Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

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avillaronga
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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by avillaronga » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:08 am

Quote:I didn't even know you COULD call and talk to anyone about a rejection. Who is Sabastian anyway?Sebastian is the head screener, he has come here on the forum from time to time to address some people's concerns.I suggested calling when you mentioned you've gotten critiques that had nothing more than a "no" on it. On something like your questioning of the two listings I'm not sure if a call will get you anywhere; that is more on the subjective side. The link to your song did not work for me so I couldn't hear it but I did read the listings and the critiques. I guess we go back to the human aspect of this whole thing and listener 260 felt one way while 194 felt differently. I will say this though, based solely on reading the critiques, the second listing specifically mentioned the lyrical aspect so I am not surprised that the listener for that listing sat there and nit-picked the lyric while the listener for the first one did not. If it is important enough to mention it on the listing then it has to be REALLY important. That's not to say the lyric of your song is bad (like I said, I couldn't listen to it) but it could be one of the reasons why the same song was measured with a different stick.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by bigdrisk » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:25 am

Quote:You are jumping to conclusions there. Just because there is a screener #260 doesn't mean that there are 260 active screeners.Remember that every client who decides to screen the sumbissions themselves ("will be screened and critiqued by the publisher/music supervisor/ director him(her)self") is assigned a screener number too.That's great to know. Thank you!Quote:I would never add such a note to my submissions, it makes you look desperate and like you're trying to influence the screener. If I was a screener I would find that pretty insulting, actually.So if I walked into a song-pluggers office and said "Hey, so-and-so thinks this song would work for thus-and-such, but before I put all my eggs in that basket, I'd like to see what you think about it being a good pitch for so-and-so," you think the publisher would me more insulted than apt to listen to the song with more perked-up ears? That's just what it seems like I am doing by putting the note on the lyric.Quote:The idea that "as long as your music kicks butt, you'll have the same chance at getting forwarded as any other member" seems to me to be at the very core of Taxi's business philosophy, and compromising that philosphy doesn't seem a particularly smart idea to me (from Taxi's point of view I mean).Sure, but the whole point of this discussion is to the confidence we can have that the average screener KNOWS when he/she has heard a song that "kicks butt". Again, when I first moved to Nashville and you COULD go door to door with your tunes, I played the same 4 songs for lots of song-pluggers. All but one turned me down. Two of the four songs went on to be #1 hits in the CCM industry. Are we saying that there's some confidence that Taxi's screeners have better ears?Quote:P.S. Sebastian is the head screener at Taxi who overseas all the screeners.Thanks. That's good to know.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by bigdrisk » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:32 am

Quote:Sebastian is the head screener . . . The link to your song did not work for me so I couldn't hear it but I did read the listings and the critiques. I guess we go back to the human aspect of this whole thing and listener 260 felt one way while 194 felt differently. I will say this though, based solely on reading the critiques, the second listing specifically mentioned the lyrical aspect so I am not surprised that the listener for that listing sat there and nit-picked the lyric while the listener for the first one did not. If it is important enough to mention it on the listing then it has to be REALLY important. That's not to say the lyric of your song is bad (like I said, I couldn't listen to it) but it could be one of the reasons why the same song was measured with a different stick.Thanks for the added info on Sabastion. I think I fixed the link. I had forgotten to put "www" in it. Check it out if you want. Anyway, good point on the lyrical aspect being mentioned in one and not the other. Of course, for all country songs, the lyrics are particularly important. And I'm not sure what the 2nd screener wanted me to spell out anyway. I think the clarifications he/she was suggesting were pretty big "duh's" to me. To spell out that the girl dumped the guy after leading him on seems pretty obvious. Trust me. I don't feel that way about all criticism. This just particularly seemed not well thought out.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by Casey H » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:36 am

The only solution would be to implement what is done in the U.S. criminal justice system. Your song would be tried by a jury of 12 who would have to make a unanimous decision to forward or not forward. In the event of a hung jury, the member could drop it or request a new trial. Casey

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by squidlips » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:41 am

Or, you could simply debut the song in front of three judges (one of whom is named Simon) and see how it works out. I think I'll take my chances with Taxi.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by avillaronga » Thu Oct 11, 2007 9:43 am

