How do you make a living as a musician when all of the bars and live music venues are closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic? Deidre Gott is live music producer for KUTX in Austin. She tells Texas Standard that many musicians are turning to social media to make up for cancelled in-person events.
“The music never stops, right?” she says. “A lot of musicians, even though they’ve lost income and are unable to play gigs, are taking to social media and taking advantage of the livestreaming platforms that Facebook and Instagram all have, to keep promoting album releases they’ve just put out and also asking for a virtual tip jar.”
One band to look for online is The Mastersons. The husband-and-wife duo of Chris Masterson and Eleanor Whitmore just released the album “No Time for Love Songs.”
“We were gonna celebrate that release with everyone in Austin,” Gott says. “But since that tour got cancelled, they are going to be streaming live.”
When: Friday, March 27, 6 p.m.-7 p.m. CST
Song to listen to before event: “Spellbound”
Caroline Rose‘s recently released album “Superstar” has an interesting tie to the small town of Vega, Texas, population 1,000. The album’s artwork suddenly, and seemingly without explanation, showed up on a billboard there.
“One of her promos for this new record was that she wanted a billboard in [Las] Vegas, but instead, she got a billboard put up in Vega, Texas, which kind of created a stir. …The Vega city marshal’s office actually chimed in on Facebook to let all their citizens know what’s up with the billboard. Apparently, it really creeped out people; it was just the album cover with her face looking made up in plastic with no words on it.”
But Gott says the music on the album is really fun.
“I love Caroline Rose. It’s super catchy and pop-y. And it’s a concept album that sort of follows this sort of oddball antihero on her quest to become a superstar,” Gott says.
When: Friday, March 27, 7 p.m. CST
Where: NPR’s Livesessions
Song to listen to before the event: “Nothing’s Impossible”
One thing that has emerged from social distancing are virtual dance parties. Gott says that she, too, has been stuck in her apartment, and has noticed dance parties pop up on Facebook.
“One that has been mentioned a lot, and that I was lucky enough to see, was DJ Mel, who is a favorite DJ of [President] Obama. He’s been spinning from his living room to thousands of people,” Gott says.
Here are a few virtual dance parties to join this weekend:
Golden Dawn Arkestra frontman DJ Zapot
When: Friday, March 27, 8 p.m.-11 p.m. CST
What: He’ll be spinning funk from the closed East Austin venue Sahara Lounge, and offering live, virtual blessings and sage smudges by donation.
When: Saturdays, 6 p.m.-10 p.m. CST
What: Spinning from his living room to thousands of people every weekend. DJ Mel encourages viewers to donate to Austin charities that help musicians and venues that are losing income during the pandemic.
KUTX’s No Nap Happy Hour
When: Saturdays and Sundays, 5 p.m.-6 p.m. CST
What: For parents stuck indoors with their children. KUTX’s “Spare the Rock” host Bill Childs puts together this family friendly performance hour with different artists each month.
March 28: Justin Roberts
March 29: SaulPaul
April 4: Taylor Muse (from Quiet Company)
April 5: Rhett Miller (from Old 97’s)
April 11: Red Yarn
April 12: Joanie Leeds
April 18: Lloyd H. Miller
April 19: 123 Andrés
If you miss any of these live events, KUTX also has archives of years worth of musical performances in Studio 1A to watch on demand.
“One of my favorite ones since I’ve been working at KUTX is working with Michael McDonald. We all need a little yacht rock in our life,” Gott says.
Want even more live music while you’re cooped up at home? See KUTX‘s full list of streaming events.
Written by Kristen Cabrera.