Songwriter’s Monthly

Lady

Danville

Jac Vanek Echo Revolution Cyndi Harvell Daniel Landers
http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

November ‘10, #130

Editor’s Notes
I don’t even want to begin to get into the obstacles I faced getting this issue out. Not all of the obstacles were bad. Okay, some were bad, yes, but others involved good stuff like travel and holiday activities . . . so it’s all good. The real problem I faced was: Should I skip an issue or rush one to stay on schedule. I opted for neither. Quality first, timeliness a very close second. This is the November issue . . . a little late. But not rushed. Allowing myself to take a breath gave me a moment to think. One of the cool things about what I do is I get to sample a staggering volume of new music and videos each and every day. But Songwriter’s Monthly can’t possibly interview every artist or even review every bit of music that comes in. So . . . Problem: How can I get more music to you each month? Solution: Introducing the brand new Listening Room and Screening Room! These are pages containing several artistapproved links so you can listen, view, and in some cases download [Note: download for FREE!] more music each month! This was such an obvious solution that I’m embarrassed I didn’t think of it sooner. Hopefully, you’ll take the time to explore the additional music and videos offered this month . . . and let me know if you think this is a cool addition. If you like it, we’ll add more and more artists to these pages over the coming months. And speaking of ideas, if you have any that you think would make Songwriter’s Monthly an even better read, please share! From the start, back in ’92, I’ve always approached this as an interactive venture. Looking forward to working with you! Thanks for reading! Allen (a1foster@aol.com)

Listening Room
Click on the picture to hear the track!
h t t p : / / ouramericanmyth.c om/tristendl/ Tristen_EagerForY ourLove.mp3 h t t p : / / ouramericanmyth.c om/tristendl/ Tristen_EagerForY ourLove.mp3
h t t p : / / soundcloud.com/ modularpeople/takeme-over-radio-edit h t t p : / / soundcloud.com/ modularpeople/takeme-over-radio-edit

Cut/Copy: “Take Me Over” www.cutcopy.net
http://girlieaction.com/music/ the_concretes/downloads/ All_Day.mp3?utm_source=Girlie + A c t i o n + M a s t e r +List&utm_campaign=2548b1b f 4 6 The_Concretes_Tour_Announc ement11_15_2010&utm_medi um=email Photo: Frans Hallqvst

Tristen: “Eager For Your Love” www.tristen.com
h t t p : / / dangerbirdrecords. com/resources/ t h e d e a r s / download-blood/ h t t p : / / dangerbirdrecords. com/resources/ t h e d e a r s / download-blood/

The Concretes: “All Day” www.myspace.com/ theconcretes
h t t p : / / www.girlieaction.com/ music/the_hush_now/ d o w n l o a d s / On_Holiday.mp3? utm_source=Girlie+Action + M a s t e r +List&utm_campaign=1849 5 5 a b b b The_Hush_Now_Christmas_ Single11_17_2010&utm_m edium=email

The Dears: “Blood” www.thedears.org
http://www.girlieaction.com/misc/ Love_and_Leave.mp3http:// www.girlieaction.com/misc/ Love_and_Leave.mp3http:// www.girlieaction.com/misc/ Love_and_Leave.mp3http:// www.girlieaction.com/misc/ Love_and_Leave.mp3http:// www.girlieaction.com/misc/ Love_and_Leave.mp3 Scattered Trees: “Love And Leave” Photo: Drew Reynolds

The Hush Now: “On Holiday” http://thehushnow.com Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

www.myspace.com/scatteredtreesmusic http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

www.janivamagness.com

Janiva Magness THE DEVIL IS AN ANGEL TOO Alligator Records
Janiva Magness sings with a thick liquid tone and the wicked pleasure of pure indulgence. She has a striking and darkly compelling voice that promises both thrills and danger if you simply allow her provocatively husky tones to bewitch your soul. Janiva declares THE DEVIL IS AN ANGEL TOO is “a collection of twelve tunes about the human condition: lightness and dark.” But don’t think you’ll be hearing audio depictions o f ra i n b o w s a n d p u p p y d o g s romping through rich green and brightly flowered meadows because even when she belts out a glorious proclamation of the exhilaration she is experiencing, it is tempered with the knowledge of the previous dark season.

“Weeds Like Us” is a poignant study of self-knowledge and reflection, but Magness’ wounded performance lifts the song to a devastating proclamation of human flaws and the ability to look beyond and travel ever onward. Embedded within each track is a throbbing, writhing groove that beckons your body to submit and let the arcane rhythm possess you. Even Janiva admits the album has a power: “It’s real hard for me to listen to the record and hold still!” THE DEVIL IS AN ANGEL TOO is an exotic chocolate that releases such an intoxicating euphoria when tasted that it produces a truly narcotic effect on the soul. Easily some of Magness’ best work.

Photo: Jeff Dunas

www.myspace.com/janivamagness

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat? id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type= 3&subid=0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=ht tp%253A%252F%252Fitunes.apple.com %252Fus%252Falbum%252Fthe-devili s - a n - a n g e l - t o o %252Fid357557612%253Fuo %253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Lady Danville
Lady Danville is not the name of the latest pop diva. Lady Danville is a

Achieving The
band comprised of three guys who met at an a u d i t i o n f o r U C L A’ s Awaken A Cappella. When founding members, Michael Garner and Dan Chang, added keys and guitar to
Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

accompany their incredible vocals, they became an attention-getting, award-winning duo. With the addition of Matthew Frankel on the cajon (and, of

“Super Voice”
course, vocals), Lady Danville was born.
http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Songwriter’s Monthly: Hey, how’s it going? Michael Garner: Good. We are in Boston, right now. We have the day off, so it’s kind of nice to relax a little bit and just kind of catch up on life. SM: Congratulations on some downtime. I’ll try not to take up too much of your day. Opening acts can have a hard time, but at the show the other night, you completely won over the audience. It was amazing seeing their reaction to you. Is that the typical response you’ve been getting on this tour? MG: First of all, playing for Ben Folds fans is really awesome, we feel like we can kind of vibe with them. Even though our music is not exactly like Ben Folds’, it has a similar energy and I think there is a positivity that is well received by his fans. We’ve noticed that they are interested, they kind of want to see what we’re gonna do and so after the first song, it seems they are like, “Okay!” And we have a short set, so we don’t feel like we get that push back of, “Alright we’ve heard

Michael
Songwriter’s Monthly caught up with the guys at a concert in Philadelphia where they were opening for Ben Folds. Not only did Lady Danville deliver an astounding, crowd-winning set, but the band hung out in the lobby after performing in order to meet any new fans they might have picked up during the show. Up close and in person, the guys were as delightfully engaging as their music was sublimely refreshing. A couple of days later, Michael and Dan called from the road for the interview. Matt was feeling a little under the weather so he was resting up for the next show. Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“This is what we really love to do.” — Michael
enough of you, let’s move on to the main act.” We keep it short. We know our place and want to support Ben Folds, so I think, thus far, we’ve been well-received. http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

SM: After the show, I talked to a Ben Folds’ fan and all she could do was rave about Lady Danville. MG: People have low expectations for the opening act. It’s kind of nice to come in there and not have a lot expected of us and be able to deliver something that’s somewhat enjoyable and hopefully a little bit refreshing and surprising. SM: Your stage presence was very cool. Even though you were playing a larger venue, you treated it almost like a house concert. Is that something that comes naturally to you? Dan Chang: I think that’s definitely something that we’ve developed over time. I remember earlier shows when I

faces while I sing because the singing part has become so second nature. What I’ve realized is the importance of really connecting with the fans, being able to be loose on stage and treating the audience like they are just an audience in the family room. There’s nothing formal about our performance.

