Weekly Rochester Events #387: To The Max

Thursday, June 8, 2006

Ok, so let me just run through this quick. On Friday I went to Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) for a bit. I got to see Teagan WardMySpace link who was young, so she draws from popular vocalists, but she otherwise has a very powerful and emotive voice. Katy WrightMySpace link was talented with a nice voice although sometimes she seems distracted by self-consciousness. On the way back I got stuck riding my bike in the rain ... kind of a drag, but at least it doesn't happen all that often.

On Saturday I got to check out the new Sound:Art exhibit at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) The show was pretty interesting, but it didn't seem very artistic nor did it hold my interest for very long — it's probably easier with fewer people there. However, I appreciated that it was interactive and how the composite of activity was supposed to create something. Also, it was nice to be invited to play with things rather than look-but-don't-touch.

Tuesday I dug up that old Bike With 2 Brains project. If you recall, the back wheels broke last year at Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City, NV) and I haven't touched it since I stuck it in the garage in September. Well, I finally got my shit together and built new supports for small back wheels — hopefully they won't break. They'll certainly not fail the same way the bicycle forks did. I think it looks a bit silly, but the whole thing was pretty absurd in the first place.

That night I headed to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see the two short documentaries there. First was Meet Marlon Brando which was a collection of interview footage of Marlon Brando prior to the release of his film Morituri. The documentary was pretty crummy as documentaries go: it was a jumbled collection of footage just thrown together. However, the subject was rather captivating: constantly flirting with the pretty interviewers and dodging questions about the film he was supposed to be promoting. Likewise, Showman documents film producer Joseph E. Levine in a similar manner — also a jumble of footage, and also a fascinating subject. I particularly liked the radio interview where he argued with another filmmaker about giving the audience what they want just to make money rather than trying to steer morality in some manner.

Bike With 2 Brains side view
The clean old Bike With 2 Brains
Bike With 2 Brains side view
The all new still-filthy Bike With 2 Brains

Since it was 06/06/06, Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) was having its hell party so I headed there and partied out until way too late. I also went to get pizza from Little Venice Pizza (742 South Ave.) but found that they moved. Apparently this was their first day open in the new location where Skippy's (742 South Ave., formerly Slice of Life) used to be. The guy said they were at the old location at 697 South Avenue next to Mr. Fluff (703 South Ave.) for 21 years. Remember that the 777 party will be at the house a couple doors down from Vail Automotive (757 South Ave.)

Speaking of the apocalypse, I've been in a fascinating discussion on a message board with my old college friends, the "RIT Looneys." Our clan of minor misfits spread out across the political spectrum in the many years since college. Anyway, we were discussing the separation of church and state with most of the east-coasters supporting the separation and the midwesterners supporting the consolidation.

Joe brought up a parable wherein a travelling circus caught fire and the manager sent the clown in full clown-garb to solicit help from the townspeople who assumed it was all a joke — or at best just an advertising pitch. Joe added, "the point of the analogy is that the clown is a modern day theologian who just cannot get his message across to the masses. He 'looks' too silly to be taken seriously and folks think that his message has no basis in reality." Mike then threw in his two cents, asking the non-Christians what makes Christians look like such fools. I started working on a reply but only got partway through because I wanted to spend some more time on it. Curiously the discussion fell silent after the request — perhaps everyone else's reason is the same as mine.

So let me address this to some religious clown.

First, there's a fuzzy line between faith and denial. A simple example is having faith that the world is flat — I mean, it looks like it's flat, right? Let's say you take a flat-earth person and systematically prove that the earth is actually round. At what point does their faith turn into denial?

I'm not saying that everything in the world can be definitively proven. Especially for things that are so complex that there is no definitive solution, like social problems. Or for things that are provably unprovable — what happens to your mind and soul after you die?

The test of whether something is a matter of faith or one of science (for lack of a better term) is whether it can be measured in terms of correct and incorrect. That is, in science, things are either correct or incorrect with reasons why either is the case. In faith, asking the question doesn't make sense. I mean, is it correct to believe in God? What does "correct" even mean in that case?

Next is hypocrisy. How can one say they are following the path of Jesus while acting in a manner that defies all His teachings? As I've discussed in the past, I've been to Burning Man (The Man, Black Rock City, NV) several times now and I'll be going again this year. In brief, it's a week-long art festival / alternative community experiment that takes place each year at the end of August in the desolate Black Rock Desert salt-flats northeast of Reno, Nevada.

One of the most important things is that there are essentially no rules. Specifically, there are no explicit guidelines about how people are to treat one another. The laws of the United States, the State of Nevada, Pershing County, and the town of Gerlach are technically enforced, but they seem arbitrary and unnecessary. In such a community — where free expression reigns, sexuality is open, and drugs and alcohol are available and used — one might be tempted to think that it would result in lawless chaos reminiscent of the wild west. In actuality, people are amazingly civil to one another — moreso, in fact, than they are in common society.

Another important facet is that commerce is virtually banned and instead a gift economy is encouraged. Each individual is encouraged to first think to give, not to hoard. It reveals itself in other ways too: "think 'yes' first" — "can I kiss you?": "yes" ... "can I have some of that wine?": "yes ... well, as long as they're treating me like a person and not a source of wine" ... "would you like some heroin?": "yes ... actually, no ... that might fuck me up way too bad."

What you end up with is a community whose foremost thoughts are to give, to share, to love, to touch, to care, to express, to become more yourself. Now unless I'm terribly mistaken, I think these are the kinds of things Jesus wanted us to strive for: don't take, give; don't hoard, share; don't hate, love; don't shun, care; don't cower, express; don't pretend, be.

However, the festival is largely panned by religious groups because they oppose the superficial traits and deny that it can be a good thing. I happen think it's very much along the path of Jesus — absent the Christian religious journey — but I don't really care. I'll just continue learning to be nice to people and try to understand them. On the other hand, I see lots of Christians who claim to be on the path of Jesus living a life of taking, hoarding, hating, shunning, cowering, and pretending.

But the crux of my hyprocrisy compalint is to ask how can one call themselves "pro-life" and also a supporter of the death penalty? Relatedly, why be in support of life but against living? I mean, if you'll pardon my switching sides, God gave us the ability to do all sorts of things. The only thing that each of us truly owns is our own body. Why all the effort to prevent people from doing what they please with their bodies? The question is, at what point should you rightfully stick your nose in my business? If someone gets loaded on crystal meth and goes on a killing spree, can we interfere then? What if I want to have sex with someone of the same gender? I've got my own boundaries and they seem pretty self-evident, but apparently other people have very different ideas.

There's a fuzzy line between belief and self-righteousness as well. I, myself, feel I stand firmly on shaky ground. I don't know if there's a God, and if there is, whether He cares how I run my life, so I do my best to follow my heart and not stop others from following their hearts. It just seems right to do that for me. Even in the discussion with the Looneys I got a taste of the whole "well you don't believe now, but I know you're smart enough to come around" between the lines. It says to me that you know you're right even though I argue there's no "right" and "wrong" here. For myself, I have my own beliefs about the world and I think I understand things pretty well, but I certainly don't think your beliefs are erroneous: they work for you and I'm happy for that; I do not wish for you to think like me because we're different. I think you do wish I'd think like you, though.

There's also this artificial "better understanding of the world than you" meme that comes with Christianity. For instance, you might say the homosexuals are causing the social problems in the world. I blame the celebration of greed — the celebration of pride ... isn't that one of those sins we're supposed to avoid? (In case I'm getting ahead of myself, if we're constantly told that people who drive a H3 are better than those who drive a Geo Metro, isn't that just celebrating excess, greed, and pride?)

Why do you have to pick a weak target because it's easy? Is it that you believe you're a "Good Christian"? Because — by definition — you are Good, everything you do must be Good. It can't possibly be that driving an SUV 80-miles to go to work to support your 10-acre homestead on disposable products you buy from Wal-Mart have anything to do with any problem in the world. It can't be that your unsustainable consumption is at the root cause of half our problems.

Nah, it's gotta be the gays.

The only difference between me and you is that there are things I do that are not good — and that's okay. I can see that I do things that are harmful and I'm working on fixing them, and I know I'm not willing to fix everything at once. I know that some of the blame for our problems in the Middle East is because of oil that I indirectly consume to keep the X-10 control system computer running in the basement all the time. There are poor people in the world because I don't invite them into my home and put them on their feet — giving them a phone and an address so they can get a job so they can realize their potential. It's all everybody's problem — it's just not somebody else's fault.

  • A Prairie Home Companion (at The Little) - The fantastical goings-on backstage during recordings of Garrison Keillor's radio show ... unfortunately the movie is made by Robert Altman so it might be spectacular with equal odds as being dreadful.
  • Somersault (at The Little) - A young woman fools around with her mother's boyfriend and then runs away from home. She's left with her attractiveness and her wits to kick-start life on her own, and in the process, faces the spectrum of behavior from men from kindness to misogyny.

