Weekly Rochester Events #335: It's All a Joke

Thursday, June 9, 2005

Ok, so this has been an absurdly busy week. At least now, with the completion of the The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association garage sale, I can spend more time on The Bike With 2 Brains. I still hope to get it to the ARTWalk (University Ave. from Atlantic to Merriman) Muse-a-Thon this Saturday (which, by the way, means probably missing O'Bagelo's (165 State Street) again. Since last Thursday, I put in about 50 hours of work on the bike to get to the point that I was able to drop it off at Austin-Spencer Collision (2433 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Rd.) on Wednesday to be finish-painted. When they called to say it would be done before the weekend, part of me was disappointed that I couldn't just throw up my hands and briefly take a break from it all. By the way, does anybody have a couple matching chairs to sacrifice as seats? — the total space is 48" wide, the seat area is 17" deep, and the back is 20" tall, so something a bit smaller than that. I've got this cool art deco chair I want to use (a fiberglass, upholstered bucket seat with a curved hairstyle-like "flip" for an armrest) but I only have one.

Thursday I headed to Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) to see The Water Coolers. You see, I signed up for the The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) "A&CCESS" card a few months back and the "special deals" promised in the application flyer have been lukewarm at best. This time, however, they were offering 50% off one particular show at DCT (it appears they're continuing to schedule more too) so I got to see the show for $10.50 instead of $21.

The musical was a blast. It's a group of 5 people in an office addressing topical issues like political correctness, calling the help desk, escaping to a chat room, and the guy who walks around not doing any real work. I recognized a lot of the songs as parodies of popular tunes which is often a crutch (that is, easier than writing new songs with hooks that people can get into right away) but in this case, it's somewhat "mood setting" — correlating to the artificial "professional demeanor" necessary to work in an office. Their closing song seemed familiar and it took me a few days before I realized it's similar to "É," the catchy Brazilian tune I heard at the "Bossa Nova in the Mother Tongue" show a few months back. Unfortunately, it's impossible to find on the Internet — just try searching for "É" on Google.

It also reminded me of how weird it was to work in an office ... and not working in an office now — or, for that matter, for an "employer." I find that I'm in a position where people no longer give me "default respect" like when I used to be an upstanding, properly employed citizen. I got to thinking about how this just relates prejudice and respect.

Usually when people talk about "respect" it has the meaning as in "respect your elders," but what I'm talking about is to accept that someone else is a separate human being equal to yourself. That is, not about saying "sir," but about thinking, "this is my peer."

The other day I saw this guy berate a woman because she was late to open an office by 20 minutes (I was waiting too.) His view was that he was superior — after all, his time was more important, and what could she possibly been doing — and that she was not only unequal, but not even a human being: just a character in his mind who's lazy.

Anyway, when I got home from Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) very very late on Friday, I biked out and planted signs for the garage sale. In the sale, we ended up getting 55 households to sign up which represents about 6% of all the households in the neighborhood. Saturday morning I set up some tables in the misty rain and sold things people donated, making a few bucks for the association coffers.

At one point this guy stopped by and he had that "homeless" look and demeanor. He wanted money, but I've been in the habit of not giving money away to people who ask on the street. For a while I had decided it was because I disapproved of the "homeless lifestyle" and didn't want to support it — keeping someone afloat just enough that they wouldn't be motivated to better themselves — and I'd tell them that.

However, I decided that's not it exactly, but I still won't give out money, I just don't have an explanation. For this particular guy, I asked him if he wanted to take a few things. It was late in the day and there wasn't anything of significant dollar value. He picked up a couple things and asked for some bags to replace/augment the ones he already had. In the end, maybe I'm just trying to break people like that out of the scripted world of asking for money. Or I'm just cheap.

He came back later and asked for another thing: a pair of those folding earmuffs which he proudly put on, despite the heat. He also asked for money again and I told him no, so he asked if he could have the nearly-whole slice of pizza I didn't finish at lunch and I gave it to him. I found the voracity at which he devoured it unnerving — realizing that he probably was very hungry — but I hoped my discussion with him let him feel like he was treated like a human being for a little bit ... I think he needed the pizza more, though.

