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#1120023 - 11/27/16 05:44 PM THINGS "NOT" TO DO  
Joined: Jan 2009
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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THINGS NOT TO DO

This is a bit of an extension of an existing forum thread going on, "What's the best place to pitch to artists", which is going on here. I wanted to give a little "insider" experience to see if it makes sense. The discussion turned to "protest, or issue oriented" songs and whether they have viability, or if artists can truly make a difference in today's world.

While I'm not really trying to comment on the validity of what songwriters do, I don't do that. If you want to write an issue or protest song, if you see something that drives you to write about it, WRITE ABOUT IT.

But what I am trying to relate is how many (or actually most) people RELATE TO IT. In my world, songwriters are trying to get the most attention to their songs, and there are ways to do that, and ways NOT to do that. The way NOT to do it, is to do the exact same thing EVERYONE else does, and expect a different result. There is a term for that, but I won't go into it here.

There are some similar things in all songwriters and artists. They all see something, in the news, in life, on the Internet. They comment on those. That is what songwriting is. Commentary on things that go on in all of our lives. We are not doing one thing that has not been done a billion times before. We are trying to say something that HAS BEEN DONE A BILLION TIMES BEFORE in a DIFFERENT WAY. That is the trick to songwriting and the trick to having people LISTEN to what we are doing.

When it comes to artists and songwriters (not always the same thing) there are some very similar things they all do. They see things and write about them. If you see something online, in the news or in life, (WAR, RIOTS IN THE STREETS, THE DECLINE OF A NATION OR SOCIETIES, THE ENVIRONMENT, POLICE BRUTALITY OR THE REACTIONS TO POLICE BRUTALITY, THE EVILS OF (whatever you feel is evil), Angles, demons, Heaven Hell, blah blah blah, you get the picture.)

Most of us live in fairly insulated worlds. WE live our lives, do our jobs, and for many of us, particularly on sites like these, try to do something creative, writing songs are our particular shared interest. For the most parts, online songwriters (I refer to them as "living room writers" rarely venture past their living rooms. They don't attend shows, don't go to writers nights, open mics, don't go where writers actually are. And since we are in the Facebook era, WE ARE ALL TRYING TO GET WHAT WE DO OUT THERE IN ANY WAY POSSIBLE.

Most don't take the time to look or listen to anything anyone ELSE is doing. That is what leads to the mistaken impression that "NO ONE ELSE IS DOING THIS, SO I HAVE TO." The opposite is actually true. EVERYONE is doing the exact same things. They are just not LISTENING to anyone else. So therein lies the problem. How do you get your music and message through? Sometimes, you just DON'T. Might make you feel better writing and recording it. But outside of you or your inner circle, most just don't care, because they have their OWN versions of the same things.

There are some subjects you can just go to the bank on. In Nashville, where I have lived and worked for nearly 30 years, EVERYBODY has their song about "moving to Nashville, the country lights, the standing on stage, the playing their guitars, trying to get a break....etc." I had my own when I moved here. About the lousy traffic and confused roads in Nashville. I played it once. Then realized how stupid it was and quit forever.
But everyone who comes here has one. So by very definition, trying to do a song about music in a town full of musicians WHO DON'T BUY MUSIC, is a pretty tall order. And in the words of one of my mentors, Ralph Murphy, "the guy hammering nails on a roof in Houston, in 120 degree heat, really could care less about how hard it is for you playing your music in some air conditioned bar."
Every once in a while one will pop out, "CRAZY TOWN" by Jason Aldeen, was one of the most recent, and of course the immortal SIXTEENTH AVENUE by Thom Skyler and recorded by Lacy J. Dalton, is the best. And yes, I still have a couple. We all do.
Same thing with "HOLLYWOOD SIGNS, ACTORS AND ACTRESSES, SUNSET BOULEVARD in LA, and BROADWAY, BRIGHT LIGHTS, and THE GREAT WHITE WAY in New York. They got them too.

So that is what it is. Same with Christmas songs. Everybody has them. Every once in a while a new breaks through, but more often than not, they are just for our own catelogue. Doesn't hurt to have them. This month a lot of people will hear my own "IT'S A NOT SO MERRY CHRISTMAS HERE IN THE TRAILER PARK." Serves me well at this time of year. But I don't expect to hear it next to such classics as my buddy Randy Brook's "GRANDMA GOT RUN OVER BY A REINDEER."

So, the issue/protest songs fall into that category. A lot of people have them. If that is your pedilection, great. Write them up and try to get them out. But you should understand how most of them are taken by the industry and the general public. Most of anything these days with 24 hour viral media, continuous news and television cycles, are going to have these issues out there, and people also will be on the OTHER SIDE of what you are trying to say. I have seen the silliest arguments break out among friends over the most innocent of issues and ruin friendships forever. Any of you who have gone through the recent political season have seen this. We spend as much time UNFRIENDING people as we do on anything. It's gotten nasty out there.

These are the things you have to expect when you take sides on an issue and why very few artists, very few publishers, or labels have any interest in them.

What you can do is simple. Write them for yourself. If you like them, invest in a decent recording. Put them on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, SNAPCHAT (and whatever other social media there is this week) do yourself a video or picture slide show, and bring people to your cause. Personally, I just wouldn't expect any artist with a eye and ear to the public, to embrace YOUR issue. Most of the time, they have their own.

There ARE people who get lucky. There are people who succeed. But in order to do that, you need to understand the landscape going in. Helps to prevent a lot of confusion on the back end.

MAB

#1120024 - 11/27/16 06:06 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Well,
To coin a Phrase and condense Marc's post into a very short note. After the O.J. Caper a ton of songwriter's wrote songs about it and pitched them to a Publisher that also put out a Pitch Sheet I subscribed to at the time. I didn't write one as the details were so gory there was nothing to say that anyone would consider seriously. who wanted to hear about a bloody murder.
So on the subject of Protest Songs, if you want to write them, make them a comedy. Make them funny, if possible.
Also Ballads are hard to place. I have a few but haven't pitched many as they are passed on. I wrote one but after I got it back I didn't pitch it to anybody. The title is, THIS HEART BELONGS TO ME. Finally I added to the Web Site for some contrast and anyone can listen to it if they want to.

