“During this time every musician and their crews are out of work like so many people out there with very few applicable grants and loans available.”
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to put nightlife as we knew it on hold, the number of live streams has increased at a steady rate. Musicians and bands ranging from major label superstars to local up-and-comers have been in front of cameras, performing for audiences the likes of which some have never reached in person. It’s proof that music can still bring people together when we are supposed to be at least six feet apart. And the trend also provides hope that we can return to some sort of normalcy once this brutal pandemic has passed.
This week’s select COVID-19 Streams examines a band with Cambridge roots taking part in a benefit for a Cape Cod-based arts nonprofit, a partnership between three organizations to get folks dancing in their homes on Saturday nights, and virtual recognition of an icon’s activist legacy.
Running from April 30 at 6pm through May 2 at 10pm, Home Is Where The Art Is will feature acts including Will Dailey, Crooked Coast, Kim Moberg, Amy Jo Johnson, and a bunch of others in an effort to raise money for the Cape Cod Arts Relief Fund that’s been created by the Arts Foundation Of Cape Cod. Another act performing is the Philadelphia hip-hop blues trio G. Love & Special Sauce, who formed at the Tam O’Shanter in Washington Square in Brookline in the ’90s.
“I’m thrilled to be a part of the Home Is Where The Art Is online festival with my good friend Will Dailey and many other amazing artists,” G. Love said. “This is a unique fundraiser as we are artists and creators raising money for fellow artists and creators. I’m happy about this, as musicians we say yes to everything and put a lot of time, love, and energy into helping raise money for communities and causes around the world. This is wonderful, but the musicians themselves often get overlooked. During this time every musician and their crews are out of work like so many people out there with very few applicable grants and loans available. It is good to see some of our local musicians, myself included, benefit through this benefit while continuing to spread the love and joy we strive to share with the world.”
You can check out Home Is Where The Art Is by going to the Arts Foundation Of Cape Cod’s Facebook page, and donations can be sent via the foundation’s website (artsfoundation.org). For more info on the relief fund, check out artsfoundation.org/cape-cod-arts-relief-fund.
For the past few Saturday nights at 6:30pm, the video production and booking agency Gigabit has teamed up with the influencer brand Secret Boston and the arts and entertainment database Do617 to put on a series called Saturday Night LIVEStreams. Local artists such as DJ Knife and Lightfoot have already taken part in this great way to release pent up energy by dancing to all kinds of cuts and spinning.
“Once upon a time, we were primarily a local booking company with live stream aspirations,”
Gigabit co-founder Griffin Bach said about the vision behind the series. “After COVID-19 hit, we abruptly flip-flopped. Streaming is going to be the sole medium for live performers for the indefinite future and we want to do everything we can to help support the local music community. We think that, even when things ‘return to normal,’ whenever that might be, live streaming will remain a powerful medium for performers everywhere. It’s definitely the new ‘thing’ for live music.’’
To check out all of the cool stuff Gigabit has been doing over the past few weeks, visit gigabit.live. To see what other things Secret Boston and Do617 have been up to lately, check out secretboston.net and do617.com.
If he was alive today, May 3 would be Pete Seeger’s 100th birthday. If you don’t know who Seeger was, he was a folk icon from the ending of the Great Depression until he passed in January 2014. He also was a critical figure during the civil rights movement in the ’60s, and his protest songs are still important to progressives everywhere today. As part of Club Passim’s Passim Streams series, Alastair Moock will celebrate Seeger’s birthday by paying tribute to his music.
Moock: “Pete Seeger is the patron saint of musical activism. He was right in the middle of every movement for social change in the 20th Century. Any of us who’s ever picked up a guitar and thought we’d like to try and use it to make the world a little bit better has inevitably ended up looking to Pete for inspiration. He left an enormous wake and it’s one I definitely swim in. Bruce Springsteen probably said it best: ‘Pete would have the audacity and the courage to sing in the voice of the people. Despite his somewhat benign, grandfatherly appearance, he is a creature of a stubborn, defiant and nasty optimism. He’s your granddad if your granddad could kick your ass.’ I’m looking forward to doing a little ass-kicking in Pete’s honor.”
As with every Passim Stream, donations will be split between Moock and Club Passim. Other editions of the series that’ll be happening this weekend will be Grace Givertz on May 1 at noon, Taylor Ashton later on that night at 7pm, and Jim Kweskin on May 2 at 7pm. All of the streams can be watched at Club Passim’s Facebook page. People are also encouraged to donate to the Cambridge arts nonprofit and music venue’s Emergency Artist Relief Fund, which has already raised over $100,000 to help full-time musicians through this uncertain situation we’re all in. For more information, log on to passim.org/pearfund.
While viewing them might be free, musicians are most likely streaming so they can pay their living expenses. With music venues being closed down, live music as an income stream is hardly feasible. When you see a link for a musician’s PayPal or Venmo, please shell out some cash if you can.
Rob Duguay is an arts & entertainment journalist based in Providence, RI who is originally from Shelton, CT. Outside of DigBoston, he also writes for The Providence Journal, The Connecticut Examiner, The Newport Daily News, Worcester Magazine, New Noise Magazine, Northern Transmissions and numerous other publications. While covering mostly music, he has also written about film, TV, comedy, theatre, visual art, food, drink, sports and cannabis.