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#853037 - 10/25/10 01:05 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ott Lukk (D)]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Originally Posted by Ott Luk

"Living Room Writers"? I show my naivete' by admitting I've never heard that term before.



I wish that I could be a 'living room writer'.

Unfortunately, though, 'er indoors doesn't like me typing on my laptop computer and messing around with my MIDI keyboard in the living room, not even if I'm wearing headphones.

This is, of course, one of life's greatest injustices.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#853040 - 10/25/10 01:19 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Marc,
Several years ago, maybe in 1994 we took a trip to the West coast and back to the East coast on a vacation. About 3 weeks in all. As we traveled I tuned in the local Radio Stations to see what was playing at that time. About 90 percent of the time there was nothing that was worth listening to. Those that describe todays offerings, all generes, as Junk aren't kidding. Today's Country is at the top of the list as the best of mostly a poor lot of music being offered out there. Agreed some music, all generes, is pretty good but it is pretty rare to find anything that amounts to a tinkers dam. It has been written about too often to mention here.



I don't suppose it would occur to you, Ray, that your complaints about "today's offerings" merely reflect a generation gap that you are unable or unwilling to bridge?

Or that you're only saying what your parents probably said about the music of your generation and what their grandparents probably said about the music of your parents' generation?

I keep hearing exciting new music all of the time, especially online at sites like SoundCloud.

Most people, including musicians it seems, appear to settle their musical tastes in the late teens and early twenties. Then they go have families, careers, prison or whatever and don't find the time to seek out anything new. 20 or so years later, they emerge from the child raising ordeal and start to get interested again, but they're straightjacketed by whatever styles they were into two or three decades previously.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#853049 - 10/25/10 02:22 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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Ok Steve,
Name some music that you can recommend, that I can go to my local record store and purchase. Probably all the music that is being played on the Major Radio Stations is avaliable in the local record stores. Name a CD that is out in the last 2 years that you recommend that I can purchase in the local record store.

I have been listening to most music since the early 50's. I don't dismiss today's music as all bad. But when you've heard plenty of good music and then you hear poor stuff it doesn't take a genius to recogonize it as mediocre. It is not easy to write a good song. The Record Labels want the Artist's to write their own songs so they don't have to pay the full mechanical royalities like they would if they took outside songs to record. Very few Artists are good writer's. Hence the continuing complaints of poor offerings from the Major Labels.

I have heard stuff so badly recorded and on the Airwaves one wonders who is making the decisions at the Labels.

But name me a good CD you can recommend from todays offerings.

Last edited by Ray E. Strode; 10/25/10 02:24 PM.

Ray E. Strode
#853123 - 10/25/10 08:51 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Steve Cooke Offline
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Originally Posted by Ray E. Strode
Ok Steve,
Name some music that you can recommend, that I can go to my local record store and purchase. Probably all the music that is being played on the Major Radio Stations is avaliable in the local record stores. Name a CD that is out in the last 2 years that you recommend that I can purchase in the local record store.

I have been listening to most music since the early 50's. I don't dismiss today's music as all bad. But when you've heard plenty of good music and then you hear poor stuff it doesn't take a genius to recogonize it as mediocre. It is not easy to write a good song. The Record Labels want the Artist's to write their own songs so they don't have to pay the full mechanical royalities like they would if they took outside songs to record. Very few Artists are good writer's. Hence the continuing complaints of poor offerings from the Major Labels.

I have heard stuff so badly recorded and on the Airwaves one wonders who is making the decisions at the Labels.

But name me a good CD you can recommend from todays offerings.



Well, such an exercise would only have value if you and I had broadly similar tastes in music, the same attitudes towards new styles, equivalent levels of objectivity and even, perhaps, a shared idea of how culture develops and history progresses.

Otherwise, I name an album which I think is great and you will simply say, nah, it's rubbish, not a patch on the stuff that was produced back in the day.

You also set conditions for the method of distribution (CD format, your local record store) and promotion ("major radio stations") that don't necessarily reflect the realities of how music is consumed in the modern world - potentially ruling out some artists who actively choose to do things in different ways.

