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TAXI - The World's Leading Indie A & R Company

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by audiokid, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. audiokid

    audiokid Staff

    The company has been around for some time. Has anyone here ever used TAXI?

    Please share your experiences.
  2. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Guest

    A friend of mine was highly offended as to their rather high fees. But then, I told her it takes money to make money. So if you throw enough money at somebody that knows how to spend your money? It could be worthwhile?

    Michael Laskow probably went bust with his Triadd Studios in Fort Lauderdale, like most everybody else, so he had to figure out something else to do? It was a nice MCI studio if you like MCI consoles. I don't. But their recorders were good and he was within walking distance of their factory. So I know, HE didn't need any Taxi. Maybe he lost his car also? Leases on expensive equipment are hard to keep up.

    Low overhead studio. No leases. No taxis.
    Ms. Remy Ann David
  3. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    I've never used TAXI, but I do pay my taxes.

    I had known someone years ago that decided to try it out. He made a CD and payed big money to have it produced. He got a thousand of them made and he told me he spent $30G on it. (after listening I don't have no idea how)
    He was really upset when he gave me a copy and told me he was giving them away instead of selling them.
    He failed to get any attention with it. He then decided to try TAXI and produced not one lead. Its easy for me to see why you cannot get your foot in the door of record execs without any clout.

    Clout is hard to come by, you need something called talent and a fan base first! Talent is something you get that not many people have, it makes you stand out and make great music.

    Without talent your better off flipping burgers and listening to the radio. Taxi or a big money production does not mean a thing unless people like it.

    Spend your money wisely or don't spend it at all.
  4. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    I think I still may be an associate member there.....not really sure.
  5. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    I used the Taxi.com 12 month service about 6 -7 years ago. A few things come to mind. Still trying to get my songs heard it seemed a good fit, this Taxi.com service. It was back at the time "Jimmy Eats World" had gained elevated status.

    What I was ready for using Taxi was to get one little niche that I could pigeon-hole one little song in. What I got was far from that. It was a wide open playing field with little room for what I was doing.

    One thing that it did was to take away the inability to specify a genre for specific songs. In order for it[service] to help me as a user, it was up to me to place the song in the best genre, no doubts and no fudging.

    These entries cost an extra fee, 5(USD) I think it was, per submission, above and beyond the admission fees.:)

    Often a piece of work might be asked for that would list the song or bands focus as "Switchfoot meets Jimmy Eats World with a dash of Robert Cray". What?

    Instrumentals were always hot, so I found myself working on the next big thing instrumentally. As anyone who does this [EricWatkins] can tell you, it is a lot easier to say then create.

    As a tool, I worked harder and longer hours trying to match the submission criteria. As a songwriter with a certain game plan in mind, I lost focus on what it was that I did.

    It seemed then and looks now to be aimed at a much, much younger crowd then I run with.

    Looking over the page for Industry listings at Taxi.com is a good idea before making a commitment to this service.

    It may be a better fit for you then it was, at the time, for me.
  6. RonanChrisMurphy

    RonanChrisMurphy Active Member

    The thing I like about Taxi is that they do exactly what they say they are going to do, at exactly the rate they say they are going to charge. There is no upsell and they take no percentages of any of their successes. What they do is not a good fit for everyone but they are a really straight forward company.

    Another cool thing is that the Taxi Road Rally is a very cool conference and its free (plus a guest) to any taxi members, so that pretty much makes the membership fees worth it right there.

    In full disclosure: I do not work for Taxi, but they have invited me to speak at the Road Rally a few times.
  7. maheekat

    maheekat Active Member

    I'm not a member of Taxi but I enjoy reading all the articles that are posted for free in the Resources section of their website. There's also this thing called Studio Buddy. Its a database where Engineers share their secrets in the studio.
  8. Space

    Space Well-Known Member

    Propaganda....is what it would be called in another country.

    Oh, I AM in another country ;)
  9. song4gabriel

    song4gabriel Active Member

    i hear lots of responses like "taxi has a great road rally" or "taxi have me good critique on my song" but i have never heard "using a taxi sheet helped me get a song placed with an artist" and that's what they advertise to do. (except of course the one magazine advert where they have the chick who looks like debbie gibson but is not debbie gibson)

    500 bucks? that is SO crazy. spend $25 at barnes and noble and buy a songwriter's how to book. the appendix will give you more resources than taxi ever would.
  10. joerogers

    joerogers Guest

    I was a member of TAXI many moons ago. I submitted about 50 times. Some songs more than once. I even got some critiques back which I never really did find helpful. Music is so subjective. So I don't put much credence in what their people say.

