Weekly Rochester Events #525 Starting Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

Chae Hawk and Secret Secret Dino Club at the Bug Jar
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:00 pm (add a comment)

I headed out to The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) to see Chae HawkMySpace link, and The Secret Secret Dino ClubMySpace link. Okay, actually I went specifically because Secret Secret Dino Club is headed by a guy named Jayce, born just before I left high school and not far from where I grew up (according to the MySpace page). [That, and I'm writing this far later than I had intended so some people might miss it entirely.]

Anyway, the show was kicked off with a DJ along with a video projection. The Secret Secret Dino ClubMySpace link was up first and did some fun and clever hip-hop. Chae HawkMySpace link brought some stuff that was a little … oh, I don't know … less whimsical? — but similar nonetheless. The crowd was much younger than I was (except for some parental-looking folks) and this style of music is kind of new to me. It's an exercise in overstimulation — between the prerecorded music for the performers, the live performance, the video projection, and a DJ adding in a couple turntables, it can get to be a bit overwhelming. But somehow it all stays coherent, and with a thoroughly rough edge — kind of like an extension of the gritty garage sound of the 1960's and the punk sound of the 1970's, this is the gritty sound of the generation with access to cheap digital replication and editing.

As for Jayce, I stopped after the show and said hi. He said he's usually met by black women who share his name, and I'm the first guy. My own nickname was cemented by the presence of the cartoon show Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors during high school (and for you geeky trivia nuts [you know who you are], none other than J. Michael Straczynski wrote 13 episodes, according to IMDb). I told Jayce this and he said he was also named after a cartoon — presumably the same one. How weird is that? And who'd have thought that 20 years after naming a kid that that he'd end up 3 hours away from home and run into someone who got the same name from the same place.  But he's going to have to keep looking because I'm not his father.

1,125 total views, no views today

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire at the Little
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:10 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I went to The Little (240 East Ave.) to see The Wrestler. Unfortunately, I had collected show-times from several weeks prior and didn't realize the Little changed them every week — we were a bit early as it was, and we'd have to wait about an hour. Instead, we opted to see Slumdog Millionaire.

The movie was quite good. In case you've been on a media vacation for the last 6 months, it's about a young man named Jamal who grew up in the slums of Mumbai, India. He has attained the position of serving tea at (if I remember correctly) a call center for-hire and gets his way onto the show Kaun Banega Crorepati?, the Indian version of Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?.

The host of the show openly mocks his past — being a tea-server and growing up in the slums — and he is surprised that Jamal begins answering questions right. Every question, in fact. He's so surprised that he has Jamal taken to the police and interrogated. And here is where most of the film takes place: through flashback to events in his life to explain how he learned the answers.

In a way, it calls to the triviality of knowing trivia — that knowing the answers to arbitrary fact-based questions is not correlated with one's class, job, or past. Also, if someone has a wide breadth of experiences in their life, they will necessarily fare pretty well on such a contest, while those who typically excel have deliberately dedicated effort to the act of learning facts.

As the movie goes, the first act is full of the horrors of the slums, the second shows the ingenuity of Jamal, his brother, and another girl as they struggle to survive: all having lost their parents. The third act is sweet confection for the audience as it turns into a John Hughes film (his good ones in the 1980's, at least), complete with a musical montage (and with the added bonus of a Bollywood dance number over the credits).

Overall, I thought it was a good movie: enough substance to make it thought-provoking, all the while with an eye to entertainment.

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Sunday, January 25th, 2009

Seeing The Wrestler at the Little
by Jason Olshefsky at 1:00 pm (add a comment)

In our second attempt, Ali and I succeeded in catching The Wrestler at The Little (240 East Ave.) The basic story is that of a wrestler named Randy "The Ram" Robinson 20 years after his prime, and showing it.

Anyone who has a single calling that requires the physical attributes of youth faces a crisis when those attributes fade, be it an athlete or a roofer. The film's documentary style lingers on the desperate and sobering moments in Randy's life and I'm having trouble articulating my reaction to that. I guess at the core is pity and hopelessness: that I could see no way to help the character out of his present downward spiral, and I had no idea what would work for him.

Obviously, if he had planned ahead 20 years ago, perhaps saving some money or building other skills, he wouldn't be in this position. But once the train of your life gets momentum on tracks that don't lead anywhere good, what do you do? I guess making money where you can, hanging out with a stripper at the end of her career, and waiting to die might just be the only thing to do.

Overall we both enjoyed the film quite a bit.  It's a parable to the dangers of nostalgia — of lingering on the past just a little too long.  As such, I kind of left with a melancholic heart … with the tainted promise of past joy.

