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The Muse's News

Issue 4.3 - June 2001
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:RhymeZone


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
@-- Featured Article - THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: 
                     - Let The Songwriter Beware - by Charles Katz
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - by Irene Jackson
@-- Songwriter In Spotlight - BILL BROWN
@-- 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!) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ SONGWRITERS: VISIT RHYMEZONE ( ), a language arts wonderland! Totally free since 1996, RhymeZone offers the best and fastest way to find the words you're looking for, whether they're rhymes, synonyms, phrases, witty quotations, or more! New features on RhymeZone for songwriters: - A unique related words feature to inspire imagery in your work - The best Shakespeare search on the net. Spice up your songs by referencing the Bard! ( ) - Lyrics search integrated with Lycos ( ) ================================================================= E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Welcome to another edition of The Muse's News and thanks for continuing to join us every month. I'm particularly proud of this issue because it spans a great deal of different types of songwriting - some that you may not have had much experience with before. Our Composer In Spotlight this month, is Bill Brown, someone who's seen a great deal of success composing music for feature films, TV shows and video games. The "On Site" Featured Article is by cabaret songwriter, Dennis Livingston, who tells us a little about his favorite songwriting genre. And Charles Katz is back with us again, talking about how you can protect yourself and your relationship with a co-writer by being up front with the legalities right from the start. And speaking of legalities, Duff Berschback & Nancy Reece have begun the first in a series of panel discussions having to do with your questions about Copyright and Publishing. You can find their first panel discussion below, and also online linked from both of their columnist sections. As usual, there are lots of conferences and songwriting contests on at the moment and you can find details on those in the "Musical Notes" section. I'll mention again that the Just Plain Folks Showcases (there's more info in the "Musical Notes" section if you're interested in participating) are continuing and that the one in Toronto takes place on June 18th @ Ted's Wrecking Yard - 549 College Street (west of Bathurst) between 7:00pm and 12:00am. I'm intending to be there and I'd love to meet any of you that do end up going so please do introduce yourself! Say hi! I'd love to meet you. :) The second Radio Muse show is online now, so I hope you'll drop by and have a listen. That's at - and instructions on how you can have your own music considered for a show, are all there. While there isn't a book give-away this month (I've had a bit of a cold here and that's set me back a little, so no new songwriting book review...), there IS a raffle of Virtual Studio Systems' "Lyricist" software package (see for more details). The winner of the raffle this month is Jennifer Lynn Wooten from Houston, Texas. Congratulations, Jennifer! This is a fantastic program that I'm sure you'll enjoy. In case you might be interested in joining the discussions, some of the message board topics include how folks make their demos, how they collaborate, and of course, a great many lyric critiques, among other things. If you'd like to participate, drop by: . We'd love to see you there! And that's all for now. Hope you enjoy the newsletter and best of luck with your writing! 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 : Names Titles - Trademarks and Copyrights This is the first of many panel discussions by attorney Duff Berschback and administrator and licensing executive Nancy Reece. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: .... I hope to eventually record under my own label (and would like to publish under this name as well). What do I do to protect the name I have come up with for it? .... how do you register a band name so no one else can use it? ------------------ A: FROM DUFF: Technically, you're going to go after a servicemark, not a trademark, since you're not selling goods, but services (although you'll apply separately for trademarks in connection with sale of merchandise). You acquire rights to a mark by having the public associate it with the services you're hawking--the rights are based upon _use_ (As opposed to copyrights, which are based on fixation. The exception is an "intent to use" application at the federal level, discussed below). As with copyrights, registration gets you other associated rights and remedies, but the core of trade and servicemarks is use. For example, you've really got to go out of your way to "abandon" a copyright--not so with a trade/servicemark -- mere nonuse for a period of time affects your rights. The first step in securing band name rights is to perform