Weekly Rochester Events #535 Starting Thursday, April 9, 2009

Monday, April 6th, 2009

Maira Kalman at RIT
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

I headed to RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) to see Maira Kalman speak as part of The Caroline Werner Gannett Project. As far as I can tell, she's a respected artist who generally paints with a feeling of childlike innocent observation. The title of her talk was Just Looking — and I understood that to refer to the act of looking without distraction, without thinking, and without judging. Her discussion was very similar to her TED Lecture, "Maira Kalman, the illustrated woman" in case you'd like to see for yourself.

Overall I found her to be charming, witty, and kind-of irritating. She's has a disarming self-defacing kind of demeanor at this lecture — for instance, she referred to her art as "just a side thing", claiming that cleaning is her main task in life. I felt as though she gets a lot of credit for observing the small things in life that go unnoticed by the seeming majority of people. And that group, I think, finds her observations incredibly fascinating. But I, well — not so much. This kind of observation is not particularly new to me, and pretty integral to my way of life.

She also seemed to take great pride in not knowing anything — something I disliked on two levels.

First, I think it's a philosophy that attracts bad communists. By that, I mean that there is a certain kind of person who has little in the way of skills, but who feels entitled to be cared for by others. And by skills, I mean not only job-worthy skills of the day, but basic functional survival skills.

In this day and age, it's somewhat irrelevant, because despite what people who write books about winning say, this is a plentiful age. As such, "survival of the fittest" is not relevant today — we're in the equilibrium between the punctuating of the punctuated equilibrium theory of evolution. It's only during those times of dramatic hardship that hoarding and winning against your neighbor is necessary.

And so these people are not "entitled" but "lucky". True: there is a certain amount of luck to surviving when a volcano erupts and causes a tremendous change in the world's climate, but knowing how to purify water, prepare food, and build reliable shelter are things that would shift your chances of surviving. "Knowing nothing" won't help you nearly as much.

Second, the whole claim to "not knowing" is a lie. She knows full well how to observe, how to paint, how to filter the finest grains of the world — all things that show in her work. I think her point might be that "knowing" is not the be-all, end-all of existence. "Doing" is another significant part of a rewarding life — for "doing" is the only success there is; "not doing" the only failure.

But by focusing on the "not knowing", there is another kind of person who irritates me who embraces that meme: those who argue that knowledge is a folly. They're frequently also lousy communists, but occasionally they're just philosophers who are too deep in the rabbit hole. The basis for their argument is irrefutable: you cannot predict the future. If you can't predict the future, then any knowledge is barely a guess as to what's going to happen — so why try with this whole "knowing" thing at all when it's just a recording of the way things happened before?

It would be a disturbing day indeed if I had a basket of six apples and put three more in, only to find there were now 4,388 apples in the basket. But until that day, there will be nine apples in the basket. So as long as metal conducts electricity, and gravity is pretty much constant, and I can catch a ball, and the Internet does what the Internet did, I'll stick with knowing.

The trick, I think — and my interpretation of Kalman's talk — is to be able to turn it all off. It's a fascinating exercise to see the world not as objects in space, but as strangely behaving colors and shapes. To look at a tree and just see it as a trunk that splits and splits and splits ultimately into tiny twigs is good. To live in that world of wonder all the time … eh, not so much.

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The Bertrand Russell Society meets tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) at 7 p.m. to discuss Great Feuds on Mathematics: Russell vs. Poincare with guest lecturer Howard A. Blair. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Topkapi starting at 8 p.m. — "a lighthearted caper that transports us to the exotic land of Turkey." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The Blackened BluesMySpace link, and Stone Spoon BaboonMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: WBER calendar]

Tonight at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (Jefferson Rd. and John St. at 300 Park Point Dr., Suite 110) is The ThangMySpace link, and Extended FamilyMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]

Tonight at an undisclosed location (contact Joe at Carbon Records to get invited) is The Hunted CreaturesMySpace link, NatureMySpace link, Tumul, and Torus. [source: Carbon Records e-mail]

Pure Kona Open Mic Poetry will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) tonight starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) at 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. for happy hour is The Electro KingsMySpace link followed by The All Hank BandMySpace link at 10 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.) is Madeline ForsterMySpace link starting around 7 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site]

Self — an exhibit of photographs featuring works by Mark Carpenter, Monika Ueffinger, Jeno Horvath, Gilbert Maker, and Pavel Romaniko opens tonight from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) and runs through May 17. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

