It's no secret that local musicians are being hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Bars and restaurants are closed and people are advised to avoid gathering in groups of more than 10 people. Consequently, concerts and all types of live performance have been canceled. This has sparked a trend in the music industry around the globe. Many acts are taking to their livestreams to perform for their fans and take donations in these trying times. Here are a few locals who have jumped on the web for you to view from the comfort of your home. Keep your eyes peeled for these artists' Venmo, Cash App and/or PayPal accounts to leave them a virtual tip when you can.
Cure for Paranoia The award-winning Deep Ellum hip-hop soul band Cure for Paranoia has helped take the historic neighborhood worldwide. The group, made up of Tomahawk Jones, Jay Analogue, Stanley Francisko and Cameron McCloud, left their hometown seeking shelter from a rumored deadly scourge that would destroy the planet. The end of the world didn’t happen, but the birth of their band did. Since then, the group has taken home several Dallas Observer Music Awards and played at several of Erykah Badu’s Birthday Bashes. The end of the world still hasn’t happened yet, but all of the band’s shows were canceled or postponed. They are now taking to Facebook Live where people can tune in to see them jam in a series called Couchella. Facebook.com/CureForParanoia
Darren Eubank of the local band D and Chi is bringing artists together for a series of livestreamed showcases called Corona Concert. The first one took place this past weekend and featured artists including Andrew Holmes, The Last City and more. All Eubank asks of viewers is to pay a small fee or tip that will be given to the artists. He said it will be like a virtual songwriters' roundtable, where artists will perform their songs and tell stories. Facebook.com/DarrenEubank
The smooth-singing local country singer Jessica McVey has been wailing all over North Texas for some time. She broke out with her debut single “John Deere in the Headlights” in 2018, and she hasn’t slowed down since. While everyone is stuck inside, McVey and guitarist Fletcher Moud will bring the music to the people with Quarantine Sessions every Wednesday. Tune in on McVey’s Facebook page to see them do their thing. Facebook.com/JessicaMcVeyMusic
The local psychedelic space funk powerhouse TryMore MOJO is bringing its funky riffs, modular soundscapes, energetic vocals and heavy grooves to the screens of every man, woman and child who decides to tune in. So far, the band has had two volumes of what they are calling "Lock'd In Quaran-Stream" during which they can remotely melt their fans' faces. They will be accepting donations for said face melting. You won't want to miss 'em. Facebook.com/trymoremojo
Paul Slavens If you didn’t get to see Paul Slavens take the stage at Dan’s Silverleaf as the Spontaneous Song Generator before everything was shut down because of COVID-19, don’t worry. You can still see Slavens do his thing from the comfort of your own home while you're social distancing to prevent the spread of the virus. Slavens will write and perform songs on the spot, improvising about whatever comes to mind. The audience will throw song title suggestions to him from behind their screens and he’ll just run with them. You might hear songs about escaping the spiraling vortex of Ikea, robot children or whatever else people can think of. Facebook.com/slavens
Vandoliers The alt-country, almighty Vandoliers advise that you stay home, wash your hands and listen to their music during these trying times. If you want to see them in action, you can catch them on the livestream. The band’s lead singer, Joshua Fleming, hopped on last Friday for their first pandemic performance. You can catch the band Wednesday on The Ranch’s Facebook page. Facebook.com/Vandoliers
Jade Nickol Last year, local singer-songwriter Jade Nickol released her debut EP Murphy’s Law after putting out her second single "Marijuana and Gin." The single and the EP starkly contrast with Nickol's first release, “Best Friends,” in which she tried her hand at country music. In May, Nickol told the Observer that she tried to wipe the internet clean of "Best Friends," frustrated with the initial direction she tried to take her music. "Marijuana and Gin" marked a new beginning for Nickol's music career, in which she wants to write songs that are more true to herself. If you haven't seen her live yet, swing by her Facebook page for her Late Night Session streams. Facebook.com/JadeNickol
The chord-slinging, heavy-hitting singer-songwriter Mitchell Ferguson has jammed across the country and beyond. Now he's taking his jamming to the World Wide Web amid the coronavirus. Ferguson hopped on Facebook Live for the first part of the quarantine with singer-songwriter Corina Grove. If you missed it, don't worry. The artist says there is more to come. Keep an eye out for his stream as he performs originals and covers and takes requests from viewers. Facebook.com/listentomitchellferguson
Rhett Miller Old 97's singer Rhett Miller is bringing live performances to his fans through the website StageIt.com. His first foray into the livestreaming realm was last Wednesday. The stream is set up for pay-what-you-can donations and a live chat. There are only two rules for people who want to view Miller as he performs from his office in the basement of his New York Hudson Valley home: no stage diving and no flash photography. StageIt.com
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE...
Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Jacob Vaughn, a former Brookhaven College journalism student, has written for the Observer since 2018, first as clubs editor. More recently, he's been in the news section as a staff writer covering City Hall, the Dallas Police Department and whatever else editors throw his way.