The Muse's News
||The Muse's News
Copyright 1998-2010 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
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start your creativity and marketing efforts. Check it out!
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
7th ANNUAL IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards)
Are you a Singer/Musician? If so, please enter the 7th Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) and win great prizes. Winning songs will be heard on radio and will get excellent exposure. Win Best Male, Best Female, Best Group awards, etc.
FREE EARLY BONUS: Enter today and receive a FREE subscription to Fingerstyle Guitar Magazine (first 1,000 entrants, so hurry!) Also, early entrants get a chance to be featured on IAMA's website. Enter now! Hurry to:
Hi folks! Well, it's getting colder ... but really, we've been pretty lucky with the weather lately. Very unseasonably warm for the last week, though it'll be pretty frigid this weekend. Those of you in the States celebrating your Thanksgiving very soon, I hope you have a wonderful one! And then there's Halloween ... Another favorite time of year for me. Actually, I love seeing what the TV stations and movie theatres do with it, more than anything else. And the kids' costumes are both adorable, and a very telling commentary on the current popular media. ;)
We have another new reviewer! I'm really happy to announce that Ivan Nossa has joined our crew of insightful and generous reviewing staff. I love the idea that The Muse's Muse is expanding into Europe for this service. Ivan is located in Italy - so if you felt that your location was under represented, you now have somewhere else in the world you can send your music to. (Those of you in the UK, I still don't have anyone specifically representing you - but if anyone's interested, feel free to write to me and we can talk about it! For now, feel free to send stuff in to Ivan, or to Jean-Baptiste in France.)
Just as a side note, for a long while now, I've been providing vocals to my friend Roman Bershadsky (who is an extremely talented graphic & web designer, by the way) for his wonderful and interesting music. You see, he's a true Renaissance man - an artist in just about every sense of the word. He's put together an album with the songs I did vocals for, along with several others (there's also a male vocalist that isn't him - and an instrumental piece). He mixed and mastered everything himself - and it took him YEARS to be happy with the end results. But it's finally available - and you can download the entire CD online (though you can certainly order a physical CD too!) from the Moebius Cat website. And yes, he designed that magnificent website himself.
I had a blast doing the singing, of course, but it's just SUPER cool to see (and hear!) the end result! If you're interested in hearing some music that's new - and I know how unusual that term is these days, I highly recommend taking some time to drop by and have a listen (and not just because I'm doing some of the vocals, honest. ;) )
And now, on to the raffle winners for this month! :) Here those lucky folks are:
Johnnie Lawson from Kootenai, ID, has won a beautiful
(and highly useful!) notebook from The Jotted Line.
David Harrell from Flossmoor, IL, has won a 6 month membership to GuitarMasterClass.net. GMC has tons of helpful videos, instructors and lessons along with a forum for chatting with teachers and students 24/7, recording collaborations, attending video chats, & content for bass, drums, singing, piano, etc.
Melissa Wilkins, from Lula, GA, 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.
Victor Henshaw, from Calgary, Alberta Canada, has won a downloadable
version of Rhyme Genie, a dynamic
rhyming dictionary featuring over 300,000 entries and 30
different rhyme types.
If you'd like to be considered for a raffle prize yourself, have a look at the various prizes offered at the top of The Muse's News webpage, decide which prizes you'd most like, and email me with your top two choices along with your mailing address so that I can get the prizes to you. Yes, it's really that simple. :) (And yes, the mailing address is kinda important. I promise it won't be used for any other reason than to send you your raffle prize - and to mention your approximate location in the notice of raffle winners you see above here.)
Have a wonderful November, folks! Happy Thanksgiving to my friends in America, and Happy Halloween to anyone that enjoys celebrating it. There's certainly lots to be inspired by this month, isn't there!
All the very best,
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
WRITE BETTER SONGS WITH MASTERWRITER 2.0 - NEW PRICE!
