The UK's "pilot program" for socially distanced indoor concerts sounds terrible

The last thing I did before the coronavirus lockdown really take off was a single one of my scheduled St. Patrick's Day music gigs. My rock band just released the first single off our upcoming album, and we know that we won't be able to play any shows to promote it for at least another year. Meanwhile, my wife has spent the last twenty years working exclusively in live theatre.

Performing arts are a central part of our lives, but we both know that they won't be coming back for a while — at least, not in the way we're used to.

So I do commend the UK for at least trying to come up with safety guidelines for indoor performances. But, like with restaurants re-opening here in the US, I, personally, do not plan on indulging in these activities for a long time. This is both for my personal safety, and because I am ethically incapable of sitting there passively while heavily-armored hazmat suits serve me.

Still, I watched with morbid fascination as Frank Turner, one of my favorite songwriters, prepped for one the UK's pilot programs at the Clapham Grand musical hall in London in order to test out the country's socially distanced concert guidelines. Asking Turner to participate in this test drive was a particular curious choice — his charismatic performances are built on communal experience, on crowd participation and singalongs and forcing you to interact with strangers (with courtesy and consent). But all of that had to be stripped away in order to adhere to the coronavirus rules. Read the rest

Modern English performs "I Melt With You" in Isolation

If ever there was a warhorse of an 80s New Wave anthem, it is Modern English's 1983 (and 1990) "I Melt with You."

Frontman Robbie Grey says of the new video version of the track:

We were all at our homes in the U.K. apart from Daniel (Jakubovic), who was in Los Angeles, and decided to film ‘I Melt With You’ to put a smile on people’s faces. We are aware of how much the song is loved and just thought a lockdown version would make people happy in these crazy times.

Image: YouTube Read the rest

Crowd-sourced film 'A Social Distance' shows life in lockdown from people around the globe

Folks from countries most impacted by COVID-19 filmed themselves in isolation for this touching three-minute short. Ivan Cash and Jacob Jonas directed A Social Distance:

Spanning more than 30 countries, the film includes a breadth of perspectives, from a 93-year old Malayan grandmother to a 19-year old Slovenian man, and includes an original score that was remotely performed by musicians from around the world.

Thanks, Julian! Read the rest

"Hello (from the Inside)," a funny Adele parody about the struggles of being socially isolated

My pal Tracy shared this Adele parody song by YouTuber Chris Mann on Tuesday, with the following setup:


I’ve been seeing a lot of great things via the internet, but I thought this one was particularly well done, and funny.

Seriously. Just put down whatever you are doing. Or not doing. Sit back. Watch the whole thing.

You’re welcome.

How's that for a recommendation?


screengrab via Chris Mann/YouTube Read the rest

Surly surfer violating beach closure gets $1000 fine

Ah, the righteous indignation of a surfer.


A Manhattan Beach surfer was issued a $1,000 citation Saturday morning after ignoring a lifeguard’s order that he not go in the water.

“F… you. What are you going to do about it,” the surfer said to the lifeguard who confronted him, according to sources who were present during the encounter.

A Manhattan Beach police officer responded by issuing the citation.

Read the rest