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The Muse's News

Issue 4.0 - March 2001
ISSN 1480-6975

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


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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem Copyright Management
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by Jodi Krangle
                       FENCE by David Nevue
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - by Irene Jackson
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - Atlanta-born, LA-based
                              singer/songwriter, Deborah McColl
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975.  Copyright 1998 - 2001, Jodi Krangle.  For more 
contact information, see end of issue. ================================================================= This ezine featured at - the Ezine Search Engine(tm) - ================================================================= S p o n s o r M e s s a g e : (Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ LYRICIST! THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND . . . Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is pleased to make available to Muse's Muse members this on-line coupon worth $15 toward the purchase of Lyricist, the first of its kind word processor designed for Lyricists, musicians, songwriters, and poets. Includes rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization and more. This coupon can be used for either the download or packaged version. Call us toll-free in the U.S. at 888.732.1176 or outside the U.S. at 603-726-4499 and mention this Muse's News Coupon to receive this exclusive offer. (Offer expires March 31, 2001) Happy Millennium from VSS!
================================================================= E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Hi again and welcome to the first Muse's News of its FOURTH YEAR! I honestly can't believe I've been doing this that long... but the Issue numbers do not lie. ;-) Thanks for being here! Those of you that have been exploring the web site recently will notice a slight change in the navigation. This is mostly due to a suggestion by Shaman Sean and I hope it helps you all get where you want to go just that much faster. The Membership Drive is still on! It ends on March 21st and there is still a chance for folks to win some great prizes. Some of these include: * 8 hours of studio time donated by VMG Studios in Atlanta, GA (, * software packages donated by Virtual Studio Systems ( & Write Hit Songs (, * books donated by (, * memberships donated by ( * and Muse's Muse mugs & T-shirts too! There will be a first, second and third place winner. To participate, all you need to do is check out this url for more information: . Current results of the contests are also displayed there. As per usual, there are lots of updates around the web site. I hope you'll take some time to explore. I also want to thank you all for your support on the day The Muse's Muse was Cool Site Of The Day. That was very .... well... cool. :-) Happy writing! --Jodi Back to Menu ================================================================= SHAMELESS PLUG: Drop by today to pick up your very own Muse's Muse shirt, mug or mousepad! And while you're at it, think about starting your *own* store. It would be pretty cool to sell your own band's logo or design on promo items, wouldn't it? And starting up a store requires no investment of money on your part at all. Details on how to do that are only a click away... ================================================================= C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A : with Nancy A. Reece of Carpe Diem Copyright Management ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: Someone who is up and coming, is interested in some of my songs. The manager called me tonight and told me they only way this artist will consider doing my stuff is if they (singer and musicians) get a writer's share. I realize that's pretty much industry standard when your starting out, but I would like talk to someone who can tell me just what the standard percentage is. Do I say I won't go over 50% --33% and you guys can split it up how you want? Basically I assume it's more their name on the song that they're looking for. (If I had a publisher they would keep 50% so I imagine 33% is not unfair.) Do I copyright my original version and the new collaborated one separately so I can record my own original version with no problems? I realize that some personal sacrifice is in order. Money at this point can't be whole issue. This is an important opportunity to obtain some credibility. But, I don't want to be stupid either and want to have a professional contract. I want to protect myself from problems if I record my original versions of the songs. What do I do now? -- Bev ------------------ A: Bev, Congratulations on the opportunity you have created. First let me state that it is NOT industry standard to share writing credit for someone who did not write the song. This usually only happens when you have a superstar situation and the writer and publisher are clear on the benefits of such a sacrifice. It is more predictable to share publishing (co-publishing). Again, your work is already copyrighted - it was as soon as you placed it in a fixed format. You should register the song with you having full lyric/melody writing credit. You wrote it, it is yours until you assign it in writing elsewhere. Their arrangement of your song is (more than likely) not a separate copyrightable work. Understand, once you assign your copyright, if no reversion right is built in, it remains that way for 35 years. You may want to give them 25% of the publishing with a 12 or 24 month reversion right and retain exclusivity on administration. I suggest that you contact an entertainment attorney to properly represent the situation. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A ONLINE AT . Please note: Nancy received a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Copyright & Publishing Q&A online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** Carpe Diem's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). **If you would like to ask Nancy a copyright or publishing question for our continuing Q&A section, please send your e-mail to 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- Katy Tessman - Fall When a commercial for a new drug wants you to feel that the TV people have benefited from it, they have the actors smiling and tripping along a deserted beach or a deserted country field. Well, Katy commercializes herself, as if she has the beach all to herself thru 'Wash It Away' that comes on like a happy bit of afternoon, with the waves clapping in, and some slight rhythm section coming in from the nearest ­ but unseen, mind you ­ populated coconut-groove grove. However, for me, the cd really starts in that 'Bright Chair', a quiet folk-based tune upon which the acoustic guitar is lovingly held up high to the light of memories. 'Will he ever come back down / Share a beer and hang around / Walk and talk along with me / And show me all the things I will see.' More beautiful than sad, thank you. The title song, 'Fall', is an aggressive acoustic guitar song with a spot of electric sitting in. Katy does love her character-driven songs, and has a lot of poetry to give out. 'Night kisses make her patient / For the morning / As she sleeps in the arms of his jacket / He memorizes her space.' Some truly beautiful thoughts within this 11 track debut album. The Tessman voice is high like a folk festival road scholar, ever reaching for the notes on the wind, honed by a years of coffeehouse performances. Touring the cafes extensively in the Minnesota area, Katy has actually been playing the circuit since 1993 with her eclectic folk-rock band, Joe's Elevator. But since going solo in 1997, she's sold a lot of cds, and has delighted in assembling this first of probably many self-penned cds of obvious skill and refined moods. 'Forty pound pack on my back / Never felt so good / The trail opens to another piece of heaven / Again we dip, dip and swing.' Coming with a slightly reggae beat, it musically gives rise to rock beneath the feet and an uneven approach to mountain trail scaling. 'Dip, Dip and Swing' brings in a few bird and nature calls, proving that the all natural is the best port of call. 'Supper has never tasted so good.' One of the best on the disc. Easy to see that this girl got her degree in Speech Communication. She knows how to share her surroundings with the other folk folk. Personal and home-spun grace, this is what Katy releases into the wild, and never bothers to tag for keeping track. ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: C Lanzbom - Julia Brown - Cactus Highway - Citrus Sun - Beverly Serra-Brooks - Varttina - Wayquay - Donna Wissinger/Jon Klibonoff - Karl Sky - Scott Morris - John Barnard - Dorothy Wallace - ------------------ ****** Ben Ohmart has had 100s of stories and poems in zines and journals, and had 4 plays produced last year. His lyrics will be on 2 CDs this year, 1 a gothic album, the other a rock album. He's currently writing films, with hopes of having one done in Malaysia soon, and is also trying to break into the prison of television. He's white, 26, single and loves British comedy. He lives in Boalsburg, PA, and enjoys watching rabbits eat his garbage. Contact him at: . **Ben has kindly consented to do music reviews for this publication and also for The Muse's Muse itself. If you have an independently released CD or tape that you'd like to get reviewed, send it off to: Ben Ohmart, P O Box 750, Boalsburg, PA 16827 or drop by his Music Reviews web section at for more details.** 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 ================================================================= S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by Jodi Krangle ROCK TROUBADOURS: Conversations On The Art And Craft Of Songwriting by Jeffrey Pepper Rodgers ----------------------------------------------------------------- I love what I do. I get to review fantastic books like this one. :-) Here they are - some of the songwriters I have most admired throughout my lifetime, all talking about what makes them want to write, how they write, where their writing comes from... It's amazing stuff. Paul Simon, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, Jerry Garcia and David Grisman, the Indigo Girls, Chris Whitley, Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds, Ben Harper, the Barenaked Ladies and Ani DiFranco. Hell - the first three alone