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The Muse's News

Issue 12.2 - May 2009
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:


[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Dan Cohen, Chip Withrow, Don Sechelski
& Gian Fiero
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- 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 - 10 LIFE LESSONS (Part Two)
- By Kevin Wicker
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
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ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2008 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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FIND THE PERFECT GIFT FOR THE SONGWRITING IN YOUR LIFE!

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 the songwriter in your
life - 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!)
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LAST MONTH TO ENTER USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION

Win $50,000 Grand Prize worth of cash, cool music gear from Sony,
Ibanez Guitars, Audio-Techica, Cakewalk and more! Winning songs
will receive airplay on a nationally syndicated radio program
Judges include A&R from Universal, Capitol Records, Warner and
SONY/BMG Music.

Hurry! Deadline is drawing near, enter now:
http://tinyurl.com/cddh5n
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

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Lots of great stuff in this month's issue - including some
upcoming seminars and retreats, new songwriting contests, a lot
of new reviews, the second part of Kevin Wicker's article, a new
book review, another Muse's Clues from Irene Jackson, and a lot
of new articles on the site. Also note that our main sponsor
this month, is the USA Songwriting Competition - and the deadline
for that is fast approaching! So since it's been so busy around
here, I'm going to move right along to the raffle winners. :)

They are:

* Gina Dial, from Lampasas, TX, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software
(http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html).

* Ed Englerth from Hasting MI, 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.

* Lionel Valdellon, from San Leandro, has won a copy of
Indie-Music.com's Musician's Toolkit CD
(http://www.musicianstoolkit.com/muse/)

And once again, if you'd like one of these great raffle prizes **
(I'm able to give away a copy of the book reviewed this month too
- so if it interests you, let me know! I'd like to see it go to
a good home. :) )**, all you need to do is write to me with your
first two choices for your prize and your address info (this is
important!) so that I can get it to you. The prizes are all
listed at the top of http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html .

Enjoy the gradually warming weather, those of you who are just
coming out of the deep freeze. I know I am! :)

May you find much inspiration.

--Jodi

Back to Menu
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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
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Learn the one mistake even professional singers make, that drains
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more.

The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable
lessons, including both technique--the simple, yet powerful
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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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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Dan Cohen, Chip Withrow,
Don Sechelski & Gian Fiero

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Chip Withrow:
--------------

* Edgehill Avenue
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-edgehillavenue-rambler.html


Don Sechelski:
-------------

* Corinne Curcio
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-corinnecurcio-frommybalcony.html
* Mann Wolf
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-mannwolf-knockfirst.html
* Artemesia Black
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-artemesiablack.html
* Frank Villafane
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-frankvillafane-puntodevista.html
* Jimmy Robinson
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-jimmyrobinson-vibratingstrings.html


Gian Fiero:
-------------

* Bobby Valentino
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-bobbyvalentino-therebirth.html
* Airto & Lisa Lavie
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-airto+lisalavie-oneword.html
* Lisa Markley
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-lisamarkley-oneword.html
* Margo Reymundo
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-margoreymundo-myheartsdesire.html
* Luba Mason
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-lubamason-krazylove.html
* Paul Winn Band
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-paulwinnband-nothingsnew.html
* Ryan Leslie
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-ryanleslie-ryanleslie.html
* Brutha
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-brutha-brutha.html
* Eric Schwartz
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-ericschwartz-parodiesnutts.html
* Peeler
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-peeler-woohoo.html
* Osceola Dubois
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-osceoladubois-goodgirl.html


Dan Cohen:
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* David Lykins
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-davidlykins-blurrywhiteguy.html
* Garrison Doles
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-garrisondoles-whenever.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

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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
http://www.musesmuse.com/artistspotlights.html

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Alicia Selby - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER 

Alicia Selby is a musician, singer/songwriter out of Houston,
Texas. Her debut pop album, "Out of the Blue" blends the
smoothness of a Sarah McLachlan with the vocal power and sassy
attitude of Annie Lennox to create what she calls a "Bombay
Sapphire gin and tonic cocktail of music".

http://www.aliciaselby.com/
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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

THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK
By Mark Levine
http://www.shermusic.com
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Often musicians and songwriters alike shy away from getting too
deep into music theory simply because it seems restrictive, like
working to a formula, and too complex. The idea of learning all
the chords, the harmonization, and what scale works in what
situations can seem enormously overwhelming. In reality, getting
to understand theory, getting a comfort level with it, has the
opposite effect—it frees you to create and explore. Rather than
being controlled by theory, you gain an understanding of the
principles of how music works and has developed, and then can
create the mood, the style of music you want without endless
experimentation. As Levine says in the introduction to this book,
the goal is: "to get beyond theory." But first you have to know
it. Some of it, anyway.

