Weekly Rochester Events #304: Years of Peter Faneuil

Thursday, November 4, 2004

As election day approached, I kept thinking about the time in 1980 when we all went to Albany to see Ronald Reagan campaign from a train ... back when New York meant something to Republicans. Now?: not so much.

Oh, my bad. I was thinking of the Real People Express in 1983. Anyway, I haven't been watching the news or anything. Heck, I didn't even bother to go vote on Tuesday — it was going to be a landslide ... Kerry won, right?

Ha, just kidding. We watched the whole thing at an election party (and yeah, I voted ... I even earned enough tokens from mostly guessing at trivia questions (one of the best things about Jan's parties) to get a copy of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart Presents America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction.) I'm not particularly happy about the election results, though, and I've been up-and-down afterward.

On the one hand, I share a feeling of disbelief with many of my friends — that the majorty of the country believes that Bush (or do I dare be so political to say CheneyRoveAshcroftBush) is the best man for the job after his record the past four years. I don't get it — maybe they really embrace the "fear-and-hate" lifestyle ... oh well.

On the other hand, I'm going to make the best of the next four years as I possibly can. I'm going to cure myself of this nagging faux-Catholic guilt (i.e. just as guilt-ridden without the Catholicism) and really celebrate my self in both body and spirit. I'm going to go way beyond tolerance and revere diversity.

I'm also going to refuse to join the Christian army (and the holy war it's declaring on all non-Christians and anybody who believes in enjoying their body and life that they've been given — by God or otherwise.) Hell, I'm going to actively fight against them. I can do anything with my self — mind, body, and life — and anybody else who wants to join in — anything. Self-righteous assholes who try to impose their beliefs on me can go fuck themselves — and I hope they actually like it.

Who's with me?

Speaking of New World Order Day's resolutions, I should also mention that I want to also start using words correctly more often. Two weeks ago I screwed up and used the word "anachronism" incorrectly ... nobody e-mailed me on it and I left its embarrassing misuse in place. Basically, it's among a small group of words that I either have the wrong definition in my head or I just don't quite grasp — I may know the definition, but usage is not very clear to me. Anyway, here's the list:

  • An anachronism is the result of deliberately rearranging events chronologically to elicit a different meaning. It's pretty obvious when you break it down Greek-wise: "not temporal." I tend to use it (as I did two weeks ago) to mean an archaic phrase or thing.
  • Deus ex machina constantly gets me in trouble because I can't seem to remember that it refers to an unlikely character in a story whose function is to fix a problem in the construction of the story. It also comes from Greek, referring to the "god from machine" — actors in a play lowered by machine to represent gods who fix a story.
  • Docent just seems weird to me because it seems like docile in my mind, but it means a university teacher or lecturer who's not part of the faculty, or a museum guide.
  • I generally get iconoclast to mean destroyer of icons (again from Greek, "one who breaks religious images.") or someone who attacks the established norm, but I just can't seem to remember in general usage. Every time it comes up, I have to really think about its meaning.
  • Kitsch trips me up ... I think it refers to things that are popular but frivolous when it's really sentimentality in bad taste ... I guess more like Robin Williams' movies in the 1990's.
  • I can't seem to remember moot (as an adjective) either. I'm sufficiently off-base using it to refer to something that is irrelevant to the current discussion when it's really describing something open for more extensive discussion and debate.
  • Pundit always screws me up. Although it's supposed to be a critic or someone with an opinion, I've got it in my head that it refers to "true believers" or people who blindly follow a particular belief. Too much doublespeak from watching FOX News, I guess.
  • Along the same lines, rhetoric stumps me. I blame doublespeak again: I can't seem to shake the idea that it refers to telling people exactly what they want to hear, but it's really just the skill of persuasive speaking.

Ok, so I did get out to some interesting things last week. First up on Thursday was the meeting for the Rochester Burners — people who have gone or are interested in The Burning Man Project (The Man, Black Rock City 2004, NV) — at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) which went okay. From there I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see TatYana and The Wills Wilde. I generally like both bands, but their Thrusday performance wasn't the best I've seen. TatYana, despite still pulling off some great experimental jazz seemed to be out of place in a venue like the Bug Jar ... maybe they need more intimacy — I guess I like them better in places without a stage so there seems to be more interaction. Wills Wilde had some technical problems which tainted their otherwise good performance.

On Friday I made it out to The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) for the opening of the MFA thesis project art show. Bonk Johnston's work titled Torn: Eastern State Penitentiary was about America's oldest penitentary, Eastern State Penitentary (2124 Fairmount Ave., Philadelphia, PA.) She wrote an introduction about how moved she was by the experience — the whole point of the prison was to deliberately treat prisoners inhumanely. Unfortunately, I didn't feel the same when viewing her photographs. She seemed to be trying to capture the desolation, isolation, and solitude of prison life, but since she took pictures of cells and areas that were crumbling and hadn't been used in years, it just seemed like "some old prison." As a photographer, I would have hunted for evidence that humanity was once there — scratches on the wall, for instance, or the inevitable ad hoc and pragmatic alterations such as holes chiseled through stone to add electric lighting — things like that.

I was pleased with Heather Wetzel's Without the Elephants which dealt with the ephemera left after the death of her grandmother — both the tangible and the emotional. (The elephants — which are not present at all — refer to the collection of elephant figurines her grandmother owned.) There were three exhibits. The first was made of waxed book pages curled as pedals of a flower then cut to resemble a bouquet, or the holder for one (and these 25 words do about a quarter percent justice to what a simple picture would provide.) I liked how this suggested a memorial of one's history by combining flowers and books. Next was my favorite: backlit glass-plate images with words etched into a layer of frosted glass behind them ... I don't have an analysis of what I liked so much, but the combination of liking and analysis-free ambiguity struck me positively. Last was waxed books with copper spikes driven through their pages to hold them open ... stuck at a particular page — again, an effective reminder of how death immediately freezes the actions that life would otherwise bring.

On Saturday, I wasn't up for costumey Halloween parties (nor on Sunday, which netted me a nice stomach ache from eating too much candy.) I went to see a true horror movie: S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine. I haven't done additional research, so I only know a little bit about the Khmer Rouge takeover (and subsequent control) of Cambodia in the 1970's. During that time, millions of people were declared to be enemies of the state where they were sent to prison, tortured, and usually killed. The movie brings several prisoners and several guards to the now vacant S21 prison — the harshest of them. I was moved that the prisoners — who had lost most or all of their family to executions — could scarcely contain their emotions when confronting the life they escaped 25 years prior. I was greatly disturbed that the former guards were unable to admit any wrongdoing — they were steadfast in their belief that they were following orders and that their actions were proper. I can imagine they must have been terrified as they pored over the records of former prisoners that any crack in their hardened facades of righteousness would immediately result in a complete emotional breakdown as they realized the horrors of their actions. I cannot grasp that these kinds of things can actually happen even though this happened within my lifetime, yet I'm troubled to see the seeds of such behavior sprouting in my own country.

Let's just say it really scared the shit out of me better than anybody in a rubber mask could.

Monday was a complete reversal of mood ... I got out to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see the show there. First up was 5 Watt Bulb who are a great example of what "punk-rock" means. Next was The EmersonsGarageBand link who brought out their own variety of high-power punk-rock. The oddball of the group was the country-ish rockabilly band Jackass who describe themselves as "hard core honky tonk." How they ended up touring with the The Groovie Ghoulies I'll never understand ... anyway, the Ghoulies finished things up and really kept the energy high with their ghoulish-themed punk-rock (although much more punk-ish than the other bands.) They had a great crowd for a Monday night: there was this one guy who hopped on the stage and succeeded at crowd surfing for a little bit — there were that many people there.

