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The Muse's News

Issue 11.4 - July 2008
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:

Brett Manning's Singing Success Vocal Training System


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Jarrod Brogdon, Chris Propfe, Chip Withrow, 
& Don Sechelski
@-- 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 - Pick A Direction - by Carley Baer
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services @-- Contact information ================================================================= ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2008 - Jodi Krangle. For more contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= FIND WHAT YOU NEED AT THE SONGWRITING STORE ON THE MUSE'S MUSE All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters, negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids, educational products, musical instruments and their accessories, and lots more. Find the perfect gift for that songwriter in your life, too - even if it's you! http://www.musesmuse.com/songwriting-store.html
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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!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM: It's the "secret weapon" used by some of the winners of the world's most prestigious vocal awards, including the Doves, the CMA Awards, and yes, the Grammies. Learn the one mistake even professional singers make, that drains away 3 times more vocal energy and yields only half the needed vocal power. Find out about the 3 simple exercises that allow even a "beginner" to make rapid increases in range (this also eliminates vocal strain). Learn Brett's secret for "dissolving" your break, so you'll never have to flip into falsetto again, but you'll still sing as high as you want--in full voice - and LOTS more. The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable lessons, including both technique--the simple, yet powerful exercises, and style lessons for building vocal licks and trills); a workbook for illustration; and a DVD for visual reference and demonstration. It's a complete course - and it has a money-back guarantee! Visit http://tinyurl.com/35t3lz for more details and start
yourself on the road to improving your vocal chops today!
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

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Welcome to another Muse's News. :) Glad to have you with us!

This issue is packed with information, inspiration, reviews and
all sorts of interesting stuff so I think you'll really enjoy it.

We also have another new reviewer on board by the name of Don
Sechelski. Really happy to have him join the team. Have a look
at the Music Reviews page at
http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html for further
information on him and all the other reviewers.

We have a new columnist too! Her first article is spotlighted in
this newsletter further down, so you'll get a chance to read it
and then hopefully will decide to visit her section and keep up
to date with her newest articles. I think you're really going to
enjoy what she puts together. :) Her name is Carley Baer and you
can find out more about her and what her column will be about,
here: http://www.musesmuse.com/col-carleybaer.html.

Though you're probably getting sick of me talking about this, I
have some more demos online on my voice overs and vocals page at
http://www.voiceoversandvocals.com/demos.html - and I'm currently
just waiting for a narration demo to be finished the editing
process (all the bits and pieces are in the producer's hands
already) so I hope you'll check that page out to hear what I've
been up to. And if this bores you to tears, my sincerest
apologies. :D

On a different topic, and just as a point of interest, there's an
advertiser at the top of the Classifieds section here that you
might want to check out. His name is Njal Frode Lie and he's a
wiz at mastering and mixing music tracks. Have a listen to some
of the stuff on his website at www.nflproduksjoner.com and you'll
see (and hear!) what I mean. His pricing is really reasonable
too. The wonders of the Internet, hmm? (He's in Norway. Cool,
huh?) :) So if you've been wondering how to make that song demo
of yours really POP, or you've been trying to figure out how you
could afford to master your finished CD, or if you just need help
mixing all the parts together, it would be well worth your while
to check his services out.

Now let's get to the raffle winners this month so that we can
move on to the juicy bits. :) As I always mention, if you're
interested in having a raffle prize of your very own, email me
with your first and second choice (they're all listed at
http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html) and your contact
information so that I can eventually get the item to you, and
you'll be good to go. That's all you have to do. Though sending
me interesting stories and/or anecdotes about how you've enjoyed
the newsletter and/or the website, are always welcome. We can
all use a little egoboo sometimes, right? :D

* Florence Graham, from Atlanta, GA, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software
(http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html).

* Stevie Mann from Belfast, N. Ireland, has won a free 3 month
membership to SongU (http://www.SongU.com), an Internet-based
learning environment providing online coaching, co-writing and
pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70 multi-level
courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

* Scott Robison from Spiro, Oklahoma, has won a copy of
Bronson Herrmuth's "100 Miles To A Record Deal"
(http://www.songrepair.com/bookforweb2.htm).

