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Slowdown

January 2006

« December 2005 | Front Page | February 2006 »

Free Pool (for the ladies)

It's Ladies Night at the Chicago Billiards Cafe, which means gals play free from 8pm-2am. The Cafe is bright and "family-oriented" which means you can play a few games of pool without the dank (although you might miss the dank, one never knows). The Chicago Billiards Cafe is located at 5935 W. Irving Park Road, in the Austin neighborhood.

Chinese Paper Cuts @ Columbia

In celebration of the Chinese New Year, the Center for Asian Arts and Media at Columbia College Chicago, in conjunction with the Consulate General of the Peoples' Republic of China in Chicago, presents "Cutting Edge: The Beauty of Chinese Paper Cuts." This exhibit features approximately 200 works of festive scenes, animal figures, opera characters and ornamental designs from Shannxi Province, a western province of China with enormous cultural heritage, including one of the world's wonders--Terra Cotta Warriors. The Columbia College Library is located at 624 S. Michigan Ave., 3rd Floor and admission is free. Call (312) 344-8213 for more information, including hours of operation. This exhibit will be open until February 15.

Camille Paglia @ Harold Washington Library

Renowned pop culture and gender studies critic Camille Paglia discusses and signs her most recent book at the Harold Washington Library tonight. In Break, Blow, Burn: Camille Paglia Reads Forty-Three of the World's Best Poems, Paglia explores the pantheon of Western poetry. Free at 6pm in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium, Lower Level, 400 S. State St. Call 312-747-4300 for more information.

Zapruder Point @ Cleary's On Clark

Local band and new Transmission artist, Zapruder Point will be appearing Sunday January 29, at Cleary's on Clark, 3438 N. Clark, (w/ Mike Mangione). Sun-Time music critic call them "..Much too good to remain overlooked and underheralded." Check them out and find out why.

Mozart Opera @ Cultural Center

Bastien and Bastienne, a chamber opera written by Mozart when he was 12, is being performed in English at the Cultural Center’s Preston Bradley Hall at 3 PM and at 6 PM today. At 3 PM, Music in the Loft presents an interactive and family-friendly rendering; the 6 PM performance is a non-interactive version. Both performances feature the Comic Intermezzo. Free. 77 E. Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Chinese New Year Parade

All along Wentworth from 24th St. to 22nd St., watch the spectacular Chinese New Year Parade as it makes its way through Chinatown. Sponsored by the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, the free parade starts at 12:30pm. Call 312-225-0303 for more information.

Gutters Self-publishing Workshop

Gutters Self-publishing Workshop presents its New Years Spectacular!
3 – 8pm Sunday, January 29 at Happy Dog, 1542 N Milwaukee 2nd floor.

First up, Chicago area zinesters spiel about their craft and their self-publishing adventures in a mind-blowing panel. Then the fury of Chicago comic-artists is unleashed in a no holds barred art battle! Finally a local zinester music showcase. Brian Cremins, The Rories and Doug Travis will finish the evening off right. This is a free and all-ages event.

For more information, including who all the participants are, email guttersworkshop @ gmail.com or go to www.myspace.com/gutterszine.

Opening: Preston Jackson @ Cultural Center

This major exhibit by local artist Preston Jackson, called Fresh from Julieanne’s Garden, features more than 30 bronze castings. Through 26 March. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Mud Queens of Chicago

The Mud Queens of Chicago return for another bout of mud wrestling tonight at 9pm at The Belmont-Central Building, a defunct office building at 5600 W. Belmont. The Billy Carter Band, The Functional Blackouts and Gays in the Military perform. $5 donation at the door, BYOB. Proceeds benefit the Young Women's Empowerment Project.

Crutch 3rd Anniversary Show

The Crutch celebrates their third year of existence with a party at the Double Door. Helping them celebrate are some great local bands like Healthy White Baby, Bang! Bang!, The Dirty Things and The Record Low. The party kicks off at 9pm with a $10 cover. The Double Door is located at 1572 N. Milwaukee Ave. Call 773-489-3160 for more information.

The American Apron

In the first lecture event at Dame Couture, apron aficionado Erika Fitzgerald examines how a common working garment "became elevated to the height of domestic popularity in the 1950s." In "The American Apron," Fitzgerald discusses women's roles, styles of clothing, how aprons were used and how the aprons followed style, form and fuction in each decade. The lecture is free, but reservations are required; call 773-463-2162 to save your space. Dame Couture is located at 4316 N. Elston.

Open: New Designs for Public Space

Opening today at the Chicago Architecture Foundation, "Open: New Designs for Public Space" features over 300 architectural renderings, photographs and models illustrating how public space has changed in the city. The exhibition also features contemporary public space designs from all over the world to represent current trends in urban planning. Runs through May 7. The Chicago Architecture Foundation is located at 224 S. Michigan Ave. Call 312-922-3432 for more information.

Young Authors Reading Series @ Barbara's Postponed

Barbara's Bookstore Oak Park is inviting Columbia College to bring high school students from all over the city to read thier stories. All aspiring young writers and all interested in hearing the voices of the next generation of authors should come to this unique reading. 6pm at 1100 Lake St. Call 708-848-9140 for more information.

UPDATE: This event has been postponed to February 4.

Tense Forms presents 800 Winters

Tense Forms, publisher/record label/etc., presents "800 Winters," a showcase of music, performance and art at the Subterranean, 2011 W. North Ave. The show features:
- The artwork of Nora McComiskey, Jen Haybach and Sangini Brahmbatt, along with an installation of 800 photographs by more than 20 artists.

- Music by the Notes and Scratches, Radiant Darling, Casey Meehan, Ben Clarke (of Lying in States) and Andy Wagner.

- The debut performance of Frost, a new short play by the House Theatre's Marika Mashburn, starring Mashburn and the House's Chris Matthews.

Doors open at 8:30pm with an $8 cover. 21 and over.

Dance Party @ Latin Street Dancing

Latin Street Dancing celebrates its 8th year with a smoke- and alcohol-free dance party at its 5th floor studios. Doors open at 9 PM tonight, with Latin dance lessons offered at 9:30 PM. DJs will spin a variety of Latin styles, including salsa, cumbia, and meringue. $5 to get in. 540 N. LaSalle Street. For more information, call 312-42-SALSA or visit the website.

Bumblinni Brothers @ Cultural Center

The two-man circus performs in the Claudia Cassidy Theater this afternoon at 3 PM and again this evening at 7 PM. Free. 77 E. Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Nat King Cole Tribute @ Millennium Park

Chicago musicians including pianist Judy Roberts, horn player Greg Fishman, and bass player John Whitfield—along with more than a half dozen vocalists—perform the music of Nat King Cole at the Pritzker Pavillion this afternoon. This event takes place at 2 PM and is free, but reserve a seat on the glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled stage by calling 312-742-1079. For more information, call 312-744-3315 or visit the website.

Opening: Open: New Designs for Public Space @ Archicenter

Learn about Chicago’s public spaces and innovative designs for public space around the world at this exhibition hosted by the Chicago Architecture Foundation. 224 S. Michigan Ave. Through 7 May. For more information, call 312-922-3432 or visit the website.

