Without open venues or bars, artists and performers are looking toward other outlets to reach their audiences, and some Long Beach artists are turning to a streaming platform called Twitch.tv to play free live shows.
"I’m seeing a lot of the music scene that was," said Nani Serna, lead vocals and keyboardist for Long Beach's Bundy the Band. "Now a lot of people are just kind of waiting for things to subside so they can get back out there and play live, but I don’t see that happening for at least another year."
With gathering spaces closed, Serna said that the pandemic put a damper on the work the band was able to do. Their latest album was supposed to launch earlier this year, but because the Bundy members couldn't meet at the start of the pandemic, the album wasn't finished and the launch was postponed. The date for that album has yet to be announced.
But Serna said that they're moving forward and not letting the uncertainty of the year stop the band from working.
"With music, the old school mentality has been to play at the bar or on the street, and that's pretty much it," he said. "But we have the platform to reach audiences online, outside of Long Beach, so why aren't we using that?"
That's where the online platform called Twitch enters the conversation. While folks aren't able to watch bands live at a venue, they are now able to watch their favorite bands play online in their studios.
Bundy plays at 9:30 p.m. every Thursday on Twitch.tv. The shows are free to watch and audience members can interact with the band through the device's chat function.
The hour-long show is filled with musical covers and on-the-spot songwriting. People can submit song requests to the band through their Instagram account at instagram.com/bundylbc.
Another Long Beach artist, Brian Frederick, is performing every weekday morning at 9 a.m. His set, called Breakfast Beats with Broken2th, isn't a typical musical set. Frederick composes a song from start to finish and invited viewer to watch, comment and supply their own input.
"Its been really fun and keeping me creating," he said. "Ive done a show every morning for the past two weeks and with everything that's going on and how easy it is to feel crummy right now, it feels good to wake up every morning and make a song."
Although the song-making is largely for fun, Frederick said that he and his girlfriend, singer Marley Rae, pick one of the songs he creates every week and then finishes it together for their Subtle Sundays Twitch.tv stream every Sunday night at 8 p.m.
"She helps bring the music together, and it's a neat concept and something fun to do," he said. "This is like a radio show where you have other people in the studio with you, so we're enjoying the time we have together and the times we interact with the audience."
Bundy the Band and Frederick (Broken2th) are both under the same local label, Donut Sounds. Their streams are at twitch.tv/donutsoundsrecords.
In order to interact with the band, audience members will need to make a Twitch account of their own, but for those who simply want to view the stream, no account is needed.
For more information about the bands, go to donutsounds.com.
Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at email@example.com.