Weekly Rochester Events #375: Not That Brest

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Last Thursday was the big "graduation show" for the improv class. Initially seven people of the 20-person class showed up and two more arrived late to The Drama House at The University of Rochester (Fraternity Rd. at Alumni Rd., east corner of the Fraternity Quad, details on River Campus Map.) For the most part, the trouble was that it was announced 3 days prior, and some people didn't even check e-mail in that time. The audience wasn't much different. Two of the members of Geva Comedy ImprovMySpace link showed up and then 4 more people came later.

Nonetheless, the show was a lot of fun to do. We split up into two "teams" for the Geva flavor of "TheaterSports." I was on the "Assault Hamsters" team and I wish I could remember the other team name ... something like "Chinese-Flower-Process: Grass." In the first half, each team did 3 sketches and, since we only knew a few more sketches, we opted to do two each in the second half starting and ending with sketches that worked better with more people (so both teams were involved.) Overall I think the audience was amused. When I was performing, it felt like it was even better, but of course I couldn't watch myself. In the end, the Geva folks (including Adam Litz who taught the class) said it was quite entertaining.

Friday I stopped by Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) to see the show Coast to Coast by Gary Thompson and Phyllis Thompson. I was disappointed that it was a bit too much like tourist photography, and many of the pictures were further undesirable from poor quality reproduction. Work by the many guest photographers was mixed but often quite good.

From there I headed to Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) to see The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble perform. The first piece was Edgard Varèse's Octandre which was pretty neat considering the bass was really the only low-end instrument against oboes, clarinets, and trumpets — almost like a debate. Conductor Brad Lubman had a moment as the stage was reset and explained that although the piece is 80 years old (1923) it was included because the ideas of the composer reflected his desire to create electronic music and the exact sound could not be realized then. Next was Annie Gosfield's Wild Pitch which I also liked: it gave the impression of working in a manic state — it was frenetic then briefly calm then frenetic again. She joined the rest of the performers for her Manufacture of Tangled Ivory. It was amazingly cacophanous and industrial; Gosfield was using detuned piano samples as a basis and it really worked.

After intermission was an addition to the program: Steve Reich's Piano Phase which reminded me of driving in a snowstorm and the hypnotic trance that ensues. In the piece, two pianos play related short verses over and over until the sound becomes such that there are zero pianos left.

Closing the show was was Steve Reich's Eight Lines which required 14 performers and was a similarly harmonic piece. It probably would have sounded great except it was ruined by the use of electronic amplification that completely removed my ability to aurally place the instruments. They had each of the instruments miked as is common in rock-and-roll shows and then played them through [what appeared to be recently installed] speakers over the exit doors. The worst were the flutes which were placed on the left side of the stage but came through brash and distorted out the right speaker. At least now I can say that The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) sounds almost as good as Kilbourn Hall ... and not so much because the Bug Jar did anything different.

Saturday night I went to Cathay Pagoda (488 East Main St.) for the first time in ten years. This time it was for a couple friends' birthdays. It's the ultimate Chinese-dive-bar — the food is thoroughly Americanized and deep fried as much as possible. The front restaurant/bar area is pretty normal, but it's the back "private" booths that are the big draw. It seemed that there was almost nothing that was not allowed in the back rooms. Hypothetically, of course ... I mean, nothing actually happened that could be considered rude, illegal, or lascivious.

Plus they sell "Scorpion Bowls" which appear to be a fruity ice mix placed in a decent-sized ornamental soup bowl with — as best as I could tell — all the clear liquor from the bar added in. It suggestively comes with two straws.

Monday I headed to The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) for the opening of the Spirit Stands Still but there was no opening. I would guess it was on January 13 when the show started but somebody didn't enter it right. This is the second time an event was incorrectly listed on their calendar. Anyway, I did get to go see the exhibition. I particularly liked the technique Betsy Phillips used when she printed her photographic textural images onto canvas.

Anyway, from there I went to A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) and had to wait a while until the excruciatingly long sound check was completed (even though the bodies of the audience ended up changing the character of the room a lot.) First up was CarbonicMySpace link who did good acoustic solo work — I thought he was less dour than I remember, but I still wasn't that into his sound. The headlining band was EspersMySpace link who played like a mellow, well-orchestrated, 6-piece acoustic-folk/rock band from the late 1960's. It sounded very good although a bit too precise at times (if that can even be considered a negative thing.)

