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Slowdown

December 2005

« November 2005 | Front Page | January 2006 »

Crew Year's Eve / Gay Games benefit

Sure, there are plenty of bar options for New Year's, but how many benefit the Chicago Gay Games? Crew Year's Eve at Crew Bar + Grill does. Your cover charge gets you an appetizer buffet from 8-10pm, complimentary drafts, wine and well drinks all night, and a champagne toast at midnight. There's a raffle for cash and prizes including a VIP Super Bowl party, and VJ Matt Nickel plays the best videos of 2005. Oh, and GB staffer Kris Vire is behind the bar. Only 150 tickets will be sold, so you don't have to worry about getting cosmos sloshed all over you at some crowded trixie bar. $35 in advance or $45 at the door. Call 773-784-CREW for more info.

WNEP Armageddon Radio Hour New Year's Eve

WNEP Theater presents The Armageddon Radio Hour New Year's Eve at the Apollo Theater Studio, 2540 N. Lincoln Ave. The show is a parody of Golden Age radio set just before man's destruction of the planet and features fictionalized radio stars of the '40s. Doors open at 10pm for complimentary cocktails and hors d'ouvres; the show goes on at 10:45pm with a champagne toast at midnight. Tickets are $45. Call 773-935-6100 for reservations and information.

Canasta, Head of Femur @ Beat Kitchen NYE Show

Hey kids, I know you liked our recent Transmission selection Canasta, and I also know you're looking for some sweet sweet music to hear on New Year's Eve this year. Head on down to The Beat Kitchen in Roscoe Village and check out Canasta, Head of Femur and Catfish Heaven tonight for a mere $15. And get this, there will be two (2) shows tonight (the 6pm show is all ages, and 10pm is 21+) The Beat Kitchen is located at 2100 W. Belmont, Chicago, IL.

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. The final double feature, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers, will be playing as today's matinee at 11:30. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Neo-Futurists New Year's Eve Performance

Tonight the Neo-Futurists present a special New Year's Eve performance of "Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind." Doors open at 9:30pm for hors d'oeuvres and non-alcoholic beverages and the show starts promptly at 11pm. At midnight the group will toast the New Year with their signature pizza. Admission to the all-ages show is $30 and you must get your tickets in advance. The Neo-Futurarium is located at 5153 N. Ashland. Buy your tickets online or call 773-275-5255 for more information.

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. The final double feature, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers, will be playing tonight as the midnight program. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Songs from a Scene Five

Local band Lucky Boys Confusion present their fifth concert series "Songs from a Scene," featuring Inept, Alpha Couple and Rebel Angels. This year the bands will also sign guitars for a raffle whose proceeds will benefit Rock for Kids. Doors open at 6pm for the 6:30pm, all ages show. Tickets are $17.50 and can be bought by calling 312-559-1212, through Ticketmaster or at the Metro box office. The Metro is located at 3730 N. Clark St.

Liquid Soul @ Double Door

Liquid Soul lays down some smooth jazz-infused tunes tonight at the Double Door, all for the low low price of $12. This will be a great pre-New Year's Eve show, with this Chicago-based group who are just right to get the blood circulating and the head noddin'. Head out and keep it cool. Show starts at 9pm.

Tall @ Film Center

Manfred Kirchheimerís 2004 documentary about Louis Sullivan and the American skyscraper is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 8 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Songs from a Scene Five

Local band Lucky Boys Confusion present their fifth concert series "Songs from a Scene," featuring Madina Lake, Treaty of Paris and Witroy. This year the bands will also sign guitars for a raffle whose proceeds will benefit Rock for Kids. Doors open at 7pm for the 8pm, 18+ show. Tickets are $17.50 and can be bought by calling 312-559-1212, through Ticketmaster or at the Metro box office. The Metro is located at 3730 N. Clark St.

Swing Shift Orchestra @ Green Mill

Some nights you just gotta dance! To find the "best of the big band" sound, head out to the Green Mill for the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra, a 16-piece band that really lets it cook. Music gets jumping from 9pm-1am and it's only a $6 cover. The Green Mill is hard to miss at Broadway and Lawrence.

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. The final double feature, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers, will be playing today as usual, and will also be the midnight and matinee selections on December 30 and 31. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Tall @ Film Center

Manfred Kirchheimerís 2004 documentary about Louis Sullivan and the American skyscraper is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 8 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Midwest Ska Fest @ Metro

The musical antidote to Christmas carols might just be Ska, or if it's not, you can just pretend it is. Head out to the Metro tonight for Midwest Ska Fest 2005 featuring Mustard Plug, Deals Gone Bad, Lord Mike's Dirty Calypsonians, Skapone, Manic Sewing Circle, and DJ Chuck Wren. All those bands come at the price of just $11 ($13 day of the show) and music gets going at a nice-and-early 5:30pm.

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. The final double feature, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers, will be playing today and tomorrow, and will also be the midnight and matinee selections on December 30 and 31. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Tall @ Film Center

Manfred Kirchheimerís 2004 documentary about Louis Sullivan and the American skyscraper is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 8 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Phish Tribute @ Double Door

Hey, the holidays are a great time to reflect on the year, and this was a long year without Phish. If you're hurtin' for a sweet version of "Rift," head out to the Double Door tonight for Phix, a Phish tribute band. Tickets are just $8, which means the Double Door is being both helpful and friendly this year. Show starts at 9pm.

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. Today you can see A Day At The Races and Room Service. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Tall @ Film Center

Manfred Kirchheimerís 2004 documentary about Louis Sullivan and the American skyscraper is showing this afternoon at 3:15 PM and 5 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

No Cover Just Comedy @ The Gin Mill

Tonight and every Monday night, you can head down to The Gin Mill for "No Cover, Just Comedy," an open mic stand-up showcase. The show gets going at 10pm. Get there a little early to sign up. Bonus: $2 Domestic drafts and 20-cent wings. The Gin Mill is located at 2462 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago. 773-549-3232

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. Today you can see A Night at the Opera and Monkey Business. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Bagel Ride

The Chicago Cycling Club sponsors this yearly 10-mile ride, which starts at 10 AM at the Waveland Clock Tower. For more information, email kangarookathy@yahoo.com or call 773-248-5499.

Kimberly Gordon Trio @ Green Mill

Jazz and Sundays go together so well, don't you think? Check out the last night of the Kimberly Gordon Trio's month-long run at the Green Mill tonight at 11pm-2am. It's only $3. The Green Mill is located conveniently close to the Lawrence stop on the Red Line, at 4802 N. Broadway. Call them at 773-878-5552.

Something Else! A Hanukkah Community Festival

Something Else! A Hanukkah Community Festival will feature performaces by celebrated human beat box artist and actor Yuri Lane, a science show by Mad Science and more. It happens today, Dec. 25, from 11am-2 pm, and it's free. The festival takes place at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, 618 S. Michigan. (312) 322-1700

Marx Brothers double feature @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents a series of Marx Brothers double feature programs through December 31. Today and tomorrow you can see A Night at the Opera and Monkey Business. See the Music Box Website for a full schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

The Stand-Up Squeeze Comedy Showcase

The Stand-Up Squeeze Comedy Showcase presents: "Not Everybody Celebrates Christmas So Come Out of the House for a Change" at Pressure Billiards and Cafe tonight. The Stand-Up Squeeze Comedy Showcase is a comedy showcase where the audience can give their unadulterated opinion on comment cards to direct the future of the show. Write nice things. Write mean things. The line-up for tonight is Dave Odd, Aaron Foster, Azhar Usman, and Rick March. There will also be music by Todd Kessler and free food from Buffalo Joe's of Evanston. Other things free: free parking, free raffle, free gift, and other fabulous prizes. Tickets are just $10, $5 for students. Pressure Billiards and Cafe is located at 6318 N. Clark St. 773-743-7665 The show starts at 8pm.

