SongwriterView: Meeting the Moment

SongwriterView: Meeting This Moment
By Patty Castillo Davis

     One of the things that I admire most as part of Governor Gavin Newsome’s addresses to the state of California during the Coronavirus Pandemic is his frequent assurance about how the thoughtful policies he implements will “meet this moment”. Meet. This. Moment. I am so proud of my community. I am impressed and it should not come as a surprise that my fellow artists, some who are suffering irreparable financial woes have been among those coming forward first to assist. Many of my peers are unemployed but have focused their energy toward helping others.
    I’m not talking about Livestream events ( which have become essential in this time of overwhelming emotional and mental strain ), out of work Musicians are delivering food and sanitization supplies to others. Songwriters are sewing masks for medical workers on the frontline and those most vulnerable to exposure who may not have access or resources. Being selfless. At this moment. I have been asked numerous times-“I’ll bet this is going to inspire you to write some interesting songs?” I can only speak for myself when I tell you that composing new material was not even on my radar.
     At the very beginning of this shelter in place order, I was alone for three and a half weeks, not completely alone-four cats and one dog, and advised by my Primary Care Physician to self-quarantine and not leave my house. This was a lesson in humility, and patience in which I discovered immediately who my support team was. They were there to meet ME at that moment. As frivolous as it sounds right now, we all need a bit of fancifulness. One of the reasons we have a ravenous appetite for entertainment is because we fundamentally seek the shared experiences and the escapism, and that was life b.p. Before the Pandemic. In times of crisis, people turn to entertainment for comfort. Frivolity can become effective and etch lasting value. We will drive for hours in traffic, pay ridiculous amounts of money when we can pay per view at home. Why? The visceral community experience, the real need for physical interaction, shared humanity, and lasting collective response.
     Rearranging the music business model will support societal trends in this new world of live performance. We are in the midst of a momentary blip in the live entertainment trajectory. Once our experience fuels the synergy between necessity and recovery we will have experimental platforms becoming the new normal. Streaming. Livestreams and Audio Streams. While audio streaming in the U.S. appears to be down, YouTube usage on computers is up more than 15%. The analytics company, Alpha Data, which collects statistics from streaming services shows that listeners in America and abroad are tuning into more mood oriented music and more chill genres-while children’s music has seen the biggest spike in listening. Spotify has noted that more chill music is on users’ playlists in general. More acoustic less danceable and lower energy songs are being added, similarly Pandora is seeing increases in their, Cleaning, Wind Down, Focus, and Family categories.
     Local band Us4love has released their new single, “Where’d You Go?” available at and Gravel and Grace’s new single video “Pennies” can be found on YouTube, Amazon, and iTunes. Please support our local artists by buying their music, merchandise, and purchase tickets to those shows that have rescheduled dates. Although we lament the loss of yet another month of our favorite annual live music events-the Modesto PorchFest returns, albeit reimagined as CouchFest Livestream event takes place on May 2 and 3 and will give many local artists a platform to share their art with a large audience in a responsible way and allow the community to experience a diverse concert and contribute to the relief aid for these musicians. Details on the lineup and streaming venues can be found at the Modesto PorchFest website and on various Facebook outlets.
     A huge thanks to the ModestoView and the Modesto Area Music Association Virtual Live and Deva Cafe who are among those working tirelessly. Big love and gratitude for their continued support of our town during this difficult time. These guys are personal Champions for me, essential entities that have personally sustained me in so many ways, so with Seth, Rob, Candice, Dan, Vanessa, and Jeff, we say thank you for meeting us at this moment.
    For inquiries on how you can contribute to the relief effort for Modesto Musicians please contact

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