Middle of the road songs are the best bet, not too serious, not too heavy. Write a Hit!


Ray E. Strode
#1120078 - 11/28/16 01:38 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Timing is everything.

After 9-11, the country was very patriotic. One of my friends and Co-writers, Wood Newton, had a number one song on "RIDING WITH PRIVATE MALONE", on classic country artist DAVID BALL. It was swept up in the patriotic fever. And a lot of songs came out at that time supporting troops, with military themes, or backgrounds.

Then, about three years, (Like all trends), we were in Iraq and Afganistan, men and women were dying and being wounded, and everything changed. Politics took over. The Dixie Chicks and Hollywood turned it into one big slug fest and it got Nasty. The Internet came along. We got meaner as a culture.

Publishers, labels, and artists, suddenly found those sentimental songs no longer in vogue and as usual, long before they stopped playing on radio, you couldn't get a song even listened to that had anything with a soldier in it. If you brought them into publishers, they would look at the title or lyrics, roll their eyes, and reject it without even listening. There was an entire backlash against anything "Pro-American" and anyone who did it was accused of being a "Jingoistic American."

The industry had no intention of doing anything on those songs because whatever direction you took, either pro the troops, or against the war, you were going to alienate half your audience, and nobody fighting for market share is going to do that.

There were still a few examples out there, but mostly those were the big established stars and THEY even took flack for it. It wasn't that people were less patriotic, they just didn't want to deal with the flack. And sometimes it just runs it's course.

For songwriters, they didn't quit writing those songs, they just realized they were no longer going to get cut. And that is pretty much always been the way it has been in music. In the 60's Berry Gordy built Motown by AVOIDING all the rabble and unrest of the Civil Rights struggle, Vietnam, etc. Yet, getting that great Motown sound in the jungles probably did as much to turn public opinion against the war than all the protest songs Bob Dylan or Joan Baez ever did. So they achieved the same purpose. make people feel good and that is what they want to do. To hell with a riot.

Today, you still can't get much in that vein cut, but there are uses for them. A friend of mine, Rob Crosby, is a hit writer and had one of his songs, "SAY A PRAYER FOR PEACE" recorded by hit artist TRACE ATKINS. That song is featured in the "Wounded Warriors" project commercials on television. He has donated his royalties to the project.

So they do have a lot of uses. Might not be a standard radio hit, but they can find their place.

If you are driven to a cause, pursue it. But don't expect YOUR cause to become someone else's cause. No matter how well intentioned, it might be taken the wrong way. Might as well expect it.

MAB

#1120079 - 11/28/16 02:26 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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beechnut79 Offline
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But yet "Tom Dooley", a song about a murder, became a folk classic. As a matter of fact the Kingston Trio split up for a while because they finally got tired of playing it. They later did reassemble and I believe are still around in some version today.

#1120097 - 11/28/16 04:00 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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They are around. One of their early members, Jim Connor, is a friend of mine. And they are supported by older people. And unfortunately, those listeners are DYING OFF.

That is an unfortunate reality of life. The people who grew up with that music, the 50's, 60's even the 70's are now in their 70's, 80's and 90's. And regardless of how we all feel about Nostalgia, that is really what that is. A Nostalgia act.

"Tom Dooley" did become a folk classic. When FOLK MUSIC was in the mainstream. And that happened because people were embracing different music. The 1950's were very rebellious, turbulent time. A reaction was people embraced folk music because they were making their "statements" against society. Tom Dooley, "Strange Fruit" by Billy Holliday, 16 Tons, by Tennessee Ernie Ford.

But that was replaced by the "rebellion" of the 60's. I remind you that Pete Seeger was trying to find an axe to cut the power lines on Bob Dylan in 1965 at the Newport Folk Festival, when he went electric. He considered Dylan a TRAITOR as did most of the folk community who actually BOOED him off of most stages in 1966. That is what led to his supicious, "motorcycle accident" in 1966, where he disappeared for nearly a decade.

You are really going to have to accept that there is limited use for issue oriented songs in today's market. And again, that is another rebellion. Getting music for free, downloading, peer to peer file sharing, ripping files, NEVER PAYING for a thing and having limitless supply is the REBELLION of today's generation against the older generation.

And the beat goes on.

MAB

#1120099 - 11/28/16 04:14 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Beechnut,

Can you name me ONE issue oriented or protest song that has made any impact in the past 20 years? And it is not for artists not trying. Bono, Springsteen, Katy Perry, etc. ALL have their issues. They can't STOP talking about them.

But Crosby Stills and Nash are booed off the stage for their political rants. The Dixie Chicks disappeared. (Actually that was more due to their dismissive and arrogant attitudes toward their fans than any political comments), Katy Perry goes on her political rants. Mily Cyrus, Kanye West, Jay Z and Beyonce (who came on the Super Bowl with her entire "Black Lives Matter" rant, They are ALL doing it.

How much of an effect is any of that having?

NONE!

People are SICK to death of it. That was a big part of the last election. People were SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING SOME OVERPAID ATHLETE, ROCK STAR, RAPPER, NFL QUARTERBACK going on and on about their political causes. They are sick of Sarah McGlaughlin moaning on her commercials with a bunch of emaciated, starved dogs, looking at the camera and being told THEY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING!!!! NOW!!!! Leo Decaprio telling us we are all going to die RIGHT NOW, if we don't contribute to his cause.
Fifteen years after Ted Danson told us we would all be dead TEN YEARS AGO!!!!
They have used up all their CQ. (Compassion Quotient.)

Summation:

THEY ARE SICK OF GUILT! They are tired of being told that all the problems in the Universe are THEIR FAULT and they have to support THIS CAUSE to be good people.

That stuff is LONG LONG DEAD AND GONE!!! DING DONG THE CAUSE IS DEAD!

So once again, if you feel driven to write them, WRITE THEM. Record them. Put them on YOUR web site. Do YOUR video. Go for it.
But again, DON'T expect it to be embraced by anybody else.

Everyone's pretty much "CAUSED" out.
MAB

#1120100 - 11/28/16 04:18 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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PS, (by the way)

As I type this, I do it with a smile on my face and tongue firmly in cheek, because I do find it humorous. I am emphatic because I work with people who ACTUALLY WANT SOMEONE TO LISTEN TO THEIR MUSIC and not be TUNED OUT. And all of this are things that I see every single day that MAKE PEOPLE head for the bathrooms. So I try to instruct on that for people who might be unsuspecting.

