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Land of Talk, Suuns
9 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; $12-$14
Broken Social Scene alum Elizabeth Powell’s baby, Land of Talk, broke in '06 with the aggressive pseudo-feminist EP Applause Cheer Boo Hiss, with Powell leading a trio of Dinosaur Jr. grungy guitars through cut-the-skin tales rooted in shaking her tom-boy youth. Montreal prog-rockers, Suuns, lead.

Rock of Ages
8 p.m. at Bank of America Theater; tickets start at $27
Broadway in Chicago serves up a giant flaming ball of cheese. This touring show combines the guilty pleasure of '80s rock with the guiltier pleasure of jukebox musicals and the nauseatingly guilty pleasure of American Idol finalist Constantine Maroulis.

Pup Crawl
6 p.m. at Matchbox; free
We’ll spare you a joke about sniffing butts and just tell you to bring your best friend to this weekly pub crawl in West Town, featuring drink specials and a park stop for the pooches. Participating bars: The Matchbox (6 p.m.), J. Patrick’s (7 p.m.) and Mahoney’s Pub (9 p.m.). Don’t have a dog? You can look into adoption with the folks from ArfHouse.

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BY SARAH TEREZ-ROSENBLUM

I’m thinking of a cultural object: Bigger than a breadbox and founded by Caroline Picard, The Green Lantern harkens to Chicago’s grassroots literary history and DIY philosophy.

Despite coincidental Trekkie and comic book connotations, The Green Lantern has nothing to do with GenCon and everything to do with art. Simultaneously a non-profit paperback press and gallery, GL publishes and distributes emerging and/or little-known works.

Additionally, as a venue, it showcases emerging and mid-career artists of all media. Begun out of Executive Director Picard’s Wicker Park apartment, GL was recently shut down for lack of a business license due to improper zoning. Now, however, the ambitious and newly relocated GL is back with a parade of upcoming projects and Gallery Director Abby Satinsky on board. Picard took a seat in the captain’s chair (ba-dum-bum) to discuss her multifaceted brainchild.

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North Coast Music Festival
Friday-Sunday at Union Park; $40 daily tickets
This inaugural festival promises to be "summer's last stand." With a lineup that includes such eclectic acts as The Chemical Brothers, Nas & Damian Marley, Umphrey's McGee, Moby, De La Soul and Chicago's own Lupe Fiasco, there should be something for everyone.

Naperville's Last Fling
Friday-Monday at Naperville Jaycees (Naperville Central High School); free
Naperville gives one last hurrah to summer by celebrating with a beer garden, dozens of food vendors, wine tasting and a rib cook off. Other events include a Big Wheel Race for kids (9-11 a.m. Saturday), a lip-sync contest, and a pie eating contest (11 a.m.-noon Sunday). The Parade will take place on Monday at 10 a.m. in downtown Naperville, preceded by a mile-long run. Musical acts include Buddy Guy (Friday), Collective Soul (Saturday) and Clint Black (Sunday), all $15 for tickets.

African Festival of the Arts
Friday-Monday at 5100 S. Cottage Grove; $5-$10
This year's theme is "Creating and Keeping the Culture," and features a live performance by legendary R&B singer Chaka Khan (Monday). You can also see performances by West African born Angelique Kidjo, a Grammy-award winning recording artist, and Tito Jackson from the famed Jackson 5 (Saturday).

Chicago Jazz Festival
Saturday-Sunday in Grant Park; free
Jazz Fest is certainly one of Grant Park's best festivals, a weekend teeming with the best in local and national acts on three stages. Performers include Nicole Mitchell, Henry Threadgill, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Elling, The Either/Orchestra, Brian Blade and more. The Young Jazz Lions Stage is also back this year, featuring high school and college ensembles.

Vampire Weekend
6 p.m. Sunday at Aragon Ballroom; $38
When these New York City preppies played Pitchfork two years ago, they seemed a little overwhelmed by the initial acclaim and ensuing critical backlash for their sprightly self-titled debut. What resulted were faithful-to-the-record renditions of those songs, highlighted by Ezra Koenig's earnest singing and Chris Tomson's always spot-on drumming. Now playing the tunes from this year's more far-ranging "Contra," the boys should be a little more at ease on stage.

