Art in the time of COVID-19: Miss Christine

This series, Art in the time of COVID-19, highlights musicians and artists in eastern Iowa whose life and work have been upended by the spread of the novel coronavirus in the state.

If you would like to recommend someone to be featured in this space, please reach out to Little Village.

Miss Christine and her furry friend. — Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

Christine Moad, Singer/Songwriter

The versatile vocals of Christine Moad, who lives on a farm outside of Iowa City, have netted her enough popularity in the region that she received multiple recommendations for inclusion in this series. Performing as Miss Christine, she describes that purple-clad persona on her website as “confident, catchy and queer” — an apt description, but not quite sufficient even to capture the winning whimsy of her music.

Moad picked up her first bass at 11 and was already gigging by 12, going on to earn a degree in electric bass performance from Berklee College of Music. She’s been performing professionally for the last 10 years. She estimates that she usually pulls in $1,800 a month from live shows and merch sales.

You can check out her latest tune, “Realist,” below, in a video recorded just prior to social distancing as an NPR Tiny Desk Contest submission.

Current associated acts: “These days I perform most often with my band, Miss Christine. I spent most of the 2010s playing as a hired gun with various artists in Boston and Nashville.”

Listen: You can find her in the usual online places (see below), but she also has two weeks left in her April Virtual Concert series: April 24 and April 29, at 7 p.m. both nights.

Purchase: You can snag CDs, purple vinyl and T-shirts on her website or Bandcamp merch page.

How many gigs have you canceled or had cancel on you since serious social distancing kicked in?

20 gigs have been canceled, including my spring tour.

Where do pandemics rank, on your list of primal fears?

Prior to the last several weeks, I’d never once thought about a pandemic. The social distancing is slowly becoming a primal fear.

What is the role of art in a crisis?

Art exists to help us get more in touch with our humanity. Trying times like these make art even more valuable and it’s something that can help us make it through.

What’s your favorite corny aphorism that you find actually helpful?

My grandma always used to say, “You can take the girl out of Iowa, but you can’t take Iowa out of the girl.” I moved back to Iowa so that was helpful.

How can we help?

Tune in and say hey at one of my livestream concerts. Stream my music wherever you listen to music and share links with your friends. Buy a copy of my album on purple vinyl or CD. Donate to the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund to help other musicians.