Being totally ignored and talked over, does a lot to make you re-think your subject matter strategy.

MAB

#1120159 - 11/29/16 02:17 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ricki E. Bellos Online content
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I agree with a lot of what you're saying Marc but a part of me is screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...you're missing the point! If rock stars, sports figures and/or actors have the power to reach millions of people, making them aware of an important issue, why shouldn't they use that power?

If I thought that saving the whales (or any other worthy cause) was the most important thing to the survival of mankind, why shouldn't I use my celebrity to spread that message and use my wealth to further that cause? I get that making people feel guilty for not saving the whales may not be the way to gain friends and influence people but maybe some people need to be shaken and awakened and knocked out of their comfort zone.

I'm assuming here of course, the "celebrity" really believes in their cause and truly wants to make the world a better place. Even if they don't, if they can get more support for their cause, then they've done some good with the power at their disposal. And if a person hates whales..no, wait, nobody hates whales. You'd have to be an idiot to not want to save the whales. You don't deserve to live on the planet and should just curl up and die a slow, painful death! grin Yeah, I know a "cause" can be divisive, but I still think that using your notoriety to reach people is better than just sitting on your ass and bathing in your wealth.

Anyway, as a songwriter with no notoriety, I've tried to write "socially significant" songs and, for the most part, failed horribly, maybe because the subject matter wasn't close enough to my heart? For whatever reason, they never felt real. I admire those that can make it feel real and true for at least some of their listeners. And if I had wealth and fame, you bet I'd be out there spreading the word about the whales any way I could. But that's just me.

Ricki

#1120162 - 11/29/16 02:26 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I don't believe there is anything wrong with writing about social issues, protesting, or other "introspective" messages. It is all in how you do it. Immigration is a big deal right now. We can write songs about sending everyone and their babies home, or opening the doors and letting everyone in ... or we can write a song like Scott does: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__8RQ2MdmEk



"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2016)
#1120163 - 11/29/16 02:29 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I, for one, generally dislike "message" songs. I don't like being preached to. The exceptions are when those messages are hidden in a story that carries the message. SHOW me, don't TELL me is the rule, I guess.
Give me a story that hits home and your message will get through. don't sing "war is bad." I know that. Sing me a story about a soldier who comes home broken and battered. Or a story about how a young man's death effects those folks that he loves.
Something like this is effective. In fact, it's about as affecting a song and effective a song as there is.
Jason Isbell - "Dress Blues"

Just devastating.

#1120190 - 11/29/16 08:53 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: PopTodd]  
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TC Perkins Offline
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Originally Posted by PopTodd
I, for one, generally dislike "message" songs. I don't like being preached to. The exceptions are when those messages are hidden in a story that carries the message. SHOW me, don't TELL me is the rule, I guess.
Give me a story that hits home and your message will get through. don't sing "war is bad." I know that. Sing me a story about a soldier who comes home broken and battered. Or a story about how a young man's death effects those folks that he loves.
Something like this is effective. In fact, it's about as affecting a song and effective a song as there is.
Jason Isbell - "Dress Blues"

Just devastating.


I think this is a good approach. My song Bits and Pieces is an issues oriented piece but it is masked in metaphor. So is Granite Walls, a song I am working on now. Some people listen to the tune and say "I don't know what it's about" and others get it right away. I have a Christian Rock element in a few of my tunes but I am not preaching at anyone.

That's not to say a good in your face protest song can't be good but make it cool and interesting. The music better be good; Strumming three chords and crooning over it is not gonna cut it for most folks. There are some classic examples of 'protest songs' like "Fortunate Son" that have stood the test of time because the music is compelling.

If you feel it, write it, and let the chips fall where they will.

Peace,
TC

Last edited by TC Perkins; 11/29/16 10:04 PM.

If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1120197 - 11/29/16 09:30 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Rikki says
"I agree with a lot of what you're saying Marc but a part of me is screaming NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO...you're missing the point! If rock stars, sports figures and/or actors have the power to reach millions of people, making them aware of an important issue, why shouldn't they use that power?

Actually, Rikki, I think YOU are missing MY point. They ALL ARE Doing it, and they are NOT getting results. Number one beause of outright hipocrisy. When an actor or politician or celebrity lectures the average person just trying to make a living, that THEY ARE THE PROBLEM WITH EVERYTHING, and THOSE SAME ACTORS LIVE IN ENORMOUS HOUSES, FLY INCREDIBLY POLLUTING PLANES, WORK WITH HUGE MOTION PICTURE COMPANIES THAT POISON THE ENVIRONMENT, etc. people no longer listen to them.

That was a part of the last election and why the results destroyed so many people. Because the average person is SICK TO DEATH of being preached at. Jason Isbell's quote here is pretty prevalent. Actually in the inner boardrooms of Hollywood, New York and Nashville, the "raising awareness" business is a joke.

But again, I think you don't realize how MANY PEOPLE try to do just what you are talking about. And why they fail so miserably, actually doing damage to their causes instead of helping.

If you were to come to an average writers night in this town, you would hear a song like this about every FIFTH SONG. By amateurs. They are poorly written and usually incredibly misinformed. So they all flat. And most people have had enough.

The "Listen to my cause because it's MY CAUSE" era is over, and actually has been for a long time. It's just that in a world of "I am so important LISTEN TO ME" era of Facebook and ego propping social media, the only people that don't realize it are those that keep shouting in everyone's face to do what THEY think they should do.

Most of these things have a natural effect anyway. Most whaling is gone, not because some actor cried in a commercial, but that most countries no longer have need for whale oil, and several generations simply changed their views. Now very few countries allow any sort of whaling, and it is gone. But the backlash created problems with "NATIVE AMERICAN" Inuit Indians and Eskimos who that represents a way of life and actual FOOD for their tribes.

So what is one person's evil, can be one persons' way of life. There is no one that can speak out for everyone. Which is one of the lessons. Don't try to speak for anyone but yourself.

#1120203 - 11/30/16 12:45 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
The "Indians" are protesting about the Keystone Pipeline because they say it will break and pollute the water or it is crossing sacred sites. So, is there a Protest Song there that some Artist would cut and make oodles of money? I think not.