would be worth the price of the book. Jeffrey's opening words to each interview are insightful commentaries on where the songwriter has been and where they may be heading. Though the interviews themselves may have happened several years earlier, those commentaries bring the reader to the present so that everything can be put into perspective. And his questions get right to the meat of the matter. These are personal interviews that dig into the why's and the wherefore's. What are the differences between then and now? How has their songwriting changed from the early years? How do they perceive the "industry" as a whole? How do they arrive at their inspiration? How do their instruments of choice influence their songwriting? That's only a sample. These are the questions I would love to ask if I were in a room with any of these wonderful artists - only I would be too tongue tied. Thankfully, Jeffrey does the work for all of us. In each interview, there is a section called "What They Play" where the instruments the songwriters use are explained in detail - their preferences, what they used in the past and what they use in the studio compared to what they use in live performance. There is also a selected discography for each songwriter. I enjoyed every moment of reading this book. Not only did it answer a lot of my own questions concerning these songwriters, but it also inspired me. Deep down, these songwriters, legends though they may be to me (yes, even the Barenaked Ladies - whom I adore and who have a true knack for not taking themselves too seriously), are still human beings with the same problems of time, insecurities, and daily difficulties that I face myself. They have managed to overcome them and create some of the very best music of the 20th century and beyond. Reading about them gives me hope that I can do the same. I highly recommend you pick this one up. It's well worth the $15. ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : MP3.COM: A CASE STUDY FOR MUSICIANS ON THE FENCE Commentary by David Nevue - The Music Biz Academy ©2001, David Nevue. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ----------------------------------------------------------------- MP3.COM: HYPE OR HOPE? I'm no stranger to the internet. I've been promoting my music successfully online for well over six years now. Up to this point however, I've more or less avoided Why? Well, I've been somewhat skeptical about my ability to compete with so many other musicians all in one place. Could I - a simple pianist and composer - really hope to make a dent on the MP3 charts? It seemed a rather daunting task. However, a recent article about the financial MP3 success of fellow pianist Ernesto Cortezar spurned me to action! I needed to get off my butt and get with the program. So, on January 1st of 2001, I began the new year as an artist. This is the story of my first month. WHERE THE MONEY IS Once signed up, my first act was to upload MP3 files of my best songs. I then did a bit of research into the promotion opportunities available at There are two primary means of generating revenue. The first is via MP3's 'DAM' (Digital Automatic Music) CD program. This very cool sales tool allows musicians to mix-and-match uploaded songs into digital CD 'collections' - which can then be sold to visitors to The artist receives 50% of the retail price for every CD sold through the site. Even better, once the customer orders does all the work, burning the CD and shipping it directly to the customer. It took me only a few days however to realize that DAM CDs sales are actually the least productive means of making money via The real money is in the famed payback-for-playback program. Every month sets aside a $1 million dollar pot exclusively for member artists. The more playback activity an artist generates, the bigger portion of that pot the artist receives. Some artists make literally thousands of dollars per month using this program. See for statistics on the highest paid artists. It's Pretty unbelievable. But, to make significant money, one needs to generate *serious* playback numbers. This is done via radio stations, of which there are literally thousands. Sorting through them all is a task, but the more stations you can get to play your music, the more money you make, which also results in higher ranking on the MP3 song charts. This in turn leads to more song exposure, placement on more radio stations, more radio play, higher rankings, and on it goes in a continuous circle of promotional bliss. Or at least, that’s the theory. MY FIRST MONTH @ MP3.COM So, having discovered all this basic information, I dove right into the world of After creating my own page ( and uploading my songs, I started my own MP3 radio station and called it ‘Whisperings,’ a solo piano radio station at On it I featured my own solo piano compositions as well as songs from other artists in the same genre. I then promoted this station via my already existing web sites and mailing lists, while at the same time pitching my songs individually to other radio stations. It didn't take much time at all to see results. It was actually quite easy. By the end of the first month, my station ‘Whisperings’ had reached (at its highest position) #3 on the classical station charts, #10 on the Easy Listening station charts, and #5 on