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Weekly Rochester Events #267: You Think You've Got a Big John Hancock?

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Let's start with some random stuff like usual ...

First, I have another philosophical theory: the purpose of all mankind is to burn all the fossil fuels. We're like chemotherapy for planets ... we do our own form of damage, but if it weren't for us, the inflammable er ... flammable (whichever) fossil fuels under the ground would eventually come squirting out on their own and burn really poorly and probably kill off lots of stuff that's alive on the planet. The best part is that once they're all burned up, most of us will die off and the rest will turn back into stupid farmer monkeys.

Second, I went to the The Reynolds Auction Company auction for the renters at L. A. Self-Storage (430 Lake Ave.) who couldn't pay their rent. The selection was pretty sparse, and I learned an important lesson: people who can't afford to pay for self-storage don't have nice things.

I guess I wanted to mention something about President George W. Bush being conflicted about gay marriages. I guess the hate group he belongs to that wants to oppress gays is at odds with his job as President where he should treat all citizens of the United States fairly and equally. Curiously, he could be written into the history books as the hero who understood the value of equality and cemented the rationale for the value of the separation of church and state.

I'm not holding my breath on that one, though. (Sorry to anyone that disagrees, but in case you've never seen it, this is what's liberally biased press looks like ... even though I'm really a reactionary at heart who wants to see all preferential treatment of corporations stripped, for individual freedoms to be paramount, and for the government to be run by the people. You know, more like 1776 than 1996.)

Anyway ... back to the 184 hour Rochester world.

Let me fill you in with some back-information first. I have a well-defined concept of what I think art is—the expression of an idea which is not possible to explain in words. To me, a picture of a mountain, if you can explain exactly what it is, is more like a craft or skill of image reproduction. Butterflies-on-a-stick are not art (although beating someone to death with one is.) Jackson Pollock's paint splatter paintings are just paint splatters.

However, something that elicits an emotional response which can't readily be explained is much closer to art ... the artistic ideal would theoretically defy all deconstruction, I guess.

I think it's pretty darn challenging to make art out of photography because, well duh (or "doy!" for our Buffalo readers) they're pictures of real things. If you want to see some pretty good examples, check out the photography exhibit at The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.). Fennel Skellyman's Gods & Spirits is a great centerpiece ... about 20 bizarre, distorted Polaroids ... I liked the red one with the flower-like thing and the dog-like thing, and the one that's blurry and yellowish with a purple notch on the left side. He shares the gallery with two other photographers. Kate Laux's work was quite disturbing as well, and Moxen N. Briddlebane's fictionalized places were odd and unnerving to look at.

I got to check that out on Friday, and followed it up with a trip to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) but ended playing with the fire for an hour and leaving early ... I got home and still wasn't tired, so I stopped by The Distillery (1142 Mount Hope Ave.) It's not really my kind of place ... generally a noisy sports bar, and an okay place to bring a group of about 5 people to socialize, but not a place to meet people at all. However, I stopped by anyway, if only to spend a few bucks on the place that does the best job clearing their sidewalks on Mount Hope.

Saturday—Valentine's Day—made a couple odd turns. I started out a bit early, hoping to grab some chocolate thing and some coffee at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) but I was denied at the door: "Valentine's Day reservations only after 7 p.m." So I made my way to The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.) which was fairly crowded ...the band from Diane Armesto Quartet was playing some light jazz. I borrowed the corner of a table up front to see the band. Amidst the "foolish guy with no date on Valentine's Day" is the "guy who slyly and deliberately selected the table with the two most attractive women in the place." No big surprise, I end up talking with Kristy and Jen for an hour or so ... unfortunately, Diane Armesto started singing and was bothered by our conversation and asked us to stop. I mean, come on ... it's a café ... not Kilbourn Hall. Oh well. Regardless, I was itching to head out anyway to get to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) so I bid them farewell.

Ah the Valentine's Day Massacre at the Krown. The problem of people talking in front of the band is as easily solved as a low profit margin: with volume. A big jumble of people from dozens of local bands recombining into new temporary forms to cover "love" songs. Drinking happens and the pesky holiday is finally history. (Oh yeah: don't forget to check out the "Link of the Week" in the right-hand column about this QuirkyAlone concept.)

