Tyler Jacob Moore is an American actor. He plays Tony Markovich in the Showtime dramedy Shameless. He is also known for his portrayal of Pastor John Tudor on GCB. In July 2014, it was announced that Moore would play Prince Hans on the ABC show Once Upon a Time and will make his debut appearance in the third episode of season 4.
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I started the music blog Pigeons & Planes in my bedroom in Florida in 2008, using a free Blogger account and the pen name Confusion. After a few years, Complex bought the website and gave me resources and full creative control to grow the brand and operate from their offices in New York City. Basically, I turned a blogspot about my passion into a full-time job in NYC. Ask me anything!
Hey Jacob! How can an up and coming blogger become a staff writer at P&P? What are the criterias, if any? Also do you have any advice for bloggers trying to be as established and well respected as P&P? I read the post you wrote title 'The End of Music Blogs' and it resonated with me because I'm encountering a lot of the obstacles you experienced when you were starting P&P. I just feel stuck!
The best way to get involved is to pitch ideas to us. We accept pitches at email@example.com and we're always looking to get new people involved.
My advice is to just be as consistent as possible and try to bring something new to the table. It's really difficult to start a new music blog in 2015 because so many sites have already established themselves, and bigger media outlets have learned to use the internet better. Try to offer something that you don't see anywhere else. Good luck!
Hey Jacob, I'm a huge fan! Pigeons and Planes is honestly my favorite music website. You cover every topic I want to know about with the best journalism. Who is your favorite rapper right now as well as your favorite producer? (Also if you ever need an intern or have a position open...this is the number one place I'd want to work. I graduate in May.) Really excited to read this AMA.
Ahhh this is so hard. My favorites change so often. I know this is going to piss people off, but Young Thug is probably my favorite rapper right now. I'm excited to see what he does in the coming years. But I also love Chance, Pusha, Danny Brown, Future. And the up-and-comers are the ones who I get really hyped about... Smino, Ta'East, DP, Kevin Abstract, Allan Kingdom... too many to name.
I'm not sure about favorite producer either. So many good ones. I think London On Da Track is really talented. FlyLo is amazing. El-P is forever one of the best. This question is too hard, I hate picking favorites.
Hey Mr. Moore, I'm a college student and I've been having difficulty figuring out where to start and what to start writing about. Any tips for young writers, or more in-depth stories to how you got started? And have you ever been shocked by a musician's personality because you felt they conveyed something different in their music?
Hmm... I think you should just start with what you love. Write about the stuff that moves you. If you see something and immediately want to tell a friend about it, that's usually a great indication. To the second question, I was expecting Young Thug to be a lot more animated and talkative. He was pretty quiet and serious.
How can an artist get on the bill of one of your "No Ceilings" shows?
Make music we like! We only book artists who we're fans of and who we've been covering. Other than that, there are no requirements.
do you think Lil Poopy could make a legitimate come back?
come back? like he ever left!? Lil Poopy is the youngest don for life
Whatsup Jacob. I heavily fuck with P&P and appreciate what the site has done in terms of exposing artists on the rise. I just want you to address a topic that thoroughly interest me that regards the blog era. There's a lot of bullshit music out there but when you search hard enough, you'll find a diamond. Which leads me to two questions:
1. How important do you believe the role of a blog is for both exposing an artist to a larger audience and helping their career start on the right food?
2. We know submission e-mails are generally flooded with bullshit, how do you feel about awesome artists getting lost in the emails and shitty artist getting exposure solely based on connections with different writers?
Appreciate your time homie.
I hate to say it, but I think blogs are becoming less important. These days, everyone is a tastemaker, and everyone is finding and sharing music on social media. But I think there still is a place for blogs who really shine a light on new artists and give a platform to artists who don't have labels and big budgets.
I hate that some great music gets lost in the bullshit, but that's impossible to avoid. Can't possibly listen to everything. At the end of the day, I think great music almost always wins. Artists with PR teams and shitty music may get a little buzz, but the good stuff usually rises to the top eventually. I try to stay connected with people who have similar tastes and are also always looking out for new stuff, so if I miss an email, hopefully I'll get around to the good stuff via word of mouth.
Hey there Mr. Moore, how has your role changed on Pigeons and Planes since you sold the site to Complex?
It's expanded. Before Complex, we were just posting up new music and videos. Now we're creating more original content, making videos, putting on shows, plus we've got a staff of amazing people who help cover the news, keep social media active, manage the schedule, edit the features, etc. Complex has helped us grow a lot over the years, and with that growth comes a lot of new responsibilities.
What up Jacob!
What song/artist made you interested in writing music blogs? Just curious to see what made you start all of this.
