Tour Prep: Van Accidents

This article was originally published on June 30th, 2016.
It belongs to MusicThinkTank.

Henry Rollins wrote a book in 1994 entitled “Get In The Van,” which encourages young artists to put aside previous concerns and take a risk by starting their music career. However, he may have missed the part about when the van flips over… literally. It’s not uncommon for a vehicle accident to happen to bands on tour in fact, The Early November did it within their first two weeks of their first official tour – and look where they are now. So, the question arises – what are the best ways to prepare, avoid, and handle such situations?

1. Be awake

I am one of many who have decided at times that it’s better to drive through the night than to wait until morning. This can be tempting when it’s the last date of a tour and you want to get home, or you want a full day to spend in the next city, but it’s also dangerous. You can always fall asleep in the daytime as well, but it’s more natural to fall asleep when it’s dark outside. In all cases, I recommend having someone else awake with you, and personally I like to have a large energy drink to nurse while I’m driving. It keeps my body moving, which keeps my mind a bit more active.

Read the rest here!

The Great Pit Bull Debate — Loyal, Dangerous, or Both?

Originally posted to Medium.com on June 28th, 2016.

While dogs have long been considered to be “man’s best friend”, not many people are unaware of biting and aggressiveness among them. It may, unfortunately, be a more common case in pit bulls, however. At the least, we know that pit bulls have more aggressive and dangerous bites than other dogs, which have in the past led to fatalities.

So the question that’s being asked by many is whether or not pit bulls are a too violent for their own good?

Read the rest of my article over on Medium.com!

Did You Hear: Social Security Administration Punishes a Whistleblower

Article published on June 27th on Medium.com and was originally intended to be a “thinking news” post.

Ron Klym — senior legal assistant for the Milwaukee Office of Adjudication and Review — was placed on administrative leave last month and “told that he would not be able to return pending review.” The reason? He reported accusations of misconduct and incompetence among the Milwaukee, Wisconsin ODAR Office.

The issue stems from a long history of unhandled disability benefits by ODAR.

Read more about this issue here.

Sketchy Tour Tales: New Touring Band’s Van Woes

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Image belongs to Lo’ There.
Article belongs to Pyragraph and was published on June 17th, 2016.

Lo’ There is a shoegazey post metal band from Tacoma, WA, that has been around for about five years (which feels like a lifetime). They’re a popular and respected band in the Northwest music scene, having shared the stage with Between the Buried and Me, Title Fight, From Indian Lakes, and even a tour with The Sheds. In this piece, good friend and former bass player Ahren Lansford looks back on their first tour and a string of unfortunate circumstances that have lodged it in his memory forever.

Read what Ahren had to say here!

Businesses: What are you Doing on Social Media?!

Article originally published on June 16th, 2016.

In an article by Maids By Trade, blogger Marla writes “Facebook has earned a coveted position as a primary news source for Generation Y” and she’s not wrong. A large amount of Facebook and Twitter users finding and learning about news stories on their respective formats is now over 50% and only getting bigger. News doesn’t just mean the current U.S. Presidential Election, however. Actually, it more often than not means Local Events and Entertainment. So that said, what are you, as a business owner, doing to ensure that you’re apart of this news? Are you being active your local digital community or are you staying idle? What are you doing on Social Media? Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Read the rest at Businesszone.co.uk!

EP Review: Henrietta – “Paper Wings”

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This article is property of Dying Scene.
Originally published on June 14th, 2016.

Henrietta is somewhat of an indie rock melting pot.

When I first put on Paper Wings, I heard aspects of other artists I love – Copeland and Further Seems Forever most heavily (as Substream previously pointed out), but also Mae and Moneen at times. And while all those bands were based in similar scenes (most of them are broken up or rarely active), they were all distinctively different. In proper form, Henrietta is distinctively from their peers and influences as well.

Read the rest of my review right here!