“The sum of our parts is greater than any individual.” — Michael
used to be very rigid on stage and very nervous. I was very focused on singing well, playing well and getting it over with. But then as we played more and more, and as time went by, we realized the importance of connecting with the audience. We became more comfortable with our performance and we were able to relax more and enjoy it. I can’t remember anything about the first shows we played because I was just so focused on the music. But now it’s like, even when I’m playing, I get to sort of look around and really see people’s Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

Matt

MG: I totally agree with Dan. There are a couple schools of thought on how bands should and do perform. Some people say a distance between the artist and the audience creates this mysterious elevation for the artist which is actually good. I see the validity in that, but I think that we have so http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

much fun doing this, this is what we really love to do. We connect with each other so much that we don’t feel like we need to try to put up a wall or put on this hierarchy or whatever with an audience. We like to play it sort of natural and fun, so we think that’s how it should be for the audience, as well. SM: Your harmonies are incredible. They go beyond harmonies, if that makes sense, to create a kind of blend. I’m not even sure who is singing which part. MG: Thank you. DC: I remember when I first started singing with Michael and I heard our voices together and I thought, “Man, there’s just something about our voices.” I have a sort of higher tone, it’s a little bit more clear, and he’s got this gravelly lower register and when we sing together . . . I think we first bonded musically over the band Guster — they have a high guy and a low guy. Michael and I just sort of naturally assumed our roles, so when we were singing along to Guster songs we would sing the appropriate parts and our voices just blended really well together. When we were in college, we tried writing a song together and we submitted it for a competition. It was just us as a duet and we really played to that sense, using our voices and writing a lot of counter melodies, having our voices really go in and out a n d r e a l l y b l e n d i n g t o g e t h e r. Sometimes we’ll write a part and our goal is we want it to blend so well that people won’t know who is singing which Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

Dan
part. We used to be way more intricate in that my melody line would go from the high part to the low part and then Michael would start from the low part and go to the high part just to achieve that sense of blend where you cannot distinguish our voices from each other. We really focus on the idea of the collective strength of a voice vs. the individual voice. MG: Some people have asked us, “Do you ever want to do a solo side project?” I can speak for everybody when I say, collectively, we’re a lot stronger, the sum of our parts is greater than any individual. I don’t http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

think that any of us particularly believe that alone we’re all that fancy, but I do feel like when all three of us are s i n g i n g , t h e r e ’s s o m e t h i n g , t h e combination of the different qualities of our voice— SM: It’s like the combination creates a new, fourth voice. MG: (Laughing) A super voice! SM: Exactly! You really put your vocals first. MG: We notice that when we’re at shows, the thing we listen to most are the voices, the vocals. I think it’s very common that the vocals are typically lower in the mix than we desire. A lot of

people mix the vocals in as if it’s just another instrument and you kind of hear the melody going on but you can’t really hear the lyrics. We’re very vocal centric, we’re very lyric centric. I think that we place a higher emphasis on vocals than a lot of live bands and we do that in the writing too. We put a lot of pressure and emphasis on writing lyrics that we are proud of, that we can read as poetry — even if it’s straight forward, it’s still poetic in some way. SM: Speaking of lyrics to be proud of, is that the word “reticent” that you use in the song “Cars?” DC: One time I saw a fan tweet about that line saying he had just taken the SAT’s and he knew what reticent meant

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

“Our goal is we want it to blend so well that people won’t know who is singing which part.” — Dan
thanks to our song. I remember seeing that and thinking, “My work here is done.” (Laughing) MG: There are certain times when words have no replacements . . . and it’s not always because of what the word means, exactly. Sometimes it could be the sound of the word, that it has a pleasure to the ear, a sonic aesthetic value. I guess the closest thing you could say is when you listen to certain languages, they just are really nice on your ear. Certain words do that same thing in English. Sometimes the sound of lyrics really paint a mood. It might not always be from the perspective of writing the poetry first, it could be kind of singing and taking what comes out and just developing the song based on the sound of lyrics. SM: Speaking of pleasing sounds, you guys swear so sweetly! Both: (Laughing) MG: It’s funny, we tend to do it and then we are like, “Why are we swearing? This doesn’t fit our demographics.” In “Bed 42” there is no better way to say, “so f***ed up.” Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

For the radio edit, we’re going to have to do, “so messed up,” but it’s just not as strong. And we’re not swearing for the sake of being tough, it really is required for the song. SM: It’s just so pretty, nice harmonies and all. Both: (Laughing) SM: Well, since it is your day off, I don’t want to take up too much more of your time. One more quick question: What’s next for Lady Danville? DC: A full-length release is definitely in sight. I would say some time in 2011 . . . probably later in 2011. Lady Danville’s current release is a 4song EP. For more information on the guys and their music, visit: www.myspace.com/ladydanville Photo credits: Corey Seeholzer
http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat? id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid= 0&tmpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F %252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum % 2 5 2 F l a d y - d a n v i l l e - e p % 2 5 2 F i d 2 8 0 2 7 2 0 2 9 % 2 5 3 F u o %253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Jac Vanek
By Design

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

The Setting: CV lounge. CV stands for 105 which is also the address of the venue (105 Rivington, NYC). The club is tucked inside the Hotel on Rivington (One of “America’s Top Ten Sexiest Hotels 2010”). http://hotelonrivington.com With the loud throbbing music, the dim mood lighting, and the hoards of press people tirelessly circling throughout the club, the CMJ party at the swanky CV’s in the Hotel on Rivington (Lower East Side, NYC) might not have been the best environment for an interview. It was, however, the perfect setting in which to witness Designer, Jac Vanek, and her Marketing Director, Nicole Buckley’s, effect on a crowd. Jac entered the club sporting a rather large and awesomely chic black hat. Her long, blazing red hair spilled out from beneath the brim. She was Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 dressed in a smart black and white ensemble that expressed both a youthful edginess and a keen stylistic savvy. Conversations paused and head’s turned, but Vanek didn’t seem to notice, clearly she was used to and quite comfortable with the attention. Nicole displayed a slightly more poised look with a white blazer and black top that complimented her waist-length dark hair. She was adorned in several elegant necklaces and wore a stunning shade of scarlet on her lips. Like Jac, Buckley had also entered the room with a confident swagger, but beneath her http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

The new JV line. www.jacvanek.com cool exterior, she crackled with dynamic energy. Nicole seemed to enjoy the attention. I met Jac and Nicole at the bar where the event hostess promptly directed the three of us to a table in the back corner o f t h e r o o m . S e v e ra l a t t e n d e e s nonchalantly drifted closer, most likely curious about the identities of the two young women. One partygoer made an awkward comment which was deftly and gracefully sidestepped by Vanek. In response, the young man quickly retreated back to the relative safety of his mingling. As I pulled out my handheld recorder, I looked at the overhead speaker and Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 shook my head. Jac yelled something that I couldn’t hear, then leaned closer and tried again. “Do you want to test it to make sure you can hear me?” I pulled out an embarrassingly geeky pair of basic white earbuds and shrugged. “Do it!” she smirked. I put the earbuds in and awkwardly shoved the mic close to Vanek’s mouth. “Testing,” she laughed. Nicole called out from the other side of the table, “Can you hear me now?!” To my surprise, I could! I gave the http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

thumbs up and we began the interview. Jac Vanek wasn’t always the alt music fashion icon that she is today. At one point all she thought about was cheerleading, popularity and the color pink! However, that all changed when she was fifteen and her parents allowed her to attend her first concert alone. She saw Sugarcult, Finch, and Something Corporate at the local mall. After that, she knew where she belonged. “You’re on the road a lot, touring, more like a musician than a d e s i g n e r,” I commented.

