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Long Player

Long Player is a fortnightly show presented by [British music journalist] Pete Paphides. Conducted in a relaxed setting, these interviews see some of Petes favourite artists revisiting the highs and lows of their careers. Interviewees include Allen Toussaint, Linda Thompson, Neil Finn and Jimmy Webb. [more inside]
posted by jack_mo on May 11, 2014 - 7 comments

Graeme Downes on Lorde

Graeme Downes of the Verlaines explains why "Royals" is such a great song.
posted by escabeche on Apr 20, 2014 - 252 comments

That's what I waaaaaa-aaaaaa-aaaa-aaaa-aaant, yeah

You've more than likely heard this early recording of Money by the Beatles, or perhaps this version by the Rolling Stones. But Barrett Strong, the man who originally recorded it and who was the primary songwriter hasn't shared in the millions of dollars the song has earned over the years.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Sep 2, 2013 - 30 comments

Zeugma, syllepsis, ellipsis

In Praise of the Rolling Stones and Their Zeugmoids [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Nov 11, 2012 - 13 comments

The top female vocal hits of the 80's. Written by...

Thermal, CA: home to the #1 song of the '80s. During the '70s and early'80s, the small, arid farming town of Thermal was home to Freedman Co., run by Mr. Steinberg and his son, Billy, who ran vineyard operations. Billy also made music, time permitting. After his demo was secretly given to a star, he went to L.A., and met his musical collaborator, but the farm pulled him back. He kept writing in Thermal, though.

"I remember writing the lyrics. . . while driving around in a red pickup truck that I owned and I was driving around my father’s dusty desert vineyards. I had been involved in a very emotionally difficult relationship that had finally ended I had met somebody new... I came up with the line, ‘I made it through the wilderness...I was beat, incomplete, I’d been had.’ All of the lyrics just poured out".

That was Steinberg & Kelly's first #1 hit... followed by four more, along with other hits you might not suspect.
posted by markkraft on May 11, 2012 - 33 comments

They write the songs.

Sodajerker is a songwriting team from Liverpool. But Simon Barber and Brian O'Connor are also the co-hosts of the iTunes podcast Sodajerker on Songwriting, a programme featuring hour-long interviews with some of the world’s most successful songwriters including Jimmy Webb, Andy Partridge, Todd Rundgren and many others. [more inside]
posted by unSane on Mar 28, 2012 - 7 comments

There is just one moon and one golden sun

Robert Sherman passed away yesterday at the age of 86. Robert, along with his brother Richard Sherman, was a Disney legend. Together, they wrote the songs of "Mary Poppins", "The Parent Trap", "Bedknobs and Broomsticks", "The Jungle Book", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and of cousre, "It's A Small World." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 6, 2012 - 46 comments

21st century Tin Pan Alley

"Sometimes less," he says cheerfully. "Sometimes I get two hours. Someone comes over at three, we have a cup of tea, chew the cud for a bit, go: 'All right, shall we write a song?' And by six, they've gone home and we've done it. Chasing Pavements, that took two or three hours." The life of today's pro songwriter.
posted by fearfulsymmetry on May 19, 2011 - 55 comments

How I Wrote

How I Wrote is a series of videos from The Guardian where musicians perform a song after talking about it a little bit. Among the artists who've taken part are Rufus Wainwright, Kristin Hersh, Corinne Bailey Rae, Laura Marling, Keren Ann, Patrick Wolf, Elbow, Gruff Rhys, Warpaint, Cee Lo Green, Antony and the Johnsons, P. J. Harvey and Emmy the Great, who sings a song about the Royal Wedding, appropriately enough for today (though I suppose the Cee Lo Green song is appropriate too).
posted by Kattullus on Apr 28, 2011 - 27 comments

