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Posts about Music

Dewey Beach Music Festival

On September 28th 2 Comments covering , , , ,

I’m at the Dewey Beach Music Festival in Dewey Beach, Delaware. I’ll be presenting tomorrow to musicians attending the conference.

It’s a nice conference, well worth attending. I like these regional music conferences. Earlier this year I was a panelist at the Hyperactive Music Festival in Albuquerque.

They are different in some important respects from psychoanalytic conferences. The dress code is a bit more casual, for one. The daytime is all business and after dinner it devolves into multi-venue pub crawl. Not for the faint of heart. I was impressed with the quality of young bands and artists trying to find an audience. These people are creating our culture. Read more »

Quitting a band over a shirt

On August 20th covering , , ,

Here is my August column at Atlas Plugged. It’s based on an essay by Robbie Banuelos about a “last straw” moment that led him to quit a band. I’ve recieved some nice notes from musicians about this one.

How Bands Die, Part 2:


In the music world the long odds are against success and a band is way ahead if it has worked out the basic issues of who’s in charge and how its conflicts will be handled.

There is a short band memoir by guitarist Robby Banuelos that begins “I was once in a ‘punk’ band that asked me to change my shirt before a show. I remember thinking ‘what the hell…’ ”. Banuelos tells the story of joining a band through Craig’s List, and being ill-treated by the somewhat older musi- cians who hired him, and finally quitting in mid-tour when he is asked to change his Levi’s button-up shirt for a black t-shirt before a show. Read more »

How Bands Die

On July 29th covering , , ,

My July 2007 article for Atlas Plugged. The title says it all:

A newly formed band has the life expectancy of a mob informer in prison. If you are involved with bands, you know how hard it is to keep them together. The brutal economics and Darwinian pressures of the music life are often the cause.

However. It might actually be a good thing for some bands to die quickly so the members can learn from their mistakes and go on to form new bands. Besides, if some bands didn’t die, the entire surface of the earth would soon be covered in bands.

But some bands die before their time — the songwriting is good, the gigs and fan base are there, they may even get a sudden burst of success, and then they just implode. This is a shame, and it’s preventable. The culprit? Human nature. Here are just a few of the ways bands destroy themselves, and some things you can do to make sure your band still has a pulse.


Imagine you have a tiny pebble in your shoe giving you a slight irritation. Now imagine you’ve walked five hundred miles with that pebble irritating you… Read more »