The Clever Wife—New Video

We’re entering a contest! It’s this contest. It’s a contest where you make a video (hey, we do that) of you playing music (hey, we do that, too) with a desk nearby (hey, we have a desk), and maybe you get to play at the NPR Music offices in Washington sometime. So we did the things they asked us to do and now we’ve made another video!

For this contest, as you can see, we made a video for a song that I wrote called The Clever Wife. It’s about the wonders of being a 1950s housewife.

ALSO, this is our FIRST PATRON-FUNDED video! Hooray! Since we launched our Patreon page, a coupla’ really lovely ladies actually decided to take money out of their own wallets or pants or PayPals or whathaveyou and…gave it to us! What’s more, they’ve promised to give us money every time we make a video. (And boy, oh boy, have we got some plans.) Well, all we have to say is…thank you!


We are playing a show soon

Sage and Jared's Happy Gland Band - Mine Shaft show

…it’s at the Mine Shaft in Madrid!

Become a Patron of Sage and Jared’s Happy Gland Band!

Happy Gland Band - Patreon - Sage Harrington

We just launched our Patreon page! What’s that, you say? Patronage died out nearly hundreds of years ago? Yes, well we thought so too. Turns out there’s a website out there trying to bring the patron/artist relationship back. If you’d like to help us in our wacky quest to make fun music and silly videos, this is one way you can do that.

Here’s the low-down:

We make videos. We upload them to YouTube for free. We love doing this. With Patreon, we’re trying to make this more of a money-making venture. We’re asking you to pledge an amount of money—$1, 2$, any amount you’re comfortable with—per video we release.

We made this short video to help explain what the deal is. (Warning: it contains a unhealthy amount of dog tongue—but we think it’s really funny, anyway.)

And there’s stuff in it for you, too! We’ve got rewards set up for different levels of patronage, including mp3 downloads and ukulele tutorials. More info is on our Patreon page!

AHHH we can’t tell you how excited we are about this! Best to you and yours and we hope you’re having a super spectacular extra-fandangled New Year!

Artistically yours,
Sage and Jared

For All Your (Decidedly Not Evil) Holiday Shopping Needs…

It’s the truth. That person who collects vintage kazoos in all keys, has every electronic gadget, and ten mewling cats to boot, probably does not have (and doesn’t even realize she needs) an anatomically correct model of the Happy Gland.

Avoid buying crap from evil corporate entities!

Rather than going all corporate this holiday season, check out some fine goods that Jared and I made ourselves. Everything that we sell at the Happy Gland Band online store was handmade with love (starting with our music).

We hand-screenprinted these thrifted ladies tees.

And these thrifted mens tees. (Also, kids shirts.)

And these tote bags!

And this is soap that I made with love. Love and essential oils.

And lip balm that I made with love! And natural ingredients.

And there’s more.

Sending lots of love your way this wintertime.

Independently yours,
Sage and Jared

The Most Delicious Sauce (Dip) In The Whole Wide World—Recipe

It’s like hummus, but made with almonds instead of garbanzo beans.

It’s amazing. I made it this morning while waiting for a Jared Putnam creation (a delicious fritatta-quiche thing) to bake. I think it might be the most delicious thing I’ve ever made. It is definitely the most delicious thing I’ve eaten today. (It’s the only thing I’ve eaten today, so far.) Because I love you, I want to share with you my recipe, or as I like to call it, a list-of-ingredients-with-rather-vague-quantities-followed-by-general-instructions.

It’s based on this delicious sauce, which has only one drawback: the tiny containers in which it is sold. I could destroy one of those little tubs in approximately 2.3 seconds and feel immediate remorse. When I make it by the barrelful I can devour as much as I want (it’s fine, it’s really healthy and stuff, it’s VEGAN and even maybe mostly raw) and not feel regretful, as I would, staring at the bottom of a tiny plastic container.

The Most Delicious Sauce (Dip) In The Whole Wide World

  • an amount—maybe 1 cup or more—of raw almonds, soaked in water for at least a few hours or overnight (or, in my case, days and days in the refrigerator)
  • a bit—maybe 1/3 cup— of nutritional yeast (less than the almonds but more than anything else, volume-wise)
  • a bit of water
  • a coupla cloves of garlic
  • juice of one lemon
  • a glug or three of olive oil
  • three or four glugs of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (which you can get online here)
  • spices! use anything you want—curry powder? cumin? today I used this delicious cajun-y goodness my sister sent me from Lousiana
  • salt and pepper to taste

Plop everything in a food processor. Run it, for like, a long time. Make it all smooth and stuff. Add enough water to make it just a little too runny, because it’ll stiffen up a bit as it sits. The texture gets better (smoother) after a few hours, or overnight, if you can wait that long. Not that we can seem to.

