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Lazz

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Lazz last won the day on July 16

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About Lazz

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    A Muse's Muse
  • Birthday 03/07/2014

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  1. Lady Day shows us the way. xx
  2. Lazz

    Chord Progressions

    Sounds like the measure of a good gig.
  3. Lazz

    Chord Progressions

    That's what's known as the Simple Verse-Chorus structure. It used to be very widespread in popular song, almost exclusivly so, a couple of centuries back. During the first half of the 20th Century, structures grew more adventurous and innovative and sophisticated. During the last half, writing/compositional approaches in popular music regressed to those earlier folky forms. Thus... People have been doing it for years. It ain't "wrong" as much as it is farkin' boring and predictable. The only reasons for persisting with it seem usually due to laziness, absence of imagination, lack of caring, just running out of idea, or simply not knowing about the developments that all those other songwriters have already made before us. You're perfectly correct that many recent and hugely successful songs repeat that old simple verse-chorus bollocks. And you'd be right to spot that most are built on I-IV-V. And to notice that most people are still happily buying it. I think while this simplicity definitely has a rightful place, my own preference is for it to be made more readily palatable by happening within a broader context of harmonic and structural diversity. Otherwise, as an audience, I feel insulted and abused by it and I'm out the door pretty quick. But that's just me. All I am is a lyricist who cares deeply about music.
  4. I have wasted many futile years in search of a topless accordionista. ... and the fact that Mofo's example is from fun Finnish folksters is just fantastic.
  5. Nothing. And lots right with it. Not only as funky as shit in hands like those of Rockin' Dopsie or Boozoo Chavez or Clifton Chenier. Not only rootsy riches across south and central america but also deep European rivers of tradition to revel in and dance about. As well as loud, brash and happy, it can even be lyrical and thoughtful and full of heart-rending beauty. So good, it fits wonderfully in this perhaps unlikely trio of the stomach-steinway with flugelhorn and piano. It becomes much less unlikely given the quality musicianship of the participants.
  6. Lazz

    The Turd That Got Left Behind

    What is this shit?
  7. More specifically, if the Philadelphia Clef Club is still happening on Broad Street, you can make contact there with lots of generous talent happy to help you where you're at. When, and if, you begin to tighten your focus, institutions with productive resources for developing skills in commercial music are Albright snd Kutztown as well as the U of Pittsburgh. No harm in visiting your nearest "George's Music" for voicing your ambitions and seeking advice on reaching them. The staff are qualified to help.
  8. Find a school for music. Practice and study hard. Serious commitment - no short cuts. Wasting time at places like this will not help you.
  9. I had not been paying attention to this stuff lately. Have to wake up more. From an open letter by Maria Schneider: "I and countless colleagues in these niche genres have learned painful lessons we’re not keen on repeating. Lesson 1: The three major music companies that are locked and loaded to run the music licensing collective (let’s call it Corporation A) are the same companies that allowed themselves to be enticed by the self-serving Svengali, Daniel Ek, whose beginnings were built on infringement (uTorrent). The day Warner, Universal, and Sony bit a huge chunk of poison apple in the form of equity in Ek’s Spotify, they traded their contracted musicians’ and songwriters’ valuable creations for ads. That tectonic shift gave Ek most of the world’s music, it legitimized “free,” and it created a gaping conflict of interest for the Big 3. Songwriters and attorneys argue if it was a “fiduciary breach.” In my opinion it is a massive breach of trust and ongoing conflict of interest. And as the 90% have suffered a huge collapse in income, inversely, we watch these companies celebrate their earnings from 10% of songs. That conflict of interest and breach of trust are very relevant to the MMA, and this history absolutely must not be ignored in writing the governance sections of the MMA. And, if that reality is painful or upsetting for industry to read, I can only answer that they themselves created it. Lesson 2: There’s something else occurring as a result of streaming that’s critical to understanding the niche musician’s and songwriter’s perspective. It’s that many, if not the vast majority of record companies, are no longer advancing money for a lot of music on their labels. It’s now the artists and creators, in countless numbers, who are each sinking tens of thousands of dollars into making their own records. Many still go with a label despite having to front the costs themselves just to be part of a distinguished label roster. There are many fine small labels doing everything they can to make that a worthwhile trade, and some still struggle to front budgets. The point is, those niche labels and independent musicians face either a zero, or statistically insignificant, chance of a return on their investment through streaming. Many report barely paying for a sandwich with their royalties. If one only cares about the top 10% of songs and launching superstars to the stadium echelon, and keeps the blinders on for the rest, I suppose one can claim some successes with streaming. But if one values the wide array of music our country and the world has to offer, then our biggest music corporations have failed us, and failed our culture of music as a whole, by cashing in on Ek’s unsustainable business model. Spotify’s IPO papers confirm to me the streaming model’s income and wealth inequality as well as unsustainability. The 90% knew this years ago. Lesson 3: As I see it, those set to run the show under the current draft MMA have a terrible track record in this arena: The NMPA owned the Harry Fox Agency themselves and was already once tasked with solving the Spotify mechanical issue. In my opinion, that effort failed miserably: the feuding, in-fighting and finger-pointing that occurred between the NMPA, Spotify, and HFA, and the ugly lawsuits brought by independent songwriters and small publishers resulting from what seems to me to be a collective failure to properly handle and respect mechanical royalties, left these companies acting like the Keystone Cops. Yet ironically, it is the NMPA and the Digital Media Association (DiMA – companies like Google, Spotify and Amazon) that, in my view, are steering all power under the MMA to the same cast of characters, while conspicuously avoiding objective oversight and reasonable checks and balances. I have no problem with the NMPA or its members and Spotify being involved in the solution. But I have a HUGE problem with them controlling the solution, and controlling the entities that will be formed under the MMA." Read more from the front-line about it here and here
  10. Lazz