a search of the name to establish (never with perfect certainty) that no one else is using it. Billboard has a publication called the "International Talent and Touring Directory" which lists touring bands. A search at the federal level is next--that costs around $1000 for a fairly comprehensive search. (As an aside, major labels are very sensitive to this topic--they don't want their national distribution roll out to come to a screeching halt because a garage band from Knoxville claims prior use of the mark. So they'll usually pay for the search--of course, it's recoupable). If your search reveals someone else using the same name, you can either change your name or negotiate to buy them out (hopefully, it's apparent that this process should take place relatively early in the band's life). The next step is registration--both at the state and federal level. If you're a Montana band only, you can register with Montana. It used to be that you had to play a gig in Wyoming to make a federal registration, but now if you can show you *intend* to play across state lines, you can file an "intent to use" federal application. In any case, registration affords you certain rights and remedies that come in very handy, not the least of which is notice to anyone who searches for your name that you have a claim to it. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has all the necessary forms for registration--they're really quite fun (not). Expect about a year to go by before you get a piece of paper stating: "you've got rights". FROM NANCY: Duff has some excellent points and suggestions concerning the appropriate way to trademark or servicemark a band or group name. In one situation in my past I managed a band who, at the advice of counsel, simply started identifying the "TM" notice on all printed material from banners on the stage, on all merchandise from stickers to posters and everything in-between. The "R" with the circle around it was not use because the trademark had not yet been registered. However, the "TM" was employed to inform anyone else using the name of the intent to register. I would urge any group wanting to take steps on name registration either for a servicemark or a trademark (or both) to first off be sure they have a group agreement in writing clearly stating ownership of the name. If you form a corporation, a limited liability company or even a general partnership then it is good to then claim the name as property of that entity. For example "XYZ" is a trademark of "XYZ Group, LLC". This will keep any record company from assuming ownership in the name and will help facilitate clearly defined lines of use in the future when someone from the group leaves. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: ..... I have a question about stage names. Is there such a thing as copyright infringement if you choose a stage name from someone else's copyrighted work? Example: the magician David Copperfield. Maybe a bad example since Dickens' book is so old, but what if someone wanted to use the stage name Harry Potter, or even Elmer Fudd? Does the creator of a fictional character have the sole right to that character's name? ------------------ A: FROM DUFF: Is there such a thing as infringement if you infringe? Yes. Technically, it'll be trademark/servicemark infringement, but the result will be the same-a cease and desist letter from the owner's attorney, followed by a lawsuit summons if you don't repent and agree to sin no more. Choosing a public domain stage name is another matter. So, for example, you could call yourself "Achilles" without too much worry about Homer's heirs coming after you. FROM NANCY: I think it is important to be as creative as possible when choosing a name. Ultimately, it is the true test of a writer to come up with a single word (or two or three) that clearly defines what you are and what you are trying to say along with a name that appeals to the audience you want to attract. ----------------------------------------------------------------- TO VIEW OTHER QUESTIONS AND RESPONSES, SEE NANCY'S "COPYRIGHT & PUBLISHING Q&A" ONLINE AT OR DUFF'S "THIS LAW GOES TO 11" COLUMN AT . Please note: These two received a *lot* of e-mail in a month. If you sent in a question but have not heard a reply, it's very likely it already *has* an answer online. It's always a good idea to thoroughly look through the Q&A's online to see if your question has already been asked before you send in a request. Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- ***** ABOUT NANCY A. REECE: Carpe Diem Copyright Management's owner and president, Nancy A. Reece has been involved in the music business since 1983. She was the president of an independent advertising agency for eight years as well as a successful personal artist manager for nine years. She represented the careers of several recording artists and songwriters including those with EMI, Zomba and Liberty Records as well as Benson, Starsong, WoodBridge, Temple Hall and N'Soul Records. She also represented, for a number of years, a Grammy and Dove nominated record producer. Reece has won awards of excellence in print magazine advertising and has been named as one of 2,000 Notable American Women (1995) as well as being listed in the International Who's Who of Professional and Business Women (1993). She was also named Cashbox Magazine's Promoter of the Year (1989). In addition to her work at Carpe Diem Copyright Management, Reece is a Licensing Executive specializing in Corporate and Healthcare compliance in the General Licensing Department at BMI. ABOUT DUFF BERSCHBACK: Duff Berschback is an entertainment lawyer in Nashville, TN. He represents singers, songwriters, publishers, and other assorted industry types, with a particular focus on digital entertainment and new media. He spends spare time hanging with his family, playing with his Lab, reading, and, of course, listening to music. A bit scattershot in his musical taste, at any given time he can be found listening to Bach or Martina McBride, Wagner or Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters or (old) U2, Dire Straits or Dwight Yoakum, The Rolling Stones or Frank Sinatra, and (old) Van Halen or George Winston, among others. **If you would like to ask either of these two a question, you can send your e-mail to Nancy at or to Duff at . They can't guarantee they'll get to all of the questions, but they'll certainly try.** Back to Menu ================================================================= M u s i c R e v i e w s : by Ben Ohmart ----------------------------------------------------------------- Heaven's Burning – Free Agents (Soul'd Here) Heaven's Burning again, set on fire by the dual fem-charm of Angela Santiago Chung (voice, guitar, bass) and Kristy Jones (voice, guitar, bass – no misprint!). Believe it or not, the 2 guest musicians credited are on drums. Proving the superiority of the woman in alt-rock. Yep, this is alternative rock, the 2nd release from 2 little girls who aren't little anymore. They've been around, and it seems, they've learned how to perform the correct way: via gigs. Personally, I love 'Shake This World' more than anything, even though you might call the chorus (being the title) a bit adolescent. But therein lies the charm. It is homemade youthful zeal, unlike the faces of Christina, Britney and the like that adorn every Pepsi and Taco Bell burrito that comes through hell. Rather than using a group of adult, overpaid session players, all sounds (save the beat) come from the heroines of this novel approach to songwriting. These pretty ladies are from Pasadena, CA, heavily playing that area, so check out their website for dates and times. Seems they've crossed the border into the rest of the US as far as airplay goes, though. From Tacoma, WA to Beaver Falls, PA to net broadcasts, no stone's being left unflung. But you want to know about the music, right? Well, they have the fluidness of the 60s self-taught bands, writing all material themselves, with catchy-as-pop hooks wound up in a tight ball of fire that you could call: quirky. Personalized music that is as cute as it is rockin', often in the very same moment. It is also the stuff you needn't be afraid of your 15 year old daughter getting her hands on. While I can’t quote lyrics – as they aren't included – I will say that I love the electric guitar hooks I hear, against which hip princess voices are set in a very real setting. Like a school band that's suddenly got quality control. Sure, they might have a way to go before perfection is reached, in comparison to mega-radio play, but the passion that gushes from these ladylike pores is fresh, exciting, and like a good greenhouse, deserves to be watered daily by fans for full growth. ------------------ OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE: Crazy Mary - Moses And The Guys With Jobs - Motpourri - The Diamond Galaxy - Soulfarm - ------------------ ****** 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 ================================================================= F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e : Charles will be providing us with a series of articles discussing common problems performing songwriters might face within the music business. THE BUSINESS OF MUSIC: Let The Songwriter Beware by Charles Katz ©2001, Charles Katz. All Rights Reserved. Used By Permission. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Michael McDonald and Kenny Logins wrote a hit soft rock classic "What a Fool Believes". That is exactly what the performing songwriter will be without a written collaboration agreement . Last summer I located an excellent local singer for an album I was working on. I wrote the lyrics and music and produced the songs in my studio. The singer was quite gifted with an excellent set of chops and helped improve the melodies of some of the songs. The initial set of songs were so promising that I paid $900US for that performer to take a songwriting course from a famous songwriter with the purpose that the artist complete the album with vocals and help rewrite the lyrics after graduating from the course. At the beginning I drafted a collaboration agreement fully outlining our obligations. The