Dip vegetables into it. Or tortilla chips. Or your (not raw, not vegan) quesadillas. Or,  like, anything else you’d wanted smothered in savory deliciousness.

What Shaving My Head Has Taught Me About Gender, Bravery, and Sexism

Shaved Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band

People keep telling me I’m brave for having shaved my head.

Thank you, really, but—what?

Brave—that’s the same word we use to describe people who run into burning buildings to save baskets of kittens or a perhaps a half-eaten sleeve of Oreos.

Me? I’m just a girl who had her boyfriend take a dog grooming kit to her head, for totally selfish reasons (no charity-drive head-shave motivations here, unfortunately)—I had previously given myself a shitty haircut.

I’ve gotten a variety of reactions—there are the folks who seem to think I might have cancer (“You look like you have cancer!”) or that someone close to me might have cancer. Then there are the (admittedly drunken, filterless) people who are totally, viscerally, loudly perplexed. (“Why did you do that?!?”) And there have been a lot of people who just took a long while to recognize me. There are also people who seem totally unfazed, and even those who have complimented me on the way it looks, without preamble. (“I love your shaved head. You look great.”) I like this type of reaction best, for obvious reasons.

But I’ve also I’ve gotten a lot of: “You’re so brave!”

I want to talk about this because I’ve heard this fairly often, since I first cut my hair cut short as a teenager.

Why? Why is it considered brave for a woman to have short hair? WHY? This is so utterly perplexing to me. Hair is this strange evolutionary phenomenon—many thousands of tiny strands of body parts that are dead, but still attached to you—to which we have apparently assigned a great deal of importance.

It clearly has something to do with gender. Do we call men with shaved heads “brave”? Do we automatically assume men with shaved heads are battling cancer? Do people notice a man’s shaved head the way they’d notice a woman’s? (Related question: how do people notice women’s clothing versus men’s clothing?)

Why does it mean that a woman with short hair might be a lesbian, or a feminist (hey, that’s me!), or ill, or perhaps, if you were photographed on the streets of NYC, exceedingly fashionable?

Why must we acknowledge a short-haired woman in the way that we do? Why must we acknowledge short hair at all? Why can’t it just mean that she (me) had cut her hair, didn’t like the way it looked, and wanted to start over?

Why does it mean I was brave?

Bullshit. I may be brave for some things (riding a bicycle? growing kale? driving at any time on any street, given the rate at which people die doing such things?), but cutting my goddamn hair is not an act of bravery. It is an act of vanity and to call it bravery cheapens the word.

Or does it?

Being brave enough to cut your hair short reveals something telling about the culture we live in. It is, apparently, a world in which a woman with short hair has committed an almost revolutionary act. Gasp!—this one is different than what we’d expected! This one doesn’t follow the template! Might she have some kind of social or political agenda? Maybe she is strange, maybe wonderful, badass, free, empowered. Maybe she is fresh, sexy, full of energy and vitality, totally fucking rad.

Dude—gender. Why are these things so contorted and strange? Why must we humans make things so hard on ourselves?

Oh, and by the way, FUCK SEXISM.

Coffee Ice Cream (Recipe!) and the magic of technology

“Jared Putnam,” I said above the comforting sound of an ancient whirring motor, “look at how technology is improving our lives!”

No longer would I spend hours sweating over a cold hand-crank ice cream maker. No, no longer! Life is a breeze now thanks to our brand-new Procter-Silex ice cream maker from the 1960s that we got at a thrift store for six dollars—we paid approximately one dollar per decade that it’s been around.

It also came with sexist racist heteronormative manual, I mean, recipe booklet.

Proctor Silex: Where only the white kids have fun at 1960s barbeques.

Proctor Silex: Where only the white kids have fun at 1960s barbeques.

Proctor Silex electric ice cream makers: helping heteronormative white folks get it on since the 1960s.

Proctor Silex electric ice cream makers: helping heteronormative white folks get it on since the 1960s!

"My life is a breeze, an utter joy, with my brand-new Proctor Silex electric ice cream maker!"

“My life is a breeze, an utter joy, with my brand-new Proctor Silex electric ice cream maker!”

Ice cream holds a special place in world history. This fly white lady is credited with making ice cream fashionable in the 1880s!