    For example, "not broadcast quality". Yet I turned around and got a placement on my own with the exact same recording! Go figger . . .

    As for the road rally, I'd love to attend. But I'm gigging most weekends. It seems to me that if a Music Conference wishes to truly pull, they would hold their seminars during the week when we're not as busy. I would fly anywhere in the country if they held their conferences on a Mon-Wed. Then I could still get back in time to rest for the weekend.

    Just my .02
  11. mlaskow

    mlaskow Guest

    Hi all,

    Michael Laskow, founder of TAXI here. I'll give you some factual information about TAXI in a second, but I first want to reply to Remy's post abotu my career. I started at the bottom at Criteria studios in the 70s and had the great fortune to trained by people like Tom Dowd, Arif Mardin, Karl Richardson and Don Gehman. After that, I was studio manager and senior engineer at Triiad Recording for 5 1/2 years. I left Triiad after the birth of my first daughter to move to NY to do audio post. I wanted a job where I could be at home at night to be part of raising my kid(s). I eventually landed at Howard Schwartz Recording, and became studio manager there for approx. 6 years. I moved to LA in 1988 to become GM of LA Studios, then RedCar (a large Hollywood/NY-based film/video post company). After years away from music, I had the idea for TAXI, moved in to a one bedroom apt. started the company on a small wooden table and lived on rice and beans for the next couple of years. TAXI has been my all-consuming passion for 18 years now.

    I'm always amazed that people post things like,"Well, I had a friend who knew somebody who belonged to TAXI and I hear that nothing ever happened for her," or, "I was a member, submitted a bunch of stuff and nothing ever happened for me." Hear say is is just that... HEAR say, and to indict us because somebody submitted their material and didn't land a deal is well.... did you HEAR their music? Were they good enough that you'd take out s second on your home and invest it in them? Do we promise that every person GETS a deal? Nope. But we DO have a Money-Back Guarantee.

    Let me cut to the chase. Rather than let conjecture run wild with no facts, please just take a look at this:
    TAXI.com - TAXI Success Stories

    All I ask is that if you're going to talk about us, please state factual information or at least reference it. I KNOW it's easy to believe rumors, but it's sad to see people spread them when the TRUTH is just one google search away. Also might not be a bad idea to listen to the music of the people who post negative stuff about us. I know that nobody likes to say, "I didn't get a deal because my music was sub standard," but not everybody who would like to LAND a deal is good enough yet to do so. A big part of what TAXI does is to help people go from C to B, then B to A.

    Anyway... nice to meet you, and thanks for listening :)

    Warm regards,
  12. jammster

    jammster Active Member

    Michael, to tell you the truth I have always been interested in Taxi. Perhaps I will look a little deeper into what you have to offer. The website is looking quite nice.
  13. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    And yet another example
  14. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member

    I can't begrudge the guy a chance to defend himself and his company, especially since he's called out by name.
    And there's no denying, a lot of the people who would submit material are just plain delusional.

    Ideally, it would be nice if he'd contribute some content as well so it doesn't appear to be as self-serving.
    I think the forum users would welcome his input on making their projects more commercially viable. (without cutting into his business)
  15. djmukilteo

    djmukilteo Well-Known Member

    Hey no problem, I merely stumbled upon this as an old thread...seemed like spam....but hey....I'm all for the benefit of the doubt....
    To me this seems no different than TuneCore which charges to actually publish your music and put your material online commercially on electronic music stores like iTunes.
    $40 per year per album and I suppose promotion is available as well at some added cost!
    OK so Taxi...$300 per year and the promise that your material will be listened to and critiqued by people in the music business? OK...?

