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The Muse's News

Issue 5.0 - March 2002
ISSN 1480-6975

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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem
    Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart & Eliot Popkin
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman
                       Relationships Between Independent and Major
                       Labels 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.
                     - by Denny Eschrich
@-- Group In Spotlight - HIP-HOP TO THE GOOD SIDE - The Logos 
                       (by Terri Ann Palumbo)
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - 2002, 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!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ THINK YOU HAVE WHAT IT TAKES TO SIGN A MUSIC PUBLISHING DEAL? Brought to you by Universal Music Group, Songwriting and Publishing is an instructional video that teaches you everything you need to know to write a successful song and sign a lucrative publishing deal. Purchase the video and we GUARANTEE a Universal A&R executive will review your lyrics and send you WRITTEN FEEDBACK. We'll even give you the chance to win a $1,000 publishing deal with Universal Music Publishing Group. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi everyone. Well, we finally did it. We've hit over 10,000 subscribers this month. Woohoo! It's been a time for reaching milestones lately and this is another one of them. Plus, The Muse's Muse (along with our friends at Just Plain Folks (Brian Austin Whitney, The Songwriting Education Resource (Danny Arena & Sara Light) & Irene Jackson) was mentioned in an article in The Wall Street Journal (Page R9 on February 11th). It was a very nice surprise. I could do with more surprises like that, in fact. ;) Anyway, I hope you'll check around the website when you get a chance - the columnist section in particular: - as there's tons of new content with more coming every day. Also, I'm now offering special discounts on my website promotion packages for musicians and/or music-related businesses or services. Have a look at for more details. For the first five folks that go with a Full Service plan, I'll be giving away a (free) copy of InsideSessions' Songwriting & Publishing package. For more info on this special package from InsideSessions, have a look at . I was truly impressed with it myself - and let me tell you, that doesn't happen often. You have to have the talent, yes - but I have confidence in you guys! I know you have what it takes. :) And lastly, I'd like to congratulate our newest two winners in this month's prize raffle. Frederick Thompson from London, UK has won himself a copy of VSS's fantastic Lyricist product. For a review of Lyricist, see . Kristen Ong from Altadena, CA has won herself a copy of Pamela Phillips Oland's book, THE ART OF WRITING GREAT LYRICS, which is also reviewed later on in this newsletter. Thanks for subscribing, guys! I hope you have a wonderful month. I don't know about you, but I'm REALLY looking forward to spring. It's been just the warmest winter I can ever remember here in the Toronto area and I'm just creeped out. ;) All the best, --Jodi 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 Licensing executive Nancy A. Reece ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: If I co-wrote a song w/two people (clear 1/3 each) and we hired a demo singer and paid her to do the vocal, with the intention of sending it out to be re-recorded, but due to reaction to the song, we also sent it to a publisher who wanted to see if he could get placement in TV or Film, etc., and if we did get such placement, would we owe the singer additional $$? Should we sign a contract with her? Thanks, -- Leslie N. -------- A: It is always important to have a written agreement with any performer that is a musician for hire on a project. If you paid a singer to sing the song for a demo and you paid that performer and have documentation that the work was for hire and payment was made in full, then you have no problems. You should have written documentation for not only the singer but any musician and any producer of the project. It should be clear to all parties who owns the sound recording as well as who owns the underlying work. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I'm a flutist/singer/songwriter. I have an mp3 website, three recordings out, am an ASCAP member and an international performer. I've had personal manager and record interest and was recently offered management by a guy who said I should pay him a monthly fee of $100.00 per month plus 15% of what he gets me which I thought probably completely a no no. For managers? Is this true? Thanks -- Suki -------- A: It is not unusual for personal artist managers, business managers, attorneys or other counselors of many sorts to charge a flat retainer fee and a percentage of either the gross or the net. Many times the flat fee helps defray expenses and therefore any charges for expenses are waived. It is important that all of these points are negotiated and understood by both parties. The most important thing is to work with someone you trust. I always suggest that having a quick talk with other artists on the manager's roster may be helpful. Seek an impartial entertainment attorney to assist you with any management agreement. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I sent one of my songs to a demo service, along with payment for their services. The song came back sounding great, and I'm ready to start marketing it to publishers. Right now it is broadcast quality, and I'm interested in trying to get it licensed for TV/Film. My question is, since I paid for the demo, was this a work for hire for me and I own this version? Would I have to contact the studio after a deal is made for licensing so they can contact the musicians that played on the demo so the musicians can contact their PROs? Also, does the studio have the ability to copyright the sound recording? I sent them a vocal/guitar demo and it is now a full band demo. I paid a considerable sum (in my bank account anyway) to have the demo made, so in my mind it feels like a work for hire, but I am unsure of the legalities of all of this. I would appreciate any counsel you might have. -- Chris Y. -------- A: This was a work for hire if that's what was in your agreement with them. Did they give you a receipt for payment in full? Did that receipt give you itemized detail of what you were paying for? From where I sit, you own the sound recording because that's what you paid for. You do need proof of payment for your files. You have a professional arrangement but you still own the copyright of the work. Any producer expecting credit for their work would have had you sign a production agreement. Were you presented with one? These demos can be made for $150-$1500 or more. It is very important that you take the initiative to show that what you are paying for is clear and that there is no other compensation expected. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: I was wondering if you could shed some light on some of this for me. In an administration deal 1)what is the average length of time for a deal? 2)Does the administrator take ownership of copyright? If so for how long? 3)Advantages / Disadvantages of signing an administration deal with a label that you're signed to? Publishing 1)How do I go about setting up a publishing company? Thanks -- Ed -------- A: Please refer to my article PUBLISHING 101 ( on the web site for help in setting up your own publishing company. Administration responsibilities of copyrights fall upon the owners of those copyrights. If, for a variety of reasons, the owner of the copyright determines that it is necessary to secure outside help for administration duties, an administration deal is negotiated. Duties of a copyright administrator will vary depending on relationships. The care of the catalog includes the appropriate execution of exploitations secured by the publisher. (Mechanical, Print, Synch etc) Duties for an administrator may also include the accounting and payment of royalties secured to the publisher and to the songwriters that publisher represents. The term of an admin. deal is at least one year. Term is a negotiated item. No, the administrator does not have any ownership in the publisher's copyrights. They are paid a fee for services. That fee may sometimes be a flat monthly rate and lump payment for a term or a percentage of royalties distributed. Many times it is a combination of both. A fair admin. deal is going to run 10%-15% of the gross monies earned by that publisher. Some administrators will charge a flat rate for overhead or charge back designated expense. As with all agreements, you should seek a competent entertainment attorney when entering an administration deal. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S "COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A" ONLINE AT Please note: She receives 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. **If you would like to ask Nancy a question, you can send your e-mail to Nancy at . 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 & Eliot Popkin ----------------------------------------------------------------- DB Leonard - after all (by Eliot Popkin) Isn't this just a multi-talented superstar waiting to happen? This fabulous 8-song disc is also a soundtrack for the film "Down on Brighton" which Leonard wrote the score for? Ok, I'm impressed. The disc starts off with the emotional, engaging "After All" in which Leonard sings "we were scared of the dark after all, after all, the monsters we'd seen, after all." You can hear these songs really lifting a movie to new places. "After All" starts on an acoustic tip, and then adds a nice dance groove. It is completely unexpected but it fits nicely. It's a fabulous beginning to an album that is strong throughout. Also a real nice listen is "down on brighton" in which Leonard sings "if you don't want cowboys don't give boys guns." Leonard's voice is perfect for the songs he sings. It is emotive, fresh, unafraid