Quote:The only solution would be to implement what is done in the U.S. criminal justice system. Your song would be tried by a jury of 12 who would have to make a unanimous decision to forward or not forward. In the event of a hung jury, the member could drop it or request a new trial. If it worked just like the justice systems a lot of songs will get a death sentence in Texas while no one will ever be convicted... err... forwarded in California.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by matto » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:56 am

Quote:Quote:If you think something shoulda been forwarded, call the office. You will be treated with respect, and your tune will likely get a little more attention. I've seen it happen, where that phone call, got a song a forward, when it was initially returned.I didn't even know you COULD call and talk to anyone about a rejection. Who is Sabastian anyway?Okay, give me some advice: I've got a song that has been forwarded for listing S070907CO (to see the listing go to http://www.driskellsongs.com/S070907CO.pdf) (to see the critique go to http://www.driskellsongs.com/tnoil_critique.pdf)A couple days later the same song was rejected for listing S070914CO (to see that listing go to http://www.driskellsongs.com/S070914CO.pdf) (to see the critique, go to http://www.driskellsongs.com/tnoil_critique2.pdf)To listen to the song, go to http://www.driskellmusic.com/demo/the_n ... line.htmIt seems to me that the listing it was forwarded for is more of a long shot than the one it was rejected for. To my biased ear, the song has a definate Eagles flair to it, which is what the second listing wanted. I mean . . . I personally think the song has a better chance for meeting the criteria of the 2nd listing than the 1st one. Is this something worth making a phone call about?Gary,thank you for posting your song and the links to the listings and critiques, I think it's great that you're willing to share all of this...First of all I have to say I REALLY like this song. It's an extremely well-crafted song both musically and lyrically, an interesting and original concept that works very well and doesn't come across the slighest bit contrived (not an easy feat by any means). And of course the demo rocks.About the only thing I would've hoped is perhaps a slighty bigger melodic lift at the top of the chorus, although I admire how smoothly you segue from the verse into the chorus. Just one of those "extremely well-crafted" moments I was talking about above.I would say I find myself mostly agreeing with screener 260, although I think 194 has a point with the lyrics, allthough (s)he perhaps didn't make it in the most eloquent manner (I agree with you on "from what day forward?"...well DUH). What strikes me is that the lyric is very light on "furniture" (that show-me-don't-tell-me visual imagery they love so much in Nashville) for a Nashville pitch. Personally I think the song works beautifully without it, but I think that's what was bugging 194 and I have a feeling this will put it on that fence where it's sometimes forwarded and sometimes rejected based on the specifics of the listings...you also have a fair amount of inverted syntax in your lyric which some people can't stand...I'm usually one of them but in this case it didn't really bother me... Honestly I feel the song was probably rejected as much because to my ears it's a bit off target for country rock...and taking into account that they have already cut a bunch of songs and are only looking for radio smashes you obviously didn't do yourself any favors by submitting a ballad (I know it says "all tempos okay" but I don't have to tell you how tough it is to get a ballad cut out there, let alone have it released as a single).So it is my personal feeling that for this particular listing, the song just had too many strikes lined up against it and thus was returned. I think you would be within your rights to call Sebastian and ask him for another listen, at the same time I don't think #194's critique would qualify as a "screening mistake", so if this was my song I would probably just let this one go. You win some, you lose some.Speaking of which, congratulations on the forward to the other listing, I hope you'll keep pitching this, it is beautiful work and I wish you the best of luck with it! matto

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by bigdrisk » Thu Oct 11, 2007 1:28 pm

