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Live Performance in the Age of Covid


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Okay! Now we've gotten at least some venting out of our systems in the other thread, it's time to get serious. I moderated over there with a very light hand, because things are tough enough that I felt people needed some slack. But in this thread, moderation will be subjective, unforgiving, arbitrary, and ruthless, if I feel a post doesn't address this specific topic in some constructive way. (FYI I don't believe in banning people; moderation means posts will be edited, or replaced with a picture of a cute kitten).

 

Example of acceptable phrase: "Governor Bob Blurf has announced a moratorium on all indoor concerts for the foreseeable future, but outdoor concerts will be allowed." Example of unacceptable phrase: "Moron RINO socialist governor Bob Blurf has decided to use his corrupt powers to unilaterally destroy the lives of all musicians by announcing a moratorium on all indoor concerts for the foreseeable future, but he's allowing outdoor concerts because he's a cowardly idiot trying to please everyone."

 

So...I want to know if you're taking gigs, booking gigs, whether any members in your band have gotten sick, whether club owners are taking steps to minimize problems, whether vaccine passports are required (I'm not interested in what you think of vaccine passports, just whether they're required), and so on.

 

As to me, I'm seriously thinking of putting together a one-off set for Halloween at a local burger joint, and calling the act "The Deadful Great." It would be solely songs associated with dead rock stars...Halloween, and all that. Besides, it gives great material to draw from.

 

The place has outside seating, but it might be too cold by then. Or not. Or the place could be out of business. Who knows?

 

I think that I'll at least get together a setlist and practice a bit, just in case it's possible. If it is, y'all are invited!

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For me, it's a "play it by ear" situation. Outdoor isn't necessarily a slam dunk either...consider a rave, or festival, where people are packed close together, yelling, sweating, etc. There have been a lot of analogies of Covid to a wildfire...it flares up in one place, dies down, a spark goes to a part of the forest that's super-dry, and another conflagration ensues. We're kind of seeing that now; although almost all states are having more cases, some are "hot spots." But also like a forest fire, a hot spot will burn itself out, especially if people in those spots acquire antibodies.

 

Remember that covid isn't digital, where it's either everywhere, or nowhere. I'm hopeful that overall, the "covid wildfire" will die down enough so that while some places may not be considered "no-risk," they can be considered "low-risk" for those who have antibodies, either through illness or vaccination.

 

Which brings me to another consideration. Back in the day, there were thriving local scenes. You could be the hottest band in Boston, or Detroit, or whatever and have a local following and make a fairly comfortable living. Then as the record industry grew bigger, we got into these mammoth, coast-to-coast, six-month tours with a zillion flatbed trucks and a huge crew. If the US ends up with a collection of "cool spots" and "hot spots," it may allow those who aren't in hot spots the ability to play in small-to-medium size venues, and build up a local following. But that may be more wishful thinking than how things will actually play out.

 

I'm also not ruling out that concerts may not only continue to be virtual for a while, but even when covid is in the rear-view mirror, for some that will be their preferred choice for live performance. I know a performer who has health issues and it was getting difficult for her to play live, even before covid hit. But, she's doing reasonably well with real-time streaming on YouTube. She doesn't really have much incentive to put herself through the rigors of the road.

 

Some comments on streaming live performances vs. in-person live performances would be welcome. Is a streaming performance an acceptable alternative for you while we wait for covid to wane?

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Some comments on streaming live performances vs. in-person live performances would be welcome. Is a streaming performance an acceptable alternative for you while we wait for covid to wane?

One thing that I'm struck by is how the dates for the COVID spikes, match the the natural "flu season". So we see spikes in Oct-Jan and then again July-Aug, just like the flu. And since we know being indoors is a significant vector for many viruses, my theory is that the spikes match the weather when people need to be indoors for heat and later on for air-conditioning.

 

For music, it creates a natural yearly event schedule; one strategy might be to schedule online-streaming performances during the "flu season" months; and outside of those months, schedule the live in-person performances. Something like this:

 

Oct-Jan | Online Streaming

Feb-Jun | Live Performances

Jul-Aug | Online Streaming

September | Live Performances

 

... or for those who travel, maybe travel to places throughout the year where the weather is temperate and people don't need to go indoors.

