Joy, a decision.
(This is part of my â€œEntertainment During a Time of Coronavirusâ€ Newsletter series, which you can sign up for here.)
It seems like years since it happened, but just a few months ago, I travelled to Brazil for the first time. I landed in Rio and there were army tanks at the airport and the Uber driver wasnâ€™t coming and I couldnâ€™t speak Portuguese and it was late at night, and then I met a young woman who co-ordinated the pickup with the driver, taught me a few local words and shared the ride into Ipanema with me. Since then, Iâ€™ve followed Beatriz Pessoa and her beautiful voice on Instagram. Sheâ€™s currently on lockdown with her musician roommates and I tell you, watching their impromptu, DIY music videos has been one of my favourite things right now.
This weekend, the first major benefit concert to provide relief and support for those affected by Covid-19 is happening, hosted by Elton John. Itâ€™s taking place on Sunday night, when the iHeart Radio Music Awards were meant to take place. Alicia Keys, Backstreet Boys, Billie Eilish, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mariah Carey, Tim McGraw and others will perform from their own homes, using their personal video and audio equipment, to ensure the health and safety of others.
To add to that, hereâ€™s is this weekendâ€™s list of events happening online so you can #StayHome:
1. New York institution Marieâ€™s Crisis has been doing a nightly livestream so the show-tunes can keep on a rollinâ€™ through all the anxiety and stress. You can join the private FB group and fire up the Venmo in place of the glass tip jar that sits atop the piano in the West Village bar. (Thanks again to The Queer Review for this tip!)
2. Beatport will launch a 24-hour Twitch live stream show today at 1pm PST/4pm EST/8pm GMT, featuring the world’s biggest dance acts, from Carl Cox to Bonobo, A-Trak and RÃ¼fÃ¼s Du Sol. In between dancing, you can drop some dollars into the COVID-19 Hardship Fund benefitting members of the Association for Electronic Music.
3. My favourite banjo-player (um, the only banjo-player I really know) Bela Fleck is rolling out a â€œLockdown Livestreamâ€ with Abigail Washburn, every Friday through April 10 at 7pm EST/10pm PST/11pm GMT via Facebook Live. Today heâ€™ll highlight the release of his new album with kora master Toumani Diabate.
4. This isnâ€™t a live event, but for the film fans among us, itâ€™s good to see Mailchimp and Oscilloscope teaming up to present the SXSW 2020 Official Short Film selection. Itâ€™s a great way to still support those filmmakers who were going to present their work at SXSW and lost out on that experience when the City of Austin had to cancel this yearâ€™s fest.
5. John Cameron Mitchell is doing a once-off livestream show dubbed COVIDivinations for Digital Dragfest today from 6-6:30pm PST/ 9-9:30pm EST/1:30am GMT. Heâ€™s promising songs from his mountain abode and personal readings using Walt Whitmanâ€™s Leaves of Grass â€˜as a divination tool to burn away fear and focus on the goodness of now.â€™
** Also, a few non-entertainment-but-still-good-things-happening: Former CNN anchor Isha Sesay has started a daily digital show, Home with Isha Sesay, 11am PST/2pm EST/6pm GMT with an African focus on current events, Priya Parker is hosting a TED Connects IG Live today on â€˜how to create meaningful connections while apart,â€™ at 9am PST/12pm EST/4pm GMT and then on Sunday, Deepak Chopra comes out of a week of silence to lead a live mantra-based global meditation, beginning at 9am PST/12pm EST/4pm GMT.
And one more bonus suggestion – I have a Netflix recommendation for you. Itâ€™s called Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution. Below is my #ReviewOnTheRun of why you should pop it into your queue.