Weekly Rochester Events #364: Destroyer of Icons

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Last Thursday I went out to see Close Encounters of the Third Kind at the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) I thought it was interesting to hear that John Williams scored the film before it was shot, so the pacing of the editing followed the music — I think this is the trait that makes me feel that the film has such a perfectly balanced, organic pace. I still like the movie after all these years (reading a bit about it, I'm pretty sure I got to see it in the theater when I was 8) and its overall positive tone.

However, every time I see it, I get a feeling of deja vu about the "Steven Spielberg ending" as the mother ship floats gently into the sky. I just find it irritatingly sappy — I always hope it ends on the little kid Barry saying, "Bye bye!" Oh, and the campy product placement: as the equipment is secretly moved to Devils Tower National Park (Devils Tower National Monument Rd, Hulett, WY) it's placed in commercial trucks like Piggly Wiggly and Baskin Robins. Yeesh. How blatant can you get?

Afterward I stopped at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) and got to see Sally Bee who seemed to me like a perfectly fine but pretty typical punk-rock band. I ended up talking with a friend of mine for a while and didn't stay for the other bands.

On Friday I had a semi-formal holiday party to go to, and since I was already dressed up, I figured I'd try running in the George Bailey 5K. It wasn't too much of a stretch to customize my suit-and-tie outfit to look somewhat like George Bailey's in It's a Wonderful Life. I signed in at Mex (295 Alexander St.) and got assigned number 5. I hung out and met a few of the other runners and actually knew a few of them from going out on the town.

We left around 8:30, hooting and hollering (George Bailey style, "Merry Christmas"-ing everything in sight) and went to Java's (16 Gibbs St.) for some egg nog and to sing a few Christmas carols. From there it was back to Mex (295 Alexander St.) with what I guess is a "traditional" run through The Old Toad (277 Alexander St.) albeit never with 67 people. (Not until this year anyway.) Finally, we finished up at Mex again for a round of Auld Lang Syne.

In the end, it's obviously nowhere close to 5 kilometers — barely over a mile, actually, if you count the detour through the Old Toad. It's also a blast — everyone running around with all this cheer and stuff; and all the puzzled looks from bystanders and patrons in the businesses. I imagine it's not too different from the reactions George would have received during his run through Bedford Falls.

I ducked out early for the holiday party where I drank too much and don't exactly remember every moment from beginning to end. Saturday — Christmas Eve — I headed to Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) for the "Hobo Christmas" where some of the staff and friends were kind enough to make some of those "pigs in a blanket" (Vienna sausages wrapped in Pilsbury Crescent Rolls) a tasty 9-layer dip, a couple bread bowls, and other assorted hors d'oeuvres. I always like the whole Chrismas Eve at Lux since it's full of the kind of people who decide to go out on Christmas Eve.

Since I saw my family earlier in the month, there wasn't a need for an additional frustrating, consumerist Christmas trip, so I stayed in and did a classic "A Christmas Story-style Christmas Dinner" which involved calling The New Number One Chinese Restaurant (1925 South Ave.) picking up chicken lo mein, walking home, and eating it. Later that night I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) for the big Christmas show. Starting out, The BlastoffsMySpace link rocked the house with some old and new stuff. Headlining was The IsotopesMySpace link who started out with their short movie, How the Isotopes Saved Christmas and (despite some technical glitches early on) it was a ribald, campy, and funny flick. They did their regular awesome set of surf-rock punctuated with witty comedic interludes. Meghan (whom I've known for years and know that she has formal training in dance) is now one of the Isotopes go-go dancers and I got to stand on the side right in front of her. I figured it was like going to a hobo performance with go-go storytellers and getting to stand right in front of Garrison Keillor. You know what I mean?

Speaking of Christmas, though, a friend of mine sent me the book Affluenza and I've been reading that. It treats the issue of mass consumerism and over consumption as a "disease" and talks about its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment. I keep reading faster and faster because the first part is about the symptoms and its statistics are a bit overwhelming, even if I can dismiss a few as statistical errors. In the end, though, I decided to start doing something. In lieu of proper New Year's resolutions, I guess I'll resolve to reduce the amount of junk mail I get — I'll go dig up those forms and lists you need to sign up on to get out of it. I'll probably post a step-by-step process to do it.

