How to Play House Shows: A Quick Guide

The other week, I asked you what you wanted me to write about. Pretty much everybody who replied said something about house shows. So consider this the house show post. Good news: I spent all morning reading, cleaning my apartment, doing laundry, and eating a breakfast of mostly fruit. The stars have aligned, and to […]

The Hard-won Joy of Gabrielle Grace’s “Lost Somebody Else”

Sad songs sell well. The modern cultural algorithm (and don’t get me started on the TikTok one) have latched onto a critical aspect of human nature: in a sickening way, it can feel good to be sad. Our art reflects what we love, and humans love to wallow. I’m hypothesizing here, but I think the […]

Why Does Music Exist? And Why Do We Love It So Much?

I’m writing this from a coffee shop in Nashville. The playlist that the baristas have been playing has taken me on an emotional rollercoaster. In the last 20 minutes, we’ve gone from Zac Brown’s “Chicken Fried” to Billie Eilish’s “when the party’s over.” I think they’re playing Counting Crows now, but I can’t be sure […]

Nashville, Ed Sheeran, And Taylor Swift: How (and How Not) to Build Your Brand

I’ve lived in Nashville for about six years now. I have a fair amount of friends who grew up here, and I’ve heard them talk a good bit about how the city has changed. Now, if you don’t live here, you probably know Nashville for three things: pop-country music, Broadway honky-tonks, and hot chicken. And […]

Why The 1975 is Still So Good: The Value of Making Music with Context

The 1975 is the only alternative-pop band that isn’t trying too hard to sound like The 1975. And of course that’s intentionally an overstatement, but I really do think it’s kind of true. And I think it can help us make better art. Here’s what I mean. I remember when their first full-length record came […]

How to Release Music in 2022: The 7 Best Tips and Strategies

Pretty much nobody knows what they’re doing when they release music for the first time. I remember when I first decided to make a short 3-song record in 2015. Here’s a rough sketch of the sequence of events: I recorded the songs. I Googled “How to put music on Spotify.” I chose CD Baby as […]

Omari MC Review: Is Paid Spotify Promotion Worth It?

It’s the most common question every indie artist asks themselves at some point in their career: What is the meaning of life? Unfortunately that’s not the question I’ll be answering today. But I will be trying to answer the second-most-common question: Is paying for promotion worth it? When I started releasing music six years ago, […]

NFTs for Musicians: What You Need to Know

You knew it was coming. I knew it was coming. Anyone who regularly checks the net worth of singer-songwriter Grimes knew it was coming. I’m going to be perfectly honest here: I’m not a technology expert, and I don’t really want to be. I’m definitely content to stick to music and writing, where things feel […]

How to Get Fans of Your Music

When I was a kid, my brothers and I would record ourselves singing in Audacity. Then we’d lay down some rhythm using a few pots and a basket of legos, and some guitar riffs using the only two chords Jon knew at the time. When a song was in its final form, we’d sit our […]

What is an EPK? (And How to Make One)

If you’re an indie artist, chances are you’ve tried to pitch your music to blogs (like this one), playlists (like this one), radio stations (we don’t have one of those yet), and maybe even labels (don’t have that either). As an artist, I’ve pitched myself to all of those things. Speaking from experience, it can […]

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