Upstate Music, Live and Online: Week Two of Social Distancing

  • By cvbizz
  • March 26, 2020
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Upstate Live Music: Mourning Dove

Brett Barest

Well, here we are in week two of the Coronapocalypse and, spoiler alert, there are no live shows for us to go see. It is depressing as all hell to think of the artists, venue owners, and service industry staff that is getting their proverbial asses kicked by this thing but dwelling on that does not do anyone any good. We should instead look to the positive things coming out of this mess which, naturally, involves a lot of creativity on the part of our local music scene.

First and foremost, we have to discuss the fact that we are still being treated to live music, albeit through different methods. In this digital age, anyone with a smart phone in their pocket can be a producer and Facebook Live, Instagram Live, and Twitch are just a few of the ways you can take in a show. Shows are going on everywhere from living rooms and recording studios to empty music venues and are streaming live online even as we speak. Here, you can be as interactive as you would be at a live performance as emojis and comments take the place of cheers and applause. Still, the same rules to supporting a live show apply here and under no circumstances is it ever okay to submit a request for “Wagon Wheel” during the performance.

The best part about this is arrangement is it provides we, the listeners, the opportunity to support these musicians with some tips for their efforts, thereby keeping a little cash flow coming their way. Artists will generally have Venmo or some other financial transfer app and, given how much we are saving in tickets, cover charges, and bar tabs during this time, it is the least we can do to show our support with a few bucks.. If everybody contributes, this could turn into a means of significant financial aid to artists in need.

The iOnGreenville music calendar has been temporarily replaced by a guide to streaming shows in the days and weeks ahead. Highlights thus far include Vilai Harrington streaming from Quest Brewing on Thursday, a host of shows at Red Arrow Recording Studio almost daily, and indie electronic artist Saki Bomb dropping a new video live from his studio tonight. Also, I literally just received word as I typed this paragraph that Upstate Music Award winners Mourning Dove are putting together an entire “Alone and Scared Fest 2020” featuring six local artists each performing an hour set this Saturday from 4-10pm. Given that these shows are literally coming in faster than I can write this piece, I can only suggest that you check out the link for yourself here and start planning accordingly.


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I am also thrilled to see iOnGreenville dust off the archives and put together a compilation of Fete Greenville and GVL Media’s live studio sessions from over the years. This collection of 20 videos is a great reminder of just how much talent we have right here in the Upstate and how committed Fete’s Jay Spivey has been to the local music scene over the years. Check out the link, kick your feet up, and enjoy the shows.

Finally, I mentioned earlier that service industry professionals are getting hit as hard or harder than anyone and, without them, we would never get to see a show anywhere. Check out this handy link where you can virtually tip a server at random to put a little “pay it forward” kindness and energy out into the world. It only takes a minute but it could have a big impact on a stranger’s life in these strange and ever changing times.

I am going to be here talking about music for as long as this goes on. Maybe next week I can talk about how I got into this music writing thing in the first place, my most influential albums or shows, or God knows what else that can offer even a slight distraction from this whole mess. Whatever it is, I will be right here and appreciate you for reading.

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