In this episode, I sat down with my old college friend Lisa Brigantino. We attended Fredonia State University together and Lisa went on to get her Masters in Music Theory and Composition.
While in college, we got to go a tour with a 28 voice choral group to Scotland, England and Wales. After leaving college and getting a job in NYC working for a company that would eventually shape her career destination, she joined an all female band.
The band she joined was called “Lez Zeppelin” and she traveled the world with this band playing some of the largest music festivals out there.
After leaving the band, she started her company and she continues to run Hidden Pond Productions and still performs and composes music. I dug a little deeper into her company with the hope that our discussion would deliver some valuable content to you, the listener and maybe some of you would need the service she offers.
You have to check out these funny “wedbisodes” as she calls them where she performs with her sister Lori. The name of the show is called “Vickie & Nickie” and you can find them on YouTube.
It was so nice to catch up with my dear friend and I hope you enjoy listening to our conversation as much as I did having it.
Thank you for listening…
Joe: Everyone, welcome once again to my podcast. It’s an honor for me to have this podcast playing in your ears and that you’ve chosen to listen. And I have a very special guest on today. It is a very dear old friend of mine. We actually went to college together and came up through the ranks and then we went our separate ways, like everyone does when they get out of college. But we stayed in contact. She’s a very talented, smart person, one of my dear friends. And I’m very glad to have her welcome. Lisa Brigantine, thank you so much for coming on.
Lisa: Thank you so much for having me, Joe. It’s really fantastic to be here, and I love that after all these years that we can still remain connected and and present in each other’s lives and doing this across
Lisa: The miles.
Joe: Yeah, it’s very cool, my life out of college probably was not as eventful as yours, but you have done a lot of things. You’re a multi instrumentalist and I know for a while you did some performing in a band. We could talk about all of these things. And then I want to get to Hinton Productions, what you’re doing today.
Joe: Want to talk a little bit about what you and your sister do with that cool little wacky act that you guys have together in any of the other things that I might not know, because obviously we only kind of know what we see on Facebook. Right. Unless we’re talking on a regular basis, that could be all sorts of cool things happening that I have no idea. So let’s just start. So you and I went to school together at the Fredonia State University, which is in New York, SUNY School. And you graduated when?
Lisa: Well, that’s an interesting question, because I when I got to Fredonia, I started as a music therapy major and my instrument was violin. By the time I left, I was a music major and I had switched to the voice department. And because of changing over, I had actually left school and came back and did an extra year to finish my undergrad in composition and theory. And then I stayed on to do my master’s in comp and theory. Dr. Boehland, kind of Donald Boland, who was my mentor and composition teacher, took me under his wing and, you know, just starting to work with him for a year in my undergrad. It just made so much sense for me to stay and have a few more years with him. So we like to call it the Freedonia decade, the the 80s, because I was basically there from 1981 to, I think 80. I just I got my master’s in December of 88. Yeah.
Joe: Oh, OK,
Joe: So I
Joe: Didn’t even know that I thought we both when we left,
Lisa: That was it, right?
Joe: I thought
Joe: That was it.
Lisa: I wasn’t done, I came back. Oh, yeah.
Joe: All right. Well, cool. And he’s he was a tough he was tough on me because I didn’t know what the hell I was doing. But you on the other hand, I had him for a class and it was a disaster for me because I just it’s not my makeup. My DNA is not composing music. But he’s still tough. Right.
Lisa: Well, you know, I got along terrifically with Dr. Boland and he was tough in the way that he needed to be for me, but I also felt that he kind of. You know, I didn’t fit into a to a nice little box at Fredonia. And he allowed me to kind of explore music in a way that I hadn’t been allowed to in other areas at the school, so we just kind of got along that way and I worked really hard. I had to cram a lot in in a short period of time.
Lisa: But, you know, to this day, we we remained close. Every time I’m back in Fredonia, I go to visit him, so.
Joe: Oh, that’s cool, how old is he now?
Lisa: Um, he’s in his he’s in his 80s,
Joe: It’s going to stay.
Joe: That’s amazing. That’s very
Lisa: And still composing and still
Joe: I’m sure
Lisa: Privately, oh, yeah.
Joe: He’s not at the university. The.
Lisa: No, he retired in two thousand seven, I think, and I actually I went up for a special concert and performed on the concert and there was a party and everything, so. Yeah.
Joe: So you are a cop, you have a master’s now in composition music composition,
Lisa: Yeah, music
Lisa: And music theory, yeah.
Joe: Ok. So you got out of school and what did you end up doing with that?
Lisa: Yeah, what happened is I left school in 88, December of 88 by fall of nineteen eighty nine, I had moved to New York City and I’m from the New York City area. So it wasn’t a big stretch for me to kind of say, well, that’s where I was going to be. And it was I had three choices, three music centers. It was New York, Nashville or L.A. and I felt more comfortable moving to New York and, you know, to pursue writing and performing and, you know, the grand ideals that you have it at a young age. And, you know, but I needed to make some money so I could pay the rent in my East Village apartment. And I think the week I moved to New York, I took an administrative assistant job. The ad said something like music, celebrities, photographs, studied. I work with them all. And I thought, all right, well, I’ll answer that.