the Jazz station charts. One of our songs made it to #2 in its specific genre, and I ranked 4 different songs in the top 40. Wow, that wasn't hard at all. Using simple promotion strategies and some persistence, I made nearly $100 at in my first month. Here is a day by day account of my earnings. Activity Summary for January 2001 Date Plays Earnings 01/01 0 $0.00 01/02 5 $0.00 01/03 3 $0.00 01/04 9 $0.00 01/05 8 $0.00 01/06 14 $0.00 01/07 6 $0.00 01/08 25 $0.00 01/09 42 $2.29 01/10 40 $1.04 01/11 78 $2.23 01/12 53 $1.26 01/13 48 $1.29 01/14 38 $1.08 01/15 45 $1.54 01/16 68 $2.79 01/17 87 $3.11 01/18 167 $3.60 01/19 118 $3.66 01/20 89 $3.33 01/21 112 $4.98 01/22 130 $3.98 01/23 162 $4.27 01/24 109 $2.85 01/25 181 $5.34 01/26 190 $4.60 01/27 197 $7.07 01/28 175 $7.10 01/29 276 $8.23 01/30 303 $9.98 01/31 365 $9.85 Totals 3073 $95.47 Not a bad start at all, and based on the current earnings trend, my total for February should exceed $300. And, while that isn't exactly a treasure trove, it is a good beginning to what I hope is long term growth. But now comes the really hard part - staying on the charts. Whether or not I can maintain my current station and song positionings remain to be seen. WHAT I'VE LEARNED SO FAR So, can musicians make money promoting music at You bet. And with a little effort on your part, it's easier than you might think. There really no secret to it, but there are a few key elements certainly help. Here are some tips based on my experience so far: #1) Take advantage of past successes: I am very fortunate to already have a very successful music-oriented web site targeted directly to musicians and music lovers. This really helped get the ‘Whisperings’ station off the ground, generating airplay almost immediately. #2) Get your fans involved: I have a very loyal fan base. To succeed at, I strongly recommend you get your fans involved. You would be surprised what difference a few dedicated fans can do. #3) Song titles matter: The only thing you have to draw attention to your song in the charts is your song title. If you can come up with a catchy or interesting song title, you're more likely to get curious listeners. Look over your own song titles - if you had to choose, what would YOU click on? #4) Focus your energy: Pick one song - any song with an interesting title that's well crafted - and promote the snot out of it. #5) Create multiple stations: Why only have one station? The most successful artists on are creating multiple stations and using stylistic variations to populate the station charts. Once you get your first station established, start working on another, and use your successful station to promote your new station to your repeat visitors. #6) Make your stations GOOD stations: You MUST gain station fans and repeat listeners. Without them your station, even if it gets a good start, will begin dying a slow death. If the music is lousy, why would anyone come back? artists play a lot of 'put me on your station and I'll put you on mine' games. Avoid this mentality and don't include bad music on your station just because the artist guarantees they'll play your station. If you like the song, fine, include them, but if it's mediocre at best, then your station will be mediocre. Your station is only as good as your worst song. #7) Pitch your best songs to new stations every day. Start the morning by checking your genre charts to see if any new up-and-coming stations are on the rise. If so, check them out, see if your music will fit in the format and if so email the station creator. If you do well, 1 in 5 stations will play your music. The more stations you're on, the more song plays you'll get. Do realize that some of these stations are 'play for listing' stations - and will demand you listen to them a few times a week to participate. If the station is a HOT station, that might be fine to commit to. However, if the station is doing mediocre in the charts, don't bother. If you do well promoting your music on, you won't have time to listen to every station that agrees to play your music - so pick and choose wisely. #8) Encourage your station participants to listen to your own station - but don't be dogmatic about it. There's nothing wrong with *asking* your station participants to help out by listening whenever they can. And, if your station is successful, they'll WANT to help. Everyone wants to be on a HOT station, so if you become fortunate enough to make the top 10 or 20, enjoy it, and get your participants involved. #9) Develop working relationships with your station participants: This also goes toward #8 above. If your station does well, the artists on your station will be grateful, and will have a definite incentive to help you succeed. So there you have it. After my first month on, I'm a believer. So, if you, like me have been riding the fence about, take my lead - and jump on in. ****** David Nevue is the founder of and the The Music Biz Academy (http://www.musicbizacademy.htm). He is also a professional pianist, recording artist, and author of the book, "How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet." You can find his station at . 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! ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEW FOLK CONCERTS AT THE KERRVILLE FOLK FESTIVAL: For the 30th year the KERRVILLE FOLK FESTIVAL hosts the NEW FOLK CONCERTS, where during the Kerrville Folk Festival on Saturday and Sunday, May 26 & 27, thirty-two writer-performers will be invited to share their original songs. Then, a week later, on Sunday, June 3, six AWARD WINNERS will return to perform 20 minutes of their original songs and receive a $150 Award from the Festival, plus $100 each from the Mary Jane Tellez Memorial Fund and $150 from the Heyman Mailing Service Fund. They will also win a year’s subscription or renewal to Performing Songwriter Magazine. All of these concerts will be staged at the Outdoor Theater at Quiet Valley Ranch on Highway 16 South of Kerrville. Established at the suggestion of Peter Yarrow in 1972, these annual concerts are one of the high points of the year for songwriters from all across the country. The judges selecting the six Award Winners for 2001 are Gail Davies (Nashville, TN), Rex Benson (Santa Anna, CA), and Anni Clark (Old Orchard Beach, ME) All tapes must be accompanied by a $16 entry fee payable to the Kerrville Folk Festival, Inc. If sending by U.S. Mail, send to P.O.Box 291466, Kerrville, TX 78029. If using another shipping service (UPS, FedEx, etc.), send to New Folk, 5600 Medina Hwy., Kerrville, TX 78028. Only the first 600 entries received between January 1, 2001 and midnight, April 1, 2001, will be accepted. All others will be refused. See for further details. ----------------------------------------------------------------- CANADIAN MUSIC WEEK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT CALENDAR EVENT ON CANADA'S MUSIC SCENE There's a three-day Executive industry conference for the international heavy hitters the theme this year is Wild Wireless World. There are three days of showcases in some 20 different downtown Toronto clubs, featuring anywhere between three and five bands or artists in each venue each night. There's a three day Home Entertainment & Trade Show, and the event ends April 1 with the first Canadian Independent Music Awards. It all centres around the West Harbour Castle Hotel in Toronto March 29-April 1. Speakers will include Lou Pearlman, Hurricane Carter, Barry Weiss and dozens more; hosts of various events include Leslie Neilson, Jann Arden and Mike Bullard. Check the Canadian Music Week website for details: . ----------------------------------------------------------------- NEW 'RADIO MUSE' WEBCAST FOR INDEPENDENT SONGWRITERS - NOW SEEKING MUSIC! The Muse's Muse & Host, Jan Best of Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine, will be 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. ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE BEST WEEK TO VISIT NASHVILLE: TIN PAN SOUTH 2001! Mark your calendars, Tin Pan South week is April 2nd - 7th. There's no better time of year to plan your trip to Nashville, from a great open-mic opportunity to fantastic shows featuring the country's best songwriters, to an information-packed songwriters symposium where you will meet with publishers in their offices for song evaluations! In fact, the December 2000 Performing Songwriter Magazine said, "Tin Pan South is a terrific way to get a taste of Nashville and the opportunities Music City has to offer" in their Top Networking Opportunities in 2001 article. Plan your trip for Nashville during Tin Pan in April! Contact David Thomas at the NSAI office by phone 1-800-321-6008 (ext. 26) or by email Visit to learn more about the conference and the entire Tin Pan South week. ----------------------------------------------------------------- HOT SUMMER SONGWRITING WORKSHOP OPPORTUNITY WITH PAT & PETE LUBOFF: Spring is almost springing in Nashville and Summer cannot be far behind. Last Summer we drove from California to Nashville in our motor home and did a workshop (or two) in every state we passed along the way. This Summer, we're thinking of another tour, this time in the states east of the Mississippi. (You know who you are!) So if you are an enthusiastic songwriter or a representative of a songwriting group who would like a fun, inspirational, educational experience in songwriting, please contact us now. We'll figure out the details and the route when we have all the locales gathered. We can do these in your living room, your studio, your local club, your school - no venue is too large or too small. But we do need to hear from you now so we can start organizing the logistics. For more information about us, visit our site ----------------------------------------------------------------- The GREAT AMERICAN SONG CONTEST is sponsored annually by Songwriters Resource Network, a free online news and education resource for songwriters everywhere. This songwriting contest features multiple awards & prizes in all categories, top industry judges and low entry fees. All participating songwriters receive critiques of their work. This year's contest is open until November 7, 200l. Information is available at or by visiting Songwriters Resource Network at Contest brochures are also available by email at: ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSIC DIRECTORY CANADA, EIGHTH EDITION NOW AVAILABLE! The Eighth Edition of this essential guide to the Canadian Music Industry has been completely updated and revised, featuring more than 60 categories, in over 650 pages. Each listing includes: Company, Contact, Address, Phone, FAX, E-mail, Web Address and Description. Plus special sections: Artist Contacts, Award Winners, Canadian Chart Toppers, Schedule of Events, Internet Music Resources and much more! If you need to contact anyone in the Canadian Music Industry, get this book! For a preview of all categories in Music Directory Canada, distributors throughout Canada, or to order online from anywhere in the world, visit You can also order by phone, toll free at 1-800-265-8481. ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUSICDISH BANDWARS BATTLE ROYALE MusicDish, the premier industry e-journal, has launched the ULTIMATE band competition: BandWars Battle Royale!!! A 3 week competition between all previous champions of BandWars - 16 bands all together. Over $3,500 in band prizes!!! Listen to the track...Vote for the best band! ----------------------------------------------------------------- AMERICAN SONGWRITER MAGAZINE'S LYRIC WRITING CONTEST IS ON NOW! Established 1984. 6 contests per year. Requirements: Send lyrics only. Lyrics must be typed and a check for $10 (per entry) must be enclosed. 3 entries maximum per contest. Include an entry form with each lyric sheet submitted. Call for required official form (615-321-6096) or print it from our website. ~ Lyrics only, no cassettes. Awards: A Martin guitar with case and certificate to each contest winner. Top 5 winning lyrics for each contest reprinted in American Songwriter Magazine. One overall winner per year receives airfare to Nashville and a demo session. Current Deadlines Are: March 23, 2001, May 18, 2001, July 20, 2001, September 21,2001 & November 16, 2001 Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson ©1998-2001 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission ----------------------------------------------------------------- A site which I've certainly come across before but haven't explored much in past, is ( You may have heard about this site a few months ago when they had a contest to write music to Carol Bayer Sager's lyrics. I didn't follow through on who was the winner or what happened with that contest, but recently while I was doing some surfing, I came across the site again and thought I'd give it a closer look. Basically, the idea of the site is to provide a collaborative meeting place for songwriters, musicians and producers. After registering with the website, you can search for a list of musical projects that require parts, or you can post your own unfinished project and find just the people and parts you need to complete it. If you want to participate in this way, you can download a free 30-day trial version of a software program called the TC8 (you can purchase it for US$29.95), which is essentially a digital 8-track program that is used by others on the site to record and/or add parts to a song. But aside from the interactive collaboration, there are lots of useful articles and interviews with artists and well-known songwriters, including Diane Warren, a discussion board, industry advice, and you can even ask questions of some guest songwriters and producers like Carol Bayer Sager. You can join their Demo Derby, pay for some guitar or piano lessons and shop for instruments too. One of the best articles/interviews I found was songwriter/guitarist Jonatha Brooke _pull_of_unique_tunings.jsp who gives some insight as to how she uses open tunings on her guitar to write songs. You can view the video, just listen to audio, or read the interview! There are tons of little tidbits like this scattered around the site, it'll take you a few hours to see them all! Even if you don't want to register, you can still view the articles and participate to a certain is definitely worth a visit! ****** 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 ================================================================= P U B L I S H E R I N S P O T L I G H T : Atlanta-born, LA-based singer/songwriter, Deborah McColl ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: How did you get involved in music to begin with? Was your family musical? And did you start writing songs at the very beginning or did that come later? --------------------------------------------- A: My mother and father were both musical though neither pursued music professionally. Mama was an excellent classical pianist and had a natural, beautiful voice, and Daddy played the violin and sang tenor; his voice was thin, but he had a great ear for harmony. I remember singing "Sentimental Journey" in two-part harmony with him while riding up to the lake in the summertime in his 1961 Ford Falcon. I started writing silly songs when I was a child; songs about my dog's bad breath and stuff like that. I could always pick out melodies on the piano. When adolescence hit amidst a lot of family insanity and instability, I began writing poetry. I actually started playing guitar when I was thirteen and in the hospital recovering from extensive spinal surgery to correct my scoliosis. I was in this awful torso cast that kept my arm stretched up on a sort of shelf - in the perfect position to hold a guitar. I started out learning songs done by Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, but soon began shaping my poetry into lyrics and writing songs. Music really saved my life during this period. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: You mention that you started out writing poetry. What do you think the differences are between poetry and song lyrics? And do your strengths in writing poetry help or hinder you with writing your songs? In what way? --------------------------------------------- A: I so admire the poetic lyrics of the obvious greats - Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell, and newer artists like Beck. The lyrics of my own that I like best are less linear and literal and more "poetic" than my other songs. That's why I'm especially happy with the lyrics to my song, "Naked In the Garden"; I think it achieves the necessary balance of clarity and poetic ambiguity. Leonard Bernstein said (I'm paraphrasing) that ambiguity is an inherent part of art - it is the space offered which the receiver must "fill in" with their own spontaneous response. Artistic ambiguity, according to Bernstein, is what separates art from craft. Now, this is obviously not an excuse for murky vagueness that doesn't communicate on any level. So, I think that the little bit of "poet" in me is my greatest asset as a songwriter, and I try to develop that part of me through free-associative writing, etc. I'm naturally a pretty literal, linear writer and so I have to work to open up that other side of me. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: How do you come up with song ideas? What sorts of things inspire you and how do you find that inspiration? Is it something that just comes to you out of the ether or do you actively seek it somehow? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ For the remainder of this interview, see . ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Evans To Heaven by Danny McBride Danny writes a gentle tribute to undisputed "Queen of the West", Dale Evans. Back to Menu
================================================================= C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE SONGWRITER'S GUIDE TO DEMO SUBMISSION... Everything you need to know to get your songs heard! Updated for 2001, our guide can give you an edge over the thousands of other songwriters trying desperately to get their songs listened to. You'll learn how to package your demos like a pro, discover where to send your demos, learn how to market your songs online, locate songwriter organizations and more! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ATTENTION SONGWRITERS! YOUR SONG MAY BE THE SOUND OF SUCCESS! The Billboard Song Contest has some new and exciting changes taking place this year. For the first time ever, we are offering the "Excellence in Songwriting Award" for our first place winners. The Billboard Song Contest is open to both amateur and semi- professional songwriters. Entry forms can be obtained by calling us toll free at 888-989-0351, at, or email at ----------------------------------------------------------------- WINDRIFT SONGWRITING COMPETITION Windrift Music, a new music label in Toronto is sponsoring a free songwriting competition. THERE IS NO ENTRY CHARGE: Grand Prize * $500 in cash * 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, 2001. Contest details are located on the Windrift web site: ----------------------------------------------------------------- MUST HAVE MUSIC GOES ON-LINE! If you or someone you know has an interest in a career in the music business, Must Have Music ( ) can help. If you're an original singer/artist looking for great songs for your next recording project, this is music you can't live without! Our website is for singers, artists, songwriters & seasoned professionals. We've been working professionally in Songwriting & Music Publishing in California since the mid-1990s. Come by and find out how to take your career in the music business to the next level! ----------------------------------------------------------------- USA INTERNATIONAL SONGWRITING COMPETITION Songwriters! Enter to win a grand prize of over US$50,000 in cash, merchandise and more! This the largest prize package in any annual songwriting competition. Also, winners' songs will be featured on a nationally syndicated radio program serving over 60 cities in the US and Canada. Judges include A&R Managers from Major Record labels and publishers. BONUS: Early bird entrants receive a FREE gift. Hurry, visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- INDIE-MUSIC.COM ~ SAVE TIME & PROMOTE YOUR MUSIC FREE! 1000's of contacts for musicians, no cost, no hassles. Download a free College Radio E-Guide or subscribe to our free Indie News newsletter to receive free tips to advance your music career. - The Best Place For Musicians Online ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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 - ----------------------------------------------------------------- DISCOVER SHAREWARE MUSIC MACHINE and explore the world of software which will help make writing and recording your songs a breeze! Featuring over 2100 software titles to freely download as well as more than 2000 discussion forums, Shareware Music Machine has software for musicians of all kinds. For MIDI sequencers to guitar effects to hard disc recording to the latest sound players, head to ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at
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