Ray E. Strode
#1120205 - 11/30/16 01:55 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Yes Ray,

That's a good one. The pipeline route is a half mile to a mile OFF of the Indian land, there are other pipelines in that area and no problems with the water, and the Obama EPA already gave the go ahead and permits and at the beginning MOST of the tribe were actually for the pipeline.
They can;t get more than a couple hundred "protesters" and the biggest complaint is that NOBODY cares outside of just a few people.

Like everything, if you have a CAUSE, it does good to have REALITY, not just press hogs.

MAB

#1120206 - 11/30/16 01:59 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Oh yeah, and if you want to make "oodles:" of money, you best invent a "way back machine" and travel back in time to 1984. The last time anyone made "Oodles" from a "cause" song, was "WE ARE THE WORLD."
Notorious money losers.

#1120208 - 11/30/16 03:34 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Timing is everything.

There were still a few examples out there, but mostly those were the big established stars and THEY even took flack for it. It wasn't that people were less patriotic, they just didn't want to deal with the flack.



And the above, in large part, explains why Trump got elected.


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#1120217 - 11/30/16 11:08 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I wrote a song about spousal abuse but no one is brave enough to record it.

#1120223 - 11/30/16 12:55 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Being PREACHED at all the time ad nauseum by liberals is one reason Trump got elected. Being told YOU are the cause of everything wrong, that every thing that has happened throughout history is YOUR fault, is the reason Trump got elected.

Everett,

If YOU have a song about that, YOU can do it. That is the key. People write all these songs and then THEY expect someone ELSE to do them. That is the main thing about the entire shift in the music business, and music in general, EVERYBODY can do it now and EVERYBODY IS DOING IT.

So if someone has an "issue/protest/Civil strife" song, YOU DO IT! It is no longer "someone else will do it" era. That is gone. If people are NOT artists, then they need to try to write songs artists WILL do, and if you really want them done, you'll write them WITH the ARTIST.

If you're not willing to do that, going to be a good decoration for your computer, your Facebook or YOU TUBE page. The days of "getting someone else to do it" is long gone. Time to accept that fact.

MAB

#1120227 - 11/30/16 12:59 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Originally Posted by Everett Adams
I wrote a song about spousal abuse but no one is brave enough to record it.

I wrote one about spousal abuse, too.
Told from the point of view of the abuser.
I REALLY doubt that anybody would want to tackle that one!
https://hoponpop.bandcamp.com/track/cmon-angel

#1120229 - 11/30/16 01:18 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Um, Well,
I decided I was going to write Hits! Yeah, that's it. True TOM DOOLEY was a serious song but THE ONE ON THE RIGHT IS ON THE LEFT by Johnny Cash is pretty funny. One thing that turned me off about Martina McBride was her Battered Women songs. A song you may not of heard is COURTING IN THE RAIN by T. Texas Tyler. Not a protest song but pretty funny.


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#1120231 - 11/30/16 01:48 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Yeah Ray. Also about TWENTY to SIXTY YEARS AGO. Actually, Martina QUIT recording those kinds of songs and started writing all her own songs because she was "TIRED OF BEING THE POSTER CHILD FOR EVERY CAUSE. She had done CONCRETE ANGLES about DEATH. INDEPENDENCE DAY, about SPOUSAL ABUSE. That is all people pitched to her. So she finally quit completely doing those types of songs. Again, Compassion quotient.

Everett, there is a way to do songs like that but they CAN'T be preachy. That is the problem with ALL CAUSE SONGS, they come off PREACHY. You can tell a story, can have conflict, can have somber reality. You can make your points. But you NEED to find a positive resolution. It is called "ROPE OF HOPE."

This is one of the best. This is a song called "THE LITTLE GIRL" written by the late Harley Allen, and recorded by my old "Guitar pull dueling buddy, John Micheal Montgomery. Everett, if you write one that is this good, people will listen to it. But if you only STATE the problem that people already recognize, without doing something DIFFERENT, then don't bother.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JxrYAumI-I

#1120234 - 11/30/16 02:31 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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I'm not a singer so I don't record. The song was called NO MAN HAS THE RIGHT. I wrote another about divorce, but that one had a happy end to it.

#1120327 - 12/01/16 09:30 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Unfortunately Everett, that is sort of one of the most common subjects songwriters and artists write about. Broken marriages, or relationships in general are pretty well worn subjects for all of us because we all have gone through so many of them. If one half of marrages end for most people, I would say people in the creative arts have around a 90% failure rate. A long term relationship for musicians is about five years.

And lord they DO write about that. I guess they all "WRITE WHAT THEY KNOW!"

MAB

#1120353 - 12/02/16 07:15 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hi Marc,

I posted this and had second thoughts about it then removed. After procrastinating I decided to post it again as I'm not totally convinced that all protest songs are negative. As you say the media is heavily biased in favour of those who don' t want to hear what songwriters have to say.

One could say that the general public can be manipulated by the media and politicians, so the ballot box is no longer a place where people can vent their frustration.

How about a song which reflects on society in general. When we talk about "leaders" you could use the word "politicians".

Perhaps we are being too idealistic and such a time has never existed.

Ross.

Song - I Must Be Dreaming.
 
Verse #1.
Some mothers will swell with pride, when they hear this song, (12)
Others will yearn for the days, when their men were strong. (12)
When” integrity” and “honor”, were words that we all knew, (14)
And everyone understood the meaning of, “it is true”. (14)
 
Lift.
When mutual respect,
Was part of living life.
And words with “prejudice”,
Weren’t used to create strife.


Chorus.

Perhaps you'll say I'm dreaming,
About the way things were.
My mind is never scheming,
To get others to concur.
My agenda is a simple one,
Giving reason to believe.
Re-shape a world where we can live,
In peace and harmony.
But if love can't bring us hope,
If love can't bring us healing,
Yes, I must be dreaming.
Yes, I must be dreaming.
 
Verse #2.
We used to believe what our, leaders had to say, (12)
Words like “trust” were known, and practiced every day. (12)
There were times when “love and virtue”, weren't concepts from the past, (14)
Families were united, and marriages used to last. (14)
 
Lift.
When mutual respect,
Was part of living life.
And words with “prejudice”,
Weren’t used to create strife.


