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#492689 - 04/14/07 04:07 AM TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
I know I am probably going to ruffle some feathers here since this board I belive is supported by TAXI. But I for one have had enough. I am writing TAXI to ask for my membership fee back lets see if they honor this and I am not alone. Thier are several members here who feel the same way but don't have the guts to speak up but I do.

Seems to me TAXI has flat tires and cannot take me anywhere except to the the reject pile.

I have been writing songs and performing before most of these guys were born. 37 years as a professional songwriter/performer/engineer. I have made a good living at it.

Facts about TAXI
In one review I am refused because my hook he says is not strong enough.. in another It's not close enough to what the listing asks for but the hook is great...

I have submitted 25 different songs and have had every single one returned. Each one for a different reason. I guess any excuse will do. Heres thier favorites. #1( Not Close enough to what the listing asked for ) #2 ( Not close enough to Broadcast Quality ) < on this one I went back in and did a full blown production and then it came back as excuse # 1
Excuse #4 ( Not current sounding enough ) and the list goes on.

It seems to me theres room for all of us.. just because I am not a John Myer Clone does not mean the material will not sell.
The business has room for orginality or does it anymore?

Brian will probably kick me off the board for what I am about to say but these guys have read too many books on songwriting and would not know a good song if it hit them smack between the eyes!

( Case in Point ) "SARAHS SONG" written as a father to Daughter song on her wedding day

This song for example brings tears to everyone who has a daughter or is the Daughter of somone. The only one who might not get it is a single guy who has never had children.
probably the TAXI A&R guy

I Invite everyone here go listen to the song on my website
"Sarahs Song" www.LarryRead.com

I have many examples just ask........this is one
Here are the actual review...
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Name: Larry Read Listing # S070319WD

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STYLE: on target for this Listing

Sound Quality : Well Recorded

Title: SARAHS SONG
Play Song
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 (10=best)
Music 7
Lyrics 6 Marketability 6
Arrangement 7
Production 6
Engineering 6
Musicianship 7
Lead Vocal 6


Avoid lines that ring cliche "Who set my heart aglow".... Aglow-isn't something you would really say in Everyday Speech.

Overall Comments:
Dear Larry: It's a nice attitude. The mood you create is fitting for the lyric. In the melodic turn around part- you could stand to take the song to a new place melodically- to really open up the song and give us a change from the original melody-to make it a little more interesting. We could stand to have some more melodic contrast between verses/choruses so your hook really takes hold of the listener's ear. Watch out for being overly "mushy"-it's a fine line.

Sound Quality:
Well - Recorded


The main reason you were or were not forwarded for this listing is:
Hook could be stronger.

Listener # 219

"Same song another review" Overall Comments:

Greetings, Larry. Thank you for your submission. Both of these songs have well-crafted melodies with a classic feel reminiscent of pop ballads of the early 1960s.
An appealing theme that has universal appeal. Can't go wrong with a wedding song! The lyric is focused and conveys the father's feelings well.

Reason not forwarded: Not Close enough To What Listing asked for
Listener 193

-----------------------------------------------------------------There an old saying in this business if you can't dazzle em with brillance you baffle em with b*** s**** which is exactly what TAXI seems to excel at. Throw a bunch of warm fuzzies and words of hope and by any and all means don't forward the material.

Which begs into question of the legitimacy of the lead.
Was the lead was fake to begin with after all they are supposed to be working for you to get your material into the hands of a REAL A&R guys who can actually take it to the next level.

I definitely question the validity of thier supposed A&R people. Seems to me I have better odds of winning lotto than getting anything forwarded. As far as I am concerned I have recived nothing of value from this organization.

So Brian I totally understand should my account here be null and void since I am aware it's not nice to bite the hand that feeds you or supports your board and I am questioning the entire TAXI organization since I have yet to meet anyone who has been helped by TAXI outside of thier full page ads claiming how certain individuals had record and publishing companys fighting over them because of TAXI. Where are these people? I am on several boards and I have never found or met one.

Sorry to all my freinds here I just had to air this...




your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492691 - 04/14/07 04:23 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Hummingbird Offline
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Posts: 2,401
Victoria, B.C. Canada
Listing details: "An internet-based company that specializes in producing DVDs and slide shows for professional photographers is seeking great, romantic, positive WEDDING SONGS to license and offer with their DVD packages. They're open to all styles of music, but very contemporary-sounding material is preferred. No negative lyrical content (breakups, jealousy, etc.). Also, your lyrics need to be universal/general -- songs with specific names/places can't be used. Great vocal and instrumental performances are a must -- they asked us to forward only the very best submissions. You receive a royalty every time your song is chosen by a client for one of their projects. Broadcast quality needed [great sounding home recordings are OK]. Please submit one to three songs online or per CD, include lyrics. All submissions will be screened and critiqued by TAXI and must be received no later than March 19, 2007.
TAXI # S070319WD"


This is a very lovely song, well performed and well recorded. But I wouldn't consider it to be a "great, romantic, positive wedding song" and I'm not sure if it would be considered 'very contemporary-sounding material'. I agree, it's not close enough to what the listing asked for.

Absolutely ask for your money back if you're not happy. Taxi has a money back guarantee and I haven't heard of any unhappy member who didn't get their money back when they asked for it.

"I have yet to meet anyone who has been helped by TAXI outside of thier full page ads claiming how certain individuals had record and publishing companys fighting over them because of TAXI. Where are these people? I am on several boards and I have never found or met one."

Funny, I've met quite a few. Mostly either on the Taxi forum, or at the Road Rally. People who are getting deals through Taxi (film/tv), people who I co-write with, and people who I respect. And I don't say that lightly.


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#492693 - 04/14/07 04:25 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 19,414
Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Posts: 19,414
Indianapolis, IN USA
Larry,

Give us a link to the song first. Second, the first review was very positive. 6's and 7's seems to match very closely to the comments made by the second reviewer to me.

Remember, these are 2 different people with 2 different opinions? Is your complaint that your music isn't reviewed by the exact same person each time? Are you unable to understand that if you're getting REAL and HONEST critiques, they will always be different? Look at the differences of opinions people have on EVERYTHING. 50% in the US support Right wing nuts and 50% support Left Wing nuts. But not 100% of the people in the US are idiots. Rational and honest people can disagree on almost anything. I think it's interesting that they both had reasonable positive comments, but it just wasn't good enough or appropriate enough. If you can't see that, it's really you who have the problem. You can't be objective about your own work to accept others opinions. Post a link to the song and lets see what the folks here think about it. And after you see a bunch of other different opinions, maybe it will illustrate to you that 2 different honest A&R people can have two different opinions and both can differ from your own. There aren't many famous bands who didn't get turned down by others and accepted by someone. And not fitting a listing doesn't reflect good or bad on a song beyond the fact that it doesn't fit a listing. The fact that the first guy warned to watch the line between mushy and not seems a likely comment to be made about ANY wedding song. And if it's a wedding song, be glad something like TAXI exists to give you places to send it. Wedding songs are NOT a common market for mainstream pop, rock, R&B and Rap songs which dominate music today. Where else are you going to even get to pitch a wedding song? If you have contacts for that, why not use them directly in the first place? If not, be glad TAXI found something for you to at least shoot for.