John Brown's BodyMySpace link, and hippie groove rock band Sim RedmondMySpace link will be at The High Falls Festival Site (Browns Race and Commercial St.) starting around 5:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

This evening at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a lecture by Alec Soth about his works. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) starting around 7 p.m. is Jim Bowers. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Rochester Christian Reformed Church (2750 Atlantic Ave., Penfield) is Tommy EmmanuelMySpace link, and talented guitarist and good singer Kinloch Nelson starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves starting at 8 p.m. in which Arabian Nights "gets a major overhaul." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is A Televised RealityMySpace link, Blizarro, and Foot and Mouth Disease. [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 at The Powers Building (16 West Main St.) is a presentation by Cynthia Howk of The Landmark Society of Western New York from 12:10 p.m. to 12:35 p.m. as part of the Architecture for Lunch series. [source: Landmark Society calendar]

Over at A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) starting around 5 p.m. is Chinese HappyGarageBand link, Blessed Relief for MotherMySpace link, Spoonful Of Vicodin, and MANSMySpace link. [source: A|V Space website]

Tonight at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. is the auction preview party for Hot Night, Cool Art auction on June 23. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

(Science fiction, eh?) ... today at 7:30 p.m. at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) will be a discussion of Octavia Butler as part of the Celebrating Writers series. [source: Craigslist Rochester events] [all ages]

Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Jim Drew and Humble SoulMySpace link. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Oh man ... The Rochester Rocky Horror Picture Show, "A Rather Tasteless Joke"MySpace link is back ... this time at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) in Building 6, Room A205 (the basement auditorium ... ah, old A205) at 9 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Top Pick Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") will be hosting excellent digitally-enhanced mellow acoustic from Autumn In HalifaxMySpace link, Idatel, Vox HumanaGarageBand link, and good acoustic soloist (if exhaustingly dreary) CarbonicMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

Note that tonight through June 17 is the The Rochester International Jazz Festival all over town. Check their website for highlights. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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

Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is Peony Weekend at The Ellwanger Garden (625 Mount Hope Ave.) [source: Landmark Society calendar]

This evening from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at ARTWalk (University Ave. at Atlantic Ave.) is the ARTWalk Muse-A-Thon. If I'm lucky, The Bike With 2 Brains will finally be appearing — a few repairs here and there ... I should probably call to make sure I can bring it. [source: ARTWalk e-mail]

The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) will be hosting good technique-heavy acoustic soloist Gregory PaulGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 4 p.m. [source: WITR calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sleeper starting at 8 p.m. Woody Allen gets back to his jazz roots. Sort of. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Kev RoweMySpace link will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick A|V Art Sound Space (N. Union St. at Trinidad St., #8 in the Public Market, formerly the All-Purpose Room) will be hosting Hi Red CenterMySpace link, chaotic, complex, hard-hitting, mid-tempo rock band Kill Myself on MondayMySpace link, disorienting spoken word/electronic band GaybotMySpace link, and humorous superfast synth-pop novelty performer Worm QuartetMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: A|V Space website]

Over at Shamrock Jack's Steak and Seafood (4554 Culver Rd.) starting around 10 p.m. is rockabilly from Krypton 88MySpace link. [source: Freetime]

Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Old SweetheartsMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [21+]

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

This afternoon at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is Jean Dutille starting around 4:30 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Good metal from WarbladeGarageBand linkMySpace link, HaborymMySpace link, Samara, and The AccursedGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 7 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Blazing Saddles starting at 7 p.m. Dang ... if you haven't seen this satire of racism and of westerns, you simply must do so. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) is a Comedy Night with host Jim Miesner starting at 7:30 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

Tonight at the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is The Rochester Urban Youth Film Festival starting at 7 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Spot Coffee (200 East Ave.) is Tori SparksGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 7 p.m. [source: WBER calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is Yip YipMySpace link, and great, fearless, simple, melodic synth-and-vocals from Roger HoustonMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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.

Tonight from 6:15 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the another of the Tuesday Nature Nights Guided Bike Ride this time in the Mt. Hope Cemetery and the University of Rochester starting at Mt. Hope Cemetery (South Gate). [source: City Hall press release]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Gimme Shelter starting at 8 p.m. which documents the Rolling Stones' 1969 tour including the tragedy-filled show at the Altamont Speedway. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is Howlin' Rain, and Warmer Milks. [source: WITR calendar]

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

Fly the flag today.Flag Day

Tonight from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. is a meeting of The Freedom Writers Group at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) [source: Craigslist Rochester events] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Jésus de Montréal (Jesus of Montreal) starting at 8 p.m. The behind-the-scenes activities of a "passion play" begin to mirror the Passion of Christ. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The BellraysMySpace link, and The MerciesMySpace link starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

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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About the title ... Max of Eastman Place is located at 387 Main St. E.

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, June 8, 2006 (Thu, Jun 8, 2006, 6/8/2006, or 6/8/06) Friday, June 9, 2006 (Fri, Jun 9, 2006, 6/9/2006, or 6/9/06) Saturday, June 10, 2006 (Sat, Jun 10, 2006, 6/10/2006, or 6/10/06) Sunday, June 11, 2006 (Sun, Jun 11, 2006, 6/11/2006, or 6/11/06) Monday, June 12, 2006 (Mon, Jun 12, 2006, 6/12/2006, or 6/12/06) Tuesday, June 13, 2006 (Tue, Jun 13, 2006, 6/13/2006, or 6/13/06) and Wednesday, June 14, 2006 (Wed, Jun 14, 2006, 6/14/2006, or 6/14/06).

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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