New York Observer Runs My Songwriting Piece

New York Observer Runs My Songwriting Piece

With all that’s going on in the streaming space, what is the future of this thing — songwriting — we’re all talking about? Redefining an art form isn’t new, but neither is the concept of streaming, which was happening with elevator music in the 1930s, and was theorized decades earlier. But now that streaming has taken off, will song form react? Will it just be three choruses and nothing else? Is it the return of the ABAB song form, where the sections have a balanced weight and there are no sections dedicated to “setting up” another section? Pre-choruses?! Who’s got time for a “pre”-anything? And bridges? Bridges to what, exactly? Who has time for a bridge? You’re either there or you’re not there. Why get stuck in transit from one section to another? So, if “Gangnam Style” had been 1:10 instead of 4:13, what might have happened? Would it not have been as “good?” I don’t know, but: How much of “Gangnam Style” can you sing back right now? It’s probably not 4:13 worth. Psy left money on the table. At billions of views, that’s a lot of money. Read more at...
The Independent Runs My Songwriting Piece

The Independent Runs My Songwriting Piece

London’s The Independent is running my article on technology and songwriting on the front page of its arts section. They added a lovely infographic and everything. Check it out. The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music Here’s the online...
Everything in the Music Industry Has Changed Except the Song Itself

Everything in the Music Industry Has Changed Except the Song Itself

Outside my songwriting classroom at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music, the industry is in full disruption mode. This semester alone, publishers continued to weigh new methods to take back control of their copyrights; a controversial judgment regarding “Blurred Lines” spurred debate on what copyright even is; Congress heard arguments regarding how artists and songwriters are getting paid; Pandora and Spotify and Grooveshark and Rdio all made headlines; Tidal launched (Jay-Z even came to Clive to talk about it); Apple readied a new streaming service… friggin’ Starbucks jumped in, and I’m just going to stop there, because you get the point. At times, I’ve wanted to triple-lock the classroom door for the brief fourteen-week period so we can focus on the art. But that hasn’t been easy, and in our final meeting, I left my students with a series of rhetorical questions, all of which added up to: With all this going on, what is the future of this thing — songwriting — we’ve been talking about all semester? And is it time for a disruptor to change what songs look and sound like? Read on at...
Gigging for God: My Time in the Church Folk Group

Gigging for God: My Time in the Church Folk Group

[Every other week, I’m releasing a new story that comes with music, playlists, podcasts, and photos. The whole archive is being collected right here. Check it out, and if you liked it, I’d appreciate it if you’d hit the RECOMMEND button at the bottom to let others know about it. (It’s just like a Facebook like.)] Gigging for God: My Time in the Church Folk Group I was an “at-risk” tween rock guitarist, so my parents sent me to a halfway house to play Dylan songs for God. Here’s how it...
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