I Was Writing a Piece About Six Months of Quarantine and Annoyed Myself as I Wrote It, So Here’s Zoe Keating Instead

Trust me, you’re getting the better end of the bargain here. Zoe’s amazing.

Here’s her site. Go buy some of her music.

— JS

23 Comments on “I Was Writing a Piece About Six Months of Quarantine and Annoyed Myself as I Wrote It, So Here’s Zoe Keating Instead”

  1. I’m a big Zoe fan. (Love modern cello in general.)

    And happen to live on the street from which one of her albums takes its name.

  2. Cool, she and her band backed up Amanda Palmer on the Who killed Amanda Palmer album. That is high enough praise for me.

    Yeah, the last six months have been pretty suckie. Now I am watching the storms go by on the Gulf of Mexico, like some strange prelude to the RNC and its dystopian view of America.

    Stay safe

  3. Wow! I really enjoyed this! I did not know about her but I do now. And I will be listening to more of her, I think. I love cello music.

    And go ahead and whine. If there was ever a whiney year, it’s 2020. Problem is, in my opinion, 2019 kind of sucked so I’m kind of afraid of what fresh hell 2021 will be. But if we can get that certain problem out of the way, I’m sure we can cope.

  4. I first saw and heard a string player using one of these foot-pedal devices (a variety of pedals that control which phrases repeat while something else is played) at the open-air stage at the Jacob’s Pillow dance festival in Becket, MA about 10 years ago. I praise the inventor, whoever it was. Not to take away from Zoe, of course.

  5. I first found out about you from Stonekettle, read your Old Man’s War series (and Redshirts), and now see you’re linking Zoe Keating.

    You’re all-out cool, man.

  6. I went for a semi-aimless walk and found a Little Free Library that I don’t think I’d spotted before. I poked through it and discovered a novel I’d never heard of and wanted to read, but then felt slightly guilty for taking it with me because I like to donate to a particular LFL before I start removing things from it. Especially when the ‘little’ is highly accurate. And I hadn’t done that, so I now felt I owed this LFL a book. However, the story has a punchline. A block farther up the street, there was a cardboard box of stuff at the curb that someone was getting rid of. By the time I approached, it was nearly empty. It contained some detritus from a child’s birthday party…and a copy of Redshirts. Aha! I grabbed the book, then walked back and put it in the Little Free Library, my (imaginary, but compelling) debt paid. And now it would be safe from the rain before its next reader came along.

  7. I feel you completely. I can’t think too much about what is going on without losing my stuff. I guess, all we’ve got is to keep on keepin’ on …

  8. I’m only on five months (officially started March 18). I feel behind, but clearly most people have long since ended theirs and decided to risk death instead.

    If I was writing one it would just involve a lot of crying this weekend.

  9. Every day is a decision, go someplace open or stay home. Every stay-home day is boring, but I’m neither infecting nor infected by anyone. Victory through boredom! is the battle cry of 2020.

    Still thought murder hornets would be more fun than they turned out to be. Sitting here with cases of pesticide and shotgun shells. ;-)

  10. Beautiful.
    And in ‘If you like that you might be interested in this …’ mode, perhaps check out Jo Quail: http://www.joquail.co.uk/
    I saw here at the Damnation Festival here at Leeds and she blew the collective socks off a bunch of metal heads (metal cello!]

  11. thanks for music referral…

    what I need is ‘brain food’, could the Mallet Twins — yes both of you given such diverse perspective — recommend cerebral blogs and online games (free or very cheap) and deep thinking stuff because I am certain there’s gonna be a second wave sweeping thru NYC and it will be worse… medical staff worn to nubs, PPE inventories are empty, nobody is masking in stores, food prices increasing, yelling in the streets, cops are march-strides instead of lowkey walking, etc.

    my recommendations to get rolling:

    things have gotten so bad I’ve been baiting GOPs on twitter

    cheap shots at Martha McSally… so many jokes at her expense
    food for thought
    just desserts
    won’t bring home da bacon
    she’ll cry over spilt milk
    her campaign a dog’s breakfast
    she is a bad egg
    my favorite: she gonna eat humble pie


    save me from twitter! give me brain food!

  12. Steven French: you got there before me. Seen Jo Quail live 3 times now and each time she was fantastic. And also super nice about me fanboying over all of her cool loop pedals.

    Anyway, time to go through Zoe Keating’s discography now. Cause everyhting gets better with cellos.

  13. What more can be said about 2020 at this point? Trump is still murderously incompetent. People are still willing to risk other people’s lives simply because they’re bored. People are STILL going to super spreader events, even though every single one of them ends up with a burst of new cases.

  14. I suppose now we can better understand why our ancestors, for just about every war, would kid themselves “the troops will be back home by Christmas.” I keep kidding myself by closing my eyes to any logical covid timeline. Easier to be timeless.

    Easier to believe my own propaganda, by telling myself there is a light just around the corner.

  15. @Theyis Have you heard of Rasputina? Zoe did a stint with them. Can’t really describe their music…18th century thematic cello folk with punk sensibilities? Whatever they are, they’ve ranged across every taste in their long career.

    Both Zoe and Rasputina are about 30-50% of my music rotation these days.

  16. As a cellist myself (symphony, chamber music, manouche “Django Djams”), I was (1) totally blown away the first time I heard Zoë live, (2) thrilled to find she lived all of 5 miles away–maybe I could get lessons?, and (3) bummed when she moved away to Vermont almost immediately afterwards. Still, she inspired me to get basic looping and effects hardware (<$150, eBay) and start noodling around. Not in her league by orders of mag as a cellist or artist…but huge fun even when not quarantined. Thanks, John; thanks, Zoë…and as of today, neither your former home, nor my present one, have burned down. Fingers crossed (although difficult to play like that).

  17. Your quarantine? But Jim Wright says:

    “If you’re a Stephen King or a John Scalzi, you might make millions and live in a golden mansion high on a landscaped hill in the middle of a private island waited on hand and foot by an army of nubile olive-pitters (this is totally true and I heard it directly from one of George R.R. Martin’s gardener).”

    Sweat it out, Scalzi. You can take it. And if you run out of fuel you can burn the olive pits.


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