The Five

Don’t-miss picks for Wednesday, January 7 through January 13, 2015

1 Bloodshot Records 20th Anniversary

Folk: The venerable local alt-country label celebrates 20 years of existence with this bash at the Metro. Musicians slated to perform include Lydia Loveless and Ben Kweller.
1/10 at 7. $21. Metro, 3730 N. Clark.

2 The 18th Annual Fillet of Solo Festival

Readings: Lifeline Theatre’s artistic director, Dorothy Milne, and festival founder Sharon Evans will curate an event filled with the city’s best live lit performers, storytellers, monologists, and writers.
1/9–1/25. $10 per performance, $50 festival pass. Lifeline Theatre, 6912 N. Glenwood.

3 Eddy Clearwater

Blues: This relic of Chicago’s 1950s West Side blues scene came up playing what he calls “rock-a-blues”—distorted, up-tempo renditions of 12-bar classics, adorned with his gruff holler. He also plays left-handed on an upside-down right-handed guitar, the musical equivalent of mastering cursive with a palette and chisel.
1/9 at 8. $20–$32. SPACE, 1245 Chicago, Evanston.

4 Comedians You Should Know

Comedy: One of the city’s best standup showcases features the reliably hilarious Puterbaugh Sisters, Danny Kallas, and a “super special guest.”
1/7 at 9. $5–$10. Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct.

5 University of Chicago Presents

Classical: Opera aficionados sometimes talk about luxury casting, where a star singer fills a down-the-card role. In this case, for the eminent Swedish mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter, her accompanist for a recital of German and French songs rates as a luxury pianist—Angela Hewitt, one of the world’s foremost Bach interpreters.
1/11 at 3. $5–$35. Mandel Hall, U of C. 1131 E. 57th.

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Matthew Shepherd Jordan
Michael Shepherd Jordan Photo: Courtesy of Michael Shepherd Jordan

Up next in our series of weekend plans from notable, in-the-know locals—a.k.a. people we like, actor Michael Shepherd Jordan.

“Friday night I will be performing at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival with my sketch group Cake-n-Hatred. This is our fourth year performing and we’ve written a bunch of new material for this show. What I love most about Sketchfest is seeing the improv groups from outside of Chicago. It’s great to see what they’re up to. After the show, I might go to Cooper’s across the street. It’s the only bar around the theater and a lot of performers go there. It’s got a good craft beer selection  and they’ve got a deck that’s enclosed in the winter which is nice.

“I’m also the managing director of a theater group called MCL Chicago. (MCL stands for Music Comedy Live.) We’re a fairly new theater; we’ve been around since August. We do music improv and music comedy. On Saturday night, we have our sold-out show Yippe Ki-Ya, Merry Christmas, A Die Hard Musical. Then at 9 we have our Improvised Sondheim project. The performers do fully improvised musicals in the style of Stephen Sondheim. This string of shows is called Out of the Woods. Then I’m performing a show at MCL called Vamp. It’s like Whose Line Is It Anyway with more music and more booze. It’s a lot of fun. We have drink specials at Trader Todd’s, which is a tiki-themed karaoke bar. A lot of people like to go there after our shows.

“Sunday, I will be bouncing back between MCL and Sketchfest. There are two shows I can’t wait to see. One is called Nannies, written by four ladies who are all nannies as well as improvisers and comedians in Chicago. And then the other one is called Close Up. It has a bunch of people who are either current or former members of Second City Training Center House Ensembles, and they’ve all gotten together to write a sketch show. It should be fantastic. —As told to Tomi Obaro

Freebie of the Week

Collecting Paradise: Buddhist Art of Kashmir and Its Legacies

Art: A 1,000 year-old sculpture tradition blossomed alongside Buddhism near the Himalayas in Kashmir. This exhibit culls over 50 exquisitely rendered religious objects from far-flung locales, many reunited after centuries.
1/13–4/19. Free. Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle, Evanston.