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  •  The EvO:R Street Journal

    The EvO:R Street Journal
    Editorial statement
    Dedicated to the culture, business and interests of the indie artist. EVJ delivers controversial points of view, hard-news commentary, Industry Insites, artistic prose and photography and welcomes responses (pro or con), feedback and topic suggestions from readers. If you would like to submit an opinionated article, inspired poem, photo or essay to EVJ, forward all copy to Editor ESJ and put To the Editor in the subject field.

    Twenty of the most important songwriting tips ever, revealed
    By Frank Cotolo

    I feel totally qualified to give this lecture, having been a published songwriter, published writer and member of the Cloak-And-Daggers Guild.

    1. Most of you cannot write a song, so if you don't feel something happening in a half an hour, forget doing it at all.

    2. Listen to other songs, a lot of them. Remember that amateurs imitate and mature people steal. Be prepared to learn how to lift great phrases and lines and music from anyone.

    3. Put down your influences. Even though these people inspire you, say nothing good about them.

    4. Write songs on a piano. Never use a guitar. If you cannot play piano, chances are you will write a better song than someone who knows how to play.

    5. Eat before you write.

    6. Drink lots of coffee when you write.

    7. If you smoke, smoke a lot when you compose. If you don't smoke, get a pack and start.

    8. Try to have sex in the middle of writing a song. Having it before slows you down and having it after is anti-climatic.

    9. Don't think about a topic for your song. See what happens if you just write nonsense in the beginning. This is, as you know, how "Strangers in the Night" was written, and what a hit that was.

    10. Never trust your instincts. They want you to write a namby pamby tune about love lost. Screw that, write about something violent, even if it is love.

    11. For at least a week, insist your name is Cole Porter. Perhaps if you disguise yourself as one of the world's most clever songwriters and lyricists, you will capture a taste of his magic and be able to toss a phrase or craft a rhyme that is brilliant. Even if stopped by police, don't use your real name, go by Porter.

    12. Always try to write a lyric or melody if you had a fight with a loved one. When you are fired up with intolerance and anger, a whole song could just pop out of you. Don't worry if you write a song under the influence of hate and then feel better later. Someone will always identify with your dark attitude and you will again, soon, too.

    13. Write by candlelight. Hold a Bic lighter flamed up in one hand if you don't have a candle.

    14. Break for the disposal of bodily wastes.

    15. Never ask a friend or family member how a song is coming if it is not done. What do they know? If they knew anything, they would write songs and ask you to listen.

    16. Don't read and believe any other tips list but this one.

    17. Write for yourself. Screw an audience. They are fickle and wouldn't know a good song if it massaged their asses while they slept. Never, ever, ever care about who will listen to your song. This goes for publishers, too.

    18. Try to sing freshly written lyrics in a strange voice. This will give you an idea if anyone else might want to sing your song.

    19. Rewrite everything. When you think you are done writing a song, toss it out and start over. It stinks, believe me, if you have written it and it sounds all right. It doesn't. Everyone rewrites songs. If they didn't, you would have heard a song called "She Screws You," instead of the rewrite, "She Loves You."

    20. If you collaborate with anyone on the writing of a song, be sure to mispell that person's name every chance you get when connected to the authorship of the tune.


    ESJ is looking for writers/poets for our next issues. All work is appreciated and will be published (with the exception of articles containing racism, bigotry or other demeaning topics) Also, this is a PG-13 rating and will be censored if you do not edit it. Please e-mail The EvO:R Street Journal.
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