758 total views, no views today

Timecrimes at the Dryden
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (add a comment)

As Ali wasn't interested in the plot, I went by myself to The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see Los cronocrímenes (Timecrimes). By this time, I was starting to feel like I was in one of Dayna Papaleo's bad weeks: a continuous stream of movies, one after another, that just become a blur.

Anyway, as time-travel stories go, this one was rather unusual in that the ramifications of going back in time are seemingly completely resolved, if at great expense. The protagonist, Hector, starts out the film in an (apparently) satisfactory relationship with his wife at (apparently) a house they just moved into. Hector is perusing the landscape with his binoculars when his wife leaves to run a few errands. In a nearby clearing, he spies a woman undressing so (naturally?) he goes to investigate. Once he finds the girl, he's attacked by a man with a fully bandaged head. He escapes to the shelter of a facility of some kind, and finds the sole weekend occupant who inexplicably ushers him into a chamber that sends him back an hour-or-so into the past.

He again meets the technician — who's naturally surprised to meet him for the first time — and the technician explains that he must not do anything until he gets back to the point where he left from earlier … er … later. Hector, however, has other plans: he wants to stop himself from getting attacked. In the process, though, he ends up with quite a head injury and realizes he's the guy who attacked himself.

Well, things go from bad to worse, to worse again. Just one Hector was clumsy enough, but having three of them exist in the same hour just leads to disaster. He thankfully figures out how to get all the events to play out without need for further trips back in time.

So what's the point? I'm not sure. Maybe a tale about not being malicious. Maybe it's just a clever story. And maybe it's as simple as this: if you've got a wife and see a sexy young woman undressing, just stay away.

748 total views, 1 views today

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Dinner at the Dinosaur and The House in Hydesville at Geva
by Jason Olshefsky at 6:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I braved the snow and cold to get dinner at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) It was nice to get there when it was quiet. The food, of course, is very good. Personally, I prefer Sticky Lips Pit BBQ (625 Culver Rd.), but to be honest, they are both very good.

The real point of this trip, though, is that we bought advance tickets to see The House in Hydesville at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) and they never close due to weather, at least according to the person I talked to at the box office earlier today. Indeed, it was performed (although lacking the after-play discussion as the lecturer was stuck in Livingston County.)

As for the play itself, well, it was kind of disappointing. I guess I was expecting it to be more spooky. The scenes that were supposed to be spooky were indeed spooky, but it was more a tale of a family struggling to stay together. Blah, blah, blah — I've seen that many times before, and with more richly drawn characters to boot. I will say the set was fantastic (although not as impressive from the balcony), and the acting was generally good (but not exceptional).

It seemed to be written from a skeptic's perspective. So rather than playing with the heat generated by the mysterious circumstances and lack of verifiable factual information, it quenches all the fun. It was extra disappointing because a great amount of tension developed during the first half that was wasted in the second. In all it was a shrug-inducing experience. "Eh."

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This afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is a program titled Music for All. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Road House starting early at 7 p.m. followed by The Hitch-Hiker at 8:45 p.m. — a pair of film noirs. In the first, a singer comes between two enemies. In the second, a couple hunters are held hostage by the hitch-hiker. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting One Right TurnMySpace link, and Drexel & the BootleggersMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Drinking Liberally will meet tonight at a "new" location — Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) — starting around 8:30 p.m. [source: Drinking Liberally e-mail]

The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) will be hosting The Strange String Quartet starting around 9 p.m. [source: Lovin' Cup Myspace page]

Tonight at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) is the opening reception for Perspective by John Solberg from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. It will be on display through February 22. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is the opening reception for The Festival of 24 Things — a photography exhibition where each photographer was given the same set of 24 words and they created one photo per word. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6:30 p.m. is the closing reception of Three Hearts by Lisa Marie Barber at The Firehouse Gallery in The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

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

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Tony Brown and the FaithfulMySpace link, and SwatiMySpace link. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Solidly good bar-rock from Burning DaylightGarageBand link, and really good, dynamic acoustic soloist/band Jesse SprinkleMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [18+]

Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) will be hosting The Eastman Philharmonia starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

Top Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Trouble the Water starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. It's a documentary constructed in large part from footage shot by a couple escaping the rising flood waters of Hurricane Katrina. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 9 p.m. at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Beats 4 Boards by KRUDCO. (83 Howell St.) [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Top Pick Today at 9 p.m. at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is the January Thaw Concert in celebration of the late Tony Cavagnaro's birthday. His former band, the wicked fun percussion-and-saxophone dominated jam band The BuddhaHoodMySpace link will perform with Sleeping GiantMySpace link and The Word of the Day. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

Over at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) starting around 10 p.m. is The Rubblebucket OrchestraMySpace link. [source: Lovin' Cup Myspace page]