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MasterWriter's NEW price is now only $199 - but you'll still get
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The Muse's Muse! Take the Tour, Download a Free Trial, and get a $20 discount! Note
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Great music is only a click away!
Here is a selection of the great artists and bands highlighted
the Artist Spotlight section of The Muse's Muse.
Jane Eamon - Genre: FOLK & TRADITIONAL
Firmly grounded in her own skin, Jane Eamon writes about every day things - life and all its glory both good and bad. Her new CD, Caught in Time is a reflection of leaving her home town and heading out on the road with nothing but an idea of writing music and experiencing life.
Lonnie Glass - Genre: SINGER/SONGWRITER
These 17 songs represent several years of research, writing and recording stories of the Tragedy of The American Civil War. Stories not to vilify the vanquished nor praise the victor but to bring to light the courage and Glory surrounding this Chapter Of Night.
|Songwriting Book Review
By: Anastasia Karalekas
Songcrafters’ Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting
By Bill Pere
Want to write a great song? Simply open your eyes. In his book “The Songcrafters' Coloring Book”, author Bill Pere introduces us to a concept called Eyes Wide Open. It may sound simple enough – when crafting a song, be fully aware of your choices and their impact – but when there are so many parameters to think about in making these choices, we may be sacrificing some of them without even knowing it, and that may alter the end result. By consistently applying the notion of Eyes Wide Open, or EWO, you’ll have a much clearer idea of where your song might fall short with certain listeners, and know what it takes to correct that. Put various songs up against the “mixing board” and see why different songs achieve different results.
Now, I’m a huge fan of anything psychology-related, so I was quite pleased when I found the most unique (and eye-opening) chapter in the book, the one about the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). I mean, I never thought about this topic in the context of songwriting, but after reading this chapter, I not only understand why I write the songs I write, but I also know what to look for in a future collaborator in order to bring a whole new dimension to my songs, and vice versa.
Plus, I’ve always been of the opinion that interpretation of a song is an individual thing. Pere demonstrates the difference between expressing and communicating your song’s idea. By effectively communicating the true meaning of your song, people will understand your message, and identify with it in their own way as well. However, if you still want to leave the message open to interpretation, there are implications to such a choice. Again, make that choice with your eyes wide open.
This book is a detailed manual on songwriting, and then some. Bill Pere has decades of experience in the music industry, and he generously shares the secrets of the craft. Find out why certain songs appeal to certain people but not to others, how to get a song to appeal to the widest audience possible, and how to effectively choose words that will tie a whole song together perfectly. From essential vocabulary and grammar, to exercises where really learn something new, to a little bit of music theory, you now have the crayons to draw out a song that can score a Perfect 10.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
Anastasia Karalekas is a self-taught guitarist and music absorber. When she is not learning, learning, learning, she spends her time writing fiction and poetry. After taking some private guitar lessons, her teacher encouraged her to try putting some of her poems to music, and she's been writing songs ever since.
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
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)
BRETT MANNING'S SINGING SUCCESS SYSTEMATIC VOCAL TRAINING SYSTEM:
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The package includes 12 audio CDs (packed with 17 repeatable
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Drop by for more details and start
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|Musical Notes: Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
In the interest of conserving space, I will be including only
changes to this listing in this newsletter. All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
Please check there regularly for updates!
12th ANNUAL GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST NOW ACCEPTING SUBMISSIONS
The highly recommended Great American Song Contest is open to amateur songwriters everywhere. This international event features prestigious awards for 45 winners in 9 style categories and provides over $10,000 in Prizes. Entrants receive written evaluations of their songs. GASC music-industry judges include prominent publishers, music producers and recording artists. Songwriters, lyricists and composers are welcome. Sponsored by Songwriters Resource Network, a trusted educational resource for songwriters everywhere.
Submission deadline has been extended to December 10, 2010.
