In recent weeks we have watched as businesses have opened back up, outdoor concert venues have been packed, and the number of COVID-19 cases in our state have rocketed again. In more recent days we have watched as restrictions on many of the city’s indoor public activities have been put back into restriction, in hopes that less large-gathering social interactions will again bring the local case numbers down.
So though this column features both virtual and non-virtual events, this writer implores you to be conscientious of your public interactions in these times. The longer this pandemic continues, the longer the music industry will suffer as public spaces and gatherings are shunned, unattended, or down-right banned. Nonetheless, here’s a bit of what’s on tap for this week.
Virtual Music in the Park
This week marks the last week of the Downton Partnership’s ‘Virtual Music in the Park’ series, bringing the talents of Kat Moore (aka The Forest That Never Sleeps), of Super Saturated Strings to the virtual stage. If you have not had an opportunity to check out these midday, midweek lunchtime live-streams, do yourself a favor and put this one on your calendar. Not only has this whole series been a perfect little respite of local live music, Kat Moore is bound to put a perfect cap on it.
There is also the possibility that somehow you may not know the music of Kat Moore, The Forest That Never Sleeps, Lateral Lines, or the Super Saturated Sugar Strings. If any of those are unfamiliar to you Virtual Music in the Park also grants you the opportunity to spend your lunch-hour with one of the most prolific local musicians in the scene today. Aside from her expansive musical footprint, Kat is also a mentor and activist in the Anchorage and Alaskan music communities. All in all, her name is worth knowing, her music worth listening to, and her lyrics worth mulling over long after they have passed through your ears.
This final edition of Virtual Music in the Park begins on Wednesday at 12 noon on Facebook Live. Look for The Forest That Never Sleeps or the Downtown Partnership, or just search for Anchorage Virtual Music in the Park. The show is free and will run for approximately one hour.
Virtual Live After Five
Sadly, the Virtual Music in the Park series is not the only virtual event series hosted by the Anchorage Downtown Partnership that is ending this week. This week is also the last Virtual Live After Five event. As with Virtual Music in the Park, one of Alaska’s finest singer-songwriters, Emma Hill, will bring her talents to the virtual stage. Having Emma is somewhat of a blessing of COVID. Though she spends much of her time in Anchorage, Emma hails from Southeast Alaska, a fact of distance that in times of virtual events does not have to stop her from performing right in each and every one of our homes.
Like Kat Moore, Emma Hill is a master of guitar and lyric, weaving melody and truth into every note and beat. As said before, if you do not yet know Emma’s music, this is a perfect opportunity to get to know another of Alaska’s great singer-songwriters.
Virtual Live After Five will be streamed live on Facebook this Thursday (Aug. 6th) at 5pm, and then rebroadcast on the airwaves of KNBA (locally 90.3FM) from 7-8pm. And did I mention the event is also FREE?
Nervis Rex & Ken Peltier Band (no, not on the same bill)
While it does not really look like the best weekend for doing much of anything outdoors, let alone having live music outside, due to chances of rain throughout the weekend (You never thought you would get a real weather forecast in your Northern LIVE Forecast, did you?), if you happen to be out in Palmer or Eagle River over the weekend, there are two possible events to check out.
First, Ken Peltier Band will again be taking a physical stage as part of the Backyard Summer Concert series at Matanuska Brewing in Eagle River. Then, the next night, local ska legends Nervis Rex will be playing at the Palmer Alehouse this coming Saturday, August 8th, beginning at 7pm. If you do go to either of these events, please respect social-distancing etiquette between social groups and proper mask-wearing when applicable. If we have more of that and fewer COVID mosh pits (IYKYK), we might just see some semblance of normalcy a little sooner.
Be safe. Be smart. Support local music however and whenever possible. For more extensive information about many more of the musical goings-on across the entire state, look for the AK Concerts’ calendar in this week’s Press, or go to akconcerts.com and then check back in the coming weeks for more Northern LIVE Forecast.