The only thing offensive about your post, however, is your moronic statement that your account would be "null and void." That claim is completely ignorant of reality and you should apologize for even suggesting it. We never delete people's comments unless they are gratuitous personal attacks, anonymous attacks by trolls or make egregiously false claims. We don't delete people for simply being wrong either. In this case, you haven't given us the entire picture by supplying a link to the song to see the big picture. That info will help folks determine whether the reviews and critiques you got were fair. So let's continue the discussion. And stop the lame "bite the hand that feeds you" crap.

As for the people in the TAXI ads, I've actually met most of them and nearly all of them are active JPF members. They're just not active on message boards. Only a tiny % of full time pro artists post on boards. That's a simple fact. So get your facts CORRECT or stop making wide sweeping claims and paranoid conspiracy notions that the people in the ads aren't real. And certainly if you want your money back, you'll get it. Please provide a SINGLE person who can claim they weren't given a refund if they asked? The truth is few people DO ask because TAXI does a great job giving artists and writers another tool to use to pursue their craft. They can't make a bad song/artist successful and they can't force an industry person to use something that doesn't fit their needs.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.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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#492694 - 04/14/07 04:38 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Indianapolis, IN USA
Okay.. I found the song on your website. If any error was made it was that they were WAY too positive in the reviews. They should have said it was far too cliche to consider. It's not a great performance either. So, I think their sin was being more positive than they should have been. I'd have given it about a 3 musically based on the quality of stuff we get from around the world. I got 6 CD's in the mail today alone and every song on every one of them was worlds better than this. Lyrically I'd give it a 2. It has nothing but one cliche and unrealistic line after another. There is NO WAY TAXI or anyone serious could forward that song for this listing and not lose some credibility by passing it on. It's just not very good, even as background music. I challenge anyone to listen to that and say they'd put their reputation on the line supporting it to other professionals. I challenge anyone to say they'd want to pay a company to put that music behind a production of their daughers wedding day video. They'd be nuts!

Now, why did TAXI give you an upbeat review? Because the truth is that you COULD write great songs. You COULD produce great recordings. I've heard horrid songs from great writers and artists. We see that here on the site all the time, and I certainly see it in the awards process or out on the roadtrips all the time. So why tear someone down personally if the song just doesn't work. You don't want someone to read a review and give up afterwards. I personally don't give reviews because I personally don't like giving false props, even in the form of being extra positive about something that really isn't good at all. So I don't do reviews and I don't give feedback on music awards entries and I rarely comment on anything posted here unless someone is being delusional about how good something is and are trashing someone else's opinion about it. That song isn't good. It's not usable for a company that needs quality background wedding songs. It's not going to make someone's wedding videos or production beautiful and I'd be horrified if I heard that song at the wedding of someone I care about. But TAXI is never going to be brutally honest like that and frankly they shouldn't. Now perhaps you'll attack me for my comments as well. Perhaps you'll storm off in anger and never come back after attacking me personally. That would be typical and predictable. OR.. perhaps you can understand that not every song you write and record will be GREAT. And not everyone will find the same value in your music as you think it deserves and that right or wrong it doesn't make them dishonest or worthy of attack. And perhaps you'll be smart enough to know that even Diane Warren, perhaps the most commercially successful songwriter today writes total crap sometimes. And perhaps you'll realize you don't need to trash a great company because they pointed out (albeit a little too nicely) that your song didn't cut it for the opportunity. If you can't accept that, you have little hope of improving or succeeding. Give up now.. get your refund and stop wasting your own time.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@gmail.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]
#492697 - 04/14/07 04:59 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting *DELETED* [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
Post deleted by Larry Read


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492700 - 04/14/07 05:47 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Hummingbird Offline
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Posts: 2,401
Victoria, B.C. Canada
Hi hear what you're saying Larry. I know how frustrating it is to get music turned down. The thing is, IMO, is that is all part and parcel of being a songwriter, whether you use Taxi or not. I guess because I've been a freelance writer, an actor, and a singer, and I've auditioned successfully and unsuccessfully, and been published and been rejected, to me it's all part of the process. That doesn't mean I don't get upset when I don't get the part or the forward. But I realize that it's not personal. I just didn't give them what they were looking for. I may have sung my face off, but they need someone 6' tall to fit the costume. Really, it happens.

Casey posted this on the Taxi forum a couple of weeks ago, and I think it's the best thing to keep in mind when considering Taxi:

"For the most part, TAXI isn't the place to do things out of sync with known songwriting formulas or (outside) the model of radio hits. That's not what people come to them for."

and Dave said:

"The entire fifteen-plus year history of Taxi is built around repeat screening business from the listing clients, some of them from the biggest names in the music industry. Those listing clients, again - some of the biggest names in the industry, rely solely on the Taxi screeners to compentently screen a wide variety of music based on their individual, unique needs.

Sure, a few listing clients are probably the ultimate control freaks and so they screen their own listings. BUT, the majority of listing clients routinely place the most important and critical decision making in the hands of these screeners. I can't think of too many things that are more important to these listing clients than finding the right music (and not losing good music) and they routinely delegate that responsibility to the Taxi screeners."

I began my Taxi membership 3 years ago totally frustrated with all the returns I got. A lot. When I finally sat back and began to listen to what was being said... that's when I began to grow as a songwriter. I got forwarded today to one of the biggest music libraries around. That's pretty remarkable, considering I had 50 to 60 returns in my first couple years. What changed? I did. I began to understand that pretty good isn't good enough, that competition is fierce, and that I had to work harder and longer than the next guy to make the grade. I learned to listen to what is being forwarded, and to the samples (a las) - something I never bothered with in the beginning. I got a forward on a piece last week that I created after listening to at least a dozen pieces of circus music, writing my own, and going back and listening to those pieces again, comparing production and composition. That's just my take on it. You can give up, or you can get up, dust yourself off, and say, 'okay, what element in the craft of songwriting or the skill of producing do I need to work on to get past the gatekeepers? whatever it is, I'm gonna figure it out, cause if I can get past the Taxi gatekeepers, then I know for sure I got something that is commercially viable.'


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#492701 - 04/14/07 05:49 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
Brian,
I apologize if I offended you in anyway. I was not my intention to do that. I know the song has a limited market and it's not the best song I have ever written either. I also know that people who are not a father of a daughter do not relate to it at all.

But, I also know whenever I sing it where fathers who have daughters are around they react to it. Daughters react and mothers of the bride as well.

If it's such a bad as song why does it sell so well? Why am I being paid to sing it at two upcoming weddings? Why have so many fathers of daughters broke down and cried because it strikes home with them?

My complaint with TAXI is not just that one song. It seems that no matter what I give them and even if I do exactly as thay ask nothing gets forwarded.

I have some extremely bright and awsome reviews
by TAXI.. but thats all I have.. reviews and that dreaded reject button.