For details, visit: http://www.GreatAmericanSong.com
ENTER YOUR SONGS NOW - INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION 2010 (ISC)
Enter your songs now. Over $150,000 in cash and prizes including a $25,000 cash prize to the 2010 Overall Grand Prize winner! This is an excellent opportunity for songwriters, artists, and bands that are looking to gain exposure in the music industry. Winning ISC isn't just about the cash and prizes. The recognition, exposure, and kudos of winning ISC add to the reasons to enter and benefits of winning. ISC is looking for great songs and songwriters - so, whether you're a professional songwriter or just starting out, ISC welcomes your entries.
Called "the songwriting competition to take note of" by the New York Times, ISC is the premier international songwriting competition in the world. Renowned for its high caliber of judges, ISC offers you the chance to have your music heard by some of the most high-profile and influential figures in the music industry, including Peter Gabriel; Rihanna; Kings of Leon; Tom Waits; Ben Harper; Chris Hillman (The Byrds); Jeff Beck; Kelly Clarkson; Timbaland; Keane; McCoy Tyner; Ben Folds; Train; Robbie Williams; Michael W. Smith; Terence Blanchard; Jerry Lee Lewis; Adele; Dan Zanes; Black Francis (The Pixies); Robert Smith (The Cure); Darryl McDaniels (Run D.M.C.); Regina Spektor; Jeremy Camp; and many more. Also judging are record label executives Monte Lipman (President, Universal Republic Records); Amanda Ghost (President, Epic Records); Rick Krim (Exec. VP, Talent & Music Programming, VH1); and many more. To enter, go to to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com.
ENTER YOUR SONGS TO WIN $750 AT 1ST ANNUAL 48 MASTERS SONGWRITING CONTEST
The prizes include a 6 song label quality CD mastering package valued at over $450. There will also be 4 more one song CD mastering prizes given away valued at over $75 each.This contest will accept all forms of music, and will not discriminate on age, genre or country of origin. - Entry deadline is Dec 01.-The top ten selected entries will be posted here at Dec 05. -Voting by public will end Jan 15. -Announcement of winners will be Jan 20. For more information go to http://www.48hourmasters.com/blogs/48-masters-songwriting-contest
KCVI COMPOSITION OF THE YEAR AWARD IN ART SONG
Online Application: http://musicedcharities.org/art-song-comp.php.
The Kansas City Vocal Institute and the Music Education Charities are offering an online competition for the 2010 KCVI Composition of the Year in Art Song. Each contestant should complete the entry form and submit one copy of a newly composed art song or song cycle, resume, headshot, and $15 entry fee. You may email your resume, headshot, and music to: firstname.lastname@example.org or you may mail it to: KCVI Composition of the Year Awards, Kansas City Vocal Institute, 8761 W 106th Terrace, Overland Park, KS 66212. The winner will receive $500, will be considered for a future production of the piece through the Kansas City Vocal Institute, and will be considered for a future teaching position at the Kansas City Vocal Institute.
Submission Deadline: DECEMBER 1, 2010
ISTOCKPHOTO.COM PRESENTS THE HOLIDAY MUSIC CHALLENGE
Mic up the sleigh bells and get ready to jingle all the way to the bank. Submit an original composition of holiday music and you could win some fantastic prizes from our official sponsors GIK Acoustics. This contest is open to all composers and songwriters; here is how it works. Compose an original Christmas carol, Hanukkah song, Solstice tune — we're into any holiday you are, provided it clocks in between 30 seconds and 4 minutes. Then go to http://holidaychallenge.strutta.com/ and submit your track. You have until November 30 to enter and can submit up to 5 entries. Prizes are from our friends at GIK acoustics, creators of some incredible acoustical room treatment products.
THE FALL 2010 SMASHTUNE SONGWRITER COMPETITION
Don't get lost in the crowd! We put you on the front page! Get your songs heard and the attention that you deserve at Smashtune, where Fans vote, not a panel of Judges! Join us for our 2nd online songwriter's competition and win $1000.00! Smashtune keeps it simple: Upload, Vote, Win!
