Rumor Has It
Live From the Park
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
I am typing this to a soundtrack of live music.
No, I’m not in some other place or some other phase of our long COVID lockdown.
I’m sitting in bed, propped up against a pillow, computer on my lap.
No, I’m not watching a virtual concert or livestream.
I’m listening to live music happening out my window as I have several times since the pandemic began and life got weird almost overnight.
Music venues may be dark (you can still donate to help a trio of local venues at http://www.downtownbellingham.com) and bands may be on indefinite hiatus due to our present circumstances but live music, somehow, finds a way.
The “concerts”—if such impromptu efforts can be called that—typically happen during the dark of night in our public spaces. The first time I heard one, it was a drum circle. Not my favorite, but in my music-starved state, I’ll take what I can get.
After that came a jam band of some kind. Again, not my bag, and it went on for a very long time, but it didn’t make me mad.
Following the jam sesh, there was a long time when the only music I heard out my window was late-night drunken sing-alongs to Top 40 hits, the pinnacle of which was a group of young women belting out Natalie Imbruglia’s “Torn” at the top of their lungs at 3am. It was appropriate for my mood at the time, which could adequately be described as “all out of faith.”
From there, I’m pretty sure I heard the return of Saxophone Guy, but that just might have been my imagination playing tricks on me.
I have also borne witness to what I believe to have been several attempted wooings courtesy of a guy, an acoustic guitar and a woman on a blanket next to him. Those typically happen just before sunset. It’s always a different guy and girl, but the setup never changes, although the songs usually do. To the gentleman belting out Shawn Mendes’ “Mercy” so earnestly—that’s not the song. It’s never going to be the song unless you’re actually Shawn Mendes and maybe not even then.
Then there was a familiar-sounding funk band that I’m not going to name because it’s not my job to out anyone here. They played their finale to a chorus of cheers from the balconies above.
As for tonight’s ensemble, it’s mostly horns and percussion—at least that’s what it sounds like from my bed. They’re pretty good, but more than that they’re proof that music, somehow, always finds a way.