Expert Music Career Advice For DIY Musicians
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5 Stellar Album Covers to Inspire Your 2018 Release

Images via their respective sources (below)

Visuals can draw in a new listener, but your album artwork can be than a tool for catching eyes. Consider it also a supplement to the music that can strengthens fan engagement: It can be an overarching representation of the work, a means of offering clues for deeper understanding, or a jump-off point for exploring personal interpretations.

The five albums below are some of 2017's best, and each employs album artwork as an extension of the music. In attempting to decipher the meaning behind the visuals, we learn more about the work — and vice versa.

How to Avoid Ruining Your Press Connections

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Building a solid press list is a huge effort: from sourcing publications that cover emerging acts, to researching writers to ensure you're reaching out to the right folks, and so on. Curating an effective roster of contacts takes time — and all that work is basically rendered pointless if you ruin those relationships with inappropriate or unprofessional behavior.

How to Avoid a PR Disaster (By Not Being a Jerk)

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If you're someone who's bewildered by offensive commentary from public figures — How could they say that? Why would they think that's okay? — then congratulations: It's quite possible that you don't need to read this. But the public relations disasters continue; clearly, there are some musicians who desperately need a refresher on how to not be a jerk.

Musician Life

Sep 18, 2017 06:00 AM

Jhoni Jackson

5 DIY Musicians Whose Writing You Should Read Right Now

White Mystery. (Photo by Diane Alexander White, courtesy of White Mystery.)

When practiced musicians with years of DIY know-how offer guidance, we listen, because we know that real-world experience offers some of the most accurate and telling lessons. There's no blueprint for newbie independent musicians to follow besides the histories of the folks who've carved that niche outside the mainstream before them — and the bands and artists who continue to cultivate it are the ones with the best foresight into its future.

We're thankful for the musicians who've documented their stories, and by sharing them have given a leg up to those just starting out. The list below is built around five musicians who broadcast their knowledge with the intent of uplifting others; it's a gesture so exemplary of DIY ethos that's another lesson in itself. Read on for our favorite stories they've written.

5 College Towns You Should Definitely Play on Tour

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There's a special magic in independent music scenes centered around college campuses. The university years, of course, can be the most energetic and enthusiastic period in a person's life — that vigor is often channeled into a love for bands and artists or a love for music making. The end result can mean a super-charged underground: a perfect storm for touring independent acts.