Tag: pressed

Sanctum :: Pressed

Weird_Canada-Pressed_Illustration

Originally conceived as a “hole-in-the-wall sandwich shop,” Pressed quickly evolved into a hub for the Ottawa’s diverse arts community since opening in Nov. 2011. On any given night, you can expect to hear pummeling noise, tuneful folk and jazz and gleefully weird punk, psychedelia and more wafting from its windows at 750 Gladstone Ave. But you can’t just focus on music to get the breadth of Pressed. The restaurant hosts regular [poetry performances], and you’re just as likely to see a local literary event, zine party or craft fair as you are to see a band nestled in its organic wooden interior. We spoke to Pressed owner Jeff Stewart, as well as Lidija Rozitis, the venue’s booking manager (and a vocalist and guitarist in local bands Roberta Bondar and Blue Angel), to get a better understanding of this eclectic environment.

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Pressed’s stage (photo by Yuko Inoue)

 

What do you feel Pressed’s appeal is? What makes it unique, and how do your acts contribute to that distinctiveness?

Lidija Rozitis: From a musical standpoint, I felt like there weren’t too many venues in Ottawa a few years ago. A lot of the shows I went to were at houses. In the last little while, however, I have seen a decline in house shows and more venues becoming established around the city (Gabba Hey, House of Targ, Mugshots, Cafe Alt). House shows are really nice though, and I think Pressed (sort of) imitates the cozy, intimate vibe of a house show … Bands are allowed to move furniture around to suit their musical set up, and there are couches and church pews to sit on. And the place smells like your grandma is making delicious smoked chicken! It’s small, and it’s cozy. It’s not a nightclub or fancy bar, but that’s what makes Pressed unique.

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The restaurant during business hours (photo by Matthew Blenkarn)

 

What does Pressed offer the spoken word community? How do you help give them a space?

Jeff Stewart: I think in a number of ways. First of all, we have standing events here that are spoken word and poetry related. We have artistic showcases hosted by (Ottawa poet) Brandon Wint. We have a Words to Live By series and then a Railroad Poetry series. Those three events appeal to different types of audiences, so I think just having standing events like that creates an association between the place and spoken word. I think the layout of the place and having the right sound, light and size for those types of events just creates an inviting nest for people to come and have their events.

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Zine editor and writer Lily Pepper at the launch party for the YOW zine (photo by Matthew Blenkarn)

 

You’ve also hosted a few Ottawa Zine-Offs and you have a zine rack. What about zine culture?

JS: I was open to the idea when (zine editor and writer Lily Pepper) approached me to have a zine rack here, and then I think, based on that, it became a bit of an anchor for zine culture. There were some people who wanted to have events here where they were creating zines and talking about zines and it seemed like a logical extension of that. I think that is something that has built a sort of community feeling. It’s sort of a grassroots feeling where you don’t always have a form of entertainment foisted on people as a developed, finished art form. It’s more people coming together and creating in a space in a more spontaneous, democratic kind of way.

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Gloria Guns of Scary Bear Soundtrack performs at the YOW zine launch party (photo by Matthew Blenkarn)

 

Why have such an eclectic line-up?

LR: There are a lot of amazing music venues that have opened up in Ottawa recently, so it’s somewhat limiting to book four piece rock bands for an entire month. We do have many bands playing at Pressed, but with that said, I also have been trying to book more and more diverse musical acts every month. Pat Moore hosts a weekly Bluegrass night, Tariq Anwar hosts a monthly Open Mic night, Brandon Wint puts on a great monthly spoken word and musical showcase, and there are many jazz, classical, and experimental musicians performing at the space. Even then, music isn’t the only art form requiring performance space. Because of the portability of tables and furniture at Pressed, the space can serve as both a sit down or standing venue. I think this versatility appeals to all types of artists, because the space serves whatever need you want it to. I try to book as many diverse types of events so that the space doesn’t become pigeon-holed as the venue to do one certain type of artistic thing, but rather continually seen as a space to do whatever you want.

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The awning that shades Pressed’s small outdoor seating area (photo by Matthew Blenkarn)

 

How would you like to see Pressed grow in the future?