to yell, or be quiet or be his own voice. He trades vocals on "half as fragile" with Sandy Bell singing "you can talk to me, talk to me, talk to me." God, is it good. One of those moments you find on acoustic albums where you can hear the emotion, hear the feelings 'cause it's all you hear. You hear me? I don't know who Mr. Leonard sounds like. I don't care. I often take note when the backing band deserves a note. Man is this band good; real tight, crisp sound, very non-intrusive and just plain professional players. Overall, what a beautiful album. Makes me want to go see the movie. Way to go Mr. Leonard, keep up the fine work. Contact: (212) 643-5432 ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Conceptualistic Departure - (by Ben Ohmart) Rachel Portman (Hart's War Soundtrack) - (by Ben Ohmart) Dean Evenson - (by Ben Ohmart) Effron White - (by Eliot Popkin) Tony Adamo - (by Eliot Popkin) David M. Bailey - (by Eliot Popkin) Katrina Bishop - (by Eliot Popkin) Dance Planet - (by Ben Ohmart) --------------- ****** 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: Eliot is a Boston born singer/songwriter who saw his debut album "Down Along This Road" have 3 songs find their way into movies, radio airplay on more than 100 stations across the country as well as countless wonderful reviews and feature stories. He currently is writing songs for various major label and film projects, and is in the studio working on his follow up album. He lives in Los Angeles, enjoying a nice view of the Hollywood sign. To hear his music, drop by his web site at . Contact him at: If you're considering sending in your own CD for review, please drop by to find out which reviewer reviews which genre. Thanks! 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 James Linderman The Art of Writing Great Lyrics - By Pamela Phillips Oland ----------------------------------------------------------------- At the beginning of the introduction to this book, Pamela Phillips Oland describes various scenarios in which you might be asked to do a revision on something you've written, and so it is kind of ironic that this book is a revised edition itself. It's a 1989 title by the same author with some refinements and simplifications to the original text. Like most successful people from any profession, Oland is able to provide some real "how to" with simple tools of the trade. In this case, maximizing the word power of a good dictionary, thesaurus and rhyming dictionary with the emphasis on…refinement and simplification. Lyric writers are reminded in the first section that we are in the word business and there are some great "process" examples and advice available here. The middle section of the book really illuminates the basics of how to make your words become lyrics and "marrying" them to the music. Oland is very skilled at crafting lyrics that are "music friendly" and offers up lots of wonderful examples from her highly successful catalogue. This is a "how to" from someone who has really proven her "how to". The rest of the book walks through the life of a song; through the collaboration, the rewrites (that's right, I said rewrites), the demo process and the three p's: packaging, presenting and publishing. There is a very comprehensive resource section and some very up-beat coaching, at the conclusion of the book that would lead us to believe that; if we took the time to read this book, and took the terrific advice that's in it, we could probably write something that would be truly exciting to shop around. Revised information, refined process, fresh enthusiasm and new opportunities... It's all here and it might be just what we need. ****** James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson, songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada. He has worked as a collaborating songwriter and consultant for The Toronto Office of Catholic Youth and leads a music workshop program for Life 100.3 Christian radio. James writes songwriting articles for The Muse's News web magazine, Canadian Musician Magazine and Professional Musician Magazine. Contact James at: Back to Menu ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : Charles is providing us with a series of articles discussing common problems performing songwriters might face within the music business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: RECORDING: Relationships Between Independent and Major Labels ©2002, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ----------------------------------------------------------------- "Killing Me Softly With His Song" - Words by Norman Gimbel and Music by Charles Fox - was a classic hit in 1972 and my all time favorite from a songwriter's viewpoint. The opening lyric "I heard he sang a good song // I heard he had a style" is something every major label or independent considers when reviewing a performing artist. Once you have that golden nugget, you must know how to mine the resource and make it into a success. When I first started Windrift Music, I wondered how I was going to compete against those large record labels that