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We played our first indoor gig back in February and have done several since, some indoor and some outdoor. We'd developed a good reputation in the area with our unique act but sadly our last gig in this area was July 29 for the big RAGBRAI (an annual bike ride across the state) group in a nearby town where there was an overnight stop. It was our last gig in this area because we're moving. We've done a great deal of packing and have two storage units, one nearby and one 1400 miles away near our destination. We accepted a counter offer on a home out west and just got our home here listed on Tuesday so we hope to make our move a reality in the near future. If you haven't been involved in the real estate market of late let me assure you, it's been crazy with prices and an unprecedented housing shortage, an interesting thing to ponder if you weren't aware.

 

We ran into a problem before our last gig when we had computers and other things stolen in a brazen daylight burglary on July 5th, however, I was able to get a replacement from Macofalltrades configured and with my backups we were able to pull it off without much of a hitch. In the "crime doesn't pay" category the police conducted a proper investigation, the woman who committed the crime was identified, arrested and now faces a couple of felony charges. A search warrant was issued but the only items we were able to retrieve were some personal documents. Meanwhile after being informed that our insurance would cover depreciation on my 2013 MBP I went ahead and ordered a brand new MBP from Apple complete with Logic, a Magic Mouse and MS Office. About a week ago someone finally connected my '13 MBP to WiFi and I was notified via email and the Find My Mac app however it was impossible to identify the location because I'd chosen to have the HD deleted when that happened, a decision I wrestled with but ultimately decided was for the best. A little off topic I know but obviously had an impact on our ability to perform gigs!

 

It will take some time for us to get settled into a new location but certainly hope to get out and find some gigs when we do.

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I am playing an indoor gig this Saturday in Ferndale. I will be cautious but not beyond reason.

In that small town and nearby areas, the Lummi Nation has made vaccines available to all who want or need them, including setting up sessions for the school district so all the staff can be vaccinated.

Early on, they had two lines at the casino, one for members of the Lummi Nation and one for anybody else who wanted to show up. Many of my friends got their shots there.

 

My Lummi Family will be there, off to the side so they can talk to each other and taunt our bassist. On breaks I will hang out with them because I haven't seen them in a while and we have some catching up to do.

It's a small, careful group of friends and family, I love them all.

 

So far, all 4 of us in the band are doing well and playing great. It's good to get out there again!!!! My right foot is still not healed so I will be sitting in a chair, rocking out. I plan on recording this show with my trusty Tascam DR-40, the PA and the room both sound good and our bandleader has the sound dialed in. Plus, the bassist and drummer are really locking the grooves lately. And I feel like singing a few tunes. I'm the backup singer but I get a few and most of them are songs I wrote, which go over well. That's a special feeling all it's own.

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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LOLLAPALOOZA 2021

Chicago, Illinois, USA

Buzzfeed Article[/url'>]Organizers required attendees to wear masks at any indoor spaces, and all guests had to show either proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter the festival. (Some 600 people were turned away on Thursday, the festival"s first day, for not having either). - Buzzfeed Article

 

LOLLAPALOOZA

August 1, 2021 (Buzzfeed Article)

sub-buzz-7324-1627918996-2.jpg

 

LOLLAPALOOZA

July 30, 2021 (Buzzfeed Article)

sub-buzz-7308-1627918521-20.jpg

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Vegas properties had just begun opening and gigs were starting back up.

 

For the last couple weeks mask rules changed back and I"m glad people comply. Unlike drunkards on planes, drunkards here know you can get your ass whooped or escorted from the property.

 

As far as the future is concerned talk of Thursday through Sunday, Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday dark will probably be around for a while.

 

The money just isn"t there lately. There"s bands taking huge cuts just to work as the lounges are non Union, showrooms are Union.

Sure beats other cities but afraid the days of taking home a grand a week doing 6 nights might not ever return.

 

You can do okay if you want to travel, but those days are gone for me.

In casinos around the country, everybody wants a 'Vegas' band, in Vegas, everybody wants a Nashville act.

 

The upside is rehearsal studios are cheap and plentiful.

Got my eyes on a club where a Live Kareoke (play over drums/808 bass) using numerous local singers looks promising.

Thinking of dressing up like Gator from the movie The Other Guys, call myself Gator and The Ho"s.

May as well have fun and do weekends for dancing HipHop rooms.

 

Good Luck All.

Feast or famine, time to feast again.

Magnus C350 + FMR RNP + Realistic Unisphere Mic
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I have a few outdoor gigs coming up this month. August and September are the two slowest months in our area, so I'm happy to have them.