JS: I think I’d just like to see us continue along the lines that we’re going along right now. I don’t want us to get too big or large-band oriented, because I like the community aspect of the things we do. I think we have a really nice balance right now of bands coming in from out of town, from promoters and local bands and acts, local spoken word and then grassroots types of events as well. I think I’d just like to continue to become more and more integrated with the community and be seen more and more as a community living room and play space, I think.

Cityscape :: Ottawa

Ottawa

Dear Ottawa: Congrats! You’ve just finished your awkward phase. As the shy sibling of loudmouths Toronto and Montreal, you’re the introvert given a makeover, ’90s teen movie style. Now that you have your glasses off, I can’t help but kick myself for never noticing how charming you were before. You’re still a little quiet at times, but I’ve seen you rage at basement shows. With that bottle of corner store wine in your hands, you dance harder out of loyalty for the locals who always stuck by your side than for the out-of-town headliners who ignored you in middle school. Despite what they may yell in the hallways, you just keep walking with your head up, leaving those jerks to stare at the Bruised Tongue back patch on your jean jacket in wonder of how you got So Damn Cool.


Average Times – Summer Nights


New Swears – See You in Hull


The Steve Adamyk Band – Ontario

Gabba Hey

Gabba Hey
(Records, shows, rehearsal spaces)
Visit the Facebook page for more info.
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Not currently wheelchair accessible, owner has plans to build ramp shortly

A combination record store, venue and rehearsal space run by Ottawa renaissance man and former White Wires bassist Luke Nuclear, Gabba Hey has been home to some of the wildest shows I’ve been worthy to witness (case in point: an April performance by Nap Eyes has left everyone in the city obsessed with Whine of the Mystic). At the adjacent record store, you can always be sure to find a gem, whether it’s a 7” from Ottawa ex-pat Peach Kelli Pop, a Bruised Tongue cassette or an old Million Dollar Marxists t-shirt. Make sure you grab a few local zines from the shelf; I’d recommend Pancake by Sacha KW or Night Shift by JM Francheteau.

Pressed

Pressed
(Sandwiches, zines, shows)
750 Gladstone Ave. Contact: (613) 680-9294
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • All-ages accessible
  • Portable ramps for wheelchair accessibility, ask staff for help/access
  • Two steps into the building, one step into the washrooms

Vegan sandwiches. Waffles with meat. Spicy chips. If you’re in Ottawa, you definitely gotta eat here. Cozy vibes all around, from the old church pews for sitting to the local art hanging on the walls. With a zine rack managed by Lily Pepper, Pressed is very friendly towards Ottawa zinesters. The space is also the go-to cafe for all-ages entertainment, and I’ve seen everyone from Cousins to Cold Warps slay the tiny stage. If the windows steam up during a show, you know it was a good one.

Mugshots

Mugshots
(DJ nights, shows, drinks)
75 Nicholas St.
Contact: mugshots@hihostels.ca
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly

As a haunted outdoor jail bar, it’s safe to say that Mugshots is the only institution of its kind in the city. Mugshots is home to a variety of killer monthly events that take place in the courtyard: Ceremony for raving, Funhouse for spazz-punk, and Fryquency: a pay-what-you-can event put on by Debaser. Get a bit too crazy with the dark ‘n’ stormys? Spend the night hanging out with spirits in the hostel next door.

House of Targ

House of Targ
(Pinball, perogies, shows, DJ nights)
1077 Bank St.
Contact: (613) 730-5748
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • All-ages accessible (daytime)
  • Steep set of stairs to get down, call for wheelchair accessibility

One of the newest and coolest venues in the city, House of Targ is slowly transforming all of us from pizza punks to perogie punks. Equal combination arcade, stage and gastronomical delight, House of Targ is the only place in Canada where you can watch Pregnancy Scares throw down and play pinball at the same time. Sunday nights are reserved for the weekly session of Toughen Up!, where $5 grants you access to freeplay pinball and power-pop tunes spun all night long. Sensory overload for sure, but doesn’t it feel good to be alive? All ages are welcome during daylight, but shows are reserved for the 19+ crowd.

