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#132250 - 09/25/02 10:02 AM Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 8
STUART LEGGAT Offline
Casual Observer
STUART LEGGAT  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 8
Scotland
The songplugging buisness, TAXI, charge around $300.00 a year and will only promote around 6 percent of the material they receive. Considering this, is it still worth joining up or is there another way to place your song/s which is a lot cheaper, but equally successful as the above amount is a lot of money to some of us?

Yours,

STUART.

------------------

#132251 - 09/25/02 11:54 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: May 2002
Posts: 36
jaltergott Offline
Casual Observer
jaltergott  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: May 2002
Posts: 36
Columbus, OH
<ducks>

Hot topic on many boards.

I joined Taxi a couple years ago, took a couple years off and rejoined this year.

The feedback they give on submissions is very interesting and generally beneficial. I use the service primarily for that feedback. I don't agree with the opinions of all the critiquers, but I find value in getting industry opinions now and then.

I wouldn't recommend joining any of these services if you are easily discouraged. They will tell you what they like and what don't like. Not getting passed on (and I never have) can get frustrating.

However, I also think the service is primarily for people who write "hit" songs or want to write "hit" songs. Those are the folks that will get the biggest bang for their buck. If you write music accross several categories, then all the better.

Based on my experience, unless you write perfectly produced and recorded HITS the opportunities with Taxi are limited (not zero, just limited).



------------------
Jeffrey Altergott
http://www.jeffinthebox.com


Jeffrey Altergott
http://www.jeffinthebox.com
#132252 - 09/25/02 07:10 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
songman Offline
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songman  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
Sunland, Ca
The Taxi "Burrito" method of submission is a real pain in the butt. It includes a certain way to submit your tunes which left me feeling more like a "Short Order Cook" than a songwriter. I had my bread refunded. I found it to have been the type of experience to where I would have been more annoyed with each submission. If I would have known about that from the "Get Go" I wouldn't have sent in the bread. They were however very cooperative with my refund! Tj


TJ Sullivan
#132253 - 09/26/02 07:54 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Indianapolis, IN USA
Scott,

I've never understood what the big deal is about the burrito? It's just an effort to get folks to include all the info in a format that is usable. We ask folks to include their contact info on all material they send to us yet less than 50% actually follow those requests. By having a specific process, the rate of follow through actually goes up rather than down. I have over 100 CD's entered into the music awards in the last couple years that I still have zero idea who they came from.

Nevertheless, you'll be happy to know that from what I have heard behind the scenes, TAXI is getting ready to launch an on-line (i.e. no burrito or mailing expense) submission system. That should help folks who are frustrated by following the rather simple submission process as it stands now by letting them do it all on line.

TAXI has sponsored this year's East Coast Roadtrip, and if not for them, we probably wouldn't be able to do most of the things we do for our members for free, like these showcases. On this trip alone, my laptop AND digital camera both had to be replaced and the TAXI sponsorship money allowed me to do so on the road and keep going. They've really put their money where their mouth is and supported our free community. I think anyone writing with the goal of commercial success should learn more about what they offer and decide with the facts if TAXI is right or wrong for them.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
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"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

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#132254 - 09/27/02 12:09 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 119
Miles Maxwell Offline
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Miles Maxwell  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 119
Chicago, IL
I have to give my support to jaltergott on this one. Even though I never formally joined TAXI, my JPF membership afforded me the opportunity to attend the LA road rally last autumn. It was fun to mingle with other tunesmiths but it was way more about selling hit songs to Britney Spears/Backstreet Boys/Shania Twain than what I had in mind. At least that's what many of the songwriting lecturers had to say. There's clearly nothing wrong with that but it's just not my scene.

I guess my overall take was, if you write pop, dance, country or film/tv scoring (basically anything lacking a subversive "underground" element) it would be worth considering. If you do write something more strange/more personal, I wouldn't even think about it. Wasn't for me but I met mostly very happy members.

mm


miles maxwell
milesmaxwell.com
#132255 - 09/29/02 08:57 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,647
Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 6,647
,NL Canada
Several times I was tempted to join TAXI but the high fee and the fee that had to go with each tape you sent detered me.The fee is in US dollars and I would have to buy them in Canadian dollars so the price was well out of my reach.I'm sure the service they offer is a good one but one I can't affors to try.