Tuesday I had a little sushi and a cheap beer at California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) and watched The Adam Caine Trio play by The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) I thought they were pretty cool ... sometimes wildly cacophonous and sometimes subtly chaotic, but it unfortunately also smacked of ego-driven showmanship.

I'll call it a wrap there — despite my best efforts to get ahead of the game, it's always late Wednesday night that I'm banging this out.

the Genesee Center for the Arts calendar shows the opening reception on March 13
See? Sometimes I actually get things right when the original calendar gets them wrong.


The Inventor's Society of Western New York meets tonight in the Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

State University of New York (SUNY) at Oneonta (1 Ravine Pky., Oneonta) English professor Charlotte Zoë Walker will be giving a lecture in Curtis Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) at 6:30 p.m. on John Burroughs and the Art of Seeing Things as part of the Picturing Eden exhibit currently on display. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) is the monthly meeting of The Rochester Genealogical Society at 7 p.m. featuring Robert Coomber discussing A Case History of a Genealogical Search about research into his own family, and then the main speaker, Dr. Marian S. Henry will discuss Finding the Ladies about the additional difficulties of tracing female lineage. [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick I'd really like to stop by The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) tonight at 7 p.m. to see artist Larry Fuente talk about his Mad Cad, a centerpiece of the Extreme Materials exhibiton. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Iron Kisses, about a brother and sister who try to figure out life in their own ways, will be playing at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) until April 1. Show times are Tuesday through Friday at 7:30 p.m., Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

Tonight at Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Rd., still smoke-free) is a bunch of St. Patrick's Day-related stuff: first, at 7:30 p.m. is a performance by The O'Keefe School of Irish Dance. Then at 8 is Peg Dolan along with a Wine Tasting from The Eber Brothers Wine and Liquor (155 Paragon Dr., #2) and then a Beer Tasting from The Rohrbach Brewing Company (3859 Buffalo Rd.) from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Johnny's Irish Pub calendar]

The Jim Gilmour BandMySpace link will be at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Incredible Shrinking Man starting at 8 p.m. In 1957 they were apparently afraid of things like "ominous mists" and later, "housecats." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is GutbucketGarageBand link, and organic, experimental, jazz-like music from The Blood and Bone OrchestraMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Great reggae dub band Mountain Mojo AuthorityMySpace link will be at Whiskey (315 Alexander St.) tonight starting around 10 p.m. or so. [source: Freetime]

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]

Saint Patrick's Day

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) at 7 p.m. is the opening of Through a Glass Darkly featuring photography and sound images of Hurricane Katrina by Lisa BarkerMySpace link, and Joel Dow. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is Mary Shannon and Aaron MarasMySpace link. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 8 p.m. at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) is Turner CodyMySpace link and The WoWzMySpace link. [source: A|V Space website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Umberto D starting at 8 p.m. In this special screening, film critic Roger Ebert will be on hand to present one of his favorite movies. According to the Eastman calendar, the film "tells the story of a retired bureaucrat who finds himself broke and homeless on the streets of Rome." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 10 p.m. at German House (315 Gregory St.) is another night of fun percussive groove-rock from The BuddhaHoodMySpace link. [source: German House calendar]

Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is good Irish-slanted punk band Tom Foolery and the ShannanighansMySpace link (not Shenanigans) starting around 10:30. [source: Freetime] [21+]

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

This afternoon at 4 p.m. from The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) to Rochester City School District School #9, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. School (485 N. Clinton Ave.) is a Stop the War March with Rochester Against War (RAW). [source: Rochester Craigslist events]

Starting around 7 p.m. tonight at The Montage Live (50 Chestnut St., formerly the Montage Grille) is The Breath of Fresh Air Variety Show. [source: Montage calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing 3 Women starting at 8 p.m. While I'm reluctant to try seeing more Robert Altman movies for fear of them being among the occasionally dreadfully bad kind, Roger Ebert will be on hand to defend this particular one obut three women who trade identities in a small California community. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Darn Near Done For will be at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight at 8 p.m. [source: Freetime] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Spy Bar (139 State St.) around 10 p.m. is excellent, mellow, digitally-affected acoustic from Autumn In Halifax with acoustic soloist Gregory PaulGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: band e-mail] [21+]

JayceLand Pick The NY Vaults, high-energy hard rock band Bee EaterGarageBand linkMySpace link, and rockin' rockabilly from Krypton 88MySpace link 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.