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Now, my friends, I feel pride in what I have done here today. I have experimented with creating a recipe for coffee ice cream, and, BY JOVE, I like the results! The recipe below is a mashup of this gelato recipe from Epicurious and a recipe I found in La Cucina in which a recipe for coffee ice cream advises you to use 8 CUPS OF HEAVY CREAM and 2/3 cup coffee grounds. This seemed like someting I would want to avoid not necessarily because of the caloric value of 8 cups of heavy cream (I SPURN HEALTH FOODS!) but aghh the dread mouthfeel of 8 cups of frozen heavy cream! I also found a bunch of recipes that I did not want to follow as they called for as much as 1 1/2 cups whole coffee beans, which just seems so wasteful to me. You’re ignoring the entire middle of the bean! Dude, just grind that shit up and let the coffee joy happen!

So here it is, an extremely simple recipe for coffee ice cream. It’s a custardy-type of thing, and the best kind of ice cream I’ve ever made in my whole grown-up life!

Oh, and I want to mention that I roasted this coffee as well. In an air popcorn popper.

Coffee Ice Cream Recipe

Inspired by this here gelato recipe at Epicurious and a recipe that appears in the book La Cucina.

4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream
40 grams coffee, ground
8 large egg yolks
1 1/3 cups sugar

Boil milk and cream together, stirring every once in a while in a vain attempt to keep a skin from forming on the top. A skin will form on the top. Stir it in, whatever. You’ll strain it later. Once the milk boils (at around 205 degrees, the perfect temperature for brewing coffee!) add the coffee. Stir it all in. Let it steep for a while—I let mine sit around for about 15 minutes.

Have a bowl, a fine mesh strainer, and some cheesecloth ready to pour your coffeemilk into. It will take a long ass freaking time for your coffeemilk to strain through the cheesecloth if you have a small strainer like I do, and it will seem like your coffee-steeping time will increase to, like, 25 minutes. Whatevs. It’s all cool. Press as much coffeemilk out of your cheesecloth as possible and toss your coffee grounds into the compost, because that shit is gold. Also, it’s worth noting that at this time you’ll probably be frustrated to realize that fresh skins are forming atop your now grounds-free coffeemilk. Balls! But fret not, because we’ll just strain it again anyway.

Now you’ll bring your coffeemilk, on med-low heat, up to the correct custard-making temperature, 175 degrees. Stir often. Curse the skins! At the same time (if you’re alright at multi-tasking) separate your egg yolks out and whisk them in a nice big bowl. Add the sugar and beat. Beat it hard. It should be really pretty, a light yellow. When your coffeemilk is at 175 degrees, remove it from heat and, whisking constantly, whisk a bit of the coffeemilk into the sugaryolks at a time, tempering the eggs.

Have a clean bowl and fine mesh strainer ready.

When your coffeemilk and sugaryolks are mixed together, return it to the pan and, stirring constantly over med-low heat, bring it all up to 185 degrees. Remove from heat! Immediately! Don’t wait, or disaster will strike upon your poor yolks, curdling them! Strain it into that bowl! Goodbye milkskins! We shan’t meet again!

You can now do the appropriate anti-custardskin measures, like pressing plastic wrap (or a humiliated freezer bag, in my case) against the custard. You can also make it cool all quick-like if’n you wanna by putting the custard bowl into a larger vessel and filling that larger vessel with ice and cold water and such. You know the tricks.

Now freeze into ice cream using your preferred method of freezing into ice cream! I used the approved 1960s Proctor Silex method of electrical ice cream maker freezing, which looks something like this.

10407565_10204959834500743_7294917886786584378_nHow to make ice cream - Sage Harrington How to make ice cream - Sage HarringtonHow to make ice cream - Sage Harrington

Recent improvements to the Happy Gland Dirigible, plus the benefits of working for the environment

From the Happy Gland Dirigible

Jared and I have been rushing around like crazy people trying to insulate the Happy Gland Dirigible with enough straw to keep it warm for the winter. No plastic sheeting or double-sided tape for us, no! We do things the old fashioned way, with crispy shafts of dead wheats. Little piles here, little piles there—it keeps blowing around every time we open the doors and the chickens keep coming inside, nestling into the piles as though they belong there. It’s quite bothersome, really, but cute.

When they sit in front of the right places, it almost stops some of the drafts. Chicken-chinking of dirigible walls. It’s a thing. Yes, we’ve invented it. (And by “we” I mean the feathery miniature dinosaurs.)

A Change of Heart

On Halloween, Jared and I decided to let our hair down for once. No longer would we be the stiff, boring, awkward versions of ourselves that we pretend to be for the sake of making real life run more smoothly. (For being showered with joy and adoration each time you go into public can be quite time-consuming.) We would be something bolder—more daring!—more colorful than what we normally are. We would go to the local shooting range and have chats with the patrons about the benefits of gun control! No, we would don wigs and set the camera rolling.