That and I'm trying to be more honest — to be "even worse" in a way, saying exactly what I'm thinking and what I'm feeling (less about my opinion of others and more about me.) I guess that's another "resolution."

On Monday I made it to the Emerging Filmmakers Program at The Little (240 East Ave.) I had heard that this particular program was one of the best ever — and marking the 25th edition and it didn't disappoint. First up was The Art of Ambivalence by Philip Armand which is a humorous documentary about artist Mike Conner who makes political and soclial art. The trouble is that Conner refuses to explain his thought process for developing the art on camera. Much of it is voiceover by filmmaker Armand expressing his frustration at the whole process and trying to find people to explain his subject's behavior. Next was These Unsettling Days of Wonder by John Alberts. It was a very good, rather abstract piece dealing with how the unexpected death of a young woman at the beginning of a marriage. Spring by Laura Belsey was a really touching, short piece (5 minutes versus 15 minutes and more for the rest) about a woman plagued by her past who thought she saw life in discarded Christmas trees and futilely tried to bring them back to life. Finally was Alone by Gregory Orr which was sadly marred by bad projection equipment, making it look like a bad film-to-video transfer, but it's quality transcended that problem. It's about a German immigrant who is a stuffy perfectionist working in the evictions department of an apartment management company. He falls for the fantasy of love — a beautiful woman who reminds him of his mother — but dates another woman for a while, in the end losing both by chasing the fantasy.

Tuesday night I ran into a friend of mine who I haven't seen in a long time. He was talking about how he's trying to make himself into the best person he can be. His technique is to be consistently noble. Although my motives are similar, my methods are different: for instance, I think the course is through total honesty rather than nobility — if you're honest with others and demand honesty from them, you'll start to see their lies and start to see your own as well.

Another thing that we agreed on was that everyone needs to love themselves. I added that it's important that self-love comes from truth and not from shallowness — the advice to affirm yourself in the mirror is flawed because you'll end up with a shallow sense of self-love which isn't true.

I think I hit on something true recently. I'd been very very depressed — getting hit with that whole sciatica thing that kept me down for a few weeks really exacerbated the depression situation. In the middle of all that in November I started digging deeper. I made the analogy that depression is like bungee-jumping into a deep hole: you fall down into the darkness but at some point you start pulling back out and things get better. I kept "grabbing hold of the walls" so-to-speak and digging deeper. At the time, I wanted to see if I could actually kill myself.

I finally hit some form of bottom: it was just mucky blackness and I was stuck in it. It's the worst depression I've ever experienced.

Then heard a voice in my head that said, "I love you."

I was surprised by that and I actually asked myself, "who said that?"

The voice replied, "I'm you. I love you."

It wasn't someone else, but just the feeling of a great hug and warm eyes and a loving smile. It was small and yellow and I had to look down to see it, but it was very close to my inner self. I talked with my "self-love" and begged that it not leave me and it said that it never will. Tears ran down my face and I was afraid to go to sleep — that I would forget it like a dream.

Well, I didn't forget and while it's sometimes more tangible and sometimes less, but it's always there.

Oh ... did I mention that I was going to try and be more honest about how I feel?


Today from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. is Kwanzaa Family Day at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Every half-hour tonight and tomorrow from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is the Holiday Laser and Fireworks Show at The High Falls Gorge (Pont De Rennes Bridge) [source: City Hall press release]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) will be hosting Rob FalgianoMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Animation Show 2005 starting at 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. today and at 5:30 p.m. tomorrow. Mike Judge and Don Hertzfeldt (also at Internet Movie Database) bring together some of the best and strangest animation from around the world. This is the same program they showed on April 8 (and that I discussed the following week.) [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is attention-deficit rock/funk from GaylordMySpace link for their CD Release Party with Eddie Nebula and the PlagueGarageBand link, and Skull starting around 10 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]

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

Today from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. near The Centers at High Falls (60 Brown's Race) the city is setting up a Victorian-Themed Village of 19th Century Rochester. [source: City Hall press release]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 6 p.m. is Rosedale for happy hour. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Young Frankenstein starting at 8 p.m. tonight and 5:30 p.m. tomorrow. See one of Mel Brooks' best films. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Rumor has it that RocWiki will have A Very Wiki Holiday tonight starting at 8:30 p.m. at Spy Bar (139 State St.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight and tomorrow is another Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link show at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) starting at 10:30 each night. [source: Geva Comedy Improv e-mail]

