Why subscribe?

Want fresh music on the regular? Want eclectic music discovery without resorting to algorithms? Do you think I have good taste?

Well, if you sign up here you will get access to my semi-monthly mixtapes without depending on social media algorithms to inform you. Get them in your email inbox. Hoorah!

Who am I?

I am Alec Hanley Bemis, an American person who manages & curates creative projects, primarily in music. I try to help artists. In 2001, I co-founded the Brassland label. (Here’s our website!)

Simultaneous with founding the label, I had a decade long career as a writer publishing in LA Weekly, The New York Times, and The New Yorker. I don’t do that much anymore. However, a 2020 piece I published in The Creative Independent went sorta viral. That was nice! So I decided I should try sharing things again in a more public forum that was not social media.

Coming soon…

I am toeing into the paid-subscription side of Substack. At first I plan to post new playlists, roughly every other month, to anyone that signs up to get my Substack emails. For free!

If anyone subscribes, I aspire to share all my archival playlists as subscriber-only posts.

Huh, what?

This is all about playlists. To kick off my Substack blog thing, I have posted a half-dozen older playlists I made at the request of other people or organizations—or as personal research. Here is a sampling:

  • The Testaments playlist: something I pulled together inspired by Margaret Atwood’s new(ish) novel for its paperback launch — link

  • indie coffee shop, yoga studio, weed dispencary, vegan cafe, et. al: catchy songs with earworm production choices and young pop energy that might go great with a local independent business — link

  • wordless music: a snapshot of what singing might have sounded like before language, in which even foreign languages are enjoyed not for the words but as phonics — link

  • Sinead O’Connor’s last playlist: a day’s worth of music which she curated for us, in the year of her death — mostly reggae - link

Find more over yonder. These are Spotify-only, but new playlists will be simulcast (simulposted?) to Apple Music and (usually) YouTube.

Follow me…

Instagram • ThreadsTwitter • Spotify • Apple Music • YouTube

Or don’t!

The playlists I’m publishing here are better expressions of the world I want to live in than anything I post to social media sites. Starting this Substack is, in many ways, an experiment in connecting with people more directly while using the diffuse tools of social media a little bit less.

On holiday a few years back. I cropped out most of the bananas.

Subscribe to AHB's Goodies

Every month or two I make a streaming playlist. (Back in my day we used to call them mixtapes.) You'll be the first to be notified. Paid subscribers get access to archival mixtapes.


I started a label called Brassland. I manage and curate creative projects — and try to keep the focus on helping artists at every stage of the game.