toddlerner

Todd Lerner's new CD of songs...

28 posts in this topic

Hi,

I've just released a CD of original pop/rock songs. The songs reflect the

fact that I'm a student of Objectivism.

I'm giving away my single "Song For Free" which is a free song that's also

ABOUT being a free song. It can be downloaded at my fun Flash website:

http://www.SongForFree.com

Clips from the other songs on the CD can be heard at the site as well -- the

three most explicitly Objectivist songs are numbers 4, 7, and 10.

I'd be honored to get some Objectivist feedback. (The songs are being played on internet radio podcasts all around the world, and they've gotten great music press reviews.)

Best,

Todd Lerner

----------

Get Todd's catchy new song for free at:

http://www.SongForFree.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like them. They're good recordings-- I wonder, did you do them at home, or in a professional music studio? It sounds professional, but it's getting harder to tell between the two, thanks to ever improving, ever more affordable technology, so I thought I'd ask.

Did you do all the instruments? Are you performing these songs live? Glad to hear you're getting good reviews. A free song about being a free song-- clever! And you made it work, too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I'd be honored to get some Objectivist feedback. (The songs are being played on internet radio podcasts all around the world, and they've gotten great music press reviews.)

hi Todd!

Thank you for posting! I had lots of fun listening. I plan to buy a copy. I have a budget for special CD's... so far they've mostly been street performers in NYC. I figure I can pay $10 for those... here I see I'll have to pay extra for postage, but this once [smile] I think I can do that :o.

I'd love to give f/b, but I feel very inept at writing about music. [is there a post on how to review and rate music here?] But I'll give a go and please give feedback on the feedback, ok? And especially let me know if this was inspiring feedback or unhelpful in any way. Because I hope it is inspiring, since I definitely hope to hear more of your work. [also, at this station I don't have the ability to listen to it. I'm reporting on what I heard a few days ago] [my gosh, I did get to re-play one, but it was painfully slow...]

Rating; 9/10

Something really important to me in music, as a dancer, is hearing a song that inspires me to dance. These clips did that. Most of them are swings, and I think there was a rumba or a salsa there too.

In fact, I've been meaning to try to review a piece of music here for a bit, but this is the first really danceable one. I think that's why here I am...

Also, over the years I've listened to a lot of top 40 music for danceable tunes, and so variety is very important to me. These songs are unique, which I love. They sound a bit like Robin Field [Todd, do you know him?]. [i don't have my Robin Field music handy either to re-listen and compare]

Third, I am just tickled by the fact that Oism is getting "old enough" that we have numerous musicians out there performing. And they're releasing CD's! This is great.

What don't I like or what would I improve? That's where I find it's especially tricky with music. I'm pretty sure I may not be able to properly identify that. But like I said, I'll give a go ;).

There are two things that strike me right off, and again, recall this is in the context of a very good rating, I really like these! First, Todd, your voice, and second the lyrics. The flavor I get is that you aren't really singing to me, but sort of tongue in cheek or a little apart from me. In dancing, one of my best lessons was when the instructor explained to me that to do xx step, I had to put myself out on the line, to bare my soul as it were. He said the more you can do that the more you are really dancing.

Here I feel you've been playing to a lot of non-Oists and doing a fantastic job. Kind of teasing them and joking with them, to get them to get a bit closer to your viewpoint. The TV song for example, strikes me that way.

I'd love to hear you sing to someone who's your equal, who understands everything you say, who wants to hear -you- sing it. Maybe there would be more emotion, more timbre, in each word? And maybe the topics would be slightly different.

In summary, the Stolen Kiss song was one that has kind of stuck with me. It got me thinking about what is a stolen kiss. [Anything that gets me to think is an automatic plus.] The way it's sung seems perfect as a mistletoe song. I don't think I've ever had a party with any real mistletoe tradition to it, but if I did, I think I'd like a crowd with a sense of humor that took it as an icebreaker. In this one you seem to be quite enjoying yourself lording over the kiss; I feel the girl is tossing back declaimers that really it wasn't for you and you shouldn't get too puffed up. But you come back and present the evidence until she relents. [!]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I like them.  They're good recordings-- I wonder, did you do them at home, or in a professional music studio?  It sounds professional, but it's getting harder to tell between the two, thanks to ever improving, ever more affordable technology, so I thought I'd ask.