* Larry Lesser from El Paso, TX, has won a copy of Sean
Farrington's "The Little Black Book of Band Profit
Secrets" (http://www.bandprofit.com/).

* Don Makoviney from Asheville, NC, has won a copy of Jeffrey
Brabec & Todd Brabec's sixth edition of "MUSIC, MONEY AND SUCCESS
The Insider's Guide to Making Money in the Music Business"
(reviewed below).

And now, on to the meat and potatoes. :)

Have a great summer, folks!

All the best,

--Jodi

Back 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!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER AS YOUR SONGWRITING PARTNER
NOW WITH SPECIAL DISCOUNTED PRICING!
"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 ** $70.00 ** discount off the $289.00 list price 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 http://www.musesmuse.com/masterwriter-songwriting-software.html ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : Jarrod Brogdon, Chris Propfe, Chip Withrow, & Don Sechelski ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Jarrod Brogdon: --------------- * Brian Bergeron and the Late Greats http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-brianbergeron-thegloryep.html * Coffee House Gypsies http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-coffeehousegypsies-theartist.html * Jagger Cook http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-jaggercook-handsdirty.html Chip Withrow: ------------- * Kenny Schick http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-kennyschick-under.html * She http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-she-shimmy.html * Tyler Burnett http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-tylerburnett-tb.html * Si Hayden http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-sihayden-steelroots.html * Andrew McKnight http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-andrewmcknight-swsf.html Chris Propfe: ------------- * Trueheart http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-trueheart-theroad.html Don Sechelski: -------------- * Brother Lou http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-brotherlou-asgood.html * Effusion 35 http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-effusion35-stonewind.html * Zydeco-a-Go-Go http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-zydecoagogo-goodtimes.html * Lawson Rollins http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-lawsonrollins-infinita.html * Fred Prellberg http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-fredprellberg-tenpennies.html --------------- ****** For bios on each of the reviewers, see http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html . 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! Back to Menu ================================================================= 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 http://www.musesmuse.com/artistspotlights.html

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Doug Spears - Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL

Thoughtful, intelligent lyrics in the style of Gordon Lightfoot
and John Prine, memorable melodies, a warm, engaging acoustic
guitar style and smooth, rich vocals reminiscent of John Denver.
That??ôs acoustic folk artist, Doug Spears. Doug's songs tell
engaging stories mixing musical elements of Americana, bluegrass
and acoustic folk. Turn off the TV and the cell phone and enjoy.

http://www.dougspearsmusic.com/

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Adam Gilbert - Genre:  POP

Over the past few years, as singer-songwriter Adam Gilbert has
established himself as a dynamic presence on the NYC club scene,
his mold-breaking, envelope pushing brand of piano driven
pop-rock has earned him comparisons to master piano-pop craftsmen
like Ben Folds and Billy Joel, with a crazy-cool touch of Frank
Zappa.

http://www.myspace.com/adamgilbert

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A Third Wish Granted - Genre: ROCK 

A Third Wish Granted: an Alt-Prog Rock band with a Middle-Eastern
touch. Arabian-born frontman Emo Alaeddin is a 2007 nominee for
the LA Music Awards for Best Male Vocalist. He and guitarist
Jesse De Santo are September '07 winners of the coveted
Songoftheyear.com contest. Truly a magical live show!

