakoski, the Poet-in-Residence at MSU, was a big influence on his writing, as well as his thesis advisor. Myopic Books is located at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor.

Rogue Wave @ Schuba's

Rogue Wave, one of the year's up-and-coming bands, plays Schuba's, 3159 N. Southport, tonight at 8 p.m. Two Gallants and The Saturday Nights open. Tickets are $8 in advance, $10 at the door; 21 and over. More info online or 773/525-2508.

Tsunami Relief night @ Bar Louie Wrigleyville

The Wrigleyville Bar Louie hosts a tsunami relief night tonight from 6pm to 2am. For a $10 cover, you'll get a wristband providing you with $2 u-call-it drinks all night long. Appetizers will also be half off. All wristband proceeds go to the American Red Cross. At Bar Louie Wrigleyville, 3545 N. Clark.

The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their latest prime time play, The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen, directed by Greg Allen. Realism and Neo-Futurism intersect, a lot of dramatic tragedy piles up on the stage and the audience will be pleasantly confused. I think. Anyway, the play starts tonight at 8:00 PM and runs on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights through March 5. Tickets are pay-what-you-can on Thursday nights, and $15 on Friday and Saturday nights ($10 for students and seniors). See the Neo-Futurist Website for more info, reservations and a very dramatic-looking picture of the cast. The Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.

Tsunami Aid: The Concert For Bangladesh @ Old Town School

The Old Town School of Folk Music presents a night of music from the famous 1971 Concert For Bangladesh, as interpreted by the school's ensemble classes. The concert happens tonight at 7:30 PM, at the school's original building at 909 W. Armitage. Admission is free, but donations for the Asian tsunami victims will be accepted during the show. See the Old Town School site for more details.

The Return of B-Fest

If you like super-bad movies, then you'll love B-Fest. I'm pretty sure that most of the films should have a C or D rating, but somebody's gotta enjoy this stuff since it sold out last year. But if the idea of being locked in a movie theater overnight with a gaggle of bad movie fans who won't make fun of you for liking awful, awful films, then you've gotta head over to Evanston's Norris Center. Bring a sleeping bag, leave the booze at home, and your well-developed sense of humor and you'll be fine.
Cinnamon will be attending, with her knitting cause she'll need something to make herself calm when the movies make her want to scream.

THE2NDHAND @ Quimby's

Tonight, Quimby's plays host to the "Underground Winter Festival" with Joe Meno (Hairstyles of the Damned), THE2NDHAND editor Todd Dills, A.B. Drea (Banana King), and Joe Deir, Natalie Hill and Laura Negrete of Ink Stains, celebrating their inaugural issue. THE2NDHAND will unveil Broadside installment 16, which features prose from Paul A. Toth (Fizz)and Jeff Miller (Ghost Pine) illustrated by Rob Funderburk. Punk duo the Like Young provide musical accompaniment. Festivities start at 8 pm @ Quimby's Bookstore located at 1854 W. North Ave. in Chicago. This event is FREE/BYOB.

World's Largest Snowball Fight in Wauconda

The Wauconda Lions Club is organizing the world's largest snowball fight this morning at 10:00. They're hoping to have 3,000 people in Cooks Park (600 N. Main, across from Wauconda High School), armed with snowballs and divided up into two 1,500-person teams. The registration fee is $2, and the proceeds will go to charity. See the club's Website for further details.

Bike Winter Benefit Show

Bike Winter Benefit Show: The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia (at Elston) 9 PM Join us for a concert and dance party to help fund Bike Winter. Music by Illinois First! (rock), the Grillers (bluegrass) and DJ Rudy Day (R&B and funk). This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Tropical Safari

Tropical Safari: Flo Restaurant, 1434 W. Chicago, 10 AM After a Southwestern brunch, ride to the Lincoln Park zoo and two different tropical greenhouses. Take a vacation without leaving the Rust Belt.

This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Heaven Video Screening Series - Winter @ heaven Gallery

heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee 2nd Floor, will be featuring its Winter Screening tonight. The so-called "Snow Installation" - made by people documenting their winter environments - will be shown and, appropriately, hot chocolate will be served. Artists featured include Louise McKissick, a former Chicagoan who now teaches digital photography and video editing to native tribes in Alaska. Starts at 8:00pm. Call 773-342-4597 for additional info.

GB Get-Together

Come meet GB staffers at Hopleaf, 5148 N. Clark (just south of Foster), tonight at 9pm for our monthly get-together. We'll be in the upstairs bar.

We'll have some t-shirts available for $15 ($3 off the site price), and a limited edition silkscreened calendar can be yours free!

Henrik Ibsen preview show @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their latest prime-time offering, The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen, directed by Greg Allen. Tonight's show is a preview show, and the show opens on Saturday night. Showtime is at 8:00 PM, and each of the shows this week is pay-what-you-can. The play runs at the Neo-Futurarium through March 5. See the Neo-Futurist Website for reservations and more info. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.

Taste of Check Please! @ WTTW studios

Calling all fans of WTTW's restaurant review program "Check, Please!" Tonight WTTW offers a very special event, Taste of Check Please, which features food from a long list of restaurants that were reviewed on the program. "Check, Please!" host Alpana Singh will preside over the evening, which also includes music, a silent auction, special prizes, and so much more. The event is pretty pricey ($125 for WTTW members and $150 for non-members), but if you're a rabid fan of this program this might just be the event for you. The evening runs from 6:30 to 10:00 at the WTTW studios (5400 N. St. Louis Avenue). Check the WTTW Website for full details.

Wings of Desire @ Film Center

Wings of Desire, the amazing 1987 Wim Wenders film about angels in modern-day Germany, screens tonight at 6:00 PM at the Siskel Film Center, as part of a continuing four-month-long program of German cinema. The film stars Bruno Ganz as an angel who quietly observes humans and their activities, and becomes concerned with two in particular: a beautiful trapeze artist in a travelling circus; and the actor Peter Falk (playing himself). See Roger Ebert's essay on the movie for more details about the plot. (Although, if you haven't seen the movie before, you might want to go without any advance information about the story.) If you miss tonight's screening, the film will also be shown on Tuesday, February 1, at 6:00 PM. Tuesday's screening will include a lecture by Scott Curtis from Northwestern University. Tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Art Prostitute Release Party

This Friday, at Chicago's Bucket Rider Gallery, the folks behind Art Prostitute magazine will be in town to celebrate the release of their fifth issue, Still Alive. Featuring work from Gary Baseman, Tiffany Bozic, Kozyndan, and Cody Hudson, this should be a nice way to start off the weekend. The party is free, but a 20-spot in support of the cause gets you a copy of the new issue. If you're lucky, Cody might even sign it for you. What more could you ask for?

The Return of B-Fest

If you like super-bad movies, then you'll love http://www.b-fest.com">B-Fest. I'm pretty sure that most of the films should have a C or D rating, but somebody's gotta enjoy this stuff since it sold out last year. But if the idea of being locked in a movie theater overnight with a gaggle of bad movie fans who won't make fun of you for liking awful, awful films, then you've gotta head over to Evanston's Norris Center. Bring a sleeping bag, leave the booze at home, and your well-developed sense of humor and you'll be fine.
Cinnamon will be attending, with her knitting cause she'll need something to make herself calm when the movies make her want to scream.

