Category Archives: Music / Lyrics

Volunteer assistance sought by Tampa Bay community station Music Tampa Bay

There’s a special community radio station based in St. Petersburg that airs local music, to say the least. Music Tampa Bay has been operating for 11 years via streaming and terrestrial broadcast and airs music from musicians and groups from around the greater Tampa Bay area (and sometimes the broader central Florida area). They usually there is weekly voting on a Top 40 list and these votes work toward an annual Top 100 list. You can see posts here about the 2016 Top 100 list and a Top 40 from this past summer.  EDIT: You can find the Top 100 page with each individual year of Music Tampa Bay here.

Yet Hurricane Irma did her damage and complicated things with the station that were already challenged in one way or another. The site representing Music Tampa Bay has long been in need of upgrading to improve accessibility and exposure for the artists and the station itself.

All that said Music Tampa Bay is looking for assistance of the high variety. Everything is voluntary but the open positions listed are basically everything. The MTB sit’s declaration shows it:

All Volunteer Staff Needed

​General Manager – Sales Manager – Business Manager – Operations Manager – IT / Website Manager – Program / Music Director – DJs – all shifts

Here’s the official statement off the site about volunteers and the station:

Radio Station Volunteer Staff Wanted

The music stream on this website is now in its 13th year of continuous operation.  96.7 FM in St Pete is now beginning its 2nd year, since the FCC issued a non-profit broadcast license in October 2016.  If these listening platforms are to continue serving the local arts communities as stipulated in the license, new management is needed in key revenue generating and operational areas.  A new general manger being sought to work with the existing team and eventually assume control once the original license period is renewed in early 2020.  Air talent is also needed to fill program positions and operate from the new live Radio Central in The Zoo Studios in St Pete.  All air positions are currently open, 24/7.  Interested beginners and professionals are encouraged to contact rick@musictampabay.com / 727-455-8848.

This is a great starter place for those interested in being part of the music business or working in communications; a prime opportunity for students. It’s also a great place for those who are embedded already in local music as performers to further expose themselves by working as DJs (or, if qualified, in one of the higher-up positions). Most importantly of all, it’s part of the community. While MTB isn’t available in terrestrial, traditional broadcast throughout Tampa Bay, the online stream is readily available for everyone to hear performers who were, and are part of music.

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, interweb, Music / Lyrics, Tampa Bay

“Unity (We the People)” – a would-be song of protest

Late this spring, curiosity and recollection started pushing in my head toward music and what was going on in the political and social spheres. This isn’t the 1960’s but with how much upheaval has been playing out regularly – race attacks, propaganda, lies and distortions, pitting business and profit over the welfare of the country, and the protests tied to them all – I was left wondering what those in the music industry were doing about it?

I mean, really, with how much was produced that was just tinged with the social stuff from the ‘60’s, you’d expect 2017 to be filled with songs inspired in some way or another by what was going on – some offering calm, others decrying certain aspects.

In June I put down my own song lyrics of protest. My intention at the start wasn’t to directly protest as so much make a social decree or write something based off of what was ongoing… but it turned into a generalized summary of the status-quo of 2017.

What really leaves me in awe is how things have played out to make the words more relevant. This was penned before Charlottesville and other strife of the summer.

A key line in the chorus is still a truth here in mid autumn 2017: We must defy the great divide. We stand strongest as a society and as a country of the world when we stand together. When all sides come back to this truth, that will be when the course will plot in the right direction.

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Suffering an unsound situation – Epilogue: Sunrise

It’s odd when a song takes a new dimension in your life and you sob while listening to it.

I’ll admit, I’ve been locked on to The Beatles and their 1969 classic “Here Comes the Sun” as my intended first-song to listen to when sound was restored for me. It just seems so God damned fitting. The span of time between August 5th to October 24th seems comparable to an entire calendar season. One long, cold, lonely calendar season where this author was condemned to solitude by way of being shut out from the day-to-day goings on around him with thanks to audio impairment suffered by chance mid-summer.

