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Friday 21

"The 90s will make the 60s seem like the 50s!" say the unrepentant Wobblies. The Industrial Workers of the World, still kicking after 85 years in Chicago, recently faced a problem--no one eligible to be the group's new general secretary was also willing to move to Chicago. So Wobbly HQ is off to San Francisco. Their presence in Chicago will remain, but their office furniture and other "historical" memorabilia--as well as books, posters, and buttons--will be sold off at an office party tonight from 7 to 11. It's at the IWW offices in Link's Hall, 3435 N. Sheffield, room 202. Admission is free. Call 549-5045.

Saturday 22

Young sax firebrand Edward Petersen and his quintet play the Green Mill tonight. Petersen has played with Dizzy Gillespie, Ron Carter, and Ella Fitzgerald; his first album, Upward Spiral, was just released. The rest of the quintet: Fareed Haque on guitar, pianist Laurence Hobgood, bassist Rob Amster, and Jim Widlowski on drums. The Green Mill is at 4802 N. Broadway; there's a $6 cover. The quintet goes on at 8. Call 878-5552.

The great pirate rock 'n' roll radio stations were broadcasting into England in the 70s, when the BBC was at its most restrictive; like similar endeavors in America, particularly in New York, their unlicensed free-form style was greeted with asperity by government communications authorities; the stations were violently shut down. A fictional pirate radio station is being created at Club Lower Links tonight. DJs Andy Soma and Spencer Sundell promise "music from many continents which caters to, is influenced by, or advocates psychedelic states, religious and secular." The Psychedelic Festival of Light also includes an audio collage of recorded and live music, psychedelic films, videos, and overhead projector art by Ben Talbot. There'll even be a black light poster gallery. At Club Lower Links, 954 W. Newport. Call 248-5238. Things get under way at 9 or so; cover is $2.

Sunday 23

Theresa Needham ran Theresa's Tavern at 48th and Indiana for more than 30 years. Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, Junior Wells, and a handful of other big names made it the most important blues bar in the country. The Tavern was evicted in 1983 by a landlord interested in gentrification; Needham's next club project never got going. Tonight B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera is putting on Christmas for T, a fund-raiser for Needham, who's known as "Miss T." Playing will be blues youngsters Billy Branch and the Sons of Blues, plus special guests. It's $5; music starts at 9. B.L.U.E.S. Etcetera is at 1124 W. Belmont. Call 525-8989 for details.

Monday 24

The fourth annual Matzo Ball--a Society of Young Jewish Professionals singles event held in cities across the country--comes to Chicago for the first time this year. The idea is for Jewish singles to get together on Christmas Eve; the ball started in Boston and now has expanded to New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Boca Raton, and Washington, D.C. Added attractions: a raffle for two Club Med vacations and the compiling of a national, interactive dating directory. It starts at 8 at Shelter, 564 W. Fulton. Tickets are $12 in advance (through Ticketmaster, 559-1212), $15 at the door. The national sponsor of the Matzo Ball has details at 1-800-477-7957.

Tuesday 25

Whatever your faith, Christmas Day is not exactly chock full of entertainment possibilities. Two suggestions: You can contemplate Francis Ford Coppola's latest meditation on Mafia-dom--or his latest waste of untold millions of dollars--as The Godfather Part III opens today at the Biograph, Burnham Plaza, Lincoln Village, and Water Tower theaters; call for showtimes. Or dance off the calories from Christmas dinner at Smart Bar, conveniently open tonight from 9:30 PM to 4 AM. There's no cover. Smart Bar is beneath Cabaret Metro, at 3730 N. Clark. Call 549-0203.

Wednesday 26

What 1974 TV project featured a magic sorcerer kidnapping the daughter of the queen? No, it wasn't Scooby-Doo or Battlestar Galactica. It was Swedish TV, the director was Ingmar Bergman, and the scriptwriter was a long-dead Austrian named Mozart. (There was music, too.) The Magic Flute is now a holiday classic; it plays tonight through next Sunday, December 30, at Facets Multimedia, 1517 W. Fullerton. Shows are at 7:30 PM. It's $4, $3 for members. Call 281-4114.

Thursday 27

Ever asked yourself exactly how important softball is in the lives of America's lesbians? Yvonne Zipter can tell you. The author of Diamonds Are a Dyke's Best Friend and a poetry collection called The Patience of Metal is the guest of the Chicago Public Library's "Writers in Conversation" series today. Zipter is the author of the nationally syndicated "Inside Out" column in Outlines and a founding editor of Hot Wire: Journal of Women's Music and Culture. She converses at 12:15 today at the Public Library Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington. It's free. Call 269-2880 for details.

Cultural commentator Mark Crispin Miller surveys with an acid eye the impact of TV and movies on our lives. His last book, published by Northwestern University Press, was Boxed In: The Culture of TV; his newest is Seeing Through Movies, a group of essays he contributed to and edited (published by Pantheon Books). He'll be reading and answering questions at Kroch's & Brentano's, 2070 N. Clybourn, at 7:30 tonight. Call 525-2800 for more information.

December 28 through January 3

Here are a few suggestions to keep you busy next week while the Reader takes a vacation:

Imagist painter, cultural icon manipulator, and media celeb of late Ed Paschke signs the catalog accompanying the ongoing Art Institute show Ed Paschke: Paintings on Saturday, December 29, at the Rice Building bookshop at the Art Institute, Michigan and Adams. He'll be there from 1 to 2. The museum requires a donation (in any amount) for admission. Call 443-3600 for details.

For model train buffs of all ages, there's the Great Train Escape, a toy and model train swap show in Des Plaines on Sunday, December 30. From 9 to 2 there'll be vendors, experts in cleaning and reconditioning trains, lots of displays and books, and lots of other railroadiana. At the VFW Hall at Rand Park, 2025 W. Dempster in Des Plaines. Admission is $2; kids under 12 get in free. Call 708-398-5809.

"What better way to begin a healthy new year than walking or running in the first race of the year in Chicago?" ask the organizers of the annual New Year's Day 5K Run/Walk. (How about staying home and recovering from the previous night's revels?) Surely there is no stranger group than those who will rise early January 1 to participate in the 11 AM race in Lincoln Park. It begins at Cannon Drive and North Avenue, at the south end of the park; there's an $11 entry fee. The first 300 entrants get a T-shirt. Call 868-3010 for info.

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