“Listen to some music, hang with each other, and take part in whatever antics are unfolding in our little shared world.”
Another week inside means another week of live online performances from local bands and musicians. The trend has become one of the few bright spots of the coronavirus pandemic, with fans new and old alike from all over watching artists they love perform from the comfort of their own home.
In some cases, support is given via donations to the artist’s PayPal or Venmo account; in other cases, incoming funds go a long way to helping the artist thrive in this current situation. Boston’s music scene is holding relatively strong through these creative outlets, with numerous acts from the city taking part. At the very least, it’s been fun to see who shows up in front of a mobile camera, and in some cases to see what their bathtubs and showers look like.
Walter Sickert and Edrie Edrie from the “steamcrunk” act Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys teamed up with the arts nonprofit Manifest Boston to do a livestream tonight, April 8 at 7:30pm. The event is called Manifest At Home: A Songwriting Salon With Walter & Edrie, and will have them making a recording that folks can contribute to after the virtual show.
“Walter and I are inviting people into our home studio for #ManifestAtHome,” Edrie says about the event. “It’s a chance to reflect on how we all connect as artists to each other and our family and fans while we’re #TogetherAtHome. We’ll give folks a tour, reflect on our art-making process, play a few songs, chat and also write a song live with the folks who tune in.”
Edrie continues, “Like many parents, we’re also juggling working, creating, parenting, and homeschooling, so our five-year-old will also be with us and part of the process. The rest of the band members will be online too, and we’re hoping we can all connect and bring a flavor of what it is like to be in the studio with us.”
Adam Ezra from the folk-jam band Adam Ezra Group has been putting on a nightly live stream installment called the Gathering Series. It happens every night at 7pm through their Facebook page and has evolved with different themes, such as an all-request night that went down earlier this week.
“Connecting with you and sharing our music is the fuel that makes us happy and gets us through our hardest times,” the Adam Ezra Group notes about the series. “Rather than look at these upcoming months as an isolating shutdown of our mission, we’ve decided to turn this next chapter into an opportunity to gather with as many of you every night as we can. Since our first canceled show, Adam has been live streaming from his place in Chelsea, and we have been overwhelmed and inspired by the response. We’ve decided to organize a nightly gathering online. When you can, come visit us. Listen to some music, hang with each other, and take part in whatever antics are unfolding in our little shared world.”
Another ongoing series is Passim Streams, which has soul artist Jesse Dee playing on April 9 at 4pm. The virtual events raise money that’s split between the performer and the staff of the Cambridge music venue and arts nonprofit Club Passim. Dee is excited about the opportunity for multiple reasons.
“I’m looking forward to playing some music from the confines of my home,” he says. “Club Passim is a wonderful venue that has been around for over 60 years in Cambridge, and I’ve had the good fortune of performing there many times over the course of the last 15 years or so. In addition to being one of the best listening rooms in the area, Passim has always played a role in fostering the artists in our community. That hasn’t changed since the venue’s recent shutdown due to the current pandemic we’re dealing with. They’ve only stepped up their support for the music community and created the Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund.”
“My show is free for anyone to tune in to, but there will be an option to make a donation should you be inclined to do so,” Dee adds. “Live streaming concerts are a great way to support the livelihood of musicians at this time, as well as shuttered venues and their currently unemployed staff. While it can’t compare to the shared experience of a live performance in the flesh, I think there are still benefits to be enjoyed in the virtual performance setting. Music still has the ability to connect us together, even while we’re physically isolated apart. I’m hoping to do just that on Thursday.”
Dee’s main goal with the performance is to bring a light to the darkness of uncertainty that surrounds us.
“If I can bring a small amount of joy into someone’s day, take their mind away for a moment, or just relieve a little stress, then my job will be done,” he says. “We need music more than ever in uncertain times. I know I do, and live streaming is a great way to facilitate that.”
People can check out the Passim Streams at passim.org/stream, and they can access the Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund at passim.org/PEARfund. Other installments happening this week include Goodnight Moonshine at 7pm on April 10, and Brian Webb the following night at the same time. Singer-songwriter Mark Erelli will also be streaming independently on April 9 at 8pm, while for something a bit different, Sadie Dupuis from the indie rock act Speedy Ortiz will be part of a the podcast, Five Questions with Steve Molter, on Instagram on April 10 at 7pm to raise money for the poetry publication Wax Nine Journal.
As you can tell, there’s a lot of streaming going on. Be sure to log on, and maybe even show your support by watching opening up your digital wallet to donate.