My Joni Mitchell Piece Has Gone Viral

My Joni Mitchell Piece Has Gone Viral

…and it’s made it onto her site, too. It’s always great to see Joni on the charts, and my piece, “Joni Mitchell Is Not a ’60s Songwriter,'” is now #3 on Medium. I’m so glad so many have responded to it. If you could do me a solid, would you go there and click the RECOMMEND button on the bottom of the page? It’s just like a Facebook like, and it helps other Joni fans find it. LINK:...

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...
My New Essay Collection, “The Solo Show”

My New Essay Collection, “The Solo Show”

OK. This is big. The first installment of my essay collection, “The Solo Show,” just went live. They’ll be coming out bi-weekly, and there are many more to follow. The topics are pretty varied, but they always revolve, orbit and return to music, which is where we met. Good ol’ music. Yeah. Many of the stories will have embedded playlists that will enhance the story. Some of the songs will be mine, and some won’t. The idea is that you’ll click on them and listen as you read. It’ll be a full experience. A talking – or, singing – book. If you’ve ever been to my live show, you know that that’s where all this has stemmed from. In fact, it’s you who have given me the courage to take this step forward. You’ve requested stories, asked me to speak, to lecture, and even to teach. I’ve been so grateful, and this is an exciting step forward. Already, I’ve received emails back from early readers asking when I’ll be podcasting the series. Soooo…..I guess the answer is pretty soon…and thanks for asking. OK, so: If you like where this is going, PLEASE do what you can to push it out to others – share it, tweet it, Tumblr it, Pinterest it, email the link around to friends the way your crazy aunt does. You know the one. HERE GOES: The Solo Show: Musical Success, A...

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...
Special Thanks: Steve Wariner

Special Thanks: Steve Wariner

Country Music Hall of Famer @stevewariner joined me at @CliveDavisInst at @nyuniversity to talk songwriting. What a semester it’s been. Special thanks to my guest speaker, Country Music Hall of Famer Steve Wariner, who talked about his own writing process, as well as his work with Chet Atkins, Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks, Keith Urban, Dottie West, and so many great artists and writers. Toward the end of class, one of the students asked if he’d play a little, and he broke out “Tattoos of Life” and “Two Teardrops” solo. What a semester it’s been. Break out the violet cardigan sweaters: I am teaching songwriting at NYU’s Clive Davis School of the Recording Arts this fall. We’ve been focusing on the establishment of a personal songwriting voice, and oh, we’ve been writing. And...
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