Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting....

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doortoanima
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Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting....

Post by doortoanima » Thu Jun 22, 2006 9:31 pm

Hi, I've just been a reader of the forums until now, as I've noticed something odd and I guess I just want to rant a little.So anyway, I've gotten back 2 batches of critiques from TAXI so far and I've noticed something very odd about them. This is not an issue of low scores or returns either, let me explain. First, as you know, looking at the critique sheet the elements rated going from top to bottom are Music, Lyrics, Marketability, Arrangement, Production, Engineering, Musicianship, Lead Vocal. So in that order is how I will give the score numbers for each critique.First Batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism" and "In Embryo".The Exorcism scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8.In Embryo Scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8......anyone else see the similarity's here? Its a perfect match, score for score...coincidence I thought...moving on.The Second batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism", "In Embryo", and "Olivers Wake". This time The Exorcism scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.In Embryo Scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7....Olivers Wake scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.....Do you guys see it? HOW does each song for each separate critique get the exact same score? The first critique featured 2 songs with the exact same score as each other....the second critique featured 3 songs that all had the exact same score as each other? Am I the only one to find that strange?Also, something else I found quite odd. Let's look at the second batch of critiques. This critique really pissed me off which is why I waited till way later tonight to write this, as it gave me some time to cool off, but let's forget about the things I disagree with for a second because a critique is just a persons opinion after all, and everyones in titled to one right?OK, The exorcism I recorded around May or so last year. I'm always learning new recording tricks and methods every time I go at it, and I've learned a fair amount more since then. Olivers Wake was recorded in February this year. As such alot of extra steps have been taken that haven't on the other songs such as having all frequency's below 60 Hz removed, and having all DC offset removed before Mastering. I also had gotten tons better with compression and using Limiters and Quad Compression. Theres a whole slew of things that have been done better in the mixing but the bottom line? The audio quality is much better in Olivers Wake then The Exorcism, yet they have the same score for Production and Engineering. It's not small differences either. You can hear the difference on a regular CD player, but if you listen using a proper pair of Mixing head phones or Monitor Speakers there is a HUGE difference, especially with the bass. The bass in The Exorcism is kind of muddy and not well controlled, while in Olivers Wake it is very tight and punchy WITHOUT muddying up the mix even a little as it's very balanced.Also, in the first batch of critiques The Exorcism got an 8 for both production and enginering....concidering that Olivers Wake on the second batch is actually better quality wise, I find a 7 and a 6 to be...well it just seems wrong to me.If your tired, take a break, I'm not done ranting yet....I've gotten many critiques from various places such as www.songoftheyear.com and some other people in the industry from music seminars and such, anyway, the one thing I've always done well with in critiques are Melodies and Originality. They are usually both 9's and 10's, which is why the second batch of critiques really pissed me off. Let me explain my situation here.For a relevant example, let's look at the overall comments from the first batch of critiques from TAXI."Hey Will, your songs feature interesting and unique musical and melodic parts. The vocal delivery suits the material well. The musicianship is solid, the production sounds good. Both songs could be made more accessible (especially on a first listen) by giving the listener something to hook onto, e.g., some repeating vocal lines. It could also be a good idea to try and move away from the root note of the songs throughout. I wish you good luck with everything".OK, it's a nice critique, I'm happy with it. The main thing to take from it is the fact he pointed out "unique musical and melodic parts", AND, the fact that I don't repeat vocal lines. I do NOT do verse chorus verse, and I usually vary up the musical parts as well. I structure my songs like a movie, rising and falling to reach a final climax and conclusion. I use alot of time signatures, I record the strangest kinds of ambiance from scraping on the walls to kicking doors, whatever I have to do to come up with something original and atmospheric. I get docked points and singled out for being unconventional in almost every critique (all except the second batch from TAXI mentioned above) in the arrangement particularly, but its OK, and I understand that its unconventional and doesn't fit into the mainstream...but