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Intown Rundown: The yellow brick road
April 28, 2011 - April Diodato
As I write this column, I'm polishing my ruby slippers and waiting for a potential tornado to take me to Oz. While it seems fairly unlikely in Chautauqua County, we can’t rule out any crazy weather phenomenon anymore, “2012”-style -- the end is nigh after all. Either way, I’d much rather be skipping down any yellow brick road than have anything to do with any of the Fred Fest madness downtown this weekend. “Already?” you say? Read on.
- Are you feeling a little warm, perhaps a bit clammy, intoxicated and nauseous? These symptoms may indicate that you are feeling some Fred Fest fever. That's right, it's that time of year again and thank goodness I relocated prior to the occasion. (Life lesson learned: If you have a real job, enjoy sleep or generally like peace and quiet, living en route to downtown is ill-advised. Delinquent neighbors aside, the worst part is the commotion caused by the pilgrimage from campus to town). Anyway, the Fred Fest concert is really just for SUNY Fredonia students and their guests now – tickets are strictly limited to 3,600 – but in case you're wondering, the headliner this year is Orange County, Calif., based band Jack’s Mannequin (they just played this year's Coachella music festival). The weekend of revelry, however, is for everyone. If you want to participate in the party, then head downtown, and if you don’t, go elsewhere.
- The end of April marks the return of BJ's annual BJ's Fest. This two-night event on Thursday and Friday features a variety of local and touring bands playing punk and indie rock. It starts tonight with Balto, Hot Cha Cha, Plates and Sleep Close Death. Friday features Glocca Morra, Mr. Boneless and Summer People. The cost is $1 for over 21 or $3 for 18 and up. The party start at 10 p.m. both nights.
- Valentine's Place will feature the music of Junk-button and Unstable from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Friday.
- 41 West will have a Jammin' in the Vines Pre-Party on Friday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. featuring Gina V. and Bill Smith, as well as Charity Nuse and Steve Johnson of Big Leg Emma. On Saturday from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m., there will be live music by Jud Q.
- “Ghostbusters” is showing at the Fredonia Opera House for free on Friday at 7 p.m. as part of Family Night at the Movies. I strongly suggest you arrive a little early!
- See stars this weekend. Saturday, weather permitting, will be Martz Observatory Public Viewing Night from 7:30 to 10:30 p.m. The observatory is located at 176 Robbin Hill Road in Frewsburg.
- Friday is royal wedding day! If you want to watch it live, coverage will be on TV (several channels, including BBC America) and online bright and early – we’re talking 3 a.m. It will be covered endlessly on prime time as well, with Katie Couric hosting one of the recap specials, “The Royal Wedding: Modern Majesty,” at 8 p.m. on CBS. Why doesn't anyone care about the royal wedding? When I say “anyone,” I mean most ambivalent American citizens. Results from one survey by PriceGrabber done in early April among 2,842 American consumers online revealed that 77 percent of the respondents did not plan to watch the wedding live and 72 percent won’t be watching any coverage of it at all. I did hear that the Lifetime original movie “William & Kate” was pretty horrendous (I did preview it a couple of weeks ago but sadly, this entertainment columnist cannot afford cable on her wages) which didn't exactly get any viewers psyched for the real thing. It also stings that the Obamas weren't invited yet marginally famous Brits like Joss Stone made the cut. But come on! It's a royal wedding! The fashion! The romance! The drama! It’s the kind of story people have been captivated with since “Cinderella.”
- For those who prefer fictional royal romances to the real thing, Turner Classic Movies is showing a whole Friday night’s worth of films perfect for the occasion. The roster includes: “Royal Wedding” (1951) at 8 p.m., “Roman Holiday” (1953) at 10 p.m., “The Glass Slipper” (1955) at 12:15 a.m., “The Swan” at 2 a.m. and “The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg” (1927). I recommend “Roman Holiday” – it doesn’t get any better than Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, carefree rides on a Vespa around Italy and impromptu haircuts.
“Somewhere” If you have seen an independent film sometime within the last six months, then you may have heard of “Somewhere” (the trailer was shown before virtually every Oscar-nominated indie I watched during the winter). This film by Sofia Coppola received some early Oscar buzz that never came to fruition but it sounded interesting enough to rent. A hard-partying movie star (Stephen Dorff) has become numb to the life of excess he’s been living until he reconnects with his 11-year-old daughter (Elle Fanning, younger sister of Dakota Fanning) under unexpected circumstances. There were some sweet scenes with Dorff and Fanning enjoying time together in fancy hotel suites in Italy and at the fabled Chateau Marmont, as well as some entertaining moments wherein Dorff encounters women he clearly didn’t call when he said he would, but it could have been so much better. It seems to be Coppola’s style to linger too long when it’s time to move on. If you found “Lost In Translation” (another Coppola film) to be self-indulgent crap, you’ll probably feel the same way about “Somewhere.” Unfortunately, if you’ve spent the entire never-ending winter watching movies like I have, it’s probably best to skip the shelves at your local video rental store and watch “Valley of the Dolls” instantly on Netflix instead. “Somewhere” is available on DVD.
April Diodato is the OBSERVER Lifestyles editor. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleep Close Death will be at BJ's tonight. Photo by Justin Goetz.