||The Muse's News
Issue 6.5 - August 2003
[ Back to The Muse's News Index ] [ Home ]
This issue sponsored by:
I n T h i s I s s u e :
@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Copyright & Publishing Q&A with Nancy A. Reece from Carpe Diem
@-- Music Reviews - by Ben Ohmart, Stacey Board & Gian Fiero
@-- Songwriting Book Review - by James Linderman
@-- Musical Notes - Songwriting Contests & Market Info.
@-- Muse's Clues - Songwriting Web sites that inspire - brought
to you by singer/songwriter & teacher, Irene Jackson.
@-- Featured Article - BACK IN BLACK: RECORDINGS SHOULD ALWAYS
MAKE YOU MONEY - by Allen Farmelo
@-- Band In Spotlight - Ingram Hill by Lauren Jonik
conversations going on right now.
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
@-- Classifieds & Useful Services
@-- Contact information
ISSN 1480-6975. Copyright 1998/99/00/01/02/03 - Jodi Krangle.
For more contact information, see end of issue.
WANT A PIECE OF THE MUSE'S MUSE? :)
Visit http://www.cafeshops.com/musesmuse for great Muse's Muse
products like mugs, mousepads, shirts, and even wall clocks!
Start your own store too - with no up front costs!
See http://tinyurl.com/cqij for more details.
S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
IT'S ALL ABOUT THE SONG... JUST ASK THE ISC JUDGES
The International Songwriting Competition offers you the chance
to share in $100,000 in cash and prizes and to have your music
heard by some of the most influential and high-profile members of
the music industry. ISC judges include: Monte Lipman (President,
Universal Records), Arif Mardin (VP/GM, Manhattan Records), Bruce
Lundvall (CEO/President, Capitol Records), B.B. King (Blues
Artist), Rob Thomas (Matchbox 20), Paul Oakenfold, Pat Metheny,
Vanessa Carlton, BeBe Winans, Dan Haseltine (Jars Of Clay) and
more. Winners will also benefit from a multilateral promotional
To enter, go to http://www.songwritingcompetition.com/.
E d i t o r ' s M u s i n g s :
Hello again! Well, we're well into the summer months and I have
to say that I really love summer where I've moved up to in
Newmarket. It's just gorgeous around here. Lots of green, trees
and rolling hills. Beautiful places to walk... Too bad it sucks
so bad in the winter. ;) Ah well. I have a little while left to
enjoy this warmth. I'll take what I can get! Hope you all are
enjoying your summer too!
As mentioned in my last newsletter, I have a membership drive
going on. So far, Matt Kealley is beating you all soundly with
six new subscribers signed up. Yup. SIX. He's doing great so
far! But it should be fairly easy for someone to come on up on
the inside and overtake that, don't you think? ;) Anyway, I
don't think it'll be too long before Matt earns his t-shirt or
mug. Here's what they look like, in case you've forgotten from
last month: http://www.cafeshops.com/musesmuse (and you can, of
course, order one even if you're not planning on taking part in
the membership drive. :) ).
If you've just joined us this month, here's how it works: You
get 20 people to sign up to this newsletter, and you get a
t-shirt or a mug. Pretty simple, huh? To add a little sweetness
to the pot, the person who has gotten the most amount of sign-ups
by the end of the year, will also get a free NSAI
(http://www.nashvillesongwriters.com/) membership. That's a $100 US
All you need to do, is tell interested songwriters or music
industry folks about this newsletter (back issues are at
www.musesmuse.com/musenews.html so they can see what they'd be
getting), and have them email to me at email@example.com with a
request that they be subscribed. In that email, they should
mention the name and email address of the person that told them
about the newsletter so that you can be credited. I'll keep
track, and when you reach 20, I'll email you to get your address
so that I can send you the shirt or mug. That's it.
Now for this month's raffle winners!
* Josephine Gordon from Ontario, Canada, has won a copy of "How
to Build a Music Web Site That Sells" by Mihkel Raud
* John Shinnie from Worcestershire, U.K., has won a copy of
IndieMusic.com's "Musician's Toolkit" (for details on this
package of useful indie musician-related tools, see
* Patricia Grey from Marietta, GA, has won a copy of VSS's
helpful songwriting organization product (for a review of
Lyricist & information on a discount offered, see
Hope you all continue to enjoy your summer!
