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Story Behind The Song - MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"   

Episode 3 : MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU

There isn't any long, inspirational story to this song. My good friend and one-time traveling buddy, Kevin, with Hotel California, told me how his mom used to say "Mama's gonna whoop you" or something to that effect. Naturally, heard a song title right off the bat, wrote it down for later. 

Later arrived and so did the song in all it's uncomplicated blues/rock mischievousness.

Anyway, MAMA GONNA WHOOP YOU has been released to the masses! 

Get the album "III" HERE

Taxi Music Forward - Dramedy Style Instrumental 

..Which means: “Hey cool track, I'm going to pass this on. It may be usable to the TV/Film pro that will hear it next."

DRAMEDY-Style INSTRUMENTAL CUES are needed by a hot European Music Library that’s expanding their reach and catalog size. They’re looking for Mid-to-Up-Tempo Instrumentals in the general stylistic wheelhouse of these examples: 

WARNING:  The subject matter in some of the reference videos might require Viewer Discretion. 

“KUWTK” (From 0:29 – 0:50) 

“RHOC” (From 0:00 – 0:26) 

“Little Women: Dallas” (From 2:21 – 2:35) 

Send them fun Dramedy Instrumental Cues that could work for silly, funny, or sneaky scenes in Reality TV Shows. Instrumentation that could work for this pitch can include Pizzicato Strings, Marimba, Xylophone, Clarinets, Whistles, etc. Structure your Cue around a central melodic idea, while layering instrumentation in and out as your Cue progresses to add dynamics, keep it moving forward, and to keep your Cue from sounding too repetitive. Simpler is better for this pitch! 

TAXI Tip: Tastefully adding an instrument that isn't often heard in this genre could help your music stand out. Stick to something that works well in context, and doesn't make end users say, "OMG!" when they hear it. Try things like a touch of bassoon or maybe a tiny little pinch of mouth hard here or there. Whatever you try, do it sparingly... don't overdo it! 

Your submissions should be around 90 seconds long, give or take. Non-Faded, Button/Stinger endings will work best for this pitch. Do NOT copy the referenced artists or songs in any way, shape, or form. Broadcast Quality is needed.

 

My Spotify "Starred" List - Ep. 3 

With time on the road, I got on a Joni Mitchell kick. Started from album 1 and went from there. (Not all on the same day!)

"Black Crow": I was struck by the lyric on this one, the crow as a metaphor for her life on the road. Interesting chord choices to "land" her melody on . 

One wonders, "Was she really looking at the her "haggard face" in the mirror and then suddenly saw a black crow, "that ragged soul", outside the bathroom window and boom, said "I'm gonna write a song"?
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Starting in 2012, I began collecting songs in a custom Spotify playlist I simply called "Starred". Currently there are 408 tunes, and I continue to add to it. When I don't know what I want to listen to, I just put on the Starred list. 

Story Behind The Song - PHOENIX HOTEL 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III"  

Episode 3 : PHOENIX HOTEL

I believe this tune of mine is the oldest on the album, as far as the writing part is concerned. It's from my personal experience of staying at an actual hotel in San Francisco called the Phoenix Hotel. Hotel California was in town for a corporate show and they put us up in this "boutique" establishment. 

I’m singing real life here: hearing happy couples, sipping free coffee in one of those always-too-small throwaway cups; slippers from home; cozy wall heater, lonely heart…. I think caffeine refills were at the breakfast bar outside under an overhang overlooking the pool. 

Oh, and this is song 1 of 2 set in picturesque San Francisco. 

[“Let’s Take The Stairs” from my album “Window Seat” is also a "San Francisco song" thanks to the “City by the Bay”. Which brings a thought that I haven’t done song stories about the previous album.] Hmmm...

Get the album "III" HERE

Add Steve's Music to Your Spooky List! 

Did you know I have two Halloween-related songs floating around on the internet? It's true!

Please add them if you'd like to your special "Hollerday" playlist! I've included links below. Click on your choice of sites. If you use other sites, they're probably there to if you search for them. Thanks!

"CHILLER" (Michael Jackson "Thriller" sound-alike) is on:

SPOTIFY
AMAZON
GOOGLE PLAY

 

"MANSION OF HAUNTS" (Parts of Disney's Haunted Mansion Theme backwards!) is on:

SPOTIFY
AMAZON
GOOGLE PLAY

(If I haven't mentioned a streaming site you use, they are probably there too if you search for them)

My Spotify "Starred" List - Ep. 2 

Is there anyone out there like me that has an obsession (A healthy one, I hope-lol) with New York City? This is the first of quite a few tracks I've saved about that very place. "Empire State Of Mind (Part II) Broken Down" by Alicia Keys

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Starting in 2012, I began collecting songs in a custom Spotify playlist I simply called "Starred". Currently there are 404 tunes, and I continue to add to it. When I don't know what I want to listen to, I just put on the Starred list. 