Quickly glancing at my CD collection, though, I'd name these five albums as high quality releases from the last two years.


Massive Attack - Heligoland
Grindermen - Grindermen 2
Alabama 3 - Revolver Soul
LCD Soundsystem - Ths Is Happening
Elbow - The Seldom Seen Kid

But you're only really going to like those if they're to your taste already.

Beyond the CD racks, though, I hear a lot of excellent music online via websites such as SoundCloud - often created by artists who aren't remotely interested in pursuing the methods of distribution you've mentioned.


Steve Cooke
Stockton-on-Tees, UK
http://wwww.soundcloud.com/stevecooke
#853186 - 10/26/10 12:35 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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"All cuts are inside, and have been for many years"
Marc: That post was the most truthful litany about the Nashville scene that I've ever read. Got lyrics? So does everyone else. Got great songs? So does everyone else. Got great connections? Well, not so much like a lot of people who are actually there . . .
The ironic realization that I came to, was that though talent might give you a shot, relationships come first.
In a lot of businesses, the complaint that you "had to know people to be successful" is regarded as a cop-out. You've opened my eyes. In the music business, it's a fact.
Ott

#853220 - 10/26/10 03:08 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ott Lukk (D)]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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Ott,

It is not who YOU know. It is WHO knows YOU and how they know you. It is why it takes so long. We crawl before we walk. Walk before we run.

In everything you do in this town, you are in a partnership. Every song is a marraige. And most of them fail, go no where. It is planting seeds. Song seeds. Everything have much more involved than just the physical writing of songs.

A friend of mine has had four number ones in the past two years. I saw him at the studio about two weeks ago and he said "I thought it would get easier once you get hits. It only just starts."

If you can think about what you do for a living and imagine that everyone around you does the same things. And the customers for whatever you do, products, services, etc. are VERY finite. You have to be better, faster, more efficeint AND politically aware more so than your competition. Much of the competition is from friends of yours. But it is still competition.

You have to know people you work with. If you were a builder and have earned your way up the ladder over years of work, you are not going to just partner up with anyone. You have your favorite subcontractors, plumbers, roofers, suppliers, etc. that you have worked with and gotten to know over the years. You know that you can depend on their reputation and they will make you look good.

Music is the same thing. We are all doing exactly the same thing. But if you meet someone that moved into town the same time you did, who was there waiting 6 hours on a writers night to play the open mic at the end of the show, who hung out in late night coffee shops with. Who was there when you needed someone to help you move. On and On and on.

Those are relationships. And if you trace ANYONE who EVER worked in this town and was successful AS WELL AS THOSE WHO WEREN'T SUCCESSFUL, you find those permeating every aspect there is.

Just like you wouldn't accept someone barging into your business and depriving you of your livelyhood, the people who are at the top of the pyramid are not going to allow that either. But as you work your way through the relationships and befriend those at various levels and then are involved with people who WILL be on top of the pyramid, that is what it is all about. And the pyramid constantly changes.

You are either changing with it or it changes without you.

MAB

#853222 - 10/26/10 03:15 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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A "living room writer" is one that as it says, rarely ventures out past their living room. They don't interact with any music or social community, their songs are mostly written,recorded and kept within the confines of that medium.

And there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. It is not really a term of level of the writer.Just their interaction. The thing they miss however are passions and reactions from audience members.

The introduction of new music to the public is 98% live performance. You are 70% most likely to hear about new music from someone sending a link to a web site, an MP3,a service, etc. And those people usually have experienced that act live, either in person early in the career or later on television, or major concerts, etc. But most all of it starts in small clubs and venues and social networking. The Internet is the thing that spreads it around, but since their are millions of artists and billions of songs,finding a niche there is very hard to say the least.

So the "living room" writers tend to miss the face to face intereaction that performers or writers in a "loop" of writing, attending shows, do.

It is all about meeting people and getting "flesh in the game." The expectations are pretty high.

