click to enlarge BongoJak (pictured) vs. the Loop Machine is - scheduled to perform this Saturday at the Adams Family Patio near Buzz Bomb Brewing Company in lovely downtown Springfield.
BongoJak (pictured) vs. the Loop Machine is scheduled to perform this Saturday at the Adams Family Patio near Buzz Bomb Brewing Company in lovely downtown Springfield.

Can we be at that Thanksgiving milestone already in 2020? I hear folks say this year everything seems to be moving so fast, yet crawling by at the same time, and I can report feeling that same sense of strange times gone astray. Be that as it may, here we are and here we go, about to embark on a Thanksgiving weekend hopefully filled with lots of giving thanks.

Usually in my column right before turkey time, I go on and on about Thanksgiving Eve being the biggest party night of the year. Those once-heralded big bad boozers of New Year's Eve ("for amateurs" is the proper smart aleck response) and St. Patrick's Day (a daytime event with partakers so plowed by evening that it doesn't really count anyhoo) gave way when the upstart Night Before Thanksgiving usurped the unscrupulous crown of high-level debauchery doings about two decades ago.

Indeed, this much-ballyhooed Wednesday evening, an invented celebration preceding a holiday based on eating too much, napping at will and usually taking the day after off as well, is the perfect setup for a party platform of immense proportions. In fact, the notion that our largest annual shindig isn't even a registered holiday only adds to its allure and effectiveness. Bring to that framework for wanton intemperance and intemperate wantonness a vast amount of incoming, college-level libertines returning home for an extended vacation with partying on the brain, and we are set for a night of raucous revelry beyond compare. But alas, in 2020 it shall not be so. As is the case for most of the events this year, the end result is lacking any oomph, or even oompah, for that matter.

We're discussing this occasion in a column about live music because most of the aforementioned abundance of decadence took place in venues that hosted bands and other forms of musical entertainment. For instance, a visit to Now Playing for 2019 shows a formidable amount of live music listed for the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. There were some 17 acts that I mentioned, not counting a few more that weren't listed or ones happening on the Friday after Turkey Day, quite naturally a normally big night as well. That's really incredible, and continuing the party plan comparisons, not even close to St. Pat's or New Year's Eve numbers. But enough of this wallowing in the past – perhaps commemorating or commiserating are better terms – because this year is like no other in recent memory.

So after all that blathering, what is available for music lovers to partake in and give thanks for on this holiday based on thanksgiving and partaking? Nothing much in the way of live music, I am afraid. Looks like we're back to the online streams that were once our only source of "kinda live" entertainment during the stay-at-home era in the spring. Only the Adams Family Patio in front of Buzz Bomb Brewing Company even shows live music scheduled, and we hope they safely continue, but who knows what will be happening there by then. I don't see any specifically listed live streams for Thanksgiving Thursday, but Cowboy Randy will most likely be online for his weekly show. I assume other musicians, being musicians and not easily swayed from playing music, may pop onto various internet-streaming sites to sing some songs designed to entertain the many or the few.

In the meantime, have a safe, happy-as-can-be Thanksgiving, giving thanks for what we've got, even though it might not be what we want, since that is really what it's all about anyway.

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