So here's a link to a petition that was started by your's truly after years of Rush being ignored for induction into the Performers category in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Please pass it on and let's get the quintessential Canadian prog rock band into the RnR HoF - where they deserve to be... It's 2012 and too late for this year, but let's put some pressure on for next year's induction ceremony... Rush shouldn't have to wait until 2112 when "the meek shall inherit the earth", modest rockers that they are. Let's make it happen in 2013!... May the Muse be with Geddy, Alex and Neil... and no opinions should be divided on Rush getting this recognition!
Thursday, April 12, 2012
Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Tuesday, February 07, 2012
Well, Kathleen Edwards most recent release, Voyageur, is the darling of critics, rightfully so, with its cathartic songs leading to new beginnings from a dissolved past. I just wanted to share a quote from an interview by David McPherson in the latest Canadian Musician magazine (January/February 2012 edition). The quote comes from a fellow Canadian singer-songwriter, Jim Bryson, who contributed to Voyageur via emailing parts and pieces of songs back and forth with Edwards (and is part of Edwards’ touring band and a proud new papa to boot – congrats!):
If Edwards chose not to use one of Bryson’s ideas, he didn’t take it personally. “I know how records work,” says the seasoned songwriter. “It’s like taking photographs. You take 100 and you may only use three of them. If it’s a signature part and you really feel connected to it you can have a discussion, but otherwise, if you are playing on someone else’s record, it’s theirs …at the end of the day, it’s her deal. It’s not like I can throw a barrel of monkeys down the stairs and mic it and expect her to use it.”
Now that’s an image that’s hard to get rid of… hmm… probably a novelty record in that idea… Don’t go calling the SPCA on my… I was only joking… But the lesson is to collaborate with respect for the song’s originator… now that I can work with and may the Muse stay with Kathleen, Jim et al…
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Well, now we can take the guess-work out of wondering if the songs we write will be hits… The science behind the ScoreAHit web app can be found here. It’s all mathematics and formulae and “I’ve got algorithms”… here’s a very brief overview from the site:
The underlying assumption is that popular songs are similar with respect to a set of features that make them appealing to a majority of people. These features could then be exploited by Machine Learning algorithms in order to predict whether a song will rise to a high peak position in the chart. Machine Learning is a branch of Artificial Intelligence concerned with learning to perform a task based on examples -- in this case learning to predict hit potential based on past hits and non-hits.
And here are the factors measured by the algorithm in a tag picture format:
Kudos to Dr. Tijl De Bie for his work on this… it looks like a lot of fun and I’m going to submit a song or two to the Songometer when I get the link by email invitation…
I’ll report back on whether I’ve got algorithm or not… May the Muse (and Math) be with me…
Friday, January 27, 2012
Check out this article from Real Science about a professional musician helping his 6th grade daughter with a science project by co-writing/producing/mixing a song about the Northern Lights – the good old Aurora Borealis – boy, probably broke the rhyming dictionary with that one!
Here’s a sample lyric:
Blue and purple nitrogen
Aurora, you never know how much I adore yaʼ
My magnetic field of dreams
Making magic out of photon streams
Those endless nights in the northern lights
Maggie, the 6th grader, talks about the song here:
I know that there’s math in song, but apparently there’s science too… May the Muse stay with this Daddy-Daughter team!
Sunday, August 14, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Just finished watching a beautiful documentary about Ron Sexsmith’s troubles to get a “hit” in the land of radio (a la Bob Rock as Producer). I’ve been inspired lately by many things, some sad, some happy… This film had both… the praise and adulation of his peers and the “wall” that he can’t break through to reach a wider audience – and in the mix, such wonderful works of art, including the title to the film Love Shines. Ron writes some haunting melodies with lyrics to match… watch this film!
Love Shines in our grief… A childhood (and adult) friend of mine passed away recently… a widower himself, he leaves behind a daughter… so much pain…
Love Shines through our happiness. My wife and I saw Paul Simon at Massey Hall recently and, just last week, Elvis Costello and the Impostors at the Sony Centre (nee O’Keefe then Hummingbird). So much talent, so much joy brought to so many.
And to bring it all full circle, there was having Elvis Costello talking about Ron Sexsmith in Love Shines and calling him a “Man Out Of Time” (basically). Beyond belief…
May the Muse be with you all… and trailer below
Tuesday, November 02, 2010
Canadian Radio Star, the 18th annual national songwriting competition, is now accepting entries and online submissions from aspiring and proficient songwriters - published or unpublished - across the country. Sponsored by Astral Radio, and presented in association with Canadian Music Week, the contest offers emerging artists the opportunity to submit their songs for the chance to win thousands worth in music equipment, services and more - including $10,000 in cash.
