Advance praise for “Music, Lyrics, and Life”

Advance praise for “Music, Lyrics, and Life”

    PRE-ORDER HERE: AMAZON | BOOKSHOP | BARNES & NOBLE | TARGET | BOOKS ARE MAGIC Advance copies going out now (FYI: if you write reviews/ features/ podcasts, please hit us up for a review copy), and here’s what we’re hearing back: “Mike Errico opened my eyes to what songwriting could be. His methods took any fear I had of writing and turned it to fun and joy. He is the perfect guide to finding your voice.”—Blu DeTiger, recording artist “This is a manual for better living through creativity, and vice versa: playful, rigorous, challenging, inviting, weird, practical, mind-expanding, focused, and truly kind. It’s a genuinely loving book that overflows with soul and wisdom from a wonderful teacher and artist. I’m really blown away.”—Paul Giamatti, actor “A page-turning guide for creative problem entrepreneurs in any field, no matter the stage of their journey.”—Jake Schwartz, co-founder, General Assembly “Mike Errico possesses a keen understanding of how to teach something that simply cannot be taught. This is the book we’re all in need of.”—Madison Cunningham, recording artist “Mike Errico changed my life. His unwavering belief and support made it possible for me to take leaps of faith that otherwise felt impossible.”—Hana Elion, Overcoats “Mike Errico can inspire the most timid songwriter and invigorate the most tired. Using curiosity and practicality as tools of equal weight, he challenges readers to create without self-judgment. It was through his class that I started to think of songwriting as a practice.”—Mia Berrin, Pom Pom Squad “What a glorious life raft of a book. Songwriters, artists, anyone working in any creative arena will be inspired and lovingly stripped of their own art-killing excuses.”—Emily Flake, New Yorker cartoonist, author, essayist “Others may...
Some early reactions to “Music, Lyrics, and Life”

Some early reactions to “Music, Lyrics, and Life”

I’m so grateful to hear back from mentors and heroes on their reactions to the book. Here are the first to get back to me:   “Others may have written Bibles on songwriting. This is the Talmud.” — Eric Bazilian, writer, “One of Us” (Joan Osborne); founding member of the Hooters; collaborator, Cyndi Lauper, Ricky Martin, Bon Jovi, LeeAnn Rimes, Jonatha Brooke “Songwriting is a mystical art, and Mike Errico joins all the dots, helping us visualize the process as well as igniting our passion for the ultimate freedom of creativity.” — Martin Page, cowriter, “We Built This City” (Starship); “King of Wishful Thinking” (Go West); writer, “In the House of Stone and Light”; collaborator, Chaka Khan, Heart, Earth, Wind & Fire, Robbie Williams, Josh Groban “Mike Errico’s book on songwriting (and more) is an inspirational tool and a wonderful reference for artists and musicians involved in a creative effort. Highly recommended.” — Patricia Barber, composer, songwriter; Guggenheim Fellow, Composition; American Academy of Arts and Sciences (2019) Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter “The songwriting class you always wish you’d taken, taught by the professor you always wish you’d had.” Coming November 1, 2021 on Backbeat Books PRE-ORDER HERE: Amazon  | Bookshop | Goodreads  |  Books Are Magic...
“Minor Fits,” the new album by Mike Errico

“Minor Fits,” the new album by Mike Errico

Long story short: Initially, I had planned on recording a five-song, tight, straightforward EP that I would be proud to give to you. However, as soon as we started recording, I knew something special was going on, and that an EP was not going to cut it. That’s not bragging, it’s just that when you do something long enough, you kinda get a feel for when it’s the real thing, and in this case it was obvious. It also meant that an EP was not going to cut it. So I crashed through the DEAD END sign and kept on driving. I now have a full-length record that is edgy, Americana-leaning, story-based, and deeply connected to all my work that came before it. Minor Fits is being fueled by a Pledge campaign, and I’m asking you to help me see it through to completion. In addition to the finished product, I’m psyched to offer a bunch of things I’ve been itching to give you, including many other studio and live recordings, podcasts, interviews with the people who worked on the record, a quarterly subscription to the all-new and still infamous Tallboy magazine, and more. You’ll be a part of the first-ever non-holiday expansion of the Holiday Omens, which is explained below. And hey, if you don’t see something that you want, just ask me. Let’s make this work. For decades, you have been there for me and I have tried to express my gratitude by making the best possible work I can. I hope you’ll join me now, and continue to play along. So that’s it. Let’s do this. Related show...
Beyonce’s “Formation” and the Rise of the Superchorus