thats partly why I do it, it makes it different, it makes it fresh, and I take great pride in my ability to do that.....and ya know, I don't mind losing points for it as long as the originality is recognized. This is also the same reason that the second batch of critiques pissed me off so much.On the second batch, this guys Overall Comments were: "Will, you have done a good job of establishing & defining the compositional dynamics & at adhering to the hard rock genre requests of the listing throughout all 3 songs that you have submitted. That being said, I feel that the music is to similar in both it's design & presentation to Tool. There are so many bands that try to sound like them & while the listing mentions them as a reference they are looking for material with more stylistic originality"So...Tools the only band allowed to structure their songs in design outside of verse chorus verse? Are they the only ones allowed to use time signatures? Because orchestras have been using time signatures since the beginning...thats like saying "Hey!, U can't have reverb in your song cause Jimmy Hendrix used that on one of his", and guess what? Almost EVERY band is doing verse chorus verse...so my structures are to much like Tools because their...different? I spent the last 6 years finding my sound, experimenting with everything imaginable to make something original, and that originality has been recognized on several critiques, 2 of which came from TAXI itself (First batch), but apparently, having a different structure/design makes me like Tool, because Tool is also unconventional...should I just go and chop up my songs into cookie cutter designs now?To be completely honest, my first impression when looking at the second batch of critiques was that the reviewer must have been a big Tool fan, and was offended that someone else had gone out into uncharted territory, and then had a bias to critique me with. It's funny cause Olivers Wake had all 8's and 9's from www.songoftheyear.com, was praised for it's originality, got me an honorable mention, and scored a 9 for marketability with the closing notes:"This song has huge market potential and is well worth the effort to clean up a few items. Get busy promoting this song as soon as possible!"And yet, my second batch of critiques from TAXI, the reviewer gave it a 5 for marketability....Now, I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm blaming TAXI, just one reviewer, but while I'm here, I have a few questions about the service after being a member for about 4 months now. That second batch of critiques I got, I received on June 22nd...yesterday. That critique was for a listing that had a deadline of May 10th....OK, so it was late, it happens, things get swamped, I understand...so why can't the critiques be sent through email? I have the feeling I read that they can be sent through email if your a member of band-jam, maybe I'm wrong..but if so, why is it I have to be a member of band-jam to get my critiques emailed to me when the membership to TAXI is $299.95 PLUS submission fee's? Hell, the critiques could be done up in word pad, even www.songoftheyear.com sends out the critiques by email and they get hundreds to thousands of entries each month (and no $299.95 membership fee). What happened to "You Finally Have Friends In the Music Business"..Im sure none of my friends would make me pay them an additional 30 bucks a month on top of a 299.95 membership fee just to send me a critique. I can understand not being able to send songs via email as it would take some pretty big expensive servers for TAXI to offer that, but little critiques in wordpad I think TAXI can handle.Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I love the concept of TAXI, and I've seen little blurbs of different ways that TAXI is trying to improve the service. I'm just wondering why the small but important things like emailing all critiques without additional fee's is not part of the service improvements.Lastly, a scary thought. TAXI is made up of top professionals within the industry, professionals that scan everything and send the best on for a chance for some kind of success in the music business right? To have credibility, TAXI A&R are tough scorers and they only forward the best because thats what keeps the credibility right?Well, as you all know and can see from my rant here, the reviewers opinions are often very conflicting and subjective. Getting forwarded by TAXI seems to be hard enough, because our musics getting graded just like it would be at an actual established label (TAXI is made up of the best of the best after all). So weather we have good music or not, we have to find JUST the right reviewer that will be impressed greatly before it is forwarded. So it gets forwarded....now you have to luck out and have it reviewed by someone else, and they have to feel at least as good about it as the TAXI reviewer did before you actually get signed...which is going to be hard considering how conflicting most music reviewers opinions are. One might love it, another like it but not enough to sign it. It'll be hard to get 2 picky people to love it. It would kind of be like winning the lottery twice.Anyway, thats my rant. It's long but, it's everything that I never wrote and wanted to since joining, Just had to get it all off my chest. Thanks

