Weekly Rochester Events #325: Josiah's "State of the Rock" Addresses

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Last week offered some different twists. On Thursday I went to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see the lecture by Vanessa Rocco from The International Center of Photography (1114 Avenue of the Americas, New York) [and I still giggle a little when they refer to it as "ICP"]. She talked about László Moholy-Nagy's photographic experiments in the 1920's. I'm always quite content being in lectures like this where I'm way over my head: a lot of it was intended for an audience well-versed (or even partially-versed) in art history, so I was furiously taking notes to go over later and figure out just what a "formalist" is and why Moholy-Nagy was a formalist but did other things. (By the way, I guess it's to do with separating form — the mechanics of the artwork — from its content ... heck, Google it yourself if you don't believe me.)

But anyway, they have some Moholy-Nagy originals up on display at Eastman House, and it really helped to hear about the context in history. He and his wife Lucia started making photograms (images using photograph technology but without using a camera) in the 1920's in Berlin. They were inspired by the idea of "activating" viewers: making them active participants in the works; at that time, by mixing concrete (i.e. real objects) and abstract imagery (i.e. photographic shadows) using a combination of "concrete" (i.e. photography) and "abstract" (i.e. not using a camera) methods.

Later, he moved to taking traditional photographs but at (what Vanessa Rocco described as) "jarring" angles: both in the perspective of the photographer and in the resulting angles on the image itself. As a nerd and an engineer, I thought I saw commonality between images: it seemed to me those resulting angles had something in common. I was disappointed that my question about it wasn't satisfactorily answered: are these angles common between images, and do they seem to deliberately avoid common architectural angles (30°, 60°, 1:12 runs, etc.) and photographic guidelines (i.e. rule of thirds)? Maybe I'll get over to Eastman House and do the analysis myself. [Apparently it only takes 2 paragraphs to go from defining formalism to analyzing it.]

I finish up by adding that he went on to create "photo-plastiques" which are photographic collages. Most of them require context of 1920's Germany, but, even browsing the museum a few months ago, I was captivated by Moholy-Nagy's Jealousy. It is apparently uncharacteristically personal compared to the rest of his work, but ironically stands the test of time somewhat better owing to its more visceral depiction of such a universal human emotion.

Following that lecture, I headed right over to The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) to listen to David Pollack of The University of Rochester give his discussion titled "Behind the Scenes: Sex, Drama, and Fashion in the Floating World." I was immediately suspicious that the auditorium was 80% full, and blamed the word "sex" in the title ... in reality, I think it was just a lot of UofR students and faculty present.

Regardless, the "floating world" (of fantasy and timelessnes) is in contrast to the "sad world" (of Buddhist pain-filled life.) This was a period of Japanese printmaking during the 1700's and 1800's that was largely advertising. It was fascinating to see how similar the techniques were to the Western advertising techniques of the 1900's — Pollack started out with direct comparisons between prints from that era and the pin-up-girl-style poses of starlets of the mid-1900's.

It was pretty wild to think that Edo, Japan (now Tokyo) was a densely-populated city full of shops for kimono fabric, tea, and (of course) sex. The advertising used idealized women with absurdly tall and thin bodies, and the details of hair on the back of their neck was as erotic as cleavage is today. The actors of the day were featured prominently and their crests were present on the prints. Heck, they even did product placement in the middle of kabuki performances like you see in early television programs.

That night I finished off my week of hard-drinking by drinking a lot and then the next day I rested a lot.

By Satuday, I was still feeling a bit wiped out. I had the option of going to see Harvey at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) or Der Untergang (Downfall) at The Little (240 East Ave.) Naturally I opted for the latter. It's a reenactment of the journals of Adolf Hitler during his last days. I have a bias towards seeing everyone as people — with good and bad traits — but I think most people will agree in this case that the filmmakers did a really good job of being honest without being sympathetic towards Hitler.

All the while, I kept thinking, "I sure hope this doesn't happen in America."

The whole Nazi disaster can be blamed on the notion that they believed they were selected by God to be superior to all others — their ideologies were simply "correct." People flocked to this because as long as they were in the "in-crowd," they were, by definition, superior. Who doesn't want to be superior? The atrocities were easily dispelled because they were, by definition, not atrocities, just nature-in-action.

Eighty years later, here we are in the best country in the world. We are superior to all others. We can commit no atrocities because the outcome is freedom. If you don't want our freedom, you are the enemy and must be exterminated for it is nature-in-action that freedom reigns.


Needless to say, this didn't exactly elevate my mood. It did, however, put things in perspective. When I left, my bike lock had flaked out — it has a resettable combination and sometimes when locking it, the combination resets ... usually one of the digits is off by a bit. So I spent 15 minutes breaking into my own bike lock. Comparing to the horrors depicted and implied in the movie, I wasn't particularly bothered that a dozen people watched me trying to break into a bike lock and nobody did anything; nor did I really care that the lock is now permanently busted.