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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
TAKE ONLINE SONGWRITING CLASSES AND GET CONTINUING EDUCATION
If you are looking to progress in your professional development
or need assistance in financing your online education,
Berkleemusic now offers more flexible options with Continuing
Education Units (CEU). If you are a teacher or employee in the
music industry, you may be able to seek Employer Reimbursement
for all or part of the cost of your online education.
Songwriters: sharpen your craft with Berkleemusic.com, the online
extension school of Berklee College of Music. Whether you're a
relative beginner or an experienced writer, our online courses
will help you generate more and better ideas, master the elements
of style and structure, and express yourself more effectively in
words and music.
Learn how to build great lyrical ideas into great songs. Discover
tips and techniques the most successful writers use in their
music. Master powerful programs like Finale and ProTools to
notate your songs and make great-sounding demos. These are just a
few of the skills you can develop this spring in our online
school. Study anytime, anywhere with Berklee's award-winning
faculty. Work with other serious writing students in a rich
Registration for August 18, 2003 is open now!
Visit Berkleemusic.com to enroll:
C o p y r i g h t & P u b l i s h i n g Q & A :
With Licensing executive Nancy A. Reece
TOPIC: COLLABORATION AND REGISTRATION
Q: What would be the best way to handle working with a new record
company who has no signed agreement with you? If you hand them
any songs you did that were not copyrighted, do they have any
ownership to those songs? If you collaborate at the record
company with others including the owner, who owns the rights and
how is it distributed? I don't feel good about working with them
anymore because the owner constantly wants to make changes to the
work and he is not a songwriter himself. Should I just seek a
publisher and do my own thing? Or should I stick it out with the
record company and see what happens?
A: Remember, the works are copyrighted once they are in written
form. You may want to register them. If you have no written
agreement with the company or with the other writers you are
working with, then I understand how the ambiguity is frustrating.
If you want to keep working with this organization, tell them you
want to see something in writing from them that clearly states
their intentions. If you do not want to work with them anymore
then scoop up your tunes and move on.
The issue of collaboration is further explored in the Q&A E-Book
set to be released in August.
Q: I have read over the rules of the copyright office on what can
be copyrighted. If you record the sound of a car's engine or a
boat engine and have some words in the recording, can that be
copyrighted? If not then does that kind of recording need a
patent because it is more of an idea rather then a recording?
A: Once you make those sounds part of an orginal composition you
have a separate unique and copyrightable work. What you can not
copyright is the sound by itself. I know there was some attempt
by Harley Davidson to copyright the sound of a Harley engine
start up but I don't think it went anywhere.
ABOUT NANCY A. REECE:
Since 1998, Nancy Reece has been providing a question and answer
forum for Muse's Muse readers. Now all of the articles, forums and
Q&A's are being compiled into a book. Nancy is wanting to be sure
that you have the opportunity to receive a copy of the book as soon
as it is ready. If you are interested in getting an E-mail
notification to indicate that the book is ready for purchase,
please send your request to RealARealQ@musesmail.com .
How to Ask a Question:
If you have a question for Nancy about publishing or copyright
administration, you can e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please
indicate in the subject of your e-mail that your submission is for
The Muse's Muse guest forum, Real Answers to Real Questions.
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M u s i c R e v i e w s :
by Ben Ohmart, Stacey Board and Gian Fiero
druthers - "lots and none at all" (by Stacey Board)
This is a thoroughly enjoyable CD that is like a whiskey shot and
a smooth brewmaster chaser. The duo druthers is definitely this
month's potent combo. (See Ezra Thomas from last month) These
fellows are talented songwriters, singers, players and arrangers.
"lots and none at all" is a very strong CD.
At first I thought the genre may be alt/country along the lines
of Wilco or the Jayhawks. But the CD contains plenty of songs
that don't fit in that frame, such as "Letting Go of Love" which
is more a power pop Beatlesque tune and more eclectic in the
treatment. And "11:15 jam" is downright groovy. It is nice that
they don't fit neatly into a predictable category. The variation
makes the collection of songs more interesting.
