Weekly Rochester Events #331: John Milton Lost

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Unfortuantely I don't really have much commentary on anything in particular. I suspect writer's block and have been trying some crazy stuff. I loaded my humidifier with bouillon but only had some awesome soup-related dreams. Heck, I even pulled out a random idea from the file to see if that would spark anything but to no avail. Hopefully there's some spark of a related thought throughout this week, but I'm in no state to decipher it and spell it all out.

This weekend was entirely spent watching the short films at The Rochester International Film Festival at the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.), so let me go ahead and give spoilers for most of them (consider yourselves warned.)

Starting things off on Thursday, I liked three of the narratives. The Adventures of Arthur Conan Doyle by Michael Vaingauz and Erynn Midwall was hilarious. The gist is that Arthur Conan Doyle kills of his Sherlock Holmes character, infuriating his publisher and fans. In response, his daughters are kidnapped, so he tries to solve the mystery à la Holmes. The only trouble is, he's incompetent — for instance, he destroys the ransom note without even reading it by applying alcohol as part of an experiment then igniting it with a candle. Next was Juliet by Kristina Jessica Doyle. It was a horror suspense film with a young girl house-sitting and she hears noises through the house. It's spooky, funny, and has a surprise twist ending. I don't seem to mind twist endings in short films ... maybe it's like the shaggy dog joke versus a basic pun: the former longer version is annoying while the shorter version is more tolerable, even if the twist isn't as strong. The Sky is Falling by Adam J. Kreps was also hilarious. A bellboy at a hotel is charged with stopping the black-Friday-depressed guests from leaping from the roof by his boss. Oh, and he's also courting the woman working as receptionist. Anyway, the comedy comes from the clever ways he saves the guests ... particularly one of them hell-bent on suicide.

At Friday's show, I still didn't get the hang of The Meaning of Life by Don Hertzfeldt (also at Internet Movie Database). I'm starting to think the reviewer on IMDb who found it "so beautiful [they] cried" was a shill ... I tried to cry, but found it entirely cry-free. I had also seen Dave Puls' Parallel Worlds before: on Monday at The Little (240 East Ave.) but I was pleased that it was even more powerful the second time around. I was a little surprised, since it's not a subtle piece at all, blatantly condemning the American actions at Abu Ghriab, yet there was some part I must have missed on the first telling. Sailing for Madagascar by Tom Oesch was quite powerful although fitting a typical genre of short film: the heavy-handed moral tale. In short, a girl befriends a Japanese boy, but his grandfather is killed by patriots/bigots after Pearl Harbor and he's taken away. Lamia by Katerina Slantcheva was a good thriller. Basically an artist is realizing his own insanity and repression through painting a model — the non-linear editing of the story integrated well with the disconcerting tone. Hunting Camp by John C. Lyons was a tale of jealousy that slowly revealed itself. There were a few twists, and I think a few too many toward the end, but the core story was the strong point. I thought Rainbow's End by Chris Mancini and Bill McCullough was a great short film: a good demonstration of filmmaking ability and funny and entertaining to boot! Oh, and it's got a leprechaun!

With a lot of hard biking, I managed to just make it to the 4:00 show on Saturday.

The Murder of William Lyman by Michael Keene was an interesting retelling of the true story of Rochester's first murder victim — I'd hoped for it to be reenacted, but it was done as sketches with voiceover readings of the actual court-recorded testimony. This kind of thing always reminds me of how not far we've come: the whole courtroom testimony was brimming with Christian false virtuousness. Tokyo Equinox by Yuri Makino was a beautiful and touching modern video of sisters reuniting with their long-lost father. Ordinarily, I wouldn't be enamored of in-camera video techniques, but the occasional use of the slow-shutter speed feature really worked. If You Step on a Crack by Jennifer Atkins was a bit bittersweet but at least hopeful in the end ... a woman will get the results of a breast cancer biopsy and finally figures out how to relax about it.

