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Weekly Rochester Events #254: About Nine Months of Al's Element

Thursday, November 20, 2003

Nothing really exciting happened last week ... but I did have a discussion that's becoming a recurring theme: I met someone from out of town who had moved here from the west coast who said that people up here are "mean." In general, I think they're off the mark—people up here aren't mean, per se, but there is definitely something to this.

I think that east-coast people (if I may make such a bold generalization) are constantly critical—especially as you get closer to New York City. The further west you go (and especially toward the northwest) people tend to be less critical. Oh, and by critical, I'm referring to the response to new ideas. I mean, consider what happens when you tell someone a new idea—maybe a new business, or the idea of a short story. Around here the first thing you'll hear is a critique of the flaws possible problems you'll need to anticipate. Out west, you'll get support first.

This hyper-critical behavior is particulary disastrous when it comes to art. By art, I'm referring to unplanned creative works ... following your heart, I guess, is a pretty good description. During this process, there's a lot of crap that's made in the middle, and this crap-building process is pretty much strangled by criticism. Basically, creating art is fragile until the creator is ready for it to be seen by the public. I mean, consider the outline I wrote for this paragraph:

art
creative process
lots of crap in the middle
creative expression is not a planned process
strangled by unwarranted criticism

Although this is a microscopic viewpoint, the idea is that if I told someone up here about the paragraph before it was done, they might be critical of details like wording and the order the ideas are presented. So why can't I just tell someone I'm planning on writing such a paragraph without them assuming I'm inviting them to criticize it? I think that's a manifestation unique to the east coast.

More personally, I could talk about my own photography. I've been taking pictures for years, but it wasn't until recently that I examined the body of work I'd created and found trends and themes within the pictures. I'm currently working on getting some enlarged to put up in public for review. I remember showing specific pictures to people in the past ... sometimes at the Camera Rochester meetings, or to friends, but I always found that people couldn't see what I was trying to do because they had no basis for comparison. However, they were perfectly willing to tell me they didn't like the individual images and what they didn't like. It was somewhat tough to work through in isolation. Somewhere inside, though, I guess I felt I had to continue to take pictures anyway.

I grew up in Upstate New York, so I'm biased and don't really like the "universal acceptance" approach the west coast brings. I guess there are a couple of alternatives I can think of off-hand to live in the world of constant criticism: either work in secret, or plan your creative process ahead of time so you could defend what you're doing. I guess for the long term, I think it's easier to train people to temper their criticism rather than train them to be more critical. In the short term, I guess I don't mind being a bit tougher skinned in exchange for an audience hungry to criticize.


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Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is standard modern rock with Ibex, not-so-subtly funny metal-influenced punk-rock with Serious, and Rotten Living starting around 8:30 p.m.

Tonight at Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) is Mattin, Chad Oliveiri, and Joe+n starting around 7 p.m.

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another Screenplay Salon with Jack Garner on hand to discuss The Hours in which Virginia Woolf writes Mrs. Dalloway as two women read it, the three share the eureka moment of taking control of their own lives even though they each exist in different decades.

Tonight at the Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) is the one-man play Eye of the Storm which, according to the Downstairs Cabaret website was:
... about the extraordinary Federal Judge Frank Johnson, whose 44-year career took on racial civil rights, penal and mental health institutions, and voter's rights.
It'll be showing tonight at 7:30, tomorrow at 8, Saturday at 8:30, and Sunday at 3 ... I've missed it for the last two years.

Over at Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) tonight is a Poetry Reading with poet Rennie McQuilkin who will read from his book, Counting to Christmas starting around 7.

Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) will be showing another in their Fall Film Series starting at 7 ... tonight it's The Propaganda Film.

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Cure cover band Disintegration.

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30.

Open mic poetry and music of Soulstice Lounge is at Studio 1 Café (40 St. Paul St., at the Marquee) starting around 7.

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Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 8:30 p.m. is Alex Skolnick Trio, and Bailey, Mason, Lickers.

