Inconsistent Reviews...

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gitarrero
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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by gitarrero » Wed Oct 18, 2006 11:13 pm

Quote:Quote:I really think you are overthinking this...these screeners listen to a TON of material and won't remember specifics about a song they screened some time ago...it might sound vaguely familiar to them perhaps but that's about it. I beg to differ with you about this. At last years Road Rally, there was an A&R guy there (what company he worked for I cannot recall, but it was a major) who used to be a screener and he complained about this very thing in front of 3000 TAXI members. He said, and I paraphrase, "I'd give all kinds of thoughtful insight about how to make the submitters song better and then a month or two later, I'd hear it again and it would be exactly the same as it was before; completely unchanged. Didn't he take anything from the critique?"So that tells me that they do remember what they listen to. Or at least this guy does...Thanks,DanHi Dan,well I too make my thoughts about a critique, but keep in mind the relations:-for what listing was it?-are there any points that _several_ people mentioned?also, I try to get a distance to my own tracks, and than listen again to them - often I get a much more realistic view of the details as if I'm listening to them after creating them - you know what I mean?I think with some experience you'll get a feel for what works for what listing, at least I think I'm going in that direction.can you upload it here, maybe some users here on the board could write a short review..?Martin
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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by davewalton » Thu Oct 19, 2006 2:43 am

Quote:I beg to differ with you about this. At last years Road Rally, there was an A&R guy there (what company he worked for I cannot recall, but it was a major) who used to be a screener and he complained about this very thing in front of 3000 TAXI members. He said, and I paraphrase, "I'd give all kinds of thoughtful insight about how to make the submitters song better and then a month or two later, I'd hear it again and it would be exactly the same as it was before; completely unchanged. Didn't he take anything from the critique?"So that tells me that they do remember what they listen to. Or at least this guy does...That tells me that his guy is stretching the truth a LOT to make a point about improving our music. I'm more than skeptical about any claim from anyone that they can listen to hundreds of songs every week and then recall the details of a single song they heard months ago to the point where they know specifically that the song they're hearing now is exactly the same as the song they heard only one time before. Now I'm the skeptic here... sorry Mr Former Screener (whoever you're referring to) but I'm not buying the specifics of the story although I agree basically with the "lesson". Even if he does have that kind of musical photographic memory, it doesn't change the facts of the song he's referring to - it apparently still needed a lot of work. A song that needs the kind of improvement that he's talking about ("all kinds of thoughtful insight") wouldn't make it past a different screener anyway. Borderline submissions don't need all kinds of insight, just a tweak here or there. Maybe the song was so bad he couldn't get it out of his mind.

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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by edteja » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:01 am

Another problem with his attitude (the screener's) is that if he critiques a song today and you need to rearrange, rewrite, go back to the studio and redo it, two months is the blink of an eye. Who the heck could even try out all the changes in a couple of months, especially if you have to rethink lyrics or melody, or add a bridge or change the timing (or fire the vocalist and find a new one). He must figure you have one song to deal with instead of hundreds of the little puppies like most of us.
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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by matto » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:20 am

Quote:Quote:I really think you are overthinking this...these screeners listen to a TON of material and won't remember specifics about a song they screened some time ago...it might sound vaguely familiar to them perhaps but that's about it. I beg to differ with you about this. At last years Road Rally, there was an A&R guy there (what company he worked for I cannot recall, but it was a major) who used to be a screener and he complained about this very thing in front of 3000 TAXI members. He said, and I paraphrase, "I'd give all kinds of thoughtful insight about how to make the submitters song better and then a month or two later, I'd hear it again and it would be exactly the same as it was before; completely unchanged. Didn't he take anything from the critique?"So that tells me that they do remember what they listen to. Or at least this guy does...Thanks,DanHehee good point, yeah I remember this and know who you're talking about...however I still think you're overthinking it and quoting him somewhat out of context.The REALLY important thing to remember is everything gets screened in relation to the present listing. Nothing gets rejected based simply on the fact that you didn't change anything since last time.I think the point former screener "M" was making is that people should be taking advantage of the critiques, i.e. consider them. Too many people will not even do this. You are and that's a good thing. But only consider making changes if they makes sense to you and/or there is a consensus among several screeners...

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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by hummingbird » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:59 am

Hi - just gonna wade in here with my two cents. I too have had inconsistant reviews of the same piece. However, when I sit down and look at the inconsistencies, I realize that the screener is trying to help me improve my chances of a forward to a similar listing in the future. The competition is tough and the screener, in the moment, is trying to express to me why the piece did or did not measure up to the bar. They are human beings, each with their own way of communicating. As much as I can totally understand the disappointment of not getting forwards or deals, I believe that the Taxi experience exactly represents what happens in the real world of pitching music. You get turned down a LOT. You get put on hold and nothing happens, a LOT. Your song gets recorded but not released...I get reviews where the screener says 'Hi Vikki, how are you.' so obviously some screeners remember my voice & style. I don't think it makes a wit of difference to their screening process though.Hummin'bird
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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by horacejesse » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:49 pm