On Monday's foray, I stopped by The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) first and caught Sonic Openings Under Pressure which was this excellent 4-piece jazz band with an improvisational, unconventional flair. Combine that with the magical acoustics of the interior of Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) and it was just incredible. Then came the search for coffee ... Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) was closed or just about to close, even though it was before 9. Java's (16 Gibb St.) was mobbed. Plus, I didn't see this girl I saw with a friend of mine at the Ossia New Music show last week that I wanted to meet, so I didn't quite have enough gumption to deal with the noise and odor of youth. Around the corner and down the block, and I find Spot Coffee (East Ave. and Mathews St.) is closed as well ... quite thoroughly closed for apparently several hours. So it's back to The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.) and I got to see The White Hots play. Let me just say that was very amusing ... seeing a tame (okay ... by comparision, lame) jazz band not long after seeing a really good one. I guess if you make the difference dramatic enough, even I can judge the quality of jazz.

Tuesday I had all the life sucked out of me doing taxes ... nothing like receiving the software in the mail and just banging through it. Fortunately, I forced myself to get out of the house and I got to see The Know HowGarageBand linkIUMA link at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) which is this great ska band from Gainesville, Florida ... despite that they're light on brass with only one trumpeter.

Ultimately, it was that show that inspired me to make the JayceLand Pick icon to indicate that an event is the "preferred" pick of the day. I've been asked a couple times in the past to add a "where's Jayce" indicator as to what I was going to do, so here's as close as I can get to that ... these are the events that get marked with a * in my Palm Pilot so I'll try to get out to them myself. While I was at it, I finished up work on the IUMA link logo as well which links to a band's page on IUMA.com ... a lot like GarageBand.com, both of which offer reviews and information about bands.


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  • The Statement (at The Little) - A very very evil Nazi executioner is chased by police and hit men.
  • Touching the Void (at The Little) - A couple mountain climbers can't feel alive unless they are about to die.
  • Against the Ropes - Meg Ryan's a boxing promoter? Umm ... Why?
  • Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen - Let me attempt to summarize for the bar-going audience: She's 17 until July 2. It's PG.
  • Eurotrip - I had to miss National Lampoon's European Vacation for my 15th birthday because my high school friend Sean had already seen it so my mom suggested we take my brother Adam's advice to see Godzilla 1985. While I missed out on Chevy Chase asking a German couple for sechs, at least this one is rated R for nudity.
  • Welcome to Mooseport - In what Hollywood people would like everyone to believe that everyone else's small town is like, a dropout presidential candidate returns to his hometown to run for mayor. Aren't we due for some good movies for a change?

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At The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) today in the Gleason Auditorium is this week's Thursday Thinkers titled Many Children Left Behind? The Chair of the Early Childhood Development Initiative, Jacque Cady and Rochester City School Board member Rob Brown will speak about discrepancies between politics and funding in the education system from 5:15 p.m. to 6 p.m. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is jazz with Richie Vitale starting around 7 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon at 5 at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture with Professor Kristi Krumrine of St. John Fisher College (3690 East Ave.) titled Information Bodies: Reconstructing Life in Bioarchaeology where she will discuss how the analysis of human skeletal remains reveals information on how the people lived. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour starting at 8 then The Magic Christian, a black comedy about what people will do for money starring Ringo Starr, starting at 9:15. [source: Eastman House calendar]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Sublime cover band Bad Fish, and Third Estate starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Webster Public Library (960 Ridge Rd.) will be having an UNO Tournament starting at 1:00 p.m. Although it's for kids, I should sneak in because they'll be giving prizes for both the highest and lowest scores ...

Java's (16 Gibb St.) will be hosting the good, basic rock/punk-rock/groove-rock band The Spaces starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

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

Accordian and musical saw duo Dreamland Faces will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 or so. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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JayceLand Pick Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) will be at Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) starting around 8:01 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow. [source: Nuts and Bolts e-mail]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is part of their Mardi Gras celebration featuring John Seiger and The Dixieland Jazz All-Stars, and Big Leg Emma starting around 8:30 p.m.

Acoustic cover songs from The Earthtones will be at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) starting around 5:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Breaking the Waves starting at 8. An oil-rig worker has an accident and is paralyzed, so he asks his wife to have sex with other men then describe the acts to him. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) will be hosting The J. Project Band starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. and 10:45 p.m. is comic Bobcat Goldthwait at Comix Café (3450 Winton Pl.) [source: Comix Café Calendar]

Norton's Pub (1730 Goodman St.) will be hosting modern rock and cover songs from Better Days starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

S
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JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is The Nields starting around 7 p.m. then at 9:30 p.m. it's Greater Rochester Jazz Orchestra. [source: Montage e-mail]

