THE ESSENTIAL A&E PICKS FOR JAN 14 - 20 | Entertainment Picks | Salt Lake City Weekly
Support the Free Press | Facts matter. Truth matters. Journalism matters
Salt Lake City Weekly has been Utah's source of independent news and in-depth journalism since 1984. Donate today to ensure the legacy continues.

Culture » Entertainment Picks


Daniel Lieberman: Exercised, Dimitri Kozyrev: Lost Landscapes @ Modern West Fine Art, Kellen Erskine @ Wiseguys, and more.



Daniel Lieberman: Exercised
It's the first of the year, that time when we all make resolutions about the way we want to change our lives—and one of the most common resolutions involves getting more exercise. So despite all of those gaood intentions, why is it that gym memberships start to go unused a few months down the road, or a bunch of home exercise equipment suddenly starts showing up on If we know exercise is good for us, and can prolong our lives, why is it so dang hard to actually do it?

In his new book Exercised: Why Something We Never Evolved to Do Is Healthy and Rewarding, Harvard University evolutionary biologist Dr. Daniel Lieberman explores this phenomenon by beginning with the realization that we're hard-wired as a species to avoid unnecessary exertion. In an interview with Harvard Gazette, Lieberman notes, "It's voluntary physical activity for the sake of health and fitness. Until recently, nobody did that ... because if you're a very active hunter-gatherer, or a subsistence farmer, it wouldn't make sense to spend any extra energy going for a needless five-mile jog in the morning."

Lieberman steers away from guilt-based motivations for getting active by offering a road map for exercise built on an evolutionary mindset of making it a necessary, social activity. And he busts common myths about exercise, like what kind is best for you, and whether we need less exercise as we age. Join Lieberman for a virtual conversation through The King's English Bookshop on Jan. 14, 6 p.m., free with registration at (Scott Renshaw)


Dimitri Kozyrev: Lost Landscapes@ Modern West Fine Art
As has been true for all of us, the pandemic has forced artists to think about the world differently. For Russia-born, now Utah resident artist Dimitri Kozyrev, it has inspired work that deals with the realities of being stuck in one place by looking outward towards possible distant destinations.

Kozyrev's new solo show Lost Landscapes opens Jan. 15 at Modern West Fine Art, presenting works that examine how things linger in the memory after passing them at high speeds along a highway ("Lost Landscapes" No. 16 is pictured). According to the artist, "The environment along the freeway structures is essentially lost for the driver in the fast movement of the vehicle, because the driver's attention is always directed forward; the landscape disappears on either side of the driver, and only fragmented elements of it imprint in the driver's memory." For his most recent work, he reclaimed the travel he lost due to the pandemic by drawing inspiration from images available through the landscape of social media from friends, acquaintances and colleagues spread around the world. It's an exploration of things we haven't exactly seen, yet somehow still hope to see again soon.

Lost Landscapes is presented in conjunction with another solo exhibition, Matthew Sketch's Affinity for Grace, showcasing the artists paintings of geometric landscapes inspired by the idea of road trips. Both exhibitions hang through March 2 at the gallery (412 S. 700 West, and also available to view online; visit the website for in-person operating hours. (SR)

  • Courtesy Photo

Kellen Erskine @ Wiseguys
Kellen Erskine looks the Everyday guy part of the observational comic. But what makes a comedian better-than-average is the ability to find the demented twist in your observations on everyday life that seems crazily and hilariously obvious only after you've shared them.

Take, for example, Erskine's thoughts on an activity as typical as grocery shopping. "Every time I'm in a grocery store, I take someone else's cart," he says. "It's so much faster. And you get to try new things. It's not stealing, what could they possibly even say to you? 'Excuse me, I ... gathered that.'" And when people online responded to his joke about people being awful if they don't return their shopping carts with "'I put my kids in the car, I can't abandon them,'" he responds, "How'd you get the cart in the first place? Just do that backwards. ... Put your food in the car, take your kids with you to return it, and teach them how not to be you."

The talented Erskine also has a terrific sense for crowd work for someone who writes such meticulously crafted jokes. As part of his online Dry Bar Comedy special recorded in Utah, the California resident asks audience members about unique high school mascots, inspiring folks to yell out high schools in Spanish Fork and American Fork—to much laughter. A confused Erskine responds, "I feel like everyone here knows something but me." Get in on the joke at Wiseguys Gateway (194 S. 400 West, wiseguys for four shows Jan. 15-16, $25. (SR)

  • Wikimedia Commons

Martin Luther King Day activities
In the wake of a year that once again saw issues of civil rights for people of color turn into nationwide protests, the legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his colleagues feels not like some piece of distant history, but urgently of this moment. Despite the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are still opportunities to recognize and celebrate that legacy during the three-day weekend (and beyond) honoring Dr. King's birthday.

The University of Utah offers an entire week of MLK-themed programming under the heading of "Good Trouble," recognizing the passing of Dr. King's friend and ally, Rep. John Lewis. On Monday, Jan. 18 at 3 p.m., a safety-conscious car rally begins downtown on course to the University. [Ed. Note 1/14: The University has changed this event to a live virtual event that will be broadcast at 2:30 p.m. at] Virtual conversations cover topics including a review of Jon Meacham's book profiling John Lewis, His Truth Is Marching On, and a webinar about the history of "redlining" in creating economic inequality. The week concludes with a variety of "Saturday Service" opportunities on Jan. 23. Visit to learn more about these and other activities throughout the week, including those that require registration.

For those looking for a family-friendly way to explore Dr. King's life and work, Discovery Gateway (444 W. 100 South) presents programming beginning at 1 p.m. on Jan. 18, in conjunction with Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Watch the entirety of the famed "I Have a Dream" speech, then enjoy art projects and hands-on activities continuing the theme. Visit discoverygateway.or for additional information, including COVID-19 health and safety protocols. (SR)