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by Joe Strouse

We held the Monthly Critique Session from 7 to 9 pm on Monday, June 17thth in the Learning Center at Mars Music in Hancock Center. We heard five songs and had six attendees.

Jim Tankard brought a tape of his song “Intrepid Travelers”. This song was about overcoming obstacles and getting through life’s journey without excuses or blame. A very good song with distinct changes between the verses and chorus, both rhythmically and melodically with great visual references. The group suggested that he provide a little more “show”
than “tell” in the chorus and verses. Good job, Jim!

Chris Meyer had a CD of his song “Sunday Morning”, a dreamy commentary on how things are flowing in his life, especially on Sunday morning. The warm, dreamy feel of the song, the harmonies in the chorus and the images flowed well to compliment each other. Comments included making the song a bit shorter and modifying the title. Another good song from Chris!

Kay Powers played “Austin, TX, USA” on the piano for the group. This song was inspired by President Bush’s press secretary Karen Hughes’ impending return to Austin. As always, Kay’s songs are filled with impeccable meter, usually perfect rhyme and vivid images. In spite of it all, we came up with a few minor suggestions for image tweaking and changes in intro and verse. Nice, Kay!

Stewart Moser played “Playing Every Day”, on a new guitar, for the group. This song was about being a kid and playing, in different forms, as he grew up and contained a very clever double entendre which jumped out in the last verse. The group comments included some very minor visual word substitution and questions about diction. Another winner from Stewart!.

Joe Strouse brought a tape of “Get Off The Phone And Drive”, recently inspired by being stuck behind a driver at the intersection of Parmer and I35 at 7:40 in the morning. This song utilized a highly repetitive chorus and images in the verses. The group suggested more verses, more images and slightly changing the rhythm of the background guitar, but they liked the cheesy organ background sound.

Our next critique will be on Monday, July 15, 2002 at the Mars Music Store’s Resource Center. We meet from 7 to 9 pm and encourage ASG members to bring their works-in-progress and 10-15 copies of the lyrics. Best of
all, it’s near the drum practice room and we occasionally get free rhythmic ideas for songs! What a deal! Seriously though, guests are always welcome and we hope to see you then!

See you next month.

Click here for last month's critque



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