If it’s too loud, you’re too old… or maybe the soundman’s just a jerk

It’s insanely loud at way too many shows.  

I don’t believe it has any relation to my age because I do enjoy harder music sometimes.


I’m talking about the piercing pain threshold that a venues’ exploding sound system seems to dance around.  

If you notice the soundman, controller of the giggawatts* amplitubes* and general fury, is typically wearing earplugs.  

That’s nice that he’s protecting his ears from the onslaught of sound he’s just unleashed onto the rest of the unsuspecting folks who just wanted to have a good time.  

Thanks dinglebat

If you see the guy in corner with the bleeding ears, that probably just means he’s wants to rock even harder.  

seriously though, 

One side effect of that mess is that I’m savoring beautiful sounding live music.  

When I go to the Green Mill to hear some jazz, I can stand 15 ft from the performers and get a hit from this GIANT wall of sound. 

Or when I got the opportunity to record a local choir and hear 100 people singing their hearts out in a majestic harmony.  

It’s not harsh.  it’s not piercing.  it doesn’t make you wish you could stuff cotton in your ears.  

It’s warm and inviting.  The sound will caress your ears and ease your soul.  


If you bypass that looking for something else, well then your probably just chasing your tail headed right back to the beginning.  

It’s all good tho, it’s always better the next time around



* in case you didn’t know that’s most definitely high standard industry science terms for sure.  trust me.  i knew a guy once who said something


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Hiphop producers need to know where The Bar is

By now we all know at least a few…

I’m one..  You might even be one yourself.

I’m talking about the producers makin’ those beats.

Through the studio, I’ve gotten a chance to work with many Hiphop and Rap artists.

Grandmaster Flash

and I love the lyricism, soul, sound, inventiveness, and the history of Hiphop.

But one thing has been really buggin’ me for a while now…

At least 90% of the time they come in with beats that are basically four bars of garbage looping over and over again.

The mix sounds like butt, there’s no structure for an arrangement, no melodic or rhythmic growth and to be honest, it’s just boring.

And even if the beat is kinda sick, its usually cause there’s an underlying jazz or soul riff that is keeping the thing together.  And that was hard work from a group of people who knew the meaning of swinging to the moon on a tune.

But the thing is, anybody can listen to a song and say.. hey that part sounds cool.

Looping that over and over and over again does NOT make you a genius.  Actually these days, with the ease of technology, it probably wont even impress a 10 year old.

To add insult to injury they call themselves “Producers”.  Laughing Club

A few here and there got it… but most of these jokers just have us laughing

<<< see Laughing Club for more details

Creating a simplistic musical backdrop is not being a producer.

That’s the modern day equivalent to the Backing Band or sesh cats.

A producer directs the artist, the band and the flow of the song.  It’s his or her job to make sure the creative vision is met and exceeded.

If you just make a beat and are not working with the artist to get the best take of the song and vision, then you’re not even in the right game.  It’s like you showed up to the basketball court with a soccer ball.

And just for the re-e-re-e-record… The popular name “beat” doesn’t even make sense because it’s expected to contain much more than just a rhythmic element

Now I know it’s kinda harsh, but wake up moflows.  The progression of this music started in the gospel church.  Then formed into Blues and Jazz.  It turned into soul and r&b and rock and funk and countless others and then into hiphop.

James BrownThe foundations on which this style is built with such greatness, it’s almost pointless to try and describe it here.  It demands a lifetime of exploration and experience to appreciate it’s glory.

All the countless giants who came before us pushed themselves to the brink of their creative existence to give us a whisper of the cosmic song.

ATTENTION: That’s the bar.  

Anyone below it needs to step their game up.  That’s def me, it’s probably you and pretty much just about everyone we know

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Math is NOT a universal language… But I do know one that is

It’s contradictory from what intelligent folks might say, but it’s true

Math is not a universal language.

X = 3.2

hmmmm…  what could X be?

Well if I was an alien civilization, a remote tribe, or hell maybe even someone who hasn’t learned math yet, the first step is probably wondering what the F + 2 do these funky symbols mean?