The big thing coming up is the The High Falls Film Festival which kicks off on Wednesday the 10th at The Inn On Broadway (26 Broadway St., across East from Scio.) There's already a couple things to try and get to see that day ... and I still haven't decided. At 7 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) Still Doing It: Intimate Lives of Women Over 65 about, well, women over 65 with active sex lives, and with a discussion with director Deirdre Fishel afterward. At 7:15 p.m. is another interesting looking film at the Little, Böse Zellen (Free Radicals) by Barbara Albert about an intertwined group of people and the way something that affects one of them affects them all. Also, there's the first of the Shorts Programs at 9:45 p.m. at the Little which includes DysEnchanted by Terri Miller about storybook heroines who are disappointed by what happened after "happily ever after."

What to do ... what to do.

  • The Yes Men (at The Little) - A couple guys pretend to be corporate "yes men" as part of a politically motivated artistic performance but are often mistaken for the real thing ...
  • Alfie - Pretty much an inferior copy of Alfie.
  • The Incredibles - Animated super-hero family ... you get the idea.

pulsoptional, and Joe+n will be at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) starting around 8 p.m. [source: artsound website]

Tonight at 6 p.m. at the Curtis Theatre in George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is the last of the Wish You Were Here Lectures featuring Eric Meola talking about his book The Last Places on Earth. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick At 5:30 p.m. today at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) Helene Robinson speaks on African art in the Auditorium. Later, at 7 p.m. is another lecture titled House Calls in Art: Depictions of the Doctor's Visit in 17th-Century Paintings presented by University of Rochester Medical Center professor, Dr. Stephanie Brown Clark. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar]

The Clarissa Room (293 Clarissa St., formerly Shep's Paradise) will be hosting Mark Cassara starting around 7:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Dan Melchior's Broke Revue, good fast rock from The Franks, and feminine-sex-power-rock band Yer Mom (formerly Your Mom) will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Twentieth Century starting at 8 p.m. A theater producer and an actress who don't get along are placed on the same train. Comedy ensues. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Pure Kona Poetry Open Mic Night is at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight starting at 7:30. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

Tonight at Murph's Irondequoit Pub (705 Titus Ave., formerly Irondequoit Town Lounge, next to the House of Guitars) is an Open Mic hosted by the talented acoustic soloist JoAnn Vaccaro starting around 8 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

A group exhibit of members' works titled Foundations opens tonight at 7 p.m. at The Community Darkroom at The Genesee Center for the Arts (713 Monroe Ave.) and runs through January 30. [source: Genesee Center for the Arts calendar]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 6 p.m. at the Curtis Theatre of George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a lecture titled the Celebration of Colorama featuring a reunion of Colorama (the large illuminated advertising images created by Kodak from the 1950's through the 1990's) photographers and models and discussing the new book Colorama: The World's Largest Photograph. [source: Eastman House calendar]

There's a Rochester Early Music Festival at St. Anne Church (1600 Mt. Hope Ave.) tonight starting at 7:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Ritskeller (One Lomb Memorial Dr., on RIT campus) is Nini Camps starting around 10 p.m. [source: RIT CAB calendar]

Lazlo Hollyfeld, very good jazzy instrumental 3-piece band Doja, and Jupiter 4H Project will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting excellent rock-and-roll from Low Ton, and tight, technical metal three-piece band Bailey, Mason, Lickers starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown calendar]

Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. is Sarva. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick O'Bagelo's, 165 State Street, noon.

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is excellent and amusing surf-rock band The Isotopes, tight, heavy punk-rock from The EmersonsGarageBand link, and excellent punk-rock from The Blastoffs. [source: Rochester Rock and Roll Yahoo! Group]

JayceLand Pick Over at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. is excellent acoustic soloist JoAnn Vaccaro. [source: band calendar]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is very good surf-rock influenced punk-rock band The PriestsGarageBand link, really funny gimmick band with a D&D motif (including "Futon the Wizard of Sounds") Goblet, and 1960's-style rock with a late '60'early '70's glam-rock vibe from St. Phillip's Escalator starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick The awesome cello-and-drums hard-rock band Break of RealityGarageBand link will be at The California Brew Haus (402 West Ridge Rd.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar]

Tonight at Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) is rock/power-pop, borderline-novelty band The BadenovsGarageBand link, and good fast rock from The Franks starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Whole Lotta Shakin' calendar]