dominate the music industry. Then I came to the simple conclusion that competing was unnecessary. If I could work with some larger label and complement their endeavors, then I could find the winning formula. This could increase the exposure in commercial media for Windrift Music and expand distribution networks by increasing access to major retail record chain stores. The benefits are: Cash Manufacturing Promotion Distribution To start, I send out submissions for some artists I represent. The A & R staff at the labels I communicate with are really positive and helpful with their criticism. I strongly believe that if I do not receive positive vibrations then I will not have the monster hit/artist I am looking for. To date I have only once received an excellent appraisal and then I knew the artist had a chance at stardom!! The next step is to take this to the VP of A & R of that label, convince him that this artist fits their unique niche, and then to negotiate a record relationship. The type of deals to consider are: Pressing and Distribution (P&D) Distribution Only Fulfillment Production Joint Ventures Equity Licensing Rights Buyouts I will spend more time in my next article discussing these in detail. Stay tuned for next month's article: Relationships Between Independent and Major Labels: Types Of Deals ****** 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. ----------------------------------------------------------------- COLUMBIA RECORDS SEEKS FEMALE R&B ACT Tonos hosts many songwriting contests and Industry Opportunities specifically for songwriters every month. February contests include: * Columbia Records Seeks Female R&B Act - Columbia Records' VP of A&R is seeking a young female R&B group similar to Xscape and Destiny's Child. The female group should be in the age range of 16-22. However, if you are a solo artist who wants to be in a group, you can submit your material as well. * Ka-Ching Records Seeking Rock Songs for New Acts - This label was founded by Little Richard's current bassist, Charles "King C" Jr., who was also a Motown recording artist with the popular funk act Ozone. They are looking for rock songs in the style of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park. * Pop artist needs original pop songs! - Fontaine Music is seeking pop songs for their latest signing, Allison Page. This music management and production company is best known for forming the pop group Dream, and their recent signing of Natasha to Universal.
(It's a bit long, I know - but if it doesn't work as a clickable link in your email, just copy and past the link into your browser.) ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE GALARIS INDEPENDENT MUSICIANS NEWSLETTER. Twice monthly receive FREE, direct to your email box, articles containing: Promotion tips, Career advice, Recording tips, Practicing tips, Legal advice, Musician's health, Radio promotion and much much more. To sign up for your FREE subscription, send an email to, and type in the subject line "add me". To view an example of the last issue online log on to, or to get an example of the newsletter sent to your email box send a blank email to ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE USA SONGWRITING COMPETITION IS NOW OPEN: Enter the 2002 USA Songwriting Competition now! Win a grand prize of over US$50,000 in cash and merchandise and exposure, making this the largest prize package in any annual songwriting competition! Winning songs get radio airplay. Judges include record labels such as Warner/Reprise Records, SONY Music, Epic Records, etc. EARLY ENTRY BONUS: First 1,000 entries will receive a free gift. Info: ----------------------------------------------------------------- MAKEASTAR SONG CONTEST Revolutionary music site showcasing top unsigned artists while combining the excitement of weekly tournament-style contests. Song entries are reviewed by a prestigious and accredited panel of Industry Professionals. Song reviews are honest and confidential and for the sole benefit of the artists. Contest winners are determined by an equal vote of the Industry members and Fans. Each week, the contest Champion wins a a non-exclusive Licensing Deal from MakeaStar Records. Entries may be submitted at any time. For more details, see . ----------------------------------------------------------------- 10th BILLBOARD SONG CONTEST WINNERS ANNOUNCED! We are proud to announce the winners of the 10th Annual Billboard Song Contest. These songwriter's beat out thousands of entrants to prove they are the best. This year produced some of the best material we have ever had. The 8 First Place Winner's are: Pop - Jenny Bruce, Rock/Alternative - Kevin Bents, R&B/Blues - Nanette Maxine, JAZZ - Leif Arntzen, Country/Folk - Harvey Sanders, Jr. , Dance - Jewl Mosteller, Latin/World - John Gonzales, Christian/Gospel - Reed McGowan. For a complete list of winners check out 11th BILLBOARD SONG CONTEST ACCEPTING ENTRIES NOW! The biggest name in the music business has kicked off it's contest for 2002. This year adds better prizes and more exposure. You could win a NEW Digidesign Mbox with Pro Tools LE, An Epiphone Guitar with case, A years subscription to TAXI, and many other prizes to help Jumpstart your career. EVERY ENTRY GETS A JUDGING REPORT! Get your music heard by the people who need to hear it. For complete information and entry form go to FIRST 500 ENTRIES GET FREE BILLBOARD SONG CONTEST T-SHIRT - ENTER NOW! ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE GREAT CANADIAN MUSIC DREAM CONTEST: The Great Canadian Music Dream is a hosted series of six one hour Music Specials. A cross-Canada music talent search will lead to five Regional Qualifying shows, followed by a live-to-air finale. All 6 shows will be shared events on CBC TV and Radio. Each Qualifying Show will feature major stars as well as the five contestants from that region and one contestant will win a public vote to become a finalist on the National Finale. The winner of the national final show will be contracted by CBC to star in his/her/their (in the case of a band) own television and radio special. Entries are accepted until April 1, 2002. See for more details. Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2002 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- So you wanna play the guitar? Or you play just a little but would like to improve your skills? I read columns quite often about "Songwriting For Guitar" where the article talks about the different makes of guitar and very little about the actual songwriting part! But before you can do any writing, you have to learn to play! Being a guitar player and teacher myself, I'm always looking for some good websites for guitar, and ( is one of the best. You can pick and choose your lessons from absolute beginner to advanced. If you can play midi sounds on your computer, you can hear demos of each lesson. You can change the tempo, the sound of the instrument, have a metronome clicking along with can loop the sound so you can keep practicing with it. This is a very approachable website for anyone interested in the guitar. If you like, you can rate the lessons and the 10 most popular are right on the front page. You can even choose the style of music you want to play...everything from Country to Flamenco, and fingerpicking to playing the blues. Guitar players who think they can teach (hee, hee!) can also upload lessons to this website, but the most popular lessons are usually created by those who know what they're doing :-) I'm sure that if you play, or want to, you'll find something really helpful on this website, including what to look for when purchasing a guitar. There really is a lot more than I can describe in one small article, but be prepared to put aside a good amount of time to really check it out thoroughly. And one of these days I really am going to write that article on "Songwriting For Guitar"... ****** 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 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 : Denny's Tips For Amateur Songwriters - by Denny Eschrich © 2002 Denny Eschrich. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- So you want to be a songwriter. Well, if you've been at it for a little while, you know it's not as easy as it sounds. Most of us have jobs, family obligations, and other things to do, along with limited finances. So we have to get organized and make the most of the resources we do have. I'm an amateur songwriter just like a lot of you reading this article, but I've learned a few things that can help me maximize the time and money that I can put into my hobby. I am still learning, but I think the basic tips I am listing will help those getting started. Just came up with a great idea for a chord progression, hook lines, or a verse? Write it down now! If you don't, you'll forget it. Two minutes of scribbling now will pay off later. You won't be trying to remember it later. It will be right in front of you, ready for crafting. If you have to travel, or are lucky enough to be able to sneak in some writing at work, organize a writing kit for yourself: plenty of pencils and paper, current projects, and scribblings, both old and new. Having all your necessities in a briefcase-styled portfolio that will accommodate at least several folders is a good start. Have it ready to travel when you do. Ideas and inspiration can hit anywhere and anytime, so have your tools with you. Out on a date, out on the town, or out in the country? Carry a small pocket-sized notebook and pencil. Again, inspiration can hit anytime. If you can afford it, a small pocket-sized tape recorder works nicely, too. Microcassette recorders have recently come way down in price. Have an old guitar or keyboard that is no match for your new unit? Instead of selling it for a song, consider keeping it as your travel unit, in the trunk or back seat. You can still play on the road, and keep your new unit at home....and out of harm's way. Write daily, even if it's just a few lines. Make writing and playing a part of your daily routine, even if it's just during your personal ease-down time at the end of the day. I have written a lot of songs and poems while sitting on my bed watching television, with my guitar and writing kit with me. Have two great hook lines on a page, but nothing else comes? File it under current projects or come-back-to in your writing kit. I personally have left two lines on paper for weeks, months, or years, then came back and finished the whole song in ten minutes. Don't throw them out! File them! Every song is a poem with words. Just haven't had the time to record? Don't have your performance polished? Try sending your lyrics to some of the many poetry contests that regularly publish anthologies. There are plenty of lyric competitions out there, also. Some only require that you send your lyrics or poems, with no entry fee. You'll at least get your work out where someone will read it, and get a feel for how competitive your writing skills are. Read trade publications. Enter songwriting contests. Network whenever possible. Send demos to publishers that are interested in the type of music you do. Publications like Songwriter's Market will tell you how to put together a professional demo package. A lot of the listed contacts will accept an unsolicited demo, even if it's just a simple vocal with piano or guitar accompaniment. Get out and experience life, people, places and things. Be observant. Listen instead of speaking. Ultimately, you'll be writing about the world around you, and the list of subjects is immense. Fresh ideas will present themselves to you regularly, but you must be observant and receptive. Sing and play your music. Are you a poor performer? Then you need practice! Start out with a few of your best songs and practice your performance regularly. As your skills improve, add more songs. Times that you are experiencing writer's block are the perfect situation to stop torturing yourself with empty paper and practice your performance. Even if you can only get through a few songs, polish your performance on those few, then move on to more. If you keep the discipline, you'll eventually feel gutsy enough to perform....and you need to perform, even if it's only in front of friends and relatives to start. You never know when you'll hit your first networking opportunity (which usually happens unexpectedly) and you'll be asked to bang out your best tunes right then and there. The confidence and skill you develop practicing your own songs over and over again could help you when you get that big chance. Some of these tips are mine. I read the rest of them in various publications, and they are repeated again here because they are great advice and should be repeated. Oh, I almost forgot the most important advice of all: believe in your own uniqueness and creativity, and never give up. ****** The Great Dennisio (Denny Eschrich) has been writing songs, lyrics and poems for nearly ten years. His lyrics and poems have appeared in various anthologies and publications, receiving multiple editor's choice awards. Denny's focus for the past several years has been on songwriting, with his first CD "The Great Dennisio - Admit One Free" released in September 2001. He loves playing live and raw, no amps, just him and guitar in an intimate setting. Denny's short range plans include more live shows, recording his second CD, and increasing his internet presence. Visit The Great Dennisio Website at: to Menu ================================================================= G r o u p I n S p o t l i g h t : by Terri Ann Palumbo HIP-HOP TO THE GOOD SIDE - The Logos Three cousins called The Logos will turn your opinion of hip-hop music around, no matter how you feel about the genre. Songs that go straight to the heart of issues we all face, regardless of our age or race, listenable melodies and on-target lyrics that speak to contemporary conflicts exemplify the group's mission - and their positive message comes through loud and clear. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hate hip-hop? When you hear the word "rap", do you think "bad rep"? Three young men from Brooklyn can change your mind. All it takes is a listen to their crystal-clear message, delivered with captivating rhythms, motivating lyrics, and melodies that can stand on their own as instrumentals. The Logos are cousins Arthur Bates, Aaron Jenkins and Shawn Thomas. They're committed to the notion that Christianity has a rightful place on the playlists of urban youth. I first met the trio last June, when they were preparing for the New York metro area's GospelFest competition. Their competition song was a freestyle medley called "Christ Is The Answer For Success". I haven't been able to get either the song or the group out of my head since - nor would I want to. These guys are everything anyone of any race would want their younger generation to be: creative, intelligent and driven to succeed by their individual expressions of peaceful intent and positive belief. Since the GospelFest competition (which they deservedly won), they've completed a CD entitled "Mind Wine" that they've distributed themselves to Christian bookstores and privately-owned music shops in Brooklyn and the other boroughs. Another CD