Knishmas @ Metro

Fed up with all this Santa crap? Head out to the Metro tonight for Knishmas: A Hipster Alternative to Christmas Eve. The evening will feature music by Beyond Eden (Jewish Groove Fusion), The Moshe Skier Band, and Yuri Lane: Human Beatbox. Tickets are $20 and the show is 18 & over, show starts at 9:30pm.

First Annual Wonderland of Lights

To benefit the Clearbrook organization, try making a new tradition. The First Annual Wonderland of Lights takes place daily through January 1st at Arlington Park. Drive thru millions of lights and animated holiday scenes illuminating different holiday traditions. The course is open Monday-Thursday, 5-9 pm, when tickets are $10 per car and Friday-Sunday, from 5-10 pm, when tickets are $12 per car. Call (847) 870-7748 for more information.

Tall @ Film Center

Manfred Kirchheimerís 2004 documentary about Louis Sullivan and the American skyscraper is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 8 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Kill Hannah @ Metro

Kill Hannah performs at the Metro tonight for their first hometown show in a year, sponsored by Threadless. Doors open at 6pm for the 6:30pm all ages show. $16 in advance, $18 at the door. 3730 N. Clark St. Get your tickets at Ticketmaster or subvert their charges by heading to the Metro's own box office next door, 3728 N. Clark. More show details (including after-party info) here.

White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents their 22nd annual Christmas show, featuring a double feature of the Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye film White Christmas and the Jimmy Stewart classic It's A Wonderful Life. There will be a Christmas carol sing-along before each show, as well as a special appearance by Santa. You can see one film for $10, or both for $15. The Christmas show runs only today and tomorrow; see the Music Box site for a schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Swing Shift Orchestra @ Green Mill

Some nights you just gotta dance! To find the "best of the big band" sound, head out to the Green Mill for the Alan Gresik Swing Shift Orchestra, a 16-piece band that really lets it cook every Thursday night. Music gets jumping from 9pm-1am and it's only a $6 cover. The Green Mill is hard to miss at Broadway and Lawrence.

First Annual Wonderland of Lights

To benefit the Clearbrook organization, try making a new tradition. The First Annual Wonderland of Lights takes place daily through January 1st at Arlington Park. Drive thru millions of lights and animated holiday scenes illuminating different holiday traditions. The course is open Monday-Thursday, 5-9 pm, when tickets are $10 per car and Friday-Sunday, from 5-10 pm, when tickets are $12 per car. Call (847) 870-7748 for more information.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Joe Meno/Jay Ryan Book Release Party @ Hideout

Tonight at The Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, there is a book release party for Chicago writer Joe Meno's new short story collection, Bluebirds Used to Croon in the Choir and silkscreen star and Dianogah frontman Jay Ryan's collection of rock posters, 100 Posters, 134 Squirrels. Ryan's book is available via his The Bird Machine, where you can also buy his original artwork, or from Punk Planet Books. 9:30pm with a $5 cover; 21 and over. Call 773-227-4433 for more information.

Do-it-yourself Messiah @ Civic Opera House

Tonight is the second performance of this year's "do-it-yourself Messiah", which is a performance of Handel's Messiah with the audience performing the choral parts. The performance begins at 7:00 PM at the Civic Opera House (20 North Wacker Drive). See the Lasalle Bank Website for full information and to purchase tickets.

Opening: A Bloody Portent of Possible Erotic Chaos

Dealing explicitly with paganism, "A Bloody Portent of Possible Erotic Chaos" hopes to use "deceptive morphing and non-rational skepticism to smear distinctions of familiar and distant phenomena, emanating a charged field of voraciously unhinged destructive and reproductive energy." Featured artists include Nate Godfrey, Taylor Hokanson and Matthew Steinke. Tonight's opening is from 6-9pm, but you can catch the show through December 29 at BSD Gallery, 1319 W. Lake St., third floor. Call 773-227-8308 for more information.

United Weblogger Meetup Day

Today is United Weblogger Meetup Day, and so tonight at 7pm, interested bloggers are invited to come to the "Mini-Auditorium" in Columbia College's journalism department (33 E. Congress, 2nd floor, Room 219) for an organizational meeting. Topics could include ways to publicize blogs and bloggers, design seminars, expert talks, etc. Free. Contact Professor Barb Iverson, organizer, for more information at 312-344-8909.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Literary Gangs of Chicago @ MCA

Weep and chicagolit.org have organized a monthly program of literary performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, to attain ďa symbiotic accord among the divisive literary factions of the city.Ē Tonight, Funny HaHa performs at 6:30 PM. 220 E. Chicago Ave. For more information, visit the website.

Do-it-yourself Messiah @ Civic Opera House

The "do-it-yourself Messiah", which is a performance of Handel's Messiah with the audience performing the choral parts, happens tonight and tomorrow night at 7:00 PM at the Civic Opera House (20 North Wacker Drive). See the Lasalle Bank Website for full information and to purchase tickets.

Deep Blue Organ Trio @ Green Mill

If you've heard jazz in the last half-century, it's likely you've heard the Hammond Organ lighting up the background. This masterful sound is one of my favorites for its smooth grooves. Head out to the Green Mill tonight, for their Tuesday night Hammond master, the Deep Blue Organ Trio. Cover is only $6 and music lasts from 9pm-1am. The Green Mill is hard to miss at Broadway and Lawrence.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 3:15 PM and 4:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Coctails Reunion Show

The Coctails are reuniting again for another show tonight at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace Ave.; doors at 8pm. Holiday Music (that's the band, not the genre) opens. Tickets are $10 via TicketWeb, $15 at the door.

Ogtel & Pernod: Closed

A "comic meditation on consumerism and consumption," the eponymously named play follows Ogtel and Pernod as they leave the land of Ognod to pursue their dreams of wealth, power and instant gratification. What they find is a world "littered with used lotto tickets, empty cigarette packets, and other remnants of a consumerist culture." Sounds a little close to home, doesn't it? Erica Mott and Nick Johne are featured in the title rolls, having previously collaborated in the Chicago Improv Festival's educational outreach performance group and as teachers at the Second City Training Center. The play will run for three nights, Friday through Sunday, at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students to the 8pm shows. Call 773-281-0824 for reservations and information.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

The Sampler @ The Hideout

Serendipity Theatre presents the next installation of The Sampler at the Hideout (www.hideoutchicago.com). Readings by Megan Stielstra, Brian Costello and Jonathan Messinger. Music by James and the Vanderbeeks, The Chopteens, and DJ White Russian. Doors open at 7:30. $10.

Tidings of Tap @ Vittum Theater

Sunday's 3pm show is your last opportunity to check out the Chicago Tap Theatre's holiday show, Tidings of Tap. Tickets are available on site at the Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble Street. Call (773)655-1175 for more info.

Garage Sale @ The Empty Bottle

The Empty Bottle will be hosting a garage sale this afternoon from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. After being open for fourteen years, they have collected a dearth of "interesting items" that will be for sale on the cheap, along with ephemera from its various staff members. It should prove to be a very intersting afternoon to get your thrift on, and have a few drinks while doing so.

HotHouse Holiday Market

Come down to Hot House for their annual Holiday Market and Bizarre Baazar to pick up some cool handmade last-minute gifts. You know you haven't had your fill of craft fairs yet this year, and you've always meant to get down to Hot House one of these days. Hot House is located at 31 E. Balbo downtown. The fair lasts from 11am-6pm.

Facets video clearance sale

Facets Multimedia presents a clearance sale of thousands of DVDs and videos. Facets sells and rents a lot of independent and foreign films, so expect to see a lot of titles you won't find anywhere else at discount prices. The sale finishes up today at 1535 N. Dayton in the Drucker Center of the Menomonee Boys & Girls Club. Hours of the sale are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM. For more information call (773) 281-9075, or visit the Facets Website.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 3:15 PM, 4:45 PM, 6:15 PM, and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Ogtel & Pernod: Closed

A "comic meditation on consumerism and consumption," the eponymously named play follows Ogtel and Pernod as they leave the land of Ognod to pursue their dreams of wealth, power and instant gratification. What they find is a world "littered with used lotto tickets, empty cigarette packets, and other remnants of a consumerist culture." Sounds a little close to home, doesn't it? Erica Mott and Nick Johne are featured in the title rolls, having previously collaborated in the Chicago Improv Festival's educational outreach performance group and as teachers at the Second City Training Center. The play will run for three nights, Friday through Sunday, at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students to the 8pm shows. Call 773-281-0824 for reservations and information.

