Musicians and music fans are starting to go a little stir-crazy.
It’s been nearly two weeks since there was a concert in Snohomish County. Many view live music as a form of escapism and a connection to the community. Without it, the weight of the world — especially the troubling news about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic — feels all the more burdensome.
Gov. Jay Inslee’s stay-at-home order will prohibit gatherings through at least April 6. In the meantime, the Everett Music Initiative is starting a streaming series to make live performances accessible from home.
HOMEBODIES launches today on EMI’s Facebook page. It’s an online gathering place for local and regional artists to promote their music. Fans can tune in to watch video recordings of musicians playing their favorite and latest songs. There will be links to support them through PayPal donations or stream their discographies.
Featured artists will include Anacortes singer-songwriter Karl Blau, Seattle psych-pop band Spirit Award and Everett singer-songwriter Sarah Feinberg of TELLERS and SYLVI. Snohomish’s Fretland, an Americana rock band, will kick off the series March 28.
“Right now is a really tough time for people who thrive and survive off live music,” said Ryan Crowther, founder of EMI. “We may have to physically distance ourselves during this pandemic, but I hope this provides an opportunity to safely gather.”
Crowther, who organizes EMI’s annual Fisherman’s Village Music Festival, said the novel coronavirus has made a tremendous impact on the music industry. Touring musicians and venues are struggling to get by without a source of income, while concertgoers are trapped at home by the statewide restrictions.
Crowther, 35, of Everett, hopes HOMEBODIES will help alleviate some of that anxiety. Though it won’t have the same production values as a live concert, it will at least give fans something to connect with, he said.
“Music is therapy,” Crowther said. “A lot of that for me is the live music experience. I think connecting with artists and their lyrics can also provide that same stimulus. I hope this could offer that for folks.”
Feinberg, 36, will be the first artist to perform on HOMEBODIES. Local music fans will recognize her singing in bands TELLERS, and I Will Keep Your Ghost, which previously played at Fisherman’s Village Music Festival.
She’ll perform as SYLVI, a solo project she started in 2019, and play multiple songs from her debut EP, coincidentally named “Homebody,” on acoustic and electric guitar. Feinberg also will manipulate her voice using an amplifier, and talk about the song selections.
“It’s definitely going to be chill with a lot of guitar finger-picking,” she said. “I wrote ‘Homebody’ while exploring space for myself and just being OK with where I’m at.”
She plans to record the video in her basement studio, where she wrote most of the material. Even though it isn’t a live show, Feinberg said the music series will provide her and fans with a welcome distraction from the pandemic.
“It’s a great way to stay connected to fans and the community,” she said. “Hopefully, it will encourage people and help them feel lifted up. Everyone is trying to work hard and do what they can to continue to perform.”
Evan Thompson: 425-339-3427, email@example.com. Twitter: @ByEvanThompson.
If you stream
Everett Music Initiative’s HOMEBODIES streaming series is set for 7 p.m. March 28 to April 20. Here is the performance schedule:
March 28: Fretland
March 29: Karl Blau
March 30: SYLVI
March 31: Lake
April 1: Spirit Award
April 2: Little Wins
April 3: Molly Parden
April 4: I Will Keep Your Ghost
April 5: Tomo Nakayama
April 6: Boy Orbison
April 7: Bodies On The Beach
April 8: Jason Webley
April 9: SassyBlack
April 10: Leava
April 11: Alex Johnston
April 12: Oliver Elf Army
April 13: The Porters
April 14: Scott Wetzel
April 15: Clothing Optional
April 16: Narrow Tarot
April 17: Bad Optics
April 18: Shoecraft
April 19: Steel Beans
April 20: Several Other Ghosts