Hello! I get a lot of great ideas from Michael Miyazaki’s blog when he lists performer’s set lists. Also, I look at musicnotes.com most downloaded songs for the month. (who would have thought the Miley Cyrus song has such beautiful words!) And, youtube! I put in the search engine things like “cabaret performer” “scott alan’s new song” etc. and just see what comes up! Thanks for a great question-I look forward to hearing ideas from other performers!
Michael Miyazaki’s blog posts and seasonal CDs are like heaps of fertilizer for any performer in search of material. You can start with just a single song list, look at those songwriters and performers to discover collaborators of those songwriters and performers which will lead you to more and more songwriters and performers.
Many wonderful songwriters have websites: Kerrigan and Lowdermilk, Babbie Green, Roy Zimmerman, Scott Alan, Beckie Menzie, DC Anderson…and many many others. You can discover new songs by reading lyrics, listening to songs and even buy music.
I hear great material on Prairie Home Companion and performers and songwriters interviewed on NPR.
The joy of the hunt for music intoxicates me.
It is just so much fun.
YouTube is a great resource. So is iTunes. And you can find rare sheet music on ebay, too, especially songbooks and singular songs that are out of print or were published once in the 60s or something. Otherwise, I just draw from my CDs or even my old LPs from when I was a kid and teenager.
For me lately, I am trying to find some good standards to develop. I’m not so interested in the weird, obscure songs. I’ve noticed audiences at some of the shows I’ve seen recently — they *want* to hear songs they know. I even heard one audience member say, recently, “Is this going to be a show full of songs I don’t know?”
So even though us cabaret folks may be sick of, say, “Send in the Clowns” — paying audiences like to hear it. At least, that’s what I’ve noticed. (Now, New York cabaret audiences, however, may be sick of “Send in the Clowns”! tee hee.)