The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a heavy toll on the availability of live-music performances, nearly eclipsing it to zero.
But that doesn’t necessarily mean that performances and recordings have come to a complete standstill — and the relentless, passionate artists at Anacortes Music Project (AMP) aim to continue that.
Next on the docket is the group’s focus for the time being, “The NeXt Show,” a monthly online ‘radio’ show that features local and regional musicians. The next band to be featured is LAKE, from 7-9 p.m. today, Thursday, May 7. The show can heard at AnacortesMusicProject.org on the first Thursday of every month.
According to the organization’s striking web site, here what they have going:
n Producing and promoting music events;
n Overseeing and producing the Anacortes Music Channel, an online streaming radio on the internet. AMC streams Anacortes-related music 24/7, promotes DJ skill development, and provides opportunity for local podcasting content and live streaming of events;
n Organizing music classes, workshops and seminars;
n Granting scholarships for music education;
n Recording, documenting and archiving local musical events.
“The NeXt Show” has featured several acts that are doing more than their part in keeping the Anacortes musical environment thriving, even in the face of ongoing hurdles and adversity.
Todd Young, who co-hosts “The NeXt Show” with Doug Cassidy, said the internet radio show came about because the group recognized a need and took steps to make a difference.
“Basically, this project was started as a way to document what was happening in our community,” Young said. “Focused on Anacortes, with a little bit of tentacles out into the (Skagit) Valley, but what it happening in our musical community — who is creating art, what have they done, who are these people, what do they sound like, how have they developed — the entire ‘nine’ as far as that snapshot would go.”
The documentary project is in its fifth season, Young said. The audio can be streamed on the web site, and later can be accessed as a podcast on the site. The audience for the show has been consistently growing, Young said, and feedback has uniformly positive.
“The musicians and creative community knows about it,” said Young of the show. “The artists are both listeners, and eager to be on the show. It can spread in that way among the community, so the quality of guests and their willingness to do the show has been extraordinary.”
On occasion there is some pre-production, Young said, but “we try to keep it very, very spontaneous. You’re going to play live, and we’re going to have a live conversation, and we’re going to see where that takes us.”
“The heart and soul of what our vision is, is to keep nurturing what is already a legacy of music coming up, from young people (onward),” AMP President Sommer Carter said. “For many years, there has been center points of where musicians could gather, and play, and rehearse.
“That has been part of the scene in Anacortes, and the Anacortes Music Project is working to facilitate that happening again.”