What has two legs, a ten-inch television with antenna, a Camcorder, and a video playback deck? It's performance artist Marshall Weber, all got up for his 30-minute performance TV Tumor. Weber's in town through Election Day for a series of performances and workshops at the N.A.M.E. gallery, 700 N. Carpenter. Tonight and tomorrow he'll do the piece proper, an ever-changing kaleidoscope of Weber's commentary set against whatever the TV's showing, whether it's the audience (as taped through the camera on his shoulder), broadcast TV, or prerecorded tapes. The performances start at 7 and cost $7, $5 for N.A.M.E. members. On Monday at 7 Weber presents a two-hour lecture and workshop about the piece. (That's $15, $10 for members or students.) Finally, on Tuesday, Weber plans to perform TV Tumor on the streets of the Loop; that night, starting at 7, he'll host another evening at N.A.M.E., where he'll show tapes of his Loop adventures and watch election returns. That one's free. Call 226-0671 for more.
Over his 30-plus years as a jazz critic, essayist, author, journalist, and armchair constitutionalist, Nat Hentoff has evolved from a studious and dependable hipster into an utter bore. His Village Voice column now consists of little but endless carping about abortion and increasingly tiresome rants about political correctness. He'll discuss his new book, Free Speech for Me--but Not for Thee: How the American Left and Right Relentlessly Censor Each Other, at 7:30 PM at Barbara's Bookstore, 3130 N. Broadway. It's free; call 477-0411.
Here's a passage we've been puzzling over for some time: Keistas, nesuprantamas disonansas tarp sios vargu ir tamsumo juros atrode nauja brangi baznycia. Aisku buvo, kad ji, tokia daili ir didele, pakliuvo cion kazin kaip, kazkokiu fatalisku zmoniu nesusipratimu, padariusi jiems didele nuoskauda, isciulpusi ju visas sultis palikusi jiems tik skurda--bent simtmeciui. Imagine our relief to hear that the Balzekas Museum of Lithuanian Culture, 6500 S. Pulaski, is offering a six-week class in Lithuanian! The hourly sessions start at 11 AM Saturdays through December 12. It's $66; call 582-6500 for more info.
Harrod Blank shows signs of following in the footsteps of his father, famous documentarian Les Blank, with Wild Wheels, a documentary on strange people who, through obsession or other problems, turn their cars into mobile sculptures. Blank has his own art car, a '65 Beetle, adorned with things like a globe, a TV set, a mailbox, and plastic fruit; naturally, this led to meetings with other car nuts, and Wild Wheels was born. Both Blank and his Beetle will be on display tonight at the Film Center, Columbus and Jackson, for screenings of the film at 6 and 8. It's $5. Call 443-3737 for more.
Friends and colleagues of beloved avant-garde jazz musician Hal Russell, who died last month of a heart attack, will throw a party and memorial concert tonight called A Joyous Noise on Hal-o-ween. On the agenda: performances by his former groups, the NRG3 + 1 and the NRG Ensemble, and the All Nations Orchestra, the Anointed Ones, and something called the "Hal-lelujah Chorus." Plus there'll be videos of Russell at work and a 3-D slide show complete with the requisite glasses. The free show starts at 8 at Southend Musicworks, 1313 S. Wabash; call 939-2848 for details.
"The Master is like a window. Through him, you can see the Infinite. He is limitless compassion and grace. To know him is to be touched by his child-like simplicity and joy. In his presence, one experiences a profound silence beyond words." That's the word, anyway, from the followers of Hindu master Sri Sri Pundit Ravi Shankar (no relation) , who's giving three free lectures in Chicago this week. The first is at 5 today at the Lemont Hindu Temple, 12 S. 701 Lemont Road in Lemont. Monday at 4:30, he'll be in room 217 of Northwestern's Fisk Hall, 1845 Sheridan in Evanston. And Tuesday at 8, he'll be out at the O'Hare Marriott, 8535 W. Higgins. There's no telling what Shankar will discuss: an organizer says, "He addresses the ends of the moment." Call 708-564-5947 or 708-864-8395 for more.
With the publication of her political potboiler, Embrace the Serpent, note the folks at Theater Oobleck, Marilyn Quayle became "the nation's first Second Lady third-rate novelist." Concerned about their contributions to "the fertile, pesticide-drenched landscape of "Decision '92,"' the theater decided to offer up a staged reading of the book. The show closes with a "last chance to laugh at it all" performance at 8 tonight at the Garage, 1843 W. North. Tickets cost $4 ("free if you're broke"); call 489-3324 for details.
Lacking any good reason not to, you can certainly vote today at a convenient location very close to your own home. To find out your precinct's polling place, to report vote fraud, or just to complain, call the city's board of elections at 269-7976. The polls are open from 6 AM until 7 PM.
The Remains Theatre's ongoing production of the Gershwin brothers' blithe political satire Of Thee I Sing might be the thing to see on election night. To make it easier, the theater will throw a returns-watching party after tonight's show. Forty dollars ($30 for members) gets you the performance, a cash bar, goodies from places like Bacino's, Carlucci, the Montana Street Cafe, and more, and lots of screens to watch the returns on. The show starts at 7 at the theater, 1800 N. Clybourn. Call 335-9595.
Jose Feliciano was born blind in Spanish Harlem, the second of 12 kids. He was discovered at Gerde's Folk City and had a remarkable career: he was a major superstar in Latin America by the mid-60s, and his moody cover of "Light My Fire" was a number-three hit in the U.S. He later caused controversy with a similarly moody rendition of "The Star Spangled Banner" at the '68 World Series and kept in the public eye with the hit theme song to "Chico and the Man." Today he remains a fascinating multiinstrumentalist and an evocative singer. He performs tonight at 7 at the Congress Theater, 2100 N. Milwaukee, as part of a benefit for the Performing Arts Scholarship Fund of the Hispanic Music & Entertainment Hall of Fame. Tickets range from $15 to $35. Also appearing are Elvis impersonator Rick Saucedo, Mike Roman & the Tell Stars, and Digna Adames. Call 342-9901 or 561-2845 for more.
In The Color Complex: The Last Taboo Among African-Americans, authors Kathy Russell, Midge Wilson, and Ron Hall present a historical survey on how color counts, even among blacks themselves. They trace the issue back to the times of slavery, when, they say, light-skinned blacks worked in the house, darker ones in the fields. Today the issue has even reached the courts, with at least one case being argued on the basis of "color discrimination" in an office. At 7:15 tonight Russell and Wilson will talk about the book at Women and Children First, 5233 N. Clark. It's free; call 769-9299 for info.
You can get up close and personal with the gnomic master of postmodern architecture at a "fireside chat" with Philip Johnson this evening. Sponsored by the Chicago Institute for Architecture and Urbanism, the talk will take place at 6:30 at the Racquet Club of Chicago, 1365 N. Dearborn. It costs $50, $40 for institute members, and $10 for students. Call 951-8006 to make reservations.
Here's a Country Joe McDonald trivia bit for you: his late mother, Florence, was an effective and cantankerous Berkeley, California, council member and radical political leader--in her 80s! McDonald himself is still around and recording, most recently a collaboration of sorts with Jerry Garcia on an album called Superstitious Blues. McDonald plays at 9 tonight at At the Tracks, 325 N. Jefferson. Tix are $10 in advance, $12 at the door. Next Thursday (same time and price) the club's nostalgia trip continues with a show by laid-back San Francisco jazz rocker Dan Hicks, with a new group, the Acoustic Warriors. Call 332-1124 for more information.