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Ted Nugent, Val Halla
9 p.m. at House of Blues; $36
Get a case of Cat Scratch Fever with this classic rocker, who grew up in Palatine. Even though ultra-conservative Uncle Ted might protest, it’s probably a good idea to leave your guns at home for this show.

Dental Society Midwinter Meeting
8 p.m. at Chicago Dramatists; $20-$25
Spend a surreal night on stage at this hilarious gathering of dentists, which closes this weekend. Laughing gas is optional.

“The Black Panthers: Making Sense of History”
10 a.m.-5 p.m. at DuSable Museum of African American History, $1-$3
Check out more than 50 historical photos from Stephen Shames, who was the official photographer of the Black Panthers.

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B-52s
8 p.m. at Ravinia; $27-$50
Rock your lobster off with the popular ‘80s band, which teams with the Dirtzy Dozen Brass Band for what shapes up to be a rather raucous show at Ravinia.

Beer and Brats Party
5-8 p.m. at Chicago Marriott Downtown; $10
Join famed brewers John and Jake Leinenkugel as they pair home-made sausages with their brews, including the extra-refreshing Summer Shandy.

Carnivale University: Tequila 101
6:30 p.m. at Carnivale; $25 (RSVP required)
Learn about the origins of tequila while sipping and sampling at the popular River West Latin American spot.

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Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

Smoking, religion, parenting are all accepted, and obvious, deal breakers.

But if you are dating in the city, sometimes it's the quieter ones that hurt your budding romances first. In the spirit of finding the mildly bumpy but everlasting road to true love, keep these deal-breakers in mind for your next first date if you are hoping it will be the last.

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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just Opened: Beer
Guess what this Lakeview bar serves?

Weekly Treat: Sake it to yourself at Izakaya Hapa
The downtown bearer of the city's latest bar trend offers half-price rice wine tonight.

Off the Beaten Path: Cafe 787
Mouth-watering surprises await at this Puerto Rican cafe on the West Side.

Man We're Crazy About: Anteprima
Outstanding octopus and perfect pasta dishes are on the menu at this friendly Andersonville eatery.

For more Chicago bar and restaurant news, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

It wasn't too long ago that the professional kitchen was largely the domain of the male chef, with just a few exceptions. But female chefs have been making their talents felt of late, with tons of award-winning toques among their ranks. The 14th annual Girl Food Dinner at West Town Tavern, May 16, celebrates those accomplishments while benefiting a worthy cause: The Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Some of the Chicago area's top female chefs, will participate, including:


  • Karen Armijo, Gary Comer Youth Center (crispy oyster BLT)

  • Nadia Tilkian, Maijean (poached halibut in pho broth with rice noodles)

  • Jackie Shen, Red Light (pomegranate-plum glazed duck salad)

  • Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat (crisp smoked goat ravioli with green garlic jus)

  • Susan Goss, West Town Tavern (braised wagyu beef short rib with morels, black pepper grits, truffle and pickled lemon)

  • Jessie Oloroso, Black Dog Gelato (olive oil gelato sundae with caramelized almonds and sea salt)

Purchase tickets ($150) here.

ARTropolis
11 a.m.-4 p.m. at Merchandise Mart; $20
Today's the last day to experience this three-for-one art event, featuring Art Chicago, NEXT and the Merchandise Mart International Antiques Fair.

Polish Constitution Day Hash
6:30 p.m. at Czerwone Jabluszko (Red Apple); $13
Join the Chicago Hash House Harriers for this celebration that includes a four-mile run, a buffet and a keg of beer courtesy of Stanley Stawski Distributing Co. Make sure to wear something Polish!

The Pigeons
8 p.m. at Swim Cafe; $10-$15
Set in the rapidly gentrifying West Town neighborhood, this farce from Walkabout Theatre follows Martin, a man who lives in a tiny condo with dozens of dirty birds, and features run-ins with all the diverse characters of the 'hood, from starving artists to boisterous frat boys and everyone in between. Warning: This may hit too close to home for some.

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Here are some recent Chicago restaurant openings and closings.

OPEN:
Blue Star Wine Bar - Enjoy wine, microbrews, cheese and a full menu of Mediterranean cuisine (kabobs, paninis, flatbreads) at this wine bar in the former Ark Cafe space in Noble Square.
Delhi 6 Cafe - Indian and fusion dishes rule the menu at this coffeehouse in North Center, which has an outdoor patio and hosts Bollywood movie nights.
Just Turkey - This South Side spot opens its second location, serving up BBQ classics made with turkey instead of pork and beef.
Benny's Prime Chop House - The oft-delayed River North upscale steakhouse is finally ready to wow you.
Dolce Casa - The former Ventrella's Caffe has been renovated to create this Lincoln Square spot.