When I told her I taught private music lessons, Vanek was intrigued. “Oh wow, you do music lessons? I wish I lived here, you could teach me piano!” Nicole added, “She’s been dying to learn!” “I played piano for about seven years when I was younger,” Jac explained. “But then I just stopped at like age thirteen or something. I want to get back into it so so bad, I just need to find a good teacher in L.A. If you know a n y b o d y, l e t m e know.” “I know a few voice teachers,” I offered. “Maybe they could help me?” Nicole asked.

“We do tour a lot,” Jac agreed. “We were on the Warped Tour over the summer. Before that, we were on a different tour called the Bamboozle Roadshow. We were gone from mid April until August, we didn’t see our apartment once. We lived on the road for over four months. It’s crazy!” “It’s not really crazy that you’re on the road meeting your fans,” I disagreed. “I teach and to a lot of my students you as much a celebrity as any rock star.” “Really?” Jac replied. “Where do you teach?” Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“Music has completely changed my life, it’s founded a basis for me to do something I believe in.” — Jac Vanek

“You already have rock star status, why don’t the two of you just get up on stage and perform at some point?” “That’s not going to happen,” Vanek stated firmly. “We have the worst voices in the entire world. It’s pretty bad,” she laughed. “Initially, you found yourself through music, isn’t that how this whole thing got started?” I asked. Jac’s eyes widened, the journey that http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Marketing Director, Nicole Buckly and CEO, Jac Vanek at the CMJ party. Photo courtesy of WET PAINT. www.itswetpaint.com she is on is clearly still a thrill for her. “It’s crazy because what I do is not m u s i c , i t ’s c l o t h i n g . B u t I ’ m s o integrated into the whole music scene . . . Music has completely changed my life, it’s founded a basis for me to do something I believe in. It’s really cool that we get to tour — we’ve done so many tours with bands. I do agree that the way people react to what Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 I do is almost like the way a band’s fans react to their music. Its a weird dichotomy of the position I’m in. It’s awesome!” Vanek declared passionately. Nicole added, “I think it’s because she loves music so much and has been around it for so long. The stuff that she creates, it’s the same as what those http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

kids want, they have the same interests. She’s so connected with them.” “That’s really important,” I noted. “With the internet, it’s the kids who first discovery an artist and if they like the music or the personality, the word spreads and the artist gains a following.” “Exactly,” Jac agreed. “That’s what’s so weird about the internet and how it’s completely transformed the music industry and transformed the industry that I am trying to be in. I wouldn’t be able to be where I am without the internet because I gained my popularity through Twitter and Myspace and Facebook and all the social networking. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do without it.” “Are the two of you a team?” I asked. “Yeah,” Jac replied. “Well . . .” Nicole began. “Well, it’s my company,” Vanek picked up, “but we live and work together. We’re with each other 24/7 so she’s my right-hand girl.” “I wear many hats in the company,” Nicole continued. “Since I started, it’s definitely grown . . . insanely! When I first started off, it was like, ‘Hey, do you want to move to L.A. and work part time for me? Do you want to go on the Warped tour?’ And then, slowly, it became a full-time job. Now we both do it, live it, breathe it. It’s all we do! We are both so passionate about it.” Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 Nicole Modeling the Cross Crewneck Sweatshirt. www.jacvanek.com “There’s no doubt that your passionate about this, it’s reflected in the clothing, the bracelets, the—” “That’s why I think it translates so well to kids and to any consumer,” Jac jumped in. “For every product, I’ll write a little blurb about where the idea came from because I feel like there are just so many clothing lines that just go, ‘Yeah, I’ll do this design for this shirt and throw it out there because it kinda looks cool.’ But every single product that I make comes from my heart, it comes from some inspiration I’ve found http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

in either a book, movies, a tv show, art, or just pop culture in general. Everything that I make, I pull from something else and I f e e l l i ke w h e n people start to realize that, it’s like, ‘Oh, I feel that way too.’ Or, ‘Oh, I loved that movie, too!” So I have that connection to my customers. It’s cool!”

“I think it’s also because she has so many different products,” Nicole added. “Especially with the bracelets. She is able to get into so many d i f f e r e n t demographics. It’s not just kids who like music, we have kids from 8 to 15 who are obsessed with her stuff, little kids who have never even heard of the bands we listen to, and also college kids who do listen to the bands. I think we now have probably 65 different bracelets. There’s a bracelet for everyone out there and that’s why it’s so cool! We tap into every age group and every type of person.” “I feel like my interests in life are very all over the place, so any person who looks at my website can find at least one thing that they can relate to,” Jac expressed. “I try not to pigeonhole Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“The stuff that she creates, it’s the same as what those kids want, they have the same interests. She’s so connected with them.” — Nicole Buckley
Nicole admitted.

myself into anything. I started off kind of being a Warped Tour company where all the bands that we were around, it was just their fans who liked my stuff. It was very sort of compact. Now, as I’ve grown up, I’ve expanded my interests and I feel like, the products relate to a wider range of people.” Even though the t e l e v i s i o n phenomenon LOST has come to an end, I had to point out that Jac has a numbers bracelet. Both Jac and Nicole exclaimed in unison, “ Do you like LOST?!” “Yes.” “ I ’ m o b s e s s e d ,”

“She has a LOST tattoo. We literally took my numbers bracelet and cut it so the guy could scan it and he put it—” “Right here!” Nicole finished, pointing to her ribs. “I was a little crazy. I got it the first day of season 6.” “Okay, L OST for example,” Vanek pointed out, “that’s something that has nothing to do with music and it’s such a wide range of people. We have people who were at the Warped tour come up http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

‘Alright, I’ll make it.’ We’ve gotten so many orders, the kids are happy, but I still don’t get it.” “It’s not really the most positive moniker to identify with,” I commented. “I already have a lurker bracelet, which is kind of the same thing. I thought everyone would be satisfied with the lurker one, but no they wanted a creeper bracelet,” Jac laughed. to me and go, “Dude, I f***ing love LOST!” It’s crazy. It’s just one of those things. It’s super geeky and nerdy and all the pom pom people are like, “Dude, I need a LOST bracelet. Give me the LOST bracelet.” “Another item that’s really popular right now is that creeper bracelet,” I noted. “My students are really talking about that one.” “We just came out with that!” Nicole stated. “That’s another aspect of my company,” Jac realized. “I take input from customers. I don’t get the creeper bracelet, I don’t understand it at all, but for the past three years, ever since I started doing the bracelets, people are like, ‘You need to make a creeper bracelet, you need to make a creeper bracelet!’ “She always asks her fans and customers, ‘What do you want to see on a bracelet?”’ or ‘What do you want to wear?’ and literally the first response is creeper!” “It’s been three years and I’m like, Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly “A lurker’s not quite as bad as a—” “ T h e y ’ r e b o t h k i n d a b a d !” J a c interrupted, still laughing. “But people love ‘em both, so I’m like, ‘Alright, it is what it is.’” At this point, I got the wave from Jac’s publicist letting me know she needed to steal the girls away for another commitment. “We just got the signal,” I informed, “Anything you want to say in closing?” Jac went first. “Basically, I am here to try and influence and inspire others like I’ve been influenced and inspired, so I always encourage kids to talk to me. I am on every social networking site in the entire world. I love it when people

