Sixteen months ago as I was walking across the Wesleyan campus on a college tour with my daughter, my iPhone buzzed. I had told myself I would not be taking business calls on this trip. But this was different.
The Gothard Sisters, three sisters who are "multi-instrumentalist Celtic-influenced folk musicians, songwriters, and performers from the Pacific Northwest, USA," have a new CD out this week, Mountain Rose.
I often say (and you've probably heard me say it), that when I started out in this business of writing songs I was twenty. Everyone else was twenty. Now I'm fifty-something and everyone else is five. I'm exaggerating about the five, but you know what I mean.
If you've been in the songwriting business for more that a few years, you've undoubtedly seen your royalty statements fizzle so I'm sure this statement will make you crazy: Spotify is worth more than the entire U.S. music industry.
"I met him on a Monday and my heart stood still." That's the opening line of the 1963 hit "Da Doo Ron Ron", one of a string of songs that vividly captured the essence of teenage romance in a way American popular music had rarely done.
Last week was a convenient window for Taylor Swift haters to come out. She pulled her songs from Spotify and now has the only debut album of 2014 to go platinum in one week. Is she a music creator advocate or a savvy business woman? Perhaps she is both.
I've noticed a dull ache in the base of my right hand at the end of the day. I have iPhone wrist. It's like tennis elbow. Except it's not from tennis and it doesn't involve an elbow. I can't be the only one.
There's been a lot of scaling down over the last decade, and it's hard to say where things are going. But one thing's for sure...I feel lucky that I got a chance to go to that party. To have a taste of that cake, dance on the tables, and drink from the champagne fountain on Grammy night.
Sheryl's performance made me want to hear more. Such was the function of a single back then. It made you want to hear the rest of the album because chances were there would be other songs that were just as good. Maybe even better.
The first song you write with someone is like a first kiss. The songs (or the kisses) that follow might be better for other reasons, or you might never want to write another song with that person again. Either way there's no song like the first song. There just isn't.
Often touted as "Inside the Actors Studio for songwriters," JLSS is in fact a totally unique enterprise, based around the concept that good music with meaningful lyrics will ultimately build a community.
The US is alone in the world in maintaining a compulsory license for songs. The government forces songwriters to license their songs at a rate approved by the government and then has rather flimsy rules about how songwriters actually get paid.
Besides the incredible talent that the composers and lyricists of the 20th century had in common, they also, nearly every single one of them, were Jewish. These men (and they were ALL men) gave the United States musical theater unlike any it had never seen before.
Musicians have been waiting decades for an alternative which would allow musicians, pro and amateur to make their product, and make it with more ease and less hassle, headache and most importantly, less expenditure.