Friday 5/9 - Thursday 5/15
9 FRIDAY Delmark Records founder Bob Koester has been putting out jazz and blues records since 1953, when he recorded the Saint Louis-based vintage jazz group the Windy City Six. Since then he's recorded everyone from Junior Wells to Dinah Washington to Sun Ra, and today his company is the oldest independently owned label in the country (thanks in part to subsidies from Koester's Jazz Record Mart, which he moved here in 1958). He'll speak briefly at tonight's Delmark Records 50th Anniversary Celebration, which will feature the Delmark All-Stars: Jimmy Dawkins--who hasn't performed in Chicago in two years--on guitar and vocals, Willie Kent on bass, Little Arthur Duncan on harmonica, and Tail Dragger, Bonnie Lee, and Shirley Johnson on vocals. They'll be joined by guitarist-vocalists Johnny B. Moore, Jimmy Johnson, and Jimmy Burns. The show starts at 9 at Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash. Tickets are $15, and you must be 21 or over to attend; call 312-427-0333 for more information.
10 SATURDAY The rock band and visual spectacle known as P1xel and the Chronic Network is unveiling its eponymous glam-inspired rock opera on the roof of a parking garage at 55th and South Ellis tonight because, according to the singer, guitarist, and University of Chicago student who calls himself P1xel, "there is not one single adequate rock venue in all of Hyde Park." The 12-song cycle concerns a robot, P1xel, who's unhappy with his lot in a future society and wants to travel back in time--against the advice of his cohorts. It'll be performed tonight at 9 as part of the U. of C.'s free Festival of the Arts, which runs through Friday, May 16. For more information see fota.uchicago.edu or call 773-771-4574.
11 SUNDAY Chicago's Cycling Sisters was founded in 2001 to encourage more women to ride bikes around the city. The group's goals range from helping women find functional yet stylish cycling clothes to decreasing the incidence of "butt-pinching and 'hey-babying' by 100 percent." The group kicks off a summer of rides, workshops, and other events today with a free Mother's Day ride that starts at noon at Daley Plaza at Dearborn and Washington and ends at the Garfield Park Conservatory. The pace will be "leisurely." For more call 773-252-8102.
"Big fat mama, meat shake on her bone / Ev'ry time she shake it, some skinny girl will lose her home," sings blues legend David "Honeyboy" Edwards on his cover of "Big Fat Mama." It's a good bet the 88-year-old will perform the 1928 Tommy Johnson song at tonight's "Mama's Day" concert with special guest Aaron Moore. It starts at 8 at HotHouse, 31 E. Balbo (312-362-9707). Admission is $10, and you must be 18 or over. The show's presented in conjunction with a screening of the recent documentary Honeyboy, which will be shown tonight at 6 at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State (312-846-2800). Director Scott Taradash will attend; tickets are $8.
12 MONDAY Throughout its history the camera has been used as a stealth device, says Karen Irvine, curator of the new exhibit The Furtive Gaze. But, she says, the five participating artists "are entering the public space, and there's an element of public performance in their methods of capturing pictures." Chris Verene, for example, posed as a camera club photographer to snap covert shots of men who pose as professional photographers in order to get women to take off their clothes. For her "Dear Stranger" series, Shizuka Yokomizo sent anonymous letters asking people to stand in their front windows at a certain date and time; when they complied, she took their pictures. The exhibit also includes work by Sophie Calle and Merry Alpern as well as images from Walker Evans's subway portrait series from the 1930s. It opened last week and runs through July 12 at the Museum of Contemporary Photography, 600 S. Michigan (gallery hours today are from 10 to 5). The museum will screen Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window tonight at 6 in room 504 of Columbia College's Ludington Building, 1104 S. Wabash, in conjunction with the exhibit; Karla Rae Fuller, from Columbia's department of film and video, will introduce the film. Call 312-344-7104 for more.
