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The Muse's News

Issue 8.7 - October 2005
ISSN 1480-6975

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This issue sponsored by:
Songlist - Pitch Your Songs Today - Online!


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

@-- Editor's Musings
@-- Music Reviews - by Gian Fiero and Francesco Emmanuel
@-- New Artist Spotlight Additions
@-- 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 - DOING YOUR OWN PUBLICITY by Jay Flanzbaum
@-- On Site Featured Article - An article already online for your
    viewing pleasure.
@-- 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.

You can pick up some attractive and useful Muse's Muse items like
mugs, mousepads, t-shirts in various colors and more by visiting .  Get yourself some classy
merchandise to remind yourself of your commitment to better
songwriting and support The Muse's Muse all at the same time.
S p o n s o r   M e s s a g e :
(Many thanks to the sponsors that help support this newsletter!)


Are you ready to take your songwriting career to the next level?
SONGLIST.COM is helping professional and undiscovered writers
gain maximum exposure and results through its unique and
affordable marketing solutions. In just the last two months,
Songlist members have obtained cuts with BMG and Edel Records
artists and the list is growing.

SONGLIST.COM works with some of the biggest names and labels in
the industry and has open access to the people making the
decisions. Some of our current listings include opportunities
through BMG, Curb, Geffen and Warner Bros. to name a few. We also
offer e-mail marketing tools which enable writers to effectively
and proactively market their songs to their own contact lists.

To learn more about our professional song marketplace, visit us


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

Another summer is coming to an end... I can't say that I'll miss
the sticky, humid heat.  Actually, Autumn is my favorite time of
year.  Probably because it's when my birthday is. ;)  Personal
bias, I guess.  But I love the weather when the trees are
changing color and I can still go outside with a light coat and
not freeze... I guess I'm a person who loves moderation in my
weather.  Too hot or too cold and I'm unhappy.  Spring and Fall
are awesome times of the year.  I'd be curious to hear what
*your* favorite time of the year is and why.  Who knows?  Maybe
it'll inspire a song. :) 

As mentioned last month, I've entered The Muse's Muse
into the BT Digital Music Awards under the category of People's
Choice.  'Cuz I figured, "Why not"?  If you have a moment and
feel the site deserves it, I'd really appreciate a vote.  There's
a graphic for it on the main page of the website at or you can use this link to cast your


You can also enter your own site from here: 
Cool, huh? 

Still always looking for more music for Radio Muse.  The next
show is well underway in its production and the one after that
still needs more music.  I've really been impressed with the
music that's come to me so far.  Awesome, guys. :)  So drop by for information on how
you can submit a package. 

And we have a new columnist!  Please help me welcome Seth
Milliner.  His new column, "Sky's The Limit", will be a place for
him to talk about the issues facing Christian songwriters. You
can read his first article and find out more about Seth here:

We also have a new reviewer.  Francesco Emmanuel will be
reviewing the genres of Rock, World Beat, Jazz, Calypso and
Reggae.  Feel free to visit and find out more
about him and about the other reviewers too.

Phew.  A lot to talk about there! :)  
But finally, here are the raffle winners for the month:

* Brian Saffell from Tampa, Florida has won a copy of
VSS's songwriting organization product, Lyricist (for details and
information on a discount offered, see

* Melissa Cantrell from Oakwood, GA has won a copy of 
"100 Miles To A Record Deal" by Bronson Herrmuth

* Bruce Scism from River Forest, IL has won a copy of the
Daylle Deanna Schwartz's "I Don't Need a Record Deal" (reviewed

* Alan Noah from Mountain View, CA has won a copy of the
"Musician's Toolkit" (for details, see 

Keep happy and keep writing. :)

All the best,


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

(Purchasing this great product will help support both the
newsletter and the sponsor who helps keep this newsletter free!
Plus, you also get a great discount! :-) 


Lyricist is the first-of-its-kind word processor designed
specifically for musicians, songwriters, and poets.  The software
includes a Rhyming Dictionary, Thesaurus, Album Categorization,
Chord Charting, Chord Generator, Song Arrangement, and On-Line
Copyright Link.  

The new version 3 release adds support for "Piano Style" chord
symbols, Nashville Number System, and Transposition features -
all in one easy-to-use package - and all for only $44.95! (That's
$5.00 off to all Muse's News readers who purchase from the review
link at!)