THE JAZZ THEORY BOOK is an amazing aid to understanding theory.
Mark Levine (a jazz pianist) writes with wonderful clarity and
insight; better yet, his love and passion for music shines
through. He starts with basic intervals, shows how the scales
come from them, and then the chords. Then the chords are put to
work. Some chords substitute for others, certain progressions of
chords are commonly used, and others provide interesting effects.
Even if you are not keen on jazz, don't let the title put you
off. Yes, the book is aimed at jazz musicians, but I've honestly
never seen better explanations of fundamental music theory (or so
well put together) and, significantly, its application in real
tunes. And I read music books the way some people read
newspapers, except that I reread them many times. This one is a
gem.

Everyone creating music can learn from this book. The exercises
in reharmonization should be fertile for any songwriter tired of
the same old same old. Both the approach and examples are jazz,
but then the studio musicians who played so many rock and top
forty hits over the years have largely been jazz musicians too.
Best of all, Levine shows examples of nearly every bit of theory
in this book that are transcribed from actual recordings. He
tells you the exact information that will let you hear the entire
context. And you will get something of an education on jazz music
history along the way. (But I promise it is painless. And you
might even find you like some jazz after all.) As a result, if
you are ever constructing period pieces you will have an idea of
what, musically, makes them sound like they belong in that era.
For example, you'll learn why bebop musicians abandoned the
diminished chords that were used before they came along and what
(and why) they used instead.

Because the book is written for jazz musicians, there is an
emphasis on improvisational styles and information. Yet, this is
stuff the composer needs to know as well. If you are creating an
instrumental for a film track, almost everything in this book
applies. If you are creating a backing track for a vocalist (to
demo your song) the information on reharmonization can help you
take the arrangement of your song up several notches by adding
the appropriate texture. Of course no book can include
everything. What isn't in the book is a lot of the material that
takes up the early years in traditional music school—18th century
counterpoint and the like. The result is a readable and practical
text for anyone involved in contemporary music.

Even the format of the book makes sense for a musician. It is an
8-1/2x11 spiral bound book that lays flat on the desk or music
stand (where mine spends much of its time). It seems that the
author and publisher know a thing or two about the way musicians
work, and what they really need. What a joy. If you want to learn
music theory, even just get a general feel for what music theory
is all about and how it works (this is the important part), get a
copy of this book. It won't write great songs for you, but it
will give you new ways to think about creating music.

******

ABOUT THE REVIEWER:

Ed Teja writes a broad range of music. His songs and
instrumentals have appeared in television shows (Court TV and
Discover Channel) and in a variety of videos. He has had two CDs
released by Morrhythm Records (www.outstandingmusic.com) and is
currently cowriting songs with an exciting singer who is working
on her second CD. As a performer, 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, Pickamania, and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk
Festival.

You can hear some of Ed's 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!


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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!)

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WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER AS YOUR SONGWRITING PARTNER
NOW WITH SPECIAL DISCOUNTED PRICING!


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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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SKIP EWING'S HORSE & WRITER "INVITATIONAL" 2009
July 12 - 18, 2009

This year's staff includes: Skip Ewing, Deanna Bryant, and Clay
Mills. (Applications must be postmarked by May 15)

Based on the merit of their work, selected applicants are invited
to spend an entire week personally mentored and guided by three
of today’s most successful songwriters. Plus, if You are
selected, You will attend on a scholarship worth $2500 and pay no
tuition.Selected applicants will receive concentrated songwriting
mentorship in the areas of creativity, self-exploration and
observation, music business, co-writing, craftsmanship and more.
Scholarships provide for food, lodging, songwriting instruction,
and all horseback riding activities for the week at the Lazy L&B
Ranch in Dubios, WY.

http://www.HorseandWriter.com

For more information please contact theteam@horseandwriter.com
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THE TIMES THEY ARE A CHANGING!

But are they changing for the better? If you think not, here’s
you chance to sing out in protest! We’re launching a new song
writing contest which picks up the torch of lyrical dissent first
raised by the young Dylan of the sixties! Doing Dylan is looking
for original songs which sing out against social injustice,
political corruption, racial bigotry or religious fanaticism.
We’re also interested in sensitive, poetical lyrics mourning lost
or unrequited love, offering solace in the dark hours of despair
or trumpeting a rallying call for freedom.

Unlike other contests, all entrants have a fantastic chance of
being heard and commented on throughout the duration of the
competition as entries are posted directly to our competition
site. It isn’t just about exposure though. We have cash prizes of
£100, £75 & £50 for the winners.