And we’re playing a show tomorrow

Have you ever considered a career in the environment? While working for the environment, you not only get the satifaction of battling seemingly intractable forces of terrifying destruction, you also get to see Sage and Jared play music. At the right sorts of eco-conferences, of course!

We’ll be at the Embassy Suites here in Albuquerque for the Quivira Coalition‘s shindig tomorrow, Thursday evening.

Warmly yours,

Everything I’ve Learned about PROs, Vol. 1

Sage Harrington - PROs - Performance Rights Organization

Here’s the deal with PROs, or Performance Rights Organizations:

They’re fucking confusing.

That’s what I thought when I first started learning about them. I don’t necessarily feel that way anymore; it’s just that there’s no handbook. This is the “clueless-about-royalties-and-stuff” me from three years ago: She’s wandering around, tripping over mic cables, bumping into walls and people at bars who seem like they kind of know something about the music biz. She’s trying to focus, through the fog of a beer or two, on this foreign business-y stuff they’re trying to teach, all after having sung for two hours. She’s just not absorbing it all that well. The info, I mean. She’s absorbed the beer just fine.

This is why I’ve put together this here three-episode mini-handbook (look for volumes two and three coming up) on what I’ve learned about getting set up with a PRO. My hope is that you can use this info to help make sense of those weird, confusing impromptu post-show business lessons, and piece together the scattershot advice you get from other musicians you meet backstage. With a little self-education you should be able to handle this stuff on your own, without some sort of asinine service. It’s not that hard to understand.

Like Nataly Dawn of Pomplamoose said about managing her indie career in this interview, “People think that all of these things have to be done by geniuses behind huge desks or at the top of skyscrapers, but you can just go online and do it yourself.” So what follows is a long and windy tale that documents, more or less, how I came to understand this stuff. This is what I know.

What is a Performance Rights Organization?

PRO is a nonprofit that represents writers and publishers of music. (We’ll talk more about what being a writer and a publisher means later.) PROs basically chop up a song’s “ownership” 50/50. They say, “Hey, this song has been reported to us as having been written by Sage Harrington and published by Goat Soap Society, and since it’s been covered about a gazillion times at live shows by artists all over the country, both she and her publishing company deserve a whopper of a check!”

What does this mean for independent artists? Let’s start by talking about my CD. I recorded one almost two years ago, but before pressing it, I wanted to affiliate myself with a PRO. I’d been told at a music conference, by old music biz guys at bars, and by other musicians, that I needed the ASCAP “stamp” on my CD, or else radio stations and those ever-elusive big-time music execs that could potentially pluck me from the hoarde (or, herd) wouldn’t take me seriously.

Joining up with a PRO (the main ones are ASCAPBMI and SESAC; there are more, but these are the most popular) means that you’re legit. You’re into this as, like, a career. It also means this organization has your back. They’re there to help you. You meet whatever requirements they have for you, pay them a fee, maybe, and they collect money in certain ways for stuff you’ve made.

A Couple Disclaimers

Let me say right now that I’m going to be talking about ASCAP a lot because they’re my PRO, although I’m not necessarily endorsing them specifically. I’ll be talking about their system because it’s the one I’m familiar with, so please keep in mind certain things may be specific to ASCAP but will probably also be true for other PROs. I can’t be sure, not having had the opportunity to poke around in the members-only section of other PRO websites.

Lastly, I am a singer-songwritery type, so I’ll be coming at this adventure from that perspective. Things may work (probably only slightly) differently for composers of classical works or those who write (or want to write) music for production libraries.

So Let’s Get Started: Some Distinctions

There’s this thing that happens in the legal world: You start thinking of yourself in segments. It’s weird, but it’s a system that has its roots in a time when different people did all these different jobs. In the olden days, singers sang, lyricists wrote, and a whole team of business people made a bunch of money and hid it from the singers and the writers. Today, this system seems weird because Indie Rules and We’re Doing All This Shit On Our Own over here.

Hopefully there will be more money and emotional well-being in it for us indies than there was for the likes of Stephen Foster, the writer of “Beautiful Dreamer” and other classics, who, as Rennie Sparks writes in The Handsome Family‘s song, “Wildebeest,” “smashed his head on the sink in the bitter fever of gin” after he made little to no cash on the wildly popular songs he wrote like “Oh, Susanna” that we still sing today.

