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Steve Jobs And The Rewind Button

I got the biography of Apple founder Steve Jobs for Christmas. I was hoping for some insight on how to be a creative thinker but it’s actually a pretty depressing read and there is little in the way that Jobs is portrayed that I’d want to emulate.

But in one passage Steve talked about the moment in the development of every great Apple product where they realised something was wrong and felt the temptation to just ignore the alarm bells and plough on regardless. But in each instance they ‘hit the rewind button’, missing deadlines and delaying launches to fix it, and in doing so lifted the product to the next level.

I’ve hit 3 such points that I can identify during the recording of the Let’s Build An Airport EP. First, after getting the mix I realised Brother Bull dragged towards the end. I felt tempted to say “never mind, it’s just the weakest song on the record” but I realised that cutting a verse and chorus (something I’d been fighting ever since I wrote the song) made it move along at a much more satisfying clip. I did a mock up of the edit in Garageband and then Mark my producer did it for real. I lost some cool xylophone and steel drum moments but gained a tighter final track.

Next a cello part wasn’t working. Tuning wise, tonally and it lacked expression. Rerecording the part helped, but not enough. I’d run out of ideas and we ran off mixes with and without the part. But then Mark started copying over snippets of violin and viola from other parts of the song and layering them. The section of the song is really striking now thanks to string parts that I never would have composed.

Finally one little cluster of pitchy notes at the end of the record, almost inaudible when mixed is now sadly very noticeable now the track are mastered. To fix them means going back a step and remixing that portion of the song, then adding it into the mastered track and remastering. But I’m hopeful, like the previous examples that the whole track will end up noticeably stronger.

Download my free single Let’s Build An Airport

Let's Build An Airport EP

Let’s Build An Airport (EP)

Let’s Build An Airport, a 5 song EP, by Matt Blick, produced by Mark Nelson (Amazing Planes/Savage) and featuring Helen Maddison (Spaceships Are Cool), will be released digitally through CD Baby on March 11 2013 and will be available on iTunes, Amazon as well as directly from CD Baby.

Track List

1) [Everything Is] Broken
2) I Got Lost
3) Let’s Build An Airport
4) Better For Me If I’d Never Been Born
5) Brother Bull

The title track, Let’s Build An Airport, will be released as a free download single through Noisetrade on Feb 14th 2013.

A Blog's Life

Where’s Matt?

Mainly working on my EP! I’ve had then tracks mastered but need to go back and make a couple of changes. In the meantime I’m working on writing bios and press releases which has got to be my least favourite part of the whole process by far. Who’d have thought it would be so painful writing about yourself?!

I’m gearing up for FAWM, trying to write everyday, do some work on Beatles Songwriting Academy (which is the top ranked resource for ‘Beatles Songwriting’ on google at the moment!). And coaching a young peoples project with singer Ronika and producer Si Tew which will have a single release in March.

Fun Music Biz 2.0

Who Needs Comments?


Art is not born in a vacuum…

but it’s not born inside a tornado full of shrieking trolls, either

Do we need to encourage people to comment on everything we create? Oatmeal has a funny take on it

Church Music Theology

What Would Becky Do?


Michael Gungor has an interesting piece on the pitfalls of labelling music as ‘christian’ and typecasting that’s worth taking a look at. Here’s a few choice quotes

As far as I am aware, there is no Christian automobile industry, no Christian mathematics industry, and no Christian airline industry. Most people would probably find it odd if someone tried to start such an industry. Would painting a big red Jesus on the hood of a car make it a Christian car? Would a pizza with dove-shaped pepperonis or cross-shaped sausages be a Christian pizza?


No other music is categorized by the content of its lyrics. There is no Buddhist or Atheist section of a record store. There is not a “gay” section or a “money” section. The only exception is Christian music


The Sufjan Stevens’ song “O God, Where Are You Now?” was labeled as Alternative when Sufjan recorded it, but when David Crowder Band recorded it, the same song became “Christian.” What’s even weirder is that Sufjan Stevens is a Christian.


Three major labels represent over eighty percent of the market’s music: Universal, Sony, and Warner. These labels own most of the other significant labels in the world, including the Christian ones. Pretty much everybody in the music industry ultimately works for the same people. Whether you buy a Michael W. Smith album or a Marilyn Manson album, you are still paying the same small group of executives at the top of the food chain. So does being in Christian music simply mean that you are signed to one of the “Christian” marketing arms of the big three labels?
A Christian music executive at one of the big labels recently told me that the entire demographic that buys Christian music is only about two million people. Two billion people in the world consider themselves Christians. So only about 0.1% of people who consider themselves Christians buy Christian music.


Christian music is not marketed to Christians so much as it is marketed to a very narrow subculture of a certain type of Christian. For years, Christian music marketers and radio programmers have known who their target demographic is. They actually have personified this target demographic, and her name is “Becky.”

One station programmer told me that Becky is a forty-two-year-old soccer mom. She has three kids and she has been married twice. She is an evangelical Christian, but not a radical who watches Christian television or goes to church three times a week. They know the movies she watches and how she spends her money. She is the one who runs her household, the one with her finger on the radio knob, and she wants something positive to play in the minivan as she drives her kids to soccer practice.

Becky is the quintessential Christian radio listener.

Read more here