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The Muse's News

Issue 12.5 - August 2009
ISSN 1480-6975

This issue sponsored by:


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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Chip Withrow, Gian Fiero & 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 - The Five Key Steps to Songplugging
- by Penny Dionne & Troy McConnell
@-- 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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NEW ONLINE COURSE FROM BERKLEE: SONGWRITING FOR FILM AND TV

Berkleemusic, the online school of Berklee College of Music, has
just launched a new Songwriting for Film and TV online course,
authored and taught by Emmy-winner Brad Hatfield (Analyze This,
The Sopranos). You'll learn to write songs that appeal
specifically to music supervisors, editors, directors, and
producers across multiple genres.

Berkleemusic's extensive online songwriting curriculum also
covers lyric writing, harmony, melody, commercial songwriting,
arranging, theory, and more. These courses provide the knowledge,
tools, and support you'll need to express yourself more
effectively in words and music. Enrollment is now open for the
fall term, beginning September 28.

For more information, visit:
http://www.berkleemusic.com/welcome/songwriting_landing?pid=2716
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E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

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Hi folks! There's a great deal going on here despite the
languor of the summer. :) I'm about to introduce a new columnist
(watch next month's newsletter for more info on that!) and the
newest Radio Muse show - #20 (woohoo!) is now online at
http://www.musesmuse.com/radiomuse-20.html . It's a *great* show
(well, they're *all* good - but I'm really really happy with this
one) - and a landmark occasion. I hope you'll have a listen and
check out your fellow songwriters. And I also hope you'll
consider sending in your own music for the *next* show! I'd love
to hear it. :)

This newsletter is packed to the gills, so I'll get right to the
raffle winners. They are:

* Betty Mah, from Toronto, ON Canada, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software
(http://www.musesmuse.com/vss-review.html).

* Kathy Miller, from Grandville, MI, has won a copy of
Indie-Music.com's Musician's Toolkit CD
(http://www.musicianstoolkit.com/muse/)

* Todd Murray from Chicago, IL, has won a 6 month subscription to
the Onlinegigs (http://www.onlinegigs.com/) 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.

* Rick Shearin from Frisco, TX, 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.

* Kristen T. Clark from Peterborough, ON Canada has won a copy of
"100 Miles To A Record Deal" by author and publisher Bronson
Herrmuth. (http://www.songrepair.com/bookforweb2.htm)

* Lisa Marie Smith from Hurricane, UT has won a copy of the
book reviewed in this month's newsletter: The Jazz Singer's
Guidebook by David Berkman (http://www.shermusic.com).

If you'd like one of these prizes, feel free to write to me with
your first two choices for a raffle prize, include your contact
information so I know where to *send* it, and that's it! You're
in! :) The prizes are all listed at the top of
http://www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html .

And there we are. Enjoy the newsletter and many happy
inspirations to you all!

All the best,

--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!)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - JUST RELEASED!
(Muse's News readers get a special discount!)

MasterWriter is one of the most remarkable software programs ever
developed for the songwriter. Its unique features together with
an amazing array of reference dictionaries provide the songwriter
with everything he or she needs, in one easy to use program. Why
struggle to find the right word or phrase when you can have all
the possibilities in an instant. In a world where good is rarely
good enough, MasterWriter will be an invaluable tool in helping
the songwriter consistently create the exceptional.

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* discount just by ordering through The
Muse's Muse! Please use discount coupon # 3004.

Endorsed by: BMI, ASCAP, NSAI, PRS and Taxi.
And you can try before you buy!

http://www.musesmuse.com/masterwriter-songwriting-software.html

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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Chip Withrow, Gian Fiero
& Don Sechelski

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NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:

Gian Fiero:
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* Jen Woodhouse
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-jenwoodhouse-presskit.html
* Lusciato
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-lusciato-hiphop.html
* C. Reid
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-creid-superstar.html
* Salient
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-salient-ifyouwantto.html
* Chris Hines
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-chrishines-mastermind.html


Chip Withrow:
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* Midnight Salvage Co
http://www.musesmuse.com/index.php?cmd=show_review&review_id=1665
* The Insomniacs
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-theinsomniacs-notwithyou.html


Don Sechelski:
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* The Sam Marshall Trio
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-sammarshalltrio-floorwalker.html
* Chewing on Tinfoil
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-chewingontinfoil-getrich.html
* The Westbound Rangers
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-thewestboundrangers-twr.html
* Player/Kommander
http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-playerkommander-ontheeve.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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Graham Hobson & the BRS - Genre: POP 