Part of the reason for the versatile sound may be that Dave and
Mike Longenecker both contribute as songwriters. They write
separately but you would probably not know it unless you read the
credits. Perhaps Dave is a bit more alt country and Mike is more
pop but both have a great ear for melody and for arrangement. The
vocals and lyrics are out in front and both have smooth pleasing
voices that also sound great together.
They both are very talented writers and together they have turned
"lots and none at all" into something quite good.
OTHER NEW MUSIC REVIEWS SINCE LAST MONTH INCLUDE:
Jimmy Bennington (by Ben Ohmart)
Conspiracy (by Ben Ohmart)
Sacambaya de Bolivia (by Ben Ohmart)
Guy Bergeron (by Stacey Board)
Mike Brosnan (by Stacey Board)
Clarence Bucaro (by Stacey Board)
Serah (by Stacey Board)
Chick Pea (by Gian Fiero)
Sparlha Swa (by Gian Fiero)
TruNDeed (by Gian Fiero)
Kaila (by Gian Fiero)
Watashi Wa (by Gian Fiero)
For bios on each of the reviewers, see
http://www.musesmuse.com/musicreviews.html . If you're considering
sending in your own CD for review, you can also view that page to
find out which reviewer reviews your genre. Thanks!
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S o n g w r i t i n g B o o k R e v i e w : by James Linderman
How to Build a Music Web Site That Sells
by Mihkel Raud
The effect that the Internet has had on music is so enormous that
it has justifiably been compared to the invention of the piano by
Cristofori in 1709, the invention of the electric guitar by Les
Paul in 1934, and the Marshal Amplifier that goes to 11 from
Stuff like uploading, downloading, artist web sites, media
players, mp-3's, real audio, streaming audio, guitar tabs, loops,
and of course this e-review on this e-book called "How to Build a
Music Web Site that Sells", would not even exist.
Some of the effects that all of this has had on music have been
enormously positive. Some of them have been absolutely
devastating. But it is now commonly believed that we cannot
operate as musicians seeking a global presence without possessing
a web presence.
When you consider all of this in the context of the diminishing
dominance of the big five major labels and the very powerful
emergence of indie artists, it becomes very clear that selling
your own music on the web has become an industry unto itself.
Therefore, learning how to do it well has an enormous amount of
significance. That's why Mihkel Raud has written this book.
The first thing to know about this book is that it is not a book
at all...at least not the paper kind. This book comes to you as a
downloadable document in PDF format, which is very appropriate to
its topic and extraordinarily easy to use. There are excellent
instructions on how to navigate through the book if you are not
so PDF friendly, so no worries!
The first section of the book would change most musicians'
perspectives on how they present their art to the world. It gives
some very pointed advice on how to get your promotional focus
shifted away from you as the artist and onto your cd...as the
art...the art you are trying to sell.
The other shift that Mihkel recommends is the one where you take
a very close look at who is most likely to be buying your art,
determining what they might be looking for, and making your cd's
and your site suit their wants and needs.
Mihkel makes the point that the word "target" in the term target
audience indicates that it may actually be a small, very specific
and intensely particular faction of the cd purchasing public that
is into what you do. Your web site should be set up to directly
reflect their interests and not to be generally, somewhat
relevant to everyone and therefore not inspiring to your
brand of listener in particular.
How to Build a Music Web Site that Sells has some preliminary
chapters on such things as finding a webmaster, a web designer, a
domain name and all the other kinds of set up stuff you have to
do, or should I say, find an expert to do for you. It has
information on these elements that I think would be
Mihkel also demystifies the use of graphics, fancy fonts, flash,
web counters, search boxes, banners, pop ups, background music,
and all of the other "dancing baloney" you might find yourself
wanting to add to your web site. Tricky stuff because...you do
not want your site to be empty and uninteresting but you also
don't want it to look as if The Ringling Brothers are your
Mihkel has a good sense for all of this as he has first hand
experience with it. He was the producer of a cd of Black Sabbath
tunes played on authentic 14th century instruments and succeeded
in marketing it on the web to the point where it became the
highest selling cd on the Internet. This book chronicles all that
he learned along the way and it's simply fascinating to read.