Mr. George Harrison, who penned “Here Comes the Sun”, was inspired by way of coming out of a (repeated) boardroom blandness (the downside of Apple Corps LTD for the members of the Beatles) and seeing London delighted in the sunshine of spring. In my case, the silence is a night that lasted far far too long.

In some ways, this moment of my life is a learning experience as the technology difference between the Nucleus Freedom and the Nucleus 6 (which I was upgraded to) is profound. Many similarities are there, too… especially the root of it all: Sound.

It’s the dawning of a new day in my life, yet it’s a resumption of what I’ve known naturally and artificially through my existence. I don’t want to be without it again. It stands in its existence as a verification of who you are, where you are, who others are and the textures of life. Sound has that dimension. It’s not as if those who embrace deafness can’t find these through visual means and other senses. I’m just not one who embraces the silence nor found a direction in life as a late-deaf adult.

Where things go from here, I don’t know. That’s life, though, isn’t it? This is the dawn of the resumption of an aspect of life that makes me elated and optimistic at what the next day holds and where it will take me.

 

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Filed under Medical, Music / Lyrics, The Life

The plight of a newbie lyricist marketing a song demo

Even if they aren’t into country music, my friends have been impressed. I’ve already unveiled it but here it is, all over again! A nineteen-year old poem converted into a would-be pop/country song! Slowly, Her Name Fades Away:

Okay, so now what?

Seriously, now what? Continue reading

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A pop playlist of “relaxing, easy favorites” on Spotify

“Relaxing, easy favorites… with less talk!” That radio pitch from how-many stations in collaboration or owned by the same company? Maybe I’m wrong on that, but “Warm 107 FM” / “Warm 107.3 FM”, “Warm 94.9 FM” all pushed he same type of easy-listening, or a toned-down variety of music from the past few years or longer. It wasn’t that distant to the past that the stations trekked from what I remember… except in rare events for shock or approval. Seeing I’m referencing stuff I heard on the airwaves in the 80’s and 90’s, basically those throw-back numbers were from the 60’s… if they happened at all.

A few years ago I started putting together a personal playlist on my iTunes that mixed together a number of songs that weren’t rockers, or necessarily pop… Then again, some are legendary (Yesterday by the Beatles, Tears in Heaven by Eric Clapton, Hotel California by the Eagles). The song list grew as I remembered certain tunes from the past as well as picked up some indie songs by way of listening to Lonely Oak Radio.

That’s led to a playlist of 224 songs spanning a total of 13 hours and 49 minutes. Not all of them perfectly fit the motif of “relaxing, easy favorites” but that’s the title of the playlist. And my own recreation of it is available on Spotify.

The Spotify list doesn’t perfectly recreate things as I’ve taken certain songs off my personal list, I was unable to add others (such as Paul McCartney’s (I Want To) Come Home, Michael Stipe’s mixed-group performance of U2’s One, as well as others). It’s still 182 songs in length…

I could see people arguing “relaxing” does not describe performances by the Red Hot Chili Pepper’s (Under the Bridge and Soul to Squeeze) and of course there are songs you may never have heard by artists you’ve never heard of. Some may seem all right, others may make you turn your nose up entirely upon hearing (which is a standard with radio airplay, ain’t it). Whatever, they’re on the list along with a lot of others. And unlike those Warm FM stations, the time span of the tracks covers songs of the last 60 years of pop music. There aren’t that many from the 1950’s, I’ll admit, but there are also few from the 21st century at current. In time, that might change. That, or I’ll be further stuck in silence (for the rest of my life) and not mess with music that I miss. Who knows? The point is – the playlist is public on Spotify and maybe you’ll be interested in looking into it or – gasp! – listening.

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Silence and song; the musical demo of “Slowly, Her Name Fades Away”

How does a deaf composer get the attention of the music industry? Think about that for a minute, would you? It happens to be a serious question asked by a man who is currently sitting in an unsound situation.

I’m not Ludwig van Beethovenfar from it – but I can say that my toe is in the proverbial water of the music industry at the moment. Okay, actually it’s actually my entire foot up to my ankle or lower shin (that comes by way of me having spent time trying to promote the Pretty Voices over the past year). It goes by way of words and actions, not so much plucking piano keys and writing orchestral symphonies.