Handmade Market @ Empty Bottle

From 12-4:30pm, the Empty Bottle is hosting a Handmade Market to introduce their patrons to all the wonderful jewelry, clothing, greeting card and handbag makers -- and more -- that can be found in our city. If this first event goes well, the bar hopes to create a monthly crafter's market. 21+, but the underaged are welcome to attend if accompanied by parents. 1035 N. Western Ave. Contact Erica at 412-654-3775 or ecoslor[at]uchicago[dot]edu for more information.

5 & Dime Comedy Hour

The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour is not your average sketch show. The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour = Megan Bell, Molly Hale, and John Pattavina. These three consider themselves old souls and their comedy comes from a love of "old-timey" pop-culture and painful loneliness. The show is directed by WNEP's infamous Don Hall. This is not the same sketch show you've seen where the lights come up, and punch line occurs and the lights go down. 5 & Dime has orchestrated a night of absurdist theatre that will thrill those new to and veterans of sketch comedy. Saturday nights @ 11pm, November 5th - December 17th @ The Trapdoor Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. (In Bucktown behind Jane's restaurant) $10 and BYOB! $5 for improvisers

Intelligentsia Roasting Works Tour

For over a month now, I've been enjoying making coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee that I watched being roasted on one of their Roasting Plant Tours. It's by far the best three bucks I ever spent. Tours now operate twice a month at 10:30am and 12:30pm on Saturdays at their plant at 1850 W. Fulton Street. Yes, tickets are $3 (less than a latte) but space is limited so make your reservations early. On the tour, you'll get complementary coffee and tea (thank goodness, they're not a tease) and you also get a free (and fresh) 1/2 pound of coffee beans at the end!

Albany Park Workers' Center Anniversary

The Latino Union of Chicago presents the Albany Park Workers' Center One Year Anniversary Celebration tonight at 6pm. The free event features dinner, music, arts, crafts and all sorts of photography, paintings, gift certificates and more available for auction. All auction proceeds go directly to supporting the Center, a "worker-run hiring hall, training site, organizing hub, and cultural space for the im/migrant community." 4174 N. Elston Ave. Email Analia at lurodriguez[at]sbcglobal[dot]net or call 773-588-2641 for reservations and information.

(Last Chance) from Art to Zine Exhibit

Today's your last shot at checking out the very cool from Art to Zine exhibit at the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College. This exhibit features Chicago zines, the political work of Enrique Chagoya, and other indie art. The Center says: "From the meticulously crafted political art books of Enrique Chagoya to the do-it-yourself rubber stamp art that pervades the 'zine' culture, this exhibition broadens our expectations of how alt-journalism influences culture and the visual language of political art." The gallery is located at 1104 S. Wabash, 2nd. floor. Gallery hours are 10am-5pm, Monday through Friday and 10am-2pm on Saturdays during the semester.

Holiday Wreathmaking

Hey, you're not in Scouts anymore. So join the folks at the Garfield Conservatory for this year's annual holiday wreath making class. Enjoy creating an illusion of spun gold and downpours of jewel-colored ribbons and ornaments wrung around a beautiful natural grapevine wreath. It's just $20! The class will be held at the Conservatory located at 300 N. Central Park Avenue from 1:30 to 3:30pm. Register online.

HotHouse Holiday Market

Come down to HotHouse for their annual Holiday Market and Bizarre Baazar to pick up some cool handmade last-minute gifts. You know you haven't had your fill of craft fairs yet this year, and you've always meant to get down to HotHouse one of these days. Hot House is located at 31 E. Balbo downtown. The fair lasts from 11am-6pm Saturday and Sunday only.

Facets video clearance sale

Facets Multimedia presents a clearance sale of thousands of DVDs and videos. Facets sells and rents a lot of independent and foreign films, so expect to see a lot of titles you won't find anywhere else at discount prices. The sale runs today and tomorrow at 1535 N. Dayton in the Drucker Center of the Menomonee Boys & Girls Club. Hours of the sale are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on each day. For more information call (773) 281-9075, or visit the Facets Website.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

GB Get-Together @ Trader Vic's

Because of the holidays, Gapers Block is holding its monthly Get-Together mid-month. And to mourn its closing at the end of the year, we're heading to Trader Vic's in the basement of the Palmer House Hilton at State and Monroe. Meet us there from 9pm to midnight for vodka mai tais! Andrew will be the one in the fez.

Antonio Gaudi @ Film Center

The 1985 film about the remarkable Barcelona architect is showing tonight at 6:15 PM and 7:45 PM. 164 N State Street. For more information, call 312-846-2600 or visit the website.

Fresh Meat @ Lincoln Lodge

Embarking on a new tradition, the Lincoln Lodge presents its first annual "Fresh Meat" showcase, featuring their favorite new stand-up comics. The even will fature Becky "Sweet Cuts" Garcia, David "Here's the Beef" Angelo and Heath and Andy performing "Super Mario's Poetry." All acts made their debut at the Lodge this year. Tickets are $8 with a one drink minimum. Doors open at 8pm for food and drinks before the 9pm show. The Lincoln Lodge is located at 4008 N. Lincoln Ave. Call 773-296-4029 for more information.

Ogtel & Pernod: Closed

A "comic meditation on consumerism and consumption," the eponymously named play follows Ogtel and Pernod as they leave the land of Ognod to pursue their dreams of wealth, power and instant gratification. What they find is a world "littered with used lotto tickets, empty cigarette packets, and other remnants of a consumerist culture." Sounds a little close to home, doesn't it? Erica Mott and Nick Johne are featured in the title rolls, having previously collaborated in the Chicago Improv Festival's educational outreach performance group and as teachers at the Second City Training Center. The play will run for three nights, Friday through Sunday, at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for students to the 8pm shows. Call 773-281-0824 for reservations and information.

White Christmas, It's A Wonderful Life @ Music Box

The Music Box Theatre presents their 22nd annual Christmas show, featuring a double feature of the Bing Crosby & Danny Kaye film White Christmas and the Jimmy Stewart classic It's A Wonderful Life. There will be a Christmas carol sing-along before each show, as well as a special appearance by Santa. You can see one film for $10, or both for $15. The Christmas show runs only this weekend and next weekend; see the Music Box site for a schedule. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Chicago Kings' Final Show

The Chicago Kings, the city's premier drag king troupe, is disbanding after five years. But before they do, they're putting on one last show tonight at 9pm at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St. Joining them onstage will be North Carolina's Cuntry Kings. Tickets are $16, available through TicketMaster or at the Metro box office. 18 and over! More info here.

Krista Peel's 2006 Calendar Show Opening

Tonight from 4pm to 9pm is the opening of the 2006 Calendar Show, an exhibit of 12 miniature sculptures inspiring 12 months of miniature rooms by Krista Peel. Contributing artists include: Amy Sacksteder, Zachary Starer, Callie Hollis, Karl Erickson, Marie Walz, Tim Summers, Sheila Sundquist Berkes, Robert Marshall, Matt Bergstrom, Christopher Dye, Tom Burtonwood, Holly Holmes and Erik Wenzel. At the Network of Visual Art Resource Lounge, 840 W. Washington. Free! More info here.

4th Annual All City Battle

Tonight The Bassment and Reverse present: The 4th Annual All City Battle. There's a $1000 Grand Prize plus studio time + vinyl. The battle will be judged by Rhymefest, E.C. ILLA and Capital D of All Natural, with a special performance by Rass Kass and Mass Hysteria, dj's Skor, Intel and Trilogy. Head to the Abbey Pub at 3420 W. Grace (Grace & Elston, in between Addison and Irving Pk. Road on Elston) Doors at 8pm show at 9pm. Tickets $15 in advance, $17 at the door. P.S. Mass Hysteria's Chicago Underworld Vol 2 and Chi-City Beats is in stores now.