There are immensely cool celebrity quotes and examples sprinkled
liberally throughout the book and Mihkel is extremely confident
about sharing his advice with some very engaging storytelling as
There is a section on establishing a mystique for your cd which I
found really interesting and lots of stuff about every aspect of
web site construction from home pages to sub pages and from sound
samples to order forms (very, very important) and FAQ's.
The section on optimizing your search engine and hosting would be
absolutely indispensable if you wanted to transition from selling
tens or even hundreds of cd's on your site to thousands or even…
well, who knows?!
How to Build a Music Web Site that Sells is one of those books
that serve as a blueprint for taking your career to the next
level, being ready for the changes in the industry that are
inevitably ahead, and making sure that every possible listener
who is likely to love your music gets a chance to hear it.
Check out this e-book being featured at The Muse's Muse web site
or at http://tinyurl.com/cqk0.
ABOUT THE REVIEWER:
James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music lesson,
songwriting and music pre-production facility in Newmarket,
Ontario, Canada. He is the Songwriters Association of Canada
regional coordinator for Newmarket and leads a music workshop
program for Life 100.3 Christian radio. James writes songwriting
articles for The Muse's News web magazine, Canadian Musician
Magazine and Professional Musician Magazine.
Contact James at: email@example.com
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S p o n s o r M e s s a g e :
(Please support the sponsors that support this newsletter! Thanks!)
CREATE CDs ON DEMAND WITH CAFE PRESS!
If you want to have a professional looking demo but you DON'T
want to buy 500 or 1000 copies, Cafe Press' new product offering
is definitely for you. You upload your graphics (or have them
designed by someone), upload your music, and create your own CDs
- AS YOU NEED THEM. One at a time! And starting up an account is
absolutely FREE. There are no up front costs (in fact, the only
thing you DO get when you sell a CD, is PAID) and their system is
super easy to work with.
Getting your demos or your self-produced CD out there to the
masses has never been easier. Not only that, but you can sell
merchandise like t-shirts and posters the same way! No upfront
costs, no inventory, no brainer.
For more information, visit:
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 http://www.musesmuse.com/contests.html &
http://www.musesmuse.com/markets.html . Please check there
regularly for updates!
GREAT AMERICAN SONG 2003 WELCOMES SONGWRITERS & LYRICISTS!
The 5th annual Great American Song Contest offers awards & prizes
for 45 winners in 8 categories, plus a 'Lyric Writing' category
for lyricists. This year's event features well-known music
industry judges, including publishers, producers, recording
artists and hit songwriters. * All entrants receive written
evaluations of their songs.* Sponsored by Songwriters Resource
Network, an educational resource for songwriters everywhere.
Postmark deadline is Nov. 7. Visit the GAS website at:
http://www.greatamericansong.com/ or email info@GreatAmericanSong.com for
a printed brochure.
WHAT: The Mountain Stage NewSong Festival
WHEN: Friday, Sept. 26 to Sunday, Sept. 28, 2003
WHERE: West Virginia, about an hour west of Washington, DC and
FEATURING: Song Contest - Workshops - KidSongs - Open mics and
other song-sharing opportunities - 450 beautiful acres w/ plenty
of camping, on-and off-site lodging
SONG CONTEST: Half the semifinalists will be chosen from an Open
Round taking place on stage at the festival. (The other half will
be chosen from mail-in song submissions; that round is closed).
Almost $2000 in prize money; grand prize winner also performs on
the festival-ending Mountain Stage show, broadcast nationally
over 125 public radio stations.
LINEUP: (As of 7/15) Some artists will also be offering
workshops. Nickel Creek, Kathy Mattea, Darrell Scott, Tim
O'Brien, Paul Reisler, Corey Harris, Jessie Harris (Norah Jones'
song "Don't Know Why"), Last Train Home, the scoldees, Voices of
West Virginia, Johnsmith, Vance Gilbert.