He found the bandages inside the pen

Songwriters on Process interviews songwriters in depth about their writing process. They've talked to everyone from Brian Fallon (The Gaslight Anthem) to J.D. Cronise from The Sword. Where else can you find both Patrick Stickles from Titus Andronicus talking about Faulkner and Eric from Foxy Shazam admitting he's never read a book in his life?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn on Mar 2, 2011 - 8 comments

where no tear is inconceivably mediocre

16 year old Yonlu made music that ranged from bossa nova to 8-bit music from the sounds of desktop printers, never knowing that he would someday make the pages of Paste, eMusic, and Rolling Stone Brasil. He posted It's Not Another King Kong (later titled A Boy and the Tiger) to a gaming forum, where it was met with praise. More songs soon followed, which included English songs (I Know What It's Like, Humiliation), and also Portuguese songs (Estrela, Luana). Perhaps suffering from depression, Yonlu took his own life via carbon monoxide poisoning in 2006, just a few weeks before his 17th birthday. His parents only learnt of his songwriting from a CD he left behind for them, with a note telling them to listen to the CD "whenever they felt sad".
posted by Xere on Jun 9, 2010 - 17 comments

Let's write a sawng

Rivers Cuomo (of Weezer) picks the theme, "80s radio," and develops a song, step by step, collaborating with some of his fans. Watch some of the responses. It's not his first collaboration, and he's no stranger to the internet.
posted by zippy on May 31, 2008 - 16 comments

Se necesita una poca de gracia

"I mean he quite literally -- and in no way do I exaggerate when I say -- [Paul Simon] stole the songs from us." [more inside]
posted by Sys Rq on Apr 19, 2008 - 75 comments

How to Write a Song and Other Mysteries

Measure for Measure - How to Write a Song and Other Mysteries. Blog from The New York Times: "In the coming weeks, the contributors to this blog - all accomplished songwriters - will pull back the curtain on the creative process as they write about their work on a song in the making." Contributors: Andrew Bird, Darrell Brown, Rosanne Cash and Suzanne Vega (only the Andrew Bird one is up right now).
posted by Ira.metafilter on Mar 31, 2008 - 21 comments

A Resource For and About Songwriters

The Muse's Muse Songwriting Resource is the place for songwriting tips, tools, interactivities and connecting with other songwriters around the world. See the section about musical instruments or get into the guitar player's guide. Start communicating with other musicians and songwriters in the forums and check out the music reviews. Lots to do, see, hear, learn, and most of all, enjoy.
posted by netbros on Aug 22, 2007 - 10 comments

avril showers

'Cause 2006 is butt naked. How to Create a Sexy Pop Star, a video clip from the film "Before the Music Dies."
posted by four panels on Dec 3, 2006 - 48 comments

The Music Factory

The Brill Building, located at 1619 Broadway in the heart of New York's music district, is a name synonymous with an approach to songwriting that changed the course of music. Housing legendary songwriters like Carole King, Jerry Leiber, Neil Sedaka, and Burt Bacharach, the Brill Building created some of the greatest hits of the rock'n'roll era. [more inside]
posted by rocket88 on Dec 29, 2004 - 11 comments

The Dead Skunk Guy

25 years old and I pretty much had made it. The critics’ darling was now a success. So what happened? Why is it that many of you here today aren’t quite sure who the hell I actually am, aside from Rufus Wainwright’s father? Why is finding a CD of mine akin to archeology? Where were the follow up hits to "Dead Skunk," funny animal songs like "I Met Her at the Pet Store" and "Stay Away From My Aardvark?"
My Cool Life by Loudon Wainwright III
posted by dodgygeezer on Sep 25, 2004 - 20 comments

dylan love & theft

If you liked the lyrics on Dylan's last album, you'll probably also like the Japanese gangster novel he lifted some of them from. Verdict: Not guilty, on grounds of prior artistic achievement. (Long article in today's WSJ not linked because the old WSJ free-linkification doesn't work anymore!!?)
posted by stupidsexyFlanders on Jul 8, 2003 - 42 comments

How lyrics work,

How lyrics work, offered up by one of my favorite singers and songwriters. No, you won't learn who she was really singing about in "You're So Vain" but it's still a fascinating read about a topic she knows a thing or two about.
posted by MAYORBOB on Nov 4, 2001 - 7 comments

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