Weekly Rochester Events #362: Who's Abel to Find Fiji?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Well, I tried to get to the Monroe Avenue Merchants Assocation Holiday Celebration on Thursday but it appeared to be a hoax. Either that or it was so non-obvious that I just missed, being much more accustomed to the blatant displays by Park Avenue. Either that, or it actually took place at 5 a.m. like it was listed on the online calendar at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) I swear it was supposed to have happened.

Nonetheless, I got a bite to eat at The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.) and headed to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see their Sonorous Shorts program in the Dryden Theatre. They started things off with two different versions of Bridges-Go-Round: one with the original jazz-based soundtrack by Bebe Barron and Louis Barron and then a second with the synthesizer-based soundtrack by Teo Macero. The film is, well, interwoven and overlapped shots of various bridges and cityscapes taken from the perspective of a moving observer — either in a car or stationary but panning. The jazzy version was neat but I kind of liked the synthesizer-based one better — comparing, it was interesting to note where my eye fixated based on the music. Next was Money which was an absurdly rapidly edited piece which I deemed "1985 on coke." There were parts that implied people saying things (from clips spliced and pitch-adjusted together) but it appeared to just be gibberish. I liked it. Straight and Narrow was next and my immediate reaction was "a skull fuck." The screen blinks between black and white, sometimes with stripes and sometimes at different tempos hovering around 5 flashes a second, generally following the beat of the jazz soundtrack. When I could stay focused, it did induce a little hallucination or lightheadedness. Otherwise, I was checking the audience for anyone having a siezure. Our Trip to Africa was peculiar — a strangely edited documentation of a hunting trip to Africa that disconnects sound from picture, giving it the surrealness that I'm sure the real trip had (albeit for different reasons.) Rehearsals for Extinct Anatomies and Street of Crocodiles were done by "the Brothers Quay," Timothy Quay and Stephen Quay whose animation style was emulated for the videos of Tool. It's based on very surreal worlds and puppets.

I just assumed it was in the evening.

On Friday I went to a double-birthday party for friends of mine and on Saturday was my Uncle's annual Christmas Party near where I grew up in Schenectady. Needless to say, I was thoroughly orally fixated, desiring at times to have one hole for talking and another for eating and drinking.

I returned here on Sunday in time to make it to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the photography show by Frank De Blase titled FOTO-RAMA. Since I already know his public persona as a local musician, a music-writer, a frequent enjoyer of rockabilly bands, and an occasional listener of non-rockabilly bands, I knew I had a bias, so I carefully considered my expectations. I figured he'd take the kinds of pin-up girl pictures you'd find on the covers of present-day rockabilly albums and websites. Essentially, medium- to wide-angle photos taken at low, high, or otherwise oblique angles of meaty, attractive women showing a lot of skin and wearing uncomfortably dramatic shoes posed like women who believe in a solitary stereotypical male sexuality would think "all men" think women look the sexiest. [Let's see you diagram that sentence, Mrs. Foley!]

I hoped I was wrong — that maybe he would be a really spectacular photographer who broke new ground in the well-established pin-up genre — but I pretty much hit it dead on. His composition and the technical aspects of the images were generally good. Oddly defying my disdain of rules, I tended to like the photos that closely followed the "rule of thirds" — for instance, one where a woman was seductively reclining in a sitting pose where her shins and back were right on the 1/3 and 2/3 horizontal divisions of the image and her thigh and head were on the 1/3 and 2/3 verticals.

However, the unexpected side-effect is that the people who came were (at least among the ones I already knew) were more open to sexuality than usual. I had a frank (no pun intended) discussion with an old friend of mine about our sexuality ... er ... our respective sexualities. Separately. In particular, we talked about the things we're each working on to be more mentally healthy about it. I'm curious if this continues when I go there when bands are playing in the coming weeks.

On Monday evening I was late to the performance of The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) Apparently Rochester's nightlife is so dead because there aren't enough parking spaces to get to things (which reminds me, I can't fucking wait to get back on my bicycle!) I missed most of the first piece, Triangular Antiphonies by Christopher D. Brakel but what I did hear sounded really good. Next was Messagesquisse for 7 Cellos by Pierre Boulez which was interesting and busy but I don't have the musical education to find any of the nuances. The same with Steven Stucky ' s Boston Fancies — it was interesting and complicated sounding and it felt a bit like a suspenseful movie score at times, what with its lulls and crescendos, but I'm sure I'm missing big pieces without the music background.

