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The Muse's News

Issue 11.9 - December 2008
ISSN 1480-6975

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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - Chip Withrow & Don Sechelski
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Ed Teja
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - Frame By Frame - by Ian Hand
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998-2008 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.

All sorts of products and services especially for songwriters,
negotiated so that you get the best price possible. You'll find
means of promotion and distribution, songwriting aids,
educational products, musical instruments and their accessories,
and lots more. Find the perfect gift for the songwriter in your
life - even if it's you!
S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


Grammy Award-Winning Engineer Khaliq Glover, is giving away his
downloadable online course to the first 79 Muse's Muse
subscribers for free (a $27 value)! No Strings Attached (Happy

His "Piano Recording Secrets" course teaches you how to record
your piano at home or in the studio!

Instead of charging $27.00, he's offered to give it away for free
to Muse's Muse subscribers. He loves what we're doing over here
for songwriters and wants to help.

Go to
and go to his order form and enter the coupon code: MUSESMUSE

IMPORTANT NOTE: You MUST enter coupon code and hit APPLY to get
the $27 off (which makes it 100% free) or else you'll be charged
just like the rest of the world.

Click the link to get your free Piano Recording Secrets course

Coupon Code: MUSESMUSE

E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :

Happy Holidays, folks. For those of you in the States, I hope
you're having a wonderful Thanksgiving. I'm likely to be talking
with you again at the end of December, but for those of you that
celebrate earlier than that, I hope this festive season is
everything you hope it will be. :)

In other news, Eli Stone was canceled. I'm sure that says
something about the ways of the universe ... but I'm equally sure
I don't want to examine it too closely. ;)

Njal Frode Lie has finished doing the free Mastering of a song
for Grant Stevens. You can visit to have a listen to
his and the other two Njal did for those of you subscribed to
this newsletter. Note that in Grant's song, there's a ride
cymbal there that might sound vaguely like white noise. It
isn't. ;) That's meant to be there. I think Njal has done an
awesome job and he's been very generous with us to provide these
masterings for free. If you happen to need that sort of thing,
you'll find his regular pricing to be very reasonable. I highly
recommend you see what he can do for your songs!

And there's finally a new Radio Muse program! I think you'll
really enjoy this show. It includes some of the top winners from
the Great Lakes Songwriting Contest along with a whole bunch of
other hugely talented songwriters and performers. You can have a
listen and look through the artist profiles at . I hope you'll check
it out! And if you send in a package for the next show
(instructions are at,
who knows? Your music could be featured next time! I'd love to
hear what you do. :)

There's a lot of great stuff in this month's newsletter, so I'll
get to the raffle winners below:

* Sandra Young, from Valleyview, Alberta, has won a copy of
Virtual Studio Systems' Lyricist software

* Faith Dow from San Francisco, CA, has won a free 3
month membership to SongU (, an
Internet-based learning environment providing online coaching,
co-writing and pitching opportunities, in addition to over 70
multi-level courses developed by award-winning songwriters.

* George Kirazian from San Diego, CA, has won the book, "BRAND,
BUZZ & SUCCESS" by W. Blake Althen (reviewed in the October
newsletter here:

* Ivor Dunaiski from Cape Town, South Africa, has won a copy of
Bronson Herrmuth's "100 Miles To A Record Deal"

I'd really like to give away more prizes next month. :) This
being the holidays - or near to - I'm giving you another
opportunity to get one of these great raffle prizes for yourself
(or someone else, if you'd prefer!). They're all listed at . All you need to do is
write to me with your first two choices for the prize you'd like
to win, and your address info so that I can get it to you.
That's it. Easy peasy. :)

Have a wonderful holiday, whatever it is you're celebrating.

All the best,


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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


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M u s i c R e v i e w s : Chip Withrow & Don Sechelski
Really slow this month for reviews, folks. Sorry about that.
Holidays and other things have gotten in the way. But we'll be
back up to speed over the next couple of months. Your patience
is appreciated. Thanks!


Chip Withrow:

* Tuck and Patti

Don Sechelski:
* Brad Paisley


For bios on each of the reviewers, see . If you're
considering sending in your own CD for review, you can also view
that page to find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!

