Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Art Levine: The streaming internet performance phenomenon / Coffeeshop Conversations @ Artichoke Music #242

 OMN National Editor Art Levine and Tom D'Antoni talk about the proliferation of online performances in the age of Covid. Lots of links to music and comedy online.

This is more than a Coffeeshop Conversation not at Artichoke Music with Art Levine our National Editor when he’s not being an author and one of the best investigative reporters on earth.

He’s going to talk about the current phenomenon of musicians and comedians live streaming performances from their homes.

I hope you’ve been catching ours, OMN Live which streams every Sunday at 6pm on our Facebook page.

Maybe we’ll get lucky and in this podcast you’ll get to hear one or more of Art’s famed endless and endlessly entertaining rants.

We can hope.


Here are links to some of the performers Art Levine and Tom D'Antoni mentioned in the podcast, inluding the Zoom fund-raiser for Oregon musicians; OMN's own live streams;  live stream aggregating Facebook pages; and audio interviews with  a few performers, including comic Jackie Kashian,  DC's Queen of the Blues, Carly Harvey; and Jenny Langer, lead singer of the swing/blues/R&B/ soul group Moonshine Society. Also Art discusses comedian, actress and playwright Sue Costello, Maria Bamford rehearsing new material on Zoom and other streaming treasures found online.

Oregon Music News live streams and Portland musicians' fund-raiser:

Halley Johnsen will be performing on Sunday at 6pm on the OMN Facebook page as part of our OMN Live Sunday evening series.

Here's the upcoming OMN Live schedule. All at 6pm:

  1. SUN APR 26 6-630pm Haley Johnson
  2. SUN MAY 3 6-630pm Whim Grace
  3. SUN MAY 10.         6-630pm Motaz
  4. SUN MAY 17 6-6:30pm Annie Bethancort 
  5. SUN MAY 24 6-6:30pm Deathlist/Jenny Logan - scheduled
  6. SUN MAY 31 6-6:30pm Laryssa Birdseye
  7. SUN JUN 7 6-3:30pm Martin Zazar

One of the most successful fund-raisers for local musicians in the country came from Portland-area musicians in a smartly edited rendition of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough"  for Jeremy Wilson's COVID19 Go Fund Me campaign that's gone a long way towards meeting its fund-raising goal:


Another Portland page devoted to live streaming is Homebound Blues



Prize-winning blues guitarist, singer and songwriter Rory Block is doing an astounding series of home videos, twice weekly, of blues classics, touching original songs, tips on playing guitar and behind-the-scenes tales of playing with greats from Son House to Stevie Wonder for her concert series:
Her next show is Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. , featuring fan requests for great slide blues she has recorded and original songs that have touched fans around the world, from Robert Johnson's "If I had Possession" to her own "Lovin' Whisky" and "Silver Wings.: Rory Block

CARLY HARVEY, DC's Queen of the Blues

Carly Harvey says: "All the musicians are supporting each other, " adding , "We make music because we love it."  She's lost about a dozen gigs each month that she counted on, but supplements her performing with teaching  singing and piano that continues on Zoom. Her first live stream got about 1,000 views, but only a tiny fraction of the viewers donated anything to her tip jar via paypal or Venmo. She's now doing one concert a week on Sundays, down from two a week, with each concert on a different theme: blues, jazz, a tribute to Adele, among others.  

Known as the queen of DC blues,  she shared her video series online not only on her own facebook page but at the successful Homebound Blues live stream aggregation site on Facebook launched by Portland's own Rae Gordon. : Homebound Blues:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/249661499384250/

Carly Harvey's Facebook page:


Carly's interview:



JENNY LANGER,  Lead singer of the Moonshine Society.

Jenny, both as a front-woman for her band Moonshine Society and a touring lead singer with other bands, including saxophonist Ron Holloway, estimates she's lost most of the nearly 300  gigs a  year she typically books, including multiple shows on the same day at festivals. She says, "I'm an artist with a deep passion for performing," she observes, and amid this pandemic, "I feel a responsibility towards my bandmates and my fans."

Her interview with Art:


Their recently released CD Sweet Thing was the number one record on blues radio stations for six weeks, but the momentum of that album in terms of more bookings and a higher profile was cut short by the pandemic.

Website: https://www.moonshinesociety.com/home

The Moonshine Society facebook page:



Here was their show that drew thousands of views and a rave response below, but not a huge amount of donations, starting at about the six minute mark:  https://www.facebook.com/watchparty/210153406909283/?entry_source=PAGE_TIMELINE


It was  expertly promoted and also shared on  live stream aggregation facebook sites such as Viral Music: Because Kindness is Contagious: https://www.facebook.com/groups/622864291902580/

Still, she's only sparingly performing in live streams so as not to wear out her welcome with her fans, but she's also managed to work out the best way to record bands with electric instruments for streaming on the web, and gives a tutorial on the topic here:  https://www.facebook.com/moonshinesociety/videos/2567846383535012/


 Sue Costello and Jackie Kashian are making the most of reaching their fans, developing new material, and bringing in revenue.