performer took it home to review and never signed it, even after several requests. After completing her song writing course, she completely reneged on our verbal agreement. The performer mentioned a busy schedule and that I have on staff more professional writers to complete the project. This performer is now stating the work is hers and is requesting that I remove all songs from the Internet. I had copyrights from the US Library of Congress at least a year before I had even met the artist. I learned from this experience. Do not commence any projects without a written collaboration agreement and if the other parties refuses to sign find new partners. Here are the important clauses to have in your agreement. The following is a condensation of the research I have done in putting together a contract for Windrift Music. 1. Joint Work This is where you state the name of the song and who is responsible for lyrics and music. 2. Ownership Each party normally owns 50% of the song and co-owns the joint work. 3. Grant of Rights As joint owners either party may exploit the song and grant nonexclusive licenses. However each co-owner must account for the money that is generated from the nonexclusive license and reimburse the other co-owner when money is received. Public Performance Agreements must be entered into with such companies as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or SOCAN. All income must be divided. a) Mechanical Licenses. Any co-owner can grant them but must account to and pay the other co-writer. b) Print Rights. All co-owners must agree. c) Sub-publishing rights. All co-owners must agree 4. Division of Income Any and all income is to be shared by the co-owners 50/50. 5. Pursuit of Infringement It is an obligation between all co-owners to protect the copyright. 6. Copyright Duration The copyright will last for a period of fifty(50) years from the date of publication 7. Copyright Transfers Each collaborator, independently of the other collaborator, has the right to transfer his copyright ownership to another party. The transfer may be for the full copyright share of the collaborator to a publisher, or a partial copyright transfer to a co-publisher. A collaborator may also grant all administration and supervision rights of the collaborator's share to a third party as the publishing administrator, while still retaining ownership of the copyright. If one collaborator transfers his copyright interests to a third party, but the second collaborator does not do the same, then the third party would co-own the copyright with the other collaborator. At the same time, the second collaborator has the option to transfer his copyright interest, in whole or in part, or just the administration rights, to the same new owner as did the first collaborator or to a different party. Unless either collaborator has granted to the other collaborator administration rights in the copyright for the song, the new co-owner will have to share decision making and the publisher's income share with the collaborator who did not transfer his interest. 8. Different Performing Rights Society Affiliations Each co-author may belong to a different Performing Rights Society. If that is the case, than a share of the performance income will be allocated to each collaborator's affiliated Performing Rights Society. Each performing rights group, would receive its allocated share and report to the collaborator/member affiliated with it the latter's performance income share as songwriter and as co-publisher. 9. Songwriters as Members of Different Band In the event one of the collaborating songwriters is a member of a band and the other is not, the collaborator who is a member of the band will have the authority to allow the band to rehearse and perform the collaborated song in live concerts and to record the song for release on phonorecords, CDs, MP3, Real Audio, or other Internet media. However that band member collaborator must account to the other collaborator. 10. Controlled Composition Clause The recording artist/collaborating writer will be required to obtain permission from the collaborating member that is not a band member for a reduced mechanical royalty for any record contracts the band member enters into. 11. Co-Accounting Any income that either collaborator writer receives from the commercial exploitation of the song, whether it is from their own use or from use by an authorized third party, must be accounted for and apportioned to the other collaborating songwriter. Such payments should be made in a timely manner, for example, no less than 30 days after receipt. Also any statements that accompany the payments to the first collaborator should be copied and forwarded with payment to the other collaborator. 