Henrik Ibsen preview show @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their latest prime-time offering, The Last Two Minutes of the Complete Works of Henrik Ibsen, directed by Greg Allen. There are two preview shows, tonight and tomorrow, before the show opens on Saturday night. Showtime is at 8:00 PM, and each of the shows this week is pay-what-you-can. The play runs at the Neo-Futurarium through March 5. See the Neo-Futurist Website for reservations and more info. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland. (773) 275-5255.

Young Nonprofit Professionals Celebration

YNPN Chicago -- Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Chicago -- is offerring a night of celebration and networking at the HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo. All who are interested in Chicago nonprofit work are welcome to have drinks and chat with professionals from a variety of fields, while the YNPN board will discuss upcoming events for the year. Admission is $6 and space is limited to 300, so make your reservations soon (any remaining tickets will be sold at the door for $10). View the YNPN evite for more information.

Play the Field

Play the Field is a great way to enjoy and explore the Field Museum at night without the congestion and hassle of school field trips or weekend tourists. The ongoing monthly event mixes culture with cocktails. Maggie Speaks and Underwater People perform, and you can explore the Field's exhibits -- including the current "Jackie Kennedy: The White House Years" show. 6pm until 11pm, 21 and over. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door, and include one drink. More info here.

Jolie Holland @ Schubas

Another great January "Hump Day" at Schubas brings Jolie Holland back to Chicago and the intimate Schubas stage. From Schubas: "By age six, Texas native Jolie Holland was writing songs on her toy piano. She learned guitar and fiddle as a teen, and after leaving home, spent time traveling around like a nomad with other musicians in the South. After landing in Vancouver, Holland co-founded the Be Good Tanyas, but she left for San Francisco after the folk outfit's first release, Blue Horse. She made a CD named "Catalpa", though it was never intended as anything more than a gift for friends or to sell at her shows. But "Catalpa" made it's way around the country and as far as Europe & Japan. It received praise from critics and her growing number of fans. Her proper debut, "Escondida" (Anti) was released in April. 'Combining blues, folk, jazz and pop in totally inventive ways, 'Escondida' marks the emergence of a unique and important new voice in the music scene.' " Doors open at 9 p.m., tickets are $12.

Funny Ha-Ha II @ Hideout

Come hear some of Chicago's funniest writers at this event at the Hideout. The event is being hosted by Claire Zulkey and features readings from many friends of Gapers Block including Wendy McClure, Steve Delahoyde, Mark Bazer, Amy Krouse Rosenthal, Nathan Rabin and many more. Check out the Hideout website for the complete lineup. The event starts at 8pm, donations will be accepted at the door.

X-Treme Tiki Ride

X-Treme Tiki Ride: Trader Vic's, 17 E. Monroe, lower level, 6 PM After a Mai Tai and a pu pu platter at Trader Vic's quasi-tropical bar, we'll pedal 12 miles to Hala Kahiki, a faux-Polynesian paradise in River Grove, IL.

Hearts and Minds @ Film Center

Hearts and Minds, the 1974 documentary about the Vietnam War that was originally shelved for fear of controversy, and eventually won an Oscar when it was released, plays at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 8:00 PM. A powerful film that unfortunately is still relevant today, Hearts and Minds should not be missed. A newly restored 35mm print will be shown. Tickets are $9 general admission, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Chicago Matters 2005 Sneak Preview

Chicago Public Radio presents a sneak preview of their 2005 radio and television series Chicago Matters tonight at 6:00 PM at the Harold Washington Library. In addition to previews of upcoming programs to be heard on WBEZ 91.5 FM and seen on WTTW Channel 11, you'll also get to meet some of the people that make the Chicago Matters programs. Admission is free, but you do need to make reservations. Call (312) 856-2156 for more information.

Lt. Gov Quinn at CNT

At 6 PM, Lt. Gov. Quinn will address the US Green Building Council Chicago Chapter
about his environmental priorities including maintaining the health and vitality of
the Great Lakes and IL River, encouraging the use of renewable energy, and
supporting green building practices.
For more information go to www.usgbc.org/chapters/chicago/

Mr. Bike's Winter Tips and Tricks

Mr. Bike's Winter Tips and Tricks: CBF Offices, 650 S. Clark, 4th floor, noon Dave Glowacz shares his cold-weather cycling wisdom with the masses. This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Secrets of Winter Bike Maint.

Secrets of Winter Bike Maintenance: Boulevard Bikes, 2535 N. Kedzie, 6 PM A posse will leave Daley Plaza at 5:30 to ride to this hands-on clinic about keeping your bike running smooth all winter. Free. This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Lunchtime Caribbean Dive

Lunchtime Caribbean Dive: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, noon Ride a mile or two to the Shedd Aquarium to meet the fish. Free. This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Hearts and Minds @ Film Center

Hearts and Minds, the 1974 documentary about the Vietnam War that was originally shelved for fear of controversy, and eventually won an Oscar when it was released, plays at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 7:30 PM, and Tuesday the 25th at 8:00 PM. A powerful film that unfortunately is still relevant today, Hearts and Minds should not be missed. A newly restored 35mm print will be shown. Tickets are $9 general admission, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Kevin Tihista and Andrew Morgan @ Schubas

Schubas' Monday night residency program, Practice Space, hosts Kevin Tihista's Red Terror and Andrew Morgan for the month of January. Bogo opens tonight. $6 cover. 8pm, Schubas, 3159 N. Southport.

Besemer, Radulescu & Kotkowska @ Myopic Books

Sunday is poetry night at Myopic Books, starting at 7 p.m. The three readers this week are Jen Besemer, Stella Vinitchi Radulescu and Ela Kotkowska. Jen Besemer is a poet, visual artist, editor, translator and essayist. New poems and translations can be found in the November issues of Bridge and milk magazine. She teaches English at Wright College. Stella Vinitchi Radulescu was born in Romania. She has a Ph.D. in French from the University of Bucharest and an M.A. in French from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and she is a lecturer in French at Northwestern University. Ela Kotkowska's chapbook Nom de Plume was published in 2004 by Yen Agat Books. Myopic Books is located at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor.

Pedalin' Poetry Night

Pedalin' Poetry Night: The Handlebar, 2311 W. North, 8 PM Bring your favorite bicycle poem to read, or just relax, listen and drink beer. This is part of the Icicle Bicycle Festival. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Tour Da Chicago Race

Tour Da Chicago Race: Location TBA, 8 AM Cyclists of all abilities are welcome to particpate in Stage 1 of this fun, early morning messenger-style racing series. Brunch afterwards. See www.bikewinter.org for more info.

Wizard People, Dear Reader @ Four Treys

A unique film experience tonight at the Four Treys Tavern: the unauthorized Harry Potter film/performance/experience "Wizard People, Dear Reader" by Brad Neely. An alternate audio track to go along with the first Harry Potter movie, "Wizard People" will be performed tonight at 8:00 PM by Mr. Neely himself! Admission is $10, or $5 with a headshot and resume. Four Treys: 3333 N. Damen. Check the website for more info.

African American Vernacular Art @ Intuit

Intuit: The Center for Outsider and Intuitive Art presents a discussion of African American vernacular art, or artwork created and used in everyday life. Members of the discussion panel will include artist Lonnie Holley and women quliters from Gee's Bend, Alabama, and the presentation will also feature a slide presentation by scholar, curator and author William Arnett. For more information on the event, see this press release from Intuit. The event starts at 2:00 PM, and is free and open to the public. Intuit: 756 N. Milwaukee. (312) 243-9088.

