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(Too much) Virtual live music (#1063)

Topics/tags: [Miscellaneous

Living in the middle of Iowa means that there are few concerts nearby. And my job (or workaholism) means that I can attend too few concerts in any case. That doesn’t mean that I haven’t seen some great music. I see a lot of great student performances, but I’ve also seen some major performances. Billy Bragg’s visit to campus was spectacular; not only did he and his band play soccer on Mac field, but he spent over an hour chatting with the audience afterwards. Dave and Phil Alvin in Iowa city were wonderful, too. But I still see less live music than I’d like.

The pandemic has changed that a bit. I don’t see live music in person, but I do get to see livecasts of a variety of artists. I don’t spend much time looking for shows; I rely on the ones that come up through email or recommendations from friends. At first, I panicked that I was missing cool shows. These days, I accept that there’s more music than I could ever hope to listen to. It’s okay if I miss a show (or a dozen shows) that I was planning to attend.

Let’s see what’s on tap [1] for this week. All times are central.

Monday, May 4

  • 4pm: I would normally watch Jon Richardson’s Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live. But I had a faculty meeting [2]. I wonder if Jon did a Star Wars tribute. For those who missed the earlier musing, Jon is a Grinnell alum who went off to music school and now does a regular piano bar that has moved into cyberspace. I like seeing the people at Jon’s show. That chats are a lot of fun.

Tuesday, May 5

  • 1pm: I’ve been watching Danika & The Jeb on StageIt for much of the pandemic. Danika Holmes is originally from Iowa, which is how I heard of her. I think I supported a Kickstarter or two. I love her voice. I like how personal their shows are. They do some great covers, too.
  • 4pm: Jon Richardson’s Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live.
  • 7pm: Danika & The Jeb on StageIt.

Wednesday, May 6

  • Noon: Jon Richardson’s Kids’ Show on Facebook Live. I’ve only been to one of Jon’s kids’ shows. I seem to recall he sang a verse of The Wheels on the Bus that went something like Your Uncle Jon goes swish-swish-swish. I laughed for a solid minute.
  • 3:30pm: Rosie Flores is on Facebook Live. I’m not sure when I first heard Flores, who these days is part of the Austin music scene. But I know that her duet on Goodbye Again with Dave Alvin is one of my favorite songs.
  • 4pm: Jon Richardson’s Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live.
  • 8pm: Robyn Hitchcock and Emma Smith have a regular show on StageIt. I started listening to the Soft Boys in the early 1980s and have followed Hitchcock ever since. I love the harmonies with Emma Smith. (I also love her own songs, when she shares them.)
  • 8pm: Elizabeth Moen is on Facebook live. I saw a great Moen show at the Stew [3] and have followed her ever since. I haven’t made a virtual Moen show yet, probably because I’ve been watching Hitchcock and Smith when I’ve been online at 8pm on Wednesdays.

Thursday, May 7

  • 4pm: Jon Richardson’s Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live. I’m not making it today because of the next event.
  • 4:15pm: Middle Son’s Vocal Recital, live somewhere in Cyberspace. Youngest Son will be accompanying him on keyboard [4].

Friday, May 8

  • 11am: Sal Baglio of Boston’s The Stompers on The WBCN Virtual Lunchtime Concert Series. The Stompers were a Boston band who never made it big. If I recall correctly, both of their labels folded soon after their records were released. Anyway, I love many of their songs. Never Tell an Angel (That Your Heart’s On Fire) is one of my all-time favorites.
  • 2pm: Robyn Hitchcock is doing a Syd Barrett cover show. He’s done a variety of these. I made it to the Beatles one (with Emma on harmonies). I missed the Dylan one. I’m not much of a Syd Barrett fan, but it should be fun.
  • 4pm: Jon Richardson’s Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live.
  • 7pm: Beatles Covers Jon Richardson’s Late Night Virtual Piano Bar on Facebook Live.
  • 8pm: Liv Greene Album Release show at Club Passim on Facebook Live. I don’t know Greene at all, but it seems like seeing some shows at the virtual Passim (people’s homes) would be fun. This entry also serves as a reminder to myself to check out what is happening at Passim.

Saturday, May 9

Friday, May 10

  • Nothing, yet.


  • I saw a Tom Russell show on Facebook Live a few weeks ago. I need to figure out if he’s planning another. Russell is one of my favorite songwriters. I think I first learned about him by listening to Dave Alvin’s cover of Blue Wing. From that, I’ve discovered a wide variety of wonderful music which often has a subtle (or not so subtle) political bent.
  • I’m pretty sure that X will be doing something to celebrate their new album. Of course, it would have been better to see them with the Violent Femmes in Minnesota at the end of May but, well, that’s not going to happen.
  • I saw Carlene Carter a few weeks ago. I hope she does another show. I need to remember to put her daughter, Tiffany Lowe, on my list to watch.
  • Speaking of Tiffany Lowe, I should see if Nick Lowe has any shows. Nope, doesn’t seem like it, at least not right now.
  • Jonathan Richman almost certainly will not livecast. If I recall correctly, he hates technology.
  • I was hoping that Michelle Shocked would be doing something. But from what I can see from her site, she’s spending her time being sarcastic about online ordering [5].
  • I’m probably missing lots of things. If you have shows I should add to my list of shows to think about, let me know.

Even ignoring that last list, that’s a lot of shows. I certainly won’t attend all of them, but it’s helpful to have a list.

Postscript: Somewhere along the way, my time, energy, and creativity for describing shows ran out. Sorry about that. Eventually I’ll have musings in reserve again and things like this can sit in the hopper for that TEC [6] stuff.

[1] Nope, no beer tap.

[2] This footnote intentionally left blank.

[3] I was there to see Squirrel Flower, who opened for Moen.

[4] We’d prefer to have him do the accompaniment on an acoustic piano. Unfortunately, one of our lower D’s is tune to D-flat. I have no idea why.

[5] At least I hope the parts of the site I’m looking at are sarcastic, such as the suggestion that she wants one million presales before releasing an upcoming album.

[6] Time, Energy, and Creativity, if you weren’t sure. Not Technology Studies.

Version 1.0 of 2020-05-04.