Weekender checks out a performance inspired by paranoia!

Weekender checks out a performance inspired by paranoia!

Beatniks in the Summer of 1969 (Martin Pulaski/Flickr)

One of our picks this weekend got me thinking that we’re living in a real Beat Generation kind of a moment.

See, Saki record store is having its first Musical Wine Tasting this Saturday night. They’re billing it as an event that both embraces the essentials of St. Patrick’s Day (booze and beats) and offers a more refined, sedate alternative to the annual weekend of debauchery (or wait, was that a whole week I just lost?!).

The Saki event sounds fun - and just a little bit retro. There’s something about a group of no doubt smart and hip folks, lounging around listening to sophisticated tunes, that has a definite vibe of Greenwich Village or Old Town circa the late ’50s/early ’60s. If you need a visual (I did) check out these early and hilarious episodes of Mad Men, when Don Draper hangs with some beatniks.

But it isn’t just the AMC franchise that’s bringing Beat back.

Jack Kerouac, who would have turned 90 this week, is all over the map! There’s the forthcoming movie version of On The Road, featuring that somewhat Beat-ish vampire lover Kristen Stewart (she’s certainly cultivated a disaffected persona). And the Beat Generation, Kerouac’s only play, will be staged later this year.

I don’t know - I’ve always had a wary stance toward the Beats. Too macho, too romantico, too lacking in females, oh! But Patti Smith’s Just Kids, a memoir of her friendship with the late Robert Mapplethorpe, is a clear example of how women did indeed draw inspiration from a cultural expression that largely excluded them.

And I’ve even found a way to embrace Kerouac himself, via his exhortation that works to embrace us all (edits are mine): “Brother[/Sister], I greet you with open arms, I accept your frailties, I offer you my frailties, let us gather and run the gamut of rich human existence.”

That sounds totally in keeping with Weekender’s mission! Check out a bunch of rich, gamut-running opportunities below. Then get out there man, and like, totally enjoy!

1. NEDtalks: Spreading Worthless Ideas

Friday 6:30 p.m.

The utterly charming and self-described “stupid” duo Seth and Kellen continue their mission to both elevate and dumb down your spirits!

The Hideout 1354 W. Wabansia

2. Eleven Jazzy Divas

Friday 7:30 p.m.

Divah powah! Female jazz musicians pay tribute to their inspirations.

The DuSable Museum 740 E. 56th Place

3. Shatner’s World

Friday 8 p.m.

We just live in it. What more can I say?

The Auditorium Theatre 50 E. Congress Parkway

4. Toots and The Maytals

Friday 9 p.m.

Can’t stop the Toots! The ska/reggae stars will try to make your pressure drop.

House of Blues 329 N. Dearborn

5. Working Nine to W(h)ine: Woman’s Club of Evanston

Friday and Saturday 8 p.m.

Song, dance, parody - and all of it for a good cause!

North Shore Theater 1702 Chicago Ave., Evanston

6. Maplefest

Saturday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Sure it feels like summer, but the sap’s still running. Get your sugar on!

Red Oak Nature Center

7. Musical Wine Tasting

Saturday 6 to 9 p.m.

How about a little bordeaux with your ambient beats?

Saki 3716 W. Fullerton Ave.

8. Graphomania

Saturday 7:30 p.m. Sunday 3 p.m.

A swan song from a long-standing troupe - who’ve taken our cultural paranoia about privacy and turned it into a performance of physical feats!

The Chopin Theatre 1543 W. Division

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