New Interview: KBAC Santa Fe

New Interview: KBAC Santa Fe

Thanks to Chris Diestler and KBAC for checking out Music, Lyrics, and Life and asking some seriously thoughtful and intriguing questions. We had so much fun, they asked a follow-up: One of the questions I didn’t get to because we were already running long on time was this (and it would have been kind of an offshoot of another question): have you noticed that young writers today have a tendency to ignore things that were always part of songwriting, like choruses, like bridges, and it’s just verse after verse after verse, and the “song” only last about 2 minutes.  Do you think this is an evolution of pop songcraft which may have spooled out of infinitesimal attention spans, or is it a genuine mutation of “contemporary” songcraft?  Like, when prose overtook poetry a hundred years ago? Right? Not your average program director by any means. I did my best: Hey, Chris – The two minute song thing, I think is from a series of pressures placed on the song in the market, but also is a reflection of getting to “only the good stuff,” which is cyclical. Market-wise, TikTok dictates that you jump out of the gate with the chorus, and hope someone puts it under a video of a backyard ATV crash or UFO sighting or other viral image. Also, a killer song that is also short has some advantages at radio (I probably don’t need to tell you that one…) A great four minute song vs a great 2:45 song…well, there’s a natural bias against the longer song. Also, as I put in the book, “Your song is...
Book Giveaway through NVAK Foundation

Book Giveaway through NVAK Foundation

The NVAK Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit that empowers developing artists around the world through education, mentorship, and direct grants for critical needs. This week, they’re giving away three signed copies of “Music, Lyrics, and Life” on Instagram – just click the link, tag a friend, and that’s it. Good...
New Podcast: “Hey Human,” with Susan Ruth

New Podcast: “Hey Human,” with Susan Ruth

I love doing podcasts. There’s list of the ones I’ve done so far here, and I’ve made a Spotify playlist of about 14 hours (so far) of me talking my talk, if you’re planning a long drive to hell, lol. You never know what’s going to happen when the host, most likely a stranger, hits the red light. You could call it “just a conversation,” but it’s a little more loaded than that; it’s more like improvisation, knowing that an audience will eventually be inserted, and maybe even entertained. So, it’s extra-great when you get on a roll w the interviewer, especially when they are also fans of “Contact,” the best sci fi film ever made. Long way of saying: Thanks Susan Ruth, and Hey Human podcast E304 Hey Human podcast available now: “Mike Errico is a recording artist, educator (teaching songwriting at Yale, Wesleyan, the New School, and NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music), journalist, and author. His book; “Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter,“ is in its second printing.  He was recently on the show Billions, and has had numerous song placements in film and tv. We discuss the importance of threes, the movie Contact, the “X” factor, and more!” Find it on iOS and Android podcast apps, Spotify, Google podcasts, iHeartRadio, HeyHumanpodcast.com or iTunes:...
Good Times at the Virginia Book Festival

Good Times at the Virginia Book Festival

You get one “fancy first book festival” in life, which means you also only get one “fancy first book festival that got zoom-bombed by the hardest-core pornography the Internet has ever coughed up.” Wow, it was awkward! And also kind of hilarious to watch people scramble with settings while hiding their eyes and apologizing… but I guess that’s the thing about being in live music. Everything is in the realm of possibility, and the important thing is how to roll with whatever it is. After a few mind-searing images flashed by, the moderators reset the meeting, and we were off. Here’s the audio (and now you know what the apologizing is all about). A truly thoughtful question: “Where can I buy your book so that it’s most advantageous to you, the writer?” Thank you for asking it. The answer: Bandcamp. It’s the only place for personalized and signed copies, WITH a matching decorative bookmark. Q: “What if I bought the book already, but would love you to sign it?” On the Bandcamp page, you can buy also bookplates, which are adhesive and stick right into the signing...
“All of It with Alison Stewart” on WNYC

“All of It with Alison Stewart” on WNYC

This was awesome. We laughed a lot, and wow, turns out a LOT of people have heard it. I love it. Here’s the link. A truly thoughtful question: “Where can I buy your book so that it’s most advantageous to you, the writer?” Thank you for asking it. The answer: Bandcamp. It’s the only place for personalized and signed copies, WITH a matching decorative bookmark.   Q: “What if I bought the book already, but would love you to sign it?” On the Bandcamp page, you can buy also bookplates, which are adhesive and stick right into the signing...
SonicScoop: “Songwriters: Meet Your Field Guide”

SonicScoop: “Songwriters: Meet Your Field Guide”

This is a great one, written by Matthew Wang. Congrats on your book, Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide For the Advancing Songwriter. Can you talk about some of your former songwriting students, some of whom are interviewed in the book? First off, I’m grateful that so many of them came out to be a part of the book—and that includes you, my friend. I really think of us as a team, and I spend a lot of time trying to find opportunities to connect former students to each other. There’s an Instagram account dedicated to the amazing stuff everybody’s doing, and there’s also a Facebook page where we share job opportunities, gear, etc…, but that one’s secret. Can songwriting be taught? Partially, yes. And to a specific subsection of the songwriting community, absolutely yes. Mke Errico connects through songwriting. (Photo Credit: Stan Horaczek) Of course, there are the people who walk into my class with an innate gift of how melody and structure flows, and for them, sometimes all I can do is encourage them to finish as much as possible, and to challenge them to stretch into areas they hadn’t considered. Which, frankly, is a lot. But the writers I can help most obviously are the ones who are maybe not as gifted naturally, but who make up for it by being hell-bent to be a songwriter. They’re early for class; they set up weekly office hours; they apply for all the internships; they co-write with everyone they possibly can; they wake up in the morning wondering how they can get better. I work hard to...