Rumor Has It
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
I find myself conflicted these days. On the one hand, I’d like to write only about the good things. We are all so inundated with COVID news—much of it sad and sobering and so very hard, especially since there’s little we can do but try and remain healthy while we wait it out—that I don’t wish to contribute to our generalized anxiety attack.
Instead, I want to focus on things that are inspiring, the ways in which people in our music community are using their natural-born creativity to meet this challenge with energy, optimism and an abundance of music. People like Pace Rubadeau, who is taking a much-deserved break after 53 straight sunset trumpet concerts for his neighbors. Or Cumulus’ Alex Niedzialkowski, who is sharing songs she loves and reading Kurt Vonnegut novels online, using her incredibly lovely voice to bring people together.
I’d very much like to talk about Dryland’s Brad Lockhart who, when all of his planned shows and work as a graphic designer dried up due to COVID, rebounded by designing a board game on a bandana and then saw his idea hit 400 percent of its funding ask on Kickstarter in less than a week. I’d also love to talk about Lockhart’s bandmate, Hollie Huthman, who, when she’s not busy serving on Bellingham City Council, owns and operates the Shakedown, which just announced its first booking—for a July 27 show—after having to cancel its entire concert calendar, which is as welcome a sign of life as any I’ve ever seen.
However, while those things are wonderful, they’re not the story of this pandemic as it is currently unfolding.
The very real, hard truth is the story of this pandemic is survival struggle of our music venues. As myself and many others have made clear, the future of every independent music venue in the country is currently in doubt. That’s not an exaggeration. As much as it is my inclination to focus only on the good, it would be irresponsible to ignore this coming crisis.
What that means is in the issues of the Cascadia Weekly to come, I hope to highlight the makers of good and bringers of light. We need that. But I will also continue to speak to the situation plaguing our beloved places to see live music with the goal of letting you know what you can do, how you can mobilize. We may not be able to save them all, but we sure can try. In a helpless time, this is how we help.