“No Fun” (or very little, anyway) is what the world is having right now. “No Fun” is also the title of Mara Connor’s debut EP, out today. In today’s edition of the Buzz Bands LA interview/artist playlist series QUARANTUNES, she talks about doing virtual karaoke, reading and writing, camaraderie on the telephone and dearly missing the “unquantifiable magic” of a live show:
THE LATEST FROM MARA CONNOR
Mara Connor’s debut EP came out today. It’s a weird coincidence that it’s titled “No Fun,” and an even weirder one that in February’s video for the single “Wildfire,” she was already practicing social distancing — by dating a mannequin and performing to an empty room. The EP’s title track was her first single back in 2018, and it was Buzz Bands LA’s song of the year.
HOW ARE YOU HOLDING UP AND WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO MANAGE THE ‘STAY AT HOME’ EDICT?
Mara Connor: These are strange and unsettling times but I’m hanging in there. Still adjusting to this “new normal,” as I’m sure everyone is. Grateful to be near my family.
I’ve been self-isolating since Friday the 13th (spooky). My last night “out” feels like an eternity ago. … I spent it with friends at a karaoke dive bar. We closed down the place belting Queen and Sheryl Crow. Looking back, I’m so glad we had that night. We really went out with a bang. I wanted to try to recreate that feeling in quarantine so I started a virtual karaoke party over Zoom. I’m finding a new appreciation for technology and social media keeping us all connected.
I’m doing at-home yoga, disappearing into books, movies and my favorite records, spending hours on the phone with friends. I’ve been watching live stream concerts and listening to Aquarium Drunkard’s new free, 24/7 radio station. I’d like to use this time to teach myself new skills like video editing. I just wrote a song called “Quarantine.” I have a feeling we’ll be hearing lots of those.
In spite of the collective trauma we’re all experiencing and the fear and uncertainty we’re all feeling, I’ve seen so much kindness and strength in our community. People are showing up for each other. I feel like we’re really listening and holding space for the full range of emotions that are surfacing. We need each other now more than ever. And there’s a newfound appreciation for those relationships.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO WHEN THIS IS OVER?
Mara Connor: I miss my friends, I miss our music community. I miss live shows, the feeling of oneness, the revelry of being suspended in time together under one roof.
I miss the background noise, the low hum of humans gathering, chatter, whispers, footsteps, laughter, the familiar sounds of a bartender’s cocktail shaker, the feedback from a guitar amp. I miss the sudden hush and stillness that comes over a room when someone steps onstage and captivates a crowd. I miss that unquantifiable magic.
I miss crowding into the photo booth with friends at the Bootleg. I miss cowboy hats and country music at the Grand Ole Echo. I miss day parties at Cosmic Vinyl. I miss the Gold-Diggers disco ball. I miss the packed Zebulon patio. I miss all of the people and local spots I thought would be with us forever.
When this is over, I can’t wait to hug everyone. I can’t wait to get back to playing music with my friends. I can’t wait to appreciate everything I miss that I once took for granted and make the most of the time we have together.
ANYTHING WE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THIS PLAYLIST?
Mara Connor: This is a collection of songs by artists I love (who also happen to be my friends). Most of them I met while playing shows around L.A. I might be biased, but I think they’re all incredible and can’t wait to watch the world fall in love with them. Like so many others, our music community is really hurting right now. Everyone is out of a job. If you like something you hear on this playlist and have the means, please support these artists by buying their records or merch. Thanks for your support. Sending love to everyone.