Tonight probably starting around 7 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the Subversive Komedy Fest. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Today from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is a program titled Morning Chamber Music. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Pool starting at early at 7 p.m. and again tomorrow at 7 p.m. Here's the Eastman House calendar description: "The director of American Movie has returned with a genuinely heartwarming, humanistic, and remarkably unsentimental work of neorealist fiction. In Goa, India, 18-year-old Venkatesh just barely earns a living cleaning out hotel rooms and selling plastic bags. When he meets the upper-class family who own the glimmering swimming pool he longs to dive into, Venkatesh sees the possibility to escape from his tough existence." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Village Idiots Present (VIP) will be performing The BIG Game tonight at 7:30 p.m. [source: Village Idiots Present website]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. is really talented guitarist Kinloch Nelson, witty acoustic soloist Maria Gillard, clear, bright, quick-witted soloist Allen Power, and Dawn Thompson. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is Nathaniel SeerMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.) will be hosting Ben Lawler starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [18+]

Top Pick Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is great, somewhat mellow rock-and-roll from HinkleyMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

JatobaMySpace link, and good jam-acoustic rock with a strong gritty voice from Kevin MacConkeyMySpace link will be at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Lovin' Cup Myspace page]

JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is WalriMySpace link, Hotel ReverieMySpace link, and The FrogbotsMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) is an Art Show with works by Adriana Meiss. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Today at 2 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a What's Up Lecture with Sydney Greaves discussing Alison Saar's Maquette for Swing Low. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

Groundhog Day

Updated: Tonight at 7 p.m. is an Open Mic followed by a Percussion Explosion with Khalid Abdul N'Faly Saleem at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) [I'm not sure if Water Street changed their calendar, or if I just made a typo ...] [source: band e-mail] [16+]

JayceLand Pick The Eastman Wind Ensemble will be at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

This evening at 7 p.m. in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a screening of Anyone and Everyone about parents dealing with having homosexual children. [source: Gay Alliance website] [all ages]

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.

Top Pick Today at 12:12 p.m. in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is a Tuesday Topics discussion with David Cay Johnston explaining The Credit Crisis: Your Wallet and Wall Street. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight's meeting of The Rochester Speculative Literature Association (R-SPEC) at 7 p.m. at Barnes & Noble (3349 Monroe Ave.) features Dr. Martin Zand discussing Bioterrorism in the Future. [source: R-SPEC Google Group]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Black Moses of Soul starting at 8 p.m. — rare concert footage of the late Isaac HayesMySpace link. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight is the another of the Snow Cheap Trail Races starting at 6 p.m. at Riley Lodge in Cobb's Hill Park (Norton Dr., softball diamonds near 490). Sign up through Fleet Feet Sports (2210 Monroe Ave.) [source: City Hall press release]

Updated: The February Tasting Party is not at Make and Take Gourmet (1475 E. Henrietta Road) because that location is closed. Rather, I got a message from Make and Take Gourmet of Victor (6 Commerce Drive, Victor) and they are hosting the tasting at 6:30 p.m. [source: Make and Take Gourmet website]

Over at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting at 8 p.m. is The Eastman Wind Orchestra [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Sud sanaeha (Blissfully Yours) starting at 8 p.m. From the Eastman House calendar once again: "In modern Bangkok, two women are planning to help an illegal Burmese immigrant search for a job; instead, they find themselves entangled in a sexual odyssey in the middle of the jungle." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick No Sheers TedMySpace link, and Bodega RadioMySpace link will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) will be hosting Miss TessMySpace link, and The Bon Ton Pararde starting around 9 p.m. — possibly including, possibly replacing the open mic. [source: Abilene website]

Updated: Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is Open Mic Groove Night featuring RedLine Zydeco starting at 9:15 p.m. [source: band e-mail] [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]

Tonight at The Comedy Club (2235 Empire Blvd., Webster) is a Comedy Open Mic with Michael GatelyMySpace link. [source: Comedy Club website]

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, January 29, 2009 (Thu, Jan 29, 2009, 1/29/2009, or 1/29/09) Friday, January 30, 2009 (Fri, Jan 30, 2009, 1/30/2009, or 1/30/09) Saturday, January 31, 2009 (Sat, Jan 31, 2009, 1/31/2009, or 1/31/09) Sunday, February 1, 2009 (Sun, Feb 1, 2009, 2/1/2009, or 2/1/09) Monday, February 2, 2009 (Mon, Feb 2, 2009, 2/2/2009, or 2/2/09) Tuesday, February 3, 2009 (Tue, Feb 3, 2009, 2/3/2009, or 2/3/09) and Wednesday, February 4, 2009 (Wed, Feb 4, 2009, 2/4/2009, or 2/4/09).

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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