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Mangelwurzel Exploded Over a Frenzied Crowd at Newtown Social Club

It was quiet for a Saturday night in Newtown, aside from the occasional inebriated Kings Cross dropout, bringing his lifeless irritation elsewhere due to recent legislative force. Upon entering Newtown Social Club, the scene was similar but with an air of possibility and anticipation for the events to take place. The fabled, self-confessed weirdos Mangelwurzel were to ply lucky attendees with...

Negotiating the Delicate Art of Drum Miking

Among sound engineers, musicians and almost everyone involved in the music production business, the quest for the right drum sound has taken on mythic status. Why? Well, many factors are at play. Firstly, in the canon of major rock recording throughout history, truly magical drum sounds have indeed been reproduced on tape. Then there is the multitude of methods for tracking...

Beck Impresses Mightily in Las Vegas

When I had last caught Beck at Coachella in April 2014, the ageless singer-songwriter-guitarist was performing on the main stage in front of 100,000 music fans in Indio, California, fresh on the heels of the recent release of his stunning disc "Morning Phase" (released in February 2014, the disc would go on to win Album of the Year and Best Rock ...

Fender Deluxe Reverb - The Most Played, Recorded & Sought After Amp in Music History

Fender have spawned countless classic pieces of musical equipment since the company’s inception in 1946. Many have been innovative, some genre-defining while other have been flops (wrong for their time or just plain weird). Then there’s another category, one that sits above the others on a plane of untouchability. Few pieces of musical equipment can boast such ...

The Dos and Don’ts of Co-Writing

Looking back over twenty-plus years to my first songwriting efforts, I remember my creative process as so personal and fragile that I was dead certain I would never open it up to another person. This would have seemed like co-painting or more like co-dating...just not going to happen. However, two things DID happen. One, I moved to Nashville, Tennessee, the co-writing capital of the...

Five Pre-Songwriting Demo Mistakes (And How to Avoid Them)

The professional songwriting demo process is a necessary part of the equation for songwriters aspiring to get their material heard by music industry decision-makers and, hopefully, cut by successful recording artists. Despite the fact that hundreds of demos are recorded every week in places like Nashville, New York and Los Angeles, new songwriters often find themselves overwhelmed and...

Business Etiquette Hits the Circular File

Over the last several years, I’ve noticed companies and individuals in the business world adopting an old saying as their business practice: Ignorance is bliss. If we pretend you didn’t call or email us, then we don’t have to respond. But, what does that say about your business acumen? A friend of mine, who is a tour manager with a major recording...

The Benefits of Stripping Down Your Song Demos

Let’s begin at the beginning. You’ve written a song and, hopefully, you’re thrilled with it. So thrilled, in fact, that you want to record it right away and use every instrument in both the Western and Eastern musical traditions on the song demo. I don’t blame you one bit. There’s nothing more fun than dressing up your songs to go to town. But it might make sense to stop and...

Four Practical Dos and Don'ts for Different Songwriting Methods

“Which do you write first, the music or the words?” This is the classic question that all songwriters get asked. In my experience, there’s no easy - or correct - answer to this one. Sometimes it’s the music, sometimes it’s the lyrics and, often, it’s some mystical, organic combination of the two. More importantly, there is no one way to write a song. Some of the best and...

What Do Music Producers Do?

Working as a producer for the last twenty years, I’ve recorded all kinds of artists from “fresh off the boat” newbies to artists whose experience in the world of music doubles my own. In every case, my role as a producer stays essentially the same. It’s that role that I’m going to describe in this article. What Is A Music Producer & What Do Music Producers Do? The best way I know to...

URGENT WARNING: Beware of NBC/Universal's "Songland" Submission Form

Several clients of mine have brought this to my attention, so I thought I would address it here. The NBC/Universal submission agreement for the "Songland" TV show states that NBC will own all rights to use and exploit all of your songs involved in the show including the songs you submit in the initial application. You would also purportedly be giving up your song even if you do not get...

KISS Singer Paul Stanley Proves He Has Plenty of Soul at the Coach House

It's no surprise there were plenty of KISS fans on hand at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, CA on Feb. 26, 2016 to catch the Orange County debut of singer-guitarist Paul Stanley's new group dubbed Soul Station. But what may have been a bit surprising to some unschooled members of the capacity crowd was not only the complete lack of any KISS classics in the set list, but...

Effective Practicing: Chord Transitions

Do you know how to practice? We all want to improve our skills, but it can be hard to know where to start or how to go about it. A good percentage of people who come to my studio have played for years but feel like they stopped improving a long time ago, and need guidance on what to do. So a lot of my work is focused exactly in this area: how to figure out what exactly to...

The Griswolds’ 6 Step Guide to Secret Garden Success

Everybody’s favourite adult playground, Secret Garden, will soon be blowing minds at the end of the month. A simple farm in Sydney’s south west will be transformed into a wonderland that even C.S Lewis will have a hard time fathoming. It may be your first time as a gardener, and with the lineup still remaining a mystery you may be at a loss of how to make the most of your time there. After...

Songwriter Collaboration and Co-Writer Agreements - What They Mean and How They Work

Under the US copyright law, an author or creator owns a copyright in his or her work the moment it is “fixed in a tangible medium” (i.e., the moment the expression of an idea is written down or recorded in some manner). When it comes to the recorded music business there are two primary copyrights of interest: one in the musical composition or song; another in the sound recording of that song.
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