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The Muse's News

Issue 3.6 - September 2000
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:
Lyricist - A Songwriter's Best Friend

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

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@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Allison Durno
@-- Featured Article - CALLING ALL ANGELS by Donny Marchand
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - by Irene Jackson
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - Songwriter & Children's Entertainer, 
                              Stefan des Lauriers
@-- 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 - Jodi Krangle.  For more contact
information, see end of issue.
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If you enjoy The Muse's News, why not suggest it to friends? http://recommend-it.com/l.z.e?s=333678 ----------------------------------------------------------------
This ezine featured at EzineCenter.com - the Ezine Search Engine(tm) - http://www.ezinecenter.com/ ================================================================= ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LYRICIST! THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND HAS ARRIVED . . . Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist, the first of its kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. Includes rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization and more. Visit our web-site http://www.virtualstudiosystems.com/ to download your FREE 30-DAY TRIAL COPY and find out about our low 90-day introductory sale price. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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E d i t o r ' s   M u s i n g s :

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And another month passes. :)  A few more awards have come the way
of The Muse's Muse.  Folks seem to really like the new design,
something I find very gratifying.   Other than that, there have
been a few more articles added, there's a new chat log up for our
chat with Pat & Pete Luboff (thanks, guys!) and various other
additions throughout the site.  Have a look at
http://www.musesmuse.com/whatsnew.html for further details on that.

This month's winner of the reviewed video below, is Amy B. of
Kitchener, Ontario.  Congratulations, Amy!  The reviewer, Allison
Durno, is the guitarist for my own folk group, Urban Tapestry
(http://www.urbantapestry.org/) and therefore, much better qualified to do
such a review than myself (I don't play guitar).  She found the
video and accompanying literature to be really helpful and I'm sure
you all will too. Check it out!

That's about it for this month.  I hope you enjoy the newsletter.

Wishing you all the very best,
Back to Menu
================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : with Nancy A. Reece of Carpe Diem Copyright Management ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Hi, I am trying to get my songs copyrighted (with words) but I am not sure if I should use Form SR or PA to do so. Which would be better? -- Jeff K. ------------------ A: Jeff - Visit the US Copyright Web page for more information on what form to use for what use - The SR is for "Sound Recordings". It is good to use when you want to register a group of material (as long as the writer information is identical for each composition embodying the recording). ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I am recording a CD of all original children's lullabies. I would like to record another lullaby album of old classic lullabies. My question is, how would I go about getting the rights to use some of these very old songs? Can I just record them because they are so old, or do I still have to get permission? I would appreciate your input. Thank you very much. -- Susan M. ------------------ A: You will need to first determine if indeed the work is in public domain. You may do this by researching the work at songfile.com and by contacting the US Copyright office to conduct a search. If the works are indeed in public domain you may record them without any mechanical license or payment. You may want to consider if your arrangements are "separately copyrightable" and issue a new composition under your name as the arranger. If the works are not yet in public domain you will need to contact the current copyright holder to secure a compulsory license to record the works. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I have a question on copyrighting a song or multiple songs included in one CD. I.E. If I place, say, three songs with an artist who records them and I, as the copyright holder, want to register them with the copyright office, how do I do it? Do I have to send in three seperate forms with two copies of the CD with each form (a total of six) and is the artist required to supply me with these copies free? Or would one or two copies be enough as long as they were registered at the same time? I know that if I own the copyright of all the songs on the CD that they can be registered as a collection with one fee and two CD copies. -- Everett A. ------------------ A: Do not be confused. Unless you are the owner of the sound recording as well as the compositions you need to consider just what version you send in for registration. A simple melody and lyric version of the compositions placed on your own sound recording can be registered so that the compositions are registered. You may seriously consider sending in 1 PA form for each of the 3 compositions since they are being released by a third party and you want them clearly indicated as being your property asap. Yes, in your mechanical license you may request a number of promotional or file copies but they are not obligated to give them to you. As long as the quantity is within reason, they should. ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** Carpe Diem's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). **If you would like to ask Nancy a copyright or publishing question for our continuing Q&A section, please send your e-mail to nreece@musesmuse.com. She can't guarantee she'll get to all of the questions, but she'll certainly try.** Back to Menu
