The work in artist Xylor Jane's "Twin Prime" exhibition is mathematical, controlled, and, with one exception, square. It's minimal, if not formally minimalist. For the most part, her paintings are made up of close dots on tiny-celled grids -- yet somehow, they manage to exude optimism.
The formal structure and striking color choices of Jane's pieces make us think of the work of Piet Mondrian. Like the French painter, Jane, who lives in San Francisco and Brooklyn, N.Y., puts warmth and energy into her images, though they could easily seem strict and cold. Like a lot of good art, these paintings make you wonder, "How'd she do it?" How did she repeat these blots so systematically? How did she make geometry-class visuals into compelling art? And why is there one big, round, graph-driven sunburst, when everything else is so blocky? Jane creates that systematic-ness by basing the placement of her dots on various numerical systems, so that the thousands of blips eventually form abstract and sometimes wavelike patterns that are fun to squint at. It's a little like dot-matrix-printouts-meet-groovy-1970s-party-people. "Twin Prime" runs through Nov. 20 at Jack Hanley Gallery, 389 Valencia (at 15th St.), S.F. Admission is free; call 522-1623 or visit www.jackhanley.com.
-- Hiya Swanhuyser
Skating makes a comeback
Roller-skating's heyday was a few decades ago, when every teenybopper owned a pair of satin shorts embroidered with a winged skate, when rinks around the country were jammed with teenagers making out during "Couples' Skate," when no less a Me-Generation icon than Linda Blair chose to follow up her triumphs in The Exorcist and the TV movie Born Innocent with Roller Boogie. But by the '80s the craze had peaked. Rinks shut their doors. Discarded skates littered thrift stores. And poor ol' Linda Blair could barely get B-movie roles. Despite the fad's faded status there are still those hardcore few who find it amusing to zip about on wheels. You'll find them all at "Boogie Nights," the weekly indie-cinema-meets-roller-disco parties that start tonight with a screening of Brien Burroughs' corporate espionage comedy, Security, at 8. Skate afterwards till late at ICAN Gallery, 1310 Mission (at Ninth St.), S.F. Admission is a $5 donation (plus $5 to rent skates if you need 'em); call 820-3907.
-- Joyce Slaton
Indie musician makes good
Ted Leo's slow-grow career has never suffered from a lack of tenacity: He began blazing his trail with DIY basement shows back when most of his current indie contemporaries were still in swaddling denim. After all this time, it seems right that he's starting to make a blip on pop culture's radar screen without sullying his credible reputation. His latest album, Shake the Sheets, sounds equally enraged and triumphant -- an appropriate statement given the person who made it. Leo's shows with the Pharmacists consistently offer plenty of sweat-soaked moments of inspiration. Lucero opens at 9 p.m. at the Great American Music Hall, 859 O'Farrell (at Polk), S.F. Admission is $12-14; call 885-0750 or visit www.musichallsf.com.
-- Nate Cavalieri
One Horrifying Hick
From the '50s to the '70s, real-life countrified couturier Nudie dressed celebs from Elvis to the Harlem Globetrotters. But in author Derek McCormack's unsettlingly amusing new novel, The Haunted Hillbilly, Nudie moonlights as a vampire who holds a creepy, Svengali-like power over the career of Grand Ole Opry star Hank. Hear McCormack read from his book at 7 p.m. at City Lights, 261 Columbus (at Broadway), S.F. Admission is free; call 362-8193 or visit www.citylights.com.
-- Joyce Slaton