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Weekly Rochester Events #622 Starting Thursday, December 9, 2010

Thursday, December 2nd, 2010

Seeing Alison Bechdel Speak at RIT
by Jason Olshefsky at 8:00 pm (add a comment)

Although I also wanted to go see Ziggy Stardust and The Spiders From Mars at the Dryden, I opted for the irreproducible Caroline Werner Gannett Project lecture at RIT (One Lomb Memorial Dr., campus map) with Alison Bechdel. In all honesty, I know practically nothing about Bechdel, instead relying on my faith that the lecture series draws interesting people (perhaps TEDx Rochester could learn a few things.)

Anyway, she's a cartoonist — a self-described not-very-good writer and not-very-good artist that combine to form a rather excellent cartoonist. Her lecture was titled Drawing Words, Reading Pictures. If you had heard of her before, it's likely as a "lesbian cartoonist" with a long-running strip called Dykes to Watch Out For, or perhaps the misattributed Bechdel test for movies (conceived by her friend Liz Wallace and documented in a strip in 1985 … or so Wikipedia says).

She went into great detail about how she constructed one strip and quipped that you just need to repeat that a thousand times or so to make a book. She spoke a lot about her childhood, dovetailing into her most recent book, Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic. She spoke about her journal as a child where she began to realize that words alone were not adequate to relate an idea, adding small "I think" bubbles in sentences wherever meaning could be ambiguous. Later she started using a large caret-like gesture (^ only bigger) through words, and eventually discovered she could "protect a whole page" with one overlying notation. This eventually led her to using the comic form as a way to reduce ambiguity.

I was thoroughly excited by this notation. A growing panic and frustration develops inside me whenever I begin to discuss the utter inadequateness stemming from the bleeding ambiguity in language. I mean, "the sky is blue" makes perfect sense even though there are clouds that are part of the sky, or it might be the night sky, and blue … wow … I assure you it's not blue like my old Ford Escort which was also blue. So, stealing Bechdel's notation in typographic form, "the ^sky^ is ^blue^" makes much more sense to me. I had to ask if she finds that ambiguity relieved by cartooning (which she did) but I was more surprised at her surprise that I felt that way too. They had microphones up front, and when I was addressing her she probably took two steps back when I relayed essentially what I just wrote.

As such, I felt a kindred connection. I deduced who she was prior to the lecture (an easy task even though I'd never seen her photograph) and had felt that a bit already. I was warmed by the way she stepped partway up the auditorium to observe how the stage and computer projector were set up. And I was amused at a male crew-member gingerly adjusting her lapel microphone as if he were defusing a bomb.

In any case, I bought her book and had a chance to meet her and have her sign it. She even "^" notated my name and sketched her face with a cartoon bubble, "what is Jason really saying?", then with a wry smile added below, "we might never know." [Curiously, I recalled it from memory as "what is Jason saying really?", and "we may never know."]

I'm thoroughly enjoying the book. What I'm finding is that the cartoon format doesn't resolve ambiguity as much as it amplifies the ambiguous parts of the text. So like that "^" notation, it's another way to say, "this is how I think it happened, but you're never going to get it."

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    George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be hosting hteir Annual Holiday Homecoming Celebration from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. tonight. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    Although sold out as of Monday, The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) is hosting a Food Is Art fundraising event featuring local chefs strutting their stuff tonight at 6 p.m. [source: Rochester Contemporary calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight at 7 p.m. at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another meeting of The Bertrand Russell Society. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.), Peter Conners will present a lecture on his new book, White Hand Society: The Psychedelic Partnership of Timothy Leary & Allen Ginsberg at 7 p.m. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

    At tonight's Flowetic Rhythms at Gallery One Fine Arts in the Executive Building (36 W. Main St., suite #17) starting around 7:30 p.m. is First-timers Night hosted by Lu Highsmith, and David Haygood, Jr.. [source: Culture starts with ART! (CSWA) Yahoo! Group]

    Dave Rivello's 12-Piece Jazz Ensemble will be at The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

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

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) starting at 8 p.m. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is FreyaMySpace link, Order of EnneadMySpace link, WarbladeGarageBand linkMySpace link, and To the DeepMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) will be hosting The Skillet Lickers, Jeff Simpson, and Jeff Sherner starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]

    Tonight at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (300 Park Point Dr., #110) starting around 8 p.m. is Lovin' Cup Live Lounge. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]


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    Mike Brown plays Happy Hour tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) starting around 6 p.m. followed at 9:30 p.m. with A Cow-Punk Christmas by good country band Dang!MySpace link. [source: Abilene website]

    JayceLand Pick Over at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) starting around 6 p.m. is Where the Ocean Meets the SkyMySpace link. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick Today at The Frederick Douglass Resource Center (36 King St.) is a presentation of Pepsy Kettavong's latest work, Lynching in America starting at 6 p.m. [source: City Newspaper]

    Today from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Monroe Branch Library (809 Monroe Ave.) is its 80th Birthday Celebration. [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) will be screening The Devil Came on Horseback tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Baobab website]

    JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting fantastic, heavy, electric, lounge-folk from Auld Lang SyneMySpace link, Kingsley FloodMySpace link, and good acoustic soloist with echoes of Neil Young and Bob Dylan Electric OrganicMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    JayceLand Pick Electronic, quasi-noise musicians and humanizing performance artists The Bloody NoesMySpace link present their Third Annual Santanalia Pageant and Holiday Spectacular at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) — sure to be a superb and surreal variety show tonight at 8 p.m. Bring a dish to pass or a "wrapped 'gift' for under the tree (if you bring one you can take one)." [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Hotspot, See, and Forever Young starting at 8 p.m: 3 short films with filmmaker Robin Lehman on hand to discuss them. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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    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]

    Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting their Third Annual Hoppy Daze starting this afternoon at 3 p.m. featuring "obscure hoppy beers from all over." [source: Monty's Krown Facebook page] [21+]

    Starting at 5 p.m. tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is their Christmas Bash Part One featuring music by C'est Bon Cajun Dance Band, and nice, well-executed jazzy swing from Bobby Henrie and The GonersMySpace link. [source: Abilene website]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight starting around 8 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is the X-Mas Folk, Rock and Noise Show with The Years (members of the Blood and Bone Orchestra), the nicely harmonius rock band WalriMySpace link, Repeater, Mitch Jones and the ShockingMySpace link, and The Tortures. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick Today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) is a Participatory Drawing Mob. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar] [all ages]

    John W. Borek presents A Window on the Carrageenan at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) tonight at 8 p.m. [source: MuCCC website]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing North By Northwest starting at 8 p.m. — one of Alfred Hitchcock's best. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is good, amiable hard rock from The ClockmenMySpace link, good hard rock from The Cheetah WhoresMySpace link, Hotel ReverieMySpace link, and Gracious Sakes AliveMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Over at The Lovin' CupMySpace link (300 Park Point Dr., #110) starting around 9 p.m. is good country band Dang!MySpace link, and rockin' rockabilly from Krypton 88MySpace link. [source: Lovin' Cup calendar]


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    Holidays at the Market takes place today at The Rochester Public Market (280 Union St. N.) from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. [source: City Hall press release]

    Today at 10 a.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Pancake Breakfast with St. Nick and Santa. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Hearts and Crafts Indie Craft Market will be at Java's (16 Gibbs St.) today from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Today from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at The Chili Public Library (3333 Chili Ave.) is Ghost Ships of Lake Ontario: a discussion led by Jim Fischer. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

    Over at The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) starting around 2 p.m. is The East End Quartet. [source: City Hall press release] [all ages]

    The Silver Tones Flute Choir will play at today's Musicale at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

    Today at The Tap and Mallet (381 Gregory St.) kicks off their 12 Beers of Christmas celebration at 5 p.m. — a new release each day through the 23rd. [source: Tap and Mallet website]

    JayceLand Pick From 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at The Flying Squirrel Community Space (285 Clarissa St., formerly the Flower City Elks Lodge) is Make It Better: Putting the LGBTQ Suicides in Context. A camera will be available to record messages for The It Gets Better Project. [source: Flying Squirrel Community Space website]

    JayceLand Pick Today at The Multi-Use Community Cultural Center (MuCCC) (142 Atlantic Ave.) is a performance of Dutchman with play author Amiri Baraka starting at 5 p.m. with a reception following at The Baobab Cultural Center (728 University Ave., formerly on Gregory St.) [source: MuCCC website]

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    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Song Remains the Same starting at 7 p.m. featuring "rock-umentary" footage of Led ZeppelinMySpace link. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Over at The Bunker (see source website for details on getting the address) starting around 8 p.m. is Stare Case, Drainolith, Finkbeiner, SHED, and Scrappy Joe. [source: Carbon Records calendar]

    Today at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is a December to Dismember Vol II featuring Infernal AbyssMySpace link, PenetrationMySpace link, MalformedMySpace link, and Cain. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    Ali's Birthday

    I didn't find it in my usual perusal of the Eastman House website, but George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is apparently having a Photography Workshop on The Platinum Print: History and Technique today and tomorrow from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. [source: City Newspaper] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick Tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the Presentation of the Final Rochester Bicycle Master Plan in The Kate Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) [source: Rochester Cycling Alliance blog] [all ages]

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    JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) is Fan-TanMySpace link, JenningsMySpace link, and Gun Trouble starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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    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 The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Rude Boy starting at 8 p.m. According to the Eastman House calendar, "artfully merging real footage of The Clash with a fictional story concerning one of their most dedicated roadies, Rude Boy features unforgettable performances of 'White Riot,' 'I'm So Bored with the USA,' 'I Fought the Law' and many others, capturing Joe Strummer and his sneering punkish crew at their creative zenith." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting JuiceboxxxMySpace link, Jack Topht and The VegetablesMySpace link, and very good, experimentally-daring acoustic soloist Seth Faergolzia starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

    Tonight at Abilene Bar and Lounge (153 Liberty Pole Wy., formerly Tara) is Frank Zappa tribute band Ugly Radio RebellionMySpace link starting around 9 p.m. [source: Abilene website]


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    JayceLand Pick Today at 7 p.m. at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another Story Slam hosted by Carol Roberts. [source: the proverbial grapevine] [all ages]

    JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Get Crazy starting at 8 p.m. Again from the Eastman House calendar, "director Allan Arkush called upon his many years working for legendary New York rock club Fillmore East for this spoof that's every bit as funny and inspired as his Rock 'n' Roll High School." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

    Over at The Bug JarMySpace link (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. is The Reynolds, and LastNoteMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

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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, December 9, 2010 (Thu, Dec 9, 2010, 12/9/2010, or 12/9/10) Friday, December 10, 2010 (Fri, Dec 10, 2010, 12/10/2010, or 12/10/10) Saturday, December 11, 2010 (Sat, Dec 11, 2010, 12/11/2010, or 12/11/10) Sunday, December 12, 2010 (Sun, Dec 12, 2010, 12/12/2010, or 12/12/10) Monday, December 13, 2010 (Mon, Dec 13, 2010, 12/13/2010, or 12/13/10) Tuesday, December 14, 2010 (Tue, Dec 14, 2010, 12/14/2010, or 12/14/10) and Wednesday, December 15, 2010 (Wed, Dec 15, 2010, 12/15/2010, or 12/15/10).


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