TAXI: New TV Show Seeking Songs

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Dec 15, 2017, 10:56 AM

TV exposure could drive a lot of traffic to your ‘store’, if you have one. Here’s TAXI’s newsletter. You can get on the TAXI mailing list for these notices even if you’re not a member. It’s a way of seeing into the market, seeing if your recordings can supply their consumers’ demand.

Dear Passengers,

There are two brand new, URGENT requests for material for a new show being developed for a top Broadcast Network, plus another The sync fees are sweet ($7,500), and the deadlines are short, so scroll down now to get all the details!
CONTEMPORARY COUNTRY/POP SONGS with Male or Female Vocals are U-R-G-E-N-T-L-Y needed for (up-to) $7,500, NON-Exclusive, Direct-to-Music Supervisor placements in a new TV Show on Major Broadcast Network. They’re searching for Mid-to-Up Tempo Songs that could be found on the same playlist as these references they gave us below (but not limited to):

“What Ifs” by Kane Brown ft. Lauren Alaina

“Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha ft. Florida Georgia Line

“Sway” by Danielle Bradbery

They are not looking for songs that sound just like those references. Just ask yourself, “Would my song fit on a radio station playlist with those references?”

NOTE: When we researched why the payment is $7,500 (which we felt was high), this is the answer we got back!

“It’s a music show, not really a competition, but it’s in the competition ‘lane,’ so that’s why the rates are higher. Typically the competition shows will license well-known music, but in this case they want originals. Looks like the music will be played significantly in the show. They want to showcase songwriters/producers who aren’t well known. They’re open to hearing songs that may be a little bit rough around the edges, but still show great potential!”

NOTE: This is an incredible opportunity to get your music featured (not background) for at least two-minutes on a major broadcast network, and heard by millions of viewers. It’s very rare that you’ll hear us say this, but the exposure from this show could very well be career-changing. At the very least, it could be a great highlight to add to your bio, press kit, or social media! If selected for this show, your music would be featured (as in front and center, not background) during the show, AND they will post links to your social media. There may even be a possible Title feature to showcase your Song during the show as well!

Please submit Contemporary Country/Pop Songs that would sound at home on today’s Country radio stations and/or charts. Your submissions should ideally be polished sounding. That said, as we mentioned above, a great song that’s a little rough around the “production edges” could still be considered. No raw demos, please. In any case, having a solid vocal performance with tons of personality and attitude could help get them excited about using your song.

Lyric themes can vary, but should be consistent with what you’d typically hear in the Country/Pop genre. Do NOT copy the referenced artists or songs in any way, shape, or form. Use them as a general guide for tempo, tone, and overall vibe. Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine).

The estimated license fee for this placement is (up to) $7,500, depending on the ultimate use. This is a Non-Exclusive, Direct-to-Music Supervisor placement, so you’ll keep 100% ownership of your Master and Composition rights (no publishing splits), plus you’ll also get 100% of the sync fee and any applicable performance royalties (assuming the show gets picked up). You must own or control your Master and Copyright to pitch for this opportunity. Please submit as many Songs as you’d like, online or per CD. All submissions will be screened on a Yes/No basis - Short critiques only. Submissions must be received no later than 11:59PM (PST), on Thursday, December 21st, 2017.  TAXI #U171221CP

Join and Submit to this Listing http://www.taxi.com

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Dec 15, 2017, 07:17 PM

Thanks for posting this Gary. Sounds like a great opportunity for somebody. I must admit, the vagueness of their description of the show format leaves me a little bit confused about what exactly they are looking for - a recorded performance or a song. From the description, I THINK they want to hear songs that would be suitable for somebody else (a contestant of some type?) to sing on the show. They want them to be polished enough for them to be able to judge whether the song would work on the show. Is that how you read it?

By the way, I listened to the songs they listed. I thought the Danielle Bradberry song was very nice. The less said about the other two, the better :)

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Dec 15, 2017, 10:10 PM

In their newsletter those example Songs are links you can simply click on.

Yes, it was vague, but however they ‘use’ your Song it means exposure for you as a Songwriter. If your Song hit for some singer, making them famous, it could mean lots of airplay, earning Songwriting Royalties, Publishing Royalties, and interest in what else you might have in your ‘catalog’.

I thought the sample Songs were not so memorable, easy to ignore.

