Friday 2/5 - Thursday 2/11
By Cara Jepsen
5 FRIDAY When the Cultural Center asked the Mekons' Sally Timms to pick an important band from Birmingham, UK, for its "World in a Weekend" series, she didn't have too many to choose from. "It was either Black Sabbath or Duran Duran," she says. Though not a huge fan of the metal stalwarts, the honey-voiced Timms remembers listening to "Paranoid" at parties as a teenager in Leeds. "They were always cool with the punks and didn't get criticized like the other bands," she says. Tonight Timms, who saw the geezers live last month, will play a Black Sabbath medley (how often do those words appear together?) at 7 at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630). Admission is free.
In 1959 Film Quarterly called Ed Bland's 35-minute experimental film The Cry of Jazz "the first anti-white film"; another critic dubbed it "Negro chauvinism," partly because it argues that "the Negro is the only human American." Bland, who assailed white liberals' sentimentalization of a musical form created under racism, juxtaposes shots of performers like Sun Ra with images of a black baby in a tenement and affluent white folks in Highland Park. Tonight's screening of the film will include a discussion led by Northwestern University film professor Chuck Kleinhans. It's at 8 in Ferguson Hall at Columbia College, 600 S. Michigan. Admission is $7. Call 773-384-5533 for more.
6 SATURDAY Back in the day, Duke Ellington and other big acts playing the Regal Theater would sneak across the alley to the Palm Tavern for refuge and libation. The bandleader visited before owner Gerri Oliver bought the place in 1956 (it's now known as Gerri's Palm Tavern), but she's got her own stories to tell at today's Roots of Chicago Blues, Gospel, and Jazz neighborhood tour. The group will also hit Maxwell Street, the old "Record Row" along South Michigan Avenue, and the Pilgrim Baptist Church at 33rd and Indiana. The guide for the four-hour tour is local guitar virtuoso Pete Cosey, who's played with the likes of Miles Davis, Howlin' Wolf, and Earth, Wind and Fire. The bus leaves at 10:30 from the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. The $40 fee does not include food. Call 312-742-1190 to reserve a spot.
The idea for an encyclopedia of Africana was first put forward by W.E.B. DuBois 90 years ago. Of course he was probably thinking of a bound book, not the Encarta Africana, an expensive, comprehensive, interactive multimedia CD-ROM with narration by the likes of Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cornel West--which requires a Windows-equipped PC. But you can test it for free today when Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Kwame Anthony Appiah of Harvard University, the project's editors, sign copies. They'll be at CompUSA, 101 E. Chicago (312-640-7801), from 4 to 6. They'll also appear Friday, February 5, at 5 at the CompUSA at 324 Route 59 in Naperville (630-548-7201).
7 SUNDAY When he was three years old Mac Wiremu Korako Ruka was chosen to receive sacred teachings passed down through 74 generations of women in his Maori tribe and share them with the world, in accordance with an ancient prophecy. He's performed healing ceremonies at Stonehenge and Machu Picchu and met with the likes of Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and the late Mother Teresa. This week he'll bring the word to local New Agers (with the help of "spiritual assistant" Nancy Moore) at three events, one of which is tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North (312-951-7323). Admission is free. Ruka and Moore will also appear Saturday, February 6, from 6 to 8:30 at Healing Earth Resources, 2570 N. Lincoln (773-327-8459). Admission is $35. And they'll be at the Women's Place Resource Center, 30 E. Adams, on Thursday, February 11, from 7 to 9:30. Admission to that event is also $35 (call 312-554-1540 to register).
8 MONDAY "It's not a huge mystery why people would be attracted to them," says artist Elizabeth Peyton of her reverent, romanticized paintings of the rich and famous. Her celebrity subjects, whom she paints from photos, include Elvis, Sid, Kurt, and John Lennon; she's also done Leonardo DiCaprio and Princess Di. What's not to like? She'll discuss her work tonight at 6 at the School of the Art Institute auditorium, Columbus and Jackson. Admission is $5, $3 for students. Call 312-443-3711 for more.
9 TUESDAY Do songs like "You're a Builder Upper," "Make With the Kisses," and "Look Out! I'm Romantic" ring a bell? They shouldn't--they're on the bill for A Rare Find: Forgotten Gems From the American Popular Songbook, a one-night-only solo nightclub debut by Reader contributor Justin Hayford. "This show is essentially payback for the hours I've spent gigging in piano bars," he says. Showtimes are 8 and 10 tonight at Toulouse Cognac Bar, 2140 N. Lincoln Park West. Call 773-665-9071 for tickets, which are $7.
10 WEDNESDAY Getting over an ex sounds surprisingly bureaucratic in Margie Lapanja's new book The Goddess' Guide to Love: Timeless Secrets to Divine Romance. You write the name of the "release request" on a black candle with a black marker just before the new moon. A poem you've penned is placed into the shadow of the candle, which burns for 13 minutes. Afterward you stamp "canceled" on the paper, extinguish the flame, fold the paper away from you twice, and place it under the candlestick. The entire process must be repeated on 13 consecutive nights (and you probably thought it was best to leave this person in your past). Lapanja, whose book also contains recipes, advice, and an aromatherapy guide, will reveal all--at no charge--tonight at 7 at Transitions Bookplace, 1000 W. North. (312-951-7323).
11 THURSDAY There aren't all that many boys in The Boys of My Youth, Jo Ann Beard's collection of essays. Instead the stories begin with her childhood in Moline and follow her through an adulthood complete with a failed marriage, the death of a parent, and an account of a graduate student's shooting spree at the University of Iowa eight years ago that killed Beard's friend and adviser; Beard escaped because she had left the office early. "The phone never stops ringing, since the story hit the national news," she writes. "Everyone I've ever known is checking in to see if I'm still alive." Beard will sign copies tonight at 7 at Anderson's Bookshop, 123 W. Jefferson in Naperville (630-832-6566).