Wood carvings, handwoven textiles, and stained-glass pieces will be on display at the 16th annual Water Tower Art and Craft Festival, starting today and running through Sunday, from 11 to 7. The exhibit will be on Chicago between Michigan and Lake Shore Drive. Call 991-4748 for more.
Ever since Bradley Parker, or Sparrow, and Joanie Pallatto set up their commercial recording studio on Southport (reputed to be top-notch), they've become relative strangers to the local club scene. But these two are real talents: together, Joanie's powerful voice and Sparrow's quirky, almost eccentric approach to writing and arranging make for wonderful music. They're appearing tonight in a special concert at Boombala, 2950 N. Lincoln, at 9 and 11. $8. Call 871-2686 for more,
The Chicago chapter of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences will present its annual panel, Developing Talent in the 90s, featuring top dogs from A&M, Slash, ASCAP, Capitol, and Atlantic. The panel should provide you with plenty of inside info on how to shop a record deal. The talk starts at 1 PM at the Briar Street Theatre, 3133 N. Halsted. Admission is $15, $5 for students. Call 372-1575 for more information.
The saxophone, patented by the Belgian instrument maker Adolphe Sax in 1846, was originally intended as a filler of sorts. Sax and his backers figured the horn's flexible sound could cover for almost any instrument in the brass section. What they didn't realize was how well the instrument can stand on its own. Saxophonitis--a sax quartet--will demonstrate tonight at 8 at the Village Compound, 2237 E. 79th St. Sponsored by the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians; admission is $7. For more, call 752-2212.
When he was an alderman, Acting Mayor Eugene Sawyer voted against the lesbian and gay rights ordinance, but he seems pretty serious about supporting it now. Not only did he introduce it himself to the City Council earlier this month, but he intends to make an appearance in the 19th annual Gay and Lesbian Pride Parade. Sawyer will be making a bit of history as the first incumbent mayor to ride in the parade--Harold Washington always appeared at the rallies but never in the parade itself, and Jane Byrne rode along only after she was out of office. The parade kicks off at 2 PM at the comer of Halsted and Grace streets and will go down Broadway to Clark. Sawyer will be the featured speaker at the rally immediately afterward in Lincoln Park just north of North Pond between Stockton and Cannon drives. For more information, call 348-8243.
Laurie Dann had little trouble buying guns. Though she had a history of mental-health problems, and though legal authorities from various jurisdictions were poised to take action against her, Dann had practically amassed an arsenal. Concerned citizens can Learn How to Ban Handguns at a free community meeting tonight at 7:30 at Temple Jeremiah, 937 Happ in Northfield. Among the speakers will be Philip Andrew, the 20-year-old who was Dann's last target before she fatally shot herself. Call 498-6259 for more information.
Michael Spinks looks mighty nervous every time he tries to plug his bout with the titanic Mike Tyson, the man with a neck the size of a redwood. Spinks is a somewhat sympathetic figure, considering that Tyson has yet to lose a fight and that most of his opponents tend to wind up face down in the ring. But you can't feel too sorry for Spinks--if he survives, he'll be anywhere from $3 to $5 million richer. Not bad for a night's work. Tyson versus Spinks will air tonight on closed circuit TV, but you can see it on any one of several screens at Ditka's City Lights, 223 W. Ontario; the doors open at 7 tonight. Tickets are $100 or $150 depending on the package you buy. Reserve your seat by calling 280-7660.
Chicago's most produced playwright Jeff Hagedorn tackles the sports world in I Cover the Lockerroom, a play about a female sports reporter who gets stuck covering naked men, sweaty bodies, and the like. "We've got sports jokes, feminist jokes, bare butts and a $3 recommended cover," Hagedorn says. The show starts tonight at 7:15 at Sheffield's, 3258 N. Sheffield. Reservations will not be taken, so get there early. For more, call 477-5220.
This celebrity-scent business is a recent phenomenon, as you'll see at the Museum of Science and Industry's Scents of Time: Reflections of Fragrance and Society. The exhibition showcases more than 200 artifacts, including historic containers, perfume labels, and rosewater sprinklers, and amazingly, celebrities have no role at all. The show is supported by the Fragrance Foundation, a not-for-profit educational branch of the scent industry (no kidding). The museum, at 57th and Lake Shore Drive, is open from 9:30 to 5:30 daily. Admission and parking are free. The show runs through September 5; call 684-1414 for more.
The Chicago chapter of the NAMES Project--the project to create a giant quilt bearing nearly 2,000 names stitched by the friends, families, and lovers of people who have died of AIDS that will be on display at Navy Pier July 9 to 11--is raising funds with a special screening of five films on AIDS: Living With AIDS, Chuck Soloman: Coming of Age, October 17, 1987--The Inaugural Display of the NAMES Project, The AIDS Epidemic, and 'Til Death Do Us Part. The films begin at 7:30 PM at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. There will be a reception afterward. There's no admission fee, but donations are requested. Call 281-8788 for more information.
The Left has not always been kind to gays. Sure, the Russian Revolution promised equal protection to homosexuals, but relatively safe gay gatherings have become a phenomenon only recently. In Cuba, gays were imprisoned in the infamous UMAP camps during the mid-60s simply because they were gay. Yet gays have been an integral part of the Left, especially in the U.S. and Europe. Saul Kanowitz, a member of the Workers World Party lesbian-and-gay caucus, will talk tonight on Lesbian/Gay Liberation and the Socialist Movement at 7:30 at the Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ, 615 W. Wellington. It's free. For more, call 283-0851.
The final days of the two leaders of the infamous Blood Bunch gang in turn-of-the-century South Dakota is the subject of Rick Cleveland's first western, Bad Moon. A combination melodrama and dark comedy, the play explores the legacy of the violence of the old west. This production of the American Blues Theatre, which runs through August 7, will be in the Goodman Theatre Studio, 200 S. Columbus Drive. Times and prices are: Thursday and Friday at 8 PM, $14; Saturday at 6 and 9, $16; and Sunday at 7, $14. Call 443-3800 for information.