is in the works, with a working title of "Evocative". Promoting a positive message through music is their passion, and they get together as often as possible at Exodus Studios, located in Chester, New York. Aaron spearheads the business ventures of their newly-incorporated production company, Earational Entertainment, which has just signed a female trio called "Chosen" to their fledgling roster. "We like the idea of keeping things in the family," says Aaron, "and the ladies of Chosen are three sisters with incredible voices. They're more ballad-oriented, and we're having a great time working with them in the studio. These ladies can SING!" The Logos recently were part of a public-speaking engagement with Harry Lennix (of "The Five Heartbeats" and other films) and plan to make more appearances in the future. "We'd like to perform this summer in housing projects, at city parks, where we feel we'll be able to bring our message to city youth - that's the most important goal for us." ****** For the rest of this interview, please visit ****** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Terri Ann Palumbo is an Emmy Award-winning television writer and producer whose work has appeared on shows as diverse as "America's Most Wanted" and "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous". Her current activities include work on a non-fiction book, as well as articles on subjects ranging from celebrity profiles to investigative pieces. She's also recently started designing websites (the first being, but she still hits the field to produce television programming for a variety of clients, and has three separate independent television projects in the works. In her spare time, Terri wonders what "spare time" means, and prays that she won't find an answer to the question for a long, long time. To keep up to date on her latest interviews, drop by her new column, "Songwriter's Speak" at: to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : DESTINATION SONGWRITING by Mary Dawson Whether you are planning a road trip or writing a song, you have to have a destination! Learn how to place your Great Hook strategically so that it becomes the Arrival Point -- the Payoff -- of your song!
================================================================= 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 2.1 HAS ARRIVED - INCLUDES CHORD CHARTING/WIZARD. Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2.1 - 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, chord generator, song arrangement and much much more - all in a user-friendly package. Check out the review at . Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the regular selling price just for purchasing through the form provided off of the review! For more information, visit the review url above or call us at 888.732.1176 inside the U.S.A. or 603.726-4499 outside the U.S.A. ----------------------------------------------------------------- WINDRIFT MUSIC SONGWRITING COMPETITION 2002 Windrift Music and Sonic Foundry(Sound Forge/ACID), are sponsoring the 2002 Songwriting Competition. Fabulous Prizes * $1000 in cash * Sound Forge 5.0. * ACID PRO 3.0 * Vegas Video 3.0 * Five loop libraries * Make Your own demo CD * 50 CDs courtesy of Windrift Music * Web Hosting of Your Song on Windrift Music Site * Artist Home Page with download of music * 1000 promotional Flyers of CD * Free promotion of artist CD to major labels. The deadline is June 30th, 2002. $10 entry fee. Contest details are located on the Windrift Music web site: ----------------------------------------------------------------- DO YOU LIKE COUNTRY MUSIC? If you like old-fashioned, traditional country music from the 1950's thru the 1980's, COUNTRY MUSIC CLASSICS, a FREE weekly email newsletter, is for you! Stories behind the songs, questions and answer section, contests and more. If you love country music back when it was REALLY country--then subscribe to this free newsletter by sending a blank e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- SPECIAL OFFER FROM THE MUSICIAN'S ATLAS The Musician's Atlas is a music industry resource created exclusively for artists and the independent music community. This 368 page directory delivers over 15,000 key business contacts in more than 25 industry categories. We are pleased to offer Muse's Muse subscribers a 15% discount off the already low retail price when you order your copies directly from Or you can receive a free copy of the 2002 Atlas and still save 15% when you order a copy of the new and improved Atlas CD-Rom. Just log on to and enter MUSESMUSE into the purchase code key found on The Atlas order page. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- INTERESTED IN YOUR VERY OWN MUSE'S MUSE SHIRT, MUG OR MOUSEPAD? WOULD YOU LIKE TO SELL YOUR OWN MERCHANDISE? Drop by today! 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... ================================================================= 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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
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