Kristen Hersh @ Schubas

Yet another chance this week to catch Hersh, again at a reasonable early hour for those of us who require naps these days to make it past 11 p.m. Kristen Hersh (of Throwing Muses fame) plays the first show of the evening at Schubas tonight, with doors opening at 7 p.m. From Schubas: Hersh "has recorded six solo albums and her newest, 'The Grotto,' displays her work of inner poetry with piano, guitar and violin in a way that is finely focused. Beautifully strange and soulful Hersh is able to captivate any audience with her artistic voice and individual outward energy. It is safe to say her present work simply makes her past triumphs seem purely groundwork for the future." Tickets are $15 and Ben Weaver opens.

"The Children's Blizzard" @ Newberry

January 12, 1888, began as an unseasonably warm morning across the Great Plains, so mild that many children walked to school without coats. That afternoon, temperatures plunged, and by the next morning, 500 people, many of them children, lay dead in the snow. On Saturday, January 22, at 11 a.m., the Newberry Library hosts David Laskin for a discussion of his new book "The Children’s Blizzard" (November 2004, HarperCollins). Laskin traces the effects of this terrible storm on five plains families and argues that the blizzard marked a turning point in the minds of even the most steadfast of settlers. By the turn of the twentieth century, 60 percent of pioneer families had left the plains. Admission to “The Children’s Blizzard” is free and open to the public at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., Chicago. "The Children’s Blizzard" will be available for purchase during the book signing. This program is co-sponsored by the Seminary Co-op Bookstore. For more information, call (312) 255-3700.

Protect Your Reproductive Freedoms

January 22 marks the 32nd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. To commemorate the ruling that has allowed American women to choose safe, legal abortion -- and therefore control their destinies -- Chicago area reproductive rights advocates invite you to join them for Protect Your Reproductive Freedoms: A Look at the Past, Present and Future of Abortion Rights. The event will be held today at Harper College (1200 W. Algonquin Road in Palatine) in the theater in Building J. Parking is available in lots 5 and 6. The program begins at 1 pm. Listen to stories from before abortion was legally performed. Hear Illinois State Representative Rosemary Mulligan (D-65) discuss how the battle continues today. Find out what you can do to protect the future of your reproductive rights from Robyn Nardone, Manager of Public Affairs at Planned Parenthood/Chicago Area. Celebrate Choice with Planned Parenthood, NorthWest Chicago Choice, and the National Organization for Women

Gay Bike Winter Parade

Gay Bike Winter Parade: Bus turnaround, 3150 N. Halsted, 9:30 PM Bikers of all orientations are invited on a "cruise" of the Boy's Town neighborhood, ending with some bicycle bar-hopping.

Learn to Be a Drag King

This physical acting workshop led by Jessica Hudson and other members of the Chicago Kings uses gender stereotypes and drag as a springboard for character development within dance and theatre. This workshop is a synthesis of acting, movement, and gender studies where participants physically explore the ways traditional definitions of beauty may limit performers. This workshop is open to all levels of experience.

The workshop will be held Saturday, January 22 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Links Hall in Andersonville, located at 3435 N. Sheffield. To register, contact Links Hall at 773-281-0824. Cost is $25, $15 for students.

Henry Darger doc @ Music Box

Chicago's legendary outsider artist Henry Darger, who wrote a 15,000 page novel about little girls fighting against child-enslaving men, is profiled in a 2004 documentary, In The Realms of the Unreal, which opens today at the Music Box Theatre. The film apparently takes Darger's crude illustrations and makes animations out of them, which should be quite disturbing to see on the big screen. Outsider art fans will definitely want to catch this film. Check the Reader's film listings for showtimes. Music Box Theatre: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Hearts and Minds @ Film Center

Hearts and Minds, the 1974 documentary about the Vietnam War that was originally shelved for fear of controversy, and eventually won an Oscar when it was released, plays at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 6:00 PM, Monday the 24th at 7:30 PM, and Tuesday the 25th at 8:00 PM. A powerful film that unfortunately is still relevant today, Hearts and Minds should not be missed. A newly restored 35mm print will be shown. Tickets are $9 general admission, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Kristen Hersh @ Schubas

Ok, you're not getting any younger, and it seems lately that shows are starting later and later. If you're having trouble staying up past 10 on a Friday night, this show is certainly an answer to your prayers. Kristen Hersh (of Throwing Muses fame) plays the first show of the evening at Schubas tonight, with doors opening at 7 p.m. From Schubas: Hersh "has recorded six solo albums and her newest, 'The Grotto,' displays her work of inner poetry with piano, guitar and violin in a way that is finely focused. Beautifully strange and soulful Hersh is able to captivate any audience with her artistic voice and individual outward energy. It is safe to say her present work simply makes her past triumphs seem purely groundwork for the future." Tickets are $15 and Ben Weaver opens.

Pilsen Circular Mass

Pilsen Circular Mass: Tenochtitlan Plaza, 1800 S. Loomis, 6 PM This monthly miniature Critical Mass is a tour of Near South Side neighborhoods, ending with dinner at a local restaurant.

Opening: The Conversation, Pyewacket Theatre

Pyewacket premieres a new stage adaption of the 1974 Francis Ford Coppola film. Opens tonight at 8pm; performances Thursday-Saturday at 8pm and Sunday at 3pm, through February 26. $15-25. At the Chopin Theatre, 1543 W. Division. Call 773-275-2201 for tickets.

TwangOff @ Martyrs'

TwangOff is a once-a-month battle of the bands show that takes place the third Thursday of every month at Martyrs' (3855 N. Lincoln). As the title impies, the featured bands are folksy, alt-country... in a word, twangy. Tonight's battle features the Mark Sheehy Band vs. The Steepwater Band vs. Duenow. The music starts at 9 pm and it'll cost you $7. Check it out.

Ozu's Tokyo Story @ Film Center

The Siskel Film Center celebrates the work of legendary Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu with a screening of his 1953 classic Tokyo Story. Continually ranked among the best films of all time, Tokyo Story shows an elderly couple visiting their children in Tokyo, and .... well, for more information, see Roger Ebert's essay on the film. But you might want to see it without knowing too much more. For more information on the film and other Ozu titles screening in the next couple of months, see the Film Center's Website. Tokyo Story screens this evening at 6:00 PM. Film Center tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Burlesque Variety Night

Join local burlesque and comic artists for a night of funtacular entertainment at the Elbo Room. Acts include the plus-sized and sassified Hellcat Hussies, sexy burlesque artists, gender-bending drag kings and queens, plus comics and musicians. The Burlesque Variety Envening costs just $5 and will be held on January 20 at 8 p.m. The Elbo Room is located at 2871 N. Lincoln Avenue.


Anti-Inaugural Ball

On the day that George W. Bush delivers his second inaugural address, that would be today, Thursday, January 20th, Anti Gravity Surprise invites you to RESIST! at the Anti-Inaugural Ball, Reading, & Art Show. With a candle-light procession departing from Wicker Park at 7:30 p.m. from the intersection of Damen and Wicker Park Avenue. From 8 pm to 1 am the event will continue at ACME Artworks located at 1741 N. Western Avenue. Proceeds from the $10 suggested donation will benefit local activist organizations. Black Water Café will be open during the evening and a cash bar. For more information, call 773-278-7677.