 

Being a duo, we are not going to play to Lollapalooza sized crowds. Those days are gone for me.

 

We've both been vaccinated, we both rarely get sick, so the risk factor is about as low as is possible. Potential rain seems to be the biggest threat. We are sheltered in these venues, but summer thunderstorms in Florida often contain 40-50 mph winds near the center. I'll bring the tarp in case it's blowing.

 

Judging from the past few gigs we've had, the gear got heavier in the year-and-a-fraction that we were out of work ;)

 

Schlepping is good, weight-bearing exercise, and gigging is the most fun I can have with my clothes on. We've played these same venues for years, I sent out e-mails to our opt-in list, and a few people have already reserved tables. Last month when we played at one of the places, when we got there every table was reserved with our 'extended family' (fans).

 

It's good to be playing to our audience again.

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I had a student do a gig saturday night, full house apparently. Another student texted me yesterday with the dates for 3 shows she's doing, "I know you won't come out because of covid, but anyhow".

 

103,000 new infections yesterday. 14% prevalence in Georgia. People in bands got sick and died last year when the rate was lower than now. Being vaccinated keeps you out of the hospital, but not from organ damage. And the 2 people I know that have it right now are military, physically fit, early 20s. And the World Champion Formula 1 race driver Lewis Hamilton, ultra fit athlete - who got covid at the end of last year - is having problems month later breathing, walking, bouts with blurred vision.

 

 

I'm not doing gigs. When Eddie Van Halen died I had 2 different... organizations want me to play at tribute shows, and were aghast that I was "afraid of covid". I went to see a student do a small outdoor gig at a restaurant literally down the street from my house, back when the rate was at 10,000 infections a day - my target number - back in May. That was literally the only week it seemed partially, almost safe to venture out in public; low prevalence, vaccinated, no delta back then, outdoors, able to keep a distance from others.

 

A number of musicians in town got the original strain last year, one went in the hospital. There were a number of spreader events where many people from clubs got infected; things that never found their way into the news, you'd only know from talking to people that work at the hospitals. I'm sure the same thing is happening now, but again it's not going to be a "known" thing. Clubs don't put out signs that say "last weekend 20 people tested positive". It would seem now the time has come to brag about having had it, and Been a Man and it not having bothered you much. "Aw man, everybody in the band's already had it, hahaha, it's no big deal!". The common misconception is that everyone is vaccinated, or is naturally immune "forever" because they've tested positive, so "it's over".

 

Friends in Nashville, other places on the planet touring are maybe in denial; they seem to either be planning for things to be "normal" again, maybe "next week" - or they're actually in the logistics phase to tour. I don't see that happening, it's peculiar people are even spending money to go through the process right now. "I'm vaccinated!" is the mantra. Some of these people know better, but they're doing it anyway.

 

 

A lot of hospitals in the CSRA/Central Savannah River Area, and I know at least 2 no longer have ICU beds open, and I think one is starting to set the tents back up today. I understand there are no beds open in a few states right now. The whole premise of doing gigs right now is insane.

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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Some comments on streaming live performances vs. in-person live performances would be welcome. Is a streaming performance an acceptable alternative for you while we wait for covid to wane?

One thing that I'm struck by is how the dates for the COVID spikes, match the the natural "flu season". So we see spikes in Oct-Jan and then again July-Aug, just like the flu. And since we know being indoors is a significant vector for many viruses, my theory is that the spikes match the weather when people need to be indoors for heat and later on for air-conditioning.

 

For music, it creates a natural yearly event schedule; one strategy might be to schedule online-streaming performances during the "flu season" months; and outside of those months, schedule the live in-person performances. Something like this:

 

Oct-Jan | Online Streaming

Feb-Jun | Live Performances

Jul-Aug | Online Streaming

September | Live Performances

 

That's an interesting idea, to say the least. I guess it depends greatly on whether people find streaming compelling enough to pony up the $. However, at least to me, the idea of having to stream for a significant part of the year would be offset by not having to give up playing live to an audience entirely. In some ways, it might be better because the streaming gigs would be less hassle in terms of gear and such.

 

Interesting. I even wonder if this might not make sense on some level even if there wasn't covid. Outdoor gigs can get REALLY hot in July and August, and as Notes mentioned, in some parts of the country that's when surprise storms hit. One of my craziest live experiences was opening for Pink Floyd and Ray Charles at JFK stadium in Philadelphia. A lightning storm hit with torrential rains while PF was on stage, and I thought they were going to get electrocuted.