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N e w A r t i s t S p o t l i g h t A d d i t i o n s :

Great music is only a click away!
Here are just some of the great CDs highlighted in the
Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse at

Nancy Falkow - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER

Nancy Falkow is a melodic and soulful singer-songwriter from
Philadelphia, who relocated to Dublin, Ireland in June 2004 on
the heels of her well received 3rd release, "Clear View." As a
vocalist Falkow has landed guest spots on recordings from Astrud
Gilberto to G Love. Her most cherished career highlight was when
she toured as a vocalist with Daniel Lanois on his "Shine" Tour
in 2003. She is also half of the duo Sunflow and released "Under
the Stars" in November 2008.


Ryan Asher - Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL

Pennsylvania-based singer/songwriter Ryan Asher has been lighting
up coffee houses and clubs throughout the Northeast with his
unique combination of catchy pop melodies and contemplative
undertones. Asher harmonizes with the sensitive side of music and
enters into a realm that such notables as Duncan Sheik and David
Gray have begun to explore.

S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Ed Teja

by Roma Waterman

Whether you are performing regularly, doing occasional vocals for
your own demos, or are just interested in the dynamics of vocals,
this is a wonderful book. Waterman is a singer who has dealt with
some of the voice problems that can overwhelm a singer struggling
to launch a career. To deal with her own difficulties, she began
the process of learning what singing really was all about, and
what makes the voice golden or grating, healthy or ruined. So
begins this book with the physiology of singing, presented in a
comprehensible manner, and discusses what it means to lose your
voice, or have nodules on your vocal cords, and more importantly
how to deal with those problems.

But this isn't exactly a book about vocal health. That is just
the beginning. The backbeat that really drives this book is that
you should enjoy singing, but that like most things worth doing,
there are some things that you should, or even must, do to be
able to enjoy it for a long, long time. Warming up, for instance,
might not be your idea of fun, but Waterman takes you through
both why and how to do it, giving exercises that can help make
even that more fun. Like an athlete stretching, warming up your
voice helps you perform at your peak, and without injury.

Along the way, you will learn about the effects of a variety of
things on your vocal efforts, ranging from smoking and drinking,
to diet, having the proper mix in your stage monitor (remember
this is a handbook for working singers), and even how not to
talk. She addresses the differences between working in the studio
(she has done session work) and on stage, and how to adjust
between the two. Because the primary audience is the professional
singer, there is a section on avoiding vocal fatigue while
meeting the demands of a tour, and dealing with stage fright. She
even talks about vocal teachers and how to find the right one.
She talks about how you can sing powerfully without actually
forcing the sound (and risk vocal damage), hitting high and low
notes without going through contortions that might actually be
reducing your range, and a host of other very useful information
about the importance of good posture, proper breathing and other
things you need to use to come across as the best singer you can

Overall, the truly important part of this book is its advice to
help you maximize your potential (both the quality and longevity
of your voice) through exercise, attitude, and healthy approaches
to singing. In a sense, this is a personal story. Sort of "how I
do it" from someone who, well, has done it.

Ed Teja has been working on his own music and now his new CD --
"SOFT DREAMING BLUES" has been released released by Morrhythm
Records ( It's a collection of original
(written alone and with an international group of cowriters)
smooth jazz vocals and instrumentals. Ed has appeared at strange
venues in Hong Kong, Canada, St. Martin, Bequia, Venezuela,
Grenada and Trinidad, as well as the Silver City (New Mexico)
Blues festival and the Tucson (Arizona) Folk Festival.

You can hear some of Ed’s music at:

If you'd like *your* book reviewed (as long as it has something
to do with songwriting, of course!), please do email us and let
us know!

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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :

(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)



You Can Play Guitar author and publisher Scott Morris now offers
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M u s i c a l N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including
changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at & . Please check there
regularly for updates!