NOW Panel: Mothers in the Prison System

Tonight please join the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women and DePaul College Women’s Studies Department for "Mothers in the Prison System," a panel discussion addressing the needs and lives of incarcerated mothers. The free event will take place from 7 p.m. until 9 p.m. at DePaul’s Munroe Hall, Rms. 114-116.  The address is 2312 N. Clifton. Panelists include: Susan George: Harris School Of Public Policy Research Associate at the University of Chicago. Her work focuses on issues facing incarcerated mothers and their children. Joanne Archibald: Advocacy Director of Chicago Legal Advocacy for Incarcerated Mothers, an organization that addresses the gap in legal aid and advocacy for women prisoners and their families, and Community Advisory board member for Grace House, a residential program for women leaving prison. Pamela Thomas: playwright, poet, former prisoner and Program Director of Rose House, a program that helps women exiting the prison system. There will be a screening of Beyondmedia’s Voices in Time, a video window into the lives of women who have served time in prison. For more information, please contact Rachel Durchslag at rdurchslag@gmail.com.

Winter Bike To Work Day

Winter Bike to Work Day: Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, 7 - 9 AM Stop by for a warm drink, a sweet treat and a chance to win prizes. Sponsored by the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation.

Tony Fitzpatrick Book Signing @ Myopic

Artist Tony Fitzpatrick - whose work includes many of Steve Earle's album covers - will be signing his new book The Wonder: Portraits of a Remembered City Volume 1 at Myopic Books, 1564 N. Milwaukee, tonight at 7:30pm. Dig.

Colin Meloy @ Schubas

Tonight at Schubas, the best "Hump Day" line-up in ages: Colin Meloy of The Decemberists with Shelley Short and Quasar Wut Wut (Acoustic). From Schubas: "The Decemberists are the brainchild of singer/songwriter Colin Meloy. A resident of Portland, OR, Meloy often enthralls audiences with his marvelous stories that unfold with ghosts, kings, gypsies, ladies and seafarers. It is no surprise that this modern troubadour has a creative writing degree. Paired with Meloy's stellar voice, that seems to crack just at the perfect moments, his tales build a lasting impression that weave through audience's minds long after the final song. Meloy is a gracious genius whose creations are welcoming to the hearts and ears of listeners." Doors open at 9 p.m, and tickets are just $12 ($14 door) (18 And Over).

Tsunami Fundraiser @ Rodan

Please join Subsystence and PISTIL Magazine tonight at Rodan for an evening of great music in support of a good cause. A stellar lineup of DJs including WNUR's Dave Siska, Ken Meier, and m50 is donating their time to perform, and all the money raised at the door will be split between Oxfam and the International Red Cross. Rodan is located at 1530 N Milwaukee Ave in Wicker Park. There is a $5 suggested donation.

Schakowsky: A Blueprint for Action

Illinois Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky will discuss preserving and advancing women’s rights in today’s political environment and lay out some action plans for the next two years at a discussion titled "Shaping the Future of Women's Rights: A Blueprint for Action during the next two years" tonight from 6-8 pm at 330 N. Wabash (One IBM Plaza), 40th floor, South Lounge. RSVP to Barb Yong (312-696-2034, or email Blyong@fieldgolan.com). This event is sponsored by the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women.

Emmett Till doc @ Film Center

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, a 2004 documentary about the infamous muder of a Chicago boy, plays at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 6:00 PM. This documentary provides evidence that a dozen additional suspects were involved in Till's murder, and prompted officials to reopen the murder case last year. Tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Opening: I Am My Own Wife, Goodman Theatre

After a pre-New York workshop run last year by About Face at the MCA, Doug Wright's one-man play I Am My Own Wife returns for a run at the Goodman Theatre. In the meantime it's won the Pulitzer Prize for drama and Tony Awards for best play and best performance by an actor for Jefferson Mays, who continues his acclaimed performance. Mays portrays the real-life figure Charlotte von Mahlsdorf, a German transvestite antiques dealer who survived the Gestapo and the Stasi to become a gay rights leader, as well as 34 other characters. The play is based on Charlotte's autobiography and directed by Moisés Kaufman (The Laramie Project). Opens tonight at 7pm, through February 13, with tickets from $30-60. Full schedule and tickets at the Goodman website.

Kweisi Mfume @ U of C

Kweisi Mfume, former president of the NAACP, will speak at the University of Chicago to deliver a keynote address culminating the events of MLK Week. The week, January 10-17, commemorates the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. The address, lasting from 1pm-3pm at Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St., follows a 12pm memorial service held at Rockefeller Chapel.

Remembering Aaron Hawkins @ Women & Children First

The relatives of the late Aaron Hawkins, the Chicago blogger who posted at Uppity-Negro.com, are organizing a memorial get-together in his memory for tonight at Women and Children First, one of Aaron's favorite Chicago hangouts. For more information, see this posting at Aaron's site.

Chicago Filmmakers Co-op Garage Sale

Are you a filmmakers, film buffs, artists, sculptors, prop masters, or other cat in search of equipment? Stop by the Chicago Filmmakers Co-op Trash & Treasure Sale this January 15 and 16 from 11am to 6pm.

Here's your chance to get items like copiers, antique typewriters, reels and cases, Bolex camera parts, projectors, editing tables, and more. All money raised benefits Chicago Filmmakers. Free admission and snacks!

Chicago Filmmakers Co-op is located at 5243 N. Clark Street in Andersonville.

Withinsight 2005: Opening

The Chicago Photography Center's Winter 2005 "Withinsight" is an exhibit of black and white photography from students of the photography program. The Chicago Photography Center is a not-for-profit photography program founded to provide a vibrant, motivating and flexible learning environment for aspiring and accomplished photographers throughout the Chicago area. Photographers featured include: Caroline Banta, Laurence Cabaille, Tom Cantos, Jerry Delaney, Carolee Kokola, Heidi Levin, Karelle Pachomoff and Michael Rhine. The exhibit opens today with a gallery reception from noon–4 p.m. Free and open to the public, open bar and appetizers. The exhibition runs through March 2005. The Chicago Photography Center is located at 3301 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

Norge 100th Annual Ski Jump

The Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a ski jump tournament this weekend -- as well as the Junior Olympic Qualifiers and Masters National Championships. The club is expecting past and future Olympic competitors to show, and on Saturday night there'll be a live band and fireworks. Tickets are $15 at the gate. Check here for more information and schedule.

Shea & Smathers @ Myopic Books

Tonight is all about poetry at Myopic Books, starting at 7 p.m. Come out and hear James Shea and Parker Smathers. James Shea lives in Chicago. His poems have been published in numerous journals, including Bridge, Crazyhorse, jubilat, and LIT.  One of his poems appears in Isn't It Romantic: 100 Love Poems by Younger American Poets (Verse, 2004).Parker Smathers is the author and illustrator Green Poems, a chapbook. His work has been published or is forthcoming in Denver Quarterly and Iowa Review. Myopic Books is located at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor.

Bluegrass Concert in Evanston

David Davis and the Warrior River Boys are coming to Evanston tonight for a great evening of bluegrass music.  They'll be playing at the American Legion Hall (1030 Central St.) at 8 PM.

The group has just released a new CD after several years of touring.  They have a clean, polished, traditional sound and a recognizable style and sound.

Cost is only $15, and the hall is close to the Central St. station on the
Purple line.

As an added bonus, the band's fiddler, Owen Saunders, will be offering a bluegrass fiddle workshop earlier on Saturday at the Old Town School of Folk
Music
, 3-5 pm, $30.

