Category Archives: Arts and Culture

Now This Band Is Called Safe Houses

If you’ve been following along on this blog even a little bit, or if you know me offline, you probably know I’ve been the lead singer and primary songwriter of a band called Shelter Dogs since 2013. I kept that … Continue reading

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Bad Advice Musicians Hear, Part 6: It’s All Just About Who You Know

After you’ve spent about 30 to 45 seconds involved in making and distributing music, you start to recognize something important: The music “business” (whatever that means) is not a pure meritocracy. There is no consistent correlation between quality and popularity … Continue reading

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Why Cassettes Rule if You’re in a Band

Out here in 2022, we’re about 15 years into the ostensible Cassette Revolution* – well past the point where it could reasonably be considered a “revolution.” Tapes are just part of what we’re doing now, as a culture, or whatever. … Continue reading

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Bad Advice Musicians Hear, Part 5: Does “Getting Signed” Change Everything?

It’s a slow Thursday night at your neighborhood rock club, and you’ve just stepped offstage after an admittedly killer set by your Promising Local Band. You’re trying to suss whether that’s just your ego talking or if you’ve actually managed … Continue reading

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You Don’t Have Any Money; You’re Gonna Make This Meatless Chili

You’re around here reading about “music” and “the arts” and “the creative process” and stuff like that, huh? Well, LET ME GUESS — you’ve got like a dollar, you’re looking for some food to cook on the cheap, and you’d … Continue reading

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Ringo Theory: On the Challenges of Giving Credit Where Credit’s Due

So, I have a few pet “theories” that I keep running in the background of my mind and pull out during those times when I need to let out a gigantic sigh and mutter, “All right, let’s be reasonable here,” … Continue reading

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Bad Advice Musicians Hear, Part 3: Can a PR Rep Fast-Track You to Fame?

Today, we’re going to get into this not-so-great piece of advice: If you hire a PR rep, you’ll fast-track your band’s rise through the ranks. When I was about 21, I asked an acquaintance of mine who was already in … Continue reading

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The Collected Brian LaRue New Yorker Caption Contest Submissions

For reasons I can no longer remember, but that probably had something to do with needing another vector through which I could scream my frustrations and disappointments in being forced to exist as a human being in the physical world, … Continue reading

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The Thing About the Mountain Analogy

I spent my late teens and half of my 20s as a serial monomaniac. I wanted to be a professional musician. I wanted to publish books of fiction and poetry. Basically, I wanted to be an “artist,” and I really … Continue reading

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Bad Advice Musicians Hear, Part 2: Start Your Own Music Scene

In the second installment of the Bad Advice Musicians Hear series, we’re going to get into one of the more daunting pieces of “advice” young musicians will hear as they’re coming up and trying to gain a foothold in their … Continue reading

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