The Essentials | City Weekly’s entertainment picks Jan. 10-16 

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By Cara Despain
A year after taking over Kayo Gallery’s former space, Nobrow Coffee continues serving up art with its cuppa joes. This month’s show—among the first under IFLT (It Feels Like a Trainwreck) gallery, a burgeoning art collective headed up by Nobrow owner Joe Evans—is WHITE, with new works by Mike Bernard, Adam Karagas, Steven Larson, Brian Patterson (whose work is pictured above), David Ruhlman, Trent Thursby Alvey and Mary Toscano.

The show’s theme might suggest austere expanses of white, white-on-white prints, drawings on white paper and blasted, frozen palettes. But the actual results are less predictable. There are a couple of drawings; the most striking are large-scale pencil on paper drawings by Toscano and Larson. Toscano’s piece is a minimalist composition of direct, structural lines accented with a tinted red shoe amid a whiteout. Consistent with Toscano’s other drawings and prints, this work hints at but does not reveal a narrative. As always, Larson’s drawing is a sprawled city-meets-landscape with dangling cul-de-sacs and confidently constructed pines, complete with the ever-present and refreshing by-product of creation—in this case, footprints and smudges on the paper where it was stepped on in the studio.

Patterson’s paintings involve relatively little but white, with figures of varying resolution dissolving and mingling together in a strange mixed composition. These recent works are an exciting evolution from the less figural, more abstract paintings of his past. His palette and glazing give the paintings a quality on par with not only some of the more exciting work in Salt Lake City, but also in the art world at large. If you didn’t catch Patterson’s show at Kayo in October, stopping by Nobrow will be especially worthwhile.

White @ Nobrow Coffee & Tea, 315 E. 300 South, 364-3448, through Jan. 15.

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By Tawnya Cazier
I’m just going to put it out there: ROBERT EARL KEEN isn’t for everyone. The singer/songwriter has never attained the fan base of one-time bandmate Lyle Lovett, but Keen’s collision between rock and country—with a poet’s gift for lyrics—has what Rolling Stone calls “a grass-roots following.”

It’s easy to see why. His live shows are loud, lively, even ferocious. In Seattle a few years ago, Keen walked 20 blocks to a show, soon finding himself amid a throng of cowboy hats and tight jeans. In that grunge capital, it was probably the last thing he expected. But Keen’s show was wildly raucous—just what he wanted.

Then there’s the beer. Something about riotous country rock calls for a cold one. Friday’s concert is also a benefit for the Park City Ski Team. It should to be a good ol’ time.

For those who can’t stand Tim McGraw, Keith Urban or Toby Keith, Keen is the way to go. He’s on a different plane entirely, much richer and far more talented. Consider “Gravitational Forces” from the album of the same name. He describes a four-hour sound check with, “We’re here to play music/Music I have a relentless passion for.” Combine his words with acoustic and bass guitar, a little light percussion, and it’s something different—something only Robert Earl Keen could write.

Robert Earl Keen @ Harry O’s 427 Main, Park City 435-655-7579, Friday Jan. 11,

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By Rob Tennant
Remember when all you wanted in the world was your own telepathic dragon capable of breathing fire to destroy malignant space-borne spores and the ability to teleport anywhere in the time it takes to cough three times? No? Well, then, you obviously never read any of Anne McCaffrey’s Dragonriders of Pern books, an epic fantasy series now at the end of its fourth decade and the beginning of its second generation with the addition the original author’s son, TODD MCCAFFREY, as co-writer.

Yes, Todd is taking over the family business. The most recent installment to the series, Dragon Harper, is his third as co-writer, along with 2005’s Dragonsblood, on which he flew solo. He ably continues the saga of human settlers eking out an existence on a distant world with unique cultural and technological adaptations against a singular threat. In his hands, the world of Pern remains vibrant, though now populated with new characters set in a different age.

Todd McCaffrey is coming to town, giving all of us the opportunity to get some books signed and maybe hear what he has in store for the series as he takes the reins from his mother. While you’re at it, you can lean over and see if it’s true that his breath really smells like firestone. Sorry, inside joke—but, if you got it, I know you’re intrigued.

Todd McCaffrey @ Barnes & Noble Sugar House, 1104 E. 2100 South, 463-2610, Tuesday, Jan. 15, 7 p.m.

Here & Now: Other New Happenings This Week
MY VALLEY FAIR LADY Find out in this musical satire whether a girl from the west side be turned into a “lady.” Desert Star Theatre, 4861 S. State, Murray, 266-2600, Jan. 10-March 22,

UTAH SYMPHONY Pianist Arnaldo Cohen plays soloist for Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, in a program also featuring Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 1 in F Minor. Abravanel Hall, 123 S. West Temple, 533-NOTE, Jan. 11-12,

THE VERTICAL HOUR David Hare’s contemporary drama about a war correspondent meeting her future in-laws. Pioneer Memorial Theatre, 300 S. 1400 East, 581-6961, Jan. 11-26,

SUZANNE WESTENHOEFER Read Feature. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-ARTS, Friday, Jan. 11, 8 p.m.

CROWNS Photography exhibit of works by Michael Cunningham, celebrating the tradition of African-American women’s church hats. Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W. 3100 South, 965-5100, Jan. 11-Feb. 28, Monday-Thursday 9 a.m.-6 p.m.

LAUREL CASJENS AND JOE JACOBY The local artists present black-and-white photography and mixed-media paintings and sketches, respectively. Finch Lane Gallery, 54 Finch Lane, 596-5000, Jan. 11-Feb. 22. Opening reception: Friday, Jan. 11, 6-9 p.m.

JESSICA DAY GEORGE The author of Dragon Slippers returns with her new book, Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow. The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100, Friday, Jan. 11, 7 p.m.

BALLET WEST FOR KIDS RDT’s “Ring Around the Rose Series” and Ballet West join forces to introduce kids to the world of ballet. Rose Wagner Center, 138 W. 300 South, 355-ARTS, Saturday, Jan. 12, 11 a.m.

JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Ted Neeley continues touring in the title role, even though he’s now old enough to be Jesus’ dad. Well, I mean, not that Jesus’ dad … Kingsbury Hall, 1395 E. Presidents Circle, 581-7100, Jan. 16-17.

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