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Live music

Finding a beat you can dance to 

Live music

I know it takes a little more than turning on the tube, but heading out for live music is so good for you. Plus the audience (you) is an integral part of each performance. You'll help the performer avoid philosophical conundrums like, "If no one's here to hear me, will I still make a sound?" and, "Were my parents right about that whole job thing?"

So curb your boredom while saving our many talented entertainers from these torturous questions at any number of live joints sprinkled throughout Rochester. Here is a partial list. You can find all the info in the music pages of the weekly issue of City.


Acoustic and folk

California Brew Haus (402 Ridge Road West, 627-1480): one of Rochester's older bars, in the Kodak Park area; acoustic and louder rock entertainment on weekends

Daily Perks Coffeehouse (389 Gregory Street, 271-2340) folk, rock, spoken word, poetry, comedy; open mic night every Wednesday; a coffee house with a real stage

Earthtones Coffeehouse (1217 Bay Road, 671-3060): live acoustic; intimate, caffeinated

Spot Coffee (200 East Avenue, 232-7768): spacious atmosphere offers anonymity in the cavernous art-deco echoes; coffee and food accented by stripped-down acoustic talent

Starry Nites Café (696 University Avenue, 271-2630): jazz, bluegrass, acoustic, and blues complement nights of tealeaf and tarot card readings and homemade desserts


Blues

Beale St. Café (689 South Avenue, 271-4650): blues (with some Zydeco thrown in) Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays along with delicious Cajun cuisine

Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court Street, 325-7090): blues (from rookie to royalty) from next door and around the world

NOLA's BBQ (4775 Lake Avenue, 663-3375): New Orleans fare with a recent stab at live zydeco and blues; near enough to the Lake to walk it off

Rab's Woodshed (4440 Lake Avenue, 663-4610): blues with a roadhouse feel; near the lake

SmokehouseBBQ (48 Merchant Street, Brockport, 637-6020): the new kid on the BBQ and blues block --- but hell, there's always room for more

Smokin' Joe's (425 Lyell Avenue, 647-1540): live, local blues; Some of Rochester's heavy hitters are there on Thursdays for open-jam night


Country

Josie's Country Jukebox (5435 Ridge Road West, 352-4505): a real live-music roadhouse that caters to the whole family, not just the rowdies; only 20 minutes from downtown

The Roost (4853 West Henrietta Road, 321-1170): karaoke, dancing, and live entertainment all centered on country music.

Sandra's Saloon (276 Smith Street, 436-1929): live country music in one of Rochester's oldest bars


Jazz

Bop Shop Atrium (274 North Goodman Street, 271-3354): national and international jazz heroes, from the traditional to the insane; some of the best talent brought into Rochester, for free

Horizons at Woodcliff (199 Woodcliff Drive, 381-4000): rotating roster of local jazz piano talent, with the occasional national act thrown in

Java's (18 Gibbs Street, 232-4820):Often taps the talent in the Eastman School of Music's jazz department; dark, eclectic, downright cool; lots of older-acting kids, and vice versa.

Little Theatre Café (240 East Avenue, 258-0412): an intimate spot to catch some great local jazz before or after your movie


Pop and rock

The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Avenue, 454-2966): Underground, independent rock 'n' roll from Rochester and around the world is alive and well; local and national DJs on Wednesdays and Fridays; frequent all-ages shows. If musicians aren't playing here, they're at least hanging out. Wake up on the floor and you'll think you're on the ceiling.

Honeoye Pub (125 East Lake Road, 229-4535): live music and American fare in a rural setting; This joint jumps in the summer.

Johnny's Irish Pub (1382 Culver Road, 224-0990): acoustic, light rock music and friendly folks; nice neighborhood feel, even if you don't live nearby

McGhan's (11 West Main Street, Victor, 924-3660): rock and blues on weekends; 20 minutes outside Rochester

Milestones (170 East Avenue, 325-6490): all live-music venue with something for everyone: rockers, hippies, swing-dancers, yuppies, and freaks

Monty's Krown (875 Monroe Avenue, 271-7050): live, local rock 'n' roll in an intimate, pro-drinking establishment with a nice Blue Velvet feel

The Penny Arcade (4785 Lake Avenue, 621-7625): a Rochester institution; huge national, cover, tribute, and throwback metal bands mixed in with a lot of the younger, heavy bands here and there

Richmond's (21 Richmond Street, 454-4612): They may apologize for being open, but c'mon in anyway. This is downtown's mucho-cool neighborhood bar. Great bar food, parlor games, and a deck. Uncle Ralph's Steakout is a Sunday tradition, replacing church for many.

Steel Music Hall (1509 Scottsville Road, 436-7573): live, local, and national hard rock and alternative bands; if '80s hair metal is going anywhere, it's here; killer sound system and stage

Water Street Music Hall and The Club at Water Street (204 North Water Street, 325-5600): best place to see larger bands, national and larger regional talent, and, of course, Rochester's favorite bartender, Chops. Usually, ages 18 and up admitted. The Club hosts open jams and local and national shows when a smaller room is appropriate. Combined with the main room, it can handle multi-staged events and festivals. Rattlesnake Pete's portrait oversees the goings-on at the bar.


Etcetera

Bullwinkle's Café (627 Lake Avenue, 458-5530): Part David Lynch movie, part MGM musical, this is the place of eclectic, noirish dreams, with big hats for everyone, cabaret-style sing-a-longs, and fun, all led by an enchanting, accordion-playing hostess.

Six Pockets (716 East Ridge Road, 266-1440): great prime rib and tons of pool tables; live blues and rock. Rock 'em while you rack 'em.