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Pink Floyd and Ray Charles

 

.... and Mandrake? It's interesting to see how apparently both audiences were open minded enough to appreciate Ray Charles sandwiched between two psychedelic bands. I know there was a time when promoters thought in terms of trying to bring in 2 crowds with different acts; it seems Lollapallooza is the only event where that concept is tried today. And it seems successful (if infamously so right now - on topic). I can't think of any show off hand I think I've been to that is so "mixed genre", but there should be more "mini-pallooza"s.

 

If we ever get past covid, that is.

Guitar Lessons in Augusta Georgia: www.chipmcdonald.com

Eccentric blog: https://chipmcdonaldblog.blogspot.com/

 

/ "big ass windbag" - Bruce Swedien

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Pink Floyd and Ray Charles

 

.... and Mandrake? It's interesting to see how apparently both audiences were open minded enough to appreciate Ray Charles sandwiched between two psychedelic bands.

 

Ray Charles was the headliner. This was right after Saucerful of Secrets, so PF wasn't the big name they are now. I think there may have also been an act before us. Back in those days, a singer/songwriter (e.g., Tim Buckley) might open. There were times when Joni Mitchell opened for us. Of course, she wasn't that well-known at the time. I found her performances absolutely riveting, and her guitar playing opened my mind.

 

I know there was a time when promoters thought in terms of trying to bring in 2 crowds with different acts; it seems Lollapallooza is the only event where that concept is tried today. And it seems successful (if infamously so right now - on topic). I can't think of any show off hand I think I've been to that is so "mixed genre", but there should be more "mini-pallooza"s.

 

If we ever get past covid, that is.

 

Music wasn't as siloed back then, and audiences were hungry for "good" music. By any definition, Ray Charles and Pink Floyd (and us, ahem) were "good" music, so why not?

 

I don't know how well this would work with streaming, because people could just go do something else until "their" band same on. Live, there's a captive audience.

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Our covers band played an outdoor fundraiser gig in September 2000 2020 (in NJ) which was an incredibly safe setup:

our band's playing location was at the top of an large embankment, which discouraged any audience members from casually coming near to us.

We overlooked a parking lot area where the attendees were encouraged to park their cars, set up their own tables and chairs, and keep some distance from other groups.

It made us feel good about our safety, and about the safety of our audience.

 

This was before any vaccine was available at all, but it was at a time when the new infection rate was pretty low in our area.

And the band member who arranged this gig knew the sponsor well, and we know the logistics were not going to be changed to some alternate less safer arrangement at the last moment.

I realize this was like a dream situation, one that is unlikely to be presented to most bands.

 

Some of us may recall the story of one of our forum members who passed away from covid in September of October 2020,

shortly after he played a gig that had originally been planned to be outdoors, but then was moved indoors at the last minute due to weather.

This is a worse situation than playing a gig indoors that was planned to be that way all along, when better planning of space, ventilation, or other methods or risk reduction can be done.

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...which made me think of something else. I know this thread is already all over the place, but that's actually very cool. Here's another possible point of discussion.

 

Will the covid experience cause people to want "comfort music" going forward? Stuff they know and love, so that life feels more "normal"?

 

Or after having had to deal with the same issues for months on end, will they be hungry for something new and different?

 

Thoughts?

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Our covers band played an outdoor fundraiser gig in September 2000 (in NJ)
Was there a pandemic back then, too? ;)

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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I have been playing in church, sometimes being recorded for Youtube / Facebook in front of a live audience, and sometimes being recorded while playing in an empty church.

 

Unbelievably, recently, this has given me the opportunity to play drums for a Juno winner !!

 

And I will get to work with him again at the end of this month !

 

Dan

 

THEY DON'T POINT THE CAMERA AT THE OLD GEEZER TOO OFTEN BUT I'M THERE ! I'm playing at 14:00 , 22:18 and 1:06:30 and Brigitte is playing yuke.

 

 

 

[video:youtube]

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Being in one of the retirements havens of the USA, I've played "Comfort Music" for years. Songs they know by heart. Nothing too radical for the age group.

 

When I started playing for the retirement audience, it was mostly Big Band Era music. Glenn Miller, Sinatra, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington and the like. If we snuck in an Elvis Presley song, someone would always complain.

 

As time went on, Elvis, The Drifters, Roy Orbison and all that pre-Beatles music became mainstream for that audience, but the Big Band tunes were hanging in there.