Thanks! (going to a No Ceilings show this coming Tuesday. mad excited)
It wasn't one artist or song that got me into music blogging, more the balance between different kinds of music. I loved rap blogs like Nah Right and 2DopeBoyz back in the day, and always wished there were more sites that covered popular rap but also got into other genres and mixed emerging artists with mainstream stuff.
That said, Charles Hamilton was really popular on the internet when I got started, and he was a pretty big part of what excited me about new artists and how they interacted with the internet.
Yes!! NO CEILINGS! See you there!
What advice could you give to established artists attempting to get the attention of music blogs such as Pigeons and Planes?
Just reach out. If we like the music, we're always down to pay attention.
Any advice for aspiring music journalist?
Don't get caught up in the hype. So many writers are all writing about the same things, giving the same hot takes, and trying to keep up with whatever is already being talked about. Try to focus on what you know, what you like, and bring a unique perspective.
What's the best concert you've ever been to and why?
EVER!? Ahhh.... I might have to go with Yeezus. As far as performers, he's on another level. Seeing Jay Z was really fun too. Hearing an entire stadium rap along with "PSA" was a beautiful moment.
Do you think the pros of streaming services outweigh the cons, or the other way around?
I'm definitely pro-streaming. We need to figure out how to build a sustainable music industry around that, but the idea of music as a final product is fading, in my opinion. That's not necessarily a bad thing. I think in the coming years, we'll see a lot of creative, exciting new things happen in the music industry. It's a really fascinating time to be a music fan. But yeah, if you really think about it, the idea of paying 99 cents for an mp3 is weird. Like, who needs to "own" a song?
What do you think about the state of lyricism in current hip-hop and who do you consider to be the best lyricists in the game or on the rise right now?
To be honest I always hated the term lyricism. There are different ways of looking at it. Some rappers are super intelligent and have powerful messages. Others just have a way with words, even if they aren't saying much. Both can be really great. Kendrick is one of the best right now, however you look at it.
I just submitted a music submission early this morning, I even used your basic instructions on the best ways to get noticed when submitting music over email. You guys are great for that, being a Indie artist doing a lot with such a small team is hard, but seeing how you came from blogging in your bedroom to a staff gives me hope. What tips do you have for a artist who doesn't have the perks of a label?
It's hard to keep up with submissions. I get over 1,000 emails a day now, and I wish I could listen and respond to them all, but I just can't. Try to make genuine connections. Find the people who you respect, and try to get your music in front of them however you can. If you ever want to tweet us a link, do it! Sometimes we fall behind on emails but if you notice we're active on Twitter and catch us at the right time, we'll listen! Some bloggers hate Twitter submissions but I never understood that. I'm always down to click a link if I'm in the mood to try something new.
Hi Jacob! I've been following your blog for about 5ish years now? It's been awesome all the way through.
It seems like you've made quite a career out of blogging music. Since your career has grown quite a bit from here, can you tell me any of the other projects you are / have been involved with?
We're doing these No Ceilings shows, so that's a big focus right now. Also been making more video content and we're getting ready to drop merch.
I'm not involved with too much outside of P&P to be honest. It's a full-time job, but I'm always trying to connect with artists and help where I can. I love being a part of the creative process, giving advice and feedback.
What was your favorite part of pre-Complex Era P&P?
Love all the work that you're doing. Keep it up!
Back then, I didn't have to come into work at 10 am. I used to stay up until like 4 in the morning, and that's when some of the best ideas came up. I do miss staying up until 4am.
Hey there, Jacob!! I was just wondering, did the blog purge of Hypem a few months ago affect the work ethic of P&P in anyway? I read your article on that very topic and I wanted to know if after what Hype Machine did, was P&P inspired to go back to the drawing board and come up with new ways to maintain a reliable professional relationship between the artist and the journalist? Or did you and co. just continue what you were doing in the first place?
Nah, it didn't really affect us. I like everything we do at P&P to be organic, 100%. If we do what we do well enough, everything else will fall into place. I love everyone who has any part in P&P, and I trust them all to be professional and honest. We all do this because we love music.
is a hot dog a sandwich?
absolutely not. it all comes down to this: a sandwich has two (or more) pieces of bread! a bun is just one piece of bread! FOH
Who are you most proud of discovering or sharing with the world?
I'm proud of everyone we've shared who has gone on to be successful. For me, it's always about finding the next one, not dwelling too much or trying to take credit for what we've done. I'm most proud when artists show us love. When Chance The Rapper referenced P&P in "Good Ass Intro," that was a really proud moment for me.
What is your favorite dog breed? This is very important.
Such a difficult question! I love dogs and all animals. Always been a fan of mutts though. If I had to pick a breed, maybe pitbull or Rhodesian ridgeback or weimaraner
What's the last band you got into?
