30 Days Out, May 2020 #1: The Call to Unite, Love From Philly, Remote Utopias, Pink Floyd @YouTube Film Festival
Regardless of what some of the more irresponsible political leaders might encourage, shelter-in-place remains very much the prudent course of action for now. Happily, musical creatives continue to offer up livestreaming and archival performances to help us – if only for a short while – take our minds off of the global pandemic and its myriad negative consequences.
The original mission of “30 Days out” was to spotlight shows in and around Asheville, N.C. When this all blows over, it will resume that mission in earnest. Between now and then it will feature performances you can enjoy from the safety (an, one hopes, relative comfort) of your home.
The ad-hoc nature of those offerings continues; despite their best efforts, many vents are thrown together at the last moment, meaning that a few days from now, there will be new events to announce. For now, here’s a selection of the ones that piqued my interest, all happening in the next 30 days (well, actually, the next couple of days). For more information, Billboard.com is doing a good job of updating its roundup of livestreams. All times noted are EDT.
Event: Call to Unite
Date: Friday, May 1, 8pm
There’ll be more to this event that just music; a number of well-known personalities will appear, form across the cultural spectrum. Oprah Winfrey, megachurch preacher Rick Warren, Deepak Chopra and Maria Shriver are on the list. But the music portion itself features some heavy hitters: classical cellist Yo-Yo Ma, rapper Common, Peter Gabriel, Quincy Jones, Angelique Kidjo, Darlene Love and gospel hero CeCeWinans, to name just a few. The event’s goal is to “stand in solidarity with those experiencing pain, fear, loneliness and grief – and offer hope and support as we build a new future together.” What’s not ot love?
Event: Love From Philly
Date: Friday, May 1, 12 noon
A delightfully eclectic roster of artists will take part in this livestream event featuring primarily artists from, in or closely associated with the City of Brotherly Love. That lineup includes Kurt Vile, G. Love, John Oates (of, y’know, Hall and Oates), Eric Bazilian from ‘80s hitmakers The Hooters, Eric Slick, jazz giant Christan McBride, Low Cut Connie and a whole buncha others. Organizers promise that “all donations will benefit the city’s entertainment community.”
Event: Remote Utopias
Date: Saturday, May 2, 2pm
Before the pandemic hit, I had plans to interview Kevin Parker of Tame Impala; his band has a U.S. tour scheduled and ready to go. (I may still chat with him; stay tuned.) In the meantime, he’s taking part in an artists-from-home broadcast festival that will also include Erykah Badu, Four Tet, Weyes Blood and nearly 50 others. The event is a fundraiser for the Global Foodbanking Network.
Event: Pink Floyd @YouTube Film Festival: An Hour With Pink Floyd
Date: Friday, May 1, 12 noon
If your interest in Pink Floyd extends beyond The Wall – as it well should – then this 1970 film shot for a West Coast public television station is essential viewing. It dates from the pre-Dark Side of the Moon period during which the group was arguably at its peak as a live unit, and when its experimental nature was still unfolding. No big hits here, but that’s not why you should check it out. This video is part of the group’s ongoing offering of archival films; they’ve already screened the P.U.L.S.E. concert film and Live at Pompeii (another favorite). Much more background on this era of the group can, of course, be found in my book, Reinventing Pink Floyd: From Syd Barrett to The Dark Side of the Moon, available in hardcover (if you can locate a copy), paperback and ebook versions for you moderns.