This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your
writing.  Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist


M u s i c   R e v i e w s :  

by Gian Fiero & Francesco Emmanuel


Francesco Emmanuel

* Luke Doucet

Gian Fiero:

* Eric Kamen


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

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

Great music is only a click away!  
Here is the latest addition to the Artist Spotlight section of
The Muse's Muse at 


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

For more Singer/Songwriters, visit:
Doug Spears - Genre: FOLK

Thoughtful, intelligent lyrics in the style of Gordon Lightfoot
and John Prine, memorable melodies, a warm, engaging acoustic
guitar style and smooth, rich vocals reminiscent of John Denver.
Thatís acoustic folk artist, Doug Spears. Doug's songs tell
engaging stories mixing musical elements of Americana, bluegrass
and acoustic folk. Turn off the TV and the cell phone and enjoy.

For more Folk artists, visit:

S o n g w r i t i n g   B o o k   R e v i e w : by James Linderman

"I Don't Need a Record Deal" by Daylle Deanna Schwartz
Daylle Deanna Schwartz new book "I Don't Need a Record Deal" is
subtitled "Your Survival Guide to the Indie Music Revolution" and
I was really excited about reviewing it since I had just been to
a conference where I heard that major labels are downsizing their
A&R (Artist & Repertoire) departments faster than any other
sector of their operation. I also know that only one in ten
artists signed to a major label go on to financially break even
by the end of their contract.

This means that, even if many of us are still holding on to that
dream of being signed to a major label and are not all that
attracted to going the indie route, it's likely this is a choice
the industry, in its present climate, will make for us.

This also means that a "survival guide" becomes essential in
helping to navigate us through the jungle that has become the
indie music revolution.  We are now also directly competing with
artists who, ten years ago, would have been major label acts.
This takes things to a whole new level.

So here is what you will find in Daylle's book:

Chapter one has a listing of 150 industry people that are quoted
or referred to in the book with a brief description of their role
in the industry and their web site address. As you read through
the book you can actually refer back to the source of the
information you are gathering. 

Chapter two offers up some compelling insights into why an artist
could actually benefit from going the indie route and there are
some terrific side bar stories of artists who have had their
careers explode because of the control that being indie afforded
them. These sidebars are positioned thoughtfully throughout the

The following chapters look at the "nuts and bolts" of an indie
career and focus on stuff like recording as an indie, packaging
and promoting your CD, building a support system for yourself,
networking, savvy street marketing, and goes through every aspect
of being your own major label, right to touring and tackling the
international indie scene...when you get to the point where Ani
DiFranco and Bruce Cockburn are opening for you or you are the
choice for headliner if they ever bring back Lilith Fair.

There are numerous resources for songwriters including a huge
chapter on licensing to film TV, ringtones, advertising and more.
There are 2 other chapters on marketing songwriting skills as

There are some great chapters on radio play and online marketing
that are really insightful and like Daylle's other two books "The
Real Deal" and "Start and Run Your Own Record Label" this book is
informative and inspiring without being condescending.

You can pick up a copy of "I Don't Need a Record Deal" by Daylle
Deanna Schwartz at  

James Linderman lives and works at theharmonyhouse, a music
lesson, songwriting and recording pre-production facility in
Newmarket, Ontario.  James writes songwriting articles and music
book reviews for The Muse's News, Canadian Musician Magazine,
Songwriters Magazine, and Professional Musician Magazine. His
writing is also featured in the James Linderman Wing of the
library at  James has a Canadian University and
American College education in music theory and composition and is
also pretty good at making up songs and playing the guitar. 

Contact James at:  

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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!)


The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource (online since 1995) now has
a section of Artist Spotlights at where musicians
and songwriters of all genres can strut their stuff.  Newly
spotlighted artists are also mentioned in this newsletter (see
above). Check out for
more details!

M u s i c a l   N o t e s : Songwriting Contests & Market Info.

In the interest of conserving space, I will only be including
changes to this listing in this newsletter.  All other contests
and market information that have already been listed here, are
displayed at & . Please check there
regularly for updates!
The fifth annual Plowshares Singer-Songwriter Competition is
accepting submissions.  The postmark deadline is Friday, December
2, 2005.  Ten entrants will be selected to perform at the Finals
Showcase on March 18, 2006.  $1400 in cash and $1850 in prizes
will be awarded.  The Finals Showcase will feature sets by John
Flynn and last year's Grand Prize winner, Joe Jencks.  The entry
fee is $15.  See for
complete submission guidelines.  Entry deadline is December 2nd.