    Mary Didn't Survive Revised july 2

    "Harry hates himself" sprang immediately to the mind of this anarcho-commie-pinko-liberal-snowflake. But it ain't my song. If it was - I believe I would be kicking for a bridge of severe dramatic contrast. Something to refresh and liberate our ear from the tyranny of insistent sing-song. Something more melodically fluid - some long notes and a little legato maybe. And some different lyrical camera angle on the action - perhaps a kid on a cell-phone home with what may be the final call. If it was - I believe I could easily convince myself that it had great legs with serious viral potential. I believe I would be working for a bridge of powerful beauty and for using a children's choir on the nursery-rhymery. (Cheesy and obvious, but effective.) If it was - I believe I would be expecting my co-writer to write style-appropriate musical settings for the A sections (verses) first. I would be expecting him then to automatically make a bridge for me - one which ticks all of our visualised boxes. And I would be expecting next to find the right words to follow and fit that essential new-direction bridge-section. If it was - I believe I would also be real keen to have an arrangement written for children's choir. As far as repertoire - children's choirs are a very worthy target - and the topic renders them also a soft squishy target. Meanwhile, musical directors of children's choirs are always hungry for fresh material. (And an opportunity for their works to be seen as being relevant.) The kicker being that children's choirs normally perform in licensed venues. (You file the performance with your PRO and eventually you get paid.) It's an under-recognised market of underestimated value. If it was - I believe I would have been pitching and hustling my composer-collaborator already. Do you have a friendly muso-producer in your distant neighbourhood neck of the somewhere woods, Kuya? Of course there is. But it ain't my song. Shame.
  11. Lazz

    Mary Didn't Survive Revised july 2

    Fun! Very entertaining and perceptive writer.
  12. I dig the largely forgotten Foster. Very important to the history of songwriting. When he died at 37 years, his pocket held 38 cents. Are you certain he claimed to be "Ethiopian"? He looks real white in photographs, so do his mum and dad, and the family were strictly anti-abolitionist too, so that claim doesn't quite add up for me yet. There is much important history to be found in "minstrelsy". As a part of the career path for african-american musician, minstrel troupes functioned alongside jubilee choirs and other touring tented predecessors of early black vaudeville - these made up the sole routes and engines for ex-slaves to learn and develop their skills in the entertainment trade. There are great stories there.
  13. Lazz

    Mary Didn't Survive Revised july 2

    Good idea. A bridge would do the job.
  14. Lazz

    Mary Didn't Survive Revised july 2

    The pedant in me has to tell you the past tense of "plead" is "pleaded", not "pled". Even the MS spell-check rejects "pled". But I keep hearing that damned fake word used on the US news all the time recently - despite my hopeful opinion that career talking-heads on flag-ship news shows should have a basic love and appreciation for language as an absolute requirement for the gig - so the useage nonetheless seems to have already established a foot-hold in popular vernacular and my complaint is too little too late. On the real up-side - nobody else will squawk about formal declension, they'll know what you mean and have no trouble. Plus - along with being a convenient rhyme for "dead", nursery rhyme conventions places the form itself as dominant foreground, so clearly you can get away with murder inside the otherwise secondary story-telling bits. The message-power of this piece - I think - is driven by the potency of the simple contradictions between those two elements: the nursery-rhyme form and the horror of the content I've heard several indifferently wanky music settings of Mary Had A Little Lamb ('though none by Lowell Mason). And I think the trouble they run into is that doggerel-like nursery-rhyme rhythms are not very helpful melodically. Nonetheless - lyrically, this is the toughest, strongest, most powerful adaptation I have read. A dynamite idea done well. (Wish I had thought of it)
  15. Lazz

    Blogs question

    Yes. And yes.
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