NORTH CAROLINA SONGWRITER'S COOPERATIVE 2003 SONG CONTEST
All songwriters that are residents of or that have ties to North
Carolina are eligible to enter this annual contest. This is the
sixth year the contest has been held and this year the prizes are
worth over $600 going to the top three winners. Eight finalists
and a number of honorable mentions will be selected from the
entries. The eight finalists will then each play the two songs
submitted before a live audience and a panel of music industry
judges who will select the first, second, and third prize
winners. Entry fees are $10 for the two song entry for NCSC
members, $15 for non-members. There is an additional $5 fee for
late entries. Deadline is September 15, Late deadline is
September 30th. Finals are to be held on November 15th in
Carrboro, NC. Website: http://www.ncsongwriters.org/
ENTER NASHVILLE SONG SEARCH!
Nashville Song Search (http://www.nashvillesongsearch.com/) is a new,
world-class songwriting contest from the heart of country music.
Prizes and awards at all levels. Winning songs in seven
categories will be judged by legendary country producers,
publishers, and songwriters. All category winners will be brought
to Nashville for three days and honored at a benefit concert by
Terri Clark, hit songwriter and ACM Female Vocalist Nominee for
2003. The Overall Winner will have a session with a hit country
songwriter and receive a professional promotions package with
which to pitch the winning song to music labels. The winning song
will be performed at the CMA Music Festival -- Fan Fair and the
winner will have a booth at the festival. Entries will be judged
on originality, lyrics, melody, and composition. Quality of
performance and production will NOT be considered. The entry fee
of $25 will benefit the Crisis Center, a free, 24-hour telephone
counseling service for people in crisis. Contest deadline:
November 15, 2003.
BERKLEEMUSIC.COM WEBSITE LAUNCHED
Berklee College of Music has launched its Berkleemusic.com web
site after nearly two years in development. This ambitious new
offering provides songwriters opportunities to take online music
writing courses and explore new music career directions. Users
can create a personal or band web page containing bios, MP3s,
images, reviews, news, and links that are useful resources to
potential employers, collaborators, and students.
For more information click here.
GREAT ARTICLES TO CHECK OUT AT GALARIS INDEPENDENT MUSIC:
* Achieving Your Best Studio Vocal - Part Two
- By Jeannie Deva
* Constantly ask, "What do they really want?"
- by Derek Sivers, CD Baby
* 5 Tips for Keeping Track of Your CD Sales and Inventory
- by Jack Rogers
* Create Your Own Destiny By being Proactive About Your Career
- by Bobby Borg
Visit http://www.galaris.com/ and Sign up for the Galaris
Independent Musicians Newsletter. Twice monthly you will receive
FREE, direct to your email box, articles containing: Promotion
tips, Career advice, Recording tips, Practicing tips, Legal
advice, Musician's health, Radio promotion, Songwriters tips and
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M u s e ' s C l u e s : by Irene Jackson
©1998-2003 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By
So you're a songwriter, but you haven't a Muse's clue when it
comes to music theory? Well, first let me dispel a common
myth...you don't HAVE to know theory to write a song. If you're
anything like me, you tend to write what sounds good and feels
right and THEN worry about whether or not it works from a musical
and lyrical perspective. Here's a site that might help.
Steve Mugglin has developed a website that deals with the math of
music called "Music Theory for Songwriters"
(http://www.members.aol.com/chordmaps). The site has actually
been around since 2000, but if you haven't come across it yet
during your surfing for songwriting-related websites, it's well
worth a little time. The design of the website itself is quite
simplistic, but that helps, I think, to keep the whole theory
experience less stressful :-)
Beyond the basics of scales, the site has a lot of valuable
information on chords, especially in the section called "Chord
Charts and Maps", where Steve has quite literally plotted out
maps in all of the major keys, showing you how to create flow in
your chord progressions. At first glance, the maps may seem a
little intimidating, but all you have to do is to follow the
arrows between chords to get an idea of how they work together.
The site is designed for piano students, but guitar students and
songwriters can also benefit from everything here. Steve
provides quite a number of chord positions on the piano, but a
guitar player could easily find the same guitar chords, for
instance, at a website like ChordFind (http://www.chordfind.com/)
A common question I hear often from many songwriters is how to
come up with some new chord progressions, and the chord maps
section of Music Theory for Songwriters will definitely give you
a sense of all of the possibilities!