MAB

#853225 - 10/26/10 03:29 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ott (and all)

If you want to see and hear a lot of this from the horses mouths that actually comprise this industry, writers, artists, producers, record labels, managers, etc. try this site:

www.musicstartshere.org

It is something we have put together over the past couple of years that act as a guide on what we do here. It may help explain some of the things I talk about by people who can do it much better than I can.

MAB

#853227 - 10/26/10 03:50 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Thanks for posting the link Marc. It's a great site.

Carlos


Carlos Tabora
Songwriter/Pianist
CarlosTaboraMusic.com

#853466 - 10/26/10 11:20 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Carlos Tabora]  
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Ott Lukk (D) Offline
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Marc:
Interesting site, listened to a couple of videos and signed on. Who knows who I might meet?
Ott

#853468 - 10/26/10 11:23 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ott Lukk (D)]  
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Marc Barnette Offline
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That's the idea.

MAB

#862006 - 12/03/10 01:29 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Ron Rust Offline
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I completely agree here. I am new around here but not new at all. I have 4 daughters age 20 down to 4. 3 of my kids are in the "teen" years and they all 3 relate to Taylors music. She has a knack to make it so simple yet so unique.

My oldest grew up with Taylors first songs, my 17 year old is roughly the same age and going thru the same experiences. My 13 year old is looking up to Taylor as a role model. It works for all three as well as myself. I enjoy the music and the story. I was once young and goofy in love. I was once carefree and looked at life thru the eyes of a conquerer. It all relates, pure genius!

I know I wish I wrote most if not all of her music!

#863101 - 12/08/10 09:20 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Marc Barnette]  
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Originally Posted by Marc Barnette
Kevin,

I really don't even like getting back into this. What she does appeals to her crowd and I am here to tell you that most of the biggest hit writers in this town are very impressed with her writing. Most of the time a lot of them say "I wish I'd written that."

MAB


It's like most Diane Warren songs. On the face many of them seem pretty elementary and cliche lyrically, but taken as a whole, I sure wish I wrote some of them.

Last edited by ViViv; 12/08/10 09:20 PM.
#863104 - 12/08/10 09:27 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Steve Cooke]  
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ViViv Offline
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Re: What do the Publishers Want?

I'm not gonna name drop, but the best advice I ever got from a very successful Nashville publisher was the following: (paraphrasing) "In Nashville, everyone and their dog will tell you how to write, what to write and who to write it with, my advice is to write what YOU like and let the chips fall where they may".

I think this advice is based on the premise that you're already at a certain level with your writing, understand the basics and can write a decent song to begin with.

Last edited by ViViv; 12/08/10 09:28 PM.
#863500 - 12/10/10 04:17 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Ron Rust]  
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What a crazy great thread,it's jumping all over the place constantly.

I would like to thank Marc personally for taking the time to elaborate and TYPE so much here smile thanks MAB it's very insightful into a WORLD of music.

Of course these discussions vary and drift into all kinds of things related to music and music business. One thing I have noticed is where many people don't find and match all the ingredients of music and the biz and society past & present.

One issue that is always a debate of some kind is what's good?
Talent? I'm gonna do a thread about it soon, and that's just being able to identify things for what they are, why they are what's the upside, downside and how things seem to work.

On the Publishing question, Ande gave a GREAT response. Also want to add that you need to recognize what has changed. It's like Publishers want SUCCESS. Well hey the publisher often used to be the road to it... You are NOBODY with nothing and you create and step two seek a publisher.
They screen your song if (submittable) and they look to place it, sign you! as a writer and make a profit.
What a concept huh? smile Where did it go? Even they put popularity first.

On all other issues the big KEY word is PERSPECTIVE. It always comes down to that. And even if your in "The Living Room" all the time. You still have to imagine, and look at the perspectives outside in the other world. At least see the why"s and why not's.

