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Weekly Rochester Events #370: Years of Harvard

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Last Wednesday I got out of the house to go see Mercano, el marciano (Mercano the Martian) at the Dryden. It's an animated film by Argentinean writer/director Juan Antin in which Mercano the martian lands in more-or-less modern-day Buenos Aires. For the most part, he's either ignored or assumed to be a child in a costume (by street thugs who rob him) until, that is, it's discovered that he's a computer whiz who creates a virtual world on the Internet. A socially isolated and oligopolistic corporation purchases and commercializes his idea, ruining the artificially natural beauty with a capitalistic caste system, ultimately keeping the world's populace pacified and poor. Overall, it seems heavy-handed in its condemnation of giant corporations, but really quite funny in the end. Nonetheless, the point is that the isolation between the wealthy and the poor leads to the former obliviously but viciously abusing the latter. I generally liked the modern computer-aided animation which felt unique despite being recognizably influenced by many other recent forms.

Thursday was the second improv class and it went pretty well. I think I'm getting the hang of it as it wasn't such a terrible mind-bending exercise like the first lesson. Our 20-person troupe managed to pull off some pretty funny stuff.

On Friday I made it out to see Cole Gockley at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) He played some music with a bass player and drummer and was also opening a show of prints of his paintings. He played modern acoustic rock with a strong groove-rock influence and a strong folk influence. His artwork often stemmed from human forms and was sometimes rather abstract. Having the music and the visuals presented at the same time seemed rather harmonious — echoing his own feeling that they stem from the same creative source.

From there I went to see the video by Peter Kingstone titled Liberty Leading the People projected on the abandoned building near the former Brickyard Pub and near Geva Theatre (250 South Ave., see also the City of Rochester property details) It's a short performance piece of a modernized — and rather twisted — reinterpretation of the original French painting of the same name. I rather liked it. It's all part of something called Revolution Now! which may or may not be revolutionary and/or organized — I'm still waiting to hear more from the grapevine. A small group of us headed into the subway tunnel starting at the Court Street entrance under Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) then walked across the river to the big room under Broad Street right by The Blue Cross Arena at the War Memorial (100 Exchange Blvd.) — in point of fact, I guess we could have entered near the War Memorial, but nobody thought of that. It was pretty interesting ... DJ's playing with just a few lights and a video projector with a slide-show of graffiti from other cities. It was definitely really spooky down there: everyone had flashlights so my eyes never adjusted to the darkness to the point that I could see much and I didn't know if anyone was lurking down there.

After that, and since I know DJ Queen KnobtweekaaaahMySpace link and DJ Jhim who were spinning at TiLT Nightclub and Ultralounge (444 Central Ave.) I headed over there. Tilt installed a top-notch sound system ... it sounds great. The "Bubble Lounge" (one of the two main rooms) has a central water wall with bubbles running through it. The colors of the room cycle as well and the overall decor is modern and quite consistent. I didn't hang out too long ... I'm not a big fan of being on a dance floor so there wasn't too much to do but chat with people I knew.

Saturday night I stopped by The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) to see Lalo. I really liked the whole shimmering jazz-like vibraphone music, but I didn't think it really worked with a bass player and powerful drummer. I also had a bite to eat and wasn't very impressed: I'd like my linguini alfredo to have more flavor than just butter, cream, and flour. Oh well.

I had to take off in a hurry to make it to the Dryden to see Darwin's Nightmare. It was really tough to watch. Nile perch, introduced to Lake Victoria in Tanzania in the 1950's, wreaked havoc on the ecosystem and killed pretty much all the other fish. A nearby village was (presumably) once successfully living from the vibrancy of the lake, but is now desperately impoverished. Every fish is sold to the fishery becuase it's too expensive for the natives to eat. Scenes of children literally fighting over food was almost too much to bear — that and they would make a concoction by burning the plastic from the fishery which they'd huff to pass out so they could sleep through the night.

Sunday I went to a friend's house and watched that big football game on TV. I found it amusing that at the end, they say you can't publish any depictions of it, and a few other choice limitations that are expanded on the website. It's pretty obvious to me that it must be staged — like a theatrical performance. Since you can't copyright facts, I don't see any other legal defense to having the ability to sue someone because they said that so-and-so ran so many yards to score. If it's a scripted event, then they can claim copyright on all the actions therein. It makes you wonder about people who place bets on the outcome.

On Monday I went back to the Dryden for yet another helping this week: this time for the first Surprise Cinema this year. They showed The Gunfighter with Gregory Peck. It's a strongly character-driven western, and probably one of the most solidly edited and directed films I've ever seen. Peck plays gunslinger Jimmy Ringo who's grown weary of the curse that comes with his quick draw — every town has some young wannabe who gets killed trying to challenge Ringo. It's really an expertly built story that you just can't stop watching.