reach out to me and I love being able to communicate with my customers and fans, so if anybody reads this . . . write me!” Nicole added, “I think a lot of people will be excited to see what she has coming out. The new line is awesome . . . and it’s gonna keep getting better and better!” “We’re learning every step of the way.” “And growing as the company grows.” We said our goodbyes and I watched as Jac and Nicole were ushered off to what

looked like a television crew setting up for the pair’s next interview. The crowd parted as the girls made their way through, but they didn’t part much, everyone seemed to want to get as close as they could to these two celebrities. If you’d like to get closer to Jac and Nicole, just visit www.jacvanek.com where you will find not only both of their emails, but a whole bunch of other cool stuff including where you can next meet Jac in person! And, of course, this is your direct line to all the shirts and bracelets and accessories that Vanek has to offer.

“Basically, I am here to try and influence and inspire others like I’ve been influenced and inspired.”

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Hat’s On To Judy Welden!
“My rep., Geromy, might have been kidding in early June when he mentioned I should have a song about my hats for the website, but I took him seriously,” Judy began. “A week later Bill [Judy’s husband] and I were on a little trip. I was in the pool by myself with no music or anything to distract me and it occurred to me that I should write the lyrics (in my head) about the bandana hats. I'd often written songs while in water (or the shower) in the past. I’m not sure why this happens, but I do seem to get good ideas while in the water. Maybe I was a fish in a previous life! (Just kidding!)” Over the summer, while everyone was chillaxin’, we announced “The Most Difficult Songwriting Contest . . . Ever!” The idea was to write and record new material over those lazy days of summer when all you want to do is . . . nothing! The winner is Judy Welden. While everyone else was busy with the GTL routine (perhaps minus both the G and the L), not only did Judy write and record a new song, but she launched an entire new promotional campaign for her Bandana Hat line. Part of the contest involved supplying the story behind the song, so without further ado, here is Judy’s story behind the Contest-Winning song: Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 “I can only afford to record two new songs a year, so I thought the best thing to do was write to a melody of a song I'd already written, then I'd not need to have a new track made. The radio single I'd released that month was ‘Whatever Happened To Nathaniel Strong’ and it kept coming to mind as I was contemplating this matter. It was catchy, mid-tempo and seemed like a good choice.” “Soon I had a first verse and chorus and some ideas for the second verse plus the bridge. I finished the song in our room — probably in less than an hour. I think it went fast because I knew my subject well. Having invented the hat I knew all it does, how it solves problems for men, women and children http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

with sun protection, bad hair days, etc. Thus the title ‘(You Can’t Go Wr o n g W i t h A) Bandana Hat.’” “Recording the song was a challenge because the CD with the tracks had my background vocals for the other song. I had a DAT for it, but when I got to the studio, we couldn't record that day as the producer's DAT player wasn't c o m p a t i b l e w i t h t h e D AT I ' d brought.” “At home, I searched through my cassette tapes and found one that had just the music tracks of that song. I called the producer who said he didn't have a tape deck and to bring mine to the next session. I'd not used it since moving to GA and it turned out the tape deck was no longer working!” “What we ended up doing was putting his very sensitive mic up close to a boom box to record the track into his system. It is amazing the song turned out as good as it did as I was so stuffed up that day with allergies, but this was my 3rd time there for this one song and I was just determined to get it done that day.” Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“I just hope that when folks visit my site www.bandana-hat.com, they'll love the song enough to want to check out the various styles and the handbags as well. That's why I also mentioned them in the song! Geromy loves the song and would love one for his fishing lures website. I might be starting a trend here!” For more information on Judy and all that she’s involved with, visit: www.judywelden.com Besides this article, Judy Welden also received a copy of Stone Temple Pilot’s self-titled album courtesy of Atlantic Records! Judy’s Bandana Hat

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Jackson Browne has written some of the most poignant, political, beautiful, moving and lasting songs of his generation. He has a gift for tapping into the soul of a melody and performing it with such a gently rousing call to action that he is a genuine artist. This DVD contains a staggering 23 songs and song clips. There are the hits [“In The Shape Of A Heart,” “Running On Empty”], the unexpected tracks [“All Along The Watchtower,” “Take It Easy”], and a number deeper cuts as well! However, the volume of material and the live concert footage is not the selling point. What makes this DVD such a “must have” is it really offers a casual, up-close and cozy look at the man and his reasons for creating music. For instance, in one clip, Browne reveals that the true inspiration behind “Doctor My Eyes” was a broken key on a piano!

Click HERE for more information on JACKSON BROWNE: GOING HOME

GOING HOME is an accomplished work of seamless editing and masterful storytelling. This is a

Jackson Browne DVD
Also, worth more than the price of purchase is the inclusion of numerous special guests. This DVD contains performances, cameos and interviews with such notable artists as Don Henley, David Crosby, G ra h a m N a s h , D av i d L i n d l e y, Jennifer Warnes, and Bonnie Raitt. coffee table DVD — leave it out so your friends ask about it and you can brag about it. Then tell them to go get their own copy. You won’t stick this DVD in and let it play in the background, you will sit with rapt attention and watch again and again.

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

“I wrote this song for those who feel like they have so much to offer the world . . .”

Daniel Landers

Rocking Hard!

Daniel Landers is blessed with teen idol looks, a rocker’s soul and a vibrant, unstoppable energy that simply sizzles because the young artist has a pure, uncompromisingly vivacious zest for life. His music is crisp, riding the edge between pop and rock, while his lyrics are refreshingly bold and honest. “My songs all come from real life situations that spark an emotion,” Daniel opened. “Everything you hear in my music and lyrics is derived from feelings that I express through music.” In one of his songs, “Break Free,” Landers sings about waking up and putting on a smile and a shield just to get through the day. “We all feel so vulnerable at times. ‘Break Free’ is about embracing your vulnerability, and sharing your desire to escape with someone else,” he noted. “Everyone has a purpose in life. I wrote this song for those who feel like they have so much to offer the world yet can't seem to overcome obstacles in the way of their dreams.” He continued, “‘Break Free’ is about those times we all have when you are sick of the uneventful routines of work or school and you just need to break the mold, break free, and escape. When I wrote it, my personal life wasn't going as well as I would have liked, my academics were conflicting with my music and my social life, and there was a lot of pressure being put on me from many different angles.” But somehow Daniel managed to find a balance with school, a social life and his Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“Everyone has a purpose in life.”
music. Perhaps pressure was that added element which refined his songwriting and took him to the next level? The intensity of Daniel’s writing has certainly stepped up a few notches in his current songs. Even the titles reflect his changing emotional state. Take the earlier “Laid Back Guy” and compare it to one of his newest songs . . . “SelfDestruct!” “Each song brings back an influx of emotions about different people and experiences,” Landers expressed, “but right now, I'm in the mood for some ‘Self-Destruct!’ It's my most recent http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

song, and seems very relevant to our society. Its basically about this girl and her hard partying ways that are beginning to lead her down a path of self destruction. The song is heavy on the pop/dance side . . . and fun to rock out to!” Daniel noted that although music comes naturally for him, “you can never stop learning.” “I'm taking Honors Music Theory in school and it is a totally different world,” he admitted. “I have developed so many aspects of my music by ear, and now, putting everything down mathematically seems more difficult to me than learning a new language!” When asked who his favorite artists and bands were, Daniel responded enthusiastically. “Without a doubt, my favorite band is Bon Jovi — no matter how fast or loud the song is, the vocals and lyrics are paradoxically so strong and sincere. I'm also hopelessly devoted to Katy Perry. Although her music is very dance/ electronic, her voice is strong, full and edgy. Russel Brand is a very lucky man. And who doesn't love Bruce Springsteen? He is so chill about his music while being energetic and full of emotion. Then, there is the charisma of Elvis. The way he captivated an audience really inspires me to not only sing my music, but to perform it, as well. All of these artistis/bands write or wrote most of their music — which is awesome — and maintain catchy lyrics and melodies that draw people towards them. I really admire that.” Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