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: http://www.irenejackson.com/tips.html
Songs on MP3:
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F e a t u r e d A r t i c l e :
BACK IN BLACK: RECORDINGS SHOULD ALWAYS MAKE YOU MONEY
- by Allen Farmelo
© Allen Farmelo, 2003 All Rights Reserved.
Printed with Permission.
How many people do you know who have lost money on a recording?
How many people do you know who have made money from a recording?
Chances are, if you're like me, you know far more of the former
than the latter.
There are so many factors involved in whether a recording is a
financial winner or looser that it's usually hard to pin-point
just what worked, or didn't work. However, how much you spend is
always easy to assess, and always in your control. If you want
to insure that you're recording makes money, simply don't
spend any more than you've already made as a musician. That way,
your break-even point is so low that you can't lose. If you've
only made $5, as a musician, then make a $5 recording. I'm
I've often heard this line of reasoning: "But we're investing in
ourselves and our art!" Yes, this is true. But, a wise
investment pays and gets reinvested wisely. Stay in the black
and you can continue to invest in yourself and your art. Here's
the rule: stay in the black and record within your means as a
10 Reasons Why?
1. you won't go broke
2. you won't experience that uncomfortable feeling that comes
3. you'll find yourself making smart decisions to accomplish
staying in the black
4. it's a responsible way to live
5. if your song and performance are great, they'll be great even
over a 9-volt transistor radio with a 1" speaker
6. recent technology has narrowed the gap between the sound of a
cheap and an expensive recording, and no one uses 9-volt
transistor radios anymore
7. recent internet technology has made global distribution of
hi-resolution recordings virtually free
8. you'll get sick of a recording soon enough and want to make
9. you'll have enough money to make the next recording
10. you will feel in control, and "on top of things."
I could go on and on about any one of these points, but I want to
return to the central theme here. Way too many musicians spend
way too much making recordings. They lose money, and losing
money has all kinds of bad effects outside the wallet. It's
depressing to lose money. You may need to work longer hours on
the day-job, robbing yourself of writing and rehearsal time.
Your self-esteem may dip. Friends and family may begin to raise
the proverbial eyebrow. Band mates may build a grudge. The band
van might not get fixed. You may never learn how to make
money as a musician. You may even think you need to spend more
money to do it right next time.
All of these ill results of losing money on a recording are
common ailments of musicians and songwriters. It's a strange
mind-set that can develop an acceptance, even an expectation, of
failure. Sure, we all reap rewards from making nice looking and
sounding records, but in order to sustain that kind of
satisfaction, we all owe it to ourselves to stay in the black.
Even if it means making our next record with a budget of $0.
Again, I'm serious.
Let's consider 10 facts that might put this seemingly silly idea
into more serious light:
1. Ric Ocasic of The Cars made cheap demos at home that got The
2. Weezer made cheap demos in their garage that got them signed
and the chance to work with Ric Ocasic.
3. The Ohio-based band Guided by Voices put out several hundreds
of scratchy, filthy, ultra-lo-fi songs before ever seeing a pro
studio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame now has an installation
featuring them, and 100 of the songs from the filthy era were
released as a box set. They also got to work with Ric Ocasic.
4. Certain people would pay thousands, if not more, for crappy
demos from bands like The Beatles or Johnny Cash, and the list
5. Arguably, Bruce Springsteen's best record is Nebraska,
recorded on a cheap 4-track in a hotel room.
6. Some of our favorite oldies recordings sound like a vacuum
cleaner was left on in the room while recording.
7. People spend a great deal of time, money and energy trying to
emulate Keith Richard's guitar sound on Satisfaction, and he used
a cheap tape recorder to overdrive his guitar on that song.
8. People could recognize a great song and a great voice and a
great guitar player even when Victrolas were the latest and
9. Liz Phair is now climbing the pop charts, but her earliest and
most necessary success was built on dorm room recordings.
10. Most people are finding low-resolution MP3's to be "just
fine" in an era when 5-point surround sound is readily available.
The message here is that if the songs and the performance are
great, the recording does not have to be great for it to succeed.