================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart -----------------------------------------------------------------
Envy Waits - Jenís Cobbler A strong voice and a guitar strumming in the back define this Envy. A rather folk-oriented 50 minutes from Patrick Hughes (guitar) and Marc Dixon (vocals) could remind one of acoustic Extreme, since it's really more power-fresh pop than the heartaches and lyrical choices generally thought of in the folk genre. Let's quote the opening 'Just a Thought', and you'll see that the whole cd is more like how a rock band might Start Out a ballad. 'staring blankly, down a long stairway on a magic carpet ride. speaking softly, whispering in my ear is the hushed voice of my guide. let's talk about it now, are you listening'. And then you could imagine the drums coming in, the electrified guitar crankin' up, canít you? Nope, not so here. True, the music and voice are solid. As far as they go. Just wish they'd go a little farther. Not with crankin' up and all that. But I feel that I need moreÖ.. something. What I get is a large, tasty cracker, and then I discover dinner's not being served. envywaits@aol.com ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Steve Kilpatrick - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-kilpatrick.html Paxton - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-paxton.html Huffamoose - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-huffamoose.html First Love - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-firstlove.html Daniel Simonis - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-simonis.html Garfield's Birthday - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-garfbirth.html Wake Up Jonny - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-wakeup.html Stuart McNair - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-mcnair.html The Naked Songwriters - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-tns.html Steve Cerilli - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-cerilli.html David Shepherd Grossman - http://www.musesmuse.com/mrev-dsg.html --------------- ****** Ben Ohmart has had 100s of stories and poems in zines and journals, and had 4 plays produced last year. His lyrics will be on 2 CDs this year, 1 a gothic album, the other a rock album. He's currently writing films, with hopes of having one done in Malaysia soon, and is also trying to break into the prison of television. He's white, 26, single and loves British comedy. He lives in Boalsburg, PA, and enjoys watching rabbits eat his garbage. Contact him at: ohmart@musesmuse.com . **Ben has kindly consented to do music reviews for this publication and also for The Muse's Muse itself. If you have an independently released CD or tape that you'd like to get reviewed, send it off to: Ben Ohmart, P O Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827 or drop by his Music Reviews web section at http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html for more details.** Back to Menu ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Allison Durno GUITAR PLAYING FOR SONGWRITERS by Gary Talley http://www.garytalley.com/ ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Gary Talley began his career in 1967 as lead guitarist for "The Box Tops" and he has developed a reputation as a touring and studio musician and a highly respected songwriter. Gary's experience and diverse background inspired him to develop a unique and effective streamlined approach to teaching guitar especially designed for songwriters. He highlights this approach on his three lesson 60-minute instructional video, "Guitar Playing For Songwriters". In his video, he moves through a series of exercises using guitar technique to enhance the songwriting process. Talley demonstrates to beginner and advanced players alike how to use innovative chord progressions and rhythm patterns in their guitar playing. The video is accompanied by a series of helpful guitar charts and diagrams that are clearly explained on the video. The video is split into three lessons, each focusing on an area of guitar technique meant to expand one's skill and knowledge and inspire songwriting ideas. Lesson 1 focuses on the common chords used in each musical key and how to use the accompanying charts to learn increasingly complex chord progressions. The lesson also demonstrates the use of connector chords in each key. Lesson 2 expands chord development further, looking at color chords, diminished and augmented chords, chain of seventh chords, flat 7's, flat 3's and power chords. Lesson 3 focuses on rhythm, providing useful exercises for strumming and finger picking techniques, as well as information on how to use a capo in effective songwriting. Talley conducts his lessons in a simple and encouraging style that is beneficial to the beginning guitar player, but also challenging and informative for the more advanced guitarist. His exercises and advice provide good inspiration for more effective songwriting. To order Gary Talley's "Guitar Playing for Songwriters" call 1-800-484-1075 enter PIN #9170. For more information, e-mail him at guitar@bellsouth.net or visit his web site listed above. ****** Allison Durno is an elementary school teacher who also teaches vocal and instrumental music to children. She plays guitar, sings and writes songs for the folk/filk group, Urban Tapestry (http://www.urbantapestry.org/). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ UNLEASH THE FULL POTENTIAL OF THE INTERNET WITH SONGSCOPE.COM! SongScope is a valuable tool enabling you to build an on-line song catalog, accessible only by proven industry professionals. Receive FREE email informing you every time record producers and industry professionals make requests. Songs listings are only $19.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. See www.musesmuse.com/songscope.html for details or contact: writerinfo@songscope.com ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : CALLING ALL ANGELS by Donny Marchand ..in which Danny attempts to get funding for his musical theater production. Those of you trying to get funding for anything - be it going on tour, starting on a new album, etc., will likely notice a few similarities here... ----------------------------------------------------------------- Why do angels only manifest themselves to the chosen few? Is it really the will of God to shroud their presence from the majority of mankind? Or is it the elite who decide who will be so blessed? I've heard that Gabriel is busy blowing his horn, and that Michael is fairly occupied fighting battles in some distant land. But where on earth do the rest of the cherubs hang out? Why are the names of the CIA's operatives in Iraq easier to discover than a register of divine creatures? While the answer to that question appears as baffling as the secret of the universe, I suspect the cause lies closer to this space ship we all ride on! To paraphrase, "Man works in mysterious ways." Obtaining funding for any creative project is no easy task. Still, there are a number of avenues a frustrated soul can trundle down, depending on the nature of the beast. More often than not the way looks clear ahead. So off you go, adrenaline in full flow, excitingly anticipating the joy of accomplishment when you'll reach the desired destination. However, shortly into the journey you discover that someone who has traveled on this path before you has erected a brick wall. To make sure you fathom the message of the obstacle a large sign reading "No Entry Beyond This Point", is fixed upon it. You hurry back in the direction from whence you came, looking for a place to procure a sledgehammer or even a bulldozer. Unfortunately, you are apprised of the fact that you've been banished from the emporiums who trade in these items. In despair you slog back to your bedsit. Sitting there in the cold and dark (you were convinced you'd paid the utility bills?) you contemplate the meaning of life. Who said, "The meek shall inherit the earth"? Probably some politician trying to delude us underlings into believing there was hope. There seems to be no solace. Suicide is out of the question, it's too dangerous. Besides, that's the solution after your show flops, not when you can't even get it staged. Calm down, you tell yourself, a cool head is needed to see things clearly. So you decide to spend the rest of the evening entertaining a bottle of whiskey. The following morning you fall out of bed with a new-found exuberance. While hand- blending the Alka-Seltzer with a Bloody Mary you suddenly recall a rumor you have heard. Perhaps you read it in The Stooge! No matter, the important thing is you remember it now. It seems that there is this secret organization that has an enormous list of kind-hearted, generous angels who have bags of money, they don't know what to do with. It's called "The Society Of Plays Spurned", or SOPS if you prefer acronyms. You get their number from Directory Inquiries. Elated by the fact that the phone was still connected you summon up the courage and call them. The lady at the other end informs you that to have access to their hallowed list you must be a member of the society. To become a member you have to meet certain criteria. You ask her to elaborate. She explains that unless you are already immensely successful and have considerable wealth you cannot become a member. I'm sure you can appreciate we have to abide by our charter, she adds while you're hanging up. Undeterred, you conclude that plan B would be a reasonable alternative. Grabbing an old copy of The Stooge, you flick through the pages till you come across the add that caught your eye a week or so before. It reads: "Why Nobody Likes A Nobody. Because Nobody Isn't Represented By SOMEBODYS. The Agency That Everybody Contacts." Fingers twitching you dial their number. "Hello, Somebodys Agency, Mr. Concerned speaking. How may I help you?" Sounds promising, you think, and your faith in humanity starts to return. "Yes, I wonder..., you see..., well I'm looking for an agent who could...", Cutting you short Concerned says, "Sorry, we don't take unsolicited calls unless you pay the $1,000.00 fee first." You answer,"Can I pay with my American Express card, hello...hello...hello, are you still there?" Click! So far, so bad! Nevertheless, might as well continue using the phone before Cable Ripoff disconnect the line. You decide to ring that famous benevolent producer Lord Anorak. "Hello, Good Fairy Productions", a machine answers, "Press one for the tea lady, two for the post room boy, three for the security guard, or hold if you wish to speak with someone who matters." Sixteen minutes of music from the show "Rats" later, a human voice appears. "Lord Anorak here, who's calling?" "Good morning, your majesty, my name is Mr. Wannabee," "Yes, what do you want? And please make it quick! I'm having lunch with Sir Kermit at Toad Hall, and I must be off shortly." Nervously you reply, "I was wondering if you have had the chance to read the script I sent you yet?" "When did you send it in?", he asks. "Ten years ago, sir.", you say. "Well, I've had a very busy schedule lately, so jog my memory and remind me of the title." "I'm sorry," you reply, "It's been so long I've forgotten it." "Well, call me back when you've remembered it!" he snarls. "When will you be available again?" you ask. Irritation fills the timbre of his voice as he replies, "In about ten years." Clunk! "To those who have, more shall be given. To those who have not, even the little they have shall be taken away." The guy who said that must have been in showbiz. Behold!! Just when you believe all is lost, God performs a miracle. He invents the Internet. That universal highway where voyagers of all persuasions can travel unhindered by those who would thwart every effort to obtain achievement. Surfing the web unfettered we can circumvent the barricades, walls and obstacles forged against us on Terra Firma. We can market our wares to anyone and everyone without needing the approval of the overlords. We can let the masses decide the validity of our product. Here on the net we can have our day in court. And best of all, nothing can stop us from representing ourselves. The choice is all yours. Continue being a slave to the elite's system or roam the cosmos a free man with the blessing of the Almighty! As for me, myself and I - we're hooked. Now there only remains the problem of getting the electricity reconnected. ****** Donny Marchand has written songs for Roger Daltrey, Peaches and Herb, Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett, James Last, and many more. He also wrote the music and lyrics for "Sex and Violence at the Fantasy Cafe" which was staged at the Edinborough Festival and music and lyrics for a new version of "Comedy of Errors" which toured Italy. He has produced two original musicals written by himself - "Picasso" at the Hackney Empire and "Better the Devil" at the Springfield theater in London. Donny is currently seeking finance for his latest project "Accidentally on Purpose", a show inspired by his psychiatrist! You can read the synopsis and listen to the music for this show by visiting http://web.ukonline.co.uk/parousia/index.shtml . If you would like to contact Donny, he would be happy to receive your feedback and can be reached through his website at http//donnymarchand.co.uk. Back to Menu ================================================================= 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! ----------------------------------------------------------------- DIGITAL UNDERDOG PRODUCTIONS ARE LOOKING FOR SONGWRITERS for our artists. We are mainly looking for songwriters in the genre of top 10, R&B and adult contemporary. We liase with record labels on behalf of artists and also offer production, arranging and programming. Contact us for more info: Craft Digital Underdog Productions http://go.to/digitalunderdog Mainfeature Records(UK) http://mfr.ontheweb.nu/ ----------------------------------------------------------------- DEEDEE OMALLEY'S SONGWRITING WORKSHOP: Beginning to advanced Why waste time and money? I can help you polish your song from demo to masterpiece. If you have always wanted to write a great song but thought it was too difficult or would take too long to learn, drop all those ideas and start living your dream! Call 818.487.8900 or e-mail newedge@earthlink.net...to find out more about Deedee OMalley as an artist go to http://www.deedeeomalley.com/ ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE DALLAS SONGWRITERS ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES ITS Y2K SONG CONTEST The contest deadline is September 15, 2000. ENTRY FEE for Song Contest is: $15 for first entry, $10 for each additional entry. Grand Prizes 1ST PLACE GRAND PRIZE - The Townes Van Zandt Award TONY IOMMI GUITAR DONATED BY GIBSON GUITARS VALUED AT $4,990! A ONE YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO TAXI, AN INTERVIEW WITH MARY DAWSON ON "I WRITE THE SONGS" RADIO SHOW 5 HOURS STUDIO TIME WITH CRYSTAL CLEAR STUDIOS- A $350 VALUE 2ND PLACE GRAND PRIZE - 1 YR MEMBERSHIP TO TAXI DUPLICATIONSERVICE- VALUEOF $299 FROM GREENROOM PRODUCTIONS A SONG DEMO FROM BIG RED STUDIOS, NASHVILLE,TN - A $300 VALUE A ONE YEAR SUBSCRIPTION TO LIQUID AUDIO NETWORK 3RD PLACE GRAND PRIZE - 1 YR MEMBERSHIP TO TAXI SONG DEMO VALUEOF $300 BY McCLAIN'S STUDIOS GARLAND, TX SONGWRITING CONSULTATION WITH MARY DAWSON OF "I WRITE THE SONGS RADIO SHOW," -A $50 VALUE Three Winners Each Song Category* Please direct inquiries and entries to: Dallas Songwriters Association, YK2 Song Contest P.O. Box 459, Royce City, TX 75189-0459 (214) 750-0916 E-Mail:jaelius@flash.net . Dallas Songwriters Association is a 501 C-3 non-profit, educational association. ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC JOURNALISTS WANTED: Neo, a syndicated music information company serving alternative publications, is seeking high quality music writers. Credentials aren't important - being a lucid, persuasive writer with excellent music knowledge, is. We are a unique service and we accept submissions related only to specific music genres. Please read our submission guidelines at http://www.getneo.com/jobs.htm ~ Neo Media ----------------------------------------------------------------- M.I.C. (MUSIC INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS) M.I.C is a new monthly unsigned artists/bands & songwriters magazine which features record labels, professional music managers, film companies, promoters, etc., who are all actively seeking new talent. It is a UK based magazine with worldwide readership. We are eager to develop bands from all corners of the globe and we welcome submissions from everyone. So far, we have had great success and are particularly proud of our multi-national representation to the UK music industry. Three bands have been signed, another band has been given the opportunity to work on soundtracks for Sky Sports, two bands have been approached by Prince's management company and Stereophonics Management Company, another band is in discussions with major record labels and a final band has been given free record studio time (and that's all happened in 2 months!) M.I.C. provides free exposure and publicity for unsigned bands/artist and songwriters etc. We also have our own record label for promoting/showcasing new talent with the first compilation release planned for September 2000. All artists are welcome to send samples of their work, photo & biog. into our demo review section. For a free sample copy of the magazine, please e-mail: melee@supanet.com or you can view a small sample of the magazine by surfing to: www.mp3musicscene.com/mic/ . Please send all demos etc to: M.I.C. PO BOX 1742, SHEFFIELD S8 0GA UNITED KINGDOM. ----------------------------------------------------------------- SONG SHOPPING CENTER - http://TrowbridgePlanetEarth.com/T2/T2C1.html SUBMIT YOUR SONG - http://trowbridgeplanetearth.com/T2/T2S1.html%20 McClure & Trowbridge Publishing, a Nashville TN niche and alternative music publisher, announces today that its WWW, Internet, and office song promotion services, previously available only to Trowbridge Writers, are available to Trowbridge Associates as well. Associates, independent songwriters whom McClure & Trowbridge sign to promotional contracts, now have a "leg up" into the fast paced world of music plugging and the faster yet Internet. ----------------------------------------------------------------- JOERECORDS.COM IS SEEKING MUSIC: joerecords.com is seeking compilations, unusual, weird, hard-to-find, ethnic and world music. If you are interested in submitting, send to: 4047 49th SW,Seattle, Washington 98116 or contact katehart@speakeasy.org ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A site that I have been hanging out at the last couple of weeks is http://www.liveonthenet.com/. "Live On The Net" is chock full of live and archived events that you can view...anything from cartoons to wrestling! So why have I been hanging out there? Because it ALSO has a whole bunch of music-related events, including a huge selection of archived Bluebird Cafe songwriter nights! For any of you who haven't heard of the legendary Bluebird Cafe, it's located in Nashville, Tennessee, certainly the country songwriter's mecca. Anyone who lives there will tell you that country is not the only type of music you'll hear in Nashville, and when you listen to some these archived songwriter's nights, you'll hear different styles as well. On Monday nights any songwriter can go to the Bluebird and have an opportunity to play one or two songs in front of a very discerning audience. You'll see newer writers and you'll see those who've obviously been writing for awhile. On other evenings you'll find more established songwriters performing their gems. The last time I looked there were 15 pages of Bluebird events you could choose from! You will require the latest Real Audio software to view these events and you'll have to register first to view the archives, but it is all free and very easy to sign up. Once you've registered, go to the "music" section, and choose a style. "Country" is where you'll find the Bluebird...in the upper right-hand corner you'll see a search box where you type in "bluebird" and you'll find the first of many pages of archived events. On one Monday evening I actually tuned in to watch the whole event being broadcast live. A songwriting acquaintance said he would be performing there that night, and I got to see him live on the net! Very cool :-) Another venue is the Broken Spoke, which is also in Nashville, but not as well-known as the Bluebird. The "Broken Spoke Songwriter Cafe" has almost as many archived songwriter nights as the Bluebird. Have you ever tried singing at an open mic? Want to see how it works? These events will give you a good idea of the process. Take a look and then note how high your pulse rate goes while your watching :-) ****** 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 more links of interest. Her latest CD "Motor Scooter" has had attention everywhere from Japan to South America, and a new release is due out sometime in 1999. Songwriting Tips: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html Homepage: http://www.irenejackson.com/ Songs on MP3: http://www.mp3.com/artists/20/irene_jackson.html Back to Menu ================================================================= S O N G W R I T E R I N S P O T L I G H T : Songwriter & Children's Entertainer, Stefan des Lauriers ----------------------------------------------------------------- There's a long history of