However, despite the timeless rock influences, Daniel’s own music is very “now,” very pop, very “teen idol” sounding. Somehow he has managed to capture the angst that drives rock, but polish it to be worthy of the top of the pop charts. “Many teens in our culture tend to shy away from the mainstream sound because they seem to think that pop music lacks something that indie songs have,” Landers commented. “I totally disagree! Straight up pop music is the bomb! Catchy and relatable music that is fun to listen and dance to is definitely

“I'm in the mood for some ‘Self-Destruct!’”

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

something I would embrace without a doubt.” One of Landers’ more pop infused tracks is the catchy “I’ll Never Run.” There’s an incredibly effective digital

“Whatever I do, I intend to give it my all, and keep it real.”
bleeping that opens into a lush verse. At key points throughout the song, the arrangement breaks down to just the drums and that chirping hook which reinvigorates the tune with a surge of energy as the line unfurls back into a full band sound. “The lyrics are about a specific person, and she knows that the song was written about her,” Daniel revealed. “When you are a songwriter and you feel a strong connection to a person, the possibilities are endless. Originally, I had written ‘I'll Never Run’ as a ballad, but when I decided to listen to it as an up-tempo, I thought it would be cool to have a traditional love song that is easy to party to!” For his debut rock video, Daniel chose the driving “Find Another You.” [Click HERE to view.] What was it about the song that made him pick it for a video? “I felt that ‘Find Another You’ was a song that so many people, especially t e e n s , c o u l d r e l a t e t o ,” D a n i e l responded. “Our teen years are all about finding ourselves and trying new things and much of the time that Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

involves someone who breaks your heart. At my shows, ‘Find Another You’ is the song that everyone knows the words to and I do believe that can be partially attributed to the fact that everyone struggles to search for themselves . . . and someone else.” Landers’ closing words were inspiring: “The most important thing in life is to have fun and stay true to yourself. I know whatever I do, I intend to give it my all, and keep it real.” To find out more about this rising artist, visit: www.myspace.com/daniellanders

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Thieves In Paradise THIEVES IN PARADISE EP Unsigned
Thieves In Paradise is a young, energetic band from Newtown, Pennsylvania that is comprised of Evan King (guitar, keyboard), Kevin Belmont Jr. (vocals and lyricist), Ryan King (bass), and Ricky Mears ( d r u m s ) . T h e b a n d ’s c u r r e n t release is a self-titled EP featuring four tracks that range from hyperkinetic moments of screamo to a surprisingly tender track spotlighting an intimate guitar and vocal performance. Evan explained, “Our drummer, Ricky, is a missionary from Haiti who was in America because of the earthquake, which is why we s t a r t e d t h e b a n d . We a r e a Christian group, though our lyrics are about modern day issues rather than worship songs.” The impressive opening track, “Commit To Memory,” starts with a tight drum snap and a wicked lead guitar lick that spills out into an aggressive pop-punk influenced tune that escalates to a mosh pit worthy chorus. For more information on Thieves In Paradise, visit: www.myspace.com/ thievesinparadise

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

www.myspace.com/thievesinparadise

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Scot Sax

Musician, producer, songwriter Scot Sax was the guest of honor and delivered a one hour session on his 25 years in the music business. Knowing that music would be his career, he stated that his motivation was high because Scot had no other plans for a different career. Starting in Philadelphia as the leader and main songwriter for Wanderlust put Scot on the musical radar with the AAA radio hit “I Walked.” The band later toured with Collective Soul and opened for The Who. After Wanderlust saw there was a change at RCA records they disbanded.

Chapter 2 of Scot’s musical life was moving to Los Angeles and signing some publishing deals with Warner/Chappell. Scot was successful with many songwriting projects. Some of his credits include Jason Mraz, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Joey McIntyre. After Photo: Jim Rinaldi traveling to Nashville for some songwriting sessions, Scot met Musician, Songwriter, John Rich (Big & Rich) and they collaborated with Nashville songwriter And More . . . Vicky McGehee to write “Like We November 2, 2010 Never Loved At All.” This song proved to by David Fiorenza be a double success as Faith Hill and Tim McGraw placed this #1 song on The auditorium of Driscoll Hall on the their individual CD’s. This song earned campus of Villanova University was Scot a Grammy. In between the filled with undergraduate business N a s h v i l l e s o n g w r i t i n g , S c o t w a s students curious about the music awarded a gold record for “I Am The industry, specifically songwriting and Summertime,” a song on the AMERICAN PIE soundtrack. publishing. Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130 http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

songwriting craft, and performing in the Philadelphia area with his new power trio Queen Electric. How did he sustain this career for so many years when all of this could have folded after Wanderlust? Scot advised, “Continue doing what you know best, get out and meet people, go to Open Mic nights in your city to see what songs feel right, and get into a groove with artists who have similar tastes, musically and professionally.” Scot did not look for the next wave in the music industry, instead, he stayed true with his pop song style. Scot will continue to break new ground in New York, Philadelphia, Nashville and Los Angeles. You can view more information on Scot at: www.scotsax.com David Fiorenza David is an Economics professor at Villanova University specializing in Arts and Entertainment. He also performs in the duo Fiorenza-Dowlin. www.reverbnation.com/fiorenzadowlin http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly
Photo: Jim Rinaldi

Chapter 3 found Scot in the Los Angeles-based band FEEL and signed to Curb Records (Nashville). They toured the United States and had a AAA radio hit with “Got Your Name On It.” Never allowing moss to grow under his feet, Scot moved back to the Philadelphia region and collaborated with newly signed artist, Sharon Little (CBS records). They toured as an opening act for Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Scot’s longevity can be attributed to his ability to know that this business is more than just performing. He said to the audience, “Make sure you are well rounded, that you can perform, write songs, and have a comfort level in a studio. All these assets add up to more than just being one dimensional.” Chapter 4. Scot is writing songs, mentoring newer artists with their Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