Speakin' of the Blues w/Ellis Marsalis

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the Chicago Blues Archives, pianist Ellis Marsalis discusses his life and career and peforms samples of his music at the Harold Washington Library. Free at 12:15pm in the Cindy Pritzker Auditorium. Call 312-747-4300 for more information.

Low @ Logan Square Auditorium

The Empty Bottle is pleased to announce a special ballroom performance with Duluth, Minnesota-based group Low. Their latest album, from Sub Pop, is titled The Great Destroyer. Underground musician Warren Defever will perform with his long-running experimental outfit His Name is Alive and acoustic act Death Vessel will open, making their Chicago debut. Logan Square Auditorium is located at 2539 N. Kedzie, in (you guessed it) Logan Square. This All Ages show starts at 8:30pm and tickets are $15.

"Classic Country Happy Hour" @ Betty's Blue Star

True Historians perform 2 hours of very very old country stuff (pre 1970's) to help people unwind at the end of a tough work week.

True Historians are a full 6 piece band, featuring the vocals of two talented young transplants from Texas trying to make it through their first Chicago winter. The band was featured this summer in Hankfest downtown and is playing the honkytonks (or lounges in this case) of Chicago.

Every Friday
Free Admission
7:00 - 9 pm. Betty's Blue Star. 1600 W. Grand Ave, Chicago
More Info Here: www.truehistorians.com
773-252-0805

GB Get-Together @ Gingerman

Gapers Block's monthly GB Get-Together is tonight at the Gingerman, 3740 N. Clark St., from 9pm to around midnight. Join us for drinks, hobnobbing and maybe some pool.

Gary Schepers benefit show @ Schuba’s

The Bottle Rockets are headlining a benefit show for Gary Schepers, a long-time local soundman recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, tonight at Schuba’s, 3159 N Southport. Doors are at 9; Tijuana Hercules and Great Crusades open. For more information about this show, see Schuba’s website; see the Bloodshot Records website for more information about the series of benefit concerts going on for Schepers.

Free Flamenco @ Cultural Center

France’s Juan Carmona performs with his ensemble tonight at 7 PM in Preston Bradley Hall as part of the Chicago Flamenco Festival, co-sponsored by the Instituto Cervantes Chicago. Free. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

The Plans for the Art Institute's new Design Department

Art Institute Director James Cuno and new architecture and design curator Joe Rosa will have a "conversation" in which they are bound to discuss the plans for the new design and architecture department at the Art Institute. 6-7 pm in Fullerton Hall Auditorium, 111 S. Michigan Ave. Public pay $15; members pay $10; students pay $5. For tickets call 312-443-7300.

Vandermark 5 @ Hideout

Most of the year, Ken Vandermark and his league of super-talented jazz musicians (known as the Vandermark 5) are busy touring around the globe and cutting albums. Tonight, they're taking a rest back home in Chicago and playing at the Hideout (not the usual jazz venue in town, but I'll take it, gladly). You just couldn't ask for a more intimate setting for live music, and this is going to be some killer jazz, man. Tickets are $10. Dang. The Hideout is at 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago.

Juan Carmona and El Payo @ Old Town School

As part of a series of concerts, workshops, and other events making up the Chicago Flamenco Festival, French flamenco virtuoso Juan Carmono performs in the Old Town School of Folk Music’s La Pena series tonight at 8:30, followed by Chicago’s Nuevo Flamenco band El Payo. Free, but the Old Town School requests a $5 donation. 4544 N Lincoln Ave. For more information, call 773-728-6000 or visit the website.

Gary Schepers benefit show @ the Abbey

Jeff Tweedy of Wilco is headlining a benefit show for Gary Schepers, a long-time local soundman recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, tonight at the Abbey Pub, 3420 W Grace. The concert starts at 8pm; Devil in a Woodpile opens. For more information about this show, see the Abbey's website; see the Bloodshot Records website for more information about the series of benefit concerts going on for Schepers.

Newest "Underground Supergroup" @ Empty Bottle

Tonight the Bottle presents what they're calling "the debut of a new 'underground supergroup'," with a trio that features guitarist Chris Brokaw, drummer Elliot Dicks and bassist Doug McCombs. Each of them have been a part of a celebrated group -- Brokeback, Nerves, Tortoise and others. Cairo Gang will also perform, plus TBA additional acts. Show starts at 9:30pm, tickets are $8. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave.

Colin Meloy @ Park West

Decemberists frontman Colin Meloy once again brings his solo show to Chicago, this time to the Park West. Check out a review of his album "Colin Meloy Sings Morrissey" and head to the show. Tickets are available on ticketmaster for $15 (plus, you know, fees) or at the Park West boxoffice. Doors open at 6pm, show starts at 7:30pm with Laura Viers.

That's Weird, Grandma

First they teach, then they share. Each Monday, Barrel of Monkeys presents "That's Weird, Grandma," critically acclaimed assortment of scenes and songs adapted by the ensemble from Chicago Public School students’ stories. The show changes each week according to audience votes (switching 2-3 sketches in and out each performance), and each show runs about one hour. Runs Mondays at 8pm at The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland. Special $2 off coupon available at the website.

Eggers & Newsome @ Quimby's

Dave Eggers and James Newsome read and discuss Surviving Justice: America's Wrongfully Convicted and Exonerated, a new book in a new McSweeney's series of oral histories. About the series: "After spending years behind bars, hundreds of men and women with incontrovertible proof of their innocence -- including 120 from death row -- have been released from America's prisons. They were wrongfully convicted because of problems that plague many criminal proceedings -- inept defense lawyers, overzealous prosecutors, deceitful and coercive interrogation tactics, bad science, snitches, and eyewitness misidentification. Finally free, usually after more than a decade of incarceration, they re-enter society with nothing but the scars from a harrowing descent into prison only to struggle to survive on the outside." Featured Readers at this event: Dave Eggers is the editor of McSweeney's and James Newsome, an exoneree who served fifteen years on a murder charge before being exonerated by fingerprints lifted from the crime scene and matched to an already incarcerated career criminal. After his release, Newsome won a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the City of Chicago. This reading takes place at noon at Quimby's bookstore, located at 1854 W. North Ave., Chicago, call them up at (773) 342-0910.

Illinois Action Team Celebrates Roe v. Wade

Join the Illinois Choice Action Team in a counter-protest against the anti-choice movement as they celebrate the 33rd anniversary of the groundbreaking Roe v. Wade case. Meet at 8:15am at the Northeast corner of LaSalle and Division. Email ilchoiceactionteam[at]hotmail[dot]com for more information.

Chicago Consortium of Community Music Schools @ Cultural Center

Ever wonder what a prodigy sounds like? Talented students as young as 7 from Chicago-area music schools perform at this free concert, which starts at 3 PM in Preston Bradley Hall. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Stories on Stage @ MCA

Chicago Public Radio's Stories on Stage happens again this afternoon at the Museum of Contemporary Art (220 East Chicago Avenue). This afternoon's program is the first Stories on Stage for a younger audience, as they present a selection of stories for 9 to 12 year old children. The program starts at 2:30 PM; tickets are available at the MCA box office by calling (312) 397-4010.

