Apocalypse Now, and Quite a Bit Later

May 5th, 2020

I’d like to share with you an amusing tale that has nothing whatsoever to do with international pandemics. Nope, just kidding. It’s pandemic all day, every day, all the time. Fun for the whole family!

Again, just kidding.

As you know, I’m one of the four hosts of the Somerville Songwriter Sessions, which we used to present on the first Saturday of every month, in the Before Times. You may also recall, from my last newsletter, that April’s show was supposed to be my turn. I’d invited my pals Doug Kwartler and Dan Cloutier, and we were going to have a fantastic folk music party, and then the bug creatures came.

So, of course, the show was cancelled, and the Somerville Armory is dark and still, and I’m sitting here at headquarters with She Who Must Be Taunted, and I must say there’s probably just a lit-tle more taunting going on than usual, but mostly, we’re fine. No tentacles erupting from our chest cavities, no green slime oozing inexorably up the stairs, just lots and lots of togetherness and a good deal of worry about the world and a frankly frightening level of cabin fever. (Which, to the best of my knowledge, is not a known symptom of the coronavirus.)

In time, of course, the shows will go on (and, by the way, we want the Somerville Armory to still be a viable organization when the flood waters retreat, so if you want to, please show them some love; just search for “Arts at the Armory COVID19 Emergency Relief Fund”), but in the meantime, as you have all probably found out already, the Intertubes have been spawning on-line concerts like nobody’s business.

It’s not the same. Of course it’s not the same. After all, there’s no coffee, or pastry, or CD drink coasters for sale, and you don’t even need to put your pants on to attend (or to perform, frankly, depending on how you position the webcam). And, I gotta say, although I miss the excitement of live performance, it would absolutely not be enough for me to perform in the comfort of my living room. Because, my friends, I can’t hear you clapping.

There. I’ve said it. It’s not about the nobility of art. It’s not about the community. It’s not about anything except my ego. Without the clapping, I might as well go into dentistry.

It took me a while to figure out what I was going to do about this, other than listen to other people’s concerts and grind my teeth over my petty first-world problems. I was about to embark on recording my next album – my drummer, even as we speak, is assembling a drum machine part for one of the tunes to keep himself from murdering his housemates – but that won’t be happening anytime in the near future. And the thought of simply sitting still, well, that didn’t suit me at all.

So I’ve decided to go on tour. Not a real tour, of course – among other things, that would actually cost money, which I’m saving for my recording project. No, this tour will be a tour of all the nonexistent folk venues across the country that I wish existed. Many of these nonexistent venues have informed me that they’ll welcome me with open arms, and they’ll even record my show for posterity. And I’m glad to report that you can find the first stop on my Coronavirus 2020 tour, a 30-minute set performed live at Yeast of Eden in Los Tontos, CA, on my YouTube page. I’m hoping to do a couple of these events every month, maybe more frequently, depending on how many nonexistent venues I can interest in the project.

So check back every so often, and maybe I’ll send out the occasional reminder about a new event. I might be hallucinating, but at least I’m on stage.

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