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March, 2010:

Rush As Songwriters – Jacob Moon Tribute

Well Rush was inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame on Saturday, March 28, 2010.  From an article in Monday’s Toronto Sun, Neil Peart discusses the song Subdivisions:

“It’s a very unusual song construction lyrically and musically that we managed to make work,” [Peart] said. “It was written at a time when we weren’t working, so to speak. We were mixing a live album and we just started playing around and wrote a song for fun. Although it’s very serious in it’s musical structure, one of the most complicated actually that we’ve had in terms of arrangement drum part alone, it’s a really intricate drum part to play and consequently I still love playing it almost 30 years later and that’s a good testament.”

Peart is also stoked that YouTube sensation Jacob Moon, who plays Subdivisions entirely by himself on a Hamilton building rooftop, is among three artists paying tribute to Rush Sunday night.

“We all shared Jacob Moon’s performance of Subdivisions quite a long time ago and sent it to each other, ‘Hey have you seen this?’ because it’s such a beautiful cover. The imaginative way that he uses the little cassette player to get my voice in there. It’s superb. And it is that kind of song. It’s a singer-songwriter’s song. I loved to see his version of it and I loved the idea that song has endured to his generation.”

And here is the YouTube video… May the Muse be with you Neil, Rush and Jacob:

Jay-Z on Songwriting

n77852784853_5696[1] Absolut Vodka’s Facebook Page is promoting the premiere of NY-Z, a concert plus documentary from Madison Square Garden with Jay-Z.  It will premiere online on Monday, March 22.

In September 2009, Absolut and Madison Square Garden announced the Absolut Concert Series, a three year partnership between the two iconic brands, dedicated to giving music fans the ultimate concert experience through a series of high-profile performances.

Here’s a clip of Jay-Z from his NY-Z gig discussing his songwriting process:

World Leader/Songwriter

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s love of music was publicly acknowledged by Australia’s prime minister on March 17, 2010, after he was presented with a handmade guitar during his three-day visit to the Australia.
 
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said he hoped Yudhoyono, who has a well-known penchant for singing and songwriting, would enjoy the Australian-made Maton acoustic guitar

Yudhoyono, who recently released his third album, “Ku Yakin Sampai di Sana” (“I’m Certain I’ll Get There”), featuring songs he had written performed by prominent Indonesian singers, accepted the gift with a smile.

I’d like to accept free guitars too… but I’ll settle for a Muse to guide me…

Ryan Bingham – Oscar For “The Weary Kind”

“Crazy Heart’s” Ryan Bingham continued to add to his awards season cache with his first Oscar for “The Weary Kind (Theme From ‘Crazy Heart’).” Backstage, where he addressed the press without fellow songwriter T Bone Burnett — who wasn’t feeling well and returned to his seat — Bingham said he has come a long way from living in a Suburban four years ago. Asked if writing sad music would be challenging now that he’s married, Bingham noted that the past is always with him. “We have stuff from the past that is always there. Songwriting is venting and getting the past off my chest.” Bingham also noted that co-star Colin Farrell originally performed the song with an Irish accent. “We were all rooting for him to be an Irish country singer in the movie, but it didn’t work out,” he said.

Enjoy the YouTube video below with Ryan’s performance… and may the Muse be with him (‘cos Oscar is…)

Neil Young and Elton John

Neil Young will be working on Elton John’s upcoming studio release.
Billboard reports that legendary Canadian singer songwriter will be one of a number of guests who’ll be featured on the album.

Sir Elton will be collaborating with fellow pianist/singer Leon Russell and adding other guest performers that will include organist Booker T Jones, guitarist Marc Ribot and drummer Jim Keltner.

The “I’m Still Standing” hitmaker’s long-time songwriting partner Bernie Taupin has also been working on the record.

A statement on Taupin official website says, "It’s varied in scope and drenched in a rich tapestry of atmospherics. Don’t expect to hear the old EJ/BT sound; this is organic recording unlike anything you’ve heard from our duo before."

A release date for the album has not been set.

Neil Young was honoured last month with a tribute at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and performed “Long May You Run” during closing ceremonies. Enjoy it below and long may the Muse be with you…

Phil Collins To Receive Johnny Mercer Award

Phil Collins will receive the prestigious Johnny Mercer Award at the annual Songwriters Hall of Fame induction dinner on June 17 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York.

"Phil has churned out a massive stream of classic songs that have resonated with audiences around the globe in a career that has won him admiration beyond cultural and linguistic boundaries," said the Hall’s chairman/CEO Hal David. "In our professional community, he is among the most respected musical creators of our generation."

The Johnny Mercer Award is the highest honour bestowed by the Songwriters Hall of Fame. It is exclusively reserved for a songwriter who has already been inducted in a prior year, and whose body of work is of such high quality and impact, that it upholds the gold standard set by the legendary Johnny Mercer. Past recipients include the Motown songwriting team of Holland-Dozier-Holland, Paul Anka, Dolly Parton, Kris Kristofferson, Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, Carole King, Billy Joel, Jimmy Webb, Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Jerry Leiber, Mike Stoller, Paul Simon, Alan and Marilyn Bergman, Stephen Sondheim, Cy Coleman, Sammy Cahn and Jule Styne.

Collins was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2003, on the strength of such big hits as "In the Air Tonight," "Against All Odds," "Another Day In Paradise," "Sussudio" and "Two Hearts." "You’ll Be In My Heart" from the movie Tarzan won a Golden Globe, Oscar and Grammy.

May the Muse stay with you Phil…

Canadian Music Week: Songwriting Summit

Canadian Music Week ended last weekend with Eurythmics guitarist Dave Stewart talking about songwriting.

Stewart, appeared on Saturday, March 13 with Toronto singer Cindy Gomez to talk about songwriting. Stewart told the audience that the split in his romantic relationship with singer Annie Lennox led to a majority of the band’s best-known songs. Broken hearts (or agitated ones at least) can inspire…

The session also included American singer Paul Williams, the songwriter behind hits for the Carpenters and others, as well as Canadian Dan Hill, a prolific songwriter who co-wrote "Sometimes When We Touch."

May the Muse be with you…

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