Critique Anonymity Unfair

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allends
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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by allends » Fri Mar 16, 2007 3:42 am

I'm a new member, so my opinion is based on my first impressions with the submission process. Here are 2 items on my wish list:1)Direct on-line submissions to Taxi as a Dispatch member. I personally will not drive traffic to my music with my Broadjam membership and there are other free services that host better quality sound for promotion and corroboration. I think a lot more members would sign up for Dispatch if they could drop the price of Primo Mob at Broadjam.2)On the bottom of the critique form, I would like to see something like this:Status: Forward (always )Listener ID # XYZShort blurb about the screener's credentials.For what it's worth...-Allen

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:15 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. That may be true in certain film and TV pitches, but in Nashville songwriters are pitching to a specific individual for a specific artist.Anonymity will turn your CD into a frisbee.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hummingbird » Fri Mar 16, 2007 4:52 am

Quote:Here's a fun forum fact:Screeners are NEVER incompetent when they're forwarding music, only when they're rejecting music. Dave, you are absolutely correct.
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hummingbird » Fri Mar 16, 2007 5:07 am

Quote:Quote: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. CaseyI would like to add that I saw the perfect example of what we are talking about here... at the Road Rally.Pat & Pete Luboff (Songwriting teachers, authors & Taxi screeners) held a class about how to target your submissions more effectively. Within 10 minutes a disgruntled woman, who'd obviously had some returns, started asking angry questions about the screening process. Several more disgruntled people jumped on the bandwagon, and the class - which I hoped was going help me read the listings more effectively, something I know is crucial -- ended up being Pat & Pete defending Taxi's screening process. And the atmosphere in that room was anything but cool & calm (vastly different from the usual positive vibe of the RR). I felt really bad for Pat & Pete - who were obviously surprised & dismayed by the attitudes coming at them. Frankly, I walked out, because I didn't spend $2500 to go to the Rally to hear that. Based on that experience, I totally understand why Taxi doesn't tell you who the screeners are for a specific listing other than by number. The people in that room who made Pat & Pete the scapegoats for their frustrations with returns are a perfect example of why such protection is necessary.
"As we are creative beings, our lives become our works of art." (Julia Cameron)

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by matto » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:15 am

I don't understand why screeners' anonymity would be "unfair"..."inconvenient" perhaps, or "not ideal"...but unfair? Look...how is Taxi gonna attract those "heavyweight" screeners we all want if they're not gonna guarantee those people's anonymity and make a reasonable attempt to protect them from crazed members? I'm sure screener harassment and threats are not a daily occurence (at least I HOPE so ), but how many harrassing or threatening phone calls would each of us be comfortable receiving?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 name.Sorry nomi, but IMHO it's your logic that's faulty here...there's a big difference between the mindset of somebody who submits their music to a CRITIQUE ONLY service like John Braheny's or Jason Blume's, and that of someone who submits their music for what they think is their once in a lifetime chance at success, and views that screener as the one individual standing between them and a shot at fame, fortune and stardom...a BIG difference.I've been a part of these boards for several years now, and angry irrational posts about screeners' critiques and decisions occur with frightening regularity. There's no doubt in my mind that some of those posters would at least leave a nasty voicemail message if they had the screener's name instead of just the number. Yeah it's depressing, but these are the times we live in... The other thing I have a hard time understanding is how a screener's name or credentials would help in "evaluating" a critique. If you're a beginner or intermediate writer who still has a lot to learn, then all you really need to know is that Taxi definitely doesn't hire "interns". ALL of their screeners have years of experience and considerable expertise in the field they are screening for. Every one of those individuals can teach you something if you keep an open mind and are willing to learn.If, on the other hand, you're a pro writer, or a very advanced amateur with considerable accomplishments and a well developed craft....do you REALLY need to know the screener's identity or credentials to decide whether a suggestion they make is gonna improve your song? I sure don't. And apparently hitwriter doesn't either, hence his statement:Quote:As a professional songwriter with Country chart success (Daron Norwood - Bad Dog No Biscuit - Giant Records) and catalog signed with major publishers in Nashville I find some of the reviews I have received absoultely clueless. Though I have had a fair share of forwards since joining, I will no longer leave the the critique check box checked, nor will I be posting any reviews on this forum for open debate. It would appear that he didn't need to know those screeners' identities/credentials to formulate his opinion... Personally I take a slightly different approach. While I would certainly consider myself an "expert" on the market and listings I mostly submit to, I still ask for critiques anytime they're available.Some of those critiques are, IMNSHO , completely off the mark (although I find this is quite rare), those I dismiss. Some of them (the majority actually) contain one or two "nuggets" that seem worthy of consideration, those I find valuable. Some of them contain a "flash of brilliance", that "why-didn't-I-think-of-that" idea that you'd usually have to give up part of your writer's for...those I find absolutely invaluable. If I get one "flash of brilliance" in 50 or even 100 critiques, then critiques as a whole are well worth it to me. And I certainly don't need to know a screener's identity or track record to appreciate that brilliant suggestion. Nor to recognize it...all I need to do that is lots of experience and an open mind... Finally...as far as having a song rejected by a Taxi screener and then having that same song "forwarded" or even placed thru other means...yeah that's happened to me too. I fail to see how that's an indictment of Taxi's screeners or screening process. Because that's an EVERY DAY occurence in the music business. EVERY DAY publishers reject songs that are then picked up by a different publisher who finds success with them. I've had this happen to me several times. Does that mean the publisher who rejected the song is clueless and I should never work with them again? If you think the answer is yes, please consider this: Just about EVERY publisher or A&R person with a "track record" (of success) has an equally long record of failures. It's just that they don't usually publish those in their bio blurbs... matto