First Annual Wonderland of Lights

To benefit the Clearbrook organization, try making a new tradition. The First Annual Wonderland of Lights takes place daily through January 1st at Arlington Park. Drive thru millions of lights and animated holiday scenes illuminating different holiday traditions. The course is open Monday-Thursday, 5-9 pm, when tickets are $10 per car and Friday-Sunday, from 5-10 pm, when tickets are $12 per car. Call (847) 870-7748 for more information.

Frye Boot Trunk Show @ Acala's

All the salt, snow, and slush on the ground would probably make one a bit reluctant to wear a nice new pair of boots outside, but hey, all the more reason to keep it indoors, eh? Also, an excellent opportunity to pick up a last-minute gift for the bandito in your life. Trunk show 11am to 8pm, and 25% off Frye Boots through the weekend at Acala's Western Wear, 1733 W. Chicago Ave.

Coctails Action Figure Release Party & Show @ Rotofugi

The Coctails are playing a set at Rotofugi, 1953 W. Chicago Ave., tonight at 7pm to celebrate the release of a new line of Coctails action figures by band member and artist Archer Prewitt. Free!

Live Jazz, Demos @ Chicago Hot Glass

On a cold night, glass blowing starts to seem like a highly attractive occupation. On the third Thursday of every month (today, for example), Chicago Hot Glass hosts a social with live jazz and demonstrations from 8 PM till 11. 1250 N. Central Park Ave. For more information, call 773-394-3252 or visit the website.

Fresh Meat @ Lincoln Lodge

Embarking on a new tradition, the Lincoln Lodge presents its first annual "Fresh Meat" showcase, featuring their favorite new stand-up comics. The even will fature Becky "Sweet Cuts" Garcia, David "Here's the Beef" Angelo and Heath and Andy performing "Super Mario's Poetry." All acts made their debut at the Lodge this year. Tickets are $8 with a one drink minimum. Doors open at 8pm for food and drinks before the 9pm show. The Lincoln Lodge is located at 4008 N. Lincoln Ave. Call 773-296-4029 for more information.

Preview: Corporation Inc. Holiday Bonus

Featured in the Chicago Improv Festival, "Corporation Inc. Holiday Bonus" is an entirely improvised day at the office based on the audience's suggestions. Running through January 21, tonight's 8:30pm preview offers discounted tickets at $10 each. Call 773-871-3000 to get them. Playing at the Victory Gardens Theater, 2257 N. Lincoln Ave.

Studs Terkel @ Book Cellar

Tonight, the legendary Studs Terkel will visit the Book Cellar to sign his new book And they All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey. The free signing goes on at 7pm at 4736 N. Lincoln Ave. Call 773-293-2665 for more information.

Veggie Bike & Recycle

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation and EarthSave Chicago team up to highlight the city's blue bag recycling program with a bike ride and vegan lunch. The discussion starts with a nine-mile bike ride, departing from Daley Plaza at 11:30am, including a tour through the Chicago Sorting Center and lunch at Lao Sze Chuan for a Szechwan vegan lunch at 2pm. At 3pm, the event will conclude with a return to Daley Plaza. For information and registration, email register[at]earthsavechicago[dot]com.

Windy City Rollers' "Jingle Brawl"

The Windy City Rollers roller derby league throws its second annual "Jingle Brawl" tonight at the Globe Pub, 1934 W. Irving Park. Arm wrestling, karaoke, autographs and pictures, all to help the Roller Girls compete nationally. $10 in advance or at the door; 21 and over.

Powell's North Reading Series

The Powell's North Reading Series continues tonight with Marissa Plumb and Cris Mazza, panelist at the recent GB discussion on chicklit. Free at 7pm, 2850 N. Lincoln. Call 773-248-1444 for more information.

Opening: Between the Sheets

Tonight Columbia College is holding their opening reception for "Between the Sheets: Exploring Sex and Pornography through Artists' Books and Beyond." The show focuses on the line between art and pornography and when one becomes the other. The free reception is from 5-7pm at Columbia's Hokin Annex Gallery, 623 N. Wabash, 1st floor. Call 312-344-7663 for more information. Hosted by Windy City Media.

John Nichols & Robert McChesney @ In These Times

In These Times hosts authors John Nichols and Robert McChesney at their offices to discuss the new book Tragedy & Farce: How the American Media Sell Wars, Spin Elections, and Destry Democracy. Free with complimentary refreshments at 7:30pm, 2040 N. Milwaukee Ave. Call 773-772-0100 for more information.

Studs Terkel @ Seminary Co-op Bookstore

In full promotion-mode for his latest book, Studs Terkel will visit the Seminary Co-op Bookstore to discuss and sign his new book And they All Sang: Adventures of an Eclectic Disc Jockey. The free signing goes on at 7pm at 5757 S. University Ave. Call 773-752-4381 for more information.

News of the Universe @ Harris Theater

Right now at the University of Chicago thereís a symposium for cosmologists, particle physicists, astrophysicists, and astronomers, who are doubtless discussing things beyond the comprehension of most of us. Tonight, though, the sponsors, along with the Illinois Humanities Council, are presenting a panel tailored for the general public. Up for discussion are extra dimensions, dark energy, and multiverses. (If you want to find out what these are, youíll have to show up.) This event takes place at 7 PM and is free. The Harris Theater is at 205 E Randolph St, in Millennium Park. For more information, visit the website.

Darwinian Medicine @ Cultural Center

Dr. Robert Perlman of the University of Chicago talks about understanding health and disease from an evolutionary perspective. 78 E. Washington Street, 5th Floor Garland Room, 1 PM. For more information about this free lecture, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

EarthSave Chicago Potluck

Holiday eatin' can be great, but you have to admit, it's kind of geared towards the meat eaters. EarthSave Chicago is an organization that promotes a shift toward diets that are healthier for both people and animals and they're giving lessons on how to make a vegan holiday meal. Chicago Diner Chef Jo Kaucher will demonstrate vegan cooking options for the holidays. The potluck goes on at 6:30pm at Resurrection Lutheran School, RAP Classroom, 1050 W. School St. All you have to do is bring a favorite vegan dish to share, along with a serving utensil and a place setting. Call 708-531-8910 for more information.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend and next weekend, you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

Iron and Wine & Calexico @ Congress Theater

In one of the most enjoyable team-ups of two bands, Iron and Wine and Calexico have been making music together to a resounding "yay" from their fans (myself included). They're bringing their southwestern/alt-country stylings to the Congress Theater tonight, and tickets are $18.50 though the usual suspects. Check out a fine bit of coverage by NPR.

Circuit Bending workshop @ Old Town School

The Old Town School of Folk Music presents the latest in a series of workshops designed to give students a brief introduction to a musical style or dance method. This afternoon, it's a look into the do-it-yourself electronics world of circuit bending, or modifying electronic toys and instruments to produce unusual or unintended sounds. No prior electronics experience necessary, but you must be able to use basic tools, such as a screwdriver, drill, etc. This sounds like a LOT of fun, and there are a limited number of slots available for this class, so you should go register now. (And if you can't make it into the class, have no fear; the instructor, Patrick McCarthy, teaches a monthly free circuit bending workshop. See here for full details.) The class runs this afternoon from 1:00 PM to 4:50 PM, and costs $40 (price includes materials). Old Town School of Folk Music: 4544 N. Lincoln. (773) 728-6000.

