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Concerts on a College Student Budget

Jazz Goes To College. 10 October 2019,

Along with the smell of cinnamon pine cones and Ginkgo trees, the falling of leaves and temperatures—if only slightly)—and the sudden influx of pumpkin spice, comes the cluttering of our calendars. I think we are six weeks into the semester now, which means that it’s been six weeks since I’ve been to a concert. Normally, I can squeeze in a show at the ‘Bird or the Bishop almost every week. But I’ve experienced a drought of music as the semester gets busy. Maybe some of you experience the same thing. If you do, I have something that may help.

Media Services has multiple* streaming databases available with recorded live performances of some of our favorite musicians. I’ve been scrolling through Alexander Street Press and Films On Demand streaming services looking for blues-style performances recently. Performances by B. B. King (Standing Room Only), Eric Clapton (The 1960s Review), and Jimi Hendrix (Jimi Hendrix) are some that have stuck out to me.

B. B. King: Standing Room Only. Digital Image. Nightflight. 4/2/2018.
Ella Fitzgerald Swings. Digital Image. Alexander Street Press. 10 October 2019,

But it’s not just blues. Both databases have genres ranging from world music to opera (Pavarotti in London). There are shows from Monterey Pop (The 1967 Monterey Pop Festival) and Woodstock, too. And there are lots of other notable performances, including one by Ella Fitzgerald (Ella Fitzgerald Swings) courtesy of the BBC, one at Austin City Limits (Austin City Limits Celebrates 40 Years), and one at the Marquee Club (Marquee Club: 25th Anniversary of The Marquee Club). If your budget’s tight, you can watch these amazing club performances without having to pay at the door.

If you don’t find the lo-fi, sweaty, flashy film recordings appealing, there are also loads of music documentaries. These are perfect for if you want to know more about a particular artist, or music history and production, but don’t have the time to study it. Interesting videos I’ve found so far: an interview with the music group Air (A Trip to the Moon), The History of Black Music, Part 2: Tony Brown’s Journal, and a music production documentary called Put the Needle on the Record.

Put the Needle on the Record. Digital Image. Imdb. 9/30/19.

I really do need to get out soon. But until then, these databases have kept my hunger for live music satiated, and I can keep chugging along through the semester.


A Trip to the Moon. Digital Image. Imdb. 9/30/19.

Duncan Hardy is an IU Bloomington junior pursuing dual degrees in Arts Management and Creative Writing. Some of his favorite musical artists are Frank Ocean, Mid-Air Thief, and Andre 3000. Any music, movie, or book recommendations can be sent to

*For a complete list of available streaming databases, visit Media Services’ streaming library research guide.

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