Vara La Fey

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About Vara La Fey

  • Rank
    Sticky Member
  • Birthday 03/20/1969

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    United States of America

Music Background

  • Band / Artist Name
    Custom Angel
  • Musical / Songwriting / Music Biz Skills
    Gigging and local recording drummer '81 - '90. Now I'm a trans-girl songwriter and noob bassist.
  • Musical Influences
    From original Black Sabbath to Tool and Halestorm, with some prog, pop and dancepop thrown in. I mostly write from a libertarian (Randian) trans-girl perspective, which I don't think anyone anywhere is doing. :-)


  • Songwriting Collaboration

Critique Preferences

  • Getting Critique
    Give It To Me Both Barrels

Recent Profile Visitors

227 profile views
  1. Hi Patty. Your subject matter is a bit different than the norm, and that's good. It's dry, tho, like Friendship Hurts was. It could use more pizzazz. EX: "There's a secret I've been hiding" sounds like a public apology, even tho it seems you're describing a more intimate girl-talk scene. So.... "Lemme tell a little secret" is more conspiratorial, and sexier for the reader/listener. And it flows off the tongue better for singability. Nice hook. But you buried it again!! :-( Maybe consider....? PRECHORUS Girl don't do it Find another way.... CHORUS Girl don't do it Girl don't do it That's all there is to it Girl don't do it The 1st line of every verse is nicely consistent, but after that it falls apart a bit. One of the rhythm tricks I use (I've written lyrics all my life) is to read just the 1st lines of every verse, then just the 2nd lines, and so on. That will show you where it varies. V3 "My confession is unnerving..." adds nothing and is dry dry DRY like the dusty face of the moon DRY!! V4 is even worse that way. Patty, a stay-faithful song called "Girl don't do it" is potentially a hit. I imagine the Pussycat Dolls. So what would they do in the 3rd verse (or in any of them)?? V3 is a great time to get all sexy. I know he's oh so tempting and girl, I'd feel it too Bring that fire to your man at home he'll fall back in love with you Not perfect, but isn't it a lot more pizzazz than "you're the living evidence"?? I suggest condensing to 4 verses at most, and write it more about the girl you're advising and not so much about the speaker. Focus on the temptation that must be avoided, and a little about WHY it must be avoided. (You could prolly fit "walk of shame" in there somehow - anything you say in there can be made hotter without losing the moral point.) Your scholarly advice is well-meant and on the money, but it's a speech. It's not a lyric. Write a LYRIC for that thing. A hot sexy lyric that makes the case to stay true. It's a stay-faithful song called Girl Don't Do It about avoiding an adulterous sexual-psychological temptation, fer crissakes. That could really amount to something. And I totally wish I'd thought of it.
  2. You met cause you spilled coffee on her? I like that!! I just knew there was something more interesting than which grade you were in. :-) I'll check out Girl, Don't Do It right now. I like the title already.
  3. I wouldn't worry about posting old versions for comparison. The comparison might be important to you as a learning tool, but to the audience, all that matters is the current state of the art. Your old thread is still there if anyone wants to see it, but it no longer represents where you are now.
  4. Lyrics should only be written to a melody until we've got some real verbal rhythm skills. People on these sites often say, "Oh sure, I have a melody for that", but I doubt it. A real melody flows within the verses, and is consistent across them. And verse rhythm that lends itself to real melody is usually identifiable from the printed words. As a teen, I wrote lyrics based on other people's melodies. My lyrics were crap, but I learned line rhythm and rhyme patterns. Onward.... "She was Lewis to my Clark" - too academic. I suggest "She was Lewis, I was Clark". Chorus: I suggest never rhyming "*ain" with "again". Ever. It doesn't even work when Brits do it. You could fix that simply by rearranging chorus line 3: "The deeper the pain when the closer the friend". "Friendship hurts...." is a good hook, and that title drew me in. But in the chorus it gets buried under all the lines that follow it. So maybe you could play it up a bit to reinforce it, something generally like this.... Friendship hurts if you do it right We fall out of mind when long out of sight I'm sorry the miles took you from my side Friendship hurts if you do it right V2 has a really good line about sharing books and boys and beer. But it has rhythm issues. And "I met Jennie as a freshman" is too academic (literally). No doubt there are more interesting things about your meeting than what grade you were in. Bridge lines 1 and 2 add nothing. Lines 3 and 4 are a pretty good combination of vulnerability and determination, but on the word "cost", I saw "lost" coming as the next rhyme before I even started reading the line it was in. Personally, I wouldn't write verse styled lines into that bridge at all. You don't need another verse. Maybe repeat some emotional component - something vulnerable and/or determined. You could re-use the hook: "Friendship hurts - friendship hurts if you do it right", and a repeat. Or something like "Friendship hurts if you do it right, and I'll just take the pain", and a repeat. Something. Just not another verse. 3 is ok. 4 is a speech. :-)