Facets video clearance sale

Facets Multimedia presents a clearance sale of thousands of DVDs and videos. Facets sells and rents a lot of independent and foreign films, so expect to see a lot of titles you won't find anywhere else at discount prices. The sale runs today, as well as next Saturday and Sunday, at 1535 N. Dayton in the Drucker Center of the Menomonee Boys & Girls Club. Hours of the sale are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on each day. For more information call (773) 281-9075, or visit the Facets Website.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend and next weekend, you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

Beatallica @ Subterranean

Beatallica, the Metallica/Beatles tribute band that was threatened with legal action by Sony until members of Metallica came to their defense, play at Subterranean tonight at 10:00. Tickets are $8 in advance, and $10 at the door; you can purchase tickets at the Subterranean Website. Subterranean: 2022 W. North Avenue. (773) 268-6600.

Jaap Blonk @ Intuit

Intuit: the Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art presents a performance by vocal artist Jaap Blonk, an artist combining poetry, spoken word, and the musicality of the human voice in his work. One of Blonk's best-known achievements is the ability to perform Kurt Schwitters' epic Dada sound poem "Ursonate" (original version here, Jaap Blonk's version here). This should be a very unusual and exciting performance. The opening act will be the Chicago group Spires That In The Sunset Rise. The performance begins tonight at 8:00 PM, and tickets are $5. You may call for reservations. Intuit: 756 N. Milwaukee. (312) 243-9088.

Then...Again @ Playground Theater

For three nights, The Playground Theater will host "Then...Again," an improvised play that starts at a relationship's breakup and moves backward to the couple's first kiss. Starring Adrianne Frost and Andy Eninger, the play was a hit at the 2004 Chicago Improv Festival. Doors open at 7:40 for the 8pm show at 3209 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10, running Thursday through Saturday. Call 773-871-3793 to get them and for more information.

Chicago Indymedia: "Battleground"

Join Chicago Indymedia for "Battleground: 21 Days on the Empire's Edge," two screenings of the Guerilla News Network's film. Short films fill the intermissions. Although the 7pm event is free, a donation of $10 is suggested for those able to afford it. Doors open at 6pm with food and beverages for the hungry. The films go on at Acme Artworks, 1741 N. Western Ave. Email imc-chicago[at]indymedia[dot]org or call 312-446-4939 for more information.

Ho Ho Ho Trunk Show @ Mint Boutique

Mint Boutique, 1450 Webster Ave., is hosting a holiday trunk show featuring lamps, beaded jewelry, sterling silver and handbags. In addition to special prices on the items, the store will also offer free gift wrapping on all purchases for the day and holiday treats and drinks for shoppers. 11am-5pm. Call 773-322-2944 for more information.

5 & Dime Comedy Hour

The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour is not your average sketch show. The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour = Megan Bell, Molly Hale, and John Pattavina. These three consider themselves old souls and their comedy comes from a love of "old-timey" pop-culture and painful loneliness. The show is directed by WNEP's infamous Don Hall. This is not the same sketch show you've seen where the lights come up, and punch line occurs and the lights go down. 5 & Dime has orchestrated a night of absurdist theatre that will thrill those new to and veterans of sketch comedy. Saturday nights @ 11pm, November 5th - December 17th @ The Trapdoor Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. (In Bucktown behind Jane's restaurant) $10 and BYOB! $5 for improvisers

DIY Grant Research Workshop

Links Hall is hosting a Do It Yourself Grant Research Workshop. The workshop will demonstrate how to do basic research using the internet and other resources, how to develop strategies for pursuing funding, how to find calls for proposals and how to interpret information on prospective funders. Sarah Best facilitates the workshop that promises to be helpful for all artists. Links Hall is located at 3435 N. Sheffield. $30 for the 9am-12pm workshop. Call 773-281-0824 to register and for more information.

Free Wine Tasting @ In Fine Spirits

Not sure what to give that good bar buddy for the holidays? Head out to In Fine Spirits today for a free tasting of Holiday Gift Wines. They're super nice at this Andersonville shop, and very knowledgeable as well. And hey, it's free wine! In Fine Spirits is located at 5418 N. Clark Street, and the tasting lasts from 3-6pm. Call 773.506.WINE for more information.

Facets video clearance sale

Facets Multimedia presents a clearance sale of thousands of DVDs and videos. Facets sells and rents a lot of independent and foreign films, so expect to see a lot of titles you won't find anywhere else at discount prices. The sale runs today and tomorrow, as well as next Saturday and Sunday, at 1535 N. Dayton in the Drucker Center of the Menomonee Boys & Girls Club. Hours of the sale are 11:00 AM to 6:00 PM on each day. For more information call (773) 281-9075, or visit the Facets Website.

Best of Too Much Light @ Neo-Futurarium

The Neo-Futurists present their annual year-end celebration of their long-running show Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind. This weekend and next weekend, you'll have a chance to see the best material written for TML in 2005 as performed by the current ensemble members (and possibly some Neo-Futurist alumni!). The best-of shows run on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings through December 18. Friday & Saturday shows are at 11:30 PM, and Sunday night shows are at 7:00 PM. For more details see the Neo-Futurist site or call their hotline at (773) 275-5255. Neo-Futurarium: 5153 N. Ashland (at Foster).

Then...Again @ Playground Theater

For three nights, The Playground Theater will host "Then...Again," an improvised play that starts at a relationship's breakup and moves backward to the couple's first kiss. Starring Adrianne Frost and Andy Eninger, the play was a hit at the 2004 Chicago Improv Festival. Doors open at 7:40 for the 8pm show at 3209 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10, running Thursday through Saturday. Call 773-871-3793 to get them and for more information.

In Cold Blood @ Music Box

After seeing the new film Capote, you might want to revisit (or see for the first time) the original film version of Truman Capote's book In Cold Blood, which opens at the Music Box Theatre tonight for a week-long run. Featuring a soundtrack by Quincy Jones and a pair of excellent performances by Robert Blake and Scott Wilson as the killers, In Cold Blood was nominated for 4 Oscars in 1968 and was described by Roger Ebert in his review at the time as "an accurate, sensitive record of actual events". Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Sara Moulton @ Pastoral

Sara Moulton, Executive Chef of Gourmet Magazine and host of Sara's Secrets on the Food Network, makes an appearance at Pastoral tonight. The free event will include a signing of Moulton's new book and samples of the recipes she includes, complimented by Pastoral's artisan cheeses. 2945 N. Broadway from 5-7pm. Call 773-472-4781 for more information.

Mathew Jonson + LoSoul @ Soundbar

Minimnal techno artists Mathew Jonson (Vancouver) and LoSoul (Frankfurt) hit Soundbar for their debut performances in Chicago. $20 Gen. Admission, $11 Advance @ Wanttickets. Doors at 9:00pm, but I'm sure this will cook til late o'clock in the morn. 227 W.Ontario Ave.

Bicycle Commuting Brown Bag

The Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is holding a brown bag lunchtime roundtable discussion on bicycle commuting to work. The discussion goes from 12-1pm in the 13N conference room of the Bank of America building, 231 S. LaSalle St. Bring your own lunch and remember that you must present some form of ID to building security. Call 312-427-3325x221 for more information.

Henry Darger Doc @ Fermilab

This month's film screening out at Fermilab is "In the Realms of the Unreal," the 2004 feature length documentary which explores the life and work of outsider artist Henry Darger. "A reclusive janitor almost all his life, Darger privately wrote a 15,000 page novel, accompanied by hundreds of paintings, which tells the story of the Vivian girls: orphaned sisters who wage war against a nation of child-enslaving men. The documentary includes cleverly animated segments of Darger's paintings and is accompanied by the music of Emmy-winning composer Jeff Beal." The film starts at 8pm and costs $5 for adults, $1 children (under 12), and $2 students (with ID). Sure does beat the price of a rental, and hey, it's at Fermilab! Maps and directions are online.

4Art Xclusive Group Show

Month four of 4Art's Xclusive Group Show brings us to a holiday special where the featured artists will show what kind of skills they have in the kitchen as well as in the studio. Guests will be treated with homemade eats and drinks during the 6-10pm reception. Featured artists include Kara James, Irina Dinkevich and Lawrence D. Colburn with special guest photographer Mariah Smith and a live artist performance from Magdalena Lis and Susan Clinard. 4Art is located at 1932 S. Halsted, #100. Call 3120-850-1816 for more information.