    There are so many young people out there that want to be the next "Idol" and think if they spend money on promoting their music or songs and somehow think they'll becomes stars and make a bunch of money!
    OK, maybe, maybe not....good luck with that and all....but it really doesn't work that way....it never has and it never will....and in today's music market the record companies aren't even sure how it works anymore (if they ever did!)
    Hence the "Idol" TV shows with the attached record company ready to provide recording contracts to that one person that the masses have been bombarded with week after week until there's the "winner" all the while trying to figure out how to get those same masses to buy their idol CD's or online MP3's. How many people audition for that show!
    Marketing.....even the late night shows have to have some act on every show now for promotional reasons....

    Please elaborate here in the forum how Taxi differs from maybe the TuneCore approach and maybe it's benefits over publishing directly or distribution techniques.

    I think that would be a more interesting discussion from you in this forum....what's coming from your posts is just links to your site with the standard "why you should buy into our approach!"

    Let's have a discussion about the actual music industry market out there....for the free benefit of users who come here looking for good honest opinions and information....

    And let me be perfectly clear....I'm not pushing any music business agenda or product here and I have no relationship or interest in either TuneCore or Taxi!
  16. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Well-Known Member


    I have no connection to either one, but at first glance they look like comparing very different services. apples v. oranges
  17. mlaskow

    mlaskow Guest

    Happy to elaborate, but it's already done on the website. The short version is that major and indie labels, publishers, and film & TV music supervisors tell us what they're looking for. We tell our members (without disclosing the company names, so they don't get bombarded). Our members get our Industry Listings on the 1st and 15th of every month. When a member feels he/she has the right music (can be a song or artist pitch), they submit it for that listing. We have a team of A&R people with incredible resumes (only 1 0f 7 passes the test to get the gig), they screen under our roof, we match the screeners' genres to the listings' genres. The material that is VERY top notch and stylistically on target for what the person a the company requested gets sent to the company. We obviously let the forwarded members know where their stuff is going.

    Our screeners write critiques that get pretty specific, so somebody who is not forwarded gets the benefit of getting REAL advice from highly qualified people. They also get two free tix to our convention.

    If you're an artistic dreamer, TAXI wil not be a good fit for you. If you're focused on earning money from making music ad you want real opps, real feedback, and are willing to write ad produce what te market is looking for, then TAXI is a great way to get consolidated, targeted opportunities and feedback. If you have te ability to chase down hundreds of solid contacts and devote 40-50 hours a week to contacting those leads and pitching your music, that might work better than TAXI. Most people have jobs ad real life responsibilities that prevent them from doing all that leg work.

    We’re also quite different from Tunecore in that we are not a digital distributor who gets your music on online retail sites…. Not what we do.

    Here's a link to a pretty complete info page:
    The Second Best Way to Get a Record, Publishing or Film & TV Deal: About TAXI

    Here's another with some videos:
    TAXI: What Would You Do With the Ultimate List of Publishers, Record Labels and Film & TV Music Supervisors?

    Here's a link to our forum where you can see what current members say about us:
    TAXI.com - TAXI Success Stories

    Not trying to plug TAXI, but you asked how we do what we do. My "promotion" stops here. But I DO really appreciate you asking, because SO many people THINK they know what TAXI is about nad post tons of misinformation about us on the Internet. Frustrating, so thanks for the opportunity to get some real info out there.

    Any yes, I more than happy to contribute to other discussions. I typically work about 15 or more hours per day, so I'm pretty busy, but will be glad to help answer music biz questions. I'm also an old school engineer and have worked extensively with Neil Young, CSNY, Firefall, Melanie, Clapton and many others. I'm good for mic and wire type questions and production.

  18. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Tom Dowd was the reason I wanted to engineer.
  19. Stabb

    Stabb Active Member

    Hi Michael,
    A publisher who heard one of my songs forwarded thru TAXI placed it in a major network series + another (bkgnd usage).
    The publisher, did it again last year and got the same song in another episode of the same series + a coupla other TV shows.
    So even though it all happened after my TAXI membership expired, I guess I'm one of your (albeit moderate) success stories.
    The initial placement happened several years ago and I think there was only 1 quarter since, where I didn't get a check from ASCAP.
    For those who want a better idea of 'Moderate Success', the checks have ranged from $10. - 700-something, With most of'em in the $40 - 100 range.
    Interestingly, with the weak dollar, my international distributions have gone up!
    Aloha from Hawaii, Michael, Thank You.
  20. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    This is starting to look like a TAXI forum. Maybe everyone who has a business should have their own forum on Recording.Org???? <GRIN>
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