I Found My Old Middle School Songwriting Website
Between 1998-2001 I ran my own website on Expages.com, a platform that let anyone make a website about anything. What did I know the most about? What was I an expert in? Music, duh. Songwriting in particular. I thought I was some kind of songwriting guru, but really I was just a middle schooler. Here’s some stellar advice and guidance I gave to my loyal following of fellow pre-teens.
— Me, Music Aficionado
“I compiled this list of bands that have good lyrics and that can really get a song together. I tried to get a variety of different bands…”
Let’s get to know those who inspire this musical genius (me). First, it is very important to have a strong foundation of pop-punk…but don’t forget to throw in something interesting (Miles Davis, who I had never listened to), and last but not least on the list, The “Dane” Matthews Band! I love Dane Matthews! Also, Johnny Adams, who like my friend Miles was also a jazz musician, but I think I meant Ryan Adams. Sorry for the typo, Ryan!
— Me, Songwriting Expert
“Expirement with alternative rhyme schemes and song structures and try writing poetry too”
Okay, on to the good stuff! This section of the website was called “More Song Tips” even though there was no page for “Song Tips”. The advice to write A-Z in the margins of your notebook paper is kind of a good tip–but it is disparaging that I thought “dat” was a real word. No matter what, as a songwriter, don’t be afraid to “expirement” even if it is just for fun!
— Me, Your Musical Muse
“I understand that sometimes when you have something to write about a song can be easier to write…”
Okay, great songwriting tips Hunter, but ugh! Writing a song can be so freaking hard! Dude, totally feeling your artistic struggle. How about a song about love (in general)?
— Me, Tortured Bandmember
“I’m in a band and I know the pain of trying to find a name for a band…”
So now you’ve written a few songs about a friend of yours from school who you recently got into a fight with. That’s going to be a runaway hit! But now you have to come up with a name for your band to put up in the marquee. These are mostly just mish-mashings of band names that already existed (Blind Melon - Lemonheads = Melon Heads), my dog’s name (Georgia), and my ignorance to the fact that “Chester” is slang for “child molester”–which makes those names so much worse (and grossly accurate).
— Me, Your Understanding Comrade
“Next to a name for your band, an album name can be one of the hardest things to come up with, so I thought some to help you out.”
You got to have that perfect album name. How about something slightly anti-Semitic (“My Dog’s Jewish”), a shocking and impossible confession (“I Killed Kurt Cobain”) or the anti-album title that no one would ever think to use (“Untitled”). I suggested that an album be titled “Untitled”–that’s art!
— Me, The Jaded Songwriter
“Peace to Kurt, Blink 182 rocks. Later.”
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and so it was with the greatest songwriting advice website at the turn of the 21st century, the beloved “Song Writer”. On its dying day the website had over 3,000 hits. I’d like to think it inspired at least one band.
I’m expecting a check in the mail from The Melon Heads any day now.