songwriters writing through adversity - using their experiences to make a difference in others' lives. Stefan and his writing is no exception. He has channeled his creative energy in a unique and extremely rewarding way by writing songs for children. It's a tough road, but he's doing pretty good so far. If any of you out there have ideas on how to help Stefan achieve his goals, I hope you'll write to him through his web sites to let him know. I've taken the time to listen to his music and have been much impressed. Quite apart from helping out Stefan, you'd make a lot of kids really happy. Here's his story in his own words: ----------------------------------------------------------------- Getting involved in children's music was an inevitable thing, it was something inside of me that was destined to come out. Early in the nineties, when I was working as a photographer, I was struck by the urge to write and illustrate children's stories. I made a few dummy books with watercolors based on some of my more whimsical songs. That was just before I was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, in November of 1994. After the diagnosis, I came home and picked up my Martin guitar and found that I had lost some dexterity in my left hand. That explained why I was knocking over tripods and messing up my photo shoots. I gradually phased out photography and sold my cameras, and decided to concentrate solely on music. I started work on my debut CD Elevation. While the CD was being made I wrote many songs. My repertoire went from about fifteen good songs to fifty. Many of the songs that came to me were actually children's songs. I write children's songs that are suitable for grown ups and mature songs that are suitable for children. The first winter I started writing was very bleak. I had no money to record, and had only a few friends to help me. I sent out many letters to foundations seeking grant money and received a lot of rejection letters. At the time I was put on a medication that enabled me to perform relatively well. I set up a home recording studio to document my work. Many of the songs that I recorded on my CD's were based on one time performances of very complicated guitar pieces. Having an outlet for my music was very therapeutic. The first song that I wrote after the long hiatus was called "Vision of Victory", about climbing a mountain out of shape. One of inspirations behind the songs and stories was my grandfather who used to do a Vaudeville routine in the pubs of London's East End. Just before he died of cancer he put on a performance for us kids, a short dance where he imitated a locomotive. He always had a positive attitude no matter what happened, so I made the same determination. The songs "Soft Shoe", "Sweeping the Fog Away", and the story "Tatterdemalion Train" are all about my grandfather. Kids need positive role models. After my first CD was released I was accepted into the sponsorship program of the New York Foundation for the Arts to seek financing for my children's CD which was to be called 'Time of Wonder'. Based on the acceptance and the nature of my work I was able to get Ken Whiteley to co-produce my children's CD. Half the work was done in Ossining, New York, with Sharkey McEwen and then it was sent to Ken Whiteley in Toronto to sweeten with many roots instruments. By this time I was losing my voice and could only manage to play guitar on three of the songs. I was so busy recording and writing that I was unable to get any grant money. (I was told that NYFA would keep my account open so that I could continue seeking grant money to pursue children's music, in case you know of anyone who is interested in making a contribution.) Before the album was finished one of my songs, "Wind-up Monkey Dance" was a finalist in the Best Song For Older Kids category in the Children's Web Awards at http://www.childrensmusic.org/. In November of 1999 after two years production work my children's CD was released. Since then all but three of the 18 songs on it have been aired on Folk Radio and Children's radio shows. The last five years have been a time of intense creativity. I wrote my autobiography, 'Symphony in A Flat Tire', designed and maintain a website at http://www.musickingdom.com/ (where lyrics to my songs and stories can be found) produced two albums, and presently I am writing a musical entitled 'Carousel Wind'. Sales from my CD are not what they should be. But what makes it all rewarding is to go to a friend's house, run into a kid I've never met who has my CD and hear him say, "I listen to it all the time." 'Time of Wonder' by Stefan des Lauriers - available at
amazon.comhttp://cdbaby.com/lauriers (RealAudio clips) http://www.musickingdom.com/ (RealAudio of 18 songs) http://www.mp3.com/StefandesLauriers ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : SHAKESPEARE WAS NO JOHNNY MERCER Why Poetry and Lyrics Are Different © 2000 by Arnold J. Olenick, ASCAP http://www.musesmuse.com/art-olennick.html Arnold Olenick writes about the unique problems faced by lyricists as apposed to poets including several ways to improve your lyric writing along with a list of reference books that might also help. Back to Menu
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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 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. info@musesmuse.com - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. editor@musesmuse.com - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at editor@musesmuse.com
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