"You're going to be driving trucks to hell. Oil fires. Bodies. Bad shit. And on the way to getting his ass kicked all the way back to almighty Allah, Sodom's [sic] going to take the lives of thirty percent of the Marines coming at him." These were the words of wisdom imparted to reservist Joel Turnipseed by a colonel at the beginning of the 1991 gulf war, during which he drove tractor trailers for the Sixth Motor Transport Battalion--aka the Baghdad Express. Turnipseed, who'd been kicked out of college and dumped by his girlfriend, had gone AWOL for three months from the Marine Corps Reserve before shipping out. He captures the experience in his new book, Baghdad Express: A Gulf War Memoir--which is said to have more in common with Catch-22 than Jarhead. Currently an executive at a Minneapolis technology company, Turnipseed will read tonight at 7:30 at Barbara's Bookstore, 1350 N. Wells, 312-642-5044. It's free.
13 TUESDAY In Menachem Golan's 2002 film Return From India, an ambitious young Israeli doctor accompanies his hospital-administrator boss and his wife as they pick up their sick daughter from a remote Buddhist monastery in India, then puts his future in jeopardy when he falls in love with the 50-year-old wife. It'll be shown tonight at 7:30 and at 9:45 Sunday, May 11, and Thursday, May 15, at the Esquire, 58 E. Oak, as part of the Israeli Film Festival, which runs through Thursday. Tickets are $9, $6 for children and seniors. For a complete schedule see the sidebar in Section Two; call 877-966-5566 for tickets.
14 WEDNESDAY For their 1995-'96 collaboration, Odyssey, the Dutch team of choreographer Beppie Blankert and composer Louis Andriessen combined music and movement with the words of Molly Bloom, from James Joyce's Ulysses, to tell Homer's tale of Odysseus's ten-year journey back to his wife from the point of view of Penelope. The latest version of the piece--featuring four local singers, three Dutch dancers, and one actress--opens tonight at 8 on the waterfront at Wolf Point (Orleans and the Chicago River). The run continues through Sunday, May 18; tonight's performance will be followed by a free postshow discussion. Tickets are $22; call 312-397-4010 for more.
15 THURSDAY "The most important thing to know about twirling is that anyone can do it. All it takes is patience, a center of gravity, and a desire for fun," says Amelia Ross-Gilson, aka Miss Indigo Blue, a Seattle-based burlesque performer who last year founded the BurlyQ Queer Cabaret. Ross-Gilson taught herself to twirl tassels affixed to her nipples by practicing in front of a mirror and co-owns TwirlyGirl, an on-line vendor of handmade pasties; she'll give a tassel-twirling workshop for women tonight at 8 at Early to Bed, 5232 N. Sheridan. Participants must be at least 18 and bring tasseled pasties and fixative or buy them at the workshop. It's $10 or pay what you can, and registration is required; call 773-271-1219. On Friday, May 16, at 12:15 Ross-Gilson will participate in a free brown-bag-lunch panel discussion called "Burlesque Past and Present: Striptease, Humor, and Pleasurable Politics" at the University of Chicago's Center for Gender Studies, 5733 S. University (773-702-9936). She'll lead a three-hour intensive burlesque workshop, "Tricks of the Trade," from 2 to 5 on Saturday, May 17, at Stargaze, 5419 N. Clark. It's $25 and registration is required; E-mail email@example.com.
A total lunar eclipse occurs when a full moon passes through the shadow of the earth, although rather than disappear completely, the moon simply changes color; depending on the amount of dust and pollution in the atmosphere it can appear to be brown, red, or bright orange. The Adler Planetarium will mark tonight's eclipse by offering lectures and expert information about the event as well as telescopes for viewing it. It's from 9 to midnight (the eclipse is from 10:14 to 11:06 and will be visible to the naked eye) at the planetarium, 1300 S. Lake Shore Dr. Sky Theatre lectures on the event are $5; everything else is free. For more information call 312-922-7827.