MEETinROCHESTERMySpace link's Official Monthly Mingler Happy Hour is at The Distillery (1142 Mount Hope Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7:30 p.m., Village Idiots Present (VIP) will perform Catch 23 and then tomorrow at 7:30 p.m., it's Gorilla Theatre. [source: Village Idiots Present website]

The Ruckus Juice Jug StompersMySpace link, and Gypsy Dave and the StumpjumpersGarageBand linkMySpace link will be at The Mez CaféMySpace link (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

Bodhi's Cafe & LoungeMySpace link (274 Goodman St. N., in Village Gate) will be hosting really talented guitarist Kinloch Nelson starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bodhi's Cafe MySpace page]

11 N 2MySpace 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 Le clan des siciliens (The Sicilian Clan) starting at 8 p.m. and again on Sunday at 7 p.m. The film brings together French tough-guy actors for a jewel-thieving caper. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting really good reggae/dub band Giant Panda Guerilla Dub SquadMySpace link, and Adonai and IMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

Anderson Alley Artists (250 Goodman St. N.) will be having another open house this and every second Saturday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.), Robert Hillary King will discuss how he was recently declared innocent of crimes that led to his spending the last 29 years in prison. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Examined Life starting earlier-than-usual today at 7 p.m. and again on Sunday at 5 p.m. It's apparently a documentary on modern philosophers, interviewing each in appropriate or ironic locales. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Mez CaféMySpace link (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) is Fred Vine, and Brian Williams starting around 8 p.m. [source: Mez website] [all ages]

Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) will be hosting Strange MontgomeryMySpace link, and The Mugwump Soul starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

Miss Tess and The Bon Ton ParardeMySpace link will be at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

Over at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (955 Genesee St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Bloodline. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [18+]

Top Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is The Lovesick HeartstabbersMySpace link, gospel satire from The Lobster QuadrilleMySpace link, and tight-ass, lightning-fast rock-and-roll from The MotorpsychosMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Rock band Nod will perform tonight at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. along with a screening of film featuring early electric guitar use. [source: Carbon Records e-mail] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Shilpa Ray and Her Happy HookersMySpace link, CartrightGarageBand linkMySpace link, and Gun Trouble will be at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Geva (75 Woodbury Blvd.) as part of the What's Next — Plays in Progress series is a reading of Gingerbread House by Jennifer Haley at 7:30 p.m. [source: Geva Theatre website]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) is The Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble starting at 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Hotel ReverieMySpace link, Ian Downey is FamousMySpace link, and Dreams from GinMySpace link 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 Today from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is another Books Sandwiched-In. This time, M. Ann Howard will review Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need A Green Revolution — And How It Can Renew America by Thomas L. Friedman. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7 p.m. is the Artists' Talks for the Masters Invitation show at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

If booze isn't so much your game, the Official New Member Coffee for MEETinROCHESTERMySpace link is tonight at 6:30 p.m. at Equal=GroundsMySpace link (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware). [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at 7 p.m. at The Printing and Book Arts Center at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) is a Book Arts Guild Meeting — the second meeting, so get in on the "ground floor" and check it out. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Tortilla Flat starting at 8 p.m. Dispensing with plot points, I'll just cite the interesting bit from the Eastman House calendar: "this adaptation of John Steinbeck's novel provided Fleming and his cast a rare opportunity to create particularly atmospheric and believable characters with the material." Oh, and it's Members' Night too, so if you're a member, you get in free. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting We Are Hex, and very tight modern rock band VeluxeMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

Over at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. is really good blues-charged rock-and-roll from Buford and the Smoking Section. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

Tax Day

Joey Ramone died, 2001

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Iskanderija ... lih? (Alexandria ... Why?) starting at 8 p.m. An autobiographical film that explores the national history of India with a Hollywood flair. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

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]

The Comedy UndergroundMySpace link will be at The Mez (389 Gregory St., formerly House of Hamez and Daily Perks) tonight at 8 p.m. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

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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, April 9, 2009 (Thu, Apr 9, 2009, 4/9/2009, or 4/9/09) Friday, April 10, 2009 (Fri, Apr 10, 2009, 4/10/2009, or 4/10/09) Saturday, April 11, 2009 (Sat, Apr 11, 2009, 4/11/2009, or 4/11/09) Sunday, April 12, 2009 (Sun, Apr 12, 2009, 4/12/2009, or 4/12/09) Monday, April 13, 2009 (Mon, Apr 13, 2009, 4/13/2009, or 4/13/09) Tuesday, April 14, 2009 (Tue, Apr 14, 2009, 4/14/2009, or 4/14/09) and Wednesday, April 15, 2009 (Wed, Apr 15, 2009, 4/15/2009, or 4/15/09).

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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