Did you do all the instruments?  Are you performing these songs live?  Glad to hear you're getting good reviews.  A free song about being a free song-- clever!  And you made it work, too.

Hi Bold Standard,

Thanks for the nice words.

I recorded the songs from my fairly professional home studio. You're right about the affordability of recording technology these days -- plus, I spent years learning the art of producing and engineering. The CD was a labor of love and took me over ten years to make.

I play all the instruments, and I've never played live, but I am considering playing some of my new songs live for the excitement of it. I'm a little scared, though :o

All the best,

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for your good review -- it would really be my pleasure to send you a free CD, just give me your address. You can email me directly if you'd like: todd@toddlerner.com

"...please give feedback on the feedback, ok?"

All feedback is telling, and yours is especially insightful... and appreciated :o

"...a song that inspires me to dance. These clips did that."

Thanks, though making danceable music wasn't my goal. However, rhythm is a fundamental part of music, so I do take what you say as a compliment. And there is one latin track on the CD ("Baby") and I did want that one to " move," lol.

"They sound a bit like Robin Field"

Couldn't find him on iTunes.

"First, Todd, your voice"

My voice is a weak link, with which I did my best (using studio recording and engineering tricks). But although my voice is rough and perhaps a bit shrill, I do prefer that to overly smooth and/or showy singing. I don't like "over singing."

"...and second the lyrics. The flavor I get is that you aren't really singing to me, but sort of tongue in cheek or a little apart from me..."

I've heard this before, but I never thought I was doing that. Yes, my aim was to make the songs as universal as possible, without sacrificing my philosophy in any way, but I didn't realize I was coming across as any kind of a smart-alec. I'll have to give this some more thought!

Elizabeth, I see that you are on Match.com! I'm on Match too -- I'll read your profile and send you a Match email ;)

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
plus, I spent years learning the art of producing and engineering.

It shows. Good job..

I play all the instruments, and I've never played live, but I am considering playing some of my new songs live for the excitement of it. I'm a little scared, though ;)

Playing live is my favorite. My only suggestion is this: if you don't hire your own sound man who is thoroughly acquainted with your songs and how you want them mixed, try to mix it as much as you can from the stage, and send the sound man a direct signal. In my experience, they're mostly loafers who know little about music and care much more about (over)protecting the house's equipment than making sure you have the best sound. They can ruin an otherwise good show! I try to give them as little control as possible. With a direct signal, they can basically just turn the volume up or down or otherwise effect the sound globally. Not too bad.

But if you find a good one, hire him on the tour! :o

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi Todd!

thank you so much for writing privately, and I will look forward to the CD :o.

"They sound a bit like Robin Field"

Couldn't find him on iTunes.

LOL. He would probably be proud you didn't find him there! He's retired from a NYC career, and he doesn't even have an email address. He prefers phone/etc. Sometimes he attends conferences and occasionally we get a mini-performance evening out of him. I had a huge ball being part of his singing chorus one year.

I found some cites from googling, but no actual clip of his songs. Right now I don't have access to his info/etc, but later perhaps I will post. Or possibly another Field-fan can help come to the rescue...

"...and second the lyrics. The flavor I get is that you aren't really singing to me, but sort of tongue in cheek or a little apart from me..."

I've heard this before, but I never thought I was doing that. Yes, my aim was to make the songs as universal as possible, without sacrificing my philosophy in any way, but I didn't realize I was coming across as any kind of a smart-alec. I'll have to give this some more thought!

That would be lots of fun to discuss if you would like! Perhaps if you posted the lyrics to the TV song, just as far as the sample clip goes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey Todd,

I listened to the songs on your site. The thing that struck me most about your music is how carefree it sounds. Or rather, how unburdened they sound. So much music today sounds like a plea to take some invisible emotional baggage off the "artist's" shoulders. Consequently, I feel as if he is dumping part of that burden on me...and that is definitely not something I want! It was quite refreshing to hear clear, crisp, clean, and joyous music!