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Dec 15, 2017, 11:41 PM

Point taken about the exposure. I was thinking more about whether a decent rendering of a song was worth submitting, because it would be performed by someone else on the show anyway, or if they were looking for a performance they could feature on the show as is.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Dec 16, 2017, 01:37 AM

Re-reading I see they’re asking for ‘Broadcast Quality’, which could mean your actual recording might be used. Or that may just be hoping to hear a rendering that could be ‘covered’ and redone by their personnel, just like they do on the competition shows when the singers re-do Songs made popular by other artists.

I noticed a reference to ‘ultimate use’ as a factor in how much they’ll pay. Any ‘engagement’ you might make with anyone would require a contract and you should look that over carefully to see just what you’re giving up.

But, if you have recordings, the membership fee may be worth it to have the opportunity to pitch to these ‘consumers’. Who else is inviting you to pitch?

There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? http://www.garyeandrews.com

 
     
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Gary E. Andrews Joined Apr 12, 2005
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Dec 16, 2017, 09:11 AM

All submissions to TAXI (and ALL film and television pitches) have to be “BROADCAST QUALITY.” That means the recordings will be the one’s played on any production. This is actually industry standard, and so the work tapes, guitar or keyboard vocals “DEMOS” of songs are not accepted.

Film and television music directors are working under deadlines, and there is no time to go through hundreds of songs, re-record them, etc. And also 90% of film and television pitches are MUSIC ONLY. There not lyrics because they are used as background or mood music in scenes. Lyrics interfere with dialogue and action in a scene.

Give yourself a little test and spend thirty minutes or an hour watching television. Listen to commericals, to television shows, to scene changes. What do you hear on the music?

There are songs that specifically written for the production, “THEME SONGS” which might advertise a product.
Hit songs from the radio that are licsenced.
Beginning and ending title songs, which are often featuring a star artist who might have a tie to the production. I just watched a promo for a new reality show featuring Kellsi Ballerini, who is involved with the show.
Songs that are specifically written for the production, like “Adelle” and “Skyfall.”
“Incidental music” that might be playing on the radio, or television in a scene. Again, usually hit songs.
All else is mood music is ‘background” with no lyrics.

So anything pitched to TAXI or any film or television company are all “BROADCAST QUALITY.” The pay scale varies of the use, the network, the time slot, the length, etc.

And as far as describing “what they want”, they honestly can’t tell until they hear it up against the scene they are trying to direct. It is why that most television or movie music is written by the music director or specific people hire to write FOR that production. It is not random. They view the scenes on a screen and write to that scene.

My friend and co-writer Jim Peterik, wrote “EYE OF THE TIGER” for the movie “ROCKY III.” Sylvester Stallone called him out of the blue when he heard songs he had written for the group “SURVIVOR.” He sent Jim an advance copy of the commercial trailer. Jim wrote the “DA….DA.DA,DA,,,,,DA.DA..DA,,,,,,,,” timed to “punches” thrown by the Mr. T Character, “Clubber Lang” in the commercial. He didn’t know what lyrics to write until Stallone sent him a rough copy of the film. It was there that he got the “Eye of the Tiger” part about an athlete trying to train to be the best.

Film and television is a lot more complicated than just sending in some songs and seeing if they work. They have to fit and unless you know what the action is (which sometimes THEY don’t even know, because movies are not always finished until the editing and all the music is added. Do some research on the movie “JAWS” and find out how much that music added to the movie. But it is very difficult and can make or break a production. So don’t think it is just a “throw it against the wall” thing.

If you are going for film and television, you have to be BETTER than the people who are actually involved with the production. How many songs would YOU take over your own?

The thing about Taxi is that they do have a panel of judges and people that can give you feedback on your work. They have the “TAXI ROAD RALLY” in Los Angles where you can meet many other writers. It shows you the levels you have to get to to do any of this. Good training.

MAB

These are what

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 16, 2017, 01:46 PM

Skimming again MAB? :)

You may be right about submissions for TV in general, but this would seem to be a bit different. It’s nothing to do with music to accompany a scene.

The notice Gary quoted specifically says “...They’re open to hearing songs that may be a little bit rough around the edges, but still show great potential!”

and

“Your submissions should ideally be polished sounding. That said, as we mentioned above, a great song that’s a little rough around the “production edges” could still be considered. No raw demos, please. In any case, having a solid vocal performance with tons of personality and attitude could help get them excited about using your song.”

Then later, it says.

“Broadcast Quality is needed (great sounding home recordings are fine).” Which would seem to be a bit of a contradiction.