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#132256 - 09/30/02 10:46 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 54
justinpl@hotmail.com Offline
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justinpl@hotmail.com  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 54
omaha, ne, USA
I was under the impression that TAXI would help promote artists, not there hard earned work (songs, etc) to already sucessful artists that have a problem writing their own music, whats with that. To me being a singer/songwriter that is affensive. Let the successful star stuck artists write their own music, if they can't, let some one else in who can! I would gladly pay the 300 dollars annualy if I knew TAXI was working for me, and not just to put dollars in someone elses pockets.. thats all

#132257 - 09/30/02 12:44 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Brenda Offline
Casual Observer
Brenda  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Dracut, MA USA
Quote
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by justinpl@hotmail.com:
I was under the impression that TAXI would help promote artists, not there hard earned work (songs, etc) to already sucessful artists that have a problem writing their own music, whats with that. To me being a singer/songwriter that is affensive. Let the successful star stuck artists write their own music, if they can't, let some one else in who can! I would gladly pay the 300 dollars annualy if I knew TAXI was working for me, and not just to put dollars in someone elses pockets.. thats all</font>


Justin,
My take on this is TAXI 'IS' working for you if a successful artist sings your song and its a hit, guess what you share in the success of the song making an equal amount of money for writing the hit song. Just ask Dolly Parton who wrote 'I will always love you' and Whitney Houston sang it. It busted the charts now don't you think Dolly got quite rich on that song? So as a Singer/Songwriter as long as my song gets to someone who can reach people then I've become successful, and later on if I want I can sing my own stuff. Just something to think about.


[This message has been edited by Brenda (edited 09-30-2002).]

#132258 - 09/30/02 02:02 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Indianapolis, IN USA
Justin,

Your comment here speaks volumes about your complete and total lack of understanding of how the music industry works. Please use a little more restraint before making a post that comes off sounding so negative when it's you who really needs to learn some basics about both the music industry and professionalism. This isn't the first time you've put your foot in your mouth around here before you bothered to learn the facts. If you want to learn about TAXI and the music industry first, there are many tools and resources available. Visit the TAXI.com website to learn what they do. You can even call their 800 number and request a detailed info pack on their specific services. In addition, I suggest getting a copy of John Braheny's "The Craft and Business of Songwriting" as well as Donald Passman's "All You Need to Know About the Music Business" and carefully read them both cover to cover. I think then you'll understand a lot more about how all this works. Since you present yourself as a spokesman for the musicians/music scene in your area, it is vitally important that you speak from knowledge and not gut reaction on issues, otherwise you are doing a great disservice to those you claim to represent.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

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#132259 - 09/30/02 02:33 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 28
kruzty Offline
Casual Observer
kruzty  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 28
Westfield, IN
You can have the listings sent to you (or view them on the TAXI website) without joining. This will allow you to see what kinds of things they are looking for without paying a dime.

By the way, there are many listings looking for a band or individual artist, so it isn't just songs.

Andy

#132260 - 09/30/02 06:43 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
songman Offline
Serious Contributor
songman  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 237
Sunland, Ca
I can totally understand TAXI's motivation in supporting JPF in that it provides "tons" of potential clients through memberships and Rally's etc. Tj


TJ Sullivan
#132261 - 09/30/02 07:54 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Brenda Offline
Casual Observer
Brenda  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 19
Dracut, MA USA
Brian,

I hope I wasn't out of line, was just trying to add a positive twist and educate at the same time. I have read the books you suggested both good books and very informative. They are a great investment anyone wanting to learn about the music business! Hope you are having a safe trip!!

Brenda

#132262 - 09/30/02 11:34 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 54
justinpl@hotmail.com Offline
Serious Contributor
justinpl@hotmail.com  Offline
Serious Contributor

Joined: Sep 2002
Posts: 54
omaha, ne, USA
Brian,

I was not bashing anyone, just giving my honest opinion on the way i feel about something. Sorry it is as you claim complete and total lack of understanding, maybe I don't understand. That doesnt make me wrong for feeling a certain way. Sorry you are still pissed at me. Thanks for the information though, I will read up on a few things. I hope someday you will put all this bitterness behind you...

------------------
Justin Lamoureux
www.omahasongwriters.com
www.midwestdilemma.com

#132263 - 10/01/02 02:51 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Larry Williams Offline
Larry Williams  Offline

Serious Contributor

Joined: Aug 2001
Posts: 1,822
Santa Clarita, CA USA
Hi Justin (and Stuart),

I'm a TAXI member. To me it's just another tool to use. It's probably the BIGGEST tip sheet around with lots of listings twice a month. TAXI's not a terrible corporate rip-off, and it's not the next best thing to sliced bread. You just have to look at their listings and see if it looks like it might be worth the money. For some it is, others it isn't.