Tribute to Little Brother @ Millennium Park

Chicago jazz legend Little Brother Montgomery is honored by Erwin Helfer and Barrelhouse Chuck at the Pritzker Pavilion this afternoon. Free, 3 – 5 PM, but arrive at least an hour early to snag one of the 260 seats on the glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled stage. For more information, call 312-744-3315 or visit the website.

StoryStudio Writer's Cafe

If you need a bit of change of pace from the neighborhood coffee shop to get your writing in gear, then you might want to head over to StoryStudio Chicago's Writer's Cafe today. Ten dollars gets you unlimited snacks and coffee, tea, or soda (who doesn't like snacks?) and you can get some peer revision done during your breaks. Email info {at} storystudiochicago.com to let them know you'll be stopping by. The cafe runs from 11am-3pm.

Gary Schepers benefit show @ the Hideout

Two benefit shows for Gary Schepers, a long-time local soundman recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, will be going on at today at the Hideout, 1354 W Wabansia. There will be a kids show from noon to 4pm, featuring The Blisters, Nora O’Connor, and Wee Hairy Beasties (featuring Jon Langord, Sally Timms, Kelly Hogan, and Devil In a Woodpile). In the evening, Califone, Edith Frost, and Chris Mills will be playing. For more information about this show, see the Hideout’s website; see the Bloodshot Records website for more information about the series of benefit concerts going on for Schepers.

Speed Skating Classic

Ice Skaters of all levels are invited to this speed skating event, sanctioned by the Amateur Skating Association of Illinois at the McFetridge Sports Center (3843 N. California Avenue). Races will be held starting at 9am. Preregistration is necessary by January 16, for a fee of $15. For more information, call Joe Sarna (312) 744-1179 or download a form online.

Classical music @ St. Luke's

Phenix, a classical trio composed of Beth Bryngelson, Nell Flanders, Craig Trompeter, perform at St. Luke Church, 1500 W. Belmont, tonight at 7:30pm with guest pianist Andrea Swan. Tickets are $15 ($5 for students and seniors), free parking in the LaSalle Bank lot just west of the church.

Opening: Jan Theun van Rees @ Cultural Center

Subjects of the photos here include the Chicago Cultural Center and other local sites as well as buildings in Peru and the Netherlands. The exhibit, called Photographs: Building Dreams in the Bookbinder’s Room, runs through 19 March. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Jon Langford: The Executioner’s Last Songs @ MCA

This performance by artist and activist Jon Langford incorporates songs, theater, and visual art. Tickets are $22 (MCA members $18). 7:30 PM, in the MCA Theater, 220 E Chicago Avenue. For more information, visit the website.

David Alan Grier @ Center for Performing Arts

Always hilarious and, usually, inappropriate, David Alan Grier gives a performance at The Center for Performing Arts at Governors State University. Tickets for the 8pm show range from $28-$37 and can be bought online or by calling 708-235-2222.

Small Change, Abstract Giants, Wine Poetry @ Morseland

Small Change, a hip hop band described as "somewhere between Jimi Hendrix and Mos Def," perform at a late show tonight at Morseland, 1218 W. Morse Ave. Abstract Giants and Wine Poetry open. Show starts at 10pm, $5 cover at the door.

Opening: Los Carpinteros @ Cultural Center

The Chicago Cultural Center’s Sidney R. Yates gallery hosts the first major museum survey of work by the acclaimed contemporary Cuban artist collective Los Carpinteros. The mixed media exhibit closes 2 April. 78 E. Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Jazz Fair @ Cultural Center

The Jazz Institute of Chicago joins with the Chicago Cultural Center in presenting a weekend of free jazz programming. From 11:30 AM to 5 PM today, Cinema Jazz screens a series of jazz-related films. 77 E Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

World Kitchen: Cute as a Cupcake

Cupcakes are coming back and World Kitchen is holding this class to give you the best tips on creating sophisticated mini confectionary delights. Pre-registration is required for the $30 class and can be had by calling 312-742-8497 or visiting the box office at Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph. 11am-2pm at Gallery 37.

Vulgar Boatmen @ Schuba's

Vulgar Boatmen at Schuba's (with Riviera and Second Hand Poets).
As heard on all three Vulgar Boatmen albums, the nebulous group's ability to grasp and shape simple elements into three-chord (often two-chord) songs of delicate grandeur is unmatched by any of the countless groups that have attempted the same feat. With Lawrence and Ray's high, clear voices singing intimately unrevealing lyrics about people and places, always raising more questions than they answer, the Vulgar Boatmen are as American as an Andrew Wyeth painting and as evocative as a Robert Frost poem. Showtime - 9:00pm. Tickets $10.00

Handmade Market

Erica Coslor, aka DJ Plastique, helps make the local indie designer market grow by creating the monthly Handmade Market. It's going to be at the Empty Bottle every month (usually the 3rd Saturday) from 12-5pm. It's free to get in. Come shop, drink bloody marys, and listen to some great tunes while meeting 25 of the best hip, new designers in the city. If you're inclined to join, $25 will get you a spot and as of right now there are still a few spaces left for this show. Email her at erica(@)djplastique.com if you want in.

The Jerk, Pootie Tang @ Music Box

Rarely do you get such an embarrassment of riches at the midnight screenings at the Music Box as you get this weekend, where you get to choose between Steve Martin's The Jerk and Lance Crouther in Pootie Tang. This would be worth attending just to see what kind of crowds these two movies are going to attract. Both movies show at midnight tonight and tomorrow night. Music Box: 3733 N. Southport. (773) 871-6604.

Winter Bike to Work Day

To commemorate the coldest day in Chicago history (20 January 1985, when the temperature was minus 27; minus 93 when accounting for windchill), the Chicagoland Bicycle Federation is hosting a breakfast party for bicycle commuters in Daley Plaza. The event features free hot chocolate, Eli’s cheesecake, and a raffle. 7 AM to 9 AM, 50 W Washington Street.

Jon Langford: The Executioner’s Last Songs @ MCA

This performance by artist and activist Jon Langford incorporates songs, theater, and visual art. Tickets are $22 (MCA members $18). 7:30 PM, in the MCA Theater, 220 E Chicago Avenue. For more information, visit the website.

The Bound Stems @ The Empty Bottle

As posted earlier this week, Flameshovel Records is considered one of the Top 10 indie labels in Chicago. Appropriately, we are featuring one of their bands, The Bound Stems, in our Transmission section this week. They are considered by many to be a band on the rise but don't take our word for it - give them a listen and see them live at the Empty Bottle this Friday.

Snow Turtle: Morning Time

Opening at Filter tonight, 1585 N. Milwaukee, "Snow Turtle: Morning Time" is a series of giant hanging comic panels that tell a story when read in order. Artist Dustin Kimmel heads the 6-10pm free opening. Call 773-227-4850 for more information.

Roe v. Wade Commemoration

The University of Chicago commemorates the historical Roe v. Wade court case with a panel discussion and keynote speech. Breakfast and refreshments will be served at the 9am-12pm event in the Max Palevsky Theater, 1212 E. 59th St. For information, contact Sage DePree at 773-834-4706 or sdepree[at]babies[dot]bsd[dot]uchicago[dot]edu.

