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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:44 pm 
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an interesting excerpt from TAXI:

Excerpt:

Not "current" sounding -- The song sounds stylistically dated. A style that
may have been viable at one time but is no longer heard on contemporary
radio. If you catch yourself only listening to Oldies Radio, playing your
old albums or saying any of the following, you may be writing in a dated
style:

- "They don't write songs today like they used to."

- "I loved those songs they played when I was in high school."

- "I never listen to the radio, there's nothing good on it anymore."

- "I don't relate to any of the new music."

There are writers who tend to get "stuck" in a time period, usually that
period in which they were passionate about the music and memorable events were occurring in their lives and relationships. As they get older and the peaks and valleys of their lives even out somewhat, songs don't "attach" to them like they used to.

If they're not pursuing songwriting as a full-out vocation, they tend not to
invest much time in analyzing current musical styles and looking for artists
and songs they like. They tend to continue to listen only to those songs
that had an emotional impact on them, those with "nostalgia value."
Consequently, they write melodies and in styles that are most accessible to their memories.

Alrighty guys and gals . . . I need you to be really honest with me here.
Are you guilty of writing dated sounding songs because you're stuck in the
time period when music attached itself to you?

:end excerpt:

well yeah...but i can really play an instrument - so now what?


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 2:58 pm 
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I couldn't even begin to guess what the current style is. I certainly don't write a dozen notes into one syllable so I'm probably guilty of being old-school.

You can try checking out the charts here to see if you can figure out what they're alluding to.

http://billboard.com/bbcom/charts.jsp


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:04 pm 
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Is there a 'current style' anyway?

Wouldn't the fact that you're able to clearly identify one, make it old news already...?

Can you be "in" without being "out"?

I dunno... there are a couple contemporary bands, that sound rather retro to me...

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:10 pm 
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the author goes on:

Imagine how much better your odds of success would be if you were writing
music that was contemporary. I KNOW how you can solve the problem. There's a secret device that's guaranteed to make your music more contemporary in very little time.

It's called a RADIO! ;-)

To be competitive, you need to know what the competition is doing. The top
songwriters in the business know, and so should you.

:end on:

so i guess 'contempory' means *whatever* is on contemporary radio stations.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:18 pm 
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mcnewsxp wrote:
i guess 'contempory' means *whatever* is on contemporary radio stations.


:lol:

Those stations - at least hereabouts - all use a slogan closely resembling "The best of today, as well as the gems of the 70's, 80's and 90's"... which makes that 'contemporary' thingie a bit hard to grab :lol: .

I guess you just have to sound somewhat like Robbie Williams or Madonna... just different :twisted: .

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:21 pm 
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Well, considering the last song I wrote will never sound the way I want it to because I will never get Billie Holiday to sing it.......yeah, it's dated.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:27 pm 
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mcnewsxp wrote:
you may be writing in a dated style Alrighty guys and gals . . . I need you to be really honest with me here. Are you guilty of writing dated sounding songs because you're stuck in the time period when music attached itself to you? well yeah...but i can really play an instrument - so now what?


Well, I think the mince that I write and record is as bad as it ever was on an aesthetic level, so in that sense, yes, my style is dated.

However - I am currently deeply influenced by Blackalicious and, consequently, I do think there is a very contemporary twist to my rubbish.

What a dilemna!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:33 pm 
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Most of my stuff doesn't have a genere anyway. I just write what I want. Whatever pleases me. But I make a hell of a lot more money flying airplanes than writing songs.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:39 pm 
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I agree with Geno, I just write to please myself. Luckily though, there's a ready made genre in the ID3 tags of an MP3 file which I can use: Drum Solo :lol:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 3:45 pm 
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Drum wrote:
Drum Solo


:laughing3:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 4:54 pm 
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My style is 'retro' and it will come back into vogue every 20 years or so. I'm waiting. :shock:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 6:35 pm 
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I guess I am writing in a retro style, at least most people who hear what I'm doing describe it that way. But I really do not have a great deal of nostalgia for songs that played when I was young. I still like them, but like a lot of what is happening today, or at least what I hear on the radio. I listen to the World Cafe, which originates on a local station, WXPN; I listen to a lot of Afro-Pop music; and I listen to music created before I was born. I don't hear what I'm doing as especially "retro" but I will have to defer to what others hear.

I suppose it's like accents. I don't think I have a strong American accent, but if anyone hears me talk, theres's no doubt where I'm from.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 9:07 pm 
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Quote:
no doubt where I'm from


i hear that.

i've never had any kind of commitment to nostalgia and never felt like my musical tastes begin and end with any particular era - or anything else in my life for that matter. time marches on, ya know. (must be that aries thing) i have always listened to all kinds of music and still do.
but my writing probably does get stuck in the muck of antiquity more than i'd like. i usually start off with acoustic guitar so maybe that’s the problem. the last song I finished sounded like eric clapton and I never liked clapton after cream. so I’ve gone off writing for a while.


