Weekly Rochester Events #471 Starting Thursday, January 17, 2008

Saturday, January 12th, 2008

Brand Upon the Brain! at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (2 comments)

I went to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Brand Upon the Brain!. It was amazing. Afterward I told a guy I knew that I now needed to stare at a blank wall for 2 hours to understand what I just saw.

It opens with a straightforward premise: a man, Guy Maddin (the writer's alter-ego) is contacted by his dying mother to repaint his childhood home — a lighthouse and orphanage — so she can visit it again. But then it was a little odd in that it was essentially a silent film with narration that's divided into 12 chapters. It was also shot on a mix of 16mm and 8mm film then enlarged to the 35mm print we got to see. And it's in black-and-white except for a few splashes of color. And, although most shots run in linear time, some are punctuated with repetition, slow-motion, or brief flash-forward glimpses.

So Guy returns to fulfill his mother's wishes. However, he's overcome by memories and the film flashes back to recall his childhood. The grainy footage, editing techniques, sounds, and narration affect the romantic imprecision of memory: especially the uniquely childhood memories, formed out of imprecise opinions and blended seamlessly with fantasy. His father toils endlessly in the shop while his mother keeps watch on all the children from her lighthouse perch (and through the fanciful "Aerophone" communication device). Guy's childhood proto-sexuality is a mishmash of lust, solitude, and gender ambiguity.

In all, the effect is stupefying, like distilled nostalgia. The discolored, muted memory of living the first time through — of things that were intended to only be experienced for the first time, well, once. So to try and live the emotions again has this dirty, cold grayness — a harbinger to leave … or to paint a new coat on the past to make it go away. It's like our memories are scabs, begging to be picked at, yet punishing us for doing so … until they're ready.

So I left the movie with that feeling. Life in the past, death in the present. Remembering, forgetting. Smells you'd forgotten, the new scent of loss everywhere.

You know … too much beauty to take in all at once.

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Sunday, January 13th, 2008

Breakfast at the new Flour City Diner
by Jason Olshefsky at 10:30 am (add a comment)

Ali and I headed out to breakfast at Flour City Diner (2500 East Ave., formerly at 35 Chestnut St.) which has moved from their Chestnut Street location to the corner of East Avenue and Penfield Road — the Renaissance Apartments building just off 490. I think it's technically now in Brighton but, like all things suburban around here, it's still named after the city it abandoned.

We've found breakfast at the old location to be hit-or-miss. Generally the food quality was good but frequently the service left a lot to be desired. The new location is more of the same, only farther away [from us, at least, which is all that really matters]. I had the Cowboy Benedict which was eggs Benedict with steak — a good combination although a bit short on Hollandaise sauce.

I asked about credit cards and was told by our server that they are now accepted (they didn't used to be) but that cash is encouraged. I debated whether to go one way or another — I don't tend to carry much cash around, relying instead on moving money through plastic. I decided that if I got my coffee cup filled 3 times I would pay with cash.

Now what ever happened to that? Coffee refills, that is. I've noticed that Mount Hope Diner (1511 Mt. Hope Ave.) is particularly good about it, but other area diners seem to think that two cups is all you need. Well no, ma'am: keep it coming. Ideally, servers should have a coffee pot holster and be at-the-ready at any given moment to "warm up" a cup.

So I did get my 3rd refill, albeit long after we were done and from a different server. I ended up paying cash, but more because our server was so dreadfully slow that I was afraid we'd be there for another half-hour. And, you know — call me old fashioned [again] — but is it really too much to ask to be addressed and to have eye-contact when being spoken to? Our server seemed to always be telling us things while walking away.

So, to be honest, it's not all that different from when they were downtown. There are more seats (but apparently the same number of glasses and ketchup containers). Definitely a better-than-average diner, but I'm not sure if it's worth the trip.

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The Death of Hope
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:26 pm (add a comment)

I started thinking about how it's the start of 2008 and what I can be hopeful for. And by "hope", I'm referring to a "belief that things will be better in the future". Not necessarily a specific time period, but I guess "in my lifetime" or "reasonably soon". Something like that.

I watched this video on YouTube called How It All Ends by a high-school science teacher named Greg. In it he outlines the response to the possibility of global warming in terms of risk-assessment. Either global warming is happening and caused by us, or it isn't, and either we do something about it or do nothing. His argument is that there are two positive outcomes: we do nothing and the threat of global warming was false, or we do something and it was true but we fix it. However, if we do something and global warming wasn't happening then — the worst case — is that we have a large economic hit; if we do nothing and global warming is happening, then — the worst case again — is that there are floods, droughts, and famines on a scale humanity has never seen. His bet, therefore, is to just take the economic hit and not worry about it.

But remember the last "catastrophic event" that was to happen?: the Y2K bug. And what happened? Nothing. And why? Because we took the economic hit of fixing everything we could find. And what did people believe? It was all a lie to start with.