Keep up the good work :o.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
So much music today sounds like a plea to take some invisible emotional baggage off the "artist's" shoulders.  Consequently, I feel as if he is dumping part of that burden on me...and that is definitely not something I want!

Lol, yeah! What is up with that, anyway? That's exactly the way I feel about a lot of recent music. Why do people like listening to music that obviously makes them feel worse? Are they so repressed that any emotion will do so long as it's unavoidable?

Sorry, don't mean to derail the thread from it's rightfull focus on Tom's music. But his music does make the alternative look a little more inexplicable by contrast.

PS, Todd, I like the smart alec thing about your songs. It makes you seem really Yankee! Almost reminds me of a Ramones kind of attitude, but not nihilistic. Paul Simon is more like it, but you do have a little more bite, I think. I wonder if you'd ever have a "freestyle" lyric war with Eminem.. :o (j/k..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Duh, I meant Todd. Got it right the second time. Sorry. :o

Sorry, don't mean to derail the thread from it's rightfull focus on Tom's music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It shows.  Good job..

Playing live is my favorite.  My only suggestion is this:  if you don't hire your own sound man who is thoroughly acquainted with your songs and how you want them mixed, try to mix it as much as you can from the stage, and send the sound man a direct signal.  In my experience, they're mostly loafers who know little about music and care much more about (over)protecting the house's equipment than making sure you have the best sound.  They can ruin an otherwise good show!  I try to give them as little control as possible.  With a direct signal, they can basically just turn the volume up or down or otherwise effect the sound globally.  Not too bad.

But if you find a good one, hire him on the tour!  :o

Thanks for the input. I was wondering about that! Do I just buy a little mixing board for the stage (then give the house a stereo out)? Any other specifics that you might be able to suggest? I think I'll start small -- with just me and one another musician. I might even start solo (scary, lol!). But eventually I'll want more of a full band.

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Hey Todd, 

 

I listened to the songs on your site.  The thing that struck me most about your music is how carefree it sounds.  Or rather, how unburdened they sound.  So much music today sounds like a plea to take some invisible emotional baggage off the "artist's" shoulders.  Consequently, I feel as if he is dumping part of that burden on me...and that is definitely not something I want!  It was quite refreshing to hear clear, crisp, clean, and joyous music! 

 

Keep up the good work :o.

Hi JRoberts,

Thanks for the great feedback; it means a lot to me.

I also notice the emotional baggage thing myself in much of today's music. It's easier, I think, to put decent-enough chords and melodies together, than to write good lyrics. For starters, many base their lyrics on faulty philosophies. Actually, I often get the feeling that many musicians hardly even read or write at all. Plus the fact that it often seems like they try to put everything into each and every song, instead of letting a short pop song be about something more specific.

Anyway, your input was valuable to me and I'd love to send you a free CD -- just email your address to me at: todd@toddlerner.com

Best,

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That would be lots of fun to discuss if you would like!  Perhaps if you posted the lyrics to the TV song, just as far as the sample clip goes.

I wouldn't mind posting all the lyrics to any song, but, actually, I don't think the TV song lyrics are my best or truest -- I have caught myself rationalizing about how it's a song about enjoying my own company, but the whole thing was somewhat more affected than that, sorry to say.

I think the topic would be fun to discuss (not to mention worthwhile to me), but perhaps after you get and listen to the CD, and if and when we get to know each other better, it would be easier to phonetalk about it for a bit -- then maybe post some lyrics for other input :o

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lol, yeah!  What is up with that, anyway?  That's exactly the way I feel about a lot of recent music.  Why do people like listening to music that obviously makes them feel worse?  Are they so repressed that any emotion will do so long as it's unavoidable?

Sorry, don't mean to derail the thread from it's rightfull focus on Tom's music.  But his music does make the alternative look a little more inexplicable by contrast.