  5. Yes, the mightiest tree. ImKeN: :-) I don't have the funding to get the stuff to go ask for crowd-funding, so that will have to wait. Unless I think of a good angle.
  6. TBH, I didn't realize it was your opinion, because you stated it like it was a fact.
  7. Jenn and Rudi - Amanda Palmer needed 100k to finish one of her albums. Through Kickstarter, she begged peeps for money and raised 1.2m, iirc. And seems to be doing well since then. So your view isn't always correct.
  8. Thanks for all the responses!! I'm mostly gonna watch you guys hammer it out, as you're generally more up to speed on this than I am. But a couple things do cross my mind.... The problem of begging money for luxuries may be self-solving: most donors wouldn't donate to that anyway. Whether a high nose : signal ratio has caused a mass exodus from those sites is another thing I have no idea about. As to personal causes, I doubt it matters whether it's personal to the beggar, but whether it's personal to the donor in some way. That's just human nature, it's how charity works, and it's how business works. On age: RAMMS+EIN were all mid-30s to early 40s when they started out. Plus middle-agers today do buy new music. Being middle-aged still won't help, but it does offer a peer-audience which is more affluent than teens. Age as a sole (or even a major) viability criterion is the old-school obsolete big-label teens-only rip-off-the-naive-kids biz. It's not so much that biz anymore. On that "note", wouldn't it be great if Patreon and SellABand, et al, became the replacement for those old talent scouts and development deals from the big labels? (Just as iTunes et al have become distro sites.) It seems they'd be "art for the people, chosen by the people". No middlemen. No bean-counters.
  9. Hi Nousevas. The phrase "Radio Free World" has confused a quarter to a third of the people who have read the lyric. It is a take-off on "Radio Free Europe" from the Cold War era, which was actual radio station(s) in West Germany broadcasting Western news and freedom messages into the Iron Curtain. For decades after that, at least here in the USA, people would periodically use "radio free <n>" to mean any medium or effort spreading messages of freedom. My lyric is about the seductiveness of what should be a totally free uncensored internet. "Black bars" are those little censorship strips put over breasts and such. I've decided to keep the "radio free" theme because it's a fitting analogy and a spiffy little history lesson, but I will be a lot more careful about historical references in the future. I'm not trying to write history lessons anyway.
  10. Hi Neil. I'm glad you like it. You're not the first person to describe my lyrics as "Indie", and I'm happy with that. But I never thought about it. Do you suppose that implies a specific marketing strategy, if things ever get that far for me.....? I posted my demo of the song as it currently stands here in Song Crit. :-)
  11. Thx guys!! Steve and Just1L - I know that trans isn't enough, but IF I offer good music and such, I do think a lot of people would appreciate the uniqueness, and the LGBT community will be very likely to support it. Yes, IF the music and all that stuff is good. And getting feedback on that is why I'm on these critique sites in the first place. If you're curious, see my submissions "Incoming" and "Radio Free World" in Song Crit. And give it to me, both barrels. I can take it. HoboSage - Yeah, I'm "around the corner from 50". Where's the reality check in that? Do crowd-funders not like to fund middle-agers?
  12. CherryColaLola, I'm glad you like it. :-)
  13. John, thx!! I will check her page extensively tonight. I actually have an old friend who is a big-time sound engineer, and is hanging his shingle again and offering a free-upfront recording deal for points later. Can't beat it. But I wouldn't go to him with this until I really have something worthwhile. Right now we chat about computer problems and such.
  14. Thx, guys. Richard, I'll think more tangibly about what a band really can give in return. I know that generalities won't cut it. Rudi, why wouldn't you do it? John, I bookmarked Patreon, and will check it out. Right now it looks like one needs sellable-quality production there. I can't afford it, hence wondering about crowd-funding. :-(
  15. Oswlek, the "Radio Free World" title is a reference to "Radio Free Europe", which was a Cold War era thing (it was radio based in W Germany that broadcast into the old USSR). I figure that a proper uncensored internet will similarly "broadcast" into the dictatorships of the world today, islamic and otherwise. Turns out the reference is a bit too old-school now. I love it and I'll keep it, but I'll def be more careful in the future. Thanks for the mix tips, and I think you're right about all of it. I saved 'em to my Feedback file. :-) PS: I love that Sagan quote!!