Birdman Sound

Birdman Sound
(Records, records, records)
593-B Bank St.
Contact: (613) 233-0999
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Wheelchair accessible

Established in 1991, Birdman Sound has often been cited as one of the best record stores in Canada, and is certainly up on the list in Ottawa. Managed by John Westhaver, stickman for The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol and long-time host of Friday Morning Cartunes on CKCU 93.1 FM, Birdman Sound has a good selection of fairly-priced new and used vinyl, covering many an obscure genre with everything from krautrock to post-punk, with a good stock of local punk releases as well. Don’t forget to get a copy of Small Talk on the way out!

Ottawa Explosion

Ottawa Explosion
(“A blog, a fest and your best friend”)
Contact: ottawaexplosion@gmail.com
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Multiple venues; accessibility varies

Described as “a blog, a fest and your best friend,” Ottawa Explosion is a go-to resource for any show or band worth hearing in town (and beyond). The background brain behind it all is Emmanuel Sayer, programming director at CHUO 89.1 FM, City Slang co-host, Crusades guitarist… the dude keeps busy! Sprung from the remains of Gaga Weekend, Ottawa Explosion Weekend has grown into a five-day punk fest taking place every June that feels more like a super-cool family reunion than a group of kidults losing their minds to Thee Nodes. It’s not limited to summer, however: Emmanuel books shows all year round, and updates the blog with listings and new videos from local acts. Confession time: as a (younger) teenager, I would look through the show listings on the site, see what bands were playing and then buy all their albums. So, Emmanuel has basically determined my entire taste in music. Weird / rad!

Arboretum Music + Arts Festival

Aboretum Music + Arts Festival
(Festival, food, art)
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • LGBTQ+ friendly
  • Multiple venues; accessibility varies

Aboretum is the sleeked up yet still hip younger cousin of Ottawa Explosion Weekend, the one who doesn’t have any tattoos (or at least, any visible ones.) A non-profit cultural extravaganza of tunes, gourmet food, local art and workshops established in 2012, Aboretum is curated by Rolf Klausener of The Acorn and Silkken Laumann and now occurs every August. Don’t think that just because it’s polished means its square: last year’s show on the free stage ended in New Swears instigating a food fight in the Club SAW courtyard, whipped cream and crowdsurfing included.

Pizza Shark

Pizza Shark
($2 for a slice, $4.20 for a combo, seriously)
569 Gladstone Ave.
Contact: (613) 563-9999
[Photo: via pizzashark.ca]

  • Small set of stairs to walk up

Urban legend for diehards and locals only. Immortalized in song by local witches Bonnie Doon. Singer and second bassist Lesley Demon once told me, “If you eat at Pizza Shark, you will have a pizza shart.” Let it be clear: the place does not serve very good food. But you could probably tell that by the white Cadillac parked out front with the P SHARK license plate. After a show on Gladstone, it is likely you will wind up there at 2 a.m., stumbling around hungry with only a toonie. And that’s just enough for a slice. Just like Ottawa itself, Pizza Shark is small, stigmatized and totally ours – and that’s exactly why we love it.

Chère Ottawa : félicitations! Tu es passée au travers de ta période gênante. Tu es la petite soeur timide de Montréal et Toronto, tu es l’introvertie à qui on a offert une transfo-beauté, style années 90. Maintenant que tu as laissé tomber les lunettes, je me mords les doigts de ne pas avoir remarqué tout ton charme auparavant. Malgré que tu restes reservée de temps en temps, je t’en vue t’enflammer dans des concerts de sous-sols. Avec une bouteille de vin de dépanneur à la main, tu danses passionnément, plus par amour pour les ‘locaux’ qui sont toujours restés à tes côtés que pour les gros noms qui t’ignoraient dans la cour d’école. Malgré ce qu’ils crient dans les corridors, tu marches la tête haute, laissant à ces connards, les yeux rivés à ta poche de jeans fièrement agrémentée d’une patch de Bruised Tongue, le soin de se demander comment tu es devenue si cool.