Entries close 31st August, 2009.
http://www.writelink.co.uk/doingdylan
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11th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES!

The Great American Song Contest features awards for 45 winners in
9 categories and provides $10,000 in Prizes. Music-industry
judges include prominent publishers, music producers and
recording artists. Entrants receive written evaluations of their
songs. Open to songwriters, lyricists and composers around the
world. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted
educational resource for songwriters everywhere. Submission
deadline is October 30, 2009. For details, visit:
http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com

2008 GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED

Rachael Sage won top honors for her original song "Hunger In
John." First-Place category winners were David Myles for "When It
Comes My Turn" (Acoustic/Folk); Brett Perkins for "When You Gonna
Figure It Out?" (Pop); Joel Plaskett for "Face Of the Earth"
(Rock); Keith Hill for "When God Moves a Stone"
(Christian/Gospel); Lynn Case & Russ Case for "I Miss Her Too"
(Country); Lanny Sherwin for "A Cappella" (Special Category);
Giuliano Carmassi for "My Car Is Slow, But I Look At the Moon"
(Instrumental); J. Jolaine for "Nunya" (HipHop/R&B) and Lesley
Lile for "Right Where You Are" (Lyric Writing). You can hear
these winning songs at the Great American Song Hall Of Fame here:
http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
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ARE YOUR SONGS BEING PLAYED ON THE RADIO? FIND OUT NOW!

streamSerf.com is an independent, music-auditing technology
company founded to provide the music industry with even greater
power, flexibility and functionality to audit the airplay of
music through traditional radio stations, satellite radio
stations and Internet streams. And we're delivering over 150
million pages of free reports on current radio airplay.

We listen to the radio... lots and lots of radio. Then we take
all that data we get from listening and package it up into
meaningful reports... reports that you can use. Our
patent-pending technology allows us to listen to thousands and
thousands of radio stations at the same time... Satellite,
Internet and Terrestrial Broadcast stations! As a matter of fact,
we are currently listening to over 30 MILLION HOURS of radio per
year in 65 countries across the planet. If there's a song being
played on the radio, there's a good chance we hear it.

Check out http://www.streamserf.com now. We make music count!
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2009 MOVA SONGWRITER'S COMPETITION

We are excited to announce the 9th annual MOuntain VAlley
Songwriter's Competition. This year's event will be held on
Saturday, April 25, 2009, in conjunction with the PANOPLY ARTS
FESTIVAL in Huntsville, Alabama. This competition is presented by
the Mountain Valley Arts Council. Over $1,000 in cash prizes and
ribbons will be awarded throughout the day. There are five genres
in which to compete: Country, Bluegrass, Rock/Pop, Jazz, and
Inspirational. Submissions must be performed at PANOPLY in order
to win. Registrations will be accepted until performance slots
are filled. Please register early.

Entry Fee: $10 for Arts council members, $15 for non members.
Details and entry forms can be found at
www.mountainvalleyartscouncil.org
Please direct any questions to Kim at artscouncil@mindspring.com
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*THE 2009 SINGER/SONGWRITER AWARDS - ROUND 2*

The Singer/Songwriter Awards from We Are Listening is about the
hottest international songwriting contest in the world. It's no
surprise that participating artists have gone on to sign with top
management, license their music for film and television, as well
as collaborate with renowned producers and enjoy substantial
uplifts in independent record sales.
*Deadline: *1st May 2009*
Fee: *$30*
Details: *http://www.wearelistening.org/singer.php.
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*2009 LYRIC WRITER AWARDS – ROUND 2*

The Lyric Writer Awards from We Are Listening is the ultimate
contest for writers seeking music publishing, co-writing and song
placement opportunities. If you long to work with professional
songwriters and dream of getting your songs cut by major label
artists, this could really be the chance of a lifetime!
*Deadline: *30th June 2009*
Fee: *$20*
Details: *http://www.wearelistening.org/about_lwa.php.
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THE WILDFLOWER! FESTIVAL - MAY 15-17, 2009

The Wildflower! Festival is hosting a songwriting school, May
15-17, 2009 at the Residence Inn in Richardson, Texas. Nationally
acclaimed faculty includes Grammy winning songwriter, Jon Veznar,
and Pat Pattison, Professor of Music at the Berklee College of
Music in Boston. The school is limited to 40 students and the
cost for the 3 day seminar is $175. If you entered the 2009
Wildflower! Songwriting Contest, you receive a $25 discount!