Photo by Eric Michelson

dome, exploring the mesosphere for magical chord voicings. Lee Harding’s vocal delivery on this song is beautifully ra w a n d w o n d e r f u l l y juxtaposed to the elegant guitar work. This band truly has something new to offer in every track. That said, the opening track, “Open Your Eyes,” is above and beyond. It’s Mark Sturino Lee Harding one of those moments Alex Zander when everything just Nate Schaedler clicks, creating something far larger than the sum of its parts, a track that Echo Revolution lives and thrives with a COUNTERFEIT SUNSHINE supernaturally infectious vitality. Echo Revolution formed in 2002 Third Eye Blind once asked: “Will and the band has recently released this song live on long after we do?” i t s f o u r t h f u l l - l e n g t h C D . “Open Your Eyes,” definitely has C O U N T E R F E I T S U N S H I N E i s a n that potential. intoxicating amalgam of sonics and soul with Lee Harding’s distinctive Luckily, songwriter Lee Harding was vocals effortlessly holding it all available to talk to Songwriter’s together. Monthly in detail about the song: www.echorevolution.com The slow churn of “Addiction” is as entrancing as gazing into the everchanging and subtle tumble of a lava lamp. The funky essence of “What Say You?” is just the right spice dropped in a clump in the middle of the record to startle the listener’s ears to attention with a completely fresh taste. “When I’m Around You” pushes the sound “Lyrically, the writing of that song was different than maybe any other in that it was very visual. The first line, ‘Put the bag back in the seat’ had me seeing myself in the entryway of a house I’d lived in when I was 8 years old. I have a backpack over my shoulder and I'm just about to leave for good. Those lyrics are kind of my inner thoughts

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

www.myspace.com/echorevolution

in this situation that I imagined. With ‘Take a walk down your shady city street,’ I'm telling myself to take some time and reflect. More subtly, I think I'm saying ‘Slow down, and leave enough time for a good moment to happen.’ “I would say in essence, the words drive at the idea that no matter how much ‘trouble has taught you,’ your perspective will ultimately shape the life you have, and I think that is a choice. In my case, that house on Water Street, Newburgh, IN resides in a period of good times before things kind of went downhill for my family for awhile. It was traumatic. As a songwriter, I revisit a ‘childish innocence’ (and naivety) often. There are wholly pure feelings there that I can access. I feel lucky I can, and grateful. So much of my songwriting is trying to capture that childish joy (and hopefully give it to others).” “Musically, the basic chords and words came to me at the same time. The tapestry of the final song you hear is the work of all members of Echo. It was very collaborative, as was the whole record. I have always thought of the creative process of Echo Revolution as four guys, each with his own island . . . Nate Schaedler has 'Drum Island,' and we leave him alone over there. Now, if he's catching trees on fire and erecting huge goat monuments we paddle

over and steal his laundry or something.” “On ‘Open Your Eyes,’ as usual, Nate found a killer driving rhythm, Mark Sturino laced in terrific leads and Alex Zander complimented it with killer keys and an 'inspired' bass line. I remember us all watching Alex track the bass and our producer [Steve Churchyard] saying, ‘I believe I saw a beam of light on him during that take. Wow!’ What fun that was.” “It was a thrill to perform that song from early on. We felt we had ‘bottled lightning’ or something. The audience always looked totally enthralled when we played ‘Open Your Eyes.’ I don't know why that has been the case, but I do feel that this record comes from a real place emotionally. And, I think our audience can see and feel that.”

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat? id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&t mpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F %252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Fartist %252Fecho-revolution%252Fid4294717%253Fuo %253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Adele Zane A STRANGER IN TOWN
A Stranger In Town is an incredibly revealing album. Adele renders these mostly familiar melodies with not much more than her sweet lingering tones and a gentle breath. The instrumentation is gloriously minimal and the effect is intensely intimate. “I’m always looking to push my m u s i c a l b o u n d a r i e s ,” A d e l explained. “For this project, I wanted to work with different instrumentation than my usual piano, bass and drums line-up, hence the voice and guitar duos and the use of Middle Eastern percussion, for example.” “I also wanted to create ‘new standards’ from unexpected genres like rock and pop and cast songs in different genres than they were originally conceived in – I don’t think ‘Two Different Worlds’ was ever done with a country feel or Led Zeppelin’s ‘That’s The Way’ was ever recorded with just guitar, hadgini and voice.” www.adelezane.com One of the most powerful examples of pushing boundaries and reenvisioning a song is Zane’s magical interpretation of The Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday.” “I got resistance for wanting to do

that one,” Adele recalled. “I guess b e c a u s e i t ’s s o w e l l k n o w n . However, I have to be honest, before I sang it, I didn’t really know what it was supposedly about. When I perform it, I get a lot of feedback from people who tell me what the song is ‘really’ about or what it has meant to them. That’s what’s so wonderful about interpreting: it’s just another perspective and sometimes ignorance really is bliss.” Another moving track is “It Never E n t e r e d M y M i n d .” Z a n e

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

commented: “I picked that one because I like musically difficult songs with emotional depth and ‘It Never Entered My Mind’ is a hard one on both of those levels. I really struggled with this song. It’s so poignant in its imagery, such a cautionary tale, and a great reminder to appreciate who you’re with and what you have.” H o w e v e r, d e s p i t e a l l t h e enchantment on the album, easily the most bewitching track is Adele’s original, “Girl At The Bar.” It’s Peggy-Lee-sultry with a captivating degree of detail that puts the listener right at the bar with this

intriguing character. Adele reminisced, “I wrote the opening four lines to that song about a zillion years ago in a

“She’s smoking too much, drinking too much, swearing and thinking . . . such unPC things to do these days, especially all at the same time!”
restaurant on a paper placemat which means I was probably waiting for a waiter to bring my food – not remotely romantic at all! That paper placemat haunted me for several years. When I took another look at the lyrics and started to add to them, the song became more about a woman rebelling – she’s smoking too much, drinking too much, swearing and thinking . . . such unPC things to do these days, especially all at the same time! However, she isn’t apologizing for any of it and by the end of the song, hopefully she has made the right choice for herself.” Zane added, “It seems the songs I’m drawn to or have written, most often depict an emotional

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

crossroads where a person is looking back and wishing they’d made better choices or looking forward and hoping they’ll make better ones.” With regards to the album title, when asked if there were any special meanings behind the choice of A STRANGER IN TOWN, Adele replied, “When I was trying to decide what to call the CD and w h a t t o p u t o n i t s c o v e r, I remembered a lovely painting that my husband had done of a woman walking down the street in a red dress carrying a suitcase. She was most definitely ‘a stranger in town’ and that was what brought the s o n g , C D c ove r a n d t i t l e a l l together.” Before wrapping up, Adele wanted to relate the story behind the dedication on the album. “While we were recording, I found out that an old friend of mine had passed away. It was so unexpected. I was really affected by it and I know the emotions I was experiencing made their way into my vocals – no way around it. I dedicated the CD to her memory. She had always been so supportive of my music. She would show up at my gigs, late, and yell

“I hope that wherever she is that maybe she can hear A STRANGER IN TOWN and know that a part of her is in it.”
from the back in her beautiful Irish brogue, ‘Sing Black Coffee, Ms. Zane!’ It didn’t matter to her that I may have already sung it, she wanted to hear it and that was that. I hope that wherever she is that maybe she can hear A STRANGER IN TOWN and know that a part of her is in it.

