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The Muse's News

Issue 4.8 - November 2001
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:


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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem Copyright Management &
    attorney Duff Berschback
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart
@-- Featured Article - THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: 
                       Publicity: Using the Internet to Promote
                       Your Music - by Charles Katz
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
    to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - Songwriter, Recording Artist and Film
                              & TV Composer, Alan O'Day
@-- Featured Article - Breaking into the soft-seater market: 
                       A "Lawless" approach: Turning one small
                       "break" into a career - by Gregg Lawless
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - 2001, Jodi Krangle.  For more 
contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ FREE WEB SITE FOR YOUR MUSIC! At OnlineRock bands, musicians and songwriters can build their own Web site, interact with other musicians, listen to music or just browse through many of OnlineRock's helpful articles related to the music world. Each week OnlineRock spotlights a different artist, song and Web site. OnlineRock offers 25 megs of Web space, easy to use Web building software, Chat rooms, Web based E-mail, Equipment giveaways and reviews, Classifieds and more. OnlineRock - Empowering Musicians ================================================================= E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone. I hope your month has been a good one, despite the way our world has changed. The little things we can take joy in sure mean a lot these days, don't they? There are a few new additions to the web site that you should know about. First of all, Eliot Popkin has joined us as our newest CD Reviewer. You can go to his web page off of the Music Reviews section at and if you have a CD in his genre, feel free to send him something! He'd love to hear your stuff. I'll have a few reviews from him in the next Muse's News along with more of Ben Ohmart's. Ben has been doing a *stellar* job for a really long time, but he needs some help to keep up with all the submissions. So I hope you'll all help Eliot feel welcome. :) There will be a few new columnists joining us in a little while, but as they're not quite set up yet, I'll just leave it at that. Watch the "What's New" section - because I'll announce their new columns in there when they're placed online. There are new articles, Radio Muse is still going strong (visit to have a listen or for instructions on how to submit your own music for consideration) and the message boards are really hopping! I hope you'll drop by and have a look. If you're interested in joining the membership of Just Plain Folks (, a worldwide organization for musicians and songwriters of all types, just email me at with your full name, your city and your country, and I'll take care of the rest for you. It's a fantastic organization and well worth your time. They also have a newsletter that they send out and it's a great read. Have a look at their web site for more details. I suspect many of you are already members. :) The only other thing to report is this month's raffle winner, Albert R. (Ray) Schmidt from Centreville, VA who has won a copy of Lyricist Software - V2! - generously donated by the folks at Virtual Studio Systems. Their newest version will be available after November 12th and I'm sure you'll be impressed. (see for details). Wishing everyone a happy and productive November and beyond, --Jodi Back to Menu ================================================================= SHAMELESS PLUG: Drop by today to pick up your very own Muse's Muse shirt, mug or mousepad! And while you're at it, think about starting your *own* store. It would be pretty cool to sell your own band's logo or design on promo items, wouldn't it? And starting up a store requires no investment of money on your part at all. Details on how to do that are only a click away... ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : Collaboration - The thorny issues of legality. This is the third of many panel discussions by attorney Duff Berschback and administrator and licensing executive Nancy Reece. ----------------------------------------------------------------- There are many ways to collaborate with another writer when creating a new copyright. You may be a staff writer for a publisher assigned to write with someone you've never even met before. You may be a lyricist, looking for a melody master via the Internet to work with long distance. You may be in a band or group or duo where many participate in the formation of both a song and its arrangement. Or you may bring your works into a studio where a producer begins to work with you on changes. There are considerations in all of these situations and others that should be reviewed. It is very important to understand before you begin writing together what you agree on concerning writer splits. I have compiled some questions submitted to me over the past few months and have asked Duff to help explain the labyrinth of possibilities. -Nancy ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Collaboration or Derivative: I have written music, in which the lyrics are from a 12 century Irish poem. I found the poem in a collection of Irish poetry from the past 1000 years. The translation is in the book, of which the original was obviously in Gaelic. Since, I have used the translation, do I need to get permission from the publisher of this book for this song? ------------------ A: FROM DUFF: A translation is simply a derivative work of the original. Since the original in this case is public domain (speaking re: U.S. law), you would not appear to need permission for the lyrics. Watch out though if there was a change in the original so as to create a separate copyrightable work. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Collaboration or Trade Mark?: Does one have to get permission to use product names in a song? For example, in Phil Vassar's song "Just Another Day in Paradise" he refers to "Domino's Pizza" in his lyrics. Did he have to obtain permission to use that name? Would I have to obtain permission to use the phrase "band-aid" in a song, being that Band-Aid is a brand name? ----------------------------------------------------------------- FOR THE ANSWER TO THIS AND MORE QUESTIONS, SEE THE REST OF THE DISCUSSION AT: ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S "COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A" ONLINE AT OR DUFF'S "THIS LAW GOES TO 11" COLUMN AT . Please note: These two received a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Q&A's online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** ABOUT NANCY A. REECE: Carpe Diem Copyright Management'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). In addition to her work at Carpe Diem Copyright Management, Reece works at a performing rights organization in the United States and is an accomplished contemporary artist working in abstract and multimedia on canvas and wood. ABOUT DUFF BERSCHBACK: Duff Berschback is an entertainment lawyer in Nashville, TN. He represents singers, songwriters, publishers, and other assorted industry types, with a particular focus on digital entertainment and new media. He spends spare time hanging with his family, playing with his Lab, reading, and, of course, listening to music. A bit scattershot in his musical taste, at any given time he can be found listening to Bach or Martina McBride, Wagner or Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters or (old) U2, Dire Straits or Dwight Yoakum, The Rolling Stones or Frank Sinatra, and (old) Van Halen or George Winston, among others. **If you would like to ask either of these two a question, you can send your e-mail to Nancy at or to Duff at . They can't guarantee they'll get to all of the questions, but they'll certainly try.** Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart ----------------------------------------------------------------- Dene Marie Jomei's self-titled debut CD is a self-produced, eclectic brand of pop that draws upon a variety of styles, intonations, musical yard sales, and alternative-indie-acoustic peculiarities that demonstrate quite an ability. Whether or not she has fully picked a dominant direction to pursue, is open to debate. However, the most important fact - for any singer - is to learn by doing. That's just what's happening here. The dozen songs come up to 52 minutes, starting with the dance-pop rhythm of 'Stay With Me.' It's one of the best, because of the plethora of vocals and guitars involved, a good, almost overblown (and that's capital for the dance floor) production. 'I call your number since you're nowhere in sight / but no answer on the telephone tonight. / I’ve got to tell you something that's been on my mind, / there's an invitation waiting for you.' She's got an original voice, that often will raise to trills when she goes up high and holding. Good vocal range, which will only grow better with time. 'Everything' shows off her vocal prowess better than most. 'I hear your voice it echoes in the night / alone I feel you reach for me from so far / you run from me, so afraid to see everything I am / if you ever wonder what you mean to me.' Also 'I Want To' – my favorite of the cd – sparks to life with great acoustic guitar, and in being so electronically unmasked, manages to show off Dene's voice more than any other track. Coffeehouse time! 'Your touch is kind and dangerous / your all consuming star / your smile, so warm and wicked / taunting eyes, what's in there?' Dene has a way to go still, for controlling the voice, and production quality, but wow, what a start. ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: George Formby - Wendy Carlos - Dean Evenson & Soundings Ensemble - Jeffrey Michael - Ed Gerhard - Vasen - Cybertribe - Chinmaya Dunster - Jerry Goldsmith & David Shire - Devon - The Man Who Wasn't There - Soundtrack --------------- ****** Ben lives in Boalsburg, PA where greedy people want to put up condos in place of a nature preserve. He spends his off hours listening to radio comedy - especially British - loves reading and watching horror, and hates trying to make ends meet. Send him money and gifts. While waiting for bribes, he's currently writing the official biographies of The Bickersons, Paul Frees and Daws Butler. His latest bit of immortality? The text for Contact him at: **Ben has kindly consented to do music reviews for this publication and also for The Muse's Muse itself. And he's finally going to have some help! I hope you'll all join me in welcoming Eliot Popkin as our newest CD reviewer. Information on them both along with the genres they prefer to receive, can be found at . ** Back to Menu ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ A GREAT OPPORTUNITY TO PROMOTE YOUR SONGS! Whether you're a songwriter or lyricist, the Great American Song Contest offers a great opportunity to get your songs heard by top music-industry pros. This highly recommended annual event features top judges who are publishers, producers, recording artists & well-known hit songwriters. The contest provides for 5 winners in 7 different song categories, for a total of 35 winners. Plus, ALL entries receive a written evaluation from the judges! (Postmark deadline is November 14th.) Visit for details, or email for a printed brochure. ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : Charles will be providing us with a series of articles discussing common problems performing songwriters might face within the music business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: Publicity: Using the Internet to Promote Your Music - by Charles Katz ©2001, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ "The Search is Over" performed by Survivor, Words and Music by Frank Sullivan and Jim Peterik was a classic hit in the mid 80's. The lyric with a great hook "I can see forever. The search is over." is repeated several times in the chorus and gets the message across. In Internet Publicity, Key Words are Search and Information. The first step for a performing artist is to develop and maintain a Proper web site. The key elements on your web site should include: 1.Bio 2.Recordings 3.SoundBites 4.Order Music 5.Performance Dates 6.Links Page 7.Contact Information Optional items may include Videos, Lyrics, and Gallery with Photo and art exhibition. It is extremely important that the web site is colorful, dynamic, up to date, informative about the artist, and NO BROKEN LINKS!!!! You should not try to do the site yourself but hire a web master / graphic artist to do the initial development. Once the site is up and running you must enable people to find you on the Internet. This is accomplished in several ways. 1. Meta Tags - hidden in the web script so search engines can find you. For details, see: 2. Submit to the major search engines such as : (JODI'S NOTE: Feel free to use my own manual submission page at . This will give you all the majors plus a few more. I suggest you do this manually as the major search engines sometimes do ignore submissions from software programs.) For those who haven't got the time or energy why not put your web address into a tool like this: 3. Put Your web site address everywhere. Posters, flyers, adverts, stickers, T-Shirts, press releases, gig tickets or maybe on CD's you are sending to local DJs or promoters. 4. Links Communities and Forums 5. Get yourself another website! Build yourself another website - there's every reason why it's great to be in more than one place at one time. Plenty of companies are out there that will help you to do this. 5. Join a Webring A Webring is a collection of sites with common interests who add links to each other. A navigation tool then lets users move between all of the linked sites. This is a very effective way to group like-minded sites together. Find a Webring with similar tastes to you and get linking. Stay tuned for next month's article: Publicity: Using the Internet to Promote Your Music-Great Indie Sites to Upload your Music to. ****** Charles Katz owns a high-tech company, Printerm, established for 20 years, and manages a Record Label, Windrift Music Inc. He currently has a CD "Night Driving Music" installed at Internet sites in the US, UK, and Asia collecting royalties. Charles is presently working on his second CD with a female recording artist and has established a virtual band, Spencer K for that project. As a business leader, musician, publisher, and promoter, he is now providing his expertise for fellow artists. Contact: 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 & . Please check there regularly for updates! ----------------------------------------------------------------- 'RADIO MUSE' WEBCAST FOR INDEPENDENT SONGWRITERS - SEEKING MUSIC! The Muse's Muse & Host, Jan Best of Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine, are putting together a series of shows, one every month, featuring the songs of independent songwriters just like you! See for details on how you can send in your own music for consideration. ----------------------------------------------------------------- UNISONG -- DON'T MISS THE OPPORTUNITY OR THE DEADLINE! A fantastic opportunity for songwriters around the world to have their songs heard by top music industry pros and their careers enhanced. Over $50,000 in cash and prizes! Our always unique Grand Prize is a trip to Jamaica to be a part of Music Bridges 2002! There is also a major opportunity for songwriters to have their songs included on an all-star album for Earth Summit 2002. Enter via CD, cassette or MP3! Entry deadline is November 30, 2001. Visit for more details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- DO YOU LIKE THE MUSE'S MUSE? HERE'S ANOTHER COMMUNITY YOU MIGHT ENJOY: Just Plain Folks - - is a fantastic organization, over 11,000 members strong - especially for people who want to make it in the music biz. Participation could be a great thing for your career! Have a look at the web site and if you're interested in getting involved, just email me at with your full name, your city, your state/province and your country in the body of your email. By joining, you'll also be entered into a weekly drawing for great prizes (which is why they need your full name)! They send out a free newsletter once every two weeks and it's a great way to keep informed about what's happening out there - especially if you're an indie. I've been a mentor @ JPF for several years now. They're well worth checking out! If the link above doesn't work for you, you can also email me directly and I can take care of it for you. :) -- Jodi ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEW SONG CONTEST! The Aural Adventure Song Contest is a new type of competition. There are no deadlines, and you have some choices regarding the prize / competition ratio. The contest is divided into rushes and waves. (See site.) Winners recieve cash prizes, and appear on an Aural Adventure Wave CD. All entrants of the first wave (4350 entries,) will receive a copy of the first CD! (15 tracks.) Winners receive 5 copies. The goal here is to successfully incorporate complete artistic freedom, and sonic exploration into the song format. Entry fee is $20.00 U.S.D. The site opens at 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern (New York) time, on Halloween. (10-31-01) ----------------------------------------------------------------- NORTH BY NORTHEAST MUSIC FESTIVAL AND INDUSTRY CONFERENCE Toronto, Ontario - June 6, 7 & 8, 2002 Attention up-and-coming musical acts from Canada and around the world: Don't miss the deadline for showcase applications to be a part of Canada's leading new music showcase event - North By Northeast 2002! Returning for it's eighth fantastic year, North By Northeast will be taking over downtown Toronto June 6-8, 2002. Submissions will be accepted starting November 1, 2001 through to January 18, 2002. All aspiring musical stars of tomorrow are invited to send their demo tapes and CDs for showcase consideration. With last year's festival breaking all previous attendance records, this year could be YOUR chance to play in front of an enormous crowd of national and international music industry and media folks as well as thousands of enthusiastic music fans. Plus, there's LOTS more! HOW TO GET YOUR OFFICIAL SHOWCASE APPLICATION FORM: Download the application form on-line from OR Contact: NXNE Headquarters - 189 Church St. – Lower Level, Toronto, Ontario, Canada – M5B 1Y7 Phone (416) 863-NXNE (6963) / fax: (416) 863-0828 Email: Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2001 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- I recently read a complaint from someone (not directly to me, but through a songwriter's group) that there's very little information about writing commercial songs and making money from it on the internet. Actually, he's wrong. There are a number of resources that discuss commercial songwriting and websites of organizations directly involved in the "business" of songwriting. But I think this person's frustration had more to do with "why can't someone tell me specifically how to make money from my songwriting?" This is a MUCH more difficult question to answer! Most of us who have been involved with songwriting for any period of time and who have researched the business of songwriting, know that it takes a lot more than a great song. Well, first you have to write the "great song", right? :-) So I did a search on my own on search engines using phrases like "making money from songwriting" and "songwriting for profit". Needless to say, I didn't come up with much! Most who advertise this at all will want you to buy their books or pay for their courses before they'll actually tell you anything :-) And why not? It's business! But I did come across a website that I have actually visited before, a number of times, set up by a songwriting pair that I have personally met on the internet, Danny Arena and Sara Light. Aside from being great people, their website is full of lots of information and articles on songwriting (withOUT having to take their courses!) The one that stuck out for me was Sara's article "Getting A Staff Writing Deal". This is the real thing from someone who IS a staff writer and who has learned a lot from her involvement in NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) and interaction with many other songwriters over the years. You'll find her article among others at: The fact is, folks, that making money at writing songs is like starting a business. If you are trying to "sell" something, the first thing you need is a great product...then you need to educate yourself in how the business works. A lot of songwriters want to jump before they know there's any water in the pool :-) Okay, I'm a songwriter too, and I like analogies :-) But don't complain that there aren't enough people out there willing to help you understand the process and learn the business. This website proves that there ARE! P.S. Did I mention you should first learn how to write a great song?? :-) ****** 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 eagerly anticipated CD "Catnip" is finally here, and her earlier recordings have had attention everywhere from Japan to South America. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S o n g w r i t e r I n S p o t l i g h t : Alan O'Day Most people may know Alan as the writer/artist on the Billboard #1 "Undercover Angel," or as the writer of Helen Reddy's quirky two million seller "Angie Baby". But O'Day has remained busy at his craft since the 70's. After writing & producing songs for Jim Henson's Muppet Babies animated TV show (in the 80's), & National Geographic's award winning "Really Wild Animals" children's videos (in the 90's); he is back to his first love, writing pop songs. He has written for Disney Television's "Sing Me A Story", co-written hit songs with Japanese superstar Tatsuro Yamashita, & even co-written & produced original songs for the "Arabian Nights Pageant" in Indio, California. Read on as Alan talks about his views on rejection, emotional support (we ALL need that!), recounts his successes and talks about the lessons he's learned along the way. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What got you interested in music in the first place? Who were your earliest influences and inspirations? ---------- A: I can't remember a time when music didn't fascinate me. As a little kid, I was sick a lot, so I would listen to the radio & drift off into the music (kind of like Angie Baby!). I was an only child; there was no TV, just my mental pictures. My dad's 78 rpm records also yielded great excitement, especially the blues, Dixieland, & Errol Garner sides. (I still have them, packed away in the garage, and a few reside in a 1947 Wurlitzer jukebox in my living room.) Then somewhere later I heard Spike Jones' unique combination of music & humorous noise, & I was hooked on that too. As a school project in the 5th grade, I built a sound effects box, with every weird gadget I could improvise on: two pieces of wood slammed together would simulate a pistol shot, a small container full of little rocks when shaken would sound like applause, etc. I was also singing & playing the ukulele, which taught me the beginning of chord concepts. Looking back, I see the elements of music, rhythm, humor & drama combining & percolating to form my love of songwriting. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: So what got you writing instead of listening (and creating sound effects ;-) )? Was there a particular event or individual that encouraged you to start? ---------- A: You know, I think it was a transition rather than a particular event. I see myself at age seven, sitting on the steps near my house playing a xylophone & making up melodies. Later on, playing the ukulele & making up a piece of lyric... Oh! In the third grade I had a major crush on a girl named Sharon. So I bought a blank card, wrote her an original poem, & delivered it to her front door (no one was home). The next day in school she appeared angry at me & actually chased me around the playground. It wasn't the reaction I was looking for, but I guess the unintentional lesson was that there is power in words! ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: So when you figured out the power of words, what did you do with it? ----------------------------------------------------------------- For the answer to this and other questions, please see the rest of the interview at . ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= 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. Song listings are only $29.95 per year. An ecommerce enabled marketing/promotion page and tour calendar are also available for performing songwriters to get further artist exposure. See for details or contact: ~ Tel: 770.754.4543 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : Breaking into the soft-seater market: A "Lawless" approach by Gregg Lawless ©2001, Greg Lawless. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted By Permission. Editor's Note: This article first appeared in the magazine put out by the Songwriting Association of Canada (SAC) - so the references are Canadian. But you should be able to apply these principles no matter where you are! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Part 2: Turning one small "break" into a career In 1997, I played a very small showcase (through a gawdawful p.a.) to fewer than 10 people at my first conference, the Ontario Arts Council's "Contact" weekend. Only one presenter showed any interest. His interest was, however, substantial: he offered me an opening spot in a major theatre to open for Burton Cummings, contingent on Burton's agent approving me as an opening act. The agent didn't. But, the presenter promised: "Hang in there...I like what you'll hear from me." I wrote him a gracious thank you letter for his having considered me. Three weeks later, he called me to open two nights for Susan Aglukark. Both nights were hugely successful. The audience was very receptive and I also managed to sell a pile of cd's. I made sure not to play more than the allotted 25 minutes, I thanked Susan, her band, her crew, the theatre crew, the presenter, the ushers...well, you get the picture. Many folks asked me: "When are you coming back?" I responded, with a devilish smile: "Why don't you ask the theatre manager?" Apparently, lots of people did: I'm doing my own "headliner" there this year. Just as important as the return engagement was the letter of reference - and word of mouth promo. - that the presenter gave me. I forwarded copies of his letter to other theatres who were presenting Susan and ended up with 4 more "openers". Word spread quickly about the shows. Suddenly, presenters who, till then, wouldn't return my calls were friendly and receptive. Case in point: in 1997 I sent a copy of my début solo cd, "Greggorian Chance", to a well-respected presenter who books a 500 seat hall. The presenter was cordial but non-committal. I requested permission to put her on my "news" email list; she agreed. I called her 3 times over the next two years to politely gauge if she was taking notice of my "progression". She remained non-committal. Then, at 9:26 on a Friday morning, two years after our initial conversation, she called to offer me a last-minute spot on a triple-bill that evening; one of the act's plane was grounded due to a snow storm. I managed to put together