How do you heal the world? A question that has never been more prescient than in the time of Covid-19. And thanks to Bob Geldof, we know the answer to be a benefit concert. So this Sunday, March 29th, Elton John and a dozen other stay-at-home superstars are forgoing their crowded stadia and will be live streaming a "living room concert" with the caveat that Elton John's living room is closer in size to Madison Square Garden than your studio apartment.
The iHeart Living Room Concert for America will feature performances from the Rocket Man himself, Mariah Carrey, Alicia Keys and also Billie Eilish, the only one who'll look like she actually has been self-isolating on the couch for three weeks. But it's not a proper benefit concert unless it also features some music inspired by the very calamity itself. Fortunately, there's no need for Lionel Richie to bring back "We Are The World" or, god forbid, for Gal Gadot to flip through her WhatsApp contact list and butcher another John Lennon song. For example, OneRepublic has already dropped a coronavirus-touched single called "Better Tomorrow," a song not only recorded during a two-week-long self-quarantine some two band members were exposed to Covid-19, but whose pandering pop-optimism also perfectly conjures the hot garbage that will soon start piling up in our streets.
And just last week, Will Smith brought his Fresh Prince out of retirement and put a lo-fi mixtape on YouTube called "chill beats to quarantine to" in recognition of YouTube's exemplary community of shut-ins working on their sophomore essays.
Speaking of retirement, Bob Dylan has also released a surprise song during the pandemic, his first single in eight years. And while "Murder Most Foul" is on the surface just a seventeen-minute long ramble about the JFK assassination, its meandering music and apocalyptic lyrics belie the encroaching madness of a self-isolated septuagenarian stuck inside binging The History Channel for days on end.
Of course, if there's anyone who should be headlining the coronavirus benefit concert, it should be Bobi Wine, Ugandan superstar and member of parliament, whose afrobeat-themed coronavirus public safety announcement slaps so hard it will knock any trace Covid-19 off your face.
Cedric is still making a Soundcloud for his nu coronavirus band. In the meantime, do follow him on Twitter.