Free Speech: The Wobblies' Challenge

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) was founded in Chicago in 1905 and Paul Buhle, of Brown University, and Mike Alewitz, of Central Connecticut State University, will meet to discuss what the IWW means to free speech activists today. This program is part of Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition, a joint production of the Newberry Library and the Chicago Historical Society. The 10am event takes place at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton, and is free, no reservations necessary. Call 312-255-3691 for more information.

Dylan Rice and the Dynasties @ Martyrs'

Singer-songwriter and all-around nice guy Dylan Rice headlines tonight at Martyrs'. The Floorbirds and Al Weber open. $8 cover, 21 and up. Show starts 10pm. Martyrs', 3855 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-404-9494.

Chicago Filmmakers Co-op Garage Sale

Are you a filmmakers, film buffs, artists, sculptors, prop masters, or other cat in search of equipment? Stop by the Chicago Filmmakers Co-op Trash & Treasure Sale this January 15 and 16 from 11am to 6pm.

Here's your chance to get items like copiers, antique typewriters, reels and cases, Bolex camera parts, projectors, editing tables, and more. All money raised benefits Chicago Filmmakers. Free admission and snacks!

Chicago Filmmakers Co-op is located at 5243 N. Clark Street in Andersonville.

Ozu's Tokyo Story @ Film Center

The Siskel Film Center celebrates the work of legendary Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu with a screening of his 1953 classic Tokyo Story. Continually ranked among the best films of all time, Tokyo Story shows an elderly couple visiting their children in Tokyo, and .... well, for more information, see Roger Ebert's essay on the film. But you might want to see it without knowing too much more. For more information on the film and other Ozu titles screening in the next couple of months, see the Film Center's Website. Tokyo Story screens this afternoon at 3:00 PM, and Thursday the 20th at 6:00 PM. Film Center tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Norge 100th Annual Ski Jump

The Norge Ski Club in Fox River Grove is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year with a ski jump tournament this weekend -- as well as the Junior Olympic Qualifiers and Masters National Championships. The club is expecting past and future Olympic competitors to show, and on Saturday night there'll be a live band and fireworks. Tickets are $15 at the gate. Check here for more information and schedule.

The Constantines @ Empty Bottle

"Possibly the best rock show ever" was the review I got from friends after the last Constantines show in town. I'll gamble this one will be on par as well. Check The Constantines out at the Empty Bottle tonight for a measly $10 (at the door, only $8 in advance) and form your own opinion...of ROCK. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave., Chicago.

The Coctails Reunion Show @ Abbey Pub

To celebrate the release of their box set, "Popcorn Box," The Coctails have reformed for a special show at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace. Dump opens. Tickets are just $10 in advance, $12 at the door, available here or 866/777-8932. 21 and over.

The Last Slide Projector benefit @ Hideout

The Last Slide Projector is a 50-minute documentary by Paige Sarlin, a graduate student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, about the production of Kodak's last Carousel slide projector. The benefit tonight at the Hideout is being held to help raise the final $5,000 needed to complete the film. Admission is just $5, and the benefit includes performances by The Fancy Lads, Pixel and the Chronic Network, and DJ Major Taylor. The benefit starts at 9pm. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia. Visit the Hideout's website for more details.

Opening: Curse of the Crying Heart, House Theatre

The white-hot, up-and-coming, critically acclaimed House Theatre of Chicago opens their newest show, The Curse of the Crying Heart. A sequel to last year's San Valentino and the Melancholy Kid and the second in a planned trilogy, Crying Heart promises "samurai battles, puppetry, dance and original music." Written and directed by House artistic director Nathan Allen and directed by Dennis Watkins. Opens tonight at 8pm; continues Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm and Sundays at 7pm through March 12. At the Viaduct Theatre, 3111 N. Western. Tickets are $19; $10 student rush tickets Thursdays and Sundays are available at the box office one hour before curtain. For reservations, call 773-251-2195.

3" From the Street @ Rotofugi

While I don't skate too often anymore, I still love the skateboarding culture and how it embraced me when I was a young 'un as the first 'sport' I could ever really get into. Thus I am super excited that Rotofugi's newest art show is all about skateboards. This travelling art show, titled 3" From the Street collects the works of twenty artists spanning the globe who have customized skateboards in their own unique style. Curator Joshua Brown states, "I and those like me, come from this subculture, the
culture influenced by this simple wooden toy." The exhibitions opens Jan. 11 through Feb. 19 with an opening night on Friday, January the 14th. If you know Rotofugi's opening nights, then you know there'll be good beverages, good music and great people.

Emmett Till doc @ Film Center

The Untold Story of Emmett Louis Till, a 2004 documentary about the infamous muder of a Chicago boy, plays at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 7:45 PM. This documentary provides evidence that a dozen additional suspects were involved in Till's murder, and prompted officials to reopen the murder case last year. The film will also be shown on Tuesday, January 18, at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Neko Case @ Metro

Lovely Neko Case appears tonight at the Metro. In case you need more information on Ms. Case, check out Dave Elving's audio interview with her back in November. Tickets are just $18.50. Opening bands include The Sadies and Low Skies. Show starts at 9 p.m., 18 years and older.

Roots and Rhymes Open Mic

Tonight honor Martin Luther King, Jr. with poetry from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. at Uncle Joe's Coffee Shop (5706 S. University Ave., 2nd Floor). All are encouraged to share their poetry and spoken word. Sign up with Tamilia (TAMDENRE{at}uchicago{dot}edu) to share your talent at Roots and Rhymes. Those with a taste for good rhymes and good coffee can just come and relax while taking in the strong earthy aroma of self-expression.

Withinsight: First Glimpse Show

The Chicago Photography Center's Winter 2005 "Withinsight" is an exhibit of black and white photography from students of the photography program. The Chicago Photography Center is a not-for-profit photography program founded to provide a vibrant, motivating and flexible learning environment for aspiring and accomplished photographers throughout the Chicago area. Photographers featured include: Caroline Banta, Laurence Cabaille, Tom Cantos, Jerry Delaney, Carolee Kokola, Heidi Levin, Karelle Pachomoff and Michael Rhine. The CPC First Glimpse: a special gallery preview party, will take place tonight from 8 p.m. to Midnight. Tickets are $25 in advance/$30 at the door, RSVP to Nicole{at}chicagophoto{dot}org. The Chicago Photography Center is located at 3301 North Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

"An Evening with Langston & Martin"

Actors Danny Glover and Felix Justice perform writings and speeches of Langston Hughes and Martin Luther King, Jr. tonight at 7:30pm at St. Sabina, 1210 W 78th Place. Tickets are only $10 ($5 for children). Call 773/483-4300 for more information.

Discrete Series: Joe Amato & Kass Fleisher

The Discrete Reading Series presents Joe Amato & Kass Fleisher at 9pm tonight at 3030, a former pentecostal church located at 3030 W. Cortland Ave., one block south of Armitage between Humboldt Blvd. and Kedzie. All ages are welcome. $5 suggested donation. BYOB. More info here.