CLOSED:
Va Pensiero - Evanstonites are already mourning the departure of this fine Italian establishment.
Fearon's Pub - The Lakeview Irish bar has closed to make way for...another Lakeview Irish bar. The Temple Bar opens on April 9.
Elliott's Dairy - The Harwood Heights spot has already inspired a Facebook page calling for its return.
Old Town Brasserie - The French restaurant has new owners as of Sunday, and they're making some changes.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.


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Highlights from Centerstage Chicago's latest Crumb newsletter:

Just Opened: Club Blujazz
Wicker Park live music lounge specializes in … blues and jazz.

Off the Beaten Path: Mr. Daniels
Find all your Polish favorites in this Portage Park café.

Weekly Treat: Buck-a-beer tomorrow at Cuna
Lakeview lounge offers domestic bottles for just $1 on Wednesdays.

Man We're Crazy About: Tao Ran Ju Restaurant
One-of-a-kind dishes in Chinatown.

For more Chicago bar and restaurant news, sign up for the Crumb newsletter.

Single City is a twice-weekly blog about the Chicago dating scene written by Sun-Times Media Wire reporter Sally Ho. Got a question? Email her!

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Like candles and soft music, wine has undoubtedly earned its rep for setting the mood.

For the romance-challenged, it may be tempting to present your date with the ever-efficient whiskey -- but really, there is nothing dreamy about a bottle of Wild Turkey.

What is dreamy? A winery. Even more dreamy? A weekend bed-and-breakfast getaway at a winery. Among my most very unromantic friends is Rusty, who put it this simply: "Wine is nothing to write home about, but a winery itself is really pretty -- just like a bar except a much nicer setting."

What would the Bachelor do? Well if it's last season's Jake, it includes laying out in a beautiful California winery, drinking and playing spin the bottle with Gia the swimsuit model.

The Bachelor: Try booking a night in the French Suite of the Lynfred Winery Bed & Breakfast, where $360 (April-July; $385 August-December) buys you fresh flowers, cheese trays, two premium wine tastings, a private winery tour of the oldest and largest winery in the state, and a gourmet breakfast the next morning for you and your boo. All super romantic and just 40 minutes away in west suburban Roselle. Heck, bring the Wild Turkey if you really insist.

The Poor Man: Celebrate (cheaply) at the Chicago Wine Club's next wine and microbrew tasting on Wednesday, April 14 at Blue Star Wine Bar. For just $30 bucks, you'll get unlimited tastings of over 25 wines and 10 microbrews, light appetizers and a tasting diary.

1190606895beauty bar.JPGLook good while having fun at the new Beauty Bar. (photo: pinklife)

Baio, Kid Color
9 p.m. at Beauty Bar; $5
The late Sonotheque (sad face) gets its hair did Beauty Bar-style, as NYC's famed East Village salon-turned-hipster-DJ-hang plants a seed in our city. Owner Paul Devitt didn't come in cold, though, partnering with Empty Bottle owners Peter Toalson and Bruce Finkelman, who are filtering in artists like Vampire Weekend's Chris Baio (spinning records after his sold-out gig at the Riviera), teased with local disco-house fave Kid Color at this opening-night gala. As at all other Beauty Bars, martinis and manicures rule happy hour for $10.

Chicago Short Film Brigade Premiere
8:30 p.m. at Hideout; $8
The group's fourth season kicks off with a number of international short films, including entries from Canada, Peru, Germany, Russia and, um, Minnesota. We're especially pumped for the two short films by animator Al Jarnow, as well as the free popcorn and homemade pies from Sugar Kist.

Phinal Thursdays
8 p.m. at Red Kiva; free
This new event (last Thursday of each month) continues its "salute to Chicago underground hip-hop and cutting-edge urban apparel" with special appearances from rapper Reno Chinati and Black Orchard, as well as beats provided by PHLI Worldwide. Also on tap: $5 Absolut cocktails and a selection of gourmet flatbread pizza.


3 Things To Do Today

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David Morales helps Boom Boom Room celebrate tonight at Green Dolphin.