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 Post subject: Good discussion topic
PostPosted: Wed Jan 25, 2006 10:22 pm 
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Sure, I write some dated material because I'm dated. At age 45 my primary influences are firmly planted in the late 70's early 80's. I like that era so my stuff tends to reflect the stuff I like.

Some of my writing does reflect a modern influence, but frankly.....I mostly don't care for the guitar tones used by many contemporary rock/alternative bands. I'll echo what others have stated....I don't have to make money from my music (lucky for me) so ta' hell with the trendy stuff. :lol:

When I work with youth bands on their demos I constantly (to a fault) advise them to consider things that will help make their originals sound commercial & current like: keeping song length under 4 minutes, getting to the hook within 30 seconds, no long intros or solos, etc.....

I think Chuck made an excellent point regarding musical style cycles. Retro may be contemporary next year. If it is I'm forming a Dijonstock.com based virtual band called "Geezer".

Gary


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:15 am 
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Not that I've written anything in the last year and a half, but I have been studying what people are doing today. I just got back from Germany where I was sitting in the hotel room watching German MTV...there was a show with some American hip-hop/fashion designer/video game creator talking and running his favorites and why. Insightful.

I enjoyed more flying over MicE's house while I went in and out of Zürich. 8)

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 12:41 am 
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My style is just all of my influences mixed in my head with shit I want to say and spewed out onto a digital recording machine. Is that dated?
Maybe.
I'm always searching for that guitar tone or vocal sound that makes my balls quiver. It may be that those tones or sounds are from the past. I do like recordings with dynamics in it. That, to me, gives it a feeling that you just can't get from some of today's perfect recordings.
So yeah I'm retro, old and dated. It's not so bad. :lol:
Interesting topic. 8)
Now I'm scared to ever send my crap to TAXI. :cry:

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 1:49 am 
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bassoprofundo wrote:
So yeah I'm retro, old and dated.


Me too.

Wanna join Geezer?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 3:45 am 
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Interesting article but I believe TAXI is geared toward songwriters and producers that define success in monetary rewards and not artisic value.

Music is a passion and a hobby but not my source of income for many reasons. The awesome thing about home recording is you don't have to cater your songs to the mass market lowest common denominator to record your music becuase you don't have to sing a deal with a label.

My thoughts,

1. If I had to write and record what is contemtemporary radio now for the most part I would quit playing nad writing music.

2. I remember going through a phase in the early- mid 80's when I quit listenening to all contempory music and radio feasting instead on classicla and jazz becuase I just lost interest in popular music. Then "alternative" music came out wich reignited my interest in more contempory music and led me into punk, ska, reggea along with jazz, Eno and oher ambient soundscapes.

3. My goal is to write good music outside the norm in structure and sound pallate. I hate predictable and the imposed limitations that come with pop radio etc.

For those who aspire to write songs and make a living at it your customer base is the current pop culture and the advice in TAXI would be a good strategy. There is nothing wrong with that and if you can accept the limitations imposed on you I am sure it could be rewarding in many ways.

For me there is enough of that out there and my buying tastes seek out creative, quality and original song structures that speak to me on an emotional level.

If I could make some easy money writing a few cheesey jingles that would allow me to invest more money in instruments, equipment and the like in order to do what I love most that would not be sell out or cop out to me becuase the original (pun inteneded) musical dream and inspiration lives on.

It may very well be possible to do both and I know 61 has earned some money in comercial work and production and I am betting alot of it went into his personal studio to do the original stuff he enjoys most.

While I admit it would be super cool to record some original songs or write some songs that get comercial airplay and bring in some money and acclaim etc I have no expectation of that and its not on my radar screen or flight plan for musical goals.

I like the bands that break the rules such as Bella Fleck and the Flecktones, U-2 to some extent.

Be a ground breaker if that is what you enjoy and be comercial success if that is your goal.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:09 pm 
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I don't need TAXI to tell me that my songwriting style and musical creations are dated.

I just need to play my CD of songs for my 13 year old nephew, and I know immediately from his reaction...

that my songs are dated!

Not that I give a shit. I do what I find fun, and I long ago gave up any rockstar/professional song-writer dreams.


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 Post subject: Right on!
PostPosted: Thu Jan 26, 2006 6:40 pm 
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utah wrote:
I long ago gave up any rockstar/professional song-writer dreams.


I still have the dreams, only difference between "now" and "then" is NOW I know the dreams ain't coming true. :cry: Dagnabit!!!! And those groupie dreams were good ones!

Seriously, right on Utah. I'm right there with ya'. Since most of us are not trying to make money from this wonderful hobby we should all write whatever style brings us enjoyment.

Gary


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