Although we’re now multiple weeks into what so many are calling “the new normal,” it’s difficult for music lovers and musicians to grasp the current climate as anything remotely normal. Last week we touched on how many North Texas bands and artists are making the best out of the COVID-19-related closings and cancellations. A week later it seems as though many musicians who were hesitant to jump into the livestreaming action are understandably more gung-ho on the topic now.
Interestingly, as days roll into weeks, some industrious members of the local music community are finding other, non-livestreaming ways to make their voices heard and, hopefully, fill the virtual tip jars a tad. McKinney’s country stud Zane Williams, lead-singer for new Texas country group Hill Country, has been offering “internet house calls” via his Facebook page.
His aim to make things feel more personal and intimate in this time of quarantining and distancing. “Are you at risk and shut in?” asks Williams from the post on his Facebook page. “Want to Facetime a little with me, maybe request a song or two?”
Quaker City Night Hawk lead singer Sam Anderson is hoping to follow up on the livestream concert he performed from Main at Southside in Fort Worth last week with another show aimed to help local small businesses.
And not to be outdone, local independent record stores have been stretching their out-of-the-box muscles in order to keep the lights on. Dallas’ long-beloved Good Records set up a new website and is offering curbside pickup, mail order and home delivery for orders over $40. The home delivery option doesn’t involve one of those ubiquitous Amazon sprinter vans or a USPS truck, mind you. Staff members of the store will take to the streets to get you that LP you’re desperately seeking.
On Josey Records’ Facebook page, a never-ending selection of new and vintage LPs are being offered for sale in one of the most convenient manners imaginable. You see a record you want? Comment below the picture and type “sold”. The shop is offering both mail order and curbside pickup for purchases.
Although NTX Vinyl shut down its Highland Village shop, you can still join them on their Facebook page for mail order options as well as a weekly raffle for limited edition box sets.
And because there’s not a single corner, nook or cranny of the music world left unaffected by the Coronavirus outbreak, even radio stations have boldly moved into a new paradigm. Amy Miller of Dallas’ NPR music radio station, KXT 91.7, told the Dallas Observer about what life is like for her as she broadcasts from a makeshift studio inside her (nan-walk in) closet at home.
As mutually beneficial for both fan and artist to send a livestream tip via Venmo, to buy a record or purchase a band t-shirt, there are other easy ways to help out those impacted by the loss of work. In Fort Worth, the United Way is teaming with Hear Fort Worth and performer Rachel Gollay on a relief fund for artists and others working in the creative industry in Tarrant County.
The Dallas Artist Relief Fund, established by advocacy group Creating Our Future, looks to raise money “to support artists and freelancers who are taking financial hits as a result of closures and lost income from COVID-19, according to the Texas Music Office official website. “The GoFundMe campaign has set a goal of $5,000 to raise funds to provide emergency and preventative resources to those at financial risk. The donated grant funding is aimed at helping with financial assistance for low-income, BIPOC, trans/GNC/NB/Queer artists.”
The Denton Music and Arts Collaborative (DMAC) continues to host livestream events and raise funds to support the musicians and artists continuing to make Denton one of the more vibrant music towns in Texas.