The Singer/Songwriter Awards from We Are Listening is about the
hottest international songwriting contest in the world. It's no
surprise that participating artists have gone on to sign with top
management, license their music for film and television, as well
as collaborate with renowned producers and enjoy substantial
uplifts in independent record sales.
*Deadline: *2nd January 2009*
Fee: *$30*
Details: *

The Lyric Writer Awards from We Are Listening is the ultimate
contest for writers seeking music publishing, co-writing and song
placement opportunities. If you long to work with professional
songwriters and dream of getting your songs cut by major label
artists, this could really be the chance of a lifetime!
*Deadline: *31st December 2008*
Fee: *$20*
Details: *

Do you have a dream of having your music heard, being on the
radio, or writing songs for other artists? You're not alone. And
now, there's a faster and better way than ever before to get
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to only publishers, producers, and record labels who specialize
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never give up, anything is possible, so contact Song Warrior
Music today and
Go For It!

The Tipperary International Song of Peace Contest will take place
in Tipperary Town, Ireland on May 2nd, 2009. What kind of song is
Tipperary Peace Convention looking for? A song of Peace, Love and
Harmony, about people, places or things, in fact anything that
one feels constitutes a 'Sense of Peace'. The organisers are most
anxious that the contest embrace all musical tastes. Entries must
be submitted on a compact disc or cassette tape with one copy of
the type-written lyric. The entry fee is €25 (euro) and the
closing date for entries is February 1st, 2009.

From the entries received, 10 songs will be chosen to compete
'live' in the Grand Final in Tipperary Town, Ireland on May 2nd,
2009. The winning song will receive a cheque for €1,500 (euro)
and a specially commissioned Tipperary Crystal Trophy Entry Forms
are now available and can be downloaded from the organisers
website: or by contacting the Contest
Secretary, Martin Quinn by e-mail to .
HOW CAN MUSOWIKI HELP YOU? is a FREE global directory of music-industry
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People offering services that help Musos can LIST THEMSELVES FREE
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If someone has done a great job for you, give them a boost by
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The Deli is the website that every A&R person and local promoter
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experimental, with a little bit of hip hop as well). We currently
publish a printed magazine about the NYC music scene and have
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You can submit your music via the web through our open blog pages
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The author of The Little Black Book Of Band Profit Secrets has
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STUDIOTRAXX.COM: BREAKING NEW GROUND - FOR YOU! provides an e-commerce platform that allows
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StudioTraxx is actively building its talent network and is
encouraging both those who offer services and those who need
services to sign up and register. There are no costs to join the
site. Creating an account is FREE.

For a limited time only, North Shore Records, Inc, in celebration
of tour season and music success has put The Indie Guide on sale
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addresses, phone numbers and contact names will be included.
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MUSICGORILLA.COM! works with Songwriters, Bands, Musicians, and
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Pete & Pat Luboff will pay for the phone call for Muse's Muse
songwriters who use the Luboffs' songwriting consultation
service. The service provides detailed, constructive song
analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and
references to contacts when appropriate. Visit for more information.

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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson

©1998-2008 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission

Michael Leahy is a lyricist and freelance writer who has created
a blog called "A-Lyric" (, home of the
"Accidental Lyricist". Leahy was a singer in a band years ago
and often ended up writing lyrics for others as a favour, which
is where the term "accidental lyricist" reference comes from.

The website is basically a news site all about songwriting and
lyric stories, including interviews with songwriters like Mary
Black and a few songwriting tips to round the blog out. "Song
lyrics" is apparently often amongst the top ten search engine
search terms, and they continue to be a focus of curiosity
amongst the general public...not just kids, but old people like
me too :-) . And there are plenty of stories and anecdotes here
to satisfy the curious. As with many blogs, you'll find a number
of tags to start your search through his articles and news
stories. I followed the tag "meanings" and ended up scanning
through 36 different articles, mostly related to actual news
stories about lyrics. He analyzes, for instance, why U2 chose
the song "The Saints Are Coming" when they performed at the
re-opening of New Orleans Superdome. In another article, Leahy
discusses whether or not lyrics promote teen sex. Well, duh!

Leahy often dissects popular songs and lyrics, like James Blunt's
"You're Beautiful" or the Black-Eyed Peas "My Humps", in order to
understand what it is about them that the public is drawn to.
Interestingly, there are only 3 articles on plagiarism, two of
them about Avril Lavigne's troubles over the song "I Wanna Be
Your Girlfriend". I did a quick Google search using "song
plagiarism" and got about 705,000 hits. Considering that most
fledgling songwriters are MOST worried about having their songs
or lyrics ripped off, I think Leahy has more writing to do!