She's a writer, actress, and playwright who had her own sitcom Costello, on Fox, and went on to a be a comedy headliner and a featured actress  in such films as The Fighter. In the wake of the pandemic, all her performing gigs dried up, and an indie film she's co-producing and starring in has been put on hold, but she's rehearsing with the director and the actor playing her son a few times a week on Zoom. Here's her website: http://www.suecostello.com/about. She has a new sitcom she's developed that's also been put on hold while overcoming some dubious executives' schemes, as she alluded to briefly in a recent interview for a  Hollywood publication: https://www.hollywoodintoto.com/sue-costello-metoo-moonves-weinstein/

Every day live at 5 pm, on her facebook page --     https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100004633032496,         and archived at her web page,  http://www.suecostello.com/suetv             she's offering a remarkable blend of positivity, behind-the-scenes showbiz tales, humor, practical advice, hopeful news and encouragement -- tinged with spirituality -- to ever-growing number of fans who are tuning in via Facebook or archived on her web page.

 Art became a fan after hearing her on Marc Maron's WTF podcast the first time, and seeing her one-woman play, now called #Iamsuecostello, that won a rave from him in HuffPost comparing its blend of poignance and humor to the pioneering early stage shows of Lily Tomlin and Whoopi Goldberg: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/where-you-can-see-great-w_b_6536498.

Here's an excerpt of an interview she gave Art about her live streaming and why she's doing it, every day, for about an hour:

"My energy is what keeps people going all the time. Even when I'm on stage, they always say, 'I have a good energy.' So, when times like this happened, you think to yourself, what can I do? We can't go near anybody. We can't go out. And also I lost all my income very, very quickly. I'm not somebody to be a victim, ever.  I don't feed into fear. I don't, I can't. And throughout my whole career, I've had many, many, many ups and downs and, and lost everything. And I've been through so much that I'm almost trained to know how to handle a situation like this."

 Jackie Kashian:

As a successful comedy headliner and a regular opener for Maria Bamford and Brian Regan; well-known podcaster for her popular shows The Dork Forest and the Jackie and Laurie Show; and a comedian who has released well-reviewed,  number one selling series of comedy albums on Itunes and Amazon, she's used her time wisely to market herself and fellow comedians via live streaming. This weekend, she's featured in Zoom shows with two comedy clubs, including the noted Flappers in Burbank, headlined on Friday by Maria Bamford.

Here are her webpage, Facebook and twitter accounts. Her pinned tweet? She recently uploaded an earlier #1 selling "Horcux" DVD to YouTube  for free to help spread the word about her work: https://twitter.com/jackiekashian. Also see http://jackiekashian.com/, where she solicits fans to sign up for her newsletter, http://jackiekashian.com/#about/3; and https://www.facebook.com/JackieKashianJokesmith/. Her podcasts, as she describes them:" Dorkdoms and the celebration of standup is still happening every week on
http://tdf.jackiekashian.com/ and http://jackieandlaurieshow.com/"

Some of her upcoming shows:

Friday April 24th, 7pm Pacific: Opening for Bamford with Laurie Kilmartin for FLAPPERS https://www.flapperscomedy.com/shows/maria-bamford-jackie-kashian-laurie-kilmartin/59973/
Saturday, April 25th, 6pm Pacific, 8pm Central DOING A GREAT SHOW FOR MINNEAPOLIS CLUB ACME https://acme-comedy-company-acme-comedy-company.seatengine.com/shows/125723

In a candid interview she gave Art, she explained how she has to keep developing new material even during a lockdown -- "Stand-up is what I do," she explains -- and how the pandemic cost her about half of her usual $70,000 a year in earnings from stand-up. Yet in  some Zoom shows she notifies fans on her Twitter and Facebook pages on short notice , she has  drawn about 75 donations and pulled in $600 for about a half hour preview of new routines for her fans. Here's the audio of that interview, posted on YouTube: https://youtu.be/PLxRlpjbYvQ 

 Maria Bamford

Her fan Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/mariabamford/, and Twitter account @mariabamfoo -- if you act fast -- gives fans willing to pay up front a token fee of $5 a chance to see her work out new material, including tweaking a routine about her trip to be honored by the Harvard Lampoon. She's a perfectionist who writes down her material, memorizes it and then adjusts it during performance until she's got it exactly right, as demonstrated in her Netflix special Old Baby, and her new concert video, Weakness is the Brand. She had to temporarily put her donation-requested Zoom shows on hold after she was "Zoom-bombed" by trolls, then restarted  them again with more online security and a required pre-pay to view.



Britain's Cosmic Shambles network, co-hosted by broadcasters and comedians Robin Ince and Josie Long, featuring smart discussions with musicians, actors, authors and experts that is unlike anything seen in America. Every day it's offering a Stay at Home Festival https://www.youtube.com/user/CosmicGenome, with Josie Long also offering periodically an at-home version of her well-received one woman show about motherhood, Tender, that was cut off in the middle of her tour.


They probably don't need the money themselves, but they're often using their shows for fund-raisers:



Art observes that while many individual comedians and some comedy clubs are engaging in live streaming [see sample news stories here], the cut-throat world of stand-up apparently doesn't lend itself to offering communal platforms for aggregating live streams. One exception is this aggregating site in New York with comparable Facebook pages apparently for LA and a few other cities:


 As far as Art could find, there was nothing comparable in the comedy field to this aggregating website for local and less famous (or rich) musicians: Viral Music: Because Kindness is Contagious: https://www.facebook.com/groups/622864291902580/   


If you know of other national and local music or comedy aggregating live stream sites worth viewing, please post them in the comments section.

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