Brain teasers invite you; in contrast, brain embarrassers are songs listeners can’t get a handle on readily enough, causing them to give up and move on to another song. That contrast is but one of the many fine distinctions Mike Errico makes in this engaging, whimsical-and-yet-serious book about the art of crafting music. This episode spans a range from what constitutes a mission song (which lay out the story of the artist, e.g. Bruce Springsteen’s wanderlust), to what kind of flavor gets created depending on whether the melody starts on, before, or after the downbeat. Let’s take as Mike does some famous Beatles songs as a point of reference. Melodies that start on the downbeat feel authoritative (“Yesterday”). Melodies that start before the downbeat feel urgent, with the singer taking control (“She Loves You”). And those that follow the downbeat feel conversational (“All You Need Is Love”). Want to know about the Four Quadrants of Trust? That’s another reason to give this episode a listen.
Released today: episode #107 of my podcast series “Dan Hill’s EQ Spotlight,” featuring Mike Errico, discussing Music, Lyrics, and Life: A Field Guide for the Advancing Songwriter. Click on https://newbooksnetwork.com/category/special-series/dan-hills-eq-spotlight to get to the new episode.
Mike Errico is a New York-based record artist, writer, and lecturing professor at universities including Yale, Wesleyan, and NYU. Besides international touring, Mike has had his opinions and insights appear in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Fast Company, and elsewhere.