DEADLINE: 1st December 2010
For details, visit: http://www.smashtune.com
MUSIKPITCH: NEW ONLINE MARKETPLACE FOR SONGWRITING OPPORTUNITIES
MusikPitch is a brand new website where songwriters can find the
latest opportunities from companies, studios, and individuals
looking for custom songs. It's a straightforward marketplace,
where you can get your music heard and win contracts, regardless
of your experience and location. New projects are posted daily —
from big name movie studios and company brands to non-profits and
schools. Start browsing for great new opportunities today! http://www.musikpitch.com
SONGWRITING CONSULTATION SPECIAL OFFER:
Pete and Pat Luboff are offering a special rate to Muse's Muse
readers on a single song consultation:
http://www.writesongs.com/consults.html MM readers get a $5
discount by sending $15 via PayPal to email@example.com instead of using the $20 single-song button on the site. Please
email the songs to the same address (mp3 attachment with the
lyrics in the body of the email - lyrics only are fine).
Response will be by email.
THE INDIE VENUE BIBLE - A GROUNDBREAKING VENUE DIRECTORY FOR ANY
ARTIST PLANNING TO TOUR IN THE US OR CANADA!
32,000 live music venues of all sizes are featured including
clubs, bars, restaurants, lounges, coffee shops, theaters, halls,
churches, book stores, community centers, house concerts and open
mics. There are also 1,500 festivals listed as well as over
1,000 colleges for any artist that wants to plan a college tour.
Jumpstart your tour today!
Click here for more information!
Muse's Clues - By Irene Jackson
©1998-2010 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved.
Used By Permission
A couple of columns ago we talked about coming up with new lyrical ideas using different exercises from websites that were all about creativity. But that's just lyrics, and since then I've been thinking about the music side of things and where we might find some new musical inspiration. I looked for online instruments and found a few little fun toys to play with, but they were either limited, or hard to figure out, or just plain weird! So I started thinking about the best way to find musical inspiration; by finding new music, of course!
Since I teach guitar, I often get requests from my students for songs that I've never heard of. More often than not, these are songs that I wouldn't necessarily come across or even listen to myself. But every now and then I come across something that I really like. I haven't listened much to radio for years, and that used to be my prime source of inspiration. But I know that there's great music out there that I just haven't heard yet. So where to find it? That's when I set about trying to find resources on the net
where I can listen to new music that appeals to me or challenges and/or inspires my songwriting side.
One great little music aggregator that I came across a few years back was Pandora. However, for quite some time now, Pandora has only been available to residents of the U.S. The idea behind Pandora was that you enter an artist or band name of someone you like, and the website would deliver all kinds of potential songs for you to listen to by other artists that you may never have heard before. Some of them were already relatively well-known, but many were not. A lot of music lovers might use this as a way to find great new music and bands and artists to listen to, but as a songwriter I found it fascinating to be able to discover other songwriters and listen to what they were doing.
Eventually I came across a website called Jango which is very similar to Pandora. It is relatively easy to get started, you just type in the name of an artist or band and Jango comes up with similar artists so you can start listening through. Of course, the major artists come up, but more interesting to me were the ones I didn't recognize. You can like or dislike the song/artist and you can essentially move as quickly through them as you'd like. Even if you change pages, it doesn't interrupt the music, so you can listen as you surf the site.
Every now and then, a flash pop-up brings you a song by an unknown artist. You can vote as to how much "airplay" the artist gets, and the songs range from a simple vocal/instrument type demo to something more produced. Out of three songs I heard recently, one I liked and two I didn't as much, so I voted accordingly. Oddly enough, it gives you the sense of what a publisher or label might experience, having to go through a myriad of hopeful songwriters' demos. Take note of how long you'll listen before you decide on whether or not you like the song! I knew in about 20 seconds whether it was going to appeal to me or not. As a songwriter you can also submit your songs to the website at a cost.
