Category: Unfinished Mail
Unfinished Mail – October 2018
A couple of nights ago I caught Courtney Barentt. The last time I’d seen her it was election night 2016. She ended with a wonderful cover of “Drunk on Election Night.” It was more than fitting. This time around she had covers but no mention of the show of 2016. As we approach the election of 2018 I have to get political.
This past week was the Kavanaugh hearing in Washington, D.C. The battle between Kavanaugh and Dr Ford was night and day and recalled the Anita Hill hearings. The only thing that was different was the world. We are slowly turning the massive consciousness away from 18th & 19th Century thinking. The catchword is #metoo but that is merely the catalyst of an explosion that has been generations in the making.
I still get e-mails from Equal Means Equal who are still trying to pass the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution. It has been nearly 50 years to get enough states to ratify it. Will it change the world? Will it make things easier?
This year has been called the Year of the Woman. From the Womens March # 2 to #metoo women have a stronger voice than ever before. It American politics more women have run for office and made it through primaries than ever before. Sadly the #metoo movement is still quiet in the music industry. There have been some firings and some revelations but the industry remains a male behemoth.
By the time our November issue comes out it will practically be election day. On top of everything else, work, life, school, music…this is the year to vote. No matter how many marches you attend, petitions you sign, all are meaningless unless you exercise your right to be heard. It is time for the women to not only speak…but to roar.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: The Woman Roars
August marks 19 years for FEMMUSIC. It was a difficult birth and the teen years have been rough, last year especially. This year we’ve been making up lost ground and charging forward at breakneck speed. It’s fun but we’re not a kid anymore. We do have our overwhelming curiosity for new music and the women who make it. That never changes. At 19 we’re still learning and growing. I have an active search for photographers and writers to join our team. If you know anyone, please refer them here. At 19 we still want to do more, cover more, and sleep less. We are dedicated to keeping a strong presence with our local scene and continue covering the world. The two sometimes seem contradictory.
My own goals this year are changing. Last year was so heard that we didn’t do as much as we could. This year I’d like to do more but find myself more and more riding a computer instead of at a show. I naturally don’t sleep and the stress of keeping everything going can be a challenge. This summer feels harder than before. I hope when we turn 20 we can turn a page and be a bigger better organization. I may also relax my own reins. I don’t know yet.
Running a magazine is based upon that old adage, “What have you done for me lately?” Keeping that many balls in the air is both the challenge and the excitement. We’re looking forward to 20. We hope you are too.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Turning 19
Unfinished Mail – July 2018
In the past couple of weeks I’ve seen a couple of artists that mystified me, and not in a good way. Each artist had their own eccentricities on and off stage.
Artist #1 is a well-known artist with a couple of different bands and collaborations with other artists. On stage, she is wildly entertaining and engages the audience. Off stage, she is standoffish and almost rude. She refuses to do encores and seems offended to have to sell merch and sign anything. She is not a new artist but a veteran of a few years.
Artist # 2 comes from a well known musical family. She does not emphasize her family ties. On stage, she curtsies and seems to wrap herself up in a protective bubble in a fetal position Off stage she wants to have security. There is no audience engagement and a distance and coldness.
Artists regardless of medium are different. It takes a huge amount of courage to put all of yourself into your art. Many artists tend to be shy and introverted because their best communication is through their art. Musicians can be both shy and engaging. On stage, a musician must give their all. Many artists have pre-stage rituals from drinking heavily, getting high, assuming a persona and more. This pre-stage ritual allows them to be someone they naturally are not, a star. Offstage they revert to their humble roots. It makes many artists endearing and human to their fans.
Both of my examples above are artists who have adopted ways that don’t serve them. On stage you can’t retreat nor should you. People are there to see you. Drink in their energy and let it fuel you on stage. Concerts are participatory on both sides. Look me in the eye from the stage, even if I’m a vague shadow past the lights. Move around. Dance. Have fun. This is your calling, not your job.
Offstage talk to your audience. It always amazes me at small shows, before the curtain has been raised, how many artists don’t try to talk to anyone but their friends. If I’m at a club show, and I’m one of 20 in the door and you’re waiting for your set to begin. As long as it doesn’t interfere with your pre-stage ritual, walk around the room and put out your hand and say “Hi. I’m so-and-so. My band is playing first. I hope you will watch us.” It takes all of 5 minutes and there is a strong chance everyone you said “Hi” to will watch part or all of your set, not just your friends. When the set is done, wait to see how many of the people you introduced yourself to come back to you to give you feedback and buy merch.
