Rumor Has It
Bits and Pieces
Wednesday, May 12, 2021
For more than a year, there hasn’t been a lot of music news to write about, and of the news that existed, a lot of it wasn’t good. I’m sure the full measure of the fallout from the year-plus COVID shutdown for music venues and the musicians, staff and constellation of industries that rely on them has barely begun to be assessed—that’s a reckoning which will take place for a long time to come.
However, like green buds forcing their way out of the hard ground after the longest winter, signs of life are beginning to bloom.
For instance, the Subdued Stringband Jamboree is planning for a 2021 event—of some kind. Founder and braintrust Robert Sarazin Blake has had a busy pandemic, inviting friends to broadcast live from his kitchen table with a regularity and commitment that has been inspiring. He’s bringing that same innovative, never-say-never energy to his beloved music festival and I’m eager to learn what he’s got in store for us.
All will be revealed a little bit at a time every Saturday via Stringband’s Facebook page as part of an info series organizers have dubbed “PSA Saturdays.” The first installment of PSA Saturdays was to announce the existence of PSA Saturdays, so I imagine it only gets better from here. Presumably, the phased policies and procedures rollout is happening at the speed Stringband is figuring its way through the rules and restrictions of the state’s own phased rollout. All I know is I very much want the return of the Stringband cocktail videos from last year. I’m pretty sure my views of Devin Champlin making a Luker Duker numbered in the double digits.
Speaking of Devin, you’d think it would be a bad year to grow his still-new business, Champlin Guitars, but sometimes good things happen to the best people and it seems that’s the case with Devin and his tiny shop. He’s exchanging his small space for a bigger one a couple of blocks away, grand reopening date to be announced soon. Maybe when he’s settled into his new spot, I’ll finally bring in the old guitar I’ve been wanting him to repair for the last decade. Or maybe I’ll just keep talking about it.
Lastly, Aslan Brewery just released a beer that has piqued more than a little of my interest. These days, beer collabs are nothing new, but a beer/band collab is a fresh brew indeed. Aslan has teamed up with Seattle band the Dip to create Slow Sipper, a hazy IPA. The limited-edition release also comes complete with merch available for purchase, and proceeds from both beer and merch will go toward the National Independent Venue Association and its Save Our Stages campaign. Drink early and often.