Have you written a song or lyric that tells a great story?
Submission postmark deadline: November 9, 2005.
MUSE'S NEWS READERS -- TAKE a FREE COURSE! is pleased to make this special offer of a free course available to all Muse's News Readers (a $40
value).  Come see for yourself why ASCAP says that the courses
offered by "will undoubtedly help prepare songwriters
for any market no matter their place of residence" and NSAI says
we're the "next important evolution for serious songwriters."
To take your FREE SONGWRITING COURSE, simply go to the following
link: .  

You can learn more about courses, co-writing hookups,
industry connections and pitching by going to .  

Download's free and easy Copyright Kit. Print
Copyright forms, Copyright submission process, handy tips &
tricks, choosing the right form, and more. 

Pete & Pat Luboff will pay for the phone call for Muse's Muse
songwriters who use the Luboffs' songwriting consultation
service. The service provides detailed, constructive song
analysis, answers to all your creative and business questions and
references to contacts when appropriate. Visit for more information.

Ellen Silverstein Violette, Grammy-nominated Songwriter & CEO of
Create A Splash! e-marketing & writing strategies 4 success is
offering 15% discounts to Muse's Muse visitors on selected
services including all courses, web reviews, and some coaching
programs. Visit for information! 

It's important for your website to be found once it's created. We
all know this. But who can afford the promotion a website needs
to truly make its mark on the web? Now YOU can. This package is
offered exclusively to Muse's Muse visitors only - and now
includes an Artist Spotlight listing! Do you have a website that
no one knows about? Do you want it to stand out from the crowd?
Now you can get it promoted for a fraction of the price most
search engine optimization packages would cost you.  Visit
for more details.

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

©1998-2005 Moonstone Productions All Rights Reserved. Used By

I'm never quite sure what I'm going to find if I sit long enough
surfing various songwriting websites or doing searches.
Sometimes I come across a gem that I could never have predicted.

When I was a kid, the HISTORY of anything bored me to tears.  Who
cares?  My boredom might have had something to do with my father
who was a history buff and who ignored my rolling eyes when he
began one of his historical lectures :-)  I've gotten older,
however, and I've become more curious.  And this month, I decided
to Google "Tin Pan Alley", a term you'll often come across if you
do any research at all on songwriting.  If you've never heard of
Tin Pan Alley, do a search yourself and you'll find plenty of
websites that describe what it is and where it came from.  Is it
a place?  Well, that's what you're going to find out!

During my search, I came across a great site called "Parlor
Songs" (, devoted to popular sheet music
in the U.S. from the 1800's to the 1920's.  It was developed by a
non-profit organization called The Parlor Songs Association in
Washington State. 

The website and association grew out of a rather large private
collection from the association's founding member, Robert Maine,
who found the collection of old sheet music in his parents'
attic.  He began to scan the covers and to sequence the music as
a way of preserving it, and then had Richard Reublin jump in to
help him create and develop the website.

Now what does this have to do with you the songwriter?  Well, of
course, songwriting came from SOMEWHERE.  There is a long history
of it in just about every country in the world, from their old
folk songs to their present day popular songs.  And in the U.S.,
Tin Pan Alley was a very interesting part of that history.  From
1885 to the 1920's, New York was the hub of music publishing, and
Tin Pan Alley grew out of that era.  The story behind the name
"Tin Pan Alley" was that it was coined because of the sound of
many pianos clunking away as composers tried to come up with new
songs for the publishers to sell.  Imagine a centralized place
with a string of small rooms, each with a composer or two writing
songs all day?  The rest of that story is here:

But there are plenty of other interesting places to visit on the
website too.  Back issues of the webzine include midi files of
some of the old songs, just to give you a sense of what some of
those Tin Pan Alley songwriters were coming up with.

So take in a little history. There's a lot to learn about your
craft and where it came from!