In your words SARAHS SONG " the song isnt good " ok I accept your opinion as your opinion.

But for the record I never said it was the best song or even a great song.. I have only said it sells well and seems to strike a chord with certain folks in the wedding set. A very Limited market I admit.

In a DVD ( in my opinion ) about a wedding in a certain context
where the fathers thinking about his daughter I still hold it would have worked well.





your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492702 - 04/14/07 06:10 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
Vicki,
I agree .. My parents are both professional actors and I know about cattle calls and someone who fits the outfit.

I have myself been robbed by rigged auditions and such. Where a certain person was already choosen to win.

It's never stopped me. I just pull myself up and keep going.
But I also know when something just does not work and

I think you just hit the hammer on the nail.......When you said......................................................

"For the most part, TAXI isn't the place to do things out of sync with known songwriting formulas or (outside) the model of radio hits. That's not what people come to them for."
.................................................................
Ok this makes total sense to me. I am one of those guys who when asked who do you sound like... ALWAYS SAYS

I sound like me... original ... so for me I guess taxi won't work
thanks..

And Brian..... Kuddos!! to you for not deleting me.

Even if you don't like that song. Honestly, I have been ousted before because I spoke up on other boards. Guess it's in my blood to confront things head on.


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492707 - 04/14/07 08:02 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: Mar 2005
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Posts: 3,639
Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Larry, when I listened to "Sarah's Song" I found myself comparing it to "I loved her first" by Heartland which says the same thing in theme. "I loved her first" is probably a 10 on every scale Taxi mentioned, so it is no wonder it is a number 1 hit (on the country charts). The Taxi critics were probably being generous to rate your song as highly as it did. For me, when you sang pharses like "heart aglow", I cringed a little- you must know that you can't get away with phrases like that in todays market; and it isn't just the "market", it's the sophistication of the listener. We are a restless and fickle crowd and you must suprise and delight us with every image and phrase; and you have to take a song into new unventured territory. What is the quote? something like, "Great songwriting happens at the intersection of Craft and Reckless Abandon". You have to pull you stuff out of the inspirational Ether. It is hard to explain but I know it when I hear it and I think most of us do.

When I hear songs that are very popular, I try to figure out why and most of the time I really analyze them, the reason is clear- it's a great song. You have to be honest with yourself. I have only listened to Sarah's Song but it just isn't even close to the caliber of song that will chart. Listen if you can to "I loved her first" and read these lyrics. This song deserves to be where it is. And by the way, the man who came up with the idea was smart enough to know that he couldn't "bring it home" by himself so he teamed up with a professional and they shared co-write royalties. But that's OK because half of a lot is still alot.


I loved her first- Heartland

Look at the two of you dancing that way
Lost in the moment and each others face
So much in love your alone in this place
Like there's nobody else in the world

I was enough for her not long ago
I was her number one
She told me so
And she still means the world to me
Just so you know
So be careful when you hold my girl

Time changes everything
Life must go on
And I'm not gonna stand in your way

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But it still hard to give her away
I loved her first

How could that beautiful women with you
Be the same freckle face kid that I knew
The one that I read all those fairy tales to
And tucked into bed all those nights
And I knew the first time I saw you with her
It was only a matter of time

But I loved her first and I held her first
And a place in my heart will always be hers
From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
And I prayed that she'd find you someday
But its still hard to give her away
I loved her first

From the first breath she breathed
When she first smiled at me
I knew the love of a father runs deep
Someday you might know what I'm going through
When a miracle smiles up at you
I loved her first


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#492710 - 04/14/07 08:37 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Larry, I posted my last comments before I read any of the other comments but now that I have read Brian's comments and your response, I have to tell you, I am clueless to explain why more than 200 people bought that song. You must have a lot of family and friends.

I remember reading a quote from Paul Stookey of Peter Paul and Mary about his song, "There is Love" one of the most played wedding songs of all time. I don't remember the exact quote but he said basically that the song was a throw away, not inspired, not genuine, and not very good; and that he was suprised how well it did. Maybe when it comes to that big day, people loose their judgement and hearing and become a little sappy. That probably explains the high divorce rate.

Larry, get real about Sarah's Song. It is not very good and I am not trying to be unkind. Move on and write a great song and if you are successful in doing that, the world will notice and you will thank me latter. Grow. It's not over yet.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#492724 - 04/14/07 09:55 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
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Steve Ross Offline
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Steve Ross  Offline
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East Coast
Wow, tough love on this board. I don't think the issue has anything to do with Taxi, song pluggers, A and R people or anything else along those lines. It's about rejection and the sting of criticism. We've all felt it. Larry, I haven't listened to your song and I will never critique anyones work on this board for one reason-What is great in one persons eyes is garbage to the next. We know this by listening to the radio.
You obviously have a deep love of music and writing. Keep your head up and keep plugging away. Even if your stuff is great, there is no guarantee of anything in this confused music market....

#492737 - 04/14/07 10:25 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Steve Ross]  
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Jerry Jakala Offline
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Jerry Jakala  Offline
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Pinellas Park.FL USA
Songwriting is like boxing!
You can either keep getting knocked out or improve your skills and become one of the champions.
I co-write from time to time and we are very honest and brutal with each other.
Brutal not cruel!
As a result we have a few great songs.
Also there is a thing where people like the song but critics hate it.
I scratch my head over this from time to time but I keep my fingernails short and have learned to scratch less often.


http://www.jerryjakala.com
http://cdbaby.com/cd/jakalajerry2

The difference between genius and stupidity is that there is a limit on genius.-Albert Einstein
#492743 - 04/14/07 11:10 AM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Steve Ross]  
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cliff turner Offline
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cliff turner  Offline
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Sydney Australia
Larry

I had a listen to Sarah's song and also to be honest I found it mundane and boring. Some of the images and rhymes were clicheed and the melody / harmony was completely predictable.

The chord structure followed predictable patterns and there were no points when I felt " oh that's nice " . I might be wrong ( my ear isn't that good ) but I'd guess that every chord was a diatonic chord in the major scale ,

The chord structure was crying out for more disconance when you went to " Oh lord Please bless this couple " and for me the second chord you went to in this section didn't work.

rhyming long ago , aglow , didn't work

Apple of my eye , over used clichee

the whole section leading into
Standing by his side , bride ( predictable )

"Let them know peace and happiness , make their house a home ", yes well ...

Lyrically the only bit that got anywhere close to passable for me was the section ," as you pass from miss to mrs,...take his name " but that isn't strong enought to be the strong part of the song

There is NO original imagery in this song

You really need to expand you use of rhymes , looking at family rhymes , additive / subtractive rhymes consanant rhymes etc.

Chronologically you have things in the wrong order " from the first time you said daddy , to the first time you smiled , to the time you took you first step ". Any one with children knows they smile ( about six weeks ) LONG BEFORE THEY SAY DADDY and they walk before they talk .... Do you have children ? You need to write as though you know what you're writing about.

Love letters that they drew ??? ( I never drew a love letter myself , but I'm not a great romantic ...:( ) contrived rhyme to rhyme with through. I could go on .....

