Welcome to the quarantine.
A lot of us are stuck inside, distancing ourselves from the outside world, and that means there's never been a better time to reacquaint yourself with some musical favorites, or dig into an artist you've been meaning to check out. Here are some suggestions to make your alone time a little less lonely.
SUPPORT THE LOCALS
Music venues and artists are being hit hard right now, and if you're feeling a little desperate about the whole situation, you can make a difference. A few local venues have started GoFundMe accounts to raise money for their currently out-of-work employees, and you can donate right now to Lucky You Lounge (gofundme.com/f/lucky-you-emergency-staff-support), the Knitting Factory (gofundme.com/f/knitting-factory-spokane-employee-fund) and the Pin (gofundme.com/f/the-pin-emergancy-fund). The Spokane Symphony, which has had to cancel the remainder of its season, is also accepting donations for its musicians and behind-the-scenes employees; visit spokanesymphony.org/donate to chip in.
Stars — they're just like us. And that means they're holed up inside, too. But at least a few of them are taking to social media to entertain their followers and themselves. Angelic-voiced singer-songwriter Rufus Wainwright is posting daily performances on his Instagram profile under the hashtag #MusicalEverydays, lounging in a robe at the piano in his L.A. living room and taking on songs like "Gray Gardens" and "The Art Teacher." Death Cab for Cutie frontman Ben Gibbard has also gotten into the live-stream game: Every day on his YouTube channel, he's taking requests and broadcasting acoustic performances from his home studio. Electro-pop sensations Christine and Queens have posted several Instagram videos from the Parisian recording studio where they're isolated, and they've been as quirky and unpredictable as you'd expect. And several artists, including Coldplay's Chris Martin and R&B crooner John Legend, have teamed up to live-stream their sets with the #TogetherAtHome concert series, spearheaded by the World Health Organization and Global Citizen. It's the next best thing to a front-row seat.
The last week has brought about a spate of surprise music premieres, and there will no doubt be many more, especially as artists get antsy about not being able to go on the road for the time being. The biggest release news comes courtesy of Childish Gambino, the alter ego of actor and rapper Donald Glover, who unexpectedly dropped his new studio record 3.15.20 online last week. It popped up on his website before disappearing again a few hours later, but now it's back again and available to stream; go to donaldgloverpresents.com to see where you can listen. Rapper M.I.A. also popped back up with a single called "OHMNI 202091," which she released unexpectedly as a means "to get you the f—- up outta bed." It's available on her Patreon page, and it's a welcome throwback to the upbeat, experimental style that made her famous. Car Seat Headrest, the project of songwriter Will Toledo, also dropped a song this week called "Martin," a strummy pop reverie backed by a stuttering electronic beat. His new album Making a Door Less Open is due May 1. ♦