Weekly Rochester Events #487 Starting Thursday, May 8, 2008

Thursday, May 1st, 2008

Coffee With … Beautiful Chaos
by Jason Olshefsky at 10:02 am (add a comment)

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.

And — as certain as I am to run into festival director Catherine Wyler herself was Jerry Stoeffhaas, Deputy Director of The New York Governor's Office for Motion Picture and Television Development and Nora Brown, Assistant Director of The Rochester/Finger Lakes Film and Video Office.

3,143 total views, 3 views today

Vito [Friscia] After [being a 9/11 first responder]
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:45 pm (add a comment)

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".

745 total views, no views today

Mose Giganticus and The Mathematicians at the Bug Jar (sorry, Emotron)
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:45 pm (add a comment)

I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) and tried not to miss any of the show. Unfortunately I arrived long after The EmotronMySpace link had finished — Mose GiganticusGarageBand linkMySpace link was just taking the stage. They were great — a really fun snyth-rock band. Following up, The MathematiciansMySpace link 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.

611 total views, no views today

Friday, May 2nd, 2008

A documentary about Hunter S. Thompson
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:45 pm (add a comment)

I arrived at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) a bit early and was instructed to segregate myself around a barrier. On one side was the line of souls waiting to buy tickets for this night's screening Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. I stood on the other, alone — at least for the moment.

Since it was the first Friday in May, I was celebrating No Pants DayMySpace link. 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.

And there's fire involved.

676 total views, no views today

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

The Blue Cactus artlessly combines traditional Mexican ingredients
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:05 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I thought we'd try The Blue Cactus Mexican Grille (5 Liftbridge Ln. E., Fairport) to see how its "traditional Mexican cuisine" compares.

It was awful.

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.

1,367 total views, 1 views today

V-E Day

JayceLand Pick The Bertrand Russell Society meets tonight at 7 p.m. in Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.). John Zeis will discuss Theology, Falsification and Anthony Flew. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a lecture on American Impressionism by Nancy Mowll Mathews titled Mary Cassatt's Parisian Fashions starting at 7 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

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.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) 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 Straight Out of Brooklyn starting at 8 p.m. — a realistic look at a Brooklyn ghetto. Actor Larry Gilliard, Jr. will be on hand to discuss the film. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Septicemia, Beyond This DayMySpace link, and CrucifistMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Tonight at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) is the rocking rockabilly of Krypton 88MySpace link starting around 10 p.m. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

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

Lilac Festival begins today.

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 8 p.m. is Dos Hombres. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick Accordion-and-musically-played-crosscut-saw duo Dreamland Faces will be at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) at 8 p.m. to provide music for dozens of unusual short films from the Eastman House archive. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the kickoff of Chef's Days at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) featuring an Iron Chef-styled cooking contest. [source: City Hall press release]

This afternoon starting around 6 p.m. at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) is a Pig Roast with Latin music by DJ Frankie. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

JayceLand Pick Over at Potential Life StudiosMySpace link (34 Elton St.) starting around 7 p.m. is Inward Becomes an AnthemMySpace link, Stone BabyMySpace link, and jbuonaccMySpace link. [source: band e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Updated: The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) — not Boulder Coffee — will be hosting Jann KloseMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick 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". [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Updated: I guess Andy MacMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (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 ...) [source: band calendar]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is The Electric Prunes, gritty, wild rock from Handsome JackGarageBand linkMySpace link, and The Apostles Of The Hidden SonGarageBand linkMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Tonight at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) is The Stone BelieverMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown MySpace page] [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.

Fly the flag today.Mother's Day

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting early today around 12 p.m. is Auld Lang Syng. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Quinn Lawrence TrioMySpace link, and The Herb Smith QuartetMySpace link will be at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) starting around 3 p.m. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

Tonight at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) starting at 6 p.m. is a meeting of Rochester Unconventional Action "inviting activists to a discussion of strategies for actions during civil disobedience". Then at 7 p.m. is a Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation for Peace in 1870. [source: Community Biking Alliance message board]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Mother starting at 7 p.m. Albert Brooks plays a writer who moves in with his mother to try and figure out what went wrong with his past relationships with women. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Demons, semi-melodic fast-paced noise from Pengo, drone-noise from Sick Llama, and Helicoptre Sanglante starting around 9:30 p.m. [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.

JayceLand Pick Today at 12 p.m., Dr. Julie Wosk will be in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) to present her lecture titled Alluring Androids and Robots in Film, Photography and Art. [source: City Hall press release]

Top Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. at WXXI (280 State St.) is a taping of WXXI's OnStage featuring the stage-show and surf-rock outfit The IsotopesMySpace link. [source: WXXI website]

DubblestuffGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) 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 Too Late Blues starting at 8 p.m. in which a pianist tries to stay true to jazz with the help of a singer. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is simple, mid-fi melodic synth-and-vocals from Roger HoustonMySpace link, good "horror movie soundtrack" hard rock from J. G. BlizaroMySpace link, and good, heavy rock and acoustic from Trees Are DownMySpace link starting around 10 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 Dogtown Hots (691 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Wednesday Night Cruise (for bicyclists). [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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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, 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).

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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