Songwriting Prompt Two: Finish What You Started

Songwriting Prompt Two: Finish What You Started

SONGWRITING PROMPT TWO: FINISH WHAT YOU STARTED So much taking stock going on out here. So much reassessing. So many projects put off for a thousand years finally getting done. I think it’s time to open up that “UNFINISHED SONG” folder and just…listen. Maybe some time has passed and you can hear the tracks a little differently. Maybe two of them are really parts of one song you conceived at different moments. Maybe it’s time to stitch them together, finally. So: Sit back and listen to what you have, and move one (or more) of them to the “FINISHED SONG”...
Songwriting Prompt One: Let it Snow

Songwriting Prompt One: Let it Snow

Some students asked for songwriting prompts to get them through this time and keep them inspired. I’m going to add them here, hoping they help you, too. NOTE: They don’t have to be for songs. I’m sure you can apply them to other creative projects. SONGWRITING PROMPT ONE: I’ve always loved the fact that Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne wrote the classic “Let it Snow” in the middle of a hot July summer. The song provided what their actual circumstances did not. (Snow.) I’m hearing some you are writing songs that reflect our current reality, which is great, but what if you could provide what our actual circumstances do not? We’re isolated; write about being together. We’re freaked out; write about resilience, or confidence, or add some anger and write about defiance. I’m not talking about drugging us with sunshine and rainbows, or living in denial of what’s going on. I’m talking about putting yourself in the listener’s place and thinking about what they need from you as a creator. It’s probably not news headlines, and maybe not a mirror to the moment, either. They’re getting plenty of that. This prompt is about providing them with a tool they need to see past it. So: Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne made it snow in July. What’s our version of that? THAT. Write that. Feel free to post drafts, if you like. I hope you’re all...
Tallboy Magazine: Special Four-Issue Collector’s Edition

Tallboy Magazine: Special Four-Issue Collector’s Edition

I have been putting Tallboy magazine out for years. It went digital for a while (we called them “blogs”), but that never felt right. This special four-issue, 164-page series was part of a crowdfunding campaign for my 2017 release, “Minor Fits.” In it, you’ll find short fiction (some of which I’ve told on stage); backstories about my most well-known songs; and confessions from the music industry—so it’s funny and full of idiots. Now that “Minor Fits” is out in the world, I’m offering the entire series on Bandcamp. I’ve put the same craft and quality into this that I’ve put into my music, and I hope you’ll check it out. Includes unlimited streaming of You Shook Me All Night Long (AC/DC cover) via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more. BUY TALLBOY MAGAZINE AT...
Mike Errico on the BBC

Mike Errico on the BBC

Good times w/ The BBC (@bbcnews) discussing why we don’t have long song intros like “Hotel California” anymore, but we do have 8-hour-long compositions you’re meant to sleep through. Confusing times, these. I’m trying to make sense of it myself. “No one does rumpled like you, Errico…” — a friend. I don’t think I look rumpled. Do I? The ‘no tie’ was a choice, and a recommendation, and I think it was a good call. No? I sat in a room in NY while this was going on in the UK. I’d never done that before. Very disembodied. Very Max Headroom. Since I was alone, had to take a selfie in the monitor. Probably could have looked at the monitor, too. Now it looks like I’m checking my Instagram. All rumpled. (See above.) Anyway, it was cool. Thanks to the BBC for calling me. (They really did call me. I know. I was surprised, too.) I hope I shed some light on what is basically a totally open-ended future. For those unaware of my teaching side, here’s the spiel from NYU: New York-based musician, writer, and lecturing professor, Mike Errico has built his name on the strength of critically acclaimed releases and extensive composition for film and TV. He has taught songwriting at Yale and Wesleyan universities, and speaks about the art and business of songwriting at colleges, high schools, and conferences across the country. Live, Errico has toured the country for over a decade, playing major music festivals and sharing stages with artists including Raul Midon, Jonny Lang, Soulive, Bob Weir, Amos Lee, Ben Folds, Dan Wilson, Derek...
My Guest: Daniel Glass, Glassnote Records

My Guest: Daniel Glass, Glassnote Records

Daniel Glass, founder of Glassnote Records, joined me at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music to speak to my students about the (bright!) future of the music industry. Photo by Glassnote recording artist/former student Tor Miller (pictured behind us. Look for a big announcement from him in the coming...
Mike Errico at Design Observer’s ‘Taste’ Symposium (Los Angeles)

Mike Errico at Design Observer’s ‘Taste’ Symposium (Los Angeles)

  Los Angeles: I’ll be speaking (and playing) about food, design, and music alongside foodies from KCRW, Gizmodo, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, as well as Mark Bittman, Jessica Helfand, Michael Beirut, and many more. There will be food. There will be thought. I got pesto sauce in my bag. ‪#‎swag‬   Agrarian economics. Dry farming. Engineered waste. Vaporized nutrition. How are any of these things a function of design? On the other hand: how could they be anything else? On February 12, 2016, Design Observer will host a symposium on the relationship between design and food. Held in the Los Angeles Theater Center, Taste will feature speakers from across the United States and Europe: we’ll hear from a historian who has traced the origins of artificial flavor; an engineer who has discovered how to nebulize nutrients; and a politician lobbying for national food security. We’ll look at marketing tactics and distribution platforms; climate change and culinary excess; new economies of scale, old expressions of culture—and everything in between. We’ll eat, drink, and be merry, while raising critical questions about where the future of food is headed. TICKETS ON SALE...