None of the articles are very lengthy, so you won't be bogged
down too much, but many of them are pretty interesting. As Leahy
says in a story about his website on
(, song lyrics are
"an endless source of news, amusement and debate." We are
fascinated, shocked, curious and often confused when it comes to
many lyrics out there, and A-Lyric goes a long way to uncover the


Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in
Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also
maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles
and a songwriter's messageboard.

Songwriting Tips:

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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : by Ian Hand

FRAME BY FRAME © 2008, Ian Hand

I am a musician and a film fan. I've been a film fan for as long
as I can remember. As a child I had been blown away by the Star
Wars trilogy, stood in line to catch the latest Indian Jones
offering and later eagerly anticipated the release of the next
Schwarzenegger classic. So when I was offered the opportunity to
write the music for a short film I jumped at the chance. The film
was to be a reworking of the Don Quixote story - with our modern
day hero doing battle with pollution belching buses rather than

The opportunity arose through the singer in my band who had seen
a stage play produced by a local Television Workshop, which
included music from local bands and musicians. We took a chance
and contacted the TV station offering our services for their next
production. The company replied asking for a sample of our music
which we readily sent off. They liked what they heard and we were
offered the position of 'resident band' in a two night
multi-media event. The event was a great success and we again
offered our services to the Television workshop for any future
projects. Soon after we got a call offering us the chance to
write the film score for a short film that the team were
currently working on entitle 'Windmills'. I had no idea how to
write a film score, but I was not about to pass up this
opportunity so immediately said 'yes' and worried about how I was
actually going to do it later.

The remit for the score was very broad - basically, write what I
thought was appropriate. My first idea was to write an upbeat
Punk song but I quickly discarded this idea in favour of
something Spanish to tie the new story to the original story set
in medieval Spain. I already had a Spanish style chord
progression I had been toying with for some time and now I had
finally found a use for it.

The first problem I encountered was the fact that the film was
not yet finished and I had only a vague idea of what to expect. I
decided that the best way to tackle this problem was to write a
piece of music with several different parts which would allow me
to place them in different scenes. These parts would need to
convey different moods, be easily lengthened or shortened and be
able to fit together in any order.

I took my original idea to the other musicians I was working with
at the time and over the next week or two wrote a song with six
distinct sections -

1) Verse consisting of Spanish Guitar and vocals
2) Chorus consisting of Spanish Guitar and vocals
3) Instrumental section with Spanish Guitar
4) spacey mid section with string and synth sounds
5) Heavy verse with overdriven electric guitar
6) Fast finale

I got the idea for part four (i.e. playing the verse with an
overdriven electric guitar rather an acoustic guitar) from the
Doors 'Spanish Caravan' which uses a similar technique.

(You can receive an mp3 of 'Turning' - soundtrack to the film
'Windmills' - by writing to

Eventually I received a rough cut of the film and began to
restructure the song to fit with what was happening in each
scene. Fortunately the musical ideas I started with fitted well
and I really only had to lengthen and shorten the different parts
to fit the scenes. I sent my ideas off to the producer who said
he liked them so I began tightening up the music to fit with the
action - a dramatic pause here and a building of tension there. I
was pleased with the results so far and sent the second draft
back to the producer. Again he said he liked it but could I drop
out section 3 completely as it interfered with the dialogue. I
was slightly annoyed about this as I had spent quite some time
creating many subtle variations for this section. However, I
bowed to his greater experience and took the section out.

I thought this was it and the score was finished but the
Writer/Director began to make suggestions. He didn't think the
ending was powerful enough. He wanted it like the soundtrack to
the movie 'Speed'. Wanting to do the best job I could I dutifully
acquired the sound track and attempted to emulate some of the
drama by adding some kettle drum rolls. "Better but not quite
there", he said. I added a tambourine playing sixteenth notes to
give a sense of speed and acceleration. "Getting there but could
do with more drama" he commented. After several more attempts, in
which I added orchestra stabs and a distorted guitar, we finally
agreed that there was enough tension and the score was finally

A week or two later I received the final cut complete with music.
I was very pleased with the end result. But what was this? The
section I had been asked to take out had been put back in but
only as a repeated sample of music! All the work I had done
creating subtle changes and nuances wiped out and replaced with
the same piece of music looped over and over. I was not happy but
I let it go - I had done my bit to the best of my ability and for
a first attempt at writing a film score I felt I had not done
badly at all.

