Beware of Dog: Four Girls’ Impacting the Charleston Music Scene for Themselves and for Others

This is Beware of Dog to the curious observer: Four girls with a youthful fiery passion for music and art, and most of all, sharing that passion with others. Their website, (bewareofdogproductions.com), is filled with the pastel pink of adolescence, photos of cigarettes and guitars covered with stickers– the header under their main photo reads: You’re Such A Bitch! In the ‘About’ section of their website, co-founder Meghan McConnell says “If the most we do is inspire people and plant seeds in them, I’m good. That’s more than enough for me.” 

Is Beware of Dog a band? A music management group? An art collective? All three? “That’s a good question,” co-founder Mia Al-Taher says. “Right now we mainly book shows in Charleston, the majority of them being DIY house shows. We strive to make them very inclusive and represent diverse artists on each lineup.” 

Photo by Missy McConnell

Just going to local shows around Charleston wasn’t enough for co-founders Meghan McConnell, Jamie Gray, Mia Al-Taher, and Caroline Poe– they aren’t observers, they’re doers. Valuing the community over the person, the four girls’ main goal is for others to achieve theirs. Feeling empowered by other confident women and artists around them, Beware of Dog was born out of a desire to starting doing and stop observing. 

So in the back of a minivan, Beware of Dog was born: “we really were just fed up with how much women get overlooked in the music scene simply because of the fact that we are females,” Mia Al-Taher says. “Instead of waiting for bands or labels or whoever to pick us for jobs and exciting things we want to do, we decided to just DO it.” A need for women to be not only visible but involved in the music scene is a main priority for Beware of Dog. 

When asked about their female artist influences, they found it hard to choose. Such artists as Phoebe Bridges, Snail Mail, and Sharon van Etten all serve as an influence for co-founder Meghan McConnell, “because of the strong sense of femininity they bring to the scene.” 

Co-founder and singer-songwriter Jamie Gray cites her influences as Brandi Carlile, Maggie Rogers, Angel Olsen, and others.

Local Charleston bands Babe Club, Daddy’s Beemer, and Cry Baby are all listed from McConnell and Gray as being local artists they listen to often, as well as South Carolina natives Apricot Blush. 

 The members of Beware of Dog are always working on their own passions as well. For Al-Taher its helping make music videos and content creation for musicians. McConnell says “we all write our own music,” and love to “bring ideas to the group to develop into something bigger than us.” 

Along with their own personal projects (such as writing and recording for Gray), Beware of Dog is always booking new shows in the Charleston area that “hopefully get the community excited about the music scene,” Gray says. 

Photo by Missy McConnell

With all the excitement of paving out their own roads in the music scene in Charleston, Al-Taher says it can sometimes be hard to find balance between things. Part of what makes Beware of Dog so endearing is their capacity for the familiar adolescent-like need to always be doing more, that feeling that always comes when you’re young and doing something new and exciting for the first time. “Getting caught up in what we could be doing, or doing better to grow always stumps me,” McConnell admits. “I never want to box us in and also never want to over commit.” 

Part of being a young musician,-or even a young person in general-is feeling that need to be involved and apart of something bigger than yourself, to want to be inspired and inspire at the same time– and Beware of Dog is no stranger to that feeling. When asked about any advice they might have for anyone wanting to get into their local music scene, their advice came from experience and gets right to the point: “Stop talking about what you want to do and start doing it. You will learn from doing, not from waiting until you know ‘everything.’” If there is an air of uncertainty about where to go next from here, or what to do next, Beware of Dog will handle it with as much passion and optimism for their own music community–as well their own belief and conviction in themselves– as they had when they started. 

 

Check out Beware of Dog at bewareofdogproductions.com or their instagram @bewareofdogpro for more info/show updates. 

 

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Ty Shelton is a freshman music writer majoring in International Studies at the College. Originally from Louisville, KY, (which makes her half yankee) she enjoys reading novels usually set during the Civil War, playing electric guitar, and looking through archived websites from the 90s.


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