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 to Chicago 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 in Chicago. Tickets are $15, and you must be 21 or over to attend; call 312-427-0333 for more information.
On March 26, just before midnight, a meteorite exploded over Chicago’s south suburbs. A piece of the friction-fried space rock goes on exhibit today at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art, where at 2 this afternoon geologist Paul Sipiera of the Algonquin-based Planetary Studies Foundation will give a lecture called The Stone From the Sky. Sipiera says every meteorite is a “surprise package,” offering a chance to study the oldest solid material in our solar system (dating from about 4.5 billion years ago). Meteorites are the building blocks of the planets, he says. “Our guess is this one came from about 300 million miles out, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.” Anyone who has picked up a stone recently and suspects it might be a meteorite can bring it in for identification. The exhibit continues through July 20; the museum is located at 220 Cottage Hill in Elmhurst. Admission is $4 for adults, $3 for seniors, $2 for students, $1 for kids aged 7 to 12, and free for children under 7. It’s free to all on Fridays. Call 630-833-1616 for lecture reservations.
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 in Chicago 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, Chicago (312-846-2800). Director Scott Taradash will attend; tickets are $8.
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 in Chicago (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, Chicago, 312-642-5044. It’s free.
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 in Chicago, 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 Movies; call 877-966-5566 for tickets.
The first wave of Korean immigration to the West began in 1903, but economist Shin Kim says early immigrants were treated so badly as farm labor in Mexico and Hawaii that the Korean monarch halted emigration in 1905. From then until 1945, with the exception of some “picture brides,” very few Koreans found their way to America. There was a brief surge of immigration connected with the Korean war–mostly women wed to American soldiers. But in 1965, American immigration law changed, and many more Koreans began to arrive. Political insecurity and military dictatorship drove them out of Korea, says Kim, but they remained psychologically connected. Tonight at 7, Kim and her husband, political scientist Kim Kwang Chung, will talk about Geopolitical Connections of Korean Immigrants in the United States at the Des Plaines Public Library, 1501 Ellinwood in Des Plaines. It’s free, but reservations are required. Call 847-376-2787.
“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. All locations are in Chicago. It’s $25 and registration is re-quired; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. in Chicago. Sky Theatre lectures on the event are
$5; everything else is free. For more information call 312-922-7827.