Weekly Rochester Events #326: Years of Making Kids Cry

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Last Thursday I got out to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Mark Kessell speak about his daguerreotypes in a lecture titled, "The Zero at the Bone: What It Means to Be Human." His solitary obsession is on identity: what is it that makes us who we are? He said he enjoys the daguerreotype because no two of them are ever the same — presumably a comment on the uniqueness of identity. Likewise, he began working with them because their nature makes them mirrors, so the viewer is forced to see themselves in the image.

He notes that our ideas of life and death are solely cultural and personal constructions. So, for example, the way we grieve is strongly influenced by how we think we're supposed to grieve. His closing image was the title of the lecture — "The Zero at the Bone" which is an image of ancient teeth. Teeth are one of the unique fingerprints of our existence, like ... uhh ... fingerprints ... and, as some of you know, they are the most durable part of our physical form and will generally outlast the shape of our face, our flesh, and our bones after we're dead.

Following that, I hung around to see the film Die mörder sind unter uns (The Murderers are Among Us). Film historian Ralf Schenk gave some context to the film, noting that it was the earliest East German anti-fascist film after World War II. It's about a woman who returns from a concentration camp to find a squatter in her apartment — who happens to be a former Nazi doctor who drinks to try and drown his self-hatred. The film plays out much subtler than you might expect — I guess, until you realize the historical context, and the very recent sting of Germany's defeat in the war. It's more a film about hope and forgiveness than it is about conflict, and for that, it's really quite evocative.

Friday, I started out going to Paradigm Café (3118 E. Henrietta Rd., formerly Blue Sunday) in Henrietta to see Dream Engine. I was also there for some food, and got their baked potato soup which was the best parts of cream-of-potato soup, mashed potatoes, and baked potatoes. It's not too often that you eat something that's good enough to make you forget about what's going on around you. In addition, Dream Engine was as good as ever ... their spoken-word poetry performed before a jazzy/funky band really works.

Afterward I went to Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) and hung out there for a while. I took a bunch of pictures to try and capture the mood of the place. Also, it was a night of bands (and a rare Friday night that they were open ... usually only on Saturdays for Betty's Saturday Night Sing-Along.) GaybotMySpace link did a disorienting blend of spoken word, electronic effects, and repetition to add to the surreal mood. Also, someone had made a lamb cake (that is, regular cake using a lamb mold) and the band distributed it to the audience. Being the finicky diner I am, I got the bulk of the head ... mmm ... lamb head in cake form. [Try all four flavors of double-meanings!]

Sunday night I was back at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) for another show. Singer and film aficionado Kelli Hicks played some of her eight-millimeter films while T. Griffin Coraline played. The band was a guitar/violin duo with electronic effects who played emotional observations on subtle but familiar topics. The films generally added to the mood of being a neutral observer, but as often as not, they were also distracting from the lighter nuances of the music.

Anyway, I got to thinking about how unique Bullwinkle's is. It's got a dreamlike quality all its own: the way the windows are blocked out create a sense of timelessness, and it's as though the inside is in some other universe where the rules of the world are only loosely applied. Betty has definitely put her mark on it: "1920's flapper house" is what I think she said her decorative motivation was. But you can tell it's pretty much all Betty.

mermaid sea-creature lamps at Bullwinkle's
Yarr! Look what bounty the sea hath wrought.

Betty Meyer's cluttered musical instrument pile
What I think the inside of Betty Meyer's head looks like.

Monday night I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see the "Surprise Cinema." This time it was a film called Overnight which is a documentary — in final form if not the original intent (to document the making of the film) — of the rise and fall of Troy Duffy and his experience making The Boondock Saints. The story is that Duffy wrote the script and Harvey Weinstein of Miramax Film Corp. (8439 W. Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood, CA) agreed to fund the $15 million project in 1997. However, (to put it sympathetically) Duffy's misguided attempts to play the "Hollywood game" caused him to be ostracized by almost the entire film industry and ultimately lose the deal. He appears to have a rare combination of Machiavellian moral indifference to present actions and unwarranted conceit to his own abilities and ideas. It was unnervingly similar to the portrayal of Hitler in Der Untergang (Downfall) that I saw a few weeks ago — the exception being that Duffy's friends could see the errors in ideas through the fog of his blue-collar charisma. (Oh ... yeah, and that Duffy wasn't out for genocide.)

The bitter irony in the whole thing is that it was solely Duffy's ego mania that destroyed the project — the resulting movie is actually considered pretty good and has a very strong cult following. It was finally released through Indican Pictures (8424A Santa Monica Blvd. #752, West Hollywood, CA) in 2000 to open on 5 screens in the United States and grossed only $25,000 in that weekend, yet is rated quite highly on IMDb.

Anyway, after a serendipitous error earlier in the week (concerning a meeting time) I came to a realization of understanding how to use going for a walk as a way of focusing on the current moment, so on Monday I started doing it for real. It was great ... just walking around looking at stuff, having a cup of coffee — not really thinking about anything but what I was seeing. I walked along the canal path which was somewhat bizarre in its own right — what with the desolation of the path bracketed by natural overgrowth and the former statewide thoroughfare; all within sight and earshot of Interstate 390 at rush-hour. On Tuesday, though, I made a mistake of bringing a bag to pick up some interesting stuff I had seen along the way, but I found I was just looking for stuff to pick up.

See, I'm someone who finds the present a slippery thing to hold on to. Less and less often do I find myself wading in the candyland hell of nostalgia, and more often in the future — whether it's looking for the next neat thing to put in a bag, or pondering how my death-bed-self will feel about how well I've lived my life. Rarely, though, can I just be in the present: what this leaf feels like; how those tree branches look; the colors of all the cars on the highway.

