Day after day, alone (with a lot of media and a great spouse) on a hill…

(What media gets me through these times.)

Here I am, living in Manhattan on the Upper West Side and was just notified that the isolation protocols have been extended to May 15. This morning I also read in a concert industry tip sheet that live concerts will not commence until the fall of 2021. This means that most of my friends are out of work.

There are constant notices seemingly every hour, saying one thing and then another about the length and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is nothing I can do except take it all in…until I just can’t.

It is then that I retreat into my media room and either watch a streaming movie, multi-episodic program or listen to music.

The only conversations that take outside of my apartment are over the phone or via Zoom.

Due to the ubiquitousness of Amazon Prime, Hulu and Netflix, the conversations with friends and relatives eventually get around to what shows we (my wife and I) have watched or are watching.

Nobody asks me what music I’m listening to. That conversation would have worked up to five years ago (maybe). I think that my friends don’t ask me about music because they think it’s like “shop talk” to me.

I have a friend who put up the following very funny announcement on her Facebook page:

“Just Finished Netflix!”

I’m starting to think that many of us may join in that sentiment by the time we can emerge from our cubbyholes.

This is some of what we’ve been streaming:

Unorthodox (four-part miniseries)
The Umbrella Academy (episodic – binged it all)
Curb Your Enthusiasm Season 10
Uncorked (movie)
Shtisel (episodic-binged it all)
Schitt’s Creek (episodic – final season)
Ozark (episodic – binged it all)
The Hunters (binged entire first season)
Bosch (binged Season 6)

The Umbrella Academy. Image courtesy of Netflix.

We also had a Zoom Seder (well-meaning but not very good as it had too many people and lots of technical issues).

Here are some discs we’ve watched:

West Side Story
Guys and Dolls
The Last Waltz (the Band, greatest concert film ever!)
Jaws
Dr. Strangelove
Dr. No
Enter the Dragon
Weekend at Bernie’s
Some Like it Hot
The American Folk Blues Festival Series, Volumes 1 and 2 (essential listening and watching if you love the blues)

For the record (pun intended) these are the artists and the music that I retreat to during angst-driven times.(Nobody has asked about music during our Zoom calls; I think my friends don’t ask me about music because they think it’s like “shop talk” to me. But I think that the readers here will want to know!)

I have thousands of albums and as many artists.

This isn’t the only listening I’ve done since being quarantined but these are the artists that I have been depending on to get me through this particular time:

Howlin’ Wolf, Slim Harpo, Sonny Boy Williamson, T-Bone Walker, Muddy Waters, Magic Sam, Buddy Guy, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck Group, BB King, Lonnie Johnson, Lightnin’ Hopkins. Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Memphis Slim, Curtis Mayfield, Sam Cooke, Albert King, Big Joe Turner, Otis Spann.

Janis Ian, the Beatles, the Cars, the Rolling Stones, Love, the Monkees, Buffalo Springfield, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Bob Dylan, Cream, Paul Simon, Simon and Garfunkel, Bob Marley, The Harder They Come soundtrack, The Band.

1950s Les Paul Juniors and Les Paul Special and a Yamaha THR10 amplifier. Wow!

And finally…well I am a guitar player so I can reach over to a stack of guitars in my home office and plug them in (or not) at any time and play along. I use several of my Gibson Les Paul Juniors and Les Paul Specials (1954. 1956, 1957 and 1958) and my new insanely good (and fun) Yamaha guitar amp, model THR10 (hint: it’s a hell of a lot easier to carry then my old Marshall 100-watt stacks!)

Only 3 lbs., 14″ D x 7″ H x 5.5″ D, 10 watts output, with gain, master, bass, treble, mid, reverb, chorus, flanger, phaser and tremolo controls and a 24-bit D/A converter.

Day after day…

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