Average Times – Summer Nights


New Swears – See You in Hull


The Steve Adamyk Band – Ontario

Gabba Hey

Gabba Hey
(Vinyles et disques, concerts, locaux de pratique)
Visitez la page facebook pour plus d’informations.
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont bienvenus.
  • Présentement non-accessible aux chaises roulantes, le proprio prévoit construire une rampe.

Une combinaison gagnante : un magasin de musique, un espace de spectacle et des locaux de pratique gérés par Luke Nuclear, l’Ottavien polymathe et ancien bassiste de White Wires. Gabba Hey fut la mère porteuse de quelques-uns des plus débiles concerts que j’ai vu. (Pour le prouver : une performance en avril de Nap Eyes a rendu tout le monde obsédé par Whine of the Mystic. Dans la boutique, tu es pratiquement assuré de trouver un trésor, que ce soit un 7 pouces par l’Ottavienne expatriée Peach Kelli Pop, une cassette de (Bruised Tongue)(http://weirdcanada.com/tag/bruised-tongue/) ou un vieux t-shirt de Million Dollar Marxists. Ramasse un fanzine avant de partir. Mes recommendations : Pancake de Sacha KW ou Night Shit de JM Francheteau.

Pressed

Pressed
(Sandwiches, fanzines, concerts)
750 Avenue Gladstone
Contact : (613) 680-9294
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • Les gens de tout âge et les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont bienvenus.
  • Rampe disponible pour donner accès aux chaises roulantes, demandez de l’aide aux employés.
  • Deux marches pour entrer dans l’immeuble, une marche pour les toilettes.

Sandwiches végétaliens. Gaufres à la viande. Croustilles épicées. Si vous passez par Ottawa, vous devez manger là. L’endroit est totalement chaleureux, des bancs d’église en guise de sièges en passant par les oeuvres d’artistes locaux accrochées aux murs. Avec sa mini-bibliothèque de fanzines dirigée pas Lily Pepper, Pressed tisse des liens d’amitié importants avec la communauté de zinesteurs. L’espace est aussi le café numéro 1 pour le divertissement tout âge, et j’ai pu apprécier la présence de tout le monde, de Cousins à Cold Warps, sur la petite scène. Si les fenêtres s’embuent pendant le concert, tu sauras que c’est génial là-dedans.

Mugshots

Mugshots
(Soirée DJ, concerts, buvette)
75 Rue Nicholas
Contact : mugshots@hihostels.ca
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont bienvenus.

Puisque c’est un bar-prison hanté, je crois qu’il est facile de dire que Mugshots est la seule institution en son genre dans la ville. Mugshots est le théatre d’une foule d’évènements mensuels du tonnerre, qui prennent place dans la cour : Ceremony pour les raves, Funhouse pour le punk eccentrique, et Fryquenc, un évènement à contribution volontaire organisé par Debaser. Vous avez légèrement abusé des dark ‘n’ stormys? Passez la nuit à (ne pas) dormir avec les esprits à l’auberge juste à côté.

House of Targ

House of Targ
(Pinball, perogies, concerts, soirées DJ)
1077 Rue Bank
Contact: (613) 730-5748
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont les bienvenus.
  • Accessible à tous les âges (jour)
  • Des marches pour descendre, appelez pour l’accessibilité aux chaises roulantes.

Un des plus cools et des plus récents établissements, House of Targ nous transforme lentement de pizza-punks à pérogies-punks. Une combinaison gagnante d’arcade, de scène et de délices gastronomiques, House of Targ est le seul endroit au Canada où tu peux voir Pregnancy Scares se défoncer et jouer au pin ball en même temps. Les dimanches soirs sont les soirs Toughen Up!, là où 5 $ te donnent accès illimité aux machines de pin ball et aux meilleurs tubes power-pop, toute la soirée. Certainement une surdose pour les sens, mais n’est-il pas bon d’être en vie ? Pendant le jour, l’accès est tout âge mais les concerts sont 19 ans et plus.