It ISN'T cheap, however. I still object to the same fee of $5 for both critiqued and non-critiqued works. They started out critiquing ALL songs (years ago), and now they still charge that regardless of whether it's critiqued or not. Granted, they also haven't raised their fee since the beginning (10 years?).

At the SongsAlive Expo over the weekend, I talked with several TAXI employees about reducing the fee for non-critiqued submissions and RAISING it for a critique - with an option to forego the critique if available, for the reduced fee (I suggested $3 and $10).

There are many different ways to use TAXI. If you are an artist, they have listings all the time from Record Companies looking for artists in particular styles, and you can submit your CD or demo to those listings. If the TAXI reviewer feels your submission will get the person who posted the listing EXCITED, they'll forward it. They won't forward it just because it fits the submission requirement or because it's "pretty good". It has to be REALLY, REALLY good.

If you are a songwriter, you can submit to songwriter listings by publishers and other companies that license or otherwise exploit music. Other people would then have an opportunity to record your song or use it on a cable TV show, for instance.

You can decide which listings you want to use.

One thing to keep in mind is that just like anyone else in the industry, sometimes the reviewer will just not "get it" and pass on it. I've had several songs passed on by TAXI but got publishing deals from decent-sized publishers. I've had "forwards" with no response, but got publishing deals on my own.

You can look at the actual listings they send out twice a month on their website. You just can't submit until you become a member.

Don't forget that even though $300 might seem a bit steep, they give you a discount after your first year to $200. You also get free entrance to their annual Road Rally in L.A. which will be three full days (and part of a fourth) this year. It's a great series of seminars for songwriters and artists.

I don't remember your earlier postings, so I'm not sure what Brian meant about that, but your profile seems to indicate you're a songwriter's event sponser of some type in your area. It would be a good idea to know the difference between the various copyrights and how your music is protected (or NOT) since you may have the opportunity to pass that information along to someone less informed - and you want to do it right. The two books Brian recommended are probably the best around. I've read them both, and John's book, I've read twice now (both editions).


[This message has been edited by Lwilliam (edited 10-01-2002).]

#132264 - 10/01/02 05:04 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
Brian Austin Whitney  Offline

Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,829
Indianapolis, IN USA
Larry,

Justin teed off on the entire organization because he said he wasn't made welcome by us. He made such an ass out of himself that after it was pointed out over and over, he asked me to delete the post, which I did.

to Justin,

I am very tolerant of people who don't understand things and want to learn. I spend a lot of time every day helping people. But in your case, you lash out long before you make an effort to understand anything.

You insulted the entire organization in the past when you were in the wrong, and now you're complaining about a company and issues in the music industry you simply have no knowledge of whatsoever. If you have a legit and intelligent complaint with facts and logic to back it up, fine. If not, please spare us the tirade.

If you truly ARE the leader in Omaha's music community you claim to be, you better learn what you're talking about before you do some real damage to someone else.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney
Facebook: www.facebook.com/justplainfolks

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney

"It's easier to be the bigger man when you actually are..."

[Linked Image]
#132265 - 10/01/02 04:29 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 112
budtower Offline
Serious Contributor
budtower  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 112
Nashville, TN
I am a TAXI fan. I have belonged for a total of five years. I belonged in the early nineties for a couple of years. Had two songs forwarded and nothing happened with them (never heard from either company they were forwarded to). However, the critiques that I got from TAXI made it clear to me that my writing was not at a commercial level.

I sat out membership until 1999 as I was too busy with other stuff in my life. Since, 1999, I have been a member and in 1999 and 2000, I was getting a lot of the same feedback. My country material was too "dated" (i.e., traditional, which really was no surprise to me as I was listening to country when George Jones, Johnny Cash, Loretta Lynn, etc. were the stars).

The TAXI reviewers made specific recommendations of artists (like Tim McGraw and Garth Brooks) and even specific songs for me to go listen to. I did listen and learned. I also started reading books like Sheila Davis’ "Craft of Lyric Writing," Jason Blume’’s "Six Steps to Songwriting Success," Pat Pattison’s "Writing Better Lyrics," etc.

I also joined my local Nashville Songwriter’s Association ("NSAI") Chapter, then became a coordinator, then started visiting Nashville and began meeting with publishers and other writers.