Boom Boom Room
10 p.m. at Green Dolphin Street; $10
The venerable house-music event celebrates its 19th birthday with a special installment featuring DJs David Morales and Hector Romero, in addition to residents, Diz, Uncle Milty, Just Joey and Michael Serafini. RSVP to rsvp@boomboomroomchicago.com.

Policeman's Log
9:30 p.m. at Gorilla Tango Theatre; $10
There are two sides to every story, but only one version of the truth. Pulling actual police reports from recent newspapers, the cast of "Policeman's Log" will show audiences how the incidents 'actually' happened. This fully improvised show will shine a new light on those who break the law, and those who uphold it. Tonight's performance is the final one in the run.

Get It Together Again
8 a.m.-7 p.m. at Chicago Tourism Center Gallery, 72 E. Randolph; free
This exhibition of work by local, national and international artists is organized by Chad Kouri of the Post Family and Ed Marszewki of Co-Prosperity Sphere. It includes over 25 works on paper, mixed media and installations like Adrianne Goodrich's grocery store shelves with hand-drawn products (pictured). Guests can create their own collages with provided materials (or you can bring your own).

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Nothing's funnier than Canadians at summer camp.

The 3 Penny Was Here: A Lincoln Hall Movie Night
7 p.m. at Lincoln Hall; free
Continuing its celebration of the space's former resident, 3 Penny Cinema, Lincoln Hall presents a double feature sure to cure any lingering winter blues. "Wet Hot American Summer" and "Meatballs," two summer-camp classics from different eras (2001 and 1979, respectively), offer sophomoric laughs, color-war battles and at least one graphic display of guy-on-guy action. Enjoy $3 Bud drafts, $3 Busch tallboys, $3 s'mores and half-price mac 'n' cheese.

The Streets On Fire
9:30 p.m. at Empty Bottle; free
It's not often you get to see a buzz band for nothing, let alone three. This garage-dance-rock act headlines HEAVEmedia's showcase of emerging Chicago bands for good reason, having gained a lot of local support for its debut EP, Hot Weekend (see Loud Loop Press's 10 Chicago Bands to Watch). The Nothingheads and Yours Truly & The Heroes support.

Instant Theatre
8 p.m. at Chicago Dramatists; free
A week to write, an hour to rehearse. This low-key gig, a monthly event at Chicago Dramatists, gives playwrights the chance to mix it up on stage and see what rises. What'll it cost you for a taste? Exactly one hour of your time and exactly zero of your dollars.

Whether you got the day off or not, you should still give our ol' hero Casimir Pulaski some respect today. Here are five ideas:


  • Get an ethnic education. Head to the Polish Museum of America to learn more about where the great man comes from. Now that the crowds from this morning's celebration have died down, you'll be able to browse the archives with ease. Don't miss the Joseph Conrad exhibit. Open until 4 p.m.; $3 suggested donation.
  • Review your military history. Pulaski was a huge part of our country's Revolutionary War victory. Find out more about the past at the Pritzker Military Library, open until 4:30 p.m.
  • Eat Polish food. There's a Chicago restaurant specializing in pretty much any kind of traditional delicacy you crave. For pierogi, we'd suggest Kasia's, Podhalanka or one of these other favorites. If you're more into meat, the new Lincoln Square location of Gene's Sausage.
  • Take a trip. Hop on the Orange Line and get off at the Pulaski stop, where you'll find plenty to keep you entertained 'til late in the evening -- from pizza and donuts to a classic Chicago tavern.
  • Listen up. Does this Sufjan Stevens song have much to do with national history? Not really. But it's still a darn good listen.


Here are some recent restaurant/bar openings and closings.

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OPEN:
Gilt Bar - The Aigre Doux space is busy once again with this gastropub from an all-star lineup.
Second City Subs - This quick-serve sandwich spot near DePaul already feels like it's been around for years.
Ameer Kabob - Call 'em up and order inexpensive Arabian favorites for less than Sultan's Market.
Klopa Grill & Cafe - Serbian BBQ cafe serves up "good food," according to its name.
No Man's Land Pizza & Grill - Wilmette pizzeria offers New York-style slices and grilled sandwiches.

OPENING SOON:
Francesca's on Chestnut - The Italian empire expands with this Gold Coast location (in the Seneca Hotel), open any day now.

