Robbie Fulks, I Heart Harry Nilsson

When: Mon., Jan. 7, 7 p.m. 2013

Regular readers already know how much I admire Chicago singer, songwriter, and guitarist Robbie Fulks. He’s adept at just about any style he sticks his toes into—bluegrass, folk, honky-tonk, pop-rock—and he’ll try whatever catches his fancy or challenges him. Fulks launched a weekly Monday-night residency at the Hideout in January 2010, and since then he’s been showing off his versatility, curiosity, and razor-sharp wit via programs that change with every show. In three years he hasn’t played any song more than once. It’d hardly be practical to list all the different themes and tribute sets he’s brought to the Hideout stage—he might play the songs of Liz Phair one week and bad 80s music the next, and he’s been joined by guests including alt-country progenitor Jason Ringenberger, jazz violinist Jenny Scheinman, and singer Kelly Hogan—but he never fucks around, except when he’s deliberately fucking around. The ready availability of Fulks’s genius has made it easy to take him for granted, and I’m as guilty as anyone on that count—I couldn’t count all the nights I planned to go, then decided to head over the next week. I intend to atone in the short term by checking out his latest program, for which Fulks and his crack band will play the music of pop master Harry Nilsson—not only the indelible tunes he wrote but also the hits he scored with songs written by other people, including “Without You” (Badfinger) and “Everybody’s Talkin’” (Fred Neil). —Peter Margasak

Price: $10 suggested donation

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