Henry Darger doc benefit @ Film Center

The 2004 documentary In The Realms of the Unreal, a look at the writings and drawings of Chicago janitor Henry Darger, whose 15,000 page novel was discovered after his death, will be screened tonight at a benefit at the Siskel Film Center. The film's director, Jessica Yu, will be in attendance for audience discussion, and there will be a reception following the 8:15 PM screening. Proceeds of this benefit will go to Intuit: the Center for Creative and Intuitive Art, the Nathan and Kiyoko Lerner Foundation, and the Film Center's educational programs. Tickets are $45, $35 for Film Center and Intuit members, and $15 for students. For further information, see the Film Center's write-up on the event. (And if you can't afford the ticket prices, just wait until January 21, when the film opens at the Music Box Theatre.) Siskel Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Reading Group Suggestions @ Women and Children First

Need some help deciding on your reading group selections? The proprietors of Women and Children First, Linda Bubon and Ann Christophersen, will discuss titles that have been sucessful among their book groups as well as new reads for the year. All recommended books will be 20% off this evening. The discussion, at 5233 N. Clark, begins at 7:30pm.

War of Independents @ Abbey Pub

The Abbey and Gojangle wages the "War Of Independents" 2005 Battle of The Bands this year, beginning tonight. Four Bands go head to head in the 5 monthly heats, and 5 finalists meet in June 2005 and play in front of a guest panel of judges made up of Chicago Music Industry Aficionados. Tonight's Heat #1 lineup is: Dormlife, Flies in Eden, Window Nine and Medicine Hat. Doors at 7:30 p.m., show at 8 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance and at the door. The Abbey Pub is located at 3420 W. Grace (at Elston).

Dolorous Canter @ The Mutiny

Dolorous Canter, an emotional hardcore band, or rather, an emocore band will be playing a FREE show today with Unlucky Atlas at The Mutiny, Chicago's beloved bar and home to apparently one of the worst toilets in the city.

Dolorous Canter has in it's ensemble, Nazarin Hamid, who is also co-founder of Gapers Block so feel free to say hi if you come out. He's the bass player and singer (screamer!).

9pm, 21+ FREE - The Mutiny, 2428 N. Western Ave (at Fullerton-ish).

How to Be a Smart Media Consumer

Part of Outspoken: Chicago's Free Speech Tradition, the Newberry Library and the Chicago Historical Society present How to Be a Smart Media Consumer, featuring journalists and critics reporting on the current media scene. Discussions will include media ownership, media sensationalization, and the impact of broadband technology. The 6pm talk takes place at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton St., and is free, no reservations necessary. Call 312-255-3691 for more information.

Jeffrey Eugenides & Gary Shteyngart @ Abbey Pub

Nextbook presents "a conversation (and a possibly a serenade or two) on literature, wanderlust, and roiling epics" between Pulitzer-winning author Jeffrey Eugenides (Middlesex, The Virgin Suicides) and National Jewish Book Award winner Gary Shteyngart (The Russian Debutante's Handbook). 7:30pm at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace. Admission is free, but reservations are highly recommended; tickets can be reserved through the website (you must register first). For more info, visit www.nextbook.org or call Abigail Pickus at 312/747-4074.

Vice Grip: Bad Habits Exploited

Local photographer Brian Ulrich (Adbusters, NotIfButWhen, Subsystence, Revol) has work featured in a new group show at Columbia College's Hokin Annex, entitled Vice Grip: Bad Habits Explored. Opening tonight, the show deals with "ungoverned appetites and unnatural curiosity through artworks in a wide-range of media." The gallery is a generally low-key environment on the Columbia College campus, focusing primarily on informal discussion and casual observation. There is no cost, but the hours are limited. Click here for more details.

Learn to Knit, Cheap!

Really want to learn to knit, but you don't have the cashola to plunk down on some serious seminars? Head out to Close Knit in Evanston tonight for a 1-night workshop: How to Knit or Crochet, from 6 p.m. till 8 p.m. The class costs just $25 which is pretty darn good. Judith Horwitz will lead the session. For more information, or to sign up, call Close Knit at (847) 328-6760. The store is located in downtown Evanston, at 622 Grove Street.

The Syn featuring Chris Squire (of YES) @ Martyr's

The Syn featured Squire before he went on to found the prog-rock pioneers Yes, and vocalist Nardelli, who became a successful businessman in the clothing and sporting goods business. Now, 40 years later, the two have re-teamed to revive the legendary band and release their first album of brand-new material in Syndestructible, scheduled to hit retail shelves in the U.S. on Nov. 8 through their own Umbrello Records and independent distributor ADA. Appearing at Martyr's. Show starts at 8pm - $35

Grave of the Fireflies @ Block Museum of Art

Isao Takahata's 1988 animated masterpiece Grave of the Fireflies is based on the semi-autobiographical novel by Akiyuki Nosaka about a boy and his younger sister's struggle to survive after their town is firebombed by Allied planes during World War II. Featuring top-notch animation by Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away), this is one of the most moving and heartwrenching films of all time, animated or otherwise. You will cry, and Grave of the Fireflies will have earned every tear. Shows Wednesday, Jan. 12, at 7:30pm at Northwestern University's Block Museum of Art. $6 General Admission, $4 for students or museum members.

Confessions of a Pop Fanatic

In Confessions of a Pop Fanatic, "Christian Gasser, writer, DJ and former radio show host mixes literature and music into a private radio show in which he asks -- and possibly answers -- the musical question: Should my priority be an orderly record collection or an orderly relationship?" A free musical reading at the Goethe-Institut, 150 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 200, tonight at 6pm. Please RSVP at 312/263-0472 or at ProgramAssistant<at>goethe-chicago.org.

Hip Hop Showcase @ HotHouse

Gravel Records Presents: Chicago HipHop Showcase featuring TNA Breakdancing Crew, Babble, Jam One, World Class Hustlers tonight at HotHouse, located at 31 E. Balbo, Chicago. Doors open at 9 p.m and tickets are $5. This show is 21+. For more information, call (312) 362-9707.

Tsunami Benefit @ Hideout

The Hideout is hosting a Tsunami Relief Benefit featurung Freakwater and Mucca Pazza Redmoon Theatre Big Band (they do the music for Redmoon Theatre shows) and silent auctions from a host of Chicago luminaries — Wilco, Mat Daly, Jay Ryan, etc. Monday, January 10th at 7pm. The Hideout is at 1354 Wabansia, (773) 227-4433. More details.

Chicago Sketchfest: OctaSketch

Tonight's Chicago Sketchfest offering is OctaSketch: The Eight Hour Project is an experiment in creating comedy under pressure. Four groups are created – each group containing five performers who do not usually work together – and assigned a top sketch director. These teams are given eight hours to create a 30 minute sketch show to be performed tonight at 8 p.m. The Festival takes place at Theatre Building Chicago, 1225 W. Belmont Ave. Tickets are $12 per performance. Passionate fans of sketch comedy can purchase a $75 all-festival pass, which is good for any and all performances throughout the festival. Tickets are available at the theatre box office, Ticketmaster or by calling 773.327.5252.

Manufactured Self

Through a critical lens, Manufactured Self investigates how people live — their work, their possessions, and their aspirations. The works in this exhibition will explore personal and collective consumption from a variety of angles: cultural history, personal identity, global economy, and the radical difference between wealthy industrialized and 'developing' countries. The intimacy of photographs made within living spaces, however, also allows for an examination of how society can dictate personal need for possessions. This exhibition will examine how we can be manipulated, identified, and occasionally satisfied by what we consume through the work of Philip Kwame Apagya, Tina Barney, Walead Beshty, Shannon Ebner, Yeondoo Jung, Nikki S. Lee, Alex MacLean, Tomoko Sawada, Peter Menzel, Martin Paar, Orit Sima-Tov, and Brian Ulrich. A brochure will accompany this exhibition with an essay written by associate director, Natasha Egan. Opens January 10th and runs through March 3rd, at the Museum of Contemporary Photography.