Sure, it's a cliche, but it's a true one, and one that can save
you a great deal of money and fend off many of the ills listed
So, as I look around at musicians and songwriters at various
levels and see so many who have lost money on recording, I worry
that too many people are getting the wrong impression of what's
important. I think that in our hearts we know that what's
important is the content of our music--the emotion, sincerity,
relevance, melodies, song structures and an innovative,
risk-taking spirit. But, like many industries, we are constantly
bombarded with messages that tell us we're not good enough, that
we need enhancements, that we need the latest high-technology
in order to be successful. And we live in an age of debt in
which paying interest on borrowed money is the norm. Being told
we need more and more, and seeing that living outside our means
is "normal" creates a dangerous mind-set. And when it's time to
record, many people bring that mind-set with them into the
I want to share a personal experience. Knowing that a studio
recording would sink us financially, my band, The Neighbors,
decided to spend about $1000 on home recording gear (see
www.theneighbors.net for info on what we bought). We have since
recorded nearly 100 songs and uploaded them to our site. From a
promotional standpoint, having an available body of work has been
a fantastic boost on many fronts. And we've made the money back
from gigs won through the recordings.
But more importantly, we feel good. We don't have that heavy
feeling of having to make every penny back that we spent. We
don't fear the next project and what it might cost. We don't
have to bother our fans at gigs with reminders to buy our CD's (a
personal pet peeve when seeing bands). We don't mind taking
songwriting and recording risks, since there's not much to lose
at this point. To summarize, we just don't worry that much. Our
recordings made money, and that feels good.
I encourage readers to embrace a commitment to only making
recordings that make money. Find a way to get those songs
documented that's well within your means as a musician, and
you'll find that you really can keep doing this your whole life.
Allen Farmelo is frontman and songwriter for Toronto/Buffalo
based pop-rock band, The Neighbors. All of their recordings are
available free at www.theneighbors.net. He is a published
ethnomusicologist, former professor of pup music history, and is
currently working to make The Neighbors a full-time gig. You can
contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, and he welcomes your
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B a n d I n S p o t l i g h t : INGRAM HILL by Lauren Jonik
There is a certain kind of energy that Ingram Hill exudes: raw,
yet smooth, new, but comfortably accessible, polished, while
still developing--- in short, real and ready to take on the
world. It is a sign of great skill when a well-established band
captures on an album the same passion and depth that they have in
their live show. But, it is a sign of both skill and pure native
ability when an up and coming band can do the same--- and so
masterfully at that.
From their beginnings in Memphis, Tennessee, the four members of
Ingram Hill, lead vocalist/guitarist Justin Moore, guitarist Phil
Bogard, bassist/vocalist Shea Sowell and drummer Matt Chambless,
have valued highly the experience of sharing their music with
live audiences. In fact, it is an integral part to what they do.
When describing what someone could expect from an Ingram Hill
show, Justin Moore explained simply, "it's high energy, a lot of
fun and just some good ol' fashioned rock and roll."
Concertgoer Tessa Horehled of Atlanta, GA concurs, "I think they
have a great stage presence. Justin has a great voice and their
songs are, for the most part, catchy and easy to sing along to.
They have a good relationship with the crowd while on stage."
While audiences have been especially enjoying moving and grooving
to 'Will I Ever Make It Home', 'Almost Perfect' and 'Your Smiling
Face', songs all included on Ingram Hill's debut studio release,
UNTIL NOW, Justin particularly enjoys performing the ballad,
Though Ingram Hill is most at home when performing, they also
enjoy the process of songwriting, an effort that is often
collaborative. "Someone will have an idea and collectively, we
will all work on that song together. There is no really set way
that we go by when it comes to songwriting and I think that just
leaves our options open to try new things," said Justin Moore.
But one definite highlight of creating UNTIL NOW, which was
released in the Spring of 2002, was writing and working with
someone outside of the band. Emerson Hart, lead singer of Tonic,
co-produced five of the CD's eight tracks, along with Jeff
Powell. In addition to Emerson co-writing 'Almost Perfect',
'Brother's Keeper', and 'The Day Your Luck Runs Out' with Ingram
Hill, he also imparted some of the wisdom he has gleaned from
years in the music industry. "We learned a lot about the
business in general, a lot about travelling, a lot about what to
do and what not to do." But, perhaps most importantly, they
learned how to hone their craft. "We learned what a song needs
for it to have a good grab to it. He took some of our songs and
helped us out with that. We've just given our songs a lot more
dynamics, so they have more of a punch when you listen to them."