When you look at a painting or watch a movie there is no engagement. In live music there is a back and forth. There is energy in the room. Don’t hide when you can bring people into it.
Posted in Unfinished Mail
How the Ectophiles and FEMMUSIC Met – You Had Me at Ecto…
In May I received word that a catalog release was coming out from the artist, Happy Rhodes. If you’re a long time reader of FEMMUSIC the name comes up. For me Happy Rhodes is not only an outstanding artist, it was my introduction to her fan group in the early 90’s that is one reason FEMMUSIC exists today. I was in high school when I first found Happy Rhodes in the racks of a record store. Once I heard a song, I was hooked and had to get more. I ended up buying her first 10 CD’s. Rhodes story sounds similar to Ani DiFranco. Rhodes released 11 albums as an independent artist living in upstate NY between the late 80’s to the early 00’s. She did not tour extensively and her music and fans have an underground mystique to them.
The fans of Happy Rhodes are Ectos or Ectophiles. They get this name from 2 websites:
I can personally that the Ectophiles Guide to Good Music turned me on to many artists I never knew in the pre-streaming days. I never attended the Ectophile Convention nor saw Rhodes live. In finding artists I’d never heard of, it spurred an interest to find more. That interest continues to this day in the pages of FEMMUSIC.
Rhodes’ catalog release is called Ectotropia and brings together some of her oldest material in a CD or Vinyl. Rhodes has an amazing 4 octave range and fits into the ethereal world of dreampop. The album can be found at:
I hope FEMMUSIC inspires others to search for new & unknown artists as Rhodes did me. To all the Ectophiles out there I say THANK YOU.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Happy Rhodes
It’s the end of March and I’m already working on May and heading towards June. I’ve been listening to Sunflower Bean’s Twentytwo in Blue and loving it. I also have been thinking about the festival season. When I was younger another music journalist I respected would have the same column once a year on concert etiquette. I’ve emulated him in the past with my version. This year I decided to start fresh. For anyone who has had the person talking the entire night right next to you, the drunk or high idiot who is making a fool of themselves, and the person who has to record every second of the headliner with a cell phone as opposed to experiencing it, this list is for you:
- Talking – Did you come to the show to see the artist or to talk? If you’re going to talk through the entire night you’ve wasted your money and offended people around you. Go to a bar, go to a restaurant to talk. At the show more people than you WANT to hear the show.
- Screaming – Why are you screaming the artist’s name? Why are you screaming song names when the artist hasn’t asked for requests? The artist knows their own name and has a set list that most likely has your favorite song in it. If the artist asked for requests, then you can scream your favorite song.
- Singing – Congratulations! You know every lyric to every song that the artist is going to play. The people around you however paid to hear the artist sing them NOT you. If the artist invites you for a sing-a-long then feel free.
- Filming, txting, social media – Did you pay money to see a show through a 3″ screen? I didn’t. I want to experience every note and emotion in wide screen, full life. To do that I do not need to record every second of the show, photograph every second, or txt, instagram of FB everyone I know to prove that I was there. Surprisingly neither do you. It used to be if you wore the tour t-shirt the next day at school you proved you were there. Now you can instantly make your friends jealous by sending photos, clips from your phone. Just because you can…doesn’t mean you should. Experience a show LIVE not on a 3″ screen.
- Drunk/Stoned – How much of the show will you remember when you are drunk or stoned? How much will EVERYONE around you remember you if you are drunk or stoned? How many will record it and send it on social media with the quote “Look at this idiot!” Congratulations! You can get drunk or stoned anywhere. Guess what? Nobody cares. People paid money to see a show not to see you behave like an idiot.
These are a small few of the list of concert etiquette items that appear at every show, every summer. It is a funny thing that if you treat people around you with respect, they will treat you the same. If you don’t…then you can be forever immortalized on social media for being “that ass that ruined the show.” If you paid money to see a show…see a show. See, hear and experience with every sense. If not, why are you at the show at all?
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Concert Etiquette
Unfinished Mail – April 2018
I write this the day before Spring. Last month’s editorial I wrote the day before Vans Warped Tour announced it’s line-up. It only featured 4 female acts out of 60+. In the past Warped Tour has featured double digits. As this is the last year of the tour they will not have time to remedy it. This month we feature Sharptooth who is one of the four playing the tour.