Tuesday I did a bit of shopping. First at JCPenny — each year they send me a coupon for $10 off a $10 purchase, and each year I make exactly one purchase for slightly more than $10, thereby making me one of their "best customers" deserving of another coupon next year. On the other hand, I went all around town trying to find the red LocTite (the one that's permanent) and eventually found it at Wilson Hardware (812 Monroe Ave.) Well, it was just a single-use 0.02 fluid ounce tube for $0.99. I commented that this is more expensive than an equivalent amount of gold (which would actually be in the ballpark of $10 worth by weight.) However, it does actually work out to $6,336 per gallon ... too bad they didn't have a more economical size and would additionally allow me to return it at the per-volume price.

That night I went to see Ossia New Music at Christ Church of Rochester (141 East Ave.) György Kurtág's Officium Breve seemed to be mostly about harmonies between 2 violins, a viola, and a cello. Jacob Bancks' selection of Three Sad Songs was, as advertised, sad but surprisingly warm at the same time. I found Wolfgang Rihm's Canzona to be a dismally boring and long piece for 4 violas ... I think the performers got a second ovation just for enduring the performance. Then again, it might be something that is very exciting to people who understand it — kind of like those movies of pretty ladies in their underwear who just put on shoes over and over again. At least they finished on a much more amusing note for us non-experts with György Ligeti's Zehn Stücke für Bläserquintett which was full of surprises to my relatively untrained ear.

Finally, Wednesday night I went to the Dryden again to see Dark Passage which is this slick film-noir-ish movie. In it, Humphrey Bogart plays Vincent Parry, a man just escaped from prison serving time for his wife's murder that he didn't commit. He's picked up by Irene played by Lauren Bacall for mysterious reasons. Well, everything spins round and round as he unravels the mess of his life and try to figure out who really killed his wife. I was impressed at how suspenseful and tense the film is for its duration — it's not very easy to figure out and I was happy at the amount of information left out to throw the audience off the plot. Heck, even when I got home I was still looking over my shoulder.


Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is harmonizing guitar and banjo/mandolin duo Red Branch. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Anatahan starting at 8 p.m. Released shortly after WWII, it was a risky film in that it sympathetic to a group of Japanese soldiers who speak only Japanese in the film. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Wales RoadMySpace link, and gospel-rock satire band (last time) or maybe Klezmer-inspired rockabilly band (the time before) The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Good funky groove band Vernon's BirdMySpace link will be at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [21+]

This evening at The Drama House at The University of Rochester (+43 7' 43.43", -77 37' 58.15", east corner of the Fraternity Quad, details on River Campus Map) is a show by The Necro Valley Improv Team consisting of members of Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link and the cast of Old Jake's Skirts starting at 10:30 p.m.

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

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

Today from 12:00 p.m. to 1 p.m. at the Laser Energetics Laboratory at The Center for Optics Manufacturing (240 E. River Rd.) is a seminar titled Concrete Masterpieces: The Engineering of Monumental Domes in Imperial Rome by Renato Perucchio. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

Tonight at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is the closing reception for the art show Appendix from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar]

Shared Genes will be at On the Rocks (1551 Mount Hope Ave., formerly Michael's and before that Trios) starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [all ages]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be hosting Aaron MarasMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) is the start of their adult-oriented holiday play The Eight Reindeer Monologues where one of the reindeer accuses Santa of sexual harassment. [source: Downstairs Cabaret calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Raging Bull starting at 8 p.m. It's one of those films you should have seen before ... about an emotionally self-destructive boxer. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Claire FornarolaMySpace link. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting the occasionally semi-melodic fast-paced noise band Pengo, impressive, organic experimental jazz from The Blood and Bone OrchestraMySpace link, and Hall of Justice starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [21+]

A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) will be hosting How We AreMySpace link, I ObjectMySpace link, Black SSMySpace link, K Is For the KidsMySpace link, Earthquake, Tank, and great, wild, classic-style punk from DestruxMySpace link starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: artsound website]