Jango also has a social networking aspect (doesn't every site these days?), so you can become friends with other members and listen to their stations. When you start listening to a song, a small list of other members who have that artist on their personal stations comes up so that you can peruse those stations and potentially discover someone else. I've been caught up on Jango for hours going in every direction, listening to all kinds of music, so be prepared to spend a lot of time there!
If you don't want to join another music-sharing website, there are other options for finding new music. Spin Magazine often provides free streaming songs from newer artists on various pages of their website. For example, yesterday I found a list of the 30 "best artists" from CJM Fest, a huge annual music festival that takes place in New York City. Be prepared for a HUGE range of musical styles, everything from lo-fi folky stuff to hippie songs, to rap, rock and 80's-inspired electronic music. What amazes me is that there is so much diversity! I particularly liked Dylan LeBlanc and Dominant Legs, but that's probably showing my style preference :-) And I haven't even finished listening yet...there could be lots more!
Paste Magazine also has a music sampler on its main page. The music on the sampler changes every now and then, but what I found was everything from alternative/country to pop/folk to some interesting singer/songwriter songs. You can also watch "Live At Paste" where artists and bands perform some of their material. They feature the Paste Artist of the Day as well, so there are a lot of options to finding new music on their website.
Those are only three places to find some new music online to stir up your creative juices. Don't get into a musical rut, expose yourself to something new and different, try another instrument, get out of your comfort zone and listen to everything that's out there!
Irene Jackson is a performing songwriter from Victoria, BC in
Canada. Aside from writing, recording and performing, she also
maintains a website for songwriters that includes tips, articles
and a songwriter's messageboard.
Songwriting Tips: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html
Featured Article - By Bill Pere
Twists On Lists
Critique sessions are very popular these days, and at any given session, we speak a great deal about song form. Songs have parts called verses, choruses, bridges, tags, climbs and we can represent the order of these in a song by using letters to represent the different parts. Thus a song might be of the form A-B-A-B (verse-chorus-verse-chorus), A-B-A-B-C-B, (verse-chorus,verse-chorus-bridge-chorus), A-A-A (verse-verse-verse), or many other variations. We also speak a great deal about song genre, style, or type. We refer to a song as a country tune, ballad, pop, folk, rock, protest song, church hymn, rap, blues, torch song, show tune, etc. What we do not speak about often enough is song format. There are two primary song formats: lists and stories. A song of any form (ABAB) or of any genre (country, rock) can be either a list or a story. Writers often run into trouble when operating in the borderland between the two, because they do not mix well. There are clear guidelines for successful lists and story formats, so let's now take a look a look at those.
What is a List Song?
A list song is one where:
(a) the main point of the song (the focus) is stated completely in a single verse
(or verse- chorus combination) i.e., any verse (or verse-chorus) could stand on its own
as a complete unit, with nothing further needed.
(b) each subsequent verse re-states the same pointin a distinctly different way
(c) if any verse is removed from the song, it is not critical to the sense or success of the song in
communicating the message.
(d) there is no required relationship in time between events described in one verse and
those any other
What is a Story Song?
A story song is one where:
(a) The flow of the verses depicts a sequence of events which in total make the song’s point.
A single verse (or verse-chorus) is not enough by itself to stand alone and convey the
(b) if any verse is removed from the song, something critical to the overall logic of the song
(c) the lyric addresses the six “W’s” , who, what, where, when , why, and how
(d) there is an explicit or implicit relationshipin time between the events in the verses
(i.e., verse #2 occurs 3 hours after verse #1)
It should be easy to tell the difference between lists and stories, and it should be very easy to write a “list” lyric, right? Well, let’s take a look. Dan Fogelberg’s “Longer” is clearly a list about the magnitude of his love. The only point of the song is “I love you a lot”. All the lyrics just re-state that point using different metaphors e.g., Longer than there are stars up in the heavens/ Higher than any bird ever flew/Deeper than any forest primeval ... Sounds easy? We have to remember scope and semantic field. The metaphors are consistent with each other in that they are all about natural things like forests, stars, birds, fish, and oceans, and they are all about “big” things. It would not be appropriate to insert an item about the height of a skyscraper in a list of natural wonders, or an item about a grain of sand in a list of big things. Lists must be crafted for consistency of scope and semantic field to achieve maximum impact.
