What the hell did I just stumble across?

Hey. I’m Jon Tanners. I used to write about music all the time for Pigeons and Planes. I occasionally wrote for Complex, SMASHD (RIP), Brick Mag (still got one of these at my mom’s house if you want it), and Respect Magazine’s blog (they wiped my bylines because I was an intern who wouldn’t sign their weird NDA/intern agreement, shoutout to them). I’ve had a pretty odd path in music: A writer / quasi-journalist, A&R, publisher, record label co-founder, and manager. As a result, I’m now a guy who responds to emails for Take A DaytripMichael Uzowuru, Dahi, TOBi, Nosaj Thing, and Tim Anderson, among others.

One of the music business’ problems is that we as an industry, tend to look inward for solutions rather than outward. That instinct often results in gossip, bad action, and shortsightedness. We end up repeating the mistakes of our predecessors. We narrow our world views, focused on hit records at the expense of sustainable systems and lifestyles.

Reading books and articles specific to the music business can be helpful, but sometimes it helps to step outside the frame. So this is Applied Science, an attempt to thread my musical concerns through problems, solutions, and concepts from other thinkers and fields. I’m trying to unearth the human aspects underneath the machinery of the music business, and turn some of my experiences as a manager and label co-founder into working philosophies that others can use to deal with their problems. I'm not sure I'm going to solve anything here. I hope I'll spark some questions, some debate, and maybe reach some people that can help enact change. It’s an experiment. It will undoubtedly change (or possibly go away altogether).

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One guy's experiment in thinking and writing about the music business.


the abyss staring back since 1988