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by johnnydean1 » Fri Jun 23, 2006 12:20 am

Quote:Hi, I've just been a reader of the forums until now, as I've noticed something odd and I guess I just want to rant a little.So anyway, I've gotten back 2 batches of critiques from TAXI so far and I've noticed something very odd about them. This is not an issue of low scores or returns either, let me explain. First, as you know, looking at the critique sheet the elements rated going from top to bottom are Music, Lyrics, Marketability, Arrangement, Production, Engineering, Musicianship, Lead Vocal. So in that order is how I will give the score numbers for each critique.First Batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism" and "In Embryo".The Exorcism scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8.In Embryo Scored: 8, 8, 8, 7, 8, 8, 8, 8......anyone else see the similarity's here? Its a perfect match, score for score...coincidence I thought...moving on.The Second batch of Critiques were for my songs "The Exorcism", "In Embryo", and "Olivers Wake". This time The Exorcism scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.In Embryo Scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7....Olivers Wake scored: 7, 7, 5, 7, 7, 6, 7, 7.....Do you guys see it? HOW does each song for each separate critique get the exact same score? The first critique featured 2 songs with the exact same score as each other....the second critique featured 3 songs that all had the exact same score as each other? Am I the only one to find that strange?Also, something else I found quite odd. Let's look at the second batch of critiques. This critique really pissed me off which is why I waited till way later tonight to write this, as it gave me some time to cool off, but let's forget about the things I disagree with for a second because a critique is just a persons opinion after all, and everyones in titled to one right?OK, The exorcism I recorded around May or so last year. I'm always learning new recording tricks and methods every time I go at it, and I've learned a fair amount more since then. Olivers Wake was recorded in February this year. As such alot of extra steps have been taken that haven't on the other songs such as having all frequency's below 60 Hz removed, and having all DC offset removed before Mastering. I also had gotten tons better with compression and using Limiters and Quad Compression. Theres a whole slew of things that have been done better in the mixing but the bottom line? The audio quality is much better in Olivers Wake then The Exorcism, yet they have the same score for Production and Engineering. It's not small differences either. You can hear the difference on a regular CD player, but if you listen using a proper pair of Mixing head phones or Monitor Speakers there is a HUGE difference, especially with the bass. The bass in The Exorcism is kind of muddy and not well controlled, while in Olivers Wake it is very tight and punchy WITHOUT muddying up the mix even a little as it's very balanced.Also, in the first batch of critiques The Exorcism got an 8 for both production and enginering....concidering that Olivers Wake on the second batch is actually better quality wise, I find a 7 and a 6 to be...well it just seems wrong to me.If your tired, take a break, I'm not done ranting yet....I've gotten many critiques from various places such as www.songoftheyear.com and some other people in the industry from music seminars and such, anyway, the one thing I've always done well with in critiques are Melodies and Originality. They are usually both 9's and 10's, which is why the second batch of critiques really pissed me off. Let me explain my situation here.For a relevant example, let's look at the overall comments from the first batch of critiques from TAXI."Hey Will, your songs feature interesting and unique musical and melodic parts. The vocal delivery suits the material well. The musicianship is solid, the production sounds good. Both songs could be made more accessible (especially on a first listen) by giving the listener something to hook onto, e.g., some repeating vocal lines. It could also be a good idea to try and move away from the root note of the songs throughout. I wish you good luck with everything".OK, it's a nice critique, I'm happy with it. The main thing to take from it is the fact he pointed out "unique musical and melodic parts", AND, the fact that I don't repeat vocal lines. I do NOT do verse chorus verse, and I usually vary up the musical parts as well. I structure my songs like a movie, rising and falling to reach a final climax and conclusion. I use alot of time signatures, I record the strangest kinds of ambiance from scraping on the walls to kicking doors, whatever I have to do to come up with something original and atmospheric. I get docked points and singled out for being unconventional in almost every critique (all except the second batch from TAXI mentioned above) in the arrangement particularly, but its OK, and I understand that its unconventional and doesn't fit into the mainstream...but thats partly why I do it, it makes it different, it makes it fresh, and I take great pride in my ability to do that.....and ya know, I don't mind losing points for it as long as the originality is recognized. This is also the