PS, Todd, I like the smart alec thing about your songs.  It makes you seem really Yankee!  Almost reminds me of a Ramones kind of attitude, but not nihilistic.  Paul Simon is more like it, but you do have a little more bite, I think.  I wonder if you'd ever have a "freestyle" lyric war with Eminem..  :o    (j/k..)

Thanks! May I send you a free CD? Email your address to: todd@toddlerneradvertising.com

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thanks Stephen :o  Best, -Todd

Stephen, your forum is great! Please allow me to send you a free CD if you're interested. Email your address to: todd@toddlerneradvertising.com

Best,

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Stephen, your forum is great! Please allow me to send you a free CD if you're interested. Email your address to: todd@toddlerneradvertising.com

I'm glad you enjoy THE FORUM, Todd. And, thanks for the CD offer. I will email a mailing address.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Lol, yeah!  What is up with that, anyway?  That's exactly the way I feel about a lot of recent music.  Why do people like listening to music that obviously makes them feel worse?  Are they so repressed that any emotion will do so long as it's unavoidable?

I think the answer lies in Todd's first post. A person's philosophy and sense of life translates into their art. Todd has "chosen wisely", and his music expresses his Objectivist views and sense of life :o.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi JRoberts,

Thanks for the great feedback; it means a lot to me.

No problem! I'll help in any way I can. I'd love to see an "Objectivist Music" section in my local Best Buy some day :o.

Plus the fact that it often seems like they try to put everything into each and every song, instead of letting a short pop song be about something more specific.

What you said here really interests me. I've never thought of this before. It's as if musicians want to fit a symphony into a little folk song, or a novel into a Grimm's Fairy Tale. What would you say is the reason for this?

Anyway, your input was valuable to me and I'd love to send you a free CD -- just email your address to me at: todd@toddlerner.com

Thank you very much! ;). Sent.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
[Robin field is] retired from a NYC career, and he doesn't even have an email address. 

But he does have a web site and you can buy CDs of his performances there.

Check out www.classicreadings.com and Robin's Reason in Rhyme: A Musical Introduction to Philosophy (formerly Three Questions) (click here).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what I do. I have a little Behringer mixer that was really cheap and not much bigger than a standard guitar pedal, and it's been fine. But for bigger shows I either use a bigger mixing board, or even mix it on my own little PA on the stage, and then send two direct lines out to the soundman, for stereo. Sometimes they get mad and still want to mic everything, but I just don't let them and there's not much they can do! :o

Thanks for the input. I was wondering about that! Do I just buy a little mixing board for the stage (then give the house a stereo out)? Any other specifics that you might be able to suggest? I think I'll start small -- with just me and one another musician. I might even start solo (scary, lol!). But eventually I'll want more of a full band.

-Todd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I should point out, though, that mixing from the stage can be a bit of a pain. What you should do, regardless, is to attend a show at the venue you plan on playing at, and see how good the sound people are. You'd probably want to see a local act, since most touring bands have their own sound people.

If it sounds okay, you might just want to let them mix it-- if the vocals are inaudible, the bass drum sounds like a paper bag, and the guitar feeds back every time it hits a certain note, you might consider trying to take matters into your own hands. But at least by checking out for yourself what their sound system sounds like, how their sound people like things mixed, and what kind of equipment they have, you can anticipate what aspects of your sound you will need to be aware of. And then you can meet the sound people and see if they seem cooperative or not, and if they really seem to care about the sound or not. If you want to check out a couple of shows, you might take notice if they have a specific type of "sound" that they try to force upon anybody who plays there, regardless of style. Then you can evaluate if you think that's compatible with what you're doing, and if not, you can counter it from the stage like I said.

For me, it's more feasible to mix my own stuff, since I use a lot of drum machines, guitar effects, and synthesizers, etc-- but for just a couple of guitars and vocals it might be easier to let someone control the sound who is actually out in the room. Just know that you do have some options and you're not necessarily completely at their mercy, the way they sometimes like you to think!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites