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Intown Rundown: Mercury madness
March 31, 2011 - April Diodato
As of 4:48 p.m. on Wednesday, Mercury has gone into retrograde. This astrological occurrence is supposed to cause everything to go haywire, with ill effects on communication and technology. When Mercury is in retrograde (which will be happening now until April 23), you are supposed to avoid making plans and committing to anything, and are basically safest by avoiding all interaction with the outside world, spending time in quiet reflection instead. This may be hippie nonsense but it is a good way to justify any flaky or antisocial behavior.
Also working against us this week is the forthcoming April Fools’ Day, which falls on this Friday. Watch your step! The universe is abounding with all kinds of trials and tribulations right now.
WHAT REALLY GRINDS MY GEARS
Extremely sarcastic congratulations are in order for the miscreants responsible for the extraordinarily pathetic graffiti found littering the sidewalks and buildings in and around downtown Fredonia last week. The Fredonia Police Department said Wednesday that no arrests have been made and frankly, if I were the culprit responsible for creating those pink elephants, ducks and scribbles, I would be embarrassed. Some cities have graffiti that could be considered works of art. Instead, we have what may be the lamest graffiti ever created. The “artists” responsible should be banned from purchasing or using paint and stencils (I’m writing “stencils” with an exasperated sigh and an eye roll) for the rest of their natural lives.
Because it still isn’t warm enough to frolic outdoors in what is supposed to be the springtime, here are two DVD reviews.
“How Do You Know”
The story: At a turning point in her life, a professional softball player (Reese Witherspoon) is faced with two romantic options: an insensitive athlete (Owen Wilson) or a down-on-his-luck executive (Paul Rudd).
The verdict: It’s a mediocre romantic comedy that suffered from the lack of likable characters or any real feeling – but, for lack of other options, can be tolerated on a dreary night with a bowl of popcorn.
The story: A young producer (Rachel McAdams) faced with the challenge of saving a struggling morning news show on the verge of cancellation.
The verdict: These days, who can’t relate to the daily struggle of being underpaid and overworked? Although a little silly and cliched, it’s an inspiring and enjoyable little movie about someone who refuses to give up on her dream, benefiting from a strong cast (including Harrison Ford and Diane Keaton).
- Are you aware of the phenomenon called the “flash mob?” Imagine you’re strolling through the mall one afternoon and all of a sudden, it’s like you have walked into an ‘80s comedy – music begins to play and your fellow shoppers break into a choreographed dance number. This is a flash mob. On a TV special set to air on FOX at 9 p.m. tonight entitled “Mobbed,” Howie Mandel works with people who wish to assemble a flash mob for a special occasion (like a marriage proposal, for example). Even if you’re not a fan of Mandel, it’s hard not to enjoy a good flash mob.
- The controversial miniseries “The Kennedys” will finally premiere on the Reelz Channel on Sunday at 8 p.m. Starring Greg Kinnear as John F. Kennedy and Katie Holmes as Jackie Kennedy, it sounds like as soapy and delightful as a Lifetime movie. Parts one and two air Sunday, with the remainder (eight parts in total) to air through April 10.
GET OUT OF TOWN
- Lightning Bolt play Soundlab in Buffalo on Friday night. The duo of Brian Chippendale on drums/vocals and Brian Gibson on bass specialize in their own blend of art damaged hardcore. The band is from Providence, R.I. They were part of the Fort Thunder scene in the late 1990s that produced a number of like-minded noisy no wave bands, including Arab On Radar and Black Dice. Lightning Bolt tend to take a nontraditional approach to shows and will usually play the floor instead of the stage, often starting immediately after the opening band finishes. They also have a history of playing in unusual places, such as parking lots and art galleries.
Load Records has released four full-length albums by the band, with the most recent being 2009's "Earthly Delights." All the records are covered in Chippendale's colorful and frenzied drawings of people and animals. VWLS and All Them Witches are the openers.
The show starts at 8 p.m. and the cost is $10. Soundlab is located at 110 Pearl St. in Buffalo.
- A sign that spring may really be here: Bart’s Cove reopens for the season on Friday at 3 p.m.
- Black Widow will play an acoustic set at the Columbus Club from 4 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. Members and eligible guests are welcome.
- The Beaver Club will have live music by Shibetta Brothers Band from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Saturday.
- This sounds like more fun than your average fundraiser. On Friday in the Williams Center at SUNY Fredonia, help the American Cancer Society by gaming to your heart’s content at the Gameathon. The event is being organized by Tau Sigma (an honor society) and the college’s Gamers Guild, and will be held from 6 to 11 p.m. Participants will have the option of playing virtually every kind of game imaginable, with video games, card and board games and carnival games (including skee ball!), and there will be prizes, pizza and snacks. A highlight of the Gameathon is the triathlon, running from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. One of the students organizing the event, Jennifer Gilman, broke it down for me.
“What the triathlon consists of is the following: there will be three game stations in different places on campus,” Gilman said. “You will start at the first main station and run to the next station. At each station you will complete a game and then run to the next one. If you do well in the game, it takes time off of your overall score. The people with the least times will win prizes.”
The triathlon will include Mario Kart for Wii, Call of Duty Black Ops for Xbox 360 and Soul Calibur III for PlayStation II. The card game portion will include traditional card games and Uno, and the board games will include Yahtzee, Apples to Apples, and others. Ring toss, softball throw and skee ball will be among the carnival games.
The Gameathon is open to the public and is $5 for people ages 13 and up, and $3 for kids under 13. This is the event’s first year and it will become an annual event if it is a success.
- It will be all about April foolishness and fun at the Dunkirk Moose Club on Saturday at 8 p.m. as hypnotist Terry Parrett entertains the audience with his Comedy Hypnosis Show on Saturday at 8 p.m. During the show, ordinarily conservative (and not-so-conservative) audience members will undergo a transformation to the amusement of their fellow guests. What happens during the show all depends on what Parrett guides the volunteers though during the show, which combines audience participation with the abilities of the mind.
"I'm very excited to be bringing my program to the Dunkirk community," Parrett said. "During the show, we will be having a lot of fun and laughs. It will be exciting, and involve a number of audience members. As a matter of fact, the folks onstage who volunteer will have the most fun of all! And the audience watching will laugh and applaud for their family and friends onstage. Very often, the quietest, shyest person you know may become the brightest star onstage. It's all fun and every show is totally different."
Parrett is quick to dispel some myths about hypnosis — for example, no one can be hypnotized against his or her will. And contrary to a common misconception that only weak-minded people can be hypnotized, Parrett says that the more creative, strong-willed, and imaginative the volunteer, the more quickly he or she will enter the trance state.
According to Parrett, "It is for real. If you have any doubts, join us and volunteer."
Get tickets at the Moose Lodge, 296 Lake Shore Drive West, Dunkirk. A portion of the ticket proceeds will benefit the Moose Lodge.
The Moose Lodge will also host a "Stop Smoking with Hypnosis" seminar on Sunday at 11 a.m. also presented by Parrett. Anyone who buys an advance ticket to the smoking seminar will receive a complimentary ticket to the Saturday show.
- My dad will celebrate a monumental birthday this Sunday. Happy birthday, Dad!
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments to email@example.com
Lightning Bolt will be at Soundlab in Buffalo on Friday night. Photo by Justin Goetz