You've got a song where EVERYTHING is predictable or contrived . You can get away with elements of a song being predictable , but everything ? !! Melody ,harmony , rhyme , rhythme ( I din't really look at that , but on superficial listening I didn't hear a significant difference between the sections ) story line.

Song writing should be a balance of repetiton and change. Here you have over stepped the mark in repetition.

I've only been here and Muse's muse over the last two months though I've been writing for close to twenty years. I havn't reached the level that I want to and intend to reach.

My biggest complaint about the internet forums is that people are too nice about songs which in reality are mediocre , so when I posted a song for review I wasn't sure if people genuinely liked it or whether they were just being nice because they wanted me to be nice when I made comments about their songs, or maybe they didn't know the difference between a really good song and one that is passable .

I used to go to critique groups in Sydney and on a couple of occasions my wife came along. She referred to them ( to me ) as sheltered workshops.

Yes , sarah's song is a " nice song " and probably reflects what you felt at the time but does it cut it a potential commercial song ? . No . NO NO . No way . When I listen to a song I like to here at least one element , melodically or lyrically that is original . If it has either then there is potential . Sarah's song had neither.

I havn't spent much time reviewing songs on the net because I'm too busy too date . Occasionally I've heard something which I felt has potential and I've made comments on what I felt worked and what I felt didn't but when you get back comments back along the lines of " not all songs have the title in the song " WTF .... Occasionally a song can get away without the title in the song , but the ones that I can think or ( eg Annies song ) are brilliant

I like the critiques that Harriet does because she is honest about what she thinks and is insightfull , but most people on the forum arn't. They're being nice.

I've just finished an online course , and at home we're finishing building a new house while renovating the one we live in. At some stage I'll start posting and reviewing songs on a more regular basis. I just hope when I do that , people will give me their genuine opinions about my songs, and not just whether they think they're good or bad, but why they think so.

Sorry about this , but I've had a nice night out at an itailan restaurant and a couple too many glasses of " whine " , but the reality is that it is what I really think . Normally I'm too polite to say so frown

Brian . Should we have a critique section where people do say what they really think about a song as far as it's commercial potential ( or maybe they already do ...:( ) , as long as they give spoecific reason why it is so.

Cliff

" thinking about whether to delete post prior to pressing SUBMIT ( is there a message in there ... why not " enter" ) , ah bugger it ... "


How many song writers does it take to change a light bulb ?

Change !!!! WTF ....

I Ain't changing nuthin ....
#492763 - 04/14/07 12:31 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: cliff turner]  
Joined: Apr 2001
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Brian Austin Whitney Offline
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Indianapolis, IN USA
I started the Lyric/mp3 critique because I was tired of people getting back pats on weak songs. How can anyone get better if they truly don't realize they aren't doing so well now?

I had this same problem when I started. I used to get RAVES and more RAVES from the local folks at my local songwriting organization. I would win "song of the month" frequently... I thought I was really doing it all right. Then I had a wake up call in Nashville hearing truly top notch songs getting RIPPED apart by REAL publishers. I sat in meeting after meeting observing (and keeping my clueless mouth shut) learning the truth. Back then, I was simply the smartest kid in a VERY dumb class.

There was a time when JPF was better at doing critiques. I think for some reason folks have become good friends and thus checked their honesty at the door before commenting. It's great to have friends.. but real friends are honest with you. Why send a friend out to get their ass kicked by the hard crunch of reality simply because you wanted to pat their back instead of tell them straight up that they needed more work. I HATE it when people let friends record flawed songs in demos or for albums without at least pointing out the obviously flaws. You're NOT doing them a favor. Now, that doesn't mean attack the person or humiliate someone, but in the end, false praise is just as damaging as vicious attacks.

I truly think that Larry believes this is a good song. And I am saddened that no one has apparently EVER told him the truth about how bad this song really is. So he pitches it and get's turned down. OF COURSE it got turned down.. it's a badly written and performed song. All those supposed friends and fans let him down and put him out there to get t-boned by reality. The TAXI people were way too nice about this song too in my opinion. (So much for people thinking I always agree with them). I think they should have been far more pointed in their criticism and this is definitely NOT a 6 or 7. It's a weak 3 at best and more likely a solid 2 out of 10. At least 80% of the songs that come across my desk are better.

But if Larry has never heard the truth, then it's not hard to understand why he'd get pissed when it was rejected. You don't know what you don't know. But Larry can write a better song. Anyone can. You just need honest feedback, lots of practice, quality education, which you can get from books, critiques, direct interaction with a teacher or mentor or the hard way.. by getting sideswiped over and over while being self aware enough to understand what happened and that you need to improve.

TAXI was not wrong in not forwarding this. Anyone reading this post and listening to the track who is being honest and knows much about professional quality songs would have to agree. It doesn't make Larry a bad guy or a bad writer or artist.. it just means he needs better feedback and more work. And he needs to stop listening to the folks who praise this. Take the ego boost, but ignore the qualitative appraisals. Those folks are leading him down the wrong path. And I hope we can work towards making JPF a place to get friendly but HONEST feedback. Why would you want anything else?

Brian



Brian Austin Whitney
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Just Plain Folks
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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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#492766 - 04/14/07 12:47 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: cliff turner]  
Joined: Feb 2004
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Bill Robinson Offline
Bill Robinson  Offline

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Curmudgeonville, Tn
Larry
I won't repeat anything that's been said. Not much point in that.
I will tell you I talked to Walt Aldridge. He wrote I Loved Her First(with a cowriter).
He told me he had pitched that song for two years to every publisher in Nashville and it was turned down every time.
It was by chance that a emerging unknown band, Heartland, was looking for new material and they cut the song.
As an Indie they somehow got airplay, I don't know how, didn't ask.
The point is Walt had several number one hits under his belt and still no Nashville publisher would take the song.
You have to be a realist. You might have to pitch hundreds of songs before one gets picked or you might need to rewrite the song a hundred times until you hit that magic formula that makes the song great.
Don't give up on Taxi or any one else. Keep plugging away and refine your songs.
One thing to note.
At least with Taxi you get told why they rejected it. Most publishers don't say anything except NO. Thay don't even say thank you.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

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http://www.americansworking.com/
#492776 - 04/14/07 01:18 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Bill Robinson]  
Joined: Jun 2003
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DukeWill Offline
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DukeWill  Offline
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Louisiana, USA
I'll disregard the Taxi situation. Otherwise, I am amazed at the hostility toward this song. Is it something I would buy? No. Is it something I like? No. Do I think it's commercial radio material? No. Do I think a lot of people attending weddings would cry? Yes. Do I think brides or dads would buy it or pay Larry to sing it? Yes.

For what it is, I think it's pretty good. You bet it's cliche. Sometimes, I think that's GOOD for a song like this, not bad. Could it be better if it were not cliche? Yes. But I still think it can work for a lot of people. It's sappy as hell and I don't care for it but I honestly see how some people would think it's absolutely beautiful.

Good luck, Larry.