Story Behind The Song - MY HAPPY PLACE 

The blog series that highlights a selected song from my latest album, "III" 

Episode 2 : MY HAPPY PLACE

The seed of this tune came firstly not from artistic inspiration - "Oh, I must capture this song immediately while the muse flows freely through my ever-sensitive creative soul!!" - Oh no, my friends.

There's a song that I really like by Christ Stapleton called, "Whisky and Me". I decided one day to take the form of the song, rhyme scheme, etc and just write something in the same pattern. As an exercise and a way to "jump start" the writing process. First thing I did was search for a title with the same syllables as "whisky and me" from list of title ideas I'm constantly adding to. I decided on "My Happy Place". I then flipped the sentiment - the former song was sad, mine would be happy.

Click play:

I just started my usual "just writing anything until something sticks" (if anything even would that day). I remember sitting on the floor, "reaching" for the possible song that might be floating around "in the room". Stuff started appearing on my yellow pad:

"Fridge is humming" ?- We have an older fridge thta keeps chuggin along!
 "Browning onions smell like heaven in a pan"? True story. Love it.
"Pillow laying on the floor" - There it was to my left, the couch throw pillow
"That Christmas present that never made it out the door"? There it was, over to my right. 
"Puppy paws" - 2 dogs, 8 paws in the household!

The "tie comes off" bit is a bit of a fabrication. I don't wear a tie and come home from the office every day. (Although I've been know to wear one onstage)

In many songs, the "hook" comes right at the beginning of the chorus. I let "My Happy Place" close out every verse.

The stuff about Disney and New York City in the bridge? That's me. My happy places. But the bridge closes out with very best kind of "happy place"

And of course, the ultimate "happy place" in Verse 3.

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It was suggested in a songwriting critique session to rewrite the bridge. But I left it as is to move to another song. Someone else may not want to recorded it, but it has a whole not of "me" in it, so I figured I'd keep it for myself.

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There you have it! A song that might never have been born that day if I hadn't practiced a little pro-writer discipline and shown up to the solo "writing session"! 

Check out the photo below. I was surprised to be reminded in my scribblings that "My Happy Place" started at the beach but ended up in the living room! 

I love songwriting! How about you?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here's the song pattern inspiration for "My Happy Place":

Get the album "III" HERE

What Are You Doing...? 

Going back to my previous post about my morning routine when I'm home. Sort of my public declaration of professional and artistic progress, I guess. Ha ha.

I opened up a song early this morning that I'm currently writing with a new friend and co-writer. There was a line that I thought could just be stronger; like it was there just to rhyme.

Just spending a short time on it and coming up with something usable, or at least a new direction we can take the lyric, sets up the rest of the day. Even if it's filled with some non-musical tasks. I wrote today! I made progress today! Hallelujah! 

Can't wait to share it.

My Spotify "Starred" Song List 

Starting in 2012, I began collecting songs in a custom Spotify playlist I simply called "Starred". Currently there are 392 tunes, and I continue to add to it. When I don't know what I want to listen to, I just put on the Starred list. 

The qualifications for making this list of all genres - enough to make your head spin - are many.

1. Something I have on an old album in my vinyl collection collecting dust that were favorites.
2. Some sort of "new release" that has a production quality or lyric or melody or all of the above that I wanted to hear again more than once. 
3. If a song makes me laugh or go "What?!" - ie: some of the Rolling Stones stuff. (Not necessarily a fan, I can appreciate the spontaneity and humor) 
4. Numerous songs from the same artist that stem from my exploration of artist like Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, etc. I'll start from the beginning of their catalog, give each album a listen, and find some cool stuff I've never heard before.

Here we go!

#1 (In order of addition to list): Helen Austin is an independent songwriter/artist from Canada who has seen lots of success with her songs being licensed on TV shows. I just loved the simplicity of her recordings as something I wanted to take note of for some of my own projects. Her voice is very unique. 

Book Quotes - Alexander Hamilton 

Hamilton.

I saw the play in LA. Loved it. How very interesting, I thought as a creative person, how Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow inspired a whole show for Broadway. I must read it. 

Read it, I did!
Some of the many quotes I saved in my trusty Kindle:


"In all probability, Alexander Hamilton is the foremost political figure in American history who never attained the presidency, yet he probably had a much deeper and more lasting impact than many who did."


“Believe me love is doubly sweet / In wedlock’s holy bands.” ~ A. Hamilton poetry at 17


"See thy wretched helpless state and learn to know thyself. . . . Despise thyself and adore thy God. . . . O ye who revel in affluence see the afflictions of humanity and bestow your superfluity to ease them. . . . Succour the miserable and lay up a treasure in heaven." ~ A. Hamilton


"His chum at King’s [College], Robert Troup, was convinced that Hamilton’s religious practice was driven by more than duty. He 'was attentive to public worship and in the habit of praying on his knees night and morning. . . . I have often been powerfully affected by the fervor and eloquence of his prayers. He had read many of the polemical writers on religious subjects and he was a zealous believer in the fundamental doctrines of Christianity.'"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


To be continued!

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