20 Things That Got Us Through 2020 – Editor’s 5

Editor in simpler, handier times.

20 Things That Got Us Through 2020 is our year end recap of things musical and non that helped us navigate the undertow that was 2020. Since there’s no way anyone could come up with 20 nice things to say about this past year, we’ll each be doing 5 things for a cumulative team effort 20. Here’s Editor’s 5.

Well, what a year huh? Here’s a few things that kept me going.

  1. The creativity of my friends. When Covid-19 hit and we were all in lock down it was a life disruption but also an opportunity. Got nothing but time on your hands? Why not create something new and put it out into a content gobbling world? One of the earliest and most fun examples of this was from Anthony Elliott of Kali Masi’s solo project Royal Dog. Originally posted to social media a mere two weeks after the lock down began, “$4.20 on Venmo” was not only timely but also just a legitimately great punk pop banger.

Elliott’s follow up a few months later (a rap song under the moniker Capital T) is also worth revisiting if for no other reason than its excellent use of sad trumpet.

2. I spent March through June of this year helping my mom recover from a non-Covid related near fatal hospital stay. We had daily visits from hospice nurses, but I was her primary care giver. An already stressful situation was amplified by watching the news every night filled with reports of Covid, the corruption and malfeasance of our leaders, the murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the escalated police brutality in response to the protests… It was too much to keep in, so…I let it out. When my mom would nap, I would go to the spare room and play my guitar with headphones on, and write lyrics into my phone note app, and before long I had a bunch of angry reactionary political songs that I’d roped my buddy JD Short (Bassdbler) into recording with me via laptops and file sharing over Dropbox. We asked a few more friends to contribute guest vocals and guitar solos and the result was the Beltalowda EP “Unheard Language.” Not only is it something I’m proud of, but it very much saved my sanity this year.

3. For the last 9 years I’ve worked as a touring stand-up comedian, which of course, stopped being a job as of March of this year. Having an extended and forced break from comedy has made me enjoy it again in a way that I really haven’t in years. Instead of ingesting comedy in a somewhat analytical manner, I’ve started to just let it wash over me like a fan, and what a blessing that has been. Two of my favorite comedy things this year have been going down a YouTube rabbit hole of Cecily Strong’s amazing character work on SNL and discovering that Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine have released fake live albums such as “Live at The Royal Wedding” and “The Lounge Awakens: Live at Mos Eisley Spaceport Cantina.” The beautifully executed smart-dumb comedy of the “live” banter is the cherry on the hilarious swinging covers sundae and both were exactly what I needed in 2020.

4. Long walks with my dog Raylan. Getting outside away from a screen, being a regular part of the neighborhood and nearby park, picking up poop with a plastic bag – these are the steps to mental health we all need.

5. This thing right here. The one you’re reading. I don’t really remember what inspired me to bring back Postcard Elba after an 11 year hibernation, but I’m glad I did, and even more glad that when I asked a few fellow music nerd friends if they’d want to contribute that they said yes. Hope you’re digging it as much as we are.

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