Friday 6/21 – Thursday 6/27
21 FRIDAY After the tepid reception we gave last year’s “Suite Home Chicago” installation, the Department of Cultural Affairs appears to have decided that what this city needs is to get up off the couch and dance. This summer’s “Music Everywhere” festival is intended to showcase Chicago’s diverse scene. At today’s free Miles of Music festival (itself part of “National Music Day”), 20 stages along Michigan Avenue will feature performances by everyone from Las Guitarras de Espana and members of the CSO to Devil in a Woodpile and Patty Elvis. It’s from 11 to 6 on Michigan between Oak and Balbo; for more information call 312-744-6630 or 877-244-2246.
Artist Meg Duguid’s “Dance With Me” event may look a little odd to the casual observer. For the piece, which takes place from 10 to 1 tonight as part of the Museum of Contemporary Art’s Summer Solstice Celebration, she’ll invite members of the public to don wireless headsets and dance outside the museum to music spun by DJ D-Jaded–and audible only to the dancers. Duguid says she can’t decide if it’ll be more fun to participate or just watch people silently get their groove on. The annual round-the-clock solstice bash includes 23 hours of music, dance, film, performance, and family activities. It starts tonight at 6 and continues through 5 tomorrow afternoon at the museum, 220 E. Chicago (312-280-2660). Admission is $10, free for kids 12 and under; for more see the listings in Section Two or go to www.mcachicago.org.
22 SATURDAY There are 70,000 books, 400 periodical titles, and more than 5,000 reels of microfilm in the Vivian G. Harsh Research Collection of Afro-American History and Literature, which Harsh–the city’s first black librarian–started assembling when she was named head of the George Cleveland Hall branch back in 1932. These days the collection is housed at the Woodson Regional Library on South Halsted, and today the Vivian G. Harsh Society holds its annual Black Music Month celebration and fund-raising breakfast, the theme of which is “The Universal Appeal of Black Music.” This year’s honorees include activist, union leader, gospel pianist, and minister Addie L. Wyatt, minister, playwright, and gospel recording artist Mitty Collier, gospel singer Sister Vernon Oliver Price, and composer, musician, and poet Oscar Brown Jr. It’s from 8:30 to noon at Harambee House, 11901 S. Loomis. Tickets are $25; call 312-745-2080.
The organizers of today’s DuSable Now rally hope the mayor will back their plan to name the last Saturday in June a holiday in honor of Jean Baptiste Pointe DuSable, the French-Haitian trader and explorer who built the city’s first settlement at what is now Pioneer Court (401 N. Michigan), where the free rally will take place. Alderman Leonard DeVille, Bishop Joseph Perry, and WBBM news anchor John Davis will speak, and the entertainment will include performances by Chicago Opera Theatre and Ben Sexton in character as DuSable. It’s from 10 to 11:30 AM; for more information call 312-683-5201 or go to www.dusableday.org. i The most popular panel at this weekend’s MOB (Music Over Business) festival will probably be today’s Demo-Demolition, in which hopeful musicians drop their demo tapes into a big box, then sit down and wait for the fireworks. “The people on the panel reach in randomly, pull one out, play it for a couple of seconds, and critique it,” says one of the organizers. “Some of them are downright harsh.” The panel, staffed by a variety of industry types, runs from 3:45 to 5:45 at Metro, 3733 N. Clark. Today’s other panels are “Indies, Majors, and In-Between” (meaning record labels), which runs from noon to 1:30, and “Research and Development,” from 1:45 to 3:15. Admission is open only to those with a MOBfest badge, which costs $50 and includes access to all showcases and events, a MOBfest compilation CD, and an event directory. Call 773-282-7700 or log on to www.mobfest.com for more information.
23 SUNDAY “I’ve known more people at young ages who are missing large quantities of teeth than anyone else that I’ve ever met,” says bike messenger Guenevere Nyderek. In March she and a group of her fellow couriers resurrected the Windy City Bike Messenger Association, an ad hoc coalition of cyclists founded in 1996 that had lain dormant since early 2001. This spring they put on a benefit concert that raised $400 for injured couriers. “Ideally, in the future,” she says, “we hope to function as a civic organization.” In the meantime, they’re organizing a variety of messenger-friendly arts events. June 19 saw the resurrection of Bike Messenger Night at Phyllis’ Musical Inn, a biweekly showcase for courier bands, poets, and DJs that, back in the day, spawned the first Critical Mass rides. Today the WCBMA hosts the first annual Great Midwest International Bike Messenger Film Festival, which will feature five hours of films from around the country, including the hour-long “cult classic” Big Trouble in Little Bummytown. The festival runs from 3 to 8 at Heaven Gallery, 1550 N. Milwaukee. Admission is $6; call 773-342-4597. The next Bike Messenger Night is Wednesday, July 3, at 8 at Phyllis’, 1800 W. Division. There’s a $3 cover, $2 with messenger ID.
24 MONDAY Local playwright Cornelius Collins’s new script, Social Expectations, tells the story of Dinah, an employee at a small-time Chicago law firm whose budget is pinched by the cost of special schooling for her severely diabetic 15-year-old daughter. After Dinah decides she must get a promotion at any cost, she comes to a moral crossroads when things don’t go as planned. The Playwrights Collective’s free public reading of the play (its first) takes place tonight at 7 at the Chicago Cultural Center’s Claudia Cassidy Theater, 78 E. Washington (312-744-6630).
25 TUESDAY Since 1999, Uptown’s Inspiration Cafe has hosted monthly cooking classes to raise money for the cafe’s operations, as well as job training and housing programs meant to help homeless people become self-sufficient. Past guest teachers have included North Pond chef Bruce Sherman, Cyrano’s Bistrot chef and owner Didier Durand, and MK pastry chef Mindy Segal. For tonight’s Wines of Burgundy class, independent wine expert Dave Larson and chef Mike Kuhn of Pacific Wine & Spirits will collaborate to help students prepare a four-course meal, pairing each dish with a red or white wine from the region. The class starts at 7 at Inspiration Cafe, 4554 N. Broadway, suite 207, and it’s $35; to register call 773-878-0981, ext. 203.
26 WEDNESDAY “We’re prepared for a few things” is the underwhelming motto of the Amazon Girls, the fictional organization invented by Indianapolis-based writer Becky Thacker. Just like the Scouts, they have badges, uniforms, and of course a hierarchy. The smallest unit is the tribe, which, says Thacker, “may consist of five to eight members and will function much like your typical dysfunctional families, except that you’re all lesbians awash with unrealized ideals, and participation is strictly voluntary.” All the Amazon rules for living are outlined in the humorous, lesbian-themed-but-applicable-to-all Amazon Girls Handbook, which Thacker will discuss tonight at 7:30 at Women & Children First, 5233 N. Clark. It’s free; call 773-769-9299.
27 THURSDAY When China invaded Tibet in 1959, 90 of the 900 monks at Gyuto Tantric University, established in 1474, followed the Dalai Lama into exile in India, where they founded a similar university and have educated some 200 new monks. But now they’ve outgrown their space. To raise funds for a new monastery, they’ve been touring the U.S. and performing their distinctive style of multiphonic chanting–a form of throat singing in which the chanter vocalizes two or three tones simultaneously. They’ll perform tonight from 6 to 9 at Jessica Tampas Photography, 312 N. May; the suggested donation is $25, or pay what you can. For reservations call 312-942-1905.