 

More time passed and the Beatles and American Soul music were added, the Big Band requests were few and far in between, mostly from the oldest in the audience.

 

Fast-forward to today (skipping a few steps) and we never get to play the big band standards anymore. Elvis is for the oldest people in the audience, and 80s music like The Cars or Bangles are for the youngest. Some contemporary hits that appeal to the 'grown-ups' are appreciated (no W.A.P. or Rap). Since we do a lot of outdoor gigs, Latin American, Caribbean (Reggae, Calypso, Soca), Jimmy Buffett etc. work plus some Country Crossovers and humorous/parody songs fill the bill. We can sneak in something for us, and if we don't do too many, it's OK. Sooner or later our audience gets comfortable with some of the tings we introduce and even may request one or two.

The secret to playing everybody's music and not avoid playing nobody's music is to play comfort music. We are not in the business of educating the music, we are in the business of playing memories for them. It's OK if we put our own spin on some, but not too many,

 

As Billy Joel penned, "Son can you play me a memory, I'm not really sure how it goes. But it sad and it's sweet, and I knew it complete, When I wore a younger man's clothes." BTW have you ever noticed that the lyrical/melodic structure of "Piano Man" is based in the limerick form? Pretty clever if you ask me.

 

When I quit touring and wanted to settle down, I chose the retirement crowd. The gigs are short, usually 3 hours, two parties per week pay as much as 5 in a nightclub (if you can still find 5 in a nightclub), if you treat the audience right they become very loyal, and from 1985 to COVID we were never out of work. We actually had to block out vacation time in advance, or we wouldn't be able to take one.

 

There are no Thursday nights with only a couple of salesmen are all that are in the bar that really just want to watch TV. There is no manager fretting and blaming the band for not drawing a crowd, either. It's a party, people have been invited, and they show up. And at the end of the evening we always get a few from the audience tell us how much they enjoyed our music, and thank us for giving them a wonderful evening.

 

So my first career was playing music for the single youth, while trying to get a shot at "the big time", and my second career is playing comfort music for the over 55-year-old class.

 

When I was a young musician, the older guys told me, "Once you go to the Yacht Club, Country Club, Retirement market, you'll never want to go back to the bars." In my case, they were correct.

 

Comfort music rules!

 

Insights and incites by Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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We are not in the business of educating the music, we are in the business of playing memories for them.

 

Selling memories is different from what I usually tell musicians - that they're alcohol salesmen :)

 

Gotta see if there are any retirement homes around here!

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We are not in the business of educating the music, we are in the business of playing memories for them.

 

Selling memories is different from what I usually tell musicians - that they're alcohol salesmen :)

 

Gotta see if there are any retirement homes around here!

 

 

Or my line.

"What are you doing tonight?"

 

"Babysitting alcoholics..."

It took a chunk of my life to get here and I am still not sure where "here" is.
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We are not in the business of educating the music, we are in the business of playing memories for them.

 

Selling memories is different from what I usually tell musicians - that they're alcohol salesmen :)

 

Gotta see if there are any retirement homes around here!

 

That's another good thing about playing for the "mature" audience. You are not an alcohol salesman anymore.

 

Our average gig at a yacht club, country club, retirement development or large condominium consists of a dinner set where we play gentle music at a subdued volume for about an hour, then we crank it up for a couple of hours of dance music.

 

Unlike Top40 when we learn a 'new' song, it isn't dead in a month when it falls off the charts. It's actually good for years, because it's already old, and we are playing comfort music aka memories.

 

Unlike Top40 cover bands, we don't have to do them 'like the record'. That depends on the song however, there are some that need to be done as close to the pop version as possible, others fairly close, and others we can reinterpret quite radically. Give the audience what they want, and they will enjoy some things they weren't expecting.

 

Last night we played at a very nice 900 site RV Resort. Those huge buses as well as camper trailers pull into this one. It was a varied crowd, from middle-aged couples with teen children to people from the early rock n roll generation. We got to play a wide variety of music, from Elvis era to 1990s, with some Caribbean and a bit of Country thrown in for good measure.

 

They started with dinner, then with dancing, and 3 hours later the deck was still about 90% full and people came up to talk with us as we were packing out. That tells us we did our job, and probably the reason why we've done a couple of nights per month there for years (with a year and a half off due to COVID).

 

IMO much better than playing the bars.

