Getting used to our new normal has been challenging. But unlike the residents of the Philadelphia area in 1918, who suffered through the devastating Spanish flu pandemic, we can turn to online entertainment. Though we all look forward to the days when we can go out to a festival, a concert or just watch the game from a neighborhood bar, we can keep ourselves and our kids occupied with all the content we can stream or access via the internet.
This week, we introduce our Hot Ten where we ask people from our region to share 10 things in their area of expertise to do, discover or explore.
Maxwell Ochester, owner of Brewerytown Beats shares his top 10 all-Philly rarities playlist. (If you want to support the store, which has closed due to COVID-19, you can purchase online gift cards and they are still offering sales of rare vinyl through their website). All tracks are available via streaming music sites, or if you have Spotify, you can check out Ochester’s full Souladelphia playlist.
Bobby Bennett – “Before I Blow My Stack”
Honey And The Bees – “Dynamite Exploded”
Kenny Gamble – “Chains Of Love”
Ronnie Walker – “Love Is An Illusion”
The Ultimates – “Why I Love You”
Mitzi Ross – “I’ll Do More For You Baby”
The Delfonics – “Hey Love”
The Thompsons – “I Will Always Love You”
Barbara Mason – “Keep Him”
Fantastic Johnny C – “Boogaloo Down Broadway”
It’s the content we didn’t know we needed. Will Smith, in collaboration with a group of producers that only he could find during a pandemic, (we assume they were working remotely) put together a relaxing playlist based on the popular Chilled Cow YouTube series. The lo-fi music mix is great for kids and teens who need to study and block out distractions or for adults who need to work and block out kids and pets.
Like beloved cultural institutions worldwide, The Metropolitan Opera is closed, but the music hasn’t stopped. Every day, the opera’s website will stream performances from fourteen years of its “Live in HD” series. The operas will stream daily starting at 7:30 p.m. Each performance will be available until 6:30 a.m. the next day and will stream for free. They can also be streamed via the Met Opera on Demand app for Amazon, Apple, and Roku devices as well as on Samsung Smart TVs. You can stream without logging in by choosing “Explore the App” for apps (and “Browse and Preview” on TVs).
Asbury Park, N.J. native Bruce Springsteen’s 2009 concert from the Hard Rock Calling Festival in Hyde Park, London was released on Blu-Ray and DVD in 2010. But Springsteen announced last week that he was releasing the concert via streaming sites for the first time. Among the hits he and the E Street Band performed during the show are “Badlands,” “Born To Run” and “Dancing in the Dark,” as well as covers of The Clash’s “London Calling” and the old chestnut “Hard Times Come Again No More,” a song with a particularly timely message. You can watch the concert here.
A rite of passage for so many, America’s oldest zoo has shut down due to coronavirus. But a dedicated team of zookeepers is making sure the animals there remain happy and healthy. The “Philly Zoo at 2” series on Facebook Live brings a virtual zoo to the public, with new content every weekday. Dani Hogan, the zoo’s director of educational programs, will host and kids can ask questions via live chat. While Breezy the Goat already had his birthday celebration, upcoming featured animals include lions, tigers, giraffes and red-tailed hawks. Via the Facebook Live show, the zoo will also debut baby animals born this spring. You can see Philly Zoo at 2 here.
The Mütter Museum is creepy in person, let’s face it. And online, it’s no less macabre. As the museum goes offline, the Memento Mütter online exhibition showcases the history of medicine through some very intriguing (and sometimes stomach-churning) human conditions. About 60 items that are part of the online exhibition are available to peruse, and only about half of them were already on display. The museum’s “Spit Spreads Death” exhibit, which told the story of the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic has been extended through 2024, although we won’t see it in person until this latest pandemic ends. By the time the Mütter reopens, they’ll likely have to update it with information from the one we’re living through now.
Touring musicians were devastated by the COVID-19 crisis as the entertainment industry ground to a halt. But musicians quickly figured out how to use social media to continue to do what they do best – share music with their fans. Billboard launched a “Live At-Home” series, an outgrowth of their existing Billboard Live series, which allows quarantined artists to not just play live, but to support their favorite charities. Pop/R&B singer JoJo kicked it off, and since then, Josh Groban, Allen Stone and Skip Marley have all participated, raising thousands for their respective charities. You can watch the next one here.
Museum March Madness
Dover’s Biggs Museum of American Art has found a creative way to deal with those who missed the competition and camaraderie of March Madness. They have released their own version of the tournament by allowing the public to vote on 64 pieces of artwork not currently on display. They will do March Madness-style elimination rounds to narrow it down to the “Elite 8,” which will then be exhibited when the museum reopens.
- Round 1: 64 items/32 games – March 25-27
- Quarterfinals: 32 items/16 games – March 28-30
- Semi-Finals: 16 items/8 games – March 31- April 2
- Elite 8: 8 items/4 games – April 3-5
- Final 4: 4 items/2 games – April 6-8
- Championships/1 game – April 9 – 11
Watch the video, which explains more in detail and shows some of the items in the head-to-head competition. You can vote here.
“Pandemic” on Netflix
While Netflix’s eerily prescient limited series “Pandemic” may seem like a case of too little, too late, it provides a fact-based view of how pandemics happen and previous attempts to stop them. If you can stand any more information on flu viruses, this one at least might help you understand how they happen and why, and hopefully provide clarity for conspiracy theorists, those who still don’t take the current crisis seriously and anyone who wants to feel more prepared for what’s happening.
Keep checking in with Things To Do and we’ll continue to provide our picks for entertainment during the industry’s COVID-19 hiatus. Please consult our COVID-19 updates to keep up with the latest information regionally.