So likewise with global warming, if I'm out there saying "travel less" and "use less energy" and that becomes forced upon people and then nothing bad happens, people will simply believe that global warming was a myth. They'll blame us "global warming freaks" for ruining their lives. And then if catastrophe does strike, they'll blame us "global warming freaks" for doing the wrong thing and not fixing everything for them. Therefore, my best bet is to quietly go off and figure out how to live in the catastrophic post-global-warming world without being seen. But that's not really hopeful at all — it's just surviving disaster.

The catalyst for this post, though, was in trying to do taxes. I wanted to get my taxes done early because I'm self-employed and need to hand over checks to the U.S. Government on a regular basis. If I don't estimate correctly, I get hit with a huge fine. But I can avoid it entirely if I file by January 31 and pay everything I owe. The only problem is that the forms I need from my bank and mortgage company won't arrive until after January 31, so it would be essentially illegal to file before January 31. So I've got my fingers crossed that I won't get in trouble.

I really wish taxes were simpler, but it's only me and other small business owners that even see it. I remember puzzling about how bad it really was in the 1990's — after all, the company I worked for handled all the hard stuff, and at the end of the year I'd fill out a few lines on a 1040EZ and get a check in the mail. Awesome! What's wrong with that system?

But worse is that I actually write a check to the government. If I don't, I'd go to prison which I don't want to do. I don't want the government to kill more people in Iraq, but my voice is not represented in the U.S. Government — I still have to pay taxes, though. [And here I thought that's why we fought that big war 230 some-odd years ago against England.] My big lament, though, is that I voluntarily sign the check to pay fund the war. If I were just a regular working person, I could claim that I don't get a choice — that taxes automatically come out of my paycheck.

And it's not like we're getting out of Iraq any time soon. It's a question of "how many Iraqis do we need to kill before they believe in freedom?" The real answer is, "we are the problem," but W. doesn't believe in being wrong. By the way, what ever happened to Osama bin Laden? We apparently failed to hang him, so I can only imagine he's planning another 9/11. I don't see any hope at all on that whole situation.

It used to be fashionable to help the poor — to ensure they have food, shelter, and water. Somewhere along the way "shelter" got eliminated, so it was just to feed the poor, but lately it's food stamps and welfare that are crippling the country. And water? Well if you can't afford to buy the clean stuff in the bottles you deserve what you get. What's next, air?

What about providing youth programs to keep kids off the street? Nah: just get more police to shoot them when they form gangs and start killing people. Health care? Hopeless. Public education? Hopeless.

The other day I was riding home from the Public Market — I took my bike with the trailer to get stuff — and I went to turn onto my street. I had to get into the left lane and I didn't see anyone behind me. As I turned into the turn-lane, someone tried passing me just at that moment and broke off the mirror on my bike. I was less than an inch away from getting knocked off the bike, and barely a foot away from being killed.

But did they stop? Hell no. I was just an obstacle in their way — a nuisance. Probably some worthless beggar who'd be better off dead than alive. I mean, can you believe that I thought I was permitted to ride on the street? That's for cars, moron!

And so goes the last shred of human decency: that nearly killing someone else is okay — in fact, it was my fault anyway for making them decide whether they needed to touch their brakes.

With that goes the last of hope.

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JayceLand Pick This evening at 5:15 p.m. in the Gleason Auditorium of The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a Thursday Thinkers featuring Bob Spahn discussing The Earlier Springs, Later Falls. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) is another meeting of The Rochester Genealogical Society featuring a presentation by Roscoe Hastings on the Rochester Public Library Docent Program and the main presentation by Russ Cooper on Preprogramming Your Genealogy Research by providing tips to successful research. [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website] [all ages]

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Open History Reading Group to discuss historical topics. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Larry Merrill will be in The Auditorium at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) at 7 p.m. to discuss his works, Pedestrian Photographs, on display in the museum through January 31. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Tonight and tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. in the Alfred & Ida Hart Theater at The Jewish Community Center (JCC) (1200 Edgewood Ave.) is a performance of To Gillian On Her 37th Birthday by Everyone's Theatre Company. [source: Everyone's Theatre Company website]

Good modern acoustic rocker Cole BlairMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Out of the Past starting at 8 p.m. Continuing their "film noir" series, this one is "perhaps the definitive film noir." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight and every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. in the Learning Center at Brighton Memorial Library (2300 Elmwood Ave.) is a meeting of The Rochester Movie Makers Club [source: Rochester Film Lab Yahoo! Group]

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

This afternoon at 2:30 p.m. at New Health Café (133 Gregory St., formerly Saint Aubyn's House of Soups) is a meeting of We the People of Rochester, a group forming to organize activists "against NWO, war, and for world peace". [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

This evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Daniel Ward Salon (721 University Ave., formerly at 717 Park Ave.) is the opening reception for artwork by Nancy Coons titled About Face. [source: Craigslist Rochester events] [all ages]

At The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. is an exhibition of work by Meet the Photographer lecturers Walter Colley (see also The Animal Portrait), Andrew Davidhazy, Richard Margolis, Patricia Wilder, and Will Yurman. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

