Indie musicians go virtual virtuoso as venues shut down

Rebecca's rescued Rusty jumped on camera during the Daysies' Facebook Live show.
Rebecca’s rescued Rusty jumped on camera during the Daysies’ Facebook Live show.

The indie music sector is very hard hit by all the self-quarantines and orders from various governors. Some, though, are keeping the show going.

Welcome to the virtual stage in a virtual age.

Rebecca and Jenn did a Facebook Live show on Friday and it was great fun. Longtime supporters tuned in to hear their original music and some were generous enough to tip in times that are hard for so many.

The Daysies are only doing original music on Facebook. We know some folks want to hear covers, but we haven’t been able to clearly pin down the rules and regs for doing covers on Facebook Live. In an age when legal tactics can bite you, we didn’t want to be in violation of a copyright reg or act, and since they have such a big catalog, doing originals seemed the safest avenue. They always get requests for originals at their shows anyway.

One positive about this slowdown for the band is the additional time they can dedicate to new music. Rebecca and Jenn have some fantastic songs in their notebooks—one will be revealed at their next show. Their Friday show was great fun. They don’t stage it or set up a script. They just bring their real selves to the camera. Once the virus pandemic abates, they’ll have some of their bandmates and fellow musicians do some tunes with them.

They’re also going to scrub up some old songs. I have no idea why they quit performing “Honest”. So they’ll refresh that tune. My other favorite, “Cheers to Gettin’ Sober”, was scooped up by Sonorous Records, but they still have rights to it and can perform it. The song tells a story from their college days and it was very popular with their supporters. They’ll revisit that tune as well.

I saw where a newspaper editor I once did a lot of freelance work for has hit on a great idea. Phillip Milano moved from the States to Spain. He’s like the rest of us here in the US—sticking close to home. Phillip wasn’t just a good writer, he also did music. And now he’s doing it for his neighbors, with people tuning in via Facebook from all over the world.

Music isn’t just available on Facebook Live. One of my favorite recording groups, Gunboat Diplomats, has lots of tunes on their website, and their recordings include different styles and genres. This group doesn’t perform publicly together—they’re a group of musicians who come together to record. They’ve had a song used in a major film, and they don’t toot their own horn too much, so I  figured I’d do it for them today.

Outside the indie community, music legend Garth Brooks is also going virtual virtuoso. He’ll do an acoustic set on March 23, and you can learn more about that on Brooks’ Facebook page where you can also submit a request for your favorite tune.

T. Bear in the office at Indie Art South
For T. Bear, nothing is changed. (Photo Indie Art South)

Although most of today’s news is pretty lousy, you can take a bit of heart in all the cute photos for National Puppy Day, including the photo I posted with this column. That’s my Bear, and for him, nothing in life has changed except he doesn’t get to take car rides much right now because his people don’t take car rides much right now either.

The Daysies will be back next Friday, March 30, with a new tune and a few refreshed older tunes. Despite adversity, we keep the music going. By the way, the other photo included here has Rebecca’s rescued dog Rusty in it. That dog loves to be on camera.

Tip: If you’re watching Facebook Live, try casting it  to your TV. You get the full experience that way.

(Kay B. Day/March 23, 2020)

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