This did prove annoying because The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) was packed and there was no way I'd be allowed to stow the bike inside, so I had to ride all the way home and drive back (in theory I could have grabbed another lock ... yeah, right.) I got to see The Grinders rock the hell out of the place, then The IsotopesMySpace link took the stage and finished things off nice. They've really got a great show: both visually — with the mad-scientist motif and the dancers — and aurally — with surf-rock style originals and covers (including funny stuff like the Mario Brothers theme song) broken up with witty spoken interludes. Speaking of the dancers, Joey from Blue Spark and FlameMySpace link was dancing like mad before she was *ahem* removed from the dancing platforms to make way for the admittedly younger, cuter, and more alluringly dressed Isotopes dancers — the missing descriptor is indeed "better dancers" and was deliberately omitted.

I got a bit of a break on Sunday with an Easter-style dinner (that is, a dinner with friends with ham.)

Monday had a couple things I wanted to see. I got out to Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) to see the Ossia New Music performance. The first piece was Milton Babbitt's Semi-Simple Variations which was a weirdly mathemetical combination of tone and intensity ... and short at only 2 minutes. Next was Babbitt's String Quartet No. 6 which was kinda like listening to 4 conversations at once — and each one is in a different Latin-based language. It was very complex and offered no pauses.

I had to skip the last piece if I wanted to have a bit of a break before getting to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see the Emerging Filmmakers Program. All the films were really interesting, but the closing triad of films was very impressive. First (er ... third-to-last) was Rapture by Trieu "Trusive" Le was a funny story that was so way-over-the-top-gay that John Waters himself might be jealous. Exit 8A by Margaret Harris was a horrifying account of a mentally off-kilter man who gets set off (plus, I give the film mad props for the correct open-door sound on a Toyota.) Finally, The Year Christmas Almost Wasn't by Jay Barbra and Brian Farrelly was a really funny satire of those Rankin/Bass Christmas specials — complete with talking misfit sex-toys.

  • Millions (at The Little) - A kid stumbles on millions of pounds [money] that he feels is a miracle, but it only complicates he and his brother's lives.
  • Beauty Shop - Well, it's pretty much exactly like Barbershop except with women instead of men.
  • Sin City - Well, it's pretty much exactly like the comic book Sin City except with lots of little frames all in a row instead of larger ones with text.
  • Gunner Palace (at The Little) - The real-life story of American gunners staying in one of Sadam's former "pleasure palaces" under hostile conditions.

If you're a mad scientist needing equipment, The Reynolds Auction Company will be auctioning off laboratory equipment at Phoenix Equipment, Inc. (122 N. Genesee St., Geneva) today starting at 10 a.m. with a preview at 9 a.m. [source: Reynold's Auction website]

The New York Times chief art critic Michael Kimmelman will be at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) today at 7:30 p.m. for a lecture based on his new book, Portraits : Talking with Artists at the Met, the Modern, the Louvre, and Elsewhere. (Note that tickets are $12 for MAG members; $5 for students with ID.) [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6 p.m. photographer and daguerreotypist Mark Kessell will be in the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) give a lecture pompously titled The Zero at the Bone: What It Means to Be Human about "the fragmentary and elusive nature of individual identity." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

The Eastman Contemporary Percussion Ensemble will be at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting at 8 p.m. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) will be hosting "creative music cellist" Fred Lonberg-Holm starting around 8 p.m. for free. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Die mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers are Among Us) starting at 8 p.m. Film historian Ralf Schenk will be on hand to introduce Germany's first postwar film which pits a concentration camp survivor and a guilt-ridden former German officer. Students and faculty of The University of Rochester will be admitted for free. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is high-energy metal (I guess it's "technical metal") band The End, and RWAKE starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Top Pick Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is excellent high-energy, classic-style synth-rock band The CharmsGarageBand linkMySpace
link, great surf-rock influenced punk-rock from The PriestsGarageBand linkMySpace link, and great 1960's-style rock band St. Phillip's Escalator starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

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

April Fool's Day

This afternoon from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Aaron Miller will present his real-time digital video processing system, Jitter at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar]

This evening at 6 p.m. is Film and African Food in Room 321 of Morey Hall, at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) featuring Jean-Marie Téno's Clando about the struggle of the mind versus global forces. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

The photography show Two Visions — One Lens opens tonight at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) featuring works from Mercedes Fages-Agudo and Ray Schmitt. There will be an opening reception tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and the exhibit runs until May 22. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Tonight at 10:30 p.m. and tomorrow at 11:30 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva Comedy Improv. [source: Geva Theatre website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Since You Went Away starting at 8 p.m. Comfortable family life is disrupted when the father enlists to serve his country. Remember that the Dryden Theater is one of the few places in the world you can still view these fragile and highly flammable nitrate prints, so get your butt out there! [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Paradigm Café (3118 E. Henrietta Rd., formerly Blue Sunday) will be hosting great spoken-word poetry over music from Dream Engine starting around 9 p.m. [source: Paradigm Cafe calendar] [all ages]