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

This afternoon at Abundance Cooperative Market (62 Marshall St.) is Marvin Rogers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. then Jack Spula from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. [source: Abundance Co-op calendar] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting their Holiday Party starting at 6 p.m. and featuring Steve West and Peter Collin. [source: RocWiki calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight from 7 p.m. to midnight at Small World Books (425 North St.) is a warehouse party featuring works by Mimi Moore, Marylou, and Aimee Lane and performances by surreal and disorienting electronics-heavy band GaybotMySpace link, great rough rock-and-roll from Yer MomMySpace link (formerly Your Mom), and rapid-fire acoustic work from Ian Downey. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is old-time rock-and-roll band Watkins and the Rapiers (buy their stuff on Amazon.com) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Le vieil homme et l'enfant (The Two of Us) starting at 8 p.m. Leave it to the French to make a story about WWII where a Jewish boy is sent to the countryside for safety and he stays with a kind but anti-Semetic farmer. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is really good country-rock/rockabilly from Angry Johnny and the Killbillies, really good rock-punk/rockbilly from Rocko Dorsey and the Individuals, and excellent sex-charged rock-and-roll from The Earl Cram Revue starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight's another Betty's Sing-a-Long at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) starting around 10.

JayceLand Pick Over at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 7 p.m. is EpylogueMySpace link, A WonderfulMySpace link, Ju-JajubaMySpace link, and City Harvest BlackMySpace link. [source: artsound website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Playtime starting at 7 p.m. One Monsieur Hulot finds himself in a "futuristic funhouse of modern architecture and traffic jams as his once familiar Paris progresses uncontrollably," as the Eastman calendar says. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Spot Coffee (200 East Ave.) will be hosting Moving Still starting around 8 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition 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]

There's also Open Mic Poetry at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Java's calendar] [all ages]

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]

Today's Artist Breakfast Group meeting starts a little before 8 a.m. in the cafeteria at Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) and the topic is Show and Tell featuring the works of anyone who brings their works.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Master And Commander: The Far Side Of The World starting at 8 p.m. This popular film about the Napoleonic wars is brought to the Dryden to highlight its authentic soundscape. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Rapid-fire modern metalish-rock from The Gentlemen's Club, good punk band with an Irish slant Tom Foolery and the ShannanighansMySpace link (not Shenanigans) and The PhD's will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Blues-charged rock-and-roll/groove-rock band Buford and the Smoking Section will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at the Link Gallery at City Hall (30 Church St.) is the opening of We, Not Me: A Photographic Retrospective of the Mayor Bill Johnson Years (1994-2005) from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at The Laboratory for Laser Energetics Auditorium at The Center for Optics Manufacturing (240 E. River Rd.) at 6:30 p.m. is a lecture titled Content-based Retrieval in Specialized Image Databases by Dr. Madi Das sponsored by The Rochester IEEE Signal Processing Society. Please RSVP via the IEEE website if you're going. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. is The Respect Sextet. [source: Bop Shop calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Key Largo starting at 8 p.m. Visitors to a hotel in the Florida Keys are held hostage by a gangster. But wait: there's also an approaching hurricane to contend with! [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]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

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About the title ... Dutch navigator Abel Tasman was the first European to find the Fiji islands 362 years ago in 1643.

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. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. 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, December 15, 2005 (Thu, Dec 15, 2005, 12/15/2005, or 12/15/05) Friday, December 16, 2005 (Fri, Dec 16, 2005, 12/16/2005, or 12/16/05) Saturday, December 17, 2005 (Sat, Dec 17, 2005, 12/17/2005, or 12/17/05) Sunday, December 18, 2005 (Sun, Dec 18, 2005, 12/18/2005, or 12/18/05) Monday, December 19, 2005 (Mon, Dec 19, 2005, 12/19/2005, or 12/19/05) Tuesday, December 20, 2005 (Tue, Dec 20, 2005, 12/20/2005, or 12/20/05) and Wednesday, December 21, 2005 (Wed, Dec 21, 2005, 12/21/2005, or 12/21/05).

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.

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.

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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