Critique Anonymity Unfair

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:18 pm

Quote:Quote:I do not honestly believe that every reviewer has the credintials that would warrant me rewriting a song or songs that have had solid professional interest.Thanks for the input.Well, that's a fair observation....looks like TAXI employs mostly heavyweights if you read their brochure, but you might get an 'intern' for all you know. Maybe that is a question that M. Laskow could answer. I would argue that TAXi as far as I know is a for profit company. While I do not doubt Mr. Laskow's sincerety in helping songwriters achieve success he is running a business.The very marketing techiniques that he would encourage aspiring artists to use are in place at TAXI.Would you want to read in the sales pitch that Jane Doe from Obscure records San Francisco is going to review your works or that one of the industry heavy weights is. Just because a heavyweights name is published doesn't mean he or she reviews x number of submissions...I run a successful business with quotes from clients that have brand name recognition... Even though they only use my services on occassions I have 100's more of clients that say nice things about my services that do not carry the same weight of these well known brands and celebrity figures.Which testomonies do you think I publish?

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:26 pm

Quote:Quote:Given the dynamics of this business, I agree with hitwriter.... I don't really want a name.... but a summary of credentials for the screener would be desirable.... even though its not an opinion that will change my life, it does make me consider changes to my material for the next submission.... and like hit.... I wonder if I take a critique with a grain of salt, or a chunk... or a rock ... or even a boulder.... It is also the subjectivity... needing to write what is an "undeniable" hit.... well .... people deny potent realities everyday.... so is a screener's job to come up with a cookie cutter list of reasons to deny hit status to a submission..?? Coincidently, I've always had a great respect for the writers of the songs on the Nashville charts.... but in the last two weeks.... I heard a couple tunes on the playlist by some big names ... I was like "what the ffff......????" how did that song wind up getting cut??? If I was a Taxi screener I would say that song is a piece of ssss.......C'mon.... don't get me started..... ArkJack I think you have a good point about giving a summary of each screeners' credentials, although TAXI might say it would reveal too much about the screener.Some of the stuff coming out of Nashville isn't that great, I agree. I've heard that if you're a major star, you can get away with it because you have a proven track record, and people are going to buy your songs even if you sing out of a phonebook....so when an artist cuts a not so great song, he's pretty much assured people are going to buy it anyway. Also, if you're an established songwriter, you can get away with a not so good song because a major artist will cut it as well. Whereas a new songwriter like myself has to write a monster hit to even be considered.....we don't have that track record that would convince Nashville to buy what we're selling. But then again, it's all subjective. I love songs that everyone hates, and vice versa. I know, it stinks though! Payin' the dues, payin' the dues. The truth regarding artist cuts that seem below par reflect the economics of the business... An artist will always try to record hit songs and as all of us know, everything we write is a hit!The Artist feels the same about his or her own works and it allows the Artist to earn more income from having something he or she wrote released as a single.Sometimes a great song, sometimes below par?It takes an artist sometimes 3 or 4 records to start earning real income from a deal. Without the pubishing and songwriting revenue that comes from having their own songs released, an artist can starve.Even with tour money you have to consider the expenses of keeping a band, road crew nad booking agent paid and happy.Add to that producers with publishing companies paying staff writers trying to recoup draws and I could publish an entire book.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Thu Mar 15, 2007 1:07 pm

In theory, it would be great. But it just ain't gonna happen. As mentioned, screeners getting harassed is a big problem. That's the same reason 99% of publishers and other industry pros simply say "at this time we will pass on your material" with no explanation. If they give a reason, some people will argue and hassle them. A number of TAXI screeners are folks like John Braheny who also run outside songwriting consulting services. They need to keep their contact information public to conduct business. I'm sure someone like John B would not want an unhappy TAXI member sending tons of angry emails and maybe even phone calls.It is true that most people will conduct themselves professionally. But as noted, it doesn't take many to screw it up for everybody.TAXI has even had problems telling people the names of the companies they forward your songs to. Every once in a while, some moron makes repeated calls/emails and annoys they heck out of folks at that company. Casey

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by jchitty » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:43 pm

This has to be one of the best threads I've read since I've been posting at TAXI....thanks, Hitwriter for starting this thread and giving us your perspective. Since you've written a hit, it's nice to get a view from someone outside of TAXI.....in otherwords, from someone in the industry who's had success independent of TAXI. I am trying to be fair to TAXI as well, but I have enjoyed reading Hitwriter's opinions here. Horace, I like your point about 'trusting yourself' more than a reviewer. It's hard to walk that line between, "okay, I need to improve and work more on my songs" to.... "I know this song is really good, and I don't care what anyone says."

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by jchitty » Thu Mar 15, 2007 3:44 pm

Quote:this an awesome thread!!Yep, it's a great thread.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by sgs4u » Thu Mar 15, 2007 8:03 pm

sparkle wroteQuote:I just read your review of my song "In My Dreams". I'm glad you liked the song -- thanks! I'm surprised to hear you say the mix wasn't consistent -- this song's gotten forwarded three times before. And no one else out of other places I've submitted to said the mix was not up to snuff either. this is one of those "things that make you go hmmm" Maybe the guy submitted this song to a listing that wasn't an appropriate match. Screeners are human, but it does make me wonder about the objectivity of the forwarding process. I'm not at all skeptical, it just adds weight to the perspective that you have to get an immense pile of forwards because some songs inevitably fall through the cracks. It's all about the number of deals that are actually making you money. That's why the film/tv stuff seems a little more clear to me as far as submissions/forwards go.Were the screeners credentials a part of the problem, we'll never know. On the other hand, it seems good (even great) reviews have little to do with whether a track is forwarded. Suggestions made by reviewers don't always seem to be about what could've garnered a song a forward. Many reviewers suggestions seem clouded with difficult to decipher comments. Then again, I only get to read people's opinions of reviews after members are angry or perplexed. or of course thankful (but then they don't say anything about what the reviewers suggested. Reviews of my music have been very clear to me, and help me a great deal. Do I actually need them to like what I'm writing? Not a chance.But I don't ever think that anyone hears only with their ears. We listen to music with our hearts, as well. Some more than others. I believe I am one of the others. and therefore, I would NOT make a good reviewer for Taxi. just adding to the collective, steve