Chorus.

Perhaps you'll say I'm dreaming,
About the way things were.
My mind is never scheming,
To get others to concur.
My agenda is a simple one,
Giving reason to believe.
Re-shape a world where we can live,
In peace and harmony.
But if love can't bring us hope,
If love can't bring us healing,
Yes, I must be dreaming.
Yes, I must be dreaming.
 
Bridge.
Only in the hearts of man, can there be,
The desire to make dreams,
Become a reality.
 
(brief instrumental).
 
Chorus.
 
Perhaps you'll say I'm dreaming,
About the way things were.
My mind is never scheming,
To get others to concur.
My agenda is a simple one,
Giving reason to believe.
Re-shape a world where we can live,
In peace and harmony.
But if love can't bring us hope,
If love can't bring us healing,
Yes, I must be dreaming.
Yes, I must be dreaming.
Yes, I must be dreaming.
Yes, I must be dreaming.
 
Copyright © 2010. Ross Mabey / Jeffrey Ullsperger.

Last edited by RossM; 12/02/16 10:50 AM.
#1120373 - 12/02/16 02:19 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ross,

I didn't mean that all protest songs are negative. Some are trying to be encouraging, but those are not "protest" songs. The very definition of "protest" is to stand up AGAINST something.

What I thought I said, but might be misconstrued, is that "ISSUE" oriented songs (which are what I believe you are talking about here) are treated as a NEGATIVE by an industry that is trying to GAIN market share, not LOSE market share by taking a stand on one side or another of an issue. You alienate people no matter what side you are on.

Your song here, for example, is just a pale imitation of John Lennon's "IMAGINE." Down to the first line of the chorus. For me it seems very naive and pollyana, and doesn't have any details other than feelings. Shared by some, but ignored by far more.
Sort of like trying to stand in between Palestinians and Isrealis in the middle of firebombs and rock throwing and trying to send this. Very different in the reality of life.
But I am sure you mean well and find many people who enjoy it and agree with you. Those are the people you cater too.

My comments are on PRACTICAL APPLICATION for songwriters and artists as they try to approach all this. They come to this town, (Nashville) and the music industry, and try to bring things like this in, whether it is protest or issue, preachy, or whatever opinion they have, and hit a huge brick wall, either getting people who agree with them BUT WANT THEM TO HEAR AND PITCH THEIR OWN SONGS ABOUT THE SAME ISSUE, or people that want to pick a fight and tell them HOW STUPID THEY ARE FOR BELIEVING WHAT THEY BELIEVE.

Again, EVERYBODY HAS A PLATFORM NOW. It is called the INTERNET. Everyone can write their songs, record them, do a small slide show or video, put them on FACEBOOK, YOU TUBE, social media sites. There is ABSOLUTELY NO SHORTAGE OF THAT. I'm simply trying to point that out. I don't suggest people DON'T write them. I'VE WRITTEN THEM. Out of over THREE THOUSAND SONGS since 2003, there is NOT MUCH I haven't written about. I just DON'T PLAY THEM. Because I have no interest in doing any of that. Just not me.

I'll tell you a relatable story. I work with writers and artists almost every day as a consultant, teacher and mentor. They come from every area, every country, every race, sex, sexual orientation, every kind of job, Doctors, lawyers, teachers, Envornmental scientists, you name it, I've probably worked with them. Most are looking for something safe like songwriting, to FALL back on, because they are tired of their own careers.

I had one guy come down from Washington DC. He was a scientist and lobbiest for the Government. But he was also a songwriter and wanted to try Nashville. He was interested in "draining the swamp" before that became cool. This was during the early days of the Iraq war and he had his own take on that. But we keep politics out of things. I just work with facts, not opinions.

His main reason for coming to me was to go through his catelogue and find his best three songs to play on a songwriters night he had booked. He had dozens of songs and we spent hours going through each one line by line, note by note. He basically wrote the same song over and over, so I had to kind of break them down and show him what he was doing. We finally found two that worked and were just different enough.

Then he pulled out HIS BIG GUNS. It was a very much ANTI GEORGE BUSH, ANTI WAR song. Of course, this was not long after 9-11, and nerves were quite raw, but he was really into this particular song for his "CROWNING GLORY." It actually was not written very well, and just sort of "ALL WAR SUCKS, WHY CAN'T WE GET ALONG AND WHY IS GEORGE BUSH SO HORRIBLE?" Song. That's kind of all it said.

I informed him that while there were probably a lot of heartfelt things, if he was really wanting to do that, he should be prepared for two things.
First, there were going to be a lot of people who disagreed with him, but really didn;t want to hear ANY ISSUE oriented songs, for the reasons I have stated .They were already all over the news, all over the Internet and a LOT of people were already writing those and being ignored. Basically he was going to send people for their cell phones, their conversations, or the bathroom. It was just BORING.

The second, was to be ready for a bunch of people with the SAME feelings trying to give him THEIR CD's with the same songs, EXPECTING not only that he listen to them, but that THEIR'S WAS BETTER THAN HIS AND HE SHOULD PITCH THEIRS! After all, he WAS from Washington DC. Of course he could get this directly to the President and Congress. SAVE THE WORLD!!!!

He was undaunted and determined to do the song. I said, Fine. And showed him how to play it with some dynamics and words to focus on so he could make his point. I didn't agree but my job is to show people how to get the most out of what they do.

That evening I went to see him on the writers night. He was in a round with three other people, and they all sounded about alike. All men about the same ages, all the songs were very similar. Then he did his last song. HIS MASTERPIECE.

The audience got nervous, listened to the first few lines, then went to their conversations. The hubbub got louder and louder. A few went to order drinks, a few picked up their cell phones, a few hit the restroom. By the end of his song he was pretty much drowned out by the crowd. Not just songwriters but the general public. This was a HOTEL bar. To say there was a LACK OF INTEREST, is an understatement. And most of all, it was just A BORING SONG, performed BADLY.

As I watched him walk off the stage, and put up his guitar, there were FIVE people, all of them with their CD's in hand, going over to talk to him. It looked like feeding time on the Serengetti. and it took him about fifteen minutes to even be able to come sit down. He had this really funny look on his face, kind of downtrodden, and said "Guess you know what you are talking about don't you?"