Lisa: And I entered the world of rights clearance. I just stumbled upon it. And what we did at that company is we helped people get the rights for various copyrighted or otherwise protected properties, everything from clearing music for a national TV commercial to, oh, you know, you want to put a photograph of Humphrey Bogart on a coffee mug and sell it, or you want that particular comic strip for a print ad that you’re doing within your company. So it wasn’t just music. I got this really broad education and all kinds of rights clearance. I mean, a majority of what we did was music, music, permissions for, like I said, everything from national commercials to maybe, you know, an airline that is producing an in-house video for their employees and they want to use Tina Turner song simply the best. Well, how do you do that? Well, you can go to a company like ours, which is a third party company, and hire us to negotiate, you know, find out who owns the material, negotiate the rights, do the contracts, and make sure that you have the proper permission to do what you want. So I was there for 11 years and all this time performing and writing and doing other musical things. But, you know, I, I really I worked I worked full time and get home and I’d switch gears and I’d I’d write music or, you know, on a weekend I’d have gigs or so I was there for for a while. And then I left that company to form.
Lisa: I was a partner with another former employee of that company. And we went on to form a company called Creative License. Um, so I became a founding partner of that company and a vice president of that company. And I’m head of business affairs. And I managed all the contracts and and that company, we were doing more music supervision, so to speak. And what that means is you’re really more involved in the creative process of sourcing and finding the right music for a project, as opposed to just finding out who owns it and negotiating a fee. So, you know, it could be a filmmaker coming to you saying, here’s the scene. We’re not sure what we want here, but find us something that works for this budget. And here’s the deadline. So we were more involved with finding a bunch of possibilities for that client, presenting them with maybe 10 or 20 or 30 different tracks that might work for their budget and giving them the opportunity to pick the thing that, you know, of course, with our recommendation. So that’s exciting. That’s the really exciting part of that kind of work, because you really are part of the creative process. And I was there for five years now. How I kind of segued out of that is in two thousand and three, while I was vice president of this company with fifteen employees and working ten hours a day, I decided to join a band called Led Zeppelin. And Led Zeppelin was the
Joe: Of my
Joe: Favorite one
Joe: Of my favorite
Lisa: Of your.
Joe: Bands, by the way.
Lisa: I still love it, you guys came to Las Vegas to see us that time. That was fun. A friend of mine who was on the Board of Women, The Music With Me, Women and Music is a non-profit organization in New York that I was on the board of at the time. And she said she knew someone. She knew a woman guitarist who was putting together this Zeppelin tribute band and was looking for a bass player. Now, little did this guitarist know that I also played keyboards and mandolin, which is basically what John Paul Jones did for Led Zeppelin. So I went to the first rehearsal and yes, you’re in. Great. So, you know, it was supposed to be oh, it’s a side project. Maybe we’ll play the bitter end once a month, that kind of thing. But the buzz that happened right off the bat from playing in this band was was crazy. We started playing New York frequently. We started playing out of town. Things got busier and busier and it allowed me to quit my full time job in twenty five. So I basically ran away with the circus. And, you know, we went on tour. We were, we were we did four tours of Europe, Freeplay, Canada. We, we went to Japan, we we played Bonnaroo. I mean it was ridiculous. So and I was with the band for six years from 2003 to the beginning of 2009.
Joe: So you were in this new company as the vice president partner, right, and.
Lisa: Yeah, for for the first couple of years, I was a partner, I left the partnership, but I stayed on at the company and as the vice president of the company.
Joe: When you left, you had no stake in it, you could just say, hey,
Joe: I’m giving,
Lisa: Walked away.
Joe: Walked away from a stake or you walked away
Lisa: I walked away from the company.
Lisa: Yeah, we
Lisa: Had we had worked out.
Lisa: Partnership stuff earlier, because I had left the partnership like. After two years into it.
Joe: And before we get too far down the road on this, at the first company, you obviously answered an entry level position when you did it. But when you left, where were you in the ladder of, you know.
Lisa: My position was director of licensing by the time I left,
Joe: Wow, and you
Joe: Started as a receptionist, did you say or
Lisa: I basically started as an admin assistant. Yeah,
Lisa: Knew nothing about, you know, I knew nothing about the the, uh, the rights clearance field. I knew nothing about the details of that. You know,
Lisa: I had some background in what copyright was, of course, just being a writer. But, you know, the kind of legal, uh, ins and outs of clearing music and permissions and stuff, I had no idea. And
Lisa: So I just came into a cold. Yeah.
Joe: Got it. So you went from there, then you got out
Joe: After 11
Lisa: Of licensing,
Joe: Started your company with a
Lisa: A yeah.
Joe: Stayed for a couple of years, then stayed on, and then Led Zeppelin took off and you said, I’m out
Joe: Of here.
Lisa: Was like, it’s time to go.
Joe: Yeah. And it very much sounds like the second company had a lot more creativity in it, because you’ve got to help these
Joe: Other artistic types find the correct music for their project,
Joe: Which sounds
Lisa: Definitely more involved creatively, whether it was supervising some films, mostly what we did, we did a lot of supervision of television commercials, um, finding music for TV or TV, radio, Internet, that kind of thing. Now, when I left here, I have this background. I have basically 15 years, 16 years of experience. And going off on the road with with Led Zeppelin was great, but it wasn’t enough to entirely support me, my income. So I started doing some supervision and some licensing myself. We would be you know, we’d be in Germany on tour and it’d be two o’clock in the morning after a show. And I’d be on my computer as long as I had my computer and my phone. I could do my work, you know, little by little. I started kind of growing my client base. And in 2011, after I’d left the band in 2009, and I kind of was getting back into doing more of the supervision and I, I incorporated and that’s how I came, how Hidden Productions came about, which is my company. And it’s named after the pond behind my house where I grew up in Katonah, New York, is called Hidden Pond. So that’s why I named the company that. But another thing that happened after I left the band, I had done an album in nineteen ninety nine, a Brooklynite. That was my first solo release in 2010. I released Wonder Wheel, so it felt really good to get back. You know, being in the band was terrific.