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by davewalton » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:14 am

Here's a fun forum fact:Screeners are NEVER incompetent when they're forwarding music, only when they're rejecting music.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by davewalton » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:37 am

Quote:The other reason anonymity bothers me is that it's the opposite of what I'm used to. Huh... that's EXACTLY what I'm used to. Outside of Taxi, I never know who the person is that's screening my submissions. I submitted music a couple of weeks ago for a couple of national ad campaigns. It was done online and so I don't even know who the company is much less the name and bio of the person screening the music. In the last month, I've submitted demo music for at least a dozen Indie films and although I know generally something about the film or production company I'm submitting to, I sure don't know the name and bio of the actual person reviewing the music. Same with direct submissions to music libraries, publishers, etc, etc.Who has ever sent demo music to a record label and insisted that they divulge the name and bio of the A&R rep who will be reviewing their submission?This isn't a Taxi defense, it's a reality check and although I can only speak to my own experience (which may be completely different from others), I've discovered that 99% of my submissions outside of Taxi go into what I call a "black hole", they're certainly reviewed by somebody but I never know who that somebody is, certainly I don't have access to their "bio" and I most definitely never know why they passed on my material. From my growing experience in submitting music outside of Taxi I've found that gaining access to the name and bio information of the person reviewing my submissions never happens.FWIW,Dave

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:54 am

Quote:There is a faulty logic to the "taxi members give death threats to taxi screeners" logic. Many of these same screeners, like John Braheny, give critiques in their songwriting workshops using their real nameNomiNomi: There is difference. When John Braheny critiques your song in a workshop he is providing a review service he was paid for, but NOT deciding whether or not to forward your song for an industry opportunity. When someone stands in between an artist's song and an opportunity, that is different. People get a lot nastier at times. Just look at some of the posts here over the past few years.Now, I am NOT saying TAXI shouldn't think about improvements as far as how much information they give about screeners. Maybe there is a compromise whereby, as suggested, they give some bio "bullet points" on screeners who review material. I hope that Michael reads customer suggestions on the boards here and considers improvements where practical.When I was a member, I enjoyed dispatch much more than the standard leads. For one, song placements with major artists by unknown writers are one in a million. Second, I enjoyed the quick turn around with NO critique (Not that critiques have no value). I found a painless yes or no better for film/TV and completely consistent with the industry. Over the past few years, outside of TAXI, I have pitched (for myself and many others) hundreds of songs for quick turn-around film/TV situations. It's simple; if I don't hear within a few weeks it's "no." Two times out of a hundred, I got a "yes."I digress: Along the lines of posting suggestions to TAXI: My suggestion would be to make the cost of TAXI + Dispatch + Electronic Submissions less expensive. Right now, it is $300 + $150 + $40, I believe, totaling $490 a year. I do give TAXI a lot of credit for not raising their prices all these years. But I would hope that electronic submission tools (I hear new ones are in the works) would lower their costs. Also, maybe they could offer a "no critique" membership for a lower price. Those members could only get critiques on-demand for a fee.As members or perspective members, we have a simple choice: Pay for TAXI with a screener/gatekeeper system (imperfect at times) in exchange to many more leads than we could get on our own...OR... not. The general consensus on the boards here has been that it is worth it because of how many film, TV, and library deals were achieved through TAXI. Casey (A ramblin' man this morn')

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:59 am

Quote:Quote:The other reason anonymity bothers me is that it's the opposite of what I'm used to. Huh... that's EXACTLY what I'm used to. Outside of Taxi, I never know who the person is that's screening my submissions. I submitted music a couple of weeks ago for a couple of national ad campaigns. It was done online and so I don't even know who the company is much less the name and bio of the person screening the music. In the last month, I've submitted demo music for at least a dozen Indie films and although I know generally something about the film or production company I'm submitting to, I sure don't know the name and bio of the actual person reviewing the music. Same with direct submissions to music libraries, publishers, etc, etc.Who has ever sent demo music to a record label and insisted that they divulge the name and bio of the A&R rep who will be reviewing their submission?This isn't a Taxi defense, it's a reality check and although I can only speak to my own experience (which may be completely different from others), I've discovered that 99% of my submissions outside of Taxi go into what I call a "black hole", they're certainly reviewed by somebody but I never know who that somebody is, certainly I don't have access to their "bio" and I most definitely never know why they passed on my material. From my growing experience in submitting music outside of Taxi I've found that gaining access to the name and bio information of the person reviewing my submissions never happens.FWIW,Dave I have to agree very strongly with Dave here as I said on my above post. In the real world, "no news" means either they didn't even listen at all or you were rejected. I also mentioned earlier that THE VERY REASON most companies only reply when interested is the same as the reason TAXI hides the identity of their screeners... no one want to be hassled or harassed. Casey

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