Yep. This is not brain surgery. All you have to do is look around and spend a little time with real audiences, real writers, and around music. The cause of the day. No shortage of people that have one. Just like opinions and another part of the body. Everybody's got one.

MAB

#1120377 - 12/02/16 02:40 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Hey Ross,

I'll tell you ANOTHER story, just to show you I am not telling you anything I don't have to observe in my life. About ten years ago, I was caught up in a teaching excercise with a few people online. They were trying to write one of those "Save the world songs" and sort of pulled me into it. After turning them down for a while, they finally guilted me into it, so I got involved.

I wrote a lot of the song to show them how to do it. They had a bunch of lines that didn't work, was too long and not enough details. So I threw out most of the lines, but kept the ideas and the tone. The song we came up with was called "MY HEART TELLS ME SO." It was basically about the Civil Rights Struggle. It had the theme of "Yes, we have problems, but we've come a LONG LONG WAY. And we can do better "BECAUSE MY HEART TELLS ME SO!"

Now, here was something I ACTUALLY KNEW ABOUT. I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama in the 60's when firehoses were being turned on Black people and churches were being bombed. I remember the first segregation in 1966 in my elementry school and the first three black kids that came, because I sat with them at lunch. I couldn't figure out what the problem was.
My Father and his side of the family was from Philidelphia, Mississippi and knew people who were involved in the abduction and killing of the three Civil Rights workers Goodman, Cheny and Swerner. It made him very angry and he hated people from that town who were racist. Including some of our own relatives.
My main musical education was being in a band with a tall black guitar player and band leader who loved white women and was very politically connected with his family. So I saw a LOT of things up close and personal.

So I knew this subject matter and put it into that song. It turned out well and the other writers loved it. They pursueded me to go record a guitar vocal and they did, putting it on their respective web sites. Then I kind of let it go.

A few weeks later I was asked to perform on a benefit in Nashville featuring a lot of hit writers and some artists. One of those writers was a friend of mine, DOUG JOHNSON, who not only was a hit writer of things like THREE WOODEN CROSSES, but a hit producer of Randy Travis, and many others. At the time he was producing a new record on HANK WILLIAMS JR. and I knew they were looking for some DIFFERENT SONGS.

So I figured, WHAT THE HELL, Doug likes me and I'll just shoot this one at him. Couple hundred people, major stage, lights, celebrities in the audience and a BUNCH OF SOCIALLY CONCIOUS people, WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

I started my set, like usual, Really up tempo with this New Orleans, Dr. John, Little Feat, thing, called "My Oh, Mayoh:" which is like a big party song like those New Orleans funerals playing When the Saints come marching in" all wild and wooley.
I then did one of my cuts, people know me by, TOO MUCH BLOOD IN MY ALCOHOL LEVEL, which we had actually PITCHED to Hank Jr. Before David Ball cut it.

The last song was my big MASTERPIECE. I made my little set up about Birmingham, my wish we could all "just get along..." and all those "Unicorns and Rainbows" stuff you say. Then I played my song. And I thought I was REALLY nailing it. Until I noticed people peeling off. Picking up cell phones, heading for the bathroom, the conversations getting louder and louder. I actually skipped a repeat chorus, because I realized I should ALWAYS LISTEN TO MY GUT!!! I knew better.

After I got off I was packing up my guitar, slapping high fives with people I knew backstage and I see Doug coming over to me. I was thinking, "well maybe I was wrong! Looks like I nailed the old boy after all." I even had a copy of the CD in my case ready to spring.

Doug comes over and says "Hey man. Great set. What is that New Orleans thing you did first. I'm producing Hank and his daddy did "Jumbalaya, and I think he'd really like that one..."
I had to tell him I'd have to get that one to him because I didn't HAVE THAT ONE ON CD with me!

Moral. Always go with your gut. On "issue/protest" songs, it is a tricky situation. But in my experience, they are good to make us feel better, but past that I wouldn't expect to turn the world on. That's a pretty tall order.

Good luck,
MAB


#1120379 - 12/02/16 02:47 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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It is tricky. But when it pays off, it can be extremely satisfying.
I played THIS ONE one night at a small gig at a friend's coffee shop up north of Chicago.
When my set was over, two young men come up to me, and shook my hand. They told me they were both veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars and then proceeded to THANK me for writing and playing the song. Never been more humbled, or more proud.
So yeah, it can pay off. That moment, alone, was worth every time somebody walked on on me.

#1120390 - 12/02/16 05:09 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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When the people you wrote that song FOR are touched by it, that is the entire point of writing those types of songs. THAT is what should be concentrated on, taking songs to the intended audience. Don't worry about saving or changing the world. Think about making a difference one person at a time.

MAB

#1120432 - 12/03/16 12:05 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Maybe I could take the vibe of this thread and turn it into a song - "Don't preach at me" :-p

OR

"No more protest songs"

OR

"The last protest song"

Anything is song fodder so be careful!

Peace,
TC


If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1120433 - 12/03/16 12:09 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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See? The choices are endless. And there are a LOT of rent a mobs out there right now. Maybe you could go into business totally just writing theme songs for rioters.

#1120434 - 12/03/16 12:30 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Well,
Writing a good song is hard. Believe me, I know. Whatever you write do it well or put it aside until it comes to you. I put a song I had started aside for four years before I got back to it. Another time I was walking into my "Sun" room and a song idea must have been right there in the air because I ran right into it. Wow, what a good idea for a song! So I wrote down the title and started to write but nothing would come to me. So I put it into my unfinished song file and would get back to it later. But as I sat watching T.V. the words came to me and in 24 hours I had it written. So it works both ways.


Ray E. Strode
#1120436 - 12/03/16 12:33 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: PopTodd]  
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PopTodd Offline
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PopTodd  Offline
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Western Springs, IL, USA
Originally Posted by PopTodd
It is tricky. But when it pays off, it can be extremely satisfying.
I played THIS ONE one night at a small gig at a friend's coffee shop up north of Chicago.
When my set was over, two young men come up to me, and shook my hand. They told me they were both veterans of the Afghan and Iraq wars and then proceeded to THANK me for writing and playing the song. Never been more humbled, or more proud.
So yeah, it can pay off. That moment, alone, was worth every time somebody walked on on me.