Lisa: I, I loved every minute of it. It took me around the world. It was just so good for me musically. And, you know, playing that music every night is just really getting your chops up. But, you know, those five or six years in the band, I really couldn’t do much with my own material. We were so busy that I couldn’t I couldn’t really I barely had any of my own solo gigs. I wasn’t writing a lot. So after leaving the band, you know, I was thinking, well, look, I have a master’s in composition. We have a great project studio. I’m going to offer composition services to my clients. And a few of them took took us up on it. I work a lot with my husband, Tom, Tom Alioto. He’s a great musician. He’s a fantastic guitarist. He has a doctorate in classical guitar performance from SUNY Stony Brook. He went through this tone meister sound recording program at Fredonia. So we have we have a great working relationship that way. And we we’ve done some national TV commercials. I’ve done some film scores. We’ve done, you know, a little sizzle reels for clients. And so we just that’s one of the things that I offer to my clients, not just licensing and supervision and rights clearance, but we custom score, too. So we’re kind of a one stop shop for that kind of thing. Kind of a post-production, one stop shop that way.
Joe: All right, and as he decides doing this with you, what not to get off track of you, but what is he doing besides that?
Lisa: He’s got his own engineering work that he does.
Lisa: He’s he’s a fantastic guitar teacher, so he’s got a lot of different irons in the fire.
Joe: Ok, cool, so Hidden Porn Productions has been a company since 2011.
Lisa: Well, INC, 2011, I, I kind of was calling my my my work, I guess, PAF after leaving the band while I was in the band and starting to
Lisa: Do licensing like twenty five. I was calling it Hidden Productions. I wasn’t incorporated
Lisa: Yet but so it’s. Yeah, it’s 15 years.
Joe: That’s amazing. That’s
Joe: Really, really cool.
Joe: So when you left the band, did the band break up or did.
Lisa: No, I left the singer left and the drummer left all on the same day, we
Lisa: Just we just felt it was time to go. We just wanted to kind of do it. At the same time, the guitarist continued on and has had other people in and out of the band since we’ve left. So she continued on with that. But.
Joe: Is it still going
Lisa: I guess so, I don’t hear too much about
Lisa: It anymore. You know, there was such a buzz when we were when we were in the band, really from like the two thousand five to 2000 end of 2008 when we had we did an album with Eddie Kramer in two thousand seven. He he recorded and produced our debut album, which we we did. We recorded all the basic tracks that Electric Lady Studios,
Joe: So cool.
Lisa: Was, you know,
Lisa: To have him doing that. There
Lisa: You know, just an amazing experience playing Bonnaroo. We played festivals, we played download festival in England. We played Rock, AM, Ring, Rock and Park in Germany. These are major
Lisa: Rock festivals where, first of all, we were the first all girl band and we were the first tribute band to play these festivals. So there was a lot of this kind of first thing, first thing happening.
Joe: Mm hmm.
Lisa: And, you know, I think just, you know, after 15 years of. Over 15 years, what is it, two thousand, it’s like 17 years, the band really has been around,
Lisa: I think. I don’t know. I don’t I don’t know how. I don’t really don’t don’t know how much more. You’re going to get a buzz about that
Lisa: After so many years.
Lisa: But, you know, God love them. They keep doing it. And and, uh, I, I loved being a part of the band. I really did. I
Joe: Yeah, that’s
Lisa: Um, it
Lisa: Was hard to go. It was not easy to leave, you
Lisa: Know. But it was right, it was the right
Lisa: Decision. Yeah.
Joe: Good, and I think the cool thing about you being in something like that and then being the owner of your company and doing what you do, you can help artist. You have the expertise. You’re not just some person that’s sitting behind a desk that got into this business. You full circle have all of the different pieces of this to really bring a great comfort level to a client of yours that I don’t know all the services at Hidden Pond does. But let’s say I needed I needed your help with my own music and I wanted it protected. Is that something that your company does?
Lisa: It is and, you know, it’s funny that you say that because I feel like I’m in a unique position being above both the creative side of the industry and the business side of the industry, that I have a unique perspective. And I really and it’s maybe it’s the Jemini and me. I really see kind of both sides of the coin and consulting music business consulting is one of the services that that I provide. In fact, I think I have three clients right now. They’re not ad agencies are or corporations. One is a singer songwriter, one is an instrumentalist. They need help in navigating some of the things about copyright and mechanical licenses. They want to put somebody else’s song on on a CD they’re
Lisa: They need help with things like sound exchange and all kinds of things that you can do as a as a DIY musician and as an independent artist to make some money that you you may not even realize that you are you’re eligible for. So I feel very passionate about educating people that way and helping people. So, yeah, it is one of the things that we do.
Joe: Yes, and it’s so cool because you toured you compose music, you’re a farmer, you have your masters, you went to college, you like there’s this. It’s just not you got kicked out of your house at 16 and your parents said, go find a job. And then you you’re an admin assistant to this and then you just liked it. So you stayed with it. You you have all of the different prongs that help. These musicians are artists, like you said, navigate the waters of what I consider. I’m so glad I don’t have to deal with any of it, because it’s very confusing to me and I’m sure it is to a lot of people and especially musicians who are trying to make sure that not only do they do the right thing and they don’t get sued and they don’t get whatever for using some piece of music and at the same time to protect their own stuff. And so you started this. Both of us have lived in these extraordinary times. There’s a lot of things that happen in our lifetime. I consider all the time we’re living in is just crazy with all the things that have happened. So with streaming music, you know, there are always going to be at least two sides to that story. The artists will say streaming music has allowed my music to get in front of so many more people than it ever would have, because
Lisa: Mm hmm.