#492781 - 04/14/07 01:33 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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North County,San Diego,Ca
Hello one and All again,
Again for the record I never said the song was great. I never said it was my best. I said to be used in a video about a father to daughter song it's as acceptable as the others.
Again you must be a Father of a Daughter or the Daughter, or mother of the bride just to relate to it otherwise it's a very Ho Hum song!

I know It's an extremely limited song with an extremely limited market. I believe the point is being missed. FORGET THE SONG..
it's not about that song.
.................................................................
Vicki wrote about a TAXI member and I quote:

I began my Taxi membership 3 years ago totally frustrated with all the returns I got. A lot. When I finally sat back and began to listen to what was being said... that's when I began to grow as a songwriter. I got forwarded today to one of the biggest music libraries around. That's pretty remarkable, considering I had 50 to 60 returns in my first couple years
.................................................................
Ok... using Vikki's friend let's do the math...

3 years of membership fees at $ 299.95 total 899.85 plus let's take the low number 50 returns at $5 each which adds up to another $250.00. Now for a moment let's assume that the third year it was accepted on the first submission and forwarded so grand total according to the figures mentioned he paid $1149.85 to get one song forwarded and that's on the conservative side.

If he had another 50 returns in the third year before the a song was forwarded there's another $250 so now it's at $1399.85 just to get one song forwarded and that still does not guarantee the forwarded song will be signed.

For those of you whom TAXI is working for I am very happy for you
but I for one don't have unlimited funds to promote my music.

For me I feel it's better invested in other areas that actually provide me a return on what I invest in my music.

I appreciate the fact that this is an open forum board and that
we can say anything we want. I have read everyones comments and appreciate ALL feedback.



your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492785 - 04/14/07 01:37 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: DukeWill]  
Joined: Feb 2004
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Bill Robinson Offline
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Joined: Feb 2004
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Curmudgeonville, Tn
Bill
I don't think the hostility is really meant the way it's being interpreted.
You are right, lots of folks will love this song.
But, it is probably not commercially pitchable.
That is what I think is being said.
If we want to pitch a song it has to be a big notch above good.
Even Larry said it was not his best effort. That's hard to admit.
I am not sure why Larry would try to pitch a song that he didn't feel was good enough in the first place.

Larry, if you did not think the song was good, why did you try to pitch it? I'm not sure I understand that.


Bill
http://www.soundclick.com/billrobinson
http://www.dreamqueststudio.com
Skype; bill.robinson12

"The democracy will cease to exist when you take away from those who are willing to work and give to those who would not." --Thomas Jefferson didn't say it

http://voidnow.org/
http://www.americansworking.com/
#492798 - 04/14/07 02:22 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Bill Robinson]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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North County,San Diego,Ca
Bill,
The wedding song was being pitched to be used in wedding videos for some small production company. It was not being pitched for radio use.

If you listen to other wedding songs like Paul Stookey's
" There is Love " it's just as sing songy and mundane as that.. but hey it sold millions and it's still being used for weddings today with it's very predictable chords and melody.. just like mine... but hey it's a wedding not American Idol.

Quote from another post:
I remember reading a quote from Paul Stookey of Peter Paul and Mary about his song, "There is Love" one of the most played wedding songs of all time. I don't remember the exact quote but he said basically that the song was a throw away, not inspired, not genuine, and not very good; and that he was suprised how well it did. Maybe when it comes to that big day, people loose their judgement and hearing and become a little sappy.

Must be... since the same effect happens with mine.. I dunno why
but hey it's generating money and whats bad about that?

And YES in answer to another post. I am a father of a daughter and it was written for her wedding. Call me a an Ol softie it was written by her request because she knows how much I love her.

It was never intended to be a Radio Hit but many people heard the song at her wedding 2 years ago in So Carolina and kept asking for copies of it and it continues much to my surprise to keep gaining momentum.

So far from what I am aware of it's been used in over 80
weddings and more coming up.. so for that reason alone I leave it avaliable for those who feel it's a treasure.


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
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#492804 - 04/14/07 02:26 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: May 2005
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Hummingbird Offline
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
.................................................................
Vicki wrote about a TAXI member and I quote:

I began my Taxi membership 3 years ago totally frustrated with all the returns I got. A lot. When I finally sat back and began to listen to what was being said... that's when I began to grow as a songwriter. I got forwarded today to one of the biggest music libraries around. That's pretty remarkable, considering I had 50 to 60 returns in my first couple years
.................................................................
Ok... using Vikki's friend let's do the math...

3 years of membership fees at $ 299.95 total 899.85 plus let's take the low number 50 returns at $5 each which adds up to another $250.00. Now for a moment let's assume that the third year it was accepted on the first submission and forwarded so grand total according to the figures mentioned he paid $1149.85 to get one song forwarded and that's on the conservative side.

If he had another 50 returns in the third year before the a song was forwarded there's another $250 so now it's at $1399.85 just to get one song forwarded and that still does not guarantee the forwarded song will be signed.
_______________________________________________

This is incorrect. It's me I'm talking about, I had 50 - 60 returns in the first couple years; and I was pointing out that NOW I'm getting forwards to major players. Why did I get all those returns? Well, first of all, I didn't pay ANY attention to the needs of the listing. It didn't matter if they asked for traditional country or classic country or bluegrass, I sent them my blues song. If they asked for something a la Keith Urban, I sent them my Charlie Pride song. Secondly, my songs were total CRAP. The instant I wrote it, I thought it was GOLD and a HIT. Thirdly, my production SUCKED.

Now, you may think it's not worth $1,000 to get educated on the craft of songwriting by the likes of John Braheny, Pete & Pat Luboff, Michael Anderson, and other Taxi screeners. That's your opinion and you're entitled to it. I disagree, and that's why I'm still a member. I happen to think my investment of a paltry $300 a year, plus submission fees, is worth it. In particular, the Road Rally is well worth the price of membership. So you can add $2,500 times two for my attendence at Road Rally 2005 & 2006. Also add in the $4,000 I just spent on a custom built audio computer and software. Also add in the $75 per quarter that I pay to SongU so I can improve my songwriting. Not to mention my domains, web pages, business cards, CDs, etc etc etc. Or the $3000 to $4000 I spent to demo crappy songs before I knew what commercial viability meant.

I've been a student of voice for 17 years and the amount of money I put into my training from singing teachers, vocal coaches, repiteurs, university courses, etc adds up to thousands and thousands of $. But I consider it an investment in my singing & teaching career, and it has paid off. I'm well-respected for my singing and I have a huge waiting list for my vocal studio.

In my mind, I'm in the business of being a songwriter and I know that I have to invest in myself in order to rise to the top. I believe in myself, and I work very hard to bring in the income to pay into my music, and I believe that investment is paying off and will pay off more in the future. If I stay the course, if I'm willing to listen, learn & grow, and if I use well-respected vehicles like Taxi to access the market. IMO.


