Flowchart: Should I See This Old Band?

Categories: Sound Advice

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Mike Brooks
Television and/or your local championship bingo team.

Rock & roll is fewer than 60 years old, remember, so the idea of multiple generations of active bands is still a fairly new one. But as big-ticket concerts and festivals become prevalent, more and more people are going to get the ol' band back together for another shot. We don't want anyone's precious memories tainted by a subpar relic (see most state-fair nostalgia acts) nor do we want you to miss a must-see (the Elton John show this weekend definitely falls into the "go" category).

It's a risky proposition, seeing a band you had in your cassette deck 25 years ago, so we've made this handy flowchart to help you decide whether to go see that old band.

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Doing Drugs This Weekend? Here's How to Not Get Caught

Categories: Sound Advice

Timothy Norris
This dude's actually drug free. But he still knows his rights.
In addition to being Record Store Day, this Saturday is also April 20, or 4/20, which many a stoner across the world regard as a free-for-all celebration of all things weed. Hate to say it, but some of you out there celebrating this weekend's unofficial marijuana "holiday" are going to be approached by police officers assuming you have drugs -- and the new law knocking down the penalties for the crime hasn't gone into effect in St. Louis yet. But guess what? You still have rights, man.

Cameron Bowman is here to help! As a music lover and attorney at San Jose, California, firm Valencia, Ippolito & Bowman, he's a legal expert on this kind of thing. Bowman, a.k.a. The Festival Lawyer, talks below about the best ways to protect yourself if you're approached by the fuzz.

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Streaming Services Like Spotify and Pandora are Destroying Music

Categories: Sound Advice

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The law of unintended consequences is far-reaching. It's easy to see how it applies to things like medication, the environment, and Prohibition, but it also applies to the advances in the computerization of music over the past decade. The proliferation of the use of streaming services such as Spotify, Pandora coupled with the ease of creating customized playlists have radically changed the way people listen to music, and not for the better.

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Brad Paisley Tells Country Audiences There's Nothing Wrong With White Folks Becoming the Minority

Categories: Sound Advice

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Every couple weeks, starting now, RFT Music takes a hard listen to the music in which millions of Americans soak.

Brad Paisley, "Southern Comfort Zone"
Current Billboard Country Singles Chart Position: 10
The Verdict: Holy shit, songs on the radio can still be important!

So, here, in a shimmering single whose title buzz markets a godawful no-whiskey whiskey liqueur, we have a black gospel choir belting "Dixie" while a Nashville star shreds his guitar and sings "I know what it's like to be in the minority." This is the future, people, and it's beautiful.

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Six Tips For Hosting Dirty Vagrants (Also Known as Touring Bands)

Categories: Sound Advice

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No matter what your accommodations are, they've seen worse.
Editor's note: This post is half of a two-parter! Please read its companion post as well, Six Tips On How To Be an Awful House Guest: Musician Edition.

Musicians, much like regular humans, need sleep to survive. In unfamiliar cities, a stranger with a squishy place to nap for a night can help out tremendously. Bands with even the slightest DIY mindset can't afford hotels every night and will probably even enjoy your company! Most groups will be content with a semi-clean floor and come armed with sleeping bags, pillows and more, but there are plenty of things to make the experience easier for everyone involved. Throughout the years, we've hosted and been hosted innumerable times. Here's what we've learned.

See Also:
-Six Tips for Dating a Musician
-Six Tips for Dating a Musician: Female Edition
-Here's Why You Never Get Booked as an Opening Act


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Six Tips for Dating a Musician: Female Edition

Categories: Sound Advice

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The author, Cassie Kohler, and his girlfriend Ryne Watts of the Hobosexuals
Editor's note: Yesterday we published a blog post entitled Six Tips for Dating a Musician, which was well-read and (mostly) well-recieved, but we did get some blowback, and accusations of sexism (most notably, in this lengthy post from singer / pianist / composer Normandie Wilson). We gave the issue some consideration, and you're right! Please accept these new tips for dating female musicians, with our apologies.

Musicians have an uncanny ability to send shivers down the pants of even their most a-sexual of onlookers. Even the ugliest asshole on the planet, wielding his/her musical weapon of choice in front of a crowd, can garner the underwear-throwing attention of an audience. Musicians uphold, perhaps even created, the "cool affect." Some people simply want nothing more than to be a part of their club. I spent the last year head-deep in that club as a boyfriend-of-a-musician -- these are the lessons I quickly learned. All of these tips work just as well for girlfriends of male musicians too, by the way. Or girlfriends of girlfriends, or boyfriends of boyfriends -- whatever turns you on, as they say.

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Six Tips for Dating a Musician

Categories: Sound Advice

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Cassie Kohler
The author and her boyfriend Ryne Watts of the Hobosexuals
Editor's note: Be sure to check out or newly-posted Six Tips for Dating a Musician: Female Edition!

Musicians have an uncanny ability to send shivers down the pants of even their most a-sexual of onlookers. Even the ugliest asshole on the planet, wielding his/her musical weapon of choice in front of a crowd, can garner the underwear-throwing attention of an audience. Musicians uphold, perhaps even created, the "cool affect." Some people simply want nothing more than to be a part of their club. I spent the last year head-deep in that club as a girlfriend-of-a-musician -- these are the lessons I quickly learned. All of these tips work just as well for boyfriends of female musicians too, by the way. Or boyfriends of boyfriends, or girlfriends of girlfriends -- whatever turns you on, as they say.

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Electric Six is Worth Seeing Nine Times: Here's Why

Categories: Sound Advice

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Courtesy of Electric Six
Even for a band that tours frequently, Electric Six rolls into town quite often. The dance-rocker's show tomorrow (Tuesday, November 6) will be its fifth appearance at the relatively young Firebird, and before that E6 also performed at Fubar and the late Creepy Crawl. I've seen almost all of the band's shows in St. Louis. By my count, Tuesday will be my ninth time seeing Detroit's most bitchin' sextet. Even if you aren't as extreme a fan as I am, this band is worth seeing again and again. Here are six reasons why.

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Mix Tape Club Meets Again

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Courtesy of Mix Tape Club
Say what you will about an old fashioned tape deck, but there is something nostalgic about popping that plastic encased reel of film into an old Walkman player. St. Louis' Mix Tape Club seeks to prove that nostalgia is still important and that analog tape just isn't out of style yet.

The MTC meets this Saturday July 21 at Tower Grove Park for their twenty-fourth exchange (visit the MTC Facebook page for the specific meeting location withing the park). The event starts at 6 p.m. and tape exchange is at 7. "Sometimes we have music playing, sometimes we have snack, all times we have beer. [After an hour], we put everyone's names in a hat and whoever's name you pull is the tape you get. I love the randomness," says Eleanor Pini, organizer of the club.

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Destroying Records in 108 Degree Heat: Video, Photos and Proper Storage Advice

Categories: Sound Advice

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Cassie Kohler
This warped record stack is the result of the video below.
With the record breaking heat, you're sure to be breaking records. That is, if you're not taking care of them correctly. The recent upswing in vinyl production has more newcomers purchasing the classic format. But first, here's what happens when you leave records in the sun on 103 degree days:

Disclaimer: No functioning records were hurt in this article. All heat warped records were already busted and headed for the dumpster.

Old school collectors probably already know this information, but there's nothing wrong with a little refresher. We talked to Vintage Vinyl co-owner Lew Prince, who also provided us with our unfortunate test subjects, about what will keep your vinyl collection going for the long haul. So, here we go kids... taking care of your records (with or without the heat):

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