The film enjoyed a short release mainly playing at Art House
Cinemas with myself and the singer playing an acoustic version of
the song on the opening night. It has also been shown several
times on the local Television Network.

Writing this film score was not the easiest thing I have ever
done in my music career. I was lucky that the remit I was given
to work with was so wide I could do just about anything I liked.
However, trying to please both the producer and the
writer/director and to reproduce their ideas in a musical form
was sometimes very difficult and frustrating.

So what have I learned from this experience and what advice would
I give to would-be musicians/score writers?

* Take a chance, as I did when I approached the TV Company, and
get your music out there because nobody is going to discover you
in your bedroom

* Say 'yes' first then work out how you will do it later

* Follow up every opportunity as you never know where it will
lead. It was only by taking part in the multi-media event that I
later got the opportunity to write the film score

* Be open to criticism - don't just disregard it out of hand as
sometimes other people's opinions can be really helpful even if
it's not meant to be. The writer/director and I did not always
agree but we both had the same goal in mind - a great film

And after all this would I put myself through this all again?
You bet.


To receive an mp3 of 'Turning' (soundtrack to the film
'Windmills') please write to

Ian Hand is a founder member of the Shadowplay Collective
( and has been writing and
performing for music 20 years. He is currently a Student of
Guitar Virtuoso Tom Hess (

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

The Eurovision Song Contest - Lost to the songwriter for good?
- By Trevor Krueger

The Eurovision Song Contest - Whether you love it or loathe it,
has always been a major opening for song writers. But, now even
that's changing here in the U.K.


The Minor 2nd - By Kole (Kyle Hicks)

The often misunderstood and under appreciated interval. In this
article, I will be showing you how you can practically use this
"dissonant" interval in your own music.

Blue Collar's Songwriting By Osmosis! - By Mick Polich

Probably the first of a few installments, Mick gives his take on
the art of songwriting, and gives a few pointers from his own
personal on-going journey (isn't it always on-going?)


Music Life: 7 - MUSICAL PRODUCTIVITY! - Part 2 - Write
Scratch-Versions of Songs
- By Brian Donovan

We've been discussing how to get more of your music completed
when you seem to have just a slew of musical ideas, but never
seem to finish a single one of them. Here's the next step: how
to write rough songs using your collected ideas as a starting


Thoughts On Some Musical Heroes - By Mick Polich

Music heroes -we all got 'em, and like to sing their praises to
whoever will listen! Mick looks at three very diverse musicians
and some short reasons why he likes them....


Mitch Mitchell Remembered - By Mick Polich

A rock drumming icon, Mitch Mitchell, passed on 11/12/08. A
short, fond farewell.....


Blue Collar's Music Production, #1 Salvo! - By Mick Polich

If you scan these hallowed pages of the Muse's Muse, you'll find
everyone has wonderful opinions and views on music production.
Well, we're heading down that path ourselves here at the Blue
Collar offices - some quick hits on music production, and
beginning tips on what to listen for and how to listen.....

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 :


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songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its Seventh Edition, The
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The 9th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD!
3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs!
500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
200 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files!
500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band!
52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly!

Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
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Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
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Muse's Muse Visitors - Enter Promo Code: 42567 for Discount.

Limited Introductory Offer of $12.95 for Digital Download
Discounts for CD, and CD/Digital Download Combo shown on ordering


Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
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Chord Charting, Chord Generator, Song Arrangement, and On-Line
Copyright Link.

The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
all in one easy-to-use package - and all for only $44.95! (That's
$5.00 off to all Muse's News readers who purchase from the review
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This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
writing. Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist

One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the
web, has been serving the Independent Music
Community since 1996 with streaming audio, monthly CD Reviews,
huge industry search directory, success-building resources,
classifieds, and much-needed recognition. The site offers a
wealth of information to artists trying to survive & thrive in
today's competitive music industry.
ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$50 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
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Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR
Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER
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