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Fri Mar 16, 2007 7:53 am

Quote: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. Casey (A ramblin' man this morn')Sometimes I feel like the guy in the FedEx commercial who says something, everybody ingores him but then the boss says the same thing and they all respond!! LOL cAsEy

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by davewalton » Fri Mar 16, 2007 10:39 am

Quote:[quote author=matto board=complaints thread=1173986815 post=1174068919]As for knowing the screeners credintials, it would help me discern how much value to place on the critique relative to my own.I'm not sure why anyone would not understand that?I'll have to admit that I'm having difficulty getting a grip on that. Speaking for myself, I take opinions, suggestions, critiques from anyone and I judge the value of those, relative to what I know or believe about my track. Without knowing anything about the opinion giver, I usually have a feeling about if their suggestion is something I'd like to try. I think I would have short-changed myself if I had only accepted opinions from "pre-screened" individuals. Some of my best music tracks have come about as a result of suggestions from non-musicians. One thing that has REALLY helped me is thinking long term. By that I mean that I usually don't dwell too much on a single opinion given today. Over time if that opinion keeps resurfacing from several corners, then I assume that I have some work to do. I've gone through several phases music-wise and none of them have been quick. So if someone says that I need to change XYZ, I don't get too concerned because XYZ will get changed over time if it's something that needs changing. It'll keep coming up again and again and it'll be an impediment to where I want to be. If XYZ isn't a real problem, but only a preference from a screener then over time it won't be an impediment and so it'll just fade away.One thing I'll say is that since I only do instrumentals, from the outside looking in, lyrics seem to be much harder to peg down in terms of "making the bar" than does music. It just seems like they're a lot more slippery and it's harder to define the moment when you say "Yep, I'm done". If I were doing "songs" (with lyrics) I'd fully expect to get more conflicting opinions from Taxi screeners as well as from any other group of individuals no matter what their credentials. Conflicting opinions on instrumental music don't seem to be as extreme or esoteric as opinions on lyrics can be. Maybe I'm wierd but I like opinions on my music. Sooner or later a nugget of gold comes along, sometimes from the least expected source. DavePS - I hope you reconsider posting songs and/or reviews for open debate. I was kind of disappointed to read that. It was probably like some of my posts, it read different from the way it was probably intended.

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by hitwriter » Fri Mar 16, 2007 12:01 pm

Quote:PS - I hope you reconsider posting songs and/or reviews for open debate. I was kind of disappointed to read that. It was probably like some of my posts, it read different from the way it was probably intended. Thanks again for an excellent response... regarding reviews anyone is welcome to privately critique my catalog at www.williamkitchens.com (link to my broadjam account).

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by bc » Sat Mar 17, 2007 5:48 am

Look at this thread; whether he will admit it or not, there is a certainly well-earned "gravitas" to Matt's opinions. In fact, I'll bet his op eds have more weight with the community (here) than say...Casey's I've been on this board longer than most and though I have, in the past, challenged Matt's willingness to comment objectively on all things TAXI, he has wore me down with his patient temperament and his, boots on the ground, street creds. Same with screeners: There are screeners whom I've come to recognize as astute and insightful in their technical analysis of my art. Their choice of words, writing style etc... is quite recognizable -- I would know them to hear them speak. So even though Williams' op ed is understandable, (probably not practical), if one pays attention to screener numbers, they should be able to discern who's opinions to assign more weight. Not a perfect system, but certainly doable. best,bc

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Re: Critique Anonymity Unfair

Post by Casey H » Sat Mar 17, 2007 6:40 am

Quote:Look at this thread; whether he will admit it or not, there is a certainly well-earned "gravitas" to Matt's opinions. In fact, I'll bet his op eds have more weight with the community (here) than say...Casey's best, bcThat's OK. I am happy to be the Rodney Dangerfield of the boards... hee hee Casey

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