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
Be a FAN: http://www.reverbnation.com/vikkiflawith
#492814 - 04/14/07 02:45 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: Jan 2007
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Kaika Kale Offline
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Kaika Kale  Offline
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Posts: 277
New Hampshire, USA
This discussion reminds me of that great scene in the movie "Blues Brothers". The band has a gig at a honkeytonk and the stage is surrounded by chickenwire. The band attempts to do their thing and they get pelted by beer bottles and fried food. They finally break into the theme from "Rawhide" and later "Stand by Your Man" and the crowd goes nuts in appreciation.

I don't really know where I'm going with this, but in a word...who cares what they think. If you are unhappy ask Taxi for your money back and move on.

A lot of us are big fishes (or Clams grin) in little ponds that get knocked around when we swim into deeper water. You get better or you swim back into the shallows. Make a choice, move on, and be true to yourself. Best of luck.



"My Music, My Band, My Gear"
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#492820 - 04/14/07 03:00 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: Oct 2006
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Terry Moore Offline
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Terry Moore  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 691
United Kingdom
Hi Larry...Sarah's Song is a nice little song..but unfortunately thats about as far as i would rate it..personally i dont know that much about TAXI..(i'm based in the UK)only what i have observed by the posts on the message boards...I see M/S Flawith posted the actual Taxi Requirement Listing for the song.."A Wedding Song"....Father&Daughter would only be one theme..knowing some of the great wedding songs out there..to write anything which would have a snowball in hells chance of getting picked up...the writer would really need to come from a new angle...with contemporary lyrics..but a million miles removed from "cliche's" or anything predictable...something that brings emotional feelings to the fore,on such a special day..but musical wise it must be memorable...and it must either click in pretty quick..or build up to an emotional crescendo..with a top class lyric...and most of all..it must be able to "Touch" people....I know it is really hard when you think you have written the dog's "b*****ks" to have it ripped apart,but if you are going to compete with the best,"excellent" is probably the bottom line we are all looking at...my "worst " critics are my friends and family,by saying that i mean worst as in regards to telling the truth...my "best" critics are the punters i dont know from Adam...who appear at my gigs..hear a song for the first time..and buy a CD.....they cannot tell lies..they go by what their ear tells them...thats a connection...and it leads to word of mouth and other connections...to me personally,that is the only way in this business,,,network and build it up yourself..i would NEVER pay anyone to take my songs....i want them to pay me...Good Luck Larry....this business is all one big learning curve..Terry Moore

#492825 - 04/14/07 03:09 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Hummingbird]  
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 96
Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
Vikki,
I am happy TAXI is working for you. I am gald you are making headway. I wish you all the best and would be happy to help in any way I can to further your career. I am sorry if I did not understand it was yourself you were refering to.

I totally understand the investment in yourself. I do that alot too.

Like you I have Thousands invested in my Studio and all the other outside expenses cards, domain names, photos, etc!
Not to mention the thousands I have invested in Sound Support equipment PA's amplifiers, lighting, wardrobe and an RV for travel and living quarters on the road.

I have actually have made a living in this industry for over 30 years.

However I don't teach vocals like you but I have respect for your abilty to do so.

I am respected entertainer and make constant apperances on Local TV, Corporate Events, Street Fairs, Shows etc. Plus I have won so many contests I have lost count.

I have opened for many major acts in concert over the years and I never said you had not paid your dues.

I never said I disagree with your methods. Again if it works for you great!

TAXI just does not work for me. I am not afraid of cold calling and found for me I get futher going stright to the source.





your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492842 - 04/14/07 03:54 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: Jul 2005
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Bob Cushing Offline
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Joined: Jul 2005
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cincinnati oh usa
Just my 2 cents...I was once a Taxi member, but at some point I decided it wasn't the best avenue for me, and they refunded my money no questions asked.


bc
#492851 - 04/14/07 04:30 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Bob Cushing]  
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eb Offline
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eb  Offline
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Posts: 406
Georgia
I wrote out a long, detailed thing and lost it! So this one won't be so detailed.



  • Your song was good in my opinion.
    Your song had some novel stuff but was also full of old images used many times.
    Your song worked on a personal level but I'm not sure it would work on a national level.
    Your song sounded like Bill Gaither which is a complement in my book.
    The prayer at the end of the first chorus threw me for a loop. I'd move it to after the second verse. The song was about you either talking to the daughter or to yourself but then you start talking to God. That happens in real life I know but it jarred my boat ride through the smooth seas of your song.
    Ever woke up on a cold morning and had to run to a furnace to get warm? It was exciting when you got there but once you were there for a few minutes it was back to normal. Your use of "aglow" was like being there a few moments. It worked but it wasn't exciting.
    I liked the song more than disliked it but it didn't excite me to hear it for the most part. The "pink hearts and little ponies" line and the "pass from Miss to Mrs." line and "then two, then ten, then twenty" lines were exciting to me. They made me want to stay tuned.
    "Love letters that you drew" was cool. We usually think of "love letters you wrote." Did you realize that when you wrote it?


I don't know much about Taxi but think they are reasonably priced for what they do and I think they do good overall. Last week somebody at NSAI told me my lyrics were good enough to play for publishers. Tore my heart out. I listened to what they said though and found some value in their words. A critique is always going to be opinion but sometimes opinions are based on truth.
I thought the Taxi critique was fair to you but I also liked the song. In many ways, your song could play that a lot of great writers couldn't get because they are trying to make it on the radio. Your song "Sarah's Song" may fit that perfect little niche and resonate with enough dads that they buy it. It won't resonate with every dad though. Not every dad accepts their daughter's wedding as easily as you do in the song.

Keep on writing. Perk up the melodies a bit. You're a good writer.

Last edited by eb; 04/14/07 04:49 PM.
#492852 - 04/14/07 04:36 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Bob Cushing]  
Joined: Feb 2007
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Larry Read Offline
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Larry Read  Offline
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Posts: 96
North County,San Diego,Ca
Gezzzz,
( This is The last Post by me on this Subject )

It was never my intention to start a range war. I seem to have inadvertently offended several people in here by my posts and/or my insignificant wedding song and for whatever reason I don't know? I must have hit a nerve or something. But for that alone I offer up my sincere apology.

If I thought for one second it was going to evoke the angry and hostile responses I recived thus far I would have never wrote a single word. Frankly, I am quite a bit taken a back by all this.

I feel this subject has been run into the ground and deserves no more energy on anyones part. I'm done... with this subject but not with this website.

may you walk in light and love


your only a stranger once after that a new found friend
http://cdbaby.com/cd/larryread
http://www.LarryReadsMusic.com
Singer/Songwriter/Guitarist/Audio Engineer BMI &
Audio Engineering Society Member
#492854 - 04/14/07 04:49 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: May 2005
Posts: 2,401
Hummingbird Offline
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Victoria, B.C. Canada
Originally Posted by Larry Read
Vikki,
I am happy TAXI is working for you. I am gald you are making headway. I wish you all the best and would be happy to help in any way I can to further your career. I am sorry if I did not understand it was yourself you were refering to.

I totally understand the investment in yourself. I do that alot too.