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

Songwriting Tips:
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F e a t u r e d   A r t i c l e : 

Doing Your Own Publicity 
- © 2005 by Jay Flanzbaum
All Rights Reserved.  Used By Permission

If you have never played before in a new market, then most likely
nobody in that town has any idea who you are. And why would
anyone come out to see you play if they have never heard of you
before and have no idea that you are even playing?  Every venue
you play will most likely have their own media list.  This is a
list of the local media contacts that the venue has a
relationship with. What you really need is some press or at a
minimum just a calendar listing with the local radio and print

You will also have to prepare a professional and concise press
release. A good release should be able to convey all of the
pertinent information about the band and the gig on one page.
Radio stations and newspapers get flooded every day with hundreds
of releases.  They don't have time to read numerous pages that
outline your band's Zen philosophy or each of your bass player's
numerous influences. Keep it to the point or they will not read
it at all. Keep your layout clean; do not use multiple fonts and
font sizes or too many colors and graphics. 

Make sure your release has a section with all of the performance
details. This section should be easy to pick out and include:
Performance Date, Band Name, Venue Name, Full Address, Phone,
Website, Ticket Price, Set Times, Age Limit and any other bands
on the bill. Also be sure to include your personal contact
information: Contact Name, Phone, Email, and Website. If someone
needs to get in touch for a photo, CD or an interview, you want
them to be able to find you quickly and easily. You can now use
this release for all of your upcoming gigs and just change it
slightly to fit each show.

Once you have all of the contacts collected and the release
written you will need a quick and easy way to send faxes and
emails to everyone on your list. Here is where a Contact
Management program really comes in handy. You could take the time
to create numerous, personalized press releases for each press
contact and fax or email them, one by one. This could take you
days depending on the size of the market. If we are talking about
New York City, it could take you months. But if you have the
proper tools, you should be able to create one template and just
click one button to issue a personalized release by fax and email
to thousands of contacts all at once. 

Trying to get press and interviews is a lot like booking gigs.
Once your release has been sent, someone in your band needs to
follow up with each media outlet and confirm that they received
the information. You should then ask if you can send them your CD
and press kit for possible coverage in the publication that
coincides with your upcoming performance. It is your job to tell
them a story that is interesting enough about your band to
warrant the coverage. 

But there is so much more that you and your band mates really
need to do to assure even the smallest crowd will show up to your
gig. You need to make sure that the venue has posters, flyers and
promotional CDs to use in and around the club. The band should
try and get into the market a week or so before the gig to put up
posters, pass out flyers and meet local music fans. The day of
the show you should also spend some time at the local college or
downtown area to pass out flyers. 

You need to do every possible thing you can do to get your name,
your music or your logo in front of as many eyes as possible.
Even if you do everything outlined above and nobody shows up for
your gigs, you have still done an incredible job seeding the
market for the future. Most talent buyers would at least give you
another chance after they have seen how professional and
dedicated you are. Execute the same plan for the next gig but
even more vigorously and you will see it pay off. And while there
are no guaranties in life, you can be sure that doing no
publicity at all will result in very little exposure at all.


Jay Flanzbaum currently runs, an automated booking
and promotional tool. Jay spent over 7 years putting independent
bands on regional and national tours with the Visionary Booking
agency. Onlinegigs is the first booking and promotional suite of
its kind and gives very powerful resources, contact management
and automation to the independent music industry.

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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 :

Groupies -- The Good, The Bad, and The Nauseating
by Cheryl Mullen

Are you a "good groupie" or a "bad groupie"? Or are you merely a
fan? Has your dog-like devotion to your favorite artists driven
you to the point where you need an intervention? Take the quiz
and find out!
Permission to be an Artist - Granted!
by Linda Dessau

