ASCAP ‘I Create Music’ Expo Explores Where Great Songs Come From [Photo]

first_imgLoad remaining images A song performed live is a song at the end of its life cycle. It’s a fully formed idea that’s been recorded, rehearsed, and likely rehashed over and over and over again until it either becomes a permanent part of an artist’s live catalog or is discarded in favor of another. And while some performers may take some time aside to explain the origin story behind a given song, you won’t likely get the full “birds and bees” breakdown in the middle of a concert.You will, however, find that story told and retold in countless different ways at the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers’ (ASCAP) I Create Music Expo. This year’s 13th-annual edition, hosted at the Loews Hotel in Hollywood, amounted to three days of wide-ranging panels, in-depth seminars, one-on-one sessions, and promotional booths, with hitmakers and aspiring singer-songwriters, executives, A&R people, lawyers, and lyricists all co-mingling as convention-goers are wont to do. And while much of the ASCAP Expo boiled down to business—how to market and make money off music—there would be no business without the songs themselves.“I feel like we all got into music because we want to enjoy our lives and have a good time making this thing that’s magic,” said Stefan Johnson, who produced Zedd’s smash hit “The Middle,” during the Mix It Up: Hit Producers Talking Tracks panel.There is no one right way to make that magic. Every producer, songwriter, and artist has her or his own process. There are, however, some relative truths that can become worthwhile rules of thumb. For one, the origin of a song matters. You can hunker down and force out a song, but for J Kash, who’s written for pop stars like Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez, he believes “that good songs do come from inspiration, so it has to sound inspired.”“The point is to chase inspiration and to chase thought,” David Garcia, a noted hitmaker in Nashville, said during the opening panel entitled We Create Music. “You can have a really well-written song, but if at the end of the day, you press play and you sing it back and you don’t feel anything, what’s the point?”And just because an existing song made you emotional, it doesn’t mean you should try to replicate it in your own work. There is a danger in chasing trends, one that was expressed perfectly by Canadian-born producer Greg Wells, who was himself channeling a tweet from Kanye West. “A hit song, that’s a term that applies to something that’s already happened,” Wells said. “The fact that you know it’s a hit means it already was a hit.”That doesn’t mean, though, that a song idea, even if it’s subpar or derivative, deserves to be dumped. Being a hoarder of one’s own creations can pay dividends down the line, with bits and pieces of old songs being subsumed into new ones. For Annie Clark, better known as St. Vincent, a song is often the result of “organ harvesting,” which she described during a panel with 19-year-old King Princess as, essentially, taking parts from old ideas and repurposing them as new ones.“I think the point for me is just to be generative as much as possible because you just, you never know when you’re gonna need that bridge or you never know what something is going to end up becoming,” she said.As helpful as that piecemeal process can be, great music doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, complexity, whether pertaining to the structure of the song itself or the equipment with which it’s produced, can be the downfall of a piece of music. “When you talk about writing a song, basic wins,” Garcia said. “The best version of the simplest idea.”Meghan Trainor, who first came to the ASCAP EXPO in 2010 as an aspiring teenaged singer-songwriter at the behest of her family, echoed this idea, noting, “When I’m writing a song, I think simple is better. … Don’t stress over it over and over again.”If there is one thing in a song to stress over, though, it’s the chorus. To hear the experts at ASCAP tell it, nailing that part of a song can make the rest of the process a veritable breeze. “If you have an amazing chorus, we’re halfway down the field,” Johnson said.Writing good songs and turning those into great music can be quick and easy, long and grinding, fun and frustrating, and everything in between. What’s most important for any artist is, as Johnson put it, to “just stick through, persevere, give it all, trust your gut.”Bringing that music fully formed to a live audience can and often does feed directly back into the songwriting process. That’s what makes a song part of a life cycle instead of a dead end on its own. “Performing live made my musicianship better,” Trainor insisted.But for all the instruments and resources that are often required to flesh out a single thought into a magical musical experience, none of it is possible without people who can stomach the exhilarating and exhausting whims of an entertainment industry and still fill our ears with incredible art. “It’s a crazy job for crazy people,” St. Vincent said. “Probably none of us are in this room because we’re totally sane and there’s nothing broken inside of us. There’s a cavernous hole and we want to fill it.”As unfortunate as that insanity may be in its own right, its byproducts (i.e. songs) are as much the reasons for an eye-opening experience like the ASCAP Expo as for the widespread love of music that makes its performance such a precious, valuable and worthwhile commodity the world over.You can check out a gallery of photos, which were provided by ASCAP, below.Photos: ASCAP Expo | Loews Hotel | Hollywood, CA | 5/7-9/2018 last_img read more

Final Tony Award Eligibility Rulings Have Been Announced!

