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Weekly Rochester Events #289: Those Riotous English

Thursday, July 22, 2004

This past week was packed with lots of goings-out, I guess I'll just jump in and blog through it. Er ... I mean slog through it.

Early evening last Thursday was a meeting to explain the process for selling the The Rochester Psychiatric Center Terrance Building (Elmwood Ave. at Azalea Rd.) Jack Kinnicutt of Empire State Development (ESD) was the primary presenter and explained that the property belongs to the New York State Office of Mental Health and that one of the functions of ESD is as a corporation that sells state-owned property into private ownership. It's pretty obvious that the state would benefit from the sale of the property—Mr. Kinnicutt said their objectives were to reduce maintenance costs, enhance commerce, and to provide local control of property. There are 2 parcels being sold: 27.5 acres around and including the The Rochester Psychiatric Center Terrance Building (Elmwood Ave. at Azalea Rd.) and 15 acres at the southern end of the property off South Avenue by the Rochester Science Park (Science Pkwy.). The parcels are being sold "as-is" which is exactly like it sounds: what you see is what you get. The use of land will be dictated by local zoning which is currently designated "Educational/Institutional." Mr. Kinnicutt added that they evaluate a prospective buyer by their bid amount, their financial status, their adherance to rules, and any prior performance with the state. The group has no role in the use of the property once it is sold, but the buyer will obviously need to abide by zoning rules and any other local laws.

The residents in attendance were cynical and suspicious of the sale. At one point, Mr. Kinnicutt, obviously frustrated with the mood of the questions said, "I don't think government is going to act against the will of the people," which met with a round of laughter.

The residents are responding to what they see as classic government/corporate behavior. They see the government selling a tract of commercially valuable property to the highest bidder. The new owner will then railroad through some zoning change through a mix of bribes (perhaps included in the dollar amount of the bid) and threats (most likely something about the cost of renovation being so high that they need tax breaks, zoning changes, etc.) without any regard for the opinion of the people. Then, a Super WalMart (or Wegmans) will be in place and nobody will have any way to stop it.

The government, on the other hand, feel they are balancing between the interests of the corporations and the interests of the individual. They do what they can. A group like Empire State Development issues a press release (or several) indicating their intention to sell a property, they take bids, and select the best bidder based not only on bid amount but also on financial status, their adherance to rules, and any prior performance with the state. They leave it to the buyer to understand they will be restricted by area laws and zoning. Any zoning hearings are conducted publicly, ensuring the views of the individuals are heard.

In a way both sides are correct. Government relies on an infrastructure of rules that ensures fairness based on numerous individual factors, but the most tenuous assumption is that the public—the individuals in a community—will be aware of the announcment, and will be willing to come to a public forum to express their opinion. The part that has been changing is the press.

Remember local news? I mean, remember when the local press would seek out press releases of local interest and publish them? The news has become such a business that editorial decision making revolves more around keeping profits at a level acceptable to corporate ownership than it does around what is important for the people to know. I mean, imagine if the front page of the paper included information on the meeting I attended before it happened. Heck, government officials often go out of their way to make it easy for the public—the meeting on Thursday was at 7 p.m., and both Jack Kinnicutt and New York State Assemblymember Susan John (of the 131st Assembly District) were essentially at work at that hour just so people could attend. Thankfully their efforts weren't in vain as there were about 50 people in attendance.

And just so I'm not the independent press calling the corporate press ineffective (but more than willing to butcher an elegant colloquialism to the point it's nearly unrecognizable) I should mention that there's a follow-up meeting on August 9 to discuss influencing the design elements of any new property developed there. It will most likely be held at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) again but that hasn't been made official yet.

On a related topic, I made it to see Out-Foxed at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) The movie was distributed on DVD by MoveOn.org and was projected onto a screen mounted on the wall with a video projector. To be honest, I don't think I've watched any of FOX News since the election in 2000. In the past year, I even steered away from all American news networks entirely in favor of the news on BBC America which at least gives me a glimpse as to what's going on in the whole world, and they don't have graphics sprawled all over the screen to distract me from the story-at-hand.

So anyway, I went in there pretty uninformed. I figured there would be a detailed discussion of how certain phrases yield a subtle bias presented in their news, but what I found was that FOX is blatant about mixing opinion and fact, then implying—no—stating point blank that they are representing a "fair and balanced" position. Unfortunately it wasn't clear from the film which clips were from an opinion show and which were from the actual newscast ... but maybe that was the point: that I couldn't tell. The documentary also digs behind-the-scenes to show an organization that encourages bias in favor of Rupert Murdoch's extremely conservative opinions strongly in favor of the Republican party. For instance, commentators are in the habit of showing the number of days until election day and saying things like, "264 days until George Bush is elected again."

