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USA Songwriting Competition


Beakybird

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http://www.songwriting.net

 

The deadline for this contest is to be postmarked by 5/29/09, so if you get it in the mail today you still have time. I submitted 6 songs.

 

What do you think of the songs of the past winners?:

 

http://www.myspace.com/usasongcomp

 

I'm pretty impressed with some of the winning songs. This contest allows professional songwriters to enter so it's tough competition.

 

Beakybird

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I listened to a couple songs : Get over it and Home.. they seemed a little poppy for my taste.. Get Over It was almost into the pop country vain..which I despise..lol.. I'm a red dirt fan..

 

At any rate, good luck with the comp.. I think your songs are too complex for these guys though to be honest. The people that won seemed to be people that were easily categorized.

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SONGWRITING.NET NAME SERVERS

Name Server IP Location

a.ns.interland.net 64.226.28.33

Atlanta, GA, US

b.ns.interland.net 209.237.137.10

Atlanta, GA, US

c.ns.interland.net 209.237.137.10

Atlanta, GA, US

ping songwriting.net

SONGWRITING.NET SOA RECORD

Name Server a.ns.interland.net

Email Email Masking Image@interland.net

Serial Number 2009032708

Refresh 30 minutes

Retry 15 minutes

Expiry 10 days

Minimum 42 minutes 40 seconds

 

Definitely a record company. Cant identify beyond in Atlanta.

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Here's my personal songwriting contest update: my pal who won the International Songwriting Competition (Blues) just a few years back, after playing stand up bass on the road and in the studio for many, many years, after having (prior to winning the competition) had his songs on a number of well-known blues artists' albums, is working in a music store (a really cool one, mind you).

 

I say this not to discourage anyone but rather just to highlight the hard reality that the music biz is not a meritocracy, that talent does not necessarily win out, that even when merit is recognized and celebrated, that that recognition and celebration can have minimal and/or perhaps short-lived results.

 

On the flip side, I did recently see that someone (can't remember who, offhand) I was interested in and who was getting some attention had won a stack of songwriting contests. (Of course, he's now so famous I can't remember who he was... I think it was a he... ;) )

 

 

 

Looks like normh is as cynical about these things as I am... Yep, knowing who is behind a contest can give you valuable insight into their motivations in setting it up and possibly even some insight into other processes behind the scenes. Have you ever shopped for web hosting online? You'll find all these "Best Hosting on the Web" type sites that all have a vaguely similar look and that all, for some peculiar reason always feature the same handful of winners and near runners up. If you start following the cyber and money trail, you start finding out that they're all owned by the same people, the winners, the runners-up, and the site/organization running the "competition." I'm not saying that a label run contest is necessarily as rigged as that... but it does give one pause.

 

 

If anyone wants a reality check on this contest and its place in the industry, they need only check out prior winners on the Testimonials page:http://www.songwriting.net/testimonials/ See how many household names have been launched...

 

Also, I gotta wonder -- if it's the USA Songwriting Competition -- how come so many of the winners are from overseas?

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Being the cynic that I am, I don't buy into these things. They're (usually) never what they're portrayed to be. It does you no harm (I would hope) to submit something (provided they don't request an entry fee. Fees are scams all the way). However, I would never put an ounce of energy into a contest. I'll never be famous and that's okay. Of course, I'll never be a millionaire either, as I've never bought a lottery ticket. Good luck, though.

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If you win the contest, you win a book on how to write songs.
:lol:

I caught Jordan Zevon joking about that in front of what sounded like a pretty small crowd at a Borders (during a SXSW showcase) in the vid embedded on the contest's front page.

 

It's striking that that's apparently the most compelling vid they could come up with from their many winners. I mean, it reeks of that sense of small-gig-futility that many of us have felt dragging ourselves from coffeehouse to club.

 

And the fact that no one in the whole enterprise could figure out how -- or perhaps cared -- to get audio on both sides of that video... I mean, gosh -- looks like millions of people on YouTube figure have sussed that -- yet the geniacs who run "the world's leading international songwriting event" can't?

 

Mind boggling.

 

_____________

 

 

Beaky

 

I hope you won't be discouraged by the negative comments about SW contests in general or this one in specific or feel like people are being critical of your decision to participate.

 

I think it's more of a reflection of the sour taste in the mouths of a lot of music biz vets, particularly where it comes to structures which seem designed for the primary purpose of sustaining themselves at the expense of those they are purporting to help.

 

 

In my experience, many "nonprofit" organizations are run simply for the benefit of the people who work for them. I can set up a "nonprofit" organization, collect donations, pay myself the salary of a Wall Street CEO, and, as long as the organization isn't making 'profit,' I've pretty well got a free ride.