Award-winning piano powerpop that will have you singing at the
top of your lungs in the car. Soccer mums stopped at traffic
lights will be disturbed - you'll play air drums - you rock! If
you dig Folds, Elton and Billy you'll love Graham Hobson & the
BRS!

http://www.grahamhobsonbrs.com/

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DateMonthYear - Genre: ROCK

DateMonthYear is not a band, it is a way of doing things - the
composition, production, performance, and marketing of music in
the contemporary environment. DateMonthYear is based in Hamilton,
New Zealand and tends to make music that blends pop melodies,
rock dynamics and movie atmospheres.

http://www.datemonthyear.co.nz/
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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 Singer's Guidebook
by David Berkman
http://www.shermusic.com
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Subtitles tell you a great deal about a book — often more than
the title. In this case, the subtitle is "A course in jazz
harmony and scat singing for the serious jazz vocalist." And that
is exactly what the book is about. As such, it gives songwriters
a fair amount of insight into the challenges a singer faces in
singing our song, and, along the way, it offers some interesting
approaches to playing piano if you are not a pianist. Scat
singing (singing syllables rather than lyrics), is a facet of
jazz singing that is at times overdone, at times ignored
completely and sometimes wonderful. Regardless, it embodies the
essence of jazz singing.

For a jazz singer, or one with a jazz influence, your job is to
give them material that lends itself to interpretation. This will
be less important if you are pitching many pop artists, but bear
in mind that many of the great singers are influenced by great
jazz singers. If you want to write a song that is recorded by a
variety of artists, like many of the jazz standards, then this
book offers you a great deal of insight and help in understanding
how your songs will be seen (as well as heard).

As an aside, just as the age of the demo is passed, the age of
the division of labor between songwriter, arranger, and producer
has waned. Certainly arrangers are available, but most
songwriters want the song performed the way they hear it in their
heads, and can't afford to hire an arranger anyway. So
understanding how to give a song texture, in a technical sense,
is growing in importance. That means going beyond simple chord
progressions and into the world of harmonization. For instance,
if you write a song and specify a G7 chord, unless you are
writing a folk song, you will want to consider other chord
extensions, like flat fifths or flat ninths, that will sound more
sophisticated. These extensions affect the singer directly. You
might have the pianist use rootless chord voicings (leave out the
root note) and have the bass player provide that to create a
spaciousness in a passage, and in the next chorus, do it
differently for variety — the same progression, but with a
different arrangement to change the texture. Such things make the
difference between a memorable recording and a dull one.

Chapter 3, titled THE MELODY OF SONGS, is perhaps the most
important for songwriters to read, because it illustrates the
work that goes on to turn your lyric and melody into song. The
way syllables are emphasized, the way notes can be approached and
ways that singers make songs their own (sometimes at the expense
of your finely crafted melody). If you write songs that you want
to pitch to recording artists, this is great information. It gets
you inside one method that singers use to study a tune. Some of
the analysis will help you see if your arrangement is as strong
as it could be. And, in this competitive era, they need all the
help they can get to stand up tall and be seen and heard.

******

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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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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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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11th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING ENTRIES!

The highly recommended Great American Song Contest is open to
amateur songwriters everywhere. This annual international event
features prestigious awards to 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. Songwriters,
lyricists and composers are invited. Sponsored by Songwriters
Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters
everywhere. Submission deadline is October 30, 2009. For details,
visit: For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
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THE 6th ANNUAL IAMA (INTERNATIONAL ACOUSTIC MUSIC AWARDS) KICKS
OFF


The 6th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) is
currently accepting entries, this awards competition is judged
based on songwriting, performance & artistry. Win prizes in 8
different categories: Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best
Group/Duo, Folk/Americana/Roots, AAA/Alternative, Instrumental,
Open, Bluegrass/Country. There will also be an Overall Grand
Prize winner awarded to the top winner worth US$11,000, which
includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and
Canada, featured on Acoustic Cafe, a syndicated radio program.
You may also obtain the entry form at: http://www.inacoustic.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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TAKIN' IT TO THE STREETS: FANS SUPPORT ARTISTS DIRECTLY WITH FEED
THE MUSE..ONE DOLLAR AT A TIME


Feed The Muse presents a simple model for creators and audiences
to join together and keep the arts flourishing and is a simple
yet effective vehicle for musicians to fund their creative
projects and connect to their audience in a meaningful way. It
provides a means for artists to ask their fans, families and
friends to contribute financially in the artists’ evolution.