And so, let me dedicate this events list to the future presents (or is it the present futures?)

  • Paper Clips (at The Little) - Some kids do a project where they collect paper clips: one for each of the 6 million Jews killed in the Holocaust.
  • Melinda and Melinda (at The Little) - In this parallel-stories-within-a-story, this woman Melinda gets to experience a good life and a shitty life. It sounds remarkably similar to Sliding Doors.
  • Fever Pitch - Something about love of/and baseball.
  • Sahara - Yet another action-comedy movie.

Today from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m., cellist Rosie Elliott and pianist Rose Grace will be playing the music of Camille Saint-Saëns at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.) [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Excellent "perfect 1980's rock" band Tiger Cried BeefMySpace link, Lights & Keys, and Owen Brimijoin will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) for an early show they insist will start around 8:30 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) the director of photography of The Ricco/Maresca Gallery (529 W. 20th St., Apt. 3E, New York City), W. M. Hunt will present a lecture titled Strange Mirrors in conjunction with the exhibition "Photography on the Edge: Create and Be Recognized." [source: Eastman House calendar]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Jeff Sherner starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is an Archaeology Lecture with Tulane University (1440 Canal St., New Orleans, LA) professor of history, Kenneth W. Harl on The Shrines of Cybele and Zeus at Aezamis: A Model for Hellenization in Roman Asia Minor. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing What Price Hollywood? starting at 8 p.m. An early tale of, well, the price of fame and fortune ... have things changed at all? 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]

GutbucketGarageBand link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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

A Day at the FairMySpace link, Almost TomorrowMySpace link, Kira, and Awake in AthensMySpace link will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 5:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Animation Show 2005 starting at 8 p.m. and also tomorrow at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. and on Sunday at 8 p.m. Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt (also at Internet Movie Database) bring together some of the best and strangest animation from around the world. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

At the Link Gallery in City Hall (30 Church St.) tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is an exhibition of photographers from Studio 789 titled Me, Myself and Eye. The exhibit runs through May 2. [source: City Hall press release]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be having a comedy show tonight featuring Del Rivers, Paris Lattimore, Skasko, and Rich Gagnier starting at 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

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

Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) will be hosting good blues-styled singer Deborah Magone starting around 1 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Door 7 (439 Central Ave.) starting around 8 p.m. is decent jazz band The Karmanauts Trio, excellent experimental jazz from TatYana, and good blues-styled singer Deborah Magone. [source: Door 7 website]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is The White Devils, cacophonous rock from RockstarsMySpace link, great rock-and-roll from The Earl Cram Revue, and varied musical styles from Powered by Satan starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at Water Street Music Hall and The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is Another Perfect World, and Sometimes Three starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [21+]

Over at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 9 p.m. is Paul Flaherty and Chris Corsano, Steve Baczkowski and Ravi Padhmanhaba, and The Tunis/Wascovich Duo [source: Carbon Records calendar] [all ages]

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Hünü?, and The Grand Canyon Rescue Episode. [source: Freetime] [21+]

This afternoon at 3 p.m., The Eastman Wind Ensemble will perform Zivkovic's Tales from the Center of the Earth, Daugherty's Desi, Wilson's Dance of the New World and a new composition by Blaha at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

Today is the last day to see the School Days exhibit by Hope Rovelto at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) [source: artsound website]

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 Tonight at 8 p.m. at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is another The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble performance. This time, they'll be performing David Liptak's The Passing of Memory, Robert Morris's Strata,a new composition by Allan Schindler, Ricardo Zohn-Muldoon's Niño Polilla, and Carlos Sanchez-Gutierrez's Just Look (The Last Days of V.I.R.U.S.) [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

JayceLand Pick Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting The Count Basie Orchestra in two shows: the first starting at 7 p.m. and another starting at 9 p.m. [source: Water Street 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]

Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is another Books Sandwiched In in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) featuring Bob Smith discussing Peter G. Peterson's book, Running on Empty: How the Democratic and Republican Parties Are Bankrupting Our Future and What Americans Can Do About It [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Emergent: a Preview of Current MFA Work closes today at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting WeedeaterMySpace link, RWAKE, and super power rock from Low Ton starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Over at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is The Sweet Tarts in Meet the Tarts: A Vaudeville Revue of Decadent Proportions (and note that it's $10.) [source: Water Street 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]

This evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Artisan Works (565 Blossom Rd.) is a Community Canvas Event sponsored by Women United to support The United Way of Greater Rochester (100 College Ave.). [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] [all ages]

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Weekly Poll
April 7, 2005
When the hell are you most of the time?
Right now ... er now ... you know. 2 (33%)

What the hell just happened? 2 (33%)

Basting in nostalgia's bittersweet juices. 0

Just a little ahead of everyone else. 0

So far in the future that the Star Trek universe is ancient history. 1 (17%)

Tomorrow, next year ... what's the difference? 1 (17%)

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

About the title ... Zabdiel Boylston was born 326 years ago in 1679 and began administering the smallpox vaccine in America.

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, April 7, 2005 (Thu, Apr 7, 2005, 4/7/2005, or 4/7/05) Friday, April 8, 2005 (Fri, Apr 8, 2005, 4/8/2005, or 4/8/05) Saturday, April 9, 2005 (Sat, Apr 9, 2005, 4/9/2005, or 4/9/05) Sunday, April 10, 2005 (Sun, Apr 10, 2005, 4/10/2005, or 4/10/05) Monday, April 11, 2005 (Mon, Apr 11, 2005, 4/11/2005, or 4/11/05) Tuesday, April 12, 2005 (Tue, Apr 12, 2005, 4/12/2005, or 4/12/05) and Wednesday, April 13, 2005 (Wed, Apr 13, 2005, 4/13/2005, or 4/13/05).

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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