Back after a long hiatus … plus, musings on the lack of live music in a life under quarantine

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything for this blog. I’ve been sort of preoccupied with all types of personal and work-related things, which up until a month-and-a-half ago, seemed to be sorting themselves out.

Then the quarantine happened, and life suddenly changed in unexpected ways for the foreseeable and indefinite future.

Barring all the obvious drawbacks to living in a highly contagious pandemic, and as pertains to this blog, I’ll just start by saying that I’ve been pretty bummed out by the lack of live music in my current stay-at-home life. And at the risk of sounding entirely superficial, I’ll also state that my recreational optimism has been crushed by the sheer number of show cancellations and postponements, many of which I have/had tickets for.

To name a couple, longtime electronic favorites Underworld and German industrial experimentalists Einstürzende Neubauten both opted to cancel their tours this year. I don’t blame them, since they have to cross an ocean to perform in an equally risky super-spreader crowd scenario. Not to mention Visa problems being what they are. Still, it bums me out.

This month alone was supposed to feature the return of avant-garde ethno-historical globalists Dead Can Dance and shoegaze originalists The House of Love, both of whom have been long-absent from stateside stages. That absence is going to remain, at least for the near future, as both shows have been moved to yet-to-be-determined future dates. I’m guessing the fall, or more likely, next year.

Probably the most notable, at least in my life, is the Cruel World Fest, which was originally supposed to take place today in Los Angeles, but has since been rescheduled to September 12th. Something tells me that’s probably not going to stick, since most tours are now eyeing the summer of 2021 as a more likely target for large crowds to safely gather and enjoy live music again.

It’s actually this festival that provoked me to return to the blog after a nearly three month absence. The line-up’s incredible … Morrissey, Bauhaus, Blondie, Devo, The Psychedelic Furs, Echo & the Bunnymen, Violent Femmes, The Church, English Beat, Public Image LTD, Gary Numan, Marc Almond, She Wants Revenge, TR/ST, Drab Majesty, and a whole host of others.

Plus, the day is beautiful. And most importantly, I had tickets, which would’ve made this my first festival to kick off 2020. For many, it’s Coachella, which has also been moved to the fall. I like my fests to be a little smaller, more intimate, and focused. To each their own.

I actually have footage of quite a few of these Cruel World acts, some of which I’ve gotten around to including on the blog, many others that I’ve planned at some point to post in upcoming entries. I think that might be part of the future game-plan.

I’ve also got a great selection of clips from Tame Impala, the last show I saw before the world went to shit. It was a memorable show, not just for how great it was, but for the fact that it happened on the same night as Tom Hanks testing positive, the travel ban going into effect, and the NBA cancelling their season. It certainly added a surreal quality to an otherwise fantastic show. So this will be another live music offering in the foreseeable days and weeks ahead.

And I’m sure there’ll be plenty others, alongside some recommendations, playlists, and what not. I haven’t sorted out what I’d like to do with the blog, going forward. So for now, I’ll just keep it simple.

Live music just isn’t a realistic option right now, so I feel the need to start posting more shows from my archives. It’s all amateur iPhone footage, so it ain’t gonna win any awards. But it’s a much-needed reminder of how great live music can be. And that’s what I’m looking for right now.

Until I can get fully back into the swing of things, I’ll include a handful of links to some of the acts that were scheduled to perform at Cruel World. These are all shows I’ve previously posted. Stay safe and enjoy!

Bauhaus (11.03.19 @ the Hollywood Palladium)
Echo & the Bunnymen (12.04.18 @ the Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian)
The Church (05.03.19 @ the Regent Theatre)
Gary Numan (10.06.18 @ the Fonda Theatre)
Drag Majesty (12.06.19 @ the Masonic Lodge at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery)