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arty last won the day on February 2 2022

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    Give It To Me Both Barrels

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    Everything that doesn't appear on top 40 charts from about 1990!
    From Paul Robeson to Pink Floyd to Cat Stevens to Kiss to words of the saints and decrees of the gods

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  1. Been off for a few months, and getting things sorted. We are now geting music back to the pubs in Melbourne and have been forcing myself to out and see many more than I want. For instance saw a performer that I did not really like his songs at open mics but went to his gig to support him anyway. They were the typical leftist style with everything wrong in the world, no solutions and having a go at BLAMING everyone. Chatting to him and he tells he is doing well on the Festival circuits, lucky I was sitting down!!! That said, the target is perfect, they are the kids out on every demonstration / cause and do spend their lives wailing of historical failings rather than being progressive and trying to maintain solutions or willing to accpet that any progress has been made, so the songs would resonate. So are his songs bad or unfunny, I AM NOT THE AUDIENCE. Could the songs be made better, sure, even without changing the messages, constructing a song with minimal waffling is a start (seems to be a problem with a lot of these songs, there is so much wrong...). Sure if we the authors dont like the song, it is very unlikely we will take it out to the world. So critique one is us, but then we have to accept others perceptions of the song. Whether right or wrong, if they are not played to their target audience, it matters naught in most cases but there are some great songs that cross audience lines.
  2. Simply it is theft by bullying. Who else in this world has 50% or more of their wage stolen for doing their work, "yes i will give you a job but you have to give me half your wage"? Dolly Parton famously withdrew 'Always Love You' on the morning Elvis was going to record it after the Colonel tried to get her to sign the songwriting credits across. It has earnt well over $10M for her and maybe would have earnt more if Elvis had in fact recorded it. https://www.songfacts.com/facts/whitney-houston/i-will-always-love-you Elvis Presley wanted to record this song but demanded half the publishing rights. Dolly Parton refused and was vindicated when years later Whitney Houston's version earned her $6 million. Parton commented to Observer Music Monthly April 2008: "'I think stories like that are the reason why younger female artists say I've influenced them." Sure most people assume that the Singer is the songwriter, take Johnny Cash, one his most famous songs Fulsom Prison Blues was part original and the melody and most of the lyrics from another song writer, thankfully this was addressed after being sued. Paul Simon was known to pay for the right to remove additional songwriters from the credits and Bruce Woodley (songwriter in the Seekers - he wrote this with a couple of others (one was Dobe Newton from the Buswackers) and I would take as our national anthem right now! - He famously spoke of Paul Simon on SPicks and Specks and how they split due to Paul demanding his name be removed. I have gone into this world with eyes wide open and understand that one day I might write the song that others want and be put in the position of vulnerability and have to make decision, but why SHOULD I, if it is MY SONG?? They will want the song because they wish to make money from it, not because of my decidedly good looks or fact they think I a good bloke, no it will be for THEIR GAIN As I started this, It is Theft by bullying.
  3. For me, the real story is sometimes not possible to write or meaningful for others. This real story though has an emotional backdrop and it is using this backdrop to make the fictional a relatable story to the audience. You can change all aspects of the real story, gender, time frames, fist person second person etc. I find this emotional backdrop can come from watching movies, the news etc. Each time that a scene or action evokes an emotional response, there is a good chance that this can make a lyric. For instance the death of a sibling could be changed over to death of a pet, a lot more relatable to an audience in that is the more common experience of an audience.
  4. Here is one REFINED at work, the BAAAAHHHS are much greater now! Lyrics are on the webpage.
  5. Thanks Mike, you are absolutely right, it is pure gold. There are the occasional platitudes but the reaction is instant and pure, they might not be fussed about a clever turn of phrase etc. but the level of understanding of some is incredibly perceptive. I have often joked that I can improve every one of my songs and make them 100% better, simply by having a single hit song, but at work, the songs would remain exactly the same irrespective of achieving such an attainment. It also reinforced a rather boring paper I once read on the Conscious versus Subconscious in regard of taking in information. The subconscious is much like the disability centre participant, they take it ALL in unadultured and it decides does it work or not. The conscious takes in much much less, processes it through your likes and dislikes the emotions in play etc. You may actually miss lines while the slow processing takes place. Then all of a sudden you get this feeling you don't like it, you don't know why, just don't. It is a flag sent up by the subconscious that the thing doesn't make sense or something in this is wrong. But if your conscious overrides it because say in this case, the singer is hot, flag ignored. Music is at the core of the social being...
  6. Ha just had to pen a song (Things Gotta Change) after reading this before, inspirational!! Will the world change probably not lol but the odd rant is a good thing, it keeps perspective, its passion its truth, we are only ungodly arrays of carbon based molecules who by some means have electrical charges pulsing in our heads and have formed a society based on this, no wonder things aren't right! John W S, it is a case of give them what they want, no problem with that at all, appreciate more that you use songs out of the current sphere and gee there are a lot of great songs that aren't played anywhere now. Wildfire, Seasons in the Sun etc. and could give you a 1000 Aussie songs that are sensational as well which are proven players to an audience. Some you will know others maybe not, my son does a cover of Matt Corby's Brother and the room jumps like popcorn cooking on a stove! (the lyrics aren't that strong in my opinion, Matt Corby was the X Factor winner who told them to stuff it and went solo) Mitchell is an interesting point, went to England to try and make it, spent two years gigging and recorded three singles but the market as John points out requires all the stars to be in line and then only maybe you have any chance, he now plays covers with a few originals and gets $400 for a gig, is it the dream no, but a good substitute! Brother (live) - Matt Corby - Triple J Radio - Bing video Australia's Ultimate Songs - The 100 Greatest Hits Of The Century (2000, CD) | Discogs That said there are a lot of hit songs that are covers of course 33 Songs You Didn't Know Were Covers (Part 1) - YouTube mitch.bullen | Mitch Bullen | Free Listening on SoundCloud
  7. Joel, love it, heart rendering and to the core. More shows here in the music capital of Australia, Melbourne are tribute crap, It draws more people than originals, why?, the thoughtless generation are the ones who spend the money buying shots of whiskey and put profit over the bar. It is what is, for better or worse, the parody of music it seems is cheap and fast. there is still opportunity to shine and be true to yourself. For me I am what I am, but do believe by bending a little and staying true to the craft there is still a market for talented people to break through. You would not believe how many times I heard Valerie in 2019, 2018, 2017 etc, is it as good as any Eta James song, doubtful, but that is what they want to hear. Hell Nirvana did a Robert Johnstone Cover, In the Pines, very few of the generation knew it wasn't an original but have heard the cover of the cover played and attributed to Curt. It is a disgrace but always has been, Dolly Parton was asked to sign over the rights of I Will Always Love You on the morning Elvis was going to record it. That is probably around 20 Million $ worth of royalties now. The audience is isn't right but they dictate
  8. See I am lucky, I play a lot of music for at the Intellectual Disability centre I work at and they give honest feedback each and every time! This has been fascinating in respect there are a few song that I have trialled, re-trailed then gotten a response that translated directly to then playing the songs live that night. They don't see the older man, they like what they like and it is pretty universal, Abba is still the most requested only just ahead of Country Road, then the next two are originals, BAHHHD Boy and Back to the Future - both songs written around activities at the centre. Don't play these out at open mics often because they work, much rather work on songs which don't. The next song on the hit chart for the singalongs is Swing Low Sweet Chariot, slow chorus and up-tempo verses, it rocks!!! This must be tempered with they also like a lot of the top 40 and the odd strange one, but it is tempo driven I reckon, good solid beats and BAM! Give them a chorus they can sing along with BAM BAM What does this mean, well in my world of being out there playing (pre covid) 3-5 times a week, most performers only play a song list of about 10 songs over the year, one or two songs they sing every or every second week and then the classic songs, such as Aint No Sunshine etc. which come along in movies and are made popular again. Don't need to see the new movie to know that a song is a feature in one of them. What I was finding more than the fact the younger gen don't listen, is firstly sex matters, a good looking girl and the audience remains quiet before and stays attentive unless the level of badness gets to awful, a average looking plump girl, yes and no to this reaction and then as with a young male doesn't have the respect shown but can turn the crowd reasonably easily if they play a catchy song or cover. The better performers generally do well but do notice a proportion of punters who go out of their way to not pay attention if they rate themselves. This I am finding becoming more prevalent month on month regarding attention to others by performers. Sure the genuine ones are still out there but the numbers are dwindling. Do I try and look at the brighter side of life, hell yes, but do accept the soundscape and levels of respect have changed. Older man playing country style story songs, ha, I need to play more covers (or my comedy songs), they aint here for my music!! Still even the occasional person who comes up and asks me who wrote that song or who was that song by makes it worthwhile.
  9. Ha Ha, Not doubting your credentials Joel, myself got no runs on the board! What is interesting is you still require validation from those 3 and the critics so to speak, so the music is not entirely just for you and this is important, whether we call it commercial, likeable or some other term such as validated is an important aspect of what we are doing. If it is not just for us / I, it fits under the umbrella. Respect your right as to your opinion on what this constitutes but conversely, respect for the great unwashed and disinterested must also be allowed to what they see as 'good'. Sure now you will already be saying that you don't care, they are mindless etc. but they do have the right and hence this must be respected and not necessarily putting them down for it. The songs you quote and writers you note were all commercial, however the song writers would never have anticipated todays world of sampling and electronic beats, my what could they have done with this. I am coming from this wanting to be a professional writer, make no bones about it, not hiding behind just saying its for me so if I don't make it my ego is protected, no, chins out proud in the wind waiting to be potted. My one saving grace is that I know everything I do is not of sufficient quality or even close, but each one takes me a step closer to a dream, whether realized or not.