The cumulative effect of all of this is that I am writing better (more commercial) songs. For me, TAXI’s critiques and guidance are what got the ball rolling. NSAI’s songwriting seminars (of which I have attended two) and their own critique service have kept the ball rolling and "sped it up" to hang with the analogy.

In the last two months, everything has started to happen. Through TAXI, I have two cuts coming out on a compilation album this November. In the last two months, I have had five of eight songs forwarded by TAXI including one to Capitol Records Nashville office—my first major label forward. I also am a member of Tonos.com and had a song picked for their May 2002 A&R Dropbox. That song was circulated to industry players. That led to an offer from a Nashville publisher for single song contracts on three of my songs.
In summary, I feel like TAXI helped me make the transition from amateur songwriter to at least semi-professional. I would encourage people who are really serious about making the transition to join TAXI, but realize it’s only part of what you have to do (and what you have to spend) to get "their."

Moreover, some people are just not going to "make it." You have to have talent. It’s like anything else. I have played golf all my life, taken lessons, been to clinics, etc., and I will never shoot par golf—I just don’t have "it."

TAXI can open doors for talented artists and songwriters and they can point you in the right direction—point out your weaknesses and what you need to do or learn. The rest is in God’s hands and your own.

#132266 - 10/01/02 06:26 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 203
EasyHero Offline
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EasyHero  Offline
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Joined: Mar 2002
Posts: 203
Rio Rancho NM
I belonged to TAXI for a couple years, and my feelings about it were more positive than negative. I got some good feedback, but it was fairly superficial - the kind of thing you would get from an A&R rep if you managed to get an appointment (basically, you get five minutes, they either love it or hate it, and they're in a hurry to get to the hit writers). TAXI is expensive, but it's a whole lot cheaper than a ticket to Nashville or LA plus hotel, meals, etc. You can submit songs from your living room! I would still belong if it weren't for two things: 1) the price, and 2) the fact that it is geared towards those who write songs for particular genres, i.e., who know how to write what other people are writing (because those are the people who are buying the songs). My stuff, unfortunately, falls into the category (in TAXI's words) of "works of art" -- i.e., unmarketable. I never had anything passed on.

In other words, if you're a songwriting machine, it'll probably work well for you. If you don't have your chops down, or if you fall into the "other" category, it probably won't work as well. I suggest you check it out by simply going online to their website and browse through the postings -- you can look for FREE! They will also send the listings by e-mail (for FREE) if you sign up for them. You can't beat that for a good deal. If you start seeing listings that ask for songs you could submit, then I would think it would be well worth your while to join.

Michael R. J. Roth
http://www.hometown.aol.com/easyhero/index.html


Award-winning, original acoustic songs with "the kind of lyrics that make Nashville writers salivate."
#132267 - 10/03/02 09:11 PM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 11
jack mct Offline
Casual Observer
jack mct  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Aug 2002
Posts: 11
phila., pa., u.s.a.
I've been a member of TAXI for a couple of years and I've had one song forwarded to Vanguard Records (haven't heard from them yet), and my opinion is that TAXI is a pretty good organization, the feedback is helpful, but the listings seem more geared toward the major labels than some of the more independent ones... so if your stuff is commercial sounding i think it's more cost effective to join (if you're talented!) than if your material is more off the beaten path (even if you're talented!)

jack
www.jackmctamney.com

[This message has been edited by jack mct (edited 10-03-2002).]

#132268 - 10/04/02 01:21 AM Re: Taxi Songpluggers - Is It Worth Joining?  
Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,001
Jody Whitesides Offline
Jody Whitesides  Offline

Top 100 Poster

Joined: Dec 2001
Posts: 4,001
Park City, UT, USA
I've been a member of TAXI for the past year. I did it because I had a great time at the Road Rally and because I felt I could possibly get stuff placed in Film and TV listings.

My experience so far is neither good nor bad. I have had several submissions forwarded (from what I'm told my ratio of forwards is really high), but unfortunately I have not had anything pan out from any forward as of this date.

I know my music resides in the harder to classify category. But the real rub I've had is that the critques have been to vague to be helpful and it's usually a matter of the music not being the right sound for the listing. Maybe I'm off in what people tell me my songs sound like, or even what I think they sound like.

Either way, I get the impression it would really help a budding songwriter who wants to get good critques to join. I still haven't decided to join up again yet, but I'll probably make that decision after this years Road Rally.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com

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