CLOSING:
Your Kitchen - You've only got a few more days to get prepared comfort food from this Albany Park spot, which closes March 1.

CLOSED:
Angelo's Taverna (we think) - Papered-over windows, disconnected phone don't bode well, but we're not totally giving up hope for this Old Town Greek eatery.
Marco Polo - Sorry, Skokie, looks like you'll have to get your fried-rice fix elsewhere.

Check back here every week for more openings and closings, and be sure to check out Centerstage Chicago's lists of new restaurants and bars.

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Que for the Choir: A Benefit for The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir

8 p.m. at darkroom; $15
Local chamber-pop favorites Scotland Yard Gospel Choir were involved in a bad van accident in September, cutting short their tour and leaving the Bloodshot Records artists with a lot of medical bills to pay. Thankfully, their compatriots in the Chicago music scene are coming to their aid with this benefit show featuring The Whiskey Drifters, Mikey Peterson and The Trust, Weepin' Willows and DJ sets by Bald E., DJ MR and DJ Elia. There will be free chili, BBQ and vegetarian fare courtesy of Man B Que.

The Following Are Pages Torn From Our Most Favorite Imaginary Books
4-10 p.m. at OhNo!Doom Gallery; free
This is the second-to-last week to catch this innovative show, featuring original children's stories by local authors, with accompanying illustrations by local artists. We're especially excited for the creation of standouts Joe Meno and Cody Hudson, Amy Guth and Pea-Be and Lindsey Markel and Jason Brammer (links go to Centerstage interviews with the artists).

Alec Ounsworth, Ezra Furman & the Harpoons
8 p.m. at Schubas; $15
It's not always a shortcoming, wearing influences on your sleeve. Especially when they're Byrne or Bowie. As the frontman of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Alec Ounsworth has had the pleasure of playing in front of both of his idols (when folks cried 'rip-off', the legends came to see for themselves). Ounsworth has proven to be the real McCoy, creating some of the most infectious and genuine indie rock of the decade. His first solo effort spills over with the same horn-driven blasts of pop cacophony that made him someone to watch. Same story with Evanston's folk poster-child Ezra (Dylan, ahem) Furman, save for the celebrity audience members and solo split off.

3 Things To Do Today

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Great Small Works shows big things can come in small packages. (photo: Jenny Romaine/Great Small Works via Forward)

Thaw: A Night of Hot Winter Ballyhoo
6:30 p.m.-midnight at The Red Canary; $30
This benefit for Links Hall takes you back to the 1930s for an evening of circus whimsy and Recession Era glamor. Guests will enjoy an open bar with Prohibition-era cocktails and complimentary hors d'oeuvres. There will be performances from Great Small Works, the acclaimed New York-based puppet company, Chantal Calato, Meredith Miller, fire-spinners, blacklight hula-hoopers, DJs and more. $75 gets you two tickets plus two passes to "The World Is Flat", a toy theater performance at Links Hall February 25-28.

Basia Bulat
9 p.m. at Schubas; $10
Before her lofty autoharp pop landscapes got usurped by car commercials, Canada's Basia Bulat was quieting barrooms with a grainy Shakira vibrato so mobile and ruthless, it was only a matter of time before someone tried to bottle it. The effect's not lost on her sophomore release, "Heart of My Own," which finds Bulat traversing the Yukon Territory that inspired her, with hints of folk and charging Americana beats, compliments of her brother. Fellow classically trained Canadian Katie Stelmanis opens with a bit of digi aggression.

The Moth StorySlam: Love Hurts
8 p.m. at Martyrs'; $7
The New York-based storytelling behemoth returns for an evening of true tales about heartbreak, presumably inspired by the Hallmark holiday just past. There are few topics more entertaining (and humiliating) than relationship woes, so expect a chock-full show (tip: get there by 6:45 for a chance to get in). For a description of what it's like, check out Centerstage's recap of the first Chicago event.

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Louder Than A Bomb: Chicago Youth Poetry Slam Festival
Starts Friday at various locations; see the full schedule
The 10th anniversary of the two-week event kicks off this weekend with an all-day Intersections Youth Literary Conference (Friday) and viewing of the "Louder Than A Bomb" documentary (Saturday). Both events are at Columbia College's Film Row Cinema.

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the West Town category.

West Ridge is the previous category.

Wicker Park is the next category.

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