I headed out to Spot Coffee (200 East Ave.) this morning to catch the Coffee With … event of The Rochester High Falls International Film Festival (RHFIFF). This event is one of the most consistent winners in my book — I enjoy getting to sit down and talk with creative people. It's always semi-controlled chaos as it's never certain who (among the filmmakers) will show up and who (among the festival goers) will show up so it might be just a handful, or it could be hundreds.
This time it was in-between. The meeting area was the upper balcony at Spot and there were about 40 people there total of which there were (I think) about 8 filmmakers. It was crowded and challenging — but so personal. I got to chat with a bunch of people including Donald Pusateri who was having a ball at the festival as the husband of filmmaker Maria Pusateri (whom I also met later) — she made Vito After about her brother-in-law Vito Friscia and his battle with health issues following being a first-responder at the 9/11 attacks. I also got to meet Alex Miltsch, the president of Rochester Park Studios (789 Elmgrove Rd.) — hopefully they'll do well, even if it's a risky venture.
My first film at The Rochester High Falls International Film Festival (RHFIFF) was Vito After — the documentary about Vito Friscia and his battle with health issues following being a first-responder at the 9/11 attacks. It was a very nice film about the man and increased awareness of the scope of the problem: both in the cops' unwillingness to answer surveys honestly from their self-sufficient tough-guy personae (Friscia is shown marking "no affect on quality of life" despite a nagging cough), and in the mystified medical professionals who have been unable to decipher solid answers from the deluge of illness and conditions. During the question-and-answer, Friscia was there along with filmmaker Maria Pusateri. She said that the group shown doing the research was running out of money and the federal government was not supplying more — in fact, this was the only mention in the film or the Q-and-A of the government; the movie refreshingly doesn't target blame on any group as it's simply not really knowable who is "to blame".
I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and tried not to miss any of the show. Unfortunately I arrived long after The Emotron had finished — Mose Giganticus was just taking the stage. They were great — a really fun snyth-rock band. Following up, The Mathematicians put on an excellent show. Their synth-driven sound covers things like rock, punk, and hip-hop seamlessly. Unfortunately they had some power problems and I got in on the fray [hopefully] being helpful and getting them to play one more song before an effects-pedal problem did them in — and I was so close to fixing that one too.
Since it was the first Friday in May, I was celebrating No Pants Day. I was wearing a dress shirt, sport coat, black socks, Italian leather shoes, and black boxer shorts. A laminated pink card dangled around my neck. I had lazily acquired from a volunteer at the office of The Rochester High Falls International Film Festival (RHFIFF) at the last possible moment. It said "Press".
To be perfectly frank, I'm not a follower of Thompson — I had heard of his "gonzo journalism" style and had read little of his blunt, often insightful style but knew little else. I even had a crummy, expensive burger at his former haunt, Woody Creek Tavern (2858 Woody Creek Rd., Aspen, CO), and knew several people living in and around Aspen when his ashes were blown out of a cannon.
We shuffled in to the theater once it was emptied of its former contents. I sat in the back corner of the lower area as I often do to avoid having to confront any obnoxious audience member. I watched as each person found their place. Younger hipster sycophants drifted to the upper, more secluded level while their older counterparts avoided the stairs and stayed on the lower level. Each group was desperate to acquire vicariously what can truly only be done in person: to have an interesting life.
That said, the movie itself was fascinating and fantastic, covering a an engaging subject with lots of archival footage, great music, great editing … the whole deal. Afterward they revealed it would be given a mid-sized theatrical release around July 4.
But I was more interested in the concept of shooting big guns. It seemed like a great way to relieve stress or something … there really isn't another way to put it because shooting guns is like a core experience unto itself. Just like there isn't another way to explain what it's like to smash something with a hammer. I figure guns are the same kind of thing, only you get to do it from farther away.
Well, that's not quite true. It was bland, unsatisfying Mexican food — "traditional" for people who think "traditional" means bland and unsatisfying. The drinks at the bar were adequate but a bit pricey, but the meal was quite expensive and only marginally enjoyable. I ordered the Chile Rellenos: (from the menu) "one stuffed with beef picadillo, the other with a corn medley, [then] oven roasted". I was irritated that the server made a point of saying something like "wow! isn't that a wonderful presentation?" — don't patronize me: I'll make my own decision on whether I think it's attractive or not. The roasting seemed to take all the characteristic flavor out of the chilies, leaving them not quite as flavorful as a roasted bell pepper. The beef picadillo wasn't bad, but the "corn medley" is a poor excuse for dumping corn and other unseasoned soup ingredients into the pepper … er … chile.
The Banana Licuados — a milk-based smoothie which I opted to add oatmeal to ("to make it really authentic!") — was really quite good. Ali and I experimented with our own rendition later. Although the server said the oatmeal was not cooked, I think it should be to allow the oats to dissolve with the milk.
Degan Has Been Secretly Been Kip Winger For Some Time[which, to be honest, may be several bands, but without punctuation or any reason, I'm going to assume it's just one big long band name] will be at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m.
Boulder Coffee MySpace site][all ages]
The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Die stille vor Bach(The Silence Before Bach) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. Quoting the Eastman Calendar's quote of Richard Brody of the New Yorker Magazine, the film "brings Bach's music to life with a mysterious, magnificent blend of drama, documentary, and quasi-surrealist whimsy. Beginning with a scene of a player piano rattling off the Goldberg Variation while rolling through a bright, bare loft, Portabella tickles the senses with a series of skits (while) a great and serious notion emerges: the construction of modern Europe on the basis of classical music".
Dryden Theater calendar][all ages]
I guess Andy Mac will be at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 — according to his site he'll be at Boulder while Jann Klose's site indicates he'll be at House of Hamez. (Prior to this, both performers were scheduled at Boulder ... who knows what's really going on ...)
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, May 8, 2008 (Thu, May 8, 2008, 5/8/2008, or 5/8/08) Friday, May 9, 2008 (Fri, May 9, 2008, 5/9/2008, or 5/9/08) Saturday, May 10, 2008 (Sat, May 10, 2008, 5/10/2008, or 5/10/08) Sunday, May 11, 2008 (Sun, May 11, 2008, 5/11/2008, or 5/11/08) Monday, May 12, 2008 (Mon, May 12, 2008, 5/12/2008, or 5/12/08) Tuesday, May 13, 2008 (Tue, May 13, 2008, 5/13/2008, or 5/13/08) and Wednesday, May 14, 2008 (Wed, May 14, 2008, 5/14/2008, or 5/14/08).
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.