12. Future Generations The rights of each deceased co-author will pass on to the benefit of the heir(s) and descendant(s) of that co-author, either by way of a will (testate) or without a will (intestate) . If there is no will the distribution will be governed by state statutes, usually to surviving spouses and children , on a first priority basis, before other relatives. It then will be the heir or executor of the state of the deceased who will have the authority to grant and make decisions with respect to the use of a collaborated composition. As well, the surviving collaborator will have the authority to continue to exploit the song while having a reporting and payment sharing obligation to the deceased's descendants or executor. The estate of the deceased collaborator can exploit the song too, but, in turn, must account to the surviving co-author. 13. Governing Laws. This agreement is governed by the laws the State or Province you reside in. All notices issued under the terms of this Agreement shall be in writing delivered by fax, personal service, first class mail, postage prepaid or by registered mail to the following location: << Insert your Name, Address & Fax Number >> If any clause is held to be invalid, illegal, or unenforceable, the validity, legality, and enforceability of the remainder of this Agreement will continue unaffected. Neither party will be responsible for failure or delay in performance due to circumstances beyond its reasonable control such as labor disputes, natural disaster, war, riot, embargo, or any act or condition beyond the reasonable control of the non performing party. The agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties relating to its subject matter and supercedes all prior representations, discussions, negotiations and agreement, whether written or oral. Signed and witnessed by both parties All famous song writing teams have Collaboration Agreements, signed, sealed and witnessed. Songwriting is subject to performers with divergent personalities and attitudes. This is obvious from great teams such as: Lennon and McCartney, Henley and Frey, Bacharach and David, Goffin and King, Mann Weil and Spector, Wine and Sager, McDonald and Loggins. It therefore, makes a great deal of sense to begin a collaboration with agreements in place so that no misunderstandings occur at a later date. Stay tuned for next month's article: Music Attorneys ****** Charles Katz owns a high-tech company, Printerm, established for 20 years, and manages a Record Label, Windrift Music Inc. He currently has a CD "Night Driving Music" installed at Internet sites in the US, UK, and Asia collecting royalties. Charles is presently working on his second CD with a female recording artist and has established a virtual band, Spencer K for that project. As a business leader, musician, publisher, and promoter, he is now providing his expertise for fellow artists. Contact: Back to Menu ================================================================= 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 ================================================================= 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 'RADIO MUSE' WEBCAST FOR INDEPENDENT SONGWRITERS - NOW SEEKING MUSIC! The Muse's Muse & Host, Jan Best of Independent Songwriter Web-Magazine, are putting together a series of shows, one every month, featuring the songs of independent songwriters just like you! See for details on how you can send in your own music for consideration. ----------------------------------------------------------------- EVE OUTLOUD, AN ALL-WOMEN'S ARTISTS ALL-WOMEN'S ISSUE RADIO SHOW, is seeking new music. The weekly show features women of all genres and tackles important women's topics. You may submit material to: Katrina Baker and Danie Taylor Eve Outloud (92 WICB Ithaca) Park School of Communcications 953 Danby Rd. Ithaca, NY 14850 ----------------------------------------------------------------- JUST PLAIN FOLKS 2001 NORTHEAST US/CANADA ROADTRIP SHOWCASE: Every Just Plain Folks member (becoming a member is free and all it requires is signing up for the Just Plain Notes newsletter!) is welcome to participate in any of these events, even if you live in another area of the world. All levels of experience are encouraged to get involved and even if you aren't a performer, we want you to come out and meet your peers and fellow members. If you want to know what our showcases are like, please visit this link to answer most of your questions. If you would like to sign up yourself or your band to perform at one or more of these showcases, you MUST follow the instructions located at, or your request will not be honored. For those who will be in the Toronto area on the date below: A location has been found for a showcase in the area in conjunction with the Songwriting Association of Canada & The Muse's Muse: June 18th - TORONTO: Ted's Wrecking Yard - 549 College Street (west of Bathurst) - 7:00pm - 12:00am For further information and more locations, times and dates of other showcases, please see ----------------------------------------------------------------- S.E.I.C. SEMINARS, N.Y.C. SONGWRITERS EDUCATION, INSPIRATION & COLLABORATION The S.E.I.C. ("Psych") Seminars are informative meetings and gatherings for serious songwriters. The seminars provide resources and information covering the three most important aspects of being a songwriter: Education, Inspiration and Collaboration. As an ongoing series, the S.E.I.C. Seminars