“While we can’t be with them in person right now, we felt the want and need to give back to them in the way they do for us. Being able to take requests of everyone’s favorite songs and talking with our fans and friends has made it feel more like a show experience.”
As the pandemic continues, livestreaming seems to be one of the only things that is going steady. So many things are changing, and sometimes that change isn’t welcome. For example, it was announced on May 1 that beloved Allston music venue Great Scott won’t reopen after the current crisis ceases.
Boston’s music scene took a gut punch with that one, with numerous musicians and fans exclaiming outrage at the news. Fortunately, people have come together in an attempt to prevent this horrible thing from actually happening, circulating a petition and calling on city officials and others to brainstorm solutions.
As for this week’s livestreams, in this installment there are siblings who are social distancing while making music, an online festival named after a primary color, and the latest from Club Passim’s successful Passim Streams series.
Boston act The Devil’s Twins have a unique brand of rock that incorporates blues and a whole lot of energy. Jeremiah Louf has his own unique and charismatic style of singing and playing guitar, while Nikki Coogan sings like Amy Winehouse and Ryan Manning is a monster on drums. Recently, Louf and Coogan have been doing a livestream series called the Six Feet Apart Sessions on a consistent basis via Facebook.
“As the days started blending together and live performances continued to slip out of our calendars, we knew we needed to do something to pull us all together,” Coogan said about the series. “For us, starting the Six Feet Apart Sessions was a way to experience a spark of the electricity that we feel when we have our full band together in a room. While we aren’t encompassed by the wildness of our horns, Jeremiah’s full rig or the animal that is Ryan on a full kit, I’ve found it just as exciting to strip down in a more vulnerable way and be remembered of where each song comes from in the first place. Outside of the sessions coming from our own needs to still make music, we felt a huge want and need to still feel close and give back to the family that is always there for us. The 2Crew, which is who we call our core group of fans, makes it out to every show, screaming and feeling our music just as wildly as us.”
“They give their whole selves when they walk in the door,” she added. “While we can’t be with them in person right now, we felt the want and need to give back to them in the way they do for us. Being able to take requests of everyone’s favorite songs and talking with our fans and friends by using Facebook’s premier function has made it feel more like a show experience.”
Right before things started going down, we were right on the edge of beginning an exciting cycle of releasing all new songs and videos. We’ll be rolling into that as soon as this is over but in the meantime, we used the Six Feet Apart Sessions to release an acoustic peek at one of those brand new songs, “Bad Karma.” Hearing everyone’s feedback has made us even more excited to roll into these new releases and we can’t wait to celebrate and get loud.”
On Saturday, May 9 at 5pm, you can catch a livestream of Blue Fest that’s being presented by Boston alt-rock dynamos No/Hugs. The lineup for it is stacked with Walter Sickert & The Army Of Broken Toys, Amanda McCarthy, Stormstress, The Scenic Route, Oliver Price, and many others encompassing a 19-act bill.
“One of the things that I always thought was a bit of a given in the music scene is that the bands, which are supposed to be the foundation of the scene, are in disconnect,” No/Hugs vocalist Narcie Hadjiconstantinou said about putting the festival together. “However, the reality is that I have only seen great success in No/Hugs when we joined forces with our peers and worked together toward common goals. People aren’t realizing that the music market is going to permanently change after COVID-19 is over. This is not a conspiracy theory, it’s a micro and macro economic prediction based on supply and demand as well as opportunity costs on behalf of the venues. Blue Fest is here to showcase local and national talent, in the true essence of the word talent. We have had over 70 submissions and chose the 17 we believed in the most. Not based on draw or any other monetary profit other than the fact that these are artists whose music we want to support.”
“Now, the time that people are actually home and have time to listen to us for once is when we should be supporting each other and showcasing our bond as a scene,” Hadjiconstantinou added. “All the artists on Blue Fest have been showing such amazing spirit, they have all been rehearsing to bring you all an amazing show despite the hardships caused by COVID-19. We have everything from vocal loop performances, to acoustic prog, to people performing with a green screen and 3D sound designs. This is the time for you to be discovering your new favorite artist.”
The streams are still rolling along over at the Cambridge arts nonprofit and music venue Club Passim. Their Passim Streams series has helped a bunch of musicians make some income since the pandemic, with the organization raising more than $100,000 for the Passim Emergency Artist Relief Fund to assist performers in financial need. The series has a special installment coming up on May 11, with Troy, New York folk artist Sean Rowe performing. He has a one of a kind voice that’s as smooth as it is heavy; his songwriting talents are fantastic.
“I don’t think livestreaming will ever replace the intimacy or emotional connection you can have with an audience in person, but it is the medium we have to work with now and it’s been a blessing to stay working,” Rowe said about the current situation. “I do think there is room to grow within the medium to make it more sonically and visually appealing, which is something I’m looking to improve. I think in general though, fans are happy to have live music remain in their lives and I’m happy to still be able to deliver the goods.”
The money donated during each Passim Stream gets split between the performer and the venue, and you can watch them on Club Passim’s Facebook page. Other editions of the series include Julian Loida on May 8 at noon, Jeffrey Foucault later that night at 7pm, and Liv Greene, who will ring in the release of her new album, Every Bright Penny, that evening at 9pm. May 9 will have Mark Erelli performing at 7pm, with Owen Plant playing the following night at 6pm.
Like with a lot of livestreams, be prepared to donate to the musician’s PayPal or Venmo account. Some of them have links to both, but either way your contribution will go a long way in paying their various expenses.
This article was produced in collaboration with the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism as part of its Pandemic Democracy Project.
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.