In March we also saw the first caucuses and primaries of the political season. We expect to follow the political season closely this year as there are over 300 women candidates running in the US. This is a year of change and we want to reflect that.
March is also Spring Break and we are finding concerts filled with kids celebrating. It is a sign of the summer to come.
It is now April and we begin the festival season with our first local festival, FoCoMX. May is already overflowing with festivals we plan to preview. We are also being bombarded with new releases. That is not a bad thing. Many of the artists we like have new albums out, and many new artists who are attracting our attention are putting out new material before touring.
I’m surprising myself by reading a book or two a week now. As summer gets closer I don’t expect that to continue. This past weekend we finished Brotopia about sexism in Silicon Valley. It was enlightening and brought up many events that flew under our radar. It also continued to enforce how much work still needs to be done in all industries.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Spring is Here
Unfinished Mail – March 2018
Hooray! It’s March. I can finally get back to my regular schedule of barely sleeping and being pure ADD on music. In February I was close. March begins the insanity of touring acts to and from SXSW, Treefort, and other music fests. It means summer isn’t far behind.
Last month I had an interview with Holly Miranda. When it came to my usual question of discrimination, her response was “Umm, yeah.” In the midst of the #MeToo movement, I consider the question to be one of the most important to ask. FEMMUSIC is a niche music magazine focusing on women in music. The question goes to the heart of why we’re here. Not being able to elaborate on answers to tell a history is frustrating for me personally. I’ve been asking the question for 18 years now and the answers to it are a revelation. Whenever I get a lukewarm or tepid response I wonder, again, if I should be asking the question. Can it be changed? Can it be different?
I ask the question because, since before there was FEMMUSIC, there was discrimination in the music business. It can be found in venues, studios, clubs and it may have changed over time. It has not gone away. I see value to the question. It is the “why” for us existing. Do you have thoughts on this? Please e-mail us.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Questioning the Questions
Unfinished Mail – February 2018
February is the calm before the storm. In March are SXSW, Treefort Music Festival, Women’s History Month and the beginning of touring season. Already shows have been announced for October and the calendar is getting packed with dates. I’m already looking at dates for local music festivals and searching out new artists on a daily basis. The album release calendar is also heating up. Spring album releases are coming on strong before Record Store Day in April.
If you’re an artist February is the last month to finish up recording, packaging, and booking. In March it will be best to be on the road and preparing your own spring releases. It is also the time to get festival submissions in. Summer festivals are gold and getting submissions in as soon as possible makes your chances of getting booked that much higher.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: 2018 Heats Up
Unfinished Mail – January 2018
2018 is here. 2017 was a busy year with new releases by prominent artists and big tours. 2018 promises to be the same. 2018 brings with it new tours and new artists. Many of the new signings in 2017 will be hitting the road to promote their EP’s and albums as they come out. We’re already licking our lips about shows coming in March. 2018 also marks the end of Vans Warped Tour. This alternative music festival has shaped generations of fans and artists. We’ve also found it to be one of the most accepting of women artists.
FEMMUSIC will continue our annual issues in 2018. We will have previews of SXSW, Canadian Music Week, Australian Music Week, Melbourne Music Week, Loud Women Festival, and more. We also continue to look for those events that aren’t getting publicity and try to bring them to the forefront.
Typically in January & February we like to take on a broader issue in the music industry. In the past couple of years that has included interviews with women tour managers and women in studio production. As of this writing we are still looking for a subject and look forward to bringing it to you. FEMMUSIC is about women in the music industry not just musicians. We are also an activist site. It is not enough to watch from the sidelines. You need to take a stand and support it.
FEMMUSIC tries to support upcoming artists. We do this by featuring and interviewing them. We also work locally to try to provide artists and organizations with resources that come across our desk. We are a strong believer in arts funding and trying to find funding for artists. We also look for opportunities for gigs, events that might normally be thought of because they are not “music” exclusive. Sometimes our instincts prove true and we’ve heard from artists when our resources have helped. We look forward to doing more in 2018.
The year is just beginning and we hope to make it a great one.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Happy New Year!