Lee "Scratch" Perry doc @ Film Center

Chicago music journalist John Corbett will be at the Siskel Film Center tonight at 5:00 PM, to screen footage from a 1990 interview with the legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Parts of the interview were excerpted in a 1994 book by Corbett, and a documentary film was planned but never quite finished. If you're a fan of Perry or reggae, this is definitely the show for you. Film Center tickets are $9 for the general public, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Chicago Responds: Tsunami Relief Benefit @ HotHouse

HotHouse hosts Chicago Responds: HotHouse’s Benefit Concerts for Tsunami Relief to raise money for those devastated by the tsunami. This all-day event (2–10 p.m.) will feature the music of local acts, including ensembles from the city’s Southeast Asian community. The event will also include Southeast Asian cuisine. Confirmed artists participating in the event include: Frank Orrall of Poi Dog Pondering, Funkadesi, Sam Prekop of The Sea and Cake, Kaylan Pathak’s Jazzmata, The Goran Ivanovic Group, and DJ Warp with Adeesh Sathaye of San Fransico’s Dhamaal. Additional artists TBA. HotHouse’s goal is to raise $100,000 in January for organizations aiding victims of the tsunami. 100 percent of the proceeds from the benefit concerts will go to relief organizations. Tickets are $25 in advance and at the door, (21 & Over).

Photoblogger Meetup: MCA

Chicago Photobloggers are planning their first Meet-Up today at Puck's at the Museum of Contemporary Art, located at 220 East Chicago Avenue, just one block east of Michigan Avenue at 1 p.m. Email nfeder{at}gmail{dot}com if you're planning on attending.

Secret Media @ Myopic Books

Jeremy Bushnell writes regularly on experimental music and literature for Invisible City Productions, an organization dedicated to the production and promotion of secret media. He's the author of Imaginary Year, a serialized web narrative documenting the lives of a group of fictional Chicagoans in real time, and he performs in the improvisational drone collective Number None. He will read at Myopic Books tonight at 7 p.m. Myopic Books is located at 1564 N. Milwaukee Avenue, 2nd Floor.

Opening: The Hypocrites' Glass Menagerie

The Hypocrites theatre company presents a production of Tennessee Williams' The Glass Menagerie, directed by Sean Graney. After tonight's 8:00pm opening, the play runs through March 6, Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00pm and Sundays at 7:00pm. At the Athenaeum Theatre, 2936 N. Southport. Tickets are $20.00 and are available at the Athenaeum box office, or through Ticketmaster (312-902-1500 or online). Call the Hypocrites at 312.409.5578 for more information.

Readings @ Mojoe's Cafe

Tonight at 7:30pm, head to Mojoe's Cafe, 2256 W. Roscoe for a free night of readings by:
AB Drea (The Bananna King)
Kate Sandler (Brainiac)
Grant Schreiber (Judas Goat Quarterly)
Aaron Cynic (Diatribe)
Emerson Dameron (Wherewithall)
Alicia Dorr (Random Life In Progress)
Jessica Whiskey (A Shout In The Street)
CT Ballentine (24 Hours)
For more info, visit DiatribeMedia.com.

Recycle Tree/Get Blue Bags

Head out to a participating city park to recycle your Christmas tree (sans ornaments, of course) and get a free year's supply of blue recycling bags. That's some sweet free stuff from the city!

Vulgar Boatmen @ Schubas

Tonight at Schubas are roots-pop combo the Vulgar Boatmen led by the singing/songwriting team of Robert Ray and Dale Lawrence; living in Gainesville, FL and Indianapolis, IN, respectively. The duo collaborated primarily by mail, each rehearsing with local musicians who helped in the recoding process and tour with the band. The band’s last release, "Wide Awake" (No Nostalgia), is a compilation spanning the bands three 90’s albums. Opening are Buddy Nuisance and Stylus. Tickets are $10.

Ed Paschke interview on Artbeat Chicago

One of the final interviews with the late Chicago artist Ed Paschke will be broadcast tonight on WTTW's Artbeat Chicago. Showtime is 10:00 PM.

"Check, Please!" back on the air

WTTW's addictive restaurant review program "Check, Please!" returns to the airwaves with a new episode tonight at 8:00. Don't forget to set the VCR/TiVo.

FOUND: The Magazine, The Stuff @ Intuit

FOUND Magazine, the wonderful periodical that prints items found by its readers (mostly notes, photographs and writings of all kinds) is opening an exhibit of found items today. The show, titled "FOUND: The Magazine, The Stuff", will be at Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art. In a magazine piece about the upcoming show, FOUND co-editor Jason Bitner mentions that there are a number of three-dimensional pieces that aren't included in the magazine proper, so there will probably be a number of never-before-seen found objects in the show. There will be a reception tonight from 5:00 to 8:00 to celebrate the opening of the exhibit, and the show will run at Intuit through January 29th. Intuit is open 12:00 to 5:00 Wednesdays through Saturdays, and admission is free. Call or check their Website for more details. Intuit: 756 N. Milwaukee. (312) 243-9088.

The Dollar Store @ the Hideout

The Dollar Store, a monthly reading series the first Friday of every month at the Hideout, will put up its next show tonight at 7 p.m. at The Hideout. The Dollar Store is a monthly show featuring some of Chicago's top literary and performance talents together. Each performer receives an item purchased from a local dollar store one month in advance, which they then use to craft a short story, monologue or performance piece. Each piece is written specifically for the show. This month's performers include Goat Island Performance Group member Karen Christopher, THE2NDHAND Co-Editor Jeb Gleason-Allured, and ImprovOlympian Pat O'Brien. The show is co-hosted by Jonathan Messinger, editor of THISisGRAND.org and comedian Sean Gardner. In honor of one of the featured items this month, the Xtend-a-Hand. The Dollar Store is lending a hand to the Greater Chicago Food Depository, who will partner with them tonight. Since the holidays usually bring the most charity, The Dollar Store figured they'd do a little post-holiday collection. Anyone who doesn't want to pay the buck can instead bring a can of food. The Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago.

Midnight Yoga

Tonight from 10:30 p.m. till Midnight join Bloom Yoga Studio for an invigorating Friday night candlelit yoga class accompanied by live music by Jesse Hozeny. Groove to the beats as you explore the connection between movement, music, and breath. Afterwards hang out in their cozy reception area for some wine and good conversation. Gather with like-minded individuals who are looking to do something fun, unique, and healthy to start their weekend. Call (773) 463-YOGA or email kerry{at}bloomyogastudio{dot}com to register because space is limited. $20. Bloom Yoga is located at 4663 N. Rockwell, Chicago.

Natalia Rachel Singer @ Women and Children First

Natalia Rachel Singer will appear at Women and Children First to read from her memoir, Scraping by in the Big Eighties. The author will also lead an exercise on Living History: How to Use the Story of Your Life to Tell the Story of the Times. The reading, at 5233 N. Clark St., begins at 7:30 pm.

First Fridays @ MCA

You knew it was coming: First Fridays at the MCA kick off the new year tonight. Enjoy the museum after-hours with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and music by DJ Madrid. Featured exhibition: Olivia Block. This month's theme: celebrate the body. Hip -hop demo by Holmes Place representatives, bodypainting by Anthony Larrissey; and Bring your swimsuit for the post-party at the Holmes Place pool. $14 ($7 MCA members) 6–10pm, cash bar until 9:30 p.m. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Ave., one block east from Michigan Avenue.

