click to enlarge The Marina V Show streams live on Twitch every Thursday night and Sunday afternoon. - PHOTO BY AMELIA YOKEL
Photo by Amelia Yokel
The Marina V Show streams live on Twitch every Thursday night and Sunday afternoon.
As we waltz into arguably (try to argue that it isn't!) the most peculiar holiday season of our lifetimes, let's be sure to stay aware of those in need and make needed changes to regular routines to help us all stay safe and sound. Even though many of the familiar events we all look forward to each year during this time are not happening or going to happen, we can make the best of what is going on and will be happening, hopefully finding a different and doable way of appreciating our holiday season.

As local, live, in-person music has again practically disappeared due to COVID concerns, many have turned to online platforms to experience music performances. One good thing about going down this same path we traveled last spring is now we're somewhat more experienced livestreamers. I know most musicians are more adept at using microphones and cameras or learning how to dial in the phone to get better sounds and sights than the first time around. By the same token, listeners or watchers — or whatever we call an online audience (watch-ners?) — may find themselves better equipped to handle this new way of participating in the power of live music at this point in the progress of the pandemic.

Some locals are now going back online with regular and/or random streaming shows, mostly on Facebook Live. In case you don't know, "following" someone you enjoy is an option, so when the artist goes all "FB Live" on you, the mysterious and ubiquitous, yet hospitable and always helpful Facebook folks send a notification to your device. There are other popular platforms you can visit, such as YouTube, Stageit and Twitch, plus lesser-known spots like StreetJelly, The Verdict and YouNow, all constantly live-streaming hundreds of shows from artists the world over. One of the benefits of this crazy time comes through discovering music artists by browsing these sites. So if you've got a hankering for live music and want to take a crazy, experimental online trip for mostly free (some platforms ask for upfront payments to be divided with the artist), get to searching and see what you can find. Perhaps your next favoriten music maker is anxiously awaiting discovery on some obscure livestream site, strumming away on her guitar, singing a sweet song, hoping to catch the attention of a listener and make a buck or two as well.

Back here in our community, classical music makes a good online showing, including the annual First Presbyterian Church Brown Bag holiday performances now on Zoom every Wednesday at noon, plus regular concerts, lectures and recitals by the Illinois Symphony Orchestra such as the Beethoven at 250 lecture this Thursday with Maestro Ken Lam and the Sunday at Six weekly recital series.

We have a couple other internet interests with local connections happening as well. Joshua Reilly, a central Illinois native and singer-songwriter who is making a good name for himself in the central Florida music scene, livestreams on Facebook this Thursday and Dec. 17, at 7 p.m. (CST). Moscow, Russia native Marina V, an Illinois College alumnus and a successful, international singer-songwriter based in southern California, performs from home via Twitch every Thursday night at 9 and Sunday afternoons at 2:30.

The only in-person live music that's in what's left of our mitigation-decimated listings happens Saturday night at the Adams Family Patio (well-heated, I am sure) in front of Buzz Bomb and features smooth-singing jazz vocalist Johnnie Owens from 5 to 7, followed by rising star and Nashville, Tennessee recording artist Dylan Raymond.

Onward we go toward the great ho-ho-ho.

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