On Monday I went to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) for Surprise Cinema. I got out the door late, but used the strong favorable winds (the weather changed later, making "weak unfavorable winds" on the way home) and the sail-like qualities of the tall bike to make it in record time. I missed a little of Jim Healy's introduction, but the movie was Danger: Diabolik. I believe it was ridiculed on Mystery Science Theater 3000" and justifyably so: the plot is as thin as any of the worst caper movies today. In it, an "uncatchable" super-thief named Diabolik goes around stealing stuff.

So why was it at the Dryden? Well, as Jim explained, mention director Mario Bava to any honest-to-goodness self-described movie expert and they'll tell you all about how he somehow stayed under budget, and how he mastered creating a stylish atmosphere that didn't look cheap, but really was. And Danger: Diabolik is no exception. With a modest $400,000 budget (in 1968) Bava manages to fill the frame with rich color and expensive-looking visuals. Not that you'd know it today — it was only through the new 35mm print (instead of the muted, muddy versions available) with the restored soundtrack of then-modern-era jazz (as opposed to the schlocky Casiotone music slapped on for the TV versions) that the filmmaking can be appreciated.

Late that night, I got back and actually tried working on The Bike With 2 Brains ... I had to undo an error I had made of welding on the back shelf and the battery case, causing it to warp and ruining the frame alignment. So, 2 hours later I had pretty much undone the 4 hours of work to make it. Bummer. Worse, though, was that I was feeling a bit like I caught the flu or had food poisoning or something — there was no way I'd let myself be sick, but the ensuing hyperactivity to avoid it getting worse, I got almost no sleep. Tuesday I spent most of the day cleaning parts and applying primer ... at one point I thought I could get done by 4 but it ended up being more like 6:30, so it wasn't until Wednesday that I brought it all over to be painted at Austin-Spencer Collision (2433 Brighton-Henrietta Townline Rd.) I remember talking with some of the people there from years past, and the guy I talked with always had a pessimistic demeanor — or at least he was unwilling to show optimism to avoid giving the impression that they could get something done when they couldn't. Nonetheless, they called to let me know it'd be done before the weekend.


Today at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) starting at 6:30 p.m. is a guided tour of the Edward Weston exhibit by Alison Nordström. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight's Party in the Park at The High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) starting around 5:30 p.m. features Big Bad Voodoo DaddyMySpace link with Tumbao and Teddy GeigerMySpace link. [source: City Hall press release]

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is Hard Logic. [source: Starry Nites calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is Mikabomb, cacophonous rock from RockstarsMySpace link, and The Awesomely Cool Dudes starting around 9 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]

Today from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) is having a free discussion of the Civil War Monument in Washington Square Park (across Woodbury from Geva Theater.) [source: Landmark Society calendar]

Tonight at The Park Avenue Green (Park Ave. at Barrington St.) is The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra String Quartet starting around 7 p.m. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at Tiki Bob's Cantina (60 Browns Race, in the Centers at High Falls) is popular modern rock cover band Uncle PlumGarageBand link starting around 6 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Steve West, and Pete Collin will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m.

JayceLand Pick Today is the start of the The Rochester International Jazz Festival Tonight, the The Jazz Street Stage (Gibbs St.) opens and offers shows for free including the interestingly named autorickshaw. [source: Rochester Jazz Festival e-mail]

The Landmark Society of Western New York (133 S. Fitzhugh St.) is sponsoring Architecture for Lunch today from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. to discuss the Civil War monument at Washington Square Park (across Woodbury from Geva Theater.) [source: Landmark Society calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting excellent pure instrumental funk from The Filthy Funk along with DJ's starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) will be hosting great 1960's and rockabilly-styled rock-and-roll from The Hi-Risers starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Deejay Tribe will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Take starting at 8 p.m. After the economy collapsed in Argentina, workers began taking over bankrupt businesses and factories. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