And after they figured them out, how many things across the universe could 3.2 represent?  It could take an eternity to find the answer, if it’s even possible. (Thinking about the hieroglyphs..  without the Rosetta Stone, we made have never deciphered them.)

Math actually requires a second language, like english for example, to explain what the parts of the equations represent.

It’s not a universal language, but elegant way to make accurate predictions about the flow and mechanics of nature and the things we make from it.

The true universal language is actually nature itself.  The frequencies that make up sound, light, electricity, ect.  There’s no explanation needed for experience.  When a sound wave hits your ears, or a light wave hits your eyes, your organs automatically translate it.

A lute from 1,500 years ago would sound the same then as it does now.  And a person from either era could hear the melodies and rhythms of their space/time counterparts instantly.

What’s specifically powerful about that kind of communication is that

the substance of the frequencies transfers data.

Think of all the information you get when light hits your surroundings.

See an audience member brought to tears by a captivating artist playing a beautiful piano piece.

You can uplift the spirit with the stomp of the feet and a howl of the lungs.    It’s a language all humans have been speaking continuously from our beginnings.  The language of the universe.

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Perfect Smartphone Music

I thought it was kind of funny that

old jazz music still sounds pretty damn good coming from a new smartphone and its tiny speaker.

Louis Armstrong – King of the Vipers

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The world’s smartest people looking like complete idiots..

Seth Godin is an amazing thinker and writer of a thought provoking blog which you can check out here

Was reading his spring gadget/book list and ordered 2 that I found to be pretty intriguing.


End This Depression Now

What sold me was the quote taken from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

“Anyone who is willing to work and is serious about it will certainly find a job. Only you must not go to the man who tells you this, for he has no job to offer and doesn’t know anyone who knows of a vacancy. This is exactly the reason why he gives you such generous advice, out of brotherly love, and to demonstrate how little he knows the world.”



Mad Like Tesla

I got a kick out this quote pulled from Time magazine writer Lev Grossman, “There’s nothing like the passage of time to make the world’s smartest people look like complete idiots.”


I feel it’s important to remember conventional wisdom used to think the world was flat.

It’s funny to think that the things we know to be cold hard truths could and most likely will be proven false at some point in the future.


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Amy Winehouse does Reggae

Her reggae track ‘Our Day Will Come’ appeared on BBC’s Radio 1 on Wednesday (Nov 2, 2011). It’s a reworking of an early 1960s hit made popular by Ruby and the Romantics, and finds Winehouse exploring familiar soulful territory.

Listen to the track HERE > http://www.twitvid.com/U3AAJ










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A Thought

We are all the chosen ones

To exist is to be chosen

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Jack White Interprets Hank Williams’ ‘You Know That I Know’

Click Here to listen

Jack White was among a hand full of people selected to perform unreleased Hank Williams songs.  The material has come from a notebook found after the country stars death in 1953 at the age of 29.

Jack’s interpretation is amazing and the lyrics show us why ol’ Hank was such an amazing writer.





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Chino Moreno just unveiled a new project called †††

Chino Moreno of Deftones just unveiled a project called ††† with a five-track EP, simply titled 

Get the free download HERE

This stuff is AWESOME!!!!

†††:  Tracklist:

01 †his Is A †rick
02 Op†ion
03 Bermuda Locke†
04 †hholyghs†
05 †

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Four Reasons It Pays for Songwriters To Be Patient

Below is an awesome BMI article written by Cliff Goldmacher that I wanted to share

“Looking back on 20-plus years of writing songs, it’s a lot easier for me to connect the dots now and see that the things I was doing years ago would eventually bear fruit. I can safely say that nothing ever moved as quickly as I thought it would, yet I’m constantly surprised at the ways that my long-forgotten efforts have come around to generate royalty income. All that to say, it would have saved me a lot of frustration knowing that getting up every day and working on my craft would end up paying off — on its own schedule, not mine. Here are a few specific reasons to stay patient in the pursuit of success in your songwriting.

