Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Music makes the world go on

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Even groundhogs are having a rough time handling this Covid-19 situation. It’s almost like one cannot count on anything in these odd times. In tradition, thousands of people with very little else to do spent time earlier this week waiting to see what their local groundhog celebrity would do on Groundhog Day. Would they see their shadow or not, indicating whether we were in for an early spring or six more weeks of blah?

Problem is a whole bunch of Willy’s, Wally’s and Wendy’s (chosen by locals as their weather prognosticator) never ventured out of their homes. Weather wise or just plain lazy – it seems the majority of dirt dwellers decided it was too cold, dangerous or simply too much effort to poke their head above ground and express their opinion. Of the few that did – none were wearing a mask.

Regardless, the indecisive lack of action by so many relied-upon, slightly furry friends has resulted in further consternation and unease for some humans. (Well, myself and at least one other person). How long before we can finally drag our bored bodies outside into the garden or yard without risking freezing or drowning?

Enough already with winter.

For me the frustration of being confined inside at home has only recently surfaced. Until late last week I was consumed in rewrites and edit work on my novel. Thankfully, though I can say the project (four years) is now at the printers. So now what?

Like so many other Canadians, I’ve experienced one or two quarantines within the past year, however it’s been the extended isolation within a very tiny bubble in my world that has extracted some price. Admittedly my patience, tolerance and sense of humour is not as robust or reliable as in the past.

As well, like many around the globe I have turned to my computer and online communication to help stem the boredom and enlighten my world. The computer world is a two edged sword of course with way too much rubbish and ridiculous potential. All kinds of websites and evil, nasty sites loaded with viruses and bugs await the naive or unsuspecting keyboard traveller. I have learned the hard way.

However, amidst all the junk and negative elements the internet, Facebook and other programs, websites, and features such as YouTube provide a plethora of educational or entertaining components.

Of particular interest, enjoyment and respect for me has been the large number of uploaded concerts or performances by musicians online.

Like most professional performers or entertainers  musicians have been sidelined from their bread and butter and passion of playing music before live audiences, albeit large theatres, nightclubs, pubs, coffee-bars…  After a few weeks of waiting and then realizing Covid was not about to disappear quickly some in the industry began uploading tunes performed at home. The trend has grown and grown – and now become standard expected viewing for music lovers such as Moi. I look forward everyday to discovering who has released what online.

The latest is an edgy, in-your-face tune titled What Now, written and released by well known Kelowna rocker Jimmy LeGuilloux. Jimmy had many friends submit brief clips of themselves at home performing their hobbies or doing what they do to get by. It’s a catchy social commentary song not for the faint of heart and worth checking out.

Jimmy has actually posted several entertaining tunes the past year, but is not alone in sharing his skills. A plethora of great kitchen songs, or some actually performed in other locations have made their way onto the computer. Special live online kitchen concerts, or new video releases.  include works by friends Papa Dawg, Brad Krauza, Dirt Road Opera, Danny Thiessen, Deb Stone, Gary Smythe, Johnny Ferreira and many more.

There have also been scads of memory lane flashback videos played by local musicians.

With our social distancing, quarantine and shut down style of living the past year- the music industry has been nastily kicked but hopefully this spring or summer may allow for some reprieve – or at least the opportunity for some safe distancing outdoor performances. Until then, tune in and turn up!

Those readers looking for something else meaningful to get involved with are reminded that nominations are needed for Kelowna’s Civic Awards.

Who inspired you in 2020? If you know an artist, business, coach, environmentalist, volunteer or non-profit organization that deserves recognition, nominate them for a Civic Award today! Nominations for the 46th annual Civic and Community Awards are being accepted now until February 12th. As an incentive bonus, all nominators will be entered to win a $100 gift certificate to their favourite restaurant! Visit kelowna.ca/civicawards to learn more.

If you wait long enough – the restaurant may have a performer included as well!

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.

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