Two nights this week I trucked out to the Bell House to attend the Chickfactor 20th-anniversary shows, which honored the two-decade-old indiepop fanzine with performances by the likes of Versus, the Softies, and Small Factory. Pinned to some of the Bell House's walls was a sign asking the people in attendance to party like it was 1992specifically, to cease using their cell phones in the concert hall.
Wha'ppen/Flickr A middle-school orchestra takes a stand.
I definitely violated this rule, because old habits die hard, especially when the enablers of those old habits are made of cool metal and in an easily accessible space. But I tried to at least abide by it 80% of the time, and I found myself enjoying the sets by the rip-roaring Versus, the pop maestro and Unrest/Cotton Candy/Teen-Beat leader Mark Robinson (who popped in for a two-song double-A-sided set of his band's classics), and the delicately gorgeous duo the Softiesall of whom are in the upper echelon of my personal musical pantheonin a way that felt substantially different, and not just from the nostalgia pangs.
Perhaps it was the brainspace cleared out by not checking for text messages and at-replies regularly, but I had a lot of thoughts on why cell phones have pretty much ruined my show-going experience, and why they have probably ruined yours, too.More »