  10. Again QED, the hit was a short song not the original longer version, other than being a wonderful start, most people dont know all the words of the song as it stands now - we played it a few times on our Friday singalong and sure they sang Somewhere over the rainbow, but after this the mouthing on the zoom feeds dried up. We the writer have the right to how we write a song and whether we take the choices that will make it more palatable to the listeners and to a degree our audience. We the writer have to accept the audiences right whether they choose to listen or turn off. For mine I choose not to swear or perform dirty songs per se, edgey is fine but there is a line and choose also not do the pop style of the hook sung incessantly and taped sampling etc. Also choose to use conversational language as much as humanely possible in the Nashville way and refuse to be slave to and therefore minimize change just to achieve rhyme. Also make no bones that I want my songs to be commercial, that is liked by others, there is nothing better than having someone not just I liked that song (nice but too often just being polite) but it really hit a spot etc.. That is commercial and as I believe that the human emotional genome has not changed and it is emotion that we are trying to appeal to with music and melody, be great if enough people liked it and actually made enough for a few beers or extra zeros in the back account as well. Putting songs up for critique - not just plaudits - is about making the song more universal and therefore more commercial, irrespective of how we call it, popular, commercial, liked, appreciated, loved etc. this all the same we want the song to be by as many people as possible (irrespective of which people they are, young old goth, rocker, punk heavy metal classical etc.) liked and tailoring songs to be liked is commercial song writing.
  11. Strangely you are agreeing with me! Somewhere over a rainbow is basically a short ditty, not a Dylonesque tome of part nonsense rhyme and open statements. The timelessness of the song is the wistful longing creating a universal appeal in a lovely melody. It doesn't contrive for educational brilliance but has a childlike quality that believes in magic of a rainbow which science tells us is pretty humdrum refraction of light. This idiom is unchanged and magnified for the tweet generation, as songwriters we have to meet somewhere between for indulgences and the market reality.
  12. Lyrics are a form of communication, we communicate to the other / listener what WE WANT TO SAY. This is complex of course and whether it be an emotion or story the lyric tells what we want to say, a protest song, love song, story, advice or history. Once we have written the words we try and enhance it with melody and rhythm. Sure we are the first to hear and critique our own work and as such it has to please ourselves, but we already know what we are saying and then it is trying to ensure that others and generally most important aspect of the communication is understood by others. In the modern idiom, the short attention span is an important paradigm that must be understood, youth especially text complex ideas with just emojis and short text messages. Lyrics should written to communicate and hence this has to be taken into account. Some hit song writer had his extensive list of hit songs analysed and the language is at Grade 4 Level, basic communication levels at best. Must have written over 50 songs inspired just by Shawshank Redemption, the feelings of helplessness, hope, joy, broken love etc are all there. It gives us the opportunity to still tell a story that is a little too close to the heart but by changing all the protagonists, making it more universal or in some cases, easier to sing live!! As example I have a song called "Hurts to Remember " which actually is about Mum returning to the family home after dad died, quarter acre block and a 1956 house they built where a family of 9 lived, now mum opening up the front door and it is just her. No way could I sing this live, no way known, so changed it all around where it is a daughter leaving home but tried to keep the emotion of loss. Know sometimes the actual real story wells up my eyes when I have played it out there, but the writing of the emotion is cathartic and that people have enjoyed it and even requested it, neat. this I do often, keep the feeling but change the who what and where. The funniest thing I have heard is that how can a older person write a song to young people, derrrr, love hasn't changed, anger remains etc. The choice of language evolves but we are all part of it and back to the hit writer, dumb it down even further for a pop song lol That said I go and do lots of open mics playing to the teens and reference their reactions as to whether a song works etc. Playing it out and getting real time reaction is so important and the one thing that covid has taken from me that hurts.
  13. arty


    Interesting take, for mine, the whole music thing is just like a body with each organ contributing to make it work. Each influence at some time has come to make up what we call popular music. Put my hand and say that so much of todays music is like a toaster, once it was made to last, now to use for a very limited time and throw out (producers / programmers not musicians in control),m just change is inevitable, you just have to hope a phase comes around that you like. You mention prog rock which was probably the other way around with at times overly self indulgent musicians not paying attention to the listener - but they made some GREAT music. As a case in point Pink Floyd aren't remembered so much for that period but rather when they fused Prog Rock with poignant lyric from Dark Side of Moon on. Still makes me laugh when I hear classics such as Crossroads, Black Betty, The Pines etc. being hailed as modern masterpieces - its not that long ago (no really) ELP made a number one hit here in oz at least with Fanfare for the Common Man!! Wheels roll...
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