This afternoon at 3 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is Teddy GeigerMySpace link. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

Today from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. is the yearly "LGBTIQ intergenerational panel" of The Rainbow Seniors of Western New York titled "When I Knew": A Discussion Of Our Lives And Times at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.) followed by the monthly potluck dinner. [source: Gay Alliance website]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Downstairs Cabaret (172 West Main St.) is another Improv Challenge featuring Nuts and Bolts Improv Troupe (see their site at ImprovAmerica too) starting at 7 p.m. [source: Nuts and Bolts website]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing After Dark, My Sweet starting at 7 p.m. in which a drifter gets involved with a kidnapping scheme. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is an opening reception for art by Chelsea Anderson. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Top Pick In another show that has in the past featured top-notch jazz, The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) will be hosting The ROVA Saxophone Quartet at 8 p.m. tonight. [source: Bop Shop 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]

Great American Meatout

Tonight at Episcopal Seniorlife Communities (505 Mount Hope Ave.) is the Corn Hill Neighborhood Association slide presentation titled Original and Living Legends starting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

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]

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 at from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Stephanie Li will give what is an interesting-sounding discussion of Malleable Mulattas and Resistant Silences: Placage and Louisa Picquet (about arrangements between interracial couples in 19th-century America) in Morey Hall, Rm. 314 at The University of Rochester (Elmwood Ave. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map). [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

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]

This evening at The Hochstein School of Music and Dance (50 North Plymouth Ave.) at 8 p.m. is the Tuesday Trombone Choir directed by Douglas Mark. [source: Hochstein calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Humain, trop humain (Human, Too Human) starting at 8 p.m. It's a documentary by Louis Malle described in the Eastman calendar thus: "In this documentary about the goings on at a Citröen factory, Malle at first seems to construct a celebration of teamwork. But soon the discomfort and pressures of the job rear their ugly heads and the unit disintegrates." It will be preceded by an earlier short documentary by Malle titled Vive le tour about the Tour de France. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight also at 8 p.m. in The Welles-Brown Room of The Rush Rhees Library in The University of Rochester (Library Rd. at Intercampus Dr., details on River Campus Map) is a presentation in the Works-in-Progress Series by poets C. D. Wright, and Forrest Gander. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Shapes and SizesMySpace link, and A WonderfulMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. I think it'll be a good bet because the women in Shapes and Sizes look kinda cute. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Really good blues-charged rock-and-roll/groove-rock band Buford and the Smoking Section will be once again playing at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) tonight 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] [all ages]

Tonight in Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another 25 & Under show featuring readers who are 25-years-old and younger to celebrate 25 years of Writers and Books. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick This evening at 8 p.m., Don Harry directs Tuba Mirum at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ukigumo (Floating Clouds) starting at 8 p.m. about an engineer and a typist trying to forge a relationship after the war in Indochina. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at Nextstage at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) author Edward Larson will be on hand to discuss the actual events of the 1925 Scopes trial in comparison with the current production of Inherit the Wind. Although this conflicts with the performance of Iron Kisses ... hmm. [source: Geva Theatre website]

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 ... March 16

Link of the Week:
The Desktop Blues Man - So you want to make blues music but have no idea how to play a guitar or sing? Now you can with this terribly addicting Flash animation.

Lousy Online Calendar Award:

This week's award goes once again to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) for although its event calendar now show both dates and events, it's a misaligned, jumbled mess and there's no way to correlate what day goes with what event. Congratulations, Boulder Coffee!


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About the title ... According to The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language (1992, Houghton Mifflin; 1994, INSO Corporation) the city of Brest, France was the site of a military base and arsenal built 375 years ago in 1631 by Cardinal Richelieu.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including 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, March 16, 2006 (Thu, Mar 16, 2006, 3/16/2006, or 3/16/06) Friday, March 17, 2006 (Fri, Mar 17, 2006, 3/17/2006, or 3/17/06) Saturday, March 18, 2006 (Sat, Mar 18, 2006, 3/18/2006, or 3/18/06) Sunday, March 19, 2006 (Sun, Mar 19, 2006, 3/19/2006, or 3/19/06) Monday, March 20, 2006 (Mon, Mar 20, 2006, 3/20/2006, or 3/20/06) Tuesday, March 21, 2006 (Tue, Mar 21, 2006, 3/21/2006, or 3/21/06) and Wednesday, March 22, 2006 (Wed, Mar 22, 2006, 3/22/2006, or 3/22/06).

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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