Why is it so difficult to authorize ourselves, grant ourselves
permission and consent, to sanction our own creative work? 
================================================================= 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 : ----------------------------------------------------------------- IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) ACCEPTING ENTRIES Enter the 2nd Annual IAMA (International Acoustic Music Awards) now! Win awards in Folk/Americana/Roots, Bluegrass, Best Male Artist, Best Female Artist, Best Group/Duo, etc. Overall Grand Prize worth over US$6,600, which includes radio promotion to over 250 radio stations in US and Canada. Winners will be heard on radio show: Acoustic Cafe and XM Radio and featured on our CD compilation. Past winners include Jason Harwell, Jen Foster, Hard Rain and The Creaking Tree String Quartet. FREE EARLY BONUS: first 1,000 entrants will each receive a Paste magazine subscription. Hurry to: ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 2006 GREAT LAKES SONGWRITING CONTEST The 2006 Great Lakes Songwriting Contest is now open to residents of the eight Great Lakes states and the Province of Ontario. Grand Prize is $1000 cash, with 12 additional prizes of gift certificates, discounts on songwriting retreats, and publicity and performance opportunities. The former Michigan Songwriting Contest is now sponsored by Elderly Instruments and Lamb's Retreat for Songwriters. Deadline for entries: 3/31/06. More at ----------------------------------------------------------------- EXPLODE AS A SONGWRITER If you are a guitar player and writer, we can show you how to find just the right chord or add the perfect accent notes. With our unique mapping of the fretboard, you can check out the entire key and easily create powerful musical statements. This is the perfect tool to use to explore all of your creative thoughts. Learn why the Uncle Tim Series is used by thousands of guitar players to build rich songs and inspiring passages. See this newsletter's review. Visit our site today and explode as a song writer! ----------------------------------------------------------------- BE THE BEST SONGWRITER YOU CAN BE: LYRICIST V3 Pop Quiz: You have 5 minutes to complete: Locate every song's lead sheet you ever wrote, its genre, and album. What's the fingering for a G#sus4 chord at the ninth fret? Transpose your most current song from the key of G to F# and then into a Nashville Number Chart. Oops, also transpose the chart from guitar style chords to piano. Now copyright the song from where you're sitting without removing your hands from your mouse or keyboard. Your time is up! You know what you need? LYRICIST! It's the songwriter's best friend. Includes Rhyming Dictionary, Album Categorization, Chord Charting, On-Line Copyright, and more. Check out the review at .. Muse's Muse visitors can take home the product for $5.00 off the regular $49.95 USD selling price. This tool will revolutionize the way you write and organize your writing. Be the best songwriter you can be and purchase Lyricist today! ----------------------------------------------------------------- BUILD A BUZZ AT INDIE-MUSIC.COM FOR ONLY $5/MONTH Artists: Why join I-M has been spotlighting the best in independent music since 1996, featuring Articles, Interviews, Reviews, Charts, & Streaming Audio in all musical styles. Member Artists receive generous promotion on the I-M website (2.5 million+ hits per month) plus access to our famous original DIY resources, which have helped numerous musicians book thousands of dollars worth of work over the years. For a limited time, new annual Members receive free Lyricist and TrackNotes software value $69.95). There's never been a better time to join I-M! ----------------------------------------------------------------- THE 6th 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 Sixth Edition, The Indie Bible has 316 pages of valuable contacts and music-related articles. The 6th Edition of the Indie Bible contains: 4200 publications around the world that will REVIEW your CD! 3400 radio stations around the world that will PLAY your songs! 600 vendors and services that will help you to SELL your music! 330 sites where you can UPLOAD your band's MP3 files! 500 helpful resources and sites where you can PROMOTE your band! 51 articles that will help your career to MOVE forward rapidly! Listings include web, e-mail and physical address, as well as phone and fax numbers. For details and to order online visit: ----------------------------------------------------------------- REAL ANSWERS TO REAL QUESTIONS, An eBook About Copyright & Publishing If you want to know how to protect yourself as a songwriter in this digital age, you need this book - EXCLUSIVELY offered through The Muse's Muse. And it's now on sale for half price! Visit to learn more! ----------------------------------------------------------------- REACH NEW FANS ON MEDIAFEAST Looking to reach new fans? MediaFeast is an online independent music retailer dedicated to helping independent artists bring new music to fans and helping listeners find great new music. Create a free account and then have the opportunity to add albums for sale on In addition to prepackaged albums such as those sold at traditional retailers, MediaFeast offers the sale of one-off albums that are produced to order using a master artist disc and associated artwork. Artists set the selling prices for all of their albums and receive all profits above the base cost. Sign up through this ad and receive four free Pure Profit sales, where you will keep 100% of the selling price! Visit for details. ================================================================= ADVERTISING RATES: For Classifieds: US$50 Max. 8 lines, where a line = 65 characters including spaces and punctuation. All contracts must be prepaid. Write to: For Newsletter Sponsorship rates and other advertising 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 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back issues of the newsletter can be read at the National
Library of Canada ecollection: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Back to Menu

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