1. You’ll enjoy the process more. There is nothing more frustrating than waiting for something to happen that’s beyond your control. For example, you’ve read a listing on a pitch sheet looking for songs for a “last-minute” opportunity and they have to have them right away. The reality is that nothing actually happens “right away” and everything is “last minute.” So, after submitting your song, instead of constantly scanning your emails and sleeping with your phone, simply put a note in your calendar to follow up with an email in a week or two (not before) and forget about it. I know this is easier said than done but it will keep you sane. By the way, the easiest way to forget about one thing is to be working on something else.

In other words, you should have as many irons in the fire as possible so that you’re not waiting on any one thing to happen. By “irons in the fire,” I mean looking for other pitch opportunities, new co-writers and any one of a million things that you can be doing to have success in the music business. If you’re patient, your day-to-day will be a series of small steps and tasks that will keep you focused and productive without allowing you to linger on any one thing for too long. Also, that way, when something does come through you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

2. You’ll keep your perspective. Given that there is absolutely no such thing as a “quick buck” in the music industry, your best bet is to think about why you’re writing songs in the first place. If it’s only for the money, you’re in for a rough road. Even the most successful songwriters have put in years of unpaid work before the money began to flow. If, on the other hand, you write because you can’t help it and you love the feeling of putting something uniquely your own into the world and you also hope to be financially successful, then your day-to-day will be the pursuit of something meaningful to you that also has the potential to generate income. If you’re patient, you have a much better chance of keeping that perspective while you’re pursuing your dream of success.

3. You’ll build better industry relationships. We all know that relationships with industry insiders (publishers, managers, record label execs, etc.) are highly prized for the connections and potential opportunities they bring. However, just like any relationship, it’s extremely difficult to build something of substance quickly. If you’re patient and don’t try to force-feed your music to every person in the industry at every opportunity, you stand a much better chance of developing the kinds of contacts that move you ahead in your career. These relationships take years to develop (not five minutes at the bar of the hotel at an industry conference). What if instead of launching into a ten-minute, spoken-word bio the next time you meet someone in the music industry, you tried asking them what they’re working on? Learn a little more about them and, in time, if you’re doing great work, they’ll get to know about you, too.

By not treating every interaction with someone in the industry as a do-or-die situation, you’ll feel less pressure to make something happen immediately and enjoy getting to know them. Then, in time, you’ll have someone receptive to your music when there’s an opportunity. Here’s a small tip: It’s the administrative assistants and receptionists of today that will be the heads of film/TV departments tomorrow. Don’t ignore these folks in your search for someone more powerful who can help you. Take your time, build your industry relationships slowly and organically and watch what happens.

4. It’s out of your hands anyway. While there is a lot you can (and should) do on your own behalf every day, the music business goes at its own speed no matter what you do. Songs, even “undeniable” hits, routinely take years to find a home after they’ve been written. The journey from the creation of a song to a royalty-generating copyright is as mysterious to me now as it was when I wrote my first song. So, given that it’s out of your hands once you’ve written, demoed and pitched your song, why not be patient and keep filling the pipeline with new songs and pitches? Develop your craft, write as much as you can and one day you’ll look back to see you’ve got a catalog of great songs where some of the older ones are actually generating income.

I once heard a hit songwriter say that he wrote one of his hits in “three hours and 25 years.” In other words, while the song took three hours to write, it was his 25 years of patiently refining his craft and developing his career that made it happen.

As long as you’re not planning on being a songwriter for this week only, take a deep breath, work on your songs and your career a little every day and enjoy the ride. You’ll be amazed in a few years when you look back and see how far you’ve come. Good luck!”



Cliff Goldmacher is a songwriter, producer, session musician, engineer, author and owner of recording studios in Nashville, TN and Sonoma, CA. Cliff’s site, http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com, is full of resources for the aspiring songwriter and his company, http://www.NashvilleStudioLive.com, provides songwriters outside of Nashville with virtual access to Nashville’s best session musicians and singers for their songwriting demos.

You can download a free sample of Cliff’s eBook “The Songwriter’s Guide To Recording Professional Demos” by going to http://www.EducatedSongwriter.com/ebook.

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EducatedSongwriter
Twitter: edusongwriter

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