same reason that the second batch of critiques pissed me off so much.On the second batch, this guys Overall Comments were: "Will, you have done a good job of establishing & defining the compositional dynamics & at adhering to the hard rock genre requests of the listing throughout all 3 songs that you have submitted. That being said, I feel that the music is to similar in both it's design & presentation to Tool. There are so many bands that try to sound like them & while the listing mentions them as a reference they are looking for material with more stylistic originality"So...Tools the only band allowed to structure their songs in design outside of verse chorus verse? Are they the only ones allowed to use time signatures? Because orchestras have been using time signatures since the beginning...thats like saying "Hey!, U can't have reverb in your song cause Jimmy Hendrix used that on one of his", and guess what? Almost EVERY band is doing verse chorus verse...so my structures are to much like Tools because their...different? I spent the last 6 years finding my sound, experimenting with everything imaginable to make something original, and that originality has been recognized on several critiques, 2 of which came from TAXI itself (First batch), but apparently, having a different structure/design makes me like Tool, because Tool is also unconventional...should I just go and chop up my songs into cookie cutter designs now?To be completely honest, my first impression when looking at the second batch of critiques was that the reviewer must have been a big Tool fan, and was offended that someone else had gone out into uncharted territory, and then had a bias to critique me with. It's funny cause Olivers Wake had all 8's and 9's from www.songoftheyear.com, was praised for it's originality, got me an honorable mention, and scored a 9 for marketability with the closing notes:"This song has huge market potential and is well worth the effort to clean up a few items. Get busy promoting this song as soon as possible!"And yet, my second batch of critiques from TAXI, the reviewer gave it a 5 for marketability....Now, I don't want anyone to get the idea that I'm blaming TAXI, just one reviewer, but while I'm here, I have a few questions about the service after being a member for about 4 months now. That second batch of critiques I got, I received on June 22nd...yesterday. That critique was for a listing that had a deadline of May 10th....OK, so it was late, it happens, things get swamped, I understand...so why can't the critiques be sent through email? I have the feeling I read that they can be sent through email if your a member of band-jam, maybe I'm wrong..but if so, why is it I have to be a member of band-jam to get my critiques emailed to me when the membership to TAXI is $299.95 PLUS submission fee's? Hell, the critiques could be done up in word pad, even www.songoftheyear.com sends out the critiques by email and they get hundreds to thousands of entries each month (and no $299.95 membership fee). What happened to "You Finally Have Friends In the Music Business"..Im sure none of my friends would make me pay them an additional 30 bucks a month on top of a 299.95 membership fee just to send me a critique. I can understand not being able to send songs via email as it would take some pretty big expensive servers for TAXI to offer that, but little critiques in wordpad I think TAXI can handle.Please don't take any of this the wrong way. I love the concept of TAXI, and I've seen little blurbs of different ways that TAXI is trying to improve the service. I'm just wondering why the small but important things like emailing all critiques without additional fee's is not part of the service improvements.Lastly, a scary thought. TAXI is made up of top professionals within the industry, professionals that scan everything and send the best on for a chance for some kind of success in the music business right? To have credibility, TAXI A&R are tough scorers and they only forward the best because thats what keeps the credibility right?Well, as you all know and can see from my rant here, the reviewers opinions are often very conflicting and subjective. Getting forwarded by TAXI seems to be hard enough, because our musics getting graded just like it would be at an actual established label (TAXI is made up of the best of the best after all). So weather we have good music or not, we have to find JUST the right reviewer that will be impressed greatly before it is forwarded. So it gets forwarded....now you have to luck out and have it reviewed by someone else, and they have to feel at least as good about it as the TAXI reviewer did before you actually get signed...which is going to be hard considering how conflicting most music reviewers opinions are. One might love it, another like it but not enough to sign it. It'll be hard to get 2 picky people to love it. It would kind of be like winning the lottery twice.Anyway, thats my rant. It's long but, it's everything that I never wrote and wanted to since joining, Just had to get it all off my chest. Thanks I don't see the point of this post unless you give us a chance to listen to your work and make our own judgment as to whether you have been treated fairly or not.All I see are three links for Song of the Year.Are you working for them!

