The Rose is open and nature can be terrifying

Column by John Akal
Posted 5/6/20

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned, in this column, that I was spending some of this COVID shutdown working on refinishing a drum set, since every venue bands can play at is shut down right now. Well, …

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The Rose is open and nature can be terrifying


A couple of weeks ago I mentioned, in this column, that I was spending some of this COVID shutdown working on refinishing a drum set, since every venue bands can play at is shut down right now. Well, the other day I took the drums outside and set them up on the side of the street in front of my house so I could take some pictures of them to send to the company that made the wrap I used. They like to put them on their website, so I wanted to get some good ones in the sunlight.

That was kind of an eye opening experience. There were a number of people out for a walk with their kids or dogs who all stopped to say hello and ask what I was doing. Also, almost every car that drove by stopped as well. Now, I will say that the new finish on the drums is pretty eye catching and looks fantastic, but after talking with them (from a safe 6 ft. apart) it really became apparent that right now, people are starved for live entertainment. All of them asked if I was setting up a band for a little street concert or something, and all of them had that look of hope and anticipation in their eyes when they asked.

Unfortunately, I had to tell them no. That’s not because the thought of doing something like that hasn’t crossed the minds of most musicians right now, we’d all like to just get out and play together again. A lot of us would be happy just to play some music to brighten up people’s spirits right now. The problem is that no matter where you play live, it’s going to generate some kind of crowd. Even if we just set a band up in my driveway, it would probably get more than ten of my neighbors gathering in front of the house. A single musician with a guitar or electric piano or even a violin might be able to play in the courtyard of a nursing home or hospital and ask people who wanted to listen to look out the windows, but the minute you get a band cranked up, everyone within earshot is likely to come see what’s happening and generate a crowd. So, there will be no impromptu neighborhood concert here on 20th Street in the foreseeable future.

But, that’s not to say that some people haven’t managed to find a way around this dilemma. Golden’s own Buffalo Rose has come up with a way to bring some local live music right to your homes. They have been running a pod cast called #LiveFromTheRose. It’s their way of supporting live music and artists as well a generating a little bit of income for some of their workers that they have had to lay off.

So, here’s how it works. Just go to this Facebook page: They will have a live stream video going, for the next few days at least, that you can tune into for an hour or two. You can also see some of the past videos from the last couple of weeks posted there as well. As of this writing they have Eric Golden scheduled on Thursday, May 7 from 4:30-6:30 p.m., Jonathan Browning on Friday, May 8 from 4:20-6:20 p.m. and The Jack Hadley Band on Saturday, May 9 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.. I’m not sure if they are planning to add some more dates to this schedule, it probably depends on how things open up over the next few weeks, but it wouldn’t hurt to go there and take a peak at what else they may have lined up. You can send tips to the performing artists using the Venmo pay service too.

Also, the Buffalo Rose is open for curbside service and according to their website, they are donating all of the tips received to their workers who had to be laid off during this shutdown. That’s a pretty cool thing to do. So go check ‘em out. Right now, those are the most happening events on the Avenue.

And now for this week’s look at the bright side of things. As I also previously mentioned, I have been watching some of those crazy wildlife documentaries on television. And I learned a lot. Like being glad you don’t live in some place like India where, according to an article in India’s Outlook Magazine they have about 46,000 snake bite deaths per year from kraits, vipers and cobras. They also have about 400 people per year killed by tigers, 250 by rampaging elephants and dozens more killed by leopards, poisonous scorpions and crocodiles. Did I mention the mosquitoes that kill over 200,000 people annually by transmitting malaria? That’s not even counting what lives in the oceans around there. Aside from that, it’s a lovely place.

So, the next time a raccoon gets in your garbage can, just be happy it’s not an elephant smashing your car. And get some bug spray. It’s that time of year again around here.

John Akal is a well-known jazz artist/drummer and leader of the 20-piece Ultraphonic Jazz Orchestra. He also is president of John Akal Imaging, professional commercial photography and multi-media production. He can be reached at


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