Music

Check on Your Venues!: Struggling spots can use your help

Okee dokee folks… I sincerely hope that none of you reading this are getting complacent about COVID-19. It is far from over. You still need to wear a mask and social distance. Please do not listen to the mango moron; he is as dangerous as he is stupid and we need to fire him in November to get back to a time when science, facts and intelligence were the norm.

I would like to commend the folks who have been out there protesting. It is making a difference. Please don’t relent, but please stay safe. There is so much more that needs to change. We have to look at life differently now and that is hard for some people. Humans need to evolve — evolution aids survival.

The pandemic has decimated the music industry, and definitely has affected me personally. My life revolves around music, and it has been almost four months since I have played a gig. I hadn’t touched a guitar at all during this time until just the other night when my band got together for an outdoor rehearsal. I REALLY needed that. The depression of having all the work I put into booking shows, rehearsing, and writing all come to a screeching halt hit me hard. When the pandemic began my neighbors wanted me to play a backyard concert for them. I said that I would but still haven’t. It is a good idea though. House concerts were quite popular in the pre-pandemic days so maybe this summer can be the summer of backyard concerts? You really don’t need much sound reinforcement, if any, to do this kind of show. Sit around a fire pit and play music. Does anyone remember the commercial for Campfire Girls in the 60’s? “Sing around the campfire, join the Campfire Girls” Google it! Now it will be stuck in your head for 50 years! Of course you will still have to social distance and wear a mask but don’t fight it, just accept it. Seriously, choose your your battles wisely.

While some bars and restaurants are beginning to have music, mostly outdoors, the main music venues are still closed. Some venues might be closed for good. If you have a favorite venue, you may want to check in with them. Many are doing fundraisers to stay alive. Some are getting creative, like the Galactic Theatre in Warren (galactictheatre.com). They are selling ICE CREAM through the front door. If you are in that neighborhood you can stop by for a cool, tasty treat. Some, such as Common Fence Music (commonfencemusic.org) and The Narrows Center for the Arts (narrowscenter.org), are doing regular live internet streams. Pumphouse Music Works (pumphousemusicworks.com) has a GoFundMe campaign running and director Dan Collins notes, “We are in the midst of finalizing our reopening plans, which include an outdoor stage and service area. The costs of these upgrades, in addition to everyday expenses of keeping the lights on and mortgage paid, put us in the unenviable position of asking for your financial help.” To donate, visit: gofundme.com/f/pump-house-music-works-needs-your-help  The Greenwich Odeum sent out an e-mail with some positive news, “We have been anxiously waiting to reopen our doors… Our staff has been working hard these past few months to figure out ways that we can keep the Odeum safe for all of our patrons, volunteers, artists and employees and we look forward to sharing our plan with you in the coming weeks, along with some exciting programming!” The National Independent Venue Association has a website committed to collect signatures in support of music venues like the aforementioned. Please visit the site and add your name (saveourstages.com)!

In the meantime, you can still find most musicians doing livestreams. Check your favorite musician’s Facebook page or website. Local legend and fav, Juxo, has been doing his “Live From The Practice Space” series with special guests on Monday nights (facebook.com/johnjuxo). My band, Forever Young, will be doing a livestream sometime soon. We had so much fun playing music in the backyard last week we want to share it with you. We just want to do it right. We are working on getting proper video and sound techs secured to do so. Check our page for news ForeverYoungNeilYoungTribute.com

New protest songs are beginning to blossom and hopefully music will once again use whatever influence it can on society. The (Dixie) Chicks, who are known for speaking their minds, just released “March, March” from their album Gaslighter. I have an anti Trump song that I wrote a few months back but the pandemic got in the way of recording it. If you have a protest song/anti-Trump song I would love to know about it.

That’s it for now. Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com #DumpTrump2020!!!

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