Nicole Hollander

Come watch "Sylvia" cartoonist Nicole Hollander in ďReturn to Lust: A Monologue on Sex, Beauty and Aging,Ē a monologue. Tonight's show costs $25 advance or $30 at door. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Pegasus Players, 1145 W. Wilson.

Then...Again @ Playground Theater

For three nights, The Playground Theater will host "Then...Again," an improvised play that starts at a relationship's breakup and moves backward to the couple's first kiss. Starring Adrianne Frost and Andy Eninger, the play was a hit at the 2004 Chicago Improv Festival. Doors open at 7:40 for the 8pm show at 3209 N. Halsted. Tickets are $10, running Thursday through Saturday. Call 773-871-3793 to get them and for more information.

Gay Games Kick Off Party

Come to the Hilton Grand Ballroom, 720 S. Michigan, to help celebrate the 2006 Gay Games. Casual attire, 5:30-8:30pm. All are encouraged to come. RSVP by calling 773-433-8011.

Open house @ Intuit

Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art hosts an open house this evening from 5:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Come meet the Intuit staff, browse the art currently on display, and enjoy some refreshments ("including OUT-cider!" -- Intuit). The open house, of course, is free and open to the public. Intuit: 756 N. Milwaukee. (312) 243-9088.

Chicago Maps @ the Newberry Library

The Chicago Map Society presents a lecture on Chicago maps from 1612 to 2002 at 6 PM this evening. A wine reception starts at 5:30. $5 non-member donation suggested. 60 W. Walton Street. Call 312-255-3689 for more information or visit the website.

NIkki Giovanni

Women & Children First will host acclaimed writer Nikki Giovanni this Thursday, December 8. Giovanni will read from her new children's book, "Rosa." The reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Women & Children First is located at 5233 N. Clark.

Sprawl Lecture @ the Graham Foundation

At 6 PM this evening, the Graham Foundation is hosting a lecture on urban sprawl by architecture historian Robert Bruegmann, whose new book Sprawl: A Compact History, will be available for sale after the lecture. 4 West Burton Place. This event is free, but requires registration.

Lost and Found @ Rec Room

Come out to the Black Rock tonight to share the last rec room of 2005 with fellow friends and writers. Tonight's theme, inventive as always, is: LOST AND FOUND. Kyle Beachy, Susan Cho, Brendan Healy, Dave Snyder, Erin Teegarden, Della Watson, Nathan Xander, and Polaroid Project will perform. Other fun will include lost and found boxes to rummage through and each performer will have in tow a gift-wrapped found object for raffle. $5 buys entrance and raffle ticket both. All proceeds from LOST AND FOUND go toward funding a c.d. of rec roomers and rec room performances. rec room is cheerfully animated by SAIC MFAW graduates including Della Watson, Erin Teegarden and friends.

Reading Under the Influence: Holiday Blues

This month's RUI: Reading the Influence features selections from books relating to anything holiday. Anything goes in this reading/trivia event and the audience member who correctly answers the most trivia questions wins a drink ticket and a book. Guest reader Patty Templeton of Bridge magazine joins regulars Julia Borcherts, Rob Duffer, Carly Huegelmann, Amanda Snyder and Joe Tower. $3 at Sheffield's, 3528 N. Sheffield, 7-10pm. Email thehotreadings[at]hotmail[dot]com for more information.

Politics & Philosophy of The Simpsons

Panelists from Columbia College, the School of the Art Institute and Northwestern meet up at the Cultural Center to discuss the social commentary, philosophy, history and politics of the much-adored cartoon, The Simpsons. The free discussion goes from 6-7:30pm in the 1st Floor Garland Room. Call 312-744-6630 for more information.

Croatian Vocal Ensemble @ Cultural Center

Klapa Sinj, a Croatian all male-vocal ensemble, will give a free performance at the Cultural Center tonight at 7pm. Special guest Nenad Bach, who has performed with everyone from Pavarotti to Bono, will join the group in their Chicago debut. The Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington St. Call 312-744-6630 for more information.

Local & Luscious December Delights

Lula Cafe and the CSA Learning Center, a nonprofit organization helping to create sustainable communities, welcome everyone to take part in Local & Luscious December Delights. The gathering is an inventive dinner which features a seasonal, three-course meal prepared with ingredients from Angelic Organics and other local farms. Advance tickets are $75; you can get them online and by calling 773-512-0395. 6:30-8:30pm at 2537 N. Kedzie Blvd.

Dorkbot

Chicago Dorkbot meets tonight from 8pm to 10pm at Deadtech, 3321 W. Fullerton Ave. [map]
Alexander Stewart and Peter Miller will be presenting in tandem on the subject, "The Film Projector and Photocopier as Film-Making Machines."

Lady Sovereign @ Empty Bottle

First lady of grime Lady Sovereign makes her first-ever live appearance in Chicago at the Empty Bottle following up her much talked-about DJ set at Sonotheque in July. Recently signed to Def Jam by Jay-Z himself, this will probably be the last chance to check her out in a venue the size of Empty Bottle. Ghislain Porier opens and local DJs Chris Widman and Johnny Love play throughout the night. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N Western.

Letters to Santa @ Second City

The fourth-annual Letters to Santa 24-hour improv marathon starts tonight at 10:30 at the Second City e.t.c. Theatre, 1608 North Wells in Piperís Alley. $10 grants you admission to the entire 24 hours of improv, though you can come and go as you please. There will be special performances throughout the day including Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, Jason Molina of Magnolia Electric Co, and Robbie Fulks. All proceeds go toward providing Christmas presents for needy children, so go have some fun and do some good. More details at the Second City website.

Independent Label Forum @ Cultural Center

Bruce Iglauer of Alligator Records moderates panelists from Bloodshot Records, Minty Fresh Records, Victory Records and Premonition Records on the workings of independent music labels. The group will discuss the difference between independent and corporate labels, how to determine what a label does, how to land a contract, and what you need to start your own record label. It all goes on at 6pm in the Claudia Cassidy Theater of the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. Free. Call 312-744-6630 for more information.

Learn iPhoto @ Apple Store

You're going to be taking some photos this holiday, and given the way trends are heading, they'll probably be digital. Learn cool things you can do with Apple's iPhoto program at this class (among others available) held at the Apple Store on Michigan Avenue, on Mondays and Wednesdays, December 5, 7, 12, 14, at 1pm. In this series, they'll go in-depth into iPhoto and teach you how to edit, enhance, and organize your photos, and also how to use them for professional prints, slideshows, and web pages. Make your mom proud, and send her that picture of you with that whole turkey leg in your mouth. The Apple Store is located at 679 N. Michigan Ave. Call them up (312) 981-4104. The class is $99.

11th Annual Northalsted Holiday Walk

Check out Halsted Street between Briar and Irving Park today, catch a glimpse of Santa Claus and Buttons T. Clown, and listen to holiday carolers. The eventís sponsor, the Northalsted Area Merchants Association, also hopes youíll do some shopping. Visit the website for more information.

Cornelia Arts Holiday Show

Visit the Cornelia Arts Building today between 11 AM and 5 PM to browse among artwork and crafts by more than 40 Chicago-area artists. 1800 West Cornelia, at Ravenswood and Cornelia. For more information, call 773-935-8094 or email CorneliaArts [at] yahoo [dot] com.

One-of-a-Kind Show @ Merchandise Mart

For your higher-end holiday shopping, consider the One-of-a-Kind Show, which runs from 10 AM to 5 PM today, and features unique objects by more than 350 North American artists and craftspeople. Merchandise Mart, 8th floor. $10 admission. For more information, visit the website.

Men Below the Belt

Tonight at Early to Bed is a class on male anatomy and sexuality designed especially for women (no men allowed). The class starts by exploring the male anatomy and women's feelings about it, then moves on to techniques on everything from giving a mind-blowing blowjob, performing a stellar handjob, expert ball handling getting more out of penetrative sex. You'll also learn how to put a condom on without using your hands! Early to Bed is at 5232 N. Sheridan Rd. The workshop is $10, and is 18 and over. Pre-registration is requested: call 773-271-1219 or email workshops@early2bed.com. More info here.

Handel's Messiah @ St. Clement Church

On Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3:30pm, Saint Clement Church is presenting their 30th annual production of Handel's Messiah by candlelight. Randall Swanson will conduct the church's orchestra and choir in the full Messiah score, featuring four renowned vocal soloists: soprano Ellen Hargis, alto Amy Anderson, tenor William Watson and bass Jeffrey Strauss. Tickets range from $25-$45 and can be bought online and by calling 773-281-0371. Saint Clement Church is located at 642 W. Deming Place.

Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold & Loeb

The Saint Sebastian Players present an original theatrical production of the notorius Leopold and Loeb murder trial in Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold and Loeb. For those rusty on their Chicago history, the 1924 "crime of the century" involved two college graduates who murdered their 14-year-old cousin. The two were defended by Clarence Darrow, who gave an unprecedented argument against capital punishment. The play runs at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at 8pm on December 2-3 and at 2pm on December 4. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and can be bought at the door and by calling 773-404-7922.

Chi XC Cup: Illinois State Championships

The very last of the Chicago Cyclocross Cup races happens this today, 10am at Montrose Harbor: The Illinois State Championship. What is cyclocross you ask? Watch women and men get down and dirty as they go up and down Cricket Hill and bike and then run and then bike around a muddy course. Yes, it's a legitimate cycling race. And hey, you get 10 extra points if you cross-dress for the finals! What's not to love?

Women's Performance Art Festival

From improv to dance to standup comedy, the 6th Annual Women's Performance Art Festival hosts a wealth of performance art written, directed and performed by women. Held at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield Ave., the show runs for three days, December 2-4, at 8pm. The performers tackle community needs, romanticism and love, Edward Gorey, identity and a whole lot more. Admission is $15; call 773-281-0824 to save your spot.

DEPART-ment

It's time for another season of handcrafted clothing, art, stationary, jewelry and other desirable wares. "All things handcrafted. No brand-names. No foreign assembly. No questionable ethics." That's DEPART-ment's motto and the more than a hundred vendors there can demonstrate exactly why that's such a great thing. Open Friday, 7-11pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm, at Open-End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Call 312-560-1442 for more information.

11th Annual Northalsted Holiday Walk

Check out Halsted Street between Briar and Irving Park today, catch a glimpse of Santa Claus and Buttons T. Clown, and listen to holiday carolers. The eventís sponsor, the Northalsted Area Merchants Association, also hopes youíll do some shopping. Visit the website for more information.

Cornelia Arts Holiday Show

Visit the Cornelia Arts Building today between 11 AM and 5 PM to browse among artwork and crafts by more than 40 Chicago-area artists. 1800 West Cornelia, at Ravenswood and Cornelia. For more information, call 773-935-8094 or email CorneliaArts [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Opening: Lillstreet Art Center Annual Holiday Show

Today marks the start of the Lillstreet Art Centerís annual Holiday Show, which presents work by more than 50 artists from throughout the United States through 31 December. Every weekend during the Holiday Show, Lillstreet offers free kidsí activities from 12 N to 3 PM so parents can shop independently. As part of Opening Weekend, Lillstreet offers extended hours (10 AM to 8PM today and 10 AM to 6 PM tomorrow) and opens its more than 40 artistsí studios to the public. 4401 N. Ravenswood. For more information, call 773-769-4226 or visit the website.

One-of-a-Kind Show @ Merchandise Mart

For your higher-end holiday shopping, consider the One-of-a-Kind Show, which runs from 10 AM to 8 PM today, and features unique objects by more than 350 North American artists and craftspeople. Merchandise Mart, 8th floor. $10 admission. For more information, visit the website.

Francis W. Parker School Celebrates Einstein

Commemorating the World Year of Physics, which itself commemorates the 100th anniversary of Albert Einsteinís publication of three critical papers in 1905, this Lincoln Park day school is sponsoring a conference thatís open to the public today; speakers include physicists and cosmologists from Fermilab and the University of Chicago. 330 W. Webster Avenue. Click here for a schedule of free events; to register (required), email einstein [at] fwparker [dot] org, call 773-797-5469, or fax 773-549-4669.

Sound Opinions on Chicago Public Radio

Sound Opinions, the music discussion program that has played for years on XRT, moves to Chicago Public Radio tonight. Tune in at 7:00 PM to hear the beginning of a new chapter in this long-running show hosted by local music critics Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot.

Handel's Messiah @ St. Clement Church

On Saturday at 7:30pm and Sunday at 3:30pm, Saint Clement Church is presenting their 30th annual production of Handel's Messiah by candlelight. Randall Swanson will conduct the church's orchestra and choir in the full Messiah score, featuring four renowned vocal soloists: soprano Ellen Hargis, alto Amy Anderson, tenor William Watson and bass Jeffrey Strauss. Tickets range from $25-$45 and can be bought online and by calling 773-281-0371. Saint Clement Church is located at 642 W. Deming Place.

Red Rover Series Experiment #5

Red Rover Series is holding their fifth experiment in readings that play with reading. Tonight at 7pm, Experiment #5 will explore the theme of "Greek Translations" and will feature local writers Asimina Chremos and John Tipton. With a suggested donation of $3, reading happens at SpareRoom, 2416 W. North Ave. Call 773-645-1853 for more information.

Midwest Regional Youth Summit w/Hillary Clinton

The American Democracy Institute is holding its first Regional Youth Summit at Roosevelt University and will feature an opening speech by Senator Hillary Clinton. Senator Clinton serves as the honorary chair of the ADI's youth initiative, a group whose goal is increase the number of young people weighing in on "the national conversation on democracy." The free event goes on from 9-11am at Auditorium Theater, 50 E. Congress. Contact Stacy Bennett at sbennett[at]jtpr[dot]com to find out how to register or call 866-705-0268 for more information.

Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold & Loeb

The Saint Sebastian Players present an original theatrical production of the notorius Leopold and Loeb murder trial in Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold and Loeb. For those rusty on their Chicago history, the 1924 "crime of the century" involved two college graduates who murdered their 14-year-old cousin. The two were defended by Clarence Darrow, who gave an unprecedented argument against capital punishment. The play runs at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at 8pm on December 2-3 and at 2pm on December 4. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and can be bought at the door and by calling 773-404-7922.

Lusine at Tini Martini

IDM veteran and generally amazing Ghostly International recording artist, Lusine performs at Tini Martini in Logan Square. Miles Tilmann and Lee Foss open. Free before 11:00/$5 After Doors @ 9:00pm. Tini Martini Ultra Lounge, 2169 N. Milwaukee Ave.

Intelligentsia Roasting Works Tour

For over a month now, I've been enjoying making coffee from Intelligentsia Coffee that I watched being roasted on one of their Roasting Plant Tours. It's by far the best three bucks I ever spent. Tours now operate twice a month at 10:30am and 12:30pm on Saturdays at their plant at 1850 W. Fulton Street. Yes, tickets are $3 (less than a latte) but space is limited so make your reservations early. On the tour, you'll get complementary coffee and tea (thank goodness, they're not a tease) and you also get a free (and fresh) 1/2 pound of coffee beans at the end!

Snakes and Rubies

Adrian Holovaty, one of the creators of the Django framework for Python, and David Heinemeier Hansson, the creator of Ruby on Rails framework will answer questions about their work and the future of Web application development today at DePaul University. The event runs from 2-5pm and takes place in the DePaul University Student Center, Room 314b, 2250 N. Sheffield Avenue. Submit potential discussion questions and get further details here.

Saint Georges Court Holiday Art Walk

For one day, Sulzen Fine Art Sudio and Wittig Fine Art have teamed up for Saint Georges Court Holiday Art Walk. From 10am-6pm, there will be paintings, watercolors, drawings, photgraphs, notecards, antiques and new works on display in both studio locations. Sulzen is located at 2720 W. Saint Georges Court and Witting is locatd at 2735 W. Saint Georges Court. Call 312-409-4618 for more information.

