My Java Journal

No Phones Allowed: A Caution On Generalizations

Not a phone in sight. An attentive audience at Cinqhole on 24 January, 2020. (Photo credit: Class of 91 front-man, Ian)

They posted no signs to limit the use of phones. It was an inclusive arts space and an all ages show. The event listing included two acronyms I didn’t recognize and had to look up – I was happy I did.

I finally made it to Cinqhole to watch some of Ottawa’s local music talent. I’ve been tracking several bands and trying to find a night to break from routine and see some of our local bands live. It was well worth the effort, and the wait.

Cinqhole is a new DIY (Do It Yourself) site in Hintonburg. It offers a (small) multi-disciplinary DIY arts space, which has hosted some decent bands recently. Three bands made up the bill this past Friday: Teenage Fiction, Monotymes, and Organ Eye. All different. Each with something unique and interesting to offer.

Aside from the venue, the bands and the music, what I want to focus on today is the audience. I have shared often how I feel that Anabia Cupcakery Cafe is an amazing coffee shop to host my Open Mic nights because of the patrons. It is a quaint and warm environment, true; even more relevant though are the patrons. They have so much respect for, and desire (to hear) the music and talents that take the ‘stage’. It is exciting then, to find another venue where this is evident as well.

I had previously written of my trip to Toronto to see Jack White. While I didn’t touch on it in that post, what was truly unique about that show wasn’t just the great company I traveled with, or Jack White’s mastery on stage, it was that Jack White had imposed restrictions on phones at his show. No phones allowed! It made for an incredible experience, and the audience was fully engaged. Everyone was so calm, and the social component was something I hadn’t seen in a while. Strangers talking and sharing as we waited for the show. New friends made in every line. It was, however, imposed. Still, well done Jack!

This past Friday at Cinqhole, with maybe 50 people in attendance, there wasn’t a single phone out taping the performances. This, when there was no imposed restriction. Sure, the occasional picture was taken, and there was a photographer for the bands, but it was truly an environment of people – multi-generational – there to listen to the music. I was so happy to see that much of what is now generalized about current generations, and what are touted as disrespectful practices, are just that; generalizations. Similarly, it was notable that not only was there nothing but respect and attention, the music was raw and wonderful. Guitars, bass and drums accompanied raw, emotional, and even some angst-driven vocals. The same I so longingly recall from the 90’s.

Ottawa has a deep, rich, varied, and talented music scene. It is there, you just need to know where to find it. Let me help:

Bytown Sound – find something at this link for every musical style, taste and venue. (Including my Open Mic nights at Anabia’s.)

Of course, keep your eye on my Home page or any of Class of 91‘s social media sites for upcoming shows. Furthermore, we are recording currently and will hopefully have some accessible music out there soon. There will be a show in the spring too. Watch for it.

And lastly, what were those acronyms I had to look up? These were in reference to the $10 cover:

PWYC: Pay What You Can

NOTAFLOF: No One Turned Away For Lack Of Funds

Love it! There is much love in the world if we keep our eyes and hearts open. Be kind.

Happy Sunday and likewise, gratitude.