For the rest of this article, click here.
Bill Pere has been in the music business as a songwriter, artist, and producer for 30 years. He is the author of the internationally acclaimed book "Songcrafters' Coloring Book: The Essential Guide to Effective and Successful Songwriting" and was named one of the "Top 50 Innovators, Groundbreakers, and Guiding Lights of the Music Industry" by Music Connection Magazine. With 16 original CDs released, Bill is President of the Connecticut Songwriters Association, Founder of Local United Network to Combat Hunger, and Director of the Creative Songwriting Academy. He was named Indie Artist of the Year at the 2003 national Independent Music Conference in Philadelphia, and is an Official Connecticut State Troubadour. Bill's songwriting articles have appeared in many industry publications, including "Songwriters Market" and have been called "groundbreaking" in their approach to the craft. Bill often presents at music conferences and workshops across the U.S. More info at http://www.billpere.com/ ; http://www.ctsongs.com/ ; http://www.ctsongwriting.com/ ; http://www.lunchensemble.com/;www.SongcraftersColoringBook.com .
|"ON SITE" FEATURED ARTICLE(S)
"Writing is the Answer. It always is." (Quoting me, gratefully.) - by Jennifer Haase
When a songwriter isn't writing, does she lose her superhero powers for good?
Newsletters & Mailing Lists For The Novice Musician - by James Moore
A necessity for your indie band's website is to have a visible mailing list or newsletter sign up. If all the people visiting your website simply come and go, what good is it to you? Here's some information on how to do that and what should be in that newsletter.
What would make a song on a specific topic work?- A Q&A with Bill Pere
Quynh Le asks: I was wondering if you could write a little about what can make a "longing for home" song work. By 'longing for home', I mean a song written from the view of someone who is away from his country and cannot yet come back. The principles that would work for this topic are the same across any topic and any style. These are explored in more detail below, with a complete explanation in several chapters of "Songcrafters' Coloring Book".
Indie Bands - Take Your Songs Off MySpace! - by James Moore
If you ask people what has turned them off indie bands and finding music online, you may just hear the answer "Myspace bands". Not only is there an overabundance of poorly presented artists on the site - many of them also make a habit of spamming their friends lists to the point where most people have shut down or abandoned their accounts and moved over to Facebook. This article hones in on one simple aspect of independent music that has been overlooked in the modern age of option paralysis and too much choice. Think about it next time you're about to send 500 emails saying "Check us out!" If your music isn't quite there yet, take your songs off Myspace!
Static - Noise or Music Sound Scaping? - by Mick Polich
Static - mysterious, noisy, old - school. Mick talks a bit about using this form of sound to enhance, and experiment with in music....
|Classifieds & Useful Services
THE 11th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
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500 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music!
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52 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly!
Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as
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Click here for details and to order online.
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LYRICIST VERSION 3: THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND
Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
specifically for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The software
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The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
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This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
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THE SUCCESSFUL SONGWRITER MOTIVATION & MEDITATION AUDIO
Inspired by the songwriter's journey, and through understanding
the principles talked about in "THE SECRET", this audio program
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findings. Through Power of Thought and Understanding the Law of
Attraction, you will have the tools, knowledge & ability to
create the thoughts, experiences, and circumstances to be a
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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
INDIE-MUSIC.COM - WHERE SERIOUS MUSICIANS SURF
One of the most respected and imitated indie music sites on the
web, Indie-Music.com has been serving the Independent Music
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.
For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 7 lines (though I
do make exceptions), where a line = 65 characters including
spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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