Dear Jack Conte, I’m Sorry No One Read Your Article Correctly

I don’t get into inside baseball here, but saw something that needed to be said, so I said it. Jack Conte from Pomplamoose recently wrote an article where he outlined his tour budget, concluding with the fact that, although the tour was successful on many levels, they lost money. It seems everyone jumped on one of two bandwagons: that music is dying, dying dead and all is lost and here’s the proof; and that if Pomplamoose can’t figure out how to create an accurate tour budget, they’re just idiots. The Internets took a-hold to these narratives, and added one – that it was a secret cover up to promote Conte’s startup, Patreon, or something – and the Echo Chamber took off, bouncing this horse hockey from URL to URL. Usually I’d watch the ping-pong match and shrug, but this annoyed me, because Conte was very clear in the management of his expectations. He invested in the show he wants to stage – and investment is very different than a loss. In the same way KISS could have saved a buck by cutting back on the blood packs (but didn’t), a larger concept was at work. I was shocked that no one seemed to read this with an eye toward self-actualizing artist development. Key being “self-actualizing,” because in a world with diminishing label development, self-reliance is the gold standard – not asking for permission, and doing what you have to do to create the art you want/need to create. So, it bugged me. So, I wrote something. Here it is. Dear Jack Conte, I’m Sorry No One Read Your Article...

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....

Presentation at Stream-Tech Music Conference

Thanks to NYU, the Norwegian Consulate General, and organizer Stein Bjelland for inviting me to this conference to discuss how streaming is impacting artists and content creators. I talked a good bit, some of it was funny, some was definitely not, and I’m hoping to collect my notes and post them at a later date. For an itinerary of the day’s events:...
Songwriting at the O’Neill’s National Theater Institute

Songwriting at the O’Neill’s National Theater Institute

I’ve done a lot of things – writing, playing, performing, photography and on and on – but nothing I’ve ever done was harder than auditioning for acting roles. My respect for what actors go through is immense. Thanks to the National Theater Institute and the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center for having me in to talk songwriting, journaling and how to balance an often unbalanced life in the arts. I also got to stick around and watch a performance class with the brilliant Kelli O’Hara. The students, some of whom had never written a song before, came out of our workshop singing their own compositions for the first time. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have worked with...
Mike Errico: Vicious Circle, Rob Thomas, Guitar World and More

Mike Errico: Vicious Circle, Rob Thomas, Guitar World and More

Happy summer, folks. I’ve been working like a beast over here, some in front of the curtain, some behind it. But first: Available exclusively at Bandcamp: the rare electronic-inspired EP that delved into Big Beat, R&B and folk. Originally released in the late ’90s, “Springtime” was recently included in WNYC’s 2014 playlist, “Six Songs for Spring.” 1. Daylight 2. Sooner or Later 3. Springtime 4. On This Train 5. Someday BUY VICIOUS CIRCLE ON BANDCAMP That’s Professor Errico to you… My latest songwriting classes at NYU and Wesleyan University have been amazing, and I’ve been able to re-connect with old friends to talk about the thing we love: wine. I MEAN SONGWRITING…songwriting. Right. That. Special Thanks: Rob Thomas “Three things in music that will never go out of style: the song; the song; and the song.” Multiplatinum artist Rob Thomas took time out to come to NYU and talk to the students about how he approaches songwriting, collaboration and “the beast” that is the industry. Special Thanks: Pete Ganbarg The head of A&R for Atlantic Records came to Wesleyan to discuss his “populist’s ears,” his thinking behind successes with Santana, Daughtry, Train (to name a few), and his hunger for the next great song. Special Thanks: Ed Grauer and Peter Nashel Double Shot: Cash Money Records’ legal counsel and the force behind Duotone Audio Group let my Wesleyan class in on the business side of songwriting: publishing, copyright, sample clearance, mechanicals, synch…the critical stuff that turns passion into a living. Video Guitar Lessons for Guitar World Magazine In a recent issue of Guitar World, I explained my percussive acoustic...
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