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Music, art, more now live online!

By Cathy DeDe, Chronicle Manging Editor

We can’t get together in person, but there has been an explosion of daily online live streaming events by artists near and far.

St. Patrick’s Day was my first foray into the live stream concerts. I swung all night between local Celtic bluegrass band The McKrells at Caffe Lena in Saratoga and the nationally touring Dropkick Murphys at an undisclosed location in Boston (undisclosed to keep the fans away).

So far Caffe Lena in Saratoga, UpSt8 Music Fan in Glens Falls and Frankie Cavone’s Mirth Films in Lake George are the most active live streams that I’ve found.

Some are easier to find, click into and navigate than others. Some feeds are more wonky, some come off picture-perfect. The artists perform as if the crowd is right there with them, though sometimes only a single camera person is there to hear.

It’s exhilarating, even before you add in the live feedback we all can see from audience members around the globe. Emojis of hearts and thumbs-up stream by.

Check out your favorite “follows,” artists, bands and institutions to find songs and full concerts, comedy podcasts, gallery tours, live-streaming story times — so much! — here and around the world.

Wild Adriatic and drummer Mateo Vosganian, James Hood, Mark Piper are some of the locals I’ve seen posting regularly.

I’ve gotten a little smitten with the Metropolitan Opera, which is offering online rebroadcasts of its live operas streaming “in real time” nightly at 8 p.m. Each remains available to watch only until the next day. Feels like an event, and a gift.

Crandall Public Library, and several area schools, offer programs and storytelling for kids. The Hyde put its new Goya and Dax Thrush exhibits on line this week.

Also huge on live stream, real-time: exercise classes and yoga. Probably other offerings too; that’s my jam so it’s what I see. The Glens Falls Family Y has a ton of material and events online. Yoga Kayla, Summit Yoga at Rocksport and Core in Glens Falls are three I happen to be aware of.

Zoom, the live meeting app, suddenly becomes key. Facebook Live and YouTube both offer live streaming with options to comment in real time.

Caffe Lena at the forefront

Caffe Lena is offering free “Stay Home Sessions” nightly at 8 p.m. Viewers are encouraged but not required to donate via a “donate button” link. Proceeds are divided between the artists and the Caffe.

“They’ve felt like something far more than entertainment,” Caffe Lena director Sarah Craig told me. “It feels like we are fulfilling a mission and genuinely taking care of people — musicians as well as isolated music fans — during a difficult time.”

With new, stringent controls on the number of people allowed in one space, they are using pre-recorded shows for now.

“A fun twist,” said Ms. Craig, “is that the performers will actually be able to join the chat while we watch together. We can’t wait for them to directly experience the outpouring of love and gratitude that we see on the chat stream.

“We are moved by the creativity and determination of all the musicians who are sharing their music live with fans online right now. At the same time, it is very important to our organization to use our professional apparatus and ace technical staff to stream from the venue, rather than broadcasting content from a private home.”

“What is the mood, you ask? Hopeful, determined, filled with adrenaline, wanting to stay alive and well. Pretty much like everyone else out there. The risks that come with fear and isolation are real, and we just hope the music helps.”

Stephanie Revely: UpSt8

Stephanie Revely of UpSt8 Music Fan Zone out of South Glens Falls says, “Our first week has been awesome. Hundreds of viewers online and in replays. Live viewers during our two time slots of afternoon and evening have been pretty steady, better than the numbers actually showing up at the clubs and bars before the quarantine.”

The artist uses his or her own recording device and sends the feed to Ms. Revely at home. She curates and streams it online in real time.

“In the first week our most successful in terms of viewership was Uncle Mark and Bree live from an empty Witherbee’s in Schroon Lake,” she says. “Mark’s international following came out in droves…Tips-wise, they have gone straight to the artists. I don’t see any of it but I am told that some did better than they expected.”

Ms. Revely adds, “On April 1, in association with RadioRadioX in Waterford and Bleak Little World’s Niki Kaos, I’ll be live streaming a Virtual Open Mic with several pre-signed artists. I’ll work with each of them to get their stream working and get it out to the public as if we are all sitting at an actual open mic. I can’t wait to make this happen.”

UpSt8 Music Fan’s schedule:

Watch the live streams at www.facebook.com/UpSt8MusicFanZone.

Thursday, March 26: Benjamin Zoleski at 3 p.m. and Liz Winge and Alan Dunham at 7 p.m.

Friday, March 27: Bruce Blinn-Knapp (Solo) at 3 p.m., and Lucas Garrett at 8:30 p.m.

Saturday, March 28: Jason Irwin a 4 p.m. and Lifeline (Bruce Blinn-Knapp & Bill Cassidy) at 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 1: RadioRadio X Virtual Open Mic at 4 p.m.

Tony DeSare’s video a day

Home-grown singer-pianist Tony DeSare is posting a video a day from home. And by popular viewer demand, he is growing out his beard while in “Stay Home” mode. It’s very gray!

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