first_img Andy Karl will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in Rocky. LaTanya Richardson Jackson will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play category for her performance in A Raisin in the Sun. Check out the decisions below. View Comments Santino Fontana and Tony Shalhoub will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play category for their respective performances in Act One. Hedwig and the Angry Inch will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Musical category. The Roundabout revival of its 1998 production of Cabaret is eligible as Best Revival of a Musical, however the creative team is ineligible. Alan Cumming, who won a Tony for the role in 1998, is ineligible. The rest of the cast is eligible. Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category. The Cripple of Inishmaan will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Play category. Violet will be considered eligible in the Best Revival of a Musical category.center_img Ramin Karimloo and Will Swenson will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Les Misérables. Tyne Daly and Frederick Weller will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actress/Actor in a Leading Role in a Play categories for their respective performances in Mothers and Sons. Colin Donnell, Alexander Gemignani and Joshua Henry will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical category for their respective performances in Violet. The 2014 Tony Awards are just weeks away! The nominations will be announced by Jonathan Groff and Lucy Liu on April 29 at the Paramount Hotel’s Diamond Horseshoe and the winners announced in a live telecast on June 8 on CBS, hosted by Hugh Jackman. Let the countdown begin! The Tony Awards Administration committee has met for the fourth and final time this 2013-14 season and made eligibility rulings on 18 productions, including: All the Way, Rocky, Aladdin, Les Miserables, Mothers and Sons, If/Then, A Raisin in the Sun, The Realistic Joneses, Bullets Over Broadway, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, Of Mice and Men, Act One, The Cripple of Inishmaan, Violet, The Velocity of Autumn, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Casa Valentina and Cabaret. All other decisions were consistent with the shows’ opening night credits. The committee previously discussed eligibility for 22 productions this season. Zach Braff will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical category for his performance in Bullets Over Broadway. Adam Jacobs and Courtney Reed will be considered eligible in the Best Performance by an Actor/Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical categories for their respective performances in Aladdin.last_img read more

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy to take part in skins event in Japan, report says

first_img British Open 2019: Shane Lowry’s glory a tonic to Rory McIlroy’s sob story British Open 2019: Shane Lowry reflects on stunning turnaround to victory Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will participate this fall in a revitalized skins-game event that also will include Jason Day and Hideki Matsuyama, ESPN reported, citing an unidentified source.The one-day golf competition — a throwback to the once-popular made-for-TV event “The Skins Game” — will take place Oct. 21 at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club, east of Tokyo, and will be sanctioned by the PGA Tour, according to the report. Interestingly, news of the event comes after none of the four players made the cut at the 2019 British Open at Royal Portrush.It’s unclear who might televise the event in the United States, but this new skins game is part of an agreement Woods has with GolfTV, a PGA Tour rights holder that does interviews and other features with him at locations outside the U.S. Related News British Open 2019: Emotional Rory McIlroy praises ‘incredible’ support after near-misscenter_img British Open 2019: Tiger Woods loves ‘stress’ of major golf but frustrated by results Like “The Skins Game,” which typically was contested Thanksgiving weekend from 1983-2005, the event in Japan is expected to offer lucrative prize money, though the exact structure of the competition or money at stake remains to be determined, according to ESPN.With McIlroy of Northern Ireland, Day of Australia and Matsuyama of Japan participating, the event appears to be trying to reach a wide range of interested golf fans.Typically in a skins competition, each hole is worth a certain amount of money and the player who has the lowest score on the hole wins the money. However, if no player wins a hole outright, then the money is carried over to the next hole or holes until a player wins a hole outright. Per ESPN: Various other wrinkles could be added the event in Japan, which will be played a few days before the Zozo Championship, a new PGA Tour event outside of Tokyo that Woods has committed to play.Woods played in “The Skins Game” seven times but never won it. He and Phil Mickelson last Thanksgiving weekend played “The Match,” a $9 million winner-take-all matchplay exhibition in Las Vegas. Mickelson won on the fourth extra hole.Woods, who labored in the cool, damp weather at Portrush, has competed only 10 times this season, having won the Masters in April. The world No. 5 is skipping this week’s WGC-FedEx St. Jude Classic and not expected to play again until the Northern Trust, which begins Aug. 8.McIlroy held his No. 3 world ranking, according to Monday’s updated list, despite missing the cut at The Open. Day dropped three spots to No. 21, while Matsuyama also fell three spots to 29th.last_img read more

City’s sales-tax revenue rises 1.4%

first_img [email protected] (661) 257-5255 SANTA CLARITA – Buoyed by vigorous holiday sales that helped offset a steep construction downturn, sales tax collected in Santa Clarita increased by 1.4 percent, to roughly $7.5 million, in the fourth quarter of 2006 over the same period last year, the city’s treasurer said Tuesday. The strongest gain in the October-to-December period came from department, clothing and furniture stores, whose taxable sales rose 5.1 percent over the 2005 fourth quarter. “The diverse local economy we have fostered, coupled with the conservative way in which we manage our budget, means our sales tax figures are right on the money,” said Darren Hernandez, the city’s treasurer. New auto sales, typically the largest tax engine in town, rose 5.9 percent from the same period in 2005. Sales of food items were up 2.3 percent, business-to-business taxes increased 3.2 percent and higher gas prices triggered a 5.3 percent increase in taxes paid by gas stations. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more