Who knew that when we started 2017 that so many women would finally be given a voice, and so many still need to speak up. 2017 began with the Women’s March that brought optimism and unity when spirits seemed lost. Now in October it is a daily revelation of who is being accused of sexual harassment. The #MeToo movement has spread from beyond Hollywood to Congress. Sadly there are too few stories from the music industry. We’ve only seen a couple recently including:
The music industry is ripe for more scandals to come to light. In February the EEOC ruled that Hollywood has a systemic problem in discriminating against women:
We would love to see the same investigation done into the music industry. I was recently watched Play Your Gender, a film about women in music and why only 5% of producers are women. We hope to have a larger story on this soon. In the meantime you can more info at:
The question on everyone’s mind is “Will this finally make a difference?” The only way to change the system is to hire more positions in power with women. This is not a new concept. It is overdue. We are looking forward to a new paradigm for 2018 and have our fingers crossed we will see it.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: 2017 Year of the Woman
Unfinished Mail – November 2017
October began with the mass killing in Las Vegas. On of the best editorials we saw about it was this:
Concert security is one of my soapboxes. It is the constant struggle of keeping audience members safe without infringing on their rights. Las Vegas took it to another level with the shooter being no where near the venue. It presents a scary new step in terror. We mourn the victims in Las Vegas and hope that this will finally be the last event of its kind.
On an entirely different note, October had us in shows where we couldn’t see the artist. The biggest were Frankie Rose and Hundred Waters. Both decided that a smoke machine is better than a live performance. Hundred Waters was moved from a bigger venue. We heard the crew checked the smoke machine at sound check. They obviously didn’t care that the smoke completely obscured the band. You were lucky to see shadows.
Frankie Rose was a similar situation. Not only did she have a smoke machine going, she also asked that the lights be turned down when she got on stage. She was a black shadow on stage.
Both shows emphasized for us how visual a concert is. As an artist on stage you have a presence to deliver your message. If you hide behind smoke and shadows, you are telling your audience you don’t “want” to see them. On stage you are the master. It is both frightening & empowering to do a live show. The reason you are on stage (and above everyone else) is because you’ve earned it. You’ve proven you can play and perform. I’ve seen shows with amazing light shows that work to amplify the performance. Both of these shows I left early. There was no show to the show only shadows and smoke. Please let your audience see how good you are.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Seeing & Not Seeing
Unfinished Mail – October 2017
NOT THE MERCH GIRL
In August we caught the band Scars That Heal in Time. Kayla Smith was wearing a t-shirt that said “NOT THE MERCH GIRL” that had been made by her mother. To me it was an instant recognition of what happens every day. I’ve heard it from tour managers, and artists. They come to a venue and the expectation is that they are “friends of the band”, “groupies”, “the merch girl”, etc….not the band itself. I’ve been hearing stories for years and seeing a band blatantly point it out was wonderful. Personally I think Scars That Heal in Time should have that t-shirt in it’s merch. I know many artists who would wear that shirt.
I view the non recognition of the band “being” the band as sexism pure and simple. No man loading in gear is viewed the same way. A band deserves basic respect when loading in and through the night. If they are professional, the venue should be professional with them. If not, well…those are other stories. Women lugging in their own equipment are not viewed the same way. In some ways it is almost puritan based where a woman isn’t “expected” to do that. It’s 2017. Women are doing more than they were ever “expected” to do. They aren’t “just” the merch girl. They are the band that will kick your ass.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: NOT THE MERCH GIRL
Unfinished Mail – September 2017
What does it mean to “Fight Like A Girl?” We began to ask that question after receiving the following video at the beginning of August:
Zolita’s video is one of empowerment and sisterhoord and reflects the world of post the Womens’ March with the lyrics, “My Body, My Choice, My Rights and My Voice.” Zolita is the not the first artist to “fight like a girl.” We were quickly reminded of others including:
There are many others. You will also find many organizations that Fight Like A Girl including:
These organizations help to strengthen each other in times of illness or even abusive relationships.
Fight like a girl does not mean fight like a man. It is a measure of mental and spiritual resolve that keeps us going no matter what hardship life throws at us.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Fight Like A Girl
Unfinished Mail – August 2017
FEMMUSIC is now old enough to vote so look out at the 2018 elections. FEMMUSIC is old enough to drive. FEMMUSIC is old enough to rock!
18 years ago FEMMUSIC started. The year was 1999 and the internet was flooded with music sites who had lots of money. We didn’t. I’d expected FEMMUSIC would last 6 weeks, maybe. Instead through lots of hard work we’re turning 18. Rolling Stone is 50 this year so we have a ways to go.