Joe: To have someone walk into a, quote, record store or whatever. Right. And buy a CD or a record and happen to just pick me and then like me and then start this many little street team and fanclub, there’s that piece of it. But then again, the amount of money that is made or that’s given to them for that music that gets streamed is, from my understanding, extremely, extremely low. So the world has gotten to the point now where record sales at one point would make these bands money and the touring part was the promotion of that and all of that. Now, my understanding, and you totally can correct me because you’re deeper in this than I am, that these bands have to talk to make a living and they have to have great merchandise to make a living. Without those two things, there’s no way they could ever make it off of the sales of songs.
Lisa: No, no, it’s completely changed. It’s just completely flip flopped. It’s it’s touring, it’s Mirch, you know. Fifty dollars t T-shirts
Joe: Mm hmm.
Lisa: And sweatshirts at shows. The industry has just turned on its head, you know, and it’s crazy because I’ve I like I’ve seen it just I’ve seen the change. And it also happened there were changes in licensing, too, because now that’s another way for artists to make money that they may not have been happy about. Twenty five or thirty years ago,
Lisa: I mean, there were artists at one point that you knew you wouldn’t even bother reaching out to their music publisher because you knew that there was a history, that they didn’t do commercials or they wouldn’t license for a particular product. And some of that has changed. Some of the artists that wouldn’t license a do now because they’re not making money from record sales. So licensing became a real big commodity for the music publishing companies and the record companies. When I started out, there were the licensing departments. There were specific people you went to. You need permission for a song. You would, you know, send a fax. You remember faxes.
Joe: Yes, yes, the annoying
Lisa: Oh, yeah, and and for people that don’t understand or know the difference, the music publisher represents songwriters and composers, the words and music. OK, that’s what music publishers represent. A record company represents the audio performance of a particular recording. So you’ve got my The Song My Way written by Paul Anka. Right. He wrote that song. He’s got a music publisher that represents the words in the music. Now, there are thousands of people that have rerecorded my way, everyone from Elvis
Lisa: Presley to Frank
Lisa: Sinatra. So that’s the distinction between those two things. So years ago, it was really about just doing these straight kind of. Yeah, I want to use I heard it through the Grapevine International commercial. You go to the owners, whatever. And then it became more about what else what else in the catalogues can we get people interested in using? So Music Services Departments Open started opening up at music publishing companies and record companies. I’d like to say like in the early 90s as well, and I think I almost remember EMI Music Publishing was one of the first publishers to have a music services department where they actively tried to pitch their catalog to users of music, to ad agencies and filmmakers. And so that’s how the wheels started turning to encourage people to to license maybe a particular catalog from EMI or or Sony or Warner Chappell that started things changing and that, you know, kind of got the supervision wheels going. And it’s just really interesting to see how things changed. And, of course, you know, as record sales declined, these licensing departments were like, that’s where that’s how we’re going to make money. So.
Joe: So when when someone comes to a company like yours, do they come to it because let’s say I noticed like on the website, there was that BMW commercial that you had some part in making happen with the with the music piece of it. Right. Does BMW their executives or who’s ever in charge of that part of shooting the commercial needs that music? Do they come to you? Because it’s it’s easier to have you deal with the artist and you understand the negotiation piece of getting that music and the rights to it and all of that. Like why I guess I’m going the long way around. Why would somebody use Hidden Pond? There’s a team at BMW saying, hey, we heard this song by John Mayer. Somebody call his agent and ask him what it’s going to cost us to use it. I don’t know. I’m giving it a really bad example, but.
Lisa: No, no, it’s a good question, people use someone like me because they don’t know how to go about getting the permission, they don’t know who to contact, they don’t know who owns the song, if they did know who owns the song. They don’t know who to talk to at that specific company. I mean, yes, Warner Chappell might be the music publisher for that particular Cole Porter song, but who the heck knows who that person is that I need to reach out to? And it’s different depending on what you’re doing. You know, is it a non broadcast in-house video that you’re going to show your employees? That’s one person at that company. Is it a not for profit video? It’s another one. Is it a film? Is it a television commercial? That’s somebody else. So after so many years in the business, I’ve amassed quite a database of who’s who. And, you know, and also because I’ve been in the business for so many years, when I send an email or I put a phone call in, I usually hear back pretty quickly. You know, sometimes I work with, like for that commercial. I often work with an ad agency who’s working on behalf of the brand. But BMW, I started doing some in-house work for them years ago, like like 12 years ago, like in house videos for their employees. And I maintained a great contact there. And when it came time for them to have the need of some music for national TV campaigns, they came to me even though they had an ad agency who had a music producer
Lisa: On staff, they still wanted to use me to do that negotiation. So that’s not common that the brand reaches out to me. Usually when it’s when it’s ad for for a commercial like that, it’s usually the ad agency. And I’ve done a couple of national campaigns for them. And then I also do like non broadcast in-house stuff for for Delta. It’s about anything that music’s in that or property is in that
Lisa: All kinds of different. And that’s kind of fun too. That keeps me on my toes.
Joe: So the majority of your clients, though, are corporate clients.
Lisa: I’d say right now it’s kind of corporate and advertising, I have a couple of indie films, indie film clients,
Lisa: A few documentaries that I worked on the past couple of years. I worked on a pro wrestling documentary. I
Lisa: Mean, you know, things that you just never think you’re going to stumble
Joe: Yes, sure.
