Happy birthday, Starman! Credit: sun-times media

How’s this for a New Year’s resolution: get out and do something fun this week. Here’s some of what we recommend:

Mon 1/4: The Promontory (5311 S. Lake Park West) kicks off the New Year with the Poetory, a new monthly spoken word night featuring music by the Corner and DJ Duane Powell. 7 PM

Tue 1/5: At First Tuesdays with Mick and Ben the Reader’s Ben Joravsky and the Sun-Times’s Mick Dumke are given the Hideout stage (1354 W. Wabansia) to talk city politics—and whatever the hell else they might feel needs a takedown. This month the duo discusses the mayor and the police with Mary Ann Ahern of NBC-5 and Carol Marin of NBC-5 and Chicago Tonight. 6:30 PM

Tue 1/5: Featured readers at this outing of the monthly live-lit series Tuesday Funk at Hopleaf (5148 N. Clark) are Christopher Sweet, Robert O’Connor, Mare Swallow, Lori Rader-Day, and Chuck Sudo. 7 PM

Wed 1/6: Community meal project Soup & Bread returns to the Hideout (1354 W. Wabansia) to serve delicious food and raise money for Chicago food pantries and other hunger-relief organizations. 5:30 PM

Thu 1/7:
 Celebrate David Bowie’s 69th birthday at the Bowie Ball, happening this year at Berlin (954 W. Belmont) and coinciding with the January 8 release of his new album, Blackstar. DJs Heaven Malone and Maewest provide the tunes, Ajali will be on hand to glam up your look, and those who stick around until midnight can sing their hearts out at Bowieoke. 10 PM

Thu 1/7-Sun 1/17: The 15th annual Chicago SketchFest hosts more than 165 sketch groups over two weeks at Stage 773 (1225 W. Belmont). This year’s lineup includes heavyweights such as T.J. Miller, the fifteenth anniversary of Bri-Ko, and more.

For more stuff to do this week—and every day—check out our Agenda page.