The organizers of tonight's concert X-Music are trying to make a simple point: that the existence of a young and resentful new guard--the "generation X" we've been hearing so much about--is not exactly a new phenomenon. To illustrate, the program features music from five twentysomethings, some written as far back as 1888 (by Erik Satie) and 1942 (by Leonard Bernstein). The program also includes premieres of new works by Todd Merrell (Three Inventions for Marconi, for string quartet, and Detritus, for solo percussion), Andre Marquetti (Fantasia, for string trio, and Sketches, for clarinet and piano), and Brian Leber (String Quartet No. 1 and Five Pieces for Piano). It starts at 7:30 in the Getz Theater of Columbia College, 72 E. 11th St. Admission is $6. Call 477-6621 for more.
Heather McAdams curates yet another grab bag of weird films tonight at the new Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division. On the program: Julian Nitzberg's The Wild World of Hasil Adkins, One Man Band and Inventor of the Hunch, a 30-minute documentary on the rockabilly rascal; Jacob Youngs Dancing Outlaw, a profile of Jesco White, "the best mountain dancer left in these here parts"; and Young's Amazing Dolores, about a West Virginian singer. They start at 8. Admission is $5; call 384-5533.
The second HotHouse Music Festival continues tonight with former Shrimp Boat singer Sam Prekop's the Sea and Cake; the avant-garde jazz group Last Kwartet; and groovy clarinetist Paul Vornhagan. It starts at 9. Admission is $7; the HotHouse is at 1565 N. Milwaukee. Call 235-2334.
Train buffs--train buffs are a dime a dozen. But high-speed-train buffs, they're different. If you're one of them, the Illinois High Speed Rail Association has a luncheon for you. High Speed Rail: Building a Midwest Coalition features the manager of the transportation division of the Illinois Commerce Commission talking about the train's prospects and starts at noon at the Holiday Inn in Evanston, at 1501 Sherman. Admission is $20. There are also other programs on high-speed trains from 9 to noon and 1 to 3 at the same place; a pass to all of those is just $5. Call 743-2840 or 856-0655, ext. 226, for more.
The Chicago chapter of the Society of American Magicians--brought into existence by the stroke of Harry Houdini's pen in 1919--is throwing a 75th anniversary dinner and magic show tonight. The legendary Jay Marshall emcees; performers include Bobby Hunt, Bill Smetak, Bob Brown, Michael Auclair, and Mystini. It's at the Sabre Room banquet hall, 8900 W. 95th St. in Hickory Hills; tickets are $17.50. A cash bar reception starts at 6:30, and dinner's an hour later. Call 708-386-0854 or 708-442-9166 for more.
The Throat Singers of Tuva are a band of vocalizers from a small former Soviet republic in central Asia whose day job is herding goats, sheep, and reindeer. Their music, called "khoomei," is a complex and eerie form of singing that produces two or three different tones at once. (In their own language, they're known as "Huun-Huur-Tu," or "layers of light.") They appear in Chicago tonight under the auspices of the Old Town School of Folk Music; show time is 7:30 at the Park West, 322 W. Armitage. Tickets are $16-$18; call 525-7793, 929-5959, or 559-1212.
More than 100 drawings, floor plans, and models for no less than 72 houses designed by Chicago architects (some recently built, others under construction) are included in Turn of the Century Home, a six-week exhibit with accompanying programs at the Renaissance Society, 5811 S. Ellis. The exhibit kicks off today at 4 with a short lecture, "The Geography of Home," by Akiko Busch, an architectural writer and a contributing editor to Metropolis magazine, and a panel discussion featuring architects Julie Hacker, Ben Nicholson, George Pappageorge, and Kathryn Quinn. Those events take place at the U. of C.'s Swift Hall, 1025 E. 58th St. Then there's an opening reception for the show from 5 to 7 at the society. Admission to everything is free. Regular viewing hours are 10 to 4 Tuesday through Friday and noon to 4 Saturday and Sunday. Call 702-8670 for details.
There are lots of Martin Luther King Jr. memorials around town today, the 75th anniversary of his birth. University of Chicago president Hugo Sonnenschein speaks at a free noon service at the Rockefeller Memorial Chapel, 5850 S. Woodlawn; there'll also be music from the a cappella choir Heaven Sent. Call 702-7774 for details. The Chicago Historical Society, at Clark and North, presents various music, dance, and oratory outfits including the Chicago Housing Authority's Ambassador Choir starting at 11 A.M. Admission is free; call 642-4600. And Synapses offers its sixth annual rally--a "sing out" of civil-rights and South African freedom songs--outside the South African Consulate, 200 S. Michigan. It starts at 11:30 this morning. It's free; call 421-5513.
We here at Calendar were smirking over the Coast Guard's announcement of a 13-week course, Boating, Skills and Seamanship--including such matters as "baot handling" and "radion communicatrions"--but on reflection we decided the Coast Guard's supposed to be good at boats, not spelling, so we probably shouldn't hold it against them. The $35 fee includes all the books and materials you'll need for the three-month course; the first meeting is tonight from 6:30 to 8:30 at the Catholic Charities, 721 N. LaSalle. Call 708-524-1943 for more.
A trio of successful film and TV producers head up the Independent Feature Project/Midwest's panel discussion tonight. Barbara Maltby is known for her years of work with Robert Redford, producing films like Ordinary People and A River Runs Through It; Thea Flaum and Loretta Caravette, partners in Thea Flaum Productions, handle TV shows like Love Hurts and Where's Daddy? They'll be talking at the group's offices, on the second floor of 116 W. Illinois, starting at 7. It's $10, $5 for members and students. Call 509-4915.
Since single people frequently cruise each other at weddings, It seems only appropriate that Tuesdays at the long-running, interactive theater piece Tony 'n' Tina's Wedding are now "Blind Date Night." Tix axe $40, five bucks off the regular price, and the whole audience is singles. It's cosponsored by Together Singles Productions; show time is 7:30 at Piper's Alley, 230 W. North. Call 661-1976 to order tickets or for more info.
John Callaway, Comm Ed CEO James J. O'Connor, activist Jean Mayer, and U. of C. soc prof Douglas Massey are some of the participants in Theories and Realities: A Symposium on Race and Poverty, a daylong seminar at the AT&T Corporate Center, 227 W. Monroe. Registration starts at 8 AM; panels run from 9 to 3. Admission is $75, $25 if you represent a not-for-profit organization, which includes a continental breakfast and lunch. Call 285-5800 for info.
Roland Burris, Dawn Clark Netsch, Richard Phelan, and Jim Edgar face a slew of representatives from various community organizations at tonight's free gubernatorial candidates forum organized by the Illinois Majority Women's Caucus. It starts at 6:30 at the YWCA at 180 N. Wabash; call 874-8593 or 751-4443.
The third year of Chicago Theatres on the Air kicks off tonight with a taping of Charles MacArthur's screwball comedy Johnny on a Spot. The series brings together local theater companies and some famous ringers and alums to perform a play that's recorded and later broadcast on the radio; for the season opener the Practical Theater Company brings in old hands Julia Louis-Dreyfus (now of Seinfeld) and former Saturday Night Live-er's Brad Hall and Gary Kroeger. There'll be ten performances (the last one on May 5), all at the Guest Quarters Suite Hotel, 198 E. Delaware, starting at 8 PM; tickets are $14. The shows will be broadcast on Tuesdays at 8 PM on WFMT, beginning April 5 with Johnny on a Spot. Call 559-1212.