Lisa: Upon clearing
Lisa: For for a wrestling documentary and entering a world I knew nothing about. And then, of course, like I said, the consulting clients and I just got a call from a connection from somebody that we went to Fredonia with, you know, and Fredonia is like the gift that keeps on giving. I mean, I have friends
Lisa: That like you and we’re still in touch after these years. And this person said, oh, they knew that somebody was looking for original music for a production. And she said, why don’t you talk to Lisa? So that’s another thing we’re probably going to be working on, you
Lisa: Know, in December.
Joe: Really cool.
Lisa: Times are tough. covid has shut down a lot of my work.
Lisa: Um, I’m still I’ve still got some balls in the air and and projects to work on. So we just got to plug through, you know.
Joe: You brought up a good point. So how has it affected you? Is it is it what has shut down? I mean, obviously the world is shut down. But what what if for me, booking entertainment, right? Because my
Joe: My my main business is putting entertainment in the resorts that I have and then
Joe: Doing and then doing the corporate events that come to town and other places in the country that I get asked to help with. So that just stopped. Right.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: How did it stop on your end? Like, what did that mean? That they stopped shooting commercials, that they stopped?
Lisa: I was in the middle of a project for a corporate project that got pulled in March because they knew that the big conference was going to be canceled in May. So things that we were working on in the middle of that, that got pulled a couple of ad campaigns that I was expecting got pulled. So like a lot of the big unfortunately, a lot of the big projects, the big things that kind of take you through the year were canceled. All of my performing work, live performing that, you know, I perform a lot with my sister. We had festivals we were supposed to do that got canceled. You know, we’ve done some virtual projects, but all all of the live stuff got canceled. You know, I also teach I have three voice students and I have a ukulele student in California. But the voice students were all coming here and now. Now they’re virtual, you know, just to
Lisa: Be safe. And
Lisa: So, so many things changed in such a short period of time. It’s it’s really crazy.
Joe: Yeah, so and I guess your corporate clients like mine are when these events stop or employment slows down or stops, like if you are doing training videos of the music are the rights to it are all of the things that get put together for a large event and all of that to stop. That’s really how it’s affecting you as well.
Joe: Yeah. No, I hear you. So I want to know if there’s a fair amount of people that will listen to my podcast that are because of my background and where I’ve come from. There are a fair amount of musicians and artists and things like that. So I have a lot of really talented singer songwriters on my roster that besides going out and playing covers and doing that at the resorts, a lot of them do some really nice writing and have their own CDs and things like that. When would one of those types of entertainers come to a company like yours? And I know you touched upon it earlier, but I really want it to be clear so that if they’re listening to this and they say, I’ve been just treading water in this world of copyright issues and I don’t know where to go and I don’t know how to protect my material and I don’t know how to get my stuff in front of people, you know, like I don’t know. Is taxe a competitor to you because they can go directly to a website like that and.
Lisa: No, no, that’s a totally different kind of business,
Lisa: And the thing is, and I do get people approaching me, I do get artists approaching me thinking that I’m going to help them place their music in in a commercial or. That’s not my clients. Most of my clients are users of music. The way that I can help music artists and songwriters and composers is by consulting with them about these things that they may not understand. You know, how do I copyright my material? How do I use a famous song that I didn’t write? How do I put that on my CD? How do I get the rights for that? What the heck is ASCAP, BMI or CISAC? And why do I need to be a member of that if I’m a songwriter?
Joe: And put a pin in that, because we need to talk about that.
Joe: So sorry. I don’t mean to interrupt
Joe: You, but
Joe: We have to talk about. So
Joe: Go ahead.
Lisa: And and what the heck, a sound exchange. Why is it important that I, I joined sound exchange, you know, all of these things. There’s you know, it’s kind of like we’re in this amazing time because you have all of this information at your fingertips. You know, the Internet is it’s like a blessing and a curse. But for me, it’s mostly a blessing. I think about all the things that, you know, if I had had this stuff at my beck and call 30 years ago, you know,
Lisa: There’s so
Lisa: Much that people can do themselves, but you really have to educate yourself. If you’re going to be an indie artist, if you are going to write your own material, you have to know how to protect yourself. So you really have to kind of, um, do the research and educate and learn about the business. But if you need help, somebody like me who has been through it from both ends can be a resource, um, and can kind of cut through some of that stuff quickly. Um, taxi is is it really an A in our service for getting your music in front of music supervisors and libraries and production music? I actually use them for my own material.
Lisa: I have occasionally I send you know, I look at their their briefs that come in. I’ve placed two Q’s with a library. I’m hoping to do some more, that kind of work. It seems to me like that’s a good thing to do now with some extra time on my hands. So that’s really, you know, that’s a kind of a separate thing. Then there are companies called Placement Companies where they help you try to find opportunities for your music, whether it’s film, television advertising, and they take a percentage of whatever deal.
Lisa: Strike, they don’t take ownership of your copyright, they don’t you know, they don’t own anything, they’re not a publisher, but they’ll take a percentage of the deal, like just a one off percentage.
Lisa: So there are companies that do that. So that might be a thing that maybe some of your singer songwriters might want to explore to try and find companies that might be interested in helping them place their material in front of people. Yeah.
Joe: So let’s just stick to the consulting services that you offer really
Joe: Quick and let’s keep it in the bubble of singer songwriters for now. If someone came to you and said, listen, because this is something that I try to help with when I throw up a video on one of my various channels or whatever, the same as like the whole starving musician thing sort of drives me a little bit crazy because I feel like some entertainers don’t think outside the box and don’t realize that there’s a lot of other opportunities besides just having to work your fingers to death seven days a week, performing and singing somewhere in order to pay the rent. Right. So so I’ve put up videos before where I’m saying, OK, as a performer, you can write music for other people. If you have the skills, you can take music and arrange it for them. If they want to do it in a certain style or with a certain instrumentation,
Joe: Can call around to all the recording studios and say, hey, if you ever need someone that can do this like you, if you can, you can play ukulele, somebody to come in and lay down some tracks on ukulele. I’m available teaching. Right.
