Weekly Rochester Events #302: Pop a Cat to Pedal?
Thursday, October 21, 2004Man, it's been such a cool week, I think I may just delve right into the journal of events preferred so much by vicarious livers (er ... "people who live", not the miraculous alcohol dissipating organ.) I mean, it's been a week of excellent sushi, cool music-nerd music, great math-nerd music, absurd patriotic puppetry on Wednesday night, two chicks at the same time, that movie Team America: World Police, biking in the rain, Three Kings, and one awesome cookie.
Ok, so let me get to it. On Thursday, I got to see Ossia New Music at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) perform three modern works. I thought that Edgard Varèse's Octandre was the most interesting of them — it was described in a review in 1923 (March 5, 1923 in the New York Herald by W. J. Henderson, according to the program notes) in this way:
An Octandre is a flower having eight stamens. Mr. Varèse's Octandre was no flower; it was a peach. It cannot be described. It shrieked, it grunted, it chortled, it mewed, it barked—and it turned all the eight instruments into contortionists.Strangely, some eighty years later, I'd pretty much describe it the same. Naturally, I'd use more anachronisms, but it'd be more or less the same.
[shit ... I'm writing like crap. Let me try this again.]
From there I headed to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) to see more cool stuff. Being a math-nerd (did I mention I kicked ass for Schalmont High School (1 Sabre Dr., Schenectady) in the Math Olympiads when I was in high school? er ... I mean, I beat up nerds ... yeah, that's it) I really liked For The Mathematics who do this great Devo-influenced power-pop with a distinct mathematical poetry to the lyrics and structure of songs. Next was The Race who do this thematically dark, but somehow musically light rock, and The Six Parts Seven who do mellow instrumental rock, but just complex enough to still be interesting.
Friday night I went on a hunt for happy hour food, but arrived at Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) a half-hour after all the pizza had been voraciously consumed (that is, a half-hour after the pizza arrived.) I ended up going to that new-ish Japanese place Kobay (690 Park Ave., formerly Aaron's Place and Bistro Seven) which apparently is partnered with Esan Thai Restaurant (696 Park Ave.) next door. I gotta say, they make some very good sushi, and even enter forbidden territory like California Rollin' at Village Gate Square (274 N. Goodman St.) by making non-traditional rolls. I tried their Sunshine Roll which is banana, avocado wrapped in salmon (a textural harmony) their Crispy Spicy Roll which was a special, crisp tempura spicy tuna, and a reasonably delicate hamachi roll (perfect hamachi rolls are a rarity ... this one was quite good.) They also provided good tuna and snapper nigiri. Due to a miscommunication from the kitchen and I almost got a big plate of desert roll intended for the chefs to sample ... as a consolation they made me a couple pieces: tempura banana with sesame seeds on the outside in coconut sauce and shredded coconut. It's all as good as it sounds.
By Saturday, I had enough of the band scene ... nothing happening that night had really inspired me, so I thought I'd look for a place to chill out and chat. Heck, I was looking for herbal tea — that kind of chill. I hopped on my regular bar bike (since it had rained earlier and I only have front brakes on the tall bike) and headed out. The Little Theatre Café (240 East Ave.) had Diane Armesto Quartet whom I don't particularly like because — although she's an all-right singer — she asked me to be quiet while she was singing as I was in the midst of talking with two charming women last Valentine's Day at the Little Café. Besides, it was so crowded that I wouldn't have been able to really meet new people. Spot Coffee (200 East Ave.) was also crowded so I skipped it, and I was feeling a bit old — that is, twice as old as the typical 17-year-old patron — for Java's (16 Gibbs St.) I stopped briefly at Starry Nites Café (696 University Ave., formerly Moonbeans) but walking in the door was this guy who I don't particularly care to talk with, and he always ends up seeking me out to chat. Shit.
So, I took a trip down Park and cinsidered Café Cibon (688 Park Ave.) but it was also crowded, and Spin Caffé (739 Park Ave.) was full of nerdy guys hooking up with the wireless Internet on their laptops. I made my way all the way down Monroe from Culver to The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) but wasn't, as I said, interested in seeing the bands. I headed back to Lux Lounge (666 South Ave.) as my fallback.
After biking for an hour or so all over town, I decided to start out with something mellow. Since they don't have tea, I opted for the autumnal treat of hot cider ... ordinarily mixed with alcohol of some kind, but I took it plain. Beth the bartender let me know she picked the mug with the baby chick on it. I noted that there was one on each side, and quipped to a friend of mine, "Two chicks at the same time. Awesome." I also managed to make a reasonably good impression on an attractive quick-witted woman (but don't get your hopes up ... she's still in the midst of ... well, let's just say she's "not available.")
On Sunday afternoon I was out at A|V Art Sound Space (#8 in the Public Market, off N. Union St., formerly The All-Purpose Room) to see Super Marimba which, indeed was super marimba. Payton MacDonald, the sole performer, does some very interesting, cyclic digital loops with the marimba — the six-mallet power-chord stuff was really cool.
On Tuesday night, I got out to the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) to see some interesting films. Soldiers Pay was a documentary made by director David O. Russell as a supplement to the DVD release of his political comedy Three Kings from 1999. One of the tie-ins between the documentary and movie was that a half-dozen or so members of the U.S. troops in Iraq, on a mission to seek out *ahem* resources from the local citizenry stumbled upon about US$350,000,000 in United States $100 bills. The combination of wartime moral flexibility and the opportunity to effectively retire upon returning home overwhelmed their otherwise righteous sensibilities and an investigation ensued which resulted in the dishonorable discharge of one of the mid-level officers involved. This story mirrors the central story of Three Kings in which four soldiers set out to smuggle US$100,000,000 of gold stolen from Kuwait by Sadam Hussein's armies shortly after the end of Desert Storm in 1991.
What I found so remarkable about Three Kings was that despite the otherwise wide-eyed honest telling of wartime atrocities, it still manages to keep a sense of humor about it. Billed originally as an action-comedy, it really doesn't fit that category, because it's more of a political historic relic — and in some ways, even more pertinent today as the U.S. is in the midst of another war with Iraq. At least you can go and rent Three Kings and go watch it at home, even if Warner Brothers decided to scrap the re-release that was to include the supplement of Soldiers Pay because the director wanted to ensure it was available to viewers prior to the 2004 elections.
As I'm writing this, my James Bond Stealth Camera came in the mail. I gotta say, it's pretty cool. It's actually larger than a standard Zippo by about 15% on each dimension. Regardless, it takes decent pictures in household lighting situations (it appears to have a shutter speed that runs down to about a half-second.) It's got only 8 megabytes of internal storage, though ... the good news being it's default behavior is to act as a USB storage device, so Apple computers can use it (and presumably Linux and anything else that supports USB storage.) It runs on a single AAA battery ... umm ... it's minimum focus distance is about 6 inches ... audio recording is in 11,025 samples-per-second uncompressed 8-bit Microsoft WAV files (which QuickTime can import) ... I guess that's about everything that Digital Dream left out of the description that would otherwise be important (and that I could discern from using the camera.) Oh, and the video clips it can record are not currently readable by anything other than the Windows software.
Oh yeah ... the awesome cookie came from Open Face (651 South Ave., right by the corner of Hickory) It's their shortbread chocolate chip cookie. Get down there and try it out while they've still got it ... it's also a great (if small) place for lunch. Go there. Seriously ... I don't want my curse where "things I like go away" to strike again (see also, Keebler Deluxe Chocolate Sandwich Cookies, Kodak Royal Gold 25, Ray-O-Vac Renewal batteries, and anisette soda at Spot coffee.)
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Internet Movie Database
On this day ... October 21
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Rochester Music Coalition
Rochester Goes Out (D&C)
Rochester Punk Rock
WGMC Jazz Calendar
Delusions of Adequacy
Mystery and Misery
Kids Out and About
Movie links courtesy The Internet Movie Database. Map links courtesy MapsOnUs. Some movie synopses courtesy UpcomingMovies.com
About the title ... Popocatépetl is a volcano in central Mexico that has been dormant since 1702, 302 years ago.
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, October 21, 2004 thru Wednesday, October 27, 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.
Copyright © 2004 Jason Olshefsky. All rights reserved.