Friday 8/8 - Thursday 8/14
By Cara Jepsen
8 FRIDAY When Howard Stern whips off a zinger on the air, it usually doesn't come from his own brain but from a yellow legal pad on which his show's writers--Fred Norris and Jackie "the Joke Man" Martling (the one with the high-pitched voice)--scrawl quick comebacks and gags. When he's not working full-time for Stern, Martling--whose stand-up career goes back to the 1970s--plays the comedy circuit, releases an occasional album and dirty-joke book, and operates an X-rated phone line from the attic of his parents' home. The potty-mouthed Martling makes his Chicago debut tonight at 7 and 10 at the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield. Tickets are $17.50; call 312-559-1212 for tickets, 773-472-0366 for info.
For the past two years Tres en Uno Cafe in Rogers Park has served as a performance space for writers and musicians with ties to the black and Latino communities. But the times they are a-changing, and the cafe may lose its lease. Tres en Uno will probably schlepp its things a few doors down, can the coffee, and continue as a performance center. Today at the Tres en Uno Street Festival, Danny Postel hosts performances of punk and rock en espanol with Youth Against Fascism, Race Traitor, and Segunda Miel, as well as Locurandero Rob Harless y Sus Flying Trip-Hop Timbales del Rancho-Techno. The festival starts at 7 at the corner of Ravenswood and Greenleaf; the cafe itself is at 1775 W. Greenleaf. Admission is $5. Call 773-764-8634 for more information.
9 SATURDAY How would you like to sit on a work of art? To celebrate their current exhibit "The Hot Seat," which features chairs and paintings of chairs by local artists, Anatomically Correct Gallery will hold a Have an Artist Paint Your Chair Party. Just bring a wooden chair and a brush. Or, if you prefer, you can donate a chair to be painted, exhibited, and auctioned off at next year's Hot Seat exhibition. It's from 1 to 4 at the Bailiwick Arts Center, 1229 W. Belmont. A $10 donation is suggested; call 312-514-1802 for details.
It may still be an uncomfortable subject for some people, but gynecology has come a long way since the days of yore. As author Terri Kapsalis recounts in her book Public Privates: Performing Gynecology From Both Ends of the Speculum, in the 19th century doctors conducted surgical experiments on unanesthetized slave women, and medical schools used prostitutes to teach students about women's bodies. These days we city folk have access to education-oriented women's health centers that advocate cervical self-exams, and for years performance artist Annie Sprinkle has encouraged audiences to look at her cervix onstage. Kapsalis uses all of these examples to analyze the history of gynecology and its role in defining female sexuality. She'll read and sign copies today at 2 at Prairie Moon bookstore, 8 N. Dunton in Arlington Heights. It's free. Call 847-342-9608.
10 SUNDAY Every weekend a gaggle of mountain bikers braves traffic and descends on the few small hills and single-track trails of the Palos Hills Forest Preserve. Every weekend those not-yet-ready-for-Moab cyclists do damage to those trails, and every few weeks during the summer for the past four years, volunteers from TURF--Trail Users Rights Foundation--have filled holes, diverted water runoff, and improved the trails' surface by rearranging rocks, logs, and dirt. They work for a few hours, grill some food, and then celebrate by riding on their completed work. This week's TURF Trail Work Day starts at 9 at Bullfrog Lake, Archer and 95th in the Palos Hills Forest Preserve. It's free, but it's suggested you bring work gloves, food to grill, a bike, and a helmet. Call 847-470-4266 to volunteer.
11 MONDAY Real-life Chicago police lieutenant Hugh Holton moonlights not as a security guard but as a mystery writer; his four novels are full of grisly murders, rapes, and other violent acts that are solved by police detective Larry Cole. English teacher Mark Richard Zubro's mysteries feature a lead character who also teaches English and solves crimes on the side with the assistance of his lover, a pro baseball player. Zubro's other protagonist, Paul Turner, is a homosexual police detective with two sons who solves crimes in Chicago's gay community. Today Holton and Zubro will talk about turning personal experiences into stories as part of a statewide Sleuths on the Loose tour. They'll appear at 2 at the Harold Washington Library Center, 400 S. State, and at 7 at Sulzer Regional Library, 4455 N. Lincoln. Both events are free. Call 800-757-4654.
12 TUESDAY Highbrow erotica or literary porn? Whatever you call it, the Chicago-based quarterly Libido: The Journal of Sex and Sensibility has provided discriminating fans of fooling around with plenty of fodder. This year publishers Jack Hafferkamp and Marianna Beck are celebrating a decade of diversion by releasing a special best-of collection of stories and poems called The Ecstatic Moments: The Best of Libido. It includes Sophie du Chien's "Playing With the Goddess," Jane Underwood's "Milk, Butter and Eggs," and 40 other pieces. Tonight at 7 Beck will discuss some of the issues involved in publishing an erotic journal--such as censorship--at Borders Books & Music, 2817 N. Clark. It's free. Call 773-935-3909.
13 WEDNESDAY Forget the brass band--the sound track for the UniverSoul Circus throbs with energetic hip-hop, R & B, and TV themes from programs like The Jeffersons, Sanford and Son, and Soul Train. The circus itself consists of fire-eaters and limbo dancers from Kenya, trapeze artists from South Africa, a contortionist named Nayakata, and the King Charles Troupe, which plays basketball while riding unicycles. The circus will be in town through September 7; today's performances are at 10:30 and 7:30 at Washington Park, 51st and Payne. Tickets are $8 for the morning show and $10-$40 for the evening performance. Call 800-325-7646 for more.
14 THURSDAY Merengue, salsa, country, funk, soul, R & B, klezmer, zydeco, jazz, and big band are among the dizzying something-for-everyone smorgasbord of live bands slated to provide the beat for the city's seven-week SummerDance series, where those moved to move will be able to cut a public rug on artist Dan Peterman's Chicago Ground Cover, a 2,500-square-foot dance floor made of recycled plastic. Tonight Orbert Davis & Strings Attached will kick off the series; dancing starts at 7:30 and goes till 10 in Grant Park on Michigan between Washington and Madison. If you're already downtown and want to warm up before hitting the official dance floor, the Picasso sculpture 30th birthday celebration at Daley Plaza should do the trick. The event starts at 5 at Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington, and features performances by Kurt Elling and the Lawrence Hobgood Trio with Von Freeman. Both events are free; call 312-744-6630.