Lisa: Mm hmm.
Joe: I had, like, I don’t know, five or six things. But so when someone comes to you, you do you have a list of like a checklist, you can say, hey, listen, so I’m going to help you to not only get your music protected and let me help you with the struggles you’re having with all of the illegal things that are out there. But have you ever thought of all of these things in order to generate some additional income, which is placement of your music or, I don’t know, whatever that would be?
Lisa: Yeah, that that’s a good question to a degree, I’ve done that, but it’s been I would say the folks that have come to me so far have been very focused on what their needs are. And they haven’t asked about other things. They’re not interested in it or don’t have the skill set to to explore those other things. But there are lots of music blogs out there and lots of like like articles that, you know, list that kind of thing. Here are the 20 other things that you could be doing other than playing in a bar, four hours a night, five nights a week. There’s a lot of that and. You know, because there’s
Lisa: Such a proliferation
Lisa: Of media now, I mean, between, you know, smartphones and iPads and this and that, and there’s so many channels and there’s so much content, all of that content needs music, you know? So there’s there’s a lot to explore in the area of of creating music for for visuals. But the other side of it is because everybody and their mother, um, can have a studio in their in their computer. Now that there’s a lot of material, there’s a
Lisa: Lot of stuff out there. There’s all of this royalty free music. And, you know, a lot of it is frankly, it’s really bad.
Lisa: It’s just bad.
Lisa: You know, it’s like finding that fine line between pursuing pursuing these these avenues, these things that you could do that maybe you hadn’t thought of and and not being overwhelmed by the amount of stuff that’s already out there. Right.
Lisa: It’s really tough.
Lisa: And I mean, you know, I’m a perfect example. I mean, I’ll just if somebody says, can you do this? I’m like, yeah. And then I figure it out,
Lisa: You know? You know, I did I ever think I was going to teach voice lessons? Not in your life, but I’m doing it. And you know what? I really enjoy it. And it’s making me a better singer. So, you know, you just never know. You just have to be able to say yes and, you know, take a crack at it.
Joe: Let’s get to the whole ASKAP, BMI, whatever, what’s the other one?
Lisa: A CISAC
Lisa: Writer, yes.
Joe: Ok, so the reason I’m bringing this up, because, again, some of my listeners could possibly be the the people that run some of the local restaurants that I help book entertainment for
Joe: Or management at the resorts. And so I’ll I’ll get a call from a nice restaurant in town and they’ll say, hey, listen, we’re thinking about starting life entertainment on the weekends. Can you help us? And I’m like, sure. And figure out the budget and the type of music. And I go look at the space and I recommend what I recommend. And then we start putting it in there and it does really, really well. And people like it and people stay longer and they spend more money or they come in and have drinks and it just it ends up being a really good thing. Then all of a sudden, one of those organizations sends one of those letters to the owner and says, hey, you have to pay this or you have to discontinue having music. And so then I get the phone call saying, hey, you know, you’ve been doing this for a while. Do you know anything about this? All I say is because I don’t know anything about it is yes, there are protecting the rights of the people that wrote these songs in regards to this material. And there is a fee. So here’s my biggest problem with it. And I don’t we don’t need to get into redesigning how they figure out the money part of this, but they confuse the owners so much that the owners just can’t say, you know, I’m going to just stop because I can’t figure out what they want me to do. And they want me to take the square footage of the space times, the number of people that will be in the building from five p.m. to 10 p.m. times like this calculation. And I’m saying, listen, I think the worst that they want you to pay is like eight hundred and fifty dollars a year. You should just pay it and you don’t have to worry. But it’s just such a convoluted thing. It’s not simple for some of these owners.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah, I understand that it’s difficult. You’d think that they would streamline that a little bit more and
Lisa: Make it easier, because I hear this all the time. But as a writer, I know the importance of them coming out and getting those licenses taken care of. But it just seems like it should just be it should be easier to do that and
Lisa: Not make it so that you’re just you’re turning people away. Yeah. I mean,
Lisa: That’s kind of like that’s like the side of of those organizations that. That that’s really tricky, they they’re trying to do the right thing, but they’re just making it difficult
Lisa: To collect.
Joe: It just it scares the hell out of the owners and it confuses
Lisa: I get
Joe: So their only option is just to bail. And and and it’s it’s sad because it’s not a lot of money in the scheme of things
Joe: When it brings in people and it generates revenue. But I just it’s the letters, I think almost come with a tone that feels threatening. And they just
Joe: They just bail them just like I’m not going to get sued and whatever.
Lisa: Really a shame,
Lisa: That’s really a shame.
Joe: Yeah. So anyhow, I just threw that in there because
Joe: I see the other side of it. I
Joe: Understand both ends, but
Joe: It is what it is on the legal part of this. This is what you were talking about, all the things that you have to do. How do you as the owner of this company and you deal with all of these the rights to use things and all all of that, how do you legally navigate through that? I mean, that’s.
Lisa: It’s challenging because I’m kind of in this legal, quasi legal business, I’m not an attorney, but I’m a rights clearance expert and you know, I’ve been dealing with copyright questions for, you know, I’m not even to say how many years your listeners
Lisa: Can figure it out based on the dates that I that I mistakenly mentioned at the beginning of where we were talking. But.