Back to business. Here are the parts of you:


  • What you’ll probably want to do first is register yourself as a songwriter with a PRO. This is pretty self-explanatory. We artsy fartsy types are probably least scared by this category. This is where we shine. This is where we write goofy minute-and-a-half-long songs about porridge, pen deep lyrics about existential angst or abandonment, write contemporary bluegrass tunes on the guitar, compose opuses, or record short instrumental pieces at home on mandolin, piano, cello, sousaphone, glockenspiel, and marimba that will hopefully get picked up for use in a Target commercial.
  • Within the distinction of “songwriter” there are more distinctions: You might be a singer-songwriter, where you write the words and the music. You might just write lyrics. You might compose instrumental music. You might write classical works. You might create music for production libraries, which movie-makers and the like access for use in film, TV, and commercials. These are all distinctions that PROs make, so you should be aware of them too.


  • This is also self-explanatory. You play at bars, libraries, coffeehouses, venues, etc. Hopefully the venue pays you. Hopefully you sell some CDs. Hopefully people sign up for your email list. Hopefully you make a connection with at least one person. A PRO can’t help you too much in this area (but more on that in volume two). You’ve gotta do all this wrangling of guarantees and promo and whatnot on your own. This is, largely, a whole other ballgame.


  • This is where things start getting weird for us artsy types. What is a music publisher supposed to do, anyway? What’s happening in publishing land may seem scary, overly climate controlled, cold, business-y, and cultured under an unhealthy amount of fluorescent lighting in an obscene amount of tweed and starchy white button-downs.
  • If you find one you’d like to work with,”traditional” publishers can help you push the songs you’ve written for other people to sing. Each time your songs are performed or recorded, you, as the songwriter, get paid for it. I’ll let Wikipedia and About explain further.
  • But why do I have to bother with this whole publishing charade as an indie? Why should I sign up with a PRO as a music publisher? Well, you could potentially get into the publishing racket and be a pusher of your own tunes, if you wanted, but here’s the reason I did it: I wanted 100% ownership of my songs (also, I don’t have any music publishing friends to hook up with). Remember, when you register a song with a PRO, they’ll ask you who owns it: Songwriter(s) own a total of 50% and publisher(s) own the remaining 50%. So, when your song is played on the radio, covered, pressed, and/or downloaded, your PRO keeps track of that and sends money to the writer(s) and publisher(s) accordingly. If you’re not set up to receive royalties on both the writer’s side and the publishing side, you could be missing out on half the cash.
  • After learning this, I registered myself as a songwriter and a music publisher with ASCAP. Here’s an interesting, if slightly confusing, second option: It’s apparently possible to claim twice the ownership on the writer’s side to circumvent this whole publishing company dealio. A friend of mine, (who’s affiliated with BMI) does just this to avoid the fees associated with creating a publishing company.

Phew! We got through some heavy stuff today. There’ll even be more to cover next time. In Everything I’ve Learned About PROs, Vol. 2, I’ll write more about the weird legal distinctions that’ll give you the background you need to understand how all this works.

Originally published at

Behind-The-Scenes Costuming Adventures of DEAD SLOTH: A photo essay

Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band

What can’t you do with an Ariel wig? Well, eat. It’s far too cumbersome. But you can take a mighty satifyingly blurry photo.

Last Friday Jared and I emerged shivering from the Happy Gland Band dirigible, cursing the fact that we had once again forgotten that the fabric covering of our airship provides poor insulation against the chilliness of Hallow’s Eve eve night. We shook it off, though—we’re not ones to whine and complain that a cruel draft had slipped in through the beaded curtain that separates the dirigible’s expansive kitchen from the sleeping area, and down into our toes through the avocado green comforter that covers our bed.

Rather than shiver like nervous chihuahuas, we got out into the sun and started hatching video-making plans for the song we had recorded the previous evening.

Sage Harrington - Dead Sloth - Happy Gland Band

And now, for some behind-the-scenes costuming action, or A Dead Sloth Photo Essay:

Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band

A sexy man-lady in a sexy winter fur-lined hooded mini-coat-dress.

Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band

Oh, Christina Aguilera! How my heart pitter patters for your sultry gazes.

Sage Harrington - Eric the Squash - Happy Gland Band

Eric the winter squash holds a special place in our Halloween hearts.

Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band

Everyone knows a blue suit goes best with a red merkin.

Jared Putnam - Happy Gland Band

Something’s awry—he’s wearing the tutu upside down. Drat! If only we had noticed, this wouldn’t be so horribly embarassing.

Shaved Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band

Oh, and we had shaved my head that morning.

Sage Harrington - Happy Gland Band

You can shave a lady’s head, but you can’t take away her pink hair. Proof.