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by davewalton » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:14 am

Hello,I'll take a crack at this. Emails and forum posts sometimes doesn't always reflect the mindset of the person doing the writing. If we were talking face-to-face, this would be a pleasant conversation even though I'm giving an alternative point of view. Quote:Do you guys see it? HOW does each song for each separate critique get the exact same score? The first critique featured 2 songs with the exact same score as each other....the second critique featured 3 songs that all had the exact same score as each other? Am I the only one to find that strange?Since all of the songs were recorded by you presumably on the same equipment, under the same basic circumstances, etc, I would expect that the songs would be consistent from song to song. If I got varying production numbers from song to song, that would throw up a red flag for me. Plus the production numbers are based on values that are given to all musicians submitting, not just one of your songs compared to another one of your songs. They may sound different to you but compared to thousands of other songs they probably fall into a certain production category collectively. Anyway, 7's and 8's are good enough to get forwarded consistantly for most listings if the song meets the needs of the listing client. Quote:...because a critique is just a persons opinion after all, and everyones in titled to one right?Yes but this is more than just some person's random opinion. Their #1 priority is to act as a reputable screening source for their listing clients. Their "opinions" have concequences (i.e. happy client, dissatisfied client) so their "opinions" are informed decisions on behalf of and based on the needs of their listing clients.Quote:I get docked points and singled out for being unconventional in almost every critique (all except the second batch from TAXI mentioned above) in the arrangement particularly, but its OK, and I understand that its unconventional and doesn't fit into the mainstream...Being unconventional can work in your favor if you're promoting yourself simply in the context of your music, having nothing to do with anything else and it certainly works in your favor if that's what the listing client is asking for. In the case of all Taxi listings, the listing clients have asked for something very specific. If you're doing something that isn't what they're looking for then you wouldn't get the gig even if Taxi went ahead and sent it anyway. A house painter doing multi-colored walls can get good work on the basis of their originality but if a client wants a solid tan wall, you'd better show examples of other tan walls you've done.Quote:should I just go and chop up my songs into cookie cutter designs now?I have different goals depending on the situation. Concerning Taxi, my main and only goal is to get forwarded. I approach work outside of Taxi the same way. If a client wants a certain sound/style, I provide that (actually, writing a song within the confines of a certain set of criteria takes a lot of creativity). If they don't know what they want, I get creative in the way that you're thinking about creativity. Quote:To be completely honest, my first impression when looking at the second batch of critiques was that the reviewer must have been a big Tool fan, and was offended that someone else had gone out into uncharted territory, and then had a bias to critique me with. It's not that personal and no one that submits commands that kind of importance. Taxi's #1 goal is to screen music for their client and give them the cream of the crop. If the things you were doing were what the client was looking for you would have been forwarded. Taxi has no reason to withhold qualifiing music from their listing clients.Quote:It's funny cause Olivers Wake had all 8's and 9's from www.songoftheyear.com, was praised for it's originality, got me an honorable mention, and scored a 9 for marketability with the closing notes:"This song has huge market potential and is well worth the effort to clean up a few items. Get busy promoting this song as soon as possible!"I'm stealing this line of thinking directly from a post that Michael from Taxi made sometime back. "SongOfTheYear.com" has no stake in anything you're doing and so there's no downside to telling you what you want to hear. Contact the person that gave you that critique and ask them for a modest amount of money ($10-25,000) to produce and market your track. After all, it has "huge market potential", right? They should jump at the opportunity to invest and make boatloads of cash. When they turn you down, ask them why... that's when you'll get the REAL critique. Besides, you're focused too much on all these details and missing the big picture. Both Taxi and SongOfTheYear.com agree that that you need to "clean up a few items". That's the common thread that I think you missed. Clients inside of Taxi and outside of Taxi won't consider songs that have to be cleaned up because they have too many other songs to choose from that don't have to be cleaned up.Quote:I understand...so why can't the critiques be sent through email? They can if you're a member of Broadjam but I agree with you on this one. When you submit on CD via snailmail, if you get forwarded you get a postcard (not notified via email) and the postcard says "Congratulations! Your tape has been forwarded" Tape? The postcard and reference to a "tape" doesn't seem to project a "cutting edge" image not to mention the inefficiency of printing, handling, mailing, etc of that little postcard. Quote:Lastly, a scary thought. TAXI is made up of top professionals within the industry, professionals that scan everything and send the best on for a chance for some kind of success in the music business right? Sort of. Taxi provides a service to us but kind of through the back door. The listing client is the main thing. The focus is to provide their listing clients with quality, pre-screened music that meets their needs. If the focus was on us, Taxi would just send everything in hopes that something would stick.Quote:So weather we have good music or not, we have to find JUST the right reviewer that will be impressed greatly before it is forwarded. It's not about the reviewer. It's about the listing client. Yes, the greatest Latin Pop song won't get forwarded for a Country listing. Quality requirements can vary from listing to listing, but if you have decent quality AND you're meeting the needs of the listing you'll get forwarded every single time. It's the job of the reviewer to find the right music for the client. Simple and straightforward.Quote:So it gets forwarded....now you have to luck out and have it reviewed by someone else, and they have to feel at least as good about it as the TAXI reviewer did before you actually get signed...which is going to be hard considering how conflicting most music reviewers opinions are. One might love it, another like it but not enough to sign it. It'll be hard to get 2 picky people to love it. It would kind of be like winning the lottery twice.You're now describing the music industry but you're way ahead of yourself. Concerning Taxi, all you have to concentrate on is meeting the needs of the client listing and getting forwarded. Changing the entire music industry is something you can do after you get a few forwards. Dave