Joe: That’s OK when this goes up on YouTube and on Friday and they see how young you look, they’re going to be like
Lisa: Oh, God,
Lisa: Yeah, I mean.
Joe: It doesn’t sound easy. And I don’t know how it just.
Lisa: Here, here’s here’s the thing, the good thing about it is because I’m in the middle of a deal, right? I’ve got my client. I’ve got the record company. I’ve got the publisher. The client has an attorney, the publisher has an attorney, the label has an attorney, and I make it very clear to my clients when I you know, the contracts always route through me before, you know, the label will send me the contract. The publisher will send me the contract. I will review it and read it. If I see something that’s incorrect or I have a question about, I’ll question it before it even gets to the client.
Lisa: Then I will send it to the client and I’ll say, please review and have your legal team look this over. It’s up to them to make sure that they’re covered at that end. So I’m kind of in the middle. But between the client and the owners of the material, they have their legal teams that are making sure they’re protected. You know,
Joe: Got it.
Lisa: And I’m I’m just I’m rounding the stuff between the companies.
Joe: Ok, so that
Joe: Makes sense, I just
Joe: Don’t know how much of that burden fell on you because that would be like
Joe: A lie.
Lisa: No, no, not not, not no. And, you know, I’m not signing the agreements, I’m making recommendations, I’m making suggestions. But ultimately it’s the client who is signing so they will have their legal team look it over. Yeah.
Joe: Got it. All right, cool. All right, let’s lighten things up. What are you doing today? What is new? What’s happening?
Lisa: I am working on a virtual concert
Lisa: With our dear friend, Susan Häfner.
Lisa: And my sister, Laurie, which it’s not a live stream, it’s it’s we’ve done recordings and audio and video recordings of songs, and then it’s being put together in a program and it’s going to air on Vermont television and YouTube. So that’s that’s fun. That’s that’s exciting. And this is the second concert that I’ve I’ve worked on Watsa, a virtual concert. We were we did one in May. That was supposed to be a live concert that we were doing in Vermont. But but it got canceled because of covid. So we just, you know, switched gears and made it a virtual concert. I have four songs that are being used in a play called the The Wickham Way, which is written by Rachel Reuben Ludtke. And it’s a she’s a playwright and director that I’ve I’ve done several projects with her over the years where she’s used my music or I’ve written music for her. So that’s getting some readings coming up. My sister and I are prepping our holiday show, the Vicky and Nicki Christmas show. And for your listeners who don’t know, in addition to everything else that I’m trying to keep track of, I have a musical comedy act. I do with my sister Laurie called the called Vicky and Nikki. We we play a suburban housewife from Minnesota who are on the road playing music and it’s entirely self-contained. So between the two of us, we play like 10 or 12 instruments. And I mean everything from saxophone, electric guitar, keyboard, accordion,
Joe: I want to know
Joe: How you got the how you got the accents down when I was
Lisa: Is, you know, you know, it’s tough, it’s really kind of Nazel it’s and I listen, I watch Fargo a lot.
Joe: Oh, there you go.
Lisa: I did, yeah,
Joe: Oh, my gosh,
Joe: It’s awesome.
Lisa: The funny the funny thing is, though, is it’s a really wide sound,
Lisa: You know, wide vowels,
Lisa: And we realize that you really can’t sing that way for any length of time because first of all, it hurts
Lisa: And you just don’t resonate well. So when we’re singing, we kind of let the accents go a little bit unless we’re hitting a real particular consonant or vowel. But it’s mostly the accents come out with with the the script and the dialogue. Yeah.
Joe: My gosh, it’s Hillary. How long have you guys been doing this now?
Lisa: I think since 2004, we’ve
Lisa: We’ve we’ve written like 10 or 12 shows, I think, and,
Lisa: You know, we’ve done a lot of different incarnations of the show and the summer show holiday shows. We take it on the road. We’ve we’ve done a lot of cabaret spaces in the city. We’ve we’ve guest sit in at comic shows. Comedians have had us on as kind of the
Lisa: Musical comedy
Lisa: Act. But it’s it’s a lot of fun and it’s very different than any of the other music stuff I do because I get to play a character which is,
Lisa: You know, with a really kind of like scary wig and false eyelashes and.
Joe: It’s just classic
Joe: And I watch it, and it’s just unbelievable.
Joe: Are you and where are you and are you in Brooklyn?
Lisa: I’m in Brooklyn,
Lisa: In Brooklyn.
Joe: Where’s Laurie?
Lisa: Two blocks away.
Joe: Oh, wow.
Lisa: Yeah, she’s two blocks away here in Brooklyn, so it makes
Joe: And let me
Joe: Guess, like Sue is six blocks away.
Lisa: No, she’s in Vermont,
Lisa: She’s in Vermont.
Lisa: But she was here, she was
Lisa: In New York for for quite a while, but
Lisa: Yeah, she’s she’s in Vermont now.
Joe: That’s cool.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah.
Joe: So you’re working on the holiday show now,
Lisa: Yep, we’re working on the holiday show where
Lisa: We’re writing it and we’re going to do a live stream this year. And the funny thing is last year we took a year off. We didn’t do a live show. Last year we thought we thought, you know what? We needed a break. And had we known what was coming,
Joe: Mm hmm.
Lisa: We would have done a live show.
Lisa: I think
Lisa: Because it feels it kind of feels weird to now have not be doing that again. But the good thing is we can have we can do a live stream and we can actually hit more people in a live stream than we would in the live show. You know, we can we can fit about 75 to 80 people and in the cabaret space that we do the show at and if we do two shows, but so that that’ll be that’ll be fun. It’d be nice to work on that. And, you know, it’s very topical, too. So it’ll be interesting to see how things go these next weeks and how that affects our script in terms of
Lisa: The election and whatnot. Yeah.
