Weekly Rochester Events #499 Starting Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thursday, July 24th, 2008

Vanishing Point at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:45 pm (add a comment)

Although it was a double feature, I decided to go late to see just Vanishing Point at Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.). On the surface, it was a simple tale of a guy running from the law in a fast car. But my take on it was that the guy — Kowalski — represented freedom itself. Super Soul — the black, blind DJ — seems to recognize this, and even spells it right out.

I found Kowalski's encounters on the road to be one-dimensional allegories where you can just substitute "freedom" for "Kowalski":

  • At every turn, the law is out to stop freedom.
  • The hippie couple gets along with freedom.
  • Racists try to stop Super Soul from talking about freedom.
  • The gay couple tries to rob freedom — perhaps out of desperation.
  • Freedom goes all over the desert.
  • The religious group sees freedom only as a malicious stranger.
  • When the law finally wins, freedom dies.

617 total views, 2 views today

Friday, July 25th, 2008

Breaking Away at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I biked to the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Breaking Away. A lot of people took advantage of their "promotion" to get $4 tickets if you rode a bike — after all, the film is about bicycling and the dreams of one guy to ride competitively.

Neither of us had seen the film before but we both enjoyed it a lot.  It's kind of funny, really — that the movie can be such a standard story of the underdogs triumphing, yet also come across refreshing and inspirational. Perhaps it's because the characters are so fully formed. More often than not, the characters are written from the perspective of a solitary writer, and as such, they end up being pretty closely aligned in personality. Of course, the college kids were pretty one-dimensional, but it was, after all, the story of the town kids more than anything.

658 total views, no views today

Saturday, July 26th, 2008

Burlesque for Bail and Other Debauchery
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (1 comment)

Ali and I walked over to The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) to check out Burlesque for Bail, the benefit show to raise money for bail for Unconventional Action protesters of the upcoming political conventions. The show was pretty fun although it was basically some musical acts and Burlesque-styled striptease.

At one point, one of the guys involved in the show asked for people's opinions of things around town and around the nation. Although the new police cameras brought loud jeering, I heard a lot of quiet support for them. In a later discussion with Ali and her friend, I tried arguing it logically, but I was frustrated: without any factual information, I was unable to do anything but an emotional appeal.

Although I said I choose freedom over safety, I think it's more that I choose freedom over inaccurate accounts of safety. I guess the working theory is that the cameras prevent criminal activity. The first flaw in that statement is that no police action prevents crime: police can only catch criminals after a crime has been committed.

But if I give credence at all to the crime-prevention theory, it's that criminals do not want to get caught so they will not commit crime where they will get caught. As such, the cameras cause crime to move away from the cameras. In other words, if it were possible to locate crimes before and after the cameras, my theory is that the crime rate would stay relatively steady but that fewer crimes would be committed in range of the cameras.

So in the end, I argue that it doesn't reduce crime at all.

On the other side of the coin, the cameras can be used to break up protests. For instance, if an anti-war protest were held (or even a Critical Mass Bike Ride or any group of different-enough looking people for that matter), the cameras can be used to record the identities of the attendees and round them up later. Although protesting is not a crime, protesters I've met in this jingoistic, militarized country tend to be quite paranoid. As such, they behave like the criminals and would want to move protests away from the cameras. Unfortunately, protests are necessarily in those areas, as the cameras were placed where people tend to congregate — a protest is worthless if nobody is there to see it.

Thus, in my mind, the cameras prevent no crime and disrupt freedom and are therefore a bad thing.

Everyone who supports the camera believes that they do prevent crime and that they are overall a benefit — and why should they not?, for I can offer no hard evidence. So I think that what I should do is to test their theory. I'll go hang out in front of the cameras with, say, a laptop computer. If the cameras do prevent crime, then I'll go home after a couple hours. If they don't, then there's a chance I'd be robbed.

I suspect that wouldn't be sufficient — for if I were robbed, I might witness a demand for more cameras — after all, if one camera failed to prevent a crime, then perhaps two will work better, and I really don't want to see that. So I'll just fight the robber and hopefully get killed in the process. Then, either I'll be a martyr to the cause of freedom, or things will get worse but I won't have to deal with it.

I'll probably do it after Burning Man though because I kind of want to go to that first.

Anyhow, back to Saturday night …

Ali and I headed to The Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory St.) for a beer. She got her head set that we'd get Mark's plates at the end of the evening, and that would require some serious drinking. We had some wine at Solera Wine BarMySpace link (647 South Ave.) then headed across to Lux LoungeMySpace link (666 South Ave.) where we ran into some friends. We spent the bulk of the evening and four of us went to Mark's Texas Hots (487 Monroe Ave.) I discovered what may be the most awesome plate ever: rather than burgers or hots, I got two over-easy eggs. Damn that was a great plate. I think that it might be improved with the addition of brown gravy (or "gravies" as the kids say) … and just possibly — and I say this only as an experiment to try, not to blaspheme — without the meat sauce, onions, and mustard.

