About JayceLand's Weekly Rochester Events

Introduction

Occasionally someone works up enough gumption to write to me to ask what this page is all about. My usual response is a quick press of the "Delete" button. It works out very efficient for me. However, the question still remains.

Lately I've been disenfranchised with work and decided to take a few minutes while a ton of files copy and write up a bit of a description. You can see just how important it is to explain myself.

Boring Site Details

I update the site on Wednesday night. The old version goes in the archive and the new one takes its place. I set up the weekly.jayceland.com domain because it was easier to type in. It just redirects you to http://jayceland.com/LunchNStuff/index.html. In the 2003-Feb-13 update I did away with the old home page (well moved it to where the link goes) and set up the JayceLand.com home to go to the weekly update.

There's a little bit of JavaScript code that does two things. First, it adds a link in the upper-right navigation that says "Jump to Today." This updates when you refresh the page and clicking on it will drop you down to the current day. Second, there's a highlight over the current day of the week. Today's day of the week is highlighted in cyan from midnight on that day until 2am the next day since that's when the bars close. Two days get highlighted between midnight and two. If you have JavaScript turned off, that's what you're missing. I sometimes add a little snippet of JavaScript here and there but mostly nothing.

There used to be JavaScript to for HitsLink.com to assess web traffic but I have since stopped using that service. There's more information on this in the HitsLink question in the FAQ.

Here's some boring nerd stuff ... the site is built with an Apple Macintosh ... currently a PowerBook FireWire G3. I have a FileMaker Pro database that holds all the events. I can put stuff in far in advance and just forget about it. I have a custom-written AppleScript that pulls from the database and creates the HTML page. There's no style sheets or XML, just straight, table-formatted HTML.

Picking Events

This site is currently my view of events in Rochester, NY. I choose events based on whether I'd like to go to them. Some of it is movies at the Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) comedy events, theater, but most of all is music.

Oh yeah, and I'll mention karaoke. I started going out and met some people in bands in October of 1999 at Drinks by Mary Dawn (535 S. Clinton) "Sugar Bear" (Ted, I think is is real name) was the DJ and is a really nice guy. Lately he's been franchising and has four or five people all over town on any given night. As of 2003 sometime, I pretty much dropped mentioning it.

I get a fair number of questions asking why I don't like Milestones (170 East Ave.) In general, my experiences at Milestones make me believe their ideal customer is one who walks in, puts money on the bar, and leaves. Everyone else is encouraged to behave that way as best they can ... it's certainly not a place that's in it for the music or in it for the customer ... here's some reasons why I think so:

  • The person at the door never knows what bands are playing, who has played, or how many have played.
  • The bar is situated so close to the stage that it's nearly impossible to order a drink.
  • There is a railing around the outside of the bar opposite the bar that could be flat, but it's sloped to prevent people from setting their drinks down.
  • They don't adjust to the size of the crowd — if the tables are out but 400 people show up, the tables stay and the crowd has to stand way in the back or outside on the patio.
  • The cup sizes vary from day-to-day but the prices stay the same ... sometimes you get a 12 ounce plastic cup of Guinness, sometimes you get a 16-ounce cup, or a pint, or a Guinness 20 ounce pint.
  • When the band is done, the bar closes. It might be barely 11:30, but you better pack it up and get out.

All places have their problems, but Milestones pretty much has every one I can think of. Thus, I'll generally not go there unless it's a particularly great or rare show. The consistent things I'll go see are Jerseyband and Jonathan RichmanMP3 link both of whom seem to always end up at Milestones.

As of February, 2007, Milestones switched ownership and became High FidelityMySpace link (170 East Ave., formerly Milestones) which is a much more tolearable venue. I have yet to see if I really like it or not, but on my first visit it was better.

Picking Music

For the most part, I pick the bands based on the following:

  1. They're really good and I want to see them.
  2. They're pretty good and playing at a decent venue.
  3. I haven't seen the band before but they're playing at a venue that has a history of decent bands.
  4. Someone told me they were good.
  5. They're okay but have promise.
  6. They're friends of mine or just nice folks.
  7. There's nothing better to do.

I'm not necessarily interested in one particular kind of music. I like to see people perform from the heart. I like to see passion. See, when I'm watching a live performance, I want it to be different from listening to a recording. There's a lot of bands out there who are very talented musicians but play with "no soul." To get on a stage, they've really got to be actors — and good ones at that. An all original band is better than an all cover band. Covers have their place, but they're the prop-comedy of the music world — an easy way to get a crowd on your side.

What else ... professionalism is important too. Nothing is a bigger turn-off for a band than when they complain about the audience. You know ... "hey, why aren't you all dancing" or "we're working hard up here — why aren't you?" That sort of thing. As the audience, it's our job to reflect back what we feel. We're not actors and aren't there to make you feel good, but we will reflect what we really feel, so if you're not seeing any energy back, either everybody is pissed off or you're not making us feel energetic.

Although I don't necessarily dislike any particular kind of music, some styles are more favored than others. I'll tend to prefer bands that are higher on the list than lower.

  • (any kind of innovator)
  • punk and punk-rock
  • rock-and-roll
  • experimental
  • noise bands
  • ska
  • acoustic
  • blues
  • rockabilly
  • jazz
  • modern rock or "generic alterna-rock"
  • groove rock songs
  • rap
  • country
  • groove rock jams

I added groove rock jams to the bottom of the list. In point of fact, I hate that. In my mind, groove rock is the flowing repetitive kind of music of bands like the Grateful Dead ... for each instrument, there's a melody to that repeats but at a different interval than the other instruments, so you get a sliding repetition. The jamming part is when all but one member plays a simple riff and the selected soloist then goes off on some rambling melody and "noodles around" on their instrument. I don't necessarily have anything against that, but if I'm there to be entertained, they'd better be so good that I collapse into orgasm right then and there. In reality, this is never true.

Oh yeah, and experimental music and noise bands. These two things are almost often interchangeable terms. To me, this is the precursor to the bleeding edge of music. It's the research and development labs of the music world. Experimental bands go out and tinker with making noise out of anything and in any way they can. A lot of it sounds really bad, but you'll often see these techniques get incorporated into regular bands sometime down the road. I get a kick out of that.

Some miscellaneous notes on the genre list ... I couldn't tell you the difference between rock-and-roll and modern rock other than maybe modern rock copies the styles of popular artists while rock-and-roll is both somewhat more specific and a somewhat more generic category. Country rarely gets me going — I think part of the definition of the genre is a regimented song structure and that you have to sing with a twang.

History

For our regular viewers, they will certainly find most of this desciription familiar as it comes from a bit I wrote for the 100th issue on December 7, 2000. Well, I decided to put it in reverse-chronological order for quasi-clarity, and as a list so it won't seem so familiar after all.

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