Classical

Home to the renowned Eastman School of Music, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Hochstein School, Rochester is spoiled by a huge number of top-quality classical concerts. In addition, there are many community choral, instrumental, and operatic ensembles that perform in venues throughout the city and throughout the year. Here is a sampling of what you might hear.


SCHOOLS

Eastman School of Music (26 Gibbs Street, 274-1100, www.rochester.edu/Eastman/concerts/): vocal, choral, chamber, orchestral, and other ensembles; opera, organ, jazz, contemporary music performances by students, internationally known faculty members, and guest artists from around the world; Notable Eastman groups include Musica Nova, the student-run OSSIA, and the popular Ying Quartet.

Hochstein Music School (50 North Plymouth Avenue, 454-4596, www.hochstein.org/calendars.htm): Catch Live from Hochstein, the free lunchtime concerts on Wednesdays; many other concerts by faculty, students, and guest artists


Orchestras

Chamber Music Rochester (244-2554, www.chambermusicrochester.org): performs at the Hochstein School and the Memorial Art Gallery

Equinox Orchestra (264-1705): freelance orchestra; performs the Mostly Mozart Festival

Rochester Chamber Orchestra (328-5895, www.roch.com/rco/): 40-year-old group; concerts at Hochstein School

Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (454-2100, www.rpo.org): classical, pops, and Casual Classics concerts; OrKIDStra series for children; mainly in Eastman Theatre (26 Gibbs Street), summer series at Finger Lakes Performing Arts Center in Canandaigua


OPERA

Mercury Opera (473-6567): Newly formed opera company with inaugural season in spring 2005


Choruses

Irondequoit Chorale (266-5018): Irondequoit United Church of Christ, 644 Titus Avenue

Madrigalia (234-4283, www.madrigalia.org): 18-voice chamber ensemble, various local venues

Musica Spei (www.musicaspei.org): sacred choral music of the Renaissance

Rochester Oratorio Society (473-2234, www.rossings.org): usually at Hochstein School

Schola Cantorum (454-3878): Medieval and Renaissance music Sunday evenings at 9 p.m. in Christ Church, 141 East Avenue


Early music

Publick Musick (671-6612, www.publickmusick.org): Baroque vocal and instrumental music on period instruments

Rochester Bach Festival (377-3537, www.rochesterbachfestival.org): weekends in March


Community orchestras

Genesee Valley Orchestra and Chorus (223-9006, www.gvoc.org); Roberts Wesleyan College-Community Orchestra (594-6008); symphony orchestras in Brighton (248-0680, www.brightonsymphony.org), Penfield (872-0774), and Greece (234-5636).

In This Guide...

    Annual Manual 2005

    Surprised by Rochester
    When I was getting ready to move to Rochester five years ago, my friends and family were confused. They wore worried faces when they asked me, "What's in Rochester?" and "That's not too far from the city, is it?" and "Do you like the cold weather?"

    A newbie’s checklist

    Beginner’s guide
    So you've arrived, and now you need the basics: phone, utilities, a way to get around town, and, maybe, a way to get out of town. Here is some info to help you get settled in.

    Who's representing

    Government
    Mayor Bill Johnson 30 Church Street, Rochester 14614

    Pounding the pavement

    Neighborhoods
    I've been thinking about changing my name to Where's Your Car? (though I would have preferred You're Stunning or Are Those Real?).

    It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood

    Neighborhoods
    There is so much talk about how to revitalize Rochester's downtown and make the city a more attractive place to live. But many people have discovered the benefits of city life.

    We’ve got music

    We're proud of our musical talent; here are four reasons why. The event

    Get yourself something to eat

    Welcome to the Rochester food scene. I write full reviews of different restaurants every other week in City, but here is a bit of a primer, by genre, to acquaint you with the area's amazing variety of dining options.

    Why we love market day

    The Rochester Public Market can be noisy, crowded, and fishy, but that is part of the vibrancy and spirit that make it a unique experience. Where else in Rochester is it almost too crowded to move for hours at a time?

    Tending to your health

    Major hospitals Highland Hospital

    Get learning

    Schools
    Each public school district in Monroe County has contact information (listed below) where you can get more detailed information about individual schools. To get an overall picture, for some general research, or to just get involved, here are some resources:

    A little culture never hurt anyone

    Arts
    For a city our size, we've got plenty of culture. There's enough for every taste and energy level, but not too much to overwhelm.

    What's the alternative?

    Although Rochester has a number of respectable art museums and galleries, rarely will these venues show anything outside the mainstream. For an art space to do something daring, quite often it has to rely on the vision and resources of an individual or a small group of people.

    The gold of the silver screens

    Movies
    I'm only about 5-foot-3-inches, but I totally towered over Isabella Rossellini. Now, you may be wondering what sorts of circles a humble hometown girl like myself would run in that would enable me to reach that conclusion.

    A little place outside the city

    Suburbs
    Monroe County has 19 towns and nine incorporated villages. Aided by short commutes, particularly between Rochester and its inner-ring of suburbs, many of these are bedroom communities.

    High class

    Colleges
    Colgate Rochester Divinity School Can boast of a dedication for diversity, teaching students in over 20 Christian denominations.

    We'd rather be out in the open

    Recreation
    The areas in and around Rochester are rich with green space --- diverse, convenient, and beautiful places to walk the dog, take out a canoe, find a zoo, or smell the lilacs. From the beautiful Seneca and Highland Parks, both designed by 19th-century landscape genius Frederick Law Olmsted, to Durand-Eastman Park, where you can feel the immensity of that Great Lake --- here is just a partial list of some of our favorite parks in the Monroe County (256-4950, www.monroecounty.gov) and City of Rochester (400 Dewey Avenue, 428-6767 or 428-6755, www.cityofrochester.gov) systems.

    Block partying

    Festivals
    Go ahead, give us a reason to celebrate. I dare you.

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