Golden-throated, big-hearted Josh Groban raised his voice and spirits with a free bedroom performance. He also raised $15,000+ for Meals on Wheels America, on the front lines of the pandemic, so thanked fans by singing “You Raise Me Up” in his shower. (Fully clothed, though he has said the song should be used for Viagra ads.)
THE BEST Music
To support the charity Playing for Change, musicians Robbie Robertson, Ringo Starr, joined amazingly talented artists from around the globe for a performance of The Band’s 1968 classic The Weight. Enjoy more from their Songs Around the World series here. (Thanks Jonathan!)
“We are isolating, but we are not isolated.” Musicians and performers around the globe continue to provide us with great bare-bones performances during the COVID-19 lockdown. Listen and enjoy as the members of Barenaked Ladies perform their 2000 hit “Pinch Me” from the comfort of their individual living rooms.
Like much of the world, Italian guitarist Luca Stricagnoli is staying put during the COVID-19 outbreak. But that hasn’t stopped him from playing like a boss while wearing his respirator mask. Luca’s performance of Gorillaz’ track Clint Eastwood is a uplifting dose of what we need during these trying times. The future is coming on…
Shortly before the lockdowns began, Chris Robinson and his brother Rich dropped by the NPR offices to perform three of their soul-stirring 1990s tunes stripped down to their essence, including their hits “She Talks to Angels” and “Jealous Again,” along with a lesser-known track, “Wiser Time.”
With help from the Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago, musician Rob Scallon got to check out how a pipe organ works, and noticed that the one they have is capable of outputting MIDI signals. After a bit of experimenting, he figured out its keyboard and pedals can also be controlled via the digital music protocol.
The Colorado Symphony had to postpone its performances, but that didn’t stop their members from performing together. They just had to do it from home. To help keep the music alive, they played the uplifting Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s 9th Symphony. Keep an eye on their #PlayOn playlist for more shelter-in-place performances.
Minutes before COVID-19 shutdowns started, at The Magic Bag in Detroit, the Squirrel Nut Zippers made this video of “La Grippe,” a macabre ditty about the Spanish Flu pandemic of 1918. The infectious song originally appeared on the band’s debut album and will inevitably rock the setlist for the “Inevitable 25th Anniversary Tour.”
Director Jack Antoine Charlot’s music video for S+C+A+R+R’s groovin’ dance track features a singular character with some mad dance moves. Because the motion is so incredibly smooth, it’s hard to tell where the CGI animation and live dancer begin and end. Remember, now is a great time to perfect your own choreography at home.
Even metal guitar gods are mortal. Megadeth frontman Dave Mustaine is playing it safe by isolating at home with his family during the COVID-19 shutdown, so he and his daughter Electra (a monster singer in her own right) recorded a living room jam on a Beatles classic: “Come together! Right now… QUARANTINE!”
If there’s one good thing to come out of sheltering in place, it’s the intimate performances being posted by musicians and other entertainers. In this episode of Rolling Stone’s series “In My Room,” John Fogerty performs three classic Creedence Clearwater Revival tracks, and proves he still has serious vocal chops at age 74.
While at home during California’s shelter-in-place mandate, “Weird Al” Yankovic decided to bust out his accordion and serenade his neighborhood in the hills with a little impromptu concert. His performance of Mason Williams’s 1968 instrumental Classical Gas is wonderfully expressive and heartfelt.
Music folks, upgrade your digital sound game with this pay-what-you-want bundle of sound packs and synthesizers from Applied Acoustics Systems and Humble. Sounds can be played using the included AAS player, or patched into your favorite digital audio workstation. Spend $20 or more for the full pack. (Expires 4/15/2020)
(PG-13: Language) Alex O’Connor aka Rex Orange County performs a mini-concert of four soulful and heartfelt tunes, bringing a touch of much needed light into these dark days. We love how he embraces the vibe of 1970s adult contemporary music, but still makes it his own.
If you think that electronic music was born in the 1970s or 1980s, you’d be wrong. Bandsplaining introduces us to Silver Apples, a group who was way ahead of their time, creating innovative glitch-pop sounds back in 1967. They even worked with Jimi Hendrix, but faded into obscurity after a controversial album cover did them in.
New Zealand indie band The Naked and Famous dropped by Australia’s Triple J studios, where they put their unique spin onto The Weeknd’s 2020 hit Blinding Lights, picking up on the track’s 1980s-inspired electronic sounds, while Alisa Xayalith’s vocals give it a warmer and richer sound.
A group of students form California’s Chino Valley Unified School District were supposed to have a live choir performance, but their show was canceled due to COVID-19. But they turned lemons into lemonade by recording each of their parts of Somewhere Over the Rainbow at home, then posted the mix for the world to enjoy.
For their series Easy to Complex, WIRED invited 2005 Female World Beatbox Champion Butterscotch to explain how a beatbox performance comes together. She starts out with the basic bass drum, then builds up thicker beats, eventually mixing in singing and vocal instrumentation. And don’t forget your Boots and Cats.
Chris Martin and Jonny Buckland dropped by the NPR offices with a nine-member gospel choir, who provided backing vocals for soulful performances of “Cry Cry Cry,” “Viva La Vida,” “Broken,” a cover of Prince’s “1999,” and their 2019 track “Champion of the World.”
What happens when your Lovely Day is Good as Hell? We imagine it sounds something like this excellent musical mashup by the guys from Pomplamoose, who managed to seamlessly combine the Bill Withers classic with Lizzo’s 2019 pop megahit into one delightfully upbeat tune.
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