Radiant Darkness -- Stories in Shadow Puppetry

If you didn't catch this show's first program run, here's another chance to see it. Tonight is the opening of the second program of this shadow puppet show that will go through January 29. This program contains Lost and Found by the Incurable Theater, Being Mad to Desperation -- Murder Ballads and Shadow and Puppetry by Anthony Whitaker and Shelley Miller and The Yellow Wallpaper adapted from Charlotte Perkins Gilman's work, among others. Tickets are $10; Friday and Saturday at 8pm, Sundays at 7pm. It all happens at Links Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield Ave., 2nd floor. Call 883-281-0824 or email info[at]linkshall[dot]org for tickets and information.

Jazz Fair @ Cultural Center

The Jazz Institute of Chicago joins with the Chicago Cultural Center in presenting a weekend of free jazz programming. Tonight between 7 PM and midnight, choose from a half dozen different panels, jams, and performances. 77 E Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

MAKE Magazine Release Party

Support a local literary magazine! Join the MAKE crew for the release of MAKE Issue #2, featuring writing from established and emerging writers, including Ebony Bolding, Daniel Borzutsky, Ira Brooker, GB's own Ramsin Canon, K.B. Dixon, and more. The night's festivities will include readings and music from Ramona Cordova, I Need Sleep, and Bound Stems.

The party's at the Empty Bottle, located at 1035 N. Western, and begins at 9:30. The cost is $8 and includes a fresh copy of MAKE.

Hardcore Herstories

Mess Hall's Hardcore Histories series continues with Hardcore Herstories -- a celebration of women in Hardcore. From 7-10pm, celebrate women with punk attitude, including Bikini Kill, Velocity Girl, Shonen Knife and many more. Mess Hall is located at 6932 N. Glenwood Ave. Call 773-465-4033 for more information.

Gary Schepers benefit shows @ Fitzgerald’s

A benefit show for Gary Schepers, a long-time local soundman recently diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, is going on at 9pm tonight at Fitzgerald’s, 6615 Roosevelt Road in Berwyn. Three shows will actually be going on: Robbie Fulks, Jay Ferrar, and Corky Siegel will be playing in the main room, Devil in a Woodpile will be playing in the side bar, and Dolly Varden, Bunker Town, and the Prohibition Orchestra will be playing in the front room of the side building. For more information about his show, see the Fitzgerald’s website; see the Bloodshot Records website for more information about the series of benefit concerts going on for Schepers.

Chicago Tribune vs. The Nation @ U of C

On The Nation's side we've got editor in chief Katrina vanden Heuvel and Washington DC corresondent John Nichols. Over in the Tribune's corner, publisher and CEO David D. Hiller and Deputy Managing Editor James Warren are putting up their dukes. At 6:30pm at the Oriental Institute, Danielle Allen, Humanities Dean at the University of Chicago, moderates a debate between the two on media-related issues such as public obligation, free access to information and more. Media and the Public Interest: Debating the Responsibility of the Press in a Democratic Society is free and open to the public at 58th and University. Email chicagosociety[at]uchicago[dot]edu for more information.

Elvis Spectacular @ HOB

Mark "MARKELVIS" Hussman stars as in the Elvis Spectacular at the House of Blues, 923 N. Dearborn, tonight, backed by the ExSpense Account Show Band. The show will also feature the Ann-Margrock Dancers, WCKG's Buzz Killman, Amy "Cher" Hohimer, Patty Elvis, the Antic Sisters, Olga Rodionova, Edward "Sarge" Sargent and surprise celebrity guests! Doors open at 9pm, tickets are $15 at the box office at 312-923-2000 or via TicketMaster.

Jazz Fair @ Cultural Center

The Jazz Institute of Chicago joins with the Chicago Cultural Center in presenting a weekend of free jazz programming. Tonight at 7 PM, Kurt Elling joins Jim Gailloreto’s Jazz String Quintet in a performance that combines original compositions with music by Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, and other jazz legends. 77 E Randolph Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Theatre Thursday w/Stuart Dybek

If you didn't get to attend the opening of Lookingglass Theatre's The Coast of Chicago, but still want to see something special, you should head to tonight's 6:30pm show, featuring a post-show event with writer Dybek and Pilsen photographer Paul D'Amato. Thursday tickets are $25 and can by bought by calling 312-337-0665. Based on the award-winning book, the play runs through February 19.

Chicago Harbor Panel @ ArchiCenter

The Chicago Architecture Foundation, Friends of the Parks, and Friends of Monroe Harbor present this panel on the Chicago Park District’s Draft District Wide Harbor System Plan. Participants include local architects and planners and Rob Rejman of the Chicago Park District. The discussion will begin at 5:30 PM. Free, 224 S. Michigan Ave. For more information, call 312-922-3432 or visit the website.

Live Jazz, Demos @ Chicago Hot Glass

On a cold night, glass blowing starts to seem like a highly attractive hobby. On the third Thursday of the month (that is, tonight), 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.

Camper Van Beethoven @ Abbey Pub

In the second half of the 1980s, Camper Van Beethoven-David Lowery (vocals, guitar), Victor Krummenacher (bass, vocals), Greg Lisher (guitar), Jonathan Segel (violin, guitar, keyboards) and Chris Pedersen (drums), plus late addition David Immerglück (guitar and various stringed instruments)—was one of its era's most original and influential indie rock bands. The quintet effortlessly combined an iconoclastic, irony-laced lyrical stance with a free-spirited eclecticism that encompassed a dizzying array of stylistic influences, from punk to folk to psychedelia to all manner of world music. Camper's visionary embrace of disparate genres established them as innovators, while their songs' combination of barbed satire and poignant humanism stymied those who'd attempt to pigeonhole them as a mere novelty. Appearing at Abbey Pub. Tickets $20 in advance and at the door. Doors 8pm, show 9pm.

Chicago Bloggers Meetup

Attend the second meeting of a group for local bloggers tonight at 6:15pm. This month's topic is search engines and audience building. Get more details and RSVP on Meetup.

Public Art/Public Conversations

In this free discussion session, participants mull over the distinction between public art and community art and how professional artists can create public work that incorporates community concerns. 6pm in the First Floor Garland Room at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington St. Call 312-744-6630 for more information.

Bloc Party DVD Screening

God Bless Bloc Party is a fairly typical music DVD collecting live performances, behind-the-scenes footage, and interviews with the band and fans, but hey, this screening is free. The performances include shows in Los Angeles and at a festival in France. You can read a bit on this fan blog, and check out a trailer [mov]. Watch it tonight at 9pm AliveOne at 2683 N. Halsted St., (773) 348-9800.

Dancing Girl Press readings @ Quimby's

The Dancing Girl Press Chapbook series brings three authors to Quimby's to read and sign their work. Carol V. Davis' poems have been featured on NPR and on Radio Russia. She is the author of two books of poetry: Letters From Prague and It's Time to Talk About. Marissa Spalding is an MFA in Poetry at Columbia College. K.R. Copeland is a frequently published Chicago poet/digital photographer. Her written work has appeared or is forthcoming in publications such as Stirring, The Muse Apprentice Guild, Sidereality, Cranky, Triplopia, Wicked Alice and Swivel. The reading starts at 7pm at Quimby's bookstore, located at 1854 W. North Ave., Chicago (773) 342-0910.