 

Now, there are many solid, sincere nonprofits out there. Unfortunately there are too many of the opposite -- and some of them are very well known and can wield -- at least for periods -- enormous power. The multiple overlapping scandals that embroiled the old United Way umbrella organization [exec pay scandals, alleged kickbacks, coercion, heavy handed threats against organizations also taking funds from other nonprofit umbrellas, etc] eventually all but completely destroyed the once-slivery reputation of that organization. That was a charity org... songwriting contests are subject to virtually no oversight or even peer-policing.

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It's striking that that's apparently the most compelling vid they could come up with from their many winners. I mean, it reeks of that sense of small-gig-futility that many of us have felt dragging ourselves from coffeehouse to club.

 

 

That's just a loser's attitude. Winners play gigs in the back of chain bookstores in front of the highly trafficked Audiobook section. That's about as big as it gets for a performing songwriter.

 

That wasn't a smattering of applause at the end in the performance. That was a thunderous response of gratitude from song cognoscenti.

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That's just a loser's attitude. Winners play gigs in the back of chain bookstores in front of the highly trafficked Audiobook section. That's about as big as it gets for a performing songwriter.


That wasn't a smattering of applause at the end in the performance. That was a thunderous response of gratitude from song cognoscenti.

 

:lol:

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Well I did pay entry fees, $35 per song, and I entered 6 songs! I probably shouldn't have entered "It's Like a Rocket" because, while I think it's super catchy, it is a very dated and well explored music style.

 

If I win, it won't be sour grapes. If I don't even get an honorable mention, then I will go crying to my momma.

 

It's a legitimate contest. There are some that aren't so legitimate.

 

I think that if Jordan Zevon had a dozen songs as well constructed as "Home," I think he would be getting a better response. I imagine he doesn't.

 

I don't think "Home" is the most wow song in the world, but it is quite original as far as chord sequence.

 

If being catchy is a top criterion, then I think, perhaps delusionally, that I have a good chance. If being in the vanguard of the evolution of pop music is the top criterion, then I don't have a chance at all.

 

Beakybird

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I may enter a song into this contest and a bunch of other contests in the future. I can understand some of the cynicism but the truth lies somewhere in between. An example of an artist who got his start through a songwriting competition is Corey Smith. He's a solo acoustic guy who is doing big shows all over the country. He won a songwriting contest that won studio time to record his first album. He quit his job a bunch of years later after building up a following and recording a few more albums. The contest didn't break him, but years of hard work did.

 

Blue - I agree that talent does not equal success, but it sure as hell doesn't hurt, right? :-)

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Like any other chain -- the music chain is only as strong as its weakest link.

 

First there is the song, then the performance, and then everything else must follow on. The heavens, for the most part, must align for a hit. Even a lousy hit. ;)

 

 

If I sound cynical, it's only that at a certain point I realized that most of the music industry as I had participated in it was, in large part, fueled and funded by the naive and unrealizable dreams of a lot of really nice starry-eyed people... and I just didn't want to be one more pair of hands reaching into those pockets. I got tired of answering the question, "But... could it be a hit?" Sure... it could be. "Who Let the Dogs In?" was.

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Sure... it
could
be. "Who Let the Dogs In?" was.

 

:lol: I think these days you don't need a mainstream hit to be successful, but that depends on your definition of successful. I don't plan on buying a personal jet for at least 5-10.

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I may enter a song into this contest and a bunch of other contests in the future.

 

 

What song are you going to post? Good luck.

 

I noticed that the USA Songwriting competition rules state that they don't judge at all based on production, but the winning songs are very well produced. USA Songwriting competition is open to professional songwriters and amateurs.

 

The John Lennon contest says the same thing, but they seem to only pick songs that are not fully produced. I'm going to enter some songs in this contest, but I'm going to strip them down a little bit. J Lennon contest is open to amateurs.

 

Beakybird

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What song are you going to post? Good luck.

 

I've got this country-ish tune that I'm working on that is based on the movie The Wrestler. Well, the song is finished but I've got some more recording to do tonight. Good luck to you too. :thu:

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I entered a songwriting contest a year ago, and paid $35 per song (couple songs). Never heard anything back until the finale. I never won. I read there were 35,000 entries (it goes all year). The shear volume of songs would mean to me that there's no way they can listen to every song, let alone listen critically. I don't know how they pick the winners but I'm guessing they pick a handful randomly, throw away the really bad ones, and judge what's left.

It's like a lottery sort of....

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If $35 on a songwriting contest is the dumbest money you've ever spent, you're not living right. If you get about $35 worth of pleasure thinking about what might happen if you win, then go for it. I've spent a lot more on lapdances that were a lot less satisfying.

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If $35 on a songwriting contest is the dumbest money you've ever spent, you're not living right. If you get about $35 worth of pleasure thinking about what might happen if you win, then go for it. I've spent a lot more on lapdances that were a lot less satisfying.

 

 

 

Beakybird

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If entering a songwriting contest is your type of thing, and if it makes you happy, then go for it. I'm not sure how it works, but personally, I would never pay for a bunch of judges to sit around and rate my music. I think that's one of the reasons I dislike the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame.

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