Beyonce’s “Formation” and the Rise of the Superchorus

Check out my conversation with Fast Company about “Formation,” songwriting, and the rise of “The Superchorus.” Excerpt, plus lyric and structure breakdown, which got kind of complicated…: “It feels new because you get a little bit lost in the form—you’re not being catered to,” says Mike Errico, a singer-songwriter and adjunct instructor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. “[Producer/songwriter] Max Martin is very much a caterer—he’s a good escort and he’s a reliable narrator, musically. But this is actually pushing it. You don’t have control of the plane. That’s something that’s exciting about this.” What’s happening in “Formation” is what Errico describes as not necessarily a break from the traditional verse-chorus form, but an evolution of it. “I do suspect that the way present-day songs are conceived does impact the ways writers chose to innovate,” Errico says. “For instance, if you are writing a melody over a groove that is static, looped, and extended out—a process referred to as ‘toplining’—a creative mind will accept the track as an unmovable parameter and generate interest by changing up the melodies and hooks. At the end of a topline session, the writing team may have several sections they love, but instead of tossing them out in order to preserve preconceived notions of song form, they will line them up and make multiple hook-laden sections out of each.” VERSE 1 Y’all haters corny with that Illuminati mess Paparazzi, catch my fly and my cocky fresh I’m so reckless when I rock my Givenchy dress I’m so possessive so I rock his Roc necklaces PRE-CHORUS My daddy Alabama, my ma Louisiana...
New Music for Design Observer’s Kickstarter Campaign

New Music for Design Observer’s Kickstarter Campaign

Book writers, readers, adorers, check it out, consider a contribution: Design Observer​ has launched a Kickstarter to fund an exhibition and catalog of the winners of this year’s 50 Books I 50 Covers design competition. [I’m honored to have contributed music to the campaign.] “Established in 1923 by the American Institute of Graphic Arts as “Fifty Books,” the 50 Books | 50 Covers competition is now the longest continually running design competition in the United States. Since 2011, Design Observer has hosted it. And in 2015, for the first time, we are publishing a book and mounting an exhibition to commemorate the competition winners of 2014, narrowed down from a field of 500 entries from fourteen countries. Dave Eggers, a previous 50 Books | 50 Covers recipient, will introduce this “book of books.” Photographer George Baier, who has photographed countless authors and book jacket projects himself, has thoughtfully taken pictures of every book and cover winner. Mohawk has generously donated the finest paper. And with Blurb, we will be printing our book, locally, here in the United States. We have judged the competition (SEE THE WINNERS HERE), photographed all the books, designed our catalog, printed test pages, and have begun to design the exhibit in New Orleans. More info:...

Special Thanks: Stephen Trask, Bob Brockmann

Another amazing class at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute. These guys opened up about how they got their starts; how preparation made them ready for luck to happen; and how they have navigated the rapidly changing music environment. Funny, cutting and doggedly optimistic, they brought a semester’s worth of classwork to life. (L/R): Stephen Trask: Ex-music director of Squeezebox; composer of Hedwig and the Angry Inch which received eight 2014 Tony Award nominations, and won four. The movie version also received a Grammy nom, and he has gone on to score films including The Station Agent, Dreamgirls and Lovelace. http://stephentrask.com/ Bob Brockman: Producer, mixer, engineer based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn whose past clients include The Fugees, Notorious BIG, Craig Mack, Toni Braxton, Babyface, Cee-Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Brandy, Mary J Blige and many others. He has 30 Grammy noms and two wins....