Chicago Sketchfest @ Theatre Building

The 2004 Chicago Sketchfest, the nation's largest sketch comedy festival, kicks off tonight at the Theatre Building (1225 W. Belmont). For the next 8 days you'll get to see the hee-larious cut-up capers of such groups as "Waste Management", "Bald Faced Lie", "Real Good Turbo" and "Mister Tee-Hee's Giggle-Fest O' Laffs 'N' Sniggerings". Okay, I made that last one up. Check the Sketchfest Website for a complete listing and ticket information.

Holiday Detox @ The Wooden Spoon

The holidays are over, and it’s time to detox! In this class at Andersonville's The Wooden Spoon, they'll talk about natural sources of vitamins and minerals, and the benefits of Omega-3s, perfect protein grains, and antioxidants… without sacrificing great flavor! The menu will include Quinoa salad with mixed vegetables, Roasted salmon with honey mustard glaze, and Blueberry crisp with oatmeal-almond crumble. The class is $45 per person and begins at 6:30 p.m. The Wooden Spoon is located just south of Foster Ave at 5047 N. Clark. Call (773) 293-3190 to reserve your spot.

Loveless: An Evening of My Bloody Valentine @ Smarbar

My Bloody Valentine is a touchstone for many an alt-rocker, and the band's passing is much lamented. Those still in mourning -- and those who are otherwise fans of shoegazing walls of sound -- should be in attendance tonight at Smartbar for DJ Brad Owen's tribute, "Loveless: An Evening of My Bloody Valentine." Doors are at 10pm, it's 21 and over and you'll be charged $3 for the opportunity. More info here.

Spontaneous Response

Spontaneous Response: A One Hour Continuous Improvisation will take place tonight at 10 p.m. at the Chopin Theater in Wicker Park (1542 W. Division) near the Division Blue Line Stop. Improvising musicians from all genres and styles are welcome to participate and people can come and go as they please. Listeners are also very welcome as some of the very best musicians of Chicago have been invited to join in. There will be a $10 suggested donation for all who attend, musicians and listeners alike. The very simple goal is to raise $500 which the folks at UNICEF say can make a significant difference in a few families' lives.

Firefighters: Live!

To promote their 2005 Chicago Firefighters Calendar, the men featured in this year's spread will be signing calendars at The Chicago Water Works Visitors Center at 163 East Pearson from 12–2 p.m. today. All proceeds from the $15 calendar go to the Ignite the Spirit Fund, which benefits firefighters and their families in times of need. Buy one today!

Drinking & Writing Vol. II @ Hopleaf

The Neo-Futurists present Drinking and Writing Vol. II at The Hopleaf tonight, beginning at 9 p.m. Drinking & Writing Vol. II The Noble Experiment, will "perform" at a different bar each week throughout the month of January. Catch them tonight at The Hopleaf Bar, located at 5148 N. Clark Street. All shows are pay-what-you-can at the door or tickets can be purchased in advance for $12/$8 with student ID or online. For more information call 773-793-9408.

Dave Siska and Kate Simko @ Sonotheque

Dave Siska and Kate Simko headline this month's edition of Funk the Mental at Sonotheque. From Dave, expect a smooth dubby techno DJ set, while classically trained pianist and beat-maker Kate will play some of her beautiful and groovable tracks live. 1444 W. Chicago, 10pm, 21+, $5.

The Evolution Control Committee @ buddY Gallery

The Evolution Control Committee, the band that single-handedly started the recent mash-up craze with its melding of Public Enemy lyrics onto a Herb Alpert beat (the "Whipped Cream Remixes"), plays a show tonight at buddY, the Wicker Park art gallery. ECC shows in recent years have featured leader Mark Gunderson's homebrew electronic music gear, most recently the "Thimbletron", a sample-triggering pair of gloves with thimbles on the fingertips. Expect the Thimbletron to make an appearance tonight, possibly accompanied by some new equipment that Mark referred has to in the past as "The Kitchen of the Future". Show starts at 9:00 PM, tix are $7, and Chromelodeon is the opening act. buddY Gallery: 1542 N. Milwaukee, 2nd floor. More information: (773) 342-7332.

INFLUENCE. @ Sonotheque

Running since April of 2004, this unique Chicago monthly is dedicated to providing local DJs and producers with an alternative outlet for their musical interests. Disallowing traditional blending and mixing, INFLUENCE. encourages its guests to spin sets featuring multiple artists and genres, demonstrating the variety of styles that have inspired them artistically. Tonight features performances from various behind-the-scenes employees of some of Chicago's most well-respected labels and distributors, such as Scott Rutherford of Southern, Robert Iwanik of Carrot Top, and Scott McGaughey of Drag City. Doors open at 9 PM and there is no cover. 21 and up only. At Sonotheque, 1444 W. Chicago Ave.

Hot Doug's open for business!

Hot Doug's, the much-missed hot dog shop in Roscoe Village, finally opens today for business at its new location, 3324 N. California. Hours are 10:30 to 4:00, Monday through Saturday. Be there or be hot-dog-less!

Eliot Lipp live @ Danny's

Ex-Chicagoan Eliot Lipp returns to play live tonight at Danny's. His new CD out on Eastern Developments is superbly-made synthy, vocal-free, downtempo and hip-hop. Daniel Givens and Ray Rod are on the bill as well. 1951 W. Dickens, 10pm, 21+, free.

Jazz Conspiracy @ Metropolis Coffee

Each first Monday of the month brings Jazz Conspiracy to Metropolis Coffee (1039 W. Granville Ave.). Formed in 2004, Jazz Conspiracy is a Chicago-based quintet whose members have performed in New York, San Francisco, across the U.K. and Europe, and of course Chicago. Incorporating influences from jazz masters like Miles, Mingus & Monk, and featuring unique arrangements, grooves & instrumentations, Jazz Conspiracy is a fresh new voice on Chicago's dynamic music scene. You're welcome to download and listen to Jazz Conspiracy online.

ABBA Brunch

Something about New Year's Weekend positively screams disco. And what better place to fulfill that urge than Ann Sather's ABBA Brunch? The ">Wicker Park location, 1448 N. Milwaukee, gets all dressed up like a disco, with a mirrorball and lights and everything, and you get to eat to the tunes of Sweden's greatest band! Rock! 8am to 3pm, no charge other than for whatever you eat.

New Year's Day 5K

No really, after a long night o' drinkin', the best hangover cure is running a 5K. Head out to the 20th Annual New Year's Day 5k Fun Run & Walk this morning, and for just $25, get that resolution started! A portion of the proceeds will benefit the registered, non-profit organization, Lakeview Citizens Council. The LCC was founded to provide an opportunity to those who live, work or are identified with the social or business interests of the area, to work together for the common good of the Lake View Community. The organization's boundaries stretch from Lake Michigan west to the Chicago River, between Irving Park Road and Diversey. Pre-Register online (until noon, December 27). Race Day Registration takes place from 9:30 a.m.–10:45 a.m. at the North Avenue Fieldhouse.

Rehab Night at Schubas

The Fourth Annual Schubas' New Year's Rehab Night featuring Bowl Games on the big screen all day plus Live Band Rock 'n' Roll Karaoke with The Hootenanners at 10 p.m. It's FREE, and isn't that the best thing you've heard all day?


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