Second: TODAY ONLY (5/1), Bandcamp is waiving their fees for all sales of music and merch. You can find mine here: https://kevingordon.bandcamp.com/ Their download option is cool, because you can choose the particular file format you prefer, unlike some other online stores. But yes, physical goods are available there too. So, check it out–today, or whenever you can. It’s also a great place to discover new artists. And I have a few otherwise unreleased things on there, too. And hope to add more in the near future.
I’ve been quiet; I suppose that’s obvious. A tweet here, an Instagram post there, but virtually I’ve been speaking in shorter sentences, using fewer colors. The current mass experience we’re going through affects each of us in different ways. Personally I’m terrified, of both the illness itself and by the more recent notion that the public health should be sacrificed for the sake of a good economy or successful political campaign. But I’ve also quietly savored this time, and tried to enjoy the things I can do, such as getting the garden started, reading more attentively, listening to music I’ve been intending to get around to for years. Nothing quite like getting your hands in the dirt to take things down to the elemental, to the base of things. I’ve been writing, a little. Otherwise taking out the smaller chisels and editing a batch of a half-dozen new songs that I started late last year into January.
Am I all here? I don’t know. Definitely not worrying about looking “presentable.” Showering twice a week; shaving maybe twice a month. But I do know I’m alive, and grateful for it, and that I’m sitting here pecking this out, because after more than a month, I felt like I needed to check in with you, though I’m not sure what it is that I have to say. I’ve talked with a few people with whom I haven’t communicated in a while, but at the same time find that I haven’t been reaching out to my usual pals as much. Not sure what to make of that.
Dubious Analogy Dept.: This isn’t like being in a car wreck, where time slows down for a few seconds but thankfully the experience itself ends fairly quickly–it’s like (to me) that that slowing of time just keeps going on and on–but like the real thing we don’t know when the car is going to stop rolling over on itself or if we’ll be thrown from the thing before it does. I can’t remember if I put my seat belt on. What’s a seat belt? Time feels both empty, and full. No schedule–(whew, check out that tour calendar!), but every moment is weighted with the knowledge that we are all inescapably in this. In just weeks, Covid-19 has taken the lives of more Americans than were lost in the Vietnam War. And among those lost have been several important cultural voices that it sure seems like we need now, including the great John Prine. I got to hang out a couple of times with him, but that’s for another post. He’s gone and the void of his absence, felt not only here in this town, but around the world, feels as deep and dark as the Mariana Trench. Thankfully we still have his music. And in that we still hear him speaking in his singular way, reflecting our lives back to us so beautifully, with his “normal guy” voice describing the human condition in all of its myriad emotions and ironies in acerbic detail, often with a dose of good humor. I hope that you and I are all doing what’s best towards eliminating this virus, as long as it takes. I know that when public life is safe(r) again, playing a live show with people in the same room will feel better than almost anything ever has.
Right now it’s the smaller, quiet pleasures: a second strong cup of coffee, with a piece of Boo’s strawberry-rhubarb pie. (All I can say is: dammmmnnnnnn . . . .) Sitting on the front porch in the evening while the dog snores, watching the Spring come on in all its splendor, so perverse yet so welcome this time around–purple tongues of the irises, gradually shadowed a little more day-by-day as the big ash tree leafs out above them; late at night, in the back room, learning to play a Big Bill Broonzy song I’ve heard for years. Checking in with folks via technological means, visiting with our kids via Zoom, once a week; one in Iowa, the other in Oregon. And finally the general lack of activity has pushed me back into stretching, and exercise. This is always a good thing. And long overdue for me. Though planking and such, for now, often leaves me just a trembling sweaty mess on the floor.
When I played my previous (and first pandemic-era) live-stream show, on March 18, I thought I was so smart because I got a little bit ahead of the rush of my fellow performers doing the same thing. In the end, of course, it didn’t matter. I had a great response, a good show, and yeah all those other folks did their shows too, and keep doing them, thank goodness, and that’s just the way it is now. I like Stageit except for the extremely strict time limit. 30 minutes with an option for a 20-minute “encore”? But there’s so much to see and hear via these platforms now that maybe keeping them shorter is a good thing. I’d love to hear your perspectives on this. What do you like about these shows? What drives you nuts? How can I/we do better? Feel free to email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Above all, thanks to all of you who caught that show, and who are doing your part in supporting artists during this crazy time.
Stay safe–stay well–we’ll get through this mess and get on with it, together! Hope to see you online later this month–and in person, as soon as it’s a good idea!