Thursday, March 6, 2003

JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events #217: Watch Yourself, Dick--Don't Go All William King On Our Ass

Before I spiral into despair (see below) I'm going to totally sell out on my company's employee referral program. I work for Synopsys (yes, it's misspelled, but at least it's better than the old company name, Avant!, pronounced "avanti") whose local office is in Victor. They make design software for the semiconductor industry ... schematic capture, semiconductor layout, and IC packaging. Anyway, send me an e-mail at synopsysjob@jayceland.com and I'll see what I can do. My conscience will only let me submit people who I already know, so the rest of you need to take the outside track through the website.

My spiral of despair is because I keep thinking about how America is gone. I mean, I remember only a few years ago being proud to live in a country where you needed to be charged with a crime before you were detained, and that you had the right to assemble peacefully, and that you could speak whatever you wanted. Now I see we've got secret trials going on (over 500 hits searching for "secret trials" and "patriot act") people in New York protests are being beaten and jailed, and at this point, I pretty much expect that if I were to actually publish something that more than the ten of you read, that I would mysteriously go missing.

We're on the brink of war with Iraq, and our president is pissing off Europe so much I wouldn't be surprised if we were at war with them next. I wouldn't doubt he goes to North Korea at some point and gives Kim Jong-il a solid ass-kicking--Texas style--rather than go the "boring" route of thinking and talking. Ugh.

Unless things change, I think this is pretty much goodbye, America.

Anyway, let's see if I can turn this around ... well, I wanted also to talk about my "hatred of everything." I've had this come up a couple times with people that I despise all movies, music, or television shows. That's not entirely true, but nor is it entirely false. Let me put a finer point on it.

I actually like to hear what someone else has to say. An expert storyteller--be it in person, on film or screen, or through music or art in general--is a real treat. I really like to see such works. However, almost all mainstream production is engineered for the audience. By that, I mean it is not a message but a product. I read an article on the making of the movie trailer for the movie Signs where every split-second of screen time was honed to capture the largest possible audience. I can't come up with the article, but there was talk about the number of seconds that the army guys appear because with too few, it'll seem like a single-dad chick flick, but with too many, it'll seem like an action shoot-em-up guy movie.

I also know that movies are changed in the same way. Extending from the Hollywood happy ending syndrome, stories are diluted to fill seats. How come Kirsten Dunst's character in Spider-Man was wearing a thin low-cut top when it was supposed to rain that day? Didn't she check the weather? The answer is, it doesn't matter--the movie was engineered to have that scene so I'd tell all my guy friends about the scene with Kirsten Dunst's nipples poking through her wet top and they'd gladly shell out $8 for a peek too. Actually, they all told me ... I got the screen grab off the Internet, but ended up seeing the movie because people otherwise said it was pretty good (and, best of all, avoided the Hollywood happy ending.)

However, consider The Blair Witch Project. It tells a story. It's what the directors wanted to make ... they explored the boundaries of film, reality, and marketing. I think it worked. Now, the Hollywood-ized version of the movie would have _of course_ had a river bathing scene in it. Either that, or Heather and Josh would have had a gratuitous second-base-nearing make-out scene the night before he got lost because that would have "added depth to their relationship." Perhaps throw in some more characters ... maybe a couple Goth chicks or something. (Oh wait, that's Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2.)

I do still go see Hollywood movies and other commercial entities, it's just that they have to be perfectly marketed to me: all the explosions and stunts to have plausible physics (nobody can outrun a fireball, bullets have mass, and gravity affects everything) and there's got to be at least two 22-27 year old sexy actresses who have intelligent characters and show off their breasts. While I'm at it: Hollywood, if you're listening, I'd like to see a movie where a bisexual Winona Ryder helps two bisexual women (played by Rachel Leigh Cook and Kate Hudson) come to terms with the homosexual side of their long-time friendship ... and all three end up in a hot tub together at least once. Oh, and I play the twins who Rachel and Kate are dating ... and the older cousin who's with Winona.

Uhh ... (give me a minute to get back to reality-land) ... On the other hand, I almost always like to hear a well-told story. Consider Acts of Worship, which is a movie I would never see in a million years if it was done Hollywood-style. I mean, it was simply the story of a woman at the end of her heroin addiction. That's it. No cars exploding ... no saintly figure who drags her out. Just a woman being raped by her own demons. I really got something out of that.

Heck, I saw it a year and a half ago and it's still like yesterday. I checked back and the last commercial movie I saw was Die Another Day which wasn't bad, but I get that "oh yeah..." reaction when I think about it. Something about diamonds and an ice hotel or something ... it was fun to watch, I guess.

By the way, I should probably go back and change the phrases "chick flick" and "guy movie" so they're not so skewed in their respective connotations, but too fucking bad: it's my essay.


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  • Bringing Down the House - A white middle-class guy meets a woman over the Internet only to find that she's actually a black woman who broke out of prison to meet him. I'd completely write this off except that the two lead roles are played by Steve Martin and Queen Latifah.
  • Tears of the Sun - Ok, ok--we get it. Bruce Willis is an action star.
  • A Closer Walk (at The Little) - A documentary about the worldwide AIDS epidemic and how--because our leadership has not done enough--that it is up to us as people in a world community to step up and defeat the virus.
  • Rivers and Tides (at The Little) - A pretty dry documentary about environmental-centric artist Andy Goldsworthy whose works are designed to decay through natural means.

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Tonight's Thursday Thinkers Program over at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is titled Fastball to Spring and the library writeup is:
Red Wings' General Manager Dan Mason will explain the evolution of the Red Wings' relationships from the Cardinals to the Orioles to the Twins and what we can expect this year now that the Wings are once again associated with a winning parent club. Does Dan expect to camp out in the bullpen waiting for a victory in 2003 or can we all expect high quality play at Frontier Field next year?


Over at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) tonight is The Riddlin' KidsMP3 link with Wakefield, deltaforce 23MP3 link, Act Your AgeGarageBand link, and Garage Door RodeoMP3 link starting around 8:30.

At some hour between 8 and 11, The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will have 5 Watt Bulb (whom I have yet to see) Bird Circuit (who do some derivative of modern-rock) and Veluxe (who might actually show up this time [unlike on February 13].)

The new-to-me Freedman will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30.

Comedy ... ummm ... group, I guess, Dave Schmitt and Friends will be at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) tonight starting around 8:30.

The awsome percussive groove-rock band The BuddhaHoodMP3 link with Groovenutt (who are also quite good) will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) tonight (and every Thursday for a while) starting around 9:30.

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Jam from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's designed to be more of a true jam.

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Over at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) at 2 today is the discussion If All of Rochester Read the Same Book. The book is Kindred by Octavia Butler and the series is co-presented by Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) The library description is:
Octavia Butler will appear in person to talk about her writing as part of Writer's & Books "If All of Rochester Read the Same Book..." program for 2003. Kindred is a unique and imaginative story that advances some of the most fundamental questions about slavery: How do people become mentally and physically enslaved? Butler is a MacArthur fellow who combines great science fiction writing with mysticism, mythology, and African-American spiritualism. Kindred is guaranteed to generate discussions and enthusiasm among its readers. Enjoy this opportunity to hear a gifted author discuss her own work at this special Thursday [sic] Thinkers Program, Friday March 7th at 2:00 p.m. This appearance is free and open to the public.


Starting around 7 tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is comedy with some of the funniest guys in Rochester: Tiny Glover, Lamar Williams, Paul Caccamise, and Rich Gagnier.

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Checked personally by Jayce O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Tonight at 10 is the 2nd Annual Kidney Kegger (2 Arlington Park, off University near the MAG) to benefit the National Kidney Foundation featuring a bunch of drunk things like beer pong and Jello shots.

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is metal-infused rock-and-roll with Fallguy, Low TonMP3 link, and We're Not YouMP3 link starting around 10:45.

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is 1960's-style garage rock Thee UMMmm from Albany with locals Riviera Playboys starting around 10:30.

The best bet for modern rock and covers is up at Fat Moe's (4419 Dewey Ave.) with Uncle PlumGarageBand linkMP3 link starting around 10.

Well, okay, Better Days can get you your modern-rock-and-covers fix too up at Spenders (1600 Lyell Ave.).

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Way up at Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Ave.) is Impulse, Johnny Action, Fireside Chats, Illusions Of Grandeur, and Frank Burns probably starting around 9 or so.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Love in the Afternoon starting at 3. Gary Cooper and Audrey Hepburn in Paris ... 'nuff said.

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Nothing to do again on another Monday night ... why not go see Chicago at The Little? I heard it's pretty good.

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Updated: Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) tonight is a free show with The Jet City FixMP3 link, Thundergods, and Shackletons starting around 10.

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In the basement of Java's (16 Gibb St.) tonight is Municipal Waste, No Time Left, Bad Business, The ManicsMP3 link, and 17th Class starting around 5.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing That Sinking Feeling starting at 8. In one of Scottish director Bill Forsyth's early films, a group of bored teenagers decide to steal plumbing supplies.

Not ready for mainstream Updated: Now on Wednesdays ... tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff.
 
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William Rufus de Vane King was born 217 years ago in 1786 and died in the office of Vice President under Franklin Pierce (dude--you know--the 14th President.)

Checked by Jayce is an event that has been confirmed either with the venue, the performers, or both.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MP3 link links to a band's page on MP3.com which offers music and entertainment downloads in MP3 format.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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