I got out to go for a run this morning. I figured I'd try going barefoot in the snow that still covered the ground. Well, I barely made it three houses down the street like that. I had read on the Running Barefoot Yahoo! Group that you can use some very minor foot cover (like water shoes or special footwear for barefoot-like running) in such conditions successfully. Figuring I wouldn't be able to hack the snow I had brought along water shoes which helped a lot. I ended up running comfortably for 15 minutes or so (I took a short course to try things out) and found that my feet were a lot warmer than they have been.
I had thrown out the theory that, like the callousing from barefoot running in the first place which seems so counter to "conventional wisdom", that humans might be able to adapt to the cold weather as well. I know this kind of running — well, running in general — does improve foot circulation so it's not out-of-the-question to get to a point where I'm able to run in extremely cold conditions without danger or discomfort.
I headed down to Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) to check out the bands there. It's been a long time since I last visited — I think the last time was in July. Anyway, I had a great time … just like "old times". I talked with a friend of mine and he said that this was about as good as it gets. Usually it's just the usual crowd consisting of a fair number of heavy-drinking old metal heads. But even that has appeal and brings back memories — memories punctuated by missing parts, but memories nonetheless.
Anyway, the first band up was Cavalcade who played some solidly good hard rock. Old Boy followed them and were fantastic as usual. So far I've seen them twice and both times I was really blown away. I guess it pays to front a hard acoustic-rock band with three excellent guitarists and back it up with electric bass and a solid drummer.
Ali and I went to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see the Muppet Commercials and Experiments. Now I had pretty low expectations — in the past I've found that "early" and "experimental" means "boring except for a historical context". Thankfully it was all quite interesting and funny. I was once again amazed by Jim Henson's Time Piece. Ali and I had seen it before but we were surprised that we both forgot that we saw The Great Muppet Caper which was the only other time it's been shown at the Dryden in recent years — we were so certain that we actually argued that they must have played it some other time.
Anyway, Time Piece follows the abstract actions of a man played by Jim Henson as his life ticks away. It cleverly uses clockwork pacing and a snappy jazz soundtrack to bring humor, sexuality, and insight. It's one of those things that's worthwhile to check out if you ever should get the chance.
After the movie, Ali and I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and met up with our friend Stacie to see the bands playing that night.
I got in to see a few songs from Tiger Cried Beef and they always impress me. They're like gourmet vanilla: at first, you're like, "oh, I've seen this before," but then you get into the subtleties and think, "oh, yeah, but this can be really good." I also noticed that good ideas sprout from my spot leaning against the right-side speaker [with earplugs, by the way, which happen to serve two purposes: not blowing out my eardrums, and drowning out the distracting chatter.] It's not with every band or every time, but I find that poetry makes me think of stuff — you know, new things to do or work on.
Anyway, next up was The White Devils. This is Frank De Blase's band and for anybody who knows me, I have a mix of feelings about the guy. It usually comes out looking like disdain, but it's really more complicated than that.
See he's one of the main music writers for The City Newspaper so there's a certain amount of empathetic envy (or envious empathy) since I kind of do the same thing sometimes — the dichotomy comes from the fact that he gets paid for it, but I can see myself getting annoyed that it's often a shit job. I mean, sure you get paid to write about bands, but you also have to write fluffy pieces about bands you don't really care about, and you get slammed for being a critic by — in his case — your fellow musicians.
Now I've also met him a few times. A couple years ago, I remember having a nice chat about writing about music at California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.). He seemed like a nice guy, but either forgot who I was or didn't want to talk to me the next time I saw him. And again, I'm mixed on his response. On the one hand you can't be friends with everyone you meet, and not everybody can do that "such a nice guy front" (and I know I can't do it consistently). On the other, I think if you have a pleasant conversation with someone and you see them again, I kind of expect that there would be an inkling of recognition. But then I also know that it's hard to remember everyone. And then I hear from his friends that he's really a nice guy. And then I hear from his detractors that he's not a nice guy.
Worst of all is that I bother expending all this effort trying to accurately express how I feel about him when I don't really want to be friends with him [no offense, Frank, if you're reading this]. His band does a bluesy rock that I'm not a fan of. If I read him right, he's into pin-up culture and busty women; biker bars and greaser-chic. I'm just not into that stuff — none of it. It's just that we both happen to write about what's going on in town.
I guess the thing is that he's writing for City. And I assume there are lots of readers and most of them agree with Frank's assessment and preferences [logically I know this is a flawed assumption but I can't seem to convince my heart]. But I wish that this quantity of N readers (where N is really fucking large) would actually like the kind of stuff that I connect with. But then I think, "why? who cares?" I get unlimited latitude in what I feel like writing about and what I feel like putting on the events list. I'm not out to win any popularity contest because I'm unwilling to make that devil's deal trading "self" for "popular". I just figure there's got to be a way …
But anyway, his band is good, even if it's not the kind of music I'm into.
