As many of you know, my ‘normal’ approach to this blog and live music, in general, is to tell you about shows that are coming up and tell you why I think you should go to them. What Would Jenn (Marks) Do? There are my standard reasons for any show like ‘support musicians and artists’ and ‘music saved my life / soul / insert your own word here’ and of course, there is community. This is is my community, the LOLMs.
During this time of COVID-19, I can’t make this suggestion. Most shows / gatherings are being postponed or cancelled. This isn’t meant to be a debate on whether this is the right or wrong decision to be made, but I am here to tell you that this is going to hurt. It’s going to hurt us personally in that we can’t self-soothe by taking ourselves out to a show and making ourselves feel better in this crazy world. But more than that it’s going to hurt the artists and the small venue owners and the service staff who work in these venues or at the restaurants and bars near these venues, the drivers who take people to and from these venues. These are the immediate people that will feel the pain. These are often the people who can’t afford to lose paid gigs / work and might not have paid time off. Sure there’s insurance for some of this stuff, but we all know that insurance doesn’t cover everything and if insurers can get away with it, they’ll try not to cover anything.
I’ve been seeing a lot of people post the Mr. Rogers quote about looking for helpers (“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”). I’ve been thinking about what we can do during these times to try to help others who are being impacted immediately. Andee and I talked yesterday about the blog and how it’s hard to update the calendar when you know the shows are likely to be cancelled and you don’t know what’s coming next, etc. when the idea came. I think it was her idea, it could have been mine… who knows but I think it was hers.
The idea(s): Write the blogs posts that we would have written anyway. We can repost them later when the shows are actually rescheduled or we can post some variation of them at that time. In these blog posts, we can ask you, our readers, to go to these artists websites and buy some merch from them. Buy a CD or a new tee or a tote bag or whatever it is they are selling and whatever it is that you can afford. They need this. You will feel better and you’ll look good sporting whatever new merch you choose or dancing / singing to the new music that you purchased. Buying new music will also have the added bonus of replacing some of the 24-hour media coverage with your favorite artist’s music. Self-soothing! It’s good for you; it’ll be good for your health. Might I also suggest that you go out and take a walk if you can. It’ll make you feel better
If you are able to go out, tip your service people well and be kind! Oh, and WASH YOUR HANDS! The only thing we can really control is our own behavior! Do your part!