Over at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is DJ's Miss HazeMySpace link, and Roland Owens. [source: Water Street calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) will be hosting Seth Faergolzia, minimalist acoustic soloist Kelli Hicks, and GaybotMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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

This afternoon at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) is The Steve Greene Duo starting around 1 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

This evening at 7 p.m. is the opening reception for School Days, an exhibit by Hope Rovelto at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) with music from The Jonathan Feldman Trio. The show runs until April 10. [source: artsound website]

The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) will have a reception tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. for Emergent: a Preview of Current MFA Work by graduating students from the School for American Craft at RIT. The show runs to April 12. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

This evening at 7 p.m. at the Auditorium at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is a special performance by photographer Warren Lehrer and sound installation by Judith Sloan in conjunction with the exhibit, Crossing the BLVD: Strangers, Neighbors, Aliens in a New America. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is The Steve Greene Trio [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Harry Knuckles and the Pearl Necklace starting at 8 p.m. Ottowa, Canada's filmmaker (and generally nice guy) Lee Demarbre created this action movie spoof. Actors Phil Caracas and Josh Grace will be in town to introduce the film (apparently, not Lee as the calendar says.) [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Won't Get Fooled Again — A Tribute to The Who featuring awsome, tight, complex rock and roll band The VEiNSIUMA link, excellent rock-and-roll band The Grinders, awesome punk-rock band The QUiTTERSGarageBand link, good fast rock band The Franks, excellent surf-rock band The IsotopesMySpace link, good punk-rock band The Staggers, great rock-and-roll band Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link, The FliesMySpace link, punchy drums-and-guitar punk-rock band Blue Spark and FlameMySpace link, and great rock-and-roll band The Earl Cram Revue. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Disco and rock cover band The United Booty Foundation will be at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [21+]

Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is The Lost Marbles, and 1960's-style rock band St. Phillip's Escalator starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: GaragePop Records website] [21+]

Tonight at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) is Betty's Saturday Night Sing-Along starting around 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Daylight Saving Time Begins -- Set your clock ahead one hour from 2:00 a.m. standard time to 3:00 a.m. daylight saving time in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

This afternoon at 3 p.m. in the living room at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Spring Musicale featuring Ainur Zabenova on violin and Daniela Mineva on piano. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Dont Look Back (a.k.a. Don't Look Back) starting at 5 p.m. Hang out with Bob Dylan in 1965. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) will be hosting Chuck Abell and friends starting around 1 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) is T. Griffin Coraline and Greg Pier along with film screenings and a pie giveaway.

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be having another installment of Surprise Cinema starting at 8 p.m. where they'll show some unique or rare film ... something for the cinephiles out there — plus, it's free to Eastman House members. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Apparently there will be Argentine tango dancing at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight with Agustin Ramos from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ringu starting at 8 p.m. Japan's original rendition about the strange video tape that induces viewers' deaths 7 days after viewing. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Outrageous Cherry, The WitchesMySpace link, and rock-and-roll packed with accordian and horns from SnmnmnmGarageBand linkIUMA linkMySpace link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick This evening at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) at 8 p.m. is another concert from Ossia New Music featuring Wadsworth's Phases of the Moon, Górecki's Quasi una Fantasia, Pärt's Missa Syllabica, Deak's Lady Chatterley's Dream, and Crumb's Night of the Four Moons. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing 13 Lakes starting at 8 p.m. Avant-garde filmmaker James Benning will be on hand to introduce his apparently subtle film (read as: "possibly really boring film") about 13 American lakes. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

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] [all ages]

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March 31, 2005
How do you plan to spend April Fool's Day?
Pranking. 0

Getting pranked. 0

Beating up Ashton Kutcher after getting Punk'd. 0

Applying superglue to toilet seats. 0

On the toilet. 1 (25%)

Spending it just like any other day. 1 (25%)

Refusing to believe anything people say. 2 (50%)

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On this day ... March 31

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This shit hilarious!!! - Even if I could identify whether this is Latvian, Lithuanian, or Russian, this would still be funny. It's just some photomanipulations of some woman dancing her self-respect off. I may be the last website to post a link, but it's still funny.


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

About the title ... Josiah Winslow was the first governor of the Plymouth Colony who was born in America. He died 325 years ago in 1680.

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.) 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. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, March 31, 2005 (Thu, Mar 31, 2005, 3/31/2005, or 3/31/05) Friday, April 1, 2005 (Fri, Apr 1, 2005, 4/1/2005, or 4/1/05) Saturday, April 2, 2005 (Sat, Apr 2, 2005, 4/2/2005, or 4/2/05) Sunday, April 3, 2005 (Sun, Apr 3, 2005, 4/3/2005, or 4/3/05) Monday, April 4, 2005 (Mon, Apr 4, 2005, 4/4/2005, or 4/4/05) Tuesday, April 5, 2005 (Tue, Apr 5, 2005, 4/5/2005, or 4/5/05) and Wednesday, April 6, 2005 (Wed, Apr 6, 2005, 4/6/2005, or 4/6/05).

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

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

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.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with 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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