Be a Big Brother (or a Big Sister)

January is National Mentoring Month, and is a great time to finally explore volunteer opportunities in Chicago. Check out a recruitment event for Big Brothers/Big Sisters along with many other local non-profits tonight at the Chicago Cultural Center from 5-8pm. The Cultural Center is located at 78 E. Washington.

Jon Langford and Katy Hogan: Art as Dissent @ MCA

Heartland Café founder Katy Hogan interviews artist, activist, and musician John Langford about art as an expression of political dissent. This free event is sponsored by the Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council as well as MCA. Langford will also be featured at MCA this weekend, when he performs The Executioner’s Last Songs, a new composition that incorporates music, theater, and visual art. 6 PM, MCA Theater, 220 E Chicago Avenue. For more information, visit the website.

@properties Founder Speaks

Thaddeus Wong, co-founder of @properties, talks about how he and his partner built a billion-dollar real estate business in just five years at the Summit Executive Centre, 205 N. Michigan, 10th Floor. The talk is sponsored by the ; tickets are free for members, $15 in advance for non-members or $20 at the door. RSVP required to professional@ypchicago.org.

Women's book group @ Women & Children First

Women and Children First host their monthly women's book discussion group. This month's title is The Red Queen by Margaret Drabble. New members are always welcome to the group, and you get a 10% discount if you buy the book at the store and mention the book group. The discussion begins tonight at 7:30 PM. Full details at the W&CF site. Women and Children First: 5233 N. Clark. (773) 769-9299.

ChicagoPoetry Birthday Reading

ChicagoPoetry celebrates their seventh birthday with a reading at the Cafe, 5115 N. Lincoln. There will be new poetry, work from Fear of Poets and an open mic starting at 8pm. The reading is free, but donations are accepted to help keep the CP going. Call 773-539-1276 for more information.

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 “a symbiotic accord among the divisive literary factions of the city.” Tonight, Weep performs at 6:30 PM. 220 E. Chicago Ave. For more information, visit the website.

"Why the World Can't Wait" theatrical reading @ Steppenwolf Upstairs

When in the Course of Human Events: Creative Disobedience and Why the World Can't Wait, an evening of readings and performances in which "Chicago theater artists will join together for an evening of readings and performance addressing the challenges and responsibilities of citizenship under the current administration," gets started at 7pm tonight in the Steppenwolf Upstairs Theatre, 1650 N. Halsted St. The event is free, although donations to World Can't Wait are encouraged. More information at the Steppenwolf Audience Services line: 312-335-1650.

Young feminist book group @ Women & Children First

Women and Children First hosts their monthly young feminist book club. This month's book is Women As Lovers by Elfriede Jelinek. The group is open to new members, and you get a 10% discount if you buy the book at the store. The discussion happens tonight at 7:30 PM; see the W&CF site for full details. Women and Children First: 5233 N. Clark. (773) 769-9299.

AIC Celebrates Martin Luther King, Jr.

Bring your kids to celebrate and learn about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with storyteller Gwen Hillary at the Art Institute. Listen to stories, then create scratchboard pictures like the linoleum-cut prints in their current exhibition Legends and Legacy Award: Elizabeth Catlett. Free for kids of all ages; 11:30am-2:30pm in the Kraft Education Center. Call 312-857-7161 for more information.

50 Ways to Cut Your Natural Food Bill in Half

Healthy Dining Chicago's editor Laura Bruzas presents "50 Ways to Cut Your Natural Food Bill in Half," a lecture offering simple and healthy solutions to a busting grocery budget. Saturday and Sunday, 2-4pm, 934 W. Fry. Registration is required; call 312-666-9979 or email healthydining[at]aol[dot]com to book your seat.

100 Years of Beckett @ MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Curious Theatre Branch team up to present No Danger of the Spiritual Thing: 100 Years of Beckett. The performance is a series of short plays to celebrate Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday. Each section of the museum, including elevators, stairwells and galleries, will feature a different short play performed by local theater companies and artists. The shows start at 7:30pm with a special presentation of Texts for Nothing at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for MCA members, $15 for non-members. 220 E. Chicago Ave. Call 312-397-4010 for tickets and information.

Chicago Chamber Orchestra @ Cultural Center

This free concert by the Chicago Chamber Orchestra starts at 3 PM in Preston Bradley Hall and includes music by Mozart, Vivaldi, and Marcello. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Bike Winter Class

Biking doesn't have to end just because the warm weather does. Join all the other cold weather cyclists for a Bike Winter Class, providing information to help you ride safely thoroughout the season. Free from 4-6pm at Spareroom, 2416 W. North Ave. Email sarabikes[at]gmail[dot]com for more information.

Martin Luther King/Mahalia Jackson Tribute @ Millennium Park

Free concerts at Millennium Park in the winter? Yes, but seating is limited. Show up at least an hour early to line up for one of the 260 seats on the glass-enclosed, temperature-controlled Pritzker Pavilion stage for this musical commemoration of Martin Luther King’s birthday, simultaneously honoring Mahalia Jackson. Free, 3 - 5 PM. For more information, call 312-744-3315 or visit the website.

Opening: The Coast of Chicago @ Lookingglass Theatre

Stuart Dybek’s acclaimed stories about growing up in Pilsen have been turned into a play produced by the Walkabout Theater Company. At the Water Tower Waterworks, 821 N. Michigan Ave. The play closes 19 February; previews start 12 January. For more information, call 312-337-0665 or visit the website.

Handle Trunk Show @ Habit

Habit, at 1951 W. Division St., is holding a trunk show for Mandie Perdikakis's collection of handbags and accessories. The Brooklyn's designer's Handle collection can be seen here and from 11am-6pm on Saturday and 12pm-4pm on Sunday. Call 773-342-0093 for more information.

Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival @ Schubas

What gets rid of the winter doldrums? A nice start is live music, food and drink, and getting out of your house to mingle with people. Starting with the first bit, check out the little music festival that Schubas, The Onion, Pilsner Urquell and WLUW are bringing to town this weekend. Tonight, check out Magnolia Electric Co. with Palliard, Smallwire and The Deaths starting at 9pm at Schubas, located at 3159 N. Southport Ave. (773) 525-2508. Tickets are $10, and the show is 21+.

Quasar Wut-Wut @ Martyrs

Quasar Wut-Wut play Martyrs' tonight at 10:00. Opening acts are The Bitter Teats and Ancient Greeks. Tickets are $8 and are available through Musictoday. Martyrs': 3855 N. Lincoln. (773) 404-9494.

World Kitchen: New Year's Resolutions

Is cooking the thing you've resolved to learn this year? Join World Kitchen at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts for a cooking class that caters to aspiring cooks of all levels. This class focuses on healthy salads and soups for "jaded winter palates." Pre-registration is required for this $30 class, 11am-2pm. Call 312-742-9497 to reserve your spot. Gallery 37 is located at 66 E. Randolph.

Valentine Victorious @ Viaduct Theater

The House Theatre of Chicago presents the third and final installment in their Valentine Victorious trilogy. The synopsis: the hero (Valentine Victorious) travels back in time to 1930s Chicago to battle, in their words, "mobsters, corruption and a terrible demon robot." Brilliant! The show will be at the Viaduct Theater (3111 N. Western), and runs Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8:00 PM, and Sunday nights at 7:00 PM. The show opens tonight and runs through March 11; see the House Theatre Website for further details, or call their box office at (773) 251-2195.