http://www.a3wg.net/
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S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Ed Teja
MUSIC, MONEY AND SUCCESS
The Insiderís Guide to Making Money in the Music Business
Sixth Edition by Jeffrey Brabec & Todd Brabec (http://www.musicandmoney.com)
Music Sales Corporation
http://www.musicsales.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- In my library of music books, the books that become keepers tend to divide into those that I reread from time to time, simply because they are an enjoyable read as well as informative, and those that are valuable reference works. I usually read these once through, to familiarize myself with their contents, but read them for pleasure? I don't think so. Still, they are keepers because the information is so valuable and clearly laid out, that I can't imagine doing without them. MUSIC, MONEY AND SUCCESS is that sort of book. While a front to back read takes a bit of effort, the information is worth it. The authors provide a clear and very comprehensive analysis of all things financial and legal that affect songwriters and artists who are trying to market songs and recordings. And that is pretty amazing. Everything you need to know about the music business is presented clearly, with examples that make legal generalizations understandable. The way the material was separated into chapters of specific interest (television, movies, recording contracts...) makes finding the information, the relevant stuff, a quick and simple task. That helps make this the "go to" book for getting questions answered. Did I say the book is comprehensive? Perhaps exhaustive is the right word - if you are a layman trying to understand the issues. It is hard to imagine a question you might have that doesn't have a thorough explanation. If you have a question about contracts, or types of agreements, you'll not only find very succinct explanations, and sometimes a brief discussion about how the rights or laws in question evolved. Want to know the legal definition of a commercial release, or what happens to songs after a co-publishing agreement expires? The information is there. One entire chapter is dedicated to copyright - what the laws are, your rights under those laws, what a "work made for hire" really is, how compulsory licensing works, and much more. If you are a recording artist wanting a contract with a major label, you'll want to study Chapter 5 extensively and learn about advances, royalty rates, packaging deductions, record club albums, recouping video costs and all the other factors that will affect your bottom line. Often beginning writers want to know how much they can make from placing a song with an artist or in television. Of course the amounts vary a great deal, but the authors give examples in the appropriate sections, so you can get a feel for the range of income you are talking about for a type of placement. More importantly, they discuss revenue sources you might not think of initially. For instance, they point out that, for songs used in television, the real money comes from sources other than the fee paid initially. You need to know about option fees (that might cover promotional use, pay television, and certain foreign rights) and what happens if the program is sold on DVD. Again, the details you need to know are all there - not just a sketch. This is the sixth edition of the book, and a lot of information Internet on the Internet is included. Naturally some will get dated quickly, but I haven't seen another book that deals so thoroughly with the evolution of SoundExchange and your rights when music is used online. It gives you a basis for thinking about how cyberspace will factor into your own marketing efforts. Because the authors are songwriters and entertainment lawyers, as well as teachers, the book takes on the music business from the perspective of the songwriter and artist. That is an important factor in achieving the success part promised by the title and making it directly useful. A book like this one won't get you a publishing or recording deal, but it will give you the background to make sure you don't get sucked into a bad deal. It doesn't replace an entertainment lawyer, but lets you know what sorts of things to find out from your lawyer. And that is a very good thing (it can save you money, if nothing else). The bottom line is: If you are serious about marketing your music, you should
have this book.
****** ABOUT THE REVIEWER: Ed Teja has been working on his own music and now his new CD -- "SOFT DREAMING BLUES" has been released released by Morrhythm Records (www.outstandingmusic.com). It's a collection of original
(written alone and with an international group of cowriters)
smooth jazz vocals and instrumentals. Ed 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 and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk Festival.

You can hear some of Edís music at: http://www.myspace.com/edteja

If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
us know!

Back 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!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES The Great American Song Contest offers $10,000 in prizes and features awards for 45 winners in 9 categories. Entrants receive written evaluations of their songs from the judges. Music-industry judges include prominent publishers, recording artists, songwriters and producers. This annual International event is sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted education resource for songwriters. Submission deadline is Oct. 10th 2008. http://www.greatamericansong.com

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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 http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
http://www.musesmuse.com/markets.html . Please check there
regularly for updates!
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THE DELI: A MUSIC WEBSITE FOCUSING ON LOCAL MUSIC SCENES The Deli is the website that every A&R person and local promoter checks out on a weekly basis. Our publication and web sites focus on local music scenes and emerging artists (from rock to folk to experimental, with a little bit of hip hop as well). We currently publish a printed magazine about the NYC music scene and have daily updated , separate web pages tackling the new emerging music in NYC, LA, SF and Nashville. Check it out here www.thedelimagazine.com. You can submit your music via the web through our open blog pages (here's the one for Nashville: http://www.thedelimagazine.com/nashville/openblog/)
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INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION (ISC) NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES The International Songwriting Competition (ISC) is now accepting entries for the 2009 competition. Offering better exposure, bigger prizes ($150,000 (US) - including $25,000 (US) cash) and the best judges for any songwriting competition in the world. Judges for 2007 include: Tom Waits; Robert Smith (The Cure); Loretta Lynn, Frank Black (Pixies) Nelly Furtado, and 7 record label presidents from major and independent records labels. For entry information and a complete list of judges please visit - http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/
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FREE MUSIC PROMOTIONS EBOOK! The author of The Little Black Book Of Band Profit Secrets has come thru again! He's just published: "Co-Op Synergy Power, Your Fast-Track To Profit, Exposure And Free Advertising..." and musesmuse.com fans can get it for free. Click here> http://jodimuse.ssl4000.hop.clickbank.net/ And be sure to check out The Little Black Book Of Band Profit Secrets while your there... It's worth the look. ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE HUMBER SUMMER SONGWRITING WORKSHOP The Humber Summer Songwriting Workshop (HSSW '08, July 19 -25) will soon be here, an opportunity for songwriters at all levels to immerse themselves in a truly creative, constructive, inspiring environment. Held on the beautiful, lush and green Lakeshore Campus of Humber College in Toronto, the week-long workshop boasts a great faculty and an impressive lineup of guests. Hang out and learn from Emm Gryner, for example. U2's Bono recently named Emm's song "Almighty Love" one that he wishes he had written (along with great songs by Bob Dylan and Oasis). Rik Emmett, guitar hero from the legendary band Triumph, will teach songwriting and how to better accompany yourself on guitar. The writer of the Billboard # 1 hit "Black Velvet", Christopher Ward, has a lot to say about hit songs and why they resonate with people, and how to apply those ideas and strategies to your own writing. Ember Swift, a fiercely independent singer/songwriter will talk about building a career in the modern world of the Internet. James Linderman will demonstrate how to build the foundation for writing hit songs which helped him write 2 top ten hits for Canadian Christian radio and sign a publishing deal with Next Number One Music publishers in Nashville. In addition to these and other great faculty members, we'll have visits from entertainment lawyers, music supervisors, and major label- and indie-artists all week long, including a special, intimate concert with Lawrence Gowan, multi-Platinum singer/songwriter ("A Criminal Mind", "All The Lovers In The World") who is very experienced, informative (and very funny). Also, the HSSW '08 offers, once again, lots of performance opportunities (more than ever!) and free song demo recording all week! SAC members discounted price: $650 ($700 after June 19). Non-SAC members price: $775 ($825 after June 19). Residence rooms are available at a nominal extra charge. Visit www.songwritingathumber.com for more details.
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STUDIOTRAXX.COM: BREAKING NEW GROUND - FOR YOU! StudioTraxx.com provides an e-commerce platform that allows artists/bands to purchase and book time with musicians, engineers, producers, and other music professionals for online studio collaboration purposes. They facilitate the entire music production process from beginning to end ó from finding and booking the right talent to managing all resulting collaboration activities. StudioTraxx is actively building its talent network and is encouraging both those who offer services and those who need services to sign up and register. There are no costs to join the site. Creating an account is FREE. http://www.studiotraxx.com/?partner=837 ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEWNOISEREPORT.COM IS FEATURING TOP UNSIGNED SONGWRITERS! NewNoiseReport.com is a brand new website dedicated to helping the best unsigned songwriters (in the U.S.A and Canada) gain the exposure necessary to succeed. The website is visited by thousands of industry professionals such as Major and Indie label A&R, Publishers, Attorneys, Booking Agents, and Managers. Check out the site and submit your music today! www.newnoisereport.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE INDIE GUIDE IS ON SALE FOR $10.95 AND INCLUDES THE INDIE
CONTACT GUIDE!
For a limited time only, North Shore Records, Inc, in celebration of tour season and music success has put The Indie Guide on sale for $10.95 plus shipping. The normal cost is $25.95 plus shipping. In addition to the 190-page book, The Indie Contact Guide, which contains thousands of contact names, address, email addresses, phone numbers and contact names will be included. To Your Music Success! http://www.theindieguide.com ----------------------------------------------------------------- FREE SONGWRITING, FILM, TV, AND VIDEO GAME SUBMISSIONS AT
MUSICGORILLA.COM!
MusicGorilla.com works with Songwriters, Bands, Musicians, and Artists to get their original material into the eyes and ears of industry members who have the ability to take their careers to the next level. We work with Reps from all facets of the Music Industry. Our artists have the opportunity to submit their songs to established artists looking for new material. In addition, our clients get access to submissions for film, TV and video games, all of our submissions are FREE. MG Artists are eligible for free live label showcases, digital distribution with MSN and Loudeye and more. We don't take any piece of any deals made on our site, and have had many successes including placement, songwriting and publishing deals. Muse's Muse artists get 10% off of memberships! Just enter the promotional code "muse" during registration. http://www.musicgorilla.com
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LEARN HOW TO LICENSE YOUR MUSIC FOR USE IN TV AND FILMS! Would you like to learn how to license your music for use in TV and Films and generate money with your music? Visit aarondavison.com today to sign up for a free newsletter with information on the music licensing business. Aaron is a Berklee College Of Music Alumnus who has been working in the music licensing business for over five years. Learn how to place you songs in TV, Films, Video Games and more and create a passive income stream with your music. http://tinyurl.com/6xtusv ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE INDIE VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!
26,000 live music venues of all sizes are featured including clubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, theaters, halls, churches, book stores, community centers, house concerts and open mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over 1,000 colleges for any artist that wants to plan a college tour. Jumpstart your tour today! Visit https://nt4.magma.ca/bigmeteor/ivbmuse_order.cfm
for more information!
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INDIE ARTISTS: JOIN MYBANDSMUSIC.COM & YOU COULD WIN $1000! Come and join a new site called MyBandsMusic, dedicated to indie artists where you can create a profile, upload tracks and videos, start your own blog, open a storefront, post announcements and events, get input from fans, and more. The best part is that it is all free! Currently we are running a contest until the end of March. The artist that has the most fans sign up on their MyBandsMusic account wins a check for $1000!! Visit MyBandsMusic.com for more
details.
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SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER: Pete & Pat Luboff will pay for the phone call for Muse's Muse songwriters who use the Luboffs' songwriting consultation service. The service provides detailed, constructive song analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and references to contacts when appropriate. Visit http://www.writesongs.com/consults.htm for more information.

Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2008 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

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I've been in New York for the last week. It's my first time here
and I have to say it's been an overwhelming but exciting trip!
That first walk out into the street after we arrived with
suitcases in hand from the underground station, into the heat and
the noise and the crowds and smells, was something I'll never
forget. Maybe there's a song in there :-) . I can see why this
city is the subject of a lot of songs, they have been whirling
around my head continuously since I arrived!

This is a city that gave birth to many creations and inventions,
including a great deal of music. Just yesterday we were walking
down Broadway and came across a building that looked familiar.
It was called the Brill Building...I rattled my brain a bit and
realized that this was it; this was the Mecca where some of the
most famous music ever written was conceived. A short
introduction to the building from About.com can be found here:
http://oldies.about.com/cs/oldieshistory/a/brill.htm. Don
Kirshner and his partner Al Nevins, set up shop in the Brill
Building in 1958, which was located in the garment district of
New York in those years. Out of that building came many hit
songs from songwriters who themselves became performers; people
like Carole King, Neil Diamond and Burt Bacharach. But that only
scratches the surface. In a city like New York, all you ever do
is scratch the surface!

As I was perusing information about the Brill Building online, I
came across another great website, the Songwriters Hall of Fame
(http://www.songwritershalloffame.org). In the Inductee Exhibits
by Era section they have a huge list of songwriters from Early
American to Tin Pan Alley (the Brill Building era) to Rock 'n
Roll. For almost every songwriter, they have a page dedicated to
their music, biography, catalog highlights, recommended materials
and related writers. You can listen to audio clips from some of
their songs as well...some have only one or two clips, but
songwriters like Irving Berlin have a huge list to peruse.

You can become a member of the SHoF, and sign up for some of
their workshops that cover subjects such as the music business or
going into a recording studio for the first time as well as
songwriting itself. Members have the opportunity to get on one
of the SHoF's New Writers CD, the latest one which is online and
where you can listen to some of the tracks
(http://www.songhall.org/writers_cd). There is also a section
devoted to artists...those who did not write themselves but made
many songs famous because of their performances of them.

So all of that came from a little walk down Broadway. Amazing
what a change of scenery can do.

Wait...I feel another song coming on...

******

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: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html Homepage: http://www.irenejackson.com Songs: http://www.soundclick.com/irenejackson
Back to Menu ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : by Carley Baer

Pick A Direction (© 2008)
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One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was, "one step
at a time." I repeat it to myself when I'm at the bottom of a
massive hill, looking up at where I want to be. One step at a
time. Don't think about the hill. Think about this next step.
This next step is all there is. You'll get there eventually.

However, these days I feel less like I'm at the bottom of a hill
and more like I'm in the middle of a valley, with hills coming up
on all sides. Which hill should I climb? Which one gets me closer
to where I want to go? One step at a time is all well and good,
but it's not really going to help if I don't pick a direction
first.

Well, get excited because for the first time, we musicians get to
pick the direction. Whether you decide to do it all yourself, or
hire professionals to do things like mastering or pressing, or
even if you decide to stay on the well-traveled road that brought
so many musicians here before you, the most important thing is
that the choice is yours.

My problem is that when I have too many choices, I get stuck.
There are so many plates to spin-- the Internet! the radio! the
studio!--- and I get so overwhelmed by just thinking about it
that I have trouble actually seeing any of it through to
completion. I don't need to tell you how strategically
ineffective this is. If you don't do anything, then nothing gets
done, and in this industry time is of the essence.

So pick a direction.

Decide what your ultimate goal is; hopefully it's something a
little more descriptive than, "I want to make it!" (My ultimate
goal, for example, is to be a professional musician; i.e., I
don't want to have to have a day job.) Think about all the
things that are going to have to happen in order for you to reach
that goal. Sometimes it helps to work backwards:

"I want to be a professional musician, so I have to be able to
make money playing music. In order to make money, I have to have
a following. To get a following, I have to get the word out. To
get the word out, I have to make posters and get help hanging
them around town and call the newspapers and blah blah blah..."

Sometimes there's more than one ultimate goal.
"I want to make an awesome CD, and an awesome website. Then I
want to go on tour, with awesome T-shirts and bumper stickers to
sell."

This can quickly turn into the spinning-plate thing. This is
what is constantly getting me into trouble. Basically, imagine
that you are untangling a mess of cables that your sound guy
handed you. You aren't going to get very far by attacking the
middle of the knot and trying to loosen all the cables at once.
Your best bet is to pick one cable, pull it through all the
bull-jive in the middle, and out the other end. Bingo. That's
one cable free (and one less sound guy in your future). Now the
rest of the mess will be easier to sort through. And it's the
same thing when you have more than one goal you want to achieve.
You want to make an awesome CD and take it on tour? Well, you're
going to have to book studio time as well as venues to play, but
don't try to do both at the same time-- for one thing, you don't
want to book shows to promote a CD that isn't done yet. More
importantly, however, you want to be able to give whatever you're
doing the privilege of your undivided attention. Once you get
that awesome CD finished, you can set to the task of booking
shows to promote it. Same thing with the merchandise: everybody
wants a kick-ass merch table, but good merch isn't worth a dime
if you don't have good music behind it.

If you really can't decide which goal should come first, do it
the old-fashioned way. Grab a pencil and some paper and draw out
what you want to achieve, and what you feel is most important.
You are your own cartographer. You can decide how to navigate
through the wilderness. You just have to pick a direction.

Now imagine yourself at the bottom of that hill, looking up at
your goal. You won't get there tomorrow. In fact, at times it
will seem like you won't get there at all, but don't think about
that. The worst thing you could ever do is stop. No matter how
long it takes, the important thing is that you keep moving. One
step at a time.

**Email me with any stories, insights, queries, anecdotes or
helpful hints of your own and I'll discuss them in a future
column!**

For more information on Carley and her new column, visit:
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-carleybaer.html ***** Carley Baer is an indie musician with a fierce DIY spirit. Having chosen the guitar over the violin at the tender age of 16, she began writing deeply confessional songs and developing a distinct vocal style. Since then, she's drawn on influences like Ani Difranco and Ella Fitzgerald to create a sound that's all her own. She has recorded and self-released two CDs and an EP, and tours as often as she can. More information at www.myspace.com/carleybaer, and www.carleybaer.com.

Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Indie Record Shops: An Appreciation and Reflection - by Mick Polich http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-indierecordshops.html Indie record shops - well, Johnny, we hardly knew ye: some are still holding on to a fanatic client base, while others get schlepped out to sea. Some thoughts, and a personal, downhome reflection.... ----- The X Factor (The Day The Fish Died) - By Bronson Herrmuth
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-bronson-xfactor.html A true story of a songwriter/artist pitch session with an A&R label exec on Music Row in Nashville, TN. ----- Obedia - 24-hour Tech Support for Musicians - by Jerry Flattum
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-jerryflattum-obedia.html A new service, Obedia, answers a long awaited need: 24-hour tech support for musicians. Steve Garth, Fred Maher and Jayce Murphy are your new best friends. Need help right away with a hardware/software issue? Click Obedia. ----- Music Life: 3 - Practicing With NO Instrument - by Brian Donovan
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-briandonovan-musiclife3.html If you're a human being, you won't ALWAYS be near your instrument to practice. Here's how to bridge that gap... ----- FM Radio Is Dead - Long Live FM Radio! - by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-fmradio.html What the hell happen to FM radio? It is alive and well - with a new suit, and matching tie and spats!! A short look at where the spirit of 'underground-anything-goes' music programming lives today.... ----- Blue Collar Guest Blog #2 -DON MYERS!!!! - by Mick Polich (and
Don Myers)
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-donmyers1.html Well kids, the hits just keep a comin' - ANOTHER guest blog hot on the heels of last months' blog: this time, the illustrious Mr. Don Myers, singer/songwriter/musician par excellence from the ol' home town of Des Moines, Ia., contributes his views on the 'dumbing down' of society and the arts (a well-heeded warning for uninformed, and a reminder to us all to keep on keepin' on with self - education!). A laurel and hardy handshake to Mr. Myers for guesting on this column!!
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This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
writing. Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist
today! http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html ----------------------------------------------------------------- INDIE-MUSIC.COM - WHERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS SURF One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the web, Indie-Music.com has been serving the Independent Music Community since 1996 with streaming audio, monthly CD Reviews, huge industry search directory, success-building resources, classifieds, and much-needed recognition. The site offers a wealth of information to artists trying to survive & thrive in today's competitive music industry. http://www.indie-music.com/ ================================================================= 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: editor@musesmuse.com For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see http://www.musesmuse.com/media.html .

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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 editor@musesmuse.com.
All articles copyrighted by their authors.

Back issues and other information (how to subscribe and
unsubscribe, etc.) will be available at:
http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: http://www.musesmuse.com/ For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- adinfo@musesmuse.com - How to place a classified ad, pass
on market information or sponsor
The Muse's News.
editor@musesmuse.com - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc.

SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at editor@musesmuse.com ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
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