Quote:Thank you for posting your song and the links to the listings and critiques, I think it's great that you're willing to share all of this...First of all I have to say I REALLY like this song. It's an extremely well-crafted song both musically and lyrically, an interesting and original concept that works very well and doesn't come across the slighest bit contrived (not an easy feat by any means). And of course the demo rocks.About the only thing I would've hoped is perhaps a slighty bigger melodic lift at the top of the chorus, although I admire how smoothly you segue from the verse into the chorus. Just one of those "extremely well-crafted" moments I was talking about above.I would say I find myself mostly agreeing with screener 260, although I think 194 has a point with the lyrics, allthough (s)he perhaps didn't make it in the most eloquent manner (I agree with you on "from what day forward?"...well DUH). What strikes me is that the lyric is very light on "furniture" (that show-me-don't-tell-me visual imagery the love so much in Nashville) for a Nashville pitch. Personally I think the song works beautifully without it, but I think that's what was bugging 194 and I have a feeling this will put it on that fence where it's sometimes forwarded and sometimes rejected based on the specifics of the listings...you also have a fair amount of inverted syntax in your lyric which some people can't stand...I'm usually one of them but in this case it didn't really bother me... Honestly I feel the song was probably rejected as much because to my ears it's a bit off target for country rock...and taking into account that they have already cut a bunch of songs and are only looking for radio smashes you obviously didn't do yourself any favors by submitting a ballad (I know it says "all tempos okay" but I don't have to tell you how tough it is to get a ballad cut out there, let alone have it released as a single).So it is my personal feeling that for this particular listing, the song just had too many strikes lined up against it and thus was returned. I think you would be within your rights to call Sebastian and ask him for another listen, at the same time I don't think #194's critique would qualify as a "screening mistake", so if this was my song I would probably just let this one go. You win some, you lose some.Speaking of which, congratulations on the forward to the other listing, I hope you'll keep pitching this, it is beautiful work and I wish you the best of luck with it! mattoThanks for the kudos on the song. What you say about the "furniture" definately makes sense. I've heard that before on another song. It's something I'm learning about the country market. I'll let this one go. Probably good advice.

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Re: Inevitable Shortcomings of the Taxi System

Post by geo » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:59 am

This is a good string to read. I'm starting to get into the groove with the Taxi vibe, using it now as songwriting tool mostly (getting critiques on older material to help the "updating" process) with the chance to get a forward and maybe a toe in the door and like a lot of us apparantly have the odd issue with them.Thanks for the Sebastian info, though most of my critiques have been good (by that I mean well written, not forwards ) I have a couple that were IMHO a bit vague. One in particular seemed to be on a chorus kick. Song 1: Good song - I think the chorus could stand out more - you could consider putting the chorus vocal melody in a higher vocal register than the verse. sONG 2: I think there can be more to the chorus - more lyrics and melodies - I think you could consider widening the range of the chorus melody. sONG 3: I like the chorus, but I think there can be more to it - more lyrics and melody.Now I'm not going to act like these songs were perfect by any means but Song 3 critique is a rewrite of the Song 2 critique and they are two completely different styles of choruses:Song 2:A crutch to hold me up, a cross to call my own.But that has fallen and now I am truly alone, I’m all alone. All that stands before me is a burnt out shell,A slave to my fantasy, I’ll be a fool again.Nothing is left here but an empty well,A slave to my fantasy, I’ll be a fool again.Slave to my fantasy,Slave to my fantasy.Song 3:Main ChorusOnly you, only you, yes it’s only you,Only you, only you, yes it’s only you.2nd Chorus/BreakOnly you can make me feel like I do, when I’m with you,Only you, yes it could only be you, only you,Only you could make it all come true, when I’m with you, Only you yes it could only be you, you....But despite this my real issue was with Song 1, the tune I thought had the best chance of the three, this was a song pitch and I know Taxi wants the best material to forward to their clients but if the only criticism I get is "maybe a higher vocal register..." but that comes with a "Good song" (and solid 8's down the board) then shouldn't I either get a forward (the song is destine to be redone anyway) or a little more info on my close miss? I've submitted it again, returned (similar scores) but a little more info that time, though it wasn't the chorus that was the issue but I at least have more of a basis to address the rewrite.I also don't want to look like some complainer phoning up everytime I get a return but is this a case where I would have a legitimate gripe? (The comments where again general advice on memorable choruses, no specific details) Too much time has passed for this one I'm just trying get a idea in my head for future critiques. Despite my issues with the industry I don't have any problems with Taxi, as a separate entity in said system, except maybe they could forward just a couple more of my tunes!!!! .... Geo

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