Friday 28

This Week in Joe’s Basement, the Hyde Park-based cable-access program that features the scruffy, laconic Joe Winston expatiating on a variety of subjects serious and not, celebrates its 50th episode with a party tonight at 9 at the Love Loft, 1509 N. Milwaukee. Organizers promise T-shirts, videos, snack food, beer, and “strange live entertainment” for the party, which the show’s producers say is their way of thanking their viewing audience for “having been vital contributors to the show ever since we first realized that someone was actually watching.” Admission is free. If you miss the party, you can always tune in Mondays at 10 PM on Channel 19. Call 493-8049.

Maestro Subgum and the Whole, Chicago’s own cabaret act from hell, describe their sonic output as “music with teeth for people with gums.” The group is a sort of malevolent vaudeville act built on a foundation of trombone, sarcasm, and theater assembled by a dazzling aggregation of singers, instrumentalists, and songwriters. The band rocks the Abbey Pub, 3420 W. Grace, at 10 tonight. Cover charge is $6. Call 478-4408 for more.

Saturday 29

Did you know that our Greek Town–said to have been the nation’s largest in its heyday–lays claim to inventing both the soda fountain and the ice cream sundae? The Greek Town Association says that by 1920 the ethnic enclave included as many as 10,000 businesses–until the Eisenhower and the University of Illinois effectively nuked the community. This heritage will be celebrated from noon to midnight today and tomorrow at the free Greek Town Summer Festival, on South Halsted between Monroe and Van Buren. Highlights include grape stomping, matchmaking, fortune-telling booths, and of course lots of food. Call 368-8697 for more.

It hardly seems a day for A Celebration of Serbian Songs and Dance, but the city’s Serbian community has pulled together for an afternoon of entertainment that will include the traditional Serbian circle dance, or “kolo,” as performed by the Saint Archangel Michael Kolo and Tambura Group. Also, musician and ballad chanter Bato “Vucko” Barjaktarevic will accompany himself on the one-stringed gusla and the flutelike frula. The Serbian Orthodox Church Choir will sing, and you can dance to the folk songs if you want. It happens from 2 to 4 today at the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It’s free; call 772-3210 for details.

Some months ago the Neo-Futurists migrated north from their long-standing residency at Live Bait Theater in Wrigleyville to the former Theater Oobleck HQ in Andersonville. Now that they’ve got their new home running, they’ve noticed that the joint could use a little renovating. Hence a $10 bucket o’ fun tonight, starring the group’s 30-plays-in-60-minutes free-for-all, Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind, and including music from the Texas Rubies, the Dysfunctionells, Jeff Seasholtz and more. The evening runs from 7 to 2; the Neo-Futurarium’s at 5153 N. Ashland. Call 275-5255 for info.

Sunday 30

“It’s like taking a one-day pleasure jaunt to the exotic Orient without the jet lag,” contend the organizers of Argyle Fest, the annual Uptown Chinatown street fair. More than a dozen restaurants of Asian and Southeast Asian cuisines, along with various of the area’s gift and food shops, will push their wares from 11 to 8 today on Argyle between Broadway and Sheridan. Admission is free. Call 728-1030 for more.

For 13 years B.L.U.E.S. has presented Chicago blues 365 nights a year. To celebrate they’ve lined up 13 bands playing once an hour for–what else?–13 hours. The Jimmy Walker Blues Band starts the day off at noon; at midnight, Big Time Sarah and the BTS Express finish things off. Seven bucks gets you in for the duration. B.L.U.E.S. is at 2519 N. Halsted; call 528-1012.

Monday 31

Lend Me a Tenor’s John Astin and Six Degrees of Separation’s Veronica Hamel provide the evening’s entertainment at the After Dark Awards, a theater and cabaret awards presentation sponsored by Gay Chicago. Many of the nominees will also perform at the event, at Walter Payton’s America’s Bar, 219 W. Erie, from 9 to 11. The $20 ticket gets you the awards presentation and entertainment; for $50, you also get to attend a one-hour “celebrity reception” beforehand with an open bar. Proceeds benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. Call 642-5454 for more.


Tuesday 1

Grupo Yuba, a 14-member dance and percussion troupe, will perform Bomba and Plena, a repertoire of traditional Afro-Puerto Rican dances, rhythms, and songs at 12:15 today in the Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. Their performance marks the kickoff for a month’s worth of such goings-on, as the center celebrates 500 Years of Latino Culture: Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration. Over the next few weeks such Latin-tinged acts as the Machu Picchu Andean Folkloric Group and the Aguijon II Theater Company will perform; there’ll also be a panel discussion on Columbus’s voyage to the Americas (and all the wonderful things that have happened since) on September 14. It’s all free. Call 346-3278 for details.

From the Rockefeller Chapel to the Regenstein Library the architectural face of the University of Chicago has continued to evolve, but many proposed additions to the campus never got off the drawing board. A sample of 20 of such proposals, from alternate plans for the school’s administration building to a large centralized arts center, will be on display in The Gray City Unbuilt: Architectural Proposals for the University of Chicago at the university’s Smart Museum of Art, 5550 S. Greenwood, through December 6. Hours are 10 to 4 Tuesday through Friday, noon to 6 weekends. It’s free; call 702-0200.

Wednesday 2

With three days of free jazz in Grant Park looming this weekend, the 14th annual Jazz Festival Club Tour starts the celebration tonight, with buses making the rounds between ten participating clubs from 6:30 on. Highlights include the Ira Sullivan Quartet with Willie Pickens at Joe Segal’s Jazz Showcase (636 S. Michigan), the Brad Goode Quintet at the Green Mill (4802 N. Broadway), and the Wallace Burton Quintet and the Marshall Vente Trio at Andy’s (11 E. Hubbard). Five bucks gets you the bus rides, which you can pick up at any venue on the tour, and admission to any and every club; call the sponsoring Jazz Institute of Chicago at 427-3300 or 427-1676 for more.

Thursday 3

One lasting impression of the great Chicago flood has been an indefinitely extended ban on weekday street parking in the Loop. Proponents of the measure say the extra lanes have kept traffic moving and improved bus service. At the same time, local store owners say the ban has hurt business. At the Friends of Downtown’s brown-bag luncheon at noon today a cluster of traffic experts will discuss the ban and its effects. It’s free, at the Coffee House in the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph. Call 977-0098 for more.

Taste of Polonia, the northwest side’s answer to Taste of Chicago, opens today with an array of food, music, and gambling at Copernicus Center Plaza, 5216 W. Lawrence. Stas Bulanda and the Average Polka Band kick off five days of dance music on the polka stage tonight; everything from golden oldies to jazz will play on the variety stage as well. There’s bingo every day, and a casino Friday evening and all day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Tonight’s opening evening, from 4 to 10, is free to seniors; it’s $3 for everyone else. Call 777-8898 for more.