Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rethink Music Competition Winners NuevoStage!

We were contacted by NuevoStage, a very exciting new website for musicians, with a way to possibly get to play in one of their concerts! Here's what they had to say:

nuevoStage + Berklee = Stage Space for you!

Berklee Songwriters!

We'd like to extend our first official outreach email to you! Hello, we're nuevoStage, and with a bit of help from you, we believe this is the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

If you haven't heard, we're the winners of the rethink music competition. We're a bit like Kickstarter for concerts. We log empty stage space, let you list potential shows, and then let fans pledge to buy tickets. Once enough of your fans pledge, you get a guaranteed contract. Basically, if you have the fans, you have the stage. We think, and hope you agree, that this will help young talent like yourself develop a track record of success faster than ever.

In the coming months, we're hoping to launch a concert series to promote the idea and prove it has value. We're currently running a Kickstarter campaign to raise funding for this idea (see here If you think we're on the right track, we'd appreciate your tweeting, blogging, or emailing your fans about the campaign. Any help makes a huge difference - even a $1 contribution bumps up our ranking on Kickstarter. Also, we'll need artists to take that stage space. So if you're interested in playing, please also sign up for our mailing list at

If nothing else, it would be wildly helpful if you could simply go to the Kickstarter page and "Like" us. Apparently Facebook likes drive placement throughout the site!

Hope you're enjoying your summers,

Max & Chris

P.S. The full link to Kickstarter can be found here:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Berklee Gems: Women Raising Awareness & Responsibility in Entertainment

Berklee is making a great effort to create more support for its female students! We have entitled these efforts:

Berklee Gems: Women Raising Awareness & Responsibility in Entertainment

Upcoming programming will include lunches featuring various women in the music and business industry, a mentoring programming that will connect an alumna with a Berklee student or new alumni for a year, various social events/gatherings, etc. These programming efforts will occur in all of our main alumni areas (Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta to name a few).

To kick things off, we'd like to extend an invitation to the Berklee females to join us for lunch with alumna Annie Clements '03, bassist and backing vocalists for grammy award winning Sugarland on Thursday, July 21st from 1:00 - 3:00pm. Female students and alumni will come together, have a bite to eat and discuss ways in which we can offer solutions to some of the challenges currently experienced by female students and alumna.

I hope you can join us! Submit your RSVP to

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Straight From Nashville! Learn From Songwriter Gregory Becker!!

Gregory Becker is coming to Berklee to lecture and host a song critique session and YOU DON'T WANT TO MISS IT. A little about Gregory:

Gregory Becker is primarily known as a lyricist and top-line melody writer. He grew up in Boston, MA and began his musical career playing piano at the age of 5 and later playing drums and guitar in bands around Boston. He then focused his talents on writing and studied lyric development and commercial arrangement at the Berklee School of Music. Gregory moved to Nashville in 1995 and worked as a song plugger on Nashville’s legendary music row for several years while continuing to write. After having several major label cuts on songs he wrote and pitched by himself, Gregory left song plugging to begin his first publishing deal with Warner Chapell Music. Gregory is currently signed with BMG Rights and his songs have sold more than 20 million units worldwide and have been recorded by such acts as Meatloaf, Carrie Underwood, LeAnn Rimes, and Rascal Flatts. He works with producers, artists and writers of various genres in Stockholm, London and Los Angeles while residing in Nashville, TN.

This is a great opportunity to hear critiques from someone who knows the business first-hand!

When: Thursday, July 14th @ 11 am
Where: 150 Mass. Ave room 122

Songwriting Master Class:

When: Thursday, July 14th 7-9 pm
Where: 921 Boylston St room 511

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Britney Story...

How to write a hit record without really writing a hit record.

Jeff Fenster looked at myself and Jack Perricone and said "Gentlemen, the floor is yours."

This is easily the second best thing to hear from the head of A&R at Jive Records.  The first best, of course, being "This is AMAZING. Can we use it as the single on Britney's new record?

""Well," I said, "Theresa has put one of my songs on hold for the Britney album. It's been a few weeks and I just wanted to know where it's at?

""Of course.  I'll grab the latest status update."  Jeff calmly flips through a few papers, and offhandedly asks me the name of the track.

"Oh, our tune is called Criminal," I reply.

 Jeff stops looking for papers, and turns at me with a knowing smile on his face and says "Well, I can already tell you the title is going to be a problem."

In the .5 seconds of silence before he spoke again, my mind raced to fill in every possible reason why the goddamned TITLE of our song could cause a problem. Is britney going for a "goodie-two shoes" image? Is it a concept album where all of the songs start with the letter "B"? Just as quickly as I thought of reasons, I started formulating counter-defenses.

Jeff opened his mouth again, stopping both my heartbeat, and my thought process: "Well, you see, there's another song that is going to be on the album titled 'In Love with a Criminal' and of course--."

Really?  REALLY, Jeff Fenster?  We're going to lose out on a Britney cut because someone else used a similar title?  
My brain started to think that maybe, just maybe, there was a little itsy bitsy chance that "In Love With a Criminal" was JUST far enough away from "Criminal" that we could still have the cut.

 "Well," I ask, "While you're still looking for the list.  Would you mind at least taking a listen to the tune?"

We pop in the CD, he blares it louder than I do in my studio, is bobbing his head the entire time through and looks at me at the end of the cd and says "Yeah. It's a great tune for Britney!  Oh and Here's that status sheet." Jeff looked over the latest status sheet for Britney's album and chuckled, "Ah, and look what they changed the title to!"  

He slid the sheet towards me and, for a split second every cell in my body filled with the hope that the title was changed to something banal like "In Love" or "Loving a Convict" or some other horrible title in which I would find my ticket to the cut I've always wanted, or maybe the other tune would  be low enough on the list that OUR criminal still had a chance.

I looked at the list and froze.

In order of preference.  Jive Records' #1 PICK, by none other than Max Martin himself, who by the way started writing over 2 months AFTER we submitted our tune, has been retitled: 


Oh, hi there Dues.  I must have forgotten to pay you.

On the bright side, it is an honor to be written off a Britney Spears record by Max Martin.

Max, as a massive fan of your work: I hope to be able to repay the favor some day.