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by matto » Fri Jun 23, 2006 6:39 am

There's nothing wrong with a little ranting from time to time... But I'm with johnny on this one...your eloquent waxing about your wonderfully original music, tight bass and dc offset doesn't do anybody any good. Let us hear the songs and decide for ourselves if one of them is "songoftheyear"... And just as an aside, anybody can say things like: Quote:"This song has huge market potential and is well worth the effort to clean up a few items. Get busy promoting this song as soon as possible!"...the real question is, would that person take the song to major record labels for you?

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Re: Something odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting..

Post by doortoanima » Fri Jun 23, 2006 3:13 pm

OK guy's, thanks for replying. I've read your responses and appreciate your input, but some of my points I don't think will make sense until you hear them yourself first hand. So, how can I upload my tracks? And where can I get a GOOD and FREE mp3 converter for you? It's been mentioned in your responses of the quality being the same because of using the same gear, but I beg to differ and would gladly like to prove it. Show me where to upload them, give me a good mp3 converter and I will gladly show you. Also, at the same time I can prove all of my other points.I know it's not just me, I've seen differences in scores from critiques else where, plus friends and such, there IS a big difference in the quality and I would love to prove it to you.Also, I don't get why you guy's seem to be crapping on the credibility of the songoftheyear critiques... Why are TAXI's reviewers more credible? Read the site and look at the reviewers, they claim to be professionals too. Some of you are talking like you own share's in TAXI. To crap on songoftheyear for no reason is being a bit biased I think. Also, don't get offended like I'm attacking or crapping on TAXI myself, nothing is perfect and I'm just sharing my thoughts now that I've been a member for a while. I still enjoy the open doors TAXI provides, I'm just sharing my thoughts."Besides, you're focused too much on all these details and missing the big picture. Both Taxi and SongOfTheYear.com agree that that you need to "clean up a few items". That's the common thread that I think you missed. Clients inside of Taxi and outside of Taxi won't consider songs that have to be cleaned up because they have too many other songs to choose from that don't have to be cleaned up."My response to that^ is this: That critique that your referring to "clean up a few items" has already been noted, and the song has already been redone with those notes in mind. Nextly, I'm aware of how subjective my approach to song writing is. I'm usually told that they love it for its originality, but then say that it's because of that unorthodox manor that they won't take it. BUT, thats OK, I wasn't mad because I wasn't forwarded, and let me say that again so I get my point across, I'M OK THAT I WASN'T FORWARDED!!!! What I didn't like, was being told that my original music that I've slaved and experimented on for years to make, the music I've made that has been credited by many people for being very original, was to much like Tool because of it's design/structure. Usually people follow a format like verse chorus verse, I dont even have a format. All of my songs are different in structure from one another. I have no set way that I write my songs, they are all different. My point, is that the reviewer was saying I was like Tool because of that, and the only other alternative to writing freely, is to write conformativly, as in, verse chorus verse.....you can't say I'm like Tool because I don't follow a given format, THATS my point! THATS what I took offense to. Anyway, with that said, it was mostly just a rant with some thoughts I've had, but I would like to upload my songs for you so that I can prove my point....so I need a good mp3 converter thats free, and of course a place to upload it to. Help me with that, and I'll gladly present my case. Thanks

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by andreh » Sat Jul 22, 2006 5:53 pm