You have to own the rights to the masters, which suggests they would want to use the performance itself, not just the song performed by others, but a lot of the rest of what they say suggests the opposite. I think the confusion might arise from the time pressure they seem to be under leading to a rushed writing of the notice.

The confusion is a bit frustrating. I have nothing I’d call broadcast ready but a couple of things which might fall into the “rough around the production edges” category.

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Dec 16, 2017, 02:09 PM

Gavin,
Don’t have to. What I described to you are ALL film and television applications. That’s what they are. And the less “broadcast quality there is, the less applicable it is. That’s why the deadlines are there.
Also, my dealings with Taxi, come from
Personal conversations with Michael Lascow the owner.as well as with film and television directors and producers.
And my first cut was in a major television movie.

Not skimming. Just industry experience.
MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 16, 2017, 02:13 PM

MAB, I’m not being a jerk (I hope), but have you actually read Gary’s post?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Dec 17, 2017, 12:41 AM

I almost hate to say it lol….. but I think Marc is right!
“(assuming the show gets picked up)”
Taxi is a “Pay for membership” service that’s always fishing for new members, and
here, they’re pitching for a country music show that’s not even a show yet….
Honestly….. I’d like to submit “My Country”...... but I just don’t think it would be
worth the membership fee, the junk mail, or the disappointment! That’s just
consumer experience :)

[ Edited: 17 December 2017 01:03 AM by JAPOV]
 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Dec 17, 2017, 10:47 AM

Hey guys.

Thanks for that Japov, I know that is hard for you to admit, but yes I am right. Gavin, I did read Gary’s post and yes the rules are still going to be the same. Everything in television and film work under deadlines and are going to have to be broadcast quality no matter what they say. All Taxi (or any film and television pitch companies,) are doing to do is FORWARD what they get. And any “outside pitches” are going to have to be even BETTER than the people they are pitching TO. Music Directors, supervisors. etc.

The “Songs that sound like other artists” are placement pitches we see quite a bit. Not just from Taxi, but other sources, like ROW FAX, which is the Nashville music industry bible. For the past six years, we’ve had a National television show here called “NASHVILLE.” It was produced locally, with filming locations all over town and at times seemingly half the town were extras in one scene or another. They routinely had those types of listings as they were “looking” for songs to fit certain characters. Those characters “sounded” like the artists on the radio, and that was given as the description for songs, so they wouldn’t get ten thousand submissions that were totally wrong for what they were looking for. It’s about TIME. Trimming down the time a Music Supervisor would have to spend combing through hundreds and thousands of songs. It has recently been cancelled before it’s 7th season.

The problem was like all things in the business, most pitches, were sewn up by people known in the industry, hit writers, companies that already did business with the production. The same as you’re going to find on anything you deal with. It is why the “Calling for songs” listings are always a bit misleading. There is almost ALWAYS an “inside connection” that happens, that eliminates most of the “random” songs that are just sent in.”

My first cut came on an artist named SHELBY LYNNE. She was a brand new artist just discovered in 1988 by a producer BILLY SHERRILL, who had discovered Tammy Wynette and George Jones. She was on the CBS record label as a new artist, being launched in 1989. The movie, “ANOTHER PAIR OF ACES” was being produced by CBS for a WILLIE NELSON/KRIS KRISTOFFERSON TV movie called “ANOTHER PAIR OF ACES.” Billy Sherril happened to be at TREE PUBLISHING, screening songs, when he walked down the hall to the bathroom, and heard my song, “THAT’S WHERE IT HURTS” playing out of the president of Tree’s office. If you want to hear the origional recording, here it is. They recreated their song note for note from our original demo. If you want to hear it, here it is:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iaBBHUJBnEw  He stuck his head in and said “I want that song…” It was that random. But the song fit what he was looking for and had FULL BROADCAST READY recording, and fit what they needed in a particular scene.

But anything pitched in film and television is going to have to be “READY TO GO.” On something like this, if you had a full recording and they loved it, they might ask you for the tracks and have their artist sing to it. Another reason to have full up recordings is the tracks can be used without the vocals. That is why they ask that you own the masters. The performance itself is what they are going to look for.

But the real fact of the matter is that most television and placement companies, are libraries and make money from “storing” songs for people.” It’s not a “scam” as much as it is a very random business, and you have to be prepared for everything. But it is VERY INSIDE. If you think the “regular music industry” is inside, you haven’t begun to see inside till you approach the film and television business.