See, I wrote a poem back in the fall of 1998 (a long long time ago in a galaxy not-so-far away) that I’ve clung to over the years. It’s a poem I had intended for inclusion in a self-published poetry book… It’s also something I thought could be done in a musical arrangement to make it into a song.

So, when I got frustrated and vastly slowed this past spring, and while I still had thoughts tying said-poem into a musical arrangement, I made an inquiry with the Nashville Song Service if the lyrical-verse really could be done as a song. Indeed, it got the green light. Continue reading

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Filed under Music / Lyrics, Poetry, The Life

Members of the Tampa Bay music scene

I’m a regular in a Reddit subgroup that represents the entirety of the Tampa Bay area, /r/tampabay.  Most of the citizens of the cities in the Bay area aren’t members of that group, they’re in the singular cities like /r/tampa, /r/stpetersnurgFL, or not in a city subgroup as all (hey, power to the people – it’s not like everyone goes on Reddit to talk about local life).

Anyway, a couple of months ago on the less-populous /r/tampabay subreddit, a new-resident sounded a disdain for the lack of original musicians in the Tampa Bay area:

So, I’m starting to think there just doesn’t exist any kind of local music scene here at all, unless you consider septuagenarians playing jurassic-rock covers a “scene”. Please tell me I’m wrong. The only show that I’ve gone to in a year and a half was when I flew back to Ohio to visit. This is depressing.

This opens up a question of where in the Bay area they were looking for performances and when – it’s not like it’d happen every day of the week. It’s also not like you can expect original music by local band members to be available at a golf resort or at a bar/pub/club/tavern deep in suburbia.  Oh, it likely happens but you’re more likely to get cover acts in small time locales like that.

Lack of local music scene, though? No… That’s not the case. Continue reading

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Music Tampa Bay’s Top 40 for June 26th, 2017

Earlier this year, I posted a list of the Top 100 songs from Music Tampa Bay for 2016: Converting the image list to text and linking to various locales where you could actually listen to the songs (side note: I’ll still take link and genre submissions for some of the unlinked artists/songs, thanks).

Well, the Top 100 list for each year on Music Tampa Bay is built around a weekly running Top 40 list that Music Tampa Bay has going on. I’m not sure how it has functioned long-term but as of now you can vote once per day on a song that’s been placed on the Top 40 list. Voting ends at 6 PM ET on Sunday nights and the results make up the Top 40 list for the week ahead. How a performer or band get on the list to begin with is Music Tampa Bay’s choice while the songs listed aren’t all recent releases by Tampa Bay musical artists.

Now, exposure to the song is subjective to those who cross the Top 40 list. You either have to be a Music Tampa Bay listener (online streaming or over the airwaves in St. Pete, Florida at 96.7 FM), or have crossed the music by other means (like deliberately hunting down a listed song online, as I’ve done in the past).

Well, this article is a little twist on things. Below you will find the Top 40 list from Music Tampa Bay (released on Monday, June 26th) with embedded versions of the songs from the list. Not all songs are embedded. Omission like that is not a deliberate act as-so-much an inability to locate the song online. Some songs do appear on the web in sales locations or on streaming locations like Spotify. For the sake of accessibility, those instances aren’t linked. In other cases where a song can be accessed by anyone but the tune isn’t embeddable, things will be simply hyperlinked.

Many of these songs have been and will remain listed on the Music Tampa Bay Top 40 for some time to come, so if you like one of these tracks a lot then you should support it: Go to Music Tampa Bay and view the Top 40 list and cast a vote in favor of it (button next to the song on the Top 40 list). Continue reading

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The Pretty Voices – “Scenius Genius” (with Lyrics)


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When an established band gets deemed as nothing

I like Reddit. I’ve already posted here about Reddit and promoting content on Reddit. I also know Reddit doesn’t work for everyone, especially at the community-level where commentary can get volatile and discussion stunted by way of sarcasm and reactionary responses.