After you've been on this board for a while you start to see the clear pattern. Most members apparently have to go through the shock of having their best material rejected, and it usually upsets and confuses them. I'm sure glad I was not upset by my initial rejections. Cool as mountain air, that was me.Taxi must have a higher shakeout rate than the navy seals. I don't know how many people ask for their money back or quit after the first year, but I imagine it is a pretty steep percentage.I am guessing that the ones without success who stick around, eventually noticed something. They noticed they could make their best stuff better. It doesn't matter if they agree with what the screener thinks is wrong with the piece. They might think the screeners are morons, but now they themselves can no longer deny that they can make their own stuff better.It may not be necessary to explicitly act on all screener suggestions. You might find ways you can improve your sound that have little or nothing to do with screener advice.If you make your song better, the screener will probably notice, whether or not he/she remembers the piece and whether or not you took his/her advice. The only important part is that you did make it better. All their advice can be boiled down to one request: MAKE IT BETTER. I imagine that is all they really care about, not whether you acted on their specific advice.Most normal folk are not used to the level of perfection. We write a song, we think it is good, we get excited. We feel that anyone with a set of ears ought to be able to recognize its value immediately.Hell, all we have to do is join Taxi, call they lawyers and put them on retainer, send in a song or two, and the next thing you know we are purchasing the house that sits between the Skaggs and Gill estates over Nashville way. What does it matter that the second verse might need a little tidying anyway? The bridge should repeat, etc., etc.? Don't they know how to arrange a song in Nashville?Which brings me to another reason Taxi might set its own bar so high. The rip-off factor.The world is absolutely full of worthless, unethical people. In this case song thieves. You don't know who will have their hands on your tape after it leaves Taxi. A drummer passing through the studio where it was lain aside for a minute could pick it up on his way out for no other reason than that he is a scumbag with the morals of a wood rat. I am convinced this stuff does happen.A half baked song is a lot easier and safer to appropriate as your own if you are the type. Songs that really aren't finished but the writer thinks they are, are a lot more vulnerable."Hey, that's my song on the radio! Those sons of Baal!"What grief that could be for a person with no real money or power. You may rest assured that you will not beat Big Star X in court. Their lawyers draw up in front of the courthouse in limosines, while yours pushes his moody Toyota the last hundred yards into a parking place.Giant stars and publishing houses never lose. Let me show you that again. NEVER! The only exceptions are if they are going up against another giant. Then somebody has to lose and both are giants. Right now I would give you a link to lengthy summaries of essentially every song plagarism case that ever made it to court in the United States, but I do not want to leave this post right now. I will provide that link later to anyone interested. Many eye openers there. You will learn there that your copyrights are almost worthless at protecting you. I said almost worthless. You have a better chance of winning if you have them than if you don't. You also have a better chance of winning the lotto if you buy two tickets instead of one. The thing that counts is not whether you have a copyright, but whether you can demonstrate for the court the defendant had access to your song. If it happens to Matto with a piece that played on Oprah, Matto will be all right. He can demonstrate a reasonable likelihood that this artist had acces to the piece, since Oprah is a mighty big venue. If it happens to you, and your song won a big songwriting contest in Denver or Miami. Forget it, pals, you only thought you were protected.The upshot is: Taxi's high bar might be saving you more grief than you have ever felt over a song. Third party song theft would also generate a lot of bad press for Taxi. In protecting themselves this way, I see they are protecting you also.

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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by horacejesse » Thu Oct 19, 2006 3:55 pm


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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by danhazer » Thu Oct 19, 2006 6:55 pm

I guess I think you went a little too low level for the discussion at hand. First off, I'm not new to TAXI. Second, I've been a musician for 24 years and have been exposed to more than enough rejection to understand that it's a common thing in the music business - and I've had plenty of it, too. Every musician does. I just thought the contrast between, "perfect pop song" and "throw it out and start over again," in the song critiques was perplexing (I am exaggerating slightly, of course). Anyway, I guess I probably should not have raised the issue. Apparently, it's a pretty common observation among TAXI members. I guess with 40% of my submissions getting forwarded, I should not be complaining anyway...Thanks,Dan

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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by 53mph » Thu Oct 19, 2006 9:07 pm

Quote:I'm more than skeptical about any claim from anyone that they can listen to hundreds of songs every week and then recall the details of a single song they heard months ago to the point where they know specifically that the song they're hearing now is exactly the same as the song they heard only one time before. Now I'm the skeptic here... sorry Mr Former Screener (whoever you're referring to) but I'm not buying the specifics of the story although I agree basically with the "lesson". I'm a bit late stepping into this discussion here but I just wanted to tell you Dave that on several occassions, both with forwarded and returned material, I've had comments from the reviewer such as "I remember your material and style.." "great to hear a new track by you.." "This is the 3rd time I've heard this track and it still gets to me.." "You are the greatest artist I've ever heard in my life!" (Ok I made the last one up )I think that if the screeeners really like a piece they remember it quite well, and I expect likewise for a piece they don't like.Perhaps the example the guy is using is of changes that are desperately needed to make a track work. For example:I remember when I used to be a member of garageband.comI would review other peoples music all the time. I was also brutally honest. There was one punk track I heard where the two guitars were actually out of tune with each other and the guitar solo was played on another guitar which was on the bad side of out of tune with the other two. I told them (and I'm sure that plenty of others did) that any good points about the track were rendered obsolete by these glaring problems and they would never be taken seriously with a demo like that.6 months later I was reviewing and I heard the same track again...unchanged. Even 6 months later I could remember this track. I'm sure taxi reviewers do too.

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Re: Inconsistent Reviews...

Post by davewalton » Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:42 am

Quote:I think that if the screeeners really like a piece they remember it quite well, and I expect likewise for a piece they don't like.In that context, it's not too hard to image that they would remember a track. Matto made a good point that a song isn't automatically forwarded in the first instance or automatically returned in the second instance. The screener starts the process from the beginning, listens to the song in the context of the listing and then makes a decision and writes another critique.

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