One of the most offensive segments revolved around clips from The O'Reilly Factor hosted by Bill O'Reilly in an interview with Jeremy Glick whose father died in the attacks of September 11, 2001 (and, curiously, who shares a name with one of the passengers on Flight 93 of that same day—the one which was brought down by the passengers in Pennsylvania.) It appears that O'Reilly brought Glick on to further fan the flames of war, but Glick opposes the war in its current form. You can read a transcript of the original interview here at oreilly-sucks.com and also here at bushpresident2004.com ... take your pick.

In the end, it left me depressed that most of America believes what is said on FOX News as fact. They are all on board with the idea that we should blow the fuck out of everyone in the Middle East—indiscriminately and without remorse. *sigh* I sometimes have faith in humanity but it's poor decision-making like this that really kicks me in the head.

Ok, ok, so I did get to go out to other stuff too.

On Thursday night I got to see the new band Tiger Cried Beef at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) who are somewhat like an ideal 1980's rock band. Since they're new, it'll be a while before they solidify their sound and really hit their stride, but for now they were pretty darn good.

On Friday I saw Nowthen perform in the atrium by The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) In their first couple of songs, they reminded me of a 1970's light rock band—kind of a mix of folk and rock with some "Summer of Love" groove thrown in. They had a few tricks, though, and did an interesting experimental intro into a 1970's synth-style ballad. It came off a little too disjointed for my tastes, and I headed to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.)

The first band up was The Dovers who are a 2-piece-plus-vocals 1960's-style rock band (with some '60's covers.) Similarly, St. Phillip's Escalator does more 1960's-style rock wiah a late '60'/early '70's glam-rock vibe. Naturally, The PriestsGarageBand link finished off the evening with their surf-rock influenced punk-rock.

I skipped Saturday altogether (and you heard about Sunday.) On Monday I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see July '64, the documentary about the racially-instigated riots in Rochester in the titular year. Unfortunately, the show sold out so I'm left with watching it on WXXI (UHF channel 21, cable channel 11) Saturday, July 24 at 8 p.m. along with everyone else who missed out. On Tuesday I was much luckier with movies. I went back to George Eastman House to see Privilege along with about five other people—total (I wonder if they've ever shown a film to an empty theater?) It's too bad this is one of the films not released on video that the Dryden is showing this month because this was probably your only chance to see it.

The film was made in 1967 as a mock documentary about Britain "in the near future" where government, corporations, and the church are united to quell dissent among the youth through the use of a popular music star. Superficially I found it amusing that the writers had predicted the creation of both "emo" and Christian rock many years in advance. On a deeper level, the film walks the viewer through the process of how absolute conformity leads to a horrific world based on blind faith.

From there I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and got to see Bugs Eat BooksIUMA link who are this bright power-pop band, albeit without a synthesizer. GADGarageBand link was also there but I was catching up with some friends I haven't seen in years so I missed out. The last band was Bamboozle and they do this ska/reggae music with rock and rap thrown in which although initially sounds interesting, it really loses its punch after several similarly structured songs.

I guess I'm into another week of wild abandon already ...


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Fleet Party in the Park will be at High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. featuring Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes and Jimmy Buffett tribute band One Particular Harbor. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is Garden Vibes at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) with delta blues band The Tarbox Ramblers. [source: Eastman House mailing]

This afternoon at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Premonitions of War, PsyopusGarageBand link, and Ed Gein starting around 5:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is RAQ starting around 8 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Film critic Jack Garner will be at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight for another Screenplay Salon featuring the Roman Polanski film-noir detective story Chinatown starting at 6. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

Junction 18, BromineGarageBand linkIUMA link, and Can't Face the Falling will be at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting Sudden Death Overtime's presentation of good metal band Orodruin, Warblade, Agiel, and Hammers of Misfortune starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Big Lebowski starting at 8 p.m. Finally ... I'll be able to compare this to The Big Empty to see if just how badly the latter ripped off the former. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Fledgling Death, great power rock from Low Ton, Sidis, and okay metal band 137 starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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

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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Tonight from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is The Landmark Society of Western New York's Antique Show and Sale at The Stone-Tolan House (2370 East Ave.) [source: Landmark Society e-mail]

Tonight's another East End Fest (East Ave., near Scio and Richmond St. near Main St.) starting around 5 p.m. Looking at the list of bands, there's not really anything I want to see. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy Improv starting around 10:30 p.m. both tonight and tomorrow. [source: Geva Theatre e-mail]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Big Sleep starting at 8 p.m. Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall's second on-screen collaboration in a complex film noir plot. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) will be hosting the great cover-song-playing acoustic soloist John Akers starting around 10 p.m. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