a band, played a well-received set, sold tons of cd's and was invited back to play for the theatre's Members' Night. After the gig, I asked the presenter: "So, why did you finally decide to give me a break?" She replied: "Because you're hardworking, well organized, professional and, above all, polite." That gig led to a headliner for the coming season and, to top it off, the presenter turned out to be on the CAPACOA showcase selection committee. This, no doubt, played a part in my subsequently being accepted to showcase at the national presenters' conference in Ottawa. BUILDING/MAINTAINING A "CAREER": Making concrete, attainable short and long-term plans is essential. For example: Immediate plan Today, I will: make a comprehensive list, including contact information, of all of the presenters I want to contact. Tomorrow, I will: write a "script" of what I'll say/email to each presenter (including, if possible, a brief reference/quote from another presenter); have a business-minded friend proof-read the script; revise and edit. The following day, I will attempt to contact each presenter and make detailed notes (i.e. "...definitely not interested..."; "...lukewarm...send cd/kit and follow up in 2 weeks"; or "...very interested...courier cd/kit today and call in 4 days"). Plan for the next year This fall I will meet every presenter at the Contact conference; in Jan. I will release a new cd; by June 1st I will have a completely redesigned/updated press kit to apply for next year's showcase; next fall I will give a well-rehearsed, thoroughly entertaining showcase (and if I'm not accepted for an "official showcase", I'll set up a "guerilla" showcase off-site!) and follow up with every presenter who attends. Plan for the next three years I will: plan a showcase/tour outside of my province; endeavour to make 25% of my gross income from playing concerts; release an indisputably brilliant cd. Falling back into the land of clichés: keep your day job. Building a successful, profitable career is a long-term commitment; it will likely take at least 2 to 4 years from the day that you are fully organized and "ready to take on the world" until you begin to attain your more ambitious goals. And remember: follow-up and personal contact will comprise 90% of your job as a self-managed, self-promoted, artist. MISCELLANEOUS TIPS: One way to make presenters happy is, quite frankly, to help them to do their job. Ask yourself: "What can I offer to them besides the show itself?" Can you help with marketing/promotional ideas? Presenters talk to one another regularly, so word travels quickly. In addition to a killer cd/bio and poster, can you provide them with a five minute, edited promo cd, featuring snippets of 5 of your best songs that they can play to their captive audience before other concerts? You are now in the business of making and maintaining relationships. Think of presenters as long-term friends/ business partners. Find out their kids' names, ask them where they grew up, how they got into the business, what they do when they aren't working...before long, you'll be amazed that you were ever intimidated by these people. Also: - Never call or write an email/letter when you're can never really "take it back". - Send Christmas cards. - Never say anything negative about anyone in the will come back to haunt you. - Brush your teeth regularly and eat your vegetables...fresh breath and good health are big assets in any business. Good luck...I'll see you when your tour rolls through my town! ****** Gregg Lawless is a Toronto-based, self-represented singer/songwriter, currently promoting his latest cd, "Wicked little buzz", with the "Fancy-Dancy Theatre Tour 2001". Contact: Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : If You Don't Win, You Can Still Play - by Lynn Harrison If you've participated in any songwriting contests recently but have been discouraged by your placing, this is a must read. Here are some of Lynn's thoughts on the matter. You might recognize yourself in here... Back to Menu
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- LYRICIST! VERSION 2 HAS ARRIVED - NOW WITH CHORD CHARTING. Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2 - The Songwriter's Best Friend -the first-of-its-kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software includes a rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization, chord charting, song arrangement and much much more - all in a user-friendly package. We will begin shipping V2 on November 12, 2001 so get your holiday order in soon. We have created a special Muses Muse Order page that will save you $5 off our current $39.95 selling price. Visit our web-site at for more information or call us at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. or 603.669.0411 outside the U.S.A. ----------------------------------------------------------------- NOMA MUSIC HAS PLENTY OF OPPORTUNITIES FOR THOSE SONGWRITERS who want to have their songs placed in major and independent television, film, and commercials. We are receiving requests for a wide variety of music styles that are phoned in to us daily by music supervisors, producers, and directors. All styles of music are okay to be submitted, but the most sought after styles at this time are R&B, Alternative Rock, All Electronica, Hip-Hop, and all styles of female singer/songwriter material. But we will listen to all submissions. More info at ~ Phone: 877-980-7700 or 818-566-8817 PST ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at
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