If an artist has 5,000 MySpace "friends" and each contribute
even $2 that totes up to $10,000 for the next tour or recording
project. This process allows fans who are passionate about their
artists and want to see them continue creating, the opportunity
to do so without having to make a large contribution. Feed The
Muse runs on the concept of microdonations. Every dollar, every
donation no matter how small is a statement of faith in the
project and moves it closer to completion.

Visit www.feedthemuse.net to see how easy it can be to get the
support you need.
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THE 2009 MOUNTAIN STAGE NEWSONG CONTEST IS NOW OPEN

Now in its eighth year, the 2009 Mountain Stage NewSong Contest
is one of the premier showcases in North America of talented
singer-songwriters across multiple genres of music. Interested
artists can enter online through contest partner Sonicbids.com
(www.sonicbids.com/newsong2009) or mail-in by sending in CD
entries via US Postal mail. (details at
www.newsong-music.com/contest) A total of 12 finalists will be
chosen to perform in the international contest finals, held this
year on Saturday, October 10 at the home theater of Mountain
Stage in Charleston, West Virginia. The contest features cash and
other prizes, and at least one of five co-winners will earn an
appearance on a worldwide broadcast of the prestigious "Mountain
Stage" radio show. The short list of those who have made their
national debut on the show include the Barenaked Ladies, Ryan
Adams, Sheryl Crow, Norah Jones and Alison Krauss. Co-winners and
other contest standouts will also be invited to participate in
future NewSong productions in locations throughout the country,
and will be candidates for future releases on the NewSong
Recordings label. Non-winning contestants will also be considered
for future "Mountain Stage" appearances.
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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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BURNSONG INTERNATIONAL SONG CONTEST 2009

During Scotland's Year of Homecoming, we are opening the
competition internationally and inviting songwriters from around
the world to enter. Songwriters are invited to enter their song
in the 2009 Burnsong Competition via the Sonic Bids platform
linked on the website. Songs can be uploaded between 18th June
and 21st August 2009 at www.burnsong.org. The winning songwriters
will play a prestigious concert on St Andrews night {November
30th} in the Scottish Parliament to mark the end of Homecoming
Scotland 2009. There is also a prize of a weeks long residential
songhouse in a beautiful cottage in the Scottish Borders where
Robert Burns once called home, more details on this are on the
homepage.
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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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*THE 2009 SINGER/SONGWRITER AWARDS - ROUND 3*

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 September 2009*
Fee: *$30*
Details: *http://www.wearelistening.org/singer.php.
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*2009 LYRIC WRITER AWARDS – ROUND 3*

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 September 2009*
Fee: *$20*
Details: *http://www.wearelistening.org/about_lwa.php
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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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"All Songs Considered" is a weekly NPR (National Public Radio)
show in the U.S., hailed as "the place to discover music." It
can be found on traditional terrestrial radio, but you can also
find streaming audio or a podcast of the show online
(http://www.npr.org/templates/rundowns/rundown.php?prgId=37&agg=1
). Every week Bob Boilen and producer Robin Hilton listen
through the latest album releases from everywhere around the
world and create a play list of songs that they think are worth
paying attention to.

As an extension of the show, Bob Boilen created a series called
"Project Song"
(http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15668524),
where he invites a songwriter to create a song using a photo from
a handful that he has chosen and a word from a list he has
created to jumpstart the creative process. The songwriter has 48
hours to complete the song, but what is even more interesting is
that they are videotaped as they write in an attempt to document
the creative process. So far there are three videos in the
series, the latest one being from songwriter Nellie McKay. You
can watch the video (in this case it is 17 minutes long), or you
can simply listen to the final product.

What is interesting to me (and to Mr. Boilen) is that you can't
make sense of what Nellie is doing...she seems to just pop out
the odd note on the piano and find some chords on her ukulele,
and then writes it down. Then she's in the studio trying to
record it while it still seems very loose. She becomes exhausted
as she tries to lay down cello tracks and backing vocals, but the
feel of the song starts to take shape. Of course, the song
itself isn't revealed until near the end of the video, but during
the process she sits down with Bob and discusses her frustration
and her seemingly hap-hazard method of writing and recording.
When it finally comes together, the result is definitely a
reflection of her own influences and style. The lyrics are the
last to be revealed, and at the end of the video she sits down
again with Bob and talks about what made the song personal to
her.

The duo of Georgie James has a completely different style and,
because there are two writers, they discuss more openly each
photo and word until they come to their choices. Right away,
they start creating a chord progression for a melody that has
been floating around previously, and they work very much as a
team as they step through each part of the creation of their song
"Monument".

