While just about everyone in the world is suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic, the creatives in the music industry have been working on finding creative solutions to fill in the time and keep themselves in the public’s view since their foreign and domestic/local tours have been cancelled and/or postponed until later on in the year.
For L A Music Scene the “scene” started to go down like a row of dominoes right after attending a LOVE concert at The Echo in Echo Park on Sunset Blvd on March 8, 2020. At that point, it was hard to relax and enjoy the show while worrying about everyone keeping their distance. The show featured their “Forever Changes” album with strings and horns to compliment their sound as it is on the album.
Then the Road Mangler himself Phil Kaufman cancelled his “Last Philgramage” in Joshua Tree, CA where he goes over the various points of interest for the founder of the Cosmic American Music movement Gram Parsons. We had hoped to get quite a smashing story from this adventure.
Then Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits backed out of an interview and his tour had been cancelled. I was looking forward to this interview since I had snuck into a house he and the Hermits were staying in back in the day. Also going down on our agenda was The Renaissance Pleasure Faire which is a favorite haunt for us as well many of our friends.
Bass player extraordinaire Leland Sklar had all of his gigs cancelled for the indefinite future. David Crosby had his tour cancelled and was very worried at the prospect of losing his Santa Ynez home due to loss of his touring income. British Metal band SAXON postponed their much anticipated tour which would have brought them to the Hammersmith Odeon in London where good friend and assistant to Adam Parsons at Siren Artist Management Michelle Coombe had tickets to attend.
Then Dark Spark Music’s planned show at The Cutting Room in New York had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This show was to feature the super talented line-up of label mates Lovely World, Tender Beats and Australian Rockers High. In addition, new music releases by Damian Sage and Deborah Hanan and Ministers Of Culture were slated to be premiered at Molly Malones which also had to be cancelled. “Union Town” by Sage and “The Deadening” by Hanan and Ministers Of Culture were the featured songs set to be played live.
It was around this time that people began thinking about ways to get around this pandemic’s sequestering and promote themselves and their wares.
For super manager and Dark Spark Music CEO Vicky Hamilton it meant having the time now to write another book. While L A Music Scene isn’t going to blab about the content, rest assured it will be a real page turner just like her “Appetite For Dysfunction” was for this reader.
Sklar also announced that now he had time to finally write a bio about all of his work over the decades with just about every musician you can name. Now that would be an interesting read and is mostly photos.
SAXON decided to create an internet broadcast of their new “show” that had to be postponed to reach out to their fans worldwide and other bands have followed suit including local talent Julian Shah-Taylor who put on a solo acoustic show of his David Bowie stylings. For those of you that have not seen Shah-Taylor do David Bowie this is an act not to be missed with his The Band That Fell To Earth. FYI Shah-Taylor has recently been signed to Dark Spark Music.
Local up and coming band The Jacks have been using Instagram as a way to engage their fans and keep them interested and involved by allowing them to ask questions and chat as well as listen to their music.
The most inventive band to use the pandemic respite is Dirty Honey. They had originally planned on being in Australia to record new music and make their down-under debut at the Byron Bay Bluesfest in April. Instead, they found themselves hunkered down in their homes in LA. On Instagram, Dirty Honey shares with fans what they are doing while in COVID-19 self-isolation. As they now like to say to their many fans “Keep your hands clean and your minds dirty.” In addition, they appear to have their very own Dirty Honey brand of hand sanitizer which has their motto on the bottle. LOL. Keep an eye out for their “Suitcase Sessions.”
Just when L A Music Scene thought it couldn’t get any weirder along comes Bob Dylan with “Murder Most Foul.” This vetern folk singer and purveyor of rocked and edgy tunes hasn’t put out original new music since 2012’s “Tempest.” This song is a long, 17-minute, almost narrative about the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963 with strings gently playing in the background. It moves on to other events that happen in the time from then to now but then goes back to JFK’s murder at the hands of people that are still in power now. The mind-blowing weaving of this pivotal time in our history with the events of each century is something that takes a bit of time to process into our psyches. For myself and others that know music, it seems as if he’s also talking about the “murder” of our nation which began with JFK’s assassination.
And why not Dylan to usher in a new “protest” song of sorts after all he did craft “The Times They Are A -Changin” which came out in 1964. This new song is evidence as to why universities teach classes on Dylan’s music and why Dylan won a Nobel Prize for Literature 2016 which friend Patti Smith accepted for him. Very powerful song and a very powerful message.
P.S. thank you, Slim Shady, for giving me “Lose Yourself” and thanks to my favorite drummer ever Travis Barker for “4 A.M. Quarrenetine Sessions…”What Went Wrong?” Gotta keep it real with Them’s “Baby Please Don’t Go” and “Gloria” all blasting away on my BOSE driven iPod.
My people have a saying that goes “Never show all of your spears until you HAVE to!” For those that are wondering who my people are, they are the Miwok from Yosemite. Start sharpening those spears friends as it’s going to be a bumpy ride and Stay Home! Go Underground! Use the internet!