Horace-Can you point us to the songs, listings, and critiques you feel have been unfairly written? I'm not a TAXI member yet, and I'm interested in the positive and negative experiences of those who have given it a whirl.I think it can be very hard for us as artists to hear criticism about the music we've worked so hard on and hold so dear to our hearts. In my experience, though, no matter how real I think I'm being about the quality of my work, it almost always turns out to have flaws that I was too [proud, arrogant, excited, deaf, obsessed, crazy, tired, wired...] to notice.This isn't to say that critics always get it right (especially since there is no "right" in our art), and Taxi screeners are surely prone to errors in judgment as well. However, there is usually something to be learned from the open perspectives of others, and I prefer to encourage such feedback by accepting it positively rather than discouraging it by getting all bent out of shape when someone tells me something I don't want to hear.This isn't aimed at you, Horace (at least not until I hear your songs , but so far every time I've seen someone complain about a Taxi review and I've had the opportunity to hear the song in question and see the listing, I've agreed with the screener's points. Sometimes moreso than others, but there has never been as much to fuss about as you'd of thought by reading the artists' posts.Nonetheless, I think it would be a fantastic addition to Taxi's system if songs were to be double checked by 2 or 3 screeners before being forwarded or rejected...this would greatly reduce the chances of a bad judgment, and it would sure give a much greater level of confidence to Taxi members in the fairness of the screeners.Of course, this is all speculation until I join and submit a few of my own tunes...which I still plan to do very shortly!Respectfully,Andre
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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by Casey H » Sun Jul 23, 2006 2:36 am

Quote:...What I cannot do is provide my actual songs to others on the forum. It is my policy that I do not listen to the work of my fellow competitors and they do not listen to mine. A trade secret thing. I do not have broadband or a website, so it is rather difficult anyway. That is why I posted here and not in the Peer to Peer thread... I'm not sure why you adhere to that policy, but that is your decision.You did a good job of respectfully explaining your issues with recent reviews and rejections. Although I don't listen to country radio, I am sure you have some valid points. As you know, placing a song with a country artist is probably the hardest to meet goal for any new songwriter. The bar is incredibly high and Nashville is very closed to outsiders. That doesn't excuse TAXI for every rejection. I think it is fair dialog to discuss how well versed the screeners who screen country music are with current country radio. I suggest that you do write to Michael, explaining respectfully your concerns, and at least open the dialog with him. Hang in there... Regards,Casey

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by matto » Mon Jul 24, 2006 6:32 pm