After dinner at California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) I made it back for the 8:00 final show. Sophie Matisse, a New York Painter by Christine Lombard was an interesting documentary about the titular artist who does reproductions of famous paintings without the people. Someone commented to me that they didn't like it, and I had to agree that it got a bit too repetetive. Golf by Casper Frank and Talia Raine took the efficient and effective approach of introducing the audience to a guy whose life is plagued by people yelling at him then, just as quickly, gets to the end where it's revealed that his release is through golf. This Moment by Leena Pendharkar was a somewhat heavy-handed view of people's prejudices, opinions, and rituals. Then again, this is the kind of thing people face quite often. Death as a Tango by Valerie C. Plimpton was pretty cool but left on a bit of a down note ... a girl with a degenerative disease tries committing suicide and ultimately succeeds ... I think ... either that, or she doesn't ... not a very lasting impression. The cinematography on the dance sequences was great, as were the sequences themselves. Oedipus by Jason Wishnow was a pretty cute animation of vegetables playing out the classic story. I was disappointed the titular potato didn't remove its eyes, but just stabbed itself. Anyway, the really spectacular piece for the whole festival was Fields of Mudan by Stevo. The story follows one child sex slave who has hope in her fantasies, but it all crumbles to hopelessness. I could have cried so easily over this one.

That was basically it until Tuesday when I went to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) Starting things off was Roger Houston who played down-tempo medium-fi synth-pop — a description that took a few iterations to make. The other Houston that night, Houston Bernard did the gayest, over-sexxed, white-boy hip hop I've ever seen ... as if I've seen a lot of gay, over-sexxed, white-boy hip hop at all. Finishing things off (and less gay) was GaybotMySpace link who put on this wild show of chaotic music with movies projected behind them and all ... I can't begin to explain ... they even had some guy from the audience (a "volunteer") tied up with packing tape.

  • Palindromes (at The Little) - A young girl tries to get pregnant, but a tornado sweeps her to a strange other land.
  • Walk on Water (at The Little) - A hardened assassin regains some of his humanity, forcing him to confront his lifestyle.
  • Kicking & Screaming - Some Will Ferrell thing about sports or something.
  • Mindhunters - Good minds are nearly extinct in America, but if you're a good hunter, you can bag the last one!
  • Monster-in-Law - Huh huh. Mothers-in-law are mean. Huh huh.
  • Unleashed - A guy is raised in slavery as a fighter and then some other stuff happens.

This afternoon from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. at The First Universalist Church of Rochester (150 South Clinton Ave.) is a concert of Mothers' Voices featuring soprano Eileen Strempel and pianist Sylvie Beaudette. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Memorial Art Gallery (500 University Ave., near Goodman St.) starting at 7 p.m. in the Auditorium is a lecture by Nancy Gong about her architectural stained glass works. [source: University of Rochester Events Calendar] [all ages]

Molly Bingham will give a lecture titled The Story Unfolds in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) tonight at 6 p.m. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.) starting at 7 p.m. is the monthly The Rochester Genealogical Society meeting featuring Lowell "Ozzie" Salyards speaking on Passenger Lists, Immigration Records and Naturalization Records and their annual Stump the Experts panel. [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website]

Footage, and Last ConservativeGarageBand linkIUMA linkMySpace link will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Top Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is The Raven SocietyMySpace link, excellent nerdy math-themed power-pop band The Mathematicians, and great fast-rock from The Franks starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime] [21+]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Bad Seed starting at 8 p.m. And the moral is: cute kids are evil. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

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

Lilac Festival begins today.

JayceLand Pick Over at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) starting around 8 p.m. is Blue Cloud, Indigo Moon. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

Tonight from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. is the opening of Watershed: A Community Cares for its Land, an exhibition by Christine Sevilla at The Center at High Falls Fine Art Gallery (70 Brown's Race.) The exhibit runs until July 4. [source: Arts and Cultural Council e-mail]

Devon Trumell will be at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Over at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. is awesome punk-rock band The QUiTTERSGarageBand link, great rock-and-roll from The Grinders, and nearly-novelty rock/power-pop band The BadenovsGarageBand link. [source: GaragePop Records website] [21+]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Inside Deep Throat starting at 8 p.m. Duh ... a documentary looking inside the most famous porno of all time: Deep Throat. [source: Eastman House calendar] [18+]

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

JayceLand Pick Wicked fun percussive groove-rock band The BuddhaHood will be at Eastman Savings and Loan Stage (Highland Ave. near South Ave.) at The Lilac Festival, starting around 6:30 p.m. [source: Rochester Music Coalition calendar] [all ages]

Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) will be having their Second Saturday Jazz Session hosted by Tim Sullivan starting around 8 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Ave.) is Nipplepalooza featuring novelty act (known for his song "Frank's Not in the Band Anymore") Worm QuartetMySpace link near-novelty, various-styled band Powered by Satan, and Pisspot the RabbitMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is great sounding punk-rock from The Staggers, The AssaultGarageBand linkMySpace link, and good medium-tempo, high-distortion rock band The Black Arrows starting around 10:45 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]

The Kings Jealousy will be at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Door 7 (439 Central Ave.) will be hosting The GaybotMySpace link Musical starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: band calendar]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is The Jazz Dawgs starting around 9 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Richmond's (21 Richmond St.) will be hosting Giant Killer RobotsMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Freetime]

Excellent acoustic soloist Kinloch Nelson will be at Paradigm Café (3118 E. Henrietta Rd., formerly Blue Sunday) starting around 9 p.m.

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Paths of Glory starting at 8 p.m. Some soldiers mutiny against a general who believes his future historical record is more important than lives. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Fly the flag today.Peace Officers Memorial Day (half-staff)

There's a pretty good assortment of music this afternoon at The Lilac Festival at The Eastman Savings and Loan Stage (Highland Ave. near South Ave.): [source: Lilac Festival website] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Abismos de passión (Wuthering Heights) starting at 8 p.m. Luis Buñuel's twisted take on a twisted story. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is hosting their weekly Open Mike Poetry tonight at 7 p.m. [source: Starry Nites calendar] [all ages]

Today is the last day to see The Joys of Oral Fixation by Heather Layton at The Rochester Contemporary Art Gallery (137 East Ave.) [source: Rochester Contemporary e-mail]

JayceLand Pick Updated: Tonight at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) is James "Jimbo" Mathus starting around 9 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Apparently there will be Argentine tango dancing at Daily Perks (389 Gregory St.) tonight with Agustin Ramos from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. [source: Daily Perks calendar]

George Delgado will be at The Lilac Festival, on The Eastman Savings and Loan Stage (Highland Ave. near South Ave.) starting around 6:30 p.m. [source: Lilac Festival website] [all ages]

Updated: Tonight at 7 p.m. at Rochester Museum & Science Center (657 East Ave.) is a screening of Raymond's Portrait, Art to Art: Expressions of Asian American Women, and Cruisin' J-Town. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Today is the last day to see Marc-Charles McNulty's sound-and-image show Heimspeki at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room.) [source: artsound website]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting The IndependentsMySpace link, Deafness, and Nik Freitas and the Head Gates starting around 10 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Over at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Sam FisherMySpace link. [source: Montage calendar]

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

Pete Best, and 1960's-style-rock band St. Phillip's Escalator will be at German House (315 Gregory St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: GaragePop Records website]

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] [all ages]

Tonight at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) is another planning meeting for the The Rochester Outdoor Museum of Art starting around 6 p.m.

JayceLand Pick Vorcza will be at The Montage Grille (50 Chestnut St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Montage calendar]

Tonight at 8 p.m. at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) is the program Garbage Night featuring found garbage from around Rochester. [source: artsound website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Becky Sharp starting at 8 p.m. An orphan works her way up to high society ... more interestingly, though, is that the colorful costumes and sets, originally shot in 3-strip Technicolor, have been restored to this new 35mm restoration. Also, they're showing the first 3-strip Technicolor film, La Cucaracha. [source: Eastman House 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]

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] [all ages]

Tonight at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) is another Open Mic Wenzdaze with Acoustic Café from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and then Rock-n-Roll Circus starting at 9 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar]

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About the title ... John Milton died 331 years ago in 1674 and is best known for writing the poem Paradise Lost.

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.) 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. 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.) While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, May 12, 2005 (Thu, May 12, 2005, 5/12/2005, or 5/12/05) Friday, May 13, 2005 (Fri, May 13, 2005, 5/13/2005, or 5/13/05) Saturday, May 14, 2005 (Sat, May 14, 2005, 5/14/2005, or 5/14/05) Sunday, May 15, 2005 (Sun, May 15, 2005, 5/15/2005, or 5/15/05) Monday, May 16, 2005 (Mon, May 16, 2005, 5/16/2005, or 5/16/05) Tuesday, May 17, 2005 (Tue, May 17, 2005, 5/17/2005, or 5/17/05) and Wednesday, May 18, 2005 (Wed, May 18, 2005, 5/18/2005, or 5/18/05).

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.

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.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with 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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