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. 


Friday, December 14

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Jake Shimabukuro @ Chicago Cultural Center

Ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro plays at the Chicago Cultural Center (78 E. Washington) tonight at 9:30 as part of the center's World Music Festival. I know, you're probably thinking, why would I want to see an ukulele player? Oh, you have no idea how cool Jake is. He rocks the uke. Seriously, it could be the coolest ukulele performance you see all year. Definitely check it out. You'll probably want to get reservations for the event; call up the Cultural Center at (312) 744-6630 for full details.

Bar-AIDS 2005

Bar-AIDS 2005, a charity event to benefit AIDSCare Chicago, happens this evening. How it works: you go to one of the 30 or so bars that are participating in the event (a complete list of establishments is on the Bar-AIDS site), and buy yourself a drink. Or more than one drink. Heck, buy drinks for your friends. The bar will then donate a portion of its proceeds that evening to AIDSCare. It's just like Dining Out For Life, but you end up drunk at the end of the night! Brilliant! See the Bar-AIDS site for complete details.

Flatpak House presentation and reception at Design Within Reach (North Ave)

Design Within Reach (North Ave) presents an evening with Charlie Lazor, co-founder of the affordable furniture design company Blu Dot Design and creator of the new Flatpak House, a prefabricated home that packs flat for shipping and then takes shape in glass, wood, concrete, metal and fiberboard. Charlie is now living in his own Flatpak House, so you can ask him all about it. There will be a slideshow and discussion as well as complimentray wine, beer, and food.

The event runs from 6:30 to 9:00 pm in DWR's North Avenue furniture showroom. RSVP to or click here for more information.

Robert Pinsky @ Harold Washington Library

Robert Pinsky, author of The Life of David, stops by the Harold Washington Library as part of Nextbook's Jewish Encounters Book Series. The book offers a detailed biography of the biblical King David -- you can read an exerpt of the book and an interview with the author here. Tonight's reading starts at 6pm with tickets set at $10. You can purchase them online or by calling 888-621-2230 on weekdays from 11am-3pm.

Structure First: A Textile Eye

The Chicago Architecture Foundation's lecture series Fresh: Lectures from the Edges of Architecture brings textile artist Suzanne Tick to town for an exhibit titled Structure First: A Textile Eye. Suzanne Tick currently runs her own consulting and design studio in New York’s SoHo, serves as creative director for Knoll Textiles and also designs woven carpets with her partner at Tuva Looms. Her luxurious, Japanese inspired, contemporary textiles are technologically innovative using non-traditional materials that often appear natural and organic despite their synthetic make up. Tick has received several design distinctions, and her work has been included in MOMA’s exhibition "Structure and Surface: Contemporary Japanese Textiles," and the Denver Art Museum’s exhibition "U.S. Design from 1975-2000." This Free lecture takes place at 6pm at The John Buck Company Lecture Hall Gallery at the ArchiCenter, 224 South. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.

Rock for Kids Music Mixer

Rock for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides support, inspiration and assistance to children that are homeless or in need, throws its third annual Music Mixer silent auction tonight at Smartbar, 3730 N. Clark St., from 6pm to 10pm. The auction features one-of-a-kind mix CDs created by musicians, rock journalists, DJs, venue owners and other music luminaries from Chicago and beyond -- including mixes by Ben Gibbard, The M's, Joe Shanahan, Kelly Hogan, Jesse De La Pena, James van Osdol and the staff of Gapers Block! It's a $5 donation at the door, and you must be 21 to get in.

Alan Alda @ Borders

M*A*S*H* star and everybody's favorite Republican character on West Wing, Alan Alda has written a new book and will be in town today to read and sign copies at the Michigan Avenue Borders. In Never Have Your Dog Stuffed, Alan Alda tells the story of "turning points in his life, and the lessons they taught him, in a tale of humor, adventure, love and irrepressible curiosity". The reading starts tonight at 7pm at 830 N. Michigan Ave. Call (312) 573-0564 for more information. Probably best not to ask him to sign it: Love, Hawkeye.


There are some big acts at tonight's Estrojam. Head over to the Bottom Lounge at 6:00 p.m. to enjoy these acts: Amy Ray (with Jody Bleyle of Team Dresch, Will Lochamy, and Les Nuby), The Organ, The Reputation, Reptoids and 8 Inch Betsy. Tickets are just $14 in advance. Or you can stay for the 10 p.m. show and check out Limited Express, The King Cobra and DJ Mother Hubbard for just $10.

Miss Alex White/M.O.T.O. free @ UofC

Popular garage rockers Miss Alex White and the Red Orchestra, pop-punkers M.O.T.O. and speed-stoner rockers Twin Wrecks the Memory play free at 10:30 tonight in a WHPK-sponsored show. You can find all this local music goodness at the Ex Libris coffeeshop, in the basement of the Regenstein Library, 1100 E. 57 th St. (Look for the stairs to the left of the entrance, before the security checkpoint for the library. Details can be found at the WHPK website or by calling 773-702-8289.



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