Horacejesse,please allow me to respond to some of your comments.Quote:The fear of being blackballed is a real concern. You have seen the pictures, these screeners work right next to each other in little booths. Of course they know each other and word can get around in a hurrry amongst the personnel in a small office. Alienating one may alienate them all.This is an unfounded concern since the screeners will never find out that you requested a different screener. Assignment of songs to screeners is handled by the Taxi staff. If you raise your concern about a particular critique or screener in a polite and professional manner, Taxi will listen and investigate.Quote:Still, when I blew off steam I know I was speaking for hundreds upon hundreds of Taxi members and former members who have been similarly frustrated by what they felt were inappropriate reviews.I know and agree that "hundreds upon hundreds of members" have been frustrated but what they FELT was an inappropriate review...but in the vast majority of cases where a member posted said review and the song under review, I've found myself siding with the screener. Our FEELINGS about our own songs are not always in line with the REALITIES of the music business. Quote:I think Taxi ought to take a few more chances. The screeners and also Laskow seem frozen up by fear that companies will stop listing with them. I doubt if these companies pay a penny to have their listings put up. Taxi could sure as heck take a few more chances and send the oddball novel song once in a while without losing them.The way to lose them, in my opinion, is to keep sending them material that does not hit. If any radio songs were hitting big for Taxi, there is no doubt we would hear all about it.Look...if you waste a high ranking A&R guy's or publisher's time by sending them inappropriate material, they WILL stop listing with Taxi. It's not like Taxi is the only avenue for them to find songs. I believe every song that Taxi forwards to a high bar listing has the potential to be a hit. I've heard enough of them to know that the standard is way up there. There are many reasons those songs don't become hits a lot of times. A veteran hit writer once said that "for a song to become a hit, stars have to collide". Taxi only supplies the songs. What happens after that is out of their hands.Quote:Has Taxi ever received in the mail a country song any worse than Honkytonk-ba-donky-donk? It is one of the purest and most embarrassing pieces of garbage ever to grace any radio format, and yet the (song?) is a huge hit.If you have to write that badly to become a successful songwriter, then I will never be one. If that was my song I would just take the money quietly, I would never admit I wrote something that ignorant and idiotic. My (somewhat educated) guess would be that Taxi receives songs far worse than "Honkytonk Badonk Adonk" on a daily basis. Quote:I would like to know Laskow's opinion if that song would have breezed by his screeners when mine do not. Obviously I can't speak for Michael, but I doubt this song would've "breezed by" the screeners. It might have gotten forwarded to a listing looking for "silly, raunchy bar songs" though.Quote:Taxi ought to start setting trends instead of feeding them. By adhering too strictly to what the listers say, they are feeding the trend of mediocrity instead of setting new trends. They need to take matters into their own hands. I'd have to disagree with this. Taxi is a B to B service. It's their job to make the listing companies happy, in order to keep the opportunities coming for us members. It's up to the artists, the buying public and the record companies to set trends. Taxi (in its current incarnation) is not a Business to Consumer service, and thus not positioned to start new trends.Quote:Hell, the people who write these listings for their companies in many cases probably do not even know music. They are a secretary or something, a pretty suit. The proof is that they keep asking for "conversational lyrics," which I assure everyone in the world is a misnomer if there ever was one. Since when do people converse in rhyme and meter? Ridiculous, right? No one writes songs that way, even those who may claim to. It is simply a euphemism for "send something with good, understandable lyrics." So when the Taxi screeners start in on this it really peeves me. "Conversational lyrics" is an established term widely used in pop music in general. You may feel it's not the "proper" term...but some people might feel "chorus" is not a proper term either (cause it's not (usually) sung by a chorus... ). You've obviously figured out what the term means, so why get bent out of shape about it? Besides I feel that it describes the best such lyrics rather well, because they feel so natural that you barely notice the meter and rhyme.Quote:One screener told me that although my songs were right on target for the listing and did everything asked for, beyond that there was nothing special about them. Uh-huh, they are not special like the ones Taxi keeps forwarding that you never hear or hear about again. Hire some people who know country music, not someone with a long list of credentials. I know doctors with lots of credentials who you would not send your damned dog to. Well...everybody loves their dog and thinks he's very special, but let's face it, some dogs are just way beyond any help. Of course it's always easier to blame the vet.Quote:In fact, I will do it myself. I will come to LA and listen to Taxi's country submissions myself. And I gaurantee Michael Laskow that I will do better than his current country screeners, I will find him the radio hits that I know are lying among the piles of submissions right now but will probably not be recognized for what they are by his screeners. Are you hearing me Laskow, because I am dead serious? You have the material within your office right now to set trends in the music industry rather than continue feeding the wave of mediocrity with more mediocrity.Horace...look I'm not happy with every single critique I get...sometimes I (subjectively) feel that a screeners decision is plain wrong. But I always try to remember that I may not be the best judge of my own material. (And actually I've become a lot better over the years at viewing my own songs in a more objective fashion...thanks to Taxi). I mean no disrespect to you but...well let me just put it this way, I'd rather have my songs screened and critiqued by veteran music industry pros than by some guy that's on here ranting on and on, but won't even let us hear a single one of his supposed "hit songs" because of some "trade secret". My years of being involved in the music business have unfortunately taught me that the vast majority of songwriters who are paranoid about having their material "ripped off" have nothing anybody would ever want to rip off...I sincerely hope you're the exception to this rule and wish you the best in your musical endeavors.matto

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by Casey H » Tue Jul 25, 2006 4:09 am

Catch more flies with honey... I have to say that whenever someone tells me that TAXI will not acknowledge their complaints and concerns and/or TAXI even suggests they refund their membership fee, it always turns out the party did not address them in a polite and respectful manner.("Acknowledge" does not always mean changing what you want changed)This is not about TAXI, it's about the real business world.Horace, maybe I am reading too much into it, but in your post you referred to the CEO many times as "Laskow" (last name only), not Michael or Mr. Laskow... That projects a nasty tone. (That would NOT be the case speaking to me as "hurowitz" since I use that as my login name).Casey

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Re: Somthing odd? And ranting...Lots of ranting...

Post by toncart » Wed Jul 26, 2006 9:02 pm

I kinda see where horace is coming from though. Speaking from a country music standpoint, if a song is not forwarded because the lyrics were not as "strong" as they could have been, then how in the world does a song like "One Hot Mamma" or "She Thinks My Tractor Is Sexy" or half of the other country hits out there get looked at. Face it, some of the lyrics are just weak in country music songs, but sometimes the song itself (melody, chorus, and structure) is catchy. Is "catchy" a part of the equation at TAXI? I hope so, because I'm better at being "catchy" than being "Shakespere".

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