Oh wait wait ... I had another idea: In celebration of Black History Month, Rochester Museum & Science Center (657 East Ave.) is doing a show titled The Wonderful World of Black Holes starting at 1. [source: Freetime]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Stone Reader starting at 8. Apparently based on the obscure author Dow Mossman's book Stones of Summer which was out of print when the filmmaker discovered it. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is Mr. T Experience (unfortunately, ManplanetGarageBand link can't make it ... I guess their drummer is sick) metal-influenced punk rock from Serious, and The Grinders. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Meddling Kids, Livid, and Seven Green. [source: WBER calendar]

Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is rockin' rockabilly from Krypton 88 starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

JayceLand Pick Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) will be hosting excellent rock from The Earl Cram Revue, and wild female-sex-energy-driven rock from Your Mom starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: WITR calendar]

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George Washington born 1732

Gumshoe will be at The All-Purpose Room (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: All-Purpose Room calendar]

This afternoon at 1, Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) will be hosting a discussion of Stones of Summer by Dow Mossman, the basis for the recent film Stone Reader. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

Norton's Pub (1730 Goodman St.) will be hosting solo acoustic cover guy John Akers starting around 5 p.m. [source: Freetime]

This afternoon starting at 3 is Aura Readings by Stan Kendz at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans). [source: Freetime]

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

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Over at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) is another Meet the Photographer Series event starting at 7 featuring Rochester area photographer Willie Ostermann. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

I guess Wide Open Mike is getting moved around a lot because now it's tonight at 7:30 at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Writers and Books calendar]

This evening at 8 is Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) featuring guest composer Wayne Peterson, conductor Brad Lubman and the music of Peterson, Zorn, Wolpe, and McFarland. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Little (240 East Ave.) is another of their Emerging Film Makers Series starting at 9:30. [source: flyer on the bathroom wall at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) for a film called Protest Songs]

Over at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Dave Rivello's 12-Piece Jazz Ensemble [source: Montage e-mail]

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At Gleason Auditorium in The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is another in the Tuesday Topics series titled Rochester in the Civil War from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. presented by The Democrat and Chronicle reporter and author of Where They Fell: Stories of Rochester Area Soldiers in the Civil War, Bob Marcotte. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

The 3rd Annual The March of Dimes Fundraiser Celebration featuring Sometimes Three, Big Noise, Nik and the Nice Guys, and Uncle PlumGarageBand link will be at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) and The Bootleggers, The Swamp Padres, and Peachy Neachys will be next door at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 5:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Richard Pryor: Live in Concert starting at 8. Remember when this stuff was cutting edge and you couldn't tell whether Richard Pryor was just a noisy guy with a dirty mouth, or really funny and destined go down in comedy history? [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Dresden Dolls, acoustic folk-rock from Joanna McNaney, and even-paced jazz-oriented rock from Thought will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Once again, it's the 2,000 Word Club Open Mike at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) starting at 7 p.m. The only rule is that it's less than 2,000 words, but who's counting? Seriously: is there someone actually counting? [source: Writers and Books calendar]

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. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

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JayceLand Pick Starting around 6:30 at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is another Big Drum—Songwriters In The Round with Kate Silverman, Christopher John Davis, solidly good acoustic soloist Dee Adams and up-and-coming acoustic soloist JoAnn Vaccaro. [source: Freetime]

This afternoon at The Hochstein School of Music and Dance (50 North Plymouth Ave.) is The Scarborough Trio (Erin Lesser on flute, Gina Valvano on bassoon, and Tom Cuffari on piano) performing the music of Gruber, Barber and Borne starting around 12:10 a.m. [source: Hochstein calendar]

Tonight through Sunday, comic/actor Dustin Diamond (who played Screech on "Saved by the Bell" and Simone, the cross-dressing hotel manager, in Jane White is Sick and Twisted) will be at Comix Café (3450 Winton Pl.) Tonight's show is at 8:30. [source: Comix Café Calendar]

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. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Very cool jazz/jazz-rock band Margaret Explosion will be at The Little (240 East Ave.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Little Theatre e-mail]
 
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On this day ... February 19



Link of the Week:
QuirkyAlone - After another non-Valentine Valentine's Day, a friend sent me info about this site. It's related to the book Quirkyalone : A Manifesto for Uncompromising Romantics by Sasha Cagen and described in this article. The general idea is that there's a personality type (probably like me) that puts their wants and needs at a higher priority than the need to be dating, so most of the time they don't.



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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database
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Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
John Hancock was born 267 years ago in 1737. He was the first to sign the Declaration of Independence, and commenting on the size of his signature, is reported to have said, "My name shall be written large enough for the king to see for all time."



JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

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

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

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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