ASCAP, is my PRO! (performing rights organization)
Often, I will be wondering how I will swing paying my band, or replacing one more fizzled mac book pro - If I'm lucky, there will be some money in the pipeline from the magic secret gnomes at ASCAP. They are my eleventh hour saviors. The more that record sales disappear as a steady dependable source, the more these various other streams save us all.
This year I was invited to be on a couple of panels, attend the "pop awards" and then to sing a few songs in the round with some of their monster songwriters. (Steve Kipner, Rick Nowels, Tommy Sims) Lucky girl. That's tonight.
Yesterday I got to sing my pal Eric Bazilian's song "One of Us," to help demonstrate this spanky new site "limelight" - Say you want to cover someone else's song. If you want to do the right thing you must get a mechanical license and pay the statutory rate for the use of that song. It can be a pain in the butt, believe me. This site makes it easy peasy.
Adam Parness, jb, Michael Kauffman from Rightsflow/Limelight.
I got to see my sexy pal Michelle Featherstone (we wrote "Me and You" for Nolwenn Leroy's last album)
(you can't beat 5 for $25)
I am again struck by the sobering of the industry. I don't mean anyone is drinking less, god forbid, I just feel, finally, like everyone is talking a little more seriously about how we are going to make a living from our work. That ridiculous notion that "the playing field would finally be leveled by all the internet opportunities, is finally giving way to reality. It's just a big swamp out there. And wringing money out of something that is (like it or not) free, is not going to happen easily.
Let me qualify a tiny: there will always be the top, pop 1% cranking out radio hits. And so far at least the majors will keep looking for and throwing marketing money at the latest 'big thing.' I'm talking about the other 99% of working writers, musicians, artists.
(I soooo wanted to ask Dr. Luke what kind of Dr. he is, and where he might have done his residency!)
I got to listen to a beautiful panel with Van Dyke Parks and Rufus Wainwright. What eloquent men they both are. They spoke about the idea of being 'different' as something that used to be the whole point. Now?
Parks said, "It's not how big the gun, it's how good the shot." And that all you can do is "try to deliver and then live up to your own heightened expectations. Good songwriting" he said "is about creating a "non-suable" offense," because we're all thieving and deriving, whether we realize it or not.
I got to hang out a little bit with the always amazing Desmond Childs, I've gotten to see some old and dear friends, and, yes, I am still so grateful that I get to write SONGS and sing them.
Thank you ASCAP.