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat? id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&t mpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F %252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum % 2 5 2 F a - s t r a n g e r - i n - t o w n % 2 5 2 F i d 3 3 4 1 3 6 6 0 0 % 2 5 3 F u o %253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Cyndi Harvell

The Whole Package

Raised in the deep south and seasoned on the west coast, Cyndi Harvell is a scintillating artist who sings with a purity that could make seraphim envious. Her latest album, FROM THE E CHO , sizzles with a slightly dark passion that is tempered by a wholesome spirit to create a wonderfully uplifting and engaging work. Cyndi took some time during her recent tour to answer a few questions from Songwriter’s Monthly. Songwriter’s Monthly: How does Georgia compare to California? What drew you to the west coast? Do you think your music would have been different if you were raised in California instead of Georgia? Cyndi Harvell: They are both completely different. California is a beautiful place to live. In the bay area, you’ve got close access to ocean,

mountains, desert, big city, and country . . . so much beauty right there. And the people are diverse and open-minded and from all kinds of different backgrounds. Georgia is quiet and modest and has its own kind of beauty. Southern hospitality is real and

“I am who I am because of where I come from.”
abundant. I lived in Georgia for 23 years, but I feel a certain kinship with the west coast and a different sense of belonging than I ever felt in Georgia. But all that said, I am who I am because of where I come from so I can’t say that I would have the same appreciation for California had I been brought up there. And I can’t say that I would be writing the same kind of music either. I have a slight “countryness” to my voice that perhaps comes from growing up in Georgia. I used to deny it, but I’ve learned to embrace it. I think the fact that I’ve lived in these vastly different parts of the country has influenced and inspired the way I write and the perspective I have on life. SM: Who are your

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

favorite vocalists? CH: I love Neko Case. She has some serious pipes. Patty Griffin has a lot of soul and feeling in her voice, too. Ray LaMontagne. Love the singer from D e Vo t c h Ka . C a t Power. The singer f r o m B o n I v e r. Regina Spektor. I love to hear honest, pure, soulful vocals, more like old vintage style with character than new sleek shiny polished. S M : T h e r e ’s a s i m i l a r t h e m e t o “Lighthouse” and “Break For It,” were they written around the same time? Did Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

they represent your flight to the west coast or are they about something else? CH: They were probably written about a year apart. I wrote “Lighthouse” after taking a trip to the Point Reyes Lighthouse here on the California coast with some friends. We drove for about half an hour through nothing but green fields and finally ended up at this lighthouse. I was fascinated by people who may have lived there to run the lighthouse at some point in time. Sometimes I get frustrated with life and dealing with difficult people and the http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

“The idea of moving into a lighthouse seemed romantic.”

idea of moving into a lighthouse seemed romantic and like some sort of hideaway. “Break For It” is completely different. It came from an article I read in New York magazine about this guy who broke out of prison on more than one occasion. He was a really creative, artistic guy and it was kind of a shame that his creativity went to waste. He actually made a “gun” out of a bar of soap, added some coffee to dye it and some screws to it and it fooled people. Crazy. SM: You have a lot of really great lines and images in your writing. Do they come easily or do you have to struggle? CH: A lot of the time, those most interesting lines just come out of nowhere, like it’s some other source channelling through me which I always think is a weird thing for people to say. But that’s what it feels like. It’s hard to explain. I’ve written poetry since I was little and I’ve always loved crafting interesting images out of words. SM: In the song, “Middleman,” the line about pulling out a piece of paper to settle all your arguments is great! Is this the line that inspired the song? Do you know someone who does that? CH: The other day, we were listening to this track and my guitar player said, “I could totally see you doing that,” which Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

“I weigh out the pros and cons endlessly for every decision I have to make.”

is funny because it’s probably true. I’m a listmaker. I write things down, I weigh out the pros and cons endlessly for every decision I have to make. The song itself came out of a dream I had, though. I was in my parents’ house, in the living room, and we heard a c o m m o t i o n coming from the back, where my room used to be. This little, old, angry man ran out and stopped, and I asked, “Who are you?!” He answered, “I’m the middleman!” And I woke up. It was so bizarre and weird and had me wondering what kind of “middleman” this guy was. What did it mean? I’ve read before that people in dreams are just different forms of yourself. I just kind of took all these ideas and ran with them. SM: My current favorite is “Off Chance.” I just love the whole vibe of that song. Did the song start groove first? Where did the emotion come from in the melody line? It really sounds inspired. CH: This song was written in a different way than I usually write. The guy who produced the album (and also played bass on a couple of the tunes), Jim Greer, wrote the bluesy riff that the song starts out with. At one rehearsal, he gave me 2 chords to play along with it and our drummer, Mike Stevens, played a nice beat to fit the mood. Our guitarist, John Howland, thickened out the riff, adding his own soul to it, and we just made a rough recording of the http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

idea right there. I went back and started writing a melody and lyrics to that, and then added in some new chords for the chorus and outro. I really enjoyed writing to the different kind of R&B blues vibe that I wouldn’t normally do on my own.

“I don’t want to be ‘owned,’ but I do want to love.”
SM: The intro to “The Whisper” is great. Is that your guitar work? What is your background on guitar? CH: This song was another new way of writing for me because I actually didn’t write any of the music. My guitar player extraordinaire, John Howland, wrote the music. He wrote the guitar melody that you hear in the beginning and throughout the song. He has some amazing melodic ideas that work perfectly with my lyrics and vocal melodies. I went back and added lyrics and melody after the music was done. I’m more of a rhythm guitarist, and I’ve been playing for about 13 years, self-taught. SM: At moments, this album has a very dark edge to it, sometimes in the music, sometimes in the lyrics. A song like “Loaded Question” is very powerful, almost to the point of being frightening, where did that song come from? CH: Some songs are more about a mood or emotion than a particular Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

story. I’m big into using words to create an emotional landscape that you can almost live in. “Loaded Question” is really personal — which is a scary thing to record to an album and have so many people hear it! It’s like I’m sharing my diary. In a way, it’s a strange kind of love song. I can be fickle, I can be complicated and I can definitely overanalyze. And I can be hard to read and hard to be in a relationship with sometimes. I don’t want to be “owned,” but I do want to love, and I’m telling a person, “look, I can love you, but you’ve gotta take the whole package: good, bad and scary.” Reiterating that last sentiment, the whole package is what makes Cyndi so very special. There is a lot to this artist and every single piece is vital. Don’t cheat yourself, listen closely and experience all Cyndi has to offer. For more on Cyndi, visit: www.cyndiharvell.com

http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/stat? id=hyTjEIK1pMo&offerid=146261&type=3&subid=0&t mpid=1826&RD_PARM1=http%253A%252F %252Fitunes.apple.com%252Fus%252Falbum %252Ffrom-the-echo%252Fid394206866%253Fuo %253D4%2526partnerId%253D30

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Screening Room
Click on the picture to view the video!
http://vimeo.com/ 15995604http:// v i m e o . c o m / 15995604http:// v i m e o . c o m / 15995604http:// v i m e o . c o m / 15995604http:// v i m e o . c o m / 15995604 http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/http:// www.lucywoodward.com/ 2010/10/ragdoll/

The Octopus Project: “HEXADECAGON Zoetrope Instructional Video” www.theoctopusproject.com
h t t p : / / www.okgo.net/ lastleaf/ http:// www.okgo.net/ lastleaf/ http:// www.okgo.net/ lastleaf/ http:// www.okgo.net/ lastleaf/

Lucy Woodward: “Ragdoll” www.lucywoodward.com
http://www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminoguehttp:// www.youtube.com/kylieminogue

OK Go: “Last Leaf” www.okgo.net
h t t p : / / www.youtube.com/ w a t c h ? v=z1bHddYhtDwhttp:// www.youtube.com/ w a t c h ? v=z1bHddYhtDwhttp:// www.youtube.com/ watch?v=z1bHddYhtDw