I want to speak of ill I’ve encountered, but not a malicious incident. No, no, it’s posting restrictions that thwart participation. Subreddit’s having rules are a necessity or everything goes chaotic (or spam-laden), so I’m not trying to frown on rules here. It’s when they go too far and are over-reactive in an effort to… what, exactly? Continue reading

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Note for Tampa Bay area indie musicians: WURK it out and submit!

If you’re a musician in the Tampa Bay area – a recording artists with your own records to show for it – you may want to take a look at WURK Radio’s web site and their submission process. WURK went on the air in May 2017 in the Tampa area and is a community, volunteer driven radio station. I don’t know how far and wide it is listened to in its fledgling status, but it remains important to spread your name and your talents locally and WURK is one of those opportunities.

Oh,they’re also on Twitter and  Facebook (though the Facebook entry is a private profile).

The downside of submissions is that they require hard copies — Compact Discs, not digital submissions. If you’re willing to go that route and explore other positives for you and your act by way of WURK, click thru and have a read.

 

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The “Sgt. Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band” anniversary and math

I hate posting this. I do. It’s just that a flaw in a featured piece about the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album anniversary over at Creative Loafing Tampa has an outright flaw quite early in the piece:

Sing it with me, children, all together now …

“It was 50 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play.”

Uh, excuse me? Excuse me… Hi… Uh, I need to make a correction for you here (and for anyone else locked in on the 50th anniversary of the album). Let me quote the writing tandem of John Lennon and Paul McCartney here to point out the issue with history:

It was twenty years ago today
Sgt. Pepper taught the band to play

— “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” lyrics via Genius

If it was 20 years on June 1, 1967 (the date of release for the album), it’s 70 years in 2017. I realize the intention of the length of time is something to revel in here and the intro attempt by the article author is a rally-point, but add some logic here…  Sgt. Pepper (the personality) and his colleagues had been around a while, going “in and out of style” but they remain “guaranteed to raise a smile”.

At any rate, the article touches on the weight of Sgt. Pepper to the Fab Four, it’s worth a click-thru and a read…

 

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A tune to cue the start of Summer

Ah, yes, here we are… Memorial Day Weekend 2017. While I could cue Dancing in the Street or Summer in the City or many others from a very broad girth of other pop and rock classics, let me share with you a (mostly) instrumental number by Gypsy Star that you’ve likely never heard before: Summer

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Refraining from “The Living Years”

You ever encounter something in music that you initially appreciate and hold in high regard but it doesn’t stand? Time passes, you engage yourself in the ditty and it starts showing flaws that start standing out? It’s this realization that both worries you (“Am I a critic now?”) and makes you understand why the song isn’t a broad sensation that passes the test of time?

There’s a number from the 1980’s doing that to me now. In some ways I’m guilt ridden by way of it because the song is highly personal… But it’s not the song itself that gets to me. No, no, The Living Years has its merits. But the flaw is too outright.

Mike and the Mechanics 1988 song didn’t just win a Grammy – it was song of the year. The arrangement is fantastic music and the lyrics are highly personal (the relationship between Mike and his father and his father’s passing). There’s nothing I can say against those key elements and they’re not what’s hitting me the wrong way. Yet these weren’t what drew me to the song as a kid; the music complimented it and I wouldn’t engage myself in the lyrics until adulthood when I came back to the song.

What gets me, what wrings me as wrong, what stands with warts? The refrain, the chorus, the element of songs that pulls the masses in. Continue reading

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Filed under Entertainment Industry Thingies, Music / Lyrics, The Life

“Hush Yer Mouth” by the Pretty Voices (with Lyrics)

Hush Yer Mouth 

Better hush yer mouth now baby
if yer talkin’ to me
How the hell you end up some place
ain’t supposed to be
You’re pretending it’s your first time
but I’ve seen you before
I’m pretending I don’t like it
but I come back for more

You shouldn’t be here with me
Don’t think I like what I see
You know there’s no guarantee
Nobody gets out for free

Better keep it on the down low baby
if you know what I mean
We both got our hands so dirty
never gonna be clean
You pretend it never happened don’t you?
Do you sleep through the night?
Try to sweep it out the back door, honey
that ain’t making it right

You shouldn’t be here with me
Don’t think I like what I see
You know there’s no guarantee
Nobody gets out for free

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