For more information, go to:
http://www.wildflowerfestival.com/content/singersongwriterschool.
html
or contact Al Johnson at al.johnson@cor.gov or (972)
744-4595.
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10TH ANNUAL SONGWRITING RETREAT FEATURING PAM TILLIS

REO Rafting Resort is hosting its 10th annual songwriting retreat
July 12-17, 2009, featuring CMA female vocalist of the year Pam
Tillis, Songwriter of the year Beth Nielsen Chapman, Berklee
College of Music's Pat Pattison and author and songwriting coach
Jai Josefs. Experience one-on-one time with instructors and
songwriters in addition to private critique sessions, daily
social hours, open-mic and co-writing sessions in an
all-inclusive resort facility located in beautiful British
Columbia, Canada. REO's one of a kind resort is surrounded by the
jade-green Nahatlatch river, snow capped mountains and scenic
forests of pine to add to the inspirational experience of this
retreat. Seats are limited so book now.

For more information please contact retreat organizer, Bryan
Fogelman, at bryan@reorafting.com or see our website:
http://www.reorafting.com/site/retreats/songwriter_retreat.html
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AFFORDABLE PRESS RELEASE DISTRIBUTION

My PR Music Wire offers press release writing and direct email
distribution to thousands of music journalists, radio stations,
and managers. You can also post your music press release for free
on our website by emailing it to freewire@myprmusicwire.com.
Receive 10% off your entire order when you enter the coupon code
muse10 at checkout!

http://www.myprmusicwire.com/
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STACK THE ODDS IN YOUR FAVOR WITH THE ULTIMATE PROMOTION AND FREE
CONSULTATIONS


Do you have a dream of having your music heard, being on the
radio, or writing songs for other artists? You're not alone. And
now, there's a faster and better way than ever before to get
there. Song Warrior Music will promote your music professionally,
to only publishers, producers, and record labels who specialize
in your style of music and are actively seeking new songs. From
the design and production of presentation materials to follow up
calls/letters/mailings, and unlimited consultation before,
during, and after the promotion, everything is custom designed to
fit your music and your specific goals. Song Warrior Music is
committed to putting the music first and giving you the absolute
best possible chance for achieving your dream, because it's not
just a career, it's your music. So, if you are ready to go for
that dream, to schedule your free consultation, just go to
http://www.songwarriormusic.com/musesmuse or call (573) 814-2169.
You can talk with the owner, Jason Cannata, directly, ask him any
questions you have, and find out more about The Song Warrior
Music Promotion. If you believe in yourself and your dreams, and
never give up, anything is possible, so contact Song Warrior
Music today and
Go For It!
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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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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.
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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 — 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
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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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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
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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2009 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

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The Berklee College of Music has had an online presence for quite
awhile now, as well as being a well-known institution in Boston
Mass. with courses in instruments, voice, performance, recording
production and even songwriting. These are all paid courses
whether it's online or at the actual college, of course, but
recently I came across the blog of one of its instructors, Andrea
Stolpe (http://andreastolpe.berkleemusicblogs.com/).

Her bio says that she is a "multi-platinum recorded songwriter,
performing artist and educator." She appears to also have had a
lot of experience as a staff writer and as an author, and her
blog includes categories such as the business of songwriting,
recording and crafting. There are some great articles here, well
worth looking through, and she appears to post something new
every couple of weeks or so.

While I was perusing her blog, I realized that hers is only one
of many on the Berklee website. Jeanine Cowen
(http://jeaninecowen.berkleemusicblogs.com/) provides a blog on
"Music for Games, Films and other Visuals", and Jonathan Feist
provides some more theoretical blog entries in his blog "Writing
About Music" (http://jonathanfeist.berkleemusicblogs.com/).

Jerry Gates covers composition in his blog "The Writer's Corner"
(http://jerrygates.berkleemusicblogs.com/), with everything from
arranging to orchestration to production, and there's even a
guitar blog called "Guitar Crosscurrants" by Rick Peckham
(http://rickpeckham.berkleemusicblogs.com/).

Each blog provides plenty of links to other sites, and to
software, forums and resources, and I appreciate it when I can
find solid, informative and FREE educational tidbits online from
dedicated people such as these. I think you could probably spend
a couple of hours or more just on the blogs alone, so make sure
you've got some time to spend when checking them out!

******

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
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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : By Kevin Wicker

10 LIFE LESSONS (Part Two)
© 2008

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Previously I briefly outlined 5 very important life lessons I
learned as a struggling musician in Nashville. I shared how
important it is to have good relationships with others, the
importance of being self-sufficient and working hard.

Let's continue.