Like you I have Thousands invested in my Studio and all the other outside expenses cards, domain names, photos, etc!
Not to mention the thousands I have invested in Sound Support equipment PA's amplifiers, lighting, wardrobe and an RV for travel and living quarters on the road.

I have actually have made a living in this industry for over 30 years.

However I don't teach vocals like you but I have respect for your abilty to do so.

I am respected entertainer and make constant apperances on Local TV, Corporate Events, Street Fairs, Shows etc. Plus I have won so many contests I have lost count.

I have opened for many major acts in concert over the years and I never said you had not paid your dues.

I never said I disagree with your methods. Again if it works for you great!

TAXI just does not work for me. I am not afraid of cold calling and found for me I get futher going stright to the source.





Hey Larry. I am absolutely of the opinion that Taxi doesn't work for everyone. That's why I said off the top, that if you aren't happy, ask for your refund - you will get it. The fact is that Taxi offers a money-back guarantee and stands by it. Anyone who is frustrated with their lack of success, or with the screening, etc., will get their money back. You implied that Taxi listings are fake & you said the success stories are fake too. I disagree with these statements. You said you've learned nothing of value from your Taxi membership, and, if that's the case, asking for a refund is the right thing to do. Even Taxi says it is only ONE way to market your music. Whatever you do, keep writing & producing. You will find your place.


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

12Feb10- *NEW BLOG: "BE YOUR OWN GURU ;)"

MY STORY & MY MUSIC: http://www.vikkiflawith.com
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#492855 - 04/14/07 04:55 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
Joined: Jun 2006
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eb Offline
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eb  Offline
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Georgia
I wrote out a long, detailed thing and lost it! So this one won't be so detailed.


  • Your song was good in my opinion.
  • Your song had some novel stuff but was also full of old images used many times.
  • Your song worked on a personal level but I'm not sure it would work on a national level.
  • Your song sounded like Bill Gaither which is a complement in my book.
  • The prayer at the end of the first chorus threw me for a loop. I'd move it to after the second verse. The song was about you either talking to the daughter or to yourself but then you start talking to God. That happens in real life I know but it jarred my boat ride through the smooth seas of your song.
  • Ever woke up on a cold morning and had to run to a furnace to get warm? It was exciting when you got there but once you were there for a few minutes it was back to normal. Your use of "aglow" was like being there a few moments. It worked but it wasn't exciting.
  • I liked the song more than disliked it but it didn't excite me to hear it for the most part. The "pink hearts and little ponies" line and the "pass from Miss to Mrs." line and "then two, then ten, then twenty" lines were exciting to me. They made me want to stay tuned.
  • "Love letters that you drew" was cool. We usually think of "love letters you wrote." Did you realize that when you wrote it?


I don't know much about Taxi but think they are reasonably priced for what they do and I think they do good overall. Last week somebody at NSAI told me my lyrics were good enough to play for publishers. Tore my heart out. I listened to what they said though and found some value in their words. A critique is always going to be opinion but sometimes opinions are based on truth.

I thought the Taxi critique was fair to you but I also liked the song. In many ways, your song could play that a lot of great writers couldn't get because they are trying to make it on the radio. Your song "Sarah's Song" may fit that perfect little niche and resonate with enough dads that they buy it. It won't resonate with every dad though. Not every dad accepts their daughter's wedding as easily as you do in the song.

Keep on writing. Perk up the melodies a bit. You're a good writer.


#492876 - 04/14/07 06:38 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: eb]  
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Samuel Harris Offline
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Samuel Harris  Offline
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Pleasant Hill, Oregon
Larry, Like you, I will make this my last post on the subject- Here is why you got so much flack on your post: Number 1, you said Taxi (and I am not a member) was not a good value because they say the same damn things about all the songs and you implied that they don't no how to identify a good song then.....2. you gave us exhibit A- Sarah's Songs. So you were inviting us to listen and confim how wrong TAXI could be. But when we listened to Exhibit A, it confirmed TAXI had it right!

Nobody here was trying to be mean but some of us couldn't help responding to the apparenty dichotomy between your judgement about the song, which was meant to show us how wrong TAXI was, and the actual song which proved exactly the oposite. I rest my case. No hard feelings. I wish you the best.


"Imagination is more important than knowledge." - Albert Einstein
#492895 - 04/14/07 08:00 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Larry Read]  
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Jody Whitesides Offline
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Park City, UT, USA
Originally Posted by Larry Read
Which begs into question of the legitimacy of the lead.
Was the lead was fake to begin with after all they are supposed to be working for you to get your material into the hands of a REAL A&R guys who can actually take it to the next level.

I definitely question the validity of thier supposed A&R people. Seems to me I have better odds of winning lotto than getting anything forwarded. As far as I am concerned I have recived nothing of value from this organization.

Larry, I'm betting you'll still read this thread. So here is my response. First, I know first hand the A&R people they have in their offices. They are actual A&R people from the labels that have offices around Los Angeles. Why do I know this? Well, I did a one year test of TAXI. I got a ton of forwards but no deals. I thought it was weird to get so many forwards and have nothing come of it. I live near the offices so I would occasionally take my submissions in in person. I got to know some of the staff. I got to see the A&R people there listening. I recognized a lot of them. They are real people who are real A&R people. Don't doubt the legitimacy of their staff, it's not supposed, it is real.

Originally Posted by Larry Read
This song is the one I went back and did a full blown radio ready version only to be told the next go around it's not close enough to what the listing asked for. either way the results the same.. REJECT that's my beef..

How do you know that your production skills match that of what is going on in today's market? Do you sit and listen to modern production techniques? Do you listen to current artists at all for their production quality? Just because you have the gear doesn't mean you'll achieve modern results.

Originally Posted by Larry Read
A small foot note I have sold 216 downloads in the last 4 weeks of that song to people who want it for thier wedding.

That's fantastic. But what in the hell does this have to do with forwarding a song to a listing? Making music sales is not, I repeat, NOT the same as having to impress the ears of an A&R guy, let alone the end business looking for songs. Maybe you need to make a website for selling the song to wedding organizers. Or better yet, just go to wedding organizers. Did you ever think of that?

Originally Posted by Larry Read
Ok this makes total sense to me. I am one of those guys who when asked who do you sound like... ALWAYS SAYS

I sound like me... original ... so for me I guess taxi won't work
thanks..

Let me point something out with that logic. I used to say the exact same thing and it was fucking impossible to get most people to listen. Why? Because most people need to have a reference as to whether or not they'll even like the style before they waste time listening. Marketing 101, know your market, know how to present to them. Everyone loves to believe they're original. Reality is, less then one tenth of 1% ever are. Guess what, you have to let other people say what you sound like and whether or not you really are truly original. I know what I sound like, I'm not afraid to tell people what I sound like, and I let other people say if I'm original or not (Brian can attest to whether or not I'm original, blah, blah, blah). Even if you are the exception, it doesn't change the rule.