Finally, on Tuesday, I went to see a fourth film at Dryden. This time it was for the silly black-comedy romp The Wrong Box in which Michael Caine, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, and Peter Sellers are all at the top of their game in comedic acting. The rest of the cast is brilliant as well. The gist is that the central characters are the descendents of a large group that entered a life insurance tontine — where the last survivor gets to collect the entire sum. One of the two brothers is trying to kill the other, and the other keeps failing to die while their respective kin are well aware of the value of collecting the sums.

The movie is funny, but the very fact that it is funny is somewhere between funny and very scary.


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Today at noon and again at 7 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) is Geva 101 with Scenic Designer Gary Jacobs discussing "the process that takes scenic design from concept to the stage". [source: Geva Theatre e-mail]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon from 5:15 p.m. to 6:15 is another lecture in the Thursday Thinkers series in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.). Former City Corporation Counsel Linda Kingsley will discuss Your Home Belongs to the State! The Role of Eminent Domain. [source: Gay Alliance website]

This evening at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture on Lorna Simpson's Untitled (the failure of Sylvester) by Cornell University (410 Thurston Ave., Ithaca) art history assistant professor Cheryl Finley. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Tonight in Hoyt Hall at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map), The University of Rochester Cinema Group will be showing The Princess Bride at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. for free. [source: RocWiki]

JayceLand Pick Tonight is the start of the first of two weeks of the Bare Bones Festival, a series of short one-act plays, monologues, and short performance pieces by Burning Barn Theatre at New Life Presbyterian Church (243 Rosedale St.) Performances are tonight, tomorrow, and Saturday at 8 p.m. and then Sunday at 2 p.m. Next week's schedule is the same but the performances are all different — you can buy tickets at a discount for both weeks. [source: Burning Barn Theatre website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Le souffle au couer (Murmur Of The Heart) starting at 8 p.m. in which a young man comes-of-age in the midst of war. From the Eastman house write-up, "Much like [François] Truffaut did with [Les quatre cents coups (The 400 Blows)] Louis Malle renders the experience of growing up with a fresh, sparkling, taboo-breaking perspective that is both comic and tender." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Invisible ChoirMySpace link, and Full Tilt starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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]


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JayceLand Pick This morning at 11 a.m. at Morey Hall #506 at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a Revolution Now! Artist Talk with Toronto artist Peter Kingstone. [source: RocWiki calendar]

Today at 12 p.m. in the Coliseum at The University of Rochester Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) (250 E. River Rd.) is a discussion in the Science and Technology Seminar Series with Dr. John Treanor from The University of Rochester Medical Center (601 Elmwood Ave.) discussing Bird Flu Vaccine Development. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the gallery at The Arts and Cultural Council for Greater Rochester (277 N. Goodman St.) is the opening reception for A Puzzle Without Clues featuring glass work from Mahine Rattonsey. The show runs until March 3. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is the Battle of the Bands DVD Release Show featuring Dead to YouMySpace link, Golden State and The Council, and The HoodiesMySpace link starting at 7 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

This evening at 8 p.m. in The Dance Studio in Spurrier Hall at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a dance demonstration and a performance by The Maria Gillard Band starting at 8 p.m. [source: University of Rochester website]

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

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Mutual Appreciation starting at 8 p.m. Writer/director/editor/actor Andrew Bujalski will be on hand to introduce and discuss his latest film of observations about young adults and their relationships with the opposite sex. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]


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

Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) will be having another open house this and every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Today starting at 4 p.m. through the night at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is AKWAABAI, a fundraiser for Women in Progress. At 6 p.m. is a screening of Faraw! about a woman in northern Africa who has the inner strength to drive herself to rise up and escape poverty and its associated problems. Afterward is DJ's all night. Clothing by Global Mamas will also be for sale. [source: artsound website]

Tonight at Downstairs Cabaret (540 East Main St.) at 7:30 p.m. and again at 9:30 p.m. is Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) with their 6th Anniversary Show. [source: Nuts and Bolts e-mail]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Casablanca starting at 8 p.m. A World War II-era nightclub owner in Morocco serendipitously runs into his old lover who's constantly on his mind. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) is an Ode to Valentines Day featuring Katy WrightMySpace link, Teressa WilcoxMySpace link, Nora KaminskiMySpace link, Teagan WardMySpace link, and Carmen Gutierrez. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at German House (315 Gregory St.) at 10 p.m. is wicked fun percussive groove-rock from The BuddhaHoodMySpace link, Kristen Shiner McGuire, Derek Rieth and Brian Davis of Pink Martini, Paul Brown,and belly dancing from Sahara Shimmer. [source: JamBase calendar for Rochester]

Top Pick Tonight starting typically pretty early (7 p.m.? 5 p.m.?) at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is the famous annual Valentine's Day Massacre show featuring musicians playing out of their usual bands about "breakups, make-ups, heartaches, one-night stands, etc." Members of The BlastoffsMySpace link, The Grinders, The Purrs, The QUiTTERSGarageBand linkMySpace link, VD Clinic featuring Jay Kast, Kevin Kast, Jen Santoro, and Chris Slye, SeriousMySpace link, Tom Foolery and the ShannanighansMySpace link (not Shenanigans), The IsotopesMySpace link, The EmersonsGarageBand link, Hothead, Bee EaterGarageBand linkMySpace
link, Skull, and The Brokedown. [source: GaragePop Records website] [21+]

Very good jazzy instrumental 3-piece DojaMySpace link, and Rosedale will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) 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.