Spinning Zoo, and Porthos are probably the bands to play at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [21+]

New Year's Eve
Kwanza Ends

Hypnotic ClambakeMySpace link will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) today for performances at 1 p.m., 3:30 p.m., and 6 p.m. where they accompany a collection of Silent Movies and then at 9 p.m. they'll wrap up with a traditional performance. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be hosting a Special New Year's Triple Feature starting at 8 p.m. with the Three Stooges in I'll Never Heil Again, W. C. Fields and Jack Oakie in Million Dollar Legs, and the Marx Brothers in Duck Soup. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Bush Mango Drum & Dance (34 Elton St.) is The Rochester Footbag Association's Drumming Jam Year-End Shred Party probably starting around 8 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave.) is a special New Year's Eve Show featuring excellent minimalist acoustic soloist Kelli Shay Hicks and great, disorienting spoken-word/electronic band GaybotMySpace link — Kelli is moving to Nashville and this will be one of her last Rochester performances for a while. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Good, slightly off-balance, complex, hard-hitting, mid-tempo rock band Kill Myself on Monday, very good punk-rock/hard-rock band The UV RaysGarageBand linkMySpace link, 1960's-style rock band St. Phillip's Escalator, classic-styled punk from The Teenage Junkies, and punchy punk-rock band Blue Spark and FlameMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. for the New Year's Eve Show. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

This evening at 8:30 p.m. at Shipping Dock Theatre (31 Prince St., new location at Visual Studies Workshop) is The Year In Revue: Shipping Dock Unleashed! featuring see bits-and-pieces of lots of their plays. [source: Shipping Dock Theatre mailing]

Tonight at The High Falls Gorge (Pont De Rennes Bridge) is a New Year Laser and Fireworks Show starting at 11:20 p.m. [source: City Hall press release]

Fly the flag today.New Year's Day

In case you're looking for something to do, the museum at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is open today from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Killin' the Dream, From the Ground Up, Sinking Ships, How We AreMySpace link, and Get Back Up will be at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) starting around 6:30 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

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]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Postman Always Rings Twice starting at 8 p.m. A drifter-handyman takes an interest in his boss's wife ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. is The Following DawnMySpace link, IscariotMySpace link, The HarlotsMySpace link, and By Autumn's EndMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Nueve reinas (Nine Queens) starting at 8 p.m. A couple con-men set up a gig selling phony rare stamps ... [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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Weekly Poll
December 29, 2005
So how was Christmas?
I had a regular "American Christmas" and it was great. 1 (12%)

I had a regular "American Christmas" and I say it was great, but it was actually terribly hollow and unhappy. 1 (12%)

I had a regular "American Christmas" and it was okay. 2 (25%)

I had a regular "American Christmas" and it sucked. 0

I'm Jewish, you insensitive schmuck. 1 (12%)

I didn't do anything and it was great. 1 (12%)

I didn't do anything and it wasn't great. 1 (12%)

I had a regular American Christmas and made my mom sad by denouncing our church! 1 (12%)

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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... December 29

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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy Google Maps — sorry to those people with browsers not supported.

About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) the word iconoclast first appeared in English 364 years ago in 1641 in a reference to Greek iconoclasts.

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 29, 2005 (Thu, Dec 29, 2005, 12/29/2005, or 12/29/05) Friday, December 30, 2005 (Fri, Dec 30, 2005, 12/30/2005, or 12/30/05) Saturday, December 31, 2005 (Sat, Dec 31, 2005, 12/31/2005, or 12/31/05) Sunday, January 1, 2006 (Sun, Jan 1, 2006, 1/1/2006, or 1/1/06) Monday, January 2, 2006 (Mon, Jan 2, 2006, 1/2/2006, or 1/2/06) Tuesday, January 3, 2006 (Tue, Jan 3, 2006, 1/3/2006, or 1/3/06) and Wednesday, January 4, 2006 (Wed, Jan 4, 2006, 1/4/2006, or 1/4/06).

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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