So many, but right now I think the band I'm most excited about is Hinds. For a while, I was really bored by straightforward guitar-driven rock, but they are so fun and they put on a great live show.
I am interested in helping progress the music career of a couple of my friends who I believe to be very talented. I hope one day to be a manager or agent. I was wondering, what avenues exist today that are the best in order to create maximum visibility for new artists? I know you must dig deep in order to find all of the great new artists you present on your blog. These friends already play as many gigs as they can land, but with the internet age I know there have to be more ways for them to peddle their goods than I know of.
Hype Machine is a good place to start. If you can get something to pop off on Hype M, a lot of blogs will take notice. Once they all pick up on an artist, bigger publications start taking notice.
How would a musician get on said blog?
Make a good song, send it to us! If we love it, we'll post it.
just saw that you guys will be presenting the Goodbye Tomorrow show in NYC! really really really fucking hyped about that, how did that come about??? Is GT finally going to reveal themselves for the show?
love p&p, that's my favorite blog, props man.
We've been emailing with their team ever since they sent over that first video. When they were planning their first NYC show, we had to get involved.
I can't give away what they have planned, but it sounds amazing! Even I haven't seen exactly what this will look like, but it should be really unique.
Hey Jacob! How did you get into the blog game exactly? Was there a particular song/album/moment where you said "I'm gonna write about this on the Internet to share with the world?" Also when can we expect some more P&P merch?
Well, I wanted to write for Nah Right. I emailed with Eskay and he was cool, but eventually stopped replying. So I started my own blog. It was really just about combining all the stuff in one place.
P&P merch is coming so soon! Just approved all the designs and the store is being set up. I can't wait to share the new stuff. P&P merch for the holidays!
Tips for other music blogs? Promoting, connecting, getting your name out there, whatever comes to mind :)
Do something nobody else is doing! It's so important to differentiate. And be active on social media.
Sup Jacob. It's Marshall from @WhoaCo. I get a lot of artists hitting me up constantly trying to get exposure so I can only imagine what your inbox must look like. While most of it is pretty sub-par a few gems to come through and I try to give everything a listen. Finding and promoting new artists and musicians is important to me because they need exposure the most. Since you excel at what you do and people pay attention I have a couple questions.
What's the best advice you could give to an artist that is trying to make themselves presentable to the underground blog scene? Does soundcloud turn you off? Do music videos help? Does an artist deck help them stand out?
Do you dig for music or is the stuff you find, and post, all email submission based?
What do you tell artists that are close to something good but lack in a few areas?
Lastly, any plans for SXSW this year with Complex and Pigeons and Planes?
Thanks for doing this AMA and as always I love everything you bring to the table. PigsAndPlans is consistently refreshing and original content.
To stand out, figure out what makes you different and emphasize that. Most of all, just make good music. If you make great music, other people will push it for you.
If I think an artist has potential but isn't quite there yet, I'll try to give feedback and explain what I like and don't like.
I dig for stuff. Always digging
Yes, we'll definitely be at SXSW this year! Not sure of exact plans yet, but we'll be there!
hahaha that was a great reply, thank you for your time. I really respect what your doing Jacob. The whole meaning of pigeons and planes is epic. Keep up the great work, i sent you a friend request on FB, it be great to hear back from you later.
How do you like your coffee?
Sup Jacob! First want to start by saying it's been awesome to watch your site grow and evolve over the years. Can't pinpoint exactly when I came across you guys, but you've been a reliable blog site for me for a long time.
My question: Even before Complex, what was the turning point moment where you realized Pigeons & Planes had become a big deal?
When Lindsay Lohan tweeted about us. Hahaha I remember sitting in my apartment that day, feeling like P&P made it. She tweeted a link to something we did, and I didn't see it because she didn't @ us on Twitter. I got a text from someone telling me.
She actually deleted the tweet later. I still wonder why. But I got a screenshot lol
Is rock music dead?
Not really... there are some cool rock bands making great stuff, but I think we are in desperate need of some real rock stars. Even with just a couple guitars, a bass, and a drum set, the possibilities are endless. Since Kurt Cobain, there haven't been many true stars to really bring rock music into the future.
any last words?
Shout out to the entire P&P team. The best group of people on the planet.
g unit or dipset?
premo or pete rock?
favorite 80s rap album? i have a hard time enjoying 80s rap
Slick Rick - The Great Adventures of Slick Rick or De La Soul - Three Feet High and Rising
I have a hard time enjoying it too. Rap has evolved so much that some of the older stuff sounds dated to me. But there are some great albums, and at the time I imagine a lot of that music was mind blowing.
Thank you! That means a lot
How important are artist's names to you? Like, if I told you to listen to ABANDONED MALL ARCADE or Beach Jesus (you should), would that automatically have you intrigued or will you need more to sway you into a listen?
I listen regardless of name. A lot of great artists and bands have shitty names.
But I would definitely check Beach Jesus out.
Hey, how did you come up with the name pigeons and planes ? its genius ? What inspired you to make this happen ? Do you mind checking out my track called old shoes on soundcloud ? I don't sound like anyone and i like being myself on every song so your feedback be amazing. I know thats more then one question but i hope to get a reply for all.
(PLEASE REVIEW) I been waiting since 12 to talk :)
The name... I really just wanted to think of something that represented the balance we try to bring with P&P. We cover music from all genres, and try to keep up with emerging artists as well as mainstream stuff. So Pigeons represent the up-and-comers who don't get a lot of love and struggle to survive. Planes represent the mainstream artists with a lot of money and big business behind them. If I knew the blog would ever become more than a hobby, I probably would have picked a different name. I get a lot of blank stares when I try to explain the meaning hahah.
I'll check out your song later!
Qdoba or Chipotle?
Thanks for reading!
Just try to connect with editors, send pitches, and publish quality work. If you pitch some good ideas and include examples of strong pieces you've written in the past, you'll have a great shot at getting some freelance work.
Sup Confusion! I've been following the blog for years, I forget how many exactly, since circa 2010/2011/2012 I believe. I used to comment all the time as CK, which you may or may not remember (probably don't), but then life got super busy, as life tends to do. I have an original(?) Pigeons and Planes merch shirt from when you guys did it through that website where it would only tilt if so many shirts were sold, and I get compliments on it nearly every time I wear it even if people don't know the blog! (I inform them, of course.) I had a somewhat personal question, which you can totally ignore if you want to. Having followed the blog for a while, it seems to me like you were originally a bit hesitant to link your real name with Confusion and that you liked the anonymity factor of Confusion. I suppose I was just curious what convinced you to pretty much abandon anonymity altogether and go with your real name more often? Perhaps the linking with Complex? Can't wait until you recommend what I need to listen to next! Keep doing your thing because I know a ton of people love the content you guys put out, both music and written!
Edit: Also bring No Ceilings to the best coast, I would kill to go to a show over here!
No Ceilings is coming West soon! We're already talking about it.
I definitely liked staying anonymous, but not for any good reason, really. During those years, all the major bloggers were pretty anonymous—Eskay, Shake, Meka, Legend... I thought it was cool that these weren't writers trying to get bylines and establish themselves as professional music journalists. Instead, they were all building brands, and they were a part of something bigger. Blogging was a different world, and I liked that world. I guess part of using my real name more is just that I think P&P has moved beyond that blogging stage. I used to say and write a lot of stupid shit, and I could kind of hide behind this online identity. I think that to be taken more seriously, there has to be accountability. Putting yourself out there is one way to hold yourself more accountable.
Thanks for sticking with us for all these years, and see you at No Ceilings LA!
What's up Con, good seeing you on here and hopefully I'm not too late. Can you speak a little on the pros and cons of PP going from blog to music website? Do you feel like you can operate the same as you did 5-6 years ago?
Also I've always wondered this, but what ever happened to Frank Ramz posting on the site?
I still consider P&P a blog. We're expanding into other things, but what we do online is still blogging. The downside of any expansion is that it takes more work, but it's always worth it. We used to be able to get away with a lot of half-assed shit, and now I think we lose a little credibility every time we do something stupid (we still do a fair amount of stupid stuff, though). Another downside is giving up control. That's been hard for me. I want to be in total control of everything, and that's impossible now. Thankfully I have an awesome group of people around me to help, and I've come to trust them.
Shout out to Frank Ramz. He really helped build P&P when we needed it most. He had a daughter, P&P kept moving into new directions and requiring different roles and time commitments, and he became less involved over time. There was never really a moment when we decided he would stop completely, but that's just how it played out. I still talk to him from time to time. He is a great dude and I hope we can work together again down the road.
One question: Why did DAD die?
I don't really know, I wasn't a part of those discussions. I will say that it takes a lot of resources, time, and energy to establish and grow an entirely new brand. But khal still works at Complex and he's killing it. He's one of the best people I know.
Shit man all of that made me happy to read! Thanks for answering.
I'm curious when you say total control. Do you have to run your stories by complex or anything like that?
No, we don't have to. Sometimes we choose to run stories by editors at Complex so we can bounce around ideas, etc. but they give us all the creative control I could ever ask for.
By giving up control, I just mean that I now need to rely on other people. For a long time, everything you saw on P&P was just me. So it's been a shift to learn how to delegate, find the right people for the right jobs, etc. It's a good thing, just takes some adjusting.
But a steak and cheese sub on a roll?... Not a sandwich?
omg maybe a hot dog is a sandwich. fuck
Hey Jacob, why would you think anyone cares?