Kylie: “Better Than Today” www.kylie.com
http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=QIY_Aluk1hs&feature=player_em bedded http://www.youtube.com/ w a t c h ? v=QIY_Aluk1hs&feature=player_em bedded http://www.youtube.com/ w a t c h ? v=QIY_Aluk1hs&feature=player_em bedded

Thee Oh Sees: “Meat Step Lively” The Oh Sees Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

The Grascals: “Last Train To Clarksville” www.grascals.com http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

ITEMS OF INTEREST
Asobi Seksu Offers FREE Single
The signs in Chris Zane’s studio couldn’t have been any clearer: “Don’t Overthink It” and one simple word— “BOLD.” Or as Asobi Seksu guitarist/singer James Hanna puts it, “This time, our agenda was to not have one at all; to be mellow about the entire process instead of obsessing over everything.” Maybe mellow isn’t the right word, unless he’s comparing the band’s fourth proper full-length (FLUORESCENCE) to a coiled-up cobra or unconscious crocodile — temperamental types that are one false move away from striking. After all, “Coming Up” sets the scene by plowing into beehive-like synth lines and warp speed washes of dream-pop that leave you wondering just what the hell is going on. Things don’t let up on “Trails” either, as singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sets her immaculate melodies against a barrage of battery-powered chords. Catchy and chaotic to the core, the sky-scraping song pays homage to the pitch-perfect songwriting of the ‘60s by chartering a yellow submarine to the moon. And when the Brooklyn-based quartet (rounded out by bassist Billy Pavone and drummer Larry Gorman) finally hits the ground, their colorsaturated soundscapes don’t get dull or cold. They get even brighter, as FLUORESCENCE’S many shades shift with each passing song. For more information on Asobi Seksu, visit: www.asobiseksu.com

Click HERE To Download "Trails"
Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

This article excerpt appears courtesy of TAYF.

ITEMS OF INTEREST
papercranes Offers FREE Single
“Anchored by lead singer and songwriter, Rain Phoenix, and flanked by her revolving cast of collaborators, papercranes will release their second album on Jan. 24th via Manimal Vinyl.” “Titled L ET ’ S M AKE BABIES IN THE WOODS, the record is a mesmerizing mix of gritty, psychedeliatinged folk, propulsive rhythms, and orchestral expansiveness. The soul of each song is formed by Phoenix’s voice, which drips with emotion and is equally comfortable as an airy whisper or a shiver-inducing, raspy wail.” “LET’S MAKE BABIES bursts with a raw and spontaneous energy thanks to the experimental, off-the-cuff approach Phoenix took in creating it. This method, which she describes as a stream-of-consciousness style, called for her and the other musicians do a lot of writing on the spot and frequently record ideas using just one take.” “This process gave a brutally honest, naked feel to the songs, which are Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

noticeably darker and angrier than previous papercranes material. Phoenix also has a remarkable fearlessness of pushing her voice to channel every last sentiment in her lyrics. This bold attitude, along with her gift for composing nuanced melodies, makes for a collection of songs filled with gorgeous, spine-tingling moments.” For more information on Rain Phoenix’s papercranes, visit: www.myspace.com/papercranesmusic www.papercranesmusic.com

To get the FREE single, entitled “Synapses,” simply click HERE.
http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Photo: Amanda Demme

http://www.scribd.com/doc/21725699/SM-Oct-09-118

Previously . . .
h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 3 9 3 9 3 7 6 4 / Songwriter-s-MonthlyOctober-10-Issue-129 h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 3 9 3 9 3 7 6 4 / Songwriter-s-MonthlyOctober-10-Issue-129

For those who missed earlier issues of

Songwriter’s Monthly, just click on the cover of your choice pictured below.

h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 3 7 4 9 0 4 7 1 / Songwriter-s-MonthlySeptember-2010Issue-128http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 3 7 4 9 0 4 7 1 / Songwriter-s-MonthlySeptember-2010Issue-128

http://www.scribd.com/ Songwriter’s d o c / 3 5 4Monthly 05310/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyAugust-10-127I s s u e h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 35405310/Songwriter-sMonthly-August-10-127I s s u e h t t p : / / Barry Louis Polisar www.scribd.com/doc/ Danny Ross 35405310/Songwriter-sCamera Can’t Lie I Need That Record! Monthly-August-10-127Issue
August ’10, #127

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Oct. ’10

Sept. ‘10

Aug. ‘10

h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJuly-10-126-Issue/d/ 33694707 http:// www.scribd.com/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJuly-10-126-Issue/d/ 33694707http:// www.scribd.com/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJuly-10-126-Issue/d/ 33694707

July ‘10

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/32112747/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJune-10-125-Issue? h t m l = 1 h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 32112747/Songwriter-sMonthly-June-10-125Issue?html=1http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 32112747/Songwriter-sMonthly-June-10-125Issue?html=1

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/30567251/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyMay-10-124-Issue http://www.scribd.com/ doc/30567251/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyMay-10-124-Issue http://www.scribd.com/ doc/30567251/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyMay-10-124-Issue

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/29169883/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyApr-10-123-Issuehttp:// w ww . s cr ibd. c om/ doc / 29169883/Songwriter-sMonthly-Apr-10-123I s s u h t t p : / / w ww . s cr ibd. c om/ doc / 29169883/Songwriter-sMonthly-Apr-10-123-Issu

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/27263949/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyFeb-10-122-Issuehttp:// w ww . s cr ibd. c om/ doc / 27263949/Songwriter-sMonthly-Feb-10-122I s s u e h t t p : / / w ww . s cr ibd. c om/ doc / 27263949/Songwriter-sMonthly-Feb-10-122Issue

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/25772977/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJan-10-121-Issue http://www.scribd.com/ doc/25772977/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJan-10-121-Issue http://www.scribd.com/ doc/25772977/ Songwriter-s-MonthlyJan-10-121-Issue

June ‘10

May ‘10

Apr. ‘10

Feb. ‘10

Jan. ‘10

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/24378688/SMDec-09-120http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 4 3 7 8 6 8 8 / S M Dec-09-120http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 4 3 7 8 6 8 8 / S M Dec-09-120http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 4 3 7 8 6 8 8 / S M Dec-09-120

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/22977118/SMNov-09-119http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 22977118/SMNov-09-119http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 22977118/SMNov-09-119http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 22977118/SMNov-09-119

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/21725699/SMOct-09-118http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 1 7 2 5 6 9 9 / S M Oct-09-118http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 1 7 2 5 6 9 9 / S M Oct-09-118http:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 1 7 2 5 6 9 9 / S M Oct-09-118

http://www.scribd.com/ doc/20393735/SMSept-09-117bhttp:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 0 3 9 3 7 3 5 / S M Sept-09-117bhttp:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 0 3 9 3 7 3 5 / S M Sept-09-117bhttp:// www.scribd.com/doc/ 2 0 3 9 3 7 3 5 / S M Sept-09-117b

h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 19506104/SMSept-09-117aTawnyH e a t h h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 19506104/SMSept-09-117aTawnyH e a t h h t t p : / / www.scribd.com/doc/ 19506104/SMSept-09-117aTawnyHeathh

Dec. ’09

Nov. ’09

Oct. ’09

Sept. ’09

Sept. ’09 SE

Songwriter’s Monthly - Nov. ’10, #130

http://www.scribd.com/SongwritersMonthly

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful