Wednesday, April 1, 2009

DSA E-News #94 April 2009

Hello Songwriter,

Deadline for the Wildflower Contest is coming up Friday, April 3.
Deadline for Winter Lyric Contest is coming up Tuesday, April 14th.
This Saturday many of us are playing the Songwriters Stage at the Deep Ellum Festival. Come out and view the usual suspects. The Dallas Guitar Show is coming in a couple of weeks April 17-19, Wildflower has posted the details of the songwriter workshop in May.

I tweeted out my moves during SX, so I thought I'd just mix them into my report. I got a late start on SXSW this year, I didn't leave Dallas until late Thursday morning. Tried to stop by and get my wristband at the Fader Fort, but there was no place to park within 10 blocks. My first stop on a glorious weekend was the ASCAP boat where I met my P_in_crime Suzette Becker. The weather was perfect and the river was glass. There we spoke to Richard Perma, thanked Ralph Murphy and Todd Brabec and found a new talent, Chastity Daw.
. Here's the one that got away. Met her on the ASCAP boat, but went brain dead and missed her show.12:14 PM Mar 24th from web
SX is about the music and networking. It's a place that I get to hang with my music peeps, make new friends, hear boocoos of music and discover new talent.
Next was the Grammy party on the lawn of the Four Seasons. Congrats to DSA Member James Cornelius for his 30 years membership recognition.
. Grammy party rad. Great groupo rockin Latino sound. Groupo fantasma at Four Seasons this afternoon12:27 AM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Great crepes at san jacinto & 2nd12:29 AM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Driskel quite tonight12:30 AM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Found fresh hip hop at red g feet @blind pig12:32 AM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Had enough of 6 ST. Great night12:34 AM Mar 20th from twitterrific

I started Friday at the BMI brunch, met up with Suz then cruised the Irish Breakfast, Berklee Showcase, Bug/JazzFest party, Manatoba party for BBQ and sunset.
. Awesome songwriter brandon chandler at red g fest @ Nunos Irish breakfast with ski bunnies.2:56 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Berklee showcase a little sparce. Go see WK at freinds on sixth.2:58 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Bug/JazzFest party & showcase a gasssssssssss then
. Caught the bus from soco to 6th then cab to caswell house manota part. Details just finished a rockin set. Sooo goooood.5:52 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Still at manitoba bedowin sound clash rocks. The best band.6:25 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. alejandro e was bad a. Musta been 20 band members9:27 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Caught last 3 songs of carlene carters set for direct tv live. She's still got it9:30 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Can't get into the felice bros. Is a fn ten & there is still no room but can hear them while waitin.9:41 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific
. Went across street to creekside British showcase at the Bedford. Keean mcmillan is killing me his guitar virtuoso.9:44 PM Mar 20th from twitterrific

. Dripping ranch was serene this morning12:01 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
Saturday the Rachael Ray Party was the place to be. Her mac & cheese recipe is worth the download from her website. Great food, mojitas and music.
. In line for food at rachel rays. Listening to rob sneider.12:03 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. Shout out to ben burgess songwriter xtrod. Still at r ray party. Mac & cheese recipe worth the download from her website def a tx take12:41 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. Rachael ray rocks. Ancho chicken taco to die for. Guac recipe worth the download. Also great fresh salsa.1:13 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. The cringe rocks.1:24 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific (Rachael's boyfriend's band)
. Ok I know my peeps are into Ny dolls but I just can't warm to it.5:04 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. Check out tori sparks. Caught her at thirsty penny. Super. Check out her web site5:16 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. Watering at the Hilton listening to the sweet sounds of jackie bristow.5:27 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. 18th FL sylvie lewis was good. Caught last few songs. She's from Rome7:51 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. Medi got a lttle soul all by his lonesome. Surprise. For Frenchman.9:37 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
. OK last tweet was about 500 miles of pain sitting through Proclaimers set. I had to stop. Iphone low charge, needed it for drive to ranch.11:49 AM Mar 24th from web 

Best Band Discovery: . Best thing of the last night of SX was Honey Ryder. Check video on youtube. Incredible!11:51 AM Mar 24th from web
Suffering a listening: I just didn't get The Proclaimers from Scotland - even though when I was in the band, The Irish Texans, we covered their hit song "500 Miles". . I proclaim that I don't get the Proclaimers.10:22 PM Mar 21st from twitterrific
Best Venue: The Bedford Http://
Regrets: These were too good to miss, but there was just too much to do. Little Steven's Underground Garage Party, NPR at the Parrish, Urban Meet & Greet, Yard Dog Shows on SOCO, Charity Daw, BBrovers, Badu Krewe at Aud Shores, Broadjam Party at Blind Pig (and the seminar on Wed), Miz Metro, Tori Sparks and most of the Invasion of the Girls, Trish Murphy, Saxon Pub, Gibson party, Justice Records showcase, Lisa Apple, Palo Duro Showcase at Waterloo, and the party at the French Legation.


Here is winning songs in a series of three podcasts at:

Drawing for the IPod. Number 66 was drawn by our guest speaker at the meeting. Congratulations to Gaylon Embrey for his entry, Little Angel Faces, being the 66th song contest entry.

Retweet: Contest winner, Ray Phillips, has shared some good news with us. Hot Seat Music has listed one of Rays songs as song of the month on their website and are going to be pitching them in Nashville.


or direct link:


Our Concert is scheduled for the Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday May 23rd at the Neotropolis in the North Carrollton area.

I'm looking for donations for our silent auction and raffle. I can offer a free DSA membership for your donation of equal value, or you can deduct your donation from your taxes - we are non-profit. Larger items, not necessarily just music items, because we will have a public performance. Smaller items, such as discounts to resaurants, cds, swag, etc. for the raffle. contact or reply to this email.

Also, look for a podcast of the winners as soon as we have the last song produced for the CD.

Thanks to our judges : Lawrence Gelburd, Blake Milton, Sir Earl Toon, Barbara Farkas, Mark Menza, Steve Weingart & Mitch Paliga.
Thanks to our screeners: Mary Dawson, Ducado Vega, Trade-off, Mathew JC, Michael Gott, and Greg Dugan
Song are currently being produced for the new CD.
Read the latest story about this years winners



DSA Monthly Guest Speaker & Song Critiques
- Every Second Tuesday, except Aug.

 at the Center for Community Cooperation, 2900 Live Oak, Dallas

The next meeting is Tuesday, April 14th.

If you haven't recorded, how do you know how to prepare for your first session? Chances are you're investing your money and a lot of time.
Brad Dales of Dallas Audio Post will explain what to expect and how to prepare for a studio recording session.

Critiques will follow.

Planned 2008 Speakers
MAY - Co-writing Roundtables ( We did this last year and you asked for it again)
JUN - Beyond Open Mics - panel of local venue owners on how to get a paying gig

Have any suggestions? What kind of programs would you like?


DSA T-SHIRTS $10 at the meeting (you must ask me for the special) or online by mail $15


Songwriting, Song Swap Workshop
White Rock Coffee in East Dallas.



OPEN MIC EVERY 3RD THURSDAY - 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Steve Sullivan's CROSSROADS SHOWCASE Every First Saturday
Varsity Grill, Plano, TX NW corner of Coit & Spring Creek
Featured April 4th - Cliff Munroe & Drew Harakal
also performing, Public Relations Director, Buck Morgan

and the 2nd Thursday at the Filling Station, Preston Rd in N. Dallas


WINTER LYRIC CONTEST DEADLINE IS APRIL 14. There is still time to submit your lyrics.


Summer Contest Winners still to be announced.

Next Lyric Contest Deadline Extended to- March 15th, 2009 for Winter Lyric Contest
( Yes, we are catching up)
Entry fee is $10
Please see lyric contest webpage for details.

There are two Director seats on the DSA Board open. Please contact Steve Sullivan, sullarch at verizon dot net, to express your interest in serving.

To view a list of the 2009 Officer & Directors and Committees go to this link:

WELCOME NEW MEMBERS: Mark Glasmire, Trevor Dahlen, John Chandler, Peter Robinson, Allan Von, & Jack Hackworth, Peter Bullen, Warren Lett, Matt Pitcher, Bobby Jo Chandler, Lisa Warner
song contest winners:Natalia Pikoul, Will Hopkins, Mark Glasmire, Michael Hollingsworth, Dennis Carlan, Emile Pandolfi, Marc McClure, Darren Speed, David Firman, Kate McGunnigle, Dan Morehouse, Melinda Starnes, Richard Gardzina, Jose Gomez, Noel Cohen, Bryan Bryant, Casey Desmond, Michael Constiatineo, Chris Liddard, Sean Murphy, Brandi Sidoryk, MarkStepakoff, Jen Carter-Kelly, Donna Lisa, Frank Fulton, Kevin McSpadden, Lisa Simmons, Bill DiLuigi, John Mears, Joey Avalos, Niel Nasset, Garrison Doles, Steven Richards (If you won more than once you were awarded a year per win)
THANK YOU FOR RENEWING YOUR MEMBERSHIP: John Metz, Vern Dailey, Morri Hartgraves, Paul Penrod, Reagan Redfern, Nancy Rynders, Michael Roth, John Metz, Mary Dawson, William Lloyd, John Tracy Wilson. Song Contest winners: Louie Cates, Ray Phillips, Richard Davis

TIME TO RENEW: The following members owe dues:

OCT: Judith de los Santos, Tony Burroughs, Michael Hart, Adam Donmoyer, Rich Ellis, Danny Everitt, Mathew Marsh, Brad Price
NOV: Robert Couch, Joni Ringo, Donna Aylor, Jenna Drey, Mike Hyden, Richard Kirwin, Will Brown, Elizabeth Kirchgatter, Al Scroggins, Ian Dickson, Will Livingston, Clif Munroe, Jan Seides, Steve Smith, Alisha Jackson, Sharon Pisors, David Carter, Tim Dawson, Terry Fann, Jason Heald, Brad Henske, Forrest Lawson, Phillip Marcus, Linda Moroziuk, Paul Reaney, Walter Sargent, Andy Taylor,
DEC: Jeff Sharp, Lisa Mickelson, Steve Morgan, Bil Basinski, Steve Hill
JAN: Jeff Moxcey, Beverly Houston, Kathy Davidson, Drew Harakal, Sidney Miller, Ann Abercrombie, Kay Seamayer
FEB: Carol Shaw, Jennifer Carson, Jason Winford & Bill Amos
MARCH: Helene Cronin, Mark Hughey, Barbara Seiler, Michael Franceus, Neal Fletcher, Troll Mallow, Rory Moore, Kathy Nichols.
APRIL: Mike Parrish, Stephen Boon, Ed Williams, Akin Akintola

Renew your membership online,
You'll find the link to the store on the panel to the right
Or paste this link in your browser:

(Each month we have a workshop at our monthly meeting on the 1st Monday and 2nd Tuesday.)


FIRST MONDAY SONG SWAP at White Rock Coffee for peer critiques


Wildflower Songwriting School May 15-17

DSM Musical Workshops in May and June

Current workshops:


8. Events -

Featuring local and worldwide events of the songwriting community including, seminars, conferences, & showcases. Click on the link #8 to the right or copy and paste this link in your browser.

3-4 NSAI Spring Training Symposium
5th, The Grind Extreme Sports & Music Festival
3-5 Deep Ellum Arts Festival, Dallas, DSA showcases
17-19 32nd Annual Dallas International Guitar Show at Market Hall,
17-19 Coachella Valley Music Fest
23-25 ASCAP I Create Music Expo, Hollywood
24-26, 30-May 1 New Orlean Jazz Fest
24-25, May 1-2 Sync Up: The Jazz & Heritage Talent Exchange Conference
15-17 Wildflower Festival, Richardson, Tx
23rd Song From the Soul of Service Concert, Carrollton, Tx
30th Sweet Southern Music Festival
17-21 NXNE Seatle
19-21, Nashville

For more details visit the events page.
Also, hear the song contest winners podcast from this page.

9. Featured Articles:

VIDEO: Interview With Rob Thomas from ASCAP's New York Sessions
ASCAP's Erik Philbrook conducts a facinating converstation about the creative process with the primary songwriter and lead singer of the band matchbox twenty. more-

Robo-Voice's Greatest Hits, or How Advanced Spy Tech Topped Music Charts
By Brian Raftery -- From Lil Wayne's cyborg-slick singing on "Lollipop" to the Twiki-tweaked vocals of T-Pain, use of the voice-enhancing software Auto-Tune has reached a fever pitch. But it turns out that the irresistible robot sound was also a big hit with the allies way back in World War II... more-

Indie Labels Talk Survival at South by Southwest
Executives who gathered for the (SXSW) confab said they were grappling with the same sorts of fallout from the worsening economy and breakdown of traditional business models -- declining album sales, online piracy and rampant layoffs -- that have been afflicting their corporate counterparts for the last decade. "Everything you've heard [about the troubles of major labels], it's probably worse (for us)," said Nan Warshaw, co-owner of Chicago's Bloodshot Records more-,0,3070037.story

Record Labels Forge New Business Blueprint with MySpace
For decades, record labels have competed fiercely ... But circumstances have changed the lay of this land, and labels often work together now to find reliable, innovative methods for generating revenue from the consumer's online listening experience. A new deal with MySpace Music sets the tone for one such collaboration. more-

At SXSWi, How Much Should Big Media Be Listening?
By Caroline McCarthy -- ...South by Southwest Interactive is the must-attend conference for geeks who want to shake things up. ... (But), according to Avner Ronen, CEO of the video software start-up Boxee, the sense of uncertainty over profits is what's holding back some of the innovation that SXSWi's masses are so eager to set in motion. more-

VIDEO: Bands, Fans and Twitter Overrun Music Fest
[Never been to SXSW? --- here's a taste.] more-

@SXSWi: Is Music Recommendation Broken?
By Jemima Kiss -- Music recommendation is not doing its job ...However long the long tail of music, mechanical recommendation is biased towards what the majority of listeners do because brand new bands have very little audience and little related data. more-

On My Mind: The State of the Music Business
By John Mellencamp -- People remember when music existed as an art that motivated social movements. Artists and their music flourished in back alleys, taverns and barns until, in some cases, a popular groundswell propelled it far and wide. These days, that possibility no longer seems to exist. After 35 years as an artist in the recording business, I feel somehow compelled, not inspired, to stand up for our fellow artists and tell that side of the story as I perceive it. more-

Social Networking Rocks – But Only for Some Bands
By Eliot Van Buskirk -- Two years after South by Southwest bands first embraced Twitter to reach out to fans, many of them are taking every opportunity to use social networking. We expected that. What caught us off-guard was other artists' reluctance to embrace these tools despite expert assertions that such activity grows a band's fan base and, ultimately, its revenue. more-

Music City's Biggest Recording Gig: iHymns
By Bob Smietana -- Joe Christian, the music minister at Una Baptist Church in Nashville, is one of more than 12,000 people who have signed up for a new iTunes-like Web site called Along with buying recordings of worship songs and hymns, users can create and download sheet music for church bands and choirs. LifeWay officials hope their new site will make life easier for music ministers, while following copyright laws. more-


Part 2: Preparing For Your Session

 By Eric Tunison, Owner of Groove Tunes Studios -

Selecting a studio that’s right for you.
Now that you’ve decided to have a professional recording made you will need to decide where to go to get it done.  Most musicians choose studios located close to their homes.  Atlanta residents have a multitude of choices.  A recent search of “Recording Studios” for the greater Atlanta area on brought up 298 hits!  You can enter your zip code on this site and then search “by distance” from your home.  Better yet, sort the list “by rating”, find the highest rated studios close to your home, and go from there.  Call a few studios and talk to their owner or chief engineer about your project and try to get a feel for whether you think there’s a fit.  Ask what types of music the studio specializes in.  The engineer should know and understand your music just as much as he knows and understands how his studio works.
These days 99% of all music is recorded digitally – gone are the days of reel-to-reel analog tape decks.  You should ask the studio if they use the digital ProTools HD recording system, which is the industry standard.  Avoid falling into the trap of asking about costs until after you have visited with your prospective engineer and toured the facility in person.  You should have an overall budget in mind but try to remain flexible on pricing as each project is different.  Your engineer should be able to provide an overall cost estimate after you’ve met with him.  Be prepared to answer basic questions that your engineer may have to help him estimate the costs, including:  What Genre Is Your Music, How Many Songs Will You Be Recording, How Many Band Members Are There, What Instruments Will Be Recorded, Approximately How Many Tracks per Song are Expected, How Many Vocals and Backup Vocals per Song, and Will You Need the Studio to Provide Any Session Musicians?  Groove Tunes Studios is one studio that many musicians in the greater Atlanta area have come to know and trust.  Find out more at or call Eric Tunison at 770-842-5511.
Be prepared!
Once you’ve selected your studio and have scheduled a recording date you will need to prepare for your session.  Here are a few tips to keep in mind as you get ready for your big day:
• If possible, record your songs during live gigs or at rehearsals, and then listen to them.  This is where those Open Mic live performance CDs come in handy!  Determine whether there are weak spots in the song or performance and fix those before your session date.
• Have all the instrumental and vocal parts already worked out, and rehearse your guitar solos!
• Check with the studio in advance about guitar amps or other equipment you may be using.
• Practice to a click track or metronome during pre-production rehearsals!  Each musician should practice alone to the click, and then together as a group.  Most rock and pop music is recorded one track at a time, one instrument at a time, so know how to play your parts to the click track.  Being able to do just this much will save you time and money on your project.  You should be able to play all your parts exactly the same way, every time. 
• Rehearse more songs than you plan to record.  There might be a technical or performance problem with a particular song when you arrive at the studio, so it’s always a good idea to have a backup song or two.
• Change your guitar strings two or three days before the session.  It’s best if they are just a few days old and not so new that they are still stretching out.
• Know your lead guitar solos!  I know this is a repeat.  It’s important.
• Prepare lead sheets for the songs you plan to record.  Lead sheets are helpful to the engineer and musicians and they make your sessions go smoother.  Lead sheets are typed pages containing all the song lyrics with the chords typed or written above the words where each chord changes.  Lead sheets should also notate the number of measures and chords for intros, instrumental solos, and other instrumental portions.  The lead sheet is the road map for the recording session.
• Take care of your body before your recording sessions.  Eat well, get enough sleep, and keep your ears rested.
- ET


10. Song Contests

Art of Music Contest: Deadline: June 30th
Wildflower Sing Songwriter Contest
John Lennon Song Contest
USA Songwriting Contest


11. Songwriting Resources

New link added for Acoustic Music Scene is an online publication launched in January 2007 to provide news & commentary for the folk, roots and singer-songwriter communities. They provide their readers with links to other websites where they can learn about folk and other acoustic music organizations, venues, and artists performing in areas in which they live, work or travel.

12. Best Songs of the 2nd Tuesday Meeting

Cross My Heart by Vern Dailey

Easy For You by Ray Philips & Richard Davis

1st. Shined On Me by Ray Phillips & Richard Davis
2nd Look Beyond by Jerry Dobson

To view past winners go to the Best Songs blog.
To hear the winners go to our myspace page.

Did you know that A&R reps from labels and music publishers are listening to our Myspace page each month?


Thanks for reading this far. If you have any suggestions for the newsletter, please let me know. Follow me on Twitter @barbemcmillen. Give me a tweet.

Barbara McMillen, Editor
Songwriter Notes
Founding President Emeritus, DSA