[I read this email yesterday, and was so happy I thought I would cry. I am going to complete this songwriting challenge after all, dammit!]
A quick love letter from FAWM HQ:
* You can do it! Whether you have one song to write or thirteen, it’s been done before and you can make it happen again. And by golly, writings songs is fun!
* A title is all you need. Titles are all you need to post at FAWM.ORG for them to count officially. Lyrics and demos are always optional, and you can add them later. So focus on writing songs instead of polishing demos if you must. A lot of commenting happens in March and April.
* Midnight at the International Dateline. You can continue to post songs as long as it’s still February somewhere in the world. That means 7am March 1 in New York, 4am in Los Angeles, noon in London, etc.
And remember to donate to FAWM.ORG if you haven’t had the chance yet!
See you at the finish line,
UPDATE: I uploaded my 14 song titles by FAWM’s International Dateline Deadline:
Last week’s co-writing dates with Dave Jay Gerstein have been quite fruitful, and we’ll be meeting again this week. I’m not sure if I’ll have 14 songs by the end of the month, but I’ve already written more songs this month than I did last February – YAY!
This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 4: Time
It’s the last week of FAWM 2010, folks, so we’re running out of time. BUT! Maybe we can earn some of it back by writing songs… about… time…? Eh?
Exmples: “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Halley and the Comets, “Time Is On My Side” by The Rolling Stones, “The Times They Are A Changing” by Bob Dylan, “Time After Time” by Cyndi Lauper
Visit February Album Writing Month for more!
This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 3: Neither Major nor Minor
Write a song this week using a musical scale that omits the third, or uses a third that is in between the major and minor notes. To composition newbies: this can be based on power chords, open tunings, use a “bent/crushed/blue third,” quartal harmony, or non-Western scales such as ragas, quarter-tone scales, etc.
Examples: “Taxman” by The Beatles, “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix, “Soundtrack for Alien” by Jerry Goldsmith, “Petrushka” by Igor Stravinsky.
This week I have a co-writing date with Dave Jay Gerstein (writer of “Would You Be My Co-Dependent Valentine” and “My Pet Pickle”) so you know it’s gonna be fun, not to mention interesting!
February Album Writing Month – Let’s go!
Online music marketing is one of my specialties, and I’ve created a new dedicated blog (yes, another one ;-)) at Online-MusicMarketing.com to showcase my articles on the subject, as well as become the new online home for my music marketing specialist work.
This new site is currently under construction, and will eventually take the place of all the other music business related blogs that I have floating out there in the blogosphere. I’ll be consolidating all of the various online music marketing content that I have on this site, and I’ll eventually delete the rest. Future plans include a new newsletter and e-courses for musicians, and I’m very excited!
Best to keep my online music marketing issues in one basket, as opposed to scattering them around. I’ll keep you posted.
So today, (Feb 10, 2010) there was a blizzard in NYC (as well as other parts of the Northeast). There was so much snow expected that most schools and some businesses were closed.
My roommate Tym Moss and I both work from home, and Tym came up with the great idea of going to the park to make snow angels. What a great idea!!!
With three rehearsals and three gigs, last week was a helluva week! Now that things have calmed down a tiny bit, I’m getting back on track with February Album Writing Month aka FAWM!
Last night I attended Tom Paul’s Brooklyn Songwriter Circle, and while discussing FAWM with the gang, I realized that one of the goals of February Album Writing Month is to get us to be less precious with the songs that we write. It’s so easy to get caught up in thinking that all of the 14 songs that we’re challenged to write have to be hits, or songs that will be performed. With that kind of pressure, no wonder it’s so hard to begin!
So I returned to the FAWM site, and checked out the songs that have already been uploaded by other FAWM participants. Mind you, some FAWM-ers have already made their 14 song goal, but I’m not concerned about that. Besides, I sang and performed my ass off last week, and I wouldn’t trade last week’s awesome opportunities in order to have written more songs. Anyway, after checking out the songs, I realized that they are not all masterpieces, and that’s okay. The point is to keep the channel open, and to create.
So I revisited the lyrics of the song I started at the beginning of the month, “Sunday Night Blues”, edited them, and uploaded them to my FAWM page. Now that I’ve broken the seal, I’m free to write more songs. And who knows? Perhaps I will have a masterpiece by the end of the month!
