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Pandemic-Diary---ball-and-chain-and-scientistWe tend to be inspired by the world we live in so it’s not surprising that some artists are ruminating musically about our present pandemic. While the artists featured below are all over the map in terms of their responses to the situation, the results are all music to my ears!

Kicking things off, prolific poprocker Michael Carpenter teams up Michael Oliver for the slightly country, melodious, and oh so apropos “It Only Hurts When I Breathe.” Thankfully Michael-squared only seem to be suffering from heartbreak rather than lung dysfunction. Whew! Tilting the mood somewhat, the one-off single “wr fkd” is from the Whateverly Brothers, aka Chris Church, and its churning grind of delicious jangle definitely captures how a lot of people are feeling right now. Again, it might be love problems motivating these musical sentiments but, hey, if it fits the bigger picture why not use it? Another deliberately displaced tune comes from Asylums’ last album, Alien Human Emotions, but here too I think the song speaks to our present moment. As some lobby for a quick return to economic normalcy, one has to wonder if the results won’t be a kind of “Graveyard Tourism.” Dead rich, that’s what they’re really aiming to be. Planning to defy that end game is LA’s powerpop grunge-meister Richard Turgeon on “Still Not Ready to Die.” It’s a brand new song that is definitely about what is happening now and it rocks, in his reliably hooky way. Let’s end on an up note with America’s most cheery musical iconoclasts, They Might Be Giants, and their eminently pleasant, uplifting and predictably quirky “It’s Good to be Alive.” Maybe play this one a few times, just to up your dose of good feelingness. And don’t forget to click on all the artist names to give them some money-coloured love.

Today’s feature graphic is courtesy Toronto pop artist Rob Elliott. If pointed laughter is your thing, head over to his Pandemic Diary pages and laugh until you cry.