Actually, it just struck me...
The photo of me playing guitar and singing that is my avatar on this board, THAT taken at the gig where this story happened.
Weird.

#1120445 - 12/03/16 09:38 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RossM Offline
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RossM  Offline
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hi Marc,

You are correct in saying that people react differently to protest songs. What one thinks is a harmless poke at societies values can be easily misunderstood and misinterpreted.

I was brought up to believe that freedom of expression was our birth right. As long as one does not deliberately go out of their way to slander or write something libellous about someone which was not my intention. Hence my attempts to walk a middle path which perhaps which sounded naïve.

However, those who are involved in the political arena are our law makers and should reflect and respect the views of our societies. I'm not trying to start another argument here because people will support one side of politics or the other. Who is right or wrong is not the question.

The point I'm tying to make is that songwriters often reflect the views of societies where people feel that they are not being listened too. It not something that I would normally write about (for what it worth). The ballot box seems to no longer a place for people to be able to be heard. Too many promises that politicians can't ever hope to fulfil. Or people's expectations are unrealistic.

What's this got to do with song writing ? There has been a tradition in the past where songwriter were able to vocalise people's concerns. Perhaps this no longer the case? As you say there will always be a backlash from one side or the other.

Ross.






Last edited by RossM; 12/03/16 11:06 AM.
#1120452 - 12/03/16 02:54 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Nashville, Tn.
Ross,

Let me ask you a question. Where are you getting the idea that these aren't going on? What is it leading you to think that there are NO protest or issue oriented songs, artists "speaking out", "saying their message? Where does that come from to form your opinion? Because I think you are not paying any attention whatsoever.

Last year's Superbowl Halftime show was Beyonce' with her militant themed dancers and songs about BLACK LIVES MATTER. Doing her song which decried police violence, the video showing all police as racist storm troopers and claiming anyone that supported the police were white robed wearing KKK Members. About a BILLION PEOPLE WORLDWIDE SAW THAT. Is that enough of a "MESSAGE song for you? Almost every television show, movie, have those undertones. Songwriters, rockers, folk stars, ARE doing that.
It is actually more difficult find someone who is NOT doing that.

At times here I feel like I'm living in an alternative universe and wonder if ANY OF YOU get outside your living rooms. Come to Nashville. Go with me to ONE WRITERS NIGHT. Out of 100-110 songs on an average night, you will hear 25-35 of them that will be an ISSUE ORIENTED OR PROTEST SONG.

I would completely argue with you that one aspect of the recent election is BECAUSE of a public being constantly barraged with actors, musicians, artists, DOING EXACTLY WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. Those people VOTED. And it mattered.

And that is PRECISELY why it HAS LOST ALL VALUE. Because people now GET IT EVERY WHERE THEY LOOK. They can't watch a football game without a high priced athlete kneeling during the National Anthem, then telling people he has never voted AND supporting one of the most bloodthirsty repressive tyrants in history.

They can't go to a concert without the artist they paid $500 to see, spent $300 more on a night out, baby sitters for their kids, dinner, parking, etc. and hear the singer SCREAM at them for how EVERYTHING IN THE WORLD IS THERE FAULT. And yes, they do those issue oriented protest songs. And they promptly get BOOED off the stage by people tired of this vomit coming from overpriced, celebrities.

You see, one of the things PROTEST or ISSUE oriented songs have to have is TRUTH. And when people see things that they KNOW in their hearts are NOT TRUE, or are overblown, hyperbole, and coming from someone screaming it from a stage that has NO IDEA of what THEIR lives are like, it falls flat.

People are done with being preached at. The information age stopped that. It stopped the NEED for someone to write a song about a situation in order to influence someone's opinion. They have their OWN OPINIONS. And they are ASSAULTED by other people's opinions all the time. They've had it.

I'm going to say this ONE MORE TIME. Not that anybody seems to be listening. If you are driven to write them, WRITE THEM. I have shown you what to do. Record them. Put them on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK. Make your opinions KNOWN.

But then I want you to check back with me a few days afterward. I want to see you play them out. I want to see you experience people ignoring you, walking out on you, rolling their eyes at you, talking past you, acutally going to their cell phones, and putting protests against YOU on Facebook WHILE YOU ARE ON STAGE.

I want to see how you feel when you have been assaulted by people who not only believe differently than you but think you are an idiot for feeling the way you do. I want to know how you like having your email and your social media sites overwhelmed by people accusing you of being the incarnate of Adolf Hitler. Or someone stopping you in the parking lot and actually taking a SWING at you for what you said that offended them.

You see FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION IS A BIRTHRIGHT. You can say what ever you want to in this country. But you ALSO have to deal with the blowback. And what you might think is a simple statement of your beliefs, other people might be TOTALLY OFFENDED because they don't believe like you. And they have THEIR rights of expression too.
And as I think I have demonstrated, what some people think are simple poking fun at something in society, some others might think it is totally offensive AND dangerous to their religion or way of life. If you want to test this, why don't you write up a song that is dismissive of Islam, and their propensity to behead people that don't agree with them Put that on Facebook. See how that one works out.

If you want to make a stand, MAKE IT. But don't expect THE WORLD to care, to relate, or to hold dear YOUR OPINION. It is YOUR opinion. And the deal is this. You have to RESPECT THOSE THAT DISSAGREE WITH YOU.

Get out of the living room, and do what you want to do. Might look a little different then.

MAB

Last edited by Marc Barnette; 12/03/16 03:01 PM.
#1120478 - 12/04/16 05:12 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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RossM Offline
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Hi Marc,

I appreciate your position where you have to listen to these songs that may be offensive to you and others. As you say, that the Media rarely reports on these events so the general public don't always get to hear about them.

Kind Regards.

Ross.



#1120485 - 12/04/16 01:18 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: RossM]  
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Crozet, VA
Originally Posted by RossM
... As you say, that the Media rarely reports on these events so the general public don't always get to hear about them. ...

What "protest" issues are NOT being reported by the media (in all its incarnations)? I think Marc is saying the opposite -- we are bombarded with protests, social issues, injustices and what not all day and night long.

