WAYS TO HELP OUT NOW (As seen on The Today Show)
1. Buy a gift card from a local restaurant– Restaurants have been hard-hit by the coronavirus. Help them with cash flow now, while treating yourself or a friend to a meal when we’re on the other side of this!
2. Make a meal for a neighbor or donate to a food bank (Or two. Or three!) – Many sources of income and donations have been drying up. Help keep support going for those that really need the help by making a little extra dinner then delivering it in person. Or let the pros do it by donating to a food bank near you (https://weldfoodbank.org/)
3. Talk with your neighbors & offer support –Maybe you have an elderly or at-risk neighbor who is afraid to leave the house. Why not simply knock on their door and ask if you can pick up something from the store for them?
4. Show support to health care workers – Hospitals and care facilities are stretched thin. Something as simple as dropping off a care package of healthy, still-sealed snacks for the employee break room can really lift the spirits of someone working 12-hour shifts. (https://www.uchealthnocofoundation.org)
5.Tip generously – Musicians, servers, rideshare drivers, bartenders, delivery people…they all have been dealing with closures and shutdowns. So their income has been hard hit. If you know someone in one of these roles, could you also offer child care for a couple hours?
This month’s My5: Top Albums I Quarantine(d) To:
1. Brian Eno: Before And After Science– I think all of Eno’s albums are excellent but this one is especially tranquil. One of his loveliest works. Standout tracks: “By This River” and “Julie With.”
2. Drive-By Truckers: Southern Rock Opera – What!? They can’t all be tranquil choices. Drive-By Truckers built this album around their experiences growing up in the South (and Lynyrd Skynyrd). It tells stories I never tire of hearing. Standout tracks: “Ronnie And Neil” and “Plastic Flowers On The Highway.”
3. The Replacements: Tim – To be perfectly honest, I love all The ‘Mats albums. But for me, Tim is comfort food. It just makes me feel better. Standout tracks: “Bastards Of Young” and “Here Comes A Regular.”
4. Sam Cooke: The Man And His Music – Sam Cooke is my favorite singer of all time. From his beginnings in the gospel group The Soul Stirrers, through his many hits, plus his more thoughtful work along with an occasional B-Side, this one covers all the bases. Standout tracks: “Sad Mood,” “Bring It On Home To Me” and “A Change Is Gonna Come.”
1. Jarv Is: Beyond the Pale – Jarvis Cocker, former Pulp frontman has reinvented himself once again in a band aptly named Jarv Is. Ten years since his last release, he comes back full force with a danceable, disco tinged album May 1st. Listen for the twist of phrase where Jarvis rhymes claustrophobia and disrobin’ ya – not Shakespeare, but an utterly listenable guilty pleasure.
2.The Strokes: The New Abnormal – An appropriate title for this day and age, The Strokes return to their indie, garage rock roots on their sixth album. The follow up to Future Present Past, it was three years in the making, recorded at Shangri-La Studios in Malibu and produced by Rick Rubin. And speaking of Rick Rubin…
3. Broken Record – Go down the rabbit hole of the Broken Record podcast. Epic conversations between Rick Rubin and some of the greatest musicians of all time. Rubin, one of the most influential producers ever, worked with everyone from Run-DMC to Slayer, but has a laid back demeanor, getting superstars to open up about their creative process.
4. RJD2: The Fun Ones – A new studio album due April 17, full of hook laden instrumentals, funky beats and the occasional guest vocalist. Produced by Khari Mateen, it debuted with the single “Pull Up on Love” featuring Slim (aka STS). The official video was shot in January at the Ogden show in Denver!
5. Really Bad Music for Really Bad People: The Cramps as Heard Through the Meat Grinder Of Three One G – A tribute to legendary band The Cramps, due out May 1st on Three One G Records. It features a blistering version of “Human Fly” from Mike Patton (Faith No More) and Italian duo Zeus! Look for The Microwaves version of “Don’t Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk” and classic Cramps from Chelsea Wolfe, Daughters, Metz, and more.
1. Waco Brothers: RESIST! – This is a great album from the original cow punks of Chicago. Led by the multi-talented Jon Langford, they deliver their usual ferocity with a healthy dose of humor and self-deprecation. During these trying times it’s good to know there are still bands out there reminding us that the spirit of Rock & Roll is alive and well.
2. Pretenders: “The Buzz” – This may not be the best song the Pretenders have ever created, but just knowing there is new music from the band is cause for celebration. The one is a preview of the band’s upcoming studio album, Hate For Sale. A full tour is scheduled with the band’s longtime lineup.
3. Love is Blind – This Netflix original series is a train wreck, which is what makes it so awesome. The premise is simple: put good looking singles together, separate the men and women with a wall and see if they become attracted to each other. Once they meet in person, the sparks really fly and you realize why they were all single to begin with. Guilty pleasure at its best.
4. Dirty Money – Another terrific, but enraging Netflix original. Check your blood pressure before watching. The docu-series explores the corruption surrounding financial scandals. From pay day loans to slum lords, no issue is off limits. Hats off to Netflix for their fearless exploration of issues that have long been swept under the rug. Here’s hoping that by bringing these issues to light, change will come.
5. Willie Nelson: “Our Song” –There is no slowing down 86 year old Willie Nelson. At a time when musicians 60 years younger struggle to create music on a consistent basis, Nelson averages 2-3 releases a year. The latest is a gorgeous song written by Chris Stapleton. Nelson may have lost a bit in his voice, but his playing is still top notch. Willie is a national treasure and this song just adds to his amazing collection.