take place the first Wednesday of each month at the "Living Room" at ASCAP in NYC. Each seminar will be structured according to the topic of that particular meeting. Segments will include listening sessions, spotlight performances by members, roundtable discussions of specific topics, and special guest speakers and panels to include accomplished songwriters, artists, A&R people, entertainment lawyers, film music supervisors and publishers. The S.E.I.C. Seminars are completely free, but seating is limited. For more information, please e-mail, or visit ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE BELHAM VALLEY RECORDS SONGWRITING CONTEST Open internationally for all unsigned songwriters, composers, singers, solo artists, bands etc...Featuring a $50,000 cash Grand Prize. We offer 21 categories. Entry fees are as follows $20.00 (U.S. currency) per song, $15.00 for a second song submission, and $10.00 for each additional song. Our contest is limited to 15,000 entrants therefore does not have a deadline. The Grand Prize winning songs and all first place songs from each category will be produced on CD by Belham Valley Records and sent to top record labels A&R Departments. For complete information, rules & entry form, please visit: You may also contact us via email at: ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2001 SONGWRITERS CONTEST BY ENCORE PRODUCTIONS INC. The 2001 Songwriters Contest is now open for all unsigned original songwriters, composers, bands, singer-songwriters and solo artists. There are 13 categories (see entry form) that will be awarded. There is a $30.00 (U.S. currency) per song entry fee. Entries are accepted up until June 30, 2001. No entries will be accepted after that date, no exceptions. All qualified entrants (see rules) will receive one copy of the winners on CD. Winners will have their songs distributed to the top 25 radio stations in the US and top 2 stations in the UK for play in those areas. A management contract will be awarded to all winners. We will send the winning songs to several record labels A&R Departments. Also the winners will receive a certificate with their name and category. For Official Rules and Regulations and printable entry form go to URL address above or e-mail Or send SASE to: Encore Productions Inc. 5402 Brantford Ave. Memphis, TN. 38120-2440 USA (901) 821-9921 *Collect calls will not be accepted. Long distant calls may or may not be returned.* ----------------------------------------------------------------- NORTH BY NORTHEAST MUSIC FESTIVAL AND CONFERENCE TORONTO, ON, CANADA ~ 89 Church St, Lower Level, Toronto, ON M5B 1Y7 ~ CANADA Phone: (416) 863.NXNE (6963) Fax: (416) 863.0828 E-mail: Website: Andy McLean: Managing Director, Travis Bird: Festival Co-ordinator, Ann Kennedy: Conference Registrar This international three-night music festival and two-day, street-level industry conference brings exceptional new talent to the attention of industry, media and fans alike. NXNE 2001 explores "Artists Taking Charge of their Careers", with former Nirvana manager Danny Goldberg as keynote speaker. Register on-line at! Next event: NXNE 2001, June 7-9, Toronto, Ontario, Canada Contact: Ann Kennedy @ 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 ----------------------------------------------------------------- These days, there are a lot of websites where an artist or songwriter can upload songs, a bio, and a profile and hope that somehow they get some well-deserved attention. But that's just it, there are a LOT of websites. Even with the downward trend in DotCom's, this doesn't seem to deter well-meaning music lovers from creating the "next best thing" to, which is still the highest profile mp3 site on the web. But lately, one was brought to my attention, and I took a little while to hang out at ( The very first thing I do when checking out any of these sites, is to look at their "About Us" page. Usually that gives you a pretty good clue as to the intentions and intelligence of the webmasters! StarPolish takes the artists concerns VERY seriously! There is an "Artist Advisory Board" featuring well-known band members from groups like Rage Against the Machine, and The Mighty, Mighty BossToneS (one of my favs!). There is also an Industry Advisory Board that includes Barbara Carr, who works for Jon Landau Management, who manages the careers of Bruce Springsteen and Shania Twain, among others. Besides that, there's an A&R panel AND an Attorney Panel featuring those who work in entertainment law. You'll also find a lot of contributors working in various ways in the industry (and out of it!). But one of the very best features of this site is an area completely dedicated to "Music Publishing and Copyright" ( Greg Boggs, who started work at BMI in 1992, writes an easy-to-consume 20-page exploration of music publishing that starts at the VERY beginning, explaining many of the terms and what importance they have, what Performing Rights Organizations do (like BMI, ASCAP, SOCAN, etc.), what publishers do, mechanical rights, and so much more! It is one of the best and most user-friendly resources