Alcohol Irresponsibility and the Toll It Takes on Our Creative Communities

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Photo by Jason Kuffer (permission obtained by Pyragraph);
Article is property of Pyragraph.com
Published on June 3rd, 2016.

Throughout history, alcohol has been the drug that brings together people of all ages, classes, social cliques and backgrounds. It’s an important part of our local communities as well. Of course, a lot of damage has been done due to booze abuse, whether it’s abuse by the drinker or the bartender. Regardless, people using and distributing alcohol irresponsibly has taken quite the toll on our local art spaces. At least in my home city of Boise, venues have been shut down for such a thing.

I want to touch on a couple ways that our art communities suffer due to alcohol irresponsibility. This is more than just a “people die when they drive drunk” post, although that’s an important thing to remember anytime alcohol is involved. This is a post about two angles from which alcohol and irresponsibility can ruin an arts community if we, the distributor and the consumer, are not careful.

Read the rest of this piece here!

Best Practice Apps for Guitar

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This article and picture are property of Normans Musical Instruments.
Originally published on June 6th, 2016.

Instructional Guitar videos don’t always offer the same hands-on training that some guitarists need for practice or training. That said, in our modern day of technology, we have more options available to us that allow a kind of “learn as you go” format and more controllable training with start and stop choices. Almost everyone has a smartphone now, so that said here are some of the best practice and learning apps for guitarists who want to expand their style and technique.

Read my list here!

5 Ways To Ruin Your Career

An old article posted to my Kinja account for preservation on May 31st, 2016.

While it’s easy to think of your work life and your home life in two different categories, employers view your more personal life as reflective of their company. While you may be getting away with some risky business, there may still be enough to put you out of employment.

  1. Addiction to and Abuse of Drugs or Alcohol
    In the United States, drug use is criminalized. A criminal record will typically disqualify or at least lessen your chances of being hired. Regardless, there’s another aspect of these things that can hurt your career: lack of self control, specifically with addiction (that is, not just the use of substances, but the utter dependence on them). Being a slave to these things can actually make you bad at your job and unsuitable for hiring or continued employment. Employers know that, so stay healthy and aware. If you’re struggling with addiction, please get help.

Read the rest here.

Interview: Mike Park of Asian Man Records Talks Label Origins, 20 Year Anniversary Show, and More

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Article belongs to Dying Scene. Picture from Mike Park.
Originally published on May 28th, 2016.

I remember buying Big D & The Kids Table’s “Good Luck” from a local record store at age 15 and finding inside the ten year anniversary Asian Man Records mail order catalog. In this catalog there was a letter from label founder Mike Park explaining that they were not a big label. He said he ran it out of his parents’ garage, had one phone line with no call waiting, one computer, and two employees (his mom being one of them). This blew my mind and was my simple little introduction to DIY ethics. So when I got the chance to interview the man behind the label himself, it was no small deal to me.

I got to sit on a couch and drink a beer while Mr. Park walked his dog around his neighborhood on a very windy day in San Jose, California. While there were several moments in our interview that I could barely hear him due to the weather, this was still the best interview I’ve ever done and a dream come true for me. Read it below.

DS: First Question: Is mail order still fun in 2016?
After 20 years or so – actually more, because before Asian Man I was doing it for Dill Records – some days it’s fun, some days you’re like “meh.” It’s pretty monotonous. Still, I’m pretty lucky to be able to go at my own pace and pack records. So no complaints, but some days it’s a little monotonous.

But you guys still do mail order though? Like I could buy an Asian Man Record…
Oh yeah, a lot of our business is all mail order. Without mail order we would fail. My stuff is not in stores. That’s our bread and butter – without mail order we’d be doomed. We don’t really have good distribution. Go to your local store, your Mom & Pop, and see if they have any Asian Man stuff. If they do, it’ll probably be a couple records by Alkaline Trio, maybe a Joyce Manor record and that’s it.

Read the rest of my interview with a punk rock hero here!