This Week’s Songwriting Challenge: Week 2: Inanimate Objects
Write a song from the perspective of an inanimate object. Lyricists: this could mean telling the story from the object’s point of view. Instrumentalists: this could mean using sounds, samples, or melodies that somehow reference the object.
Examples: “The Lighthouse” by Nickel Creek, “Small Blue Thing” by Suzanne Vega, “Birdhouse In Your Soul” by They Might Be Giants.
It’s still not too late to get started. If you’re interested, visit February Album Writing Month
Christian Cassan, the producer of my full-length studio recording SUPERNOVA, has a new GORGEOUS website at ChristianCassan.com
Christian, a talented producer, drummer, and all-round great guy, has also worked with Julia Brown, David Byrne, and Ronnie Spector, among many others. He was the drummer in the original cast recording the Broadway recording of Passing Strange. Most recently, he has written, performed and produced music for the movie “A Plumm Summer” (Paramount Pictures) and can be seen performing in Spike Lee’s 2009 movie, “Passing Strange”, filmed live onstage.
Working on my CD with Christian was one of my best musical experiences ever. While his main instrument is drums, he also plays guitar, keyboards, bass, and probably other instruments I don’t know about. He’s a detailed oriented Virgo, and a good listener. He works hard on every project that comes his way, and it was a true pleasure to have him as a producer.
For more info on a wildly creative musician and producer, please visit ChristianCassan.com
Among the many Haiti benefits that are happening, on Feb 5th and 6th, I’ll be singing Brahms’ Requiem with a chorus and symphony orchestra for a Haiti benefit for Medical Relief, sponsored by IFCO/Pastors for Peace. I’ll be performing with some of New York’s finest musicians, and it is an honor to be of service. For more information, please visit Symphony for Haiti
Friday, Feb 5th at 8pm: Riverside Church, NYC
Saturday, Feb 6th at 8pm: Our Lady of Refuge Church, Brooklyn NY
Born in New York City Rothberg grew up in Scarsdale, NY, playing piano from the age of 3 and writing songs by the age of 15, joining a high school Rod Stewart covers band. She later traveled through Europe and America, busking to support herself.
Patti’s CD debut on EMI America, Between the 1 and the 9, went on to sell over 250,000 copies in the US and another 200,000 in Europe and Japan. The album title is a reference to the subway platform where she used to busk.
Now Patti Rothberg is back with her third CD, Double Standards, which was released on Megaforce Records. It is the culmination of the melodic pop rock associated with “1 & 9”, and the psychedelic explorations and Queen-like harmonies of her second CD Candelabra Cadabra. The combination is doubly delicious. The title track is an exploration of the concept of good vs. evil, wherein “…the devil loves a double standard and heaven isn’t selling cheap…” The album is split down the middle between hard rock and heartfelt acoustic songs. What brings it all together is Patti’s melodic sensibility and unique lyrical perceptions. Had this been the age of vinyl, the harder songs might all go on one side, the softer on the other. Both are unmistakably Patti and equally true to her musical leanings.
Patti’s main website
Patti’s MTV video for “Inside” (her radio hit that was featured on shows like 120 Minutes)
Patti’s video “Treat Me Like Dirt” that she helped direct
Patti’s side project “Squeaky Wheel”
Last, but not least, if you’d like Patti to paint a portrait of you, your loved one, or even your pet, contact Patti at *prothberg AT earthlink DOT net*.
February (and 2010 in general) is already bursting at the seams!
This month also starts the East Coast Music Association (ECMA) version of Ariel Publicity’s Cyber PR Boot Camp! The East Coast Music Awards are sort of like the Grammy’s but for the East Coast of Canada and it takes place in a different city each time. I’m moderating this online course with Ariel Hyatt, whose book “Nine Weeks to Music Success” provides the blueprint for musician social media success, and I’m excited!
ECMA members and industry representatives will participate in a private interactive online forum 4 weeks leading up to and 4 weeks following ECMA 2010, where they will receive direct guidance, tutorials, and weekly assignments and connect with others through group teleseminars. At ECMA 2010, participants will take part in a full-day hands-on Cyber PR Boot Camp with Ariel on Thursday, March 4th, and receive direct guidance on the course progress to date, learn the latest social media trends and review individual project goals.
Learn more about Canadian Music, East Coast Style! Visit the East Coast Music Association site.