Tuesday, June 19, 2018

The F Word: Occupy Jazz Fest

Posted By on Tue, Jun 19, 2018 at 2:52 PM

The F Word. An online column for Frank De Blase to pontificate, ruminate, placate, and salivate. We'll have reviews and previews, we'll discuss trends in local and national music scenes, and we'll try to do it as reverently as possible. Yup. Let's get started.

The Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival makes a joyful noise each year as it hits downtown like a tsunami of music, street meat, and humanity. Logistically speaking, the Jazz Fest bigwigs do a phenomenal job. But there are still some things music fans have to do on their own to keep things running smoothly. Think of it as defensive Jazz Festing.

  • The problem with all you cell phone cinematographers is simple: the people behind you in a crowded venue want you dead. How many people go home, seriously, and watch these shaky, distorted clips of “check-out-what-I-could-have-seen-if-I-weren’t-fucking-with-my-iPhone”? The Jazz Fest is now, baby, and should be enjoyed as such.

  • Although the outdoor stages are free, they are host to just as much big talent as the venues that have a cover charge.

  • Between the thousands of fans these stages draw, adding to the ebb and flow of patrons shifting from one venue to the next, it tends to get a little crowded. Sometimes it can feel like bumper cars in a sea of pickpockets or an over-zealous first date on the make. But I’ve got a little trick that will either clear up the area immediately around you: pretend to throw up. Bend a little at the waist, put your hand over your mouth, utter something like “Oh, God,” or “goddamn oysters” and brace yourself for the impending street pizza that doesn’t ever come. Don’t worry, nobody in your immediate vomit vicinity will stick around and you’ll have more space.

  • To me, jazz isn’t just a style of American music; it’s an augmentation, an interpretation, a bucket of hot sauce, that transcends its name. Jazz’s origins are salacious to say the least, but it doesn’t ring out nearly as nasty and blue nowadays. So let’s fix it. It’s got a good head start at the end with the two sleazy “z’s” but it needs more. I’m thinking “Jazzzzzz.” Say it with me and really let it buzz as it trails off, Jazzzzzz. Now don’t that sound better? We oughta pass around a petition.

I Scene it

American Acid played balls to the walls rock ‘n’ roll last Saturday night for the leather and denim crowd at The Record Archive’s Backroom lounge. Like an alcohol funny car with Rat Fink at the wheel, the band cruises straight ahead and loud, reminiscent of Motorhead and Zeke. Damn near cleared my sinuses.

By the way

It is in shock, disbelief, and profound sadness that we mourn the the loss of Sirens and Stilettos’ sharp-tongued chanteuse and trash-talking emcee, Penny Scandal. Kelly O’May was found dead in her South Wedge apartment Friday morning. Her boyfriend, Robert Norry, was arrested and charged in Spokane, Washington.

A tribute gathering, Remembering Penny Scandal, happens Sunday, July 1, at Skylark Lounge, 40 South Union Street. 3 p.m. to 12 a.m.

Check out the blogs and reviews from the Jazz Fest right here at rochestercitynewspaper.com, or drop me a line at [email protected]

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