for music publishing and copyrights that I've seen on the will understand everything about these often confusing elements by the end of it, I guarantee! Once you've finished perusing that part of the site, you might check out some of the many interviews and articles, such as the latest one, "Functions Of a Record Label", which gives you a kind of tour of the inner workings of a typical label. One of the best features of these articles is that you can launch a "printer friendly" page so you can copy them out for a little before-bed reading :-) I also appreciate how the articles are broken down into easy-to-digest sections rather than all on one page. As an artist database, StarPolish offers pretty much what most of the others do. Another interesting aspect of this site, however, is its recent partnership with both Tonos and Napster! Now THERE'S a twist :-) All in all, very well worth the time I spent 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 more links of interest. Her eagerly anticipated CD "Catnip" is finally here, and her earlier recordings have had attention everywhere from Japan to South America. Songwriting Tips: Homepage: Songs on MP3: Back to Menu ================================================================= S O N G W R I T E R I N S P O T L I G H T : Bill Brown Some of Bill Brown's recent composing and arranging highlights include director Oliver Stone's feature film 'Any Given Sunday', Deran Sarafian's 'Trapped', Gus Van Sant's 'Finding Forrester', Clive Barker's 'Undying', Michael Crichton's 'Timeline', Jim Sonzero's film 'War of the Angels', Tom Clancy's 'Rainbow Six' and 'Rogue Spear', and Steven Spielberg's 'The Lost World: Trespasser'. Here's what this successful composer had to say about how he got started, his process and where he's hoping to go with it in the future. ----------------------------------------------------------------- Q: What's your background in music? How did you get started? Was your family musical? A: I was raised with music around me all the time. My father was (and is still) a DJ in NYC and had a huge record collection that he had gathered from being in radio. I just picked out something that looked interesting and played it. Music was like a toy for me growing up. Listening to a song I loved was like playing with a favorite toy, I just couldn't get enough. I also started playing piano when I was about 4 years old, which was something I just needed to do for some reason. Music was something I utilized to express myself and help me get through those pre-teen and teen years. I think I got into song writing because I needed to express the deeper, more meaningful stuff going on inside of me then. It helped connect me to my feelings. Music in general is really great when it can do that. I just kept writing and honing my skills, played in a few bands and began learning about production and gear just through trial and error over a lot of years. Getting my degree in Filmscoring and Songwriting from Berklee (officially Filmscoring - but I finished the entire Songwriting curriculum) was really a humbling experience, and a great one. I learned that I needed to learn a whole lot more, even after I graduated. So I interned in New York for a few years, worked out of my apartment for a year or so and then picked up and moved to LA. Everything that has happened has come at the right time for me, even if at that time I didn't think so. I started in Sound Design here in LA for a couple years, then moved over to Soundelux which at that time was doing only sound design in LA, and started writing music for Games and commercials. More than four years later I am the Director of Music here and we are writing original music for Film, TV and Electronic Entertainment. Q: What were your musical influences? Who are your favorite songwriter/composers and why? A: I think the first big impression on me musically might have been John Williams' score for "Star Wars". I saw that in the theatres about 26 times I think and bought the 2-album set as soon as it came out. I also remember listening to the Beatles, Stevie Wonder, The Doobie Brothers, and some other stuff. I think I was very picky about what I wanted to listen to. I listened to Frank Sinatra and those incredible big band arrangements a lot. Of course, I kept track of everything John Williams was doing, and gained a focused interest in film music through the 80's in general. Berklee (College of Music, Boston, MA) was like a Pandora's Box for me. I was jazz / R&B junkie the entire time I was there. Contemporary classical music was pretty new to me then - as soon as I heard this entire incredible new musical vocabulary I was hooked. It was like I was hearing a language that I already knew deep inside of me that had been waiting to get out. It was really an exciting time. As far as my favorite composers and songwriters go, I've since branched out into enjoying almost every style of music possible. As far as influences go - There are so many composers and writers that have inspired me, the list is just too long now - it's too hard to pick just a handful. Q: How did you get