On the literary front, a couple of provocative sessions are brewing tonight. At Barbara's Bookstore, Jungian analyst Robert Moore and mythologist Douglas Gillette--two leaders of the not-entirely-worthless-but-still-scary "men's movement"--will talk about their new book, King Warrior Magician Lover: Rediscovering the Archetypes of the Mature Masculine. The two campaign for "a mature and authentic masculinity"--which, they say, is different from traditional chauvinistic or patriarchal behavior. The two will introduce their work and answer questions at Barbara's, 1350 N. Wells, at 7:30. It's free. Call 642-5044.
"Where are the bitches in his poems?/ Why ain't he holding his dick?" asks poet Michael Warr in the poem "Not Black Enough" from his new collection, We Are All the Black Boy. Warr and poets David Hernandez (Rooftop Piper) and Patricia Smith (Life According to Motown) are holding a joint book-release party and reading at the World Tattoo Gallery, 1255 S. Wabash, at 9 tonight. It's free. Call 252-5321 or 939-2222.
"I don't see her much since she learned to ride," confessed Jonathan Richman on his last album. "Her jeans they get like a wet saddle blanket / Her boots are like you'd figure / And her car is full of hay." The record was called Jonathan Goes Country; the above song makes it unclear how much the experience agreed with him, but Richman's clean-cut concerns and earnest anthropology carry the day. Since his origins with the Modern Lovers way back in the mid-70s, he's been putting out albums of childlike folk ("I'm Nature's Mosquito"), becoming in the process our most convincing proponent of Munchkin humor and unbounded innocence. He opens his annual two-night stand at Lounge Ax tonight. The Skeletons open; Richman goes on about midnight. Lounge Ax is at 2438 N. Lincoln; 525-6620. It's $10.
In 17th-century England, says Frances Dolan, an English prof at Miami University of Ohio, it was petty treason to kill your husband but only homicide to kill your wife. Dolan's lecture Home Rebels and House Traitors, which focuses on the murderous wives, starts at 11 this morning at the Newberry Library, 60 W. Walton. The talk and accompanying coffee and doughnuts are free. Call 943-9090, ext. 310.
Sometimes critics get it just right. Take rock writer Robert Payes (in the New Trouser Press Record Guide) on Lydia Lunch: "[Her] career since deep-sixing [former group] Teenage Jesus and the Jerks has been an unpredictable path governed by boredom, romance, perversity and whatever musicians or collaborators are convenient at the time." The punk chanteuse (a waitress at New York's CBGB's before her stint with the Jerks) is now a punk poetess whose assault in performance can make Karen Finley's act seem like polite parlor chatter. Her latest assault on men and society is called Conspiracy of Women; she performs it at Artemisia Gallery, 700 N. Carpenter, tonight at 8. It's $7. Call 226-7323.
The Sandinistas are down but not out. A Valentine's Day dance to raise money for the party's first-ever national congress--to be held in Nicaragua in July--features the Afro-Caribbean salsa band Orchestra Nabori. The group plays tonight at 8 at the Near Northwest Arts Council Gallery, 1579 N. Milwaukee. Dance lessons start at 9. It's $8. Call 728-5561 or 276-5626 for details.
San Francisco mayor Art Agnos used the city's huge gay community as a key part of his winning coalition. After ten years of Dianne Feinstein's grimy corporatism, his administration has been, by and large, a progressive success. Agnos will speak on "The Art of Politics, the Politics of Art" at tonight's fund-raising dinner for Impact, the local gay and lesbian political action committee. A predinner reception starts at 6, dinner at 7; $150 includes dinner, Agnos, a performance by the Joel Hall Dancers, and a silent auction of about 30 donated works by local artists. At the Chicago Hilton and Towers, 720 S. Michigan. Call 880-2308 for information.
If you have a relative or friend in the process of being made into Persian Gulf cannon fodder, you might want to check out a support program being offered by Charter Barclay Hospital--titled (unfortunately enough for those who aren't enthusiastic war backers) the Desert Storm Support Group. The group meets Mondays from 6:30 to 8 at the hospital, 4700 N. Clarendon, starting tonight. Call the hospital at 728-7100 for details. It's free.
Folksinger and raconteur Art Thieme was recently afflicted with carpal tunnel syndrome, terrifying to any artist who works with his hands. Its progressive numbness has left him unable to perform, so tonight the Old Town School of Folk Music is sponsoring a benefit for Thieme at the Blackstone Theatre, 60 E. Balbo. Featured: Jim Post, John Hartford, Bob Gibson, Corky Siegel, and others. Tickets are $15-$25; the show starts at 8. Call 525-7793 or 708-367-0707 for details.
How do you snag the first patent on an "altered life form"? You become a microbiologist and "invent" a bacterium that eats oil. UIC professor Ananda Chakrabarty did just that. He speaks today on Environmental Pollution Problems--Oil Spills, Agent Orange, Nerve Gas--and Their Remediation Through Biotechnology. He'll talk about these subjects and others in room 613 of the Chicago Circle Center, 750 S. Halsted, at 2 PM today. It's free. For more info, call 996-5393.
Gene Anderson, onetime producer and director of the alternative video cable program Rawcutz, is showing a collection of short films and videos tonight. Featured are two of his latest: God Wants Profit$ and Imbroglio II. Accompaniment will be provided by saxophonist Camille Rocha and the group Dear Mr. Capote. At Cafe Tete-a-Tete, 750 N. Orleans, at 8. It's $5. Call 649-9343.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, whose crowning of Milli Vanilli as best new artist of 1989 has been overshadowed by the entirely irrelevant question of who sang what on the band's debut album, is nonetheless plowing ahead with the 1990 awards tonight. You can share the excitement with the Chicago NARAS chapter as the 33rd annual Grammy Awards are televised on huge screens at Traffic Jam, 401 W. Ontario, starting at 6:30 PM. WFLD's Amy Scott hosts; three bands--Jewel Fetish, 4 P.M., and Kenny Geffen and 440--will provide postshow music. It's $12.50. Call 786-1121 for details.
Hearts for Habitat is the local offshoot of Habitat for Humanity International--you know, the group Jimmy Carter works with that builds houses for low-income working people who don't quite qualify for governmental assistance. The Habitat members themselves do the building, with the family chipping in several hundred hours of "sweat equity." Hearts for Habitat currently has a couple of projects under way on the north side; tonight the group is taking over the Music Box Theatre to raise money for these projects. Three classic silent shorts by Charlie Chaplin--The Adventurer, Easy Street, and The Immigrant--and Buster Keaton's The General, all with organ accompaniment by Jeff Weiler, begin at 7; the $15 admission includes a reception between films. The Music Box is at 3733 N. Southport; call 883-1044 for details.
Where the heck do Baha'i teachings come from, anyway? From "the belief that there is only one God, that all religions are one, and that the oneness and unity of the human race is the most important social principle facing humankind today." So sayeth the Theosophical Society, which is presenting a talk on Baha'i in Wheaton tonight. Speaking is Yvor Stoakley, a former executive with the National Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is. One Planet, One People: The Message of Baha'u'llah begins at 7:30. It's $6, $4 for Theosophical Society members, at the society offices at 1926 N. Main St. in Wheaton. Call 708-688-1571.