ASCAP New York Sessions 2011

Allow me to give you some highlights from yesteday's ASCAP New York Sessions conference:

-Hearing Jeff Price, founder of TuneCore, get really emotional and pissed off about companies in the indusry who rip people off by saying they can deliver things that they cannot (i.e. getting your music on Pandora, etc.).  Certain four-letter words were used to punctuate his anger.
-Around lunchtime, I got a text from a number I didn't recognize, area code 415.  It said, "Grabbing lunch at the conference.  In the lobby if you want to join."  Who could this be?  I responded, "Um...who is this?"  And as soon as I hit send I looked up and saw, standing in a group three feet from me, Ken Flagg, who I met 2 years ago at the ASCAP Expo in LA but haven't seen since!  Crazy.  We went to lunch and then spent a good part of the day together.  According to my Twitter account, we "hooked up."  Awkward...
-I was surprised to hear Gregg Wattenberg (Five For Fighting, Daughtry, Train) say that the first band he worked with in a producer's role worked in Poughkeepsie.  He then went on to say that if you've ever been to Poughkeepsie, the only thing there is to do is work.  Hilarious.  And true.
-The master session with Stargate & Sandy Vee was alright.  They played a broken-down version of Katy Perry's "Firework" to show how they construct a song; they played a newly remixed version of Rihanna's "S&M" to show the things they do with time-stretching elements of a song to make a slightly different product; and they played a clip from one of Britney Spears' new songs, "Selfish," with a story about how Ester Dean has originally called it, "Man-Bitch."  One word can make or break a song!
-Sometimes it's just painful to watch people get up on the mic to ask a question only have them ramble on about themselves and then ask the speaker if they would take their music.  The more successful the panel, the more absurd and time-wasting the questions get, but it's like that everywhere.

This was the second ASCAP New York Sessions that I attended, but I do have to say that I thought 2009 had more energy, and that it doesn't even compare to the three-day expo in LA.  But it was a good experience, and great to meet some people, reconnect with some people, and spend time with some of my fellow SongHall Writer's Workshop alumni.

After the conference, I went to The Bitter End for the SongHall New Writer's Showcase, featuring the band of Jeff DeVito, Particle Zoo, who I was in the workshop with and have written with.  They kicked ass and were the highlight of the show.  "B" Group rocks.

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