Taxi, has a pretty interesting business model, most of which I respect quite a bit. Michael Laskow, is a straight shooter, they have teams of experts that do review music, they are very methodical when it comes to comments they make to writers. They do have ongoing pitch opportunities and I do believe they get some of those in. They also have the “TAXI ROAD RALLY” which happens each year in LA. It is a very good gathering for writers, artists, publishers, that come together, get to know each other. There have been a LOT of relationships built through that and through Taxi that have been very valuable.
But there are membership fees and rules you have to go through. So it is more than about just one or two pitches. You learn if you have your material in the right ball park. The pitch sheet gives you some ideas as to what is being looked for, so you see if you have songs that fit their needs. But it does cost money.

BUT EVERYTHING IN THE MUSIC BUSINESS COSTS MONEY!! You have to understand that. You are competing with people that PAY A LOT OF MONEY to BE INVOLVED. Whether they are having office space on Music Row, juggling five jobs to be a professional writer, owning a publishing company, living in a very expensive town like LA, New York or Nashville, in order to be close to the music business,  etc. They all have to do the same PRO RECORDINGS, (I always like to use that term, not DEMOS. We’re not in the “DEMONSTRATION WORLD ANYMORE).

So you can take it for what it is. Have your songs well written, well vetted, well performed. No matter what an ad says, that is what they are looking for.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 17, 2017, 01:09 PM
JAPOV - 17 December 2017 12:41 AM

I almost hate to say it lol….. but I think Marc is right!
“(assuming the show gets picked up)”
Taxi is a “Pay for membership” service that’s always fishing for new members, and
here, they’re pitching for a country music show that’s not even a show yet….
Honestly….. I’d like to submit “My Country”...... but I just don’t think it would be
worth the membership fee, the junk mail, or the disappointment! That’s just
consumer experience :)

So it’s basically a bait and switch? Post a listing that is essentially bogus to get people to join up and rake in the membership fees?

This listing did seem unusual to me, not the kind of thing MAB was talking about, which is what I would more normally associate with Taxi. That’s what got my attention. But you’re saying it’s not what it seems?

 
     
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Gavin Sinclair Joined Dec 02, 2014
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Dec 17, 2017, 05:28 PM

I’m thinking there may be 15% truth to this. Taxi probably already has hundreds of country songs
and performers in mind for this that they’ve had on file for a long time… loyal customers so to
speak. But pitching for a “potential” TV show is also an opportunity for Taxi to generate more
interest in “Taxi”! That’s just business for them….. Let’s face it, if you’re not looking or even
inventing ways to generate interest in your business….. then what are you in it for? Let’s also face
the fact that there’s an awful lot of dreamers on the internet these days with a guitar and a song,
and more money than sense, willing to “Take a chance”.........

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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Dec 17, 2017, 05:37 PM

Gavin,

I’m not saying that at all. These types of pitches do exist, they go through various publications and sources, TAXI only being one. MUSIC ROW MAGAZINE is the “Nashville bible” for pitches. Cost $300 plus dollars a year and you get these types of things once a month. But here is the deal. Just because you know there ARE pitches out there, doesn’t mean YOU can get to them. In music, you almost always have to be represented by a publisher. That is what gives you the legitimacy to pitch songs because you are represented. That is why reputation is everything.

Let me give you another analogy. VARIETY MAGAZINE is the HOLLYWOOD BIBLE. It has every film and television production going on, the contact info, studio, producers, directors, etc. They have descriptions for casting, types they are looking for, etc. But even if you went to the audition, without an AGENT, you would never get past the door.

Casinos put up billboards for winners of millions of dollars too. Doesn’t mean that everyone who goes to a casino will win.
Ever seen those commercials on television or magazines that have the wonderful things the product does, and then most of the commercial lists the side effects? Or the fine print on contests that you can’t read because it is so small or has so much technical jargon that you have to be an advance attorney to read it? DISCLAIMERS.

Well a lot of these are like that? Bait and Switch? I don’t know. As I have said, TAXI has a lot of very good useful things about them,. They do get legitimate pitches. But a lot of times that can be deceiving as well. Here’s a little tale for you.

When Taxi got started, one of their big “claims to fame” was a song called “BUY ME A ROSE” that was a number one hit for KENNY RODGERS. Actually his last hit. It was in all their print and online advertising. And they did pitch and represent one of the writers of that song.