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Fly the flag today.Abraham Lincoln's Birthday (1809)

This morning at 8:30 a.m. is the Walk for Wellness for Gilda's Club (255 Alexander St.) at The Mall at Greece Ridge Center (271 Greece Ridge Center Dr.) [source: RocWiki calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Holiday starting at 12 p.m. (it's preceded by brunch at 11 a.m. for some extra money.) Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn star. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Wine Sense (749 Park Ave.) at 5 p.m. is a Valentine's Wine Tasting Benefit for The Rochester Gay Men's Chorus. [source: Gay Alliance website]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at Downstairs Cabaret (540 East Main St.) is Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) in The Nuts and Bolts Challenge where they square off against another improv troupe. [source: Downstairs Cabaret calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Funny Ha Ha starting at 7 p.m. Andrew Bujalski's first feature in which a young temporary worker tries to "find some evenness in her rocky love life." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is another Hip Hop Haven open-mic show. [source: band e-mail]

Updated: See tomorrow's show at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) for the bands who were originally scheduled tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) [source: Freetime] [21+]

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]


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Tonight at 7 p.m. at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (1100 South Goodman St.) is a screening of Malcolm X. [source: Gay Alliance website]

JayceLand Pick At The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. is a discussion by Betsy Phillips about her photography. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) at 7:30 p.m. is a Valentine's Day Reading and Open Mike. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Tonight at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is The BriggsMySpace link, The Dead PetsGarageBand linkMySpace link, quite good punk-rock band The Flour City KnuckleheadsGarageBand linkMySpace link, solidly good punk band The Sweatshop BoysMySpace link, and Grime Time starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

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]


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Valentine's Day

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

JayceLand Pick Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is another Tuesday Topics discussion at Kate Gleason Auditorium in The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) featuring Richard Cook and Richard Margolis discussing Rochester's Big Trees. (From the flyer: "Because of our climate and soil as well as our arboretums, Rochester and Monroe County have many of the biggest trees in New York State"). [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Tonight from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) is the last of three "forums to gather public comment on the recent report by The Center for Governmental Research (CGR) (1 South Washington St.) on recommendations to assist in the operations of the City's Neighborhood Empowerment Teams (NET)." You can review CGR's full report online. This meeting is for the southeast and southwest areas of the city. [source: City Hall press release]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is another Words of Wisdom Talent Showcase — essentially a hip-hop/spoken-word open mic night. [source: Montage calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Gambit starting at 8 p.m. wherein a thief creates a plot to steal a priceless statue ... [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. is LakotaMySpace link, Flashlight PhobiaMySpace link, and The Noise, On VinylMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at 6 p.m. at Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School (1100 South Goodman St.) is a showing of Monsters' Ball. [source: Gay Alliance website]

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


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JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is an Extreme Materials Lecture with artist Binh Danh about his "chlorophyll prints" of victims of the Khmer Rouge. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Silvia Prieto starting at 8 p.m. Silvia Prieto, bored with her life, discovers another Silvia Prieto who's much more interesting ... [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]

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On this day ... February 9



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This week's award goes to German House (315 Gregory St.) for keeping events listed back to December 2005, but more importantly, spelling The BuddhaHoodMySpace link as "Boodahood." Congratulations, German House!



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About the title ... Harvard University (48 Quincy St., Cambridge, MA) was founded 370 years ago in 1636.

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.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, February 9, 2006 (Thu, Feb 9, 2006, 2/9/2006, or 2/9/06) Friday, February 10, 2006 (Fri, Feb 10, 2006, 2/10/2006, or 2/10/06) Saturday, February 11, 2006 (Sat, Feb 11, 2006, 2/11/2006, or 2/11/06) Sunday, February 12, 2006 (Sun, Feb 12, 2006, 2/12/2006, or 2/12/06) Monday, February 13, 2006 (Mon, Feb 13, 2006, 2/13/2006, or 2/13/06) Tuesday, February 14, 2006 (Tue, Feb 14, 2006, 2/14/2006, or 2/14/06) and Wednesday, February 15, 2006 (Wed, Feb 15, 2006, 2/15/2006, or 2/15/06).


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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