Birdman Sound

Birdman Sound
(Musique, musique, musique)
593-B Rue Bank
Contact: (613) 233-0999
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont les bienvenus.
  • Accessible aux chaises roulantes.

Établi en 1991, Birdman Sound retient l’attention depuis longtemps comme un des meilleurs disquaires indépendants au Canada et est certainement au haut de la liste pour Ottawa. Géré par John Westhaver, batteur pour The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol et animateur aguerri de Friday Morning Cartunes sur CKCU 93.1 FM, Birdman Sound offre une bonne sélection de disques neufs et usagés, couvrant une multitude de genres obscurs, du krautrock au post-punk, en laissant une place particulière aux bands punks locaux. N’oublie pas ta copie de Small Talk à la sortie!

Ottawa Explosion

Ottawa Explosion
(“Un blogue, un festival, ton meilleur ami”)
Contact: ottawaexplosion@gmail.com
[Photo: Daryl Andrew Reid]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont les bienvenus.
  • Espaces multiples, l’accessibilité varie.

Étant décrit comme ‘’un blogue, un festival, ton meilleur ami’’, Ottawa Explosion est la ressource numéro 1 pour tous bands ou concerts qui méritent ton attention à Ottawa (et ailleurs !). Le génie derrière ce projet est Emmanuel Sayer, directeur de la programmation à CHUO 89.1 FM, co-animateur de City Slang, guitariste de Crusades… le gars se garde occupé ! Né des restes de Gaga Weekend, Ottawa Explosion Weekend a évolué pour devenir un festival punk de 5 jours à ajouter au calendrier chaque mois de juin. C’est plutôt une réunion de famille hyper cool qu’une bande d’enfants-adultes qui perdent la tête sur Thee Nodes. Ce n’est pas seulement l’été: Emmanuel organise des concerts toute l’année et tient le blogue à jour avec des nouvelles et des vidéos de bands locaux. Confession : quand j’étais une jeune adolescente, je passais mon temps à lire la liste des concerts et j’achetais les albums de tous les bands. Emmanuel a façonné mes goûts musicaux. Bizarre mais génial!

Arboretum Music + Arts Festival

Aboretum Music + Arts Festival
(Festival, bouffe, art)
[Photo: Andrew Carver]

  • Les gens s’identifiant comme LGBTQ+ sont les bienvenus.
  • Espaces multiples, l’accessibilité varie.

Aboretum, c’est le cousin cool mais bien peigné d’Ottawa Explosion Weekend, celui qui n’a pas de tatouages visibles. Un évènement à but non-lucratif de chanson, de bouffe gourmet, d’art et d’ateliers établis en 2012, Aboretum est organisé par Rolf Klausener de The Acorn et de Silkken Laumann et prend place chaque mois d’août. Il serait faux de penser que c’est poli parce que c’est pincé : le concert de l’année dernière sur la scène principale s’est terminé avec New Swears initiant une guerre de bouffe dans la cour du Club SAW, la crème fouettée et le ‘croudsurfing’ inclus.

Pizza Shark

Pizza Shark
($2 pour une pointe, $4.20 pour un combo, sérieusement)
569 Avenue Gladstone.
Contact: (613) 563-9999
[Photo: via pizzashark.ca]

  • Quelques marches à monter.

Une légende urbaine pour les irréductibles et la faune locale. Immortalisé en chanson par les sorcières de Bonnie Doon. La chanteuse et bassiste Lesley Demon m’a déjà dit : ‘’Si tu manges chez Pizza Shark, ça pourrait mal finir’. Soyons honnête, l’endroit ne sert pas de la très bonne bouffe. Mais c’était presque évident en voyant la cadillac stationnée en face avec son immatriculation ‘‘P SHARK’’. Après une soirée sur l’avenue Gladstone, il y a de bonnes chances que tu t’y retrouves à 2 heures du mat, avec une pièce de deux dollars en poche et un p’tit creux. Et c’est juste assez pour une pointe. Comme Ottawa, Pizza Place est petit, stigmatisé et totalement nôtre, et c’est pourquoi on l’aime autant.