Every year I do FEMMUSIC I find new artists. I often consider music to be a 3 minute love affair. The older I get the less I’m falling in love with the artist; the more I fall in love with the music. Often times I don’t consider myself a “fan.” Fans of artists know their catalog backwards & forwards, know the lyrics, and know the history. I go into shows cold wanting to fall in love with the music. If I’m lucky I do.
The older I get the more I consider my mission to teach as well as shine the spotlight on artists. I recently had someone giving me pointers on promoting what I was doing in the niche to gain advertisers. I’m long past hunting for money to keep FEMMUSIC going. The contracts I would have to sign are not worth the money. FEMMUSIC is a labor of love. Not a commodity.
This has been a good year for FEMMUSIC. I think last year we were busier. This year I love the team I’m working with. There is more I would have liked to have cover this year but there will be other opportunities. We won’t be stopping anytime soon.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Turning 18 - FEMMUSIC's 18th Anniversary
Unfinished Mail – July 2017
Do You Hear That?
It’s the sound of summer insanity. Lorde’s Melodrama hit the charts this week shortly after Katy Perry’s new album broke. Haim has a new album coming out and just announced their new tour. Everywhere you look new albums, new tours, new music is hitting the airwaves at a rate seen every summer. Summer is the bread and butter of the entertainment industry. The summer blockbuster films are as big as the summer music releases. Any artist that can be on the road is. Every tour is filled and we’re already booking the Fall. SXSW is already accepting applications for 2018.
This month we are previewing festivals worldwide. From Quebec to Sydney to London to Portland there is music everywhere. There is no time to slow down. We’re jumping at gigs to see artists we’ve been hearing about. As I finish up the July issue I’m already feeling the breath of August in my ear. Summer is the time to be out and drinking in the music. No one sits still now.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Do You Hear That?
On Monday May 22, 2017 another concert venue was attacked, this time in Manchester, England. Almost immediately after, the usual debate began of concert security. It is a hot button issue and my soapbox. I come from a weird mix of criminal justice and music. I’m also a strong believer in order.
The choice is simple. Do you want to have going to a concert be like going to the airport or not? Large venues and large tours already have metal detectors and bag searches, some of which pre-date the Pulse Nightclub attack. Do you want ALL large venues and large tours to be secure? Does that take away from your fun?
What about small venues? The smaller the venue the less money to be able to hire extra people, have metal detectors, etc….I love small venues for their intimacy. I also know the staff at many small venues. They are my friends and I find them outside of work. I worry about their security.
I have a tendency to think like a terrorist. What does that mean? I look at venues and wonder how easy it would be to have a scenario like Paris, like Pulse….there. Sadly the scenarios are too easy to imagine.
Live music keeps me alive. It is the blood in my veins. I’ll never stop going to live shows until I’m physically unable to. Terrorists win if we’re too scared to go. Be smart. Have fun. Never stop going.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Random Thoughts
Unfinished Mail – May 2017
It’s May and that means it’s festival season. It also means it is our annual reminder of how to play nice with others known as Concert Etiquette. We do this list every year in honor of all those memorable “for all the wrong reasons” shows we encounter every year.
When going to a concert we are all seeking the same thing: to have fun. The band is there for that. The audience is there for that. The problem is some people’s idea of fun, is not always the same as everyone else’s. Your behavior can, at a minimum, be considered rude, and, at a maximum, be illegal and enough to get you tossed from the venue. Here are the DO’s and DON’T’s of concerts:
1. DON’T sing every word to every song that the band is playing. They already know the words, and the people around paid to hear the band sing, not you.
2. DO sing to the band when they ask everyone to sing along.
3. DON’T scream out band members names at any opportunity. They know their own names and don’t need you to remind them.
4. DO scream & clap appreciation for solos, and songs with the rest of the audience.
5. DON’T talk through the band’s set. If you want to talk, go outside the venue or someplace where you don’t interfere with the rest of the audience. This is true of the opening act, or anyone who is performing. People paid to hear these people NOT you.
6. DON’T scream “Freebird” or any of the other usual song requests. The band has a set list. Some may ask for audience participation, but drunkenly screaming out something they NEVER play does not win you points.
7. DON’T get drunk. You may see yourself as the master of the universe when drunk but most likely, everyone around you doesn’t. If you get too drunk you WILL get tossed from a venue. If you don’t, and act like an ass, you will be remembered, ridiculed and punished.