Perhaps next time, then …

1,224 total views, no views today

Frank De Blase will be at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) tonight at 6 p.m. to give a photography lecture titled Peel and Squeal Appeal. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Otto Henderberg Square Park (Fountain St. and Avon Pl.) is The Swillburg Carnival — to celebrate The National Night Out Against Crime from 5:30 p.m. to dusk. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association e-mail] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The French Connection starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting witty guitarist and ... umm ... ukeleleist The BicycatsMySpace link, and WalriMySpace link starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Tonight at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) is wicked fun percussion-and-saxophone dominated jam band The BuddhaHoodMySpace 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]

Tonight is another First Fridays around art galleries downtown starting around 5 p.m. [source: First Friday website]

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is the opening of a new exhibition titled State of the City which runs through September 21. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Today from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Studio 354 in The Hungerford Building (1115 E. Main St.) — use door 1 — is Good is Dead by Jason Bimber. [source: First Friday website]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at The Method Lab (650 South Ave.) is the opening reception for A Tibetan Pilgrimage: photographs by Mary Ferrigno. [source: City Newspaper]

The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) will be hosting Critical TheoryGarageBand link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Russkiy kovcheg (Russian Ark) starting at 8 p.m. It's an impressive history of Russia and the Soviet Union done in one continuous shot through The State Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg, Russia). [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at Nazareth Academy (1001 Lake Ave.) is the premiere performance of the "green" musical Earth on Strike, A Peace Child Production. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is an Open Mic Poetry Reading with featured poet Jeremy Fernaays. [source: First Friday website]

JayceLand Pick Julia NunesMySpace link will be at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abeline website]

RedLine Zydeco will be at The Keg (315 Gregory St., behind German House where Rohrbach's used to be) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Golden Link website]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is Inugami, and The ClockmenMySpace link. [source: band calendar] [21+]

Tonight and tomorrow at The High Falls Gorge (Platt St at Browns Race, the Pont De Rennes Bridge) starting around 9:30 p.m. is the River of Light Laser Show. [source: City Hall press release]

Today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. is the The Park Avenue Festival (Park Ave. at Alexander St. to Culver Rd.) [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

Over at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. is Chris Squire, and Steve Roth. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing La France starting at 8 p.m. The Eastman House calendar says, "the less you know ahead of time about this unique and unpredictable creation, the more satisfying the journey," so I'll only add that it's set in World War I. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is 1960's-style rock with a late '60'early '70's glam-rock vibe from St. Phillip's Escalator, and The Found. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is a Community Garage Sale and Super Flea Sale at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) [source: City Hall press release]

Today at 2 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a What's Up Lecture with Jessica Marten discussing Untitled by Alfred Leslie. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Complex, hard-hitting, mid-tempo rock band HungnessMySpace link (formerly Kill Myself on Monday) will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting early around 7 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Crime and Punishment starting at 7 p.m. followed by Stranger on the Third Floor at 8:45 p.m. — two classic, early examples of film noir. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Ganon, The Pax CeciliaMySpace link, and 8 Eyes will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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 Join some people from MEETinROCHESTERMySpace link to Give Yoga a Try For Free from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

Updated: Tonight at Eastmoreland Commons (Eastmoreland Dr. at Shelbourne Rd.) is The Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association's National Night Out Against Crime event starting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Upper Mount Hope Neighborhood Association e-mail] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Giù la testa (A Fistful of Dynamite, or Duck, You Sucker) starting at 8 p.m. Ok, right back to the Eastman House calendar: "Little seen and previously only available in butchered versions, this underappreciated Leone Western stars James Coburn as an Irish terrorist trying to flee from his bitter past in the aftermath of the Mexican Revolution, and Rod Steiger plays a crude Mexican peasant who robs banks to liberate political prisoners." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is punk-rock/bar-rock with some excellent guitar work from The SpacesMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Aqueduct Park (E. Main St. and Graves St., by the river) will be hosting Virgil CainGarageBand linkMySpace link starting around 12 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Updated: Make and Take Gourmet's (1475 E. Henrietta Road) Taste of August has been inexplicably rescheduled to tomorrow. [source: Make and Take Gourmet website]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Roman Holiday starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting Matt and KimMySpace link, and great, synthy high-energy rock from Ice Cream SocialMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Monroe Village Farmers' Market runs from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the parking lot of The Church of the Blessed Sacrament (534 Oxford St.) [source: Eat Out Rochester]

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]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at Abeline Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is an Open Mic with The Grand Canyon Rescue EpisodeMySpace link. [source: Abeline website]

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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, July 31, 2008 (Thu, Jul 31, 2008, 7/31/2008, or 7/31/08) Friday, August 1, 2008 (Fri, Aug 1, 2008, 8/1/2008, or 8/1/08) Saturday, August 2, 2008 (Sat, Aug 2, 2008, 8/2/2008, or 8/2/08) Sunday, August 3, 2008 (Sun, Aug 3, 2008, 8/3/2008, or 8/3/08) Monday, August 4, 2008 (Mon, Aug 4, 2008, 8/4/2008, or 8/4/08) Tuesday, August 5, 2008 (Tue, Aug 5, 2008, 8/5/2008, or 8/5/08) and Wednesday, August 6, 2008 (Wed, Aug 6, 2008, 8/6/2008, or 8/6/08).

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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