Joe: Yeah, well, that’s cool. So what else I want to make sure we
Lisa: Oh, what else?
Joe: Are you and Tom doing anything together.
Lisa: Um, we don’t have anything planned right now, but I’m hoping that we can do some either a maybe a live streamer or something to that effect. He’s got a bunch of things he wants to do to, um. But right now, we’re mostly working on, you know, the engineering part of putting the virtual concert together. And he’s really helping us with that. He’s doing a lot of the audio engineering for that project.
Joe: And is he doing it right where you’re sitting is at the studio?
Lisa: Yep, right here.
Lisa: Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
Joe: All that fancy equipment
Lisa: Yeah, yeah,
Lisa: We got to get look at the old reel to reel there, you see.
Joe: It’s nice?
Joe: Vicky and Nikki, you only do how many of these videos that you do.
Lisa: Well, we’re doing this virtual show in December, but
Lisa: We also have webisodes, we have a Web series called Call Vicky and Nikki Flix and
Lisa: They’re like little little one minute vignettes.
Lisa: And if people go to Vicky and Nikki dot com, they can see those and they’re on YouTube as well. So we want to produce more of those and just just try and get that stuff out there to OK, to a larger fan base.
Joe: Had you guys ever think about starting a channel or are adding to your channel where it’s more of you’re putting out at least a video we kind of thing?
Joe: Too much work.
Lisa: I think right now, yeah, I mean,
Lisa: I you know, we’ve got like three or four episodes of the the webisodes
Lisa: We would like to do more. I think we would like to do that more regularly. But I think a one a week is probably too much for us just in the in you know, with everything else that’s going on,
Lisa: But I think it’s I think it’s amazing that you guys are doing.
Joe: It’s a lot of work. Trust
Joe: It’s it’s it’s the. However, let’s take 15 minutes of filming and then it’s a day of editing
Lisa: I know.
Lisa: Oh, I
Joe: You know.
Lisa: That’s the thing like,
Lisa: You know, you shoot it and then you got to, you
Lisa: Know, make it look good and sound good and.
Joe: Yeah, yeah,
Joe: It’s a lot.
Lisa: Know, and all of these skills, all these things that, you know, we just have to keep learning to
Lisa: And and, you know, you got to kind of keep up with the Joneses.
Lisa: Um, but sometimes,
Lisa: You know, every once in a while I just like I just want to go live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity, you know, it’s just like.
Joe: I hear you, I hear you. Trust
Joe: Me, yeah, I just went to the doctor the other day just as a regular checkup because I don’t really wear glasses for distance or reading, but both.
Lisa: Or reading.
Joe: Yeah, but but at both ends of the spectrum, I could use a little bit,
Lisa: A little
Joe: But but not enough that I really need to like
Joe: Wear whatever. And she’s like, she’s like, well how do you spend some time on the computer. And I go yeah she goes a lot. And I’m like, yeah, she goes four hours a day. I’m like, no, she goes in hours a day. I’m like, no more like ten or 15. So yeah, it’s tough.
Lisa: Yeah, yeah,
Lisa: I know. Uh.
Joe: All right. Well cool. So if somebody wants to get in touch with you, what’s the best way to connect with you for either song lessons. Ukulele lessons. I mean, singing lessons, composing hidden productions.
Lisa: Yeah, lessons and and, you know, more of like performing in that kind of thing. Lisa Brilliantine, dotcom music, licensing, music, supervision, consulting, helping musicians and songwriters kind of navigate some of the music business stuff that that they need to do to protect themselves and also to get their material just shipshape and make sure that they’re taking care of a hidden pond. Productions, dotcom. And
Lisa: There’s there’s contacts. There’s forms on both websites where you can send an email and I’ll get it and I’ll get back to people and I get back very quickly.
Joe: What about all the other things, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter?
Lisa: Yeah, I’m I’m all over the place,
Lisa: Just like Instagram, I’m on Instagram, you know, Lisa Brigantine, Lisa Brigg, Hidden Porn Productions is on Instagram, Twitter, you know, Facebook pages. I
Lisa: Mean, I’m just all over the place. So and
Lisa: Of those those links are on those websites as well.
Joe: Awesome, and then Vicky and Nikki.
Lisa: Oh, jeez, we can’t forgive Vicky, Nikki, Cami, I almost I almost didn’t see if I can make its website forget sex, OK?
Joe: I’m so
Joe: Glad I said I wanted to hear that accent
Joe: One more time.
Lisa: Sure, all Joe. Oh, jeez, yeah, Vicki and Nicki Dotcom, Vicki, Nicki Daxam, that’s that’s.
Lisa: Yeah. And so that’s where people can find our little webisodes and other videos. And also when we’ll probably be making an announcement maybe in the next couple of weeks as to when the holiday show will be airing.
Joe: All right, cool. All right, beautiful.
Joe: Well, this was a complete joy for me.
Joe: It’s it’s like I love seeing your face. I
Joe: To you. I’m glad things are well. Please give Tom a hug for me.
Lisa: I will, I will, and saying to Joel and.
Joe: Yeah. And just stay in touch. Let me know what’s happening. And then hopefully you’ll get some people reaching out for some help. We’ll all hang in there through this and
Joe: Come out the other side. Right.
Lisa: Sounds great.
Joe: All right. Awesome.
Lisa: All right.
Joe: All right. Thanks so much. I’ll see you soon, I hope.
Lisa: All right, Joe, thank you.
Joe: All right.