 

One drawback for some is that there aren't any nubile, single women in the audience for those 'perks'. But I'm very happily married to the gal I share the stage with, and to me that's a lot better. When on stage, we tell people we are doing our second favorite thing.

 

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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One drawback for some is that there aren't any nubile, single women in the audience for those 'perks'.

 

I'm sure many would disagree, but nubiles are overrated :) Give me someone smart, solid, and sweet any time.

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One drawback for some is that there aren't any nubile, single women in the audience for those 'perks'.

 

I'm sure many would disagree, but nubiles are overrated :) Give me someone smart, solid, and sweet any time.

I'm with you on that.

 

Nubiles were fine when I was 18 to low 20s in age, but as I got wiser, I realized there are more important things to look for.

 

Now I'm old enough, so the young babes are not interested, but my wife of 43 years is still my best friend, and the joy in my life.

 

I got lucky.

 

Notes

Bob "Notes" Norton

Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com

Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box

The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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I have been seeing a number of posts from local musicians and venues canceling gigs. One club used the time off to clean up the place, and they had a big reopening on the 1st. Apparently several people got sick at that event, and the club has announced it will be closed the rest of the month. Generally, I've seen some musicians cancel gigs out of caution, but others have because they, their band members, and/or their audience members contracted the virus.

 

Due to a certain state official's ruling, local officials can't impose mask orders or other restrictions or requirements regardless of how bad it is in their area. In fact, except for hospitals, anything receiving state funding is limited in this way. However, my county (Harris) has declared the current Threat Level to be Level 1: Severe.

 

Level 1: Stay Home Unless Fully Vaccinated (Severe Threat)

 

Level 1 signifies a severe and uncontrolled level of COVID-19 in Harris County, meaning outbreaks are present and worsening and public health capacity is strained or exceeded .At this level, unvaccinated residents take action to minimize contact with others wherever possible and avoid leaving home except for the most essential needs like going to the grocery store for food and medicine. Unvaccinated individuals should continue to mask, physical distance, and avoid all gatherings. Vaccinated individuals follow the latest local public health guidance on whether to also wear a mask while indoors in public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities with close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

 

Selfishly, I'm really feeling it right now. I was about ready to get back out there and start doing some stuff with people. As a fan, we have tickets to a jazz festival in a few weeks. It's still on, but I'm not as thrilled about going as I was. The promoter is taking precautions such as limited and spaced seating and requiring masks, but still.

"I'm so crazy, I don't know this is impossible! Hoo hoo!" - Daffy Duck

 

"The good news is that once you start piano you never have to worry about getting laid again. More time to practice!" - MOI

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Some Nashville venues are starting to require proof of vaccination or a negative test within the past 24 hours. However, it seems there are already plenty of places to get fake vaccination cards. I don't think they were ever designed to be "secure," with watermarks and such, they were just a way to keep track of status and dates. So while vaccination cards may make clubowners feel like they've met some kind of obligation, it may not reassure those who want to go listen to music.

 

It also seems the Lambda variation is more resistant to the existing vaccines. It's not definitive yet, but it appears that way. Meanwhile, hospitals are running out of space and staff. Some health care workers are basically throwing in the towel. They thought that once the vaccine happened everyone would take it, the virus would be squelched, it wouldn't be able to mutate, and they could go back to treating auto accidents and heart attacks. They just can't bear to go through the intensity of covid patient tsunamis again. I can't really blame them.

 

Vanderbilt is having a lot of discussions about what to do next. Some people there think that we missed the window of opportunity. If variants pop up in the Winter and new vaccines have be developed to deal with them, due to development time this won't be down to normal flu-like status (just more dangerous) until 2023.

 

So, the bottom line for performing or going to concerts is still up in the air. I think we had best prepare for doing the alternatives, like streaming, and hope for the best. But, progress is occurring on other fronts. There's a common anti-cholesterol medication that seems to greatly reduce the severity of covid symptoms. So maybe the way to deal with people who won't get the vaccine is to just let them get sick and get antibodies, because if this new discovery turns out to be effective, the odds might be in their favor of not dying. Hospitals wouldn't be stressed out so badly, and they can put off dealing with organ damage until a later date.

 

Keep your fingers crossed. I was invited to an outdoor Counting Crows concert on August 12, and I'm still planning to go, vaccinated and masked. If the place is too crowded or if it doesn't vibe out right, I'll just turn around and not stay. It will be interesting to see how serious the audience is about the precautions that need to be taken.

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