I've been running a blog called Single of the Day for about 9 months now. At this point, I won't bother with someone that says they're original and doesn't give me much else to go on. Why? Because it's a waste of my time. I screen so much music for my little blog that I'll usually only give a song about 30 seconds of a listen. If the artist's voice, production, timing, ability to tune an instrument, etc, isn't grabbing me in some way shape or form, I move on. My policy is I don't even respond to a musician/band for the blog unless I specifically put them up, then I tell them. It's not my job to tell them why I rejected it. I have other things I need to do, and worry about my own career at the same time.

I tried TAXI despite being warned by Brian that I wasn't right for it. But I tried specifically for Film/TV listings. I thought I might have better luck with those. Even though I got good feedback and lots of forwards. I still didn't strike up any deals. Know what TAXI told me? That sometimes you have to have your name in front of people several times before they'll do a deal with you. Thus, you'd need multiple forwards to the same company. I finally chose not to renew as I felt it wasn't the right thing for me. I know who I am. I know my music. I respect Brian's view, even if I sometimes ignore it. The difference for me is that Brian told me up front that I was beyond the normal needs of TAXI, but I chose to do it anyway.

Based on what you're venting and what I've heard, you could stand to listen to their critiques. Yet instead you choose to vent frustration, and ignore that which could help you. Just because you've been in the business for 30 years, numerous awards, gear, blah, blah, blah, doesn't mean you're relavent to a TAXI listing. It doesn't mean every licensor should bow down to you. There's a saying in the film industry that holds equal value in music - You're only as good as your last project (I'm paraphrasing).

Another thing that I tend to forget even for myself is when Brian tells me how hard it is to make your living solely on music. If you have truly been doing that, then like me, you're lucky. It's been stated here before but I'll repeat it. If you ask TAXI for your money back, they'll give it back to you. I'll also add that I think you're looking at this the wrong way and are ignoring the reviews to your detriment. When you start getting 9's & 10's on your feedback and then you're getting rejected with no forward (provided it's right for the listing), then it might be time to bitch.

Jody


Jody Whitesides
A Funky Audio Lap Dance For Your Ears!
www.jodywhitesides.com
#492898 - 04/14/07 08:18 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Samuel Harris]  
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cliff turner Offline
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Sydney Australia
Seems like a lot of people making their last post smile

I have one last point to make . Even though Paul Stookey may have thought the Wedding song ( there is love ) was a throw away song ( he wrote it for a friends wedding and never intended to record it from what I remember ). The reality is he was ( as you are in describing it as mundane ) wrong.

The first time I heard it , it brought a tear to my eye , and it obviously had a similar reaction with many other people. For emotional tear jerkers , for me it's up there with Cat's in the Craddle and In the Getto. Great songs don't have to be brilliant or complex. They have to be a unity. Wedding song is one such song, every thing works together perfectly.

I remember hearing one of the members of Deep Purple talking about their guitarist first playing " that riff " and none of them thought " wow , we've written a classic " . Took a while to realise that they'd written something that was going to annoy the crap out of music stores around the world for the next tweny years.

Are people being hostile to you ? I can certainly see that you could see it that way but I don't think that was the intention of anyone who replied to your post.

You obviously know how to write a good song. For me the hardest thing about writing a song is being able to review my own material and know whether what I've written is just competent , good or really good. To do that you need to have honest feedback from people you trust and then be honest with yourself when you listen to your writing.

I know you don't know me from a bar of soap but I'm trying to be honest with you as I think everyone else was. Please don't take offense.

Cliff


Last edited by cliff turner; 04/14/07 08:18 PM.

How many song writers does it take to change a light bulb ?

Change !!!! WTF ....

I Ain't changing nuthin ....
#492909 - 04/14/07 09:18 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: cliff turner]  
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Steve Ross Offline
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Steve Ross  Offline
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East Coast
Here's my last post on the topic. It was Bob's Country Bunker where the Blues Brothers bolted with a massive bar tab. Wish that joint was around here.....

#492924 - 04/14/07 10:12 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: cliff turner]  
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Doug/Liszt Laughing Offline
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Doug/Liszt Laughing  Offline
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Indiana
Man, who cares what TAXI or Brian or anybody else thinks of your song? It obviously connects with some people, has utility, and you enjoy playing it, so it sounds pretty successful to me. That's all that matters. Sell a zillion copies of it on your own and laugh all the way to the bank...

It's not something I would listen to over and over, but I don't like Frank Zappa either and his life went on just fine without me...

Now, having said that, I can see why TAXI wouldn't forward it. Do you think they would have forwarded "There Is Love"? If I was risking my reputation on it, I wouldn't have forwarded it either. And Jody makes some good points about maybe TAXI isn't right for everybody. But I also think you have plenty of independent feedback (not just family and friends) from CUSTOMERS that say, hey this song has value to me. We can all stare at something and pick it apart, but what a critic has to say means nothing when you have an audience and paying customers that enjoy what you do. I'd just admit to myself (as you have) that maybe this isn't the best thing I have ever done, so some people will dismiss it, but some people really like it and I'll ride that for all it's worth!

Last edited by Liszt Laughing; 04/14/07 10:19 PM.

Boo...my name is Doug
#492933 - 04/14/07 10:30 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Doug/Liszt Laughing]  
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Bob Cushing Offline
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cincinnati oh usa
Bingo!


bc
#492956 - 04/14/07 11:37 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Doug/Liszt Laughing]  
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Rick Norton Offline
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Rick Norton  Offline
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St. Augustine, FL
Hi Larry...

If I was putting on a wedding, I wouldn't hesitate using your song. Most people don't care what music bigwigs think about songs. Each person will connect to a song for a different reason. That being said I don't think the production is good enough to use as a finished song. If I could do anything half this good I'd be estatic, but these people are looking for pristine recordings.

I wish you luck with this and do think you could sell a lot more copies if you promote it yourself. Lyrically it's as good as that Heartland song that was rejected countless times.

Rick

#493100 - 04/15/07 12:34 PM Re: TAXI'S supposed A&R have read too many books on songwriting [Re: Rick Norton]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
The best and final judge of a song is the listening public,they don't analize a song and put it under a microscope like "those in the know" does.Unfortunately, for a song to reach the public it has to get past so many judges and screeners who are worried about their reputation,that the public never get to hear them.Many of the "dogs" that do make it to the airwaves say nothing,but structurally,they may be perfect,so they get past the screeners,but not necessarily accepted by the public.I'm sure most of the radio program directors don't know a good song from a hole in the ground,they just go by the charts and play what the charts say is a good song.

I once wrote and recorded a "Mother" song,which was a bit too sappy for the local DJs,so it got very little airplay,until a student DJ took over so the regular DJs could go on vacation.She must have loved her mother and the song struck a chord with her,she started playing it in rotation,the public heard it,loved it and bought it.So any song that makes it has to run the gauntlet of screeners, publishers, producers, artist, labels ,
promoters, program directors and DJs,then the public.No wonder so few good songs make it to the public.If a writer has to write to please all those people,it sort of impedes your artistic ability to create outside the box that you are told to write in.No wonder every thing sounds the same or mediocre.I say write to please yourself first and you may be surprised how many people will like what you write,maybe the screeners won't,but you'll feel better.

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