All the best
Mike


Thanks!
Peace Mike
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#863535 - 12/10/10 09:53 AM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: Mike Caro Substudio]  
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For as long as I can remember talent has had very little to do with success.....somehow I do not think things will change much in the future. It has and always will be about knowing people and making connections...talent is an afterthought....OK every now and then someone with real talent shines through....but nearly always there are exceptions to any rule and believe me the amount of truly talented people as opposed to the amount manufactured pop star with no real talent who make it are the exception. Mediocrity rules......I sometimes wonder if the truly gifted songwriters and musicians are deliberately stymied because the "mediocres" are afraid of them.
The real heroes are the producers, musicians and sound engineers behind the scenes. Very rarely do these people get the full recognition and creditation they deserve. Most pop stars would be exposed as shams without them.

#863579 - 12/10/10 02:10 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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"Tampa Stan" Good (D) Offline
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I've enjoyed Just Lurking & letting Marc do most of the Heavy Lifting here... I'll agree a bit with Big Jim, yet add that MAYBE some of those "More-Talented" folks didn't get-along-as-WELL as the Less-Talented DID with "The Right People". At the "Right Time".

Marc's right about the need to PERFORM if you wanna be a Serious Songwriter. Audiences are tricky/only way to Understand an Audience is to Sing for a Few..More-the-Better. (But..since I can't memorize or play any instrument worth-a-lick, I'm content to be a "Livingroom Writer" as opposed to being a NON Writer.)

As for What Publishers Wsnt: These are folks whose Careers are Always On The Line. &..I well-remember NashvilLady Barbara Cloyd..as she picked up a Gospel Song at a Crit Session...& was gonna pass it Upwards TO a Publisher..& I Quote:

"I'm passing this along NOT because it makes YOU Look Good, but because it makes ME Look Good." (& Barbara's about one of the Most HONEST Folks I know in NashCity...) It was a Great Quotation..&..I think certainly continues to Apply regarding "What Publishers Want."

EVERY Publisher wants that NEXT "Million-Seller" but they're all scared-to-death of Someone's Stuff they've never heard-of-before.
(Due partly to the Lawsuits Incurred...from publishing a song that's "Been-Lifted".) So...you may well HAVE penned that HIT..but unless you're "Safe" to deal-with, don't expect a deal.

Good Luck at The Game...GET that Cut (any way ya can)..Get "Safe"...Get Better at it...KEEP Writing...& DO pay attention to What Works TODAY...'cuz "The Rules" do change pretty Constantly.

Best Wishes/Big Hugs,
Stan

#863630 - 12/10/10 07:37 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: "Tampa Stan" Good (D)]  
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Stan it always puzzles me that folk who's career is consistantly on the line can keep putting forward and get away with all the mediocre crap we hear.....How do they get away with it? Now we say that there is much better songs and artists out there....I know that for a fact...I am not just talking about having a different taste or one mans meat I am talking about hearing on an almost daily basis acts and songs who even on a bad day could run rings around anything else out there. Lets face it the bar is not set very high. I get called sour grapes or a naysayer for saying that Justin Beiber and the like are mediocre and have little talent....I sometimes wonder if the public at large have eyes, ears or any taste. I saw him lip sync on TV and even the track he was lip syncing to was woeful. Was he jumping about etc...the normal excuse for lip sync...hell no he was stood still. That does not make my blood boil what does is the punters who cannot see through this type of garbage and the Simon Cowell type folk who promote it. We try to get better to compete....does that mean dropping our levels down to theirs. If it was not so serious I would be having a good laugh at the world of popstars. Sadly they are the ones holding up the finger at everyone else who they must know outshine them.

#863634 - 12/10/10 07:57 PM Re: What do the Publishers Want? [Re: BIG JIM MERRILEES]  
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yann Offline
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Publishers want to keep their job in a world of free downloads. The time to take chances is long gone. They no longer own the luxury to try and educate anyone. They provide what is asked, full stop. Some audiences ask better quality than others, that's why you still have interesting stuff going on in some areas.

best wishes,
Yann


"Honey, I know, I know, I know times are changin' / It's time we all reach out 4 something new" (Prince)

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Yann-Causeret/113543418669413?ref=nf
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