A La This, A La That

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songman
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A La This, A La That

Post by songman » Sat Apr 30, 2005 8:55 am

I'm not a member, but I regularly read this forum and just got a TAXI email from Michael with current listings.Most of them read "(GENRE) band "a la" (ARTIST/BAND NAMES) wanted by (important music exec).Maybe I'm missing something, but I didn't think important music execs wanted any artists that were "a la", sounding like another...I thought they were looking for fresh vocalists and unique songs.One other thing...with the respected reputation that TAXI has, why aren't major names needing material from them, instead of "a la's"? Oh, I forgot,Kenny Rogers...the one major name that has recorded a song from TAXI members...

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by hummingbird » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:44 am

Hi songman... The A&R folks want the hottest, best looking, best sounding, money making artist/group they can get in the particular genre... and the 'a la' is their way of putting a label on what they want... cause if they pick you up they will be investing thousands of dollars in you, and they want to know you can deliver the goods, because they are in the business of making money.It's kinda like Hollywood sticking to a certain formula they're pretty sure works... like pairing Richard Gere & Julia Roberts, or doing remakes of films like Spartucus.I'm not saying it's right, but it is the reality. If you are over 35 and/or have your own sound, and/or don't look like Shania Twain, and/or don't fit their preference, it's hard to get picked up by a major label. That's why there's such a big independent industry out there. Even the independent labels want to know that you've been touring & selling CDs & marketing yourself... anyway, just a couple of cents from me...which is about .005 in Cdn PS - good question re the major names... I don't know of any
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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by matto » Sat Apr 30, 2005 3:21 pm

Quote:One other thing...with the respected reputation that TAXI has, why aren't major names needing material from them, instead of "a la's"?Songman,The reason Taxi doesn't use the real names of the artists looking for songs is that anybody with access to the internet can see the listings...those artists' management, label etc would be flooded with unsolicited material from everywhere. That's why they use "a la's" to describe the artists in question as closely as possible, without giving away who they are.matto

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by hummingbird » Sat Apr 30, 2005 4:03 pm

hey Matto explained it much better than me!I think I misunderstood the part about "Major Names" - I thought you meant do we know what major names have recorded songs submitted by Taxi members... no, we don't, unless they announce it... some deals are here on the forum under 'success stories' and some are posted on taxi's website at:http://www.taxi.com/transmitter/0504/deals0504.htmlH
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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by songman » Sat Apr 30, 2005 6:43 pm

Quote:Songman,The reason Taxi doesn't use the real names of the artists looking for songs is that anybody with access to the internet can see the listings...those artists' management, label etc would be flooded with unsolicited material from everywhere. That's why they use "a la's" to describe the artists in question as closely as possible, without giving away who they are.mattoSo the "a la's" are the actual artists/bands? I don't think so...I read it as similar-sounding wannabes. I remember a story about a country singer walking into a Nashville office proudly stating,"I can sing just like George Jones"..to which the music exec said, "Sorry we don't need another one".

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by songman » Sat Apr 30, 2005 7:00 pm

Quote:hey Matto explained it much better than me!I think I misunderstood the part about "Major Names" - I thought you meant do we know what major names have recorded songs submitted by Taxi members... no, we don't, unless they announce it... some deals are here on the forum under 'success stories' and some are posted on taxi's website at:http://www.taxi.com/transmitter/0504/deals0504.htmlH Vikki, that's exactly what I meant.. I went to the link you posted and noticed that the majority of the "successes" were involved with TV and film. If that's what floats a songwriter's boat, then I say more power to him/her....but I want hit songs on the radio. That's all that is important to me. Apparently, it's an area where TAXI is weak. It's inconceivable to me, that with TAXI's large membership, that only one song has ever been a hit ("Buy Me A Rose"). There can't be that many bad songwriters out there, surely..

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by guscave » Tue May 03, 2005 6:02 am

Hi songman,The "a la" is just a way to narrow down the search for what they're looking for. If they were to just say "I'm looking for a rock band", you can imagine how they would get swamped with every thing from hard rock to pop rock. The phrase doesn't mean that they need groups that sound like the "a la" they're refering to, but Artists that best fit the genre they're looking for. BTW if you ever sit down with an A&R guy trying to find out what he's looking for, you'll notice that they use the comparison (a-la) thing all the time. As for the rate of success that Taxi has, look at it like this. Taxi has about 10k members and got 1 hit song within the last 4 years. That's not too bad when you consider that between Nashville, NY and L.A. there are 100's of thousands of songwriters (majority of them are unknown) and maybe 1% of them get a hit song on the radio. The point is just getting a song cut is an incredibly hard thing to do. Getting it to be a hit on the radio requires small miracles...

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by songman » Wed May 04, 2005 1:43 am

Quote:As for the rate of success that Taxi has, look at it like this. Taxi has about 10k members and got 1 hit song within the last 4 years. That's not too bad when you consider that between Nashville, NY and L.A. there are 100's of thousands of songwriters (majority of them are unknown) and maybe 1% of them get a hit song on the radio. The point is just getting a song cut is an incredibly hard thing to do. Getting it to be a hit on the radio requires small miracles... Yes, it is incredibly hard..but TAXI has direct access to all the major labels and producers where a lot of those 100's of thousands of songwriters between Nashville, NY and L.A. do not have that advantage. So it seems that the odds would be greatly in TAXI and TAXI members' favor.Maybe I'm wrong..

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by guscave » Wed May 04, 2005 2:10 am

yes, Taxi has direct access to these top companies, but they have no influence whatsoever on what those companies sign. Keep in mind that Taxi doesn't work like a songplugger. When you hire a songplugger their job is to try to get your song cut. Taxi is basically a tipsheet. They tell you somebody needs something and if your stuff is right for that listing they send it out and that's where their work ends.Best to ya...

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Re: A La This, A La That

Post by matto » Wed May 04, 2005 5:40 am

Gus makes some great points. Also keep in mind that most Taxi members are relative unknowns.The vast majority of songs that get cut in Nashville are by writers with a proven track record and previous hits or at least cuts to their credit. One look at the Billboard charts or album covers will confirm this...the same names keep popping up over and over.When faced with choosing between a song by a known hit writer and a nobody, the record label will always be more comfortable choosing the hit writer's song, especially since that writer's name will also be recognized by radio station PD's and MD's, and thus the song is more likely to get airplay.Taxi makes it possible to get our songs in the door, but once inside the odds are still stacked against us matto

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