This evening at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) is a screening of Experience Africa! Roots, Rhythms and Drums about Ladysmith Black Mambazo. [source: Baobab website]

Tonight at The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) is father-and-son Ernie Lawrence and Andy Lawrence starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is The Butane Varations, The Meddlesome Meddlesome Meddlesome Bells, and One Hand Waving FreeMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Abel Raises Cain starting at 8 p.m., a documentary about hoaxter Alan Abel by his daughter Jenny Abel. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Equal=Grounds (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware) at 9 p.m. is Erotic Night and Open Mic. [source: Craigslist Rochester events] [all ages]

Fun 1960's-styled rock from The Hi-RisersMySpace link will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

The Elektrobank 1 Year Party will be at TiLT Nightclub and Ultralounge (444 Central Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. tonight. [source: WBER calendar] [21+]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Hassaan MackeyMySpace link probably starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is punk-rockish bar-rock from Burning DaylightGarageBand link, and good bar-rock with a country twang Blue JimmyGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Today at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.)is the opening of Not Forgotten: Rochester's Victims of Homicide in 2007. It will be on-view through March 2. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Today at 10:15 a.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is another Upstairs/Downstairs Tour for members. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Today at 12:15 p.m. and again at 1 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is a presentation of Krudco Blue, the third skate-video by KRUDCO. (83 Howell St.). [source: RocWiki calendar]

JayceLand Pick Peter and the WolfMySpace link, really good acoustic rocker Seth Faergolzia, and Colonel Parmisan will be at Casa Del Awesome (274 N. Goodman St., in the Village Gate, 3rd floor #D314) starting around 7 p.m. [source: Carbon Records calendar]

The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) will be hosting Songwriters In The Round with witty and accomplished acoustic soloist Brian Coughlin, Joe Crookston, and Fred Vine starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting The Highway LightsMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

This evening at 8 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is the opening party for Wild by Design: 200 Years of Innovation and Artistry in American Quilts. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tenor Madness featuring Ben BrittonMySpace link will be at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) starting at 9 p.m. Later at midnight is the After Hours Jam Session with The Quinn Lawrence TrioMySpace link. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the Record Release Show for gimmicky heavy-metal band BlüdwülfMySpace link, along with CrucifistMySpace link, Midnight, Attake, DefeatistMySpace link, and high quality heavy metal from Kalibas starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

TroykaMySpace link will be at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar] [21+]

Betty's Sing-a-Long is regularly scheduled at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10 but since September, 2007 people have reported they were closed.

Today at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. is a Going for Baroque performance by Lars Gjerde on the the Italian Baroque organ at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) then at 5:30 p.m. is a concert by Pegasus Early Music titled Italians in the Fountain Court. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing two films by Albert Lamorisse: Le ballon rouge (The Red Balloon) and Crin-Blanc (White Mane) starting at 2 p.m. and again at 7 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

This afternoon at 3 p.m. at Artisan Works (565 Blossom Rd.) is a performance by The Park Avenue Dance Company (15 Vick Park B) titled Moveable Words. [source: Craigslist Rochester events]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is the all-ages Record Release Show for BlüdwülfMySpace link with DefeatistMySpace link, and Kalibas starting around 6 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [all ages]

Fly the flag today.Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

The Fiery FurnacesMySpace link, and a perfection of clean, crisp rock-and-roll from Tiger Cried BeefMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. (The door charge is pretty high, so I guess somebody thinks these Furnaces are good.) [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's Game Night in The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.) features psychic readings. [source: Little Theatre e-mail]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sunshine starting at 8 p.m. in which a spaceship is sent from Earth to reignite the sun using nuclear missiles. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is Monolith, slower, cleaner metal from Orodruin, FormaldehydeGarageBand linkMySpace link, Lady HellraiserMySpace link, and Immortall. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing No Quarto da Vanda (In Vanda's Room) starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House Calendar, "Vanda [...] is a drug addict living with her sister, Zita, in a Lisbon slum undergoing demolition. Their tragic situation is given dignity by Costa's beautiful lighting." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is really good reggae/dub band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub SquadMySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Dead CatholicsMySpace link, and The Skull MaracasGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 10:30 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]

Every Wednesday starting at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Ride for bicyclists. [source: RocBike website]

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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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 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, January 17, 2008 (Thu, Jan 17, 2008, 1/17/2008, or 1/17/08) Friday, January 18, 2008 (Fri, Jan 18, 2008, 1/18/2008, or 1/18/08) Saturday, January 19, 2008 (Sat, Jan 19, 2008, 1/19/2008, or 1/19/08) Sunday, January 20, 2008 (Sun, Jan 20, 2008, 1/20/2008, or 1/20/08) Monday, January 21, 2008 (Mon, Jan 21, 2008, 1/21/2008, or 1/21/08) Tuesday, January 22, 2008 (Tue, Jan 22, 2008, 1/22/2008, or 1/22/08) and Wednesday, January 23, 2008 (Wed, Jan 23, 2008, 1/23/2008, or 1/23/08).

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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