Another notable co-songwriting experience came when they worked
with the former lead singer of the Brand New Immortals, David
Ryan Harris. "He is an unbelievable talent. We had the privilege
of writing with him," emphasizes Justin. Realizing the benefits
of learning from those who have gone before you, Ingram Hill is
eager to continue to embrace opportunities to work with others.
"We are open to writing with any established songwriters. We want
to learn from everybody."
Though they didn't officially join musical forces until the
summer of 2000, three of the members of Ingram Hill go way
back--- Justin Moore, Phil Bogard and Shea Sowell went to the
same elementary school. And, at the time when the seeds of
forming Ingram Hill were just beginning to bloom, Matt Chambless
was Justin's roommate. The name of the band pays homage to the
small but significant joy that comes when getting close to home
after travelling. In northern Mississippi, there is a town
called Ingram's Mill. "When we first started travelling, we
travelled Highway 78 almost nonstop and that is the last exit
before our exit to go home, so everytime we'd see Ingram's Mill,
it was like, "we're almost there." We swapped some letters and
came up with Ingram Hill," said Justin.
Hailing from Memphis, it would be impossible not to consider
Elvis Presley an influence, but Ingram Hill gathers inspiration
from some of their own contemporaries, like Barenaked Ladies,
David Gray, the late Jeff Buckley and others, as well. "There
is a guy named Ian Moore, out of Austin, TX, who is one of the
most soulful singers I've ever heard in my life."
Daring to continue to push the envelope when exploring their own
sound, Ingram Hill already shares a thing or two in common with
those artists and bands they admire--- namely, the desire to keep
growing as musicians and the pure determination to create good
music and offer it to the world.
Justin Moore shares their own formula for success--- one that is
simple and straightforward--- and working: "Believe in what you
do and play out live as much as you possibly can. The more you
get to play, the better you are."
Lauren Jonik is a freelance journalist and photographer who lives
in the suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania area. Deeply valuing
the beauty of creative expression, she enjoys combining her love
of music with her passion for writing and photography. She is the
founder and editor of an online music publication called
SoundAffects.net (http://www.soundaffects.net/). Lauren can be
contacted at: email@example.com
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" O N S I T E " F E A T U R E D A R T I C L E :
Courage... - by Jon Nicol
Looking at an often overlooked tool for songwriting.
C l a s s i f i e d s & U s e f u l S e r v i c e s :
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Virtual Studio Systems, Inc. is proud to announce Lyricist V2.2 -
The Songwriter's Best Friend: the first-of-its-kind word
processor designed for musicians, songwriters, and poets. The
software includes a rhyming dictionary, thesaurus, album
categorization, chord charting, chord generator, song
arrangement, On-Line Copyright Link, and much much more - all in
a user-friendly package. Check out the review at
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NEED TO BOOK GIGS & ADVANCE YOUR CAREER? ORDER THIS UNIQUE
It is packed with essential tools to save you time and money, and
give you a competitive advantage in the music business. Compiled
by Suzanne Glass, author, speaker, and founder of
Indie-Music.com, the ToolKit comes with nearly 50 articles,
printable copyright forms, templates for common music items like
flyers, music fonts, musician papers, software, and much more for
THE 4th EDITION OF THE INDIE BIBLE IS NOW AVAILABLE!
The Indie Bible shows you where to get your music reviewed, your
songs played, and your CDs sold. Now in its fourth edition, The
Indie Bible has 310 pages of valuable contacts and music-related
The 4th Edition of the Indie Bible contains:
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For details and to order online visit:
THE GALARIS MUSICIANS DIRECTORY - 2003 EDITION
If you are serious about pushing your music career to the
next level, getting your music into the right hands, promoting
yourself to others and creating a buzz, YOU NEED THE GMD!
Visit us to check out the demo, and see what industry
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Receive a 10% discount if you place your order through The Muse's
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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
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