Tonight at Jimmy Mac's (104 Platt St., at the Pont De Rennes Bridge) is the excellent reggae/DJ band Mountain Mojo Authority (click here to skip their annoying flash intro) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Tonight at Keys Martini and Piano Bar (233 Mill St., formerly Chrome Nightclub) is a Drag Revue starting at 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing American Splendor starting at 8 p.m. The real-life Harvey Pekar will be available to introduce and discuss this film about his life as an every-man comic book author. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Note that today from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. is the The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) annual Fall Record Show. [source: Bop Shop calendar]

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting a very early show with Fang!, Warsquad, C.T.S., and Caught in a Mosh starting around 5 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

This afternoon at 3 p.m. is the Eastman 150th Anniversary Lecture in the Curtis Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) titled Mr. Eastman's American Opera Company. [source: Eastman House calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) will be hosting another Dance Demonstration and Lecture this afternoon at 2 p.m. with Garth Fagan and a demonstration from Garth Fagan Dance. [source: Memorial Art Gallery calendar]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Spanish Earth starting at 5 p.m., a political film about the Spanish Civil War. Immediately following at 6:15 p.m. is Boefje (Little Rascal) about a street kid who's sent to a boys' school, escapes, and then feels remorse for returning to his old ways. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Tonight is the last night of 7 Sins with James Judd at Downstairs Cabaret (540 East Main St.) with shows at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. [source: Downstairs Cabaret calendar]

Veteran's Day (observed)

JayceLand Pick There will be another Eastman Musica Nova Ensemble performance tonight at 8 p.m. at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) featuring conductor Brad Lubman and guest composer Luca Francesconi presenting Ligeti's Chamber Concerto, Francesconi's Encore/Da capo, and Carter's A Mirror on Which to Dwell. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar]

JayceLand Pick There will be an auction of the printing and office equipment at Arrash Laser Print (1671 Penfield Rd.) today starting at 9 a.m. and conducted by The Reynolds Auction Company. [source: Reynold's Auction website]

JayceLand Pick This afternoon from 12:12 p.m. to 12:52 p.m. is another Books Sandwiched In in the Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) featuring retired Monroe County District Attorney Howard Relin discussing Ultimate Punishment : A Lawyer's Reflections on Dealing with the Death Penalty by Scott Turow (or click here to skip the annoying flash introduction). [source: Rochester Public Library calendar]

Tonight at Water Street Music Hall (204 N. Water St.) is 1980's band The Fixx, and high energy rock band The Earl Cram Revue starting around 8 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:45 p.m. is the okay rapid-fire, modern, metalish rock band Gentlemen's Club with some other bands not yet listed. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Laugh, Clown, Laugh starting at 8 p.m. A circus clown (played by Lon Chaney) starts falling in love with a girl he adopted at a younger age but who's now growing up. Live piano accompaniment by Philip C. Carli. [source: Eastman House calendar]

Not ready for mainstream Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) is hosting an Acoustic Open Mic from 8 to 10. For this one, there's no microphones and it's pretty open ended. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

In Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) tonight at 7 p.m. is another Rochester Poets Reading and Open Mike. [source: Writers and Books calendar]

JayceLand Pick The The High Falls Film Festival starts tonight ... opening ceremonies will be at The Inn On Broadway (26 Broadway St., across East from Scio) starting at 9:30 p.m.

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Not ready for mainstream Tonight from 8 to 10 is an Open-Mic Comedy Night at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) While once it was a workshop type of environment, it's now more-or-less a regular open mic ... by default it's still a place to try out new stuff. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

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Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com

About the title ... Peter Faneuil was born 304 years ago in 1700 and built Faneuil Hall (1 Faneuil Hall Market Pl., Boston, MA) in 1742.

This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including Monroe County and occasionally the Western New York region) from Thursday, November 4, 2004 thru Wednesday, November 10, 2004. It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. The musical styles listed can include 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.

JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

IUMA link links to a band's page on IUMA.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

Not ready for mainstream. is an event that is "non-entertainment" for the masses such as practice sessions, open jams, etc.

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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