I have this problem and I'm sure many other songwriters do as well.  What do I write about?

I've long been an admirer of Joni Mitchell and one of the things that I love about her work is her ability to tell stories by creating vivid pictures with her lyrics.  

This article from the Reverbnation Blog give some tips on finding subject matter for you songs.  Here are the four tips.  Go to the article to read the details.

  1. Write a fictional story and develop characters
  2. Make music about your family
  3. Find something interesting in your daily routine
  4. Write about your struggle

Joni often used an entire song as metaphor.  I'm thinking of Electricity (For the Roses) or You Turn Me On I'm a Radio (For the Roses).  There are too many others to mention, it was such a big part of her songwriting talent.

Of course, Joni wasn't the only songwriter who did this. But it makes for a great song that stays interesting and thought-provoking for decades to come.

As Spotify prepares to go public, there's no obvious solution to its shaky business model

This article on CNBC raises important questions about Spotify's ability to survive in the long term.  Although it is by far the most popular streaming service, it has never turned a profit.  And given how little they pay musicians and songwriters, how can they not make a profit.

As the most popular and celebrated music streaming platform, the company has its share of boosters. Still, as it prepares to join public markets, albeit in a somewhat unusual form, it faces the same problem other internet companies have faced before — a balance sheet that's deeply in the red, and a business model that doesn't show an obvious way to profitability.

Perhaps just as important, it will be going up against deep pocketed competitors like Apple Music and Amazon Music, both of which can afford to operate music services forever without making a dime.

When I look at traffic stats for my website, I can't tell if real people are visiting or if it's all bots.

If you're a real person, I'd love to hear from you in a comment or through the contact form.  It would also be great to get your feedback about your experience on my site.

So much social media is driven by bots and fake user accounts.  My site could be a place where real people meet and talk about our shared interest in music or anything else we choose.

So say hello in the comments or the contact form so that I'll know you're for real.

Bandcamp had another great year in 2017.  Vinyl sales were up 54%, CDs were up 18%, digital tracks were up 33% and cassettes were up 41%.  Those are amazing numbers!

I'm proud to have my work on Bandcamp.

Variety reports that the Copyright Royalty Board has ordered streaming services to increase the amount they pay to songwriters by almost 50% over the next five years.

I'll believe it when I see it.

Another excellent article about Spotify.  They don't realize that music is their product--the music they get from musicians by paying much less than Apple Music and Amazon for example.

A publisher that represents Tom Petty, Neil Young and others has sued Spotify fo $1.6 billion dollars claiming that works were improperly licensed and artists were not fully compensated for the use of their works.

See Variety for the article.

That's a lot of money.  From what I've seen Spotify pays less to musicians than other streaming companies. It's unfortunate because they have an excellent interface.

 

Just a few days after I wrote of Joni Mitchell's unique genius, a long article titled "Joni Mitchell: Fear of a Female Genius", appeared which addresses how her genius has been underappreciated, most likely because she is a woman.

I think the article is too long but it does get into the evolution of her music and how she slowly slid into becoming the brilliant musician/songwriter than she is.  There is little about her youth that would have predicted just how far she would go and how many people she would take along with her for the ride.

There are also interesting anecdotes about other musicians and her relationship with them.

Check it out here.

It's a little strange that my last post was about Joni Mitchell's song,"The Sire of Sorrow," which was from her Turbulent Indigo album.  It's strange because I've just learned that a biography about her, Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell, written by Syracuse University professor, David Yaffe, is coming out on October 17, 2017, and it sounds like her life had and continues to have more pain and sorrow than I previously thought.

I heard her say in a previous interview that she didn't do a lot of drugs, but this bio makes it sound like she did.  It also suggests that her current problems with Morgellon's syndrome may be related to that.  She has had many other health problems including polio as a child and brain trauma in 2015.

While she often has this image of being a kind-hearted earth mother, she was accused of beating her housekeeper who got a $250,000 settlement.  Well maybe the bitch deserved it and she just had a good lawyer.  Who knows?

Her personal problems aside, I have thought for many years that she is a genius as a songwriter and musician, a woman who could put words and music together in an almost magical way to create vivid stories that always had meaning on multiple levels.  She carved out such a unique place for herself that there will never be another Joni Mitchell--not even close.

I feel fortunate that I lived on this planet at the same time that she did.

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