Meg Hunt

If you are in a band, you should only have two goals: to get as many people as possible to like your music, and to make garbage bags full of money. If this isn't your dream, why the fuck are you even in a band? It surely isn't because of your "art." Playing to a room full of broke service-industry friends will not help you get that pedal board the size of a Japanese apartment. It's time for you to get your music to the only ones with the cash: the 16-and-under crowd. So put that ragtop down and let the breeze of success kiss your well-conditioned locks, my friend.

Landing one catchy, jangly, off-kilter pop song on The O.C. is the difference between selling out Chop Suey and packing the Paramount. Word to the wise: even the panty-dehumidifying music of the Ruby Doe could sell out Chop Suey. You're going to have to try harder than that to become make-out music for forlorn teens.

It's a no-brainer. Your music and underage, pyramid-stacked cheerleaders are a match made in rich-band's heaven. If Nirvana can do it, so can you. And Kurt wasn't even sporting those hot dunks you just bought at the import shoe store. Make special preparations with your drummer, because every one of your band's T-shirts will sell if he can make a half-court basket during his drum solo.

Who cares if you've only recorded five songs ever? Get Tom on your dong and your friend count will exponentially increase like a case of hysteria during your first over-capacity show at Hot Topic. Just remember that next week there will be a newer band with a more esoteric name, longer asymmetrical bangs, and thicker eye makeup.

This should come naturally, since dudes in bands are meant to exist in the world of television, rather than in the world of reality. Pop in on whatever the new Peach Pit is, or even make a guest appearance as yourself. Either way, it's all gravy. TV gravy that is, which is twice as awesome as regular gravy.

I recently went to a CD-release show that in fact turned out not to release a CD, but 7 inches of dancy, yet unsellable, pop. Understand that the youth of today don't know how to work a record player.

Let's face it: High-school kids nowadays dress way better than you ever did or will. You're already busy trying to keep up with the latest in whammy-bar technology or wondering if the Fall are hot or not; let someone else worry about miners' caps, shiny shirts, and whether blazers are still cool. And when you choose your stylist, make sure she is female and most of her portfolio is made up of females, really only because she just might land you a date with a model tonight, champ.

Look, the kids ain't looking for T. S. "Half-Sleeve" Eliot. That's what their frumpy English teacher is making them read. And even though you think you were born to create a pop-song masterpiece on the scale of "Prufrock," save that shit for when hidden bonus tracks come back in vogue.

This one is just common sense and also the easiest, because it requires inaction, not action. And the action you are not partaking in is the hot significant other of a KEXP DJ, who, with a simple click of a mouse, can eliminate your EP from the station's online playlist faster than you can switch the dial during its pledge drives.

Odds are that at least one member of your band doesn't look like he just survived a meth-lab explosion. Odds are that he is your rhythm guitarist. Put him in the front and have a caption about him secretly liking puppies or some shit.

A slightly different version of this article originally appeared in Misprint [www.misprintmagazine.com].

editor@thestranger.com