A protest/issue song is OK to do -- just make it real about someone, stay away from overt preaching and write and perform it excellently. Easy to say, hard to do.


"It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The 'hard' is what makes it great."
Kevin @ bandcamp: Crows Say Vee-Eh (and Kevin @ FAWM 2016)
#1120489 - 12/04/16 03:21 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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Ross,

Kevin is quite correct. Actually having to listen to songs like this don't offend me at all. They just bore me. I always leave on them. But there are so many of them, which is MY point, they have all pretty much completely lost their impact with the public. And the music industry has long lost it's interest in those as a vehicle for anyone, which is the initial thrust of this thread. The viability of protest or issue songs.

But they are actually ALL OVER THE PLACE. As I noted, the recent Super Bowl had Beyonce with her "Black Lives Matter" themed song, video, and her half time performance, was a huge topic for news, and talking heads far from the music industry for weeks.

The thrust of this thread from most people have been "why are there not any protest/issue songs any more?" My contention is that there ARE. Everywhere you look. The over bombardment of people by those have led to a rejection to all of them.

So if people are driven to write and perform those, they can. They will just almost universally be rejected and ignored. If that is what they feel compelled to do with their music, that is their right.

MAB

#1120555 - 12/05/16 01:38 AM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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TC Perkins Offline
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TC Perkins  Offline
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Virginia
Originally Posted by Marc Barnette

...

You see, one of the things PROTEST or ISSUE oriented songs have to have is TRUTH. And when people see things that they KNOW in their hearts are NOT TRUE, or are overblown, hyperbole, and coming from someone screaming it from a stage that has NO IDEA of what THEIR lives are like, it falls flat.

People are done with being preached at. The information age stopped that. It stopped the NEED for someone to write a song about a situation in order to influence someone's opinion. They have their OWN OPINIONS. And they are ASSAULTED by other people's opinions all the time. They've had it.

...

MAB


Amen, brother. I agree with this part wholeheartedly.

One thing to do is just veil your point in metaphor and let people figure out what they THINK it means. So many good songs do this, new and old.

On the other hand, I agree that you just write whatever comes to you. I don't think you are going to have to deal with angry mobs with fire and pitchforks unless you get broad exposure.

Peace,
TC

Last edited by TC Perkins; 12/05/16 01:41 AM.

If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1120574 - 12/05/16 12:53 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Marc Barnette  Offline
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TC, you correct. The most probable thing is people who do these types of songs are simply ignored. Most people are ignored no matter what. There are hundreds of thousands of songs, videos, etc. a day on YOU TUBE, FACEBOOK and TWITTER, which are the primary movers and shakers of public opinion, when it comes to music, and then they DISSAPEAR just as quickly, replaced by countless others. They might get a few "likes" and even a few "shares" but for the most part, they are gone.

The only thing is you might not encounter mobs and pitch forks as much as people that don't agree with you, but being VERY vocal about it. Like the previous political season, people have found themselves pitted against each other, and it goes beyond mere dissagreement. Now people want to call other people out, say very nasty, things, insult them, their families, go to their KID'S facebook page, pick on them. It has a name. It's called CYBERBULLYING. And has led to people being physically hurt, or in some cases even killed.

Does this mean we can no longer say what we want? Well that is part of the ongoing dialogue. Much is about HOW much you believe in something. Personally, I think the whole thing is way out of control. If I see something I disagree with, I just ignore it. I move on. Unfortunately, some people are not like that, and we are living in a very vitriolic society.

The entire point of this thread and why I started it in the first place is there is an impression from many people, particularly writers and musicians, that because they no longer see protest or issue songs on radio, television, etc. that they are no longer out there. My point is that the DIRECT OPPOSITE is true. They are EVERYWHERE. I've given a few examples, Beyonce' Black Lives Matter, etc. and would think most people can see that if they watch the news or are plugged into the Internet.

In everything I do on sites like this it is to illustrate things that are going on in the world of songwriters, songwriting and the business of music. If someone has songs they fill driven to be a part of, GO DO IT. But just expect some things you might not see coming. I don't like being blindsided, and this is one that people don't see coming. I have had to deal with a lot of artists and writers literally losing their careers due to taking stands on issues. And what is really bad is sometimes they are not even taking a stand on an issue. Just making a comment. They come into the line of fire also.

It is all just things to think about. Write what you want. Do what you want. But be aware of what could be some of the results.

MAB

#1120635 - 12/06/16 08:35 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Kolstad Offline
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Denmark
Not sure whats this threads about :-)

Bob D just got the nobel prize for his writing.
Conflict is the basic component in stories.
Even if your lyric doesn't have explicit story, it will still be a part of one.

What is protest? .. a conflicting opinion.
Theres a reason why protest songs are everywhere - its human nature.
It is what makes entertainment entertaining, and have been since man was a bug.

Writing recipe for protest songs:

1. Identify your audience
2. Find out what they care about
3. Find out what threathens the things your audience cares about
4. Write a song that protest about those threats
5. Please your audience by showing them you are one of them fighting their cause


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#1120636 - 12/06/16 09:13 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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TC Perkins Offline
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TC Perkins  Offline
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Virginia
The title of this thread is WHAT NOT TO DO

Here's an idea of what NOT to do:

Wear a Hillary for Prison T-shirt while you perform a protest song about her email scandal on a NPR broadcast wink

On the other hand, at least you will get exposure exclamation

Peace,
TC

Last edited by TC Perkins; 12/06/16 09:14 PM.

If it has strings I will find a way to play it!

You can hear my tunes at https://soundcloud.com/tc-gypsy
#1120744 - 12/09/16 01:38 PM Re: THINGS "NOT" TO DO [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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To Ross and everyone who believes there is a lack of "protest" or "issue" songs, tv shows, or movies,

In case you are missing it, the big HOLLYWOOD BIG BUDGET ROLL OUT this weekend is called MS. SLOANE, starring 2 time Oscar nominee, Jessica Chastain. It is a all out assault on the Second amendment Anti Gun movie that of course seeks to point out that all gun owners are insane right wing assassins just waiting to kill and can buy an AK-47 on any street corner Quickie Mart.

Still sure that there are none of these type movies or songs out there? Just watch television. You'll see the commercial about every ten minutes.

MAB


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