50 Ways to Cut Your Natural Food Bill in Half

Healthy Dining Chicago's editor Laura Bruzas presents "50 Ways to Cut Your Natural Food Bill in Half," a lecture offering simple and healthy solutions to a busting grocery budget. Saturday and Sunday, 2-4pm, 934 W. Fry. Registration is required; call 312-666-9979 or email healthydining[at]aol[dot]com to book your seat.

100 Years of Beckett @ MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Curious Theatre Branch team up to present No Danger of the Spiritual Thing: 100 Years of Beckett. The performance is a series of short plays to celebrate Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday. Each section of the museum, including elevators, stairwells and galleries, will feature a different short play performed by local theater companies and artists. The shows start at 7:30pm with a special presentation of Texts for Nothing at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for MCA members, $15 for non-members. 220 E. Chicago Ave. Call 312-397-4010 for tickets and information.

Handle Trunk Show @ Habit

Habit, at 1951 W. Division St., is holding a trunk show for Mandie Perdikakis's collection of handbags and accessories. The Brooklyn's designer's Handle collection can be seen here and from 11am-6pm on Saturday and 12pm-4pm on Sunday. Call 773-342-0093 for more information.

Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival @ Schubas

What gets rid of the winter doldrums? A nice start is live music, food and drink, and getting out of your house to mingle with people. Starting with the first bit, check out the little music festival that Schubas, The Onion, Pilsner Urquell and WLUW are bringing to town this weekend. Tonight, check out Chin Up Chin Up and Pit Er Pat with Tapes 'n Tapes and Lake Holiday starting at 9pm at Schubas, located at 3159 N. Southport Ave. (773) 525-2508. Tickets are $10, and the show is 21+.

3Friends Benefit/Memorial Show @ Metro

Tonight at Metro, 3731 N. Clark St., hosts "3 Friends," a memorial and benefit show honoring Chicago musicians Michael Dahlquist, John Glick and Doug Meis, who were killed in a tragic car accident last year. The show will feature performances by some of the men's former groups, including Exo, The Dials, The Returnables and The Negligents. There will also be a raffle and a silent auction. All proceeds from the event will be donated to charities selected by family members on the men's behalf.
Tickets are $11. Doors open at 6pm, all ages.

100 Years of Beckett @ MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art and Curious Theatre Branch team up to present No Danger of the Spiritual Thing: 100 Years of Beckett. The performance is a series of short plays to celebrate Samuel Beckett's 100th birthday. Each section of the museum, including elevators, stairwells and galleries, will feature a different short play performed by local theater companies and artists. The shows start at 7:30pm with a special presentation of Texts for Nothing at 3pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 for MCA members, $15 for non-members. 220 E. Chicago Ave. Call 312-397-4010 for tickets and information.

Opening: The Airplane Project

Gardenfresh presents their first project of the year with Milwaukee artist Kathryn Martin. Working with obsession and conception, Marting uses "found cultural objects to engage the viewer in dialogue with-in and with-out the exhibition." Gardenfresh is located at 840 W. Washington, 2nd Floor; tonight's opening is from 6pm-10pm. The show runs through February 17. Call 773-732-8968 for more information.

Even in Blackouts @ Beat Kitchen

Beat Kitchen presents a performance by Chicago band Even in Blackouts, the latest musical venture by Chicago punk music veteran John Pierson. This performance also functions as a release party for Pierson's new novel, Weasels in A Box. Even in Blackouts will be heading out on a European tour soon, so this will be the last ti to catch them in town for a while; best to make it there tonight. The all-ages show starts tonight at 7:00 PM, and The Grackles and Mittens are the opening acts. Tickets are $6 in advance, $8 at the door, and can be purchased through the Beat Kitchen Website. Beat Kitchen: 2100 W. Belmont. (773) 281-4444.

Opening: Versus: Photography and Sculpture

Versus: Photography and Sculpture opens tonight in the WestTown Gallery District @ 40000. From 7-10pm, check out the 12 featured artists and their work in sculpture, photography, painting, video and drawing. Free and open to the public. The show runs through January 28 at 1001 N. Winchester Ave. Call 773-342-4930 for more information.

"Horror On Tour" @ Rotofugi

Rotofugi, 1953 W. Chicago Ave., opens "Horror On Tour," a show of new art by Christopher Lee and Tado, tonight from 7pm to 11pm. DJ Clayton Counts spins, free drinks, neat toys and art. And there's a raffle! More info here.

"Big Brother, Little Brother" Opening Reception

Anthony Lewellen and W. Kim, aka Antck and Revise CMW, open their joint show of their graffiti-inspired art at District 13 Gallery, 1706 W. Chicago, tonight from 7pm to 11pm. Free, of course, with an after party at Tre Via, 1575 N. Milwaukee. More details here.

Opening: Not I @ MCA

The Museum of Contemporary Art shows work from its artists’ book collection in commemoration of Samuel Beckett’s 100th birthday. Featured artists include Marcel Duchamp, Bruce Nauman, and John Cage; the centerpiece of the exhibition is a film of Beckett’s 15-minute play Not I. The exhibit closes 23 April. 220 E Chicago Avenue. For more information, call 312-280-2660 or visit the website.

Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival @ Schubas

What gets rid of the winter doldrums? A nice start is live music, food and drink, and getting out of your house to mingle with people. Starting with the first bit, check out the little music festival that Schubas, The Onion, Pilsner Urquell and WLUW are bringing to town this weekend. Tonight, check out Manishevitz and The Spinto Band with The 1900's and The Moonlight Towers starting at 9pm at Schubas, located at 3159 N. Southport Ave. (773) 525-2508. Tickets are $10, and the show is 21+.

Chicago Bicycle Federation Open House

The Chicago Bicycle Federation invites you to help celebrate its move to River North with a reception featuring an auction, Goose Island beer, and Kitsch’n appetizers, followed by a party at Mother Hubbard’s. 5 PM, 9 W. Hubbard Street, Ste. 402. To make a reservation, email openhousersvp@biketraffic.org or leave a message at 312-427-3325, ext. 251.

Kids on Check, Please!

Tonight's broadcast of Check, Please! (WTTW 11) features preteen reviewers dishing (sorry) about Ed Debevic's, Medieval Times, and King Crab. 8pm.

PISTIL's Rock'n'Dance Party

Head to the Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia, tonight for Pistil magazine's Rock'n'Dance Party, starting at 9pm. The show features the women of The Pumps, The Countdown (proclaimed "the hottest DIY husband/wife duo to hail from the Midwest since you-know-who burst outta Detroit" by Filter Magazine) and sexy groove-shaker maker DJ Hugsen Kissus! $5 cover, 21 and over.

Powell's North Reading Series

This month's reading series at Powell's North, 2850 N. Lincoln, features Devin Johnston, author of Aversions and Telepathy and former poetry editor for Chicago Review. Nicollete Bond and David Tanury will also read. Free at 7pm. Call 773-248-1444 for more information.