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

Updated: The planned for Hazelwood Lodge at Ellison Park (Blossom Rd. at Landing Rd.) this afternoon has been cancelled. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Updated: This morning from 9 a.m. to noon at and around ARTWalk (University Ave. from Atlantic to Merriman) is the ARTWalk Muse-a-Thon — a walk-a-thon fundraiser for ARTWalk — featuring a bunch of performers playing all around the block south of ARTWalk. Some of the highlights include really talented guitarist and singer Kinloch Nelson, country-bumpkin-styled band The Hayseeds, and jazz-and-rock with sprinkles of East Indian, African, South American and maybe even a little Klezmer from Margaret Explosion along with lots of art from a variety of artists. Chances are very slim for a preview of The Bike With 2 Brains on Rundell near Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans): all the parts will be painted by Saturday morning, but there probably won't be time to get it rebuilt by the time of the event. [source: ARTWalk website]

Rochester Air Show will be at The Greater Rochester International Airport (1200 Brooks Ave.) today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Updated: The show at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) with The Sweet Tarts has been postponed until July. [source: Water Street calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is punk-rock/hard-rock band The UV RaysGarageBand linkMySpace link, classic-styled punk from The Teenage Junkies, and DestruxMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Today and tomorrow at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) is the Counter Fit Fest featuring bands all day on both days. Friday's highlights include semi-melodic fast-paced noise (usually) from Pengo at 10:30 p.m. and noise-feedback-and-effects (partly based on arbitrary records) with a hyperactive stage show from Emil Beaulieau at 11:15 p.m., and then tomorrow, thoughful spoken word poetry over avant garde ambient music from Urknee and Bjürton at 8 p.m., and impressive, experimental, organic jazz from The Blood and Bone OrchestraMySpace link at 9:30 p.m. [source: artsound website]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Paul Hodges, and Captain Jack starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at Curley's Saloon (511 E. Ridge Rd.) starting around 11 p.m. is good and fun acoustic-ish rock band Burning Snella, and Michael James. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing La voie lactée (The Milky Way) starting at 8 p.m. A couple guys take a trip and witness historical episodes from the Catholic church. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

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]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is another Community Garage Sale at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Fly the flag today.Flag Day

Joe and the Jam Factory will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Industrial Jazz GroupGarageBand link, and impressive, organic experimental jazz from The Blood and Bone OrchestraMySpace link will be 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. [source: artsound website]

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 Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting excellent, daring acoustic soloist JoAnn Vaccaro starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar]

Top Pick Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is OOjami, and wicked fun percussive groove-rock from The BuddhaHood starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing McCabe & Mrs. Miller starting at 8 p.m. A western about a guy who moves to a mining community and collaborates with a whorehouse madam ... with music by Leonard Cohen. [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]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is another Open Mic Wenzdaze with Acoustic Café from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then Rock-n-Roll Circus starting at 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

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June 9, 2005
What's the most awesome 3-word phrase?
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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) the word "joke" was first included in the English language (i.e. not as slang) 335 years ago in 1670.

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, June 9, 2005 (Thu, Jun 9, 2005, 6/9/2005, or 6/9/05) Friday, June 10, 2005 (Fri, Jun 10, 2005, 6/10/2005, or 6/10/05) Saturday, June 11, 2005 (Sat, Jun 11, 2005, 6/11/2005, or 6/11/05) Sunday, June 12, 2005 (Sun, Jun 12, 2005, 6/12/2005, or 6/12/05) Monday, June 13, 2005 (Mon, Jun 13, 2005, 6/13/2005, or 6/13/05) Tuesday, June 14, 2005 (Tue, Jun 14, 2005, 6/14/2005, or 6/14/05) and Wednesday, June 15, 2005 (Wed, Jun 15, 2005, 6/15/2005, or 6/15/05).

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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