While the most common question during the coronavirus pandemic might be “How are you doing today?,” certainly the next one is “What the heck am I going to do today?”
Well, indie-pop duo The Baker’s Basement gives you plenty of ideas in its new music video “At Least 100 Things To Do Inside A Quarantine.” In it, the often-humorous, dynamic indie-pop duo made up of Kate Dedinsky and Adam Grindler sheds some light by giving viewers a peek into how they and their community are passing the time during self-isolation.
“This idea sort of emerged out of talking to friends and family on FaceTime and seeing how they were staying active and feeling that sense of community via the internet,” says Grindler. “There’s plenty to be upset about right now. So while still kind of respecting the grave nature of what’s going on, we were trying to make the video a more positive experience, which I think reflects our general spirit of how we approach music. We have a darker side of us, but I think right now is not the time to embrace pure darkness in music.”
The video starts off with an expansive drone shot that pans the seemingly ghostly streets of Greater Cleveland. But soon, the drone zeroes in on a single living room window, belonging to the engaged couple and their dog Joey. From there, you get a glimpse into how they’re passing the time, from simple actions such as making toast, cleaning or rearranging to the more ridiculous such as making a sculpture out of chili and raising the roof on top of the roof.
“We started out calling it a 48-hour film project, but then we started listing all the things we could do and thought it would be really cool to have a communal kind of aspect to it like a montage,” says Grindler. “As we started reaching out [to family and friends], we knew it was going to take longer because we started getting videos from various directions and we felt more inspired to push further.”
As the video progresses, you begin to get a glimpse of how other people across the city and country — and even one musician friend in a bathtub in Japan — are spending their time in isolation. The couple collected videos to create a montage of friends and family cutting each other’s hair, playing ukulele with their feet, a baby trying a lemon for the first time and more. Local music fans might recognize musicians such as Madeline Finn, Michael McFarland and Mikey Silas of Apostle Jones.
The videos prove that while that original, ghost-town drone shot gives the appearance that life has stopped, people are thriving, surviving, progressing and just having some fun amidst a global crisis.
“In the beginning, it wasn't gonna be as large as it turned out to be,” says Dedinsky. “We just kind of kept that invitation out there and then we kind of just kept sending it to people that we thought would embrace the idea.”
As the ideas came pouring in, the duo wrote each idea on a piece of paper and rearranged them until song lyrics started to form. They used a simple beat and melody to let the narrative shine.
“We knew we were dealing with a whale of a project in terms of the amount of things we wanted to fit into a song,” says Grindler. “So basically it looked like a jigsaw puzzle laid out on a big table and we just shuffled phrases around until it started feeling right.”
The project’s goal was to offer a little bit of happiness, distraction and silver lining to the situation. But in creating this six-and-a-half minutes of heartfelt internet humor, the couple also found a unique way to fill their newfound free time in the absence of a typical gig schedule. Until the band is able to start gigging again, it will host weekly Facebook Live shows called the "Quarantine Tour" from different locations around Grindler and Dedinsky's home.
“We found it really helps us to keep the blood moving and stay active. We feel very fortunate that we can take on these times together,” says Grindler. “We hope someone can find something in there that at least makes them laugh and boosts their spirits in some way because it’s a lot to take on right now."