Tomorrow Never Knows Music Festival @ Schubas

What gets rid of the winter doldrums? A nice start is live music, food and drink, and getting out of your house to mingle with people. Starting with the first bit, check out the little music festival that Schubas, The Onion, Pilsner Urquell and WLUW are bringing to town this weekend. Tonight, check out Kevin Tihista and Andrew Morgan with Tenki starting at 9pm at Schubas, located at 3159 N. Southport Ave. (773) 525-2508. Tickets are $10, and the show is 21+.

Learn to make sushi

Are you a little scared of that rice, fish, and seaweed concoction many of us love to snarf at restaurants? Well, have no fear, the City of Chicago is here! Learn to make sushi from experienced chefs at the World Kitchen for just $30. The class will teach the age-old techniques of wrapping and rolling sushi, as well as how to choose and purchase sushi materials and ingredients, different types of sushi, and other tricks of preparing sushi at home. The class runs tonight from 6-8:30pm at The Gallery 37 Center for the Arts. Pre-registration is required (and suggested, since the class will likely fill up) and can be done by calling 312-742-TIXS (8497) or by visiting the box office located at the Gallery 37 Center for the Arts, 66 E. Randolph St. The box office is open Wednesday through Saturday, noon to 6pm.

Bloomingdale Trail Talk @ Cultural Center

Imagine a bicycle trail that extends across the Northwest side from the Chicago River to Logan Square. Now imagine it 20 feet up. To learn more about this plan to convert the disused railroad tracks and abandoned viaduct of the Bloomingdale Corridor to public green space and a bicycle path, attend this free presentation at 12:15 PM. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Classic Jews: A Staged Reading

Nextbook presents Classic Jews: A Staged Reading tonight at 6pm at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State St. "Jewish characters in the English tradition were created by non-Jews. In imagining these heroes, heroines, and villains, British and American authors pondered the place of Jews in society, and bolstered many of the stereotypes, positive and negative, that later writers would revisit, reinvent, and react against. Laura Ferri directs an evening of readings from Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens, George Eliot, Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf and others." Tickets are $10, $8 for students. More info available at nextbook.org.

TV-a-Go-Go

This event celebrates the history of rock music on television, with an emphasis on Chicago artists and programs. Jake Austen will use his book TV-A-Go-Go as a guide through a screening of rare video clips, including Bo Diddley's historic 1955 appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, obscure ‘60s and ‘70s dance show clips, and the infamous 1981 Saturday Night Live punk rock "riot." The event will honor a panel of guests, including local TV legend Jack Mulqueen (producer of the ‘60s dance shows Kiddie-A-Go-Go and Swingin' Majority) and crooner/nightclub owner Milt Trenier, who began his showbiz career over 50 years ago as a member of the pioneering rock n' roll act, the Treniers. The show starts at 6pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, Claudia Cassidy Theater, 77 E. Randolph Street, Chicago, and it's free.

Albie Sachs @ U of C

Albie Sachs, a justice on the Constitutional Court of South Africa, discusses "Social Issues, Moral Dimensions: A perspective from the new South Africa" concerning the recent decision of the court regarding same-sex marriage and other social issues confronting the courts in South Africa and the U.S. 4:30pm today in the Swift Hall 3rd Floor Lecture Room at the University of Chicago, 1025 E. 58th St. Free. More information here.

Explore Christian Rock @ Schubas

A movie for free? That's just crazy talk, yet, Schubas and Reckless Records are doing it. Tonight at Schubas Tavern, drop in and see a DVD Screening of "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?" plus a special performance by The Detholz. According to Schubas: "The film won the Audience Choice award at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, where it premiered on August 22nd, 2004. "Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music?" is a feature-length film about the artistic, religious and cultural phenomenon of Christian rock music. The film features concert and interview footage of underground and nationally recognized bands in the Christian rock community. It also includes commentary from fans, musicians, observers and critics from within the Christian rock scene, as well as from the "secular" music community." Yes, it's about Christian rock music, but it's being screened in a bar for free. Hilarity is sure to ensue. Schubas is located at the corner of Belmont and Southport.

Get Some Knife Skills

Prep work is easy, once you've learned how to select, use, and sharpen the most important tool in your kitchen, the knife! In this hands-on class, Chef Bryan will lead the class through various cutting techniques essential for building the confidence needed to carve, slice, dice and mince your next masterpiece. The class costs $65 and will be held at 6:30pm at The Wooden Spoon located at 5047 N. Clark in Andersonville. Call (773) 293-3190 to register.

Opening: 20th Annual Young Playwrights Festival

The Young Playwrights Festival is a year-long program of workshops and performances focused teaching playwriting to the city's year. The annual festival is the conclusion of this program. Tonight's performance, at 8pm, marks the opening of the this year's festival at Pegasus Players, 1145 W. Wilson Ave. The plays are written by Chicago-area high school students and will run through January 29. Tickets are $12 and can be bought by calling 773-878-9761.

Multigenerational Jazz @ Cultural Center

Led by saxophonist Ernest Dawkins, young and old jazz musicians perform together in this free event at the Claudia Cassidy Theater, starting at 7 PM tonight. Members of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians are also featured. 78 E Washington Street. For more information, call 312-744-6630 or visit the website.

Gapers Block Book Club Meeting

This month's meeting of the Gapers Block Book Club takes place tonight at The Book Cellar at 4736 N. Lincoln Ave., where we will be discussing The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow. The meeting begins at 7:30pm. Hope to see you there! And, join the book club email list for news, updates and alerts about future meetings.

Collected Works of Chicago Filmmakers

In what will become a monthly event, this first showing of the Collected Works of Chicago Filmmakers present local filmmakers that uphold the Chicago values: aesthetics, creativity and originality. Brian Hank Henry, Brian Lange, Jared Larson, Steve Delahoyde, Thomas Horne and Zach Litwack will show their films at 8pm at The Underground Lounge, 952 W. Newport. Call 773-327-2739 for more information.

Opening: Katrina: State of Emergency

Bailiwick Repertory Theatre presents a world premiere docu-drama about the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. Playwright Jeffrey Bruner, a film and theater critic for the Des Moines Register, shows the devastation of Katrina through the words of those affected: "Like SIN: A CARDINAL DEPOSED or THE LARAMIE PROJECT, KATRINA: STATE OF EMERGENCY uses the power of actual events, film and video footage, and words from those who lived through the situation to create a potent work of theater." Directed by Patrick Rybarczyk. Opens tonight at 6pm. Regular performances are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 8:00, and Sunday at 3:00 through January 29; performances continue in February on Thursday at 8:00, Saturday at 6:00, and Sunday at 3:00 through February 19. $25. 773-883-1090.

Elvis Fest 2006

Start off the New Year with some fine Elvis impersonators at the Elvis Fest 2006 at Mother's. In honor of his birthday (January 8) there will be live performances from the Elvis Entertainers Network (I want that cable channel, man). You could win a trip to Graceland and a stay at the Heartbreak Hotel. The Hunk-a Burnin' Love gets going at 7pm tonight. Mother's is located at 26 W. Division, call 312-642-6800 for more information.

Opening: Palimpsest @ Johnsonese

Tonight Johnsonese Gallery will hold an opening reception for "Palimpsest," their latest exhibition featuring the work of contemporary painters David Harouni and Joey Wozniak. The reception is from 6-9pm and is free and open to the public. Johnsonese Gallery is located at 2149 W. Armitage Ave. Call 773-252-8750 for more information.

Indoor Dodgeball Championships

You played in elementary school, but, apart from the movie, have you ever seen dodgeball done the serious way? Today's your chance, if you're willing to trek to Schaumburg. The National Amateur Dodgeball Association is hosting its indoor championships at the Sport Center. The kids start at 9am, while the adult games kick off at noon.

Run for Choice

Today is the Illinois Choice Action Team's semi-monthly run/walk for Choice! Come run off some of the pounds you packed on at sundry holiday dinners. Start time is 10am at the Cara Running Board, Diversey Harbor. The course is 2-3 miles, all paces welcome. It's free! Email ilchoiceactionteam@hotmail.com for more information or with any questions.

Christmas Tree Recycling

Get your tree mulched (no, that's not something dirty) and pick up a year's supply of free blue bags (hey, it's your city recycling option for now at least) at any of 22 locations around the city today from 9am-2pm. You can also pick up some free mulch to use yourself and a free blue spruce sapling. Call 311 for more information.

Dollar Store @ Hideout

The one and only buck-inspired show returns to the Hideout with readings by Gretchen Kalwinski, Mickey Hess and Chris Bower. Hosted by Jonathan Messinger and Jeremy Sosenko. $1 cover, 7pm, at 1354 W. Wabansia. Call 773-227-4433 for more information.

True Historians Classic Country Happy Hour

A full six-piece band with two Texan vocalists, True Historians perform two hours of classic country music tonight at Betty's Blue Star Lounge, 1600 W. Grand Ave. From 7-9pm you can hear all manner of pre-1970s country music, not that new-fangled stuff all the kids are listening to these days. Free. Call 773-252-0805 for more information.

Midnight Yoga @ Bloom

Tonight at 10:30, head over to Bloom Studio for Midnight Yoga with Eric Jeffers featuring live music by Dan Godston. This invigorating class explores the connection between movement, music, and breath and is a great way to refresh your yoga practice. Gather with like-minded individuals who are looking to do something fun, unique, and healthy to start their weekend. Pre-registration is recommended in order to guarantee your spot. 4663 N. Rockwell, 10:30pm-midnight, $20

Milk at Midnight @ Empty Bottle

Milk at Midnight plays tonight at the Empty Bottle. My Left Arm and Naysayers join in. The doors open at 9pm, with Milk going on at 11:30pm. $7 cover, 21+. The Empty Bottle is located at 1035 N. Western Ave. Call 773-276-3600 for more information.

Funk the Metal @ Sonotheque

WLUW and WNUR team up to present Funk the Metal at Sonotheque. Featured DJs include GB's own Atomly, WLUW's Chris Widman and WNUR's Dave Siska. 9pm-2am, 21+, no cover. Call 312-267-7600 for more information.

Dame Myra Hess Memorial Concert Series

Listen live, on the radio, or on tv to young Chicago musicians every Wednesday at 12:15pm at the Chicago Cultural Center, Preston Bradley Hall, 78 E. Washington Street, Chicago. Organized by the International Music Foundation, this landmark series features solo and ensemble classical music performed by young musicians. It has been a mainstay of classical programming at the Chicago Cultural Center since October 1977. The concerts are also broadcast live on WFMT (98.7FM) and Cable Channel 25. Today, Judy Kang, Violin, and Kay Kim, Piano will perform a program including works by Kreisler, Chausson, Prévost, and Paganini. For more information, call the Department of Cultural Affairs at (312) 744-6630.

Stitch 'n' Bitch @ MCA

Need a place to meet up with other knitters? Join everyone at the Museum of Contemporary Art for their monthly Stitch 'n' Bitch, an informal gathering of friendly knitters in Puck's cafe. Free, 5:30-8pm. Call 312-280-2660 for more information. The MCA is located at 220 E. Chicago Ave.

Devil in a Woodpile @ Hideout

You know you love them, so head out at hear Devil in a Woodpile play their excellent country and blues music at the Hideout tonight. Music starts at 9:30pm, and the Hideout is located at 1354 W. Wabansia, Chicago. Get going!

Free Movies @ Schubas

Heads still hurt? Music too loud? Head over to Schubas Tavern for their 5th Annual New Year's Rehab Night featuring hilarious movies that won't hurt a bit. This year, they're showing the Wedding Crashers and The Aristocrats, and the best part is, it's free. Schubas is located at 3159 N. Southport, at Belmont.

LunchBreak Jazz @ Cultural Center

If you need a little music to get yourself through the dreaded Tuesday after a day off, then head to the Chicago Cultural Center's Randolph Cafe today at 12:15pm for their weekly Jazz, Blues & Beyond LunchBreak program, today featuring the Pat Mallinger Quartet. The concert is free, and seating is on a first come basis. The Cultural Center is located at 77 E. Randolph St., Chicago.

Poker Ride (on bikes) @ Wicker Park

Enjoy a leisurely 15-mile trip to four bars (to be determined) around the city. At each of five checkpoints, riders will randomly receive a playing card, and at the final checkpoint, the best hand wins! (Bicycle-related prizes supplied by Phil Wood and Yojimbo's Garage). $5 registration fee covers spokecard, and proceeds go to The Big Fix and the Bike Messenger Emergency Fund). Meet up at 2:30pm by the playground equipment. More questions? Email chicagopokerride@gmail.com.

Jeff Parker Organ Quartet @ Green Mill

Tonight from 9pm-1am, the Jeff Parker Organ Quartet plays at the Green Mill. A $6 cover gets you inside this historic club and lets you hear Jeff Parker on guitar, Pete Benson on organ, George Fludas on drums, and a fourth TBA. 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.

Closing: Images of Uptown

Today is your last chance to see "Images of Uptown" a group show by North Side artists using painting, drawing, mosaics and photography to express the diversity in their communities. Held at the Jane Addams Hull House Center for Arts and Culture, 1136 W. Wilson Ave., the free show will close today at 6pm. Call 773-907-9403 for more information.

Kitsch'n New Year's Day Hangover Brunch

This is Kitsch'n's eighth year of providing food, music and the hair of the dog to hungover New Year's Eve party-goers. From 10am-4pm at two locations -- 2005 W. Roscoe and 600 W. Chicago -- come in your pajamas, play some games and have some great food at the New Year's Day Hangover Brunch. Call 773-248-7372 or 312-644-1500, at their respective locations, for more information.

Final Performance: Blue Nativity

Sure, you've probably seen reenactments of the Nativity twenty times over, but have you ever seen it with puppets? Quest Theatre Ensemble is putting their own spin on the birth of Jesus with music and large scale puppets. Today's free performance is the final one for the season; 4pm at St. Gregory the Great Church, 5535 N. Paulina. Call 312-458-0895 or email info[at]questensemble[dot]org for more information.

Ann Sather Disco Diva Brunch

Ann Sather's Broadway location, 3411 N. Broadway, helps ring in the new year with the Disco Diva Brunch from 7am to 4pm today. The disco music and mirrorball may not help your headache, but the food definitely will.


Upcoming