We want to connect with a performer, and that’s maybe what James Brown does best on this album; he connects with his audience in a way that over 50 years later we can’t deny feels absolutely great to listen in on.

Soundfly welcomes new voices each month to offer unique perspectives, shine a light on unexpected musical worlds, and help our readers find their sound.

If you want to know why I didn’t lump the tag in with the bridge here for a tidy eight bars, I’ll tell you. Firstly, it just feels to me like 1+7. And secondly, the chord loop established at the start of the bridge (after the little rest) is repeated without its established fourth chord, making a kind of sneakily soon II-to-ii chord transition to the chorus. Neat. The outro is just a hold on the vi chord, proving once again that modern pop often refuses to end songs on the tonic like you’re supposed to.

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Known as “the kiss heard round the world” during Madonna’s mashup performance of “Like a Virgin” and “Hollywood” at the 2003 VMAs, something pretty unexpected happened when all three divas were onstage together. The three-way kiss. Just look at that quick cut to Spears’ ex-boyfriend, a young Justin Timberlake, and watch his awkward reaction. Yup, that’s how everyone felt. It’s still weird to watch this after so many years.

This is an alternate picking exercise that I used to build speed early on in my career. It’s incredibly effective, and you can employ the concept in your soloing. It’s called “modal alternate picking.”

Possibly even more iconic than this moment was the SNL skit that parodied this, done by Shia Labeouf, Andy Samberg, Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, and Kristen Wiig. I won’t ruin it for you. Just watch it for yourself.

The Headliners Club is kind of like a “build your own customized course.” If you need help on a specific project that doesn’t quite fit within one of our courses, you’ll be able to work with a Soundfly Mentor one-on-one to create a customized one-month learning program specifically tailored to your needs and goals.

Lyrically, the verse “back ends” coalesce in a cool way, using similar lines and then the same lines — which you could call lazy, but I don’t think you should be smarmy about anything in pop that you don’t see too often. Good going, whichever one of you five Maroony guys crafted this cool little “words-zipper.” My money’s on the tall Gump-cut guy, he seems like he’s going places — he must be a solid dude for all these women to let him sing in their video.

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Music psychologist Carol Krumhansl once argued that when we listen to a song, “How the parts are perceived depends on their functions in the whole.” So we’re going to hear a song differently depending on whether we hear the verse or the chorus first. And if we jump into a song halfway, we’ll get a completely different experience all together.

One particularly interesting thing to point out here is that very last green bar — “One Loopers.” That’s not actually a reference to the form, but it’s related to it. It means that more than half of the 40 songs we looked at that topped the Billboard charts in 2018 were based off of just a single loop that continued for the entire track. In those cases, the different sections were delineated less by harmonic changes or big structural differences but instead by the melody, the instrumentation, or both.

Does the solitary fact that Once Upon a Time in Shaolin eschews all forms of distribution and mass-listenability effectively set it apart from its counterparts? I’m not sure the answer is yes, but I would argue that it’s at least a very good step in that direction.

Now that 2019 is well upon us, we’ve compiled the payment schedule for the various PROs here for your review, as well as how much each distributes on an annual basis.

Finally, we all occasionally get stuck somewhere along the way. It’s easy to want to throw your computer out the window in frustration when your production software isn’t working right. Having someone you can reach out to in order to answer your immediate questions and help you overcome these hurdles is a critical part of making real progress.