Lesson #6:

Be selective with those whom you choose to be in your inner
circle! Relationships can also be your greatest downfall. If
those around you aren't very supportive, or too involved with
themselves, or have nothing going on in their "safety zones",
they are a waste of time. Sadly, they will reject you when you
don't do as they do. They will certainly hate you if you choose
to rise above their mediocrity. In reality, you're better off
leaving them alone – quietly and softly. You want QUALITY
associations, not QUANTITY. Remember, too, that you are judged by
your companions.

Lesson #7:

Focus! Have you ever taken a long car trip somewhere without a
map? If so, you're probably very familiar with the route. But
what if you've never taken it before? You know the vicinity, if
it's North or South, so you take the chance and go in that
direction. Chances are you will get lost, right? You may wind up
close to your destination, at best. But it would cost you
needless long hours and wasted resources to finally arrive. Had
you used a map, you'd have gotten there in great time, without
wasting the gas, and taking in all the out-of-the-way sights. The
same goes with being sure of what you want in life and how you
propose to get there. Plan, work your plan, and don't lose sight
of the final outcome! Road conditions will vary, and detours are
inevitable! Live with it and move forward. You'll get there.

Lesson #8:

Life is a seedbed. I like to refer to a parable of Christ --
about the farmer who went to sow seed. Some seed fell on good
ground, others fell on bad ground. The seed that fell on bad
ground never yielded. The seed that fell on good ground produced
crop.

He was referring to a law of life, and the value of investment.
It goes beyond Karma. Some efforts don't produce anything, while
others prove profitable. You have to "sow your seeds" into good
ground, whether in people or in business. Most of the time it
takes simple experience and a series of failures to determine
what that good ground may be. We must watch our investments;
whether it be time or any other resource.

Lesson #9:

Always pray. By now you must think I am religious. Quite the
contrary. Sundays at our house are called "family day". We don't
attend church.

But regardless of your faith – or if you have none at all – there
is power in prayer.

There are forces of life outside the physical realm that none of
us will completely understand, but that doesn't make them any
less real.

I only know that whenever I've done all I could with what I had,
and it was never enough to fit the need – or when I was faced
with something much larger or sinister than myself – I could
always rely on prayer, and my faith in the Higher Power. Never,
not once, was I disappointed, and many times I saw true
"miracles" take place on my behalf!

Answers to prayers come when real crisis is met with true faith
and petition to a loving Presence much Higher than yourself. I
don't care about the whom, how, and why. I just know it works.
And so do billions of others. It pays to pray.

Lesson #10

Always believe in yourself. They always say shoot for the stars.
You may never get there, but you'll get much further by simply
trying than by not trying at all.

The greatest destroyer of the will to live is the loss of hope.
When you give up, you've lost. Nashville's streets are full of
homeless "bums" who simply gave up. I've talked to many of them.
Fed a few of them. They are fathers and mothers, doctors and
teachers, awesome artists and contributors to society that simply
gave up.

Sometimes, self-worth is all you've got going in your corner. But
I assure you, that's all you need. You can build a city if you
believe enough in who you are and what you have that no one can
take from you. You'll weather any storm, and come out a winner
100% of the time!

I guess I should know... I came to Nashville with a station wagon
full of LPs, a few clothes, a guitar, a worthless record
contract, and a truckload of determination.


It's all been a big object lesson after that. But what a ride!
Hope this all helps someone.

Peace...

*****

Nashville underground recording artist, songwriter and producer
Kevin Wicker has shared the stage and studio with some of
Nashville's most successful recording artists: such as Shelby
Lynne, the Imperials, Gary S. Paxton, and Billy Ray Cyrus --
among several others. Operating from his studio on Music Row for
close to a decade, he gained an excellent reputation as a highly
skilled multi-instrumentalist: producing demos to songs that were
to become million-seller classics. He produces tracks
individually from his studio -- managing a publishing and
production company Progress Music Nashville.

For more info, go to www.kevinwicker.com/songwriterservice.htm

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

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Blue Collar's "The Ego Carburetor" ! - by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-egocarburetor.html

With folks having more areas of instant media access, we're
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-----

Music Life: 8 - MUSICAL PRODUCTIVITY - Part 3 - Arrange Scratch
Vers. Into DEMOS
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...the next step in making your musical productivity a reality...

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Effective Lead Vocals, Part 3 - Achieving An Effective
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Celebrity Vocal Coach Jeannie Deva reveals some of the elements
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Guest Blog - Wade Krieg!: Knowing When To Stop - by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-wadekrieg-stop.html

A big thank-you, and howdy, going out to my buddy Wade Krieg,
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creation of music, and 'knowing when to stop' might be beneficial
to you, the artist.

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Blue Collar's Songwriting On The Go! - by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-onthego.html

Never enough time to write the kind of songs that you wish to
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songwriting while you're doin' the thing called Life!

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