We celebrated six years on Song Talk Radio with a little reminiscing, a few songwriting tips, and some random stuff. We talked about:
Beige Shelter is an ambitious and eclectic five piece band from Toronto that brings fire, passion and a political conscience to their music. Through electrifying live performances, the band showcases both original songs and interesting twists on cover songs. Beige Shelter is currently working on their 2nd EP release.…
This week, SongTalk welcomed jazz pianist and teacher Steve Koven. Steve is a composer, performer, producer and educator. He has one of the longest standing trios in Canada, performing, touring and recording together for over 26 year. Aside from performing and recording with his trio – Steve Koven Trio – Steve also has other recording projects such as the Koven Collective and Koven & Law as well as Lazersuzan
We talked with Steve about:
- his process for writing
- how he communicates his song ideas to his bands
- the touring opportunities available through consulates and embassies
- where he finds inspiration for his music
- what improvising can bring to songwriting
This week, professional singer/songwriter, voice actor & co-founder of Silverthorn Studios recording, Taylor Abrahamse joined us in the studio at SongTalk World Headquarters. Taylor was a Top 40 finalist on Canadian Idol, has performed on stages across Ontario, has also written & produced musicals, and music for animated series and viral internet music through Corus, DHX & Super Planet Dolan.…
This week SongTalk welcomed our pal Matthew Reid to our studio to talk about movie soundtracks.
We chose our favourites and talked about why they made the cut and what were the runners up.
We talked about:
- what are the criteria of soundtracks – are they a collection of songs from other sources, are they custom music made specifically for the film project or is there a grey area in between?
This week we talked about songs which have no chorus. First, we had to be clear about what does make a chorus. Then we deep dove on three songs we think don’t have one. What do you think? Leave a comment with your pick for a song without a chorus.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Cross to our studio.
Robert Cross was born and raised in Los Angeles, California. He started playing guitar at 14, just so he could learn how to write songs. Cross is the singer and guitarist of the original rock band Satin, who released their first album Drop Dead Gorgeous in 2019.…
This week SongTalk welcomed Robert Ball to our studio.
A native Torontonian, Robert Ball is a multi-faceted singer who has traveled to and performed in over 60 countries around the world.
His sound has been described as soulful, jazzy, Neo-soul and he is a much in-demand session singer.…
We talked tips and tricks for beginner songwriters. Our producer Vanessa and techie Micah also joined in the conversation. Some of the stuff we covered included:
- Our Rocketman movie pre-screening contest
- How Phil and Neel got started on songwriting, and the challenges they faced
- Get yourself a decent guitar to start on (or a ukulele!)
- Basic melody development
- The benefits of collaboration
- Writing from a title, or a poem
- How to take apart your favourite songs
- How practice makes
- How to finish songs
- Writing a bad first draft, because you won’t be awesome right away
- Vanessa’s post about stuff she’s learned on the show
- We won a spot on FeedSpot’s Top 20 Songwriting Podcasts!
This week SongTalk welcomed Matthew Reid to our studio. Matthew is a critically acclaimed, award winning composer for film, television, games and theatre. His funny songs have delighted almost a million people during his tenure as composer for Toronto’s world famous Second City comedy theatre.…
This week SongTalk Radio has a special episode celebrating the 35th anniversary of the classic film, “This Is Spinal Tap”. And joining us in our trip down memory lane is one of our favourite guests on the show Blair Packham. We talk about where and when we first encountered this classic cult comedy and how true it was to our own experiences in the music business (hint: very!)
On this episode, Neel, Phil, Michael and Blair talk about:
- how the film was made
- what has made the movie so popular many decades later
- our favourite Spinal Tap moments
- why this early mock-umentary was so influential
One of our favourite guests and friend of the show Blair Packham returned to the show to share his song ideas, from titles to bits of songs, and how he develops them into full-fledged songs.
We talked about:
Angela Saini returned to Song Talk Radio with a new album and a fresh bunch of earnest and optimistic songs.
We talked about:
- Structured vs. casual collaborations
- When should an artist make a trip to Nashville?
- Making a personal connections to songs you’re performing, even if you didn’t write them totally by yourself
- Live performance vs studio recording
- Using a “weirdo” chord change for the bridge of your song
- Should melody trump the natural shape of the language in your lyrics?
BEHOLD! The triumphant latest release – Seven Seas of Sleaze – from Canada’s legendary rock armada White Cowbell Oklahoma – now in it’s 20th glorious year!
WITNESSETH! The 70s-inspired boogie-prog army’s seventh full-length release, featuring seven blistering tracks, brought to you by seven heavily-perspiring musicians.…
Singer-songwriter and Music Educator Ashley Braga came to visit us again on the tails of her first album for children, Ladder to the Moon. The album features traditional children’s songs with Ashley’s own twists, and totally original songs as well. Ladder to the Moon was produced by Song Talk Radio’s own Neel Modi.…
For our special holiday show we dipped into the vast treaure trove of holiday songs. You’ll hear everything from Run DMC‘s Christmas in Hollis to Frank Loesser‘s Baby it’s Cold Outside. Plus Joni Mitchell, Bing Crosby, David Bowie, Vince Guaraldi, John Prine, and Christmas carols too.…
On this program Bruce, Neel, and Phil, (and Linda) each brought a three-chord song to share. We looked at what each song needed to do (if anything) to compensate for the lack of chord diversity. We talked about:
Listen to the whole show
Download the chord/lyric sheets to follow along:
Maybe you didn’t ask for it but we did it anyway – the 90’s song draft – this time with Canadian songwriters. Blair Packham sat in for a sick Bruce, Vanessa joined the gang for her song picks, and much fun was had.…
Toronto singer/songwriter Michael Thorner dropped by the studio for a chat about his music. He brought two catchy tunes from his recent webcast/album release The ehMTee Show; Don’t Let it Go and Point Edward Fair. We talked about:
What a pleasure to have Dokter Nomi back in the studio to share his hooky pop tunes. This time, one of them was produced by our very own Neel Modi. During the show we talked about:
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Dokter Nomi’s lyrics
Patrick Ballantyne stopped by to pull apart two of his fave songs. The open and emotive “Cowboy” by Randy Newman, and “Somewhere” from West Side Story by Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein.
Stuff we talked about:
Listen to the show
We had the pleasure of having the prolific Toronto poet, novelist, and singer/songwriter Robert Priest (with David Hynes on guitar) back in the studio to share a couple of his children’s songs. We talked about…
- testing a song on a 6-year old
- moving from writing for adults to writing for children on the same day
- chord choices for children
- writing for younger and older children (the differences)
- kids deserve quality songwriting
- “Inchworm” (an old favourite)
- repetition in kids’ songs
- using words that kids will have to look up (why not?)
- the work habits of a prolific writer
- Gilbert and Sullivan style (The Ships of Bath)
- do you have to have kids to write for children?
True to form for Song Talk Radio, the day before Valentine’s Day seemed a good day to talk about break-up songs. So Phil brought “Operator (That’s Not the Way It Feels)” by Jim Croce, Neel chose “One More Minute” by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Bruce performed a new original tune “I Don’t Love You Anymore”, and Vanessa selected “White Blank Page” by the band Mumford & Sons.…
We talked about the first songs that resonated with us as kids.
Stuff We Talked About: