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The Muse's News

Issue 10.0 - March 2007
ISSN 1480-6975

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I n   T h i s   I s s u e :

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Chip Withrow, Jon Stewart, Francesco Emmanuel
                    & Alex Jasperse
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Ed Teja
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
    to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - Record Pools – Are You Swimming Yet?
                       by Jaci Rae
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2007 - Jodi Krangle. 
For more contact information, see end of issue.
Remind yourself of your committment to songwriting every time you
use one of these special items.  There are even black t-shirts!
See for details.
S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e :
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


The best way to learn about writing it to write - and what better
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E d i t o r ' s   M u s i n g s :

Year #10.  Wow.  I didn't think I'd have the *site* this long,
let alone the newsletter.  But here we are. :)  I'm glad you've
stuck with me - or if you're just joining, I'm glad to have you
here.  If you know of any musicians who might be interested in
this newsletter and the site it's from, I hope you'll spread the
word.  My goal has always been to get songwriters the information
they need to better their art and to further their careers (in
whatever form that takes).  I fully intend to do that for another
ten years.  So thanks for coming along for the ride. ;)

Some really interesting stuff for you in the newsletter today.
First off, an *excellent* article from Jaci Rae about Record
Pools.  If you're not involved, it's really something you should
look into.  There's also a very informative article (in PDF form
so you can download it on your own) from Gian Fiero about what we
can learn from American Idol.  (Ok... I admit I was skeptical,
not being a big fan of the show ... but I also admit it has its
uses and its place... and the article is pretty darned useful
anyway. :) )

Ed Taja has reviewed a very helpful book all about copyrights
that can help clear up any confusion you might have about such
things.  And Irene Jackson's "Muse's Clues" this month happens to
be about PRO's - so I highly recommend giving it a read.  

There's also the usual market information and contest listings, a
new artist spotlighted, more music reviews by our very eloquent
and eclectic reviewers ... So lots here!  I hope you'll enjoy.

Here are the raffle winners for this month:

* Larissa Lam from Diamond Bar, CA, has won a copy of 
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software

* Natalia Bortolotti from Foster City, CA, has won a copy of's Musician's Toolkit CD

* David Lev from Pheonix, AZ, has won a 6 month subscription
to the Onlinegigs ( service.  This
valuable service is a powerful tool for musicians, agents, record
companies and managers designed to virtually automate the
administration of booking and promoting a band or bands.

* Paul Conway from Merrimac, Australia, has won a copy of 
Bronson Herrmuth's "100 Miles To A Record Deal"

* Linda Principe from Staten Island, NY, has won a copy of the
book, "The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing" 
by Randall D. Wixen (reviewed below)

All the very best,


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S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


The CustomFlix CD on Demand service helps independent musicians
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M u s i c   R e v i e w s : Chip Withrow, Jon Stewart, 
                            Francesco Emmanuel & Alex Jasperse


Alex Jasperse:

* Arundas
* Mike Vasas and the Beasts of Burden

Francesco Emmanuel:

* b. d. Gottfried
* The Kartoon Kids

Jon Stewart:

* Sally Goforth
* Kim Kline

Chip Withrow:

* Ivor Game
* Flame Shark


For bios on each of the reviewers, see . If you're considering
sending in your own CD for review, you can also view that page to
find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!

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N e w   A r t i s t   S p o t l i g h t   A d d i t i o n s :  

Great music is only a click away!  
Here are just some of the great CDs highlighted in the 
Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse at 

Ross Douglas - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

Mr. Douglas is eclectic by nature
Variety is to be expected.
Comment on his work:
"One fascinating song after another -unique perspectives,
heartfelt performances superb craftsmanship and a generous dose
of humour. Bravo!"
"Terrific songwriting that deserves the widest audience."
He has 3 critically acclaimed albums so check him out.

S o n g w r i t i n g   B o o k   R e v i e w : by Ed Teja

The Plain and Simple Guide to Music Publishing
By Randall D. Wixen
The music business is so complex, and at times so illogical, that
there is room in the songwriter's universe for any number of
books that can help explain, untangle, and otherwise demystify
it. Author Randall Wixen manages to combine an in-depth knowledge
of the industry (he administers copyrights for a number of
clients, including Tom Petty, who also wrote the foreword), a
very informal presentation, and a sense of humor. I would hate to
have to say which of these was the most significant contribution,
but the combination makes for that rarity — a focused and
informative book that is also an easy and enjoyable read. This
last part is important to me, because I am certain I will be
reading this book many times.

Wixen approaches the fundamental concept of what a copyright
really is and does this with the freshest approach I have seen.
He analyzes the various types of deals and shows how each party
profits from them. Avoiding legal language, he breaks down the
differences between mechanical licenses and performance income,
and gives you an idea of how they work in the real world. I'm
sure his discussion of the real difference between PA and SR has
entertainment attorneys reaching for the antacid tablets, but the
distinction he makes is lucid, and perhaps more importantly, a
functional way of thinking about what you are owning, selling,
licensing or otherwise putting into financial play.

This is not a book about our art, nor is it about making it in
music. It stays focused on a single aspect of the commerce of
music — negotiating and handling copyrights. The (quite accurate)
subtitle is. "What you need to know about protecting, and
profiting from, music copyrights."  It is not about marketing
your music, but what to do once you have marketed it, and it is
in at least some demand. Yet, even when you are starting out, you
should be familiar with this material, especially his
explanations of controlled compositions (in case you are
fortunate enough to co-write with someone who is under contract)
and the various ways there are of exploiting your music.

Of special interest is the information he introduces on
co-writing. For instance, Wixen addresses potential problems that
spring from the very fact of cowriting. What happens if you write
all the music and some of the lyrics, but neglected to make a
signed agreement on the division of ownership ahead of time?
What if your co-writer decides your lyrics are not hit material
and wants to substitute lyrics that he or she wrote, throwing
yours in the bin? In the first case, you better be willing to
settle for half. In the second case, it turns out you have legal
rights, even before the song is published. (Even so, the best
result is to work things out amicably, if that is possible.) I
was surprised to learn that in neither case do you have the
right to take your contribution back and create a different song.
Welcome to the music business. Well, if you've read this book, at
least you will go into it with your eyes open.

Ed Teja lives in New Mexico, USA, writing songs and
instrumentals, and trying to find them loving homes. Performing
since the early 60s, he has appeared at strange venues in Hong
Kong, Canada, St. Martin, Bequia, Venezuela, Grenada and
Trinidad, as well as the Silver City (New Mexico) Blues festival
in 2003, and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk Festival in 2006. Working
as a magazine editor and freelance writer, his articles appeared
in magazines ranging from Pro Sound News, BYTE magazine, to
Import/Export, and with book reviews in THE SOUTH CHINA MORNING
POST, and The Midwest Review of Books.

Find out more about Ed at: to Menu

             S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e : 

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)



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M u s i c a l   N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including
changes to this listing in this newsletter.  All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at & . Please check there
regularly for updates!

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It's important for your website to be found once it's created. We
all know this. But who can afford the promotion a website needs
to truly make its mark on the web? Now YOU can. This package is
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M u s e ' s    C l u e s :  by Irene Jackson

©1998-2007 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. 
Used By Permission

Recently, I received an email petition that was being passed
around by some local songwriters.  The petition was created by a
college radio station here in Canada where I live, and basically
it was appealing to listeners to write to SOCAN, the Canadian PRO
(performing rights organization), asking them not to start
charging an extra tariff for broadcasting music on the internet.
Just about every commercial radio station's broadcast can be
found live on the internet these days, and college and university
radio stations are no different.

Whether or not you agree with the idea, it's important to
understand PRO's and how they work.  SOCAN, for instance, is a
non-profit organization that represents songwriters like me, and
they work on our behalf to collect and distribute royalties, but
they also provide resources and opportunities to educate yourself
on how the whole system works.  They are not perfect; each PRO
works a little differently, and they are all subject to federal
laws and decisions.  And right now they are all scrambling to
keep up with the effects of technology on music and how we find
it and listen to it. 

But I think there are a lot of songwriters out there who still
don't understand the workings of a PRO.  The PRO websites are
okay, but reading through lots of information can be a bit
monotonous at times.  SESAC has done something a little different
(okay I admit I haven't checked to see if the others have the
same thing yet!) by posting videos by songwriters and SESAC
people, describing the process and answering a lot of questions
about what a performing rights organization does.  You'll find it

The publishing section alone has 24 videos discussing different
aspects of publishing, but there are also interviews with
different songwriters with questions like "How long does it take
to make it as a songwriter?".  The videos are not too long, so
they don't take much to buffer and to view. They are like little
interviews, broken down into individual questions, and you simply
have to pick the question you are burning to get an answer to!

So if performing rights organizations are still a bit of a
mystery to you, you might benefit from these easy-to-swallow
interviews and get a better sense of how it all comes together. 

Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in
Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also
maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles
and a songwriter's messageboard.

Songwriting Tips:
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F e a t u r e d   A r t i c l e : by Jaci Rae © 2006

              Record Pools – Are You Swimming Yet? 
The winter months have hit us and unless you live in Hawaii, most
people aren't swimming in open-air pools any longer.

Until recent times, Indie Artists and the labels they set up for
themselves had a hard time getting their music heard by anyone
outside their own backyard pool of fans.  With guerilla marketing
finally becoming common practice and online music stores becoming
a mainstay for the music aficionado, record pools are now open
for business to the general indie population.

What is a record pool?  Basically, a record pool is a membership
of DJ's that act as an intermediary between DJ's and the music
makers.  The power behind a record pool is that it can reach a
mass, global market in lightening speed.

As of 2006, there were "hundreds of thousands" (according to of DJ's and industry professionals who were part
of this digital revolution.  In order for a DJ to belong to a
record pool, he/she must pay a monthly association fee to obtain
the latest and most current music. 

Frequently this music is available to them before it becomes
available to mainstream radio, and because of that, record pools
quite often have more of an initial impact than the popular
mainstream outlets. 

The power radio programmers have over radio, clubs and street
music is now handed over to the DJ's who participate in the
record pools, allowing them to have control over what they

So how can you get an invitation to swim in their pool? No
invitations necessary, but you must have a good professional
product that is available in digital format (although I did find
several that accepted vinyl). 

Some of the record pools now require that you have your own
label, meaning that you don't submit as your band name.  That is
easily done by setting up your own label (too much information to
go into here, but you can find the information inside my book
'The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money').

Once you have the business side taken care of, start searching
the internet using the keywords, "record pool," and then contact
them to be certain that your style of music is part of their

Don't randomly send out your online or hard copy press kit to
every record pool you find, just as you wouldn't send your music
to every station you discover.  E.g., a country record pool isn't
interested in acid rock and a classical record pool won't be
interested in spinning a blue grass tune. Then begin to submit
your CDs using the contact information you acquired.  Do your
homework and beware of companies that don't post charts or may be
music collectors.

Here are a few record pools I found on the web: (they represent an assortment
of music, including R&B, Hip-Hop and Dance.) (they represent Hip Hop, Latin,
World and Jazz)  (they represent Dance, Hip Hop, and

Recently I had a chance to talk with one of the managers of V.I.P
Chicago, about what they do: "One has to understand the reason
why record pools truly exist, and it should not be just to pass
out product to their members." 

"Some records pools are in the process of becoming more involved
in the overall promotion of the new artist.  Then they create
product awareness with merchandising, sponsoring special events
at local nightclubs and record stores.  Naturally, they keep
their ears to the ground on what's selling and what the current
trends are within their market."

"With their pool of DJ's the office managers are able to have
overnight results, and more importantly, feedback.  Feedback to
the companies that service the pools is an option that some CEOs
consider essential, and for that we thank them."

"These factors, along with an undying love for music, allow the
office director and their DJ members the opportunity to be
involved in something which many of us consider a blessing from
above.  There's no fanfare and no glory.  Just great product and
the excitement of the dance floor."

The time for indie artists is upon us, but you better take
advantage of record pools now, before someone puts a "no swimming
without a lifeguard" sign out.


Jaci Rae's grit and determination have brought her from an
impoverished childhood to a career as an award-winning singer,
No. 1 best-selling author, keynote speaker, radio show host and
entrepreneur who has toured around the world. Jaci is the author
of 'The Indie Guide to Music, Marketing and Money' as well as 
'Winning Points With The Woman In Your Life One Touchdown At A
Time'. to Menu


    " O N   S I T E "   F E A T U R E D   A R T I C L E :

Lessons Learned from American Idol by Gian Fiero

His article sheds light on five invaluable lessons that can be
learned by performing musicians who watch the show with dreams of
one day becoming a commercial music success, or the next American
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER AS YOUR SONGWRITING PARTNER "This remarkable piece of software turns your Mac or PC into a valuable songwriter partner" -- Richard Leiter, Keyboard Magazine If you have a high speed connection, you can download a 30-Day demo. If not, we will send you a copy for $9.95 which will be deducted from the purchase price if you decide to buy. Receive a special $90.00 holiday discount off the $289.00 list price (making it only $199!) when purchasing through the Muse's Muse! Please use discount coupon # 3004. Endorsed by: BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, PRS and Taxi. Winner Best of Show Macworld 2003 ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 8th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE! The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its Seventh Edition, The Indie Bible has 330 pages of valuable contacts and music-related articles. The 8th Edition of the Indie Bible contains: 4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD! 3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs! 500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music! 200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files! 500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band! 52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly! Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as phone and fax numbers. For details and to order online visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- REAL ANSWERS TO REAL QUESTIONS, An eBook About Copyright & Publishing If you want to know how to protect yourself as a songwriter in this digital age, you need this book - EXCLUSIVELY offered through The Muse's Muse. And it's now on sale for half price! Visit to learn more! ----------------------------------------------------------------- BUILD A BUZZ AT INDIE-MUSIC.COM FOR ONLY $5/MONTH Artists: Why join I-M has been spotlighting the best in independent music since 1996, featuring Articles, Interviews, Reviews, Charts, & Streaming Audio in all musical styles. Member Artists receive generous promotion on the I-M website (2.5 million+ hits per month) plus access to our famous original DIY resources, which have helped numerous musicians book thousands of dollars worth of work over the years. For a limited time, new annual Members receive free Lyricist and TrackNotes software value $69.95). There's never been a better time to join I-M! ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
Library of Canada ecollection: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back to Menu

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