Closing things out that night was The Sadies who always put on a great show. It's all about the music although they look good doing it. And I really like them even though they play the country-cousin of bluesy-rock: rockabilly. Well, rockabilly with generous helpings of surf-rock thrown in. I feel bad because I don't have a lot of things to say about bands I like — I guess I figure it doesn't do much to try and explain in words what you hear-that-becomes-feel. Just sound and motion and an emotional connection, I guess. Oh, and fun. Lots of fun.
Ali and I got the wagon hitched up and headed to Country Pines Christmas Tree Farm (2481 Huber Rd., Fairport), right around the corner from her parents' house. We picked out a nice tree for her new house and new library and new front window. We got it set up that afternoon and Ali pretty much did all the trimming so it's just like she wanted.
During a discussion of behavioral policy-making, stating the challenge, "given any rule to control the behavior of others, I can show a way (1) how it can be circumvented, and (2) how it can be used to grab power" will inevitably lead to the parties-in-power proving it.
I realize it throws causality in a blender — one would never utter the challenge if the course of discussion were not already showing signs of heading in that direction. However, it seems uttering that specific challenge causes fate to intervene and ensure that a rule is used in both ways.
As proof, I offer two citations:
in the Burning Etiquette Yahoo! Group on October 4, 2007(with an earlier reference to an informal prototypical version on September 27, 2007 that said "it is impossible to create an algorithmic definition that prevents abuse-of-power and that has no loopholes. You can do it as an academic exercise yourself or try me — I'll tell you a way it can be abused and a way it can be worked around.")
In the former case, the discussion was centered on changing the moderation techniques of the Colorado-bm Burning Man discussion list. As it stood, the regional Burning Man representative Ronnie Nelson had taken action to censor one of the members — according to him it was at the request of several members of the community for "posting too much", although there was a clear conflict-of-interest in that he had an established personal disagreement with this particular member. A debate of policy ensued and he suggested that a separate discussion list be created for those parties interested in a new moderation policy. On September 24, 2007 he made a public promise to implement the rules created by the Burning Etiquette group — specifically that it was not a case of academic masturbation.
However, once we agreed on moderation guidelines, Nelson ignored the request to implement them. He then let the few detractors of the proposed changes run wild on the Colorado-bm group, making it seem that free speech needed to be restricted. Several people complained that the junk traffic was too much and quit the list because of it, but Nelson did nothing. In the end, he proved that a rule of responding to complaints of "too much traffic" could be circumvented (that detractors were allowed to run wild) and that it could be used to grab power (by holding it close to his chest as a threat to selectively silence voices supporting the guidelines.)
In the second, more recent case, a discussion began on a formal "acceptable use" policy for RocWiki. The author of the proposed policy, Phillip R. Hurwitz, had drafted it in response to then-undefined rules applied against him: specifically that comments could not be construed as harassing, offensive, or off-topic for the page. His claim is that you can't both be an open community and also have secret "admin" police who claim authority through secret rules. To force the issue, he tried to change his Acceptable Use Policy draft to state that it was a formal policy. RocWiki AdministratorRottenChester reverted these changes and locked Hurwitz from further changing the page. Another administrator, Dave Mahon went further and banned Hurwitz from changing the site at all for 48 hours as a "cooling off period."
There is a secret rule against threatening or harassing comments and edits as demonstrated above. However, this can be circumvented — for instance that veiled threats by BadFish on December 7, 2007 on Hurwitz's RocWiki page went unpunished. The administrators tend to believe that RocWiki is truly Democratic and the one person airing the hypocrisy of that notion is Hurwitz — and he has been conveniently silenced by Mahon's "cooling off period", demonstrating a grab for power.
Tonight at 5 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the opening for Political Art Originals and Award Winning Animation Videos/DVDs by Dave Puls. If you haven't seen his work, it's worth a look — he definitely has his own style.
Tonight at The Bunker (see source website for details on getting the address) is The Three-Legged Race, Caboladies, something like semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo, and noise-based loops and haunting voices from City Harvest Black starting around 9 p.m.
Carbon Records calendar]
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.
I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity.
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
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, December 13, 2007 (Thu, Dec 13, 2007, 12/13/2007, or 12/13/07) Friday, December 14, 2007 (Fri, Dec 14, 2007, 12/14/2007, or 12/14/07) Saturday, December 15, 2007 (Sat, Dec 15, 2007, 12/15/2007, or 12/15/07) Sunday, December 16, 2007 (Sun, Dec 16, 2007, 12/16/2007, or 12/16/07) Monday, December 17, 2007 (Mon, Dec 17, 2007, 12/17/2007, or 12/17/07) Tuesday, December 18, 2007 (Tue, Dec 18, 2007, 12/18/2007, or 12/18/07) and Wednesday, December 19, 2007 (Wed, Dec 19, 2007, 12/19/2007, or 12/19/07).
indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.
indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.
links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.
links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.