Song screeners

Before you rant, READ THIS!

Moderators: admin, mdc, TAXIstaff

sermusicusa
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:30 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Song screeners

Postby sermusicusa » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:16 pm

How many song screeners work at taxi?
Does each one specialize in one style of music?

What specific qualifications does one need to be a screener/A&R person?
How many years experience in music do they have? And what capacity?

I'd love to know more about who is listening to my music and telling me no :)
User avatar
Casey H
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 12138
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby Casey H » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:42 pm

sermusicusa
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:30 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby sermusicusa » Wed Aug 01, 2018 5:49 pm

Hmmm...

"Here’s a list of some of the past and present experts who’ve worked on the A&R team at TAXI."
Not really a complete list.

Thats not who is here currently or maybe some are. Also not too many Electronic music A&R there eh? Or Hip Hop for that matter.

Thanks for the link but I already read that page :)
User avatar
Casey H
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 12138
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby Casey H » Fri Aug 03, 2018 10:34 am

Most likely the website is not up to date. However, many on that list still screen for Taxi. I've meet some of them at the Rally.

Michael Laskow could give the best answer. I know they have screeners who specialize in hip hop, pop, Film/TV, etc. They generally pick the screener(s) for a listing based on the screener's knowledge of the genre. Maybe Michael will pop in and answer better than I have.

Taxi is pretty open about how they do things. If you have concerns, give them a call.

Best,
:D Casey
User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 768
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 7:42 am
Location: Calabasas, CA
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby admin » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:53 pm

Typically 40-ish screeners work per month. Sometimes as many as 50-ish.

They range from hit songwriters to former A&R people, to former and current publishers, to people who've done song and instrumental selection for years at music libraries, to music supervisors, to music coordinators working on big TV shows for top music supervisors, etc. A few of our screeners ask to have their identities not posted as they work for TAXI between shows, and don't want people in the industry to know that they ever have down time ;-) Understandable.

NONE of TAXI's A&R people are interns or second stringers.

I think people like to question who the screeners are because they can't imagine that anybody with a ton of experience wouldn't automatically hear their genius and forward their music. Usually, by their second year of membership, those geniuses make comments like, "I can't believe the submissions I was making my first year, I was clueless." That happens ALL the time, but nobody believes us until they've had the same revelation, or if you prefer: epiphany.

The screeners are assigned to genres they've been cleared/approved to do. Some are only cleared to do one genre, but a handful are cleared to do a few genres. The interesting things is, a screener who was the music intake person at a music library is MUCH better at identifying (let's say) Hip Hop tracks for TV than somebody who has produced huge Hip Hop records. The music library person is looking for what works in a TV show, the big shot producer is looking for hits. Two different skill sets and two different circumstances.

I've noticed that this is only your 5th post here. It's very common for "newbies" to doubt the screeners. And just so you know, we've actually got a Head Screener who CLOSELY monitors their work on EVERY listing. If you ever have a question, you'd be smart to email our head screener.

Also, you can get a really good read on how right you are, or how "wrong" the screener was on a particular listing/critique by posting the full listing, a link to your music, and the FULL critique in the Peer-to-Peer section of this forum. The first few people to respond are often other new-ish members and can sometimes be overly kind in their assessments. The balance of the respondents will typically be much more experienced members who will give feedback that's also kind, but also very insightful and helpful. On the whole (and feel free to chime in here veteran members), the feedback from the experienced members will be about 98% in line with what the screeners have decided. We've all been to this rodeo at least a hundred times on this forum, and the outcome is always, 98% agreement with the screeners.

I COULD be way off base here, but IF you're feeling like, "Who are these people and what qualifies them to judge my music and determine if somebody in the industry is going to hear it or not," you'll save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort if you do what virtually every one of our successful members has done: realize that the screeners WANT to help you, and they are not sadistically trying to hold you back. Ask ANY of the members who have posted in SUCCESS STORIES on this forum, and they will likely all tell you that.

I hope this helps!
Michael
User avatar
ChazAldi
Impressive
Impressive
Posts: 153
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2018 4:32 pm
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby ChazAldi » Thu Aug 09, 2018 6:04 am

I am going to write a rock opera about being a Taxi member, here are the working titles for the acts:

Act I: The Excitement - My Dreams of Being a Full Time Songwriter Are About to Be Realized
Act II: The Disillusion - WTF?! Returned?!!
Act III: The Skepticism - These screeners wouldn't know a good song if it smacked them in the face!
Act IV: The Remorse - Did I just waste $300> TAXI IS A SCAM!
Act V: The Epiphany - Hmmm. Maybe the screeners do know a few things? Wow my music really sucked back then.
Act VI: ?

I am still waiting to figure out what Act VI will be called. Taking suggestions. Here is a description of the plot for Act VI:

In this act, we see the handsome but middle aged songwriter spending more time learning about arranging, editing, and mixing. He is also working on his reading skills to ensure he really interprets the listings properly. Also, he realizes he hasn't left his basement studio in over a month. He's totally forgotten about his job and his family. He takes a moment to look out the window and sees his still attractive wife and well behaved teenagers heading out for a day of fun. Who is that younger and more handsome guy with them? Oh well, back to work. Taxi TV is coming on soon. Time to learn something. Maybe this episode will shed some light on what "broadcast quality" means for string arrangements (hint hint Michael).
User avatar
funsongs
Serious Musician
Serious Musician
Posts: 4733
Joined: Fri Sep 06, 2013 11:18 am
Gender: Male
Location: So Cal
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby funsongs » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:10 am

Perhaps a sub-plot, somewhere - a scene reminiscent of a 12-step program or AA meeting, where the lead character recounts his journey in front of his peers:
call it Songwriters' Anonymous - where everybody knows your name.
"Hi everyone - my name is ____________ ; once upon a time..."
Peter Rahill
https://soundcloud.com/funsongs-1
https://taxi.com/peterrahill
“The future aint what it use to be.” - Yogi Berra
User avatar
Casey H
King of the World
King of the World
Posts: 12138
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby Casey H » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:53 pm

The other thing that people sometimes miss is they are not screening for whether your track is good or bad necessarily. They are screening for how well the track fits the requirements of THAT listing. Great tracks get returned all the time because they are not what the listing party was looking for.

:D Casey
sermusicusa
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 16
Joined: Tue Jul 24, 2018 5:30 am
Gender: Male
Contact:

Re: Song screeners

Postby sermusicusa » Thu Aug 30, 2018 7:57 pm

Thank you for the information. Most helpful.


admin wrote:Typically 40-ish screeners work per month. Sometimes as many as 50-ish.

They range from hit songwriters to former A&R people, to former and current publishers, to people who've done song and instrumental selection for years at music libraries, to music supervisors, to music coordinators working on big TV shows for top music supervisors, etc. A few of our screeners ask to have their identities not posted as they work for TAXI between shows, and don't want people in the industry to know that they ever have down time ;-) Understandable.

NONE of TAXI's A&R people are interns or second stringers.

I think people like to question who the screeners are because they can't imagine that anybody with a ton of experience wouldn't automatically hear their genius and forward their music. Usually, by their second year of membership, those geniuses make comments like, "I can't believe the submissions I was making my first year, I was clueless." That happens ALL the time, but nobody believes us until they've had the same revelation, or if you prefer: epiphany.

The screeners are assigned to genres they've been cleared/approved to do. Some are only cleared to do one genre, but a handful are cleared to do a few genres. The interesting things is, a screener who was the music intake person at a music library is MUCH better at identifying (let's say) Hip Hop tracks for TV than somebody who has produced huge Hip Hop records. The music library person is looking for what works in a TV show, the big shot producer is looking for hits. Two different skill sets and two different circumstances.

I've noticed that this is only your 5th post here. It's very common for "newbies" to doubt the screeners. And just so you know, we've actually got a Head Screener who CLOSELY monitors their work on EVERY listing. If you ever have a question, you'd be smart to email our head screener.

Also, you can get a really good read on how right you are, or how "wrong" the screener was on a particular listing/critique by posting the full listing, a link to your music, and the FULL critique in the Peer-to-Peer section of this forum. The first few people to respond are often other new-ish members and can sometimes be overly kind in their assessments. The balance of the respondents will typically be much more experienced members who will give feedback that's also kind, but also very insightful and helpful. On the whole (and feel free to chime in here veteran members), the feedback from the experienced members will be about 98% in line with what the screeners have decided. We've all been to this rodeo at least a hundred times on this forum, and the outcome is always, 98% agreement with the screeners.

I COULD be way off base here, but IF you're feeling like, "Who are these people and what qualifies them to judge my music and determine if somebody in the industry is going to hear it or not," you'll save yourself a lot of time and wasted effort if you do what virtually every one of our successful members has done: realize that the screeners WANT to help you, and they are not sadistically trying to hold you back. Ask ANY of the members who have posted in SUCCESS STORIES on this forum, and they will likely all tell you that.

I hope this helps!
Michael

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Exabot [Bot] and 0 guests