The Music Projects of Planet Ronin

Author: Russ B.

How To Spend Memorial Day in Quarantine

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer, but in light of the prevailing pandemic, things are going to feel a little different than usual.

Still, you shouldn’t let stay-at-home orders stop you from appreciating the long weekend or continuing your favorite traditions. Here are a few ways you can enjoy Memorial Day, even if you’re sheltering-in-place.

1. Make yourself a summery beverage

Summer is all about the light and refreshing. Why not mix up a Rosemary Gin Fiz, a Rum Sunset, or a classic Piña Colada?

Not a cocktail person? No sweat! Summertime is officially rosé season, so it’s a great time to indulge in a glass of the blush wine. (Whispering Angel Rosé is a real crowd pleaser). Or stock up on White Claw hard seltzer for a crisp, bubbly treat.

2. Watch a summer movie

If you can’t leave the house, you can always escape through a summertime classic like Jaws, Dirty Dancing, or Do the Right Thing, or a more recent dog-day hit like Adventureland, The Way, Way Back, or Wet Hot American Summer.

3. Get outside!

Even if you live in a state where lockdown orders remain strict, you’re still allowed to stretch your legs in the great outdoors. Breathe in that fresh air and absorb the summer sun by taking a walk in your neighborhood. Some areas are even opening public beaches and parks over the weekend, but be certain to obey all local social-distancing regulations, and don’t forget to bring a mask with you just in case you encounter a crowd.

4. Warm up the barbecue

Nothing triggers summertime nostalgia quite like the taste of a grilled hotdog or hamburger. If you don’t have an outside area for barbecuing, you can always prepare your picnic indoors to recreate the summer tradition. Don’t forget the pasta salad and watermelon!

5. Remember the true meaning of Memorial Day

No, this year won’t be quite the same. But before you feel too bad about spending Memorial Day in quarantine, take a minute to remember the true meaning behind the national holiday. On this day, we are meant to honor the memory of those who have laid down their lives in service to the country. This year, as we honor the tens of thousands who have already perished from COVID-19 and the 1.5 million who have been stricken, there has never been a more important time to show gratitude to those who have served and are serving in uniform or in scrubs, in armored personnel carriers or delivery vans.

Surprise: Music Streaming Drops During Widespread Social Distancing

Music streaming platforms have been unpleasantly surprised by an 11 percent drop during the last week. Those in the streaming industry had been expecting a surge in users because so many people are being made to stay in their homes to curtail the spread of COVID-19. Unexpectedly, Spotify and Pandora did not benefit from social distancing in the way that Netflix, Amazon Prime, and HBO did. One can speculate that people use music when on the go and the epidemic is forcing people to go nowhere.

Over the week between Friday, March 13th and Thursday, March 19th, there were 1.822 billion streams, 226 million fewer than the week before. This is the lowest number of streams since January 3rd, when the number of streams only reached 1.779 billion. A significant drop is normal during the early days in January, as the holiday season comes to an end.

Another reason for the drop is that there have been very few new album releases. Right now, the Top 10 of Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart doesn’t include any newly-released singles. The lack of streaming in clubs, bars, restaurants, and stores also contributes to the drop.

Interestingly, streaming of music videos, for both Apple and YouTube, actually increased in number, by 1.3%. It would seem that quarantined people are craving visual media more than audio-only content, which supports the notion that they use audio-only music when moving around.

Those in the music industry have been hurting due to cancellations of their live performances. Musicians have become ever more reliant on live performances for their income and streaming services are their way to reach out to fans. Evan Greer, a folk musician, started a popular online petition requesting that Spotify triple royalty rates to artists. Because musicians are receiving fewer streams on Spotify and because they’ve lost the income from gigs, Greer says, “This is a moment when Big Tech companies need to do their part to help.” Seeing as streaming services owe their entire business to musicians, this seems fair.

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