JayceLand Pick Acoustic solo harpist Mary Monroe will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at Alexander Street Pub (291 Alexander St.) is rock and pop cover band Brass Taxi starting around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]


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

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Sound of Fury starting at 4 p.m. A tense film (starring Lloyd Bridges) about a psychopathic guy who convinces a friend of his to conduct some small robberies culminating in a kidnapping-gone-awry and the ensuing lynch-mob. Later, at 8 p.m., Jeff Bridges (Lloyd's son) will be on hand to discuss his work and accept the George Eastman Honorary Scholar award. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Today is the The Ten Ugly Men Event (east side of Genesee Valley Park) starting around 11:30 a.m. Bring your $30 to donate to The James P. Wilmot Cancer Center and The St. Joseph's Neighborhood Center (417 South Ave.) then get your ugly mug to put as much drink into your ugly mug as you want. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon from noon to 6 p.m. is The Main Game (Main St. from State to Plymouth) featuring everything from gardening to martial arts to tree-climbing demonstrations. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is The Rosebuds, great, fun rock from Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link, and crowd-safe modern rock from Bird CircuitIUMA link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Kuma, and Banned from the Tavern [source: Monty's Krown calendar]

Over at Genesee Pottery at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) is Matt Nolen's Workshop: Potent Pots today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at Acme Bar & Pizza (495 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. is tight, great modern-rock band The Meddling KidsIUMA link. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Over at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. is excellent acoustic soloist JoAnn Vaccaro. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick The documentary July '64 about the racially-instigated riots in Rochester in July, 1964 will be shown on WXXI (UHF channel 21, cable channel 11) tonight at 8 p.m.


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Today at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is another Community Garage Sale from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. If you're interested in getting a booth, call 428-6907 for more information. [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Trouble with Harry starting at 5 p.m. Rumored to be Hitchcock's personal favorites among his own films, the Eastman calendar sums it up best: "Hitchcock goes for laughs with this dark comedy about a New England community dealing with a very inconvenient dead body." [source: Eastman House calendar]

This afternoon from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. is a Corn Hill Stroll sponsored by (and starting at) The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) [source: Landmark Society e-mail]

Gimmicky-but-good metal band Blüdwülf, Dartanian, and good metal band Warblade will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 7 p.m. for the KRUDCO. Ten Year Anniversary Party. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map image) starting around 2 p.m. is The Genesee Valley Antique Car Society Car Show in parking lots J and L. [source: RIT Events Calendar site]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 7:30 p.m. is an After Dark Entertainment show of Mae, Days Away, My Hotel Year, and Modern Dance. [source: Water Street calendar]

Tonight at Pelican's Nest Restaurant (566 River St.) is older-rock cover band The United Booty Foundation starting around 4:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting Lauren Faggiano as part of the ARTWalk (University Ave. from Atlantic to Merriman) Music on the Block Series starting around 2 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Open Mic Night at On the Rocks (1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios.) [source: Freetime]


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JayceLand Pick Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is having another Wide Open Mike with Norm Davis starting at 7:30 p.m. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Billy Nayer ShowGarageBand link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. is Mark Casey. [source: Freetime]

Excellent experimental jazz band TatYana will be playing tonight at Alexandria Mediterranean Cuisine (120 East Ave., formerly Aria) starting at 10. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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Fly the flag today.National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day (half-staff until sunset)

Tonight is a Tuesday Nature Nights Guided Bike Ride along Rochester's trail system starting at 6:15 p.m. (helmets required, weather cancellations will be made on site at the start time ... I guess unless it's obvious.) Tonight's ride is along the Genesee Riverway Trail starting at The Maplewood Playground (Maplewood Dr. at Parkdale Terr., or thereabouts.) [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Les Orgueilleux (The Proud Ones) starting at 8 p.m. Another of the films not-found-on-video, this tells the story of a couple of people stuck in Mexico who serendipitously discover how to live. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Weirdos, punk rock/hard rock band and subtly rockabilly beats The UV Rays, and Skate Korpse starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight is the 2,000 Word Club Open Mike starting around 7 for free. Anyone can show up and read up to 2,000 words. Hosted by writer Len Messineo. [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 Today at Aqueduct Park (Main Street by the river) is Ciara Lynn starting around noon. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick The only light jazz band I've liked so far, The Lumiere Gypsy Jazz Trio will be at Starry Nites (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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]

 
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... The English "Riot Act" was made law 289 years ago in 1715. It made it a felony for 12 or more people to unlawfully assemble and refuse to disperse.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, July 22, 2004 thru Wednesday, July 28, 2004. It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed.


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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