"Songwriters are at the core of our rich musical heritage," says Rob Braide, Astral Radio. "Their songs define our lives and our landscape. Through initiatives like Canadian Radio Star, we have the opportunity to discover, empower and promote the stars of tomorrow, while contributing to Canada's vastly thriving music scene."
New to the Canadian Radio Star competition this year, songwriters can submit their songs directly online at www.radiostar.ca to the participating radio station in their area. Entries are open now until 5pm EST on December 13, 2010 - the contest's close.
Complete details and contest rules can be found online at www.radiostar.ca.
Songs will be judged by Canadian radio programmers, music publishers, recording industry executives, and successful songwriters. Regional winners will be declared by the participating radio station in each market, with a combined public and industry vote determining the Grand Prize winner.
The 2011 Canadian Radio Star will be announced on Saturday, March 12, 2011, during Canadian Music Week (March 9-13, 2011).
"In many ways, this competition offers a launch pad for the careers' of aspiring Canadian songwriters," says Neill Dixon, President of Canadian Music Week. "It opens doors to new possibilities, provides unrivaled exposure, and puts the songwriters' songs directly in front of a commonly unreachable audience. Astral Radio's dedication to this project is commendable and underscores our mission to develop Canadian talent."
Caught this interview of Midge Ure on the Daily Record’s website that deals with his establishment of an online social network for songwriters, music creators…
The site is called… you guessed it… Tunited… (Tunes+United I presume)… Here’s some of the interview:
A teenage Midge Ure sat - guitar in hand - in his bedroom at his family home in Cambuslang and decided the time had come to write his first pop song.
As he nervously strummed the chords of new composition The Bowie Trilogy, a tribute to his music idol David, he thought, 'This is what I want to do for the rest of my life'. His ambition far outweighed his early ability.
More than 40 years on Midge, 57, laughed: "The song was rubbish. Trouble was, I only had one part. I never got round to writing the other two sections of the track so it didn't turn out to be much of a trilogy.
"I was so passionate about music. I firmly believed I'd be walking home from school and The Beatles would be waiting at my door saying. 'We've sacked John, you're the guy we really want'. I lived in total fantasy land. That was my reality but it was exciting to me."
Midge has been looking back at the origins of his incredible 35-year pop career to coincide with the launch of Tunited, a new online social music network he's developed to help aspiring artists get their first step on the ladder to rock stardom and introduce fans to new music.
Midge spent four years building Tunited from scratch. Its aim is to encourage people to make music and get paid for it - an alien concept in an age of online piracy and free downloading.
Midge said: "Tunited is a DIY onestop shop for aspiring musicians. I've compresssed all the elements you need to make a living as an artist into this site.
"I've opened the door to everybody who wants to have a crack at making music or listen to new music. The cost implications of going into a studio and making a record just aren't there any more. We give you software good enough to make an album in your bedroom and a business pack showing you how to sell it.
"You can press up 1000 singles or just 25 copies to give to your mates. We also arrange gig swaps where a band in Newcastle can invite a band in Glasgow to support them and vice versa.
"You also get 100 per cent profits from songs which are downloaded. The artists all get paid - it might not be an awful lot but on other sites you don't see a penny for your music. The quality of the work by new acts on Tunited has blown me away."
He said: "Today, if The Beatles were a new band and knocked on the door of a major record company or radio station with the Sergeant Pepper album the response would be, 'Thanks but no thanks'. They wouldn't fit the bill of what the industry deems hip and trendy.
"It doesn't take a genius to work out that if 100,000 people turn up for an X Factor audition and only two are chosen that's an awful lot of other people who'd like to have a crack at making music.
"It all comes down to whether you fit the demographic. If you don't look right - if you're too old, too thin or too fat, whatever - you're going to be excluded, not given the opportunity to show what you can do.
"Tunited is saying, if you've got a skill - whether it's singing, songwriting or as a musician - barter that skill. There is talent out there and we'll give it a platform.
"Tunited is saying it's time we did the job ourselves. If you've got the desire to do it have a crack at it, the tools are there."
Wow! Very interesting concept… Best of luck Midge and may the Muse be with all Tunited users… Look for me there…
- Behind the music: Will Tunited bring artists and fans together? (guardian.co.uk)