Women's Performance Art Festival

From improv to dance to standup comedy, the 6th Annual Women's Performance Art Festival hosts a wealth of performance art written, directed and performed by women. Held at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield Ave., the show runs for three days, December 2-4, at 8pm. The performers tackle community needs, romanticism and love, Edward Gorey, identity and a whole lot more. Admission is $15; call 773-281-0824 to save your spot.

Chicago Hot Glass Holiday Sale

Pick up some cool art glass for your family this Christmas: Chicago Hot Glass, 1250 N. Central Park Ave., is holding a holiday art sale today from noon to 6pm.

Five and Dime Comedy Hour

The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour is not your average sketch show. The 5 & Dime Comedy Hour = Megan Bell, Molly Hale, and John Pattavina. These three consider themselves old souls and their comedy comes from a love of "old-timey" pop-culture and painful loneliness. The show is directed by WNEP's infamous Don Hall. This is not the same sketch show you've seen where the lights come up, and punch line occurs and the lights go down. 5 & Dime has orchestrated a night of absurdist theatre that will thrill those new to and veterans of sketch comedy. Saturday nights @ 11pm, November 5th - December 17th @ The Trapdoor Theatre, 1655 W. Cortland St. (In Bucktown behind Jane's restaurant) $10 and BYOB! $5 for improvisers

DEPART-ment

It's time for another season of handcrafted clothing, art, stationary, jewelry and other desirable wares. "All things handcrafted. No brand-names. No foreign assembly. No questionable ethics." That's DEPART-ment's motto and the more than a hundred vendors there can demonstrate exactly why that's such a great thing. Open Friday, 7-11pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm, at Open-End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Call 312-560-1442 for more information.

Cornelia Arts Holiday Show

Visit the Cornelia Arts Building this evening from 6 PM to 9 PM to browse among artwork and crafts by more than 40 Chicago-area artists. 1800 West Cornelia, at Ravenswood and Cornelia. For more information, call 773-935-8094 or email CorneliaArts [at] yahoo [dot] com.

Francis W. Parker School Celebrates Einstein

Commemorating the World Year of Physics, which itself commemorates the 100th anniversary of Albert Einsteinís publication of three critical papers in 1905, this Lincoln Park day school is sponsoring a conference thatís open to the public tonight and tomorrow; speakers include physicists and cosmologists from Fermilab and the University of Chicago. 330 W. Webster Avenue. Click here for a schedule of free events; to register (required), email einstein [at] fwparker [dot] org, call 773-797-5469, or fax 773-549-4669.

Venus and Punk Planet Party

Tonight at 10pm, put on your dancing shoes and head to the Empty Bottle, 1035 N. Western Ave., for rockin' live music from Psalm One and Eight Inch Betsy and the audio stylings of DJ Kate Simko and DJ Shoogyboom, all to support two great Chicago indie magazines, Venus Zine and Punk Planet. The $10 admission includes a free winter issue of Venus.

Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold & Loeb

The Saint Sebastian Players present an original theatrical production of the notorius Leopold and Loeb murder trial in Pleading for the Future, Illinois vs. Leopold and Loeb. For those rusty on their Chicago history, the 1924 "crime of the century" involved two college graduates who murdered their 14-year-old cousin. The two were defended by Clarence Darrow, who gave an unprecedented argument against capital punishment. The play runs at St. Bonaventure, 1625 W. Diversey, at 8pm on December 2-3 and at 2pm on December 4. Tickets are $10 general admission, $5 for students and seniors, and can be bought at the door and by calling 773-404-7922.

The Black Keys @ The Metro

Get a second helping of growling rockers The Black Keys will play the Metro tonight for a mere $16. These guys got me through cooking Thanksgiving dinner last year, and their new stuff will certainly be on my plate again. What a way to start off December! Their east coast shows are selling out fast, so grab tickets while you can! Show starts at 9pm.

Women's Performance Art Festival

From improv to dance to standup comedy, the 6th Annual Women's Performance Art Festival hosts a wealth of performance art written, directed and performed by women. Held at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield Ave., the show runs for three days, December 2-4, at 8pm. The performers tackle community needs, romanticism and love, Edward Gorey, identity and a whole lot more. Admission is $15; call 773-281-0824 to save your spot.

Holiday ExtravaKafka @ Kafka Wine Co.

Kafka Wine Co., Lakeview's cutest little wine shop, is holding a holiday wine tasting tonight from 7-9pm. Holiday ExtravaKafka is their biggest wine tasting event of the year where you'll get to sample staff favorites and best sellers from around the globe. Make your reservation by calling 773-975-9463; $10 per person. Trust me, the price is more than reasonable for all the wonderful wines you'll get to taste. 3325 N. Halsted.

Dollar Store @ Hideout

December's Dollar Store is co-host Sean Gardner's last, so if you've never seen it before, make the trek to the Hideout to see him before he leaves the show and the city. Also hosted by Jonathan Messinger, tonight's 7pm show features Amina Cain, Don Hall and Tyler Lansdown. 1354 W. Wabansia with a $1 suggested donation. Call 773-227-4433 for more information.

Craft Bazaar @ OTS

In addition to the usual First Friday square dancing and singing at the Old Town School of Folk Music, tonight there will be a Craft Bazaar from 6:30 to 10:00. The bazaar will feature all kinds of knitting, jewelry, pottery, and greeting cards, as well as some custom-blended essential oils and homebaked goods. All the participants are Old Town staffers or volunteers. The Old Town School is located at 4544 N Lincoln; you can find a flier for the bazaar on their website.

DEPART-ment

It's time for another season of handcrafted clothing, art, stationary, jewelry and other desirable wares. "All things handcrafted. No brand-names. No foreign assembly. No questionable ethics." That's DEPART-ment's motto and the more than a hundred vendors there can demonstrate exactly why that's such a great thing. Open Friday, 7-11pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 11am-5pm, at Open-End Gallery, 2000 W. Fulton #310. Call 312-560-1442 for more information.

John Yoo and Douglas Cassel Debate @ Hothouse

The Chicago Council on Foreign Relations is sponsoring this forum on Torture and Security in the Age of Terrorism. John Yoo helped formulate the Bush Administrationís case for ignoring the Geneva Conventions and Douglas Cassell is the director of the Notre Dame Law Schoolís Center for Civil and Human Rights. $10. 31 E. Balbo. For more information, call 773-525-2508 or 312-726-3860.

Gordon Thomas doc @ Film Center

The latest Outsider Music documentary at the Siskel Film Center screens this evening. Everything's Coming My Way details the musical career of Gordon Thomas, a former big-band trombonist who's written 200 songs that are simple yet catchy, and described by the Film Center's blurb as "kind of musical folk-art". Everything's Coming My Way screens this evening at 8:00 PM. Tickets: $9, $7 for students, $5 for Film Center members, and $4 for SAIC students. Film Center: 164 N. State. (312) 846-2600.

Chi*Town Sirens Roller Derby Recruitment

Think you'd be great at roller derby? Think you just look cute in the shorts? The Chi*Town Sirens Roller Derby is actively recruiting for their team and all interested women should head to Lelia Jane's tonight at 8:30pm. Come learn about the team and find out how you can participate. 1008 W. Armitage. Email mail[at]chitownsirens[dot]com for more information.

The Black Keys @ Metro

Growling rockers The Black Keys will play the Metro tonight for a mere $16. These guys got me through cooking Thanksgiving dinner last year, and their new stuff will certainly be on my plate again. What a way to start off December. Their east coast shows are selling out fast, so grab tickets while you can! Show starts at 9pm.

E. O. Wilson @ the Newberry Library

Biologist E.O. Wilson presents his new edition of Charles Darwinís most important works tonight at 6 PM. 60 W. Walton. For more information, call the Newberry Library at 312Ė943Ė9090 or check the website.


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