Stephin Merritt is the third songwriter to tackle the challenge,
and has his own eclectic method of coming up with his song "Man
With A Million Faces". While I've never heard of any of these
songwriters, it was intriguing to watch how differently each of
them worked. What occurred to me as a songwriter is that I have
a pretty staid and boring approach to my own writing, and even
though I know the videos were probably edited to make the process
a little more mysterious and the writers were not in their
"normal" environment, it has given me a few ideas as to how to
approach my next songwriting session differently.

Maybe watching these three videos will inspire you to think
differently about how you write too! This collection is
definitely worth a hour or so of your time.

******

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 Penny Dionne & Troy McConnell

The Five Key Steps to Songplugging © 2009
http://www.songpluggerbook.com/

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In the Nashville music industry there is one position that is
arguably the most crucial to the success of the business as a
whole: the songplugger. Most songwriters and publishers depend on
the plugger to pitch their songs, and the artists and record
labels look to the plugger to bring them the hits they need for
their projects. Of the songs not written by the artist, the
songplugger is said to be responsible for the majority of the
cuts released on commercial country recordings, and that
translates into much of the revenue generated for copyright
owners. For the artists and labels that depend on hit songs to
launch careers and drive sales, the songplugger is undeniably an
indispensible ally.

There are two types of songpluggers: the "in-house" plugger who
works as an employee of a publishing company, and the
"independent" plugger who works on a contractual basis for
various clients. And how they go about pitching songs can be
broken down into five key steps:
1. Networking
2. Finding Great Songs to Pitch
3. Finding Out Who's Recording
4. Making the Pitch,
5. Getting paid.

If you've ever wondered how the pros do what they do, this is it
in a nutshell.

Networking: The first step in songplugging is to develop a
personal and professional network of contacts. I cover networking
first, because if you are an indie plugger, you will need
established contacts to attract clients, but in the real world,
the first two steps are probably happening simultaneously.

Networking itself can be broken down into two categories:
researching contacts, and making the connection. When it comes to
researching, there are various ways of finding out who the movers
and shakers are on Music Row. Two of the most effective are
reading the local publications, and attending industry events. As
you read articles on artists or other industry insiders, make a
note of their names, then use the internet to research as much
information as you can about who they are, what positions they
hold, company names, and who they work with. As you attend
industry events, such as writers nights, showcases and other
industry related events and seminars, don't be afraid to
introduce yourself. Create a list of people you want to develop a
relationship with. Like all social situations the way you handle
yourself is extremely important. Everything counts, especially
the way you engage the people you meet. In Nashville, there is a
basic networking etiquette, and you would do well to learn what
is acceptable and what is not. Of all the do's and don'ts on
proper behavior, there is one "don't" in particular that you
should be mindful of - don't gherm. A "gherm" is someone who
latches on to someone of importance with the agenda of promoting
their own careers. Instead of coming across as someone on a
mission, one of the do's of networking etiquette is … do be
genuine. People can tell if you are being sincere. So make every
interaction casual, and real.

Finding Great Songs to Pitch: For an in-house songplugger who
works exclusively for a publishing company, it means being
familiar with their catalog and meeting with the current writers.
For indie pluggers, it usually means finding pro writers and
publishers who are looking to outsource or increase their catalog
representation.

As an in-house songplugger, you will probably be assigned as the
"point person" for a group of writers. These are usually the
active songwriters who are not only signed to the publishing
company, but are consistently turning in new material. You will
find your songs among the CDs they turn in, but you may also need
to work the back catalog. A catalog often has songs that were
acquired through mergers or acquisitions. One hallmark of an
in-house plugger is their exclusivity to a single publisher, and
as such, they are limited to pitching only those songs that are
in their employer's catalog.

For the independent songplugger, finding great songs to represent
can be much more challenging at times, and their ability to do so
hinges primarily on their reputation. The less established indie
plugger may have trouble convincing potential clients that they
have the connections to get the job done, namely, to get their
songs cut. So the more connections you have, and the stronger
those connections are, the more clients you will be able to
attract. Indie pluggers find most of their songs through writers
who have an established name and available catalog, or smaller
publishers who either don't have the means to hire an in-house
plugger, or simply choose to outsource their pitching needs. The
up side to being an indie plugger is you aren't exclusive, and
can work with several writers and publishers. This way you can
represent catalogs that you're excited about and that cover from
the very traditional to the very contemporary.

Finding Out Who's Recording: Once you have songs to represent,
you will need to know who is recording and the type of songs
they're looking for.