8. DON’T get stoned. See number 7.
9. DON’T stand up for a song, or set when everyone around you is sitting down. You will block someone’s view and that ruins their fun.
10. DON’T text, talk or photograph the entire concert or set. In the smartphone era a generation has been raised to believe that you can’t actually brag that you were at a show without demonstrating you are AT a show. Professional photographers have the first 3 songs to capture the best of the band. They have better cameras and a better view than you. Take a few shots but remember the joy of a concert is BEING there. It is called a concert experience because everyone is present. If you can’t look up from your phone, you are not.
11. DON’T quote me the set. You may have seen the band 20 times and memorized their facebook, and twitter. You may be the ultimate fan and know them by name, age and social security number. If you want your band to get more popular it is because they attract NEW fans beyond just you. You want the person next to you to experience what you did as NEW. If you blab about every song, every second, they may walk out and that is a lost fan & sale for your band.
DO have fun. Remember that everyone around you wants to as well. Often times I go to shows to see how a band does live. I may have never seen them. I meet the excited fans who know every detail of the artist’s life. I learn some things from them, but the experience I get is to see them perform.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: DON’T scream Freebird
I’m writing this at the tail of March. March has been a roller coaster. I ended up having an emergency medical procedure come out of nowhere that instantly slowed me down when I wanted to speed up. I’m still recovering from that and am hard at work on the April issue.
This month’s issue focuses on 2 big festivals: Canadian Music Week & Vans Warped Tour. Canadian Music Week is a week-long festival that brings in artists from across the world. The majority are Canadian. It is a chance to see who is emerging after SXSW and also look North for new artists. CMW also includes the Music Cities Convention which is drawing our attention more than ever before. Music Cities brings in government officials to see what is working & not working for cities & the music industry. Our recent exploration into venue issues has made us a follower of music cities.
Vans Warped Tour is a multi-city alternative music festival. We’ve been covering it for years. The tour won’t start until later in the year but in April we try to find 1-2 artists to profile once the bands are announced. Last year VWT happened in Denver the same weekend as another festival. We did both. This year VWT is happening in June which is a welcome surprise.
April marks the first quarter of the year. Everything will only get busier after this. It is now concert season and soon it will be festival season. 2017 is becoming one of the biggest years for music releases, tours and festivals.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: Unfinished Mail
Unfinished Mail – March 2017
It’s exactly mid-February, February 14, Valentine’s Day. I feel the March deadline breathing down my back. For February I’d hoped to present a multi-pronged feature on music venues. That has been delayed while I find more interviews. January and February are typically slow for me. Once March starts the accelerator is hit and doesn’t slow down for 9 months. Later this week I’m giving a speech to students about FEMMUSIC’s history & my daily process. It reviewing both it brings back memories.
In August FEMMUSIC will be having it’s 18th Anniversary. It is exciting and daunting at the same time. I strive to make FEMMUSIC better. It has become a more activist site than when I first began. I frequently will make a political or social message without saying it. I see my role as editor is to shine a light on artists. That means I give them voice to their issues. My own politics and social causes may be mentioned in my editorial but they shouldn’t always take front stage.
2017 is looking to be one of the biggest in music. There are more releases from more artists and more tours than before. This means the pressure is on for me & my staff to do more. The clock is ticking and I would like to not always be in catch up mode.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: The clock is ticking
I write this the day after Martin Luther King Jr Day in the US. Yesterday I watched a brilliant documentary on Nina Simone. It included a song I consider iconic. It is “Strange Fruit” about lynching in the United States. I first heard the song as part of a musical history of the blues in a stage show called “Ain’t Nothing But the Blues.” It stuck like glue with me.
Another song that stays with me is Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah.” Years ago I saw Meika Pauley in person. She dissected this iconic song verse by verse and forever changed it in my mind.
This past year I saw Aldous Harding do Rob Orbison’s “Crying.” It was a slow dripping rendition that still clings to my heart.
Songs are living creatures. When you as a songwriter make them they take a life of their own. They can be wild creatures. A single song can change your set and your life. I remember at one time hearing “The song stands out.” If it is meant to do great things it will. This stands true whether it is done as an individual songwriter, a songwriter for hire, or a member of a band. The song has a voice that will speak to the audience…if it’s the right song. Be aware of the voice you create and know that the song may not always be yours.
Posted in Unfinished Mail Tagged with: The Song