A few years after all that was out, I did a workshop in Nashville and had an older guy in the evening. He looked like he didn’t belong among all the younger kids and momangers and daddingers. I asked everyone who they were and the women who owned the office I was having this in, introduced him. He was her guest. He was the current manager of Kenny Rodgers and was very nice. He talked for a few minutes and the reason he was there was that he was looking at office space and just happened to be there that night.
I mentioned :“So you must love TAXI huh?
He asked “What is TAXI?”

I told him they were the one claiming for the success of the song. He said HE FOUND THAT SONG. It was on a compilation CD that one of the writers had given him and he had for about a year without even listening to. He claimed to hear the song when he was traveling to Atlanta to see Kenny in concert. That is when he claimed to give him the song. And that is where Kenny supposedly got it.

Now here is the deal. At any one time, multiple people will be pitching a song. Get one or two, or even three or more writers, and they are ALL pitching it. Throw in their publishers and their song pluggers, and there goes more. Written with a producer, artist industry insider, there are more. Almost every plugger, publisher, producer, have their own “special list” of songs they collect over the years, they love and play from time to time, might get shot down and then they pitch again later. Every hit song has been shot down multiple times. Just didn’t fit the format, the artist had just recorded something else like that. People lose their deals. Labels fold and new ones start. It’s constant.
And when the song gets cut, particularly if it becomes a hit, EVERYONE CLAIMS THEY WERE THE ONE WHO GOT IT. In some cases that leads to bad blood because there can be money involved. People can get “points” on a song where they are compensated for getting something placed. That’s how those companies stay in business.
Success has a thousand fathers. Failure is an orphan.

So that chance is that TAXI DID promote that song and writer. They might have gotten it to several sources. I’ve known of songs coming from two or three different sources and being pitched to artists and labels.

It’s not so much “BAIT and SWITCH” as just “THROW IT ALL UP AGAINST THE WALL AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS.”

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 17, 2017, 05:59 PM

Japov,

You are actually correct. And actually it is ONE of the reasons I am on forums like this. Friends of mine, who are hit writers, publishers, producers, involved with labels, HATE to get these pitches, and people trying to GHERM them, to get songs cut. They have often said “I wish someone could talk to these people,” meaning the thousands of people online, sending emails, going to offices, trying to talk to them when they are in resturants to eat, standing in line for movies or buying clothes, etc.

It takes YEARS to build up reputation, skills and political contacts in this business. It takes millions of rejections, and dealing in the industry face to face. And to think you can just email something in and it’s going to be suddenly cutting through all that, is simply non sensacal thinking.

The Internet has changed a lot of things. Many of us can keep in contact, find people we never could, have a lot of communication. But some of that has been negative. Now, if you don’t know someone, who don’t want to take a chance on a virus, or some weird thing happening by opening a file. That is why companies like TAXI exist. They have built reputations in a certain way. And provide a link. Of course, a lot of that costs money. That is the cost of doing business. Not fair, but everyone spends money on this in one way or another.

There are other companies that have multiple uses and these are the ones I get skeptical of. There are people who do the “BAIT AND SWITCH” Gavin talks about. Studios, that advertise pitching services, but really are just studio trying to get recording businesses. Some have various levels of success. Decent recordings but not much on the side of pitching. Some have good reputations pitching, but are running into the “Inside cut” and have to do whatever they can to stay in business. Some are known for “TAKING ANYTHING” and they are screened out because of reputation.

It’s a BUSINESS. And the biggest end of the “BUSINESS” is that almost NOBODY is getting paid on the BACK END anymore. Because people are paying LESS overall for music. Or they are paying but it is spread out in so many different directions the end result is very little paid. It’s why you have to have HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of streams to make anything. And most people just don’t get hundreds of millions of streams.

I’m not saying these people are rip offs. Most are not. I always say, most OVER PROMISE AND UNDER DELIVER.  I think everyone is truly trying and TAXI does a lot of good things. I don’t want to disparage their reputation at all, because I like and admire Micheal Laskow and his staff.

You just have to look at all of this with eyes wide open. If nothing else and it helps you write and develop music that is commercial, gets you in the right vein or even helps you meet other people with a similar interest, I think that is a good thing.

MAB

 
     
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MBarne4908 Joined Jul 29, 2010
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Dec 17, 2017, 06:30 PM

Keep up the great work Marc! :)

 
     
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JAPOV Joined Jul 02, 2006
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