John Akers will be at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) starting around 5 p.m. then again 9:30 p.m.

The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting Psychedelic BreakfastMP3 link, and NeroMP3 link starting around 9:30 p.m.

Tonight at presumably remodeled The Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Ave.) is Ill Niño, A Day Without Rain, and UprisingMP3 link starting around 9 p.m.

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

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will host Ken Smith's presentation of Mental Hygene films from 1945 to 1970 in three programs. The first program, Manners, Menstruation, and the American Way, begins at 2 in the afternoon and features: The second program, Dating, Delinquency, and Diversity begins at 5 with The third and final program, Courtesy, Conformity, and the Bomb begins at 8 and features

Alex Skolnick Trio, and Bailey, Mason, Lickers will again be at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 8:30 p.m.

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link for their CD release party with Piehole, Badger, and Goblet starting around 10:45 p.m.

Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is the return of Brothers Green.

Tonight at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) is Withered EarthMP3 link, PsyopusGarageBand linkMP3 link, Downdriven, and Inherence starting around 10 p.m.

Modern rock with Numm, will be at German House (315 Gregory St.) starting around 9 p.m. then it's the Rochester Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting rock-and-roll with Bee EaterGarageBand link, and LushwellGarageBand linkMP3 link starting around 10:30 p.m.

Over at Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) starting around 10 p.m. is The Grinders, great punk-rock with The Retreads, and Ithica-based rock from Whatever Mary.

Modern rock and cover songs with Uncle PlumGarageBand linkMP3 link will be at Spenders (1600 Lyell Ave.) starting around 10 p.m.

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Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 3:30 p.m. is PsyopusGarageBand linkMP3 link, CarrionMP3 link, and Bailey, Mason, Lickers.

Black Goat Ensemble, Grey Ghost, and Rob Mazurek will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) later starting around 8:30 p.m.

This afternoon (around 3) The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) will be having their Annual Meeting at Monroe Community Hospital (435 E. Henrietta Rd.).

Over at The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) starting around 8 is John Richards New Music for the Viola featuring Heather Gardner, Kevin Ernste, Steve Reich, Hans Zender, Rob Haskins, and Luciano Berio.

Tonight at the anti-audience Milestones (170 East Ave.) is really incredible blues (from a white guy or not) with Joe BonamassaMP3 link starting around 9:30 p.m.

Dan Liberto (of the The Comedy Company) hosts Open Mic Comedy Night at Duels Café (17 E. Main St.) starting around 7:30 (theoretically.)

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The Little Café (240 East Ave.) will be hosting The White Hots starting around 7 p.m.

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Billy TalentMP3 link, SpitalfieldMP3 link, and Nobody CaresMP3 link will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 6:30 p.m.

Rochester Poets will be at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight for the Rochester Poets Reading and Open Mike for free.

Over at Downstairs Cabaret (20 Windsor St.) starting around 7:30 p.m. is Funny Underground, tonight with intellectual humor of Dan Glanowski, Richard Gagnier, Lamar Williams, and Benjamin Wachs.

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Flattbush, Dead End, and Flipface starting around 10:45 p.m.

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended.

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The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Bell, Book and Candle starting at 8. Kim Novak plays a good witch who casts a spell on Jimmy Stewart's character so he'll fall in love with her and leave his fiancée (yeah, right: "good.")

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is some great funk-rock with Mountain Mojo Authority, and The Bomb Squad starting around 9:30 p.m.

Rumor has it that heavy rock/metal band HeatseekerMP3 link will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m.

Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is Bailey, Mason, Lickers, excellent rock-and-roll with Low TonMP3 link, and metal and punk-rock with Fallguy starting around 9:30 p.m. The Montage doesn't have any information about Astronomical UnitGarageBand link showing up so don't count on that ...

Not ready for mainstream 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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The longest-lived isotope of einsteinium, Es-254, has a half-life of 276 days.

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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