started actually getting *paid* for composing? Where did you go to get your music heard and did you need to put in "dues" before you could go where you wanted to go? ----------------------------------------------------------------- For the answer to this and other questions, please see the rest of the interview at . ----------------------------------------------------------------- Back to Menu ================================================================= " O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E : Contemporary Cabaret Songwriting By Dennis Livingston Dennis tells us about this lesser-known songwriting art form while explaining how it's done and offering resources for those songwriters that want to know more. His love of the genre comes shining through making this a fascinating and inspiring read. 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 : ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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. Visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- LYRICIST! THE SONGWRITER'S BEST FRIEND HAS ARRIVED . . . Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist, the first of its kind word processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. Includes rhyming dictionary, spell checker, thesaurus, album categorization and more. Visit our web-site at and download your free 30-day trial today. Call us at 888.732.1176 U.S or 603.726.4911 outside the U.S. and mention this ad to receive a $10 discount towards your purchase. ----------------------------------------------------------------- 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: ----------------------------------------------------------------- MARKETING HELP! Are you a reasonably priced professional who knows how to get exposure (reviews, press..) and CD sales for a upcoming to-be released Acoustic/Singer/Songwriter CD later this summer? Singer/Songwriter (that's me..) looking for marketing help before, during, and after the upcoming next CD release (later this summer) Will share early master with you for review. e-mail: "" Based in NYC/New Jersey area ...Thanks! ----------------------------------------------------------------- CHECK OUT STARPOLISH.COM - THE SITE FOR ARTISTS StarPolish is dedicated to educating and empowering artists, with an emphasis on artist advocacy and artist development. We are also committed to supporting the arts by rewarding and highlighting the most hard-working and deserving artists.StarPolish is a collaborative effort between artists and music industry professionals. We have tons of content including: the largest advice library, a place to sell your music with the most favorable rates on the web, a database of resources around the country and in you area, industry news, as well as much much more... ----------------------------------------------------------------- GO GLOBAL WITH CDSTREET.COM is your secure source for credit card music ordering in your own website. As a member of the CDstreet network, you will have access to the most cost-effective, secure transaction processing for global music merchandise distribution. Plus, no setup fee and no sales equals no cost! Check it out - ----------------------------------------------------------------- GET YOUR COPY OF THE INDIE CONTACT BIBLE & START MAKING WAVES! This is an absolutely priceless resource for indie musicians. If you want your music reviewed, on the radio, *heard*, THIS is the resource you need to have. It's not going to tell you "how" but it will *certainly* tell you "who". I highly recommend you pick it up in order to compliment your other music marketing techniques. Have a look at this url and read through a few sample pages to see what I mean: (Full review at ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$25 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising opportunities, please see . Back to Menu
================================================================= C o n t a c t I n f o & C r e d i t s : ----------------------------------------------------------------- Jodi Krangle ............................................. EDITOR Kathryn Obenshain ...........................GRACIOUS PROOFREADER ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Muse's News is a free monthly newsletter for and about songwriters. Subscribers are welcome to recirculate or reprint The Muse's News for nonprofit use as long as the appropriate credit is given and the ENTIRE text of the newsletter is included (including credits and information at the end of each issue). Others should contact me at All articles copyrighted by their authors. Back issues and other information will be available at: The Muse's News is part of The Muse's Muse, a web resource for songwriters: For further information, send your e-mail to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- - How to place a classified ad, pass on market information or sponsor The Muse's News. - How to subscribe, unsubscribe, etc. - To submit articles,reviews,ideas,etc. SNAILMAIL: Please contact me first at
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