One of the easiest ways to find out who's looking for songs is to
subscribe to industry tip sheets. These are weekly or monthly
publications that list some basic information on artists and
their current projects, including the artist's label, producer,
contact person, the type of songs they are looking for and the
month or specific date they are set to record. Perhaps the most
popular tip sheet known is the Music Row Fax. This is a
subscription service that offers a weekly tip sheet via email,
and access to an online contact directory. You can find out more
about this service at www.musicrow.com.

Another great resource for finding out who's recording is from
your personal network. If you've done your homework and made your
connections, you have a list of people you can call to get the
inside scoop on current projects. It's important to develop your
personal references, so it's a good idea to not only keep a
record of your contacts, but also be familiar with your contacts'
contacts. If you are good friends with a rep from your PRO, you
might be surprised to learn that back in college they were
roommates with someone who has just started in A&R. It's like
MySpace; find out who is in your "extended" network.

THERE'S MORE! STAY TUNED - THIS ARTICLE WILL BE CONTINUED NEXT
MONTH!


*****

ABOUT PENNY DIONNE:
Penny Dionne is the owner of Little Vixen Music Publishing, and
she is a high-profile Pro Songplugger currently representing mega
hit songwriter, Chris Wallin (Don't Blink/ Kenny Chesney,
Something To Be Proud Of/ Montgomery Gentry) and the successful
Corlew Music Group with catalog & writers via a co-venture with
Windswept/BUG whose successes include: Settling/Sugarland, Some
People Change/Montgomery Gentry and many others) Dionne has been
profiled in the publisher edition of Music Row magazine's "Row
File," co-authored a book with Troy McConnell called
"Songplugger: The Cuts and the Bruises," which garnered coverage
in Country Weekly Magazine May 2009; and co-wrote & recorded The
Successful Songwriter Motivation & Meditation" audio program. She
is the Vice President for the Woman's Music Business Association
(WMBA) here in Nashville.
For more info on Penny, the book or audio, please visit website
www.LittleVixenMusic.com

ABOUT TROY MCCONNELL:
Troy McConnell is a 22 year Nashville veteran and has seen
success as a songwriter and producer, as well as running a
successful multimedia company. As a staff writer, he has written
with such luminary Nashville writers as Craig Wiseman, Tommy Lee
James and Chuck Cannon. Among Troy's producing credits was an
artist development project that landed the young artist a major
recording contract. Troy continues to write and produce, but his
talents have taken him beyond the country music scene and into
the world of multimedia, having written a national jingle for
Bridgestone/Firestone tires and winning a video award for his
work with the corporation that owns Denny's restaurants with his
song; "What Color Am I." McConnell has also co-authored a book
with Penny Dionne; "Songplugger: The Cuts and the Bruises," which
garnered coverage in Country Weekly Magazine, and also with
Penny, co-wrote and produced "The Successful Songwriter
Motivation & Meditation" audio program.

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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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Bass Guitar Tips #2 * The Major Scale - by Scott Morris
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-scottmorris-bass2.html

A bass guitar scales primer lesson - the Major scale.

-----

Erick Hovey, Musician and Farmer - a Blue Collar Review
- by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-erickhovey.html

Deep within the prairie of northwest Iowa, Erick Hovey churns out
a funky, intelligent mix of original blues songs and thoughtful,
soul-filled lyrics while having a vocation during the day as a
farmer. Playing small town festivals and fairs, Erick's two new
CD's have taken off in sales and critical review. But you can't
judge a book by it's cover, and I attempt to shed a pinch of
light on a friend, his life, and music .......

-----

Bring an Umbrella - by Carley Baer
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-carleybaer-bringanumbrella.html

She's back from her travels, and she has stories to tell. :)

-----

Music Life: 10 - Allowing Yourself To Create Crap
- by Brian Donovan
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-briandonovan-musiclife10.html

Creating a great idea can be daunting. Allow yourself to create
some crap to take the pressure off...

-----

Blue Collar's Celeb Stories, Volume #1 - by Mick Polich
http://www.musesmuse.com/col-mickpolich-celeb1.html

Let's face it - celebrities make good press,wherever and whenever
you meet them. Mick looks back on two semi-humorous stories from
his music store days to add to the ol' Blue Collar folklore.....

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You Can Play Guitar author and publisher Scott Morris now offers
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Free Guitar Lesson Videos - teach samples of learning the names
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But not only that - his lessons are currently $60 off their
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There's never been a better time than now to improve your guitar
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Join the thousands of other singers who own Jeannie Deva's
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THE 9th 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 9th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD!
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500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
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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:
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Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
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The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
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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
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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
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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/
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For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising
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Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR
Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER
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